Tuesday, July 31, 2007

e-Postal Match Results are in!

JimmyB, The Conservative UAW Guy, our e-Postal Match host for the match just ended, has the results posted on his blog.

It's great to see such a good turn-out for the match, they seem to be growing every month. This month's match was a toughie, as for many of us some of the circles were so small that they couldn't be seen, and you had to aim in the general area where you thought they were, and hope for the best!

This month we have our first international class winner, with Leon from Armes et tir passion winning the centerfire iron sight class with a SIG p-220. Good shooting Leon! That should throw down the gauntlet for the Canadians, South Africans, Aussies, and shooters from all over the world to join in on the fun! The more the merrier!

Next month's match will be hosted by Carnaby Fudge, will be announced in the next few days, and I'm sure he'll come up with something to test us all. As soon as it's announced, I'll get a link up to it here on Mr. Completely.

If you haven't entered one of these before, it's time to give it a try!


Mankato Honors Rex Macbeth

A while back I did a post on Rex Macbeth and his business, Guns of the Pioneers in Mankato, Minnesota. Not long after my post, Rex moved on to that great gun shop in the sky. I did another post on Rex here: Rex Macbeth - July 14th, 2006 -- R.I.P.
Perhaps St. Peter has taken up Cowboy Action shooting and needed some help with his gear! I recently received an email from Rex's daughter-in-law Dawn about the city of Mankato, MN. honoring Rex:
"Recently the City of Mankato honored my Father in Law with a bike trail named after him and a VERY large 30 ton rock. It was an amazing moment to realize that a humble man, who sought to do the best for everyone he could - would be so recognized."

Moving Rex's rock into place.

A little celebrating, dedicating the rock and bike trail, Cowboy Style!

Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of meeting Rex Macbeth, but I wish I could have done so. To see the town of Mankato honor him in this way just makes my day! It sounds like he was quite a guy!

Photo credit - Two lower pictures: Mankato Free Press

Monday, July 30, 2007

6.8SPC Upper at the Rendezvous

I got an email a few days ago from Uncle at http://www.saysuncle.com/ and he tells me that Tim at Ko-tonics is going to be sending an AR-15 upper receiver in 6.8SPC to him to take to the Reno Gun Blogger Rendezvous so everybody can shoot it and then write about it.

If you've been intrigued by the 6.8SPC cartridge and would like to learn more about it, go check out Ko-tonics site, and then be sure to get your registration and hotel reservations in for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous so you can see it in action.

Sounds like one more good reason to attend this year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous!


CWSA FAlling Plates - 07/29/07

A really important thing to remember when shooting in matches is that every match, every stage, every shot, once completed, is now history, and good or bad, it should not be allowed to influence the rest of your shooting. This, of course, is much easier said than done.

How often have you seen a shooter have something go wrong, only to let it foul up his next shot? At the Limited 10 IPSC Nationals a few weeks ago in Missoula Doug Koenig had a magazine slip out of his hand just as he was about to slide it into the pistol. It was in the match, and he was moving between shooting stations and he was reloading quickly as the clock was running. The magazine went over his shoulder, but without a wasted motion, he grabbed another magazine from his belt, got it into the gun, and resumed firing, without losing any time at all.

How easy would it have been to have the whole stage fall apart at that point? When the reload went wrong he just mentally hit the "Reset" button and went back to the "It's time to reload" procedure built into his muscle memory from lots and lots of practice.

Saturday in the CWSA Steel Challenge match I just couldn't quite get things to click. I was missing shots I would normally hit, and slowing down didn't seem to help, all that did for me was produce the same missed shots and slower times too!

After every match, regardless of how I did, I always spend some time mentally going back over the day, looking for what went right, what went wrong, and most importantly, looking for things that need to be worked on to keep them from happening again. Here's what I looked at from Saturdays steel match: The biggest problem seemed to be that I was missing the 10" plates at the farthest distances. When you are missing targets in a match, often it's just that you are trying to shoot too quickly, but slowing down a little didn't seem to be helping. If I could have seem exactly how I was missing, I might have figured it out in the match, but I couldn't tell for sure what was going on.

After the match was over I got a chance to shoot the worst stage over a few times for practice, and I could see that I was shooting over the top of the plate every time. Finally the light came on, and I figured out what was happening. I adjust the red dot sight sight to be about 3/8" low at 25 feet, which is just about dead on at 10 yards. Bowling pins and falling plates are usually shot at 25 feet. That means that at 25 yards or so I'm about 6 inches high. BINGO! I was forgetting to aim at the bottom edge of the plate! Hitting 6 inches high with an aim point of dead center on a 10 inch plate puts you one inch over the top. Some shooters like to sight in at 25 yards, and then everything will be within a couple of inches, but bowling pin tops are the smallest speed targets I shoot, and I want the be really accurate for them. It really doesn't make a whole lot of difference what method you use, as long as you understand it and more importantly, remember what you have to do to get the results you want. Now that I knew what had happened I could "put it to bed". If I don't figure out what went wrong it can nag at me for weeks!

