Saturday, August 30, 2008

.....Even in California?

Check this out:

A newspaper article in a Southern California newspaper that is pro-gun and pro-shooting sports!

What's this world coming to?

Steel Challenge World Championships - Part 4

Saturday was the big day when the big name fast shooters all battle it out for Open Division honors. KeeWee and I were starting to drag a bit from the heat and excitement of the previous days, so we were a bit slow in getting out to the range. We made up for it, however, by leaving early!

We did get a chance to watch the Super Squad, made up of the very fastest shooters, shoot a stage or so. We also watched several other squads shoot, too, including Ryan Leonard's squad.

J.J. Racaza is always fun to watch.

With the bright green shirt Todd Jarrett was always easy to spot.

Zack, from the Portland, Oregon area.

Zack's Dad, Norm.

Jerry Miculek makes shooting steel with a revolver look easy. It's not......

By mid-afternoon we were both getting dehydrated, so we headed back to the hotel and the comfort of air conditioning. After a nap and a shower, I started getting everything all packed up and ready to travel.

Sunday morning we headed downstairs to a meeting room at the hotel for the trophy presentations and the raffle drawings. All the prizes pretty much go to the centerfire classes and divisions, so since I wasn't in the top three in rimfire I didn't qualify for anything. First in Rimfire Distinguished Senior also didn't get anything. For comparison, 186th. place in Centerfire division got $150 worth of goodies. I didn't come to California to win anything anyway! Instead, I was just hoping to have fun shooting with, and against, the best shooters in the world. I did that, and did even better than I had expected. We had a great time, and maybe next year KeeWee will give it a try, too.

After the awards, we loaded our stuff into the rental Pontiac SUV and started the white-knuckle trip back to Burbank and the airport. We dropped off the car ,then headed to the Alaska Airlines ticket counter to check in. Other than a complete moron at the Alaska ticket counter who hated guns, and those who have them, everything else, including dealing with TSA went smoothly. In fact, the TSA guy was very pleasant to deal with, considering. I don't think he was very impressed with the ticket agent, either!

By luck there were two last minute no-shows for the flight to Seattle just before our flight, so we caught the earlier flight. That allowed up to catch the Seattle to Whidbey Island shuttle two hours earlier and get home two hours earlier, around 10:30pm. Still a long day, but better than midnight-thirty, though.

It had been a whirlwind five days, from the flight down on Wednesday, to the return on Sunday night, and we were both exhausted.

Unfortunately, it was back to work for both of us on Monday morning.


-- End of Part 4 --

I've got a bunch of short video clips from the match, and I'll post some of them the first of the week.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin - Outstanding Choice!



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ruger Serial Numbers and Age

A question was left in a comment regarding the age of a Ruger pistol. Ruger has that info on their website

If you are curious about the age of that old Ruger you've got, check it out.........


Steel Challenge world championships - Part 3

It seemed to be a developing trend that mornings were arriving far to early every day, and Friday morning was no exception. KeeWee and I slurped down some coffee and assorted breakfast-like things, then loaded up the Pontiac SUV and headed out to the range to watch the Centerfire Limited shooters have at it.

When we got to the range they had the rimfire results posted, so we eagerly read down the list to see how I had done. I knew I had done better than last year, but how much I may have moved up was the question. I was hoping to be somewhere around 35th or 40th thereabouts, and that would be a nice improvement and a realistic placing. The score sheet for Rimfire Open Division showed me in 24th place overall! I was also the top "Distinguished Senior" overall (Some places call it Super Senior). Most of the shooters above me on the list were thirty or forty years younger than me! If the weather wasn't already getting hot I would have done a Happy Dance the full length of the range! WOOOO HOOOOO!!! All the practice I had put in prior to the match had been worth it!

Happy Birthday, Gunny!

One fixture at every World Steel Challenge match is Gene Ramey, "AKA Gunny". Gunny was, and still is, clearly a Marine. He runs a tight ship and is a truly outstanding range officer. In spite of demeanor, he also has a very subtle sense of humor, and a lot of funny stuff might slip past if you weren't listening. However, heaven help you if Gunny sees you not listening! It was also Gunny's 80th. Birthday, so a belated Happy Birthday to one of the best RO's in the business!

Rob Leatham waiting for his turn at the plates.

Rob shot well enough to take 6th. in Limited.

Dave Sevigny Glockin' his way to 4th. in Limited.

