Wednesday, September 16, 2009

GUN BLOGGERS RENDEZVOUS

QUICK CAL & A COUPLE OF QUICK DRAW FINALISTS "PACKING RAT" AND "MILLISECOND MOLLY"!

The Gun Blogger's Rendezvous IV was this past weekend and was it ever Fantabulous! The shooting, the food, the WONDERFUL friends I made.....Hoooray! Thank you Mr. Completely and Kee Wee for your hard work! All you bloggers are the best and you like to shoot too! I can't wait to see you all again next year. Hey did anyone see those Camel races?
This camel was NOT puckering up for a kiss!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Indiana Jones and the Wild Boar


On our way to Happy Burger.


Darn a Flat!


An adventure, yes! I am always ready for an adventure. Hmmmm….somewhere in the Sierra Nevada there was an adventure waiting to happen! Well, that's what my dad told me when he woke me up at 4 am, last Sunday morning. After spending hours searching the (mysterious) Sierra Nevada Mountains for “treasure,” my Dad drove up to a (mysterious) horse pasture or was it an incredible rock quarry? Then down a long dusty trail in a Prius no less, and two gates, we (mysteriously) found a group of shooters from all over the state of California! I kept humming the theme from Indiana Jones…. Ahhhhhh…a range!!! I felt at home, I really was in the right place. Joe (really his name), showed me around. He introduced me to the other shooters who were not quite sure about such a height-challenged shooter; they wondered if I could even see over some of the barriers. No problem…I am Millisecond Molly! Bwahahaha! It was so nice to see some familiar faces, Kevin, Brock, Mick, George and Jim all remembered me from the Steel Challenge. Of course, Dad had all my shooting gear ready to go at the time, and I was ready do what I do best - shoot and have fun (Insert the theme from Indiana Jones here). And yes 49er, Molly’s no whiner!!!!! Looking around, I knew this adventure was going to be like none other, Larry made sure of that (Larry was the dazzling set designer). What I knew at that point was that I had to focus, focus, focus and not step in the cow Pattys.
And so it goes, Mom and I exploring the range preparing for the first stage, when all of the sudden a roaring thunder was heard! Another adventure…..Mom grabbed me as if it was a “Wild Boar” charging from around one of the bays….we were in the wilderness, you know! Nope it was only Sammy - beautiful chocolate lab, full of energy and excitement. Sammy became my best friend for the rest of the match. She even escorted me around! (Or was it that she was just hopping I would toss her toy?) Either way she was one of the best treasures of the day. And she is Dick’s treasure every day. And so, the first stage was on. The set-up for the stage was steel targets overlapping each other and behind barrels, then you run to the front and shoot some paper after you shoot steel chickens. And those chickens showed no mercy; they were small and hidden behind weeds, some shooters gave up! Actually a critical tactic when attempting to save time. The 5 second penalty for each chicken not hit was better than the 60 seconds it was taking to hit just one of them. Bet your wondering if I hit the chickens or took the penalty?
Then there was that really interesting stage. The targets had eyes...they were staring at me…eyes. Yup. The shooter had to get two shots off at the targets with eyes that had “whites” in them. The discussion before hand was most entertaining. “Okay, so you shoot the eight targets-” “I’m counting nine…” “Huh? No, you don’t count the one with brown eyes.” “I got ten!” “What? One, two, three…seven. Wait…” Somehow, I managed to count eleven targets. That stage was a lot of fun though, with the no-shoot-targets obstructing your view of the other targets.
Over all, my adventure was lots of fun, and I had a blast! I’m definitely going to that cow pasture again, and the attached range suits me fine…… (Insert theme from Indian Jones here). But wait it even got better! At the end of the extremely fun day we loaded up in the pickup for a trip to Happy Burger! Yum

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

RIMFIRE CHAMPIONSHIP



Big News: Ruger Rimfire Championship! Come on down to the Morro Bay range on September 26th & 27th for a great time shootin' rimfire rifles and pistols. For the registration sheet, go to http://slosa.org/, and for more information contact Nelson Dymond at teamrimfire@yahoo.com
See you there! (See Nelson Dymond under Friends of the Molly Minute)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

THE STEEL CHALLENGE! OH YEA!

