KeeWee and I went East to Yakima, Washington this last weekend for a Steel Challenge match, and unlike last month, the weather was nice going over, at the match, and not too bad getting home. Other than a little rain on the way back, it was a huge improvement.
This match was our last chance for a tune-up prior to next weekend's Washington State Steel Challenge Championships in Ephrata. I've been working all Winter trying to improve my shooting and making some minor changes, and this would be a good final rest to see if the changes in technique were a good idea or not. It would also be a good test to be sure the gun was running reliably.
We arrived on Friday afternoon in Moxee, WA., just a few miles East of Yakima, in time to stop by Red's Diner for burgers. If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Yakima and looking for a hamburger, making a detour to Moxee for one at Big Red's is worth the effort. I don't know beans about fancy foo-foo gore-met food, but I DO know a good burger when I eat one, and Red's are some of the best I've ever had. The 50's diner decor is kinda cool, too!
Saturday morning bright and early I helped Ty and Steve set up the target stands and hang the plates prior to signup. We also had to nail down the shooters boxes and put paint at each stage, along with clipboards and pens.
After sign-up and a shooter's meeting, we broke up into squads and got to the shooting. We had a good turn-out, with fifty guns entered. Since it was only a five stage match I entered once with my regular Steel Challenge name and number, and once under an "assumed name" (so it doesn't mess up the scoring) and shot the entire match twice.The match went smoothly, but on the fourth stage the gun started to stove pipe once in a while, and I ended up with some terrible times on two or three of the shot strings. That ended up messing up my times a bit on a couple of stages. Fortunately most of the disastrous times got thrown out, but not all.
Last week at the Man of Steel Championships I shot just a little bit to conservatively, and this time I tried to push the envelope a bit more, while still keeping it under control, and that's mostly how it went, excluding the stove-pipes of course!
The reality of it is that I put a huge amount of time on my two primary race guns, and things wear out. I try to put most of my practice time on my backup gun, and save the main gun just for the matches. Even so, the extractor on the main gun was starting to wear, and wasn't consistently holding the rim so the ejector could sent the empty flying overboard. I'm glad it started to malfunction now, though, rather than next week in Ephrata, or worse yet, in a few weeks in Holland!
As always, it was great to see and visit with all our friends in Yakima, and we look forward to seeing them again next week in Ephrata!
Labels: Steel Challenge