Friday, July 15, 2005

Reloading for IPSC Competition

I was chatting with The Analog Kid tonight, and toward the end of my reply to the message he sent to me (he suggested I throw in with him and some other folks on an order from Cheaper Than Dirt, which retailer is offering a good price on ammunition orders over $150), I realized that I had just written a Blog Post.

Just for grins, here's a Geek-Length Post which proves that I inflict verbosity even on my friends. (Also, it is a fair description of the process by which we build ammunition for IPSC competition.)

Thanx for the ammo offer, but everything I shoot, I reload for. Even have a semi-progressive shotshell press (which I haven't used for almost 20 years ... shows how often I shoot shotgun.)

Usually Previously, several of us in the area get together twice a year to put in a large order for powder, primers or bullets. But one of the guys decided to start a little business, so he put a couple grand into the components that we usually use (Vihta Vourhi N-350 powder, Montana Gold 115gr .38 super bullets) and resells to us for just a few bucks a keg or case more than we would otherwise have paid for it. He saves more on shipping, so it's worth his effort. This arrangement allows us to spread our purchases out over the year. I don't mind a month when I find myself paying $70 a 4# keg for powder, or $190 for a 4000-count case of bullets, but I don't want to pay three times that amount for a six-month supply. My cash flow use to suck!

Yeah, we really do shoot up 4000 rounds every two months. Not as much during the winter, more during the summer. Of course, I'm using twice as much because I'm loading both for me and for SWMBO. I'm telling you, if I'm not shooting 1000 rounds a month, I get withdrawal symptoms something fierce!

About once a month, SWMBO comes down to my place and we load up a thousand rounds or so on a Saturday afternoon. I load ammo. She loads the primer feed tubes for my XL650, gauges and inspects the finished rounds, boxes them up, double-checks for hi-primers, separates the .38 Super rounds (which both of our guns will shoot) from the .38 Super Comp rounds (which only my gun will shoot), and marks the 'match ammo' so we get our own brass back.

She also separates out the 'fat' rounds ... those which don't fit in the chamber gauge. My gun has a looser chamber than hers, so I hang on to it (the 'fat' ammo) and later drop it into the barrel of my gun. If it drops in okay, I shoot it at practice.

A couple times a year, one of us sits down on the concrete garage floor with in inertial bullet puller and salvage bullets and powder from those rounds which are too fat for my gun, or the primer is either missing or not seated properly. Right now I have about a thousand rounds of .38 Super ammo waiting for this recovery effort. It's a real pain in the rear (literally ... that concrete is HARD), but it's worth it. I can even salvage some of the cases, which is a GOOD deal since brass costs between $90 and $100 a thousand ... I try to get along by buying a couple thousand new cases every year, and hope that I can find used brass for sale after one of the local clubs holds a 'lost brass' match.

Hey, I think I've just written another blog article. Thanx for the inspiration [Analog Kid], I'll use it tonite.


Baboon Pirates: Carnival Of Cordite # 22

Baboon Pirates: Carnival Of Cordite # 22

The Twenty-Second Weekly Carnival of Cordite is UP!

Amazing, isn't it? This Thing Of Ours has remained a viable web meme for over FIVE ... count 'em, 5 ... months, and is still going and growing.

If you have any interest at all in RKBA issues or Shooting Topics, this is the to-go place every Friday night.

So catch the link, go there and just ... wallow!

You're among friends, you gun-hog people you.

A little historical perspective for the Moslems...

staghounds: A little historical perspectve for the Moslems...

At the risk of seeming Politically Incorrect, I am going to digress from my usual non-judgemental, quiet, unassuming and universally inclusive style.

A fellow who blogs under the nom de plume of Staghounds commented on my Wednesday article about "Assault Weapons".

I thought he had something interesting to say, so I wandered over to his website (which I will eventually add to my sidebar links) to see what ELSE he had to say.

There, I found an article which he had posted on July 8 ... the day after the terrorist assault on the London Tube.

The perspective he provided was something that I hadn't read anywhere else. I thought somebody ought to give him a resounding "Ooh-RAH!" The comments I added to his post were, I thought, inadequate. Maybe he can pick up a slightly different audience here. Surely, his thoughts deserve more exposure.

You should go read the whole thing, of course, and some of you may not agree with him. But here's the Money Quote:

We are nice and kind fat and soft and ridden with unearned guilt. We also have a history of savage bloodshed that makes the earth blanch.

We are horrified by what our own civilization did as recently as 1914-18 and 39-45. But we DID do it [ . . . ].

Forbearance and measured response are still what we are doing, but we might decide they aren't effective.

