Friday, August 31, 2007

Tomorrow's Saturday? -- Already?

It seems like I've got a match every other day, but of course that's not the case. It just seems that way! Even so, the "Off Season" is only eight or ten weeks away, and then I'm sitting around wishing for a match to go shoot, and waiting for it to stop raining!

Tomorrow is a CWSA Hanging Plate match. Those are one of my favorites as they are more low key and much less adrenalin laden. Sunday will be a busy one, with a full CWSA Bowling Pin match, and I'm planning to shoot all classes, which makes it a busy day. It also gives me lots of reloading to do next week!

Next Saturday KeeWee and I are off to South Seattle to attend the neighbor's son's wedding, and I really should be there.

On Saturday and Sunday over at Kitsap Rifle and Revolver club in Silverdale, WA. they are hosting a huge two day Glock match. It looks a lot like a basic Steel Challenge sort of match. I haven't found out if you can shoot it entirely on one day or not. Oh yeah, I don't have a Glock, either! I've been offered the loan of one, so I MIGHT just head over there and give it a try!. I haven't practiced with one either, but how hard can it be? Align sights on target, pull trigger, repeat........ Piece of cake! (Well, someone's got to be last, it might as well be me!)

Don't forget to get your hotel reservations and registration in for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. It's not that far off, and you don't have to be a blogger to attend. It's open to gun bloggers, milbloggers, whatever bloggers, blog readers, blog commenters, shooters, wannabe shooters, plinkers, cowboy shooters, and anyone else that would like the chance to meet and visit with some really interesting folks that all are somehow involved in shooting sports and personal freedoms.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

J.J. Racaza Shoots Some Steel

Watching J.J. Racaza shoot at the World Steel Challenge Championships was a joy. He's smooth, fast, and accurate, and he hasn't forgotten that this is all just a game, and you should be enjoying yourself, and not taking the game, or yourself, too seriously. Watch his reloads, too!

J.J. always would find the time to visit with spectators and have pictures taken, to talk to the kids, and just generally be a wonderful ambassador for shooting sports. I had the chance to visit with J.J.'s proud dad for a while as I was taking this video, and the family are some of the nicest folks you could ever meet!


Gun Blogger Rendezvous Guest of Honor

As you know from a previous announcement, the recipient of the money raised by the Gun Blogger Rendezvous will be Project Valour-IT. Project Valour-IT collects money to buy voice actuated laptop computers for injured and recovering servicemen and women with injuries that prevent them from using a conventional computer keyboard. With the voice actuated laptops they can contact friends and family by email. Project Valour-IT has purchased and delivered over 1,200 laptops so far, and they're still getting more!

I wanted to have our Guest of Honor be someone representing Project Valour-IT, and my first choice was Major Chuck Ziegenfuss, and the stars have all aligned and Major Ziegenfuss will be our guest of Honor! In fact, he will be there for the entire Rendezvous, staying at the Circus Circus with us, and getting in some range time on Saturday with us too!

If you would like to learn more about the Major, check out this post, particularly the lower part where Major Ziegenfuss is addressing a number of convalescing military folks at Walter Reed.

He is also a blogger, and you can read his blog "From My Position - On The Way!" HERE. If you'd like to Meet Major Ziegenfuss, meet a great bunch of bloggers, and help a fantastic cause, plan on attending the Gun Blogger Rendezvous this October in Reno. Get your hotel reservations in and your registration sent in right away

You won't regret it!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nevada Gun Laws

If you are planning to attend the Gun Blogger Rendezvous and are wondering about the firearms laws, and particularly CCW laws in Nevada, the Nevada State Rifle and Pistol Association has a section on their website that answers most of your questions.

They also DO have a disclaimer that laws may have changed since their latest post on the gun laws, so if in doubt, there is a link at the bottom that takes you to the state laws.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Less Common Ammo in Ruger Mk. II's

Ruger Mk. II .22 LR Semi-Auto Pistol

I just got this email and I thought the answer was worth sharing. If any of you have any first hand knowledge about this, please jump in with comments. Thanks!!
Apologize for intruding but I ran across your site and cannot seem to find the answer to my question. Considering buying my wife a used Ruger I, II probably not a III because of the indicator problem I read. My question is will they all accept CB, shorts, LR, or maybe none will on the CB, shorts?

Thanks, Art, Florida
Hi Art,

On all magazine (clip) fed semi-auto pistols the overall length of the cartridge and the shape of the nose of the bullet are extremely important for reliable feeding and cycling. The amount of energy released by the cartridge is also critical as it has to cycle the slide (or bolt, in the case of the Ruger).

If you want to reliably shoot anything other than .22 long rifle in a handgun, I would recommend going to a revolver. I'd say get her a semi-auto for fun and plinking, and a revolver for other specialized cartridges. Let her shoot as many semi-autos as you can, she may prefer the feel of one over another. Rugers are very popular, but there are a number of excellent choices from Browning, Smith & Wesson, High Standard, Beretta and other manufacturers to consider, too.

Happy Shooting!

........ Mr. C.

PS: Asking intelligent gun related questions is NEVER intruding!


Quick Cal Fast Draw - Video Two

Here's the second video I have of Quick Cal:

So far Blogger Video seems to work pretty well. Maybe I'll post a third video of Quick Cal before I start posting Steel Challenge videos. If you have any problems viewing the videos please leave me a note in the comments.


Cowboy Fast Draw Demo by Quick Cal

At the Steel Challenge Championships one of the side events was a booth where for three bucks you could make five tries at Cowboy Fast Draw with a gun and holster provided. Running the booth was Quick Cal Eilrich, the head of the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, and the current national, world, and galactic champion in Cowboy Fast Draw.