Tatsuya Sakai shows his unusual style with great success, good enough for 8th. place in Limited.

Todd Jarrett shows that if you are good enough the gun is optional!

After a hot day out at the range spectating, we headed back to the hotel for some air conditioning and refreshments. Friday evening the National Shooting Sports Federation was hosting a buffet dinner for all the shooters and family, and we sure didn't want to miss that!

The Hilton Garden Inn has a central courtyard where they set up the tables, the appetizers, and the refreshments. One thing about Southern California is the pleasant late afternoon and evening temperatures. It's too hot during the day, as far as I'm concerned, but the evenings are absolutely wonderful!

KeeWee having a glass of soda. That's Mike Fichman, co-founder of Steel Challenge, in the plum colored shirt in the left rear.

They even let a couple of "Old Guy - Gun Bloggers" hang around for a while. (Mr. C. & Michael Bane).

That's KeeWee sitting next to Heidi Thomas. Next to Heidi is Dave Thomas, the head of Steel Challenge and USPSA.

The food was good, and the stories went well into the evening. Everything broke up fairly early, though, as tomorrow was the Open Division competition, the showcase for the Steel Challenge match, and everyone wanted to be at their rested best before the match.

-- End of Part 3 --

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Steel Challenge World Championship - Part 2

Thursday morning arrived WAY too early, but with the comfy bed and air conditioning we both managed to get some rest before the big day. We slurped down some coffee and ate some rolls and stuff for a quick breakfast, then loaded the gear into the rental SUV and headed out to the range. I wanted to shoot a few magazines through the High Standard to be sure everything was still working.

When we arrived at the practice range we headed to the "Outer Limits" stage, as I knew that was by far my weakest stage, and worse yet, it was going to be the first stage of the match, too. I shot the stage a few times and had a couple of reasonable runs, and several runs not so good!

Not much I could do about it at this late date, so we headed up to the main range area and met up with the rest of the squad I would be spending the day with.

Squad number four gathered before starting the match. Not a bad shooter in the bunch, although the guy in the black hat and blue shirt was questionable.

Flora made Outer Limits look easy!

Outer Limits has two things that make it difficult to shoot it quickly. First, the two rear most targets are 35 yards away, but worse yet, you have to shoot two targets from one shooting box, then run to the second box for the remaining three targets. The good shooters make it look easy, but for some of us it looks more like a caffeine'd up three legged pig on an ice skating rink. Not a pretty sight, indeed........

My main goal was to try to not dig myself a deep hole and jump in on the first stage. My first run sucked big time, so I shot the next three runs slowly and carefully so the first run would get thrown out. Certainly not a good start, but not totally damaging, either.

Bang, bang, run-run-run, bang, bang, bang! What could be difficult about that?

Flora on one of the other stages.

With Tammy and Loren running a stage "Yes, Ma'am!" and "No, Ma'am" were usually the correct answers! They did a great job!

They also let an old slow guy shoot with the squad.

After the last stage KeeWee gathered everyone in the squad together for a group picture. You couldn't have asked for a nicer bunch of folks.

As we moved from stage to stage I concentrated on shooting as fast as I could without missing any plates, and after the first stage I think I only missed one plate, and that was on a run that was thrown out anyway. It had been hot and dusty all day, and I was drinking water steadily trying to keep from getting dehydrated. By the time the eighth stage was completed I was ready for a quart of Gatorade, an air conditioned hotel room, and a cool shower.

We wandered around the exhibitor's tables and tents a bit, then I tried out a dueling tree side match. Shortly thereafter we climbed into the SUV, turned the A/C on full, and headed back to the hotel.

-- End of Part Two --

All photos in this post were taken by KeeWee,
as I was kinda busy all day......

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

"Ride Fast" in the Playground?

Even at an early age we all knew that Ride Fast was not like the other children........


Friday, August 22, 2008

Comment Notification Got Turned Off by ISP

My apologies to those who have left comments to which I have failed to respond over the last few days. My ISP changed their spam filtering system and didn't tell anyone, apparently. Normally when a comment is left I immediately get an email notification that there has been a comment. The ISP's spam filter decided that all comment notification emails were spam and blocked them. I've now fixed the problem.