Yesterday, Sunday, was a rimfire falling plate match, and the distance was 25 feet. Big targets, in close, and shoot just as fast as you can go and still hit them. CWSA falling plate matches are head to head matches, so there is no clock running, just the shooter next to you trying the knock over his six plates be fore you knock over your six. Each shooter shoots three times against every other shooter, so you shoot a lot of ammo! These matches are fast and furious, and no one gets through the match without losing a few runs.

Evil Al was looking unbeatable, with Tony C. shooting probably even faster, but a little more inconsistent. Tony's dad Chris was shooting better than I've ever seen him shoot, too. Jim P. was shooting fast enough to win it, and Lou G. Rainy, and KeeWee were all going to beat up on some shooters too. In fact, KeeWee almost beat Al on one run, it was almost a tie! Tony had started the match with an iron sighted gun, and lost a few runs early on, but then switched to a red dot sight gun, and from there on was just about unbeatable. After some of the fastest and closest matches I've ever seen, the dust finally settled, the range was quiet, and the final scores were added up. As the scoring was underway, KeeWee and I loaded up our gear and got set for the drive home. To no one's surprise, Al, with 28.5 points, had once again prevailed. Second place, however, provided a surprise! Tied, with 26.5 points each, was Tony's dad Chris and I! There was going to be a shoot-off for second place! I unloaded the gun case and the ammo, and Chris and I went up to the line.

"Shooter's to the line, load and make ready!"

"Ready on the left?"


Ready on the right?"





"Winner on the left!"

WOOO HOOO - That's me!

Same thing, then:


"Winner on the right!"

One for Chris, now it all comes down to roughly two seconds of fast and furious shooting ,while trying to not let the adrenaline take over your shooting!

And finally, the last run to decide second place:


Not pretty, the adrenaline had taken it's toll, but

"Winner on the left!"

What a rush! It just doesn't get any better than that, when shooters are so closely matched that it's any one's guess as to the outcome. Chris is a fine shooter, and he just keeps improving match by match! Jim P. wound up third, with KeeWee, Lou G., Rainy, and Tony all withing a point or so of each other, as I remember.

I had managed to put Saturday's match out of my mind and focus on the match at hand. More importantly, I managed to not forget that club level shooting is only a game, to not take it too seriously, and most importantly, have fun shooting the match.

It was a fun day!


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Back From The Shoot.....

I'm back from the steel shoot at CWSA, and all I can say is that I've had better days! Just shot sort of "Blah". Some days are like that.

Tomorrow's another day, and it's also a CWSA Rimfire Falling Plate match. Evil Al and a couple of other shooters look to be pretty much unbeatable, but I'll do my best to make them earn it!! KeeWee's going too, and she does very well in these matches, so I suspect she's going to surprise a few folks along the way, particularly considering how well she was shooting in Missoula.

I'll let you know what happens...............

Another Gunpowder Flavored Weekend - Oh Boy!

It's Saturday morning, and I'm sloshing down the first cup of caffeine for the day. Just have time for a quick breakfast, then load up and head out to the CWSA range for a Steel Challenge match. I need to get in a WHOLE lot of practice in the next couple of weeks before I head down to California for the World Steel Challenge Championships. The really fast shooters are so far beyond my abilities that my goal is to have fun and not be dead last! Maybe today one of the stages will be "Showdown" where you shoot two plates from one box, then move to a second box to shoot the next two and the stop plate. Any stages with a lot of angular distance between plates, or movement, are always where I do the worst, so maybe today I can get in some practice on that.

KeeWee's taking a day off from shooting to putter n the garden, as tomorrow's a rimfire falling plate match, and those are getting to be one of her favorites.

I'll try to remember to take the camera along and get some match pictures..........

Thursday, July 26, 2007

How To Shoot Pins

George, in a comment to a previous post on bowling pin shooting, asked why it is that if the shooter misses a pin, particularly pin one or two, the shooter continues across the pins, making it a longer distance back to the first pin. This brings up the subject of pin shooting sequence and methods.

For practice purposes, I break pin shooting down to three movement groups.
  1. Group One: From the start position raising the gun vertically, to the shot at the first pin.
  2. Group Two: The transition from vertical movement to horizontal movement, and the shot on pin two.
  3. Group Three: Horizontal movement from pin two through pin five.
When you first try pin shooting, you stop the gun movement at each pin, fire, and then move to the next pin, stop, fire, and so on. As your skill and speed increase, you reach a point where the gun never stops moving, with each shot being fired with the gun in motion.

Regardless of the method you use, the first shot is the key to a successful run. If you miss the first pin, or the second, it's tough to recover with a reasonable time. A good portion of your practice time should be devoted to Group One, shooting just that element until it becomes smooth and accurate. Of the groups, it's also the least fun to practice, but it is perhaps the most important.

When practicing, you should concentrate on smoothness of movement and accuracy over speed. Smoothness and accuracy will automatically generate speed the more you practice. Try to find the "groove", where the movements seem to flow together. Pushing for speed will only allow you to miss the pins at a faster and faster rate, and you can't miss fast enough to win!

