Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Albany Oregon Multi-Gun Matches

If you're a "Multi-Gun" competitor, Oregon is the place to be in July.

The Albany Rifle & Pistol Club (ARPC) is hosting two (2) Multi-Gun matches in July of 2007.

On July 1 (Sunday), ARPC will wrap up its June 29 - July 1 (Friday throught Sunday) Area 1 Multigun Championship.

And on July 13-14 (Saturday and Sunday), Robert Wright of R&R Racing will present the Northwest Multi-Gun Championships (NWMGC).
(Range Officers will shoot the NWMGC match on Friday, July 13.)

If you're unfamiliar with the Multigun concept, you may recall that in 2006 I wrote about the 2006 USPSA Multigun Championships, which also was hosted by ARPC. (Also see here.)

Links for the Area 1 "3-gun match" (okay, there's a difference between 3-gun and multigun; see below) are available here. USPSA links here.

Note that the terminology "3-gun" is embedded in the host North American Shooting Sports Online (NASSONLINE) webpage. The link for the "3-gun" match include the stage procedures. Stage 1: "Broke Down in Borax" specifiy that both a pistol and rifle are to be used in the same stage, which clearly makes this a "Multi-Gun" match. I'm sure that NASSONLINE will correct this inadvertant error in the near future.

The July 14-15 Northwest Multi-Gun Challenge information may be found on the R&R Racing website. (Detail information here, PDF entry form here.)

The June 13 deadline for the NWMGC match has been extended past June 13. No shirts are available for late entries, but (as of June 23) you can still sign up for this match.

3-gun vs Multi-gun
According to the USPSA Rules (2005 is the latest edition I can find):

A “multi-gun match” is defined as a match (see 6.1.4) in which at least one stage involves the use of two or more different firearm types. A multi-gun match may involve any combination of handgun, rifle and shotgun usage, including stages which involve one, two or all three firearm types. Other than the use of multiple firearm types, all other provisions of 6.1.4 apply.

Conversely, a "3-gun" match is one in which all three guns (handgun, rifle, shotgun) are used but each stage uses only one gun.

I've never competed in either a 3-gun or a multi-gun match, but I have observed a multi-gun match and one of the complexities which lends so much to the excitement is the moment when a competitor switches from one gun to the next. And in a stage which utilizes all three guns, it can get a little hairy.

Note that I'm not talking about safety factors. The competitor is typically required to clear the gun he is leaving, and deposit said cleared (read: EMPTY, NO AMMUNITION) in a provided receptical before he can pick up the next gun. At no time may the competitor move downrange of a loaded firearm. *

Of course, that isn't an issue in a "3-gun" match.
I plan to attend both matches as an observer. I'll be there with eyes and ears, at least two cameras and a tripod. Hopefully, I'll get some interesting footage to post here.
(This post originated on 6/20/2007)

* UPDATE - June 25, 2007

See the comment from Trey. Disposition of one firearm before continuing a stage with another firearm MAY not require clearing the previous gun.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

When the gun ain't runnin' ...

It's frustrating, awkward and embarassing when your pistol isn't working at an IPSC match and you can't figure out WHY.

It's even more embarassing when you discover (see previous post) that the reason why the gun ain't running is because of your own silly oversight.

But when you finally figure out what's wrong, and fix it, the feeling is as if you have shed a great weight and you can reach up and touch the sky.

The video serves as a good example of a bad example. There is a boring minute watching The Gun That Won't Run, but the last half-minute ... well, it comes as something of a relief!

The video says it all: See this, avoid it!

(Note: No STI's were injured in the production of this film, and it's a credit to its maker that it put up with being shot without a bit of lubrication without damage.)


Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Seven-Ten Question (S.O.D.A.)


A blonde walks into an auto-part store and says "My Datsun B210 needs a new part. I don't know what it is, but it's broken, and I have the part number. Can you help me?"

The clerk at the counter says "Sure. What's the part number?"

The blonde says: "It's a Seven-Ten."

The counter-man digs out a dusty Datsun B210 parts manual and leaves through it for a while. He can't find a Seven-Ten part number. Calls in "The Old Guy" (the guy who has worked for the store so long, he knows parts numbers by heart.) He doesn't know what she's talking about.

Finally, they say "Go back to your car and write down the part number."

She does, and comes back with a slip of paper which shows:


The old guy looks at it, turns the paper upside down, nods, the goes back into the parts bins. Two minutes later he brings back an oil-filler tube cap. On the top of the cap is stamped:


(Pause for laughter.)

Okay, finished? Here's the real story:

Two weeks ago I attended an IPSC Steel match in Bend, Oregon. I had some problems with ammunition feeding, which I attributed to ammunition. Just to make sure, I field-stripped the STI and wiped it down, then applied a liberal coat of Sewing Machine oil. It's a light-weight oil I use during the winter, and although it was somewhat warmer than the use I had intended it for it was all the oil I had with me. The next stage was 'sort-of' okay, but the following stage was disastrous.

I had recently changed from FMJ to JHP bullets, and I figured I had seated the bullets too shallow.

Today I went to another local club match, with a brand new batch of ammunition in which I had
taken special care with reloading. The first stage was bad ... lots of failure-to-feed problems. Actually, the slide just wasn't going into battery on a consistent basis.

People asked me what was wrong. I said the ammunition just 'wasn't right'.

As it happened, my friend Bill Sahlberg was at the match, and he offered to loan me his ammunition. Sure, it was 'practice ammo', but it worked fine in his pistol.

That stage was much the same thing. Bang-Bang Bang-Dammit!

For the next stage, Big Dawg offered to let me use HIS ammunition.

Even worse, I ended up shooting a 120-point stage 'single-action'. The gun just wasn't running with ANYBODY's ammo!

