E-postal match kick-off

Mr. Completely has the first e-postal match of the year up. Sounds like an interesting one.

One of the most common comments I hear about the e-Postal matches is that the targets are WAY too hard to hit. With that in mind, this month’s e-Postal match is designed in such a way that the fewer targets you hit, the better you do.

Head on over there, check out the rules, print out the targets, and give it a shot (pun intended). If nothing else it gives you a good excuse to get to the range this month.

I haven’t been in a long time so I’m going to try to get this in. It will be a challenge to fit it into the schedule but I’m going to try.

Hope to be competing against you.


July E-Postal Match Results

I was on a motorcycle trip for the last week so I’m a little late getting this posted…as usual.

I didn’t get many entries this month for the E-Postal match so if anyone submitted an entry but your scores aren’t listed, please leave a comment and re-send your entries ’cause I didn’t get them.

Between cars breaking down, work, Church projects, the family motorcycle trip, and lack of money, I didn’t even get to shoot the match this month so I don’t have an entry to post. It’s just been a bit crazy lately…besides our financial situation makes me loathe to shoot up any ammo that I’m afraid I may not be able to afford to replace; and because I was otherwise occupied, I didn’t even have a chance to send out a plea for more entries, so I guess we’ll just have to go with what we got:

Class One (Carry Guns)
Name Gun Distance Score
Merle S&W M3913LS, 9mm Luger 7yds 129
Danno Kahr CW-9, 9mm Luger 11yds 11
Class Two (Stock Rimfire)
Name Gun Distance Score
Mr. Completely Ruger Single Six, .22lr 7yds 142
True Blue Sam Ruger Single Six, .22lr 7yds 139
Mrs. True Blue Sam Ruger Single Six, .22lr 7yds 63
Danno Ruger 22/45, .22lr 11yds 39
Class Three (Open Rimfire)
Name Gun Distance Score
Mr. Completely High Standard Race Gun, .22lr 7yds 167
Class Four (Stock Centerfire Pistol)
Name Gun Distance Score
Danno Taurus PT-92, 9mm Luger 11yds 38

Hopefully, we’ll get more participation in the future.


July E-Postal Match

I know, I know…I’m late, as usual.   I haven’t been playing much in Mr. Completely’s E-Postal matches this year.  Pretty much any chance I get to go to the range, I’ve been there to teach so I haven’t gotten much shooting time of my own lately. Also, since the wife’s been out of work for so long, money is tight and I just don’t want to shoot up all my ammo and not be able to replace it, so I just haven’t been shooting much.

Be that as it may, It’s my turn again to host the match.

Since I’m out of original ideas for these things, I’m going to recycle one from a few years ago.  I was actually looking for a different one.  I remember creating a set of four silhouette targets where the gray “no shoot” target was partially obscuring the black “shoot” target.  I wanted to use those again, but I couldn’t find them.  If anyone remembers where to find them, please let me know and we’ll use them the next time I host a match.


This match is designed to duplicate a drill I regularly perform, while making it standard enough to score.

The idea is to simulate shooting your gun dry in a defensive situation, reloading as quickly as possible, and continuing the engagement effectively.  It would be ideal to begin with your pistol holstered in your normal carry rig, but some people don’t live in free states/countries and don’t carry and some ranges don’t allow drawing from a holster and firing, so we’ll eliminate that factor from the match.

Without further ado:  a blast from the past:

This match is pretty simple but incorporates a skill that those who carry defensive arms should be practicing regularly. It is intended specifically to be performed with a firearm that you carry for defensive purposes. For that reason, a special class is being instituted for this contest.

The match will require two targets (full size pdf of target here) posted side by side with the inside inner edges a couple inches apart (no set distance as target backers will vary and the distance isn’t critical).

The rules are simple. Load 2 rounds into the magazine or cylinder. A second magazine, speed loader, speed strip etc with two or more rounds should be on your person as you normally carry it (if you don’t or can’t carry where you live, you may start with your reload on the bench in front of you).

