September 2010 Journal

Newly discovered archive photo:

Capt. Baylor and the 1914 Dodge Touring Car he used (in a past life) in Mexico during the Mexican Punitive Expedition, 1916. (photo by Major Photography)

August 31, 2010, Tuesday

Mernickle ERWB5 Ref1, You saw it here first:

This isn't in the online catalog yet and doesn't have a name. I suppose it'll be something like Wild Bunch Loading Strip. The Army, were it issued then, would call it something like Carrier, Ammunition, Model 1916. Normal loading strips don't work. You need capacity of 6 12-ga. rounds for your '97, and 10 .40+ caliber rounds for your rifle.

On the back there's a clip that'll fit right over your Evil Roy Wild Bunch belt, or other Mernickle belts. This is a bigger deal than it sounds like. Hooked to the belt, it won't fall off.

The way this works, in case you've never shot a CAS or Wild Bunch match, is you load the strip up at your gun cart to the number of 12 ga. and rifle rounds to be loaded according to the stage instructions. Then at the loading table you load your weapons. When the strip is empty you've correctly loaded your long guns. Now you put the strip on your belt. This is much better than carrying the ammo in your pockets or cluttering the loading table up with ammo boxes. Used correctly, it'll keep you from misloading one of your weapons. It's more than annoying when you get to the unloading table and jack out a round.

It comes in the same 3 colors as the Evil Roy Wild Bunch rig, Saddle Tan, Mahogany Brown, and Black, and it's priced at $39.95 with the usual discounts at Winter Range, EOT, and the SASS Convention to $35. I don't have a Wild Bunch match for three weeks--Oklahoma State Championship. I'll get pictures then of it on the rig.

Catching up on photos:

Ours isn't the only Mercedes-Benz ML being towed behind a motor home. This is an ML430 behind an Alfa on a basic car hauling trailer.

More trouble than flat towing, but the trailer's light enough that you could take the ML off, then move the trailer with the ML. I can't think of anything that would be as safe as an ML that could be flat-towed. The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, if flat towable might be, since it's based on the chassis of the 2011 ML, but the devil's in the details. Will Jeep cut corners on safety items? Mercedes doesn't.

Boiling Cylinders:

I started a thread on the SASS Wire asking Black Powder shooters how they cleaned their percussion pistols' nipples and nipple cutouts. Please re-read the parts of the previous sentence in bold. As I expected, I received detailed instructions on how to clean an entire pistol along with a lot of snide comments and multiple different methods of cleaning their gun's nipples. Several were using methods I'd tried and discarded as being inadequate to get the carbon out of the inside corners of the nipple cutouts and off the nipples in general. I've tried every gun cleaning solution and device I've come upon. A few reps and manufacturers have claimed their wonder product would do the job. They haven't. Brasspounder said he boiled his cylinders after taking the nipples out. Then he uses brushes to get the carbon off. This sounds like a lot of work, and it was. I tried it. The cylinder I used was pretty clean. I have no problem cleaning the rest of the gun with Windex/Vinegar. But there was residual carbon in the nipple cutouts, and the nipples were less than showroom new.

This cylinder was boiled, then brushed with gun cleaning brushes and .45 caliber bore brushes (which are destroyed in the process.) I used nylon, copper, and stainless steel. Bore brushes were nylon and copper. There are people who tell me they can get the carbon off without using a wire brush. I can't.

The cylinder is cleaner than it has been, but there is still residual carbon in areas I can't get enough brush pressure to remove it.

It's acceptable, functionally, but not showroom fresh.

I couldn't boil the nipples off the gun. I was trying just scrubbing them with stainless brushes, then tried, of all things, oven cleaner, spraying some in a stainless steel bowl that had been heated with an industrial strength hair dryer. Then the nipples were dropped in and left for a while. They still needed scrubbing, but they responded well to it.

What sounds like a good suggestion came from Stormy Reinz:

Works best if you let it soak longer than they say.

Over night is good, longer is better.

If really bad, soak, then use it in the ultra sound as a solution after soaking.

Then scrubbing is a minimum. :)

Good Luck

When I get money again, I'll get a test amount and try it.

