Wednesday, July 27, 2011

e-Postal Match Reminders

Don't forget that this weekend is your last chance to shoot this month's e-Postal match. I will be accepting entries through midnight, Monday night, so get out there to the range, shoot some entries, and maybe resolve some "Common Problems" while you're there!

July e-Postal Match

Download the targets and rules, shoot the targets, score them, take pictures of them, and email them in. Simple, and fun!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tanfoglio Update

I've lost track of just how many trips I've made to the range over the last week or so, but I think it's been well worth the effort. After a lot of experimenting and fine tuning of the ammunition, it now seems to run like a charm. The last few hundred rounds of test ammo have all cycled without a single failure, with the exception of some even lighter loads that were used to find out just where the lower threshold might be. The recoil is very light and muzzle rise greatly reduced too. Although open class guns with compensators are really noisy to start with, this one is now significantly less ear-splitting than it was! Last evening I chronographed the match load to see just how much velocity there was and how much variation. The variation over about fifteen rounds was about 5%. Even with all of the work to find the best and lightest loads that were still accurate, the power factor still is almost 145, but it sure doesn't feel like it's anywhere close to that. I tried it on a few bowling pins, before I had chronographed the ammo, and I was doubtful as to how well the load would work for getting pins off the table. Boy, was I surprised! The 147 gr. hollow point bullet and a power factor around 145 removed the pins from the table with any doubt about it. I was really surprised, considering how soft it felt to shoot. I think I can probably reduce the load by another 5 or 10 percent and have it still run the gun reliably, but for now, I'm sticking with what I've got.

Next Saturday will be another big test as we're off to the Eddie Brown Memorial Metal Match just  East of Coeur d'Alene Idaho, at the new range in Kellogg. The weekend after that it's over to Yakima for their big match of the year, all eight stages of Steel Challenge. The week after that, it's a fun steel match at Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club, and the week after that, it's the Steel Challenge World championships in Piru, CA.

The next several weeks are going to be busy.........

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In Other News........

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Paul Bunyan Steel Report - July 2011

Even though it rained most of the day, at least it wasn't cold, so keeping warm wasn't a problem, just keeping dry! We had seventy guns entered, so the turn out was pretty good, considering the weather. The way the classes are set up is a bit unconventional, as there is no traditional Steel Challenge style Open class. Open class at Paul Bunyan includes all rimfire pistols, and anything else with an optical sight, and it's shot from a "Muzzle on the Barrel" start position. Shooting the Tanfoglio and starting with it in the holster costs you some time since you have to draw, but it's all for fun anyway, and I really need the match draw practice. There is a draw class at Paul Bunyan, but it is limited to centerfire iron sighted guns.

The Tanfoglio is still not quite where it needs to be, and I was getting double-feeds every so often which didn't help my times much! Even with that, though, I ended up 32nd. out of 70 overall, and a lot of the shooters ahead of me were shooting a rimfire gun, not drawing from a holster, or both. I've still got a long ways to go, but progress is being made, and I was reasonably satisfied with the progress with the new gun so far.

I don't have a lot of time to get it dialed in as the World Championships are next month, but I'm getting there. I just hope I can get it perfected in time!

After the match we stopped by the restaurant at the nearby airport to eat, relax, BS, and watch airplanes come and go.

After lunch we headed home. It was a fun day!


Woolrich Sponsors Gun Blogger Rendezvous

I just got an email informing me that Woolrich will not only be sponsoring this year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous, but that their sponsorship will be the donation of  $800 to $1,000 worth of really cool clothing!

Here's the email from Allen Forkner:

Woolrich Elite Series Tactical wants to keep you in comfortable concealed carry clothing for a year.

Woolrich Elite is donating an “Elite for a Year” package to the Gun Blogger Rendezvous prize table. The winner of this will receive one Elite Series Tactical item every month for the next 12 months. This includes new products slated to be unveiled at the 2012 SHOT Show.

A leader in military and law enforcement tactical wear, Woolrich Elite Series is taking advantage of its traditional sportswear catalog to develop concealed carry products for the responsible citizen. These products deliver all the tactical utility, without the heavy tactical look.

