Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cousin Wallace checks the shotgun stats.

Whilst awaiting my turn @ the barber shoppe I was perusin' a Field & Steam rag and read what I thought was an interesting article.
Tx PWD conducted a survey on which was more effective, lead or steel shot for dove hunters.
TPWD conducted this survey over 3 years ( I think that's what it said) with one observer going out w/one hunter to count the hits & misses and record the ranges.
Neither shooter or observer knew whether they were using steel or lead (shells were "color coded" & otherwise unmarked) 12 gauge.
Lead loads were  1 1/8oz  #7 1/2 shot @ 1200fps
Steel loads were  1oz  #7size steel @1300fps (dunno much about steel shot sizes...assuming #7 steel is deemed good for doves?)
Both loads had similar recoil so, shooter not supposed to be able to tell difference.
Article claims both loads killed about the same w/the steel load achieving 5% more hits ( I think due to shooters error in frequently not leading bird enuff w/slower lead load)
As a group, this bunch of shooters (forget how many there were but, quite a few) killed one bird for every 4.4 shells expended  (22.7%)
National average was one bird killed for every 7.5 shells ( 13.3% ) according to this article.
As a group they missed shots over 30 yards 68% of the time.
As a group they missed shots under 30 yards 57% of the time.
Average "kill" distance was 29 yards.
Now, here's what I found pretty interesting. 
Shooters used their own shotguns & had their choice as to what choke they used.
48.1% used "Modified" choke ......21% kill percentage
30.5% used "Imp Cyl" choke.........26% kill percentage
21.4% used "Full" choke ..............16% kill percentage
Note the 5% increase for each step down in choke constriction.
Kinda shows what I've been saying/thinking all these years...."Most guys would do better with a more open choke & also not shoot at birds out of range."
Many years ago I read something that's always stuck with me & I believe it to be pretty close to the truth.
"You can tell a greenhorn wingshooter 'cause he'll always shoot too long a barrel, too tight a choke, too big shot and high brass shotshells."  
I've observed this very thing over the years!
Typical rookie will say "I want a 30" barrel and full choke! High brass #6's work best! Them little ole #8's won't even kill a hummingbird."
Well, somewhere in the middle probably lies a pretty good compromise.
Rarely have I ever felt the need for a Full choke and I'd only use #6's if that's all I had....I've had pretty good success killing ducks w/#6's!
Another old saying that I've always remembered is "Pattern fails before penetration" ....Checked mourning doves killed @ 40yds & a #8 will go all the way thru sometimes.
Yep, a #6 will shore-nuff kill a dove "IF" your pattern doesn't let him fly thru without a hit....see little need for #6 unless looong shots w/full choke & your are able to hit at distance.
As for me, I much prefer #7 1/2 as my "do all" shot size with #8's in the smaller gauges and earlier season, especially on the smaller mourning doves.
Whitewings are bigger & tuffer so it's # 7 1/2's for them too. ( This goes for the Eurasian Collared doves too).
Steel vrs Lead.....gimme the lead every time!!!!  Surely hope the gubmint don't force us to use steel on doves like they did ducks....I'd be bad mad!
Everyone has their favorites I'm sure....and, there are always exceptions...shooter skill (or, lack thereof) can certainly change these stats...just found this article very interesting! 
As always, I'd like to hear everyone's opinions!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Daily Deercam: Not much shaking.

It must be over.

One doe

Little buck. 

The rest were rabbits, squirrels and raccoons.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Daily Deercam: Not very fancy.

Can't get the date set on the cam, nor get the feeder working, so there is only corn when the coons or I shake it out a bit.  Still there is a little traffic.

Not legal but he is cute and reliable.  Wonder where last years versions are?

Creatures of the Earth.

Whales still carrying flint harpoon points, 80 year old parrots, 64 year old Albatross.....and a 502 year old clam.

  Flint and slate points in Bowhead Whale.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Daily Deercam: Bad Moultrie.

Little Buck.

Mr. Coon.

Doe and twins.

Big Buck.

Cousin Wallace forwards an account of the Holy Lands.