When there was a break in the action, Cal was kind enough to do a little demo for me and the video camera. This is the new Blogger Video feature and it's the first time I've tried it out, so we'll see how well it works. I also have a longer video of Quick Cal filming him from the side so you can get a much better understanding of the fast draw technique. If this one works OK I'll post the longer one for you.

You can sure see why he's called Quick Cal!

Amazing, just amazing.......

NOTE: Here's a second longer video of Quick Cal.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

KeeWee's Fast Draw Post

KeeWee has a post up on the Cowboy Fast Draw side event at the Steel Challenge championships in California this last weekend.

Cowboy Fast Draw stays much closer to the real old time cowboy equipment and techniques with leather holsters and accurate replicas of the actual guns used in the late 1800's.

It's a whole lot of fun, and since you use wax bullets powered by shotgun primers, you can practice in your garage or basement without needing to drive to the range to shoot.

Check it out!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Two CWSA Shoots This Weekend!

I have no idea where this last week went, it just sort of evaporated! It seems like we just got back from California a day or so ago.

Anyhow, I've got everything unpacked and the range box re-loaded so we're all set to go for tomorrow's Pin Shoot at Central Whidbey. This afternoon I loaded up another 100 rounds of .45. A quick inventory showed that I had enough .38SPL and 9mm. to get me through the weekend. I just finished cleaning and oiling the High Standard and KeeWee's High Standard, too. We should be all set to go for tomorrow.

I just have to remember that if I try to shoot pin tops at the tempo I shoot steel plates, I won't hit a single pin top all day! Pin tops are a whole lot smaller and harder to hit, and you have to concentrate on slowing down!

Stay tuned, I'll let you know what happens.........


Photo Credits

In the previous four posts about the World Steel Challenge Championships I totally forgot to give credit for most of the photos to KeeWee, who did a great job clicking away while I was blasting away!

You Done Good!!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

World Steel Challenge - Part 4

The next stage was called "Smoke & Hope", and I was familiar with it. It is perhaps the easiest of all the stages, but it can fool you as the large plates encourage you to shoot a little faster than you should. The small stop plate is easy to miss, and you need to slow down just a little bit to be sure you hit it. I had three good times, one not too good, and one that sucked, but was thrown out, thank goodness!

Smoke & Hope

After Smoke & Hope was the stage I had been worrying about all day, "Outer Limits". This was the only stage where you had to shoot two plates from one box, then move to the center box and shoot the remaining three plates from there. I had tried this stage a few times in practice, and had nearly fallen down because of the loose footing in the middle box. Right handed shooters had kicked most of the loose brass and dirt to the right side of the center box when they stepped into the box from the left. That put it right where I needed to step when I entered from the right, being left handed. I decided it would be a lot smarter to slow down a bit and be sure of my shots and footing, rather than trying to go faster and having some potentially terrible results if it went wrong.

Outer Limits

Although my times on this stage were nothing to write home about, I hadn't incurred any big penalties either, and it went just as I had planned.

Hawk just leaving the left shooting box.

It was with some sense of relief that I left Outer Limits. Next up was Roundabout, and this was one I had shot a couple of times in the past, so it wasn't totally foreign to me. This was the last stage of the match. I shot five solid runs, nothing spectacular, but not too bad, either, with less that half a second variation. I even drew some applause from the spectators! That was really cool, as I'm more used to wise cracks from the guys I usually shoot with!

Roundabout - Two on each side, with the stop plate in the middle.

For me, the competition part of the match was now over, and even though I was starting to get a bit tired, I also felt like I was just getting warmed up! In some ways I wish I could have re-shot some of the stages, as I was disappointed with how I had done in a couple of them. I knew I could have done better, but this was my first try shooting at the championship level, being primarily a small local club shooter. It was an amazing experience shooting with this squad, and their courtesy, respect, and humor were greatly appreciated. I now know what I need to practice, and hopefully by next year I will be able to return and do a bit better. Now that KeeWee has watched a complete match, she now realizes that she can shoot as well or better than some of the other ladies, and maybe next year there will be TWO entries from Whidbey Island.

I hope this series of posts has allowed you to experience some of what it's like to shoot in a match such as this, as I've tried to share what I was thinking and how I approached the individual challenges, sometimes successfully, and sometimes not. If you got some of the feel of the competition from these posts, then I've been successful. If a club in your area is putting on a steel match, or a steel challenge, why not go give it a try and experience first hand the excitement, the highs, and the lows of steel challenge. You might just find that it's as much fun as I do!

KeeWee and I at the last stage of the day. The match is over for me for the year, but KeeWee seems to think I did OK!

The next day they had the results posted for the rimfire limited and the rimfire open classes, and in rimfire open I had placed 46th. out of 63 shooters. Not exactly the sort of placing that's going to generate any telephone calls from gun manufacturers wanting to sponsor me! None the less, I had a fantastic time of it all, and I can hardly wait until next year!!


Rob Leatham at the Steel Championships

Rob Leatham showing why he's one of the best shooters around. This was filmed at the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships in August, 2007, just a week ago.

If it doesn't play smoothly, give this link a try.


World Steel Challenge - Part 3

The third stage on the schedule was "Accelerator", one I had never shot before. Shooting a particular stage a lot gets it into your muscle memory and you don't have to think about it, you just shoot it. In this case I had to just shoot them one at a time and try to not take all day doing so!

