For Part 2 please go here

June 17, 2008

Tuesday

This morning I started to fill out the form for the costume contest. Everything was going fine until I got to the costume categories. This is the exact listing:

Ladiei lc ee'i lCouplei lc ilitaryL

lueiorL(l oylaediGirl)iClai i icl) eiterei L

After that it's just gibberish.

Boy, my spellcheck is going to play hell with that.

Shot the warmup match, stages 7-12.

On the way Prairie Weet and Sweetwater warned me to not load the shotgun at the loading table and to cock my pistols. Wild Bunch is going to catch on.

We were to shoot the stages any way except the way they were written in the book. I was appointed posse marshal. What could I do? He had a gun. After making up one stage we learned China Camp, one posse ahead, just used the Wild Bunch Stages. This worked for 4 out of the next 5. Everyone shot pretty well. I would take 12 of my worst stage today as match score. We'll see what match pressure does. Finished by noon.

T-Bone and Nuttin's Double Barreled Shotgun Course--SASS University

Great course. Nothing not useful. Pretty well packed with information and ideas. These guys are among the best shooters in SASS as well as being nice guys. They don't take money for teaching SASS. T-Bone doesn't believe in it. I presume my $45 went to the SASS Museum or something.

Exhausted after that. Waited for The Redhead to return from work (poker) to get a ride up the hill.

Some vendors:

Buckaroo Bobbins

Buckaroo Bobbins--this is a trailer that expands into a store.

The nice lady running Buckaroo Bobbins

One of the expanded rooms in Buckaroo Bobbins

 

Note the sign

The Lady from Laced Corsets. And you wonder why I walk around taking pictures at EOT

Cowboys and Indians and West Fargo. Also in this room are Kelly Lasster, the engraver, and EMF Firearms

Laced Corsets

 

Lng Hunter Shooting Supply

White Wolf Trading Co.

River Crossing

Work-N-Ranch

It should be noted that these photos were taken on Tueseday afternoon between 3 and 4 PM. Everything of importance was already over for the day, and not many people were left. If I don't mention this, someone still bitter that EOT isn't in California will complain that the spectators are down. Spectating starts Friday, I believe, when I won't have time to photograph them.

There were more vendors. I haven't photographed them all. Some don't open until tomorrow. Some had closed by 4 PM

June 16, 2008

Monday

Wild Bunch Match, Day 3

Things started off wonderfully. Put the big Nikon on the gun cart at the car (parking in the day parking until there's a tram running). Got to Stage 3 (that's about a 4 mile walk uphill from the parking lot) and found no Nikon. Ran 3.9 miles, also uphill, back. Commandeered Pale Wolf Brunell and one of those golf carts that are legion but prohibited at EOT and don't bring one. No Nikon. Got back to the stage and shot, not particularly worried. The only people there are SASS people. After shooting and taking my "stuff" up to the bus and coming back down, visiting various people on the way, I stopped by the registration office. "Lost and found. Lost, Nikon D100 and lens."

"Would this be it?" It had been turned in at 7:15. I didn't notice it gone until 7:25. That's SASS.

So no pictures today of the match.

The Wild Bunch Match was a howling success. I believe most of the rules are dead on. Limiting the pistols to 1911s works. We shot 20 rounds of pistol on some stages--very quickly because the 1911 is a very efficient handgun in trained hands. Shooting the '97 stoked is a lot of fun. Shooting a rifle with actual recoil is fun, too.

There is a movement to open the rifle to all main match rifles loaded with ammunition that can make the power factor (150, 950 ft./sec. with a 158 gr. bullet, not unreasonable in a rifle). I'm probably okay either way as long as they keep the power factor on both pistols and rifles. Holy Terror, on the other hand, is quite pro .40 + rifles. China Camp is in favor of okaying .38s.

But then guys who only have doubles and .32 pistols and rifles are in favor of allowing those guns and calling it Tame Bunch.

Somehow, I'll admit, it's difficult to imagine Dutch or Pike going to war with a .38 caliber rifle OR pistol.

The all black targets were a pain with the all black sights on my 1911. It has night sight inserts, which have no effect in daylight. Since white dots appear to be legal, I suspect I'll be using some soon. Almost all of my misses were due to this problem. I believe Prairie Weet had a problem with the white front sight on her rifle on the only white target of the match. Gold/brass beads on rifles, 3-dot sights on pistols. Big bead on the shotgun. (Didn't miss any shotgun targets. '97s are neat when stoked. Did I mention that?)

