This May, I was finally able to take a breather from work travel and get on to shooting a few matches. However out of practice I am, I still had a great time shooting. Besides if I was afraid of how well I’d do, I’d never shoot and what fun is that?! Pueblo West held a Steel Challenge match Memorial Day weekend.
I entered to shoot two different guns. Friday I shot .22 Open Rimfire Rifle class and Saturday I shot Limited class with my M&P 9mm with the HIVIZ sights. Neither day did I threaten to knock anyone out of the top scoring spots! The Steel Challenge, a speed steel shooting competition is governed by USPSA/SCSA, www.steelchallenge.com. The match consists of eight stages. Each stage consists of five steel plates in different arrays, one of those being your stop plate. Seven of the eight stages you shoot 5 strings and throw out your worst time. The other four times are added for total time on that stage.
With some good trigger control and practice I can get some pretty decent times. Yes, I have my moments! But…the key here is practice, practice, and more practice to be consistently good! I’m working on that practice and consistency part….
I’ve been shooting this match off and on for the past five years and this year I was finally able to talk my shooting friend’s wife into joining us. Deb’s husband fixed her up with an STI Steel Master, trigger job and finely tuned by our local STI guru. She was a little aprehensive about competing, but we were all there to help, give advice and above all else, make sure she was safe. Prior to competing we did have her out off and on the past 6 months or more for local shoots, so she wasn’t completely with out experience. The format and rules she was unfamiliar with.
Deb did very well and is now more comfortable coming to the matches. She has also signed up for the next Babes with Bullets camp in Steamboat Springs the end of June! She’s hooked! Like I said, don’t let your fear of failure or just the unfamiliar keep you from participating in the sport. And for those that do already, get that woman who may be a little leery about the idea and encourage her!!!
Yes, I think I hold one record: Fastest Transition Time on Shoot Off Day: Transitioning from Shooting Steel to Shootin’ the Breeze!
It looked to be another hot day on the eastern plains of Colorado. The Colorado State Steel Challenge match was held at Weld County Range, www.wcfw.org, east of Fort Collins. You could shoot either Friday or Saturday, leaving the shoot offs for Sunday.
Dave Sevigny and Randi Rogers from the Glock Team, www.teamglock.com, shot the match on Friday. I saw them shoot it last year and they are truly impressive to watch in action! We had eight stages set on eight seperate berms this year. Total count was 76 shooters and 104 guns (you can sign up to shoot a second gun in a different classe). On Saturday there were about four women, including myself shooting. Bonnie Ryder was decked out with her pink nails and pink bunny stickers on her pistol. She turned out to be a fierce competitor!
The temps are now beginning to soar to about 106 degrees. We were ok until about the sixth stage. You couldn’t get enough Gatorade and water anymore. Of course I find that an easy excuse for my ailing scores! Oh, if that were only the case. I’m one of those shooters that has a few shining string times and falters the next three. Yikes! Where is the consistency?….. or more like “Chris, where is your practice!?” They only throw out your slowest time on each stage…hence having more than one bad time does me no good!
Our squad is seven shooters, two of those shooting two guns and one is an eight year old boy shooting a 10/22 rimfire for his first match with his dad. We take turns running the clock and keeping times and painting targets. When you have a squad that works well together it makes for an enjoyable shoot. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
The day ended and we headed out to the Quam B & B where a couple of my Denver friends and fellow shooters spent the night. We enjoyed an evening in Old Town Fort Collins discussing the days shoot over Bangers & Mash at Coopersmith’s Pub. A nice relaxing evening after a long sweltering day at the range.
After dragging all the guns and gun bags in from the vehicles the evening before, it’s up early and loading the gear one more time into the vehicles. Shoot off starts at 8:00 AM sharp! We arrive and slather on the sun screen, gear up and load magazines. I am soooooo ready! The shoot off consists of anywhere from five to ten large poppers for each shooter and the smaller stop poppers in the center. You are randomly seated against any other shooter, any class. But the number of poppers set for you are determined by your class and ranking and weighted by your score from the day before. I’m fourth up and just happen to be pitted against the Brent Wilkes from Rawlins, WY who ended up winning the entire shoot-off! With my skills I expect to have maybe four large poppers up against his eight or nine??? The R.O. calls to set seven on the left and eight on the right. Do they have me confused with another Chris? Someone obviously is under the false impression that I shoot better than I actually do! This is all a moot point now. No whining! It’s single eliminations, the best two out of three wins and continues on. “Shooters ready? Standby! Beep!!!” Wow, my best draw ever. I’m going to smoke this! One shot fired and stove pipe in the port….while I hear opposite me..rapid fire and he’s done before I know I even have a backup on the “freeway of my shooting” – ha! “Winner right, reload, holster and switch sides for your next round.” I switch and hope to get to fire at least a second bullet this time! Same routine. I get down through all my poppers and do the mandatory reload before going for the stopper. ….and my opponent smokes down the stop popper! Ahh…my shoot-off time was short lived!