Steel Challenge World Championship - Part 1

Our big adventure started early last Wednesday morning as we grabbed a quick breakfast, loaded our bags into the car, and headed out to meet up with the Whidbey-SEATAC shuttle bus which would take us across the Clinton-Mukilteo ferry, then South of Seattle to the Seattle Tacoma International Airport, also known as SEATAC. Everything went smoothly and an hour and a half later we were at the airport.

Check-in at Alaska airlines was uneventful, and I declared the handguns locked in the hard sided case strapped inside of my suitcase. I signed a small tag provided by the ticket agent and slipped it into the gun case, per airline regulations. There's just enough gap in the back near the hinges so I can slip the tag into the case without opening the case.

From the Alaska counter I took my suitcase to the TSA area and they opened the suitcase and the gun case and checked everything over, gave it their seal of approval, and sent it on it's way. I got to visiting with one of the TSA guys and he asked about the Carbon fiber barrel. I told him it was a Volquartsen, and he mentioned that he had several Volquartsen items on his own Ruger 10/22. What a concept, have the TSA gun inspection guys actually be gun owners!

The flight to Burbank was also uneventful, just as I like them to be. The landing at Burbank was interesting, as what felt like a combination of wake turbulence and some thermal activity near the ground made the pilot earn his wages. There were a few white knuckles on some of the passengers, for sure.

We picked up our bags and headed for the Alamo rent a car counter to pick up our car. We had reserved a mid-sized car, but they upgraded up to a Pontiac SUV at no charge. We be stylin' for sure!

The drive through North LA traffic was about as ugly as expected, but it thinned out a little once we got up I-5 a ways. In about 30 minutes we took the Valencia/Magic Mountain exit from the freeway and pulled in to the Hilton Garden Inn, the event hotel for the Steel Challenge World Championships. After checking in at the hotel ,and checking in with the Steel Challenge folks, we headed out to the range to see if the gun still runs after Alaska Airlines and TSA had had their way with it. Unfortunately we got there a little late, and the practice range was closed. Fortunately it would be open in the morning early, before the match started. We headed back to the hotel to get some rest, get the gear organized, and get a good night's sleep as I would be shooting the first stage of the match at 8:30am.

-- End of Part One --

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blackpowder Tree Removal

For those of you out there who shoot coal burners, here's a video on using black powder to take down a problem tree.

I can remember seeing "Powder Wedges" years ago, but I've never seen one used. Powder wedges are a two piece splitting wedge that you drive into the piece of wood you want to split, then fill it with black powder, light the fuse, and wait for the boom! Tough wood that wouldn't split with regular methods would split easily, and I understand it was great fun to boot.

For taking this tree down a powder wedge was not used, but black powder was the energy source. The video explains how they went about it.

Thanks to True Blue Sam from the blog of the same name for making the video.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Check Out KeeWee's Steel Challenge Pictures

When KeeWee and I were at the world championships we both took a lot of pictures. She now has a post up with lots of her pictures and descriptions of the goings-on.


All of the pictures can be clicked on to see them in a larger size, too!

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Todd Jarrett Video at World Championships

For those of you gun bloggers spending some time at the range this weekend with Todd Jarrett, and for anyone else not familiar with Todd, here's a short video of him in action at last weekend's Steel Challenge World Championships in Piru, California. At the Championships Todd was third overall in Rimfire and sixth in Centerfire Open.

He's so smooth he makes it look easy, but at the speed he shoots, it definitely is a whole lot harder than it looks!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Ryan Leonard Wins Steel Challenge Junior Division

I'm still sorting through pictures and trying to get some organized posts put together, but for now here's the story on the Steel Challenge World Champion Junior, Ryan Leonard. Ryan hails from Portland, Oregon, and he and his Dad Nick put on the Man of Steel 10 stage steel match every year at the Tri-Counties range just South of Portland, where I met them both earlier this year. Ryan finished 21st. overall in the Centerfire division, besting James McGinty by roughly a second and a half for the eight stage total.

Ryan getting focused prior to shooting.

Ryan on the line shooting his way to the Junior World Championship.

As for all you other shooters, it's just a matter of time before you are going to have to deal with Ryan, and he just keeps improving.

Congratulations, Ryan, "Well Done!"

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

KC Eusebio Wins World Steel Challenge '08

I just got an email with some of the early results from this year's Steel Challenge World Championships here in Piru (near Valencia) California. Open class and overall winner was KC Eusebio of the Army team. Max Michel, last year's winner, came in 4th.