But then if we painted all of the targets blue we'd stop getting those complaints that this sport is racist, mostly white guys shooting at mostly black targets. Well, except for Blue Man Group. But at least black or white sights would show up.

We had multiple restarts due to pistols not being loaded at the starting point. Let me get this straight. The shotgun is loaded at the loading table. The rifle is loaded at the loading table. But the pistol's magazine can't be inserted until the range officer says to on the line. That's if/when.

Suggestion: Insert the loaded magazine at the loading table under the watchful eye of the loading table monitor and quit wasting time. The rest of the competitive world has realized that a 1911 in condition one is reasonable, and we're in condition 3. The only thing wrong with condition 3 is that is slow enough to get you killed in a real-life gunfight. Fortunately we're not, and the difficulty of going from condition 3 to bang is enough of a safety factor.

Stage instructions should include where to stage magazines if the pistol is to be staged instead of in the holster. On the body is fine, as is on the table, but it should be stated.

Wild Bunch leather rigs should include 6 magazine carriers and at least 4 shotgun shell holders on the belt, not a separate shotgun belt. The maximum number of rounds required is 20, and the maximum of spare magazines is 2. That equals 6. You could get by with 5, because one will be in the pistol, but where do you carry it until you get to the line and get the attention of the RO so you can load it—assuming you remember. The separate shotgun belt gets in the way of accessing the magazines unless you're wearing the pistol belt so low on your hips that it's held on with Velcro©. There were a couple of those.

The magazine of choice was McCormicks. Evil Roy sells them, or did until he sold out. Brownell's does, too. I preferred the blued McCormicks to the stainless Colts because the stainless Colts are so slippery that rounds slipped forward when getting pulled out of the pouch, leaving the round too far forward to load quickly. I dropped them and grabbed the next one. Time lost.

Speaking of dropped magazines. I never knew if they wanted me to pick them up or not. Sometimes I was encouraged to. Other times I was told not to. I would assume that not to is the correct answer. On another posse someone received a minor safety for picking up a loaded shotgun shell from a table after completing his stage. This sounds like someone other than the shooter should pick it up and give it to the shooter at the unloading table. Shouts of "Did anyone pickup my magazines?" were heard often at unloading tables. If I lose a STS Light Target it's no problem, but magazines are $12-40.

Additionally we finally started designating a spotter to clear the pistol so the shooter could stop standing there in the middle of the stage with the pistol at 45 degrees, magazine out, slide locked back, waiting so he could go to the unloading table.

Dropped by Taylor's & Co. after I got the camera back:

If this beautiful young lady, High Horse (Carrie in civilian life) looks familiar to readers of this website, she's been here before:

Here, from EOT 2007, the Soiled Dove winners and the judges. She won. She's standing next to me. You won't believe where her hand is.

At the 06 EOT she sold me a Codymatic. I believe since then I've bought 143 guns from her. I don't even know what some of them are.

So, Cimarron, EMF, Ruger, Uberti/Stoeger, does this tell you anything?

June 15, 2008

Sunday

Wild Bunch Match Day 2

Okay, from yesterday, Michael Bane's alias is Wolfbane. The helpful Waddie is Captain Cooper, who won best dressed waddie the last 2 years.

Spent some time with several veterans at Redwing Trading Co. I was reminded that it is legal and appropriate for honorably discharged US veterans to keep their hats on and salute at the Star Spangled Banner, Pledge of Allegiance, and flag raisings. We plan to do that at the opening ceremony. There a lot of vets in SASS.

Persuaded Brisco Kid (at Cowboy Shooters Supply) to adjust the spring on the '97 to eliminate the light primer problem before it spreads to green shells instead of red ones. He also added an industrial strength liquid adhesive from Loctite to help hold the rear sight in place on my '73 carbine. QC at Uberti wasn't as good when this was made as the current ones are.

On one stage the running buffalo runs behind 4 shotgun knockdowns. I hit the 4th knockdown, of course. Train wreck city. Had 2 good stages when I slowed down a tad, 30 seconds (on a stage with 20 pistol shots) compared to Holy Terror's 25, 25 compared to, hell, when I shoot a 25 I don't hear anything for a while. Don't know what the others did. Oh, yeah, she did 16 seconds + a miss.

