Saturday, July 25, 2015

Camp Perry 2015 TSRA Team wins both National Trophies.

  2015 was a remarkable run for the TSRA Service Rifle Team.  The Infantry Trophy group was confronted with flag-popping wind on the 600 yard line to start.  The dope was 4 minutes of right windage -and that turned out to be on the money.  Few of the other teams had the nerve to crank that much on.  They fired an 1191, second place overall behind the AMU at 1270 to win the Leatherneck Trophy and the Civilian National title.


TSRA Infantry Trophy lineup.  Buddy Reich, Randy S, Kyle Hoeschler,  Clay Hefner in back. Keith Stephens, Dave Wilson, Justin Utley, Tony Miller in front.



The National Trophy Team Match was fired the next day and the TSRA led the Soldier of Marathon Trophy race whole way.  Again they were second only to the Army Marksmanship Unit in overall score, firing a 2900 to the AMU 2938.

TSRA Bullseye Team. Back: Buddy Reich, Lee Eldridge, Randy S, Kyle Hoeschler.  Front row: Keith Stephens, Coach Dave Wilson.  Captain Tony Miller, Justin Utley.

Great coaching, teamwork, individual efforts and organization by everyone!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cousin Wallace walks the Kennedy crime scene.


After spending most of the day last weekend @ Dallas Market Hall gunshow, Danny Henry took Richard Hall & myself down to Dealey Plaza to have a look-see.
I had seen it before from the freeway but, had never actually been there to explore.
Like everyone else, I had seen a bunch of the news reports & documentaries covering the assignation of Kennedy which had shown the area.
By standing there & looking around, in all directions and from all angles, I gained some perspective of the ranges involved, the angles, etc....very interesting to me!
First, I was kinda surprised how close Oswald's perch was to the motorcade.
Also, how small the "grassy knoll" was....not very large at all. 
The newz media/documentaries led me to believe the area was much bigger.
( Of course, they also make folks think Oswald was a "crack shot" skilled rifleman....hmmmm, not so much...)
I've looked @ Oswald's qualification scores (two, using the M1 Garand)...he barely made Sharpshooter the 1st time and failed to make Sharpshooter the 2nd qual...very average and not even in the league of a "skilled rifleman" in my opinion.
With the short ranges involved, it didn't take super skill....some skill of course but, any ole country boy used to shooting rabbits or squirrels could have easily hit Kennedy (of course, that's just my opinion).
From Oswald's position, I'm thinking I could have done the deed with one of my handguns....a steep angled 15 to 20 yard shot could have been taken if he'd wanted.
Now, I don't exactly want to sound like a conspiracy guy but, while there, I asked myself "where would you have gotten if you were going to take the shot?"
While Oswald had a fairly good place (elevated & with a rifle rest on the window) I'm not sure that would have been my 1st choice.
The road was marked with a couple of "X's"...the 1st where Kennedy is hit in the back w/exit through the throat from 156gr FMJ RN 6.5x52mm Italian Carcano ( my opinion is this was Oswald's 2nd shot & only time he hit Kennedy)...looked about 30 - 35 yard shot from the bldg. Oswald was in. 
The 2nd "X" was about 20 yards further down the street and closer to the "grassy knoll"...this is where the fatal headshot occurred. Distance & angle was much harder shot (though still doable) for Oswald.
I strolled over behind the wooden picket fence (other side of the concrete wall at the top of grassy knoll) & "discovered" this would have been "my choice" of an ambush position! Motorcade coming almost directly at me....very slight angle, almost lined up with me....easily could have tracked the target...no problem at all to hit someone at what I estimated to be between 30 & 35 yards. A few yards across a parking lot behind me & I'm in amongst rail cars & brush....very workable escape route (my opinion).
Zupruder film has always made me think Kennedy was hit from the front & with an expanding type bullet....
I used to work for a guy named Frank Sheffield.
Frank's sister was @ Dealey Plaza & a witness to the assignation.
Frank told me she would get extremely upset if anyone told her Oswald was the only shooter as she heard shots coming from 2 different directions and "one was a whole lot louder than the other!"
With everyone's attention on the motorcade, and the confusion after the shots, no telling what went on...might be fairly easy to slip out during the confusion....
We may never know for sure but, I remain unconvinced Oswald was the one who hit Kennedy in the head....the picket fence was a great spot for a second shooter & my personal favorite from a hunter's or shooter's perspective ... I know that sounds weird but, just passing on my opinion.
From those who have also been to Dealey Plaza, what do ya'll think?
Wallace   

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cousin Wallace runs the match.


Cousin Wallace and the Abilene Pistol Matches.

Shooters:

It's coming up on two years since we started the local pistol matches @ Abilene Gun Club. Here's a little history of how we got it started.