My shooting day has just been reduced to “Shootin’ the Breeze” instead of shooting the steel.
Yes, apparently in more ways than I had thought before, most of which are in a positive way…..
Lepracy. I have been to seminars with various industries in attendance. Lunch is always interesting as most people begin introducing themselves and what type of business you’re in etc. Comes around to me and tell them I work for HIVIZ Shooting Systems and we manufacture gun sights. Well, I think I must have been sitting with a more liberal crowd that day. There was a “the OMG look” and they quickly turned their conversations amongst themselves and no one spoke to me the rest of lunch. So now I’m in “sporting goods”….yeah, that’s it. Much more palatable for lunch conversations I guess. Gee, now that I feel like the Lepper…
It’s kind of like wearing one of your shooting T-shirts through the airport when traveling. People tend to leave you alone. Works well on the airplane too! I travel a lot and there are moments where I see this as a benefit. This one below seems to work quite well.
Steel Challenge match in Pueblo, CO
Coolest Mom. In contrast all of my daughter’s friends and the entire store where she works think I am the coolest mom ever only because they don’t know any women that work and do what I do. I get first class service when I shop there. Like Molly Shannon, I too am a “Super Star”!…. (at least while at that grocery store).
Coolest Sister. Growing up in Pennsylvania, just about everyone hunts…out of the male population that is. My younger brother does a lot of hunting all over. He tells his friend stories about where I work or shoots I’ve been to and they say, “Your SISTER?!” Not so common in Pennsylvania for women, but apparently my brother and his friends are impressed. I think they just need to get out more!
Car Shopping. A few months back I decided my old Pathfinder was beginning to cost me almost as much in repairs as I could be putting into car payments for a new vehicle. I never had a brand new vehicle before and I really despise car shopping. I was referred to an “auto broker”. I didn’t even have to set foot on a car lot. I was liking this idea! I already knew approximately what make and model I was looking for and had my desired price range.
I set up an appointment and met the auto broker in his office downtown across from Colorado State University and upstairs above a little cafe. Very quaint; I was early and drawn into the cafe to kill a few minutes. Later I’m in his office and give him all my parameters. I’d like to get a Toyota 4Runner. Of course he tries to up sell me on one with all the bells and whistles on …too much. Half of those bells and whistles I can live without. Okay, he tries to talk me into a smaller model vehicle. I’m sticking to the 4Runner. He keeps steering me to smaller models. Finally I blurt out, “Look, the rear cargo area has to be wide enough to fit my shotguns and gear.” It got very silent and I wish you would’ve seen the look I got in return! Priceless!
Remodeling. This is still new for me as I’ve only been twice so far. The bear wall/rug mount I am having done I’m wondering where am I going to put this when it’s done about six months from now. My front livingroom has a few pieces of antique furniture and wood floors. Kind of a quiet area and scary bear mounts don’t quite mesh there. The back livingroom is more my “Colorado Lodge” type room…or at least it’s going to be. Big brown leather furniture, fireplace, TV, etc. in there now. I see a wall but I’ll have to move furniture around… Now I’m envisioning some remodel work here! The house is about 25 years old and the fireplace looks very dated. The carpet we were waiting to replace when our aging dog passes…(sorry, I know that sounds cold)… So what started out as “yes, let’s get a mount done with the bear hide” turned into a renovation project to have the perfect place for displaying it. To date, the old fireplace was partially torn out, new stonework, mantle, lighting and a wood burning insert installed. I tore out the carpet and tack strips this past weekend. Ordered hardwood flooring to install in another week. Painted the walls and scrapped and textured the ceiling ready for painting next. Of course now I have two oak cabinets I need to stain to match the cherry wood on the mantle and the flooring coming in. Almost done! All this for a place to put that bear! Well, kind of…it certainly was a motivator and it will look very nice in my “Colorado Lodge” living room. Now I’m eyeballing a corner where I can mount an elk. I don’t even have that trip booked yet!!
See what this has done to my life!…and I thouroughly enjoy it…even if it is occasionally shocking a few liberals….