"Accelerator" - Quite a mix of sizes, angles, and distances. The stop plate is the round one on the larger post in the middle.

I missed one plate on the second run, but picked it up OK, had reasonable times on the other runs, but missed a plate just before the stop plate and thought I had hit it, so I got a penalty on that run. Fortunately it was the run that was discarded.

Mr. C. and the "Bullet Hose" on Accelerator.

Next on the schedule was "Showdown", and at least I had shot this one a couple of times in the past.


From the shooting positions the rectangular plates in the rear appear to the outside of the round ones on each side. The stop plate is in the middle. There were two shooting positions. You shot two runs from one box, two runs from the other box, and the last run from the box of your choice. This was by far my worst stage, as for some reason I couldn't tell if I had hit each plate or not. I ended up with penalties for missed plates on two of the runs. One run got thrown out, but the other bad one hurt my score a lot.

Paul rocked on Showdown!

Doug shooting "Pendulum"

Pendulum is a tricky stage, and when I shot it a couple of times in practice it gave me trouble. The inner rear plates are only 10" in diameter, and are almost a foot lower than the outer 12" plates. It the inner rear plates were really easy to shoot over the top of them. Of the eight stages, I only had two that went badly, and this was one of them. Fortunately from here to the end things steadily improved, even though the one stage that I was dreading, "Outer Limits", was rapidly approaching.

........ end of Part 3.


e-Postal Match Reminder

This month's e-Postal match target "Point Shooting"

Time is rapidly running out to get your entries shot and submitted for this month's e-Postal match. THis month's match is hosted by Carnaby Carnaby Fudge. It's called "Point Shooting" and it looks like a good one!

Go HERE to get the details, download the target, make a bunch of copies, print a copy of the rules, grab every handgun you've got, and then head out to the range for some hand-gunnin' goodness!

So what are you waitin' for?


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stress Management Technique

In case you are having a rough day, here is a stress management technique recommended in all the latest psychological journals.

The funny thing is that it really does work and will even make you smile.

1. Picture yourself lying on your belly on a warm rock that hangs over a crystal clear stream.

2. Picture yourself with both your hands dangling in the cool running water.

3. Birds are sweetly singing in the cool mountain air.

4. No one knows your secret place.

5. You are in total seclusion from that hectic place called the world.

6. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.

7. The water is so crystal clear that you can easily make out the face of the person you are holding underwater.

See? It really does work.

Hat tip to UNCAWHO!


Steel Challenge Results

The official results are now posted on the Steel Challenge Website. Max Michel was the Open Class and overall winner with a total time of 79.2 seconds for all eight stages! He broke the world record on three of his stages, and also broke the 80 second barrier, winning him an additional $30,000 dollars! J.J. Racaza won the Open Law Enforcement class, and was eighth overall with a score of 88.26 seconds. Todd Jarrett was the winner in Limited (iron sight class) and was fourth in the Open class.

Mr. Completely was first overall in the "Rimfire Left Handed Long Barreled High Standard from Whidbey Island" class.

Well, yeah, it isn't REALLY a class, but it COULD have been a class. Maybe for next year?


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

KeeWee's Posts on the Steel Challenge

At the Steel Challenge match KeeWee had more time to take pictures than I did, at least during the rimfire matches, as I was busy trying to hit the plates as fast as I could! Here's two posts on KeeWee's Corner with a lot more pictures and stories from the World Steel Challenge Championships:

Steel Challenge Part One

Steel Challenge Part Two

She's got a few more posts in the works, and I've got a bunch of videos from the centerfire classes, so stay tuned!!


World Championship Steel Challenge - Part Two

Before we conked out for the night Wednesday night we picked up a few breakfast rolls and so forth at a nearby Food Mart so we'd have something to eat before heading out to the range. We also picked up some bottled water and Gatorade. It was going to be hot! Good thing we did, as it was definitely hot and dusty.

After a good night's sleep and some breakfast rolls, we loaded our gear into PT-Banana and headed for the range. According to our shooting schedule I was to report to Stage F at 8:30 for the first stage "Five To Go". We wandered around a bit, and then finally found the stage and I put my gear on the table as the other shooters in my squad arrived. We were going to have nine shooters in our group.

Rather spectacular scenery as a backdrop for the individual stages. I wonder how many cowboy Western movies were filmed in this valley?

My squad. From left to right, me, Paul, Doug, Mike, Eric, Hawk, Linda, Chase, and Rich. A lot of really good shooters in this bunch!

Last minute preparations prior to starting the shooting.

Thank goodness each stage had a tent to protect us from the sun!

Five To Go. Shoot each of these four plates once, in any order, then shoot the stop plate, (not shown in this picture) on the right. What could be difficult about that?

Doug Shooting Five To Go.

We had each been given eight two part score sheets, one for each stage. I turned in my score sheet to the scorer, and the shooting order was set. We had a short rule review by the Range Officer (R.O.) for the stage, and then he called the first shooter to the line.

Five To Go isn't the easiest, and it isn't the hardest, so it made for a good first stage to try and get into the swing of the match. I tried to shoot it fairly conservatively and try to not make any major blunders. My score was OK, but nothing to write home about. I missed one plate that I thought I had hit, then shot the stop plate, incurring a 3 second penalty. Fortunately you shoot the stage five times and one score gets thrown out, so the penalty was discarded.

After you finished shooting you initialed your score sheet and they kept one copy and gave you a copy. Once everyone had shot, it was time to head out to the next stage "Speed Option". Speed Option was a little bit harder, but still one of the stages I should be able to shoot without too much trouble if I stuck to what I could do and didn't try to shoot faster that I can shoot.

