Monday, June 30, 2008

e-Postal Match Reminder


Get your e-Postal entries sent in by tonight Midnight.

The next match should be announced soon.......

Belt Fed .22 Caliber Machine Gun

I guess this video has been around for a while, but I just came across it. Wouldn't one of these be fun to shoot?


Sunday, June 29, 2008

An Eventful Weekend

It's been a really busy weekend, and lots of the busyness revolved around guns and shooting! Last week Damiphino and I set up and ran a demonstration of the Cowboy Fast Draw targets and timer for the folks at Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun club to find out if there was sufficient interest in pursuing it as a HHRGC shooting sport. The results were almost overwhelming with lots of members enjoying trying it out and expressing interest in seeing future Cowboy Fast Draw activities. After some negotiations (possibly including whining, sniveling, groveling, and possible threats to let some of Damiphino's skeletons out of his closet), a deal was struck, where I bought his targets, impact sensors, start light modules, timer, cables, and all the other bits and pieces to run a Cowboy Fast Draw match. At the HHRGC demonstration one of the shooters suggested that the Cowboy Fast Draw setup would make a great side event fund raiser at the upcoming Friends of the NRA dinner coming up in two days. At that time I hadn't bought the target setup. After buying the equipment I wondered if I could pull it all together in 48 hours and make a few bucks for the NRA. Of course, since the NRA banquet is one of the biggest club gatherings of the year, it would also be a great time to showcase the new shooting sport. I made a couple of phone calls and I got the green light to run it at the dinner. I called Wayne F. and he said he could give me a hand. Rick C. also offered to help. Sailor Curt, Captain of a Crew of One gun blogger from the other side of the continent was going to be not too far away on a short work related trip, and we had planned to get together on Saturday, so a "Grand Plan" began to formulate itself. I got everything all put together, posters printed, score sheet printed, tickets printed, reworked the bolt on my ASM New Dakota revolver to resolve a lockup/timing problem, charged up a sealed led/acid battery to run the timer, and loaded everything up in my van, all set to go for Saturday morning. I also had to drill out the flash holes in 100 rounds of 45 Colt brass, install primers, and push in the wax bullets. It seemed like there were a million little details to take care of, and from previous experiences I knew for sure that "Mr. Murphy" and his law were bound to show up at the most inconvenient time!

Saturday morning Curt showed up, and KeeWee, Curt, and I headed to a local restaurant for breakfast. KeeWee had to work all day, so after breakfast she headed off to work. Curt and I headed back to Castle Completely for a full day of shooting. We Headed out to the barn for some rimfire fun, and Curt shot a couple of the e-Postal match targets. (Don't forget to get your targets shot and sent in by Monday night at midnight!)

Around Noon we loaded up most of my centerfire handguns and ammo into the van along with all the Fast Draw stuff, and headed over to HHRGC for a few hours of shooting. When we got there the pistol range was completely deserted, so we had lots of space to spread everything out. We shot one thing after another, everything from rimfire up through the .480 Ruger, and lots of stuff in between. I think Curt was going easy on me, though, as his very first shot with my .480 RugerSRH was absolutely in the center, and that was at 50'. I guess he decided not to hurt my feelings, though ,and went back to shooting more normal, but still excellent, groups!

"Sailor curt" and the Ruger .480 Super Red Hawk

The morning went by quickly, and soon it was nearing 4pm., time to set up the Fast Draw equipment. It must have taken 10 minutes to pick up all the brass, though! We packed our stuff back into the van and headed over to the shotgun range to set up. The shotgun range is right in front of the restaurant's picture windows on a nice grassy lawn area, so everyone attending the NRA dinner could watch, even if they didn't participate.

It didn't take too long to get everything ready to go, thanks to Wayne, Rick, and Curt. It wasn't long before the first shooters showed up to give it a try. The fund raiser was five dollars for five fast draw shots at the target, against another shooter. The holsters were leather, and similar to what would have been used in the old West. The pistols we used were 1873 Single action Army replicas in 45 Colt. We used wax bullets from Bandit and push was supplied by Winchester Large Pistol primers.

It kept at least three of us busy almost continually, strapping on the holsters, explaining the safety rules, and the ins and outs of how to draw and shoot. We also had to run a bore brush through the barrels after every few shooters. It didn't take long and we were running the shoot-offs one after another.

Taking a sure shot.