Picture by Paul Erhardt, publicist for the Steel Challenge Shooting Association and USPSA
Spc. KC Eusebio and Ssg. Max Michel of the US Army Marksmanship Unit pose after taking 1st and 4th place respectively at the World Speed Shooting Championships.

Max Michel, however, turned in an absolutely amazing run on the "Smoke and Hope" stage with a time of 1.69 seconds! Even more amazing was that he missed one plate and had to shoot it twice and still shot a 1.69 second run.

The results have also been announced for the rimfire classes, and for an old slow guy I didn't do too badly, missing breaking 100 seconds by only .27 seconds. That was good enough for 24th out of 84 shooters in rimfire optic class. Considering the caliber of the shooters here I'm surprised I ended up as high on the list as I did! I don't have all the results yet but I think I placed about third in the Senior category. The complete results will be available tomorrow morning at the trophy presentations.

After the trophy presentation tomorrow morning KeeWee and I will jump in our rental car and drive back to the Burbank airport. Our flight leaves for Seattle in the early evening. From the Seattle we catch a shuttle bus back to Castle Completely, arriving home just after midnight.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day.......

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Another Short Update

KeeWee and I spent all day yesterday at the Piru range watching the limited class shooters compete. I got a chance to get some good pictures of some of the Super Squad shooters in action. Dang! Those guys are fast, and with iron sights yet! Simply amazing.

Last night the National Shooting Sports Federation put on a fantastic dinner for us in the outdoor courtyard here at the Hilton Garden Inn. It was a great time to catch up with old acquaintances, and meet a lot of new folks too.

We're just about to head back to the range to watch the best shooters in the world compete in the Centerfire Open class.

More later, as usual!

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Steel Challenge 08 Report - Short Update

We spent the day yesterday out at the Piru range shooting the rimfire open match.

Looking like I know what I'm doing!
Picture by Paul Erhardt, publicist for the Steel Challenge Shooting Association and USPSA

It was hot and dusty, and starting on the Outer Limits stage didn't help, but after struggling a bit on the first stage the day continued to improve for the rest of the day. I was on a super squad (As opposed to the "Super Squad") that truly enjoyed themselves, and shooting together. Even with the heat the day went by quickly, and all too soon it was over, even though we were all getting a bit weary.

More later.................

Here's a link to a story on the Steel Challenge World Championships that aired last night on KABC TV.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Arrived in Valencia

The trip from Whidbey via the Whidbey-Seatac shuttle, then Alaska Airlines from Seattle to Burbank, then rental car pickup and drive up I-5 to Valencia to the Hilton Garden Inn hotel all went relatively smoothly. S. California traffic is miserable!

Going to take a short break, then drive out to the range to double-check the guns to make sure banging around getting them here didn't mess up anything.

Then a good night's sleep and out to the range in the morning.

Tomorrow we shoot Rimfire open. The one stage that's always given me trouble is called Outer Limits. It's tough because you shoot two plates from one box, then run to a center box six feet away and shoot the next three. I've never been too good at movement in a match, and so I practiced it a bit last week. I'm still really slow, but at least a little bit better than I was.

Guess what stage we're starting with tomorrow.....................

Monday, August 11, 2008

California, Here I come..........

As you have noticed (or maybe not) blogging has been a bit light as of late. Since KeeWee and I got back from Idaho and Montana it seems like it's been a constant stream of too much to do and not enough time. Since we're leaving for California and the Steel Challenge world Championships early Wednesday, time is getting really short. Last week I built up a second High Standard Supermatic with all my favorite "herbs and spices" as a backup for my primary High Standard Race gun. It ran fairly well ,but wasn't quite as good as the number one gun. Two days later when I was cleaning the number one I discovered major cracks in the frame. Most of these are forty or fifty years old and have had a ton of ammo fired through them, so sometimes the metal just gets tired. I had to build a new number one gun, and still keep the backup as a backup since it was just a bit slower. I took my iron sight High Standard and merged it with some of the parts from the now retired number one, and it seemed to shoot almost as well as the original number one. Since it's really bright down in California, I also decided to change over to a C-More sight with a 6MOA dot for a bit better visibility. After all of the mix-n-match of gun parts I was back to having two fairly reliable open class rimfire race guns. Saturday I headed over to Kitsap to give it a try in a match. The different sight would take a bit to get used to, and it was a couple of ounces lighter, which changed the feel of the gun. I've got a bunch of pictures from the KRRC fun steel match, but I'm so short on time I don't have time to get a full post put together. The short version though, is that it ran fine all day, and although I had a bit of trouble with the new configuration, it was mostly a matter of getting used to it. Yesterday I pulled the High Standard apart to check for wear patterns and any rough spots, and to my dismay, discovered that the firing pin was broken. After several hours of additional mixing and matching I had another complete slide ready to go. I didn't happen to have a new firing pin on hand, so I used the best used one I had. I've now put around a thousand rounds through it, and it seems to be running just fine. Just so it holds together through the match! If need be I can swap to the second High Standard, or swap a slide or barrel to get the main one running.

