Tuesday, May 03, 2011

2011 Man of Steel Championships

The shooting season is now upon us, and the first big match of the year for KeeWee and I is the Man of Steel Championships held just South of Portland, Oregon at the Tri-Counties Gun Club range. Nick and Ryan Leonard have been putting this match on for years, and they always do a great job. This year's match had nine stages, and a full house with ninety shooters entered.

KeeWee and I drove to the range, about four and a half hours on the road, and spent the night at the range in our mini-RV. The weather forecast was for near seventy degrees and partly cloudy, and match day morning looked like that was what was in store. It was just a little chilly first thing in the morning, but it got better and better as the day went on.

James Austin and I in our brand new GunUp jerseys.
One of the first people I met on match morning was our friend Kevin. Kevin, KeeWee and I have been on the same squad the last few years and we always have a ton of fun shooting with him, since his sense of humor fits so well with our own brand of craziness!

Those new jerseys really look good!

That's me, hard at work, spraying lead in the general direction of the plates! It's not easy to shoot when a squirrel is laughing at you. (See below)

Zach shooting his rimfire carbine.

D.W. "Death Wish" Squirrel. The little guy sat there and watched us all shoot. It didn't seem to bother him a bit.

Rian, a very accomplished revolver shooter, and James.

Dick, also shooting a rimfire carbine.

Our friend Kevin shooting in the Rimfire Carbine class.

James was amazing with the speed and smoothness of his shooting.
The stages were either out of the Steel Challenge rule book, or stages similar to steel challenge stages, for the most part, but a couple of them were definitely different. The stage "Fallers" had four plates in a row, and at ground level in front of the four plates were five six inch round plates on metal bases that had to be knocked over. The five plates on the ground were the stop plates, so you had a different stop plate on each run!

Another unusual stage was called 4T5. On this stage you shoot four plates, then run to another position, reloading on the way, then shoot the four plates again, and finally, shoot the stop plate. Not my favorite, but I muddled through it anyway!

After shooting five stages we all broke for lunch. At lunch they had the drawing for all of the prizes, including ten guns and a bunch of nice knives. James won a Ruger Mk. III, KeeWee won a Tactical Solutions 10/22 barrel, and I won a H&K pocket knife. Every entry won something, and it was all by random drawing.  After lunch, we headed back out to the range to finish up the match.

Once we had shot the final stage, we packed the targets and stands from our stage to the storage area. The match results wouldn't be available until later that night. We had a long drive ahead of us, and we were already tired from a long day, so we said our farewells and hit the road for home.

The drive home was uneventful, and just how I like it. When we got home Bun the rabbit was glad to see us. You can tell she's not happy when we take trips!

After a night of driving the RV in my sleep, we got up to check to see the match results. I was fourth overall, fourth in Rimfire Open, and Top Senior. KeeWee was 19th. in Rimfire Open (out of 36) and was the top Lady. James won the Iron Sight Revolver class, and his time was fast enough that he would have been 3rd. in Open Revolver, and on top of that, there was only one Limited Centerfire entry faster!

Next week we're off to Yakima for a last "Tune-up" before the Washington State Steel Challenge championships in Ephrata the following weekend. After Ephrata I've got a couple of weeks to practice before leaving for Holland and the European Steel Challenge Championships.

It's gonna be fun!

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At Tuesday, May 03, 2011 1:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW, check them 'FANCY' jerseys! Best lookin' at the match I'll bet.


At Friday, May 06, 2011 1:17:00 AM, Anonymous robot said...

You guys look awesome in those GunUp jerseys!! :)


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