  Edited to delete the writer, but here is a contemporary account of what its like on the ground in Israel and Jordan:

We have now been in Israel / Jordan for 3 days.  My biggest takeaway is the absolute belief that these countries want peace.  They are tired of war and ever-present terrorism.  We have spent hours with the Israeli National Police, Border Police, retired Mossad, military units, and even the GID of Jordan (the equivalent of our CIA), and all have expressed a desire to live in safe communities, raise their children, and coexist. 
The holy sites are difficult to appreciate, in my humble opinion, because they are so commercialized and so well attended.  We will hear from the Police Commander tomorrow about the difficulties of policing the Temple Mount, and we will visit it during the daytime. 
Israel has less population than New York City, as does Jordan.  They both lament that they live in bad neighborhoods.  Except for Amman, you do not get the sense that these people fear for their safety.  In fact, it is just the opposite.  They go about their business, whether work or recreation, in small and large groups.  I thought I would see police everywhere, but that is only true for the Old City, which is where the holy sites are.  I seldom see officers elsewhere on the streets. 
We spent a day in the West Bank (Occupied Territory) visiting a training site for the Israeli Border Police.  The people were fantastic.  We saw them accomplish riot control, bus assaults, and shooting demonstrations.  I left with a BP green beret. 
Amman, Jordan, was a different story.  The city has 3.5 million people, and it is in the desert mountains.  Traffic was horrible!  I will never complain about Austin again.  We had armed escorts the entire time, and they weaved us through and almost into traffic repeatedly.  We were inches from colliding, and no one seemed to care.  We met with the King's brother and spent an hour with him and the Director of Military Intelligence.  Following this, we traveled to a Special Forces compound that was largely paid for by you and I.  I'm betting Lt. Watson has trained at this site, which is home to the KASOTC.  Afterwards, it was off to the 1,200 person SWAT unit that serves the city.  They have two operations a week, mostly related to criminal offenses (armed robbery and homicide).  They take tremendous casualties.  They had an active shooter just last week, when one of the local police officers opened fire at a training site, killing several.  This unit is committed to the fight!  I left with their trademark black beret. 
Both countries are very troubled by Da'esh...what we call ISIL.  Russia's involvement, they fear, will cause even more foreign fighters to join, thus escalating the violence.  The Jordanian GID (CIA) correctly pointed out that Syria does not have security forces to keep the country afloat should Da'esh be defeated, so they are worried about long-term plans, or the lack thereof.  Everyone agrees that Russia's involvement changed things.  The refugees are overwhelming everyone!
By the way, we have now run into two NYPD detectives.  One is assigned to Jerusalem and the other to Amman.  NYPD's chief is with me on this trip.
It is now 10 pm in Jerusalem.  I have an early morning run awaiting me!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Daily Deercam....from last December and January.

Pulled the card on a cam I hadn't visited since the first of the season.  These bucks lived through the first of the year....ought to be much better this season.

Nice 2 1/2 that was around in late December.

Certainly looks fat and healthy.

Bobcat blurring by.


Hope he looks a little better now at 1 1/2.

Healthy does.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cousin Wallace talks Texas Open Carry

From Cousin Wallace:

