Thursday, July 31, 2008

NRA at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous

I just got an email from Ashley Varner from the NRA and she and Glen Caroline are both planning to be there representing the NRA like last year.We'll set up a special informal meeting with them on Friday as we did last year. Hopefully they will have more time this year and will be able to make it to the range with us on Saturday for some shooting.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Idaho & Montana Road Trip - Part Two

If you haven't read part one, scroll down and read it first so this part makes a bit more sense.

Daybreak came early and we hadn't really slept very well at the rest area in Vantage, Washington. We got maybe three hours of sleep at best, and it was now time to get on the road as we were still quite a ways behind schedule. We rumbled back out onto I-90 headed east. We were starting to get a little low on fuel, so we stopped just East of Moses Lake for gas, breakfast, and some coffee to see if I could wake up a bit.

The RV had been running fine and the cooling system was holding water without leaking a drop. The rest of the drive from Moses Lake to Coeur D'Alene was uneventful, and for that we were both truly thankful. We turned off the freeway just East of Coeur D'Alene and headed up the Fernan valley past Fernan lake and to the Fernan range where the Eddie Brown Memorial Steel Match was being held the next day.

Clubhouse sign at the Fernan range.

The range was in a narrow steep sided valley, with half of the range on either side of a central grassy area for parking and camping, an absolutely beautiful location. We located a somewhat shady spot and parked the RV for the night. A few other shooters had also pulled in and were setting up their trailers or campers too.

Wonder what sort of reception he gets........

As soon as we parked a bug of some sort landed on the hood of the RV and started walking up the windshield. I've never seen a bug with antennae that long before. I wonder if this far out in the Idaho outback if they need them for reception or something........

Our spot for the night.

All seven stages of the match were set up and we were invited to go practice a bit if we felt like it. It was hot, the horse flies and some sort of small bee were biting us, and we were both exhausted. In spite of that ,we decided to go shoot a few of the stages to make sure the guns were running OK and to get a little familiar with how they were set up.

It's actually a very simple concept; when red dot is on the white plate pull the trigger, not before it's on the plate, and not after. I just couldn't quite get it to happen at the same time. In short, I really sucked! "I sure hope it's just lack of sleep!" I thought.

By then it was getting dark and we were both dead tired, so we conked out for the night.

I think I was unconscious before my head hit the pillow..............

-- End of Part Two --

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Idaho & Montana Road Trip

There are a lot of different factors you can consider when deciding if an automobile trip was a good one or not. One of the most significant is the number of times you have to open the hood. On this trip, I had the hood open a lot. Let me back up a bit and start from the beginning.

The plan was to have everything pretty much packed into the RV and ready to go when KeeWee got home from work on Thursday. When she got home we tossed the remaining stuff into the RV and headed to Clinton where we caught the 6pm. ferry to Mukilteo. In twenty minutes we were in Mukilteo and headed up Highway 525 towards Alderwood Mall where we would pick up I-405, then through Bellevue and pick up I-90, which would carry us all the way to Coeur D'Alene. That was the plan.


Just as we were passing through Bellevue the temp gauge went from normal range to "Overheating Badly" in about 20 seconds. I grabbed the first freeway exit and found a vacant park and ride lot to park and assess the problem. When I opened the hood there was coolant everywhere but in the radiator. Hot coolant was dripping from everywhere. Nothing much I could do but to grab a flashlight and lay down in the pool of anti-freeze growing under the engine compartment and see if I could find where the problem was. Maybe a hose had split, and if I was lucky I could trim it back a bit, push it farther on, and re-hose-clamp it. A bit more soggy exploration revealed a split in the lower part of the radiator where a bracket was soldered on. If I could figure a way to get it mostly sealed up perhaps I could keep enough water in it to limp my way back across the ferry and back home where I could make permanent repairs. I made a bent washer out of a folded piece of steel plumbers tape and cut a piece out of a rubber snubber style bungee cord. I put a small hole through the rubber piece, then ran a sheet metal screw through the improvised washer and rubber block. I screwed the sheet metal screw into the crack, hoping it would compress the rubber into the crack enough to hold water until I got home. I poured water into the radiator, and it didn't seem to be leaking, so leaving the radiator cap loose so no pressure would build up, I fired up the engine. It ran fine, and no damage had been done by the over-heating.

