Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Man of Steel 2010 Report

Here's a short report on the Man of Steel Championships held last Sunday just South of Portland in Sherwood, Oregon. If you've already read KeeWee's report on the match you've got most of the details already, though.

We took our mini-RV to the match so we could spend the night at the range and be somewhat rested for match day. The weather this year was better than last year, without the heavy rains, wind storm, and falling trees we had to deal with last time.

The Man of Steel match is basically a Steel Challenge match, with a few different stages thrown in. Since the home club is also a USPSA/IPSC club, they have one stage with not only movement from one shooter's box to another, but it also involves a reload while moving. This is not a big deal for shooters that do it all the time and who are using centerfire guns, but for the rimfire shooters it can be a nightmare. The stage in question is called "4 T 5" which means "Four shots, a moving reload, then five more shots". Rimfire magazines are really fussy anyway, and dropping one in the dirt is just asking for trouble. Most rimfire pistols do not have the easiest magazine releases, either. In spite of all of this, KeeWee and I managed to muddle through it without major calamity.

The "Fun Squad!"

We were fortunate to get to squad with a number of folks we have shot with in previous years, and we had an outstanding bunch. If there were awards for the squad that had the most fun, we would have won it by a mile! If all goes well, Roger, (on the far right), and Kevin (behind KeeWee) are going to try to come to Ephrata the first Sunday in June for the Washington State championships. Watch out, Ephrata!

As with most matches, I try to have a game plan at the start as to how I want the match to go. My number one goal was to try to have a conservative first stage and try to not dig myself a big hole score-wise by trying to do too much too early. I tend to try to do too much early in the match and end up having to take extra shots that run up the time. I also planned to try to concentrate on smoothness over pure speed. Oh yeah, also I planned to try to watch the little red dot and not pull the trigger until there was a white steel plate behind it! That's a lot harder than it sounds, though....

I only had one stage really try to get away from me all day, and that one consisted of double-taps on three small plates, a stage derived from the "El Presidente", but called "Steel Presidente". On the first run I had trouble getting the second shots on to the plates, so I slowed down a little bit and placed the second shots of the double-taps more carefully. It cost me perhaps a second or a second and a half total for the stage, but it could have been much worse if I would have forced it and had to take several extra shots to make up for misses. The rest of the day went fairly smoothly, with several average stages and several that were in the range of personal best times.

KeeWee is really starting to get tuned in to the new barrel I built for her High Standard, and shot some personal best times too.

The 1st. Place plaque and the absolutely beautiful first place knife from Columbia River Knife & Tool.

Half way through the match we broke for lunch, then back out on the range for the final stages. There were a total of eight stages for the match. Even with the lunch break it seemed like the match flew right by, and soon it was all over. While the scores were being totaled, there was a fun shoot stage of five plates against the clock with only one run being counted. KeeWee was tired out already, and decided to skip it completely. I should have too, as I sucked big time.............

As the fun stage was finishing the results were posted. I had finished in first for rimfire, and third overall. Keewee was fifth in rimfire and the faastest lady overall. I got a nice plaque and an absolutely beautiful Kommer special edition custom skinning knife named "Bez Tine". I am no expert on custom knives, but there is no doubt that Columbia River Knife and Tool build some beautiful knives with workmanship that has to be seen to be believed. The picture doesn't do it justice! Keewee, for her strong finish in rimfire,came home with a beautiful Kershaw folding knife.

After the awards, we hit the road for home, and we were home just as it was getting dark. We were both exhausted, but it had been a fun weekend full of old friends, lots of joking and kidding around, and a whole bunch of really fun shooting. Nick and Ryan Leonard had put on another fantastic Man of Steel Championships. Next year, We'll be back....................



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