Monday, August 22, 2005

Blastorama and Practical Shotgun

I've been talking the talk for a couple of weeks now, about two shooting events which were scheduled for the same weekend.

These had nothing to do with IPSC competition. Rather, it has to do with some Bloggers, blog-readers, and other shooting afficianados getting together to burn up a lot of ammunition.

Saturday, August 20, Rivrdog and The Analogue Kid and I met in Portland (Oregon) with some reader-chums to do some shooting.

While I was waiting excitedly for the weekend to start, I ran a scenario through my mind (I know you've never done this) about showing up at the counter of The Place To Shoot . . . the location where the PNW Blogger Blastorama was sheduled to occur . . . where I would announce the following:

We're all members of The Americian Union of Typesetters, Offset-press Printers And Linotypers (A.U.T.O.P.A.L.) come to shoot on your range. You ought to give us a discount on the range fees, because we have the same motto as you do:

"We Deal In Lead, Friend!"
They would be so impressed that an immediate 90% discount, and follow us around the range for the rest of the day.

Of course, it didn't work out that way. I never found the opportunity to throw out the line of patter. It may have been because I was so intimidated by the cyborgs who managed the lane, but that didn't matter. I was there to have a good time and meet a bunch of New Chums.

It started a month ago when The Analogue Kid responded to my continued plaintive posts about how I wanted to get together with some other folks in the area who maintained WeBLOGS about shooting. He suggested that he come down for the All-Shotgun Match at Tri County Gun Club (TCGC) scheduled for Sunday, August 21, and on Saturday we go shoot each others' guns.

That sounded good for me, I'm always up for a day at the range and that Saturday was opened.

Comes the day, I drive up from Corvallis to Portland and show up at BJ's Restaurant, Bar and Pizzeria (whatever) at just a few minutes after noon. I had worn my IPSC Internet Region shirt (more on this later) because I have no idea what these guys look like, so it's only fair that I let them know at a glance who I am.

Prince Andrew (a reader of both Cogito Ergo Geek and Rivrdog) and his friend Mark (I never found out if he was a reader, but he was a heck of a nice guy) met me in the parking lot, having only just arrived themselves. When we went into the resturant and told the hostess that we were meeting someone there, she pointed us right at the first big table at the right.

There were a brown-haired guy (Phil "The Anlogue Kid"), a grey-haired guy (Dan, a 'reader' and also a Japanese Interpreter by profession), and a white-haired guy (George "Rivrdog") at the table and they all greated us most warmly.

Five minutes later, while we were still perusing the menus, John I (a reader and avid shooter from the Portland Area) showed up and joined us at the table. While John I and I were bemoaning the untimely demise of Waddell's Restaurant, John II (another reader, and a 911 operator in Portland) showed up.

We ordered (except for John I, who had had a late breakfast), and got to know each other over lunch . . . as well as we could carry on a conversation over a long table in a room crowded with the lunch crowd.)

I couldn't begin to tell you all of the subjects of conversation. Sometime during the lunch Dan mentioned that a friend of his was testing a .22 caliber conversion unit to fit on a .45acp 1911 frame but, unlike current offerings, allowed the original slide to be used. He wanted to discuss the marketting possibilities. I suggested that it would have to be competitive with current available conversion units, but selling for a significant amount under one hundred dollars. The Analogue Kid echoed my opinion, and Dan was looking a little disappointed, when Rivrdog (George) offered an entirely different perspective. George referred to the ACE conversion unit, going back some 50-plus years, which used the original 1911 slide and not only allowed .22 long rifle rounds to be used but somehow managed to impart a recoil effect similar to that of the original .45acp round. He mentioned that the unit was still available from private collectors and at gun shows, but sold for somewhere in the $450 range. Then he proceded to provide a ten-minute discourse on the history and technical aspects of the ACE conversion unit.

It was a fascinating and educational lecture, which warned me that Rivrdog was not a man who could be bullshitted. If the information is available, George has it in his head and is happy to share it with you . . . if only to help clear the misama of information out of your head!

Eventually, everyone pronounced themselves as full of food as they were likely to be or some time, and eager to get to the range.

The eight of us paid $25 per lane (two per lane) to rent four lanes for the rest of the day, and it took several minutes for us to tote all of our gear ... guns, ammunition, and incidental gear such as earmuffs, safety glasses, magazines and above all cameras . . . through the double doors of the range.

Rivrdog resisted shooting the STI Open gun (with a C-More electronic sight) because he typically couldn't see the sights, and hadn't brought the eyeglasses which would have helped him. It took me over an hour, and several offers, before he would try the IPSC Competition Gun.

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After he had shot it, I took this photo. He later said that this was probably the biggest grin anyone had seen on his face for years. He couldn't remember the last time he had put 25 shots into one big hole at over 10 yards. He had been counting his shots, and realizing that he could put them anywhere he wanted he casually poked the last three into the "B-Zone".

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Phil, The Analogue Kid, wasn't as reluctant to try the Race Gun. There was no confusion in his mind. That Dave Skinner Creation put every shot where he wanted it, as fast as he could pull the trigger. I think I'm going to have to give them Mr. Skinner's address, if I can talk Phil and George into going out for IPSC competition.

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JohnII is caught photographing Phil, as he works out in Lane 9 with his Kimber. Later John and I would trade photographs.

Dan, on the other hand, was fully involved with his target shooting. Here's a man who know hows to concentrate.

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Didn't I mention that we'd see more of John II? Sometimes, the photographer is photographed. John seemed to be having a great time.

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Unfortunately, John I left before I had a chance to take a picture, or even talk to him.

After the match, RivrDog, Analogue and I retured to George's boat at the Multnomah County Yacht Club (North of Scappoose).

Beautiful place.
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We had a couple of drinks, and talked a lot.

Often, George talked
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. . .and Phil listened.
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(I took some pictures.)

I left around 7pm to go back home to SWMBO. George took Phil to the BBQ where Phil lasted long enough to eat something and crashed in George's boat.

The next day, Phil met me at the Tri-County Gun Club for the All-Shotgun Practical Match.

But that's another story.

In the meantime, you can get more Blastorama details from Rivrdog and Random Nuclear Strikes.


Anonymous said...

To correct a bit of misinformation:
The Colt Ace .22 conversion does NOT use the original .45 slide. It, like all currently available conversions uses an entirely different slide from the .45 slide.

Anonymous said...

To correct myself and the correction, it is unfair to compare the Ace to a conversion kit, since Dwight is correct, and it is actually a stand-alone pistol, but one designed from the git-go to be identical in weight, function and recoil to the 1911, while shooting the cheaper .22 Long Rifle round.

I'm not sure if ANY parts of the Ace are common with the 1911, except maybe the frame and some trigger group parts.

I've shot one, and if you blindfolded me and put first an Ace then a 1911 in my hand, and I couldn't go to the mouth of the barrel to check, I might have to eject the magazine to tell the difference by feel, but it's been a while, specifically since 1963, since my Ace experience, so memory might be failing me.


Anonymous said...

Colt did make a conversion kit (though I think you are correct that it is not appropriate to call it an "ACE")that used the same method as the Ace to convert the 1911 to .22RF. It also however used a new slide, not the original .45 slide.