Friday, May 30, 2008

June e-Postal Match is Underway!

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell has this month's e-Postal match underway, and it's a tough one, I'd say! It's based on Silhouette shooting, which is hard anyway. He's also added a couple of rimfire rifle classes, so there's lots of ways to enter the match. To download the target and get a copy of the rules, go HERE.

Don't get discouraged with what you think is a low score. This is a difficult target, and those things are dang hard to hit. Shoot your targets and send them in. You'll probably do much better than you think!

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NW Regional Steel Challenge Championships

When I was at the Man of Steel match a few weeks ago word was going around that there was going to be a Pacific Northwest Regional Steel Challenge Championship in September in Albany, Oregon. Initially there wasn't much info beyond that, except that it was going to be Late September. Aster a few phone calls, I now have some of the basic information on the match. Other than the dates, the rest of the match is still in the planning stage, so some of this information is subject to change.

The match will be held on September 26th, 27th, and 28th at the Albany Rifle and Pistol range in Albany, Oregon. The primary sponsor will be Smith & Wesson. The 2007 Steel Challenge rulebook (the most recent rulebook) will be the governing rule set. It will be eight stages, as found in the 2007 rule book. Classes will include rimfire optic, rimfire iron sight, centerfire optic, and centerfire iron sight. Since S&W are sponsoring, I would expect optic and iron sight revolver too, but I don't know that for sure. Single action revolver may also be included, but that decision has not yet been made.

I suspect that since Smith & Wesson are sponsoring the match, and since it's a regional championship, we may see a number of the "Big Name" shooters there, so even if you aren't going to shoot the match, it may be worth going to Albany just to watch the fast guys first hand. Believe me, it's well worth the trip!

As more information becomes available I'll get it posted here at Mr. Completely.

I'll be there!

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Monday, May 26, 2008

USPSA Area 8 Championships In The News

It's always nice when an article favorable to the shooting sports appears in the media. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ran this story on the USPSA Area 8 Championships in the Sunday edition of their paper. The match was held in Alverton, PA which is outside Pittsburgh.

Bob Frye was the author, and I sent him this email:

Bob,
Just a quick note to thank you for writing an excellent article about the USPSA pistol match. It's refreshing to read an article about shooting sports where the author sticks to writing news, rather than using the subject of the article as a springboard to turn the article into an editorial pushing the author's particular views. There is a big difference between news and editorials, but many journalists today seem to have lost that distinction. Keep up the good work!

Sincerely,


Mr. Completely
http://mrcompletely.blogspot.com
(Shooting Sports Blog)

Go check out his article, and if you like it, send him an email and let him know. His email address is
bfrye@tribweb.com

Thanks to Bitter and Paul for sending me the info on the story.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kurt's 1872 Open Top Revolver

1851 Navy and 1872 Cimmaron Open Top Revolvers.

KurtP at A Trainwreck in Maxwell has an interesting post up comparing the 1851 Navy and his brand new Cimmaron 1872 open top revolver. There's also more good pictures, so go check it out!

Maybe if we all ask nicely he'll bring it to the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in October in Reno, and we can get a chance to shoot it on range day!

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Monday, May 19, 2008

e-Postal Match "Pin Shoot" Closing Soon!!

With all the excitement, the NRA Convention and all, don't forget that our first International e-Postal match will be closing soon. The match is hosted by Manfred of Armes et tir Passion. Manfred, and co-blogger Leon (currently on the Injured Reserve list until his broken shoulder heals up) run their language gun blog in France. Many of their posts are in English, and for the ones that are in French, there's a Babelfish translator button you can click. The translations are sometimes pretty funny, though.....

The match is based on bowling pin shooting, and should throw a challenge at all you rabid handgunners out there. So go HERE, download the targets and rules, and have at it. He's even got a few special rules for you if you want to shoot the match with black powder, a cannon, or whatever else you might have!

...... and for you, JimmyB,
I'm a gunnin' for you this time!!!!!!!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mr. C. Tries Handgun Metallic Silhouette Shooting

It looks like everyone who attended the NRA Convention has had a good time. I would have liked to attend, but early this year when I was planning out my trips and matches, there just wasn't either the time or the money to attend everything. Maybe next year.

