Sunday, June 29, 2008

An Eventful Weekend

It's been a really busy weekend, and lots of the busyness revolved around guns and shooting! Last week Damiphino and I set up and ran a demonstration of the Cowboy Fast Draw targets and timer for the folks at Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun club to find out if there was sufficient interest in pursuing it as a HHRGC shooting sport. The results were almost overwhelming with lots of members enjoying trying it out and expressing interest in seeing future Cowboy Fast Draw activities. After some negotiations (possibly including whining, sniveling, groveling, and possible threats to let some of Damiphino's skeletons out of his closet), a deal was struck, where I bought his targets, impact sensors, start light modules, timer, cables, and all the other bits and pieces to run a Cowboy Fast Draw match. At the HHRGC demonstration one of the shooters suggested that the Cowboy Fast Draw setup would make a great side event fund raiser at the upcoming Friends of the NRA dinner coming up in two days. At that time I hadn't bought the target setup. After buying the equipment I wondered if I could pull it all together in 48 hours and make a few bucks for the NRA. Of course, since the NRA banquet is one of the biggest club gatherings of the year, it would also be a great time to showcase the new shooting sport. I made a couple of phone calls and I got the green light to run it at the dinner. I called Wayne F. and he said he could give me a hand. Rick C. also offered to help. Sailor Curt, Captain of a Crew of One gun blogger from the other side of the continent was going to be not too far away on a short work related trip, and we had planned to get together on Saturday, so a "Grand Plan" began to formulate itself. I got everything all put together, posters printed, score sheet printed, tickets printed, reworked the bolt on my ASM New Dakota revolver to resolve a lockup/timing problem, charged up a sealed led/acid battery to run the timer, and loaded everything up in my van, all set to go for Saturday morning. I also had to drill out the flash holes in 100 rounds of 45 Colt brass, install primers, and push in the wax bullets. It seemed like there were a million little details to take care of, and from previous experiences I knew for sure that "Mr. Murphy" and his law were bound to show up at the most inconvenient time!

Saturday morning Curt showed up, and KeeWee, Curt, and I headed to a local restaurant for breakfast. KeeWee had to work all day, so after breakfast she headed off to work. Curt and I headed back to Castle Completely for a full day of shooting. We Headed out to the barn for some rimfire fun, and Curt shot a couple of the e-Postal match targets. (Don't forget to get your targets shot and sent in by Monday night at midnight!)

Around Noon we loaded up most of my centerfire handguns and ammo into the van along with all the Fast Draw stuff, and headed over to HHRGC for a few hours of shooting. When we got there the pistol range was completely deserted, so we had lots of space to spread everything out. We shot one thing after another, everything from rimfire up through the .480 Ruger, and lots of stuff in between. I think Curt was going easy on me, though, as his very first shot with my .480 RugerSRH was absolutely in the center, and that was at 50'. I guess he decided not to hurt my feelings, though ,and went back to shooting more normal, but still excellent, groups!

"Sailor curt" and the Ruger .480 Super Red Hawk

The morning went by quickly, and soon it was nearing 4pm., time to set up the Fast Draw equipment. It must have taken 10 minutes to pick up all the brass, though! We packed our stuff back into the van and headed over to the shotgun range to set up. The shotgun range is right in front of the restaurant's picture windows on a nice grassy lawn area, so everyone attending the NRA dinner could watch, even if they didn't participate.

It didn't take too long to get everything ready to go, thanks to Wayne, Rick, and Curt. It wasn't long before the first shooters showed up to give it a try. The fund raiser was five dollars for five fast draw shots at the target, against another shooter. The holsters were leather, and similar to what would have been used in the old West. The pistols we used were 1873 Single action Army replicas in 45 Colt. We used wax bullets from Bandit and push was supplied by Winchester Large Pistol primers.

It kept at least three of us busy almost continually, strapping on the holsters, explaining the safety rules, and the ins and outs of how to draw and shoot. We also had to run a bore brush through the barrels after every few shooters. It didn't take long and we were running the shoot-offs one after another.

Taking a sure shot.

The NRA Rep. gave it a try early, and had so much fun at it he came back out later to try it again! I forgot to write down his name, but I remember "Pepper", so I at least get partial credit! I suspect he's going to be gearing up and shooting some Cowboy Fast Draw in his home state of Montana!

Several of the shooters made the same comments after giving it a try. First, it's harder than it looks, and second, it's LOTS of fun! You wouldn't think a two foot diameter target would be hard to hit, but believe me, it sure is!

It seemed to go by quickly, and it was time to pack everything up. We turned in $115 dollars to the Friends of the NRA. Not a big deal, but a good start. I'll bet we double it next year.

Once loaded, KeeWee, Curt, and I all converged at a local restaurant for a big dinner. Dinner was great, but Curt had a bit of a drive to get back, so we parted, ending a day of great fun that ended far too quickly.



At Monday, June 30, 2008 6:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hospitality and the great day. My wife was a bit concerned about me being all by myself over the weekend but felt much better about it after she found out you'd be keeping me out of trouble.

A couple of observations:

Man, I'm a redneck. I've gotta work on that funky tan line.

Everyone needs to give cowboy fast draw a's a blast.

I'm ready to move to Washington state just so I can borrow Mr. Completely's barn every once in a while, what a great setup.

Revolvers are fun...especially really big ones.

Finally: The Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club is a great facility with some great members. I'd join today but it would be a heck of a commute from Norfolk.

Thanks again for keeping me busy on Saturday and I hope we get the opportunity to meet again. Maybe in Reno sometime in the future.


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