[ . . . ]

We are crazy. Maybe ought to not fuck with us too much.
I would never have said that. But maybe, just maybe, the reason why Western Civilization is being hammered by barbarians is because they see the "nice and kind fat and soft" side and have, like children, forgotten our bloody history.

One of the primary difficulties of fighting The War On Terrorists (note: NOT "the War on TERROR") is the difficulty of grappling with a Chimera.

It was a lot simpler in WWII. Japan bombs Pearl Harbor? Okay, we take four years to work ourselves into a position where we have access, and then we bomb them. We firebomb Tokyo, we NUKE Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not nice, but at least we had a clearly defined target and it certainly resolved all of that imperialism nonsense.

This isn't an option in the current contretemps. We don't HAVE a clearly defined target. As the London bombings prove, we're not dealing with nations; we're suffering the Death of a Thousand Cuts, we're being driven away by gnats, we're being eaten one small bite at a time by ants. (But unlike John Leiningen, we can't seem to fill or fire our moat.)

Carpet bombing of capital cities and major industrial areas is clearly NOT an option. We're not being attacked by a nation; we're being attacked by an idea. The idea is that a group of individuals have the will to impose their theological mandates on the rest of the world.

That is to say, "extreme Islamists" want us to embrace their imaginary friend. If we don't, they'll kill us. They'll kill people who have nothing at all to do with any kind of dialogue ... which, I might point out, is NOT happening. They'll kill members of their own religion if the beliefs of these fellow Muslims aren't as extreme in their beliefs. And they'll even kill their own if there is any suspician that the committment isn't as great.

There is no way to deal with these people. We can't talk, we can't negotiate, we can't understand them. I'm not sure they understand themselves.

Maybe it's time that we quit trying "forbearance and rational response." Maybe we should accept a more aggressive stance.

We did that once before, over 200 years ago, and it turned out fairly well.

Because the true national symbol of America, rather than the carrion-eating Eagle, is truly and properly the Rattlesnake.

(image courtesy of

We might consider adopting Benjamin Franklin's "Don't Tread On Me" flag. (I think I'll buy me one of these.) It could be flown, just below the American Flag, at all public buildings. Most especially, it should be displayed at the United Nations building.

Of course, then we would have to act in accordance.

Well, nothing else we've tried has worked all that well.

What do YOU think?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

July Blogmeat!

For those who haven't checked the links on the sidebar:


PUBLICOLA has a serious case of the jaws over Columbus, Ohio.

First, Columbus is trying to re-institute the AWB. Publicola says that Columbus can go straight to hell! (Also mentioned Here.)

Then, in case he couldn't sufficiently vent his bile on just one state, he took on Indiana ... whose cops stole a gun from an Octogenarian!

Next Gullyborg presents a powerful correspondance between Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich.

It's worth the read. Gingrich has some things to say which appeal to this Geek.

Kim Du Toit informs us that BATFE has just enacted a regulation which would make it impossible to buy gun parts, if they can be assembled into a firearm which would be illegal. Doesn't matter if the part is for a legal firearm ... if it also fits an illegal firearm, you can't have it.

You have 60 days to think about his one. Kim recommends stocking up on parts, and parenthetically curses Georgh H.W. Bush for his Executive Order which legitimized the regulation. (H/T rivrdog)

Little Green Footballs shows Jaques Chirac gloating because He's Not British.
Well, Chirac is a Frog. You have to expect cheezy demeanor from a cheese-eating surrender monkey.

The Japanese are typically 'bosom challenged'. At least THEY think so.
Sondra K illustrates the latest Tokyo Fad ... The Nipponese Solution.

... and they wonder why they lost the war.

On the other hand (sorry), Michael Bane describes The American Military Solution.
What is it?
Big Guns.
The American military is searching for a replacement for the issue handgun, the pathetic 9mm Baretta.
Now, that's what I'm talking about!

You know your TV?
I'll bet it's Analog, right?

After 2009 ... it won't work no more. You're gonna have to buy a new one, because broadcasters will no longer be broadcasting analog signals. They'll only be broadcasting Digital Signals.

The good news: if you're connected to Cable, or Dish, they'll probably translate the signal for you.
The bad news: otherwise, you'll either have to buy a $50 converter, or a new TV.

It's all about money, and pockets.
Your money, into their pockets.

The upside is that the signal will be clearer. Yeah, right.

You know your country?
Yeah, that's right. The United States of America.