Gingerly I limped my way back to the ferry, and back home. It held enough water to get us home. WHEW!

I pulled the RV into the shop and opened the hood for the second time. Interestingly enough, the radiator hadn't leaked a drop all the way back home! Fortunately the Toyota design makes removing the radiator fairly easy, and being an older vehicle, the radiator is brass, so it can actually be repaired. Once I had the radiator out I could see what needed to be done. I carefully tapped the split back together and wire-brushed, sanded, and Dremeled the area clean and bright. A couple of brass strips were cut and formed to the shape of the radiator bottom tank near the split, then soldered into place. After re-soldering the tank bracket into place, the radiator was ready to reinstall. Once reinstalled, I filled it with water and anti-freeze and started it up to see if it was water tight. I knew it was plenty strong, but water tight was always a question until you gut a little pressure in it. It seemed to be holding fine, so I put on another set of clothers, washed of the anti-freeze as best I could, and we roared off into the night to try and catch the 12:30 am. ferry, the last run of the night. We made it with minutes to spare.

Around 3:30 am. we pulled into the rest area at Vantage for a few hours sleep before continuing on to Coeur D'Alene Idaho later in the morning.

So far it had been a rocky start to our big shooting weekend. Fortunately things that went wrong seemed to have gone wrong in the best possible ways, so for that we were thankful. It could have been a whole lot worse!

Next, onward to Idaho................

--End of Part One --

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Idaho and Montana - Here We Come!

The big weekend is almost here. This evening we're off towards Eastern Washington, hopefully avoiding the miserable traffic on this side of the mountains on I-405. We'll get as close as we can to Coeur' D'Alene, Idaho tonight, then grab some sleep at a rest area along the way.

Friday morning we'll drive the rest of the way to the Fernan Idaho range, just a little bit past Coeur D'Alene. Friday night we'll spend at the range in our RV, then shoot the Eddie Brown Memorial steel match on Saturday.

After the match it's onward to Missoula, Montana. Saturday evening we'll help with setting up the Deer Creek range for Sunday's Montana Shooting Sports Association's Celebrity Bowling Pin Shoot. After the match we plan to drive as much of the way home as we can, then get some rest at a rest area along the way. Monday morning we'll drive the rest of the way home.

Lots of road miles (no fun) and lots of shooting at steel plates and bowling pins (BIG FUN!)

No blogging until Tuesday, most likely..................

Hope you have a good weekend, too!!

Volquartsen Cool Stuff

I just got off the phone with the folks at Volquartsen, and if all goes well I might have some really cool news about some new Volquartsen goodies. Keep your fingers crossed.

As many of you know, I've been shooting a 12" Volquartsen Carbon fiber and stainless barrel on my High Standard for a number of years, so I know a little about their products first hand.

Mr. C's High Standard with the Volquartsen barrel.

I'll be talking with them again next week when I get back from the matches in Idaho and Montana over this coming weekend.

I'll keep you posted!


Gun Blogger Rendezvous

It's not that far off, so this is a reminder to get your Rendezvous Registrations sent in, your hotel reservations made, and finalize your travel plans to and from Reno.

This year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous will be October 9th., 10th., 11th., 12th. in Reno, NV. We've got special hotel pricing set up so Thursday and Sunday nights are only $49 per night and Friday and Saturday or only $89 per night.

We will also be raising a few bucks for Project Valour-IT, and every penny raised beyond actual Rendezvous expenses goes to the project.

For all the information on registration, hotel reservations, and lots of other information, including info on what we dad at previous Rondys, check out the Gun Blogger Rendezvous website.