Below is a piece I wrote a couple of years ago when I was inspired by a really tough but really good class we went through as part of our firearm instructor school. Now that "open carry" is just around the corner, we have an opportunity to somewhat "rethink" our carry options as opposed to "concealed carry only."  By this I mean that most of us will continue to carry concealed but, we now have the welcomed option of being a little less concerned about accidentally exposing our sidearm. We can now, for example, carry a sidearm in a shoulder or belt holster under a shirt or jacket but, if say the wind blows our shirt up and exposes the weapon on your hip, it's no longer an offense. That's to our advantage as our comfort level as well as our "better armed" level options have increased! 
Speaking for myself, I won't be nearly as hesitant to put on a belt holster and carry a larger and potentially more effective sidearm instead of trying to conceal my beloved Kahr 9x19mm single-stack pistols.... IF, it's where I can cover them up with a jacket or slouchy shirt. The Kahrs will still be used heavily as I still believe they are very good pistols firing a nasty 127gr +P+ Talon. Now however, I can certainly strap on a classic 1911, my tried and true Sig P220 or one of the three Glock .357's I carry daily @ work. I have immense confidence in any of them as they offer more "shootability," good sights and good punch with the Glocks offering the added advantage of higher capacity and the very good terminal performance of the .357 Sig cartridge.
My opinions expressed below haven't changed over the last couple of years. I encourage you to read through the text below and be thinking about what you will choose to carry come 01 Jan 2016. Almost everyone I know will continue to carry "concealed" as will I on most occasions. Please remember merely carrying a sidearm doesn't mean you are prepared. Your mindset requires constant attention and you should practice often with any/all sidearms you will carry....the "Murphy's Law" mentioned below is very real and something a lot of folks never think will happen to them. Evaluate your new options and "reply all" for some discussion on this matter for the benefit of all. 
Yours in shooting and favor the "X-Ring"
                    ( Previous article from about 2 years ago below)        
Most of you receiving this have seen the recent back and forth over what's the most effective handgun calibre which will kind of go along with this little piece. I'll go ahead and say right now, this is just my opinion but, I will try to explain why I have these opinions. Hear me out and keep an open mind and see if you can grasp some of what I'm saying.
Last year our department hosted a course titled "Off-duty Violent Encounters."  This day long school was taught by SWAT instructors from Austin, Passadena and Houston. It was geared for off-duty police officers but there was a lot that could be applied to civilians that I want to share. Myself and other adjunct firearms instructors initially took the class then we subsequently taught the rest of our officers during in-service training in the following weeks. It was tough going. These guys drained us of just about every ounce of energy and then required us to shoot under stress. All this to show us an encounter won't be a walk in the park and that our accuracy levels will be affected. We were constantly doing push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, punching bags, kicking bags, elbow strikes....whatever they could dream up to tax our energy & induce stress. Along with the mental stress, they required us to identify  and shoot a particular face or facesamong many other faces. We were required to issue verbal warnings to attempt to gain compliance. Assessdifferent levels of threats....shoot/no shoot kind of stuff. It was intense, it was a heck of a class....
I want to address some firearm issues I observed. I came away with somewhat of a different outlook after dealing with the variety of scenarios they threw at us. Some of these are also from the in-service classes we taught during the following weeks. I think I got a pretty clear picture of what works and what doesn't as far as the types of firearms different officers carry for off-duty. Civilians carrying CHL also fit here. Many instances of "Murphy's Law" occurred! Dropped weapons & magazines, fumbling trying to draw from concealment, weapons falling out of waistband during running, etc. One officer's Kel-Tec P32 seized up and we were never able to get it going after that. He had to borrow my pistol to finish the course...fell in love with it too!!!  
First and most glaring thing I noticed was that small, easily carried hide-out guns just don't cut it if much poop hits the fan. You better hope you're lucky and everything goes well or you will wish you had brought something bigger/better. Tiny guns are easy to hide and light weight but the are tough to shoot! I'm speaking of Kel-Tec P32's, P3AT's, Ruger LCP's, S&W Bodyguards and others of this size. They are better than a sharp stick but don't have a lot going for them with low capacity, poor sights, hard to manage triggers, etc. They are typically .32ACP or .380ACP which just don't generate much punch. They will certainly kill if shot placement is good....but shots are hard to place with these due to the aforementioned traits.
Very few officers carried revolvers. A couple had S&W snubbie .38's. Since they are only 5-shooters, you better make those 5 count because a reload will be a difficult thing to accomplish during a stressful fight...probably wont be able to get it done. The instructors made this point by having multiple assailants during scenarios. About the only thing going these days for a revolver is that it's probably more reliable and less ammunition sensitive than an auto. Pocket lint, limp-wristing, misfires, etc wont be as much of an problem for the wheelgun. Revolvers also don't conceal as easily as a flat-sided auto. I've still got a couple of .38 snubbies but rarely carry them anymore. The .38 Special ( or .357 Magnum for that matter) just doesn't get a whole lot of velocity out of a 2" barrel. Hollow-points are usually a waste of time & money. I've always thought wadcutters or semi-wadcutters were a person's best bet since they will do the cookie-cutter thing.  Roundnosed bullets cause a pucker type hole in flesh and it doesn't bleed as much.