Start with your firearm in one or both hands either resting on the bench or at waist level, pointing downrange, finger off trigger (of course). The firearm should be in the “condition” that you normally carry in (or would carry in if you don’t or can’t). Typically for Single Action only, this is condition 1 (cocked and locked). For SA/DA and revolvers, condition 2 (round in chamber, hammer down (safety note: revolvers with no transfer bar should be hammer down on an empty chamber)); but, if you normally carry in condition 3 (no round in chamber), that is how you should begin this drill.

The shooting position is offhand, any stance, one or two hands. Preferably, use the stance that you would expect to use for defensive situations.

When ready, take aim and fire two shots at one of the targets, reload and fire two more shots at the second target. While speed can be important in a self-defense situation, shot placement is the key to stopping an attack (plus, not everyone has shot timers) so this will not be a timed event…however, you should shoot it as quickly as you safely can. Ideally, each set of two shots should be double taps, but if you don’t normally shoot double taps and don’t anticipate doing so in a defensive situation, two discrete, aimed shots is permissible as long as you do it quickly as you would in a defensive situation and not as slow, deliberate, “bullseye competition” style shots.

Repeat this drill 5 times for a total of twenty shots…ten per target.

Distance for this drill is the generally accepted standard self-defense distance of 7 yards (21 feet). If your range cannot accomodate that distance, you may shoot the target at farther than 7 yards, but not closer. In other words, if your range can accomodate 5 and 10 yards, but not 7, you should shoot it at 10 yards, not five. Be sure to indicate the distance on your target.

For scoring, a shot that touches a line between scoring rings will be counted as a shot in the higher ring.

In case of a tie, the first tie breaker will be distance if applicable. Second tie breaker will be the sum of the highest scoring single shot on each target. Third tie breaker will be the sum of the lowest scoring single shot on each target. Final tie breaker will be the highest score of all shots on a single target. If still tied, the tie will stand.

Class 1: Any handgun, any sights but must be a firearm that you carry (or would carry if don’t live in a free state) for defensive purposes. Firearms entered in this class may not be entered in any other class.

The remaining classes are for your “fun guns” that you don’t regularly use for defense. If you don’t have extra magazines or speed loaders for these firearms, no worries: the same rules apply…reload and fire the second two shots as fast as you (safely) can.

Class 2: Stock Rimfire (iron sights, barrel of less than 12″

Class 3: Open Rimfire (anything goes, as long as it’s a rimfire pistol)

Class 4: Stock Centerfire (iron sights, barrel of less than 12″)

Class 5: Open Centerfire (anything goes, as long as it’s a centerfire pistol)

Class 6: Air Pistol

Class 7: Black Powder

The match is supposed to run until the last Monday of the month, but since I got it up a few days late, unless Mr. Completely has an objection, we’ll take it all the way to the end of the month.

To submit entries, send digital photos or scans of your targets to sailorcurt AT cox DOT net by Midnight Saturday, July 31st.   Be sure to tell me the score that you tallied, the type and caliber of firaerm(s), anything unusual or unique that you want to relate about the match or how it went, the distance you shot it at and the name you want the entry posted under as well as url if you want your entry linked to your blog or web site.

Have fun and good shooting.


April E-Postal Match

I never got a chance to shoot last month’s edition of Mr. Completely’s e-postal match, but I had some time yesterday so I hit the range and gave this month’s match a shot…so to speak.

This month’s match is being hosted by JimmyB at the Conservative UAW Guy and is called Rounds and Rounds.

The object is to fire 13 shots at the 13 circles.  Each hit scores the number of points as the circle number.  Circle 1 scores 1 point, circle 6 scores 6 points, etc.  But each circle can only be counted once.

I suppose one could expend all of their 13 shots in getting hits on the highest numbered circles to try to get the highest points possible, but I just decided to keep it simple and try one shot per circle.

I think I did OK with that strategy, but since there’s plenty of month left, I may try it again using the “go for the high points circles first” technique.

I also only shot it with my 1911 and my .22 pistol so I’ve still got several more guns I could try it with.

Anyway, with no further ado:  my results.  Click pix to make bigger.