Elliott and Annette Aysen

What an incredible weekend I had. The Steel Challenge was the BEST. My mom says my revolver is still “smoking!” I finished 8th out of 18 revolver shooters, all kindred spirits! I reached my goal to beat my personal best score shooting the main match with my revolver (over ten seconds off my last score!) And I am gaining on John Bagakis! Shhh, here’s a secret: Tina, his girlfriend sent me text messages cheering me on! Re-match next year John ? Same hot, dusty place, same hot dusty time!
The weekend just flew by…way too short. I did get some time to talk to some of the kids that stopped by with their parents to see what the Steel Challenge was all about. What a privilege it was when they came and asked me, “Are you Molly Smith?” I was so honored to tell them about the match, what goes on when I shoot, and where the bathrooms and vending machines are! No, there are no vending machines but there are “shooting machines” and I directed them on the really good shooters. Every time I watch really good shooters, I pay attention to their stance, their hand placement and look at how they focus and prepare for their turn. I’ve heard that term poetry in motion, well to watch these shooters execute it is amazing! They look so graceful when the shoot. I just look short, or as one man said, a “boy”…”Well, let the young man go first!” “Come right up here son” That was awkward, but really funny! (Everybody else thought it was funny enough…)
The awards ceremony was very nice. When I walked in my friend Annette Aysen gave me a bouquet of tulips, tulips are my favorite flowers. Her husband Elliott gave me a Speed-E-Rack to hold my moon clips. Moon clips are little round discs with notches in them. They hold your bullets together for quick loading and unloading. The Speed-E-Rack holds the moon clips on your waist so you don’t have to fumble around in your pockets for them. I think the best part of the awards ceremony was the look on my brothers face when I gave him the prize list and told him he could have what ever he wanted that was left when they call my name. He is thrilled with his new rifle bag (it is a really nice, super, deluxe one)!
Over all, Steel Challenge this year was amazing, and maybe next year I’ll shoot two guns in the main match - Iron Revolver and Open Auto! I’ll keep you posted.

Yamil took this picture of my friend Phil Strader
Yamil took this picture of a casing, click on the pic to enlarge! That is my Friend BJ Norris in the Background!

Friday, August 14, 2009

FRIDAY THE MAIN EVENT


Friday. The first half of the main match: COMPLETE(ly… fun and totally enjoyable!)
Let me first start off by saying…anybody notice that there is a strange lack of running in the Steel Challenge? Aside from Outer Limits, it’s all stationary; but I didn’t let that stop me today. I was running (well, walking fast) out on the bays, spray painting the targets and jumping over even more hay bales. The hyper-active-soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old. Yuuuup -- that’s me! I also had a great squad of people I didn’t know, at first (with Dave Wilson and John Maxwell as exceptions, they shoot at my home range) that was tons of fun! John Alchin stopped by a few times for chit-chat, as did Tom Hubbard. How fun it was to talk about the stage and relax. Also, at the end of the day, I met new shooters Debby and Jena, they came here to watch the match. They were really nice and I enjoyed going through the side-matches with them. We had lots of fun just talking and shooting.
For dinner tonight, there was the Steel Challenge BBQ. It was LOTS of fun because I got to see a role model, who is my friend, Annette Aysen. We were having a good time talking and eating, and sewing shoes. Yes, you read that correctly. My flip-flop strap came undone so my dad volunteered to fix it up. When Annette saw it, she giggled and fixed it up with sew on buttons and thread. She certainly saved my feet for the night!
Have you ever noticed how kid-friendly the Steel Challenge? The side matches, hay-bales, and painting targets. I painted the short targets so some of the guys out there needed to only bend half way over to reach their targets to paint (more Pre-teens and Juniors means more help with short painting). Best of all is just shooting the match over all.
So that was my day. Tomorrow I’m finishing the match and will be going to Magic Mountain as my early birthday present! WOOHOO!
Oh Yea, this is Dave. He is my Squad Mate! Somehow he missed the group picture above.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Rimfire Match

Picture of Randi Rogers taken by Yamil Sued. Randi and I shot on the same squad during the rimfire match.
Picture of Jessie Abbott,taken by Yamil Sued. Jessie shoots incredible!
Gunny and Me "5 to Go" stage.
My friends!!! John Bagakis, and BJ Norris.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

STEEL CHALLENGE EVE!




