2011 Dillon Precision Calendar Prize

Damp and chilly. Brrrr!

The humidity was high and, with the cool 58 degrees, there was a decided chill to the air as we shot the Bullseye 900 last night. Everyone wore a light jacket or a shirt atop a shirt. I “warmed up” with 22 caliber and kept its temperature-sensitive ammunition in my pocket.

Spirits were initially muted, probably by the chill, but once we settled into the Slow Fire match, moods picked up and the usual side comments were heard as shots went downrange.

“Hah! An X!”

“Damn.”

“Somebody (!) jerked a shot on my target.”

“All right!!”

Bill, Felipe, Hank, Len and myself made up the small group that braved the cool damp to shoot the Luck Target, the 900 and to compete for the evening’s prize, a new 2011 Dillon Precision calendar.

Bill tossed the coin and it came up heads so the Luck Target went to the high score. Yours truly, shooting his Smith and Wesson model 41 with Ultradot, tagged my model number’s points over the requisite three holes to win.

Then, in the 900 that started promptly at 7:00PM, the biggest group was the combined Sharpshooter, Marksman and Tyro classes. At the start, therefore, it was announced those shooters would be competing for the calendar hanging on display over the registration table.

Firing a variety of calibers, when the final scores for those three competitors were tallied, they were within ten (20) points of each other. Hank took first place and was decidedly pleased with the Dillon calendar and its attractive and “on topic” photographs.

Congratulations, Hank!

Between the small group and the chill, things moved along rapidly. We finished slightly after 8:30PM. One shooter jokingly complained he might have to drive around the block a couple of times to avoid setting a dangerous precedent by arriving home so early after Nighthawks.

November is one of those twice-a-year months with five Tuesdays. Next week will be that “fifth Tuesday of the month” and that’s when Nighthawks shoots an L-Match. If you haven’t shot one before, you have a real treat in store. Think of a gigantic X ring with an even larger 10 ring. Everyone shoots much higher scores; this is a great ego-booster after those tiny B-16 Slow Fire bullseye or the 3-second face time of the International Rapid Fire targets.

What’s your record X count? Are you ready to break it?

“Wow, I cleaned the target!” will be heard more than once next week. Maybe you will be the one to shout it out next Tuesday?

Here are the details in case you’ve forgotten.

  • Next: L-Match 900 November 30th.
  • What: Nighthawks (every Tuesday from mid-September through mid-June)
  • When: Tuesday evening (practice earlier if you wish)
  • Time: 6:45PM Luck Target, 7:00PM Competition (arrive early to set up)
  • Where: Pistol range, PR&GC, 915 W. Olney Dr, Phoenix AZ 85041
  • Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members
  • Ammo: 100 rounds suggested (more if you want extra practice earlier)
  • Extra: $1 for a Luck Target (cash prize!)
  • Beginners: Always welcome
  • Format: Bullseye 900 on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, International [Olympic center fire] on the 2nd and 4th, and a Police “L” Match on the twice-a-year 5th Tuesdays. Shoot one- or two-handed as you wish.
  • More: Reply to this email with your request (mailto: ed@flat5.net) Or call me, Ed Skinner, 623-203-9038 (cell), 602-866-8910 (home)

See you “On the line!”

Fall Temperatures Arrive Next Week!

Hot? Did someone say it’s hot in Arizona? And at the end of September?

[Phew!]

On the new pistol range clock that shows the time in both analog and digital forms, set by radio, as well as the current temperature, it was 97 degrees for the first shot at 7:00PM last night at the Phoenix Rod and Gun Club’s weekly Nighthawks shoot. And the humidity seemed to be up a bit and, just to make matters worse, there wasn’t a breath of wind.

But we know how to deal with that. We set up the big fan to move some air down the line and it was quite tolerable.

And we had a great time. (In other words, “you missed it!” :)

George and I shot Luck Targets at 6:30PM, the coin toss said high score would win and so George won back his dollar.

And then at 7:00PM, we ran an (almost) “by the book” International match to get accustomed to the slightly different rules. Magazines and guns were loaded only after the “Load” command was given and we shot five rounds in five minutes on the Precision Fire targets. But when “all record shots” had been fired, we skipped the remaining time and then fired the next five on the same targets. (In a formal competition, there would have been a target change after each five Precision Fire shots.)

