Friday, June 11, 2010

Norm's Unforgivable Gift

I have been focusing on the misfortunes of others. That's unforgivable, indicative of a low sense of humor and faithlessness toward one's friends.

Perhaps I can make it up by showing something 'fortuitous' that happened on the range. Specifically, at an IPSC match.

Really, I'm amazed that it has not previously occurred to me, that I should report on Norm's Unforgivable Gift.

Again, this happened at Tri County Gun Club a few years ago, on a soggy damp morning in Bay Two.

I'm not entirely certain, but I think this was a classifier stage. A very simple one, at that.

The shooting problem was to knock down six mixed steel (Pepper Poppers and U.S. poppers), reload, then knock down six more.

Norm The Ungrateful was up, and we were primed for a six-second run, maybe seven seconds, max. And he had it going in, but he fired the first four shots ... and got a jam!

While Norm was fiddling with his pistol, trying to clear the jam as quickly as possible, the fifth popper just ... fell down.

It may have been a matter of habit; when Norm shoots, the steel falls like tenpins. Norm would probably be inclined to think he had knocked down the first four poppers so solidly that it set up a tremor in the earth. Or else, he just intimidated it down.

Whatever the reason, he was saved a shot (which shaved something like a quarter, perhaps a third of a second, off his stage time, which was a total of 11 seconds rather than the expected six seconds).

When he completed clearing the jam, he just knocked down the sixth popper, reloaded, and knocked down the last six. I'm not even certain that he realized, at the time, that one steel had sacrificed itself in a paroxysm of terror.

What amazes me now is that I have apparently never thought to post it here.

The thing is, we were all in such jaw-dropping awe that the Range Officer just recorded the time and score and let him walk away from what would normally be a "Range Equipment Failure".

We all knew he was going to win the match anyway, and it was only a Club Match. At least, that's what we told our private selves.

The truth was, we weren't entirely certain that this wasn't the way he had planned to shoot the stage.

[YouTube Link here]

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