Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm Still Here, just swamped...

As always happens right after the Gun Blogger Rendezvous, I'm more or less swamped, between wrapping up the GBR details, making notes for next year, getting a bit of work done, practicing my shooting (hopefully) every day, and traveling to matches around the Northwest. This weekend is a Steel Challenge match in Yakima, Washington, which means we drive over on Friday, shoot on Saturday, then drive back Saturday night. The following weekend is approximately the same, but this time the match is a full 8 stage Steel Challenge in Bremerton, Washington at the Kitsap club. The following Sunday is a 5 stage steel match in Puyallup on the 17th. On the 27th. we fly to Phoenix and then drive to Prescott, Arizona for the Arizona State Steel Challenge Championships to be held on the 30th. Hopefully on that trip I will be able to tour the Ruger factory in Prescott.  The weekend after that it's Yakima Steel again, mountain passes permitting. If it's snowing, I ain't going!

A match that would be  a whole lot of fun is the New Zealand National Steel Challenge Championships, but unless we either win the lottery or find some free plane tickets, we just can't afford to go. At the moment the airfare is almost $1,800 per person! Yikes! It would be a fun trip, though, and the match is being held only several hours drive from where KeeWee's daughter lives. Not only that, with KeeWee along, I'd have a translator.....

Someone said that to actually WIN the lottery you have to buy a ticket. Is that true?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Steel Challenge Shooting at GBR-V

True Blue Sam put together a very good video of some of the steel shooting at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous.

It was a lot of fun!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Steel and Fast Draw at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous

The guys at CS Tactical put together a really well done video of the Steel Challenge and Cowboy Fast Draw sessions from this year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous.

Gun Blogger Rendezvous 2010 from CS Tactical on Vimeo.

Mike, from CS Tactical, knocked me out of the fast draw, but I shot some of my best times of the day, making him work for it! It came down to Mike having two wins and I had one, so I had to win the next run against him to stay in the competition. I shot a .739, which for me is about as fast as I go, but Mike shot .736, and I was done for the day. That decisive round is on the video. Mike went on to win the match overall with some very good shooting. After the match the timer operator commented that for a bunch of folks that don't shoot Cowboy Fast Draw we had a pretty fast group!

"Next year, Mike, I'll be a gunnin' for ya!!"

Thanks to Mike and "Mase" from CS Tactical for putting together the video, and to The Western Nevada Pistol League folks for making the steel shooting possible this year, and to Quick Cal and the Sage Hills Reno Rustlers for putting on the Cowboy Fast Draw match for us.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gun Blogger Rendezvous - $5,088 Raised for Valour-IT

Although there will most likely be a few donations made to Project Valour-IT as a result of the Gun Blogger Rendezvous that are not in the totals, as it now stands the Gun Blogger Rendezvous raised $5,088 this year in Reno! We also had the largest attendance and the most shooters at the range events that we've ever had.Thanks to the generous support of all of our wonderful sponsors, everyone went home with lots of cool swag. It was absolutely the best Gun Blogger Rendezvous ever!

This year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous set the bar really high, and next year, I hope to move it even higher.

Thanks again to everyone who made it possible, and thanks to Soldier's Angels and Project Valour-IT for all the great things they do for our troops.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Overheard at a Steel Match.....

RO: "You need to aim a bit higher."

Shooter: "They've been telling me that all my life......"

You should never take competitive shooting so seriously that it stops being fun!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Big Thank You!

When I finally got home from the Rendezvous I was both swamped with work, and totally exhausted from all the fun at the Rendezvous. I wanted to put together a list of all the great sponsors who contributed to the success of the event. I still haven't got the list put together, but Kevin (bless you!) has done the list already, so I "borrowed" it from his blog, The Smallest Minority.

All of us that had such a great time at this year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous owe a huge "Thank You!" to all of these great folks who made it all possible!

Bill Brassard Jr., Director of Communications for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The NSSF provided the pizza dinner Saturday night, and Bill is the gateway through which bloggers can get media credentials to attend the annual SHOT show in Las Vegas.