ABC News reports that we probably already have terrorist 'sleeper cells' in place. Yeah, that's right. The same folks who brought us the London Subway Bombings on 7/7. You remember that they were reported as having used commercial (or military) explosives? Dig this, from ABC:

Tools of Terror Are Within Reach

For those willing to carry out attacks, there are plenty of explosives readily available.

From 2001 to 2004, more than 16,000 pounds of high explosives were stolen from construction sites and demolition companies, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Equally as alarming, more than 60,000 pounds of blasting agents like ammonium nitrate — the same chemical used in the Oklahoma City bombing — were stolen, as well.

One of the explosive materials preferred by terrorists around the world is a homemade concoction called TATP. An ABC News team today bought three of the primary chemicals used to make TATP at local hardware and drug stores.

(emphasis added)

And GW doesn't want to reinforce our borders.

But here's some good news!

Mexico's President feels our pain, and he's willing to help reinforce our southern borders!
Yeah Baby Yeah!

Oops! But there's a catch.
Like a war-zone whore, there's always a catch with this guy.

He'll tighten up the border ... but he wants amnesty for Mexican citizens who are already in the United Stages illegally.

In what is being characterized as international blackmail, the former foreign minister of Mexico has told a Senate committee his nation will not cooperate with the U.S. on border-security issues unless a number of immigration-related action is taken – including amnesty for illegal aliens.

On Tuesday, former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing: "No border security is possible without Mexican cooperation" and "there can be no cooperation [from the Mexican government] without some sort of immigration reform package."
So you gotta ask yourself, why do these ho-dads push us so hard? What's in it for them ... really. After all, they're leaking the part of their population with the most courage, the most initiative. Why do they want to send them to us?

The reason is that these folks are coming to America to find work, and they do find work. They send a huge chunk of their wages back home to Mexico.

Do you have any idea how much foreign currency this brings in to Mexico each year?

Hey, remember their petroleum reserves? Well, they get more Gringo Bucks from their citizens who cross the border illegally and send money home to their families, than they get from the TOTAL sales of all their petroleum.

And it doesn't cost them NOTHING! And they get to keep their petroleum reserves for their own use.

These folks are like ticks on a dog. They may serve a purpose, but they're sucking blood while they're clinging to America.

So Vincenzo Fox has America in a bind. If we can't control our borders, we have to ask our neighbors to do it for us .. and they're asking for blood.

If we don't quit scratching, they'll just let anybody who wants to pass through Mexico to America. This includes the MS-13 central american bandidos who are rumored to be helping pass contraband across the border ... possibly including nuclear weapons. This includes the "OTM" (Other Than Mexicans" portion of the illegal alien flow, which for the past half year has been a SIGNIFICANT percentage of the people who stroll across our southern borders.

What's America doing about it?
We're relaxing security restrictions on incoming flights.

I don't want to leave you with a lot of negative feelings, I feel obliged to contribute one last link to a light-hearted, frivolous article so you won't go away bummered out.

But I won't.

That IS the news of the day.

Deal with it.

Okay, okay, I'll relax the bummer-rules to this extend:

Do you feel better now?

That's what I thought.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Assault Weapons Putting Safety in Crosshairs?

KDKA: Assault Weapons Putting Safety in Crosshairs?

Pittsburgh (KDKA) It's been nine months since President Bush lifted the national ban on the sale of assault weapons.

In that time, police say they've seen more and more of these deadly accurate weapons turning up in the wrong hands -- from gang members to other violent criminals.
"Deadly Accurate"?

IIRC, the traditional objection to "assault weapons" (note: undefined terminology) has been magazine capacity and semi-automatic firing mode. Now they're wrong because they're "Deadly Accurate"?

Hey Pittsburgh ... if you have a point, it would be good if you could stick with it.

But let us back up, and set the record straight:

First, President Bush did NOT "lift the ban on assault weapons".
(I have serious problems with this terminology, but let's ignore it for the same of argument. However, for more information about "types of guns", I recommend the excellent set of definitions available at the Guns & Crime website, which has long been resident on the sidebar.)

The Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) was a law which was enacted by Congress ONLY if it could be proved, after a ten year trial period, that it provided some kind of statistically significant reduction in crime. If this reduction could not be proven, the ban (according to the original bill) would automatically SUNSET (become null and void) unless the Senate re-enacted it.

This bill was established in 1995. In the ensuing ten-year period, no reduction in crime was attributable to the law.

When the law came up for re-enactment, President Bush stated that, if Congress chose to permanently re-enact the law, he would allow it to pass without imposing a presidential veto.

Guess what?

The phrase
"President Bush lifted the national ban on the sale of assault weapons" is pure unadulterated bull-shit. The president had nothing to do with it. This source started the article with this sentence for sensational and/or political reasons ... the sentence is neither newsworthy, nor accurate.