Most of the time Black Powder questions bring out a lot of answers because Black Powder is easy to use and forgiving, so a lot of different techniques work. The nipple cleaning question brought a lot of answers because nothing works very well.

Nipple Pricks

No, it's not what you think. Treso nipples have very small holes, so most nipple picks won't work. They sell thin enough ones at welding supply stores. But compressed air works as well as anything, and it doesn't break the first time you use it. In 11 years I've had one, count 'em, one nipple replaced because it was actually clogged, and compressed air wouldn't clear it.

One little hint: if you can see through the nipple, flame can get through it to the powder. I use a flashlight in the shop and the sun at a match.

August 30. 2010, Monday

Called Jimmy Spurs. He can put the sight on but is leaving Thursday for the US Open. He will tig it on rather than silver solder, which he doesn't think works well and requires heating the barrel to red hot(!) I figure if I sent the gun to Ruger they'd put on a new barrel because this one says "CAPTAIN GEORGE BAYLOR" where they want the owner's manual, and most of the innards would be changed to stock. So I FedUped it standard overnight and insured for $1500 ($69!).

August 29, 2010, Sunday

Disaster at the match. I couldn't find the front sight on the left pistol, and, after a couple of misses, realized the damn thing was gone, not to be found. That kind of started things off badly. They got better using one of the spares.

Emailed Jimmy Spurs. He said he could get a sight by Tuesday. Asked a local gunsmith if he could put the sight on. He said no.

August 28, 2010, Saturday


Spent much time in front of the computer writing, some time in the garage getting things ready for tomorrow's match. Watched Inglorious Baste rda (sic) on TV. Really sick film, but really well done.

August 27, 2010, Friday

Day By Day:

day by day

Had dinner at the new restaurant at Route 66 Casino, Thunder Road Steak House and Cantina. Decor was a combination of the 50's movie and song and leggy waitresses in hot pants and straw cowboy hats. A 50 Ford at about 15 feet up broke through one wall, and a 50s police car was above the bar. The waitress arrived with chips, dips (3, all mild, with hot on request, unlike the average ABQ Mexican restaurant where the point of the hot sauce was to kill your taste buds and cause you to writhe on the floor uncontrollably while the waiter picked your pocket), and fresh flour tortillas and butter. Prices were reasonable to low. I had, despite its name, the Yanqui Steak for $14.95 including sides. It was a really good strip steak with excellent seasoning (sea salt and ?? don't remember) and one of the best steaks I've had for under $25. The Redhead had prime rib for $10.95, also excellent. The waitress was extremely helpful, and the Margarita, from a decent selection of Margaritas, with Orange Juice and Grand Marnier, was almost as good as The Redhead's. It was made using a blender, though, not a Margarita machine. It was only $8. The total bill would have been $35+ (huge) tip before The Redhead's comps.

August 26, 2010, Thursday

From today's email:

I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care Plans, the economy, the wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc . . . I called a Suicide Hotline. I had to press 1 for English.

I was connected to a call center in Pakistan . I told them I was suicidal. They got excited and asked if I could drive a truck......


I have 2 pending appointments with VA doctors. One is my annual with primary care, another the semi-annual with the urologist. The urologist ordered a PSA test to be done before his appointment. Then I got a letter from primary care telling me they had scheduled a lab visit before his appointment. This morning I went in to accomplish both. Not having specifics on the primary care instructions, I went without food since last night. This meant going in the morning for the blood letting. That means an hour and a half wait. Finally my number was called. I went in, and the only orders were for a PSA. I was sent to Primary Care to get them to actually send the orders. After standing in line and spending fifteen minutes there, I was told the orders would be there in half an hour. Half an hour later they weren't. I was sent back to primary care. After 15 minutes of fumbling a young nurse said she had talked to the doctor, and he figured the PSA was enough. I went back and got the blood drawn. I'd arrived at 0830. We left at 1150. Had I been told that the only test needed was a PSA I would have gone in at 1500 when the rush is gone. No fasting is required for PSA's.


August 25, 2010, Wednesday

Weighed 167.4 this morning. Went to the RGR practice session. I wanted to shoot hand held groups of different loads from the match ROAs so I would know where they were hitting. I put up a paper target with several small orange dots and shot both guns with 18 gr. Cowboy and 26 gr. APP 3f. Then I got called away to help a guy with a malfunctioning rifle. When I got back I found another shooting at the paper target, and his hits were all over the target. "Oh, I didn't know this was yours." I suppose the target fairy was who he expected had put it up.

