Steel match results

Saturday Barb, Max, and I went to a steel match at the Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club on Whidbey Island. Just Max and I were shooting this time. This was the first time Max had ever shot in a match. I suspect Barb will try it sometime, but not yet.

The weather was better than last time but still not exactly warm. The ferry ride was pleasant with a nice view:


The weather was good enough that our friends Elizabeth, William, and Finn also came out to watch. William and Elizabeth have been telling me for months they were going to watch sometime and they finally made it. They live on the island only about a 10 or 15 minute drive from the gun club. It was Barb attending that made the difference. After the end of the match William shot Steve’s rifle on one stage just to see what an open class rifle is like. Then Elizabeth, William, and Finn checked out the rest of the range. The next day Elizabeth texted me:

We had fun yesterday! Actually considering a membership! Lol. Who knew?!?

Thanks again!

Ahhh yes… More people firmly on our side of the gun issue.

Here are Barb and Elizabeth (the quality sucks because it is a frame grab from my video glasses):


I have been having problems with the front sight on my STI DVC again (first time details). The plastic shim lasted several hundred rounds so then I got some “Liquid Metal” built up the base of the sight, sanded it down to where it was a tight fit, then used high strength, high temperature LockTite to hold it in place. That lasted for many months and many thousands of rounds. Then it fell off again last week. I tried just the LockTite. That lasted less than a hundred rounds. I then tried just the liquid metal, building up a layer on either side of the sight. That survived a couple hundred rounds at the practice range on Friday and survived the entirety of the Saturday match. Barb and I met some friends at the indoor range Saturday afternoon and the front sight slid way to the left on the first shot. At least it didn’t fail me while at the match.

Sunday I folded up aluminum foil, put it under the sight, such that it made for a tight fit and put LockTite between all the layers, on the base of the sight and on the sight groove. I haven’t taken it to the range for testing yet but will do that sometime this week. I want this problem permanently solved.

Two of the stages were very challenging and I lost a lot of time with my centerfire pistol on them. I did okay with rimfire despite having three failures to feed during the match.


The following stage is evil. You have to hit the white plate four times then hit the yellow plate once. If you miss the white plate and hit the yellow plate your shots stop counting for hits but they do count for time. Suppose your first shot is a miss on the white plate, hits the yellow plate then you continue to shoot the white plate four times, then the yellow plate for a total time of five seconds. You are scored for four misses with a penalty of three seconds per miss which gives you a time for that string of 5 + 12 => 17 seconds.

I had at least two strings with the centerfire gun and one rimfire gun string with penalties.


The stage below is not exactly easy either. The yellow swingers are for rimfire and the white swingers are for centerfire. The large yellow plate in the center is the stop plate. The two swingers must change side to count as a hit, and must be hit twice. The swingers are small and a centerfire swinger would sometimes change sides from the impact of the other plate changing sides. I lost a lot of time on the centerfire portion of this.


Here are the results:

Name Division Match Time
Brian Lawson RF-RI-O 36.40
Steve Mooney RF-RI-O 37.78
Brian Lawson RF-O 43.43
Steve Mooney RF-O 47.45
Jeff Kanter RF-RI-O 57.89
Joe Huffman RF-I 59.22
Austin Drake RF-RI-O 59.83
Mitch Hardin RF-RI-O 62.01
Sean Drake RF-RI-O 64.00
Jeff Drake RF-RI-O 64.84
Jim Dunlap RF-RI-O 70.93
Jim Dunlap RF-O 74.50
Darrin Rapoport RF-O 77.13
Adam Rapoport RF-O 80.56
Brian Lawson CF-I 86.10
Adam Rapoport CF-LR 92.59
MAC RF-RV-I 93.82
Joe Huffman CF-I 96.43
Max L. RF-I 97.50
Ken Wu CF-I 106.27
Jeff Kanter CF-I 108.51
Jeff Drake CF-I 110.27
Mitch Hardin CF-I 113.27
Darrin Rapoport CF-O 116.58
MAC CF-I 141.55
Dennis Bohling CF-I 161.56

RF-RI-O: Rimfire Rifle Optics
RF-O: Rimfire Pistol Optics
RF-I: Rimfire Iron sights
PCC-O: Pistol Caliber Carbine Optics
RF-RI-I: Rimfire Rifle Iron sights
CF-I: Centerfire Iron sights
PCC-I: Pistol Caliber Carbine Iron sights

Even with the problems my times were pretty good. The times represent 100 hits (five stages of four strings, with five hits per string). So the average time per hit with rimfire was 0.5922 S. With centerfire it was 0.9643 S. The last steel match I went to, March 13th, I had average hits times of 0.7675 S and 1.0882 S. On February 27th it was 0.6567 and 0.9233. And on February 14th it was 0.7125 S and 0.9271 S.

Of course the stages were different but I’m pretty sure my rimfire shooting is getting much better and I think the centerfire is better as long as I take enough time to get hits instead of something approximating “spray and pray”.


4 thoughts on “Steel match results

  1. I should come up there a few times so you guys can rise in the ranks a bit.

  2. I gave up with my Colt Series 70 1911. Front sight kept coming unstaked, tried restaking, epoxy, finally told the gunsmith to just weld it. The blue is a bit mottled now around the sight, but it stays put.

  3. I think I never looked at the photo of the site slot in that original post. That slot is not supposed to have a taper from side to side. They screwed up when they milled it. Does it have any warrantee? That is a manufacturing defect, and they should replace the slide.
    The question is how did it get tapered. I would want to do some measuring to find out what is actually going on. Was the slide chucked up not square to the mount, so the dovetail cutter ran high on one side? I’ve seen that on a Springfield. both front and rear sites were on a plane that did not match the bottom of the slide. New owner never noticed when he picked it up at the LGS. it was dramatically off kilter, like 10 degrees or so.

    There are several ways to address this problem, none of them really valid for the maker. Cheaper for them to replace it.
    They could try to weld it up, and re-cut it, but the slide would tend to warp. If the site didn’t have that plastic rod, and was solid, you could drill/tap it for one or two small setscrews to lock it in place, but that one doesn’t look to have enough metal to work with. The slide itself may not have enough metal under that slot to drill and tap to lock the site from underneath (that setup would be getting a bit desperate, and I would not expect the maker to do it. Another variation would be to mill a slot in one or both sides of the site base, and drill and tap a hole in the slide. that would allow you to lock it down after adjusting, and you wouldn’t have to worry about clearance in the barrel area. There should be thicker metal as you move away from the centerline of that slot, due to the borehole the barrel runs in.

    Have you measured the thickness of both sides of that site? It could be bad, also. You could be fighting two problems. When it comes to gun parts, always suspect that they are not made to spec. Safer to think that way, when troubleshooting.

    First thing I would do is lay a six inch scale across the bottom of that slot, and see if it lines up with the bottom of the slide. Then, with calipers, put the tail near the edge of that top flat section across the slot, and run the depth bar/rod down to the bottom of the slot to get a height measurement on both sides of the slot bottom relative the the top of the slide. This will confirm if the slot is angled high/low side to side.

    If they won’t replace it, try cutting up a shim from a feeler gauge. You really need to know if it is looser on one side, which might entail a different shim under each side. Feeler gauges come in steel and brass.

    What type of locktite have you been using? There are some that require high heat to move. Designed to hold bearing races and pins in place. Green or red colored. If you are using a threadlocker, that may be a factor in it coming loose.

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