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April 25, 2010, Sunday

Breakfast at 0800 was very good. Then they gave out awards expeditiously. Then they had the shoot off. Results

Sagebrush Molly won Ladies Single Shot long range, a duplicate of her award for the costume contest, a stuffed toy buffalo. She gave it to The Redhead. Nice awards.

Gave Johnny Meadows the engraved ROAs with the hammers, triggers,etc. from Jimmy Spurs to have them fitted, also the .45 Colt '73 Carbine and a flat-topped '73 Rifle rear sight. The dovetail that is on the old rifle doesn't fit anything, including the carbine sight. He's to cut a new dovetail so the long sight can be used.


April 24, 2010, Saturday

The Black Powder Posse

Creek Harding, 4th Frontier Cartridge Duelist

Sagebrush Molly and one of the Sea Cadets from the Bataan Military Academy, a local school which provided very hard working, well-mannered military brass pickers. Every one I talked to was all "Yes, sir, no sir."

Sundown, 2nd B Western

Dawgtooth Dave, shooting his Ruger Old Armies double duelist, 2nd Frontiersman

"I shot the Sheriff, but I did not turn the deputy into a soprano."

Dan Diamond, 2nd Frontier Cartridge

Elijah Craig, duelist

Painted Filly, Lady Frontier Cartridge, Second Place

Sagebrush Molly ejecting a shotgun shell, 1st Classic Cowgirl

Weaver Gal, 3rd Lady Frontier Cartridge

Kiowa Kid, First Frontier Cartridge, and REALLY fast

Vaquero Luna, 2nd Duelist

Blaine K. Check, 9th Frontier Cartridge


Catlow, 3rd Frontier Cartridge

Mr. Peabody, on his 12th match ever, 10th Senior. Mr. Peabody came to the conclusion that all of the guns and leather he bought when he started was wrong. He had already swapped shotguns form a hammer double to a hammerless double. Before the match he took Long Hunter's school. After the match he consulted with Long Hunter and ordered a '73 rifle (to replace his malfunctioning Henry Big Boy), 2 USFA Rodeos (all .38/.357), and Long Hunter leather.

Doc Barium on her first Black Powder match, 4th Lady Frontier Cartridge. Welcome to the Darkside, Doc, we have cookies.

Silver Dollar Smith, 6th Cowboy, his first big match

Yours Truly. Note the right hand. The right gun is next.

Edward R. S. Canby in his railroad gear, 7th Frontier Cartridge


Got up early and cleaned the guns, running a bore snake through the rifle and checking the bore, ditto pistols. The shotgun I just concentrated on the chambers.

At the first stage, after shooting clean all day Friday, I missed 8 with the rifle. Couldn't find anything wrong. Went to the bus and got the other rifle. After that I had only one miss, a downrange AD that didn't hit the target. I had another and hit the target in the head. Big target.

I added something to my PM cheat notes for further usage:

When the shooter gets up to the line he owns it. If he says, "I'll say my line when I'm ready," then LEAVE HIM ALONE. Pestering him to say his line is not acceptable. He paid retail to be there, and his going through the stage in his head for 30 seconds isn't going to change the overall time for the posse on the stage one bit.

I believe each of the timer operators got something out of my being PM, even if it's "Captain Baylor is a @$!%!" By the end everyone was calling out the time loud and clear, and very few shooters got what I would call "preventable" procedurals. If a shooter grabs the wrong gun after running from one position to another, the timer operator should have yelled, "shotgun" before he got there. If the first Nevada Sweep is from the left and the second is from the right, the timer operator should be saying "Right next," as the last round with the first pistol is being fired. If the shooter ignores it, it's his own fault then.

Stage One, or what I called, "What were they thinking?" had a knockdown-flyer shotgun sequence. We discussed what the spotters should say about the flyer. There was a make up bird on a stick. We decided on "HIT." As it turned out, the spotters said "Hit" and "Again" both, and it worked well.

Why did I call it "What were they thinking?" It's a gunfight. In what old west gunfight did any of the participants shoot at birds?

