I participated in the Whidbey Island match at Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club on Saturday. The ferry ride, as usual, was pleasant. I found Jeff at the same place on the ferry as last time and we talked as the ferry took us across the sound.
The weather was good, the stages were good, and my guns ran perfectly. But some of my shooting wasn’t as good as I hoped. Things just weren’t a smooth as they should have been. I had barely practiced in the previous couple of weeks. And that practice was only with the .22. In the Center Fire Iron sight division I came in second by 0.27 seconds.
The stage above was interesting. The start position for rimfire was with the gun pointed at the yellow stop plate. This is to make things just a little faster for what is already a very fast stage. Upon the start signal you fire two rounds at each of the white plates then one round at the stop plate. If you can get all five hits in 1.00 seconds or less they put your name on a plaque. Apparently it’s not horrendously difficult with open class rifles. The best I got was 1.81 seconds with an iron sighted pistol. I could do better if I worked on it for an hour, but I’m not sure I could do 1.00 or better.
My average time per hit with RF-I was 0.6066 seconds and with CF-I was 0.8152 seconds. At the last match I shot here my average time per hit with RF-I was 0.6024 seconds. Last time with CF-I it was 0.8934 seconds with my old Ruger P89 and an IWB holster.
Snoqualmie Valley Rifle Club (SVRC) puts on USPSA like matches once a month during the summer (they wimp out from about October through March). I usually don’t go because I go to the steel matches at Renton on the same weekend. I could do both because the SVRC match is on Saturday and the Renton match is on Sunday, but I would rather not use up both days shooting. Two weeks ago I had other plans (helping move Barb’s son Max to Bellingham for college) on Sunday. So, I decided to shoot at SVRC for the first time in at least 10 years, perhaps 15.
I would rather they would run USPSA matches and report classifier results but they don’t and some of the stages didn’t quite match USPSA requirements and they don’t shoot any classifiers. But they were fun stages and to my surprise two guys I had met 20+ years ago at the Microsoft Gun Club were shooting as well. I probably see Sean Flynn two or three times a year anyway and Steve Morrow perhaps once every three to five years. But they were both there. They both reported they had not shot at the SVRC matches in something like a year or more and so it was quite a coincidence we all showed upon for the same match. We got into the same squad and were able to chat some before and during the match. It was nice to hang out with them.
Here are the stages. Some were changed slightly after I took the pictures:
Happy Feet 2
The above stage was a little odd in that you had to shoot the steel and the two outermost targets from between the barrels in the foreground (start position was “hands on Xs”) free style and shoot the rest of the targets strong hand only from behind each of the barricades. Magazine changes using both hands were allowed.
Everyone shows as shooting minor power factor even though many of us were shooting major. This is just one of the USPSA rules they vary on. Had I remembered this before the match I would have brought the ammo I use for steel matches, improved my times some, and tried to be more accurate.
Overall (including Open and other divisions) I came in 8th out of 35 shooters.
I knew I was shooting well. Several people commented that I was doing well at the time. And there were a couple Open division shooters in our squad who I knew to be good shooters and my times were close to theirs. But, I didn’t really expect to win my division. I have never come in first in any USPSA type match in this state before. I did make some mistakes. I can’t count as fast as I can shoot and there were three targets which required six shots on. On two of them I fired seven shots. And I almost forgot the mandatory reload between two of the targets which cost me some time. Then there was a difficult disappearing target which I fired at twice and only got one D-zone hit. I should have just skipped the target entirely and gone for a better time.
Still, I’m very pleased with the results.
I took video of Sean and Steve and told them about it after the match was over. Sean offered me $10 to delete his video (I declined). Steve didn’t seem at all enthusiastic about me posted his on YouTube so I didn’t do anything with his video either. I had some sort of problem with the camera on the stage Barricade Two Step and didn’t get my shooting of that stage. The other stages turned out okay though:
Consider, for instance, the fact that gun crime rates typically have not risen in regions when the number of concealed-carry permit holders increases. That point goes a long way to convincing millennials that the problem isn’t simply the number of guns, it’s who is holding them.
Moreover, it’s worth considering that during the two-decade period from 1992 to 2011, violent crime rates fell nearly in half in the United States while the murder rate fell dramatically as well. Why is that significant? Because it was a period when gun laws nationwide generally became less restrictive (notwithstanding the experience in several major urban centers).
For all the hysterical talk about gun violence in the United States, the truth is that our nation ranks relatively low in terms of gun murders per 100,000 people. It is impossible to reconcile that with the fact the United States leads the world in civilian firearms ownership.