Bad on them. We COULD ignore the rest of the article, based on the demonstrated unwillingness to present the information as a straight news-article, rather than an Opinion Piece ... which is it (though not readily identified as such.)

Bu that would be too easy, and no fun at all!

Let us get on with fisking the rest of the article:

Police say in so-called "straw purchases," drug addicts with clean records are legally buying these types of guns, then selling them to criminals for drugs and money.
Yes, that's a problem. If a person enters a gun shop and attempts to purchase a firearm, the FFL Owner will complete the purchase AFTER checking with the BATFE to insure that the purchase is legal.

So what do we do about "drug addicts with a clean record"?

It sounds very much like "What do we do with a problem like Maria?"
Only, of course, much the opposite.

Who is the Bad Guy Here?

How about we identify drug addicts ... people who are likely to take desparate measures for quick cash flow ... more promptly.

I'm sure the drug addicts will comply, if the Pittsburgh Police will cooperate in busting them more promptly.

Is this an extreme example? Why would a reputable MSM source report to that
"drug addicts with a clean record" are acting as 'straw purchasers"?

Would it be in expectation that the situation, once identified, would automatically be corrected?

Or would it be ... to sell newspapers?

The AK-47 and the Soviet SKS Carbine have become weapons of choice for street criminals -- making the police under-armed and out-gunned.
"We don't carry those guns unless we have a SERT team or SWAT team hitting a house. They're more powerful than we are." -- Sgt. Mike Tracy, Pittsburgh Police
With the lifting of the assault ban, magazines and banana clips that can carry as many as 30 rounds of ammunition are now legal; as is an SKS rifle with a bayonet, pistol grip and a detachable magazine.

Sergeant Mike Tracy says that's just wrong.
"How can these be readily available at a sporting goods store? It's not a shotgun, it's an assault type rifle. Semi-automatic sure, but it can do major damage to everybody involved." -- Sgt. Mike Tracy, Pittsburgh Police
Yup, "That's Just Wrong" all right. Ownership of a shotgun is OBVIOUSLY less egregious than ownership of a semi-automatic rifle with a flash suppressor, and thumb-hole stock, or a bayonet grip.

Or is it?

Ten years of data gathering doesn't seem to have made the case for the Gun Grabbers.

The problem isn't the gun, the problem is the gunner. If these guys are so bad, what are they doing on the street? Why does Pittsburgh think it's the gun that's bad? Could it be a societal problem?

No, couldn't be. Well, it could be, but it's too hard to deal with societal problems. It's much easier to ban guns. Let's ban guns again. It won't help solve the problem, but it sure LOOKS like Pittsburgh is trying to solve the problem.

But the debate goes round and round.

While gun advocates say the answer is getting the criminals off the streets, police say it's harder to arrest people when they're armed with these types of weapons.
Yes, the debate Does go "round and round", doesn't it?

The "gun control advocates" want to get the criminal off the streets. Seems reasonable to me.
The "Gun Nuts" want to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
(Notice the difference in terminology? People who want to contravene one of our constitutional rights are "advocates", while people who insist on their constitutional rights are "Nuts".)

The police say it's "harder to arrest people when they're armed ...".

Seems to me that the answer is for the Pittsburgh police to get over the heebie-jeebies, and do their job. Get the criminals off the streets, regardless of what guns they may happen to possess.

The guns aren't illegal ... and shouldn't be.

The gunners are illegal, when they're using guns illegally. If they're not ... they are part of the solution, they're not part of the problem.

I have a great respect for cops, and I have no desire to try to arrest someone who is armed. But what are the citizens of Pittsburgh paying their police force for, if not to keep the peace and to protect the citizenry?

What ever happened to "To Protect and To Serve"?

Has it become too difficult?

Gee, it sounds to me as if Pittsburgh doesn't need more effective gun-control laws; they need more effective cops.

Am I seeing a trend here?

(Hat Tip: Geek With a .45)

  • Correct a few of the many typographical errors, awkward sentence constructions, poor word choices.
  • Add a reference to terminology

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Terror Inc: How best to blow up people on a bus

Telegraph | News | How best to blow up people on a bus - the chilling video circulating on terrorist websites:

You think these people aren't serious?

This is possibly the most disgusting article you will read on the Internet.

I don't like it, but we should know that this kind of encouragement is being offered internationally, and it can come to your hometown tomorrow.

Why aren't we as serious about stopping the people to instigate this murderous crap?