Speed Option. Three round plates on the right, one round plate on the left, and the rectangular stop plate all the way back.

I could see that I was having a little trouble with timing, as you shoot the plates while the gun is in motion, not stopping to actually take aim at each target. I had three OK runs, one not very good at all, and a run approaching ugly. Fortunately the ugly one got thrown out, but the one poor one stayed in the score book.

Mr. C. shooting Speed Option.

Speed Option had not gone particularly well, although I have shot this stage in the past and done much better. The other shooters in my squad well all shooting great times. I was struggling, and I had to be careful I didn't dig myself a big hole and jump in! The next stage would be interesting, as it's a stage I've never shot before, so just about anything could happen, and I knew that Mr. Murphy and his law were just around the corner........

....... end of Part Two.


Buy Ammo

In addition to the November 19th. "Buy Ammo" day, David Codrea at War on Guns is promoting a second buy ammo day on August 28th. in response to the Brady bunch, Jesse Jackson, and their efforts to ban guns.

Here's the full story.

You probably need to buy ammo anyway, so why not stock up on the 28th? You probably are running a little low anyway, and if you aren't, you need to get to the range more often.....

Monday, August 20, 2007

Steel Challenge Championships

KeeWee and I are finally, home, and managed to get some sleep last night, but we're both still pretty much worn out. The heat, the traffic, and all the transportation segments have taken their toll.

This report on the World Steel Challenge Championships, from which we have just returned, will take a number of posts just to cover the highlights. We've got several hundred photos and sixty or so videos to sort, edit, and categorize, but we've got a start on it today, and here's the first report:

Steel Challenge Championships - Part One

Just getting to the World Steel Challenge Championship in Piru, California, just outside of Valencia, was a challenge in itself. We had to take a car to the nearby grocery store parking lot to meet the Whidbey-SEATAC shuttle van. The van took us across the Clinton - Mukilteo ferry to the mainland, then South through Seattle to the SEATAC airport. At SEATAC we checked in for our Alaska Airlines flight to Burbank, California.

My race gun and backup race gun were securely locked in a hard sided gun case which was strapped inside of my suitcase. After declaring the firearms at the Alaska counter, I signed a small form that then was put into the gun case. Next I took the suitcase to another part of the terminal where TSA was set up for inspections. I had been dreading this for days, but it went very smoothly. The TSA guy just put the suitcase on the conveyor belt, ran it through the x-ray machine, and from there it went down the conveyor back to Alaska Airlines and hopefully to my flight to Burbank.

From there it was on to the security checkpoint, and from there to the departure gate. We boarded one of the newer Boeing 737's, and actually departed on time! So far things were going almost TOO smoothly! On the flight to Burbank I got some really good pictures of Mount St. Helens.

Mt. St. Helen's - The ultimate aerosol can causing global warming.....

As we got to Central And Southern California the smoke and haze from the wildfires was incredible. One of the fires was producing so much heat and rising air that it was actually boiling through the deck of clouds and forming another cloud of it's own.

Rising air from a wildfire.

Descending into Burbank we dropped down into the smoke and visibility went to essentially zero. After getting off the plane, we went to baggage claim, picked up our bags, and headed for the Alamo rental car counter. We picked up the paper for our rental car and walked out of the terminal and around the corner to the rental car lot. The guy in the lot office gave us the car keys and sent us down row D15 to pick up our car. I had specified a mid-sized car, and expected some sort of four door boxy clone car, but to my surprise, D15 held a sparkling banana yellow PT-Cruiser! VERY COOL!


We loaded our suitcases and fired "PT - BANANA" up for the short (we hoped) 30 or 40 minute ride up I-5 to Valencia and the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. It had less than 1500 miles on it!

We only got a "little" lost, but soon we were on the freeway, and not long after we exited onto the Magic Mountain Parkway, drove a couple of blocks, and pulled into the hotel parking lot. WOO HOO! We had managed to make it all the way from Whidbey to the hotel in Valencia without a single problem. Luck, I suspect, played a major part.

We checked in at the hotel, found the Steel Challenge registration room, and picked up my shooter's package with shooting schedule. I needed to be at the range, ready to shoot, at 8:30 am the next morning. It was now mid-afternoon, and it was getting rather hot outside, so an early start time sounded like a great idea!

We headed back to "PT-Banana" and drove the half hour out to the range, both to figure out how to get there when we had the time to get lost, and to see about getting in a little practice on the practice stages set up for that purpose. The drive was paved roads all the way to the range except for the last mile or so, where it turned into a dusty, lumpy, rutted, one lane 'almost but not quite' a road.

We pulled into the parking area, I unpacked my long barreled High Standard .22 pistol, and grabbed a few magazines and a few hundred rounds of ammo. We walked over to one of the stages, where four or five shooters were taking turns shooting the plates against the clock. Two or three of them looked a little familiar. It turned out that one was Max Michel ,and another was K.C. Eusebio. Both of them had won the World Steel Challenge in the past. I watched in amazement as K.C. shot a 2.05 time, unofficially breaking the current world record which he already held. Man, are those guys FAST!

When they had finished I shot through the stage a few times, and then moved to some of the other practice stages to try them out.