The NRA Rep. gave it a try early, and had so much fun at it he came back out later to try it again! I forgot to write down his name, but I remember "Pepper", so I at least get partial credit! I suspect he's going to be gearing up and shooting some Cowboy Fast Draw in his home state of Montana!

Several of the shooters made the same comments after giving it a try. First, it's harder than it looks, and second, it's LOTS of fun! You wouldn't think a two foot diameter target would be hard to hit, but believe me, it sure is!

It seemed to go by quickly, and it was time to pack everything up. We turned in $115 dollars to the Friends of the NRA. Not a big deal, but a good start. I'll bet we double it next year.

Once loaded, KeeWee, Curt, and I all converged at a local restaurant for a big dinner. Dinner was great, but Curt had a bit of a drive to get back, so we parted, ending a day of great fun that ended far too quickly.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Heller Affirmed - Good News (Sorta.....)

Well, the good news, as most of you probably already know, the Supreme Court has upheld the Heller decision, and spelled out that the Second Amendment means just what we already believed it to mean, that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, not a collective one.

The bad news is that the vote was 5 to 4. In other words, we came within one vote of losing the right to individually keep and bear arms.

In the next few years probably two of the Judges will be retiring and will be replaced by two new ones. They will be appointed by the President. Who we elect as the next president will be crucially important for the future of our freedoms. For those considering voting for a candidate with no hope of winning, as a protest, or voting for an anti-gun candidate so it can "get worse before it gets better", just remember, the president after the next one can't "Un-appoint" Supreme Court justices.

Once they get appointed, we're stuck with them, good or bad, until they retire......


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Holmes Harbor Cowboy Fast Draw 06/19/2008

Last Thursday afternoon over at the Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun club Damiphino and I (well, mostly Damiphino) set up a set of Cowboy Fast Draw targets, stands, and timer rig. He was visiting from Billings and brought along all the target stuff along with several single action 45 Colt replica revolvers so we could give Cowboy Fast Draw a try. Cowboy fast Draw is a rapidly growing shooting sport, but so far hasn't reached Washington state. In fact, this is probably one of the first times it's even been seen in Washington.

Cowboy Fast Draw has a lot of appeal, which probably explains its rapid growth. The guns are inexpensive, the ammunition is inexpensive, and you can shoot in your own back yard or basement for practice, since the bullets are wax and are propelled by a shotgun primer. Although the bullets won't travel much over a couple of hundred feet, at fifteen or twenty feet they still have enough energy to punch a hole in 1/4" plywood, so all gun safety and gun handling rules still apply.

Damiphino explains "Load one, skip one, load four" and shows how to be sure you don't try to shoot on an empty cylinder.

Since the Thursday afternoon shotgun shoot was just winding down for the day, there were lots of folks interested in the new (old?) sport and were willing to give it a try. At first there was a little hesitation, but once everyone saw how much fun we were having everyone wanted to give it a try. The Cowboy Fast Draw Association rules stress safety first, fun second, and competition third, and everyone found it to be great fun, even if misses were commonplace. The two foot diameter target looks so big you think you couldn't possibly miss, but that's sure not the case!

Sure, I'll give it a try!

Cowboy Fast Draw is extremely popular with the ladies, and Cowboy Fast Draw events have probably the highest percentage of women shooters of any of the shooting sports. The lack of recoil and loud noise is part of the appeal.

The start position is with your hand on the gun with your trigger finger out of the trigger guard. Starting with your hand off of the gun is a Hollywood invention.

Hands on the guns in "Lawman Ready", Mr. C. and Mike M. wait for the yellow target light to come on.

The start commands are "Shooters (or Cowboys) to the line". The shooters get into position and ready to draw. The second command is "Shooters SET". Once this command is given the shooters must remain motionless until the yellow target lights come on, which is randomly somewhere between two and five seconds after the "Shooters SET" command.

The light has come on, so draw and shoot as fast as you can!

The targets have an impact sensor on them so the electronic timer can determine which wax bullet hit first. The winner gets a blinking yellow light. If you miss, your light stays off. That happens a lot, even with the best shooters.............

Suddenly two shots rang out........

Can't tell for sure, but either the light is blinking and the camera caught it when it was off, or I just flat out missed the target! I don't think Mike M. missed all day! I missed lots!! We were having enough fun, though, that it didn't really matter.