We definitely have a good time at the Rendezvous, so I hope to see you all in Reno!

BTW: You don't have to be a gun blogger or even a blogger for that matter to attend the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. If you are interested in shooting sports and guns, if you read mil and gun blogs, or even if you'd like to meet up with some of the bloggers that you regularly read, this is for you, too!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Target Stands - Update

In a previous post I went into some detail on the design and construction of some light weight target stands suitable for use with either steel plates or cardboard targets. Now that I've had a chance to use them for a while, I've got some feedback, and a new stake type stand for use with the current uprights.

If you are only shooting rimfire, and if you can keep most of your shots on the plates, the 1/2" pipe uprights will work just fine for you. A .22 bullet will slightly dent the pipe if it hits it, however if you hit the pipe with a larger caliber bullet, or regularly with the .22 you are going to dent up and eventually collapse the pipe. To prevent this I would suggest a 24" piece of 1" by 1" angle iron, 1/4" thick minimum, be put over the front of the pipe upright. A hose clamp or so should hold it in place just fine.

I've also noticed that when .22 bullets hit thew plate they flatten out into a whole bunch of little tiny flakes. Some of these flakes go downward with enough velocity that they will eventually chew up the wooden bases close to the upright socket. A 2x2 or a 2x4 on top of the base in front of the socket will take the hits and save the bases.

Finally, I've come up with a second target stand that allows placing a steel target closer to the edge of the berm. I used an old piece of metal fence post for the stake, and secured an upright socket made from a piece of 3/4" pipe to the fence post piece with a 1/4" bolt.

Upright socket bolted to the stake.

I left a bit of the fence post above the socket so driving it into the ground with a big hammer would not risk damaging the socket pipe.

The slot on the bottom of the upright that lines up with the 1/4" cross bolt.

The 1/4" bolt not only holds the socket to the stake, it also provides a place for the bottom of the upright pipe to lock into so target hits won't turn the targets sideways.

Ready to go!

Here's the stand, ready to drive into the ground. If you set up several different target layouts on a regular basis, make up several of stakes and you can leave the stakes in the ground. Moving a plate and the upright pipe around takes just a minute and you don't have to re-measure the layout each time.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Gun Blogger Rendezvous To Help Valour-IT

The Gun Blogger Rendezvous, coming up in early October in Reno, is not only a fun gathering of bloggers and shooting enthusiasts, it also manages to raise some money in the process. The entire event is run as a not for profit endeavour, and even incidental expenses like phone calls and so forth I pay out of my own pocket.

This year any money raised by the Gun Blogger Rendezvous will go to Project Valour-IT. Project Valour-IT raises money to buy voice actuated laptop computers to be given to injured servicemen and women who, due to their injuries, are otherwise unable to use a computer. These voice actuated computers allow them to stay in touch with friends and family through email and the internet. So far Project Valour-IT has provided over two thousand laptop computers. The Gun Blogger Rendezvous just might be able to help them buy a few more!

This is a very worthy cause, and well deserves all the support we can muster!


Paul Bunyan Gun Club Steel Match 7/20/08

Since KeeWee didn't feel like going to Puyallup's Paul Bunyan Gun Club on Sunday to try out their Fun Steel match, Wayne F. and I were let out unchaperoned for the day to go give it a try. We weren't quite sure exactly how long it would take to get there, so we caught the ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo an hour earlier than needed just to be safe, in case we couldn't find the place. The directions were mostly fairly clear, and it ended up taking us about an hour and a half to get there, which means the estimated drive time was correct and that we were exactly one our early for the match. No problem, though, as there was a McDonald's three blocks away so we went there and had a short break.According to the MickyD commercials "We deserved a break today" so we took one.