One of the stages, "Outer Limits", I could see was potentially going to be a big problem. The course of fire was to shoot two right side plates from the right side shooter's box, then move to the center box and shoot the two remaining plates and the stop plate. For right handed shooters they would start on the left side box, then finish from the center shooter's box. The boxes were six feet apart. Since most of the shooter's were moving from the left box to the center, they had kicked must all of the loose dirt and brass to the right side of the center box, right where I had to plant a foot before shooting the final three plates. I loaded some magazines and got into the right side box. FRom a low ready, I raised and fired, hitting the first two plates. I took three quick steps to the center box and planted my foot into the middle of the dirt and brass in preparation for the final three shots. IT WAS LIKE STEPPING ON A BAR OF SOAP! Fortunately I found just enough traction that I sort of slid to a stop without falling on my butt. I scraped some of the loose stuff away, and tried it again. At least I didn't fall, and I managed to hit all five plates, even though you could have timed it with a sun dial! I tried it a couple of more times, but I could see that "Outer Limits" could be a "Bad Experience" to say the least, one of those experiences that could play over and over in your mind long after the match was over.

The range was about to close for the night, so we drove back to the hotel. We dropped our stuff in the room, then went over to the Marie Callender's restaurant next door for dinner. After dinner we went back to the hotel room so I could get my range bag packed, magazines loaded, and make a few reminder notes to myself about the various stages for tomorrow.

Tomorrow was going to be an interesting day.............

.....End of Part One.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Steel Challenge Quick Report #2

KeeWee and I just got back from our third day at the range, and it was hotter and dustier than yesterday or the day before. I'm still blogging in the bathroom because that's the only place with enough signal to get online. We took a lot more pictures and videos today, so I'll have a bunch of sorting and editing to do when we get back. I shot a number of times in the Cowboy Fast Draw side event, and although I wasn't fast enough to win fast time, I did manage some respectable times considering I don't know what I'm doing.

The posted the standings for the Rimfire Open class that I shot on Thursday, and I didn't end up too badly, at least for a first attempt in the World Championships. If I read the results correctly, I ended up 46th. out of 63 Rimfire Open shooters. It looks like not too many of those who finished faster than I were seniors, though, so that's kinda cool!

Tomorrow morning is the awards meeting in the morning and the raffle drawings, then we're off to return the rental car and catch the flight back to Seattle, then the shuttle van back to Whidbey Island.

Tomorrow will be a long day, I suspect................


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Steel Challenge - Quick Report #1

So far it's been an interesting two days. This will be a quick post, as the Hilton's wireless internet signal is grim. I tried all over the room, and the only place I could get enough signal to log in was sitting on the john, feet in the bathtub, and computer on my lap. It's still slower than a 14.4 modem, but at least it's connected. For obvious reasons, no pictures until I get home.

Transportation to Valencia went remarkably smoothly, and we got to the hotel with enough time to get registered, then head out to the range for a little practice.

This morning we got out the range and hooked up with our squad. Dang, these guys are amazingly fast! I didn't shoot as well as I have done in the past, but I didn't shoot as badly as I have in the past, either. I probably finished about where I figured I'd end up, somewhere well down the list, but I had a great time and got to watch some of the fastest rimfire shooters in the world close up.

They've got a big BBQ tonight for all the contestants in about an hour, so I'll go get cleaned up a bit and put on some dry socks, as my feet are still in the bathtub as I'm writing this, and I didn't see there was a little water in the tub. Actually, it feels kinda good........


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Off We Go!

Tomorrow's the big day, or more specifically, the day before the big day. Tomorrow morning at "ZERO-UGLY-EARLY" KeeWee and I are off to California.

Thursday will be the Steel Challenge Rimfire Open World Championship. I am expecting to get in some good shots, but probably with the camera! I'm taking both a digital still camera and a digital video camera, so I should be able to get some good pictures over the three days of shooting. Friday they shoot the centerfire limited guns, and on Saturday the Open guns. I am also dragging along my laptop, so I can (hopefully) blog from the hotel each night.



Monday, August 13, 2007

KRRC Fun Steel 08/11/2007

It was a REALLY early morning on Saturday to go over to the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club's monthly Fun Steel Match. Normally I would catch the 7:15AM ferry from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend, then drive South to the Hood Canal Floating bridge, then South again to Silverdale, and from there it's only a few miles to the KRRC range. This Saturday, however, the 7:15am boat was canceled due to low tides, so KeeWee and I had to take a longer and more expensive route. From the South end of Whidbey Island we took the ferry across to the mainland, docking at Mukilteo. From there we drove South to Edmonds, and caught another ferry across Puget Sound to Kingston, a 30 minute boat ride. From Kingston it was roughly a 40 minute drive to the KRRC range. We made it just in time, but no time to spare!

The usual suspects were there, along with some new faces, too. After the shooter's meeting we broke into two squads, and set out to opposite ends of the steel bays, so those of us in the "Old Slow Guys" group wouldn't slow down the faster shooters. In our group we had KeeWee, Debbie K., Anthon, one fellow who I missed his name, John D., the match director, and I.

The first stage was three small "Poppers" type of targets, the one on the right and on the left were painted white from the circle part up, and black below the circular part. The center popper was black from the circle up, and white below. The course of fire was to double tap each outside popper on the white, then put one shot on the black part of the center popper. It wasn't as easy to shoot as you'd think when you tried to shoot it quickly! I didn't think I had done very well on theis stage, but everyone struggled with this one.

The second stage was a conventional falling plate rack with six plates. The course of fire was to knock over any five in any order. Rimfire only had to hit them, although they usually went down anyway. Even though I shoot falling plates at CWSA, I usually struggle at KRRC and miss a few, requiring a second shot. This time it went a little smoother than in the past.