The feedback from those giving it a try was encouraging, and the next step is to get our own set of targets and a timer. Then we can try some fun matches and see how it goes. One this is for sure, Holmes Harbor has a fantastic facility for this type of a shoot as you can set it up on the shotgun range in front of the restaurant picture windows so spectators can enjoy the fun while eating. Great fish & chips, by the way!

Stay tuned and watch for further announcements. As Sherlock would say "The game is afoot!"

Thanks to Wayne for taking the pictures!

BTW: Even though I am working towards getting Cowboy Fast Draw started at the Holmes Harbor Club, I'm still going to keep shooting steel, and whatever else fun comes along the way!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Steel Challenge in New Jersey

Paul sent me a link to a great newspaper article in the New Jersey Suburban covering a regional Steel Challenge match held recently. It's good to see shooting sports get a positive mention in the media. There's even a couple of pictures to give readers an idea of what steel challenge looks like.

Well Done!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Custom Cars at Banks Lake

When we were over at Banks lake there was a custom car and hotrod show at the city park just a short ways up the lake from where we were staying. Some of us took a short break from fishing and spent a few hours admiring the automotive works of art. There were a lot of cars there, but I've just posted a few pictures of some of them that caught my eye.

I figure the pictures speak for themselves, so enjoy, and don't forget that you can click on any of the pictures to invoke the embiggilizer........

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don't Let Seattle Steal This Election!

e-Postal Match Reminder

You've only got two weekends left to get your targets shot and sent in for this month's e-Postal match. I gave it a try yesterday and all I can say is Sebastian better stay out of dark alleys in Reno at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous! I'd say this is the toughest match I've seen, and scores will all be low, so don't let that keep you from sending in your entries. The "Masochist" class is especially fun! You keep shooting until you finally hit every one of the critters, and your score is how many shots it takes you to get them all. Better bring lots of ammo......

Anyhow, head over to Snowflakes in Hell, get some targets and a set of the rules, shoot them up (the targets, not the rules) take some pictures of the targets and send them in.

Go for it, it's lots more fun than mowing the lawn, or a root canal, maybe............


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Banks Lake Weekend - Part 1

KeeWee and I decided to take the longer but much more scenic North Cascades highway route to Banks Lake for two reasons. First, it's absolutely beautiful scenery, and second, we could get off of Whidbey Island at the North end by crossing the Deception Pass bridge, which saves us forty or fifty dollars of ferry fare each way. Since I was driving I didn't take any pictures, but KeeWee had her camera at hand and took some nice pictures along the way. For more of her pictures from the trip check out her blog post HERE. There was still a lot of snow in the passes, far more than would normally have been there for this time of the year.

Snow along the North Cascades Highway.

Mr. C. hard at work filleting a perch for dinner.

Wayne demonstrates the "FA 4000" chair, while Mr. C. eats......

Potluck dinner, with Banks lake in the background.

Saturday, before the potluck dinner, several of us went to the custom car and hotrod show at the city park a couple of miles up the lake. I got lots of good pictures, and those will be in a follow up post in a few days.

Saturday afternoon was one of the highlights of the weekend, although there were many, the potluck dinner. This club doesn't always catch fish, but they sure do know how to cook.

After the potluck the wind was cooperative, and I got out on the water for some evening fishing. It turned out with the wind storm and high lake levels fishing was very inconsistent, sometimes hot, and sometimes dead. Like the saying goes, though, you should never confuse fishing with catching. You can have a great time fishing, and not catch a thing. Catching fish is just a bonus!

The folks that run Coulee Playland resort were just great and treated us like family. The campsites were good sized, and for those not camping or RV'ing it, there was a big motel right on the lake next door.

It was a grand weekend in spite of the long drive each way. I wish we could have stayed a week!

Help on .41 Rimfire Cartridge Info

I got an email asking for some help tracking down some information on an old cartridge. I don't know the answer, but I'm sure one of you all out there will have the information they are looking for.

Here's the email:

"I am trying to find information on a .41 rimfire short cartridge that has a headstamp "P" (not raised). I believe this cartridge was manufactured by the Peters Manufacturing Company in the 1860's but I'm having a very hard time finding information."

If you have any info, please leave a comment, or drop me an email and I'll post it for you.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cowboy Fast Draw at Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun

If you want to try something new, fun, different, and involving guns, then you should try to be at Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun club this Thursday, June 19th. at 1 pm. Cowboy Fast Draw is a rapidly growing shooting sport, and it's just a matter of time before there will be matches all over the country. "Damiphino" (lots of Cowboy Fast Draw shooters use an alias) from Billings, Montana, will be setting up a set of cowboy fast draw targets and a timer for a few hours on Thursday to demonstrate the sport and to give everyone a chance to try it out.