So I started over, adding 30 gr. APP 3f to the equation. All shot pretty much to point of aim (considering my lack of shooting ability), and all should work on plates, etc. at any reasonable SASS range.

Then I shot the rifle and pistols. They were taking the shotgun targets down before I finished redoing the target work. One guy parked in front of the pistol targets, forcing me to shoot rifle targets with the pistols. Normally it works like this. You go to the line and shoot both pistols then back to the loading table so the next guy can shoot. On the other hand, if I go to the rifle line and practice 10 shoot one/reload one drills. someone is standing behind me wheezing to let me know he's there.

I miss Cowtown.

No Margarita tonight either.

August 24, 2010, Tuesday

Mallard Fillmore:

Called Ralph about the refrigerator. He said he would call Norcold and call me back. He told me how to check the rest of the circuit on the water heater. The next suspect is the thermostat. I decided to let that go until I hear from him about the fridge. If we have to take the bus to Moriarty, I'll let him do the water heater.

I've been on 1400-1600 calories/day under the tutelage of Mistress Nora, Mistress of Pain and Suffering at the VA. I started at 181* and weighed 168.8 today. I'd plateaued at 172ish for a week or so and had put the REAL mistress of pain, The Redhead, in charge of keeping me under 1600 calories. She's doing a great job, but the whip marks on my back are getting itchy.

*181 on my digital scale taken first thing in the morning in birthday suit. That same day at the VA it was 191 clothed and mid-day, which set off alarms, resulting in a platoon of Anti-Fat Troops surrounding me with weapons drawn and notification that my BMI was too high. The lib/commie/progressive gumment doesn't want any fat people getting "free"** medical care. So if I don't lose weight, they'll send a mob of SEIU thugs to beat the extra weight off me. Despite that I decided to lose the weight. Confronting a mob of SEIU thugs is tempting, though.

**Welfare recipients and illegal aliens get free medical care. Vets get prepaid mediocre to poor medical care.

August 23, 2010, Monday

Worked on the water heater. It had stopped working on electric but worked on propane. Most likely cause was the heating element, $20ish at Camping World. Bought a $18 anode. Replaced the anode first, well, didn't replace it. The old one, in since December 2008, looked brand new. I credit the water softener (and The Redhead's superb maintenance of same) because the original anode was pretty worn out by December 2008. Put the old one back in. Took the necessary pieces off to get to the heating element, then realized I didn't have a 1-1/2" socket. So I went on a two-and-a-half hour odyssey to get one. Had to buy a set of 7 sockets from Sears to get a half-inch drive model. I could have bought a 3/4" drive model and an adapter, but when I got back I would have discovered that the walls of that socket were too thick. This one barely got in the hole. Shortly after that I discovered that the water had been turned back on and not drained. I had turned it back off, but I hadn't drained the tank. It drained rather quickly, drenching me and all of my tools and equipment, getting same muddy.

Put in the Camping World element even though it wasn't the same length as the old one. Too @$%!^! much time had already been spent for me to change, go to Camping World, and take the short one and the original and see if they had one the same length. I figured it would work. Put that in, put everything back together, turned the water back on, and discovered that whatever was wrong wasn't the heating element. Turned the propane back on and watched it work under propane (with fire extinguisher in hand) for a few minutes. Buttoned everything up, and had a late Margarita.

August 22, 2010, Sunday

The refrigerator worked when turned back on.

RGR Fourth Sunday match, another Outdoor Expo day. Shot really badly.

August 21, 2010, Saturday

RGR 3rd Saturday match. Didn't shoot t-o-o bad, but not clean. This is the weekend of the Outdoor Expo. Thus I didn't have to pay a range fee. $5 saved--whoopee!

Three RV Scares: 1. The water heater stopped working on electric but works on propane. 2. The refrigerator stopped working and flashed "NO CO". The Redhead turned it off for the night. 3. A godawful storm came through. Shortly after the bedroom AC made a terrific boom. The Redhead shut it off. She had noticed it had been surging since the storm. After a decent interval she turned it back on. It surged every 35 seconds for a few minutes, each surge weaker than the previous, until it stopped.

