It was definitely not the nicest of weather for a pin shoot, but fortunately it was only blowing and the rain was mostly holding off for a while. The covered shooting stations were a comfort in case the rain did start falling, but they weren't much help with the wind.
As I have been doing lately, I entered every class so I could get in the maximum amount of shooting. I always shoot in qualifying just as I plan to shoot in the matches, as I figure it's just one more chance to practice and get warmed up. If I'd slow down a little in qualifying I'd draw easier first round opponents, instead of running into Evil Al all the time in the first round. Shooting against the fastest gun in the place forces you to work at being a better shooter, which I prefer.
Open I timed in second behind Al shooting the Taurus PT92 Econo Race Gun
, so he was my first round opponent. I shot as fast as I could go, but Al is at a whole different level, and even though I kept it close on one of the tables, he cruised past with little effort. He also smacked down everyone else he met in the class to take the class win.
Iron sight I timed in second with my Charles Daly
1911, and faced Chris C. in the first round. I narrowly won the first round, and was slightly ahead in the second, when with one pin left and one round left to shoot, I got a failure to fire and had to clear the round and change magazines. It was close, but I lost, and that retired me from the class. I think Chris won the class, but I'm not sure.Centerfire
revolver was interesting, as Al had a little trouble timing in and My Taurus 66 and I actually timed in slightly faster than he did! Qualifying times and how you shoot in the match are two different critters, however, and he got me easily on the first table. The second table was really close, but one of my pins required a second shot to get it off the table, and that was about the margin by which I lost. If I would have hit it a little closer to center mass, I would have won the table, a rare occurrence against Al, indeed! So much for centerfire
Two-and-out was getting to be the pattern for the day, but not a big surprise when you come up against Al. Still to come, however, was big bore revolver, rimfire
optic, and rimfire
iron sight, three classes where I stand a bit better chance.
Big bore revolver was to be a really interesting contrast between guns and techniques. The pins are set three feet from the back of the table, so you have to hit them pretty hard to get them off the table. Al was shooting a double action Smith & Wesson revolver (I think it's in 45LC using .45ACP
and moon clips, but it might have been a .44 Magnum) with iron sights. Al is VERY proficient shooting it double-action. If I remember correctly, he had loaded up 220 grain bullets with a healthy amount of powder behind them. The S&W is relatively small and light, so recoil is an issue, but it's fast to get it on target. On the other hand, I was shooting a Ruger
Super Red Hawk .480. I was using 525 grain semi-wad cutters, with a reduced powder load, but still enough oomph to send a WHOLE lot of energy down range. As I am a terrible double-action shooter, I shoot single action, even though it's slower. As the saying goes, fast misses don't count for much! I also have a red dot sight mounted on the Ruger
. It was a contrast between lighter bullets with a lot of velocity, or heavier bullets moving slower, between slower but more accurate single action or faster but less accurate double action, between a heavier red dot sighted Ruger
, or a lighter and quicker Smith & Wesson.
Timing in didn't do much to answer any questions as to who had the edge for the day. Since there was only a small turn out we only had the two of us entered in the big bore revolver class, but every time we have met in the past it has been really close. Today was going to prove to be no exception. The big bore class has slightly different rules from the other classes, and you are not allowed to reload, limiting you to six shots for the five pins. Needless to say, you don't want to miss!
The first table was close, but Al left a pin on the table, and I was able to get all of mine off, giving me the first round. The second table was REALLY close, each of us hitting the fifth pin with our sixth shot. My last pin found it's way to the ground slightly ahead of Al's, giving me the class win. Dang, those big bores are fun to shoot!
After the centerfire
classes were finished, we set up the bowling pin tops for the rimfire
classes. We all shot four tables of pin tops against the clock, our worst run of the four was thrown out, and our first round match ups
were determined by the times. Al shot times faster than I have ever shot in my life to qualify in first place. I qualified my Long Barrel High Standard second, and my S&W model 422 in fourth. KeeWee
was somewhere around sixth. Shooting two guns in the same class it's easy to lose track of what you were shooting and who you shot against. I do remember that I won both first round match ups
, one against Al, and one against Chris(?), to advance to the second round against myself, so I retired the 422 and continued on with the High Standard. KeeWee
came up against Rainy and they both were trying a little to hard, and neither one of them shot as well as they normally do, but Rainy advanced, and KeeWee
was done for the day. The rest of the match is such a blur that I don't even remember who I met in the final! Rainy? Anyhow, I won the final, and we were then on to the Rimfire
Iron sight class. We only had three of us in the class, but Jim P., who usually only shoots rimfire
, and usually just the iron sight class, was definitely the one to beat. I don't think Jim has lost a Steel Challenge Iron Sight match this year! Our third shooter was Murray, who I was surprised to find out has only been shooting since June. He sure doesn't shoot like it! Anyhow, usually Jim clobbers me, but I got lucky this time and managed to pull out the class win. Not by much ,but I'll take it!!
We had a great time, the weather was actually pleasant by afternoon, and after the match we went to the Oak Harbor Dairy Queen for treats. Have you tried their Banana Cream Pie Blizzard? I love ice cream, and I love banana cream pie, so I was in hog heaven with one of those, in the largest size they make of course.........
On the way home from the DQ
we stopped by Al's place to pick up my bullet order from Rainier bullets. We all go together and buy our bullets once or twice a year in bulk to get a slightly better price. Even so, it was $430 worth of bullets. YIKES.........
Labels: Pin Shooting