Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Old Man and the Rifle.

Scott Bronson from Tuba City, Arizona and I on Viale before the LEG match.  Scott is a Navajo so I asked him if we ought to do an X-Ring Way or an AR-15 Way.  He said we could try but if we got it wrong it would probably rain corn and toads, so we didn't.  Both of us still shot pretty well.  I shot a 484X11 for 35th place.  Scott shot a 475 and got 10 points toward his Distinguished Badge!
Cheaper than Scott Fuller and Dave Watters, a Texan who lives in Australia.

Scott Bronson from Tuba City, Arizona.  During the LEG Match 200 rapid fire.

Some young man from the Coalingua Rifle Club.

Range food.  Pickles, banana chips, olives, painkillers.

Emily Hogg.

Random Bransomness.

Reading results.  I beat up on old people.

Your 2012 CMP Senior Trophy Champion at our favorite restaurant.


  Under the berm walkover in the middle of Viale pits, on the catwalk is a clift swallow nest.  There's one frantic youngster on it, just hours away from flying.  The crowd this week has run his parents off though they make frequent passes flickering by like arrows in the air as the gunfire crackles.  The odds of him being alive in 24 hours, unless the parents can pack in the food between cease-fire and dark, are about 10%.  I'm going to see if he is there tomorrow.

  We fired the 50 shot LEG match today on both ranges.  About 1100 folks fired.  When we rolled out it was dark and spitting rain with lightning in the West.  The wind was gusting enough to interfear with walking.  I figured on a two hour rain delay at least but the sun came up, the sky lightened and the wind dropped.  They called us to the line and away we went.

  It's a long day on the range with six relays and alibi strings being shot after every rapid string.  The sun was out most the time, I put on full protection and ran the water through.  Makes for a long day.

  I shot well on several yardlines.  96 standing, 100X6 sitting, 97 at 300 and then I got to shoot first in a terrible wind at 600.  I took an educated look and decided it was 3 1/2 minutes of left wind.  I was off by a minute.  First shot was just in the 7 ring at 3:00.  Put on 4 1/2 minutes of wind and away I went.  Once I got in the X ring I shot as fast as I could, finishing in about eight minutes.  20 shots.  They ran a snappy target.  Finished with 484X11 which was about 35th overall and won the Senior Trophy.

  Winning the Senior trophy, as John Rynard would say, is like being the fastest mule at the Kentucky Derby.  Still, they have to give it to somebody and I did manage to beat Don Tryce.  Pretty crazy to get this old.  I'm compensating by mocking young shooters for their youth and inexperience.  I was five times the age of a 12 year old who was firing on my point.  12 years.  Holy cows......er....calves.

  Perhaps my goal should be to win anything that has "senior" or "vintage" in the title.  I'm still National Vintage Military Rifle Champ for a few days and now I'm the CMP Senior Champ.  Maybe I'll get a handicapped parking tag to go along with it and spend my time griping about young people, the good old days and the government.

Update:  163 old men shooting the Senior Trophy.  That's a lot of handicapped parking.  Ended up 35th of 1148 overall competitors.

  I hope that two week old chick under the overwalk made it to Thursday.



Monday, July 30, 2012

Presidents 100 Protest

Presidents 100 Trophy.  I'm sure Obama doesn't know anything about this.

The always slightly overdone Misty Dawn Skelton.

Targets and scorers getting ready for the shootoff.  The scores are posted on these target faces for the crowd.

Katye Foster and Coach Em Hogg.

Keith Justin Rol Karl.

And Dave.


Kyle Clay and Dave with Kyle's target.


  For some reason that's not clear to me, (and it may be as simple as not liking the shoot-off format), but the Army Team, (except for Sgt. Ty Cooper who shot a perfect 300 point score in a 300 point match),  refused to fire during the top-20 shootoff at the President's 100 this afternoon.  If it WAS a protest, I don't understand why Cooper fired, but nobody else.  One other person shot a 300 point scorecard, and he ended up winning the whole shebang when he outshot Cooper, and the Army Team lined up to congratulate him.

  The Marines looked pissed.  Of course they always look a little edgy, but they all fired in the shoot-off and looked unhappier than usual about it.

  I just simply don't understand what was going on.  Big crowd.  20 folks firing the shoot-off, but about 10 or 11 of them didn't fire at all.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Unbelievable Business of Being.

