Monday, November 12, 2007

CWSA Falling Plates and Some Cowboy Fast Draw

Just wrapped up a pretty good weekend, although KeeWee being in New Zealand is kind of a drag. I talked to her on the phone last night and it sounds like she's having a grand time of it. She's been taking lots of pictures and will have a bunch of posts up when she gets back next week.

Friday afternoon Damiphino, my college buddy from Billings came over to Whidbey for the weekend. We got in a little .22 shooting out in the barn, had a good dinner at the local restaurant, played some guitar, and had a good evening exchanging stories and BS. Saturday we went to Coupeville for the last CWSA rimfire falling plate match of the year. Pistol matches at CWSA are over for the year, and won't start back up until late February. Bummer!

The falling plate match was fast and furious, and Evil Al was pretty much unbeatable. I think he only lost two runs all day, I got him once, and Tony got him for one, I think. Other than that, a perfect score! We had something happen that has never happened all year. With just about all the shooting finished, we had a two way tie for second place, and I was three back of the second place tie, but I still had three runs to go so if I got all three of my last runs, it would be a three way tie for second. That's exactly what happened. I got the final three runs, and we had a three way tie. Usually we only shoot one on one in the match, but we have four plate racks, so we decided to shoot all three of us at the same time, two out of three, to settle second place. Tony on lane two, Rainy on lane three, and yours truly on lane four. The horn blew, and Tony shot a near perfect run, I was right behind him, and Rainy right on my tail. All very close. A win for Tony on round two would give him second place.

The start horn blew again, and I shot another run like my first one, but Tony and Rainy had a little trouble, and I took that round. Now a win for either Tony or me would settle it. On the third run everyone got a little bit "over-adrenalined" and everyone missed one or more plates, but I picked up the missed plate slightly ahead of Tony and Rainy to secure second place. What a wild and woolly way to end the season. Too bad it wasn't a three way tie for first place, but Al was having none of that!

We packed away the plate racks and gear and swept the area to clean up all of the .22 brass. Then we set up the cowboy fast draw targets that Damiphino had brought all the way from Billings for us to try. In addition to the targets and timer and related equipment, he also brought along four 1873 replica single action revolvers in .45 Long Colt and a bunch of holsters for cowboy fast draw.

Quick Cal showing how it's done.
This was taken several months ago in Piru, California.

Cowboy fast draw is quite a bit different from world fast draw, in that the pistols are required to be stock in appearance and nothing much beyond just smoothing then up inside is permitted. The holsters are also very close to old time cowboy holsters, with the only main difference being the deflector shield at the bottom in case you fire off a round with the gun still holstered. The deflector will cause the wax bullet to break up into a bunch of little tiny pieces.

There are two targets, 24" in diameter, and 15 feet away. In the center each target is a small clear plastic window with a yellow light behind it. The rules are simple. Start position "Lawman Ready", your hand on the grip of the gun with your trigger finger outside of the trigger guard and alongside of the holster. When the light comes on you draw, cock, and fire at the target. The light will blink on and off for the winning shooter. It's amazing how easy it is to miss the target completely when drawing quickly and shooting from the hip! We all caught on to the basics fairly quickly, and just about everyone got some times in the half second range. There were also a lot of misses! We shot head to head for the rest of the afternoon, having a great deal of fun, and laughing our heads off at times as to just how wild we were at times. There's a lot to be said for wax bullets!

Who knows, if I can figure out a way to put together a set of cowboy fast draw targets and a timer, we might just give this a try after the first of the year and the weather starts warming up.

After we had shot up just about all of Damiphino's ammo, we loaded the cowboy fast draw stuff back up in the truck and headed off for something to eat. We stopped at the Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club's restaurant for some fish and chips and more tall tales, then back home to get Damiphino packed up for his trip home.

It had been a fun weekend.

For more information on Cowboy Fast Draw check out Cowboy Fast Draw Association's website.



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