August 20, 2010, Friday

Worked in the garage, mostly making .45 Colt Black Powder ammunition.

August 19, 2010, Thursday

Got a call from Escapees Mail Service. They had a package from Mernickle Leather addressed to "Captain Baylor," and that name isn't on the list. I talked them into forwarding it anyway.

August 18, 2010, Wednesday

Went to the RGR practice session, not knowing if there really was one because the web site said it was only the first Wednesday of the month. There was, and several people were there. Shot until about noon.

Then worked in the shop in the afternoon. Used up all of the .38 bullets and switched to .45 Colt/BP since that's what the practice pistols, ROAs with R & D Conversion Cylinders, use. Much better practice than with .38 pistols with light hammers.

August 17, 2010, Tuesday

Day By Day:

No, I didn't expect to see Jeff Cooper mentioned in a cartoon. I think he would have liked Day by Day, a comic strip with scantily clad women, conservative politics, and dry, sophisticated humor.

Dental work from 0900 through 1200. It wasn't that much work. The dentist got hung up on another patient.

August 16, 2010, Monday

Worked in the garage some more.

August 15, 2010, Sunday

More working in the garage. Finally changed the powder funnel thingie, and that seems to have minimized the problem, but not completely eliminated it.

August 14, 2010, Saturday

This is only the second Saturday, a fact that slipped by me since we had the second Sunday match last Sunday. Anyway, this leaves me with no matches to shoot this weekend since we didn't go to Ruidoso for their annual match. (Tired, no money left).

Worked in the garage. Still had the recurring problem and others. A screw fell out of the mount for the spent primer catcher, resulting in a broken spent primer catcher and much time spent putting a spare screw in.

August 13, 2010, Friday

Worked in the garage. Now all of the main match guns have had the Sweetshooter treatment. I forgot to do the gun that made me do it, the .45 Colt '73 that got so dirty in practice. I'll get to it later.

Reloaded .38 Special. Recurring problem of station 2 taking chunks out the brass. Tried a whole bunch of things.

August 12, 2010, Thursday

Called T-Bone Dooley about several things, including getting a Black Powder Posse at Comin'At'Cha. He agreed to it. We have 6 Black Powder shooters already. He's afraid of having too many frontiersmen, but he hasn't been on a posse with me and Dawgtooth Dave. We manage to work virtually every stage on a decent sized posse. We'll have one, anyway, and it'll have over half Black Powder shooters. With Larsen E. Pettifogger and Dan Diamond I'll have enough world class timer operators to keep me out of trouble. Unless we get another world class timer operator, I'll do some. I prefer to stand back and watch, catching trouble before it happens. T-Bone wants the timer operators to ge the Posse Marshal and his assistant. He's okay with my method. The main thing is to have proactive, experienced, adult timer operators who try to keep the shooters out of trouble instead of act as "biological timer shelves," as somebody on the SASS Wire said.

Got from T-Bone Billy Boots' phone number. To apply for ROII instructor, before applying I have to teach or assist 2 RO1 classes. Billy teaches the RO1 and ROII classes at Comin'At'Cha. He agreed to let me assist there. I'll need one more before I can apply.

That's BEFORE applying. The other requirements are daunting, and you can meet all of them and be rejected. "This application will be reviewed by the RO Committee and will be approved or disapproved based on needs of the geographic area and needs of the program."

Getting and keeping the black badge isn't, and shouldn't be easy.

Dental appointment for both The Redhead and me, with a lot of catching up to do. Took all afternoon. Taking this long to switch dentists has been semi-costly.

August 11, 2010, Wednesday

Shot the RGR Wednesday match. Good stages. Shot it in slow motion and shot clean. The engraved ROAs continued to work well. I hadn't cleaned them after the Sunday match, so they went 10 stages. I do some cleaning between stages, but it was still a good thing.

