November 2013 Journal

Happy Halloween

October 28-31, 2013

Drove to Phoenix Wednesday, Oct. 30.

Parked at our spot at Pioneer RV. Spent Thursday getting the trailer leveled, etc.



October 24-27, 2013

Despite having a reputation for close, big targets, the committee chose to have pistol targets as far as 4-5 yards away, and some rifle targets that were 8, even 9 yards. And big? They were only 20 x 24. As a result only 91 of the 320ish contestants shot clean matches.

Blackjack Zak shooting the Bordertown Blast--in costume. He shot very well in the warm-up and the main match, winning '49er

Angelique can't resist a man in uniform

The safety meeting took all of 5 minutes. Hire Stormy Shooter to do your safety meeting--and to write your stages.

Gilley Boy shooting Classic Cowboy, shooting clean and winning the category

Posse Marshal Lassiter shot gunfighter clean with stages in the teens and won. The posse ran that well, too, as expected. He's one of the best posse marshals in the business.

Wander-N-Star shooting Frontiersman just a little faster than I did. But I shot it faster than I had at other Bordertowns but finished 5th. Call it what you will. I call it a tough field.

Competitive Target Painting. The fastest target painter from each posse went to the finals, where the winner got a new Cadillac.

Plainsman Match

The Plainsman match was moved to Sunday morning. It was almost eliminated last year, but Gilley Boy shot three committee members and won the vote to have it taken by the remaining board. A black powder match into the sun early in the morning. What could possibly go wrong? Another tough field, 120 shooters in one posse, all shooting percussion pistols. Amazingly we finished 4 stages on time. Let's just say the 90 days without shooting and mainly without rifle reloading practice is not the way to prepare for Plainsman. By the 4th stage I could load the rifle, but other people could still do it faster.

Hank-A-Chief, the proprietor of Handlebar Hank's shot Plainsman well

Match Director Hugo Bear bought a Rossi single shot .45 Colt from me last year. It's a copy of the Handi-rifle with an extractor that trapped rounds, making reloading slow. He replaced the extractor that worked better, but not as well as a H & R with an ejector.

The awards presentation gave out 320± awards to 291 shooters in less than 2 hours. Yes, that's one award per shooter--theoretically. But some categories had more than 10 shooters, and some had less. Frontier Cartridge had 3, while Frontiersman had 132, or was it 8? I would have been 3rd in FC with my Frontiersman score, but was 5th in my world. Who knew? LFC. Classic Cowgirl, and Ladies B-Western were under-represented, and there were no LFCD at all. Six guys tried to shoot LFC but were disqualified for illegal external equipment.

As usual, Bordertown went off without a hitch. Everyone finished early every day, and everyone was happy with the stages. The secret of Bordertown's success has always been the stages. These were the best I've encountered. It was a gunfight, not a spelling bee.

October 23, 2013, Wednesday

Johnny Meadows did some work on both SKB shotguns.

Yes, it's legal
Got my SKB 200 back from Johnny Meadows. He did the 100,000 round checkup, repaired the broken stock (apparently I'm hell on wooden long gun stocks, and wooden and ivory revolver grips), bedded the forearm (apparently a really good idea if you use your SKB in SASS long and hard enough), and re-profiled the lever so my arthritic left thumb can open the lever without shifting grip. Gave him my SKB 100 for the lever and forearm work and 100,000 round oil and filter change. BTW both guns were changed from inertia trigger switching to mechanical a year or two ago.

"The top opening lever on break action shotguns may be bent (re-profiled) by no more than 1⁄2" from the center of the tang to the outside edge of the lever." SASS Shooters Handbook
Version 18.2 January 2012

If not bedded, the opening/closing stress on an SKB used heavily in SASS shooting will crack the wood eventually.

RO Class at Bordertown

Blackjack Zak brought his PowerPoint presentation and associated hardware for the RO I. Deuce Stevens is the instructor-candidate. Additional instructors using the presentation were T. A. Chance, Dirty Bob, and me. The PowerPoint presentation is excellent. It makes the class longer than using just the ROI Handbook, so it was not possible to have ROI and ROII. Having both in one day is not a good idea anyway. Too much information, too little time.

