Saturday, May 28, 2011

Need Pepper spray?

I got an email from a guy named Joe who went through all of my sidebar links and identified all of the dead ones. He asked if  I would put a link to his commercial website on the blog.

I don't link to  ANY business unless I am personally knowledgeable about them, and in most cases, have actually done business with them. I have had no contact, business or otherwise, with Joe and his Pepper Spray business. I can say nothing either positive or negative about his operation since I just don't have any info either way.

It WAS nice of him to check the dead links, though......

Shooting OPEN in Holland

My beat up old Charles Daly 1911 in .45ACP, fitted with a brand new OKO red dot sight and OKO mount.

As I've mentioned before, Dutch firearms Trading in Holland is making it possible for me to own a custom tuned Tanfoglio Gold Team 9mm. race gun. Getting it from there to here, however, has been far more time consuming than I ever imagined. The original plan was to have in here a couple of months before the European Steel Challenge Championships so I could get in a lot of practice. Then, take it back to Holland and shoot it in the Championships. However, we have completely run out of time. In fact, it's entirely possible the gun and I will pass each other on our way to or from Holland!

So, on to plan "B". Hans at Dutch firearms Trading will let me shoot his own personal Tanfoglio Gold Team in the match. That means I won't have any time to practice with it at all. My friend Lou has a Gold Team, and if possible we are going to try to get together on Monday morning so I can get in at least a little bit of practice.

Since I am a bit "rusty" when it comes to drawing from a holster in a hurry, I put together a practice gun, starting with an old Charles Daly 1911 that I used years ago to shoot bowling pins. I drilled and tapped the dust cover and tapped the holes to 8-32 thread, and drilled and countersunk  the brand new OKO mount to match. On top I mounted a new 6 MOA OKO red dot sight. Now I have something similar to the Tanfoglio that I can practice drawing, finding the dot, getting it on the target, and firing.

I went over to the Holmes Harbor range this morning and sighted in the OKO sight. I sure do like how quickly the OKO sights are to dial in. Much quicker than the C-Mores I used to use. After getting it adjusted, I practiced drawing and firing using the timer buzzer as a start signal. My times were nothing to brag about, but at least I was able to get it out of the holster and get a fairly accurate shot off with some consistency. In the time I was taking to draw and fire, the fast guys could probably draw, fire, re-holster, and pour a cup of coffee, but at least I think I'm on the right track. My biggest concerns are getting the first shot off smoothly and accurately with decent trigger control. Speed, as they say, will come. Not, however, in less than a week! I'll settle for smooth, slow, and accurate!

Time will tell...........

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Latest Excuses for not blogging.......

Wow, almost a week since the last post! Where does the time go?

I've been trying to get out to the range at least every day if I can, and try to shoot four or five hundred rounds of practice each time. Today I managed to get in two sessions, although the first session was only about three hundred rounds since the extractor broke off in the practice gun. Yes, I have two race guns set up as close as possible to each other, so the practice gun gets all the hard usage, while the main gun is used primarily in the matches. Interestingly enough, when the extractor broke off, the gun continued to run and extract without any problems. I ran about sixty rounds through it with no extractor! I didn't even notice that the extractor was gone until I partially pulled the slide back to check for a round in the chamber and the round stayed fully in the chamber rather than being partially pulled out by the extractor.

Why all of the practice? On June 1st. I fly out to Holland for the European Steel Challenge Championships. So far this year I have shot two major matches, and a bunch of club matches, and to tell the truth, I haven't been too happy with my shooting. I know I can do much better than I've been doing, but it takes tons of practice to get it to work every time. In a sport where one or two tenths of a second per five shots fired can move you ten spots or more in the final standings, you need to practice a huge amount to get the consistency.

There's a story about Jerry Miculek, the revolver master, where someone asked him how many rounds of practice did he have to shoot before he could shoot as fast and accurately as he does. His answer was that it took one hundred thousand rounds of practice to get to where he could shoot like he does, and another one hundred thousand rounds until he could do it every time. Probably a true story! Most of the top shooting competitors shoot at least fifty or sixty thousand rounds of practice a year!

Another activity that's been taking up a lot of time is working on the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. If you've never put on an event, you have no idea how many loose ends there are to take care of. Talking with sponsors, arranging shipping, coordinating with the hotel, handling registrations, making range arrangements, and more. If I was getting paid to do this, I think I'd ask the boss for a raise! There will be some big announcements coming up soon regarding the Rendezvous. 

I've been doing some development work on some new sight mounts for the OKO Red Dot Sights , and not too far down the road we should have a wide range of mount choices to cover just about any of the handguns out there without needing to use a Weaver style rail.

The new on line shooting supply store Magnum Shooters Supply is growing, and the sales of the James Austin Moon Clip Server around the world has been a pleasant surprise.

I'm also looking into setting up a small plastic injection molding press for making some small parts, and if I can find the right one at a good price, or possibly even build my own, that should be a handy capability to have. I've just about got my own anodizing setup dialed in, and I've run a couple of small runs with good results.

