Saturday, March 20, 2010

Steel Shoots - One Last Saturday, One Tomorrow

Last Saturday I ventured over to KRRC for a fun steel match, and this month the weather gods were much kinder to us than they were last month. In fact, the weather was quite nice for this time of the year, but when the wind would come up it was still cold.

Of the six stages, three of them were straight out of the Steel Challenge rule book, two of them were set up by John, the Match Director, and one of them was designed by some sort of fiendish madman, at least to hear all the shooters describe it after the match.  Actually, it wasn't that bad, but  the two stages that immediately preceded it were large targets, very fast, and didn't require very much accuracy. The stage in question, though, was much smaller targets, and they were fairly far down range and spread to the full width of the bay. To add to the challenge, there were two barrels stacked up directly in front of the shooter's box. If you positioned yourself in either corner of the shooter's box, however, you could see all five targets, but you had a large blue barrel right next to and slightly in front of you. It was quite a distraction, although if you could ignore it, it wasn't really in your way. In short, you had two fast stages followed by a slow stage with distractions and which required you to aim carefully. There was some talk of a lynching party, but after a bit they seemed to calm down. John is taking seriously  the suggestion that he stay out of dark alleyways for a while, though.....

I just finished cleaning and servicing my High Standard rimfire race gun for tomorrow's steel match at the Paul Bunyan club's range in Puyallup. This last week I finally machined a new compensator for my Volquartsen barrel. The old one was in fine condition, but I had some design ideas I wanted to try out to see if I could further reduce muzzle climb. The old compensator reduced climb by porting gasses in all directions to reduce recoil, which reduces climb. My new compensator directs the gasses primarily upward, but slightly off center, as the gun, at least for a left handed shooter, tends to rise slightly to the left. Since the new compensator is also much lighter than the original Volquartsen unit, the new compensator doesn't have the luxury of the extra weight to hold the muzzle down. In fact, if the muzzle rises no more than with the original, it's a success  as I've at least lightened the front of the gun, which should make it slightly more nimble. After several hundred rounds of testing there appears to be a 20 to 30 percent reduction of muzzle rise, combined with a much closer to vertical rise. I ran out of time as to bench rest testing it for absolute accuracy, but I expect it should be the same. Testing it by shooting steel targets, it seemed to be as accurate as it's always been. Tomorrow at Paul Bunyan will be a good test in actual competition.

Now if I could just remember to only pull the trigger when the red dot is on the white plate, otherwise wait until it is. It sounds easy, but it's not...................................



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