Big Dave experienced a stovepipe shooting his Springfield GI. Didn't know the quick way to cure the problem. I taught him and photographed him clearing it:

The empty round didn't clear the ejection port.

 

Wipe your weak hand over the top of the slide--hard

Your hand catches the empty, and, if you do it right, pulls it back enough to load the next round.

Now it's ready to fire. Takes a split second.

Had Brisco Joe and Kiamichi Queen over for Margaritas. Great people. Great stories. Great Margaritas.

June 14, 2008

Saturday

Wild Bunch Match, Day 1

On a stellar posse, Evil Roy and Holy Terror, China Camp and family, J.T. Wild, Tex, Michael Bane of Shooting Gallery (don't know his alias. Must ask tomorrow), among several really nice people who generally shoot better than I do. Lots of train wrecks. I wasn't watching everybody every time, but the only person I'm pretty sure didn't have at least one train wreck was Holy Terror. She bobbled at one point, almost shooting left to right instead of right to left. That was the worst I saw. 17 second stage. I need bobbles like that.

As I predicted reloading the 1911 was a serious factor in time. A few slipped the mag in just like they taught us at Thunder Ranch, Gunsite, LFI, Chapman Academy, etc. The rest of us fumbled. I had a round slide forward on the mag when the mag was pulled out of the mag pouch, twice. After that I switched to the McCormick magazines from the Colt SS, and made sure the round on the end was a RNL, not a SWC.

We'll shoot on the late shift tomorrow, and the early shift Monday.

Coyote Calhoun selling basepadless mags again

Coyote Calhoun, again, demonstrated 2 evil magazines with basepads and one holy one without.

Later he made a decision I still don't understand. One contestant had a Colt 1991A1, which is a replica of a 1911A! except with an internal firing pin block safety. It is otherwise an accurate copy of a WWII US Government spec Colt 1911A1--complete to the accurate replica hard rubber grips. He made the contestant shoot modern.

Folks, these grips are historically correct. Every 1911A1 I handled in the Army had these grips. They go back to the earliest 1911s.

Early 1911 grips, SN 72500 to 79500

This would have been 1913 production.

Michael Bane was shooting his father's GI issue 1911A1 with the same grips. He chose to shoot modern because he's used to shooting 1911s with both hands. But I would really hate to see someone with an antique 1911 from WWI era be forced into modern because it had the original grips on it.

A rule designed to prevent us using Pachmayr style modern grips should not prevent original hard rubber/plastic grips. These original grips offer no competitive advantage over walnut and are historically correct, more so than checkered walnut.

Wild Bunch Posse meeting

Evil Roy, almost unrecognizable in a white shirt (and trousers with belt loops and a belt -- see Wild Bunch rules), explains a stage to the posse

Holy Terror demonstrating why she's a professional shooter

Holy Terror was every bit the professional shooter she is. Her magazine changes were textbook as was all of her gun handling, and, of course, her shooting was fast and smooth

Evil Roy demonstrating draw from condition 3

Evil Roy has finished shooting his shotgun. It is not on the table yet, but he has achieved a solid grip on his pistol

Evil Roy racking the slide

Here he racks the slide. He is doing it in a method that works well for men with lots of upper body strength. The gun is more than halfway up to firing position.

Our lesson for today, drawing from condition 3:

Capt. Baylor demonstrating left-handed draw from condition 3

these photos of me were taken by Holy Terror, who did as good a job at this as she did at shooting. In this photo I've moved the pistol from the holster to a point close to my chest. My arms are close in to maximize strength. I have moved my weak hand to the top of the slide without ever getting the weak hand in front of the muzzle. The weak hand grasps the slide, and the strong hand punches forward. You have more strength in a punch than you do pulling toward yourself.

I learned the punch method from the Israelis, who have mandated condition 3 for military and civilians. The keeping your arms close to your body is taught at Gunsite. With this method small women without much upper body strength can master the 1911. Jeff Cooper told me he had never had a woman at his school who couldn't rack the slide of the 1911 after being taught this technique.

Baylor completing draw from condition 3

this moves your strong hand, the one with the gun into it, up to eye level quickly. The weak hand goes up and forward.

