Pin Match Steel Plate shoot at ASC

We were supposed to have a pin match today at the Airfield shooting club, but when the time came to start, we only had 5 shooters.

Someone said something about it being a big Judeo-Christian holiday weekend which I suppose may have had something to do with it. Also, the weather reports had been pretty ominous, although it wasn’t bad while we were there. Some people probably didn’t want to chance it.

Whatever the reason, we decided not to go to the effort to set up for a pin match and just got out the steel plate rack to play around with.

We still had lots of fun (how could you not have fun at a shooting range on a Saturday morning?)

As I’ve not done much steel plate shooting, I didn’t really do all that well at first. I ran a couple of mags through the center fire guns I brought (the newly parkerized CZ shot just fine, by the way) and then just used the .22 pistol over and over and over and over….until I started seeing some improvement.

Actually, by the end of the day, I believe I had the fastest time. Six plates in 4.43 seconds. Someone recalled a 4.09, but I think they were mistaken…I remember a 5.09 being called out, but I never heard the timer call out anything quicker than my best time.

At any rate, it doesn’t really matter…we had a good time and I vastly improved from the beginning of the session to the end.

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Can’t ever complain about that…even if I’d come out dead last.

And then, to close out the day’s shooting, the club secretary popped off his noise-maker…a home-made black powder mini-canon. He made a point to show us that he was using a newspaper picture of Barack Obama as part of the wadding. Very appropriate if you ask me.

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The maniacal laughter at the end of this short clip of the ceremonial firing was me. Some things are just too much fun.

The next pin match is on May 9th at 10am (the web site currently says 9am…it’s wrong…as I found out when I showed up at 9:00 this morning and was the first one there). To get participation up, they’re asking us to bring a friend. If any local readers are interested in attending, let me know and we can go together, or just meet there. I’m also going to try to get my son to go, but he’s getting very close to the end of his college course work so I don’t know what his schedule looks like.

I highly recommend it if you like to shoot. Even beginners are made to feel welcome. You’ll get some more practical experience with shooting under pressure and it’s a lot of fun. Come on out and give it a try.

Here’s more information on how the matches work and what to expect.

Pin Shoot 2

I sucked. I guess last time was just beginner’s luck.

That said, it was still a lot of fun, and the soft nose rounds in the M1 Carbine did wonders for knocking the pins off the table this time.

I shot some video; about 36 minutes of it before my batteries ran down…most of it of yours truly and too embarrassing to post, but great for reviewing for improvement…here’s a nice selection condensed down to less than three minutes. Take note of the young gentleman shooting the revolver under the capable tutelage of his father.

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The guy with the black T-shirt and khaki hat is a Marine. When I asked if he minded if I filmed, he said “no, my family likes stuff like this so they can see what I’m up to”, so I put two clips of him shooting in there (first with a major caliber pistol and then with his M4 adapted to shoot .22lr). I gave him a Captain of a Crew of One business card so I hope he finds it.

If so, I think I forgot to tell you Saturday: Thanks for your service brother.

Pin Match

As per usual…click all pix to make bigger

I know I promised you a post on the Right Reverend Wright’s sermon on Sunday but I didn’t get to it today and I wanted to post about the Bowling Pin Match that was held at the Airfield Shooting Club on Saturday.

This was my very first pin match. I’ve shot in bullseye competitions before, but this is the first time I’ve ever had to engage multiple targets and where speed counts. Because this is the very first time I’d ever shot in this type of competition…I was EXTREMELY pleased with my performance.

First, the way that Airfield shooting club conducts the matches is, from a range of 25 feet, everyone shoots four tables or “strings” per class. There is a time limit of 15 seconds per string. Your timer stops when the last pin leaves the table or hits 15 seconds, whichever comes first. Your score is the amount of time, plus ten seconds for each pin left on the table. Therefore, as long as you clear the table, your score is the time it took. If you don’t clear the table in 15 seconds, your score is the 15 seconds on the timer, plus ten seconds for each pin left on the table. The four string times are added together to get the total “relay” time.

There are 5 classes: Major (generally .40 and above), Minor (9mm and below center fire), Sub (rimfire), Revolver, and Carbine (pistol caliber carbines). If a competitor shoots all five classes, they are entered into the “5 gun aggregate”, the winner of which is considered the match champion.

The match champion wins the wonderful prize of…well…OK…You got me. There are no prizes. But the match champion gets bragging rights at least until next month.

I was shy two classes from being able to enter the 5 gun aggregate. My CZ-82 “minor” class pistol is still a work in progress and I don’t have a revolver. I really don’t think my black powder revolver would be that effective. I suppose if I never miss…figure the odds.

But in the classes I did enter, I did much better than I thought I would.

Match Results Here

My worst showing was in the Carbine class where I placed eighth out of ten. The problem wasn’t my shooting, it was my ammo. Lesson learned…do not use full metal jacket with an M1 Carbine in a pin match. I was getting solid hits on the pins and knocking them over and around…they just weren’t moving enough to get them off the table in one, or two, or sometimes three or four shots. The slugs were passing cleanly through the pins and not imparting enough energy to do more than knock them over or roll them around a little bit.

Not conducive to getting them off the table. Next time, soft nose ammo it is.

In the major class, shooting my every day carry piece…Ruger P-97 in .45acp…and shooting 230 grain FMJ, I did much better, placing sixth out of twelve. On the last string I had one stubborn one that I couldn’t get off the table, but the rest of them I was very happy with. The next to last string was a bit strange. I started on the left and hit the first pin to the left of center. It fell right and hit the next pin over, which fell into the next, which fell into the next…I had to wait patiently until all the moving targets stopped moving, and then I was facing one pin off the table and four lying down. I got a strike! The problem is that they are much harder to hit when laying down than standing up…but I recovered and still did pretty well on that string.

In the last class, Sub, I really surprised myself. Shooting my brand-new, only been to the range twice, S&W model 22A with iron sights, I came in third place out of twelve and shot one string in less than six seconds. During this class, I realized something that I need to work on. If I was going to miss a pin, it was probably going to be the first one. I had the most trouble getting the sights aligned on the first pin after bringing the pistol into firing position. After getting the first shot off, I was having no trouble recovering and hitting the remaining pins, but I missed that first shot/first pin three out of four times. I need to work on getting the pistol up and sights aligned quickly and consistently.

I realize that using a dot sight would help with that…but part of the reason I’m doing this is to improve my “daily” shooting skills. I don’t think I’ll ever be carrying a concealed carry piece with a red dot sight on it, so I’d rather stay with what I’ll be using real world…namely iron sights.

Overall, I was very pleased with my performance. I’ve got plenty of room for improvement, but didn’t embarrass myself and shot respectable times.

They also did a shotgun class, but there was only one entry. He won that class. Came in last too.

I was pretty impressed with the facilities there too. It’s a bit spartan by some range standards, but very well set up, organized and functional.

I didn’t get any pictures of the shotgun area, but it was well set up as well.

This is the covered shooting positions for the 50 meter range.

And the positions for the 100 meter range.

After the match, the outgoing President was kind enough to give me the range tour, safety brief, orientation, and written test and I became a full fledged member of the Airfield shooting club then and there. I may be working the gun show this weekend as my first official duty as a club member. I’ve already volunteered to work the VCDL table Saturday afternoon, so whether I’ll be able to work the Airfield Club table will depend on when they need people. If you’re at the Virginia Beach gun show next weekend stop by both the VCDL table and the Airfield Shooting Club table and see if I’m around to say “hey” to.

And finally, video of one string of Airfield Shooting Club Pin Match goodness from my crappy digital camera:

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