Rachel Parsons of the NRA, who provided a very nice breakfast for us Friday morning before we headed off to the range, but was unable to make it herself due to illness.

Randi Rogers AKA "Holy Terror" of Glock, who provided a certificate for any standard Glock handgun.

Charles Brown of Hi-Point Firearms and MKS Supply, who provided a certificate for a 9mm Carbine.

Kerby Smith of Para USA who provided a 35% discount coupon for any new Para pistol

Lori Petoske of Ruger Firearms who provided very nice briefcase-style range bags for all of the bloggers, plus cups, hats and other swag.

Larry Weeks of Brownell's, who unfortunately couldn't be with us as this year he was a range officer at the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals being held in Las Vegas. Brownell's provided AR-15 mags (I scored two), one of their top-of-the-line range bags, and other great stuff.

Colin Anthony of MidwayUSA, who provided shirts, a stack of excellent pistol range bags and other stuff, plus a discount code for blog readers (and another one to come!)

Patrick Harlan of Crimson Trace, who provided a certificate for any in-stock Lasergrip, and some very nice pistol rugs and other swag.

Leupold, who through Allen Forkner of Swanson*Russell, provided a damned nice VX3 scope.

Springfield Armory donated a stack of hats, and ball point pens and shopping bags.

Dr. Ignatio Piazza of Front Sight Institute provided a certificate for a  $2,000 four day  training session at Front Sight.
Jamie Klund and Gary Shank of Cabela's who hosted a tour of their 125,000 square-foot Reno store, and let us fondle the rare firearms in their Gun Room, (including a $30k Single-Action Army!) Cabela's also gave us some discount coupons that most of us made immediate use of.

The Cowboy Fastdraw Association, who put on a match for Rendezvous attendees Sunday at absolutely no cost to us. It was, to coin a phrase, a blast. Special thanks to "Quick Cal" Eilrich and the Sage Hills Reno Rustlers Cowboy Fast Draw club who ran the match.

The Palomino Valley Gun Club who run a fine range, and the Western Nevada Pistol League who let us shoot their steel on Saturday.

Richard Brengman of Special Interest Arms, who brought some of his stuff to Friday's Show-'n-Tell for us to look at and handle. Richard lives an hour or so away in Gardnerville, NV, and said he thought some other local manufacturers might be interested in attending next year.

The Gun Blogger Rendezvous was honored to have Jeff Bader, co-founder of Soldiers' Angels attend this fund raiser.

Caleb of Gun Nuts Media  provided a personally autographed NRA hat!

Kevin of the Smallest Minority for donating some very nice (and expensive) scope rings.

Derek of The Packing Rat, who donated an Air Venturi Bronco break-barrel air rifle. Derek is also the unofficial photographer for the Rendezvous.

And the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino who treated us well all weekend.

And Thanks also to all the attendees who helped us raise money for Project Valour-IT.

Thanks everyone, Well Done!

NOTE: If I've forgotten anyone, please mention it in a comment so I can be sure everyone gets proper credit. Thanks...


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Steel Challenge Stage Times From The Gun Blogger Rendezvous

Stage Times From the Steel Challenge at
The Gun Blogger Rendezvous

Name #1 #2 #3 #4
Allen 16.77 6.02
Andrew 23.66 9.87
Ashley 102.23 50.29 89.13 9.20
Bea 68.90 112.00 55.33
Connie 120.00 120.00 120.00 65.50
David J. 30.99 25.71 40.03 16.81
David M. 33.54 30.44 71.03
Derek 21.01 13.05 24.24 5.69
Drang 68.22 29.28 9.53
KeeWee 21.41 14.45 23.37
Keith 33.35 44.80 56.52
Kevin 22.82 20.54 37.35 7.89
Lori 16.20 23.32 6.92
Mike 27.46 7.06
Molly 28.56
Mr. C. 15.00 10.03 13.15 4.64
Olav 23.11 17.10 36.61 4.63
Patricia 34.93 26.76 51.86 12.41
Skip 46.05 31.47 33.81
US Citizen 27.35 46.42 6.05

Unfortunately some folks forgot to write their names on each score sheet so some of the stage times could not be matched to anyone. In some cases the stage numbers got mixed up, so I did my best to move a few around to get the right times on the right stages. No totals are shown as they wouldn't mean much as shooters were trying different guns on different stages and so forth. It was all for fun, and everyone had a grand time!