Tomorrow I'll give the guns a full cleaning and check over, and clean and lube the six magazines. You only need five, but I like to carry a spare just in case. After everything is cleaned, checked, and ready to go I'll shoot a magazine or so through them both, them pack them securely for the flight down to California.

I suppose I should pack some clothes and stuff too............

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Off to KRRC For Some Fun Steel

I'm off to the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club's Fun Steel match today, so no posting until either tonight or tomorrow morning. There's lots of new stuff to post, but it'll have to wait until I get back.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Volquartsen Inferno

Here's one of the first pictures of the yet unreleased Volquartsen Inferno.

Not much info is available yet, but the Inferno should be released sometime late this year. I wonder how long it will take before someone uses it in a movie?

Here's volquartsen's website, so check it once in a while for more information.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Steel Challenge Press Release

I just got this press release and thought I'd share it with you. If you are anywhere near this area it's well worth the effort to go to Piru and watch the match. I'll be shooting in rimfire open class, which runs on Thursday. Friday and Saturday is when they shoot the centerfire classes.

For Immediate Release: August 5, 2008 (360) 855-2245
Contact: Dave Thomas

Seattle Area Shooters Gunning
for World Speed Shooting Title

Sedro-Woolley, WA. - The fastest gun alive...a phrase that has echoed down from the days of the Old West, part and parcel of American mythology.

Once again this August, the greatest shooters in the world will gather in the hills above Los Angeles to test themselves, with the World Speed Shooting Championship on the line, and Mike Gallion of Clinton and Bruce Gary of Everett will be joining them. Since its founding in 1981, the Steel Challenge has grown into the premier, and with more than $350,000 at stake, the most lucrative shooting match in the world.

The Steel Challenge's format is simplicity in itself. More than 200 competitors from 19 states and 4 foreign countries will face the clock on eight stages of fire, each with a different array of steel targets electronically timed to 1/100th of a second. All a competitor has to do is run each stage five times, with the worst run thrown out. The competitor's score is the combined times of all eight stages.

"The Steel Challenge is simple in its concept," says Michael Bane, a leading shooting sports expert and host of SHOOTING GALLERY on the Outdoor Channel which is covering the match, "but it's brutally hard to shoot well. The best times are nothing short of amazing, almost unbelievable. In fact, it's safe to say that the fastest guns who have ever lived are alive today and shooting this match."

The Steel Challenge features numerous divisions, including Women's, Pre-Teen, Junior, Senior, Super Senior and Law Enforcement divisions in several categories such as Rimfire, Shotgun, Single Action Revolver, Revolver, Stock Pistol and Open Pistol - the Formula-1 equivalent in the shooting sports.

More than 65,000 rounds of ammunition will be put downrange in Piru, California in the quest to be the fastest. The Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships will be held Thursday through Saturday August 14-16.

- 30 -

About the SCSA: The Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) is the governing body of the sport of Speed Shooting and organizer of the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships. To learn more about the Steel Challenge Shooting Association and the Steel Challenge visit their Web site . There you will find diagrams of the stages of fire, complete listing of the 2007 results, a list of past champions, world record times and more.


Monday, August 04, 2008

So far this shooting season has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least. I was pretty burned out late last Fall, so I didn't do any shooting all Winter. In February I started practicing to get up to speed for the season. I did OK in the first few matches, shooting better than I was doing last Fall. Then some other issues intruded and I didn't do much shooting for much of the Spring. At that time I had sort of lost my enthusiasm for shooting in general. I decided to skip this year's World Steel Challenge Championship since I didn't think I'd be ready for it.

Since then, I've been out on the practice range regularly, and I've actually been showing some improvement.