 

The hammer drops as soon as the sights are on the target

Left-handed manipulation of the slide release:

When the magazine is inserted and the weapon pointed downrange, the trigger finger hits the slide release

If the gun malfunctions and has hammer follow and goes bang (rare), the round will go downrange safely

then the trigger finger just slides down to the trigger

and, with proper trigger manipulation, the gun goes bang

Waddies:

Waddie

I've never figured out how SASS gets people to work as waddies. Being a road guard has to be one of the worst jobs available, but here this gentleman is, on Saturday the weekend before EOT, doing a great job directing traffic and keeping the wrong colored tags out of the VIP parking lot. I neglected to get his name, and I can't read the nametag. I'll have to correct that tomorrow. Waddies are under appreciated. Be nice to them. They're not doing it for the money.

June 13, 2008

FRIDAY THE 13TH

EOT--Warmup match for the Wild Bunch Match

Coyote Calhoun demonstrates illegal magazine basepads

At the shooters' meeting Coyote Calhoun held up several magazines with basepads ranging from the Wilson Low Profile magazine to taller ones. He proclaimed them all illegal, but said we could shoot the warmup with them.

After the match I understand the sale of magazines without basepads was brisk.

I shot with 4 Colt Stainless Steel magazines with no malfunctions. Times ranged from 26 to 37, one miss on the last stage, rifle, a mover involved. Had some problems with the '97 and light primer hits on FACTORY Winchester Featherlites. Put in STS Light Target. They worked.

Shooting Gallery filming

Michael Bane showed up with the Shooting Gallery crew. He said he likes to film on warmup day so as not to mess up anybody's match. The stress of the camera has messed up more than one shooter. I did notice the camera the first time they filmed me. Made damn sure I had all hits. 27 second stage. Later he pulled me aside for an interview. I had one line that might make keep the interview off the cutting room floor. If It makes the cut, you'll know what it was.

He mentioned he read my stuff. I replied that I read his stuff.

Rattler John explains stage to assemvled posse

Rattler John explains stage to the assembled posse. The stage had to be different from the ones used on the main match

Since the Wild Bunch shooters were mixed in with non-Wild Bunch, there were some situations, but everyone was polite, and they were all resolved easily. Yes, you can move with the slide locked back and the magazine in the 1911. You can insert the fresh magazine while moving. But when the slide drops, you can't move any further.

I didn't see any 1911 malfunctions, one loading train wreck exception. Not sure it wasn't operator error. I had a round pop forward in the mag going in, and I had to push it back in place. 5-6 seconds. Not good, but no train wreck. No stovepipes, no failures to chamber. If the contestants had practiced removing and inserting magazines more, the 1911s would have basically gone pretty smoothly. I practiced magazine manipulation a lot and have a lot of muscle memory from IPSC days, and I still had some slow reloads. I had no problems with knockdowns with 200 or 230 gr. bullets. Some did.

Shirley Shooter shoots at attacking vulture

Shirley Shooter shoots at the attacking vulture

Mogolian Monk demonstrates new Dillon "Spiderman" sunglasses

Mogollon Monk, Sales Manager at Dillon Precision, models new shooting sunglasses by Steve Dillon. He brought 3 pair, sold 2 immediately. The contrast is quite good through them. With my optic nerve problems, I'm not a candidate. Too dark for me. I predict they will sell well, though.

Lassiter demonstrates loading 2 rounds in his '87 with his mods.

Lassiter demonstrates loading 2 in his '87 with his moda

Grab 2 rounds with the bottom one sticking slightly forward of the first one.

Position rounds above the loading  gate

Position the rounds

Push down with trigger finger

Push down with trigger finger. Close lever. The advantage of Lassiter's system is a lack of train wrecks. Works very smoothly.

June 12, 2008

Thursday

Went down the hill and offered my services to the Wild Bunch. The only one who wanted me to do anything was Hipshot, who wanted me to put up fiberglas insulation. Let's just say that the proper protective gear wasn't offered, so I declined. Then Coyote Calhoun came by and told Tex a TV crew was coming at 2, and they needed people in costume ready to shoot. So I showed up at 2 and watched Airhead News interview Tex. Then Tex shot. Then Tex borrowed the Lady Tequila rig from one of the ladies there and had the airhead reporter put it on and shoot a bit. Then the cameraman had me shoot at one of the targets while he recorded the hits on the target.