Wednesday morning, 7:20. I arrived at the STEEL GROUNDS….Finally. I was the first person at the range on Steel Challenge Eve. It was rather magical. But it wasn’t long before the rangemaster, Doug Baumforth, came and signed us in and the flood of perfect practice shooters arrived. The furnace had not been turned on yet, so it was a “breeze” to shoot the stages. My first four went GREAT, but the Outer Limits stage gave me a little issue. I guess you could call it Molly Madness. But not to worry, I came back at the end of practice and made sure Outer Limits was taken care of, and then I was “otta there.” After I ran through all the stages with Jim O’Young, I spoke to various shooters, including some juniors! Hooray for the juniors!!! I held Julie Goloski’s M&P and BJ Norris’ 1911 with a Tactical Solutions .22LR conversion unit and thought they were pretty awesome. BJ’s .22, was really cool because of how light it was - definitely something different. I also met Rob Leatham who is a shooting legend. I have heard so much about him, that finally meeting him was very special. I wish I could’ve seen him shoot, but alas I did not, it was time to get registered. He was really nice and I got to take a picture with him. After leaving the range, we went to the match hotel to register for the match and get everything set and ready to go. I met a couple of very nice people there that walked me through signing up, especially Kim Williams and Dave Thomas. They helped me get my squadding in order too!
So a GREAT day at the practice range; can’t wait for the .22 match tomorrow, and I saw lots of great people today. It’s Steel Challenge Eve, “all is calm, all is bright!”

OUTER LIMITS

Thank you Yamil Sued for these great pictures!
Ishikawa Seiichi
Dave Sevigny
Alicia Setting
Ashley Bolda

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Shooter Ready?

I am here! The “Steel Grounds” of Piru! Well, close enough, I am at the hotel near the infamous STEEL CHALLENGE Range which I will be calling home for the next few days! I can feel the excitement, and I can recognize a shooter from 25 yards. They are the ones in the hotel lobby, Mc Donalds, the gas station, Rite Aid getting ice cream and even sitting in their cars at “Green” lights with the glazed over look, aiming their trigger fingers at imaginary targets, over and over. I can hardly wait until tomorrow when I actually will get to go to the range and practice really hitting a few steel targets, fun, fun, fun…..the wait is nearly over.

In case you are wondering I will be shooting my Smith and Wesson 627, iron sighted, revolver in the main match on Friday and Saturday. Hark….do I hear my ICORE friends cheering me on? Although not too experienced with it, I’m feeling very good about the possibilities of actually getting it out of the holster and hitting the first plate! I guess I do have a way to go before I can catch up to John Bagakis -- he is an amazing shooter with the revolver.

This match is bound to be tons of fun and I can't wait. I'll be updating my blog every night with the happenings of the Steel Challenge.
Who else is ready to shoot? ^.^

The great picture above was taken just this afternoon (right to left) Tom Yost, BJ Norris, Todd Jarrett, Jim O’Young and Me!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