You might notice that there are only 12 holes in the standing off-hand 1911 target.  I know I didn’t miss the paper with any so I apparently miscounted when I loaded the magazines.  I didn’t score them until after I got home, so I didn’t realize it until I wasn’t at the range any more.  Thinking back, I remember having questioned my count as I shot that first target but I assumed that I’d loaded the mags correctly and miscounted while I was firing.


Anyway, like I said, I may get a chance to re-shoot and better my scores by the end of the month; but, if not, at least I got some entries in.

As a reminder, Cheaper Than Dirt is donating a $50 gift certificate for each month’s match this year.   Since the match itself is on the honor system, the certificate is being awarded by random drawing to anyone who enters the matches, so get your entries in…even if you didn’t shoot well you still have a chance to win.


Big News about the annual E-Postal matches

As most of you know, I’ve been involved in hosting Mr. Completely’s e-postal matches for one month out of the season for several years now.

Although I always seem to have a lack of time and it’s often a challenge to come up with a creative, unique, challenging match to put on, I’ve enjoyed doing it every year.

Last year, participation dropped off significantly.  I suspect that the weak economy had something to do with it…I know that I don’t have a lot of money for range time and ammo with my wife having not had steady, full time employment for over a year now (part of that for medical reasons of course).

Well, Mr. Completely happily announces that there is some financial incentive in the new and improved 2010 e-postal match series courtesy of our friends at Cheaper Than Dirt.

I don’t want to steal too much of his well deserved thunder, so for more information, I’ll refer you to Mr. Completely’s announcement.

It’s great fun, a great opportunity to challenge your shooting skills in unique and various ways and, now, might even get you a little bit of swag.  The first match will be hosted by Mr. Completely himself beginning on March 1, so be sure to come out and play.


August E-Postal Match Entry

As usual…getting it in right under the wire.

My entries for the August edition of Mr. Completely’s E-Postal match, hosted this month by Curtis Lowe.

You’ve still got a little time to get it shot and get your entries in so don’t delay.

I had four entries this time.

Handgun Class 1:

S&W Model 22a .22lr
Iron Sights
Total Score: 65-7x

Handgun Class 3:

RIA 1911 .45acp
Iron Sights
Total Score: 60-7x

Rifle Class 3:

AR-15 .223 Rem
Iron Sights
25 yds
Total Score: 35-2x

Rifle Class 4:

AR-15 .223 Rem
Sight-Mark red dot
25 yds
Total Score: 50-0x

The shot on the ram I waffled over. First I counted it, then I took it away, then I decided to go ahead and count it.

Basically I asked myself…if I were hosting this match and this was an entry from someone else, how would I score it?

As far as I’m concerned, all close calls go to the shooter…the very fact that I was waffling told me to count it. If Curtis chooses not to count it (or the other close one on the Buffalo above) he should feel free to change my score. I’m not trying to cheat here.

At any rate, I’m pretty pleased with how I did. The few really bad shots, I called as I squeezed them off. I knew I was off when the trigger broke. That’s just a matter of practice. Calling the bad ones is half the battle, fixing them is the other half.


E-Postal Match Ruminations

Lessons learned and my perspective from the e-postal match.

First, I learned that you don’t have to be able to see the red dots to hit them…you’ve only gotta know about where on the paper they are.

As I’ve mentioned before, I shoot as much for improving my skills with my self defense weapons as for enjoyment. For that reason, even my range only guns I like to shoot in as close to the configuration of my carry guns as possible. I do have optics on a couple of my rifles, but I try to use iron sights as much as possible. You can’t always count on your optics to be there or be working.

With that in mind, I tend to shoot with iron sights most of the time.

As I’ve gotten older, my near vision has deteriorated to the point where I have trouble focusing on the front sight. I can see it well enough to hit center mass shots all day long, but for the fine aim needed for this type of precise shooting (the red dots are slightly less than 3/4 of an inch across), I have to use reading glasses in order to focus clearly on the front sight. The problem with that is that it kills my distant vision and all I can see of the target is a vague blur.