Items such as the Elite Concealed Carry Chino, the Elite Discreet Carry Short-Sleeve Shirt or the Elite Discreet Carry Twill Jacket are designed to meet the needs of concealed carry.

Would I look good in that, or what?

Always need shirts......

Even the pants are cool!

If you have never been to a Gun Blogger rendezvous, then this is the year to be there! Many thousands of dollars of neat things including guns, training, clothing, and lots more will be raffled off to folks attending the Rendezvous. There will also be a whole lot of swag for door prizes too.

Lots of bloggers that you probably already read will be there, and some other interesting folks too. You don't have to be a blogger to attend, either! It will be the Gun Blogger Event of the Year, so get your reservations in NOW, as it's less than eight weeks away!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Off To Another Match.......

This time of year it seems like every weekend we're off to another match, but it's not quite as busy as it seems. Tomorrow, Sunday, KeeWee and I are headed to Puyallup for a fun steel match at the Paul Bunyan Club, followed by lunch with the gang at the cool restaurant at the local airport.

I think I'm almost there with the Tanfoglio, as it's running more and more reliably each match.

I've replaced the walnut grips with a Hogue wrap-around grip with finger grooves that fits my relatively small hands perfectly. I'm hoping they will make it a little bit easier to get a proper grip when drawing from the holster. So far in practice it seems easier to get the proper grip with them.

I've also replaced the temporary over-sized left side safety lever with a slightly different shape, but almost the same. This time instead of the aluminum I used for the prototype, I made this one out of solid stainless steel. It should out-last the gun!

I've also taken some time to go through the gun and do a little polishing and smoothing on some of the inner bits, and the trigger feels a bit better. I still haven't got the load dialed in, but it's not too far off, although I'm shooting an estimated power factor somewhere around 135 or 140, which is still way too high. My goal is for a power factor about 125 to 128. Minimum required for major steel matches where they use target sensors is 120.

It's barely five weeks to the World championships in Piru, CA., and there's two major matches between now and then. I'd sure like to have the gun dialed in so all I have to worry about is my shooting!

See you all on Monday!

(Don't forget to send in your registration and book your hotel room for the Gun Blogger rendezvous, it's only seven weeks away!)


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Friday, July 15, 2011

Kitsap Classic Steel Match Report

So we could help with setup and pre-match details, Keewee and I headed over to the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club range a day early. We planned to spend Friday night at the range, and then shoot the match on Saturday. A lot of the work was already done when we got there, but Friday afternoon we helped to get all of the target stands set up and located so all we would have to do on Saturday morning was to haul all of the plates out to the bays and hang them on the target stands. We don't put the target plates out until the morning of the match as we don't want someone shooting them with a high powered rifle and ruining them by putting holes through them!

Pre-match setup went smoothly, and I sure do like the 5/16" AR500 steel target plates they got from MGM Targets. Not only are they standing up well under a lot of usage, they are also a lot lighter than the 3/8" plates and they seem to ring louder when you shoot them. They seem to be well worth the cost in the long run.

Friday evening after the setup was complete a few of us headed over to the Red Apple Diner for dinner. After dinner we went back to the range and settled in for the night in our mini-RV. Saturday morning the weather looked like we were in for a very nice day, and that's exactly how it turned out!

The match went smoothly, and we all had a grand time. I shot the new 9mm. Tanfoglio race gun in Open Division, and also shot my High Standard in Rimfire Optic. In the final results our squad did very well, with James Austin winning Revolver, and also winning the Centerfire Division overall. I managed a win in Rimfire, and also the fastest time of the day for all entries. Will from the Paul Bunyan club won the Iron Sight Centerfire division, and was second overall in centerfire. The new Tanfoglio and I were third overall in Centerfire, and "Won" the Open division. The reason "Won" is in quotes is that I was the only Open division gun entered, so I was not only first, but also dead last in Open division! Maybe it sounds better to say I finished right in the middle? KeeWee was fourth in Rimfire, and top Rimfire Lady.