Now, if I could just find a small NC milling machine I could afford to automate building some of those sight mounts........

e-Postal Match Reminder

Don't forget there's an e-Postal match going on right now, and you've got until the end of the month to get your entries submitted. The number of entries has been down a bit lately, so for these matches to be worth the effort, you need to get out and shoot the targets, take pictures, and send in your scores.

The Gun Blogger community hasn't been promoting the e-Postal matches too much lately, either, so if you are a blogger, how about putting up a post about the matches? The matches are always very creative, and a lot of fun to shoot. However, they are just about always a whole lot harder than they look, so if you DO shoot the targets for the match. send in your entries, no matter how badly you THINK you did. Believe me, in previous matches some targets that would have scored well up the list never got sent in because the shooter had erroneously thought he had done terrible when he had actually done quite well.

This month's e-Postal match is underway over at Sand Castle Scrolls so head on over and print out some targets for the match.

Good luck, and have fun!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mr. Completely Nominated for GUNNIE Award

I got an email from the good folks at telling me that I had been nominated for a Gunnie Award for the best gun blog in the Entertainment" category.

Voting is only open until the 28th. (Only 12 days)  to determine the winners in each of the 9 categories. There are a whole lot of really good gun blogs in the running, so I need to get every single reader to go vote for Mr. Completely, and then if each reader would get 750 more people to vote, and if each of those would get 750 more to vote, and so forth, I would at least be kept from total humiliation caused  by being dead last!
If you can't get 750 people to vote, any help is still appreciated!

Voting is done via the online ballot here:

Each category winner gets an engraved, really nice Italian-made 30mm replica round trophy from Technoframes. Winners will be announced on Saturday night at the Lucky Gunner Memorial Day Blogger Shoot during the banquet.  Also, every winner gets their choice of 100 free rounds of ammo from, since Technoframes and Lucky Gunner are sponsoring the awards ceremony. The winners do not have to be present at the Shoot to win but whoever wins in each category will get their engraved trophy + free ammo along with some good ole fashioned bragging rights & a cool badge to show that they were the highest vote-getter.

You can only vote once per computer, as the voting thing watches to see where you voted from.  If you have more than one computer, though, you can vote once from each one.

Please help Mr. C. from being totally humiliated by a crushing defeat at the ballot box, so EVERY ONE OF YOU NEEDS TO VOTE!

Anyhow, I could use the ammo.........

Not As Planned, again.........

Ah yes, best laid plans, etcetera, etcetera. KeeWee and I planned on driving over to Ephrata on Friday during the day, spending the night at the Oasis Park Campground in Ephrata, shooting the Washington State Steel challenge Championships on Saturday, then right after the match driving back to the West side of the State to Puyallup, spending Saturday night at the range in Puyallup, then shooting the Paul Bunyan Club's Club championship on Sunday, then driving home Sunday night.

Well, it followed the plan as far as getting to the Oasis Park campground. We were parked next to John and Jeanette Davidson from the Kitsap club, and we shared a pleasant evening of conversation, campfire, and hotdogs and marshmallows. Not long after we got to the campground James Austin pulls in, so James joined us around the fire for a really nice evening. So far, everything according to plan.

We decided to turn in a bit early and get a good night's sleep, so we did. KeeWee had been feeling a bit crummy earlier in the week, but some antibiotics seemed to have sorted that out OK. Unfortunately, she ended up getting sick during the night, and neither of us got a whole lot of sleep.

We decided to head out to the range and see how she felt. She didn't feel well enough to shoot the match, but she figured she could stay in bed in the nice warm RV just as well as being home in bed, so we decided I'd shoot the match, and we'd head straight home after, instead of going to Puyallup.

The morning was raining steadily, so it didn't look like it was going to be a whole lot of fun, anyway, and for KeeWee to get wet and cold when she was already feeling lousy would be a really poor idea. So, we made sure the furnace was turned up and she spent the day either reading or sleeping. I went out and sleep-walked/sloshed my way through the match.

I often have trouble getting focused on the very first stage, so I really tried to ignore the lack of sleep and other distractions, and it worked, at least for the first stage, and I turned in some pretty good times. From there, though, it really looked like I was out of gas, and things didn't go well.

By lunch time I was wet, and not very happy with the way I was shooting. It had not been a good morning. At the lunch break I again checked in to see how KeeWee was doing, and the comfy bed and warm RV was keeping her as comfortable as possible. I put on dry clothes and ate a little bit, but I wasn't really very hungry. I just sat in the RV, drank some hot coffee, and tried to re-charge the batteries a bit. Just getting dry and warm made me feel a little better.

I could have taken a nice long nap very easily, but I still had four more stages to shoot, so off I went to the next stage. The rain had just about stopped and it was a little warmer, so that in itself was a nice improvement. I decided that this could be a good learning experience for me, as I was certainly  not in the best condition, but I needed to work on staying focused and doing as well as I could without digging any more big holes to jump into! I think I did learn a little more about getting focused and the final four stages went fairly well. Three went very well, and I even had the fastest time of the match on one of the stages, and it was even on one of my weaker stages.

