I have a business trip coming up at the end of August to the Pittsburgh area. With several weeks of advance notice like this, I can often work in a competition with my trip. Here’s how it goes…
Ok, work is August 25-29 in West Mifflin, PA. The map shows I’ll be near Pittsburgh so parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are within driving range.
Looking in Shooting Sports, I see that the Palmyra PA club has a 2700 on the 23rd, a Saturday. And there’s a 1800 in Lynchburg Ohio on the 24th and a Registered (2700?) at Canton Ohio on the 24th.
Hmmm… Well, I’d prefer to shoot a full 2700 and, looking at the map, Lynchburg is all the way across Ohio from where I’ll be.
I’ll strike Lynchburg off my list as too far to drive. (If the two 2700s don’t pan out, I can always resurrect Lynchburg [no pun intended].)
Canton looks do-able and I’ve been there before. Nice range.
And Palmyra is Tony Brong’s home range. I read and frequently comment on Tony’s Bullseye Blog (http://www.tonybrong.blogspot.com/) but we’ve never met. This might be the chance I’ve been hoping for. (Note to self: Tony’s getting pretty darn good. Better look for a restaurant in central Pennsylvania selling “Humble pie” because I’m gonna need a slice.)
But wait, the Palmyra range is pretty much on the other side of Pennsylvania. That is going to be several hours driving, there and then back, from Pittsburgh.
What if I fly-in to BWI instead of Pittsburgh and then drive up to the Palmyra area? That looks like an hour, maybe two hour drive at most. I could do that on Friday, spend the night and then shoot the match on Saturday. That’s not nearly so much driving.
Then, depending on how lazy I want to be, I could enjoy the evening there and head west to Pittsburgh on Sunday, or I could grab the gun box immediately after the Palmyra match, drive to Canton and shoot that 2700 on Sunday. Then, after that 2700, drive to Pittsburgh Sunday evening for work on Monday. That’s a lot more driving but, hey, two 2700s in one weekend? Is that sweet? (Will I still be able to hang on to the ball gun for the Sunday ball match or will I be limp-wristing the white-board marker at work on Monday?)
Still, two 2700s in one trip. Sure is tempting…
But this is do-able regardless if it’s one 2700 or two. The travel works, the driving is, well, drive-able, the car is essentially free and I’ve got the hotel points.
Ok, let’s check the gun rules for these states.
Checking the gun-travel book (“Traveller’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States”), I’m OK in Maryland if things are 1) separated into two locked containers (guns versus ammo), 2) stored in the trunk, 3) I’m just “passing through” that state, and 4) have a copy of the program for the competition.
Pennsylvania is more permissive as long as I keep things in the trunk and fly home from Pittsburgh, not Philly, the so-called “City of Brotherly Love” where handguns are strictly “Verboten!”
And Ohio is gun OK also so long as I keep things locked in the trunk.
Let’s check the Palmyra and Canton programs on-line.
Googling “Palmyra 2700” leads me to http://www.palmyrasportsmens.com/ and, therein, click “Pistol” and, yup, there’s the link for the 2008 Dutchman 2700 Outdoor match on August 23, 2008. There’s the registration information on page two … and there’s a Leg Match, too. Great!
Print that and put the hardcopy in my briefcase in case a Maryland trooper needs to see my invitation to “pass through” his state with my firearms.
And now let’s google “Canton 2700” … uhm … Ah! it’s a bit farther down in the results but, yup, there’s the link to the Canton McKinley club (http://www.cantonmckinleyriflepistol.org/). Therein, let’s try the “Match Schedule” and, yes, there’s the “Ohio State Championship” on the 24th of August that starts at 9:00AM (registration and set up a half hour earlier). But I don’t see a link for the details yet. The club’s home page still shows the Perry warm-up on July 4-6.
(Poking around the website.) Well, I don’t see the match program for the 24th but, regardless, it’s in their calendar, and they sent it to Shooting Sports, and it says it’s the Ohio State Championship so, yeah, I think there’s a match there on the 24th.
This is gonna work!
Ok, let’s get down to the financial details. What’s it gonna cost me, match fees aside, for the extra travel?
First, as long as I don’t spend more money, the company will pay the airfare regardless of which days I fly. Southwest has one of its major hubs in Phoenix so I get good rates to lots of places in the US. Bottom line: the air tickets will be covered by the company because of the business trip. That gets me there and back.
Next, I’ll need a rental car. Fortunately, the rental car will be the same for 7 days as it is for 5 so no extra $ needed there.
And I’ll need Friday and Saturday nights from my accumulation of Hilton points for places to sleep. Oh yeah, I got plenty of those points. No problem with free places to sleep.
This is coming together very nicely.
And looking in the closet in the ammo boxes, I see plenty of 22 and … …
Oh oh, I’m out of both 45 ACP wad and ball.
And its 109 degrees in the loading room this time of year. (Why didn’t I put in that air conditioner this spring?)
I’ll just have to plan two hot evening sessions, one for wad and another for ball. And the extreme heat addles my brain. I need to plan doing the setup for each load while the neurons in my head are still working. Once the machine is calibrated, I don’t need to be quite as meticulous.
That is, once I start cranking out production, I’m sort of on auto-pilot with my eyes watching the powder level in each shell as it comes around. It’s true I have to pay attention but I don’t have to watch things down to a thousandth of an inch as I do when setting it up. Once I start pulling the handle, I can do that in the heat. It’ll just be hot. Real hot.
One reloading session for 400 rounds of wad and then a second one for 100 ball should do it. (I’ll crank out some more ball while I’m at it — why stop at 100 once everything is set?)
So, unless something changes, I’m going to plan on shooting the Palmyra match on the 23rd of August, and maybe the Canton match on the 24th.
And I’ll finally get to meet Tony! (Better drop him an Email.)
Who said business travel can’t be fun?