Last weekend Wayne F. and I went over to the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver club for another one of John D's great fun steel matches. The stages were challenging, and the socializing at the 19th. Hole Pub alone was worth the trip. It was great to meet some new shooters along with Bryce from the Gig Harbor club, and the usual suspects from KRRC. One of the highlights was when the scores were totaled seeing that first year shooter Wayne and his S&W 22A (tuned by yours truly!) had the fourth best time of the day! Great shooting, Wayne!

Yesterday I tried something new over at Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun club, where I'm also a member. Steel Silhouette shooting. I took my High Standard rimfire race gun that I usually use for steel challenge and decided to give it a try. The 4 MOA red dot was about the size of the 100 yard targets! The big question was if I was going to hit any of the targets at all, since I was sighted in for 25 feet, and the targets ranged from 40 yards to 100 yards. I did a little testing the night before and made some wild guesses as to how much I would have to move my point of aim to compensate. The time issue was going to be interesting, too. Usually I shoot five shots in a match in somewhere between two and four seconds. In silhouette I get two minutes for the five shots. Hmmmm. I wonder If I should take a cup of coffee to the line so I'd have something to do when I'd finished shooting? In speed steel you never wait for the perfect sight picture, as soon as you acquire the target you shoot and get on to the next target. When things are working for me I have the gun in motion all the time, and I never actually stop at any particular target unless it's a very small one and a long ways (for speed steel) away. Needless to say, my "Skill Set" was hardly appropriate for silhouette shooting!

I gave it a try, and to my surprise I managed to luck out and hit at least one out of five on every shot string! I considered that a major success. I ended up a long ways behind the winner, but I wasn't last either, and several other shooters weren't doing a whole lot better. The important thing was that I got to the range, gave it my best, and had a lot of fun trying a new shooting discipline.

While at the match I watched a number of shooters shoot in a class where you are allowed any shooting position you like as long as only your hands are touching the gun and the gun is not touching the ground. Those guys are a whole lot more flexible than I am, for sure! I DO have a heavy 12" target barrel for my High Standard, and it's got a good scope on it. I'll have to see if I can hit anything with it.........

Note: Silhouette match pic's will be posted in a day or so.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Shootin' With Mr. C.

Note: This is the second part of this series. Reading the first part before reading this part will make this part make more sense.

When I first started using the red dot sight I wasn't having much luck with it, and I was even slower and less accurate than I was with the iron sights, and that's REALLY slow and inaccurate. The more I used it, though, it started to work better and better. After two or three times at the range I was actually faster and more accurate than with iron sights. Like just about anything, it was obvious that how successful I would become would depend mostly on how much I wanted to practice. In those days the only handgun action shooting at the CWSA club was rimfire hanging plates, bowling pins, and bowling pin tops for the rimfire pistols. My first year or so, even with some practice, I was still lucky to finish in the middle of the pack overall.

One day while ordering some High Standard parts from Brownell's, the sales rep mentioned a new stainless steel and carbon fiber barrel from Volquartsen that Brownell's had just started to stock. I took a look at the pictures and decided that I had to have one! Twelve inches of barrel and a compensator too, how cool! It took me a while to scrape up the money, but finally I ordered one.

I snapped it onto my High Standard and mounted a red dot sight. The first thing I found out, shooting it from a sandbag, was that it was REALLY accurate. The close tolerances and tight fitting match chamber really made it shoot well.

Then I found out that even though it was quite light, it was still difficult to hold and control, especially if you were trying to move quickly from target to target. A little experimenting and I discovered that if I wrapped a couple of fingers around the barrel a bit back from the compensator I could hold it fairly steady and still move it around. Since there were no rules regarding exactly where you placed your weak hand on the gun, I started shooting that way to see if I could actually get fast enough and accurate enough to be competitive.