Don't practice any one movement group too long in any one session, as you tend to get tired of it. After practicing Group One for a while, try adding Group Two to the end of Group One, from the start position come up to the first pin, shoot, then move to pin two and shoot it. This is a good drill that should be practiced regularly. I save Group Three as sort of a bonus practice, since it's the most fun to shoot. If you get group One and Group Two working well for you, Group Three will pretty much fall into place without a lot of work.

One of the keys to successful pin shooting is tempo or rhythm. If you listen to a really proficient pin shooter you will notice that the shots are spaced with amazing precision. Newer shooters will vary faster and slower between shots. Really good shooters will actually accelerate through the run, with the time between pins decreasing across the run. This is really difficult to do at fast speeds, and I am just now starting to experiment with the technique, with mixed results!

OK, you've been doing your practicing, but how exactly should you shoot the pins, left to right or right to left? Like everything, everyone has their own opinions. Initially most shooters shoot left to right, since we are used to doing things that way in this country. For that reason, it may seem faster and easier, although it may only be easier due to familiarity. When practicing, practice shooting both ways. It will come in handy when you miss a pin and have to come back for it.

My personal opinion is that the most effective method is to move in the direction of your non-dominant/non-sighting eye. For example, if you are right handed and you sight with your right eye, I would suggest shooting right to left. Why? This way your non-sighting eye will be looking at the next pin in your sequence, rather than looking at the last pin you shot. This assumes that you are shooting with both eyes open. If you close one eye, it probably doesn't make any difference!

When you get your pin shooting in the groove, it becomes one smooth and continuous motion from the start position through the last pin. Anything that disrupts the rhythm leads to missed pins and slow times. Two guidelines are:
  1. Try not to disrupt the rhythm.
  2. Try to minimize changes in direction.
For example, if you miss the first pin, by the time the bullet misses the pin and you know you missed, you are already focused on the second pin. Continue on, maintaining the rhythm and tempo and shoot the rest of them. If you miss another one, continue on, and when you shoot the last pin, then change direction and go the other way, picking them up in reverse order. If you miss the last pin, stay on it until you get it off the table, then move back picking them off in sequence. Whatever you do, don't try to change your game plan in the middle of a run.

As I said before, the first pin is the worst one to miss as it has the potential to cause you the most trouble. If you miss the first pin, the temptation is to change your plan and shoot it again, but to do so, you have to stop your rhythm, move back to the pin, shoot it, then start up again, and move back to the second pin. Starting and stopping, and changing directions, usually leads to missing more pins! The two videos in the posts below demonstrate effectively dealing with missed pins.

And finally, a short discussion on a pin shooter's worst nightmare, the "Train Wreck". First off, don't give up on it. Sometimes two good shooters will both shoot faster than they should, and both end up with Train Wrecks. Every one is different, and there is no easy way to clean one up. If a pin is on its side, try to hit it slightly above centerline, as that will make it rotate in the right direction to roll off the table. If you hit it low, it will get backspin and like a golf ball, try to roll towards you sometimes!

At least, that's how I do it, and what works for one person may not work for someone else. This at least gives you one perspective on pin shooting, and you may well develop techniques of your own that work better.

Happy Pin Shooting!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Missoula 9mm. Pin Shoot Video

Here's another video by Hosta Girl from the Missoula bowling pin shoot. This shows Mr. C. with the 9mm. Taurus PT-92 "Econo Race Gun" project gun being shot "Taco Style" in the Nine by Nine class. Nine pins are set near the back edge of the table and you only have to knock them down. The class is limited to 9mm. pistols only.

I've got it loaded with 147 gr. Rainier hollow points and a fairly good amount of powder, probably not far from a 9mm. Plus P.


KeeWee's Missoula Pin Shoot Video

At the Montana Great Western Celebrity Bowling Pin Shoot Hosta Girl not only took some pictures for us, she also took a few videos. This first one is of KeeWee shooting the High Standard 103 Sharpshooter with a red dot sight on it at the pins against the clock. This was not one of her best runs, but it wasn't too bad, either!

Have a look....

I keep telling everyone that her success is because of her shooting coach and gunsmith, but no one seems to believe me!

KeeWee rocks!!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Missoula Bowling Pin Shoot - Part Two

Bright and early Sunday morning KeeWee and I headed over to the Deer Creek Range for the big Montana Shooting Sports Association Bowling Pin Shoot. It was already starting to get warm, and we wanted to get in our shooting before it got too hot. KeeWee's friend Hosta Girl and her husband drove up to Missoula from Darby, Montana to see us and visit a bit. She took some pictures, (all can be clicked on to biggify) and here's a few of them:

Mr. C. with the .480 Ruger Super Red Hawk. One pin down, four to go.
(Photo Credit: Hosta Girl)

One pin to go.
(Photo Credit: Hosta Girl)

Got It! Already going for the hammer to re-cock if needed, as this was a single action class.
(Photo Credit: Hosta Girl)

Mr. C. in the Centerfire Handgun class shooting a Charles Daly 1911 clone in .45ACP. (Rivrdog: Note the iron sights!)
(Photo Credit: Hosta Girl)

Ty's friend Dan shooting rimfire handgun class. Ty's running the timer.

