Friday, June 10, 2005

Musings 44--The shooters

I belong to a sportsman organization called the Northeastern Kentucky Fish & Game Association, Inc. I joined several years ago so that I would have a place to shoot my large caliber buffalo rifles.

There are several rifle and pistol ranges, archery ranges and skeet-trap ranges on the 3,000 acre private reserve. There are also hiking trails and four-wheeler trails as well as a nice clubhouse on the property. I feel honored that they allowed me to become a member.

I had known for some time that they have pistol and rifle matches every week during the summer, but I had not been too interested in participating. However, my pal Roger told me about how much fun he had shooting in one of the pistol matches. I figured I might as well give it a try.

Last Tuesday at 6 p.m. I participated in the 45-shot pistol match. It was fun, and I didn't even embarrass myself. As a matter of fact, I finished about in the middle of the pack of the twenty or so shooters who competed. I had never seen the course or shot it before Tuesday; thus, I figure that with a bit more practice, I will be able to do much better. My score was 34 hits out of 45 targets. I think the best score of the evening was 43. Roger, I think, shot a 42.

The most unique thing about the match was that everybody, except me and three other fellows, were using revolvers. Most with adjustable sights and slicked up trigger jobs. I shot a Ruger P85 in 9mm caliber. It is a good dependable weapon that holds 15 rounds if you wish to stuff it that full. It has fixed sights and the trigger has a bunch of creep in it before it decides to go bang.

The pistol match is comprised of three stages of 15 targets at various ranges. Some of the targets are knock down and some are metal hanging targets. It is easy to tell if you score a hit on the knock downs as they disappear before your eyes. The hanging targets make a distinct gong sound when hit. Distances are from about 15 feet to about 60 feet--5 to 20 yards. This is about normal gunfighting range. Some targets are small as a softball and others are as big as a human torso. It is a good mix and allows you a good mix of shooting situations.

Several people looked at my Ruger pistol with a good degree of disdain. The lack of adjustable sights seemed to be a problem for them. It wasn't for me. I knew it shot where it was pointed, and all of my misses were my fault. I have a tendency to rush some of my shots--especially if I have a pretty good string of hits going. I learned a long time ago that a pistol with fixed sights that shot dead on is far better than all the adjustable sights in the world. Adjustable sights are forever getting bumped and changed. Besides, they catch on clothing and that can be fatal in a fire fight.

I think my fellow competitors had a better feeling for my fixed sighted Ruger when the match was over. There is not much you can say when your adjustable sighted pistol gets outperformed by a set of combat sights. Of course, there are always detractors. A lady shooter said to me as she handed me a bullet, "You should shoot one of these and get rid of that toy." It was a .44 special and she shot it well. I faked awe and said, "Wow, a real .44--just like Dirty Harry." She shot a 42 so I was not too flippant with her.

Another of the shooters shot the entire match using a double-action Ruger Redhawk revolver. I was truly amazed. He shot a 40 and never so much as pulled back on the hammer. He later let me try the trigger on his piece and it was as smooth a butter. "It's all about the springs that control the trigger," he said. He beat me, so there was no argument there. Most pistols I own would have a hard time hitting the dirt in front of me with a double action pull. Well, maybe the exception would be...the Python. Hmmm, next Tuesday night I think I'll find out.

2 Comments:

At 9:04 PM, Blogger I Think You're All Idiots said...

Hey that's really good score. Sounds like you had a great time too.
I've often wandered what you and Roger were always tinkering with back in the inner lair of "the ol print shop". Now I know...haha. I'll stick to my 12 gauge street sweeper but your outting and score reminds me to be a little less combative when debating you.
See ya 'round partner.

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger printguy said...

Yep...keep on trucking.

 

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