Now, for the opposite side. Big, service size handguns are obviously much easier to shoot and more effective due to their better sights, longer barrels, bigger calibres, etc. Remember, we are talking about "concealed carry"...the instructors made it a point to easily spot who was trying to conceal a weapon that was simply too large to hide without it "printing" under a shirt or being a dead giveaway in the waistline. This is a real problem in the summertime when you cant wear a coat or jacket to help with concealment.
Here's where you need to be honest with yourself which may go against what your initial thoughts were. Is my tiny .380 or 5-shot snubbie adequate if I find myself in a unavoidable confrontation with 2 or 3 thugs? Probably not. You will have to decide for yourself.
Am I willing to go to the trouble to try to conceal and put up with the weight of a full-size pistol like a Glock or 1911? They sure are nice if needed but I can assure you, Ole Murphy will see to it that the one time you don't have them is when trouble will occur. 
Over the last 24 years, I've carried a variety of off-duty firearms. I've come to the conclusion one must compromise between small and light enough to be willing to carry in all types of weather/clothing and big enough to be able to shoot effectively with a cartridge/ammo combo that will give me decent terminal ballistics. I have a P3AT Kel-Tec and a P380 Kahr that are tiny & light...pure joy to carry. But, after seeing how poorly they perform in the school, I don't carry them much at all anymore. I realize their shortcomings. My Baby Glock .357 Sig is a powerhouse, but, it's bulky, heavy and just no fun at all to carry. Would be a great thing to have if I needed it though. My S&W 1911 is pure pleasure...but it's big and weighs a ton!
Somewhere between these two extremes should be a handgun that will make a good compromise for you. There are always trade offs. Bigger calibres usually mean bigger frames and less capacity. For me, I've been pleased considderble with my Kahr CW9 and almost as pleased with it's chopped version, the CM9. These are "intermediate size" pistols. Big enough to get a grip on and with good, usable other words "shootable." They are polymer frame and single-stack magazines. Triggers are DA only but easy to manage...simple for when the SHTF! They are also available in .40S&W  and .45ACP but frame size gets bigger and mag capacity is one round less than the 9X19mm versions. With good ammo, the 9mm is better than it's ever been...still no slobber-knocker but no slouch either. With my preferred 127gr +P+ Talons, it cruises along @ 1150+ fps over my chrono...still enough velocity to open up that wicked bullet. The .40 & .45 are more iffy on the expansion due to their slower speed. The Talons usually open up pretty good   though.   
There are certainly other good choices out there. These just happen to be the ones I'm the happiest with. Maybe you are content carrying your full size service type pistol once a week when you have to go to the store. I have to carry a pistol every day. No biggie on duty in a belt holster. I have tucked my Glock 31 in my waist under a loose shirt or when I'm wearing a coat. Mostly for just a short time. For an extended time though, it's usually one of the 9mm Kahrs and a spare 7-rd magazine. I forgot to mention it was highly encouraged to carry a reload. It's amazing how fast you can go thru a magazine! 
It's a good idea to evaluate your method of carry also. You got to be able to conceal but you also will need easy access to your weapon if needed. We were instructed to always carry our badges or police I.D. and how to use this to identify ourselves if involved in a shooting. Don't want some well-meaning CHL holder to think we are the bad guy!
Again, I encourage you to honestly assess your choice of firearm, holster, ammo, etc. It might make a difference if you ever find yourself in a bad situation.
As always, I encourage & welcome your comments and thoughts.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Daily Deercam: Nove 2, 2015.

  Balky feeder that I can't keep running and the worst Moultrie ever.  Middle of the summer I found it knocked over full of weevily corn turned white.  Moultrie arely makes an image, in fact hasn't done anything until this last session.  And it's April.  Last week.  Can't figure out how to get the date right.  Coons, Armadillos, possums walking by and blurring.  At least is got some kind of image.

Big wandering male piggy.

A little buck that must be finding out what the rut is all about.

Bucking again.

Also a doe and two fawns.  Looking thinnish, though the range is in great shape.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015

USS Arizona and USS Missouri big gun barrels moved to Arizona WWII Memorial.

  Large gun from the USS Arizona, sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 and on from the USS Missouri where the Japanese signed their surrender in 1945 set up as war memorial in Phoenix Arizona.

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 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?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cousin Wallace runs the match.

Cousin Wallace and the Abilene Pistol Matches.


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 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!


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.