It doesn’t matter. As this match attests, all you really need to be able to see clearly is the front sight. If you have any inkling whatsoever of where the target is, you can hit it.

Now, obviously, not all my shots were right on the red dot…but I was EXTREMELY happy with the groups that I made. Especially with my primary carry gun, the 1911.

The targets to the right are posted in the order that I shot them…click to make bigger.

I only shot one target per gun…this was not the result of shooting the match over and over and using the best target. These represent my first and only attempt with each firearm.

With each target, I started at the bottom and worked my way up.

I started out with the .22 because it is accurate and has low recoil. I expected to do fairly well with it and I thought it would be a confidence booster. I wasn’t wrong, even though I started out a little rocky, getting two in the sand and one barely on the bottom of the page. I quickly settled down and started getting first shot hits. I had a little bit of a rough patch with the upper right hole, and the low one on that hole was a called flyer…but even with it, the group was still only about an inch and a half at it’s largest point.

The Glock is my wife’s gun and I actually don’t like the feel of the Glock trigger at all. I never have…but I do seem to shoot them OK. I was trying very hard not to overcorrect for misses, which led to several misses in the same general area. By the time I got to the top right I was being more aggressive with the corrections, which made for a much larger group. Even so, the largest group is 2 inches and I had a five shot group and a 6 shot group of an inch and a half and an inch and a quarter respectively. Not bad at all for a gun that I rarely shoot and don’t really even like.

I was very disappointed with my score with the CZ-82, but not with my shooting. The worst hole was the one that I took ten shots to hit. I put a ten shot group in about two and a quarter inches with six of those ten in one big ragged hole.

The other two rough scoring holes put a five shot and a three shot group both into about an inch and a quarter.

Next was my primary carry gun. A Rock Island Armory “tactical” model 1911. One problem I’ve had with this gun since I bought it was that it was shooting low. The first few times I shot it, it was making good groups, but about 6 inches low at 21 feet.

Everyone I talked to about it kept telling me that it’s gotta be me. I must be limp wristing, flinching or otherwise pulling them low. Well, I wasn’t buying it. I’ve been shooting 1911’s for over 20 years. I shoot them with the Navy Marksmanship team. I own another .45acp (a Ruger P97) that I’ve owned for years, is lighter than the 1911 and has more recoil. I don’t shoot it low. I don’t shoot any of my other guns low. Why would I be pulling this one that badly?

Basically, I started filing on the front sight. I’d take a little off, then take it to the range and give it a try, then take a little more off and try it again. Slowly, but surely, the point of impact was creeping up to the point of aim.

Well, I can officially say that I’ve now resolved the issue. The last time I took it to the range it was still shooting about an inch and a half low. I took a few more swipes with the file on the front sight and now she’s right on the money…and my shooting on this match proves it. I was putting the barely visible fuzzy red dot right at the top of the front sight and VIOLA! He shoots, he scores!

The first hole on this one was the worst. After shooting several rounds, I realized I wasn’t practicing proper breath control. Once I started concentrating on my breathing, it settled right in and I started getting good hits. The first two holes produced five shot and four shot groups respectively, both in one and a quarter inches…then I shot three straight “holes in one”.

I think I worked out the sight problem.

BTW: All handgun targets were shot standing, two handed, isosceles stance using the Todd Jarret Kung Fu GripTM.

Finally, I used my home-built AR. I used the iron sights and just left the Sight Mark red dot turned off. I thought about using the red dot, but I’ve got it zeroed at 50 yards and didn’t want to futz with having to re-zero it. I had the iron sights zeroed at 100 yards, but I’ve got them marked so I can easily return them to where they were.

This was shot prone using a web sling at 25 yards. I REALLY couldn’t see the dots here. In fact, the only feature on the paper that I could really pick out from that distance was the blue water.

The only hole I really had trouble with was the middle right one. As I said, I couldn’t see the dot and I was having trouble convincing myself that I needed to have the sight that close to the edge of the paper to hit it. After slicing the first three shots left* (and two into the water…much like when I really play golf), I finally convinced myself that I needed to put the sight closer to the edge of the paper and immediately got a hit.

