KRRC January 2011 Steel Challenge Report
I was kinda nervous about heading over to Kitsap for the Steel match considering the weather report. They were talking about freezing temperatures and possibility of some snow. Mix that weather in with over two hours each way, including four ferry rides, freeway, some major hills, and a number of winding back roads, and it had the potential to be a miserable drive. When I got up early Saturday morning, though it didn't look bad at all, although it was below freezing. The drive to the range was wonderfully uneventful, with no snow or black ice, and no traffic problems.
Last month's KRRC match was cold, wet, and sloppy. Everyone was pretty well soaked. This month the weather looked much better, even if it was a bit colder. In fact, even with the colder temperatures, with no wind and no rain, it was not bad at all.
I wasn't sure what sort of turnout we were going to get, considering the questionable weather, but we ended up with around thirty entries, so that was not bad at all! John tried something a little different this time, and instead of a few larger squads, he split it up into more squads of fewer shooters. This allowed more stages to be underway at any given time, and more shooters shooting. It also reduced the wait until you got to shoot, which was nice. It also allowed us to get the entire match completed more quickly, and since it was cold, that was certainly welcome.
Ever since I cracked a slide in Arizona and replaced the slide with a new one, I've been having a some problems with feeding and stove pipes. Only Once in a while, but always when it would mess up your score the worst! Last week it was running pretty well, but still, once in a while it would act up. I was reading a gun review the other day, don't remember where, but the writer was reviewing some .22 semi-auto pistol or other, and he commented on how reliable the pistol was, as it had only stove-piped twice in 100 rounds fired! I had to laugh! I figure if I get a stove-pipe more than every 5,000 rounds or so, something's wrong with the gun!
When I first set up the race gun at the start of the season, I try to fit everything up on the tight end of clearances so by the end of the season when it loosens up, it will still run reliably. The extractor was just a little too tight, so a little bit of light stoning resolved that. Still, I was getting a stove-pipe every so often. I was pretty sure the gun was working OK, so I took all my magazines and a brick of ammo out to the range and started rapid firing magazine after magazine full into the bullet trap. Sure enough, all of the stove-pipes were happening with the same magazine. That's strange, as usually magazine problems show up somewhere in the process of getting the round chambered. Once it's chambered, the magazine is pretty much out of the equation, and other things, such as extractors, ejectors, spring rates, and so forth are usually the culprit. I haven't had time to tinker with the troublesome magazine yet, but it looks like the rim of the casing was just barely touching the top of one of the feed lips on the magazine, dislodging the rim from under the extractor. Since it only happens once in a while with the suspicious magazine, I need to spend some time with it to find out for sure what's going on.
The good news is that the gun ran like a clock all day, just like it usually does. The bad news is that since I've been so busy with work, getting Magnum Shooters Supply set up, and a few other things, my shooting was really inconsistent. Jerry Miculek has been quoted as saying that it took him 100,000 rounds to shoot as well as he does, and another 100,000 rounds to be able to do it every time. As modest as Jerry is, I suspect he shot more rounds than that! You have to practice a lot to be consistent.
This was only the second match I shot using the new OKO red dot sight. Until now I've used primarily the C-More sight, and the OKO has a lot of similarities. Since I am now importing and distributing the OKO sights (they are made in the Czech Republic), of course I'm biased, but I really do like the OKO better. The lens has a very slight tint, and unless someone pointed it out you probably wouldn't notice, but it makes the dot stand out a bit brighter, especially when making a large movement and the background has a lot of variation that tends to make it easy to lose the dot.Don't get me wrong, the C-More sight, particularly the ones with the click style brightness adjustment, are a very good sight. There's a reason so many of the top shooters have been using them, and that's why I used them for the last few years. However, if you are looking to upgrade your red dot sight, or are setting up a new gun, I'd sure give OKO a good look.
As usual I've kinda wandered off the track again, but I guess that's part of the territory when you venture into the Super Senior division. OK, back to the match!
We had a fairly small squad, and the day went by quickly. James, bless his heart, brought a propane heater and towed it from stage to stage on a wagon. Boy, was that nice to be able to get some feeling into your fingers before shooting. The light was excellent, with a fairly bright day but no glare of shadows, perfect for both iron and optic sighted guns. It was interesting to see a couple of shooters shooting Ruger Chargers, using the "Up Close" shooting technique like I do. I think it's great to see new ideas and techniques being tried out. Innovation is what advances the sport. After all, if everyone shot exactly the same equipment, and exactly the same way, it would be kinda boring. Might just as well dress 'em all the same, too!
Once we had finished shooting, we all (or at least some of us) pitched in and helped to get the targets and stands put away. After that we cruised down to a local pizza place for a late lunch, refreshments, and socializing. The after match socializing is one of the best parts of the sport!
Once we were filled up on pizza, it was a few hours drive back across two ferries, then home. KeeWee was smart, as she stayed home and took it easy in front of a cheery fire in the fireplace. I think we all had a good day!
Labels: Steel Challenge