Monday, August 4, 2008

Heat Waves

When you stand on Viale Range on the 300 yard line and look in all four directions, the Earth looks flat. Sunday 500 or so flat-earthers gathered with their M14s and M1As to shoot the Springfield Armory match. Last year it was raining sideways but Sunday the sun was up, the sky was blue and the wind was coming off the lake at about a half minute from 2:00. I got the 4th relay so we went into the pits. Good thing, because before 9:00 there isn't any sun on the target face and I shoot better when the bulls-eye is lit. My relay partner was a guy named Scott Kempler, an engineer for Bosh from Michigan. Nice guy, very competant, he and his dad were sharing a rifle and shooting the match. We had a couple of younger folsk, Hanna somebody, a blond juinor who hadn't sunblocked her ears and some round-headed kid who was like a lot of juniors: solid.
I shot a 194X7 prone slow fire, which doesn't seem like much except that this match is fired on the 500 yard F-class (scoped rifle) target. The X-ring is about as big as your grandfathers pocket watch and the ten ring about as wide as a childs hand. I shot the hands off the watch and the rings off the fingers and had some close nines. Shooting Dick Curry's MTA M1A. It's like him: old and wrinkled and greasy, but if I looked at the front sight against the sky over the lake and over the target and then breathed it down, it was in there. Half a minute of wind, on for one shot and off for the next. Sitting rapid I bounced around and shot an 88X1. Prone rapid I had to use some ammo I bought, (from Curry, incidentally) and the case necks broke off on three of the ten rounds. I saved four, so the match was over as far as score but I shot an OK offhand. That rifle lines up nice and you just hold it and wait on the trigger as you press it straight back. Really a joy to shoot. The ammo was some vintage 872 from some of the first lots made. The two boxes I brought shot perfectly. Note to self: don't be a nut.  Bring enough ammo for a small siege.
Several of us who bought ammo from Curry are going to have some REAL BARGAINS at a furture guns show....warning! Gregg foster had some of the same ammo doing the same thing down the line.
Fun though. Made a nice video of the shooters standing at attention during the Star Spangled Banner from the walk-over on Viale Pit wall, and then the last trolley ride out. Blackfork Channel on Youtube this week.
Posting this from Central City, Kentucy where we ended up last night. There's a heat advisory at home and it feels noticably warmer. Nobody stole any of the cases of M2 Ball in the open back of Ricks truck. That would have been a redneck Christmas here in the hills. Most of the country is as safe as your living room. I didn't bother to bring a pistol on this trip and we haven't heard a single discouraging word.

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