Monday, July 21, 2008

Paul Bunyan Gun Club Steel Match 7/20/08

Since KeeWee didn't feel like going to Puyallup's Paul Bunyan Gun Club on Sunday to try out their Fun Steel match, Wayne F. and I were let out unchaperoned for the day to go give it a try. We weren't quite sure exactly how long it would take to get there, so we caught the ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo an hour earlier than needed just to be safe, in case we couldn't find the place. The directions were mostly fairly clear, and it ended up taking us about an hour and a half to get there, which means the estimated drive time was correct and that we were exactly one our early for the match. No problem, though, as there was a McDonald's three blocks away so we went there and had a short break.According to the MickyD commercials "We deserved a break today" so we took one.

After our break, we headed back to the range. The gate was open, so we drove in and had a look around. It's a nicely wooded range area with some nice rifle and pistol ranges along with a row of action pistol bays. We met up with Will, the match director. Will is easy to spot as he's a rather big guy with a Billy Gibbons-like beard. Not everyone can get by with that sort of a beard but it works for Will, and for Billy,and it looks just fine! (If I tried it someone would throw a net over me and I would never be heard from again!)

Wayne and I got signed up and shortly thereafter Will convened the shooter's meeting. The rules close follow the rules for the Fun Steel matches at KRRC. After the shooter's meeting we sorted ourselves out into squads and wandered out to the individual bays to get started.

The stages were varied, and you could see that some thought had been given to designing the layouts to challenging. Large angular movement, double-taps, small plates, unevenly spaced plates, all sorts of things to make you work at it! (If I hadn't forgotten the camera I could have taken some pictures.....................)

It was a five stage match and you could enter the same gun twice if you wanted to, so you could get twice as much shooting in, which is what Wayne and I both did. Even so, the four hours or thereabouts passed by way too quickly and the last stage was completed. (sigh.....) It had started to get a bit warm by mid-match though, and we were getting a bit hot and dusty. Wayne and I helped to pack the plate stands and plates back to the shipping container where they are stored. I asked about the results and they said they-d email them out once they were totaled up.

Wayne and I packed up our stuff and headed back to McDonald's for gut-bombs and cold drinks. From there it was back to Mukilteo to catch the ferry back to Whidbey Island and home.

When I got home I checked my email and the results were already waiting for me! Outstanding job by Will and the rest of the guys at the Paul Bunyan club. There were 49 entries, and Wayne had finished 20th. and 21st., excellent for a first year shooter. I was rather tickled with the results too, as I had finished only .21 seconds total behind a really good shooter who had kicked my butt soundly the last time we had met up, which was a couple of years ago. I think he beat my by about 15 seconds last time! I really don't pay much attention to winning or losing. What I'm more concerned about is how well I shot considering my skill level. If I'm near the bottom and I shot my best I'm happy, and if I'm well up the list but didn't shoot my best or made dumb mistakes I'm not nearly as happy.

After all, it's only a game, and if the worst thing that happened to you all week is that you were last in a pistol match, you have much to be thankful for!

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