Over the next couple of years I discovered, addressed, and resolved a number of problems that cropped up. I found that I was having a large number of 'failure to fire' situations, and when that happened, you had to pry the round out of the chamber as the extractor couldn't grab it solidly enough to pull it out. I experimented with extractors and extractor springs, but the problem just wouldn't go away. Finally I figured out what was going on. The match chamber actually allows the bullet to engage the rifling in the barrel. Sometimes that engagement would keep the rim of the cartridge from fully seating against the face of the barrel. When the firing pin would hit the rim the round would move forward the last small amount and the firing pin wouldn't strike the rim solidly enough to fire the round. Changing the chamber to a standard depth chamber and polishing it a bit resolved the problem. I'm sure a little bit of accuracy was sacrificed, but not enough to affect action shooting.

All of this work and practice takes us up to a couple of years ago. The gun was running reliably and as a result of a ton of practice, I was starting to visit the winner's circle in the bowling pin top matches from time to time. Being fairly accurate but not particularly fast worked well in the rimfire hanging plate matches. Then CWSA decided to start running some steel plate matches, a little like steel challenge, and also to start running some rimfire falling plate matches. I shot some of those, but with very limited success. I was set up for pin tops, I practiced for pin tops, and that was where it all seemed to work together, along with the hanging plates.

At the start of last Summer I decided to try to take it to the next level, practice all I could, and then at the end of the Summer go to California and shoot in the Steel Challenge World Championships. The difference between a small local club shooter and a world class shooter is immense, but I decided to do the best I could, and try not to be dead last!

I started shooting on the average five days a week. The last month before I went to the World Championships I was practicing almost every day, and twice a day once or twice a week. I don't know the exact count, but I figure I shot approximately 20,000 rounds of rimfire in practice. Did I improve? Yes, definitely, but still miles away from the top shooters in the game. I was now winning the rimfire pin top matches and rimfire hanging plate matches at CWSA quite often, but still not every one. I had, however, greatly improved both the physical and mental parts of my competitive shooting. I took a lot of seconds in rimfire falling plates and speed steel matches. One shooter won just about all of those, and I couldn't quite catch up. Close, but not close enough! I also started entering every class at the bowling pin matches to gain additional match experience.

I took a break from shooting for a couple of months over last Winter, as I was starting to get burned out from all of the matches and all of the practice range time. In February, though, I was back at it, practicing all of those things I wasn't happy with. The first four matches of the year went well, and I won all four of them, a hanging plate match, a falling plate match, and two bowling pin top matches.

All of the work I had put in was finally paying off. I had learned a way to coax a bit of speed out of a shooting technique usually only used by silhouette shooters. I still wasn't as fast as the fastest shooters, but I would seldom miss. At the last bowling pin top match I broke the range record for pin tops, shooting five pin tops off the table, starting from a low ready, in 2.85 seconds. Sure, a really fast shooter could probably do it in sub two, but this is just a small club match. I was kinda proud of my time, even if it did involve a little luck!

At the World Steel Challenge Championships I ended up 49th out of 73 Optic Sight rimfire shooters. I know I could have, and will, do better, but for a first World Championship I was really pretty happy. I left that match with the will to practice even harder and see if I can do even better!

Then the bomb dropped. The CWSA club member who has absolute power as to the match rules, and who had up until this year won just about every CWSA match week after week, changed the rules. Under his new rules, in all bowling pin, speed steel, and falling plate matches my shooting method was now banned. You were now required to start with both hands on the rear grip. Taco grips and any other form of grip where you had your weak hand anywhere else other than on the rear grip at the start was now illegal.

Sure, I could probably learn a different way to shoot that complies with his rules, but really, why bother learning something new just for shooting at one club when the method I use is perfectly legal at the only other club in the state's Pin Shoots, and it's just fine under the Steel Challenge Association's rules, and it's just fine at the big Man of Steel match held a few weeks ago.

I shoot competition just for the fun of it, and there's no way I'll ever get good enough for a big bucks sponsorship. I enjoy the fellowship, I enjoy the chance to innovate, and I enjoy trying to shoot the best I can. If that gets me a first, or dead last, it really doesn't make much difference. If I had a good time, that's what matters.

As someone once said, a door closing can be a door opening, and perhaps that's the case for me. Perhaps it's time to travel farther to matches and shoot against stiffer competition, and thereby continue to improve.

Any shooter that takes shooting so seriously that they no longer are having any fun, so seriously that losing is a crushing blow to their ego, so seriously that they will change the rules so they can win, that shooter should ask themselves why they are even attending the matches in the first place. Sadly, they have lost something of great value, the ability to have fun and not take themselves, anyone, or anything too seriously.