THE HOGUE ADVENTURE


I GOT NEW HOGUE GRIPS! YESSSS! They’re amazing! They fit my hand (or as some would say my “Tiny Mitts”) perfectly and they look beautiful on my Smith & Wesson 627 Revolver.
It’s an interesting process, this being fit for custom grips. During the IRC in June, Pat Hogue measured my hand and asked me to pick out the wood for the base. When I went to pick them up, Pat put them on my revolver, making sure they were perfect. He spent the entire time talking to me about shooting (what else but) and the fun in the sport. I never dreamed the end product would mean so much. These are the most special grips ever; they are hand made by Pat Hogue, himself! A craftsman, he paid such close attention to the length of my fingers, to the width of my grasp and what I was telling him about how I shoot. Every detail that a grip should have is there.
Now, for the adventure….there is a story to follow this fantastic news.
My brother (AKA the Web Commander/Steven) and I were invited to visit the Hogue factory, shoot on the “super secret” private Hogue range and join them for lunch. How could anyone pass that up?
Pat’s brother, Aaron, was kind enough to give us a tour of the Hogue factory. It was awesome! I was blown away by the laser images on the grips… some of the designs look so complex. Steven really enjoyed looking at the mechanical things like the machine that formed the “skeleton” for some of the grips. As if that wasn’t enough, Aaron let us in the gun vault! There was plenty of interesting guns…note the pictures!
Judy (Aaron’s fiancĂ©e) just took me to get a “Special” pedicure for the Steel Challenge. You will have to ask me to see them if you see me in Piru… neon pink with black pistols! Judy is awesome. I have made some really special friends on the Hogue Adventure.
Over all, the Hogue Adventure is brilliant. I had tons of fun, love my new grip, got to meet another junior shooter, Daniel, and saw the Hogue Grips factory, made new friends, had a corn dog (my favorite!) for lunch and I now have exceptional toe nails any shooter would be proud of!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

THE "STEEL SEASON"

Recently, I’ve been shooting all the time and all over the place! I have made friends and received warm welcomes from the Sunnyvale Rod and Gun Club where in the last month I have been found practicing for the Steel Challenge with Jim O’Young and Tom Sparacino. Those two make sure I stay in line, and I pay attention to trigger pull and my sights. The constant badgering and humor between Jim and Tom is what makes the practice so much fun. For me watching and learning from the best is a gift and what I really appreciate. Their experience and knowledge of the Steel Challenge is as if the plates themselves are telling me “Let your sights be your speedometer.” (Or was that Jim?) The friends I have met at the Sunnyvale Gun and Rod Club remind me that no matter where I happen to be practicing, the shooting family still exists. Even far away from my home, the bonds that tie the shooting community are there. Or it could be my Mom’s sandwiches? (She always wants to feed everyone!)
Not only did we run through all of the Steel Challenge stages multiple times while in Sunnyvale , but I learned more about the efforts that go on behind the scenes. The Sunnyvale Rod and Gun Club only has one bay, so it was up to Jim and Tom to lug around the steel (You go, guys!)...until I figured it all out – the stands go in the ground, the plates go on the stands, and the bullet goes on the plate. On my second trip up to this club, I had leather gloves and heaved around that steel too! Setting up stages, painting, and picking up the brass are all a part of being a part of the community. I will always be able to look back (and cherish) at the memories of the “hard work” I have had to do this summer.
While at the Sunnyvale Club, I also tried shotgun! Thanks go out to Brent Browning for helping me out and getting me on my way with trap shooting. (And also for letting me shoot his AR! That was awesome!)
I also met another junior shooter… Evans Hauser! It was his first time shooting pistol and he did really well! He was hitting the targets and going rather fast… leaving me and Jim somewhat shocked. (I used the excuse, “Hey, he’s your nephew! Of course he’s gunna be a good shooter!)
I bet no one in the Steel Challenge has done the moon walk for Outer Limits. Well here’s a thought... Jim can do the moon walk! (Definitely left my mom and I in shock.) I want to see a squad of moon-walkers one of theses days… So thank you Jim for the challenge and the Best Summer EVER!
Overall, my shooting is improving, I’m making tons of new friends, I’m trying new things, and enjoying the “Steel Season” as Jim calls it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

IRC Shoot-Offs - Molly vs Jerry!

See the Molly Movies (to the right ->) to see a video of the 2009 IRC shoot-offs. Molly vs Jerry Miculek!
A special thanks to Julie Goloski for doing an amazing job at taping/editing the video!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The 2009 IRC

The 2009 IRC is over and what incredible memories I have written in my journal about it. I made many new friends; one in particular, Katie from Australia. Katie was here with her Mum. She told me that in Australia children are not allowed to shoot guns - when they are 12 they can shoot an air soft gun. We are really fortunate to be in this country where children are allowed to learn how to shoot safely and to compete. Since Katie does not shoot, we spent a lot of time getting to know each other. Eric drove us around on the quad; we ate a lot of food, and posed for lots of pictures. I was so glad to have had the opportunity to explain the IRC to her from my perspective. “Watch….watch….watch….. learn….learn….learn, and don’t ever break the 180!” I met a lot of kids who just came out to watch the match too. Some of these kids had no idea about the sport, and I was honored to be able to take some time between stages to explain how it works, and how it is safe and how much fun it is.

