Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Dundee Crap Shoot

It's not easy to write about Tim's performance on Stage 6 of the June, 2009 Dundee Points Match.

He did everything right, and it looks good on video (youtube link here). He moved quickly from one shooting position to the next, even though the stage was deliberately designed to tempt the shooter to be hesitant during movement. He was accurate from each shooting position, showing no signs of being out-of-breath or otherwise impaired by his rapid movement between one side of the bay and the other.

Looking good, Tim!

Note that there were no attempts to add music to the video. Just as well, they would have silenced it anyway, the maroons can't avoid the suits presented by music producers.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All Crossed Up

This is the story of five shooters who shot stage 5 ("All Crossed Up") at the June, 2009 Points Match at Dundee Oregon.

The stage itself was another sperm donation from Evil Bill.

Who else could include Classic "Amoeba Targets", Pepper Poppers, U.S. Poppers, small plates that "Pop Up" a shoot target, nearly as many penalty targets as shoot targets, arrays which could only be seen, let alone engaged, from the very furthest (real word, I looked it up) corner of the legal shooting box, fault lines and vision barriers and barrels, oh my!

All of that effort for Evil Bill to construct his demonic playground.

It's enough to say that the stage, while not exactly a 'memory stage', was enough to make strong men weep, women to batter their men, horses bolt in terror, and small children to have nightmares which will doubtless be passed via genetically damaged DNA unto the seventh generation.

In a word: I liked it.

Starting with an unloaded pistol lying flat ("no props!") on the table, fingers interlaced on top of your beanie, grab the gun and run ... loading the first mag as you go. Some of us managed this more gracefully than others, but when you got to the corner of the railroad-track shooting box, you were permitted to shoot a small plate and two Amoeba targets at the far, downrange opposite corner of the range. This distance was, by actual measurement, approximately 1.5 kilometers away. Or, far enough that the blurry fat front sight on my STI Edge covered the plate entirely. Note to self: if you can't see the plate, you can't hit it. The bullet is still rising, so aim LOW for goodness sake!

After a flurry of shooting and making up misses, screaming like a banshee "I Am So F***ED" (actual fact, you'll see it but you won't hear it in the video), and dodging no-shoots as if you were stepping carefully over an open sewer, you arrive at the other side of the bay to discover that you had another teensy tiny plate to knock down before you are allowed to engage the final Amoeba Target.

The Texas Star was hard, but I mean this Mother of Demons was HARD!

But maybe it was just me. I did actually see my front sight a couple of times. I ignored it, it ignored me. I and my Front Sight have a dysfunctional relationship, and it showed.

Getting back to the Five Shooters, this is who and what you will see in the video:
  • The Hobo Brasser, with his new 'shorty' open gun which shoots as flat as a carpenter's level. I never liked that man.
  • The Geek, shooting the Iron-Sight EDGE in 10mm, experiencing the first ever SQUIB and dropping 5 penalties for one FTE and 4 mikes when it was shown that there were lights on but Nobody Home.
  • Dave, doing his best to Make The Geek Look Good with his jam-o-matic singlestack. You may miss the caption in the video, but he ended up with one ... ONE! ... bullet left when he finished this, the last stage in the match for the squad.
  • Adam, also shooting Open, with the gun that wouldn't quit and acting like it was just another (Ho Hum) 28 round stage. Again, you'll have to watch the video closer than I did (another guy I never liked ... no problems, what's the fun in that?) but I'm not sure that he even bothered to reload. Okay, he probably did. Once.
  • Ken, the new shooter who safely completed his first ever USPSA match. The guy is cold steel, man. Even though he temporarily lost count of his targets, he managed to turn and kill the last diagonal plate-and-popup with the grace of a Princess and the finesse of a bull-dozer. He liked it. He's good. He's hooked. Two Thumbs Up for a newly minted IPSC fanatic.
Enough talk. Let's play. The 5 minute video (link) has some slow spots, but it's got a good beat and I can dance to it. (damned lie!) I'll give it an 85, Dick. (Doors, "Roadhouse Blues", seemed appropriate. Choreography counts more than spelling or good penmanship.)
[Don't bother watching it. YouTube has completely deleted the audio track, including the stage sounds. Instead, scroll down and watch the video embedded by Blogspot. I only left it in here because somebody might want to see a large-format version of the video -- with crappy music dubbed in.]

YouTube has been emasculated. It won't allow inclusion of an audio track which has not been 'pre-approved'. Most of these tracks (including those labeled "rock") are Elevator Music. Ptfffff! on them.

Okay, I'll include the video with the least-wimpy audio track I could find, something named ... hell, I don't know. Who cares?

Now that you've seen it in big format with wuss music, I'll embed the original (small format ... sorry) version with The Doors doing "Roadhouse Blues".

[This takes forever to upload ... I sincerely hope it downloads faster.]

Anybody actually shown in this video, email me and I'll send you the original (16MB, 5'20")l version, with music to match the action.

What a bunch of maroons. YouTube, you have lost your kewl and I am outta your teensy weensy world for future serious action videos.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Can You Count?

Despite my best intentions to edit and post all 19 of the videos I filmed at last weekend's match at Dundee, I have only been able to compile two of them in one video.

"Can You Count?"
(CM 06-03 USPSA Classifier) is a 20-round stage which challenges the participant to draw, shoot and reload quickly. It also requires that the shooter can break the habit of shooting each target only two times -- sometimes, this is the more difficult challenge, because you know we get into a rut.