Ty mows 'em down quickly!

You can caption this one!

It wasn't all adults, either, as kids enjoy shooting too. The bipod wasn't exactly legal, but no one really cared, and everyone was having fun shooting.

Top Junior, and Youngest Competitor!

That's the first batch of pictures from the match, but I've got still more stuff to post on the Missoula pin shoot, so stay tuned!

End of Part Two


Monday, July 23, 2007

Missoula Bowling Pin Shoot - Part One

Friday morning KeeWee and I had everything loaded up in the RV, food, clothes, ice, and lots of guns and ammo for our annual adventure to Missoula, Montana. Every year the Montana Shooting Sports Association puts on a huge bowling pin shoot, and we wouldn't miss it for the world. Great folks, lots of shooting, beautiful range, lots of shooting, way too hot (but not as bad as last year, thank goodness!!) and finally, lots of shooting! One of the reasons Montana is one of the most "Gun Friendly" states is because of the hard work of MSSA, and to block bad laws and get good ones passed, it takes lots of money. This bowling pin shoot is to help raise money for those efforts.

It was a long drive from Clinton, Washington to Missoula, Montana, and we saw just about everything for weather somewhere along the way. I-405 through Bellevue was a total mess, with heavy traffic, heavy rain, poor visibility, road construction, and moron drivers. I'm always happy when that section of the trip is behind us! From I-405 we picked up I-90, which goes all the way to Missoula.

We were in rain until we had crossed Snoqualmie pass and got to Cle lum. Cle Elum is just East of Roslyn, where Northern Exposure was filmed. From Cle Elum to Spokane, it was either gusty and windy, or steadily getting hotter and muggy. Spokane is another stretch of road that I'm always glad to get behind me, as it seems to have the highest concentration of high velocity morons in the state. Just East of Spokane we entered Idaho, and shortly thereafter we passed by Coeur d'Alene. Now we were were back into the mountains and had a couple of mountain passes to climb. The scenery was nice, with lakes, rivers, mountains and the like on all sides. The Idaho panhandle doesn't take long to cross, and we were soon in Montana. Again more river valleys and mountains, until we finally descended into Missoula.

There were lots of forest fires burning in Idaho and Montana, so there was a large amount of smoke in the air, turning the sky sort of a pinkish orange color, and making the sun almost red in color. The sunsets were spectacular!

Smoke in the sky from forest fires.

We had made good time, and had originally planned on stopping somewhere along the way for the night, but we ended up driving straight through to Missoula, and arrived in the early evening. We checked in with Gary M., the match director, his son Ty, and Ty's friend Dan at their place a short ways out of town and got our time table figured out for the next day when we would all set up the tables and shooting stations at the range for Sunday's match. We would be parking the RV at Gary's place. It was getting late, so KeeWee and I headed into Missoula for a sit down dinner. After a big home style dinner we drove back to Gary's place and settled in for the night. At least it wasn't as hot as it was last year, when it was difficult to sleep. It had been a long day, and we conked out quickly!

The next morning we did a little sight seeing and drove around Missoula a bit exploring. Early afternoon we met up with Gary, Ty, and Dan, and headed out to the Deer Creek Range to get set up for the next day's pin shoot.

Gary, Ty, Dan, and some guy from Washington who wandered in to the picture. (Looks a lot like Mr. C.)
(KeeWee photo)

The temperature was up into the upper 90's, and it was easy to get too hot working n the sun. Gary had previously designed and built a mist sprayer on a pole, so at every opportunity we'd go stand under the mister and cool off. If we were driving from one bay to another, Gary would drive the truck under the mister. Boy, did it feel great!

Set up crew under the mister. Wonderful idea!
(KeeWee photo)

After a full afternoon of trucking stuff back and forth around the range and assembling everything, we had the range ready to go. We all jumped into the vehicles and headed to the Missoula McKenzie River Pizza place, and stuffed ourselves on some of the best pizza I've ever had. From the pizza place it was back to Gary's for some sleep, as the next day was going to be a long one, and the weather forecast was for hotter weather.

End of Part One - Stay Tuned!

KeeWee has two posts up on the Missoula shoot too.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

.....Outta Here!

Blogging will be really light for the next few days as KeeWee and I will spend most of Friday and part of Saturday on the road on the way to Missoula, Montana for the annual MTSSA Bowling Pin Shoot. Saturday We'll be at the Deer Creek Range in East Missoula helping to get everything set up for Sunday's pin shoot. We'll be at the range all day on Sunday shooting and watching others shoot, then driving part way home on Sunday night. We'll complete the return trip on Monday, and we should be back home Monday evening. Needless to say, I probably won't even touch a computer until we get home.

I'll take lots of pictures though, so you can see just how much fun they have in Montana shooting pins!!

