Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekend Shooting "Three-fer"

Last week as I was looking over the calendar with the upcoming shoots marked on it, I saw that I might be able to actually shoot three different matches, at three different locations, all over the course of two days. On Saturday over at the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver club in Bremerton was their monthly Fun Steel match. I try to make every one of those I possibly can, as they are always a whole lot of fun. Sunday morning at CWSA in Coupeville was going to be not only our first Rimfire Hanging Plate match of the year, it would also be the first time to use one of the five recently excavated pistol bays. The Hanging plate matches start at 9am and are usually over before noon. The Gig Harbor Sportsman's Club in gig Harbor, roughly a ferry ride and then an hour and a half South of here, shoots a pistol clay pigeon match on Sunday afternoons starting at 4pm. Hmmmm...... Yup, if I don't waste any time I can make all three with time to spare!

Here's the reports:

Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club Fun Steel Match

John D. at KRRC always puts on a great match, mixing six stages of steel challenge like layouts, a falling plate stage, and a few sadistically designed stages of his own design. KeeWee had to work on Saturday, so bright (?) and early Saturday morning Wayne F. and I jumped into my van and headed over to Kitsap. From Whidbey Island to anywhere else requires either a ferry ride or a bridge. Unfortunately the bridge is on the wrong end of the island, so a ferry ride it was going to be. I could take the Keystone ferry to Port Townsend and then it's only an hour's drive to the KRRC range, or I could take the Clinton ferry to Mukilteo, then drive to Edmonds and take another ferry to Kingston. Once in Kingston it's perhaps 20 minutes to the match. However, the Keystone ferry is often cancelled on the early morning runs due to fog, or wind/rough conditions. If you go to Keystone to catch that ferry, and the run is cancelled you don't have enough time to take the other route and get to the match in time, so to be sure I got there, we took the two ferry route. Even so, that doesn't get you there with much time to spare, but at least you know you'll make it.

Lou G. and Tony C. decided to try the Keystone route, and the run wasn't cancelled, so they got there just fine, too. Rob and Dan from Gig Harbor whom I met last month at the KRRC showed up too, and this time brought along reinforcements, Bryce and Rebecca! There were 23 shooters and a total of 30 entries, so it was a good turnout.

The stages were all challenging, with John coming up with new wrinkles to psych everyone out. On one stage he had a small white plate overlapping the stop plate. You don't want to hit the stop plate before you have hit the other plates, and with them so close together some shooters chose to shoot a slower and safer order rather than risk the consequences.

On another stage, John had a small plate on the extreme left and almost on the ground, a second plate on the extreme right up at eye level, and the stop plate in the middle. Only three plates meant a double-tap on each of the outside plates, then the stop plate in the middle last. The outside plates were small enough and far enough out that getting the second shot of the double on the plate wasn't easy! Lots of folks missed.

As the match progressed the weather kept getting warmer and warmer, and by mid-afternoon it must have been 75 to 80 degrees! For those of us acclimatized for 50 degrees and rain this time of year it was getting downright hot! Our squad was lucky in that our last two stages were back in the trees, so it wasn't quite so hot.

We all had a great time, and all too soon hte match was over. It's a Kitsap Fun Steel tradition that as soon as the plates have been put back into storage, everyone heads to the 19th hole, a local pub, for lunch and refreshments. While we're eating we sort out the scoring. I didn't write down the final results, but Tony and Rob both had really got days, if I remember correctly. Wayne, a first year shooter, turned in some very respectable scores for his first 6 stage steel match. I did OK in rimfire and ceenterfire open, although the new extractor I had just installed in the Taurus Econo Race Gun wasn't always extracting like it should. (I wonder if I cleaned it once in a while if that would help?) .

When the results are posted, I'll add a link in this post for anyone who's interested.

As soon as we finished eating, it was time to get back on the road. I decided to take the Port Townsend ferry back to Whidbey, as it would save me from having to pay for two separate ferry fares. We only had an hour and a half wait at the Port Townsend ferry dock, and they we were on our way across the Strait of Juan De Fuca back to Whidbey. After reaching Whidbey it was a little over twenty minutes, and I was home.

It had been a long day, but lots of fun!

..... end of Part 1 - Part Two Tomorrow

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