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Monday, May 12, 2008

"The Packing Rat" Attending GBR-III

I just got word that Derek, proprietor of The Packing Rat blog, has confirmed that he will be attending the Gun Blogger Rendezvous this October in Reno at the Circus Circus. It's great to see that not only will most of the regular suspects be there, but that there will be lots of new faces, too!

The more the merrier!!

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Man of Steel Videos - Part 2

Thanks to Keewee's camera work, here's three more videos from the Man of Steel match held just South of Portland, in Sherwood, Oregon.

video

Jeff shot solid runs all day, making very few mistakes. (Won't say a word about that one stop plate, though!!) Jeff was the overall winner of the Rimfire Optic class.


video

These three 6" by 11" plates correspond to "A" zone hits in USPSA/IPSC competition. There is no stop plate, but you must shoot each plate twice.


video

This stage is called "Ryan's Speed", and it was a lot harder than it looked. The first plate (extreme left) had to be shot first, then the middle plate shot three times, then the extreme right plate (not shown in the video) was shot last. It was very difficult to get a smooth tempo going as the plates were three different sizes, the spacing and distances varied, and the "Triple Tap" in the middle really messed up your rhythm.

Although these stages were challenging, they were also great fun and they made you concentrate on skills you don't usually use in a regular Steel Challenge match.

Congratulations to all the winners, and a big "Thank You" to Nick, Ryan, and all the other folks that worked so hard to put on a first class match.

Well Done!

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Man of Steel Videos

Here's the first videos from the Man of Steel match last Sunday just South of Portland, Oregon at the Tri-Counties Gun Club range.


video

Jeff, overall winner in the Rimfire Optic class, shoots the stage named "4 T 5". On this stage you had to shoot four plates, move to the forward box while reloading, and shoot the four plates a second time, then the stop plate. Neither of us did all that well on this one, as we both chose to be somewhat conservative and try to make no major mistakes.

video

This stage was named "Ryan's Speed". You shot the left plate once, the center plate three times, and the stop plate on the far right once. It was a lot harder to shoot fast than it looked.

I'll put up some more videos the first of the week.

Thanks to KeeWee for taking the videos.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

2008 Man of Steel Pistol Match

Bright and early KeeWee and I jumped into our land yacht and headed South on Interstate 5 in the general direction of Oregon, specifically just South of Portland, to the Tri-Counties gun club. The traffic through Seattle and Tacoma only sucked to a normal level and fortunately there were no major backups. From Olympia clear to Kelso it rained, and rained, and rained even harder, making the driving much less than a fun experience!

Once we crossed the Columbia into Oregon, though, the weather wasn't bad at all, and by the time we got to the gun club it was quite pleasant.

It's hard to describe the amazing facility they have at TCGC. First, they own 263 acres of their own land for their facilities. On the club grounds is a large gravel pit, and the club sells gravel and rock out of the pit on a steady basis, producing income to run the club. The club has approximately 3,600 members, and the dues plus the gravel pit income allows the club to set up and run a first class facility.

When I got there I flagged down a Range Officer in his range officer marked car and asked him about the club and where the Man of Steel match was being held. He invited me to jump in to his car and he'd give me the tour! The facility is so big you really need to drive to see it all! There are long range rifle ranges, covered pistol ranges, black powder ranges, small bore ranges, and a whole bunch of bays for steel and IPSC competitions, all without interfering with each other. When I got there Saturday afternoon there was a group of Marines doing some rifle qualifying in one of the large pistol bays and also camping out on one of the long range rifle ranges. In two other bays there were a large group of cops doing various forms of of live fire training. On one of the small bore rifle ranges they were holding a junior small bore rifle championship match. On another range the Cowboy action shooters had been holding a practice session. In three other pistol bays they were doing IPSC certification classes. In a bunch of other pistol bays Nick, Ryan, and some other folks were setting up the target stands for the Man of Steel Match. All of this was going on without one activity interfering with any of the others. Amazing!