Worked in the garage. Sorted fired ammo from OT and stored away the WB stuff. I need to load some .38 special soon. Cleaned the ROAs using Sweetshooter. I'm still not sold on it. I did one gun only using Sweetshooter. It was hard to get carbon off the recoil shield. Cleaning nipples and cutouts was normal. There was lead in the barrel (I guess). Hell to get out. I have one of those de-leading cloths. Eventually it got it all out. Did the heat curing with the industrial strength hair dryer. The gun looks greatly

The other gun, before I used Sweetshooter, I cleaned with Windex. The recoil shield and hammer and hammer slot cleaned up easily. The barrel cleaned easily with a wire brush, then the wire brush with a patch wrapped around it. I left that one soaking in Sweetshooter, at least partially. Having enough Sweetshooter to cover the whole gun would cost $20,000 (exaggeration for effect).

August 10, 2010, Tuesday

Two VA appointments. I've lost 5 lb. in a month. The dietician was happy. I need to add more activity (!) to my schedule. Bought a $7.77 pedometer at Wally World. The afternoon appointment was with Physical Therapy. They're sending me back to the referring physician for something else. The PT isn't doing much.

August 9, 2010, Monday

Mallard Fillmore:

Last Bus Standing

As usual, by the time I got everything put away in the trailer and the bus ready, everyone else had left. Time to leave. Parade's over.

Set up at Enchanted Trails without incident, other than the fact it's a lot of work.

Ruminations on Wild Bunch and Outlaw Trail

It was an excellent match, with excellent Wild Bunch stages. They were harder than a good SASS match, with pistols shot at rifle targets, 2 stages with small plate racks, one for pistol, one for rifle (well, they've had these in CAS stages), shooting the swinger with the pistol as well as the rifle. All were at least 15 rounds of pistol. The courses of fire were pretty simple. Since the CAS match was on the upper end of the range, we had 8 bays to do 15 stages. This caused problems. When you shot it the second time, there was a tendency to want to do something from the previous stage. This cost Evil Roy the match, giving him a procedural, a safety, and 2 misses on one stage. Wild Bunch has to be about shooting, not memory contests.

No one shot it clean. Wild Bunch is meant to be a step above CAS in difficulty. I don't know how popular that'll be. The 5 guys on the WB committee are all expert competitors. Making stages to challenge them will be a mistake.

SASS is a representative democracy in writing rules for CAS matches. The Territorial Governors, representatives of their clubs, vote on rule changes. The Supreme Court, the Wild Bunch, can veto their actions and can make rules of their own, something they've done for safety rules on occasion (such as banning all external hammer pump shotguns except '97s).

Wild Bunch rules are either a benevolent dictatorship or an oligarchy. I'm not sure which. The Wild Bunch Committee makes the rules, and the Wild Bunch approves them. If the Wild Bunch committee can't come to an unanimous decision, it isn't done. So far most of the problems in the rules came from Wild Bunch initiated changes. (Remember the problems with holsters and the ejection port?) Mixing some of the SASS rules into WB have caused problems. The 30 second Spirit of the Game penalty for failing an ammunition test session is one. It's now a match DQ. Every competitor at this event passed, by the way. At first they were going to require dressing like a Wild Bunch movie character or a soldier, but sanity prevailed, and now (after the Wild Bunch okays it), any SASS legal costume is legal, including straw hats. This doesn't mean you can't dress in US Army uniform or a Mexican general's outfit, but you can dress as a cowboy or a train engineer, too.

The power factor is a big part of Wild Bunch. It's a Big Bore, Full Power category. People on the SASS Wire (and writing rules for some clubs) don't understand and want 1903 Savages, Broomhandle Mausers, and Lugers, etc. I can tell you that the day that some other pistol is allowed, one that can be shot faster than a .45 ACP 1911, say a .38 Super 1911, the category will die. Everyone who wants to be competitive will have to shoot one. Allowing some of the goofier guns, such as Broomhandle Mausers (loaded with stripper clips?), will result in safety problems, assuming one of the three or four people in the world who know the manual of arms of the Mauser isn't the RO. Similarly allowing .38 rifles will not happen. A .38, even with 160 gr. bullets at 1000 ft./sec., is still a lot faster to shoot than a full-power .45. I have such ammunition and tested the theory. The .38 is heavier (thicker barrel), and it just doesn't recoil as much. Reduce bullet diameter and increase velocity accordingly, and you'll have a lighter recoiling weapon. This is why USPSA was destroyed by major power .38 Super. The action, because of the smaller bullets, is smoother. T-Bone Dooley and Nuttin' Graceful did extensive tests, and their conclusion was that a .45 rifle is 1.5 seconds slower in a string of ten than a .38. And that was without the 150 power factor.

