Wednesday the high-pressure ridge moved away to the north and a low swept in with temperatures a good 20-degrees cooler, and with clouds.
Yesterday dawned bright with a few clouds that cleared out during the day with a high of just 78. Positively balmy. We stretched out on the deck in the afternoon wearing bathing-suits with the misters on and a light coating of sunscreen. In the evening the high clouds returned and the A/C hasn’t kicked on once since then.
Shooting Cowboy practice this morning we could feel Fall in the air, and the air in the canyon was clear, blue, and un-smokey. Quite a relief, though fire=-season isn’t yet over by a long shot. Also the new front-sight on the Winchester ’73 is bright and shoots to point of aim – dead-on.
Meanwhile the Silverado got an oil change, and to establish a baseline we will be returning for a total fluid make-over, from coolant to transfer-case to transmission. And I got a Tuffy metal security box for underneath the backseat.
A bunch of armed-up old farts in cowboy gear milled around and organized their kit during sign-in.
The range looked like this for the first three stages until we moved to the next shooting bay for Part Two of the Match:
And that’s when I got the surprise hand-off, as Assistant Deputy Probationary Cowboy RSO, I was going to run the time and the match!
Well OK then, let’s go…and so I picked up the timer and shouted “Listen UP!” And read out the first stage description and instructions, the theme of the match being “Blazing Saddles.”
Stage 1 = 10 revolver, 10 rifle, 4+shotgun “Stop the Singin’ and Dancin’”
Stage open and empty shotgun at FP1 and rifle at FP2 with 10 rounds. Start at FP1 with hands out-stretched at shoulder height, palms up. When ready shout, “What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is A-goin on Here!” At the beep, load shotgun and engage the outer left, outer right, inner left, inner right knockdowns. Knockdowns must go down. Leave open and empty shotgun at FP1. Move to FP2. Pick up rifle & Hangtown Sweep (1-2-3-2-3-4-3-4-5-3) the targets from the left then engage the center diamond. With revolvers engage the cowboys then the circles twice.
First up is Doc… “Cowboy Ready?…Stand by…” BEEP!
The event was not entirely without mis-cues, as I got advice and instruction from several attendees, but gradually I learned to handle the action better, and then it was my turn to shoot and I hurried to load my weapons…
Stage 2 = 10 revolver, 10 rifle 4+ shotgun. “Dinner around the Campfire“
Stage open and empty shotgun and rifle FP1 with 10 rounds. Start at FP2 leaning over with plate of beans.. When ready, RO says “How Bout More Beans.” Shooter replies, “Think I’ve Had Enough!” At the beep, drop the plate, draw revolvers as appropriate, and sweep the targets twice from the same end. Move to FP1. Pick up rifle, sweep targets twice from same end. Pick up shotgun, and sweep the
knockdowns from the left. All knockdowns must go down.
Stage 3 = 10 revolver, 3+ shotgun. “Mongo Arrives in Town”
Stage open and empty shotgun at FP1. Start at FP2 with hands on revolvers. When ready say, “It’s tough being a Vigilante in times like these!” At the beep, draw revolvers as appropriate and Nevada Sweep (1-2-3-2-1) the left three targets. Then Nevada Sweep the right three targets. Move to FP1 and with shotgun engage ANY three knockdowns. All knockdowns must go down.
After Stage-3 I looked at my ammo and noticed I had made a grave miscalculation. At home during prep I had just counted out rifle rounds and not both rifle and pistol (since they are the same, .44-40) and I wouldn’t be able to finish. So instead, as we moved to the second firing setup in the neighboring bay for Part-2 of the Match, I decided all the running back and forth to load and fire and unload and wait and run the timer – I would just concentrate on running the timer and the rest of the Match, which worked out well since I was not distracted, and resulted in fewer criticism of my Match technique…