Had dinner at Castle Tex and Cat with them and another couple. Great evening.

June 11, 2008

Wednesday

Received this email, title: First Anniversary on the road

Curt: I meant to send last week, but it surely seems that the first
year has agreed with you and the "Redhead". KD Cowgirl and I are a
couple of years away...
See you down the trail......
Don Davis
(Iditarod Kid)

Yep, we managed to let that anniversary slip by (June 7). As The Redhead said, "I guess we were too busy having fun."

We've helped to get a bunch, meaning several hundred at least, new shooters into SASS with Captain Baylor's Ranger Camp and particularly Getting Started in Cowboy Action Shooting. If this journal gets a few people to leave the rat race to the rats and to start playing cowboy full time, then it's worthwhile.

Okay, what happened today?

Went to the Renegades "match." I say that in quotes because when I got there at 10:20, instead of seeing people putting up targets, the assembled crowd, in their cowboy clothes, were standing around in the shade talking to each other. Two guys were using a chronograph on the range. I assumed the crowd was politely letting them finish before putting up targets. No, they weren't going to shoot at all, no match, no practice. So I put out 4 shotgun targets and started burning up ammunition. Another shooter wanted to shoot his pistols, so when I ran out of ammo we put up a couple of rifle targets and shot 100 rounds at them. Got some good times on both shotgun and rifle. I hadn't brought cartridge pistols, so I didn't do pistol practice. But we got a lot of good out of it. The other shooter worked on his flinch problem, and I upped my confidence factor with some good times.

But then we were done at the range, but The Redhead hadn't finished her poker tournament at Route 66 Casino, so I went to Sportsman's Warehouse and spent money foolishly on shotgun wads and .457 Speer Round Balls. They've gotten the message about EOT and have 10 boxes of Hornady and 3 more Speer.

Got back to the bus. Yesterday we looked long and hard for the orange markers that delineated the edges of the parking spots. Nothing. Today a blue marker appeared in front of the middle of the bus. We're waiting patiently for the knock on the door. I expected it during the Margarita hour. Yes, we can move the bus over a few feet. It'll only take an hour or two... or three.

Took all the guns out of the car and got ready for the Wild Bunch match. I still have the top box from the first 4-wheel cart. I put the .45 ACP, .45 Colt, and smokeless shotgun ammunition in it and attached it to the top of the current gun cart. Thus switching to Wild Bunch from Frontiersman and back to Frontiersman will be much more painless.

The wind continues. An Airstream flew away about 5 PM, landing on the Copper Queen Hotel, which was close to being finished. Three campers are missing. I think one's in a tree on a far hill.

I've been in correspondence with Mike Michalczuk, Aka: Bury M. Deep SASS # 73733, of Pioneer Arms concerning the price of their beautiful hammer double. To make a long story short, the introductory price will be $1290 for 3 months. Considering it's 1290 Euros in Europe and selling, this sounds pretty good.

Arthur Pendragon:

Arthur is enjoying parking at Founders Ranch:

Arthur Pendragon at Founders Ranch

Arthur demanding snuggle

Until recently Arthur wouldn't jump on the couch and demand snuggling.

Arthur on the floor

Arthur has always posed like this, but usually I didn't just walk in with a camera in my hands.

June 10, 2008

Tuesday

Camp Baylor at Founder's Ranch

Camp Baylor at Founders Ranch--beating the crowd. Margaritas at 5

Moved the bus and trailer to Founders Ranch to beat the crowd. We can't just park this 65 ft. combo anywhere. So we're on row 5 on a relatively flat spot, well, flat for the bus. The trailer is going downhill even after jacking up the tail end. Everything below that is reserved for Founders Ranch members. So, you ask, "With all the money you've spent to do this, why didn't you buy a membership?" And I answer, "By the time we decided to do this, they were no longer available. When they were selling them, I still assumed I was on the Auto Sales Retirement Plan, which is the time between you have a stroke on the showroom floor and they pull the plug. Fortunately we managed to make it to the "unemployed with no fixed address" plan."

The wind here is high even for New Mexico. A 21 ft. trailer just blew away. Don't disconnect from your tow vehicle.