After our break, we headed back to the range. The gate was open, so we drove in and had a look around. It's a nicely wooded range area with some nice rifle and pistol ranges along with a row of action pistol bays. We met up with Will, the match director. Will is easy to spot as he's a rather big guy with a Billy Gibbons-like beard. Not everyone can get by with that sort of a beard but it works for Will, and for Billy,and it looks just fine! (If I tried it someone would throw a net over me and I would never be heard from again!)

Wayne and I got signed up and shortly thereafter Will convened the shooter's meeting. The rules close follow the rules for the Fun Steel matches at KRRC. After the shooter's meeting we sorted ourselves out into squads and wandered out to the individual bays to get started.

The stages were varied, and you could see that some thought had been given to designing the layouts to challenging. Large angular movement, double-taps, small plates, unevenly spaced plates, all sorts of things to make you work at it! (If I hadn't forgotten the camera I could have taken some pictures.....................)

It was a five stage match and you could enter the same gun twice if you wanted to, so you could get twice as much shooting in, which is what Wayne and I both did. Even so, the four hours or thereabouts passed by way too quickly and the last stage was completed. (sigh.....) It had started to get a bit warm by mid-match though, and we were getting a bit hot and dusty. Wayne and I helped to pack the plate stands and plates back to the shipping container where they are stored. I asked about the results and they said they-d email them out once they were totaled up.

Wayne and I packed up our stuff and headed back to McDonald's for gut-bombs and cold drinks. From there it was back to Mukilteo to catch the ferry back to Whidbey Island and home.

When I got home I checked my email and the results were already waiting for me! Outstanding job by Will and the rest of the guys at the Paul Bunyan club. There were 49 entries, and Wayne had finished 20th. and 21st., excellent for a first year shooter. I was rather tickled with the results too, as I had finished only .21 seconds total behind a really good shooter who had kicked my butt soundly the last time we had met up, which was a couple of years ago. I think he beat my by about 15 seconds last time! I really don't pay much attention to winning or losing. What I'm more concerned about is how well I shot considering my skill level. If I'm near the bottom and I shot my best I'm happy, and if I'm well up the list but didn't shoot my best or made dumb mistakes I'm not nearly as happy.

After all, it's only a game, and if the worst thing that happened to you all week is that you were last in a pistol match, you have much to be thankful for!

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Off To Puyallup

When I was at the KRRC Fun Steel match last weekend Rob P. mentioned that they shoot a steel match at Puyallup on the 3rd. Sunday of the month and that it's a good bunch of folks that run it. (BTW, it's pronounced Pyew - Al - Up" with the emphasis on the "Al" part)

Wayne F. and I are off at 0-dark-whatever tomorrow morning to head to Puyallup and check it out. KeeWee's taking the day off, so to speak, to kick back a bit before the next weekend, which will be a busy one. Thursday evening we are taking the RV and heading for Coeur D'Alene, Idaho for Saturday's Eddie Brown Memorial Steel Challenge match on Saturday. We figure to get through The Everett-Bellevue I-405 traffic by going through that area in the evening. We will probably stop somewhere around Moses lake for the night, then head the rest of the way to Idaho on Friday, and spend Friday night at the range. Saturday I'll shoot the Steel match with KeeWee as pit crew, so to speak.

After the match we'll drive another two and a half hours or so to Missoula, Montana for the Montana Shooting Sports Celebrity Bowling Pin shoot to help raise money for Montana legislative activities. If we get there in time I'll head out to the range and help them set up the pin tables and get ready for Sunday. Hopefully we'll at least be there in time for pizza with Gary, Ty, and whoever else is around. There's a McKenzie River Pizza place in Missoula that has really good pizza. Sunday afternoon after the match we'll drive back as far as we can, then spend the night at a rest area. We'll drive the rest of the way home on Monday, timing it so we so we miss the rush hour traffic.

That's next weekend, however, so I better get some sleep so I don't doze off tomorrow in Puyallup!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

KRRC Fun Steel 07/12/2008

It looked like the weather was going to be excellent for the weekend, and if anything, it was too good! Blue skies and temperatures just a bit hotter than we locals are used to! KeeWee and I jumped into our mini-RV Friday afternoon and headed for Keystone to catch the little car ferry across Puget sound to Port Townsend. Fortunately the weather was calm, as it's not such a good trip on the little ferry if it gets rough out there.

