Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Weekend Shooting "Three-fer" - Part 2

When I got home from the KRRC Fun Steel match Saturday night, I still had to clean my High Standard rimfire pistol as shooting all day Saturday had left it pretty dirty and gungy. I stripped down both KeeWee's High Standard and mine, and got them all ready to go for Sunday's double matches, then hit the sack for some shut-eye before Sunday arrived.

At 9am Central Whidbey Sportsman's Assn. was having the first shooting event to be held in the newly excavated pistol bays. At 4pm Gig Harbor Sportsman's Club was having their weekly Clay Pigeon pistol shoot. It was a about two and a half hours from CWSA to Gig Harbor, counting a ferry ride. Not a lot of time to waste along the way, but enough time to get to Gig Harbor, and even stop for something to eat along the way. Here's the match reports:

Central Whidbey Sportsman's
Rimfire Hanging Plate Match

The five new pistol bays are now ready for use, and the hydro-seeded grass is just starting to sprout on the new berms. In the past we held the hanging plate matches on the 75 yard range, but if we were shooting a match, no one could use the range for any non-match shooting. Now, with the new bays we can hold hanging plate and speed steel matches without interfering with any of the shooting on either the 75 yard or the 200 yard ranges.

I've covered the hanging plate match rules before, but to recap, you get three runs at the plates at each of four distances, 10, 15, 20, and 25 yards. You get six seconds to take six shots, hopefully hitting each of the six plates once. As the distance is increased a larger plate is used, starting with 4" plates at 10 yards and ending up with 7" plates at 25 yards. Your score is the total number of plates you manage to hit. We shoot both an optic sight and an iron sight class.

In the Optic Sight Class at 15 yards I had one cartridge that failed to fire, even with a good solid firing pin strike. By the time it was cleared the time had expired. costing me 3 plates. Bummer! I had already shot one "Flyer", so I was down by 4 plates early in the match. Not a good start. On the next run one of the magazines (that I didn't clean and lube the night before like I should have done) decided not to feed any ammo after the second shot and a slap and rack didn't work to get the next round into the chamber. The next run, with a different magazine, I just flat out missed one of the plates. Now I was 9 plates down only half way through the match. Not a good start, for sure!

I quickly unloaded the three magazines I was using and dipped a bore brush into some Hoppe's #9 and gave the mags a quick scrubbing. I wiped them clean and put a drop of oil in each one, then reloaded them for the upcoming round at 20 yards. I usually don't look at the scores in mid-match, but I had such a lousy score at mid-match I was curious to see just how far out of it I actually was. Since it was the first hanging plate match of the year perhaps everyone was a bit rusty and was struggling a bit too. "Evil Al" was three plates in the lead, I was barely in second, and Scott, Lou G., KeeWee, and Rainy were right behind.

I tried to focus on the remaining six runs and put the other stuff behind me. That's really hard to do as a bad run tends to stick in your mind, and that just generates more bad runs. I finished up with a 5-6-6 for 17 out of 18 at 20 yards, and 6-6-6 for a perfect 18 at 25 yards! For such a terrible start I had at least pulled it together for the last two distances.

When the scores were totalled, Rainy was fifth, KeeWee was fourth, Al had slipped to third, Scott was second, and I had managed to pull off a miracle with a near perfect finish after a disastrous start.

In the Iron Sight class Al showed everyone the way, shooting a beautiful S&W Model 17 with an 8" barrel. I managed a second, and Scott was third.

Hanging plate matches are an interesting challenge. The rate of fire is fairly slow, but perhaps the most difficult part is to stay focused for every shot since you don't get any extra shots to make up for misses.

After helping to load up the plate rack and plates for storage, KeeWee and I loaded our gear and headed for the Clinton ferry to get to the mainland for our drive to Gig Harbor, South and a bit West of Tacoma.

.... End of Part 2 - Part 3 Tomorrow

(Yes, the picture is from a hanging plate match last year - The grass hasn't grown that much yet in the new bays)

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