(H/T, regretfully, to Lars Larson)

The Sight: M1911-A1

"Hello. My name is Syd and I can't stop writing."
Welcome to the world of Syd Weedon, who just happens to have a life-long affection for the Model 1911.

Many of us share Syd's appreciation of John M. Browning's finest contribution to Western Civilization, but few of us express it so well, or in so many forums. Or for so long.

I've never met Syd, but I'm going to talk about him for a while as if he was an old, dear friend. In a way, because I've been reading his work for several years, that's just what he is.

I ran an Internet search on "M1911" a few years ago (1997, specifically). Number 1 and Number 2 hits were John Caradimas' excellent M1911 Pistols Home Page . Number 3 hit was The Sight's M1911 .45 acp Page, the internet home of Syd.

Here I found as much information about the M1911 as I could hope. Descriptions, history, legend and lore ... it's all here.

I kept coming back to visit Syd, answered his perennial survey (he mentioned compiling the results into some kind of report, but I haven't yet found it on his website ... a work in progress?), checked out his bookstore, and answered questions I didn't even know I had.

I even learned when when my own M1911 was built. (It's a "US ARMY" model, built by Colt sometime between January, 1913, and August 19, 1913.)

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Eventually, I subscribed to Syd's newsletter. This is a monthly (approximately) collection of news articles generally relating to RKBA issues. It shows the headline or topic and an Internet Address (URL) which you can use to select and then read the entire text of the article at the original source. Sometimes, Syd includes some commentary; once in a while, the newsletter is mostly or even completely personal commentary.

Last month, after all of these years of commenting in a newsletter, Syd started a regular blog. He named it "Front Sight, Press". Well, of course; what could be a better name for a blog based on pistol shooting?
I'm delighted to report that he included the full text of his newsletter in his July 9 article.

For your convenience, and for mine, I've included the URLs for both the original webpage and his blogsite in my sidebar.

Not that this is ALL of Syd's writings. You can link to Syd's Page" , which in turn includes a link to his journal, and a BUNCH of other stuff (which I intend to spend the rest of the evening catching up on.)


The Journal was the source of the quote I started out with, and I like it so much that I ought to steal it:

"Hello, my name is Jerry the Geek and I can't stop writing."

Nope. Just doesn't work as well as stolen property.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Going Postal!

A while back, I was looking for PNW (Pacific North West) gun bloggers, and I did find a few of them. You'll find links to their blogs on the sidebar, and I recommend you visit them often.

Today, I got an email from Phil at Random Nuclear Strikes. He reports that he and Mike at Mr Completely are setting up a series of Postal Matches, and invite you to participate.

Apparently you don't have to be a gun-club officer who is willing to schedule a special match every week. If you have access to a range (who doesn't?), a computer (to download match descriptions and report results) and a gun-safe or secure closet filled with dusty ol' guns, here's a reason and an opportunity to get some range time.

One week you'll be shooting a rifle, the next a shotgun, the next a pistol, and the following week you might be shooting Black Powder.

Don't have a Black Powder rifle? You've got friends, doncha? Find out who has one, and invite them along ... then borrow their equipment.

Here's the drill, as I understand it:
Go to the listed sites (more later) and find out what next week's postal match looks like. Download and print the targets. Grab a few friends and a few guns, go to the range and shoot the targets. Send the results into what for lack of a better word we'll call "Postal Match Central". Then keep an eye out for the results, and figure on spending a lot of time exercising your Braggin' Rights.

Phil (also known as "The Analog Kid") sent me some links, so here is more detail:

Phil has an introduction to the whole match schtick here.

The match specs for the 7/11 match are here.

Just to make it more interesting, Phil ... er, sorry, "The Analog Kid" ... sent a link to a photo of his new Darth Vadar shotgun. I suppose I'm stealing his thunder, but I'm a sucker for Gratuitous Gun Pictures, a la Kim de Tuit.

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(Click on pictures for hi-res image)

If you decide to play with the e-postal guys, do us all a favor and tell them that Jerry the Geek sent you. That's the only way we're gonna know if this blog is getting the message out to the people who are interested in this kind of games.

For Oregon shooters, I have TWO good black powder rifles, including a .45 caliber Hawkens and a .50 caliber something-or-other, and would be willing to loan 'em out to people I know. In fact, if some local folks act interested, I'd kinda like to try this out myself! Here's a picture of the Hawkens.

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Day After, 9th Annual Single Stack Championship

I told you Friday that I didn't expect to place highly in the Albany Rifle & Pistol club's Ninth Annual Single Stack Championships.