June 9, 2008

Monday

Hot and calm today. At 6 PM went to Zia Range with Ted Simmons. Shot pop up birds. Took a nearly full case of birds. I won't buy that brand again. Many were broken in the box. Ted didn't have that problem with Remington birds. There's a lesson there.

The SKB wasn't switching barrels, and I started with the left one. Thought I'd brought some Triple 7 rounds, but just had APP and Cowboy loads, not hot enough. No problem with FeatherLites. Tried the Stoeger, and got light primer hits on left barrel. Still. Also shot the 97. It worked fine with FeatherLites. By the end I was hitting the popups regularly. Got a lot during the session. Did a lot for my confidence. Three popups in the match--very important. No clean match without hitting them. I'm not trying for a clean match. It slows me down too much on the last day. I'm not to the point of deliberately missing, but I'm not going to let trying for a clean match cost me more than 5 seconds a stage in assuring no misses.

In the morning I had set up "Mail" on the computer. Entourage wasn't letting me send from curt@curtrich.com. Mail had no problem with that but couldn't import my address book from Entourage. Address Book couldn't either. Went back to Entourage and deleted curt@curtrich.com and added it back in. Works fine now, as do the other addresses.

June 8, 2008

Sunday

Went to Founders Ranch for the High Desert Drifters match, 5 stages and a man-on-man shootoff. Shot much better than yesterday.

This week we shot the same "Winchester '73" target* as last week in which you shoot at a 3" plate behind a big washer target. This time if you hit any of the bigger target, you got a hit. If the plate fell down, you also got a 5 second bonus. I hit it again, and it went down like a stone. Same PF100 load as last week.

*In the movie, James Stewart won the 1 of 1,000 Winchester '73 by shooting a washer thrown in the air with the hole sealed by a stamp. Only the stamp was hit. I always assumed this was just movie B.S., but in the movie the shot was actually made by an off-camera exhibition shooter. At EOT the names of the people who knock it down will go into a drawing for a 1 of 1,000 Uberti '73.

This stage was a procedural trap, too. You had to knock down a popper with a rifle. This activated a mover. You were to shoot it until you had one round left, then shoot the bonus target. Shouldn't be a problem, just count your rounds, right? But several shooters miscounted and got procedurals or misses. Then the pistol order was 1-3-2-4-5-5-3-4-2-1. Simple, but people got it wrong. Most of the shooters I talked to got at least one procedural during the day. The stages were, let's just say, a procedural rich environment.

Speaking of procedurals, I believe Tex got one or a minor safety on every stage. The last stage was mercifully easy, but Tex loaded 10 round for a 9 round rifle stage. It could have been worse. You had to run from right to left carrying a loaded rifle and an unloaded shotgun. One shooter came close to a match DQ. Somehow I don't think I'd write a stage making right-handers (poor, inferior types they are since only left-handers are in their right minds) run the "wrong" way while carrying a long gun in each hand. I've seen enough match DQs with people carrying only a loaded rifle.

The shootoff was fun. Strange things happen in shootoffs. Bogus Deal won, as expected. In the final shootoff Tex beat him, but he needed to shoot the shotgun 3 times to make up for 3 pistol misses. The coach on that side said "Shoot 2." He did and went on to the rifle, beating Bogus handily until the RO DQed him. He could have easily shot the other shotgun and still won.

Yes, Tex was shooting 7-1/2" .44-40 Colts and shooting full strength .44-40 loads in the pistols and the rifle. Gunfighter. BP. Very impressive.

Had more problems with the SKB. Switched to the nickeled Stoeger and had no problems. Correspondence with Johnny Meadows, the gist is: my loads are wimpier than his test loads. I had it shoot the right barrel first, when it works better with the left one. I possibly didn't have it fully in my shoulder. He'll take a coil off the trigger spring when he gets here. Hopefully I'll shoot it at aerials tomorrow with Canby. If the wind tomorrow afternoon is like today's, that won't happen.

I've shot 2 cases through it, and it just started doing it in competition--a few days before EOT.

Everything else worked well. Shot Cowboy in the pistols yesterday. Shot APP 3f today. No hiccups. The new rifle took out the 3" plate both times. Now if I could cut my stage times in half and get to hitting aerial birds more reliably, I'd have a chance.