The new Tanfoglio is coming along, and although it's not ready for "Prime Time" yet, it's just about there. I've got a couple of other bullets to try next week, and the gun is feeding and cycling pretty well. I modified a Hogue wrap around grip to fit the Tanfoglio, and I think it helps me find a good grip while drawing. I'll give it a try this weekend at Paul Bunyan's Steel Match. There's not too many more matches before we leave for Piru, CA. and the World championships, and this year I am planning to shoot both Rimfire and Centerfire Open divisions there, so that should be interesting. The fast guys certainly have nothing to worry about, but maybe I can sneak up on some of the super Seniors? Who knows, but it should be fun! (Except for the heat, of course.)

After the match we caught the ferry from Port Townsend back to Whidbey Island, and then home. We got a chance to ride on the brand new ferry that they just put in service on that run. What a pathetic boat. They say that the platypus is what you get when an animal is designed by a committee. The new ferry is what you get when you have a ferry boat designed by a State Government Committee. It's definitely a floating platypus. However, that's a subject for another post......

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Project Valour-IT

All of the money we can raise at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous goes to Project Valour-IT, a division of soldier's Angels. What exactly is Project Valour-IT? Let's let Maj. Chuck Ziegenfuss, the founder and first recipient, explain it:

Chuck has attended some of the Gun Blogger Rendezvous' in the past, but now that he's stationed in Hawaii, it's a bit far to travel for him. There WILL be someone at this year's Rendezvous representing Project Valour-IT, and although specifically who it will be has not been confirmed, it's going to be someone you will enjoy meeting if you are there!

Get your registrations in ASAP. You don't want to miss out on all the fun!

A hat tip to True Blue Sam for showcasing Chuck's video!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gun Blogger Rendezvous - 8 Weeks Away!

This year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous is going to be a blast, with lots of raffle prizes, including several guns, lots of door prizes, two range days, food, conversation, lack of sleep, pizza, the NRA, special offers from sponsors, and a ton more cool things. Even with all the fun things going on, the best part is the chance to meet up and spend some time with all of the Gun Bloggers attending the Rendezvous. Although it is a fun event, a charity event, and a shooting event, more importantly, it is a social event, a feature often overlooked by other gatherings. The primary attraction is not the events and activities, it's the attendees themselves, and that makes a huge difference. You can not imagine what an interesting bunch of folks make up the Gun Bloggers gang!

The Gun Blogger Rendezvous is September 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th. A number of us show up on Wednesday, though, and don't leave town until  Monday morning, the 12th.

You do not have to be a Gun Blogger to attend the Rendezvous. The Rendezvous is open to anyone who reads the Gun Blogs, is involved in shooting sports, follows and participates in 2nd. Amendment and RKBA issues, is in the industry, or is in any way interested or involved in the stuff we write about on the Gun Blogs.

To Attend the Rendezvous there are two main things you need to do, and do soon! First, you need to send in a registration along with your thirty bucks.Here's the

Second, you need to contact the Silver Legacy and book your room. To reserve your room, give them a call at the Silver Legacy at 1-800-687-8733 and give them the Gun Blogger rendezvous Group Code of GBLOG11. When you are making your reservation, you might ask them if you can get a room that faces McCarran Park, so you can watch the hot air balloons from your window. The earlier you book your room, the better chance of getting a room facing that way. Sure, there are cheaper places in Reno, but staying in the event hotel is a big advantage, and the rates are reasonable for the quality of the room, and free internet in your room is included.

For lots more info on the Rendezvous, and schedule of events and pictures from previous years, check out the Gun Blogger Rendezvous website.

Go for it!


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Kitsap Classic Steel Match Saturday

Shoot the outside four targets first, then shoot the one in the middle, as fast as you can. There will be shooters at the match shooting all five in less that three seconds total!

The big Steel Challenge match of the year is coming up this Saturday, and I'm really looking forward to it. The Kitsap Rifle & Revolver club is a great club with great members and a really nice range.  Since my "home" gun club doesn't have the facilities to shoot steel matches, the KRRC club (of which I am also a member) is my "Home away from home" club for steel matches. Granted, I also joined the Yakima Rifle & Pistol club for basically the same reasons, but the mountain passes doesn't always let me get to the Yakima matches through the Winter.