Gun Blogger Rendezvous Cowboy Fast Draw Results

Although a number of attendees had to leave for home before the Cowboy Fast Draw event, we still had 14 shooters and some really close matches. I will try to get some pictures and more info posted later, but for now, here's the results:

  1. CST - CS Tactical Blog
  2. Millisecond Molly - The Molly Minute
  3. Derek - The Packing Rat
  4. David Whitewolf - Random Nuclear Strikes
  5. US Citizen - Traction Control
  6. True Blue Sam - True Blue Sam The Travelin' Man
  7. Mr. Completely - Mr. Completely
  8. Death Wish - The Clue Meter
  9. KeeWee Belle - KeeWee's Corner
  10. GG - Girls <3 Guns
  11. Kevin Baker - The Smallest Minority
  12. Connie - Random Nuclear strikes
  13. MASE - CS Tactical
  14. Tootsie - True Blue Sam The Travelin' Man

The match was put on by the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, Quick Cal Eilrich, "Short Keg", the Timer operator (I forgot to write down his name, so please leave a comment if you know) and the Sage Hills Reno Rustlers Cowboy Fast Draw club.

I should mention that this was a double elimination match and the match-ups were by random drawing, so a lot of luck as well as skill determined the final placings. There were a lot of very close runs, and it was a ball!


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Gun Blogger Rendezvous - Thursday

KeeWee and I arrived in Reno yesterday without any major hitches, and we had dinner at the El Dorado Buffet with some of the folks from Western Nevada Pistol League. The hospitality room is all set up and ready to go. A few of the early arrivers had breakfast this morning, and right now KeeWee is out exploring and walking off a few calories from breakfast. The first event of the Rendezvous is this afternoon when we head out to Cabelas for a guided tourdrooling in the gun room, and more drooling in the fudge department. After Cabelas we're back to the hotel, then dinner, and then night one in the hospitality room.

The fun begins!!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Made It To SeaTac

Well, we've made it as far as the SeaTac airport. We've got a couple of hours to kill, then our flight leaves for Reno. The weather here is wet and sloppy, so Reno should be a nice improvement.

Next stop, Reno and the Gun Blogger Rendezvous!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Pledge Drive

One of our gun blogger friends who was unable to make it to Reno this year has made a very generous donation directly to Soldiers Angels and Project Valour-IT in recognition of the Gun Blogger Rendezvous and our fund raising efforts for Project Valour-IT. That seemed like a pretty good idea, and I've decided to expand on it a bit.

If any of you would like to make a donation directly to Project Valour-IT in recognition of the Gun Blogger Rendezvous that would be great, and Project Valour-IT will certainly put every penny to good use. If you do donate, leave a comment to this post and we'll see what sort of running total we can come up with.

Bloggers, how about mentioning this fund raising drive and giving Project Valour-IT a hand raising a few bucks?

If you are a blogger or not, got to Project Valour-IT's donation site and give them a few bucks. Then come back and leave a comment and tell us  the amount you donated. You can use your name or not, the important thing is the donation. If all you can spare is a buck, that's still a buck better off than if you didn't donate! You can be sure that they truly appreciate every donation, no matter how large or small.



gun Blogger Rendezvous Driving Directions

Driving Directions from Hotel to Washoe County Regional Shooting Facility – Pyramid Range Friday for long Range Rifle and Pistol, Saturday for Steel Challenge Pistol shooting, and to the Sage Hills Gun Club for Cowboy Fast Draw on Sunday.