I’ve been shooting the revolver since February, and I have had enough experience to know that I really like it and the IRC is a great time to watch and learn. I was in the presence of some of the very best revolver shooters and looking how they work their way through the stages was fascinating. There was one stage that I loved more than any others - there was a lot of motion, activity, and portholes. It was Stage 11, “Poppers.” But Stage 12 “Over the River and Through the Woods” would be a close second. After these two stages, my sides ached from laughing so hard…I wish all stages were as challenging as these two. I’ve decided that I would like to design some stages for future matches. There would be a penalty for anyone who completes it without a smile…bwahaha!

The highlight of the match for me was the shoot offs, though. I got to shoot against the fastest shooter in the world; Jerry Miculek. He gave me a head start, and I got through ¾ of the stage, he started, passed me up, and won…and guess what? I was still only ¾ of the way through the stage when he hit his final target. It was so exciting to be right there, shooting next to him and I will never forget it! Annette Aysen from Smith and Wesson was right there too. She coached me through that shoot off, smiling at me and focusing me on the task of hitting those targets dead on. Take a look at the picture above, Annette was coaching me! She was hugging me with one arm and focusing me on the target with the other. I like that she hugs, smiles, and talks to anyone interested in shooting. In case you didn’t know Annette is the 2009 IRC Ladies Champion! She is incredible to watch.

I’m looking forward to the 2010 IRC....maybe they will adopt a Molly Stage, I promise it will be fun!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Public Display

For this post, I just wanted to bring up a disclaimer regarding a public display. I am not responsible for my parent’s behavior! You see, my parents had not seen each other in awhile and kept passing each other by at the IRC. My mom helping out and my dad sitting at a booth selling raffle tickets. So they would glance and wave to each other until my mom got the great idea to blow kisses to my dad. Not one, but multiple kisses. She was kissing her thumbs and throwing them out there for all to see. Unfortunately many shooters thought my mom was blowing them kisses! Am I ever embarrassed - I couldn’t believe my eyes. But even worse was my Dad blowing kisses back, big kisses. And some of the shooters caught those kisses, some even blew kisses back to him! What a day.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

2009 IRC June 5-7

The 2009 IRC (International Revolver Championship) is coming soon, June 5-7. At the SLOSA range. It is going to be so much fun! See you there!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Little Bird Told Me


At the SLOSA range the birds are fairly tame. They are used to landing on the cows which surround the range and don’t seem to give much of a thought as the bullets wiz by them; they tend to zip away when the shooting starts. My friend Eric Leach (who doesn’t know yet, but I’m his long lost {annoying} little sister), is very patient. The birds sit on his targets and he waits, often shooting all the targets around him until they fly away, this can delay his time in a timed match. Last week, one bird was so stubborn and would not fly away even as the bullets wizzed by. This got me to thinking, what would a little sister do to torment a brother shooter? A fake annoying bird! What else? So I, as the group was preparing for the match yesterday, snuck off to the bay that Eric would be shooting on. There, I found really stretchy tape and taped a fake bird to the top of one of his steel targets. Let me just say that the day before this adventure I sent Eric a text message, simply saying “Tweet, Tweet, and Tweet!” As Eric shot every target except the one where the cursed bird was perched, I could see the tension building. So Eric hit that target, just an inch or so away from the fake bird, still thinking the bird was real, he hit the target again, and again. The bird did not flinch! At this point we were all laughing so hard, but the joke was still on Eric. Once he caught on that someone played a trick on him and the bird was fake he shot the fake bird, but the stretchy tape kept the bird on and it bounced back up. So Eric shot it again, but it still bounced right back up. We all got a good laugh and the squad continued to shoot. After our squad was done, I ran down range and retrieved the fake bird. Eric was well on his way to the next stage so it was my best opportunity yet…..I stuck the fake bird on his truck antenna I wonder how long it took before he noticed?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Super Squad and the Lanterne Rouge