Those expectations were well founded, as I started the first stage by accumulating FOUR misses in a stage which only scored the best 24 shots. Actually, I didn't do all THAT badly (although I was slow ... very slow) all day because I wasn't accustomed to handling the recoil. That meant that I wasn't waiting for clean slight-alignment on my second shot at each target, so that shot often went south. Or West, depending on how you look at it. Anyway, I missed to the left quite consistantly, thank you. I DID manage to slow down and hold it together until the last stage, where I did the same thing on one long-distance target and got another miss, and a D-hit.

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(click on all images for enlarged views)

In this photo, I'm scoring someone else's targets on the same stage where I missed four of 'em. Seems difficult to believe that I could completely miss targets this close, doesn't it? A determined Geek can do ANYTHING! But I missed very very fast. The good thing is, after shooting this stage I knew that for the rest of the day I was going to be shooting for fun, not with the expectation of winning anything (as if I thought that before I started the first stage!)

I ended up in 43rd place out of 108 competitors. Well, nobody said it was going to be easy, and I had a LOT of fun so I'm not complaining.

(For those who care about the details, you can find a short write-up about the match and a link to the results at the ARPC IPSC website.)

The weather cooperated perfectly. Although we had to cover the cardboard targets because of a light rain during 7am setup, by the time the match started at 9am we could pull the bags off and shot dry the rest of the day.

I saw some old friends whom I haven't seen lately.

My friend Zippy from Washington was there. Unfortunately, I was busy with setup in the morning and we weren't squadded together, so I only had a few moments of essentially meaningless conversation; not more than shake hands, good to see you, regrets that I had to change my plans to shoot with him at the NorthWest Challenge at the end of the month (work and family obligations), and "have a safe drive home".

Zippy was a D-L10 shooter when I first met him, and a friend of my friend Bumstead (another near-Seattle native and denizen of The Unofficial IPSC List.) We both were shooting Kimbers ... he had won a custom-built Kimber in the NorthWest Challenge, and I had my $279 Kimber nicknamed "The Beloved Kimber" because it ALWAYS works.

Today I discovered, to my great surprise, Zippy is a Master-Class competitor in Limited 10 Division.

I ... am ... IMPRESSED! Way to go, Zipster! (Sure wish I had been following his career more closely over these past five years! That's the way it goes, though. You meet somebody, you become friends, and you lose touch with each other for years. I think it's the "Tournament Circuit" thingie at work. You go to matches out of your area, you meet great people and make new friends, but the only place you ever see them again are at matches out of your area.)

Almost the first thing Zippy asked me when we met again Saturday was "So, you'll be shooting The Beloved Kimber?" I confirmed the rumor, and also that SWMBO would not be competing because she is so completely taken to The Dark Side that she refused to compete in a match which would forbid competing with the STI Tru-bore named SHIRLEY1.

Well, it IS a "Single Stack" match, and the MD had set the rules: Single Stack 1911's compete for plaques, non-1911 and non-singlestacks compete for ribbons. Every other handgun design is outside of the spirit of the game.

While we were setting up the props, steel and target stands on Friday, Willy and Sam (husband and wife) showed up. They also had just driven down from Washington in their VW van, and were looking for a place to park so they could camp overnight in the van. Mike McCarter, the Match Director, was happy to let them take the premium parking place RIGHT by the Stats Shack so they were in convenient proximity to the 'facilities', as their van doesn't have plumbing. Willy and Sam make it down to Oregon two or three times a year, taking in the Columbia Cascade Sectional (August 6 & 7 this year) and the super-high-round-count Crazy Croc Dundee Banzaii Ballistic "You Got Bullets?" match (Labor Day Weekend this year) at least. Willy use to shoot a 10mm Glock, and we became good buddies because I was shooting a 10mm STI Edge. When there was nothing better doing during a match, we chatted together in cheerful superiority over our benighted friends who chose to shoot the .40 Slow&Wimpy cartridge instead of the plainly superior Mighty Ten.

But I went to the Dark Side a couple of years ago, taking up a full-race STI in Open class, and Willy gave up the Glock in favor of a 1911 ... both for reasons which seemed reasonable to us both, but not without regrets.

Here's a photo of our host and Match Director, the always-courteous (if sneaky match designer) Mac:

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The stages were well designed and [ahem!] well constructed, and I spent much of the setup day remarking that "Gee, this sure would be a great match for an Open Gun!" Mac was amused, but not swayed. Here's an example. The stage contains not one but TWO Texas Star targets (one of which you can partially see over the visquine (sp) vision barrier.