We were able to park the RV just a few hundred feet from the pistol bays where the Man of Steel match was going to be held the next morning. I even got a chance to shoot one of the stages a few times for a little practice. The stage was called Dragstrip, and I could either shoot slow and hit the plates, or try to speed up and miss! I just couldn't seem to figure out the right tempo, or something. I was kind of discouraged since Dragstrip was my favorite kind of stage, large plates, close together, and close in.

The next morning the shooters meeting and registration was at 8am in one of the clubhouses on the grounds. You could sign up for which ever squad you wanted to shoot with, but I didn't know any of the other shooters, so I just picked a squad that wasn't filled up, and that was squad number seven. Earlier that morning I had been visiting with Jeff, who mentioned that he was going to shoot the Rimfire Open class too. By luck, Jeff and I ended up on the same squad.

Our first stage was the classic "Outer Limits" Steel Challenge stage, and one of the ones I have the most trouble with as you shoot two plates from one position, then move to a second position and shoot the last three plates. First thing in the morning, barely awake, and I get to start with what's my worst Steel Challenge stage. "At least it will be out of my way!", I thought. My plan was to shoot it very conservatively and try really hard not to collect any penalties, or fall on my butt in front of everyone. I managed to better Jeff's time by a very small amount, but it was very close.


Jeff shooting a stage with his Ruger.

Our second stage was much more to my liking, but it was the Dragstrip stage I had struggled with the previous evening. What a difference a good night's sleep seems to have made. We shot five times at each stage, and on Dragstrip I shot a fairly decent time on the first run. Each run I tried to go a little faster, and after four really decent runs without a miss, I had a fifth "Throwaway" run to let it all hang out. I couldn't believe it when the timer called out 1.72 seconds for the five shots! Then Jeff came up, and Jeff wasn't going to take that lying down! Jeff ripped of five excellent runs, and tied my 1.72 seconds, but couldn't beat it. My total time for my best four runs was only one tenth of a second faster that Jeff's! It doesn't get much closer.


A great action pic showing Mr. C. moving to the second shooter's box while performing the mandatory reload. In the picture it looks like I knew what I was doing. The picture lies.....

One stage, called "4 T 5", required you to shoot four plates, then run to another shooting box while doing a reload on the way, then shoot the four plates again, then the stop plate. I have enough trouble just moving, and you want me to reload, too? Again I tried to keep it conservative and not stack up a lot of penalties. My times on this stage weren't great, but at least no penalties. Jeff shot the stage well, and the reload was no problem for him as he shoots IPSC matches with reloads all the time. By now Jeff and I were having a grand time kidding each other, making jokes, and just enjoying ourselves no end. As the day progressed we had a lot of fun pushing each other to try and beat each other's times.


Here's Jeff running the timer as another shooter in our squad (Forgot to write down everyone's names) reloads on the way to the second shooter's box.


I think this stage was called "Eight Inch Nightmare". The looked even smaller from the shooter's box. Not only are they small, they are spread far apart. Accuracy instead of speed is the key on this one.

As the day progressed the kidding back and forth finally involved just about everyone on our squad, and by the end no one was laughing and carrying on as much as we were. Jeff and I went back and forth, and on every stage we were just about the same with our times.


Most of Squad #7 in one picture.


More unidentified Squad #7 folks.



I really should remember to write down names.
Yup, I really should.........



After each shooter shoots, we would spray paint the plates so you could see the hits as they happened.

The weather was excellent, the folks in our squad a joy to shoot with, and all to soon the tenth stage was finished. I must admit, though ,that all that excitement and adrenalin was starting to take it's toll, and I was really starting to run down. Jeff and I had had a great time trying to top each other's times and wisecracks, and it had been a great day. Since we were both from out of town, and since we had no other Rimfire Open class shooters in our squad, we both had absolutely no idea of how we had fared against the other Rimfire Optic shooters. We could have been first, last, or anywhere in between. I was pretty sure that Jeff had beat my times, but not by a lot. I was also listed in the Super Senior class, and I had no idea how I had done there, either.