  • Start at (Silver Legacy) 407 N VIRGINIA ST, RENO going toward E 5TH ST - go 0.3 mi
  • 0.3 Turn RIGHT (East) onto E Maple St 131 yds
  • 0.4 Take Ramp onto I-80 1.1 mi I-80
  • 1.5 At exit 15, turn RIGHT onto Ramp 0.2 mi US-395 / Susanville / Carson City
  • 1.7 Take Ramp (LEFT) onto US-395 1.3 mi US-395 / Susanville
  • 3.1 At exit 70, keep RIGHT onto Ramp 153 yds N. McCarran Blvd / Clear Acre Lane
  • 3.2 Keep RIGHT to stay on Ramp 0.1 mi North McCarran Boulevard
  • 3.3 Keep RIGHT to stay on Ramp 87 yds N McCarran Blvd / Sparks
  • 3.3 Bear RIGHT (East) onto N McCarran Blvd 1.8 mi
  • 5.1 Turn LEFT (North) onto SR-445 [Pyramid Way] 0.3 mi
  • 5.5 Bear RIGHT (North-East) onto SR-445 [Pyramid Lake Hwy] 11.5 mi
  • 17.0 Keep STRAIGHT onto SR-445 [Pyramid Lake Rd] 9.8 mi
  • 26.8 Turn LEFT (West) onto Local road(s) 0.7 mi
  • 27.5 Turn RIGHT (North-East) onto Local road(s) 43 yds
  • 27.6 Arrive Range

Driving distance: 27.6 miles; Trip duration: 31 minutes    Driving time: 31 minutes

On Friday we will be shooting at the covered Public Shooting range area. On Saturday we will be at the Western Nevada Pistol League pistol bays. These bays are part of the same facility. The pistol bays are in the same area, but to the right of the public shooting area, down a dirt road.

The Pyramid Range

On Sunday we will be shooting Cowboy Fast Draw at the Sage Hills Gun Club Range in Reno. 7370 Desert Way, Reno, NV. Sage Hill Clay Sports is located on the southeastern flank of the Washoe County basin, overlooking the city of Reno and its southernmost suburbs.

The club is easy to find if you follow our directions and not those of any online mapping service or your vehicle's navigation, its driving directions will dead-end you on the wrong street.

Follow these instructions instead:
Get onto 395 from the Silver Legacy by following the instructions above.
From the 395, exit at Damonte Ranch Parkway and drive EAST.
• Turn LEFT onto Steamboat Parkway.
• Turn LEFT onto Rio Wrangler.
• Follow Rio Wrangler onto the access road and into the shooting facility (we're up on the hill above you).

Monday, September 06, 2010

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Event Schedule

Wednesday, September 8th.

6:00 Pm. For those arriving on Wednesday, KeeWee and I are planning on having dinner at the El Dorado Buffet Restaurant. The El Dorado is part of the same giant casino complex as the Silver Legacy and the Circus Circus. 

Thursday, September 9th

8:30 am. Leave the Silver Legacy "Silver Baron B" Hospitality room for one of the restaurants for breakfast.
2:15 pm.
Leave the Hospitality Room to car pool to Cabela’s.
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Guided tour Cabela’s and browsing/shopping. Pick up munchies and soft drinks on way back to hotel. Buy ammo?
6:00pm. Leave the Hospitality Room to go to dinner. Location to be determined later.
Thursday Evening until midnight: Refreshments and conversation at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Bring your own refreshments and munchies.

Friday, September 10th.

8:30am. NRA Sponsored Breakfast and Rachel Parsons  in the Silver Baron “B”
9:30am. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to car pool up and head out to the Washoe County Shooting Facility, the Pyramid range for rifle and pistol target shooting out to 900 yards.
10:15am – 2:00pm. At the range.
3:00 pm. - Major Announcement  at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room.
3:00 pm. – 5:45pm. Show-N-Tell at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room.
6:00pm. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to go to the ground floor to Gecko’s BBQ Restaurant for dinner.
Friday Evening until midnight: Refreshments and conversation at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Bring your own refreshments and munchies.

Saturday, September 11th.

8:00am. Leave the Silver Legacy "Silver Baron B" Hospitality room for one of the restaurants for breakfast.
8:45am. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to car pool up and head out to the Washoe County Shooting Facility, the Pyramid range for an introduction to Steel Challenge Action Pistol shooting.