The Take 5 Championship was this weekend at the SLOSA Range. Feeling extra energetic I agreed to take part in the “Super Squad” with a secret aim of not being dead last. I didn’t join the Super Squad because I thought I could win, I did it because I wanted to shoot with the very top shooters. Being able to watch their styles and learn whatever lessons I could from them and pushing myself, was winning. To answer the burning question, did I come in first? No. Did I place? Yes, Last. The Lanterne Rouge was the award. More than a plaque, Jim O’Young, a brilliant shooter, and role model extraordinaire, thought this would be a special way to honor persistence and determination.
This was the most difficult match I ever shot. It was raining; I was soaked, really cold, and sinking in the mud. By night fall it was so dark I couldn’t see the targets, I shoot limited with iron sights and did I mention my back sight fell off (Thank you John Allchin for helping me reattach it)? Never was I asked if I wanted to go home, except by my mom who was feeling my pain the entire time. The Squad all knew that I was in this for the long haul and was not going to give in or give up, no matter what!!!
The shooters on the Super Squad were amazing, and they didn’t complain, ever! Not a primadonna in the group. They laughed, and encouraged each other, they were friends and professionals. It was amazing to watch them shoot so fast. Barrels were lighting up like fireworks. (I admit to jumping more than once when my barrel lit-up, sparky barrel...spaaaaaarky barrel.)
In case you are wondering the Lanterne Rouge is an award started by the Tour de France in 1903 to celebrate the accomplishments of the last rider to finish the Tour. The red lantern on the back of the caboose was the inspiration for the award. The engineer of a train could look back and see the red lantern on the caboose, bringing up the rear. He knew his train was all together. Like the caboose I was bringing up the rear, and feeling a part of the team. The memories of this match will go down in my journal as the best match ever. I am looking forward to next year; hopefully the match organizers will allow me to present the Lanterne Rouge award to the last place finisher. I plan on being on the Super Squad again next year, only not in last place.

Overview: AMAZINGNESS!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To Be or Not To Be?

Every day that I go to the range to shoot, I find that there’s always something new to learn, even if I didn’t think I needed to learn anything new that day! This was the case at a recent SLOSA club match. To be or not to be an RO? That was the question. RO means “Range-Officer,” (AKA "R"eally "O"wsome), somebody who ensures the safety of the shooter and onlookers. There are some fundamentals that every RO should know. Starting with memory…..I’m definitely not an exception to that rule. I find that memorizing the speech is supposed to be automatic except when you forget it, like when you are supposed to be saying it to a shooter. Now was that “Stow yer sporting implement, matey?” or was it “Clear and make safe, Cupcake?”
Shoes are another issue. This is particularly important for someone of my stature, just over 4 ft 9. Wrong shoes equals a face plant in the back end of the shooter when running behind them, be sure to check your tread. It would be really helpful to all vertically challenged ROs if shooters, taller than the RO, would sit down to shoot or ROs get platform RO shoes. Either way, I could reach the shooter with the timer. On the topic of timers, why not just have a recording of the commands? A Talking Timer!
I did figure out one secret, a good part of ROing is that it strengthens your arm muscles. Holding up that timer high enough, about a foot higher than my reach, for exceptionally long periods is actually an advantage. The unrelenting isometric exercises, as my friend Richard reminds me to do, are helpful. My upper arm strength has greatly improved by this painful exercise. Try ROing with your weak arm, and then take your turn at the weak arm/strong arm revolver stage, you will amaze those who never thought you could shoot weak arm. By the time a relief RO fills in, you can no longer tell if your arm’s falling asleep or if it is someone else’s arm entirely, because yours are so numb. Even with a numb arm, at the end of the day you can finally take a rest but remember that white chairs have huge spiders on them, frogs live in the outhouses and the snakes don’t respond to timer buzzers!
To be or not to be an RO, I can honestly say….. To Be! I had so much fun, thanks to everyone on my squad, and Jason for not stepping on me. I can’t wait to do it again. (I’ll be looking for the platform RO shoes…any suggestions where I can pick them up?)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Break