Cowboy Fast Draw is not to be confused with World Fast Draw. Cowboy Fast Draw competitions stick to basically stock 1873 Colt Peacemaker revolver replicas in .45 Colt Caliber. Wax bullets are used, and either a very small amount of black powder or a shotgun primer provide the propulsion for the bullet. Even with the light load the wax bullet will punch through 1/4" plywood at 15 feet, so these are still real guns and are treated just as any other firearm. The holsters are all leather and are very close to what would have been seen in the old West.

The targets are two feet in diameter and are either 15, 18, or 21 feet from the shooters, depending on the level of competition. The matches are head to head against another shooter. When the light comes on, both shooters draw and fire. The one hitting their target first wins the round.

One of the nicest things about Cowboy Fast Draw is that you don't need a gun range to shoot. A couple of layers of carpet are sufficient as a backstop and you can practice in your garage, basement, or back yard. You also don't need a reloading press to load your own ammunition or a $4,000 dollar race gun to be competitive. I picked up a Uberti Millenium .45 at Sportsman's Warehouse on sale for under $300.

Come on out to Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club this Thursday and give it a try.

There's even a small restaurant on site so you can have lunch or dinner while you're there.


We're Back From Eastern Washington

KeeWee and I returned from our fishing club's Eastern Washington Banks Lake weekend Sunday night, road weary but glad we went. Unfortunately a bunch of work piled up while I was gone, and that soaked up most of yesterday and today. Needless to say, no blogging got bloggered, but over the next several days I've got lots of good stuff to post. Thursday afternoon we drove over across the North Cascades highway, and it was spectacular, with quite a bit of snow still on the roadside near the summits. We spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in our RV at Coulee Playland resort on the North end of Banks lake. The wind wasn't very cooperative, but we got out fishing as often as we could. Saturday afternoon I checked out the custom and hotrod car show at the city park just up the lake from where we were staying. Yup, I took lots of pictures. Sunday morning and early afternoon we went a couple of miles down the lake to Osborne Bay and watched the hydroplane races. Got more pictures and some video from that. When I get then sorted out I'll start putting them up on the blog for you.

Stay tuned...................

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Born to fish - Forced to Work

No posting until Monday. KeeWee and I are taking the RV and the boat over to Eastern Washington to Banks lake for some sunshine, rest, relaxing, fishing, and just generally kicking back for a couple of days.

Have a good weekend!

See you all on Monday...........

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dungeness River - June 2008

Once again KeeWee of KeeWee's Corner has outdone herself with a great picture post and story about our weekend outing to the Olympic peninsula to camp along the Dungeness river. At the end of her big post she even has a short video of the Dungeness river flowing past our campsite. There isn't much I could add here beyond a few more pictures of the spectacular scenery. All of the below pic's are at a fairly high resolution so you can click on them to see them in greater detail.

A huge old cedar tree covered in moss.

Moss hangs from the trees everywhere.

The Dungeness river was fairly high and moving rapidly (is that a pun?)

One road we hiked. It's a LOT steeper than it looks in the picture.

The Dungeness river.

Pretty spectacular scenery...................

Friday, June 06, 2008

Off for some R&R

As you have probably noticed, blogging has been light lately. There are several reasons for this. Normally most of my blog posts this time of the year revolve around pistol matches. I would normally be shooting at least one if not two matches every weekend. Most of these matches would have been at the club in Coupeville.

At that club one person makes all the rules and runs all of the speed steel and bowling pin matches. That same person has won most all of the matches over the last few years. For the last four or five years I have been shooting a version of the Taco grip in the club matches, where your weak hand is either on top of the red dot sight, or holding the barrel, rather than on the rear grip with your strong hand. This is a very common technique, particularly in silhouette matches. It is completely legal under international steel challenge rules. It is quite accurate, but it's also very slow in moving from target to target. I had decided to see if I could evolve the technique in such a way that most of the accuracy could be retained while building up enough speed to be competitive. Last Fall it was finally coming together, and although still not as fast as other techniques, having few misses made up the slack. This year I won the first three of four matches of the season. The "Rule Maker" decided that my shooting style should be banned, and he changed the rules, banning the way I shoot. There is no rules committee or any rules oversight of any kind, so he can do whatever he wants, and there is no appeal process to his decision.