After reading about a "new" type match, developed by CMP called the "M&P" (Military & Police) match, I was inspired and wanted to try this here at home. Since their version restricted certain weapon features and ammo types, I felt like that would hinder local participation. Knowing there are lots of guys & gals who own sidearms, I felt we needed a match that would appeal to those who were not the "hard-core" competition shooters. I liked the course of fire and the generous time limits allowed. Not everyone is a "run and gun" type shooter so, I felt like our version of the M&P match would be geared toward folks who wanted to do some "advanced plinking" and increase their skills with a handgun of "their" choice....why not? Everyone has a favorite and a big percentage of "favorites" wouldn't have fit the criteria required by the CMP. 

Before trying the first match, I ran this proposal past the service rifle shooters who were 100% in favor! Grady, with AGC was also in favor so, I set about and built target frames, bases and scrounged all the cardboard I could find to paste the B-8 targets to. We held our first few matches on the main firing line but, found the existing shooting benches less than ideal plus, we hindered normal operations of the main firing line. The club obtained several carports for the old cowboy action pits so, the pistol match(s) were moved to that location. This necessitated building dedicated shooting tables but, now that we've done that, things are much better! 

Keeping the same 40-shot course of fire, we have incorporated rimfire only matches and, a "compact carry" match with the range reduced to 15 yards instead of the usual 25 yards. This puts the smaller pistols and revolvers on a more suitable course as it was hard for them to be competitive at the longer distance. Many shooters shoot both matches. I will continue to consider other types of matches, speak up if anyone has any ideas.  

After two years of running these matches and, keeping up with scores, here are a few of my observations:

It's fun! Quite a few of you have personally told me how much they enjoy these matches. That "makes my day!" ...I enjoy seeing everyone having fun and at the same time increasing their skills with a handgun.  My personal thanks to everyone who comes out to shoot!

25 yards is a long way to shoot with a handgun for most people. I'd be willing to say a large percentage of our shooters had rarely shot a handgun much at this distance. A big percentage of shooters can bounce a can at 10 yards, but, staying within the scoring rings (19.68 inches for the 5-ring) with all 10 shots is another matter. Nearly everyone came away saying "It's harder than I thought."

Close to 100% of the shooters expressed dread knowing they would be required to shoot one-handed with their weak hand. Now that they've tried it, they see it's not as bad as they thought. Some shooters frequently shooter better with their weak hands than they do with their strong hands! I've also noticed if you are right-handed, when you transition to your left (weak) hand, your shots will consistently group to the right of point of aim....see this over and over again. Most shooters have learned to "hold off" to the left to compensate. Obviously, one would have never learned this without trying it.

Model 1911 pistols are dominant. With a few exceptions, the old tried and true 1911 pistols frequently top the list. Most red-blooded Americans have been in love with the 1911 for over a century. It feels good in the hand and has a good single-action trigger. The .45ACP is a wonderful target cartridge that delivers top accuracy. Even 1911's in other calibres shoot well. Several folks prefer the 9x19mm versions and, we've even had a couple in .40S&W too.

Handloads better than factory loads? Are home-made cartridges, frequently using home-made cast bullets, superior to new factory loaded ammo or, is it the person using such ammo just can afford to shoot more and become more skilled? In my opinion, both....there's absolutely nothing wrong with properly handloaded ammo and, I've proven to myself that my home-cast bullets are superbly accurate! I do believe handloaders become better shooters since they can & do shoot more affordable ammo. Just because the factory made the ammo doesn't mean it will shoot better...I'll put my ammo up against the factory stuff all day long, any day. Those that believe otherwise can think what they want....  

Optical sights help the old eyes. Since our primary objective is to have fun, optical type sights have allowed shooters that have focus difficulties to get back into the game. So far, I still get by and prefer good ole irons but, it's an option that may help some shooters. 

Revolvers are still viable. It seems most shooters these days focus on the semi-autos but, the good old revolver still has a place! Several of our shooters shoot the course with their favorite wheelgun (so far, no single-actions though). Since the time limits are generous, reloading is usually a non-factor. Even the 70-second timed-fire stage isn't a problem if the shooter stays focused. I really like shooting my revolvers and recently shot my best overall score with any handgun using my S&W M19-3 Combat Magnum and home-cast wadcutters. I like em all but, admit my favorite is my 1911 in .45ACP!

Those that work at it, become very good shooters! Our most dedicated shooters challenge themselves to get better each and every match. It doesn't happen overnight. Old and frequently bad habits are hard to break. The better shooters work on their weaknesses between matches. A big part of this is mental...practice equals being prepared. Being prepared equals confidence. Confidence equals better scores.