We packed up our gear and found something cool to drink and a shady spot to sit and wait for the results. When the results sheet was finally passed around, I was surprised to see my name in 13th place overall, with Jeff above me in seventh. Jeff had won the Rimfire Optic class, and I was second! I had posted the fastest time of all the Super Seniors. On the Dragstrip stage the 1.72 seconds for a single run shared by Jeff and I was the fastest stage time of all shooters, and my stage time was the fastest overall for the stage. You could have knocked me over with the recoil from a squib load! What a day. I even won an absolutely beautiful hunting knife for the second place finish. Very cool!!

In September the Steel Challenge Northwest Regional Championships will be held in Albany, Oregon, and Jeff plans to be there. So do I. I better start practicing!!

After thanking Nick, Ryan, and the other folks that put on this fine match, we climbed back into our land yacht for the long drive home. We stopped near Kelso at a Denny's for a pair of apple crumble and ice cream desert sundays, topped up the petrol, and headed home. We finally pulled into the driveway of Castle Completely around midnight.

"Tired" wasn't even close.......................

Note: All picture credits to KeeWee, who did a wonderful job taking pictures and videos. I'll have some of the videos posted over the next few days.

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GBR-III Circus Circus Room Rates

It seems like everything just keeps getting more and more expensive. The cost of a vacation can be staggering. The good news is that the rooms at the Circus Circus in Reno are exactly the same price as last year. They also don't charge any extra for a second person in the room, so if you are attending by yourself and you coordinate with another attendee, share a room, and split the cost, that saves you even more.

The Circus Circus room rates for Thursday, October 9th., and Sunday, October 12th. are $49 per night. The rate for Friday October 10th., and Saturday, October 11th. are $89 per night. All room rates also have an additional tax added to the price. Included in the room rate is free wireless internet (usually an extra $10 per day), and a package of coupons for some freebies and discounts.

To get all the details for the Rendezvous, how to book your room and get the discount rate, and how to register for the Rendezvous itself, click here to go to the Gun Blogger Rendezvous website.

See you in Reno!!

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.....Best laid plans

As usual, plans didn't quite go the way I had it figured. I was hoping to get a big post, or perhaps two posts put together on the Oregon Man of Steel match I attended last Sunday. Monday I was pretty much worn out/road weary, and all that got done was whatever absolutely HAD to get done. Monday night Wayne, my friend in the earth moving and landscaping business telephoned and the dozer, backhoe, and excavator were all available on Tuesday to finish up the "Tennis Court" next to my house. Most of his equipment is usually parked here at my place anyway, so it didn't have to be moved in.

We decided to lower the "floor" of the bay another foot or so and raise the berms a bit at the same time. We also decided to wrap the rearmost berm around the side a bit so the side and rearmost berms overlapped, leaving a narrow roadway between them to enter the bay. My main job was to hold the surveying elevation stick and move around the area getting the floor flat and to exact grade.

That's what I spent most of yesterday morning doing, so not much blogging was done. I did start going through all of the pictures and video from the Man of Steel, though, and it looks like KeeWee got lots of good ones.

Maybe I'll get some of them posted later today, but unfortunately "W-O-R-K" has reared it's ugly head, so that will keep me busy for a good part of today.

More later..........................

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Attendees

Here's the latest list of those planning on attending the Gun Blogger Rendezvous AKA GBR-III, coming up in October in Reno at the Circus Circus hotel. This will undoubtedly be the shooting sports social event of the year, so you certainly won't want to miss out.


Planning to Attend:

KeeWee, from KeeWee's Corner

Phil & David, from Random Nuclear Strikes

US Citizen, from Traction Control

Ride Fast & the Commandress, from Ride Fast - Shoot Straight

Sebastian, from Snowflakes in Hell

Mr. & Mrs. JimmyB, the Conservative UAW Guy

Lou from Mad Gun

Kevin from The Smallest Minority

Dirt Crashr, from Anthroblogogy

Chris & Mel Byrne, from The Anarchangel

Uncle, From Say Uncle

Larry Weeks, from Brownell's

and, of course, me.....


Gonna Try/Not sure yet:

Countertop, from Countertop Chronicles

Glen Caroline, from the NRA

Ashley Varner, from the NRA

Ahab, from Call Me Ahab

Stickwick & Carnaby, from Carnaby Fudge

Joe Huffman, from The View from North Central Idaho

Retired Geezer & Mrs. Geezer, from Blog Idaho

Mr. & Mrs. BillH, from Free in Idaho

Murdoc, From Murdoc Online

If you are planning to attend and aren't on the list, leave a comment or drop me an email and I'll get you on the list. If you are hoping to make it but aren't sure just yet, let me know and I'll get you on the second list.