Sure, I could go back to a conventional style, but that would require reworking my race guns as they are currently set up for this style of shooting and are awkward to shoot any other way. They are all top heavy and nose heavy.

If I did change to a shooting style that was within the newest rules and started being successful, would the rules change again? Who knows, but that illustrates one major advantage of shooting in a type of competition where there is an international set of rules. At least you know what the rules are, and if you think a change is needed, there is a process once a year where the rules can be reviewed and approved. Once the season starts, you can be assured that the same rules will apply for the entire season.

Anyhow, to make a long story short, I am not going to be shooting very many matches this year, particularly compared to previous years. There won't be as many local match reports, but bigger reports from the larger matches. I will be practicing a lot in preparation for regional, national, and world competitions which are run with rules that are actually written down, and last for the whole season. I also plan to shoot as many of the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver club's fun steel matches as I can, and maybe squeeze in a GSSF Glock match or so, even if I really suck at trying to be accurate with a Glock. (It's not the gun, it's me.....)

This weekend, instead of shooting a Saturday and a Sunday match, KeeWee and I are loading up the Mini-RV and heading over to the Olympic Peninsula for R&R.

I'll bring back some pictures................

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

e-Postal Match Results

Note: Regular e-Postal match shooter Merle had his entries disappear (eaten by a spam filter?) and then when Manfred added them to the results, apparently Blogger ate the revised results. Anyhow, Merle turned in some very fine scores and I've added his scores to the results. Nice shooting, Merle!

The scores are now posted for the May e-Postal match, ably designed and hosted by Manfred, of the Armes et tir passion blog. This was the very first international e-Postal match, as Manfred is a French gun blogger, who blogs both in French and English for those of us who are linguistically challenged!

We owe a big "Thanks" to Manfred for designing and hosting the match.

The next e-Postal match will be ready to go any day, so keep an eye open both here and at Snowflakes in Hell for the announcement.

Class 1 : rimfire open sights
Shooter Gun Circles Pins Total
Mr.CompletelyHigh Standard .22434083
Bill (10yards)
Ruger SA 22Mag
Ruger Mark I .22 6"
Bill H
High Standard .22233053
Ruger 22/45301545

Class 2 : rimfire optic sights
Shooter Gun Circles Pins Total
Mr.CompletelyHigh Standard .22 + reddot495099 !
ManfredColt .22 Target 2xreddot465096
Kee Wee
Ruger MK-II/Scope
High Standard .22 + reddot
Conservative UAW Guy
M107 .22 Ultradot Match
BetyColt .22 Target 2xreddot

Class 3 : centerfire open sights
Shooter Gun Circles Pins Total
AhabRemington 1858 .45 Colt
AhabS&W 1937 .45 ACP454590
Wyatt EarpUberti 1875 .45 Colt453577
ManfredHK Mark23 .45 ACP463076
S&W M625 .45ACP
Tanfoglio .40S&W
BillCz Vz82 9.18 Makarov304272
BillRossi .357 Bullseye 6"353166
Bill HS&W 19 .38Special311546
Bill HGlock 27 .40S&W33639

Merle was the only entry in Class IV, Centerfire with optic sights. (Where's all those race-gunners?) Merle used his 10" barreled Dan Wesson .357 to shoot an outstanding 48 on the circles and 45 on the bowling pin for a grand total of 93.


Monday, June 02, 2008

"Hey - Bo Diddley" 1928-2008 R.I.P.

Bo Diddley is now playing his unique brand of rock and roll at a venue somewhere above, I suspect, jamming with so many of the musicians who have gone before. Bo was definitely an original, from his square guitar to his distinctive rhythm patterns.

I actually have one thing in common with Bo Diddley as we share the same birthday. Although not usually mentioned in any of the articles I've read about Bo, he was one of few high profile rockers who had female musicians in his band. Looking at many of the male rock musicians today, I think I can understand his thinking. If they can play well and they're good looking too, why would you want some sweaty ugly guys in your band? It makes sense to me.....

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Squirrel on the Deck

Monday squirrel blogging ?

Saw this little guy on the front deck a couple of days ago. He's directly below the bird feeder and as the birds kick seeds out of the feeder he gobbles them up.

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