Since this will be a full eight stage match, it will be a good match to use as a "benchmark" to track my progress with the new Tanfoglio Open class gun. If I can do reasonably well at Kitsap with the Tanfoglio, then I will probably take it to Piru to the World Championships and enter both Rimfire Optic and Centerfire Open classes. I have absolutely no chance of winning either class overall at the World Championships, but I would sure like to give the Super Seniors a little competition!

I'm still experimenting with loads for the Tanfoglio, and I think I'm getting pretty close to what I need. Last week in Yakima I was shooting close to maximum loads and the recoil and noise were significant. For this week I've got it turned down quite a bit, and it seems to still be running the gun without problem. The proof is in shooting the match, however, so we'll just have to see how it goes.

KeeWee and I are still nursing head colds, although mine is now on the decline. Hers, however, is a bit worse right now. I hope the weather turns nice for the weekend, as it's much less miserable with a cold when it's not wet and rainy.

Our plans are to head out on Friday afternoon and take the Whidbey to Port Townsend ferry. From Port Townsend it's just over an hour's drive to the range. We should be there early enough to help out with last minute setup and details. We plan to spend the night at the range, and shoot the match on Saturday. After the match, we hope to catch an evening ferry back to Whidbey Island, and then home.

If you have never been to a Steel Challenge match, you might want to come check this one out. Steel Challenge is very "Spectator Friendly" and there is no charge to come and watch the match. You DO want to bring some eye and ear protection, though.

Why not come have a look?

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

e-Postal Match "Common Problems"

We had some last minute changes in the e-Postal Match hosting Schedule, and I am going to host this month's match right here.

We all have problems with our shooting from time to time, and it's common to hear "Hmmmm, I'm shooting low and left. I wonder what I'm doing wrong?" or something similar at the range.

Well, this month's e-Postal target is designed to not only give you problems, but to also help you solve your problems, too! How cool is that?


This month we have seven classes, so there's a place for just about everything.

TARGET: The same target is used in all classes.  Don't try to print the target from the image in this post. It won't be the right size. The outside circle should measure just over 7 3/8". With some PDF software you might need to select "No Scaling" and other software you may need to select "Fit To Paper" to get the size right.

The target should be downloaded from here:

Click here to Download the PDF file "Problems"

It is an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

CLASS ONE: Any rimfire handgun with no more than a 12" barrel, iron sights.

CLASS TWO: Any rimfire handgun with no more than a 12" barrel, optic sights, no magnification.

CLASS THREE: Any centerfire (non-revolver) handgun with no more than a 12" barrel, iron sights.

CLASS FOUR: Any centerfire (non-revolver) handgun with no more than a 12" barrel, optic sights, no magnification.

CLASS FIVE: Any revolver with no more than a 12" barrel, iron sights.

CLASS SIX: Any revolver with no more than a 12" barrel, optic sights, no magnification.

CLASS SEVEN: Any handgun with no more than a 14" barrel, any sights, scopes, laser, whatever. This class is primarily for target pistols.

If you have something interesting to shoot that doesn't quite fit in the above classes, go ahead and enter anyway.

DISTANCE : 25 feet, or Ten yards, which ever is available at your range.

SHOOTING POSITION: Standing, un-supported, off-hand, one or two hands on gun permitted.

SCORING: In each class you are allowed ten shots at the target.
  • The inner circles are valued as numbered. 
  • A shot touching any of the "Problem Areas" counts as a -1, a one point penalty.  
  • Outside of the outer circle, but still on the paper is a -2, a 2 point penalty. 
  • Touching the outermost circle will be considered as being entirely inside the circle.
  • Missing the paper completely is a -5, a 5 point penalty.  
 Touching a line, or touching two or more areas with one shot counts as hits in all of the areas touched. For example, a hit that touches the intersection between two "Problem Areas" and the 1 ring gets 1 for the 1 ring, plus 2 penalties of -1 each, for a score of  (+1 -1 -1) or -1  for that shot. However, hitting the line between any of the center scoring rings (Rings #2 through #5) counts only as the higher of the two rings, not their total. For example, a shot hitting the line between the 4 and the 5 ring scores as a 5.