When we got to Rapid (aka Duelling) Fire, a couple of visitors from the action pistol range had stopped by. We invited them to join us for the “action” part of the competition and they agreed. To get the “newbies” (from the action pistol range) familiar with the form, we did two sighter series, one for those who knew the Rapid Fire format, and then again for the newcomers.

(Beginners, even those with experience in other shooting sports, are always welcome!)

I shot a personal best in Rapid Fire, a 94, on my last target! But let me quickly add, I was using an “illegal” gun. Not only was the caliber too large (45 ACP is over the 38 caliber maximum), and I was also using a red dot instead of iron sights.

But even with the (illegal) advantage of a red dot sight, that score still wasn’t good enough.

Bill Poole trounced me by 20 points (553 versus 533) *AND* he shot iron sights and 32 caliber, a legal gun. (“I fought the law and the law won!”)

Bill won the “best score of the evening” prize, a copy of “A Pistol Shooters Treasury” with the admonishion, “if you already have a copy, pass this one to someone deserving.” (Spread the word!)

Earlier this week I swapped emails with a couple of regulars and as we get into October, they will be returning. That’s also when the “Mountain Men” (Show Low summer residents), mid-westerners (from Chicago) and other “snow birds” begin their return to Phoenix. The line will be filling up from here on.

And if you’re visiting Phoenix from out of town, come on by the range (address below) — someone’s bound to have an extra gun and some ammo — we’d be delighted to have you visit!

Also, our beginners from last week have also promised to return. (I think last night’s heat put them off but next week promises to be very nice — much cooler [at last]).

Attendance is ramping up as the heat goes down.

Bill Poole will be calling the line for next week’s Conventional format event. (I’ll be in the Bay area on business as well as paying an evening visit to the Sunnyvale Gun Club to renew friendships and push a few rounds downrange. I’ll be back in Phoenix the week after.)

The weather forecast for Phoenix next Tuesday is down nearly 20 degrees from the highs of this week — it should be really nice. The low next Tuesday is expected to be 71 degrees and at 6:30PM it should be a very nice evening to be out enjoying the stars — and shooting a couple of Xs, a few 10s and 9s and, hopefully, nothing less.

The heat is gone.

That was it; no more summer.

Hello fall in Arizona!

Here are the details in case you’ve forgotten.

  • Next: Bullseye 900 October 5th
  • What: Nighthawks (every Tuesday from mid-September through mid-June)
  • When: Tuesday evening (practice earlier if you wish)
  • Time: 6:30PM Luck Target, 7:00PM Competition (arrive early to set up)
  • Where: Pistol range, PR&GC, 915 W. Olney Dr, Phoenix AZ 85041
  • Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members
  • Ammo: 100 rounds suggested (more if you want extra practice earlier)
  • Extra: $1 for a Luck Target (cash prize!)
  • Beginners: Always welcome
  • Format: Bullseye 900 on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, International [Olympic center fire] on the 2nd and 4th, and a Police “L” Match on the twice-a-year 5th Tuesdays. Shoot one- or two-handed as you wish.
  • More: Email to me, ed@flat5.net, or call (Ed Skinner) 623-203-9038 (cell), 602-866-8910 (home)

See you “On the line!”

Nighthawks Great Season Start!

Wow, what a turnout!
We had a total of ten (10) shooters last night for the Nighthawks weekly event at the Phoenix Rod and Gun Club in spite of the unseasonal heat. That included three beginners and one out-of-state visitor. (Beginners and visitors is how the ranks will be built up. They are always welcome!)

At 6:30PM we shot Luck Targets and, by the coin toss, the low score won — John Zurek’s meager 14 points brought him a $3 cash prize. (John Zurek won with a *low* score? Yup, anything can happen with the Luck Target.)

Then, with three newcomers, we observed an extra fifteen minutes of safety instruction before starting the Bullseye 900 at 7:15PM. The regulars completed their three Slow Fire targets in the normal ten minutes each but, again, some extra time was allotted for the beginners. (Safety, safety, safety.)