There's really no time to post about the day- right now we are tacking rifles and updating scorecards and arranging range food.  I'm with two of the best folks possible in this situation:Alan Long and Rol Coggins, and it still is difficult and complicated.

  We did NOT shoot the squadded practice, forgoing the wind and sunburn and five hours on the range and instead did prep all day for the matches, weighed triggers, shopped along Commercial Row, ate, shot airguns, attended a team meeting and generally tried to relax and BE HERE.  It took all day and most of the energy we had.

  So in the name of one photo being worth 1000 words, here's a few from the day.

Madman with an impossibly old and rare vintage rifle whose trigger wouldn't make weight.

Madmen in Black and White at The CMP Store.

Assorted Texans.  Katie Foster setting the basic standard for appearances, everyone else flunking.

Everything available on Commercial Row.

Em Hogg with an amatures rifle.

Shooting airguns in the big new airgun range.

Somehow, the team surprised me with this travel bag.  Even my Katie knew about it though I had not a clue.

  Picked the Silver TSRA teams for IT and Bullseye.  Tougher than you might think.  Trying to develop some new folks and let some absolutely top folks standing around.  

  In the Morning: President's 100.  1600 folks shooting 10 shots standing at 200 yards, 10 shots prone rapid at 300 yards and 10 shots prone slow fire at 600 yards.  It makes me feel sunburned just to think about it. 

Sunday: Camp Perry 2012

Breakfast at the Big Bopper next to the Mar-Lu.

I hope i look pleased enough with myself.  Spent the morning convincing folks not to waste time and skin cells going to the squadded practice and instead spend the day relaxing.  Most folks taking my considered advice.  I've never known squadded practice to help anyone and you end up worn out for the Presidents 100 tomorrow.  Better to relax and goof off.  Tour the CMP, shop at Krogers, nap, eat out, walk out on the beach, weigh triggers.  The important stuff.  Lotta shooting coming up.

One if by land, two if by sea, three hours by air.

King Air Magic over the Midwest.

Tower at the entrance to Camp Perry.

The Flag flying of the Mr-Lu.

  Three hours in a King Air and we folded space, time, interstate highways, bad food and cheap motels, asphalt, gas stations, newpapers and geographical regions into three hours of sitting in a room with a view.  VERY unusual and wonderful experience.  I love modern technology, money, gasoline, electricity, design..all that stuff.

  Got to Camp Perry- and I mean RIGHT to Camp Perry at Port Clintons Ottawa Airport, stuffed all our gear in a minivan and rolled to eat lake perch platters at the Peninsula Diner.  Checked into the Mar-Lu and headed back to commercial row and the CMP check in.   



Friday, July 27, 2012

Packing for Perry.

  Last pushups.  Last dry firing at the studio.  Last washer of clothes.  Last bit of ammo squirreled away.  I'm flying up tomorrow in a King Air, not driving.  Most of the Texans are convoyed up into Indiana tonight, probably at the regretfully named Effingham.

  I'm going to miss the twice-daily dryfiring tomorrow during travel day.  It's been fun.  I've really worked out my hold on all four rifles.  Today, on the last session, my 1903A4 quit firing.  Seems the stock screws had loosened.  Tightened them up and checked all the rifles and got it back in service.  The Garand had a loose gas plug.

  Funeral today at my old church, Pleasant Retreat Methodist, for Dennis Smith's mom.  In my shirt pocket I found a .223 round with a broken neck stuck on the end.  The shirt was freshly washed.  Must have worn it to a practice when we were breaking Infantry Trophy ammo cases.

  I'll be blogging all the way through Camp Perry.

  Hardly been on the range at all, except in my mind.  In my mind and dry firing, I have rarely been anywhere else.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Not a lawn chair and pellet rifle, but pretty impressive.

Breaking a 52 year old record.  Oddly enough, I remember reading in my Weekly ready in elementary school about the first jump.

  Great feat to pull off and live.  I bet it was noisy with all the wind.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dry firing.

Dry firing with the Blind Beggar of Saigon and four good rifles.


  Still keeping on.  Twice a day.  You get really familiar with your hold and technique.  I think it's helping.  Not going to shoot many live rounds before Camp Perry.  I believe in my zeros and ammo.  I guess we will see.