Ties will be decided based on the least number of problems.

Mark your score on each target with a legible pen, along with the class and type of gun used. Don't write your name on the target, only the name you want to appear in the results, as your target may get posted on Mr. Completely.

I suspect that this target will be, like most of the e-Postal matches, a lot harder that it looks. Don't throw away your targets in disgust when you think you did poorly. Send them in! You will probably be surprised to find out that you did a lot better than you thought.

STRATEGY: Beats me.........

MULTIPLE ENTRIES: You can enter more than once, in fact, it is encouraged. Shoot everything you own, and everything you can borrow! Take a buddy to the range, get him entered, then borrow his gun and enter that! The only restriction is that you can only enter once for any given gun, in any individual Class. You can shoot the target as many times as you like, and send in the best one.

Different calibers in the same gun count as one gun. For example, .38SPL and .357MAG are considered as one, as would be .44SPL and .44MAG. Different guns of the same caliber and barrel length can be entered.

PRIZES: Nope, it's just for the fun of it and the bragging rights!

SUBMITTING YOUR ENTRY: Take a digital photo of, (or scan) your targets, and email the picture, along with:

1. Your score.

2. The name you want used when we post the results.

3. Gun description - Brand, model, semi-auto, revolver, black powder, caliber, barrel length, and type of sights

4. Class: Class One, Two, Three, four, five, six, or seven.

5. Anything interesting or unique about your entry that other shooters might enjoy hearing about.

Email it all to b l o g (at) w h i d b e y (dot) c o m

If you can't scan or send target pictures, send everything else to me in an email, and we'll arrange for either fax or snail mail for the targets.

The rules are subject to revision as needed, should the need arise.

All entries must be received by Midnight on Monday, August 1st, and results will be posted within seven days, or less.

If you have any questions, leave the question in the comments to this post, or send me an email, or both.

Have fun!!


Monday, July 04, 2011

Not A Bad Weekend, Considering......

Last Friday mid-day  I was still scrambling back and forth between the range and the loading bench, trying to figure out a good load and bullet combination for the Tanfoglio for Saturday's steel match in Yakima. The powders I had been experimenting with were too fast to burn, and I couldn't get a recipe that would reliabily cycle the gun without getting close to exceeding allowable pressures.

One powder I had experimented with seemed to be pretty close to what I needed, but I was just about out of it. My friend Lou, of the "Mad Gun" blog, also a Tanfoglio Gold Team 9mm. owner, suggested I try Power Pistol, a powder which had been working well for him. Fortunately on Thursday I had made a quick trip (two hours each way) and bought a couple of pounds of power pistol to try it out.

I didn't have time to work up to an ideal load, so I decided to go with one a bit on the hot end of the range, but that worked well for Lou. I loaded up ten or twelve rounds and scurried over to the range. Although they were loud and had some recoil, the accuracy was good, and the gun ran without problem. I I rushed home and loaded up forty more, and went back to the range to run them through the gun. Ten rounds was no where near enough testing to have any confidence in the load. The forty rounds ran fine, so back to the bench to load a couple of hundred rounds for the match. After getting the ammo ready, it was a rush back into the house to get packed, a shower, and put on some clean clothes.

Our plans had been to try for the 2:30pm ferry over to America, but even with all the delays and last minute stuff, we still managed to get out the door in time to catch the 3:00pm boat. We wanted to get at least past Bellevue before traffic got really ugly, being a holiday weekend, and Highway 405 through Bellevue can be one of the worst in the US when it gets ugly. It was starting to get heavy, but was still passable when we went through Bellevue, and just past Bellevue we pick up I-90 which takes us across Snoqualmie Pass and into Eastern Washington. I-90 was also starting to get loaded too, but we were just early enough that the giant Friday afternoon Seattle Exodus to Eastern Washington for the weekend was still building. Once across Snoqualmie, we passed Cle Elum, and continued East to Ellensburg, where we pick up a different freeway headed South towards Yakima. Once we hit Yakima we turn East again for a few miles, past Moxee, and then a couple of more miles to the range. For a bunch of good pictures of the scenery and stuff along the way, check out KeeWee's post at KeeWee's Corner. We arrived a couple of hours before sunset, and parked our mini-land-yacht for the night. We were treated to a really nice sunset.