Someone at work came up to me yesterday and said, “It’s time to blow off some steam around here. Can you arrange some range time for a group of us to go to the range together?”
I reserved the training bay at West Coast Amory for us. I’m pretty sure there will be people who have never shot before attending as well as people with their own guns and former military and law enforcement people as well.—Joe]
Those who need to know already know what the following means. If it’s not crystal clear to you then don’t worry about it. It’s not for you.
First, to be clear, the name Tannerite is appearing in news stories attributed to unnamed law enforcement sources. Tannerite residue was reportedly found on the two bombs discovered in New York over the weekend. Other bombs linked to the suspect, Ahmad Rahami, who is now in custody, may have used different explosives. These reports may be wrong in part or whole.
The company that makes Tannerite is skeptical. Steve Yerger, an investigator for the company, says he has not been able to confirm with the FBI or other law enforcement agencies that Tannerite was in fact found in the New York bombs. What’s more, he says he doesn’t know how it could have been used.
In the company’s tests, says Yerger, Tannerite can only be detonated by the impact of a high-velocity bullet. A burning fuse, an electrical current, a hammer blow; none of those will work, according to him. There have been no reports that a gunshot was used to trigger the bomb that exploded in New York on Saturday.
I don’t believe that Tannerite can only be detonated by bullets. I would bet that a blasting cap of the correct type would detonate it just fine. Of course blasting caps are not easy to come by. But, still, I think an improvised blasting cap could be constructed that would do it.
Instead of practicing running, jumping and stabbing in all directions, it might be a really good idea to work on perfecting the basics. It is only when you have truly perfected the basics that a person is ready to learn advanced skills. Nothing will end a criminal attack like a smooth draw and an accurate hit to the vital zone.
Nearly 40 years ago my first engineering mentor, Everett Nelson at Boeing, strongly advocated for the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid.
This has served me well professionally in hardware, as well as software, design and development. I have found that one of the best indicators of a poor or novice engineer is the complexity of their designs. And if you knew enough of the history of Boomershoot targets you would recognize the evolution to better targets was in large part about making things more simple.
The self-defense, unarmed as well as armed, techniques taught at Insights also reflect this philosophy and is something I have always appreciated. Some other schools, as alluded to in the quoted article, show strong indications they are poor or novice designers of self-defense techniques.
I reloaded 1500 rounds of .40 S&W in August. All were Montana Gold JHPs for practice at indoor ranges. With my .40 S&W gun at the factory for repairs (I got it back yesterday!) and out of action for a month I should soon be fairly well stocked on .40 S&W. I’m probably going to reload some .223 this month. I have a lot of powder, cases, and bullets for them that I would like to get off my shelves. I may have to buy a few more small rifle primers.
If I reload just a few more rounds this month than last I will break 80,000 rounds for my lifetime total.
I participated in the Whidbey Island match at Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club on Saturday. The ferry ride, as usual, was pleasant. I wandered around a bit during the crossing and came upon these characters:
The two men in the foreground (Mike and Jeff) and the boy in the background ended up being in my squad at the match.
At first the weather was a bit chilly for the t-shirt I was wearing. It had been very hot the previous few days and I didn’t check the weather forecast. Within a half hour it warmed up to the point where it was quite nice and I didn’t suffer for lack of my preparation.
With my STI DVC back at the factory for repair I used my old Ruger P89 for Centerfire Iron sighted guns (CF-I) and my Ruger 22/45 for Rimfire Iron sighted guns (RF-I). The only holsters I had for the P89 were inside the waistband types and that made for a little slower draw than the competition holster with my STI. The double action first shot slowed things down some too. But, nearly 20 years ago, I had shot tens of thousands of rounds through my P89 and I had been practicing with in the last couple of weeks. The memory of how to shoot it fast seemed to come back and I did okay with it.
The stages were interesting. I forgot to take a picture of one of them with my cell phone and did a screen capture of the video from my video glasses
I have never seen a stage like the following one. The tiny plates in the center had to fall. You hit one of these for each string as the stop plate.
In this stage you shoot each of the two white plates twice, then shoot the stop plate.
My average time per hit with RF-I it was 0.6024 seconds and with CF-I was 0.8934 seconds. At the last match I shot here my average time per hit with RF-I was 0.7203 seconds. With CF-I it was 0.8514 seconds.
I think it is telling that compared to last time my RF shooting was much faster but with CF my shooting was slower. The gun and holster made the difference.