Murphey's Law. I've seen quite a few "failures" with equipment. Sights getting loose and almost falling off. Batteries dead in optical sights. Magazines that won't feed. Ammo that won't chamber. Stove-pipe malfunctions. Failures to eject. Stuck bullet...no powder in cartridge. Dud primers. Double feeds. Brought wrong ammo. Forgot to bring ammo. Didn't bring enough ammo. Didn't bring magazines.....reminds me of an old SWAT saying: "He who fails to prepare should prepare to fail." or another: "One is none, two is one." Check your gear the night before...nuff said.

Don't give up! Attitude determines altitude! I'm very proud of one of our shooters who has come from one of the lowest scores ever fired on this course to very near the top. He didn't allow his poor initial performance to get in his way of becoming a better shooter. He accepted coaching, broke bad habits and above all worked at becoming better. This should be an example to all that everyone can get better if they work on their weaknesses and stay in practice. 

Looking back through the match reports I see the wide range of handguns used in the matches. With 1911's being the most common, we've also seen the full spectrum ... all the way from a crude Hi-Point to the refined Hammerli 208. This is of great interest to me. Nice to see some of the oldies still shooting such as Tokerevs, Lugers and Browning Hi-Powers. Lots of brands represented too....H&K, Para-Ordnance, Springfield Armory, Colt, Beretta, Smith&Wesson, Browning, LesBaer, Rock Island Armory, Ruger, Walther, Glock, Hi-Standard, Sig-Sauer, EAA, Kimber, Taurus, Wilson, STI, ATI, CZ and maybe some I've forgot. 

Ammunition: In addition to .22 rimfire, we've seen a wide array of calibres used. Everything from .32 S&W Long up through .45 Colt. In revolvers, the .38 Special is hands down the most widely used. The wonderful old .45ACP is the most common auto pistol calibre with the 9X19mm also popular. It's not uncommon to see 7.62X25mm, .357Sig or .40S&W. I tried to get a count on rounds expended in the matches and came up with 12,440 rounds expended since we had our first match in July of 2013. That oughta keep the ammo and component companies happy! I enjoyed every shot!

As always, I welcome everyone's comments, good or bad. If you don't mind sharing your thoughts/comments, use "reply all" ...Thanx!

Wallace                       

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Panola Regional Match Photos, May 2, 2015.

Lot of effort to throw a party this big from prepping the range on a work day, rebuilding all the targets to calling the line, Match Directing the paper, scorecards, handling the results line by line, handing out awards, sending in results and handling the money.  Match Director Dave Wilson, (and Phylis), David Keys calling the line, Ken Gaby working results and many more helping hands made it look smooth and effortless.  All the competitors had to do was show up and shoot.  Big thanks owed for the efforts of the few on behalf of the many.  Panola in Texas in May is the best place to shoot.....anywhere.

Because of the good early sunlight, we started at 600.  Ben Brooks scoring.


Mike Larkin

Rusty Hogg.

Tom Ayers.



John Jebaby.

Big Brother is watching...and keeping score.  Tony Miller at 600.


Wayne Nunn in his first visit to Panola on the end of the line.

Jim Booker and his hat shoot at 600.


Keith Stephens.

Dan Pate.




Katie Davis waiting on her relay.

John Zuback on his way to a Grand Master medal.



There's one in every crowd...or should be.  Garand on the line at 600.

Seeking adult supervision.  Mark Turner and Ron Leraas hanging out.

Mike Larkin with second breakfast.

Rol Coggins on target 1.

Izzy, Kyle, Jeff Lin.

Keith Stephens working offhand.

Greg Foster.

John Rhynard with the feather of an unlucky crow....for good luck.

The swashbucking Randy Scheibel plots a shot.

Lee Eldrige making his bones.

Utley being Utley.

John Ilzheofer.

Rol Goggins and his full-length rifle.


Firing offhand at 200.




Coggins running his bolt gun at 300 prone.

Keith Stephens.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Scheibel, Ilzhoefer, Kyle, Clay, Lin, Stephens, Buddy. Schultz.

Buddy 3rd, Utley 2nd, Stephens 1st.



Team Day, Friday, May 1, at Panola County Gun Club.

Dave Wilson directed the Match, Ken Gaby pitched in and David Keys called the line on Team Day.  Not a discouraging word was heard.  At least 10 teams fired.


Seapaugh, Holt and Coggins.

Buddy coaches Izzy and Emily Hogg.

Rol firing his left-handed bolt .260.

Buddy watches while Katie Davis poses.


Emily Hogg during sitting Rapid.

john Rhynard with a feather in his cap.

Holt and Hefner.

Clay firing offhand.

Holt firing.

Photobombed while scoring.