A week or so ago I contacted the Steel Challenge Shooting Association to see if it was possible to get in a last minute entry for Rimfire Open. Just about everything else was full up, but a spot was still available for me! I contacted Alaska Airlines and there were still some seats available on the flights I would need to get KeeWee and Myself back and forth between Burbank and Seattle. Another phone call to the Hilton Garden Inn in Valencia and a room was reserved.

I'm going to the World Steel Challenge Championships!! WOOOO HOOOO!

We had a great time there last year, and we're looking forward to doing it again. we just hope it isn't quite so hot, but I'm not counting on it.

Now to


It looks like the pistol bay we dug next to Castle Completely and the target stands I built are going to get a workout over the next nine days...........................

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Idaho & Montana Road Trip - Part 4

At last things were starting to move smoothly and as planned, in spite of arriving in Missoula a couple of hours later than originally planned. We got the RV parked at a friend's place, and turned in for a good night's sleep. We awoke at a reasonable hour, considering there was a match to shoot, and started getting everything ready to go. We had plenty of time to swing by a local restaurant and get a good breakfast before heading out to the range, or so we thought. Fortunately our host reminded us that we better get on the road or we'd be late for the match. We had forgotten that we had traveled far enough East that we were in a different time zone and it was an hour later than we thought. No restaurant breakfast for us! We jumped into the RV and headed for the Deer Creek range in East Missoula.

We met up with Ty, the match director, and I agreed to R/O one of the pin bays for the day, and KeeWee offered to help with the scoring. Soon everyone was blasting away at pins with great enthusiasm. It even looked like the weather was going to cooperate a bit and it was only going to get up to the low nineties, which for Missoula this time of year is fairly moderate.

Bill, on the line, is one of the top shooters we see every year at this shoot.

The basic match format is each ticket you buy gets you three runs at the pins, with five on the table. Your two best runs are combined for your score. You can buy as many tickets as you can afford and shoot as many times as you like. Centerfire pistols and long guns have to shoot every pin clear off the table. Rimfire rifle and pistol only have to knock the pins over. There's also a "9mm.- 9 pin" class where they set up nine pins on the back edge of the table and you have to shoot all nine.

Mr. C. shooting the Taurus 66 .357 single action in the Single Action class.

KeeWee shooting the High Standard in Rimfire.

A common question from new pin shooters is "Where should I aim?". The answer is "Right there!". (A bit more powder might be a good idea, though......)

Here's the nearly almost but not quite world famous Taurus PT-92 "Econo Race Gun" and the "Taco" grip in the 9 by 9 class.

By mid-afternoon the unaccustomed heat was starting to get to both Keewee and I, being as we are used to more "Seattle-like" temperatures and rain. Fortunately the match finally wound down and we all pitched in to dismantle and store the pin tables and pins.

We all gathered in the shade under the covered pistol range to talk over the match and share stories while Ty sorted out the scores. Jennifer had won "Top Lady" with a second in rimfire pistol and a good time in rimfire rifle, thanks to Ty loaning her his Ruger 10/22 to try. Next year we'll have our own 10/22 to take to Missoula! I had entered rimfire pistol, single action revolver, and 9 by 9, and did OK in all three. KeeWee also got an award for "Most Supportive Spouse" and I won an award for "Most Reputable Media Representative". None of the local radio or TV stations that had promised to be there showed up all day. Actually I think both Keewee and I got the media award together, since we are both gun bloggers and have written about the Missoula Montana Shooting Sports Association Celebrity Pin Shoot in the past.

After the match was all wrapped up, Ty's dad Gary, Ty, KeeWee and I headed to the local McKenzie's Pizza place for an excellent dinner.

After dinner we said farewell for another year and hit the road for home. We stopped at Vantage again for some sleep, then the next morning, after a hearty breakfast in Ellensburg, headed West on I-90 towards home. We stopped at a fruit stand for some Eastern Washington produce, then back on the road. A quick stop at Lake Easton to check out the campground as a future destination, then back on the road and across Snoqualmie pass.

Coming down the West slope of Snoqualmie pass, as we neared North Bend, we heard what sounded like a muffled explosion under the hood. Now What? Almost instantly the temperature gauge pegged, and I limped down the off ramp into North Bend, grinding and graunching noises coming from under the hood.