9:30am – 2:00pm. At the range.
5:00pm – 6pm.
Bill Brassard of the National Shooting Sports Foundation
6:00 pm. NSSF all you can eat pizza feed at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. After dinner will be the fund raiser raffle for Project Valour-IT and the drawings for the door prizes.
Saturday Evening until Midnight: Refreshments and conversation at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Bring your own refreshments and munchies.

Sunday, September 12th.

8:30am. Leave the Silver Legacy "Silver Baron B" Hospitality room for one of the restaurants for breakfast.
9:15am. Leave for the Cowboy Fast Draw Blogger Match.
10:00am – Noon Cowboy Fast Draw Shooting.

The Cowboy Fast Draw shooting is the last scheduled event for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous, but many attendees will be staying Sunday night and returning home on Monday. The Reno Balloon Races,  Virginia City Camel Races Festival, The Reno Car Museum, the Downtown River Walk, the new Reno Museum, and a number of other things should be considered for the rest of the day on Sunday. As you can see the days and nights are packed with activities from start to finish.

The scheduling is fairly tight, particularly for breakfasts. Note that the "Gather to go to breakfast" time varies a bit from day to day, depending on the main activity for the day.

Transportation to the various events is up to you, but in the past there have always been enough rental cars and personal cars to be able to car pool up and get everyone to the activities of the day. Worst case, some of you may have to split the cost of a rental car. The major rental car companies are at the airport, and rental cars are also available not too far from the hotel. The Hospitality room the night before is where you need to arrange who's riding with whom. Don't wait until the morning of the event!

Although it tempting to continue the interesting conversations well into the night  in the hospitality room, you need to pace yourself or you will end up totally exhausted by Sunday! Trust me on this one!

If you haven't registered yet, it's now too late to get a registration in by mail, so if you would like to join in on the fun,  download the registration form, fill it out, and bring it and your $30 per person registration fee to Reno. Be sure to email me that you are planning on coming, so we can get an accurate head count for the meals.


Cowboy Fast Draw Gun Blogger Intergalactic Championships

The fastest Cowboy Fast Draw Gun Bloggers will convene at the Sage Hills Gun Club in Reno, Nevada on Sunday, September 12th. at 10am. to settle the scores from last years Championships. Will KeeWee manage to make up for her narrow loss to Millisecond Molly last year? Will the Packing Rat smoke everyone like last year? Will US Citizen uphold the honor of Texas with a win this year?

Cowboy Fast Draw Gun Blogger 2009 Intergalactic Champions

 To see the match live, show up at 10am. at the Sage Hills Gun Club in Reno for all the action. Quick Cal Eilrich, multiple Cowboy Fast Draw World Champion, will be there in person helping the gun bloggers to shoot their very fastest. Gun Bloggers from all over the Cosmos are invited, but it will most likely be only gun bloggers from the United States competing, although you never know........


Friday, September 03, 2010

Off To Yakima, Then Arlington

It's Friday afternoon, and KeeWee and I are off to Yakima for the Steel Challenge Yakima Fall Classic, eight stages of steel fun! After the match we're driving back home, arriving Saturday evening. On Sunday KeeWee and I will be driving to Arlington, Washington to an indoor gun range to give Caleb a hand running a NRA booth for the day. On Wednesday we're off to Reno for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous.

Will post when and as I can............................

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Dress Like James Austin Day

Of all the shooters I've had the pleasure to shoot with, one of my all time favorites is James Austin.  James is an outstanding revolver shooter, an ICORE Grand Master with top three finishes at the International Revolver championships and has had multiple Area 1 USPSA wins. On top of that, James is just plain fun to shoot with. He's always ready to help a new shooter, or pick on me mercilessly if I mess up a shot string. James is always easy to pick out at a match, with his trademark cowboy hat, suspenders, and blue jeans.

Every Tuesday night over at KRRC they do an evening Falling Plate match, and last Tuesday was no exception.

Dress Like James Austin Day at the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club. That's James in the middle.

However, last Tuesday's match was a little different. Unknown to James, a bunch of the shooters all decided to make it a "Dress Like James Austin" day, and they showed up wearing cowboy hats, jeans, and suspenders! Actually, it's quite an honor, I'd say!

I wish I could have been there!

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