Then to 1000 m to confirm zero. Then to 3000 m. They ran into problems with ranging binoculars (Steiner & Vextronix) “stalling out.”
Consistent muzzle velocity is key. Their loads were within a small range, but a 1 m/sec change in muzzle velocity causes an 80 cm vertical shift in impact point — meaning 1 fps change alters that impact point almost 10″ in the same direction. So you see that firing at 4000 meters is really at the ragged edge of what’s possible with field-employable sniper-type equipment, in 2016. At 4000 m
Third, or possibly, fourth, shot was heard to connect by a forward observer.
Also, dropping a projectile in on a group of bad guys from such distances may cause them to slow or stop their current activities and attempt to deal with the perceived threat with low cost and little risk to the shooter. Sometimes slowing down enemy activities or distracting them, even by a small amount, can result in significant changes in outcomes.
Am I seeing a barrel-mounted, spring operated indexing pawl which engages tiny notches in the front of cylinder between the priming pan covers? On the other hand, maybe that lever on the right side behind the cylinder is part of the index locking mechanism.
Now what we need is a gas-operated, automatic firing, flintlock chain gun artillery piece.
How do you manage to win a medal at six straight Olympics and remain more or less unknown? The answer: win by shooting a gun. American skeet-shooter Kim Rhode last week became the first athlete, male or female, to win a medal at six summer games and the first on five continents, but don’t look for her on a box of Wheaties.
Mrs. Rhode, who won a bronze medal in Rio, has received little media attention despite her historic feat. The 37-year-old also lacks a single major corporate sponsor, though her ammunition and training costs are offset with sponsorship and donations from such firearms companies as Beretta and Otis Technology.
Her agent told Bloomberg he had pitched the sharp-shooter to more than 20 companies, with no luck. Our guess is they don’t want to risk a backlash from the progressive antigun culture. It probably doesn’t help that Mrs. Rhode is an outspoken critic of gun-control laws and a Donald Trump supporter.
I was out of town a lot this month so the reloading and match participation suffered. Over the July 4th weekend Barb and I were in Colorado visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park. The 22nd –> 24th we were in La Push for a family reunion. And the 30th and 31st I was in Idaho working on Boomershoot stuff.
Still, by the end of the year I expect to have a lifetime total of over 80,000 rounds.
Yeah. The one on the right is missing some material. I don’t know if it came from the factory that way or it broke and I just now noticed. Part of the edge is very clean and part is ragged. It’s ambiguous from looking at it with the naked eye whether this is as intended or a failure of some sort.
I contacted STI via email and within minutes they said to return the gun and they would fix it.
Attending the UW $11,859.00 in base tuition a year, going shooting with friends and tossing the empty wiped down ammo boxes in a string of random open waste baskets inside the Comparative History of Ideas Padelford Hall, priceless. There are somethings money can’t buy, but for everything else there’s trolling Marxists in academia.
Anonymous UW Student July 18, 2016 [I have nothing to add.—Joe]
Barb L. July 16, 2016 [Barb and I took some new shooters to the range and Barb did some shooting as well as provide support for me with the new shooters. She shot much better than the last couple of times we went to the range. I wish I would have taken a picture of her happy dance.—Joe]
Some friends wanted to learn to shoot so Barb and I reserved the training bay at the indoor range near us for late Saturday afternoon.
I was surprised to find both of them were right handed but left eye dominant. Many people who are cross eye dominant end up shooting with the hand which matches their dominant eye (daughter Kim is an example).
I put them at about 5 yards from the targets and gave them stance, grip, and trigger operation instructions.
I started them out shooting left handed for a couple of magazines of .22 with a suppressor then had them try shooting right handed. They both opted to continue shooting right handed. As they continued shooting I showed them how to load the magazines and operate the bolt (Ruger 22/45s) and safety.
They shot a few hundred rounds of .22 with both suppressed and unsuppressed semi-auto pistols on single targets as well as multiple bulls-eye targets. We then put up USPSA targets with “hard cover” and had them shoot two shots on the same target starting from the high ready position. We also put up barricades for them to shoot around at multiple bulls-eye targets.
I offered them some low powered .40 S&W loads. They did fine with those. I offered them full power loads. They did fine at first but then started to falter with some of the shots going a bit wild. The shots were still on the paper but off the target so to finish up for the evening I put them back on .22s.
We ended with them saying they had a really good time, asked about the class Barb recently took, and said they wanted to do it again with us.
Tracie with her new shooter smile.Kurt with his new shooter smile.