  Got to do a little prone rapid fire drill with the Springfield Bolt and the K31 Swiss straight pull.  Then ready to go.

Vest shots from Cousin Wallace.



Pictured is an old American Body Armor ( ABA ) Threat Level II kevlar panel from one of our expired vest. It has been shot with numerous calibres to test it's effectiveness. If you look closely you can see the impacts are labeled w/calibre & bullet type. The only things that pierced it are a shank (labeled spike) and 5.56mm rifle loads (55gr W-W Ballistic-Tips). No handgun round tested came close. As you can see, most bounced off without penetrating enough to embed in the fabric. The exceptions being the .357 Magnum and .357 Sig which penetrated several layers and attached themselves to the fabric as they mushroomed. With FMJ bullets and "pointy" bullets, they would have a good chance of making it through. ( makes me think the old pointed FMJ .357 Magnum "armor piercing" load from years ago probably would defeat Level II. ) Like steel, kevlar seems most vulnerable to high velocity.
Even though the handgun bullets didnt go through, it would have been very unpleasant to endure a hit as the fabric "pooches in" when hit causing deep bruising. Thought ya'll might find this informative. Wallace

  Here's a S&W K38 that belonged to Rick Crawford.  Number 1822XX.  Anyone got a clue as to what year it was made?

  Been a very scenic summer though I haven't been posting much.  The TSRA National Match Rifle Team is made but back in June they weren't.  I had to step into a coaching slot to try and get us through the coaching changes made since last year.  I'm in the worst slot possible- coaching the out-of-competition team. There isn't anything we can win.  I can't make the National Rifle Team and won't be shooting on a team that might win the Soldier of Marathon Trophy.  Limbo.  Which is not to say that the job doesn't need to be done.  It does.  I'm doing it.  Bitch off.

  I get to shoot the Presidents 100 and the LEG match, then Alan Long and I are going to shoot the Vintage Sniper Match.  After that I help drive two out-of-comp teams and then the Springfield, Garand and Vintage Military matches will be fired.  Still a lot of shooting.

  Part of the lost summer comes from having a kidney stone attack on the way home after a long weekend coaching at Camp Swift.  I actually didn't make it home, with Katie coming to rescue me about 15 miles out.  Pretty sporty experience.  Ended up in ER a couple of days later.  I thought it was food poisoning.  Instead, it was a stone on the right side.  Lotta walking and applejuice.  This experience is NOT recommended for children or other living things.

  During the stone transit week, I often walked just around the corner on a nice empty no-traffic street.  An attack had started about 4:00AM on a Sunday night and I was out in a bathrobe and dog-walking shoes.  Carrying a glass of ice water.  I came in testy peace to all mankind.

  That time of morning pretty quiet.  It wasn't hot.  Some kids were sitting out smoking dope and talking about a half block up.  I could smell pot and hear them murmuring.  After several circuits the pain began to back off and I decided to head home.  Cutting across the neighbors driveway I heard MORE talking.  I squinted down their drive and could just make out someone standing against their white garage.  At first I thought they were out walking their little dog.  Ted.

  This shape started walking my way and out of the darkness I heard it say, "Er-Ah, have you got a light?"

  This is what police call "the interview," where a criminal engages you in conversation to access your threat level.  This fellow comes strolling out of the darkness intending to walk up to me at 4:30AM in my neighbors driveway and ask me for a light.  Oh yeah.  And for some reason, (perhaps from my general testiness over being in pain for several days), this got all over me.  I instantly went all apples.  Flaming red ones.

  I held up my hand like a traffic cop and yelled "STOP!"  He kept approaching.  I backed up a bit and yelled "DON'T APPROACH ME!"  I started moving left.  He finally stalled.  Six feet.  Red T shirt, shorts, shoes.  Close cropped hair.  Black.   For a moment I thought we were going from the interview stage to the knockout game stage.  I'm sure he was beginning to sense that I had a "bad vibe."

  He mumbled something about a light for his cigarette and I began to challenge, with max profanity, everything he said.  He shifted to the old "car broken down" approach.  I challenged, with even more profanity, that meme.  I added that anyone wandering the yards would be "SHOT GRAVEYARD DEAD" with enough fresh profanity to scorch paint,  He said he was just cutting through the neighbors back yard to get through the corner and I challenged that with newer, more pointed profanity and mentioned again that I would happily SHOOT HIM IN THE FACE in an instant.