Yaaaay!! Spring break is finally here and I’m back to writing my blog. The “Yaaaaying!!”actually started on Friday with a fun practice at the Hogue Range, working on my trigger control. Saturday was the USPSA match (hence more fun.) Sunday was Easter with chocolate and Peeps, but no Jelly Bellies. I thought there was a Take-5 club match on Sunday, but when we got there no one was there but the crickets and tumbleweeds. The Rifle Range is open. Tuesday is the dentist. Most people don’t like going to the dentist, but I don’t mind, seeing as I see my dentist all the time at the range. Wednesday the range is closed but there is always reloading to do. Thursday the range is open, yay! Friday, more practice - the Rifle Range is open and my friend Jeff, the Range Officer is always there on Fridays. Saturday is an IRC Club Match.

In short terms: Spring break = range time = YAAAAAY!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Meant to Do That

This weeks practice was very interesting, filled with “Ooops!” and “Darns!” I had difficulties with the moon clips. (Moon clips are what you put in your revolver to keep the spent bullets together and easy to find.) I couldn’t figure out why the moon clips wouldn’t snap up out of their holders. This was an “Ooops” moment, I had the holder upside down. Then as I was loading more moon clips. I was trying to use a very complex (Cough) instrument (Cough) to speed up loading. I couldn’t figure it out. Another shooter watched for a few minutes, then showed me by flipping it over, it will work. It was upside down, “Ooops.”
Randy was having a good time laughing at that, but I was enjoying myself, pointing out how it was Randy’s fault that the moon clip holder was upside-down… It was his fault…right? No, not really…I meant to do that!
Finally I began to shoot and I was doing well for my first few shots then a squib. (A squib is a ‘squib-load,’ and not the creatures from Half-Life) A squib load is when there isn’t enough powder in the bullet when it is fired and it doesn’t leave the barrel. It can be really dangerous. Thankfully, Randy helped me get the squib out of my barrel and I continued practice.
I did super good, getting almost all my shots near the middle of the target.
Over all, the day was a total “I Meant to Do That” day. As usual it was a great day. I would love to hear about your “I meant to do that” moments! It would be fun to read and share how others stumble and fumble and still laugh and have fun. Encouragement all the way around because we all have “I meant to do that” moments.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Jelly Belly Challenge

Would you shoot for Jelly Bellys? I would, and I did at the last SLOSA club Steel Challenge Shoot. I bet you’re thinking of something else (jelly belly)! Jelly Bellys’ are delicious jelly beans. My favorite candy! During the shoot, my squad gave me a challenge. I learned quickly not to waste bullets. For every bullet that missed the target I had to pay ten Jelly Bellys’ to the participants in the challenge, but my squad members had to pay up Jelly Bellys too. Oh yeah, a painful yet effective way to improve accuracy.
By the end of the day, my scores were pretty good. The “Outer Limits” actually felt a little more coordinated. I managed to keep my feet working with my brain (and trigger) and I wasn’t down too many Jelly Bellys at this point. As the shoot progressed the Jelly Belly tally grew, but not just for me! The score sheets were no longer looking like score sheets. Jelly Bellys’ were being tallied everywhere- on the margins, on the back. I wonder what our number exacting score coordinator, John Hausman must have been thinking when he looked at those sheets?
Getting in the Zone was still my goal for the day. The sounds “Plink Plink… Plink Plink Plink” was my rhythm. When I heard those plinks I would sigh in relief or jump up and down, because the run left all my Jelly Bellys in tact. My squad members laughed as I would look at them and say “No Jelly Bellys on that run!” There were jokes and fun all around. And the best comment of the day after one squad member’s run was “I meant to do that!” Hmmmm… forfeiting Jelly Bellys?
Randy Lee and Gary Thompson were the big Jelly Belly winners of the day. I owe Randy 90 Jelly Bellys and Gary 100! Now, the difficult task of deciding the flavors for the bounty that I have to pay. I guess I will have to sample them all to figure out which ones taste the best. It seems the Jelly Belly challenge went over well, in-fact if any of you SLOSA club shoot organizers read this, you might want to take note of a new and fun shoot…..A Jelly Belly Challenge!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Zone or the Cone Zone