June 7, 2008

Saturday

Drove 120 miles or so to Magdalena for the Magdalena Trail Drivers, dropping The Redhead off at Isleta Casino. They don't start shooting until 1 PM and then only do 4 stages, made up on the spot. They seem to like distant targets and small targets when close in.

I didn't have a good stage. After 4 Half-A-Hand Henry organized a fifth stage for those of us who wanted to shoot it. Then a 120 mile drive back home, picking up The Redhead, who came in 3rd in the tournament.

The SKB malfunctioned twice, failing to switch barrels after the first one was fired.

June 6, 2008

Friday

Ted Simmons and his wife took us out to dinner at The Luna Mansion. This is a really neat restaurant and bar(s) in a national historic landmark. Great food, ambiance and company. The lady in charge gave us a tour after dinner. Neat.

June 5, 2008

Thursday

This link came in an email today. I found it well worth watching:

The True Story of Gun Confiscation after Katrina

SASSdecals.com asked to be added to my links page and sent me a decal and this copy of their ad in The Cowboy Chronicle:

SASSdecals,com advertisement

I called Joplin Jim about a decal. He spent 5 minutes helping me decide on a background color. When the decal arrived I put it on the gun cart. Looks good. If you see a gun cart with my name on it at EOT, say hello.

Worked in the garage. Made 50 rounds of .38 Special with 125 gr. LRNFP Coal Creek bullets over 18 gr. volume Triple Seven 3f. That's about as hot as I can get with the bullets I know will feed in a '73. These are strictly for the bonus rifle knockdown at EOT. The bonus is important, but getting one's name into the drawing for the 1 of 1,000 Uberti '73 is important, too. I hit it at the BRR match last weekend, but it didn't go down with a bullet having a power factor of 100 in a 4-3/4" revolver barrel. Don't know what it is in a 18.5" barreled rifle. But it should knock down anything at a SASS match. These rounds are hotter. PF closer to 120.

Today's garage substitute for range practice was shotgun loading. Set the par time at 5.00 and try to load and "fire" 4 rounds. Wore out 4 dummy rounds out of 12. I can do it in 5 sometimes. I'll be happy with anything under 8 and consistent in the match.

June 4, 2008

Wednesday

Went to the Renegades practice session only to find out the IPSC people have the range for a major match. No practicing. Wasted time running errands.

Worked with the 1911 in the garage--dry firing. Actually, it was mostly drawing from condition 3. Down to 1.40 or less for first shot. And changing magazines. I distinctly remember being able to do that shot to shot in 1.5 seconds or less way back when. I probably had a bigger mag well, but not necessarily. Several of my competition pistols had no more than this, just a beveled stock mag well. Nothing more than that is allowed in WB competition. Needless to say I couldn't do that today. Now most of the mag changes were timed from slide lock. Dropping the slide does add to the time. Then I tried without locking the slide back, as I might do if I had a 10 shot string from one position, fire 4, reload, fire 6 (assuming I can keep it straight). Still 2.5 seconds was the best I could do consistently. Start with slide locked back, and 2.5-3.5. Yes, reloading a 1911 is costing me more time than shifting from one SAA to the other.

Using magazines with no base pads. Right palm now decorated with blood blisters. I lost 4 mags when I accidentally left the Green Dillon Bag at the range. Ordered 4 McCormicks from Brownell's. I've already lost one of them. I have 2 working Wilson mags with low profile base pads. They're pretty old. A third one has given up the ghost. Ordered 4 Colt 7-round mags from Brownell's after practice today.

Called Rowdy Yates about the 2 ROA's he's shortening. He allowed as how he might get them done this weekend. I reminded him I really want them by EOT, so he offered to bring them with him. He won't be there until Tuesday after next. That's good enough for the match, but I did want Wes Flowers to be able to put his special spring in. I guess the solution is to get him to do that to the primary pair during the Wild Bunch match, and test fire them by shooting them in the warm up match. If they don't go bang or cause 14 ADs, I can have them undo it. If, much more likely, I'm really happy with them, then I'll have him do the backup guns one at a time so I can have a spare. I've only needed a spare ROA once. Once is enough.