We drove South from Port Townsend a ways, then turned left on the highway that crosses the Hood Canal floating bridge, the world's longest saltwater floating bridge. Once across the bridge, we turned South and followed highway 3 to Silverdale, where we left the freeway and drove to the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club range where we met up with John D.

We followed John to his place out in the woods where we parked the RV for the night. John, Jeanette, KeeWee and I all climbed into one car and headed out to find dinner. There is a Mexican place not too far away, and we pigged out on some really great food.

Saturday morning we stopped at a local 50's era themed diner for a big breakfast then we set out to the KRRC range for the fun steel match. John runs the fun steel matches at KRRC, and he enjoys coming up with interesting new stages to make us all crazy! After the shooter's meeting we squadded up and headed out to the first bay to get started.

Debbie shooting her K-22 Smith & Wesson. She seldom misses!

Debbie shooting with Stacey running the timer.

KeeWee shooting with Stacey timing.

Wyatt on the line.

Wyatt and his Grandpa were in our squad, and Wyatt had only been shooting for two or three days. He stuck to it and did well for his first outing.

Grip and stance need a little work, but that will come with a little more shooting!

Easy to hit them slowly, hard to hit them fast!

The shooter's eye view.

By the time we got to the last stage KeeWee was about cooked from the heat. Even so, her last stages were her best ones. I had been struggling a bit with my shooting all day and and it wasn't until the last few stages that it started to come together. It just made it clear to me that if you don't shoot regularly your proficiency really goes down hill, and I hadn't been shooting very much lately. I can see I need to shoot more, particularly with the big Eddie Brown Memorial Steel Challenge match in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho in two weeks, followed by the Montana Shooting Sports Association's Celebrity Bowling Pin Shoot the next day in Missoula, Montana.

Both at the shooter's meeting and as we were walking back from the last stage we got to visit a bit with Rob from the Gig Harbor club. A week or so previous he had had knee surgery to do some repairs and was on crutches. Even so, he still shot the match, and did really well too. Rob also mentioned that he had just taken a new job with Nighthawk Custom. The have some absolutely beautiful custom 1911's. You should go look, but try to not drool on your keyboard if you can manage.

After the fun steel match we headed back to John's place for refreshments, conversation, and hot dogs over an open fire. We finished up the evening with home made brownies and more conversation around the campfire. It didn't take long for the "Heavy Eyelid Syndrome" to hit us all, and it was early to bed for some sleep. It had been a long and hot day and we were just about worn out!

Sunday morning we headed home the way we came, but made a side detour to pick up a few things at Sportsman's Warehouse. Once back onto Whidbey we made another side trip to Oak Harbor to pick up a few things at Wallyworld, and to stop at the Dairy Queen for some ice cream.

Not too much later we pulled into the driveway at Castle Completely, tired, dusty, and ready for a shower and a good night's sleep.

We had a good weekend.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Road Trip...........

A previous Kitsap Fun Steel Match.

No blogging until Sunday night as KeeWee and I are taking a short road trip. Friday afternoon we're taking the RV from Whidbey Island over to Port Townsend, then driving South to Silverdale Washington to meet up with John and Jeanette for a Mexican dinner Friday evening.

Saturday we're shooting the Kitsap Fun Steel match, then after the match we're going to a special super seekrit spot for a campfire and a dinner of hotdogs and marshmellows. My Favorite! We'll spend Saturday night there, then back to Castle Completely on Sunday.

If you're in or near the Bremerton/Silverdale area why not stop by at the KRRC range and say "HI", or even better, come on out and shoot the match.

The fun starts Saturday morning at 9am.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Why the Grass on the Berm isn't Growing

I haven't been getting too much growth of the grass we hydro-seeded on the berms, and I now have a pretty good idea why!