Things went well. I took posse photos (actually a Sea Cadet did with my camera) because they didn't have a photographer at the shoot. I got a shooter's wife to take photos of every posse member.

At the end I invited everyone to be on the BP Posse at EOT, assuming there is one. "Ask and ye shall receive."

Finished after 3. Got to the bus, exhausted. Drank a Red Bull and fell asleep anyway. The Redhead called to tell me she wouldn't be there in time for the wedding of Mica McGuire and EzGz. Frantically dressed in the evening costume of Col. Baylor and barely made it. Neat ceremony.

Dinner was BBQ, not bad. The costume contest was decided by applause, making it a popularity contest. Mica and EzGz won best dressed couple as a result, but, had there been real judges, I think they would have too. Sagebrush Molly was best dressed lady in her Classic Cowgirl shooting costume.

April 23, 2010, Friday

Kiowa Kid and Dan Diamond basking in the balmy spring weather in New Mexico

Blaine K. Check firing his Remington '58 with a conversion cylinder.

Dawgtooth Dave smiling from another good run.

Members of the Bataan Military Academy pick up brass.

The running buffalo runs, but it only ran after several days work by More Or Les. When we got there it didn't run. The cable was kinked, but all the king's horses and all the king's men got it running again.

Some people actually managed to hit it.

Kiowa Kid

Creek Harding, who also worked very hard as a timer operator


This was after most of the mud had dries

"This is a cold range," said Coyote Calhoun, "a damn cold range." He was right. It was very cold all day. At Catlow's suggestion I had written down the things I wanted to say to the posse before we started shooting.

· Really good posse. Been working for BP posses for a couple of years. Having a lot of BP shooters in one posse is a lot of fun and solves a lot of potential problems.
· Since I have to charge percussion pistols, I can’t be T. O. all of the time. But I know how to delegate. Experienced TO's need to step up and time a few shooters. Several TO's timing 3-5 shooters each better than 2-3 timing 10-15 ea.
· Think of this as a Team Sport – If a shotgun doesn’t go down, I want to hear a chorus of “Again.” We should be working together as much as possible. The Golden Rule applies.
· Timer Operator should be helping the shooter ACTIVELY. Next gun, next target, etc. unless the shooter tells him he doesn’t want coaching.
· If a shooter gets a safety for a lever or a closed shotgun or a hull, it should be because the timer operator couldn’t stop the shooter in time, not because he didn’t see it.
· TO-when shooter finishes, as soon as it is safe to do so, say time LOUD AND CLEAR. Cover microphone. Then get misses. Show the time to the scorer.
· TO-say STOP if shooter is about to shoot wrong gun, didn’t see lever open, etc.
· Not everyone should be a spotter. Some can't "see fast enough." Some don't give benefit of the doubt to the shooter.
· Hits/Misses-If you know it's a hit, it's a hit. If you think it's a hit, it's a hit. If you think it's a miss it's a hit. Only if you know it's a miss. it's a miss. Our justice system is based on the philosophy that it's better to free ten guilty men than to jail one innocent man. I would rather see a shooter get a hit for a miss than to get a miss for a hit.
· Benefit of the doubt always goes to the shooter. If you think a shooter broke the 170 briefly, then the shooter gets counseling. If you know without a doubt the shooter broke the 170, then he gets a stage or match DQ.
· Black powder shooters, spotters should be off to the side so they can see the targets despite the smoke. Round lead balls and dead targets means you must be where you can see the target move.
· This is a Regional-rules must be followed, but shooter gets benefit of the doubt. You can't do some of the things you would do at locals, like hand a shooter a shotgun shell when he's out.
· Shoot any order
· 4 people at loading table. If we get a long line at the loading table, and not enough workers, then we'll shoot in order.
· Restarts, not reshoots—Until a round goes downrange, shooter can get a restart as long as shooter doesn’t abuse it.
· Relatives can’t spot for family members.
· No dawdling. Expediter if we aren’t moving fast enough. Long guns can be moved to unloading table by spotter. Pull targets up. Assist brass pickup kids.
· lunch break is mandatory, after 3rd stage Fri, 4th stage Sat. 45 minutes.

