Sunday, September 16, 2007

CWSA Steel Challenge 09/15/2007

If you have visited KeeWee's blog lately, you know she's in the process of shaking off a cold. That, of course, means I'm going to get it too, and yesterday (Saturday) morning it was becoming apparent that the cold bug had found me, too. There was a CWSA Steel Challenge match on in Coupeville, and KeeWee wisely decided to stay home and recuperate. Since I was just coming down with the cold, I decided to go shoot the match anyway, as I clearly needed the practice.

I decided to stick to the Rimfire Open and Rimfire Limited (Iron Sight) classes. The game plan was to try to shoot as error free as possible, even if it meant shooting slightly slower. Since it was five relays at each of two stages, if I shot four clean runs, then push a bit harder on the fifth run, as it was the throw-away if I messed it up.

As I was unloading I realized that I had forgotten my regular iron sighted High Standard that I usually use for steel challenge shooting. I did, however, have my iron sight bowling pin high Standard, but it had a barrel weight on it, which is not allowed for steel challenge. Fortunately I had the right Allen wrench in the tool box, so off came the barrel weight and I was good to go.

The two stages resembled the standard "Speed Option" and "Showdown", but also had some different rules and procedures. Normally on Speed Option you shoot the four plates in any sequence, then shoot the stop plate.
It doesn't show in the illustration, but from the shooting box the left most round plate appears to the left of the stop plate .

This time you had to shoot the right most two plates first, then the right most plate, and then you could either shoot the plate just to the right of the stop plate for a three second reduction from your score on that run, or skip it and shoot the stop plate with no penalty. Since it's pretty hard to NOT shoot the "Option" plate in three seconds or less, everyone shot it, and had the three seconds deducted from their score. When I shot this stage with my limited gun, it went fairly well, although it was hard to not shoot the option plate the first time you passed over it and skip to the left plate, then back to the option plate, and then the stop plate.

The second stage we shot was called "Showdown", and again it was based on the standard Steel Challenge Showdown, but with some different rules.

A fun stage!

Normally with Showdown you shoot all the plates in any order you like, as long as you shoot the center stop plate last. You shoot two relays from one shooter's box, then two relays from the other shooter's box, and the fifth relay from the box of your choice.

This time the procedure from Steel Challenge "Outer Limits" was added to the rules for this stage, where if you were shooting from the left box you had to shoot the two left plates first, then the right plates and the stop plate last. If you were shooting from the right box, you had to shoot the two right plates first, then the two left plates and the stop plate last. That's how I shoot it anyway, so the rule change had no effect on me. For a shooter who shoots better going left to right, or right to left, it could make a difference, I suppose. It's a fun stage, and it almost becomes two different stages when you shoot it from the two positions.

As is often the case, Evil Al convincingly walked away with the Rimfire Open class, and Jim P. once again won the Rimfire Limited class. I wasn't TOO far behind in second place in both classes. As the match was wrapping up, my cold was taking it's toll of my energy, and I was starting to drag! We loaded up all the match stuff, target stands, and so forth, and hauled it back to the storage shed. After the range was cleared, Lou G. and I spent a little time with his Thompson Contender, so I would have had at least shot it once before next weekend's Inter-Club Challenge match. Lou started me out with the .22LR barrel, and a pie plate at 25 yards with a one inch circle drawn on it. I dry fired it a couple of times to get a feel for the trigger (a lot heavier than I expected). We chambered a round and I took a shot at the plate. First shot, maybe 1/4" off of dead center in the 1" circle! "What's hard about that?" I said, trying to keep a straight face!

I shot a few more rounds, both at 25 and 50 yards, then we switched it over to the .357 Magnum barrel. The scope was a bit better, and the gun a LOT louder, but pretty much the same. By now I was exhausted, the little cold bugs taking their toll on my energy.

We packed it in, and I made a short side trip to Wally World to buy a big bag of cat food and to restock on Diet cola, then home and to bed.



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