"How nice of you to provide a dining room for me with such a nice view!"

"This is my Mr. Ed impersonation. Would you like to see my Jimmy Cagney?"

"While we're here my sister will prune your tree for you, too!"

What can I say. Some people have pink flamingos or garden elves, Keewee and I have tame deer and bunnies..................

(........and no venison jokes, either!)

Do It Yourself Steel Challenge Target Stands

I've been working on a design for some Steel Challenge portable target stands for some time. I have now finally put all the ideas together and built the stands. The design requirements were

  • Easy to build using common hand tools
  • Readily available materials
  • Light weight
  • Easy to move and store
  • No welding
  • Able to handle Steel Challenge Plates
  • Able to handle cardboard for paper targets
  • Reasonable price
  • Good durability

I think I came up with a design that meets those requirements fairly well.

Here's five stands set up for Steel Challenge like shooting.

The target stands have two main parts, the base, and the post, or upright. The post is 1/2" black iron pipe, available at most hardware stores. This type of pipe is often used for gas lines.

All it needs is either a steel plate or two 1x2's and a cardboard target.

1/2" black iron pipe has an inside diameter of approximately 5/8". I ran a 5/8" drill bit into the end of each upright so a piece of 5/8" rod would just slide into the end. I cut off some 5/8" rod about 3" long to fit inside of the pipe so the nuts on the threaded end of the hanger hook wouldn't collapse the pipe and get loose in use. The hanger hook is made by sawing off one half of the eye of a 3/8" eyebolt.

3/8" eyebolt cut in half for the hanger hook.

Since these hangar hooks go through the steel plates they will eventually need to be replaced as they get shot up. I made up a few spare hanger hooks while I was at it for future replacement use.

Hanger hook ready for a steel plate.

3/8" eyebolts are often 3/8" diameter at the threaded end, but the ring, or eye end if often slightly smaller. I used a drill bit just below 3/8" to drill the plates. That way the plates don't wobble quite so much.

5/16" notch on the bottom end of the post.

To keep the posts from turning when a target is hit near the edges I put a 5/16" notch on each side of the bottom end of the post. Don't forget to make the notches on the bottom align with the 3/8" hole on the top where the target hanger bolt goes or you will end up with targets at odd angles!

I Also chamfered the bottom end so it would easily slide into the socket in the base. It's not a bad idea to make up a few extra posts of various lengths so you can get creative with your target placements. For official Steel Challenge stages you need five five footers and two six footers, measured to the top of the plate, so the posts should be an inch or so shorter than that.

For centerfire shooting I think I would take a 3' or 4" piece of 1/4" 1 by 1 angle iron and put it over the post to protect it from getting damaged. If you slide the angle iron up so the top part of it is behind the plate you can probably hold it in place with a hose clamp. (If the bases start getting shot up you need to work on accuracy --- A lot!)

A quick wipe down of the posts with lacquer thinner to remove any oil, followed by a quick coat of spray paint, and the posts were ready to go.

The base of the stand.

The base is made from four pieces of 2x4, each 24" long. The end spacer blocks are placed so the rectangular holes on each end will just fit to a 1x2 for a wooden upright. The main assembly of the 2x4's is done with square head drive deck screws. I used 4" screws for the ends and 3" screws for the side spacer blocks. If the end pieces start working loose some steel angle brackets can be screwed on to the top and bottom of the base.

The center piece with the post socket took a little more work. I cut off some 4" long pieces of 3/4" black pipe. Then I ran a large drill bit through each one so the uprights would fit without too much play. I think it was a 13/16 bit, but variation in pipe may dictate a slightly different size. Once drilled out, I drilled a 1/4" hole through the bottom end up the pipe just up from the end for the cross bolt.