Talk to you on Tuesday!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Goin' To Missoula, Gonna Shoot Me Some Pins!

Friday morning KeeWee and I are climbing aboard our "land yacht" (koff koff...) and pointing it East across Washington, the Idaho panhandle, and then on to Missoula, Montana for Montana Shooting Sport's Association's annual bowling pin shoot. These shoots are always a lot of fun, and the folks putting it on are just the kind of people you enjoy spending range time with! Not only that, this may be the only bowling pin shoot in the world with this many different classes.

Rimfire Pistol
Rimfire Rifle
Centerfire Semi-Auto Pistol
Single Action Revolver
Double Action Revolver
Semi-auto Shotgun
Pump Shotgun
Hunting Rifle
Assault Rifle
Full Auto Machine Guns

They usually even have a machine gun for rent, if you'd like to give one a try!

The money raised by this event goes to supporting pro shooting and hunting legislative activities in Montana. There's a good reason why Montana is a "Pro Gun" state. These folks work hard to keep their rights, and that takes money. What better way to raise money than a big shoot!

KeeWee and I have made the trek to Missoula the last two years, and we wouldn't miss it for the world! If you are anywhere within driving range of Missoula, you should come check it out. All the fun begins around 10am on Sunday, July 22nd.

Come on out and shoot up some bowling pins while supporting a really good cause!!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bear in the Bird Feeder?

.... and you thought dealing with squirrels in your bird feeder was a problem!

Thanks to MaryS for the pic's!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

KRRC Fun Steel Match - 07/14/07

It's been a few months since I've been able to get over to Kitsap Rifle and Revolver club's range near Silverdale, Washington, to shoot one of their Fun Steel matches. Unfortunately KeeWee had to work, so Lou G. and I ventured over by ourselves. The weather was going to get pretty warm, but at least not as hot as it's been several days ago. You'd think that with both Lou G. and I being bloggers, at least ONE of us would have remembered to bring a camera, but NO, we both forgot. Fortunately John M. Jr. remembered his camera, and was kind enough to email me the pictures in this post. Thanks, John, I'm glad SOMEBODY got it together!

For those of you unfamiliar with steel match basics, there are six sets (called stages) of steel targets set up. Each stage is shot five times by each shooter against the clock. The slowest score is thrown out, and the best four are added towards your total time for the day. In some cases there is a special target or plate painted black, or some other color different from the remaining plates, and that plate must be shot last. If you shoot it before shooting all of the other plates, you get penalty seconds added to your score. Each run involves making five hits on the target or targets. Final placing is based on your total time for the day.

Stage #1 - John M. Sr. shooting with Debbie K. running the timer.
(All pictures - Click for larger view)

The first stage was a traditional falling plate rack. You had to knock over five of the plates. Rimfire shooters only had to hit the plates, as the plates were set for more powerful centerfire energy.

Stage #2 - Lou G., John M. jr., Mr' C.'s arm running the timer, and Debbie scoring.

The second stage was five "Popper" steel targets of two different sizes, and unevenly spaced apart. You didn't have to knock them down, only hit each one once.

Stage #3 - Debbie K. shooting and Mr. C. running the timer.

The third stage was very tricky as the plates were very small and at different heights. The small rectangular plate farthest away was REALLY easy to miss!

Stage #4 - Lou G. shooting his revolver, with Debbie timing.

The fourth stage was one of the most fun of all. Shoot four shots at the white part of the target, then the fifth shot at the black stop plate circle. Lots of times in the two second range, and some in the one second range. That's getting of five shots pretty darn quickly!

Stage #5 - Debbie watching, Mr. C. running the Taurus Econo Race Gun Taco Style, and John M. Sr. timing. Plate #4 is hidden behind Debbie.

Each stage presented it's own challenge, and stage four was no exception. Tho plates to the left, a smaller and lower one in front, and two more to the right. It was nearly a 90 degree transition from left to right. Making the center plate smaller and lower really made it easy to miss!

Stage #5 - Debbie shooting and Lou G. running the timer.

Stage #6 - Based on the Steel Challenge "Outer Limits" stage layout. Lou G., Debbie, John M. Sr., and Mr. C.

The sixth and final stage arrived way too soon, although the heat and humidity were starting to get to us all. Neither of the pictures of stage six quite show how it looks to the shooter from the shooting position. The smaller round plates are to the outside of the larger rectangular plates in the rear, and the stop plate is in the middle.

Debbie and Lou G. on the final stage of the day.

After the final stage was completed, we helped load up the target stands and targets and put them away for next time. A number of us then headed over to the 19th. hole, a local pub, for burgers, fries, and cold drinks. While we were eating and visiting, the final scores were all totaled up. Lou and I had to leave a bit early as we had a ferry boat to catch to get back to Whidbey Island, so the final classes and scoring info wasn't available, but what's most important is that we all had a grand time socializing, shooting, and just generally enjoying a fun day at the range with a great bunch of shooters.

When you have that much fun, somehow the scores just aren't really that important............


Friday, July 13, 2007

Goin' To KRRC For Some Fun Steel ! !