  I didn't use any racial references, but I did call him every insulting and demeaning term while frequently adding references to my zestful desire SHOOT HIM TO DEATH until he finally took the open lane and walked off mumbling about what a racist I was.

  FU, buddy.

  I made a beeline for the house, retrieved a light, phone and Sig 220 full of handloads and started egging on the police.  At 4:30 you have the young guys and the bored guys and I woke up the dispatcher and had them on site in about 1:30.  They are young and fit and would love to catch a burglar.  We missed him.

  It was my tactical error.  I should have been charming and stalled him long enough to get a Garand in his face, with the promise of a light and/or 20 bucks so he could gas up his car.  It's a rare thing to actually be able to capture a burglar and they radiate so much misery that they are worth extraordinary efforts.  I should have tricked the satchel-assed son-of-a-bitch.  But I didn't.  I got mad instead.

  

British ACE found after 71 years.

It takes a while, but they finally found him.  Been a long time gone.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Helium Ballons/Lawnchair.

These guys have actually done it enough times to get good at it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cousin Wallace on the Firing Line:


Last weekend I grabbed the chronograph & gear and headed for an afternoon @ a private range. It was mostly cloudy and only in the low to mid 90's....much nicer than blistering 100+ temps!
 
Needed to load test some loads before loading up a big batch. Also took a couple of .357 Magnum S&W revolvers ( Model 19 4" and Model 27 6") but mostly I concentrated on the .45 ACP handguns.
 
Took 2 autos (Sig P220 and S&W 1911) and 2 revolvers (old S&W M1917 5.5" and S&W 25-2, AKA as the 1955 Target model with a 6.5" bbl)
 
Chrono set up with targets @ 25 yds. Shot off benchrest. Only 4-shot groups in the interest of time & expense...just enuff to get a feel for each load. I'm too lazy to type all the load info but I used 185gr Nosler HP, 185gr Rainier TMJ, 200gr cast lead SWC and 200gr Rainier TMJ SWC. Powders were: W231, WSL (Winchester Super-lite), Bullseye and Win 540. Spent almost 5 hrs on the range.
 
A total of 6 loads were tested in each weapon. Below are some "average" figures for your info/entertainment. I got a couple of the loads a tad warmer than needed so I will back off about a half grain on a couple & that should be just about right. Had very little data on the W540 but was wanting to burn it up to get rid of it (kinda the same for the WSL) Got the W540 load a bit too light & the WSL a bit too heavy. A half-grain correction will fix that. Of the 4 powders listed though, W231 & Bullseye were best performers...I like both.
 
Average velocity and accuracy @ 25 yds off sandbags using all 6 loads:
 
Sig P220   ----   941 fps    2.948"
 
S&W 1911 ----  980 fps     1.906"
 
S&W 1917 ---   978 fps     3.083"
 
S&W 25-2  ----  978 fps     2.094"
 
After all that, it's kinda amazing that the figures are so close, both in velocity and accuracy. I fully expected the S&W M1911 to win the accuracy title as it is a very good shooting pistol. It also demonstrated that a pistol needs less barrel than a revolver to achieve the same velocity as it doesnt "vent" @ the bbl/cyl gap. I think the 1917 would have faired better if it had better sights....the rounded blade and notch in the topstrap are functional but not ideal for shooting targets. Sight black helped. The 25-2 is just a sweetheart of a revolver....love those S&W revolvers! My old Sig was carried for many years on duty and is still a mighty good pistol. Shot close to point of aim with just about all the loads. For the most part, the 185gr bullets shot just a tad better than the 200gr SWC's. I've read where the 185gr Nosler JHP is the USMC's choice for a target bullet. The cheap Rainier gave a good account of itself as a plinker too. I could surely load down to more pleasant velocities but I believe it isnt all bad to keep speeds up to a level that the shooter benefits from getting used to combat level loads and learns to control recoil & flinch....that oughta make light target loads a breeze should I decide to load powder-puff loads one of these days.
 
Anyhow, hope this entertains and provides a bit of info for those of you less fortunate than I....hahaha, I am indeed a lucky man! Keep your powder dry, keep the faith and have a wonderful 4th of July! I reccommend going out and celebrating by bustin' a few primers....celebrate the 2nd Amendment! God bless America!  Wallace