The plan wasn't to have a CAS match simultaneously, and I strongly recommend no club ever try that again. Several people who would have entered the WB match either entered the cowboy match, or didn't enter at all because they didn't have their category. The solution is to have the WB match on different days from the CAS match. This has been the best method so far. There were more Wild Bunch contestants at EOT or WR than here. Wild Bunch isn't ready to stand on its own for a world or national championship. It will be soon, though.

But small turn out or not, Wild Bunch is here to stay. There are things planned that will help guarantee that.

August 8, 2010, Sunday

Shot the HDD monthly match, shot Frontiersman with the engraved guns with the new springs in them. They worked like a charm, no malfunctions, 2 lb., 2 oz. triggers. No noticeable trouble cocking after shooting 4-5 stages. I'm not telling the weight rating of the spring used for a simple reason. This gun has really smooth innards, perfectly adjusted by Larsen E. Pettifogger. It can use springs that are lighter than a stock gun and still pop caps. Some can. I've talked with people who claim to have lightened the springs successfully, but I've talked to a lot more who tried and failed. I'm afraid someone will read about this gun and say, "Well, Capt. Baylor recommends a ## lb spring. I'll get one." Then I'll get the email:

"Dear Sir:

Fuck you. Angry letter follows."

Anyway, the guns worked well. I even shot a 25 second stage, 9 rifle, 10 pistol, 4 shotgun, 10 yards running.

But the first stage was strange. I picked up the rifle, put the front sight on the target, levered, and fired. I heard a mild pop, and something white covered the target. About 30 seconds later I heard "ding."

After shooting manly guns for a month, shooting this wimpy little .38, shooting 105 gr. bullets at 790 ft./sec. was shockingly dull. And what's this white stuff?

But after a few stages I was back to normal. I didn't try to rack the revolver, and I did remember to cock it. The double was enough different from a '97 that I had no problems with it, other than one stuck hull.

Lots of beginners on the posse, so we finished about 1600, or 4 o'clock for civilians. Good group, though.

Shanly Shooter and Singin' Sue came by for Margaritas along with 16 year old daughter who only had 5.

August 7, Saturday

Outlaw Trail

Two extremes of Wild Bunch costumes: Artie Fly as a Mexican peasant/revolutionary, and Capt. Baylor as a U S Cavalry captain. The WB Board met while at OT and, subject to ratification by the Wild Bunch, have legalized Artie's straw sombrero. The last chapter of Wild Bunch for Dummies is in the works, and it covers costume ideas that aren't the same as for CAS. It should be noted that the WB Handbook will allow all SASS legal costumes. Those who want to add something to it by dressing as a movie character or someone who might have been in the Mexican Revolution will be able to do so.

The last 5 stages ate my lunch and the lunches of most of the posse. I had 4 misses on a stage with a plate rack for the rifle and one for the pistol, among other things, pretty small plates for the rifle. I had to be jerking the trigger. On Thursday of last week I had put up plates, painted them, shot groups with the rifle, and backed off, repeating to 30 yards. The rifle shoots to point of aim. Oh, well.

Evil Roy double tapped 4 rifle targets instead of shooting a 10 round Nevada sweep (10 second procedural, 2 misses), and when he got to the unloading table the extra 2 rounds were still in the rifle. (10 second safety.) This and the incident yesterday, forgetting to put the pistol mag in, cost him the match. Robber Baron kept cool and controlled and shot well.

General Grant got a stage DQ. He shot 5 from the pistol. The slide didn't lock back, but he moved to the next position anyway, hammer back, slide down. Gunz Brokus got out of whack and got a SDQ, too. Similar problem.

I had a brain fade on a plate section. Shoot 8 plates with 10 pistol rounds. Dump the other two rounds. Move. I shot the 8 plates with 8 shots and dumped the mag to move. Oops. Fire the gun, rack the slide and hold it back to the next firing position. Insert mag. Rack slide. Shoot. Whew. Not good.

