Monday, August 14, 2006

Frustrating, But I Won My Class

I won my catagory at yesterdays shoot. Well, maybe I lost. It's hard to figure it out when I scored the highest in my class and the lowest. Yup. I was the only one shooting Frontrier Cartridge.

A better idea about how I did is that I was 18th overall, still down toward the bottom of the pack. I think I might have gotten closer to the top fifteen had I not blown the order in which I had to engage the targets. That mistake cost me a ten second "P" or procedural penalty. Other than that one disaster I managed to run the match with only one other miss, I think. I'll know for sure when the club puts the scores up on the website. My time is improving, too. Granted, the top shooters in Cowboy Action shoot a stage in twenty to thirty seconds and I am still just over a minute per stage but then the top shooters are not shooting .45 Colt with black powder loads, either. I am not going to cry about shooting ten rounds, from two handguns plus ten tounds from a lever action rifle and then four rounds from a starting empty mule ear double shotgun in a minute. I suspect that, as I practice I shall get the time per stage down to 45 seconds or so. I'm still having some problems drawing and holstering and picking up and grounding the long guns. The problems are more due to that stroke than poor equipment. Still, an hour or so of practice three or four times a week would help, too. Too bad I don't practice.

At least I managed the shoot without dropping a gun, that's something.

I need to put off road wheels on my guncart. It is so dry around here that there is a real danger of breaking an ankle stepping into the cracks in the black earth. It hasn't rained around here since Moby Dick was a minnow.

The Big Lube Boolits are a real success. I finally got around to shooting the .454 diameter 250 grain Pigeon Roost Slim slugs in the rifle. The .452s shot very well in my revolvers but poorly in the rifle. I have no idea why the revolvers are so much more forgiving than the rifle. It may be just a matter of expectations. I EXPECT a rifle with a 24 inch barrel and a Marble's Tang Sight to shoot a group of around an inch, inch and a half at fifty yards and two inches or so at a hundred. The .452s did not do so with the only load I tried in the rifle. Perhaps a different load would tighten the groups up. I suspect that a full charge of The Holy Black would cause the base of the bullet to slug up to completely fill the barrel. Then I'd have to put up with the complaints about my "hot" loads being hard of the steel targets. With the .454s I had no problem with my load of 28 grains of GOEX FFG, a .7 CC scoop of instant grits, uncooked of course and the bullet. Note that I fired sixty rounds, over six stages. There was plenty of time between the stages for the black powder fouling to harden and tie up the gun. In that heat it would have. The last round was just as accurate and chambered and extracted just as easily as the first.

The only differnce between the Big Lube Boolit and a regular cast bullet is that the Big Lube carries at least five times the lubricant as a bullet made for that newfangled fad smokeless stuff.With my home cast bullets I only get ten rounds or so until the fouling turns too hard and starts giving problems in the revolvers. In the rifle I started having problems right off the bat. Twenty-four inches of barrel is just way too much for two skinny grease grooves.

Of course my homecast bullets shoot just fine with a grease cookie underneath the bullet. That what I will be shooting when I run our of the Big Lubes, at least until I can afford the new mold. There are only two reasons for using the Big Lube Boolit instead of the regular one. The grease cookie takes a lot of room in the case that can be filled with powder. That is not important for Cowboy Action since I download anyway. The time spent loading rounds makes the Big Lube matter to the handloader. It is just so much faster to por a scoop full of dry grits into the case than it is to take a freshly powdered case, push a sheet of beeswax over the casemouth, making a wad. Then we have to push the wad down on the powder. Then put a dollop od soft black powder lube in the case and finally add a card or vegetable fiber wad on top of all that and now seat and crimp the bullet.

Whew! I'm tired just writing that, it's worse doing it. What is even more fun is having to make the sheets of beeswax since no one seems to make sheets. Linda Lou does not much like me making the beeswax sheets since I always manage to drip wax all over her kitchen. Speaking of which, if I cook at least half the meals, how come it's her kitchen?

The other main advantage of the Big Lube Boolits is that it took four patches to clean my rifle and not much more than that to clean each revolver.

The Big Lube Boolits also come in full size rifle sizes, too. There are two for the .45-70 and other .45 caliber rifles, a 390 grain and a five hundred grain, and a 240 grain for the .38-55. These would be really good for long range rifle competion and for hunting. I have heard some rumblings about molds for cartridges like the .32-40 and the various .40 caliber rifles, too. If enough people are interested Dick Dastardly will be pleased to have to molds made. Big Lube Boolits.

Update: 8/20/06. Don't ask why I forgot to finish and post this all week. Too busy playing with a puppy, I recon.

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