The results from last week's Hell On Wheels up in Cheyenne were posted yesterday, and I couldn't be happier. I finished 78 out of 241, 9th in my division (out of 23). I'm creeping my way toward competitive. In fact congrats are in order for the whole COWBOYS team — Indiana Jackson and Pic-Y-Une — who turned in impressive performances.
Of course, you've couldn't have seen me creeping toward competitive at yesterday's club match in Boulder, where I once again proved conclusively that if you pull the trigger when the sights aren't on target, you will, amazingly, not hit the target! Another LOL! My Sweetie, OTOH, watched the sights, shot fast and clobbered me. Congrats due on that!
Gonna have to address a shotgun conundrum. As you all know I had that solid-frame 1901 vintage Winchester '97 overhauled as my back-up shotgun. It has a 24-inch barrel that, for me, points a little faster than the short-barreled Chinese guns (which are not availble with longer barrels). However, after 2 years of waiting for the gun to come home, it is still a thorn in my side. It's a bundle of doesn't-work-right quirks...occasional failures to eject, leaving the shell in the gun; failures to go completely into battery; and a new one yesterday, the carrier failing to completely rise even with the pump fully forward, requiring me to use thumb-power to shove the carrier back up so we could continue running the gun. The key word here is "occasional" — if it did the same thing every time one could diagnose it and maybe fix it. Intermittent problems are bears!
Winchester 1897 shotgun
Joke! Joke! A Super-Soaker is a lot more reliable than an 1897 Winchester! I keep working with it because I kept trying to separate my failures with the gun — and old '97s are WILDLY susceptible to operator-induced errors...hey, my gun is more than 100 years old! — from the gun's failures. I swore yesterday the thing would be on Gunbroker.com by this morning, but now I'd feel guilty if I pawned my problems off on anyone else. I woke up this morning and decided to clean it and relegate it to the back of the gun safe...maybe a few more years will improve it's demeanor.
In the meantime, I need another back-up '97, since the odds of a Chinese clone running 100% for any length of time are pretty much on par with the originals running 100%. Sometime in the next few days I'll either get a Cimarron '97 clone or try and find an original that isn't a complete and total POS, then send one or the other to "Jim Bowie" at the Cowboys and Indians Store with a whining note and my credit card number.
This week, I'm going to start tuning up for the Wild Bunch World Championships in August in New Mexico, which we'll be filming for SHOOTING GALLERY 2011. My plan right now is to run the Para 1911 A1 copy from C&S. I've been talking to Remington about running an R1, but I'd need a couple of weeks with it to see how it runs with lots of ammo. I'll be shooting the 1911 from the Ted Blocker 1911 rig. I'm not crazy about the flat spring mag pouches (wasn't crazy about them when I was using them in IPSC back in the day, either, although Mike Dalton swore by them), but I've tortured them into shape. I will probably use the Taylors 1866/Long Hunter .44 Special lever gun (which I use regularly in my club matches) and '97#3, an old Norinco "Trench Gun" that I'm very careful not to run too many rounds through, saving it for the big Wild Bunch matches.