Dawgtooth Dave

Evil Roy

General U S Grant

Gunz Brokus

Happy Jack

Kid Salado

Robber Baron

Texas Tiger

Wicked Felina

The posse was down to about 10. We finished by 11 or so. I talked with the folks at Buckaroo Bobbins. The vendors were them, Kona Coffee, and a hearing protection and knife store.

Awards, Dinner

Dinner was fajitas, not bad. El Comedor. We brought a pitcher of Margaritas. Evil Roy and Wicked Felina joined us. Dawgtooth Dave dressed as a Mexican bandit/revolutionary, complete with 2 bandoliers of rifle ammo (.308 dummies, not Mauser). I wore the uniform (see above), with Patton holster, parade pistol, M1911 leather mag pouches, and freshly polished brown officer's boots and M1912 spurs. They had a costume contest with roving secret judges. I won Best Dressed Wild Bunch Men's. Idaho Sixgun Sam won Best Dressed Wild Bunch Lady.

Let's see, from memory (Sunday afternoon): 1st. WBM-Robber Baron, 2nd-Last Chance Morales, 3rd Evil Roy. 1st WBT-Krazy Kurt, 2nd-Fast Hammer, 3rd-Garrison Joe. 1st WBLM-Claudia Feather, 2nd-Silver Heart, 3rd-Idaho Sixgun Sam, 1st WBLT-Half-A-Hand Henry, 2nd-Texas Tiger. Even though some of the categories were light in depth, the competition at the top was just as fiendish as always.

I don't have all of the cowboy classes memorized. Mica McGuire won overall ahead of Boggus Deal by 2 or 3 rank points. Top lady was Amber Ale, I think.

Coyote emceed the awards and did a really good job, getting through them quickly, pronouncing the names correctly, and not making corny jokes. They gave away 11 guns.

August 6, Friday

Outlaw Trail

So much for clean. I also had a pistol hang up that gave me a horrible 79 second clean stage. Oh well, I figure I'm still in the top 10 in Traditional (9 entries).

Evil Roy started a stage with no magazine in the pistol. A TO is not supposed to start a shooter in a faulted position, but the ultimate responsibility is up to the shooter. Cost him 5-10 seconds because of the confusion.

Robber Baron continues to fly low and fast.

Dawgtooth Dave showed up 4 stages late because of fighting a flood at his house. At least that's his story, and he's stickin' to it. The rumor he was at Knockouts topless joint was denied vehemently. We caught him up, and 5 of us worked him through the stages missed. He was allowed to start one stage without a magazine in his pistol.

I believe I'm seeing a trend.

Worked on Robber Baron's 1911. A grip screw bushing had come out when he unscrewed the grip screw. There are multiple ways to cure this. I'm of the opinion the easiest is to use BLUE Loctite on the bushing. Then, 24 hours later, unscrew the grip screw. The bushings should be staked in place. Some builders do. Some don't. Robber Baron only swept me 4 or 5 times while Happy Jack and I worked on his pistol. (Too many cooks...)

Happy Jack was shooting his rifle quickly for a TV crew and had an out of battery discharge, bending his lever. Using my little vise (the big one would take a while to mount), he bent it back into close enough place for the gun to work again.

Dawgtooth and I told lies and war stories until it was 5 0'clock somewhere, and we opened the Margarita bar. Using his instructions I made Margarita snow cones. Second round had less ice.

Edward R S Canby dropped by. He's lost 40 lb. since Buffalo Stampede. 1400 calories/day. Obviously he's following his diet. Diabetes gone, blood pressure down. Skinny people live longer. He and I share another thing--our gun leather doesn't fit any more. I'm using a 39 belt on the innermost hole for the pistol, and the 42 belt the pistol came with for the shotgun. It falls down all of the time since it's supposed to be at my navel.

420 people came by for Margaritas.

August 5, Thursday

Outlaw Trail, Day 1, Main Match

3 small Wild Bunch posses, 2 huge CAS posses. I don't know why. Our posse was smaller than anticipated. One shooter didn't show up. The other, Wolf Bane, was hijacked by another posse. They convinced him he had been transferred to their posse. Good stages. Not easy. The first stage had a popup:

photo by Major Photography

I wouldn't say I shot well, but I did shoot clean.