Don't forget, you don't have to be a Gun Blogger, of even a Blogger, for that matter, to attend the Rendezvous. If you are reading this blog, you qualify! For more GBR info, click on the link at the top of the page.

KeeWee and I are looking forward to seeing you all in Reno!

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This Month's e-Postal Match "Pin Shoot Training"

I'm a bit late getting this post up, as I was in Oregon for the Man of Steel steel match and didn't get back until nearly midnight on Sunday night. Monday was basically 'Recovery' day recovering from a lot of hours on the road and a very long (but great fun) match.

Anyhow, this month our e-Postal match takes on an international flavor as it's hosted by Manfred at Armes et tir Passion, an excellent gun blog in France. Don't worry, the rules are in English, and Manfred's command of English is not only WAY better than my French (I know about ten words), his English is probably better than my English, too!

This month's match has a bowling pin shooting theme. Manfred and I are fellow pin shooters, and with the growing popularity of pin shooting, this should be a lot of fun. Don't think these guys are pushovers, though, as Manfred and his friend Leon took first and second in the iron sight centerfire class last month.

For the rules and instructions on where to download the targets, click on


While you're there, have a look around his blog! Some of it is in English, and some is in French, but not to worry, there's a (somewhat hilarious at times) Babel Fish translator button to convert the French parts to something similar to English.

Go get the targets and rules, and get out to the range. Take every handgun you've got and get in lots of entries. Take a buddy or a new shooter along. This could be a good time to take a new shooter to the range! Don't wait until the last minute, as it always seems that when you do, something comes up and you end up missing the match.

Most of all, be safe, and have fun!!

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Racially Intolerant in Canada

I was down at the local garage yesterday and got to talking with Larry, one of the mechanics. It turns out some friends of his were up in Vancouver, CA. a short while back, and got a fairly expensive lesson in "Racial Intolerance". Larry's friends were walking down the sidewalk in Vancouver when a fellow wearing a turban (a Sikh?) came out of his shop and started shaking a small rug, presumably shaking the dirt out of it.

"What's the matter, buddy, can't get 'er started?", one of Larry's friends wisecracked. (I think it was the Persians, not the Indians, with the flying carpets, but, whatever....).

The Indian gave them a dirty look and went back into his shop. A block or so farther along, Larry's friends were accosted by the Indian guy along with a Vancouver policeman. "That's the guy!" the Indian said, pointing at Larry's friend.

The policeman told them that he had broken the law by making "Racially intolerant remarks", and would have to go to the police station and pay a $500 fine for his remarks. He was also told that if he wanted to contest the fine or his guilt, he would have to spend the weekend in jail and appear in court on Monday, as it was already Friday afternoon.

They paid the fine, and immediately headed back to the United States, vowing never to return to Canada under any circumstances.

If you are planning a trip to Canada, and particularly to any of their larger cities, be sure to keep your mouths closed, or you might end up in the same situation.

For me, I'll just stay out of Canada...........

Monday, May 05, 2008

Fact of the Day........

Back in 1912, Best Foods mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of it scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to Mexico. It sank after smashing into an iceberg.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known as "Sinko De Mayo".

Thanks to Lorie for this one!

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Friday, May 02, 2008

........ on the road again........

Here it is Friday already, and KeeWee and I are getting everything packed, cleaned, oiled, and ready to go. Once a year they hold a big Steel Challenge like match just South of Portland, Oregon, called the Man of Steel. This year, I decided to go give it a try. This match is aptly named, as it consists of ten stages of steel. Even the World Steel Challenge Championship was only eight stages, and by the time I got near the final stages at that match I was running out of gas!

Some of the stages are the same as the Steel Challenge stages, and some of them are completely different. Some are "big targets - in close", my favorites! One stage has not only movement from one shooting box to another, it also has a mandatory reload. No big deal for you IPSC shooters, but but for old clumsy folks with fumble-finger-itis this stage could be ugly.....