It's not very exciting to watch this stage, until someone screws it up. That's the signal for your friends to tease you mercilessly ... if they have already shot the stage successfully.

But when you don't perform to your own expectations, and it's because your gun isn't running right, jocularity is not the most welcome response from the Peanut Gallery. (youtube link here)

One thing about this classifier: the stage procedures are flawed.

It's not fatally flawed, it just doesn't make it clear about the penalties for failing to follow the written procedure.

Here's the situation we encountered (not involving the two gentlemen shown in the video).
The course procedures read:

On signal, from Box A only:
String 1: Engage T1 with five rounds only. Perform a
mandatory reload and engage T2 with five rounds
String 2: Engage T3 with five rounds only. Perform a
mandatory reload and engage T4 with five rounds
Targets within a string may be engaged in any
order without penalty
One of the squad members got a couple of shots into T2 before he remembered that he was suppose to reload. So he reloaded, and completed the rest of the stage without error.

I was keeping score, and the Range Officer asked me what the penalty should be.

"One procedural, for not reloading when he was suppose to" I replied.

Some of the folks in the squad took issue with that call. I reminded them that there was no advantage gained, so only one procedural penalty ... for not strictly abiding by the written stage procedure ... was justifiable.

In return, they quoted the sub-text in the stage procedures:
Failure to perform reload is per-shotfired [sic]
"Yes", I agreed, "... there is a significant advantage gained if NO reload occurs, especially in a stage with a total elapsed time of something like 10 seconds. But the shooter DID reload. He just didn't reload when he should have. He should only be penalized for not strictly following the stage procedure. The per-shot penalty is invoked ONLY if he didn't reload -- which he did."

However, I suggested that they (the dissenting squad members) take the question to the Match Director. In the absence of a Range Master, in a club match the M.D. gets to make these difficult decisions.

They returned from their discussion with the M.D. with the word that it was officially ruled that "per-shot" penalties would be applied.

I didn't agree, and I counseled the 'offending' competitor that he had the right to request arbitration. I said that I would speak on his behalf. He didn't think it was that big a deal, and quietly accepted the additional penalty points.

I don't know if this issue has been addressed by John Amidon, or if a 'ruling' has been published in this kind of situation.

But it kind of ticks me off, you know? I have the strong suspicion that clubs interpret the rules differently.

Not that it makes a big difference; in this kind of quick-and-dirty stage, if you get even one penalty point it pretty much takes you out of the running for a good stage score.

Still, it was a relatively new shooter, and I don't like it when the "Wheels of Justice" grind so exceedingly fine.

Have any of you bumped up against this stage, this vaguely worded procedure?

I would be interested in any comments which discuss the subject. Obviously, I think I'm right. It doesn't make any difference at all to the match, at this late date. But I am ... dissappointed ... at what I perceive to be an injustice.

This is what I do to relax. The competition shooting, I mean. I don't like to argue about the rules, so it makes me turn surly when the rules seem unfairly applied.

Okay, so I do enjoy a lively debate.

Anybody out there think that the "Per-Shot Penalty" should have been applied here?

SWMBO Update

Ten days ago I mentioned that SWMBO is looking into a revolutionary new Cancer Treatment program from Massachusetts General Hospital which uses genotyping to "personalize" treatment to each patient.

Tonite she called me to say that her local Oncologist had contacted the program administrators and asked about the possibility that she could enter the program.

Their response (within 24 hours) was that the program was not available to the Pacific Northwest (I understand that to mean that the treatment was not being offered to doctors in that region of the U.S.), but if she was willing to travel to Boston they would test her to see whether she would be eligible for the program.

They also said that if she was accepted, she would have to remain available in the Boston vacinity for two or three months, and wondered if she was willing to accept that condition as well.

SWMBO said "YES!" to every question. Her Oncologist will be forwarding that information to Boston tomorrow, and now we are settling down to wait for further developments.

Although her cancer is atypical in that it has not responded to the usual treatments --
we don't know if they will accept her for testing;
we don't know if the tests will show that she is a viable candidate for the treatment;
we don't know if the treatment will prove to be successful in moving her from the category of "cancer patient" to "cancer survivor" .....

we are both wildly excited about the possibility that she can still beat this.

Please keep those prayers coming, friends. It's cause for hope.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Glock KaBOOM!

I don't want to give the impression that Glock pistols are intrinsically unsafe, or that the reason why they occasionally blow up [KaBOOM!] has anything to do with the design.

Still, I so wish to provide you with as much information when they Glocks DO blow up.

Here's an example of what the Glock Barrel looks like when it blows up.
(Actually, I expect to show several aspects of a "Blown-Up Glock".)

Here is one example of a Glock Barrel after a "Ka-BOOM!" moment.

The accompanying photos don't shot the entire mechanical disintegration, but they are very clear about the consequences.

The owner of the Glock (Fish) was careful to stipulate that three gunsmiths, including a Glock Armorer. found no evidence of a Squib.

Similarly, they found no evidence that the round was "Double-Charged".

So why did the Glock blow up?

Damned if I know.

Fish notes that not only was the barrell effectively distroyed, but so was the trigger group. (He sent this off to a Name Brand Glock gunsmith, and two other Gunsmiths, and the consensus was that the Trigger Group could not be repaired.)

Perhaps we have become too good at doing nothing?

Interesting video presented by Xavier this weekend.

"Thomas Paine" presumes to lecture us on our failure to protest recent Federal infringements on our Civil Rights.

The man is obnoxious, and demanding.

Still, I'm not entirely convinced that he is wrong.

What do you think?