Tomorrow Lou G (AKA Mad Gun) and I are heading over to the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club near Silverdale, Washington, for one of their "Fun Steel" matches. Unfortunately KeeWee has to work, or she'd be there for sure, as these fun steel matches are some of her favorites.

Although the Fun Steel matches are similar to Steel Challenge matches, they are a lot more informal, and you never know what John D. is going to come up with for stages. One stage might be five shots into a single 18" 24" target, the next might be a falling plate rack, some poppers, or something else. All you can be sure of is that the targets will be reasonably easy to hit and they'll be made out of steel. The challenge is to hit them quickly as the clock runs!

If you are anywhere in the Seattle - Tacoma - Olympia area, Silverdale is an easy drive, so why not come on out and give it a try?

Next weekend will be a big weekend as KeeWee and I are taking our sumptuous, opulent, and perhaps extravagant land yacht across Washington and Idaho, ending up, hopefully, in Missoula, Montana, for the Montana Shooting Sports Association's annual Bowling Pin Shoot. It's a long hot drive, but it may be the only bowling pin shoot in the world that has classes for assault rifles, hunting rifles, single and double action revolvers, semi-auto handguns, rimfire rifles, rimfire pistols, pump and semi-auto shotguns, and machine guns! I wouldn't miss it for the world!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Feeding and Ejecting With .22 Auto Pistols

In a previous post the question came up as to one brand of .22LR ammo feeding and ejecting without problems, yet another version of .22LR from the same manufacturer had a large number of feeding and ejecting problems. I decided to expand a little bit on my answer in the form of a short post on the subject.

Straight blowback actions are dependent on several different things to be able to function at all. Powder charge, burn rate, bullet weight, bullet nose shape, amount of crimp, primer, slide weight, spring weights, both hammer and slide, smoothness of the action, cleanliness, and lubrication all have a big effect on feeding, cycling, and ejecting. Even barrel length makes a difference, as a longer or heavier barrel compensates a bit for "limp wristing". Believe it or not, even the temperature of the ammunition and the magazines can make a major difference. On top of everything else, this assumes that everything mechanically is in perfect condition and alignment.A slightly worn extractor or a slightly bent or mis-aligned ejector can make you want to change back to a single action revolver!

If you are having feeding, firing, and/or ejecting problems with your .22 pistol, here's a few things to check:

1. Is the gun still new, tight, and unbroken in? Some guns take thousands of rounds to finally settle in.

2. When you pull the slide back, is it smooth and silky, or kinda rough and graunchy? If it's not really smooth, a thorough cleaning might help. New guns from the factory aren't necessarily clean, by the way. If it's clean but still rough, polish every rubbing and sliding surface you can find. Final polish with 1500 grit wet or dry sandpaper should make it nice and smooth. Give everything another cleaning and lube, and try it again. In most cases the difference in feel will be noticeable.

3. If it fails to regularly fire, check the rim of a cartridge for a good solid impression by the firing pin. If there's a good solid dent in the rim, it's probably the ammo. If it's not too soild, a bad firing pin or a weak hammer/striker spring may be the problem. A dirty chamber keeping the rim from going solidly against the face of the barrel can also cause that. Some target barrels have a slightly short chamber so the fully seated bullet actually goes slightly into the rifling. That can hold the casing out a small amount and lead to not only failure to fire, but failure to eject, too, as the ejector can't always pull the bullet back out of the rifling.

4. Failure to feed is most commonly the magazine feed lips, but before you go bending away on them, try your magazines in another gun, and try other magazines in your gun. Also, some ammo feeds much better than other brands.

5. Failure to eject can also be the ammo, but just about everything mentioned above can cause ejection problems. Sometimes it's just a case of going over one thing at a time until the problem clears up.

Hopefully this will answer some questions for you, but remember that the very nature of blowback pistol actions on .22 semi auto pistols, ammo that works fine in one may not work well at all in another, and vice versa.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

e-Postal Handgun Match Reminder

Time is starting to wind down for getting your entries shot and submitted for this month's e-Postal Handgun Match, fiendishly devised and hosted by JimmyB, the Conservative UAW Guy.

Here's where you can get all of the information, the rules, and download the targets for the match.

Having participated in all of the e-Postal matches over the last year or so, one common feature seems to always be present. Every match looks WAY easier than it actually is. You don't realize just how dang hard it actually is until you start shooting the targets.

Don't get discouraged if you don't score as high as you think you should. The match is a toughie, and I'm sure a number of us will be waiting in the shadows in Reno this Fall at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous watching for an unsuspecting JimmyB to walk by!

Anyhow, don't worry about your score, just shoot 'em up and send 'em in, the more entries the better.


Monday, July 09, 2007

CWSA Hanging Plate Match -- 07/08/07

KeeWee tags a plate!

