Reading about the record low in Indianapolis, I longed for a little of that air to mix in with what we had at the range in Phoenix for the Short Course Registered 2700 this morning.
Starting at 7:00AM, the temperature was already over 90 and, with the monsoon season upon us, humidity was also very high. Walking down to the 25 yard line and the B-16 targets after the first 22 Slow Fire, no face was dry and I don’t mean tears.
There were thirteen shooters for 22 but less for each succeeding gun as the heat went up.
I used my new-to-me S&W 14-2 in Center Fire and received some valuable tips from Reinold. “Cock the hammer only after raising it to firing position, not on the bench. Teach your thumb only that one motion to cock the hammer.”
And after cocking between two Timed Fire shots not quite far enough and then discovering that the second attempt rotated the cylinder past an unfired round, he added, “Learn to shoot double action so you can get back to that unfired round in time to shoot it anyway.” Giving that a dry run, I can see I’ll need some trigger finger strengthening exercises.
Regardless, my scores with the wheel gun were better on each succeeding target – I think I like it!
The heat took its toll, regardless. Simple mistakes were evident up and down the line. I wasn’t paying attention and fired one Rapid Fire string in Timed Fire mode “saving” two rounds. Another shooter forgot to drop the slide of his 1911 when loading and had to rush that Rapid Fire string. And by the time we reached the 45 Timed Fire match, almost all banter on the line was silent as each person dealt with the heat and the desire to just shoot and get done.
Gun boxes were packed and closed at 12:15PM but the range thermometer had been at 103F since the middle of Center Fire. For the seven diehards who made it to the end, most noted a marked decrease in humidity as we started 45 caliber but the blazing sun made “score and repair” a quick effort before heading the 25 yards back to the shade of the roof-covered firing points.
I kept track: Eight 12 ounce bottles of water but only one visit to the loo. Did I mention it was hot?