But by the time we reached the first Timed Fire in the National Match Course, the beginners were comfortable with the equipment and procedures so we made up most of the lost time.

One of the newcomers shot several very impressive targets. She was a natural for the sport.

The grand prize for the evening, a copy of A Pistol Shooter’s Treasury, was awarded to the high score of the evening (regardless of gun or number of hands used) to Jason Demont. Jason, who has advanced well up the Bullseye rankings over the past several years, said it was a very welcome prize as he had heard of but never read the book. Several shooters smiled and warned that his shooting may temporarily decline as he integrates new skills from the book into his performance at the line but the experts then agreed it would ultimately prove to be a significant boon to his or anyone’s shooting.

Summer has officially ended and, hopefully, the worst of the heat is now behind us. And evn though it was hot last night, there were no bugs (nor snakes) and there was even a hint of rain. Next Tuesday we shoot the International format, Olympic Center Fire. Personally, I find the Duelling Fire in that form to be extremely challenging and yet, at the same time, I often get a really good laugh when I look at the scattered holes in my target. Someday, I’ll master Duelling Fire. [Sigh.]

Hope to see you next Tuesday!

Here are the details in case you’ve forgotten.

  • What: Nighthawks (every Tuesday from mid-September through mid-June)
  • When: 6:30PM Tuesday evening (practice earlier if you wish)
  • Where: Pistol range, PR&GC, 915 W. Olney Dr, Phoenix AZ 85041
  • Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members
  • Ammo: 100 rounds suggested (more if you want extra practice earlier)
  • Extra: $1 for a Luck Target (cash prize!)
  • Beginners: Always welcome
  • Format: Bullseye 900 on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, International [Olympic center fire] on the 2nd and 4th, and a Police “L” Match on the twice-a-year 5th Tuesdays. Shoot one- or two-handed as you wish.
  • More: Send email (mailto: ed@flat5.net) or call me, Ed Skinner, 623-203-9038 (cell), 602-866-8910 (home)

See you “On the line!”

Nighthawks 06/01/2010



“Where the heck’s
my front sight?”

It’s “traditional Bullseye 900” this coming week (Tuesday, June 1, 2010) at Nighthawks in Phoenix Arizona. Shoot any handgun (no magnums, please — range rules) and one- or two-handed as you prefer. Bring 100 rounds, more if you come early and want to practice before the match that begins at 6:30PM.

Shoot your 22, a 38, 9 mm, 45 cal, whatever you want. Shoot an automatic, a classy (or ugly) revolver, or … gee, is there anything else?

We will shoot three different ways this week:

  • Slow Fire – ten rounds in ten minutes (tiny targets at 25 yards!),
  • Timed Fire – five rounds in twenty seconds (twice on BIG targets at 25 yards), and
  • Rapid Fire – five rounds in ten seconds (twice on BIG targets at 25 yards).

Each form has different challenges:

  • Slow Fire – Perform and polish your “shot plan” (what you do) on each shot,
  • Timed Fire – Sight alignment and trigger control are paramount, and
  • Rapid Fire – Recoil recovery and getting back on the target are critical.

Last week we shot the Olympic-style Center Fire and, as always, that Duelling Fire is a real hoot. Sorry you missed it because we had a blast. On one of the Duelling Fire shots a large bug flew into the electronic bug zapper and let out a three second “sizzle and pop” just as the targets faced. I was so distracted I almost forgot to shoot as I waited for the bug to finish frying! (Glad I wasn’t standing where the smell or small parts went!)

  • What: Nighthawks (every Tuesday except July, August and 1st half of Sept.)
  • When: 6:30PM Tuesday evening (practice earlier if you wish — bring more ammo)
  • Where: Pistol range, Phoenix Rod and Gun Club, 915 W. Olney Dr, Phoenix AZ 85041
  • Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members
  • Ammo: 100 rounds suggested (more if you want extra practice — come early!)
  • Extra: $1 for a Luck Target (cash prize!)
  • Beginners: Always welcome
  • Format: Conventional Pistol (Bullseye) 900 this week
  • More: Contact me with your request by email ed@flat5.net or phone 623-203-9038 (cell), 602-866-8910 (home)

See you “On the line!”