A 2nd Molly Minute, I am on a roll. “The Zone” or the “Cone Zone?” For speed shooters there’re two kinds of zones. Where do you end up most of the time? I used to be in the “Cone Zone," but ever since I got in “The Zone” I experience it more and more. What’s the difference? “The Zone” is where the really fast shooters hang out. When you visit “The Zone,” you feel like everything is moving really slow, but that’s the strange part, actually you’re shooting really fast. The “Cone Zone” is for every one else, slow shooters and fast shooters that are having an off day. Slow shooters, stay in the “Cone Zone.” Sometimes when they’re in it, it feels like everything is moving really fast, but that’s just because they never experienced “The Zone." Not everyone gets into “The Zone,” but when you get there you will never forget that feeling. Once you’ve shot in “The Zone” you are a life time member of “The Zone” club. This is kind of like the inner circle, but not exactly, because you don’t know everyone that has ever been in “The Zone.” If I could tell other kids how to get in “The Zone,” the first thing I would say is it just has to happen on its own and not be forced; it just comes! Be relaxed and have fun, if there’s no pressure on you to be in “The Zone” it’ll just happen. But don’t be discouraged if you’re in the “Cone Zone” because if you just stick to shooting, it’ll come, but not if you are not having fun. The first time I was in “The Zone,” I shot faster than I ever had before and hit all the targets! Randy Lee was with me and asked me “What just happened?” He had to sit down and talk about it because he did not expect me to shoot that fast. I am not sure which was more fun, being in “The Zone” or seeing how proud Randy was of me. I could only tell him that it was really weird and nothing like before. When I described what happened, everyone around me said “Ohhhhh, Ahhhhh…. You were in the Zone!” Yes for those brief 2 seconds, I was changed. People asked me what it felt like and this is what I say: It’s like you have tunnel vision looking at your sight, you feel like you are moving real slow and mechanical, you don’t really realize it until you’re finished…and then you breathe again.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beauty....Personality and Character

For my very first blog posting I want to ask the question what is beauty? I wonder how many people would think that a 12 year old, shooting steel targets or anyone else shooting a gun for that matter, could be beautiful. There are adults and kids too that are offended by this sport. It must be because they don’t know about the sport, I’m always eager to talk to them about it and the people I know who shoot. I’ve seen beauty and generosity in so many shooters - they are role models for the sport. Their kindness, their jokes, their smile, their patience with a most terrifying thing…a brand new kid shooter (a very scary creature), and most of all their love of a sport is beautiful.
Beauty is a word meaning “a quality that pleases the senses or the mind” according to Webster’s Dictionary. To me beauty is more. I wonder how many people look to one another and see a deeper beauty, a deeper quality; personality and character. Personality and character is a person’s treasure and prize, it is their beauty. Personality and character show who they are. Being “beautiful” in modern day socity has so much importance, and many meanings. For some people looking in the mirror they see only their flaws. If only they could stop thinking about blemishes and start thinking about the good qualities they have, like good grades, a nice smile, beautiful eyes, or being able to shoot a steel target in less than 30 seconds. Thinking about their good qualities will improve their self-confidence, and how they feel about their “outer beauty.” People have insecurities, and that’s normal; it’s sad that people make a commotion over them.
When I think about the people I have met shooting, dusty and dirty, big goggles, earphones, hats messing up their hair, and those weird poses and faces they make when they are aiming, I know they are beautiful. They don’t care what they look like on the outside, they are focused on the inside, they focus on shooting the best they can, and focus on enjoying the sport of shooting. The fact that they don’t care if their hair’s messed up, is beauty in itself! They make me want to be the best I can be. I’m lucky; I’ve found beautiful people at a very unusual place, the shooting range. Tell me your thoughts.