We had a great rimfire hanging plate match at CWSA on Sunday. The weather started out partly cloudy but by mid morning it was beautiful, and not to hot either! We had nine optical sight shooters and seven iron sight shooters, which allowed the match to move along quickly and be over by noon. Evil Al and Rainy were off to the big handgun shoot in Montrose, Colorado, so it seemed strange not having them there. Wayne F. (Dad) and Mike F. (son) were there, and both are new shooters this year. Wayne shot well ,but was overshadowed by son Mike, who is taking to competitive shooting like a duck to water. Fortunately for me, Mike seems to be picking up iron sight shooting faster than optical sight, but if he keeps improving as fast as he is, he's going to be unbeatable in the near future, regardless of class!

The basic format is to take six shots in six seconds at 6 steel plates. You do this three times from 10, 15, 20, and 25 yards. The 10 yard plates are 4" in diameter, and each 5 yards you move back ,the plates are 1" larger, finishing up at 25 yards with 7" plates. Your score is the number of plates you hit, with a perfect score being 72.

When all the smoke had cleared, in the iron sight class Mike F. had posted one of the best scores ever shot at CWSA with 60 points. I straggled in to second place with 56.

The optical sight class was very close with several shooters in a position to win after the first and second rounds, with Mike F. leading by a couple of plates, followed by me, and KeeWee right behind us. Final scores after four rounds had Mr. C. with 68, Mike F. with 63, and KeeWee with 56.

Everyone had a grand time, lots of jokes and kidding around, and we all had lots of fun.

After all, this is only a game, and if you aren't enjoying yourselves, why not go find something that you DO enjoy, and do that instead, instead of taking it so seriously that it stops being fun?


Saturday, July 07, 2007

South African Pin Shooting Federation

Manfred, our French Bowling Pin Shooter and Armes et tir passion Gun Blogger came across the website for the South African Pin Shooting Federation and mentioned it on his blog. I figured I'd better pass the info along, as it's fun to see other shooters around the world enjoying pin shooting too.

It looks like they are only recently organized, but they are doing lots of pin shooting, including team events and championships.

Pin Shooting -South African Style!

Their website is under construction, but there are some good pictures of some of their pin shooting for your viewing pleasure. Unfortunately South Africa is just about as far away from Completely Castle as you can get and still be on Terra Firma.

We wish them lots of good shooting, and who knows, maybe one of their members will make it to the United States some day and shoot a few pins with us, or even make it to the Gun Blogger Rendezvous!

Wouldn't THAT be cool!!


Goin' Shootin'

Work has been rearing it's ugly head and interfering with stuff I'd rather be doing, including shooting. Tomorrow KeeWee and I will head up to the CWSA club range to do something about that. Tomorrow will be a rimfire hanging plate match, one of our favorites. Since hanging plate matches are not head to head competition they are a little more relaxing. You also don't have to shoot as fast as you can go. You still have to shoot faster than one shot a second, though, and maintain accuracy while doing so.

Evil Al and Rainy have hit the road for the Montrose, Colorado handgun shoot, so they won't be at the plate shoot. The rest of the usual suspects will be there, though, so it should be a fun day, and the weather looks like it's going to be outstanding.

I'll try to take a few pictures and get a post up tomorrow night or Monday.

Hope you get a chance to get out to the range too!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

HTML Question

I'm sure the answer to this one is simple, but I just can't seem to find it. I would like to fool around with the background color a bit for the right sidebar. I've looked through the HTML and tried changing different "color:xxx;" bits but I can't seem to find the one for the background color for the sidebar. If one of you could have a look at the page source and let me know which one it is I'd really appreciate the help!


GBR at the Ride Fast Shop

I wonder if they have one in Jimmyb's dog Jake's size?

Fodder and the Commandress over at Ride Fast - Shoot Straight have opened the doors of their new on-line Ride Fast Shop. Their first products are some really nice looking shirts, hats, and other accessories for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. One of the designs features graphics from the blogs of all bloggers who attended last year's inaugural event. They also have mugs, clocks, tote bags, and other Gun Blogger Rendezvous stuff available.

All sales until the close of the 2007 Gun Bloggers Rendezvous will include a donation to Project Valour-IT (via the Gun Bloggers Rendezvous), a very worthy cause well deserving of the support.

Check it out!


Post Holiday Humor

I came across this over at Fodder's place, Ride Fast - Shoot Straight. I don't know if it's a true story or not, but knowing him, it certainly could be! I can never come up with good comeback lines at the time when they would be handy, only later do I think of them...

Looked away for just a second while driving home and I rear ended a car. I couldn't believe how stupid of me.

The driver of the hit car jumped out, clearly pissed. I was surprised he was a dwarf!
He walked back to my car, stomped back more than walked, actually.

He stood right in front of me, very aggressive stance, shook his fist at me and said "I am NOT happy!"

I said "OK, sir. Then which one are you?"


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

All of the countries of the world have a July 4th, but in the United States that particular date has a particular significance, it is the date upon which we celebrate our independence, the "Birthday of our Country".

When someone wishes me a "Happy 4th", I kinda wish they'd call the holiday by its real name "Independence Day". It's not a big deal, and I know what they meant, but I try to wish them a "Happy Independence Day" in return.

