Tuesday, November 29, 2005

BOOM! And A Giant Cloud Of Smoke.

I've been neglecting this blog, does not look it shall get much better until January. Between getting ready to spend December in Arizona, and learning cowboy action shooting I haven't had much time to even look at blogs, much less write in this one.

Saturday marked my third match and the first one with all black powder cartridges. Also the first match with my new rifle, a clone of the Winchester Model '92 in .45 Colt. I'll post a pic or two before the end of the week. Meanwhile, here in a word picture, it's the rifle version, meaning it has the 24 inch octagon barrel rather than the round barrel of the carbine or the short octagon tube of the short rifle. It has the full length magazine holding thirteen rounds, with one in the chamber it is one of those damn' yankee rifles that ye load on Sunday and shoot all week. And it is stainless steel, not period correct, of course, but then they didn't load .45 Colt into rifles or carbines back then, either. Since I am shooting black powder, with the propensity toward corrosion that it has, I'll just pretend it's nickel plated.

At any rate, Saturday's match got rained out, I only got to shoot one stage out of six. By the time it was my turn to shoot the rain was comin' down like a brown cow peein' on a flat rock. That was impressive, though, the more moisture in the air, the bigger the cloud of smoke. I didn't notice but the other folks said that the shotgun was shooting flame and sparks out some five feet. All I saw was big clouds of smoke, though. The recoil of those BP 12 Gauge loads pushes the muzzles up to where I don't see the shot strike until I haul the muzzles out of the sky.

We finished the match the next day, in a thirty plus mile an hour wind. The clouds of smoke aren't nearly so blinding in wind like that. The full charge black loads are still impressive, though. It seems that most folks in cowboy shoot very light loads in .38 or even .32 for the speed. It is much faster to shoot when one does not have to contend with recoil. There is a smaller subset of shooters who fire cartridges with numbers beginning in .40 or more. These folks are called 'warthogs'. And there is another smaller subset called Soot Lords, who shoot the original powder, black, or one of the replicas like Pyrodex or Triple Seven. I guess I'm workin' on becomin' a Soot Hog.

Well, I have to take Linda Lou's car to the shop, then her retirement party is tonight. Tomorrow night is Georges graduation from beginning obedience school and then we're leaving Friday for San Antonio. We'll shall spend a few days there and then off to Arizona for the rest of the year. I'll write some from the road, for now, though, I shall be lucky to post a few pictures. Anong with everything else I must load up every .38 and .357 case in the house so that Andy and his wife have sumpin to shoot. Plus a couple hundred more .45 and 12 gauge black powder loads so that I can go to a match or so out there. It is fast to load smokeless loads, the black loads are slow because I have yet to buy a powder measure that works with black. It is too explosive to use in a standard measure so I have to dip it out and weigh each charge. Then the grease cookies are a hand proposition, too. I can load a hundred smokeless in the time it takes to load ten BP.

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