I drilled a hole through the center socket block so the 3/4" pipe would almost fit, but not quite. A large hammer and a block of wood made it fit! You want it to fit tightly enough that it won't be loose, but not so tight that it splits the wooden block when you drive it in. Watch to be sure the cross bolt hole stays at right angles to the face of the 2x4. (You could also not drill the cross bolt hole until the pipe is in the block.) Once you have the socket pipe driven into the 2x4, drill a 1/4" hole through the 2x4 to align with the 1/4" hole in the socket pipe.

Final assembly entailed deck screwing the end pieces onto the cross pieces, then screwing the end blocks in place, leaving just enough room for the 1x2 uprights on each end. Finally, locate the socket block and drill 3 1/4" holes through the cross pieces for the bolts. Align one of the 1/4" holes with the cross bolt hole at the bottom of the socket pipe.

Socket block and pipe.

All that remains is to tighten down the bolts. Be sure to use fairly large flat washers under the bolt heads and nuts.

The cross bolt viewed from the bottom. This bolt fits into the slot on the bottom of the upright.

To help the 1x2 wooden uprights from falling through the base I ran a single sheet rock screw through the bottom of its hole.

Sheet rock screw at bottom of 1x2 socket.

I rummaged around through the miscellaneous cans of paint I had kicking around and came up with a part can of gray deck stain. I slathered on a couple of coats to give the bases some weather protection.

Finally, a note about steel plates and plate steel. Since I am going to use these stands and plates primarily with rimfire guns, I can get by with lighter plate than I would otherwise be using. Minimum plate thickness for rimfire is 1/4", but 5/16" or even 3/8" is even better. Repeated rimfire shooting at 1/4" plates WILL start to dent them. This is assuming that you are using mild steel.

Centerfire plates need to be even heavier. For centerfire I would recommend a bare minimum of 5/16" or much better 3/8" ARMOR PLATE. If you are going to shoot at the plates a lot (like at a regular club range) I would highly recommend armor plate with a 3/8" minimum.

There are three ways to cut out your plates. High pressure water cutting is best as it does not affect any heat treating of the steel and it leaves an amazingly clean cut with no slag or burrs. Plasma cutting can make very nice cuts that require almost no clean up, but it does affect heat treating. The good old cutting torch will do the job, and a good torch, properly adjusted, and run by a skilled operator can produce a really nice cut with very little slag to clean up. It also will affect heat treating of the steel. Since mild steel is not heat treatable, that's not a consideration.

I hope this has been of some help for those of you considering the construction of a set of target stands!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

July e-Postal Match "Cricket"

Sailor Curt of Captain of a Crew of One is our sadistic e-Postal match host for July, and it doesn't look like he's going much easier on us than Sebastian did with last month's match.

The basic idea is to put three holes in each wedge from 15 to 20, then three holes in the bull. Since A hit in the correct outer (double) ring will count as two hits, and a hit in the correct inner (triple) ring will count as three hits. The center part of the bull counts as a double hit, and the smaller ring around the bull counts as a single hit. Your score is the number of shots it takes you to get three hits in each of the five wedges and the bull. There are six classes.

Class 1: Rimfire, iron sights
Class 2: Rimfire, with optics
Class 3: Centerfire, iron sights
Class 4: Centerfire, with optics
Class 5: Air pistols
Class 6: Black Powder pistols

To download the target and to get the full rules, CLICK HERE.

Don't try to use the target picture shown here, as it doesn't print out the correct size.

Have fun!!

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

June e-Postal Match Results are up

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell, the host for the just wrapped up e-Postal match, has the results posted.

The match was challenging, to say the least, but there were some really good scores turned in, in spite of the difficulty.

