I did better on at least a part of Saturday's cowboy match, indicating that I got at least one (or 2) holes in the dike patched up. Unfortunately, one leak continues to our water (and seconds).I felt good with the rifle…I was shooting the rifle as well or better that I'ver ever shot. Part of it is more focus on the standing position (thank you, The Art of the Rifle!) and teaching/forcing myself to see only what I need to see before pulling the trigger (thank you Brian Enos!).
I made a couple of mistakes with the shotgun, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I tried to save a second by firing before the gun was properly shouldered and I pad the obvious price — a miss — for that. Went from what should have been a 21 second run to a 30 second run.
The bigger issue is my pistol. I'm setting up well for the first shot/s, but I'm losing a bit of control going from target to target, which translates into missed shots. As I've talked about before, steel targets that aren't square or round present an interesting challenge in perception. As we sequence between targets I believe our "processing unit," a.k.a. our brain, looks at a diamond or heart or random-shaped target and treats it like a circular plate with a diameter equal to the largest linear distance of the target. This does;t just apply to cowboy…the random-shaped steel targets at the winter sniper match at Rockcastle last year were toughies, according to the shooters I talked to (you saw John Snow run it on SHOOTING GALLERY last season).
Anyway, it adds some sloppiness to the system, and it gives me something to work on inside not that it looks like winter is setting in. I may change out to a different set of pistols. I usually go with a set of Ruger Vaqero SASS Cowboys, a matched set of .357s Ruger put out several years back. Ken Griner did the work on them, and they are indeed workhorses. Couple of years ago I got all spun up and had my set of smaller framed .357 Blackhawks rebarreled by Slick McClade, going to 4-inch octagonal barrels for a little more weight up front. He also added brass SureHit sights, "slip-covers" for the standard from sight and a much less expensive route than adding a brass front sight blade. The actions were already excellent.
I love the way the guns point, but they've been problem children since they were reblued after 20-30K rounds. It's a base pin problem, I think…I thought I had it fixed, but it snuck back up on me. I need to suck it up and fit a set of Belt Mountain base pins…not a big deal, but just not on my radar lately. I'll order a pair when I finish this post.