I made it to a gas station, and came to a stop in the back where I could assess the problem. The water pump bearing had completely gone to pieces and the seal had blown out the front of the pump, followed by all the coolant.

I checked at the gas station and it turned out there was an auto parts store only three blocks away. I walked to the store, and they even had a new pump in stock! Two hours later I had the new pump installed, everything filled with coolant, and we were back on the road again.

From North Bend everything went smoothly, we caught the ferry back to Whidbey Island, and finally, we were home. WHEW!

It had been a long weekend with highs and lows, but we had a good time, met some great new folks, and will definitely do it again next year, but hopefully without the mechanical problems.

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This Month's e-Postal Match is Underway!

The latest e-Postal match is up at Call Me Ahab, and for those of you who have been frustrated in recent e-Postals that required such things as aiming and accuracy, this one, not so much!

It's two 4" circles, five shots in one, five shots in the other, reload, five more in the first, and five more in the second one, as fast as you can go, while retaining accuracy and gun control.

Get out those bullet hoses and have at it! To down load the targets and to get a full set of the rules,

Be safe, have fun, send 'em in!!


Friday, August 01, 2008

Idaho & Montana Road Trip - Part Three

Saturday morning came way too early, but we both slept fairly well, and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day, and hopefully, a bit cooler than the day before. We grabbed a quick breakfast, then got out the range box, range bag, and our gun cases, giving everything a last minute check-over prior to the match. We headed up to the covered pistol range for the shooter's meeting and to get signed up on a squad of shooters we would be shooting with for the day.

"Show Down" - Shoot every plate once, then shoot the stop plate, which is the one with the yellow ribbon on it's stand. Shoot three runs from one shooter's box, then shoot two more runs from the other box. The layout is quite a bit different from one box to the other. Your four best times are added for your score on this stage.

We ended up on squad three, which meant we started on the third stage, then shot the fourth through the seventh, then went to the other end and shot the first and second stages last. Every stage was shot five times, with your slowest run thrown out and the remaining four added to your total score for the day.

Although Zig-Zag is no longer one of the current stages in the latest Steel Challenge rule book, it's still a whole lot of fun to shoot. The stop plate is the one at the top, and you shoot the others in whatever order you like, as long as you shoot the stop plate last.

Our squad was a super bunch of folks to shoot with, with all levels and ages of shooters. I doubt if anyone had any more fun than we did!

Becky shooting, with Rick running the timer.

Becky and Rick's daughter Kira looking for the red dot. She shot very well!

Robin Taylor, author of "The Glock in Competition" demonstrates that he can shot just about anything well! If you shoot Glocks you should pick up his book, It's excellent!

Becky and Rick's son Ryder. Give him a couple of more years and he's going to be tough to beat!

KeeWee shooting her way to second place in Rimfire and top rimfire lady.

The night's sleep seemed to have done both of us a lot of good, and we were both shooting well, posting good times, and not missing very many plates. The weather was steadily getting hotter, and we both were drinking liquids to keep from getting dehydrated from standing out in the sun. KeeWee had an umbrella attached to a light weight folding chair so she could stay in the shade as much as possible. Half way through the match we all took a break and went to the clubhouse where we had cold drinks and barbecued pork sandwiches. Very Tasty! After lunch it was back out to the stages to finish the match.

It seemed like the match was over way to quickly, but KeeWee was definitely starting to feel the heat, so it ended at just about the right time! We walked back to the RV, loaded up our gear, grabbed some cold drinks, and walked up to the covered pistol range to find out how we had done.

Bill, the match Director, handing out prizes from the prize table.

When they got to announcing the rimfire results, I was surprised to find that I had shot well enough to win the class, with KeeWee right behind me in second place! Far more important than that, however, was that in spite of the heat, we had a whole lot of fun and got the chance to shoot with a really great bunch of folks. After all, it isn't about winning and losing, it's about enjoying yourselves and doing the best you can do, wherever you end up.

We all owe Bill S. a big THANKS for doing such an outstanding job of putting on the Eddie Brown Memorial Metal Match. Everything went smoothly, and it was a great shoot!

After the awards and prizes were handed out, we bid farewell to the folks we had met, and climbed into the RV for the drive to Missoula for Sunday's Montana Shooting Sports Association's Celebrity Bowling Pin Shoot and Fund raiser.

Three hours later we were in Missoula, parked at Gary's place, and sound asleep!!!

-- End of Part Three --

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