We plan to drive to the match on Saturday, and hopefully get there before the SASS Cowboy Shoot is over, so we can watch the cowboy shooters. Saturday night we plan to stay in our sumptuous and extravagant land yacht. At 8am Sunday morning the match starts, and it should take most of the day to complete. After the match we plan to drive back home, so we'll be ready to go back to work on Monday (BAH!)

Look for reports and pictures "Monday-ish"

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Pin Shooting with Mr. C.

Quite a few years ago I went to the Central Whidbey Sportsman's range and entered my first bowling pin shoot. To be more specific, it was actually a rimfire bowling pin top match. The competition was head to head and single elimination. The pistol I was using wasn't very competitive, but neither was I, being both slow and inaccurate. I considered it an outstanding run if I could clear the five pin tops off the table in seven seconds and only have to use one magazine's worth of ammunition in doing so.

In those days the centerfire classes were absolutely dominated by one shooter who won every time, and no one else was even close. The rimfire competition was the same, the same shooter won every time. Sometimes a new shooter would show up, get trounced, and never come back. Of course, any new shooter who expects anything else than getting beat the first times he tries it has a lot to learn. Everyone loses a lot when they start.

Of the shooters who used to show up at the bowling pin matches back then, very few do we see today at the pin matches. I too could have gotten discouraged and given up, but that's not my nature. I took a hard look at what I was doing, and took a good look at what was needed to be competative. I could see that the pistol I was using wasn't up to the task. I started researching all the .22 pistols on the market looking for one that was rugged as a tank, easy to work on, and preferably all steel so it wouldn't get loose after tens of thousands of rounds of practice. It also had to be accurate, and left handed shooter friendly. I finally narrowed it down to either a Smith & Wesson model 41, a Browning Buckmark, or a late model series High Standard. The model 41's were by far more expensive, so I narrowed it to the Browning or the High Standard. The Buckmark's aluminum frame was a consideration, but it seemed to be really well made, so I was willing to give it a try in my effort to become more competitive. I started asking around to see if anyone had either one for sale used. By luck a friend of mine had just sold and traded some guns to a friend of his and had ended up with a High Standard Supermatic Citation in the deal. I went and looked at it and it even had a set of left hand grip panels with it. As soon as I picked it up it just felt right, like an extension of my hand. We negotiated a price, and I went home with my new pistol.

I shot a few pin matches with the new High Standard, and it was a definite improvement. I was still finishing way down the list, but I was starting to make a little progress. I could see that a red dot sight was faster and also much easier to shoot quickly, especially for old eyes like mine. The first year I competed, the iron sight and optic sighted guns shot in the same class. The next year it was split into two classes. Looking through the Brownell's catalog I came across a Lebanon Machine Products 5.5" bull barrel for the High Standard that was drilled and tapped to accept their Weaver type sight rail. Out came the credit card! I also ordered a Simmons 42mm. red dot sight to mount on the new barrel.

Once the BTH (brown truck of happiness) arrived, I quickly put the new barrel on the High Standard and mounted the sight. Off to the range to try it out!

The first time shooting with a red dot was a definite learning experience. I learned the "C-More Shuffle" as it's called. When you raise the gun to firing level, if you don't have it aligned properly you can't see the red dot. You then wiggle the gun back and forth and up and down until you find the dot! You look even more silly if you have forgotten to turn the sight on in the first place, as no matter how much you "shuffle", the dot never appears! First lesson, practice A LOT until the gun comes up with the dot centered every time.

The next thing I learned is to keep both eyes open, and focus on the target, not the sight, as you would do with iron sights. More practice need here, too!

When I first tried the red dot sight I was not only slower than with iron sights, I wasn't any more accurate. I could see I needed to put in a lot of work if I was ever going to get the hang of it.

I also learned that the faster you try to shoot, the better your trigger control needs to be. 95% of the mechanics of pistol shooting is trigger control, and trigger control isn't something that comes easily. Most of the top shooters shoot in excess of 20,000 rounds a year, and to get really good trigger control you need to not only practice a lot, but practice regularly. If I don't practice for a week or so, I really notice the drop in trigger control. Fortunately, it returns fairly quickly!

....... end of Part One - to be continued.

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