After the final stage was completed I helped to put away the targets and stands, and then headed to the RV to see how KeeWee was doing. She seemed to be holding up pretty well, considering the circumstances.

As the scores were being finished up, they had a fast draw against the clock competition for cash prizes, but I was completely worn out from the match and didn't have any interest in entering. I just wanted to find out how I had done, and then hit the road for home.

A very nice laser engraved Spyderco knife.  
Finally they got to announcing the scores, and although the terrible morning had done it's damage, I still had posted the second fastest pistol time of the match, and had even won one of the stages overall! I ended up 2nd. in Rimfire and the Top Senior. If I could have shot in the morning like I did in the afternoon I would have been right there at the top. James was the fastest revolver shooter, and Debbie, also from Kitsap, was the top Rimfire Lady. The Kitsap club had done rather well, considering the conditions.

Right after the awards we fired up the RV and headed towards home. Once we got out onto the road the wind was gusting and blowing us around, so it was a wrestling match right up to where we started to climb the East side of the Cascades to get across Snoqualmie pass. When the wind stopped, it started raining heavily, and rained all the way home. The rain was coming down hard enough that the raindrops were bouncing off the pavement, and there were lots of areas of standing water to hydroplane across. To add to the fun, there was a layer of ground fog across the pass, making it nearly impossible to see where the lanes were supposed to be. Bleh....

By the time we got home I felt like I'd been in a fight and had lost badly. Even though I continued to drive in my sleep, at least I was warm, in bed, and asleep.

It had been an interesting weekend, to say the least!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gettin' Ready For Ephrata and Puyallup

It certainly is getting to be the busy time of the year! Two weekends ago we were in Oregon for the Man of Steel Championships, last weekend we were in Yakima, WA. for a steel match and last minute "Tune-up" before this weeke3nd, when we head over to Ephrata, WA. for the Washington State Steel Challenge Championships.

I just got back from the Holmes Harbor range, where I double-checked the zero on my OKO Red Dot sight, and it was right on. Just to warm up the gun a little bit, my first shot was at a 4" square swinging target at 50 yards, and I hit it on the first shot. Definitely more luck than skill, but it was kinda fun to hit it first try. I set up a sheet of paper with a spot in the middle at 25 yards, and took ten shots at it off-hand steel challenge style, to see if I was approximately centered around the spot, and it was, so I should be good to go for Ephrata. Last weekend at Yakima I had four or five stove-pipes, and re-sharpening and case-hardening the extractor seems to have resolved that problem, I hope. I've run about 200 rounds through it without a problem, so it seems OK.

We are taking the RV over to Ephrata on Friday (tomorrow) and will be staying at an RV park in Ephrata, along with some folks from the Kitsap club. Saturday is the Championships, and right after the match we are going to hit the road for Puyallup, where we will spend  Saturday night at the Paul Bunyan range. Sunday is the Paul Bunyan Club Championships, and I always try to make it to that one, even if it's not a steel match. The club championship is essentially a nan-on-man falling plate match. To shoot falling plates well you need to be shooting them regularly, and most of the hot-shots there shoot a falling plate match every week. Even though it's a double-elimination format, I will end up shooting against the falling plate specialists early in the match, so I'm not expecting to last very long before I get eliminated. I hope I can stay in the match for a while, though, as the longer you can go before elimination, the more shooting you get to do!

I've still got to service the RV and give the guns a final cleaning and checking before leaving tomorrow for Ephrata, so I better get to work!

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Monday, May 09, 2011

Shootin' News

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!


GLOCK Donates Gun To Gun Blogger Rendezvous

Great news for our fund Raising efforts at this year's Gun blogger rendezvous! GLOCK will be donating a GLOCK pistol certificate for our fund-raising raffle. This certificate will be good for a new basic model GLOCK of your choice. For a small upgrade fee, you can also step up to the fancier models. We will have all of the raffle rules available before you buy any tickets at the Rendezvous, but the new GLOCK will be won by someone actually attending the Rendezvous, so you must be present to win!

A big thanks to GLOCK, and particularly to Randi Rogers (El Supremo Lady Shooter!) at GLOCK for arranging the details for us. Maybe someday Randi will be able to join us at the Rendezvous......


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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Monday, May 02, 2011

May e-Postal Match - Underway!

Danno at SandCastle Scrolls has the May e-Postal match up and running, and it features REACTIVE targets! Is that COOL or what! Sure, using the reactive targets is optional, but even so, what a great idea!

  1. Go here to print out the rules and get some targets.
  2. Go get everything you own that shoots.
  3. Load up all the ammo you've got on hand into the car.
  4. Go to the range and perforate a bunch of targets.
  5. Take pictures, then send 'em in!

Oh yeah, stop by the candy store on the way to the range. Check out the rules to find out why.

Be safe, have fun, remember to brush after.......


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