The evening entertainment started with green chili cheeseburgers. Coyote Calhoun told me he started with Jimmy Buffet's cheeseburger recipe and added green chili. They were outstanding, among the best free SASS food I've had. They came with chips and drinks, including beer, and potluck items. I figure the cheeseburger exceeded my 1400 calories, certainly with chips and a little cherry cobbler. I managed to avoid the rest of the potluck, which was good for the other people there.

August 4, Wednesday

Outlaw Trail

Shot the warm up match--badly. One or 2 good stages out of 6. The good news is the stages we shot weren't anything like what I read will be the real match. They were, in fact, at the opposite end of the bays. The action shooters will get the upper numbers. We'll get bay 1-8.

Had a bunch of people over for Margaritas. Then I spent an hour or two scanning the stages in the course book and blowing them up to where I could read them. They put 4 stages on one page!!!!

Adults, do not try this at your match!

August 3, 2010, Tuesday

Moved the bus and trailer to Founders Ranch. It's dry there now, so we parked at our usual spot on the high side of the town.

August 2, 2010, Monday

Worked in the garage. Found the missing trigger plunger and reassembled the gun. Then did the other one. Managed to keep all of the parts in general sight. Both guns work fine. Of course, it took about an hour longer than it should have.

Then I cleaned the '73 that Texas Tiger and I both used Saturday and Sunday. This was the dirtiest gun I've cleaned since I got into SASS. Obviously shooting smokeless is considerably dirtier than shooting smoky. I used up the last can of brake cleaner. Thought I'd need a chisel, but everything came off with Break Free CLP. Reassembled and tested (he who doesn't run dummies through his 66/73 gets to discover what he did wrong when he shoots it in competition.

Also had to re-tighten both '97 butt stocks. The Cimarron's socket tube was loose. I used blue Loctite this time.

Cleaned the shop and put things away. It took till 1700.

August 1, 2010, Sunday

Went to the Buffalo Range Riders match. It's been raining a little daily on the west side of ABQ, but on the east side of the mountain they're making boats and lining up animals 2 by 2. It was a bit muddy today, but one day last week they got 2 inches in one hour, and the whole lower level was flooded. The Gem Saloon (just a front) was under water 3 feet or so.

The planned location of the memorial chapel won't work, even if this is a 100 year flood.

Shot Wild Bunch Traditional, as did Texas Tiger, who, of course, cleaned my clock. I shot clean but got a procedural. One target in a row of 5 cowboys got stuck in my blind spot, and I shot the wrong target in a outside, outside, inside, inside, center sweep. This is a definite #!%%!#! Still no white buffalo. I think I beat Texas Tiger on one stage, getting a 26 even with the inevitable '97 hiccup. Hers hiccupped worse and gave her a 33.

Good match, though. Singin' Sue wrote it with scenarios based on the lurid history of Las Vegas, New Mexico.

When I got back from the match, realizing that High Desert Drifters are going to have their monthly match at Founders Ranch next Sunday since Outlaw Trail ends Saturday night (except for the mounted shooting). I'll be back to shooting Frontiersman, I decided to put the heavier mainsprings in the engraved ROAs. When you take the grip frame off the ROA, you have to remember 3 things: 1. Put the wire in the spring strut first (cock the hammer. insert the wire, let the hammer down. The spring is now compressed). 2. Remember the pawl spring. 3. Remember the trigger plunger and spring.

Then comes the fun part. Put the spring strut TIGHTLY into a vise past the part where the spring goes. To get the spring out safely, use the little tool you got from West Fargo and push the base down until the wire (I used a rivet this time. Works better than a paper clip or a 1/16" drill bit) can be pulled out. Then carefully remove the base, relaxing the spring slowly, and hanging onto it the whole time, because it is COMPRESSED!

Now, if you haven't lost any parts yet, put the new spring on and use the tool to compress it so you can put the wire in again. This should take, oh, 30 seconds but can take an hour or two if you have to look for the spring or the spring seat after they've popped off once or thrice. Then reassemble, remembering the pawl spring and the trigger plunger, which I did. Still the trigger plunger went off into tiny part heaven. So I went into my extensive parts supply... and couldn't find a spare. Ordered more from Brownells and put off further work to tomorrow.