Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Best Shoot Ever.

Had our twice-monthly Cowboy Action Shoot today. I did better than Dick Cheney, I did not pepper anyone with birdshot, nor with 255 grain soft lead bullets, either. Dick had a Bad Day. It's always bad when one pops a hunting buddy although these things do happen. Worse was his choice of hunting partners. Poor Dick, had to shoot a lawyer. That will cost him. Ah, maybe not. Seems that those guys don't hunt together enough where they all know what each other are doin'.

Our shoot wasn't quite so exciting, the down side was everyone freezing their hineys off. We mostly buy clothes for the ten months of warm to beastly hot weather we get down here, then I get up and it's below freezing with a strong wind. It was EIGHTY DEGREES last week but the morning of the shoot it was below freezing. I went anyway, the last shoot got rained out. The range we shoot at is on that slick black gumbo soil, once it rains trucks sink to their floorpans.

The very first thing I managed to do at the range was to break my butt. Scroll down a couple of posts and see the (fake) ivory grips I put on one of my revolvers. While I was getting my gunbelt on, and my gunbelt suspenders on, I broke my new gunbutt. It is not a tragedy, I bumped it and the glue broke. These grips have to be shaped to fit, then glued together making the three pieces into a one piece grip. I shall stick it back on with different glue. The good news is that I still had the old walnut grips in my range box, unscewed the three screws holding the grip frame on and switched out. Rule number one of competition is that when trying something new, take the old with you.

This beminds me, I must put stampede strings on my hats. I almost put a charge of birdshot through my hat when it blew off and headed downrange. Then I remembered an old Western Movie I saw, I believe it was Glen Ford that tied his hat on with his bandana, so I tried that, the ends blew in my eyes while I was tryin' to shoot. Maybe I'll take on the persona of a French gunfighter and get me a beret. Ah, maybe better a coonskin cap, are we still mad at the French? I know that I'm not real mad at Tennessee. I just have to hold on to Captain Fatbob, Linda Lou's Black Pug of Doom, when we blow through there so he doesn't get blended.

Anyway, once I gave up on the hat, things improved. Well, somewhat. I hadn't done any practice shooting in my new gloves, I just didn't feel comfortable tryin' to handle the irons with two gloves on so I kept the right one off. Even wearin' one glove made it hard to load the irons. Mainly the rifle, the rounds pop right out of the loading gate if I don't watch it.

Today's match was a six stage affair. The way it was set up today was a hundred and seventeen rounds of pistol and rifle ammo and a minimum of twenty-two rounds of shotgun ammo. Handgun and rifle targets are scored as hits or misses, shotgun targets are knockdown targets and we shoot as many shots as we must until they go down. I only had to pop two shotgun targets a second time. The best news is that I managed the whole match without a single procedural penalty for screwing up the order in which we engaged the targets. I don't know if every newcomer gets procedurals as he (or she) learns the game or if I am still having a little trouble from the stroke. Anyhow, no procedural penalties and only three missed targets, two of those were when I was fighting with my hat in the hurricane. I've never had a match with only three misses. Not that I have had all that many matches. This was my forth, if I counted right.

Anyhow, I won my class today. It was easy, I was the only guy shootin' Black Powder Cartridges. That is a class called frontier cartridge. So I came in first. I seem to be one of the few warthogs out there, too. For the uninitiated, a warthog is someone who shoots cartridges with a first digit of 4 and full charge loads. Of course I am also a soot burner in that I shoot the Holy Black instead of that newfangled heathen smokeless. I do believe that makes me a soot hog. Most everybody else shoots light loads in small cartridges. There are a lot of people shooting .38s with 125 grain, or lighter, bullets at low velocity. Some time back they had a rule in cowboy action with a minimum velocity of 650 fps, then they quit enforcing that rule. Some of the Pards run such light loads that we can actually see the bullets in the air. Then a soot hog hits the firing line. Everyone has got used to the pop pop pop and all of a sudden it's boom boom boom! Of course since the game puts a premium on spped so we warthogs will never win the International Championship at the End Of Trail Shoot but that is okay, I couldn't afford the range fee to even attend that shoot. I swear takin' up long legged redheads would be just as cheap a hobby as this sport. By the time I finish loadin my next match worth of ammo I will have over a half pound of powder loaded behind a lot more lead. Maybe I should have bought me some .32-20s instead of these pumpkin rollers. Too late now. I'm stuck with being a warthog.

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