October 22, 2013, Tuesday

Went to Fort Huachuca. 2 Museums there, the Army Intelligence Museum and the Museum Annex

10th Cav trooper at the time of the Mexican Expedition in 1916. This is the full uniform including the tunic, which wasn't worn that much in the Mexican heat. He has a 1903 Springfield and ammo pouches for same and a M1912 or 1916 holster for his 1911.

The M1911 Puttees seem to be on sideways. They're molded to fit over the calf. When you wear them like that the buckles are on the outside. They would be easier to buckle like this. The shoes are M1904 Marching shoes. In photos you see the leggings matching the shoes a lot. The puttees come in natural leather but darken with age, and they polished them with the same polish as the shoes in the field. Most enlisted troops had the previous canvas leggings. These were being phased in.

Collar insignias are "U.S." in tarnished brass. Nothing shiny was used. The hat has no insignia but has a yellow acorn-tipped hat cord (cavalry).

1846 officer's uniform.

Lost the caption on this one. He's wearing grey, has a Texas star on his belt buckle, and is carrying a Colt pistol. For some reason he is wearing white dress gloves. I'm not sure what to call him. If I were a teacher in public schools I would say, "this is an evil white man who came out west to oppress the innocent Apache and Comanche who owned the land before the white man gave them syphilis and small pox and killed them in droves and stole their land before destroying the land by building on it and operating evil combustion engines using oil stolen from the native Americans."

These horses were the best trained I've ever seen. They never moved.

Ed Schieffelin, the Indian scout turned prospector who discovered silver in southern Arizona. Told the only thing he would find in the foreboding terrain was his tombstone, he named the town he founded at the mine "Tombstone."

Artillery trooper (red hat cord) and M1905 gun.


Cavalrymen in the field


Display of proper wearing of 19th century suspenders.

October 21, 2013 Monday

"I don't understand this time thingie, Daylight Savings Time and Standard Time. Puppy Standard Time says my tummy is empty."

October 19-20, 2013

Two matches by Los Vaqueros at Tombstone Livery. Excellent matches. Had a miss each day and lots of fumbling with cross-draw holsters despite considerable dry-fire practice while recuperating.

I'm back:




Another Shirt from Waddie Wear

1896-Cowboy/Songwriter D. J. O'Malley wearing a denim-stripe shirt with a double-front. He is also wearing a Montana Peak hat and fringed chaps. I gave this picture to Wendy. She came up with a perfect copy.

Here's the copy in 1896:

And in 2013:


Capt. Baylor's Bottle (from an email received today)

Dear Capt'n Baylor,
We met at WR 4 years ago @ Pioneer RV park. After the shoot, you, the Redhead, & my wife & I remained @ Pioneer for an add'l week. We were new shooters & you were kind enough to show us a great time - great loading instructions and even better margaritas. The Redhead shared her magic recipe & on my next trip to the store I bought a bottle of Grand Mariner for you good folks. Put it in the RV for next time our trails might cross.
Didn't think forward, however, as I was headed for Canada with way too much booze to clear customs...

So WWACD? (what would a cowboy do?) Why cache it, of course...

So your bottle got buried in the side Ward Mountain, Nevada, and "rested" for a spell. Last month I was near my "cache" & decided to see if I could find it.
Yep, still there. So when our paths might again cross, there's an aged bottle with your name on it.
"Nevada Jim"
SASS 84854

(You can't make this stuff up. Only in SASS!)


October 18, 2013, Friday

Ready to leave the Las Cruces KOA headed to Tombstone Territories.

Is it me or the tuna sandwich I had for lunch?

The Navigator and The Redhead ready to roll


Arrived at Tombstone Territories ad 1400 and by 1700 had everything ready for Saturday and Sunday matches at the Tombstone Livery.

October 16-17, 2013

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, we drove the bus to Las Cruces and spent 2 nights at the KOA so we could (a) go to Texas and get the Jeep state inspected, an onerous necessity if you're going to drive through Texas with Texas plates on, as we plan to in December. and (b) go to Columbus, New Mexico to see their depot museum about the 1916 raid by Pancho Villa, the only invasion of the United States since the War of 1812.