Stage four was by far and away the most popular! A single 18" by 24" plate was perhaps seven yards in front of you. All you had to do was shoot it five times as fast as you can go. You'd be amazed how easy it was to miss it! KeeWee shot it in 1.86 seconds, and Debbie was just about the same, but I don't know her exact time.

The fifth stage - trickier than it looks!

Stage five was the Steel Challenge Stage "Pendulum". With the last stage being a "Fast as you can pull the trigger" stage, this one was a major change of pace. The inner two 10" plates were really easy to miss, being both smaller and lower than the two outside plates.

Stage six - John stays up late at night thinking up things like this!

The last stage was a masterpiece of design, able to bring a strong man to tears! The left plate wasn't too tough, but the next one was a little farther back, then the next one was smaller and even farther back, then a small one a foot lower so everyone would come across horizontally from the first three and shoot over the top of the fourth plate! If you managed to hit the fourth plate, all you had to do was hit the stop plate, but wait, where is it? It's WAY over on the right. In the picture you can see it over the top of the black barrel. The picture doesn't really show how much you had to swing to get to the stop plate. If you tried to cover the distance too quickly you'd skid past the stop plate before you got a shot off, and if you went too slow, you burned up a LOT of time getting to the plate.

Alas, it seemed that the match ended way to quickly, and it was time to pack everything back into the car and head to the 19th. Hole, a local pub with amazingly good hamburgers and fries, to add up the scores. With a little help from KeeWee, I ate an entire "Three Napkin Burger", 16 ounces of double burger with real cheddar cheese and everything else you could possibly want on a burger. Delicious!!

All too soon we had to hit the road back to Port Townsend to catch the ferry back to Whidbey. In spite of having to do some extra driving, we had a fantastic day with some great folks, got in a ton of shooting, and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

A big "Thanks" is in order to John for setting it up and running it, and to Debbie for adding up the scores.

If you enjoy shooting with a bunch of folks that take safety seriously, but shoot the match for the fun of the shooting, you should try to make it to one of the upcoming KRRC Fun Steel Matches, you can't help but have fun!

Note: If you are curious about the scores and stage times for the KRRC Fun Steel matches, Here's the scores page. The individual stage scores are the total of the fastest four runs out of five.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Gun Blogger Airways

Gunblogger Airways, fly the heavily armed skies!

Kevin over at Smallest Minority has done up some great pictures regarding the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. It's not that far off, so you need to get your hotel reservations and Rendezvous registration in right away. Kevin was one of the survivors of last years Rendezvous, so here's your chance to meet him in person!

If you decide to fly Gunblogger Air to the Rendezvous, the flight crew will look something like this:

Captain: Chris Byrne, The Anarchangel
Co-Pilot: Kevin from The Smallest Minority
Flight Engineer: Joe Huffman, from The View from N. Central Idaho
Flying Low Coordinator: Fodder of Ride Fast & Shoot Straight
Electronic Countermeasures Officer: Uncle from Say Uncle
Gunnery Officer: John Donovan from Castle Arrgghhh!!
Navigator: Rivrdog from the Rivrdog Blog
In Flight Security: The Conservative UAW Guy
On Board Weapons: US Citizen from Traction Control
In Flight Entertainment: OG, The Neanderpundit

Keeping the passenger cabin under control will be KeeWee, Mrs. JimmyB, and Mrs. Rivrdog, and whatever you do, watch out for Beth from She Who WILL Be Obeyed and the Commandress from Ride Fast & Shoot Straight!

Mr. Completely will be wandering around with no particular job, available to fill in wherever needed, or possibly just taking a nap....

This crew has worked together in the past, and every one of them can handle all of the other positions too, so you can rest assured that your trip to Reno will be like no other!

And rest assured that security on Gunblogger Air is the very best there is, as EVERYONE, crew and passengers, are all packing!!


Ruger 22/45 MK. III Feed Problems

Ruger 22/45 Mk. III .22 Semi-Auto Pistol

I got a comment to a previous post on Ruger .22 pistols regarding a feeding problem with a Ruger 22/45 MK. III. Here's the complete comment:
I purchased a Mk III 22/45 and am experiencing feeding problems. The first 3 or 4 rounds that are loaded, sit up at the correct angle for flawless feeding. With the following rounds, the nose of the bullet sits too low to clear the edge of the feed ramp, which is where they hang up. I sent the magazines back to Ruger and they sent me 2 replacements. I still experience problems. I have tried a variety of ammo. Any suggestions?? I wish that I hadn't sold my Mk II 22/45. Never had a problem out of it.
I don't have a MK. III version of the 22/45 to play with, so I don't have any first hand experience with this problem. Generally speaking, if you can drop the magazine out of the gun and the rounds stay down inside, it's a problem with the magazine. Different ammo can make quite a difference as the overall length of the cartridge and the shape of the bullet nose varies quite a bit from one brand to another.

If it's feeding the round either against the feed ramp and stopping, the magazine lips may be very slightly too close together. It's better to try several magazines and hopefully find one that feeds OK, them carefully measure the distance between the lips and bend the non-working mags to match. Sometimes too tight will act like they are too loose, so matching up to a working magazine is the best way to go.

Also, brand new semi-auto pistols often have feed problems until they are either carefully smoothed and polished internally, or several thousands of rounds are put through them. This all assumes that the pistol is clean and properly lubricated, though. Yes, I know they are a pain to get back together, but if you clean it regularly it gets fairly easy to reassemble.

Anyhow, I'm throwing the question out to you all in cyber-gunnie land to see if any of you have had the same problem, and if so, what did you do to solve it?