June 3, 2008

Tuesday

Took the bus to Aloha RV. The keyless entry pad came in, $448 + $149 labor. The broken right hand mirror was broken wires in the mirror head. 2 hours labor, $198, no parts. When we drove home, I realized when I got on the freeway that the windows were open. The Redhead had opened them for the pets comfort. I had to pull off the road and close them. Back on the freeway, the phone rings. It's The Redhead looking for me. I put phone to ear to tell her where I am, and I realize there's a gas can in the middle of the road just in front of me. Violent evasive maneuvers with 32,000 lb. vehicle with one hand on wheel, one on phone. Missed it by that much. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Hmm, I might want to dust off the old earpiece when driving the bus.

Fueled up at Flying J--$4.55.9/gal for low sulphur diesel (amazed that it's still available). I hadn't put fuel in the bus in 2 months. Felt good to have a low fuel bill in May.

The Redhead and George were exhausted from this. Dinner out.

Getting ready to go to Founders Ranch next week. Just have to clean out the shop and such.

June 2, 2008

Monday

Worked in the garage. Cleaned all of the guns shot this weekend, cleaned up some, prepared the top box from the previous gun cart to fit on the current gun cart and hold ammunition for the Wild Bunch match. Saves having to move stuff back and forth, and who needs a percussion pistol charging stand when shooting a 1911, a '73, and a '97.

Amazon's first shipment made it. Ordered The Wild Bunch, the director's cut edition, and the Indiana Jones trilogy on MAY 15TH!!! Last Friday I called and asked where it was. The USPS showed it to be in Denver from May 20 to 26th and then nothing. They shipped another, overnight. It'll get here tomorrow. This was the original one.

Made a bunch of .45-70 rounds. Still don't like the RCBS Turret Press. Getting spare parts isn't like Dillon. Eventually I'll either get a 550 for the .45 calibers or the conversion kit for the 650. Takes a bunch to convert to .45-70, I believe.

I'll need to load up more .45 ACP and .45 Colt next hiatus. I have enough for EOT.

Taking the bus to Aloha RV tomorrow for the digital keyless go keypad.

June 1, 2008

Sunday

Shot with Buffalo Range Riders. We got to test out three new targets, a running buffalo (10 hits out of 10), a new popper-activated swinging disc, and a special rifle target. The running buffalo lopes up and down as a running animal would. Cool.

The swinging disc is a good sized diameter, 12-15". You shoot a rifle popper, and if it goes down, it actuates the swinger. (9 out of 9)

The rifle target consists of a washer on the outside, 3" hole in the middle, about 10" circle. This was a reload on the clock. If you hit the 3" circle AND KNOCKED IT DOWN, you got a 10 second bonus. But it was out of calibration, and Laramie Jack changed the calibration between posses, so if you hit it, you got the bonus. I hit it solidly with a 125 gr. TC. In the great .38 BP Ammo Test of 2008, that load, from a 4-3/4" barreled revolver, averaged 799 ft./sec., power factor of 100. It wobbled but stayed up.

The importance of this is that at EOT, everyone who knocks it down will have his name put in a drawing for a 1 of 1,000 Uberti '73. At this point This was my second hottest test load (100 vs. 103). I haven't tried a full case of 777 3f behind a 125 gr. bullet, but I think I might, just in case. I think I'll also want to make sure that my chosen load groups well from the rifle and shoots to point of aim. It doesn't matter how hot it is if it doesn't hit the target. (Yes, having the .45 '73 in the gun cart for this one target has crossed my mind.)

Shot six stages and finished about 4 PM. Good stages. I had one in the 20s, 4 in the 30s, and a 41 (raw times). The 41 had a shotgun bobble and a lot of running. Still too many misses, 4. 3 clean, pretty good stages (considering). No shotgun misses. Like the SKB.

Mentioned in Dispatches:

Tex was really ginning. On one stage we had to put 2 on each of 5 pistol targets. He shoots gunfighter with full-charge .44-40 Colts. You heard 5 really loud booms, both guns being fired at once, all hits.

Half-a-Hand Henry is ready for Lady B-Western at EOT. She's trying to buckle in all the ladies categories and has several, of course. She was wearing B-Western boots and shooting gunfighter with a Marlin rifle. Gunfighter is allowed, of course, in B-Western. She shot clean and 1st overall ahead of Krazy Kurt, who shot blazingly fast but missed a few. I predict some unhappy ladies in B-Western at EOT.