So I took the pistol to the safety area, and field-stripped it. Wiped it down, used a generous amount of sewing-machine oil as a solvent, wiped it down again. Then I poured enough sewing-machine oil on the slide and rails to drown Free Willie, put it back together again, wiped the outside with a shop towel and put it in the gun rug to soak.

The next stage I was SMOKING! The gun ran Perfectly, and I ended up 3rd overall on a technically difficult stage.

The following stage, I started getting some jams toward the end of the 24-round stage.

Hmmm ... what am I doing wrong? Big Dawg's ammo ran crummy, two stages back. I cleaned and oiled the gun and it ran great. An hour later, it won't cycle ... again.

So I went back to the safety area with my gun and rags and tool kit and sewing machine oil, and field-stripped the gun AGAIN.

As I started to pour more sewing-machine oil on the slide, I took a reflective moment to actually read the instructions on the four-ounce bottle.

Unique Tek.como


  • Can be used safely indoors
  • Contains no oil or additives
  • Will not swell plastic
  • Non Flamable
  • Non-Toxic
  • Low Volatility
  • No Ammonia
  • Non Acidic
  • Non Corrosive

What I had been doing was 'lubricating' the slide and rails not with "Sewing Machine Oil", but with a cleaner.

The stuff cleaned all the crap from the slide/rail interface, but it decidedly did NOT lubricate it! I had been running the gun 'dry' for two weeks, and wondered why the slide was going 'Ker-CHUNK' all the time.

Sheepishly, I went back to my bag and dug into another pocket. Came out with a 1-ounce applicator-bottle of real sewing machine oil, oiled the slide and the rails (and used a 'snake' on the bore), wiped the gun dry on the outside, then went to the final stage where I ended up 9th out of 62 competitors with a 6.07 HF on CM 99-xxxx "Fast 'N Furious'. The gun ran perfectly.

Why wouldn't it? It was clean, OILed, and running on Some Other Dude's Ammo (S.O.D.A.).

The moral of this story (besides "just when you assumed you had done every stupid thing possible in IPSC ... you'll find a new way to be Stupid!"), is that you we I need to check your our my presumptions at the door in IPSC competition.

Dave Skinner once told me: "Oil is Good! We're working with machinery here, and you can't put too much oil on machinery -- the excess will run off."

I apologise, Dave. You told me, I thought I had listened, but I forgot the Stupid Factor.


On the drive home, SWMBO and I talked about the match. She didn't shoot today; instead, she ran the camera. We talked about the interesting things we had seen, and I mentioned it was a shame that she missed the shot of Bill Sahlberg doing the "Rodeo Princess" wave as he slid in the deep gravel on Stage 5, trying to change direction faster than the pea-gravel would permit. It WOULD have been my headline news for the day. Without that footage, I would have to go with the "Seven-Ten" story.

"Well, it won't be the first time you've embarassed yourself in public!"

"Okay" I said; "The 'Naked Loops Dream'" story is the headline for today!"

It's good to own your blog.

Maybe SWMBO will be speaking to me again by this time next week.

PS: At least I got to shoot the whole last half of the match shooting Some Other Dude's Ammo!

Loops! We got Loops!

This weekend SWMBO was telling me about a dream she had.

She was naked on the range.

No no, I'm not appealing to your prurient interests. Well, maybe the subjec does, but that's your fault.

Scientists (?) tell us that dreams of being naked are a sign of vulnerability, or a yearning for self-empowerment. We've all had dreams of being naked in a public place (when I was in junior high school, I use to dream of being naked on the main street of my home town -- I ran from store to store looking for a necktie to go with my outfit! You won't be surprised to learn that I never found the Perfect Necktie for a nude boy.)

SWMBO's dream was unique in that it took place on a shooting range. She was at an IPSC match, and ran from place to place asking people she met if they had seen her clothes.

Her squad was yelling at her:

SWMBO! Hurry up, it's your turn to shoot!

She remembers shouting back:

I can't shoot! I don't have loops!

Which brings us to the question: why must your belt be threaded through pants loops?

In the USPSA Handgun Competition Rules (January, 2004), chapter 5 deals with "Competitor Equipment." Rule 5.2.3 clearly states:

... The belt or inner belt or both must be either permanently fixed at the waist, or secured with a minimum of three belt loops.

So I'm asking myself: Why?

This is perhaps the most abused rule in the book. In the heat of the summer, I can't guess how many competitors I've seen wearing shorts and a Safariiland-type (or CR Speed Belt) belt-and-holster system over the waistband. It's too HOT to wear pants (even in Oregon) and many competitors choose to wear the lightest material possible. This is often some kind of short pants with an elastic waistband. Sometimes it's a pair of short cargo pants, which may or may not have belt loops wide enough to thread the inner-belt.

But the ride of the belt and holster seems to be the same whether there are belt loops or not.

The draw is the same (due to the weight of the heavy belt system) whether there are belt loops or not.

SWMBO and I talked about this question. We alternately offered the suggestion that it was safer (but could not offer a convincing reason why it was safer) and that it provided a secure base for the holster so that the draw was more consistent.

If it only offers a consistent draw, it seems to me that this is the shooter's choice. If the shooter decides that an 'unsecured belt' won't slow down the draw, what does IPSC care?

And what's this about "a minimum of three belt loops"? Is that a magic number? Is a belt threaded through 3 belt loops intrinsically more safe, or secure, than one threaded through two belt loops? Does it matter WHICH three belt loops are chosed?

I think this is a subject best left for discussion. Does anyone have a supportable reason why 3 belt loops must be used to ... er ... support a gunbelt?

And can anyone tell me the meaning of the phrase "Permanently affixed at the waist"?

Doesn't this sound painful to you?