The next morning we were up bright and early, and I helped to get the plates hung on the target stands in the range bays in preparation for the match. After signup and a short shooter's meeting, we broke into squads and got to the shooting part! We had a little over fifty guns entered, so not a bad turnout, considering a number of shooters were taking the weekend off as they had been to the USPSA Area 1 championships the previous weekend.

This was going to be an interesting match for me, as it was the debut of my Tanfoglio 9mm. race gun, and the Rescomp CR Speed holster. I hadn't had a lot of time to practice the draw, and I was expecting to be slow out of the holster. I had never shot the Tanfoglio at steel, and it was only approximately sighted in, so I figured I may be doing some point of aim compensating in the match. For the Tanfoglio this was going to be more of a "Shakedown Cruise" rather than a match, as I was mostly interested in just having some fun shooting it, and finding out what was working, and what wasn't. Next weekend at Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club is the Kitsap Classic, and I really want to have things running smoothly for that.

The weather, although a bit warm for us Western Washington types, was nice, with temperatures in the mid to upper eighties. KeeWee had an umbrella to keep her out of too much sun, and I had bottled water and Gatorade powder to mix into the water to keep from getting dehydrated.

It seemed like the match was over in no time, but KeeWee and I both felt seeking a cooler place would be nice! The Tanfoglio had run well all day, in spite of the recoil and noise. My draws were nothing spectacular, but not excessively slow for just getting into it, either. My split times between plates with the Tanfoglio were better than I was expecting to do. All things considered, it had gone very well. In the Open class, we only had one other entry, so I either won Open, or came in next to last, depending on how you look at it! As a reference though, my time was about the same as the winning time in Centerfire Limited, so it's a good starting point, and hopefully with enough practice I can get some reasonable scores. I am seriously considering taking the Tanfoglio to Piru, California for the Steel Challenge World Championships in August and entering Open as well as rimfire. It will all depend on how it goes this weekend in Kitsap. That will be the first real test to see if I can shoot it well enough that I don't embarrass myself in Piru!

After the match was over, several of the guys wanted to try out the Tanfoglio and I hadn't used up all the hastily loaded ammunition, so we emptied a bit more brass just for the fun of it.

We wanted to get on the road home before it got  too late in the day, so we loaded up and headed out. We made a stop at the Dairy Queen for ice cream, a gas station for some fuel and a big diet Pepsi for me, and headed home. A little over five hours later we pulled into the driveway at Castle Completely. It had been a fun weekend, and Murphy only showed up a couple of times!

Next weekend, on to Kitsap for the Kitsap Classic! It's gonna be fun!!

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Head Cold, Yakima, Tanfoglio, etc.

A few days ago i started coming down with a cold, and with several matches coming up soon, l that didn't cheer me up much! Fortunately it kept out of  my lungs, mostly, and I'm still dealing with a stuffed up head. Bleh...

I've been making lots of trips to the range getting a good load worked up for the Tanfoglio so hopefully I can shoot it tomorrow in Yakima at their monthly steel match. A custom race gun is to some extent experimental, and is definitely modified to do well in a specific set of conditions. The ability to accurately and reliably run whatever ammo is on sale at the moment is not a consideration. The primary attributes are reliability in firing and feeding, power factor, felt recoil, muzzle rise, velocity, and amount of gas produced to run the compensator. Depending on the type of competition, different attributes are more or less important.

I think I'm getting close to a good load, and I'm going to head over to the range at least once more before we leave this afternoon to do a little more testing. If it works, then I'll load up a couple of hundred rounds for the match on Saturday.

After I get it dialed in I'll look at doing a post just on picking loads for competition.

In the meantime, though, I'm off to the range for some testing.

Have a fun and safe Independence Day!

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