Sunday, August 7, 2011

Vintage Shoes.

Rode over to the range with Jeff Lin. We parked at the back of Viale and rolled our carts the 800 yards down to the 200 yard line for the Garand Match. A first for the week: the grass was dewey and my shoes got wet. They stayed wet all day. James Pennington and I were sharing my M1 and we went to the pull targets first. Good to wait on better light. The first relays are dark and shady. We came out about 8:30 and James, a 3-day old Distinguished Rifleman, shot. It's quick match, just 35 rounds including 5 sighters. My Garand ran well. Five sighters from any position, 10 shots one at a time prone, 10 shots in 60 seconds prone with a reload and 10 shots one at a time standing.
I managed a 283. Jeff shot a 284. Gold Medals. Izzy and James were in the 260s. The Garand match is full of various levels of competitors, the quick and the dead. Big crowd with both ranges running.
Jeff and I had to transition over to Rodriegez Range for the Vintage match and that takes some doing. He went for the rifles back at the car and I rode the trolley over. We arrived the same time.
Real treat: I was squadded with MSgt Julia Watson. We've met a few times but never shot together all by ourselves on the very end of the line. Jeff was right next door. I was up first with my Swiss K31. I'm shooting a little suction-cut peep stuck to my glasses and the ladder sights on the Karabiner. A lot to manage. My 5 sighters were up and down as I got going and the first ten was the first shot for record. The X-ring seemed bulletproof but I shot 100X1 when I went for record. I always shoot all five sighters so the rifle will warm up. and all those wood and metal contact points move to where they are going to be. Prone rapid was a 98X1. Gotta love that straight pull bolt. Rick Crawford found it the easiest bolt to shoot left handed and always shot mine. I shot 91 offhand. 289. I tried to enjoy the last rounds of 2011 at Camp Perry.
Julia shot a borrowed 1903 Springfield next. First time she had ever shot the rifle. I pulled out my video cam. She shot a 293 without breaking a sweat.
In the pits the weather changed and we got rained on, but not as much as the folks on the line. Must have been miserable. There was a rain delay while the Coast Guard ran a search and rescue operation down the shore.
Jeff and I rolled off and I went to find some buff pasters on Commercial Row. We were hungry and the awards ceremony/reception was starting up. Coming out of Champions' Choice so fellow was bragging about being 9th in the Vintage match. I asked him what he shot: 282. Hmmm. I must be at least 3rd of so. We walked over and got a free beer and some bad chips and Pace hotsauce. (We aren't in Texas, that's for sure.) We were about to leave when I remembered the 282 guy. Walked over to ask Shannon Hand. Holy smokes. 289 was going to do it.
They gave me a nice plaque, a certificate for a Krieger barrel and a few trinkets in a bag.
Some Swiss fellow, sleeping in a mountain valley under the green grass had this rifle for about 40 years. Now it's won four Texas Championships and the National Vintage Rifle Championship. I hope he's well.

Marine MSgt Julia Watson firing in the Springfield Match on Rodriegez.

I think this guy lied about his age to join the Marines.

With my Garand on Viale.

Pennington firing the Garand.

Dr. Jeff Lin with his Garand. 284.


Anonymous said...

Well done!


Anonymous said...

Well Done. Sorry I missed you this year, other things got in the way. Will you and Clay be at the Western Games?

Paul said...


Why the heavy jackets with all the padding? Is it more stability or recoil (surely the 5.56 rifles don't kick much?)

Old NFO said...

Well done Robert! WELL DONE!!!

Anonymous said...


Robin said...

Makes me want to dig my K31 out again.

Robert Langham said...

Jackets help with holding your body still for offhand, give you a little recoil protection with the Garand, Springfield and Vintage.

Robert Langham said...

Justin Burns shot my Springfield and James Pennington shared my Garand. Got the rifles shot a bit.

Anonymous said...

Do the Swiss realize how much we Americans value their "old" rifles? Like you said, I hope the men who built them and carried them are resting in a good place. They did their work well.