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The shooter in the start box is Rick. He seems to be praying. Good idea. It can't hurt, may help. The RO is Harold the Barbarian, he of February Fame in these pages. One surprising trend appeared on this stage: The Texas Star arrays included one 2-shot IPSC target, and the 5-shot Texas Star. We all started with 10 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, for a total of 11 rounds to get 9 hits (with the exception of Shirley A., who was shooting a .38 Super singlestack with 9-round magazines!) Several people didn't quite manage to get all of the hits on the first array, and had to do a standing reload. I saw THREE people in our squad reload on the first Star array, then turn around and get all 7 hits on the SECOND Star array without a reload! None of them shot the gun dry on the 2nd array. Apparently, they 'went to school' on themselves, and learned how to shoot the Star with no (0r few) misses. This is a credit to the determination and the ability to take risks and make it work which typifies IPSC competitors.

I wouldn't have chanced it. I just don't have the guts to go against the star and an IPSC target with fewer rounds than I can cram into the gun.

Here's a better picture of the star, along with it's creater. All of the clubs in the Columbia Cascade Section own, and use, a Star target.

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Mac has been working hard to develop a Juniors program in the Columbia Cascade Section. Toward that end, he has been actively seeking sponsorship. So far Glock America has provided a few Glock 17 pistols and magazines, and other sponsors have provided magazines and magazine carriers, for the Junior Program. I don't yet know who is providing ammunition, but these young people have been practicing HARD for this match. When I went to the range last Wednesday after work, I found Mac and a handful of the juniors at practice. I stopped in and watched them for a few minutes, and was impressed not only with the quality of the training which Mac is providing, but with the maturity and eagerness to learn of the students. I watched a few of them go through a simple field course, then Mac had them lined up at a shooting counter to practice the RIGHT way to do a reload ... with the pistol still mounted, instead of dropping it to waist level.

Not all of the Juniors attended this match, but SWMBO caught three of them waiting their turn at the Timed Fire exercise stage. Chris, Drew and Justin are impatient to shoot, and all three received special recognition at the awards ceremony at the end of the match.

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I might mention that the Juniors managed to kick some Geek butt from time to time during the match, and it wasn't only on my disastrous first stage. Those young men are having a lot of fun, and they are enjoying the opportunity to play big games with the grown-ups, but they're also serious about their sport. But they don't let that keep them from the fun.

Chris' dad, Jeff, got his son into IPSC because Mac encouraged him. Jeff didn't shoot IPSC at the time, but after a few weeks of watching Chris have so much fun, Jeff got into the game too. It's an uphill battle for Jeff ... Chris is hard to beat! But they go to the matches together, and you never see either of them without a big grin on their faces.

Chris and Jeff help set up the match on Friday (Chris has already designed his first stage, which we shot at the ARPC match in June. It had not two, but THREE Texas Star targets! We don't like Chris much after that one! Okay, we do, but that young man has a mean streak, I think.)

While we were doing the setup, we were conscious of the need to insure that the same shooting challenge was offered to every competitor. Toward that end, all of the props, all of the steel targets, and the stands which supported the IPSC targets were fixed in place by driving ten-inch spikes into the ground, using a three-pound hammer. Chris was designated Official Hammer Guy, because he was so good at it. (Also, because us Old Guys didn't want to do the hard work.) As we were finishing with the last stage, Chris was spiking the steel target frames. ARPC President John (who also shoots IPSC) was watching Chris and finally said "Your arm is going to be SO sore tomorrow, you won't be able to shoot right; maybe I can FINALLY beat you!" Chris looked up at John, beamed a big smile at him, and said: "That's okay, I'm going to win a free gun tomorrow!"

Who can beat that kind of optimism?

Oh, maybe I should explain that "win a free gun" comment.

EVERYBODY who shot the match received a ticket for a drawing. The match was sponsored by Springfield, which had provide FOUR hard-chromed Springfield Single-Stack pistols. The only restrictions were (a) you MUST be present during the drawing (at the end of the Award Ceremony) to win, and (b) you must prove eligibility to own a firearm via the usual BATFE process.

As it happened, Chris didn't win a pistol, and neither did Jeff.

However, my friend Fish ... did!

He had trouble with his Kimber through the match. No reason for the feeding problems have yet been identified, but the same ammunition and magazines worked just fine in the pistol he borrowed from another competitor. (Just one more example of how everybody supports the game ... we're all friends here, and nobody wants to win by making the other guy drop out just because he has equipment malfunctions. Heck, the MD, Mac, broke an extractor during the match; it took him about 5 minutes to find somebody at the match who had an extractor that would fit his gun, and who would not only loan it to him but stick around at the Safety Table while he fitted and tuned it.)