Kim DuToit at The Other Side of Kim has a good essay on the meaning of Independence Day on his blog, and it's worth having a look. In his essay he quotes Ronald Reagan, and I have reproduced that quotation below.
“Somewhere in our growing up we began to be aware of the meaning of days and with that awareness came the birth of patriotism. July Fourth is the birthday of our nation. I believed as a boy, and believe even more today, that it is the birthday of the greatest nation on earth… In recent years, however, I’ve come to think of that day as more than just the birthday of a nation. It also commemorates the only true philosophical revolution in all history. Oh, there have been revolutions before and since ours. But those revolutions simply exchanged one set of rules for another. Ours was a revolution that changed the very concept of government. Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should. Happy Fourth of July.”- Ronald Reagan
Happy Independence Day, from Mr. C., KeeWee, Rocket, the goldfish, and all the bunnies......

Monday, July 02, 2007

CWSA Steel Challenge 07/01/2007

KeeWee decided to sit this steel match out, and spend the time tending the garden instead. You can check out KeeWee's Garden to see what she's been up to lately garden-wise. Since I had shot every single class in Saturday's bowling pin shoot, and since I need to make some major improvement in my Steel Challenge shooting, I decided to concentrate on shooting my High Standard in the rimfire open class, and a box stock High Standard with iron sights in the rimfire limited class.

At the present, at the CWSA range we only have enough space to set up two stages, so our Steel Challenge matches are sort of "Mini" Steel Challenges. (Plans are in the works, however, to build six or seven more bays, and if that happens, we'll be able to put on full matches. Maybe next year, I hope, I hope!!)

For this match we used "Showdown" and "Speed Option" for our two stages.

Here's the Showdown stage drawing from Steel Challenge's website.
Click to bigify.

Here's the Speed Option stage drawing from Steel Challenge's website.
Click to enbigilize.

The basic plan is to shoot each plate once, then shoot the stop plate last. You do that five times, and your slowest run is thrown out, with the remaining four added together for your score for the stage. If you shoot the stop plate before hitting all of the other plates, you get a three second penalty for each plate missed added to your time. This is really easy to do, particularly when the last regular plate you shoot is really close to the stop plate. You have to shoot the plate and assume you hit it, then shoot the stop plate. You don't have time to see if you hit it or not. To give you some idea of how fast the good shooters shoot these stages, two second times are not unusual, and sometimes even sub two second times! WOW!

As I was paying attention mostly to my own shooting, I didn't keep track of how the other classes came out. In both rimfire classes, Limited and Open, first through third were within 6/10th of a second of each other for the total times!

In Rimfire Open "Evil Al" was shooting way faster than anyone else, and he was the last shooter to shoot. Excluding Al's times, I had a .06 second overall lead over Tony C. !! Al shot Showdown first, and our times were very close, but I had a very slight edge. It all boiled down to the Speed Option stage to determine the winner. Al was shooting REALLY fast, and it looked like a cakewalk for him. His first run was perfect, with an excellent time. Second run, also super fast. Third run, again very fast, but he missed a plate and got a three second penalty! One run gets discarded, so nothing to worry about. Fourth run, blistering fast. Fifth and final run, again a spectacular time, BUT HE MISSED ANOTHER PLATE! Three second penalty! As fast as Al was shooting, he still might have had enough cushion to take the penalty and still win, but it was down to the final adding of the times to find out the winner. When the totals were finished, Al's total time was 2.4 seconds faster, but with the three second penalty, that dropped him to third behind Tony and I. I had FINALLY managed to get past Al in a rimfire open Steel Challenge. ! ! !


Even so, there's no doubt that Al is a whole lot better shooter than I, and maybe SOMEDAY I'll actually be able to give him a run for his money speed-wise, but I've got a bunch of practicing to do before that happens.

Rimfire Limited was also really close, with perennial rimfire iron sight winner Jim P. narrowly beating out new shooter Mike F., and I was right behind nipping at their heels.

We all had a lot of fun, the weather was great, and the competition was incredibly close. All in all a great way to spend a Sunday!!

By the way, if any of you are going to the 15th Annual STI-American Handgunner® World Shoot-off Championship in Montrose, Colorado in a few weeks, see if you can find a revolver shooter from Whidbey Island named Al. He'll be there, so introduce yourself and tell him Mr. Completely sent you.

He won't shoot you.....



Sunday, July 01, 2007

Once again discrimination rears its ugly head...

Gosh, maybe a little discrimination might not be such a bad thing, after all!

Thanks to Uncawho!

This Month's e-Postal Match is Up!

JimmyB, the Conservative UAW Guy, is hosting this month's e-Postal handgun match, and it looks like it will test your strategy as well as your shooting skills. Do you shoot the big easy circles with low point value, or try for the tiny ones worth lots of points, even though you are going to miss some of them?

Here's where you can get all of the information, the rules, and download the targets for the match.

There's classes for just about anything and everything you might have around to shoot the match with, so enter lots of times with everything you've got!

This match will definitely have you going in circles!!


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