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Update

Today is a big day for this year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous, as today I sent in the $500 deposit for the event. I put off sending in the deposit until shortly before the deadline, usually a week before. The plan is that when all of the registrations are sent in to the Circus Circus, I get my deposit back. That is, assuming that enough folks attend!

Last year we were just barely big enough, but this year it looks like the event will be bigger, with most of the same bloggers there, some bringing their families this time, and some new bloggers, too.

It is really important that you get your room reservations made at the Circus Circus right away, and that you send in your registration for the Rendezvous ASAP, so we can plan for the correct number of attendees.

The room rates for Thursday, October 11th., and Sunday, October 14th. are $49 per night. The rate for Friday October 12th., and Saturday, October 13th. are $89 per night. All room rates also have an additional tax added to the price. Included in the room rate is free wireless Internet (usually an extra $10 per day) and a package of coupons for some freebies and discounts. The room rate also covers the hospitality rooms for us for all four nights, so we have a common meeting location for our group.

To book your accommodations, telephone Circus Circus reservations at 1-800-648-5010 and give them the group code of


You also need to register for the Rendezvous. The registration form is HERE in a PDF file. Download the Registration form, print 'er out, write out a check, and mail it in! Since any profit from the Rendezvous will be going to Project Valour-IT, there is also a place on the registration form where you can make a donation to them, along with your registration.

You don't have to be a gun blogger, or even a blogger to attend. If you read the gun and military blogs, are interested in the content found on those blogs, and you would like to meet some of those bloggers in person, you too are welcome to attend!

Hope you can make it to Reno for all the fun!


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

World Speed Shooting Championship Next Week!

Well, I haven't been blogging much the last few days as I've been super busy trying to get work caught up, shoot all the matches I can, and get all the details arranged for KeeWee and I to head down to Southern California for the World Steel Challenge Championships.

I've got two matches this weekend; a Fun Steel match at Kitsap Rifle and Revolver club on Saturday, then a hanging plate match on Sunday.

Wednesday morning we will catch the earliest Whidbey SEATAC shuttle (5am.) from Whidbey Island to SEATAC airport South of Seattle, then fly Alaska Airlines to Burbank. We'll pick up the reserved rental car at the airport in Burbank, then drive the half hour or so North up I-5 to Valencia and the Hilton Garden Inn hotel. After we check in at the hotel, I'll locate the shooter's registration and get signed in and pick up the shooter's package. Somewhere before dinner I'll try to slip in a short nap, as I will have been up and traveling since 4am or thereabouts! Then dinner and early to bed, as Thursday will be another long day, Thursday being the day when I'll be shooting in the Rimfire Open class. I hope I get to shoot in the morning session, as then I'd be through shooting by 1pm., and I can spend the rest of the day taking pictures, wandering around, and perhaps entering some of the side matches.

Friday will be the centerfire limited shooting, and that will be fun to watch as well. Friday night will be the National Shooting Sports Foundation social event, which will be a big Barbecue, I think.

Saturday is the big day, though, as that's when the open class shooters all compete. All of the big name shooters we hear about will be there, amazing us all with their speed and accuracy. Television will be there filming the match, and they are expecting 15,000 spectators! Somehow I don't think open rimfire will draw QUITE that many spectators!

Sunday morning is the awards ceremony. I wonder if they have an award for the strangest .22 pistol? I'd probably be in the finals on that one! After the ceremony it's back to the Burbank airport, drop off the rental car, fly Alaska airlines back to Seattle, pick up the Shuttle, then back to Whidbey Island. If all goes well ,we should be home by midnight.



Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Why Governments Exist

I went into the post office the other day to buy some stamps. I needed some two cent'ers so I could use up the rest of the roll of 39 cent'ers I have. After some wait I finally reached the counter. I put two shiny quarters on the counter.

"Two cent stamps, please!" I announced to the lady behind the counter.

"How many?" she replied.

"Shoot the works!" I said. "Spend it all!" (Big spender that I am!)

She had to think about it for a moment, then she handed me twenty two cent stamps and a dime.

"If you give me twenty five stamps, you won't have to give me back any change.", I volunteered.

She thought about that for a bit, looking like she was trying to decide if I was trying to pull a fast one along the lines of the old "Two tens for a five" thing.

As she was still thinking about it I realized that this level of mathematics was beyond her abilities.

"....but this will be just fine."

I didn't feel like waiting around while she called in a supervisor or something to review the transaction, so I took my stamps and the dime and left the counter.

Thinking about this as I was driving home, it finally dawned on me the real purpose of government is not to run the country at all. The real purpose is to provide secure jobs for people who are otherwise unemployable.

I've known all along that the primary purpose of elected officials is to provide comic relief, but I had always wondered about the rest of the governmental employees.

I think I finally figured it out.......

Sunday, August 05, 2007

CWSA Steel Match Report

Two days in a row we've had beautiful shooting weather. KeeWee decided to take the day off from shooting, so I went to the CWSA Seel Challenge match by myself.

With the World Steel Challenge Championship coming up in a couple of weeks, I decided to concentrate on shooting rimfire and see if I could build a little consistency, even if my speed wasn't all that great. I decided to shoot both rimfire limited and rimfire open, even though I'm not very competitive in the limited class due to the iron sights.