You think cleaning the windshield on your Prius is hard?


Arthur helped



We refuel in the truck lanes, this one at the Flying J, ABQ


When we retired diesel was circa $2/gal.


It took a drive down the "Permanently Under Construction Highway" to find the only state inspection station manned by Zombies, but we did get the state inspection, even if the Zombie did put it on out of position. Couldn't get his fingers behind it in the correct position due to the OEM speaker

Columbus, NM, is 3 mi. north of the Mexico border. Pancho Villa invaded in 1916 with 200+ troops, but a US Army machine gun unit happened to be where he wasn't expecting. He left about half of his troops dead but did kill several Americans. General Pershing was sent looking for him.

Pancho Villa's hat, a high point of the museum. There's also a death mask, one of 6 done after Villa's assassination.

Uniform artifacts


Officer's boots and spurs


Campaign hat


Display of guns of the era. There was more.




October 15, 2013 Tuesday

Dinner with Tex and Cat at Nick and Jimmy's Restaurant-very nice. Cat's birthday.

October 14, 2013

Getting ready to move.

October 9-13, 2013

Went to the HDD match. Tex took pictures of a shirt I got from Waddie Wear (

The story behind it:

Some years back I found this 1888 photo of Texas Ranger Frank L. Schmid.

This shirt is at the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum in Oklahoma City. It has a band-collar instead of the turn down collar but appears to be made of the same pattern cloth. I sent these pictures to River Junction Trade Company, and they made me an excellent shirt, but it's worn out. They don't have any more of the cloth.

This is the shirt River Junction Trade Co. made. The photo was taken by Artie Fly at the 2003 EOT. The shirt was in the $40-50 range if I remember. No custom tailoring,

A few years back I met Wendy of Waddie Wear at a SASS Convention. I gave her the two photos to see if she could make the shirt. I also gave her another 19th century photo of a cowboy wearing a shirt none of the vendors were duplicating. For a while every time I saw her she promised me the shirts. She said she finally found the striped cloth. Still no shirt. Then at Railhead she promised me both shirts and a pleated front white dress shirt. She had my measurements. She first sent me a shirt made of muslin to check fit. It was nearly perfect. The cuffs were tight. Otherwise it fit perfectly. So I gave her the go ahead. Now I have 3 shirts that are unique and fit perfectly for $50 each. Tex took this picture of my attempt to duplicate Ranger Schmidt's photo without the horse and without being 6'4 and 145 lb. I'll get photos of the other 2 shirts as conditions allow.

Something I neglected to mention: I ordered the shirt with two pockets. The River Junction version had 2. Most shirts of the time had one pocket, but photos show that some shirts had 2. Bone buttons showed on dark shirts even in the photographs of the day. I also asked Wendy to sew the left pocket shut, which she did. I'm left handed. I ripped the left pocket off the original with the rifle butt one day. Since then the left pockets have been sewn shut. Having 2 pockets means I have a place for my pocket watch. We can't keep them in watch pockets and still access them with gun belts on.

Waddie Wear doesn't have a website. Phone: 949-929-8706 or 951-737-1989.

Wendy has been a vendor at the SASS Convention, Winter Range, and other matches.

Wild Horse John now has a Class A Motor Home. He and wife will be spending 6 months of the year in it. He's working on a trailer for reloading/gun maintenance equipment (and to haul his truck)


October 7-8, 2013

I actually GOT THROUGH to the VA to change my address for the winter!! They didn't furlough everybody!!

Then I talked to the company now doing web hosting for and got the user name and password updated. You might think that's no big deal, but the ownership of the web hosting company had changed 4 times since I started it. Since I was an investor in that company, the website was comped. They've all comped it, which is great, but it meant I didn't get notification of the ownership change. When I found them, they only wanted to talk to me on the phone # listed on the account--in 1998. Or I could give them the last 4 of the credit card used in 1998. Duh.

Eventually I got it worked out (53 minutes), but I'll give them full credit for protecting their customers from identity theft.