Here's the results, stolen directly from Snowflakes in Hell:

Class 1 - Rimfire, Iron Sights

Shooter Score Pistol
Sailorcurt 8 S&W 22A
David N 7 Ruger Single Six
Mr. Completely 6 High Standard 103 w/4.5” Barrel
Danno 41 Ruger 22/45
Merle 4 Ruger SSS .22 Mag
BillH 4 High Standard GB
Mr. Completely 3 Jennings J-22 .22LR2

1 Shot at 11 yards
2 An apt demonstration that Saturday Night Specials do have a sporting use, especially if you don’t mind running up really close to the target to “pop a cap” in the ass of the animal, which is about the only way you’ll increase the odds of hitting it. Still, I’d take a 3 shooting a SNS at 10 yards at those little things!

Class 2 - Rimfire with Optics

Shooter Score Pistol
Yuri 161 Ruger 22/45
Conservative UAW Guy 15 High Standard Supermatic Tournament
Mr. Completely 13 High Standard Supermatic Citation
Sailorcurt 11 S&W 22A
Sebastian 10 Ruger Mk.III Hunter 22/45
Merle 9 Ruger Mk.II
LouG 8 Magnum Research Picuda, .22LR w/ 3x Scope
USCitizen 3 S&W 22A
USCitizen 3 Ruger Mk.III

1Shot at 7 yards. Because Yuri shot at 7 yards, I would consider him to be tied for first with Conservative UAW Guy.

Class 3 - Centerfire Iron

Shooter Score Pistol
Danno 71 Taurus PT-92
BillH 4 S&W Model 39 (.38 Special)
Merle 3 Enfield No. 2

1Shot at 11 yards.

Class 4 - Centerfire with Optics

Shooter Score Pistol
Merle 8 Dan Wesson 10” .357 Mag

Class 5 - Rimfire Rifle, Iron Sights

Shooter Score Rifle
David N 6 Marlin 39 Century Ltd.

Class 6 - Rimfire Rifle with Optics

Shooter Score Rifle
Merle 5 Marlin M39A
Danno 4 Ruger 10/22

Bonus Class - Masochist

Shooter Score Pistol
Mr. Completely 36 High Standard Supermatic Citation

We owe a big "Thanks" to Sebastian for dreaming up and hosting this match. Good job!

Next month's e-Postal match will be hosted by Sailor Curt at "Captain of a Crew of One". It should be announced shortly........

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Target Stands Nearly Done

I haven't had a whole lot of time for blogging lately as work and other stuff keeps sucking up all my time. I did get a chance yesterday and the day before to put in some time on the set of target stands and steel plates for the new Useless Bay Tennis Academy. (It's actually a single bay range I've set up next to my house, but don't tell anybody....)

The target stands have taken a lot of time in the design stage as there were a lot of things I wanted them to be able to do. I wanted them to be light weight and easily moved around. They needed to be able to hold two vertical wooden 1x2's so I could use cardboard IPSC or GSSF targets, and they needed to be able to use a steel center post to hold a steel plate for Steel Challenge style shooting. I wanted them to be built using basic hand tools, and be built from commonly available and reasonably priced materials. They also had to be simple of design, too. That was a tall order, but I think they came out OK.

Day before yesterday I cut out the first 16 steel plates with the cutting torch. If you can get someone to cut these for you, I'd do it. If you can find someone with a plasma cutter or a water jet cutter, even better! My cutting torch is old and the tip is far from the best, so it wasn't cutting as cleanly as I would have liked. That meant some grinder time to clean them up a bit. I did get them cut out, though, and got two coats of white paint on them yesterday evening. I'll paint the other sides today after I go get some more paint.

I'll post some pictures and details if anyone's interested.......

Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day - July 4th.

Hope you are having a good Independence Day!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Terrorist Excavator Driver in Israel Shot

It looks like the MSM isn't really going to give the American public the full story, once again, since this story could clearly be positive towards civilians carrying firearms. In this incident, though, the citizen wasn't armed, but 'borrowed' a handgun from the holster of a security guard, and saved a bunch of lives in the process. It looks like he also saved the taxpayers a lot of court expenses while he was at it, too.

For the full story and a spectacular video, check out DoubleTapper's blog post.

What an excellent example of a citizen stepping up to the plate and doing what needed to be done.

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