I also had some trouble with the middle left hole, but made a good group around it…just couldn’t hit the dot to save my life. I put 8 shots into an inch and a quarter. At 25 yards with iron sights without using a rest…I’ll take it.

Although I didn’t score as well as I would have liked on any one target, overall, I was very happy with my performance with all the guns I used…and with the guns themselves.

It just goes to show that old, fat and half blind, I can still put hot lead on target when push comes to shove.

*For most golfers a slice goes to the right and a hook to the left…however, I’m left handed so, for me, going left means I sliced.


July E-postal Match results

Class 1: Production Rimfire
Place Name Firearm Sights Score
1 Texas Mike Browning Buckmark Iron Sights 8*!!
2* Sailorcurt S&W Model 22a Iron Sights 15
2* Billll Ruger MkI Iron Sights 16
4 True Blue Sam Ruger Single Six Iron Sights 21
5 Danno Ruger 22/45 Iron Sights 75
Class 2: Open Rimfire
Place Name Firearm Sights Score
1** Mr. Completely High Standard Race Gun C-More Dot sight 10
1** The Conservative UAW Guy Ruger MkII EOTech Dot sight 10
Class 3: Production Centerfire
Place Name Firearm Sights Score
1 Sailorcurt RIA Tactical 1911 .45acp Iron Sights 15
2 Sailorcurt Glock 19 9mm Iron Sights 22
3 Sailorcurt CZ-82 9mm Mak Iron Sights 23
4 Azreel Para 14.45 .45acp Iron Sights 32
5 True Blue Sam Ruger Blackhawk .38spl Iron Sights 35
6 Azreel FN FiveseveN Iron Sights 47
There were no entries for class 4: Open centerfire
Class 5: Rifle
Place Name Firearm Sights Score
1 BillH Ruger 10/22 3x scope 5
2 The Rabbit Priest Cricket 22 youth Rifle Iron Sights 7***
3 AndrewS**** AR-15, .22lr suppressed upper 3x Mueller scope 8***
4 DanielS**** Crossman Nitro .177cal 3-9×40 scope 9
5 Sailorcurt Homebrew AR-15 5.56 Nato Iron Sights 23

*I’m calling Second Place in class 1 a tie because Billll shot it at 25 feet rather than 7 yards. The extra four feet could have easily made the difference of one stroke. Also, Danno’s range has a minimum distance of 11 yards so his score was affected by the distance.

**In Class 2, the score was tied and they both had the same number of shots and the same number of penalties. Mr. Completely shot it at 25 feet rather than 7 yards, but he’s got that fancy dancy race gun with the 12″ barrel, so I considered that a wash. I’m calling that one a tie as well.

***The Rabbit Priest and AndrewS shot their rifles at short range…however The Rabbit Priest was using a child sized rifle with open sights whereas AndrewS used a full sized rifle, at a slightly longer distance, but with optics. DanielS shot it at 25 yards with an air rifle but had a powerful scope. I had no idea how to handicap this class based on the varying distances and equipment…each shooter would have been in an individual class had I split them all up by equipment/distance so I’m just going to let the scores stand as they fall.

BillH was the undeniable rifle champion, shooting at 25 yards, with a 3x scope and shot a perfect 5. Tiger woods couldn’t have done better.

****Representative of the Cheaper Than Dirt retail outlet. I’ve bought from them before and I can vouch for their responsiveness and customer service. Good people to do business with.

*!! I’d have to call Texas Mike the overall match champion on this one. He shot it at 7 yards with iron sights using a Buckmark with a 5.5″ barrel and shot an 8. That’s some good shooting there. Oh…and based on the jpg of the target he sent, it looked to me like one of his “misses” was touching the line and could have easily been counted as a hit.

August’s e-postal match is already up and running over at Curtis Lowe’s place. Don’t wait ’til the last minute. Shoot it early in the month and you’ve got time to try again later if you aren’t satisfied with your score.

I’ll post some more details about my performance with this month’s match tomorrow (or the next day, or whenever I get one of those elusive round tuits…but I’m hoping to have time to get it up tomorrow).