Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Liberal Point Of View

Xavier Thoughts today features a letter from a self-professed liberal who owns a gun. His main complaint is that if he joins the "gun community", he has to associate with gun owners. Essentially, he objects to conservative politics and the frequent assertations about "Gun Grabbers", etc.

I found that I agreed with some of his views. I think it's important that we read and hear more from the Liberal viewpoint. Not because it affords Conservatives with the opportunity to convert a Liberal, but because when we just talk among ourselves we don't learn anything.

I recommend you read the entire article, along with Xavier's response. That way, the day won't be a total loss.

At least, that's how it worked out for me.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

February Dundee Match

I competed in the Croc Club match this weekend (see scores here), and the weather cooperated beautifully. Cold, yes; but there was no wind, no rain, no dark of night. The postmen like that kind of weather and so do Practical Pistol shooters.

Dundee put up an excellent match under the combined leadership of Paul and Evil Bill. There was a good variety of short and long courses.

The shortest was Stage 4 (Turn the Egg). It required a minimum of 7 rounds ... two moving paper targets and 3 steel. (The steel targets -- two pepper poppers front and back and a U.S. Popper between them, were aligned so you couldn't see the 2nd and 3rd targets until you knocked down the front target.) The two moving cardboard targets were activated by knocking down the front and back pepper poppers. I had a good time at 7 seconds flat, but I came in 21st place out of 45 shooters. Well, I got a couple of D-zone hits. The fastest was 4.36 seconds! Norm The Ungrateful turned in that excellent time, but he was beat by MD Paul who took 4.48 seconds but scored a perfect 35 out of 35 possible points.

The longest was Stage 5 (Chad's Wish) with 145 points possible. Eight cardboard targets and lots of steel (13), including the Texas Star. Norm the Ungrateful regained his honor by getting 137 points in a time of just under 30 seconds.

This stage was my undoing. I had a series of jams ... TEN of them ... most of which required a significant amount of time to clear. I don't know what happened, I was using the same ammunition through the match, but I had stovepipes, feeding failures (including double-feeds and ammo caught upside between the slide breech and the chamber), and sometimes the slide just didn't go back far enough to even cock the hammer! I came in dead last of those with a positive score. But I did get 140 points. I got my hits, only made up two missed-shots on steel, and it just wasn't enough when my time was 4 times the stage winner's.

NOTE: the embedded video shows why I qualified for some kind of "Stick-to-it-iveness" award, but it's depressing and lasts for two minutes, five seconds. It's only value is to prove that I am familiar with, and instinctively use the "Tap/Rack/Bang" method of clearing jams. (Unfortunately, none of my problems were caused by the magazine.)

My squad finished up on Stage 6: Vanilla Chips. Six cardboard targets and . I borrowed a gun from The Hobo Brasser. This was his second match using his completely rebuilt Caspian, with a shorty barrel, hybrid comp, and he finally threw away the Beer Can dot sight and mounted a C-More. I loved that pistol by the time I finished shooting the stage. I had a decent time of 20+ seconds, but I skipped over one of the seven steel targets and got a 20 point penalty. So much for "It Looks Good On Video". The Hobo was happy because I didn't beat him with his own gun; he finished in 19+ seconds, no penalties.

The bummer for me was, until that stage I had a clean match going.

But I wasn't the one who had the worst day. That would be Walt the Revolver Shooter. Walt was trying to work up a new, more reliable load, so he brought samples of several loads to test in real time. This did not work out well for Walt. He got a Squib on the first stage. The second stage, he got three squibs ... and neither he nor the RO realized it. He had a couple of powder-puff loads at the beginning of the stage and the RO was looking for puffs of smoke to see if they were squibs.

The thing they both forgot was that with a revolver you will get a puff of gunsmoke even if the barrel was totally obstructed, which his was. When he came back from using his squib rod at the safety table, he showed us what he had found. (Click the image for a larger view.)

Three bullets had been lined up in the barrel, nose to tail. but his Ruger GP100 was strong enough that the multiple squib loads didn't damage the revolver. While it was embarassing to both Walt and the Range Officer, it was a sterling testimonial to the strength of the Ruger Revolver.