We had two stages, "Smoke and Hope" and "Roundabout", both kind of favorites of mine as the targets aren't too far away, and with "Smoke and Hope" the targets are BIG! To work on tempo I shot the iron sight High Standard at a rate of fire as if I was shooting optic sights, and as you would expect, missed a number of plates. My score in limited was not very good, but it was the Open class that I wanted to work on. Open class was another story, with shooting personal bests in both stages. The times weren't spectacular, but more importantly I had shot at what was a good tempo considering my shooting ability, and only missed one or two plates all day. You have to hit the plates, and if you miss, you can't miss fast enough to win!

When the scores were finally totaled, I was only .35 seconds total behind "Evil Al", who in Rimfire Open, at least, is just about unbeatable at our club matches! That was good enough for second place, and I was glad to see that I had made some small progress in speed, too.

After helping to load, transport, and store the target stands and plates, I headed back South towards Castle Completely. A short afternoon nap sounded like a really good idea, and when I got in the door the cat agreed with me, so I took a short nap.

It helped a lot!


The Newest e-Postal Match is UP!

This month's e-Postal match target "Point Shooting"

Carnaby, over at Carnaby Fudge, this month's host for the e-Postal match series, has just announced this month's match, called "Point Shooting" and it looks like a good one!

Go HERE to get the details, download the target, make a bunch of copies, print a copy of the rules, grab every handgun you've got, and then head out to the range for some hand-gunnin' goodness!

Check it out!!


Saturday, August 04, 2007

CWSA Pin Shoot Report -- 08/04/2007

We had a beautiful day for a pin shoot, a little foggy in the morning, but it burned off mid-morning, leaving a blue sky with a few little clouds. To get in as much shooting as I could, I entered every class; Centerfire Optical with the Taurus 9mm. 'Econo Race Gun', Centerfire Iron Sight with a Charles Daly 1911 in .4ACP, Revolver Optical with the Taurus 66, Big Bore Revolver with the Ruger .480, Rimfire Optical with both the Long barreled High Standard and the Smith & Wesson 422. Unfortunately we didn't have enough rimfire iron sight shooters to make a class, so it was canceled. After centerfire and revolver qualifying, I had timed in third or better in every class. Not exactly good news, though, as it meant I'd be shooting against the fastest shooters in the first round, a good way to get knocked out of the class in the first round.

The real news in qualifying was Tony C. and his revolver, not only setting a new range record for five pins with a revolver, he also tied the overall range record, set with a full race .38 Super! His time was 2.46 seconds, and I just happened to be filming when he broke the record. Check this out:

To make matters worse, Tony is getting faster each shoot, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him break his own record a few more times. Just, WOW........

Being as I was shooting one class right after another all day, I never did exactly keep track of where I was or how I was doing in the class. I was knocked out early in centerfire optic, and in revolver class. I did OK in centerfire iron sight, much to my amazement! In big bore revolver I had second fastest time in qualifying, but also got knocked out in the first round, although it was close.

Finally we had worked our way through the centerfire classes, and we were ready to set up the pin tops for rimfire optical sight class. I qualified the long barreled High Standard at the top of the chart with a 10.5-ish combined time for three tables of pins. Murray wasn't far behind, with KeeWee in third around 17 seconds, and 'Evil Al' in a position unusual for him, 4th. place. I was having a terrible time with the S&W 422, and I couldn't seem to hit the first pin no matter what i did! The 422 was well down the list, time-wise. I don't remember all the match-ups and outcomes, but Al knocked out KeeWee and I knocked out Murray. I managed to struggle my way through with the S&W, eking out the narrowest of wins, but staying in the game, none the less. The big match was when the High Standard and I came up against Al and his S&W Model 41. It was very close, but I managed to retire Al for the day, and a match or two later I ended up in the final round against myself with the second gun, leaving me with both first and second place!

It was one of the hardest fought rimfire optic matches of the season, with lots of fast times and close decisions. We all had a grand time, and it was over almost too soon.

After the match KeeWee and I headed North to Oak Harbor for a cooling visit to Dairy Queen for ice cream, then a visit to the Dollar Store, Wallyworld (the ammo counter guys always recognize me and wave when I walk by) then home.

I think I'll hit the sack early tonight, I'm kinda bushed, and there's a Steel Challenge match at CWSA tomorrow, so a good night's sleep might be a good idea!


Friday, August 03, 2007

Pins and Steel - YAY!

It's Friday night and I now have enough ammo loaded to get me through the weekend. Tomorrow is a CWSA pin shoot, so I need .45ACP, .38SPL, .480 Ruger, 9mm., and .22LR. Sunday is a two stage Steel Challenge match, and I think I'll just stick to rimfire classes for that. The next Saturday, a week from tomorrow, KeeWee and I. along with some of the usual suspects, will be heading over to Silverdale, WA. for the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club's monthly Fun Steel match. Six stages of fun and variety with a great bunch of folks!

Why not join us?

Anyhow, I've got guns to clean and lube for tomorrow, so we'll talk to you later.......

Harlem Nocturne - Danny Gatton

I haven't put up a "Musical Interlude" for a while, but every so often I come across something to share that's is truly exceptional. The original hit version of Harlem Nocturne by the Viscounts has always been one of my favorites, the haunting melody, the base line, the drum work, they all fit together so well to make the song a masterpiece, evoking images of Mickey Spillane novels.

When I heard the Howard Roberts version of the song, I was again blown away, as Howard had moved it to guitar, but kept the same bluesy jazzy feel to the song.

Recently I came across another amazing version of the song, this time by Danny Gatton. Danny's version stays true to the bluesy feel of the song, yet he gets there from a somewhat different direction. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

If this video doesn't play smoothly for you, you can try using the YouTube link HERE, which sometimes works better.


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