Tuesday, July 27, 2010

THE PRO-AM

(For those of you who haven’t shot Pro Am, or know the rules, it’s scored by the amount of steel targets that are hit in a par time. Of course, sometimes there are ties, so they have one “tiebreaker” stage that is timed to determine the winner.)


Woooo!! I have successfully shot the Pro Am! Yes, with my handy S&W 627 Revolver, I placed in the middle of the pack. I was starting to get pretty good with reloads, by the end of the match because I can only shoot eight shots at a time. My Hearthco Moonclips were flying. Derrick Birdsoll even got a really cool picture! It showed my moonclip half way to the ground while I reloaded, and ran. As soon as I get the picture I will post it.

I was squaded mostly with people I didn’t know previously… with BJ Norris and Jason Koon as exceptions, but wow…my squad was AMAZING. Seriously, I was blown away by these guys -- they were suuuper fast and accurate! Crazy! I also met a fellow S&W member, Gordon Carrell who was so nice to give me some tips and even pose for a dorky picture after we had successfully shot the Pro Am!

Everything about this match I liked, well, except for the heat. The USSA range was incredible AND so pretty with all the green, green everywhere and pond that reflected the clouds, it had turtles and a goose (I understand a goose with a bad attitude)! The stages made me think. How was I going to get in all those shots at all those targets with minimal reloads? Of course “don’t miss” is the first thought but, there was so much going on in the stages that the shooters’ planning was very important. And planning for the unexpected was the norm around there for many shooters. On one stage we started behind some old car, and as I ran around it to pick up my revolver, there was a butterfly on my grip! (That was Stage 6) Well, I didn’t particularly want to hurt the butterfly…so I shooed it away. I could hear someone stating “just squish it” yuck! You know, waving my hands around it burned some seconds. So, just what is the answer here?

Back on the topic of fantastic stages, I’ve never seen so much steel! Not even at the Steel Challenge! There was even one stage with 35 targets and another with steel as big as I was! (The Tiebreaker stage). My only regret from the entire match was that I wish I was fast enough to do some of the fun stuff the really fast guys could do…like open up doors and shoot moving targets, they seemed to have so much fun with the bonus activity. Par time kept me focused on one thing, just hitting those targets, and not missing, otherwise…reload! So my goal for next year’s Pro-Am…to “clear a stage” as the pros would say!!

Phil Strater and his crew did awesome setting up the stages in the heat and working the match. Plus, I heard one of the crew went to find a butterfly net with my name on it! It was really an awesome match!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

PRO AM TOMORROW

Pro Am Countdown: One day left!!!


(mom's very first pic of a smoking gun!)
The USSA range is really nice, its huge. The temperature is a little hot for my liking but it is sure green.  Tomorrow is the big day and I will be shooting the Pro Am for the very first time! All steel…run and gun…hmm…and I’m shooting it with my revolver…hm, ICORE meets Steel Challenge? I think so! Combining two of my most favoritest things in the (shooting) world -- speed shooting and run and gun. EXCELENT! And I can do it with my S&W 627 revolver.  I feel…ready for this!! One of those things when you just want to speed up time so you can get there, and then slow time down so you can enjoy it! It’s already kind of turning out like that too -- time flies!
Hope I can get to sleep tonight.....shooter meeting at 700am!  And even more exciting is that I will be seeing all the friends I have made from all over.  I am sooo looking forward to seeing everyone again. 

THE PRO AM Day 1

Whew! I have arrived at the Pro Am!!! Today I went to the range where the actual competition will be happening. I was anxiously scanning outside the car, waiting for the green landscape to turn into the brown range, gee, it never did! Behind me I heard cooing, “Ooooh, it’s so pretty! Look at the lake! And all the grass! And the lodge!”


Where were we? Back at the hotel? I looked out the other side of the car and saw that just beyond the lake, there were shooting bays. They were green. GREEN!! In California, it’s only green during the rain, and never in summer! I was shocked, blown away, amazed, and super, duper excited. I’ve never shot in a place like this before; it reminded me of Disneyland complete with a pond and a goose!

We checked in at the lodge, and there we met three very nice gentlemen! They were more than happy to explain everything about the range -- where to shoot, the precautions, all that. They were so kind, even giving us directions to markets and telling us the good places to eat; much appreciated! I was really hungry. At the end of the day, Jim even gave me a rubber bracelet! (Do those have a name?)

And then I saw it.

Well actually, my mom saw it.

“DUCK!” my mom squealed, pointing at a goose.

Yes, there it was. The dreaded goose of Pro Am Lake! We were warned about him…but that didn’t stop my mom from going to get a picture! And have one of her special talks with him (Those darn tourists!) Somewhere in the time it took for my mom to take the picture, they must have bonded because now we call him “Pete”.  Fortunately for Pete he lives at the Pro Am Lake...if he was at SLOSA I think his goose would be cooked!

I must say, this has to be the prettiest range I’ve ever been to! It was amazing! They even had some Steel Challenge stages set up! And no problem, I could shoot all I wanted…8pm they were still giving me a howdy-do! I have attached a special picture for Jim “O” Speed Option in the grass…do you love it?



Friday, July 2, 2010

THE 2nd ANNUAL TRI-TIP MATCH


Last weekend, I shot the amazing “2nd Annual Tri-Tip” match! This match, 14 stages, is shot with all iron sighted guns -- AWESOME!! Single stack, Production and Revolvers ….. I really had a blast. This is the first time I ever shot this type of a USPSA match, but I loved it….all the targets and running made for a great time for everyone I spoke to.  There were a few raised eyebrows and scratched back of the heads when word got out that I was shooting Production Revolver, but the challenge is the most fun of all!
There were some awesome shooters there, some in particular I was on a squad with -- John Bagakis, Dave Sevigny, Todd Crow, John Allchin and Dave Long all smiling and laughing along with me, words cannot describe how amazing they all shot.  What a thrill it was to be able to watch and learn from these Champions!  And of course my friend Tina was there to cheer me on and be the squad score keeper!  I did pretty well, but I had a bit of an issue on the first stage…SQUIB LOAD! Yep!!!  A squib is when there isn’t enough (or any) powder in your ammo and the bullet gets lodged in the chamber. It’s really dangerous, especially if you were to fire another shot! When the squib happened there was a resounding “WHOA, STOP, SQUBB” from my entire squad!  Todd Crow was right there at the rescue with his tools to clear that squib (I think I saw Dave Sevigny sigh in relief, seeing that I wasn’t going to steal the match this time around).  Aside from the squib, I’m proud of my performance!  This was a new match to me, and it was fun as ever. 
Lunch time was delicious; they served up Art’s famous Tri Tip (I think my dad had a few singed eyebrows, considering that he helped cook).  I noticed all the smiles, mostly because everyone was just chatting away and having a great time reliving the match.  They were also chatting about my cupcakes…Thank you Julie G. for naming them “Muzzle Flash Carrot Cupcakes”! I made them just for this match!  I promise, for all you who have asked, I will post the recipe! Can’t wait till next year!  Hope you can make it!