October 6, 2013

Day By Day Cartoon, 10-06-13

Went to Founders Ranch to do .32 H & R Magnum smoke standard testing with Edward R. S. Canby, who loads .32 H & R for his wife, Doc Barium.

The test results.

October 4-5, 2013

Thanks to a fan, we went to Marcello's Chop House for dinner on my birthday. Very nice place, great food.

Very nice wine

Proof I do have a modern suit, not just a frock suit. But I don't wear it much, just for birthday dinners. I call it my birthday suit. The shoes do go with the 1880s suit, though. Stacy Adams has made the Madison Boot since the 1870s.

October 3, 2013

Saw the hand surgeon. He said I needed to start screwing. I thought this was a great idea, but what did that have to do with getting my arm back in shape?

Then he explained that I needed to screw wood screws into balsa wood, then pine to build up the biceps muscles. And I can start doing curls now. I'm still doing the exercises he put me on as well, up to 9 sets of 10 for 2 exercises, nothing dramatic, but that means 10-15 minutes of exercise every hour for 9 hours. Hard to keep up. Anyway I'm cleared to resume normal activities after 90 days. That's October 23rd, first day of Bordertown. I'm hoping to be able to cheat a few days and shoot the Los Vaqueros annual the weekend before, Oct. 19-20. I'm also cleared to practice drawing the pistol again.

October 2, 2013

Larry Mudgett wrote a really good article in Downrange TV, Surrender is Never An Option. Who is Larry Mudgett? Here's what they said about him on Downrange TV: "Larry Mudgett is a long time Rangemaster and Instructor at Gunsite. Larry and his wife Stacey also run classes in Utah through their own school, Marksmanship Matters. Larry retired from the LAPD after nearly 35 years where he served as the Chief Firearms Instructor at the LA Police Academy for 13 years and the Chief Firearms Instructor and team member for LAPD SWAT for 14 years. Larry also served as an Infantry Light Weapons Sergeant in the First Air Cavalry in Viet Nam 1967-1968. Larry trained the first USMC Special Operations Training Group at Camp Pendleton and was an adjunct firearms and hostage rescue instructor for the DOE Central Training Academy for 10 years. He currently teaches Rifle, Carbine, Pistol, Double Action Revolver and Single Action Revolver." I think he's one of the best firearms instructors in the business, and I've known a few. He was CRO when I took the Single Action Revolver Self Defense course at Gunsite. I made the same decision in Vietnam that he did after learning what the NVA really did to men they captured alive. (I do know of one enlisted man who was captured in one of the Michelin Rubber Plantation battles in 1969 who was taken to the Hanoi Hilton and survived. One.)

His article reminded me of a pet peeve about movies and TV. The bad guy grabs a hostage and gets behind him/her. The good guy puts his gun down, and then the problem gets magically resolved.

Here's what would happen in the real world. You put your gun down while talking gently to the villain, and he either shoots you, then the hostage, or the hostage, then you depending on whether the hostage was someone he would like to rape before killing or he wanted to torture the hostage slowly.

The proper response is the one I first saw in Miami Vice back in the 80's. Sonny Crockett had confronted a bad guy who was hiding behind a little girl, and to leave he had to come through a door. Crockett was on the other side with his trusty Bren 10 in a good Weaver stance and his eye on the front sight. The bad guy said something threatening, and Crockett, while slowly squeezing the trigger and focusing so hard on the front sight that he could count the serrations said, "You're... not...leaving... with... that...(BANG) child." Problem solved.

Now you're thinking, "but I could miss." You could. Then the bad guy might shoot you and/or the hostage. Result, the same as if you didn't try. The thought of shooting a loved one by mistake in such a situation is too horrible to contemplate, but, in reality, it's no worse than putting the gun down and watching the bad guy shoot or torture your loved one. All kinds of things can go wrong, but several already have. You're already in an awful situation. Anything you do will be no worse than surrendering your weapon. It might be better. Ideally you'll hit the bad guy along the centerline of the head and disconnect all of the nerves. Then the hostage needs a thorough shower, and you both need adult beverages. But if you put the gun down, that is not going to happen.