Because of his mechanical problems, Fish was clearly out of the running for winning an award, so it was entirely appropriate that he won a free gun 'just for showing up'.

As I remarked to Fish later, this is the only sport where you are awarded not only for doing well, but for being old (more later) and for showing up.

Some people refer to this "door prize" process derogatorily as "IPSC Welfare". I call it just one more way to make the game more attractive for people. I've been to so many matches which included prize tables, but only the very best shooters ever won the "Good Stuff". It's discouraging to the people who love to shoot, but don't have the skills (or time to practice) to get good enough to win. Everybody pays the same match fee, but the top ten percent get the goodies ... and they usually turn around and sell their prize, often before they leave the range. It seems appropriate to me that, since people who probably aren't going to win a trophy constitute 75 percent of the match fees, they should also be eligible for a prize.

I can't recall off-hand who won all of the other 3 guns, but I think only one of them finished in the top 25 percent. Seems reasonable to me.


Essentially, I came home with a T-shirt;

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It's a very good shirt, as are all of the shirts available at ARPC SS matches. Emmanuel Bragg provided the trophies, the designs, and I don't know for sure whether he provided the shirts or not.

Here's a close-up of the design, which I think just about says it all:

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Note the "No Yuppie Guns" icon. I love that, even though I usually shoot a 'yuppie gun'.

But that's not to say that I went home entirely empty-handed.

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This is my trophy. I won SECOND Really Old Coot, which is a first for me. I've won Second Old Coot before, but I turned 60 this year and made the mistake of telling Mac about it.
Ever since, even though I tend NOT to register for the Super Senior category, Mac makes sure that I'm in the running.

I've talked to him about that. He just chuckles, doesn't say much, and continues to make sure I'm considered for the Super Old Coot award at every match.


He did NOT win a place in his class. Mac worked his skinny butt off during the match, before the match, and after the match. He was constantly called away from his squad during the match to solve problems, and he never complained. When he wasn't being called away, he was coaching the Junior Team. (He made sure that he was squadded with them, for just that reason.)

At the end of the awards ceremony, when it was time for the drawing for the guns, he had a special drawing ... one of the four guns was devoted to the people who worked the match either as Squad Leaders, setup crew, or match administration. This is just one of the ways that Mac insures that contributions are recognized.

The first drawing was for the Match Staff. Keith T., who won the match for the fourth year in a row, came forward to draw the winning ticket. He handed the ticket to Mac, who looked at it and laid it down on the table. Mac shook his head, laid the ticket on the table, then pulled a ticket stub from his pocket and laid it down beside the other half of the ticket. Then he told Keith to draw another ticket.

It was obvious that Keith had drawn Mac's ticket.

There was a pause, while Brian B. (who was helping with the ceremony) checked the tickets, then looked at Mac.

Then a voice from the crowd shouted:
"Mac, take the gun!"

The cry was taken up until everyone was chanting "TAKE THE GUN! TAKE THE GUN!"

Mac took the cased gun. Held it against his chest with both arms. Then put it down on a separate corner of the table. It was his, we all wanted it that way, and he accepted it.

We didn't all win a trophy, or a gun, or a Springfield hat. But nobody went home empty-handed.

Damn, I love this game.

Blog Errors on IE

Mr Completely said...

The photo is messing up how your blog displays when you are viewing with Internet Explorer. No problem with Firefox. I had the same problem. If you want to know how I solved it, hit me with an email. No point filling up your comments with this...

.......Mr. Completely

12:44 PM

Dear Mr. Completely ...
... you're right! (Of course, you already knew that.) And thank you for pointing it out to me, so I could fix it. I post in NetScape, which handles the situation a bit differently, so I wasn't aware of the problem until you mentioned it.

The reason it doesn't didn't load right in IE is that the blog template doesn't translate photos which are too wide for the text area, and therefore overlay the sidebar. That is found in both the "London Blitz" article (showing EMTs racing to the hospital with a bombing victim) and the "Every Little Movement" article (showing a Stephen Pastis "Pearls Before Swine" comic strip).

I should have realized this myself, and much earlier, because I had fought the same problem LAST month and thought I had fixed it permanently by changing my techniques. Unfortunately, I hadn't changed them for ALL photos, and these two appeared to be marginally acceptable on my browser.

I've corrected this by replacing those two full-size photos with thumbnails from ImageShack photo hosting.

If you or anyone else notices future errors of this sort, I would appreciate your bringing it to my attention ... again. I've been on the job for eight months, by know I should know what works and what doesn't.

Thank you for your assistance, your courtesy, and your patience.