Everything went off smoothly. I mostly stood around and looked for problems. I stopped one shooter and gave him a restart for a pre-first shot problem, and I stopped one from starting until he moved a shotgun that was pointed downrange in a stage where moving downrange was required. I talked to a couple of timer operators to get them to YELL OUT the time as soon as possible for all to hear.

Sagebrush Molly broke the loading gate on her '66, causing a disastrous run. Not too many stages later, her husband, Dawgtooth Dave broke his. Jack Diamond had to retrieve both rifles to fix at his shop.

The scoring ladies, Weaver Gal, Painted Filly, and Sagebrush Molly did a flawless job.

Brass pickers were Naval Sea Cadets from the Bataan Military Academy. I was quite impressed. They didn't relax. When they talked to one of us it was at a brace with lots of "Yessir, nossir." I talked to one sharp looking lad and asked him if he was going into the Navy. He said he wanted to go into the Army because his father and brother had. He was hoping to go to West Point and wanted to be a Green Beret or a Ranger. He struck me as a young man who could do it.

We finished shooting at 3

Plainsman match

Met Tex at Stage 3 for a 3 stage plainsman match. The Handi-Rifle that Johnny Meadows had worked on for me worked like a charm, allowing me to pick up time on Tex and Dawgtooth Dave that they couldn't make up on the other guns. I timed both of them. One second per shot on a six shot stage adds up. Hard to make up. I won all 3 stages and shot clean. Dave was second, Tex Third, then came the other 56 shooters (actually one, Creek Harding, who REALLY wanted to shoot clean and recapped several times on the clock.

People were in the bus drinking Margaritas when I got there. I put off gun cleaning till morning.

April 22, 2010, Thursday

Shot the warmup match in the morning, actually just the first 4 stages as I had to go to the posse marshals' meeting. Then shot 6 stages of Wild Bunch in decreasing temperature, and rain turning to sleet to snow to blowing snow.

On one stage the fatigue got to me, and I ran to the shooting position and pulled the pistol instead of grabbing the rifle. The posse marshal ordered me to shoot it, and I did. He should have told me to stop and given me a reshoot, and I shouldn't have followed his order. It had to cost me 15 seconds, 10 for the procedural and 5 for fiddling.

But on another stage the running buffalo never showed. I pushed on the plunger twice and the posse marshal told me to shoot the rifle. I did. Later in the stage I had to shoot the pistol at the buffalo, so I got 14 freebies. Wasn't enough in the tough Traditional field. Wound up 5th. It's hard to tell with rank points, but I was 13 seconds behind 3rd place, and 24 behind 4th place. Yes, 4th was faster than 3rd. That's why it's impossible to tell what shooting the wrong gun cost me.

Modern: 1st Pecos Clyde, 2nd El Patrullero, 3rd Long Hunter,

Traditional, 1st Krazy Kurt, 2nd Fast Hammer, 3rd El Guerito Cochino

Women's Modern, 1st Silver Heart, 2nd Claudia Feather, 3rd Lawless Lori Sue

Wasn't back to the bus much before 7, totally exhausted. Switched gun cart back to Frontiersman for tomorrow.

April 21, 2010. Wednesday

Had breakfast at a nice vendor who came over to the bus last night with ice cream and cake. His wife's name was Simmerin' Rose, but I can't remember him, and I never saw the name of the place. They had a different menu every day, buffalo burgers, pulled pork, etc. Breakfast was bacon, eggs, and toast.

Got my packet at the SASS Mercantile and bought most of the clearance items that fit, meaning one shirt and 2 rifle cases.

Worked in the garage.

We celebrated our 28th Anniversary, The Redhead's birthday, Weaver Gal's birthday, Arthur's birthday, and one of Weaver Gal's 42 dogs' birthday. We had 15 people in the bus at one time, a new record. Later Happy Jack and Creek Harding came by.