Cowboy Action Shooting practice is not "Tactical"* practice, but it is practice. Practice is better than no practice.

Long Hunter tells his students the first thing they should do in practice is to shoot a stage cold, with no warm-up, to simulate match day. Evil Roy says to shoot groups at small targets first emphasizing precision. They're both right. Whatever you practice is what you can do under stress. If you don't practice it, you won't be able to do it. If you ever need to make a precise shot, it will be cold, no warm up, and under stress.

*It isn't "Tactical" because you're not wearing camouflage.


I've been reloading during recuperation. Yesterday I did an inventory:

Okay, 6000 rounds or so of .38 Special, 1400 rounds of major match ammunition, 500 rounds of .45 ACP match ammo and 1000 rounds of practice/local match

And 1200 rounds of .45 Colt Wild Bunch and 500 rounds of .45 Colt APP ammo.

But there is room for more shotgun ammo.

Getting started on BP Shotgun ammo. Looks like I have more than a case of hulls.

By the end of the session I had a case done. I'll run out of hulls next session.


A seventh grader was given the scholastic death sentence for having a Derringer key ring. I did a comparison to a Freedom Arms Mini-Revolver

Yep, the key-chain was smaller. It does make me want to have a gunsmith put a screw eye on the mini revolver and use it as a keyring.

October 1, 2013

I've decided I'm never going to catch up on the lost months, so I'll just start with October. A quick recap: I had surgery on July 24th. I couldn't type for a while as a result. One of the things I did was to get a new MacBook Pro with Dictation built in. The old one was too old for updating with Dragon software, among other problems. The program I use to do the website, Dreamweaver, had to be upgraded. The upgrade is lacking some ease of use features from the old version, and the tutorials are undecipherable to me. Keep in mind I've had a website since 1998, but I cant figure out how to do some things I used to do every day. Dictation doesn't work with Dreamweaver. Anyway, I got further and further behind. I had columns and articles to do for the Cowboy Chronicle. I couldn't shoot, and for 6 weeks my left arm was in a Borg-like device. Various attempts to master the new technology failed. I'm kind of able to do the Journal, poorly, so I'll continue. We should be moving the bus later this month heading to new places to shoot, and I should be shooting by the end of the month.

Texas Tiger and Captain Baylor at Outlaw Trail sporting their Borg outfits

Reloading American Pioneer Powder Using Fillers on a Dillon XL650


Photo 1: This setup came from Larsen E. Pettifogger. At station 3 of a Dillon XL650 remove the powder checker and mount a Lee Auto Disc Powder Measure using an Auto Disk Riser and a powder through expander for the filler. I'm using walnut polishing media. Cornmeal proved to be too light and gave inconsistent volumes.


Photo 2: I can't quite duplicate the percussion load of a 144 gr. round ball and 25 gr. APP 3f. So 200 gr. LRNFP are used for availability and cost--160s cost more. This load feels pretty close. I use 13 gr./weight of APP 3f, or about 17 gr. volume. That leaves an air space. I fill the space with filler. If you don't put in any filler, the gun won't blow up, but the loads will be inconsistent. For this load I used the 1.56 hole in the disk.

Photo 3: You will spill filler. Clean frequently with compressed air.

Photo 4: To eliminate powder spilling, as soon as you start pulling up on the handle...

Photo 5:...put your finger on the round coming out of station 3 and keep it there until the case stops at station 4.

Photo 6: Insert the bullet at station 4

About this month's wallpaper:

A SASS member has raised hell on Facebook because he saw a Confederate Navy Jack on Facebook and was offended. He equated Southerners to Nazis. He is seriously offended by the Confederate flag and thinks he understands it because he wrote a thesis on the South once. This should raise his blood pressure assuming he ever sees it.

The complaining SASS member thinks he only has ancestors who fought on the side of the North. It is likely that most of us whose ancestors were here in 1861 had some on both sides. I know I did. But the war ended long before I was born. I fought for the United of America. I used to be offended when anti-war protesters flew the North Vietnamese flag, but I got over it.