Blog Entries
Primer Shortage--Powder Valley's Take On The Issue
Category: Member Blogs

Interesting explanation.  Depressing though.  It would be nice to have the Wolf/Russian primers again.  Sigh!

Match Dates And Problems
Category: Member Blogs

Isn't it odd how, with so few opportunities to shoot the full 200, 300, 600 yard course of fire, different clubs end up scheduling matches on the same days?  It's the bane of my existence as a match director.  I always prioritize the dates for Bucksnort, Camp Perry, NRA, and Mill Creek.  That is, I try to schedule our matches not to conflict.  Joplin is a nice club to shoot at and they shoot on Sunday, which makes scheduling a breeze (for me).


One place I like to shoot is the St. Louis Benchrest Club.  It's an outstanding facility and the matches are very well run.  I love it (except for the drive).  Unfortunately, the Highpower program there gets last choice on dates.  I've heard this from four different match directors over the years.  That's just the way it is.  Other disciplines are larger and have more pull.  But even so, USUALLY a guy can work something out with the powers that be.  Below is the schedule for 2021 St. Louis Benchrest.  Some of their stuff conflicts with ours (that's inevitable) but October 3 and 4?  Wow!  And I emailed Fritz (match director) about it--that's all he was given.  Just to finish this out on St. Louis, if you don't know, Bucksnort holds Missouri's biggest matches on the first weekend in May, the first weekend in June, the last weekend in August before any conflict with Labor Day, and the first weekend in October.  Always.  Since Genesis was published.  And that first weekend in October is always a huge match and party.  You don't want to miss it.  So what happens?  Look!

St. Louis matches: (XTC means 200, 300, 600, and MRP means mid-range prone--600 yards)

  • XTC - April 17
  • XTC - May 22
  • MRP - May 23
  • MRP - Aug 08
  • XTC - Aug 14
  • XTC - Oct 02
  • MRP - Oct 03

And just in case you were wondering, here is the Osage Orange match schedule I have submitted (not yet approved):

SaturdayJanuary 23
Saturday February 27
Saturday March 20
Saturday April 17
Saturday May 15
Saturday June 12
Saturday July 17
Saturday August 14
Saturday September 25
Saturday October 16


Conflict will never cease.

Leg Match-Rapid Fire Loading
Category: Member Blogs

Oof!  I just learned that I don't know the rules.  Apparently in 2018 (!!!) the CMP changed Competition rules so that you can load 5 and 5 in magazines for rapid fire using the AR15.  (M1 is still 2 and 8).  I just looked it up and studied everything on rapid fire in the rule book.  How' I miss that?    (I know, maybe I knew that but forgot it.  Yeah, that's it, I just forgot it.)  Feel like a fool.

Very Quick On Missouri Mid-Range Championship
Category: Member Blogs

For me it was a beautiful four days at the Bucksnort range practicing and shooting.  Although the nights and mornings were on the cool side, the shooting weather was perfect.  Well, almost perfect.  We had to delay the start of Saturday's match for a half hour to let the rain pass, but it wasn't much rain and it did pass.  All went well, and there wasn't enough wind to bother anyone.


I'll have to wait for the official results to come out because Bucksnort uses clay tablets and an abacus to do the statistics, but I can report on a few notable events.  Steve Hoy was on his way to being some kind of hero until he decided to spread the joy onto someone else's target.  He finished with a 785 (out of 800) including the goose egg score on the crossfire.  Those who have and those who will, but some seem eternally condemned.


Ken Foster (from Nebraska and a frequent attendee at Bucksnort matches) shot a 800 out of 800.  But since Bucksnort adheres to very old concepts, he was not the official match winner. The pre-match briefing by Cristafer Strannigan included the instructions to note in the official match program that two of the four 20-shot strings must be shot using iron sights.  Ken used a scope for all four of his strings.  Thus his perfect point total merits a mere asterisk in the final bulletin.


It was my pleasure to shoot with Morgen Dietrich from Iowa, an accomplished shooter in highpower, long range, and smallbore.  I don't know this, but I'm guessing he is the official winner with a 799.  The only point he dropped was using a scope, and I was fortunate to be scorer when he shot a 200-16x using iron sights.  That's fun for this old shooter to watch!


Speaking of this old shooter, I am blessed, the recipient of more good luck than any one man should have.  Sunday morning I happened to be loading my truck at the motel just as Terry Nakano checked out.  He looked at my truck and let out some sort of nasty exclamation.  Since it was before dawn, I hadn't noticed the flat tire.  Here's the culprit:

No, it wasn't the shotgun shell.  The other thing made a heck of a hole.  Terry and I got the tire changed in less than 10 minutes.  Well, Terry changed it after I jacked up the truck.  It would have taken me a good bit more time on my own.  Still, we made it to the match earlier than I normally do anyway.  And just for fun, when I got home I used my handy-dandy do-it-yourself plug kit (with the tarry, ropey, plug), re-installed the tire, and it's still holding air this morning.  What could be better?  Everything was as easy as could be.  It was a great weekend.


And, in case you were wondering, I shot a 197 on each of my strings using my new White Oak scope.  Anyone want to buy a scope?

Do You Know...
Category: Member Blogs

...what the copper jacket of a 52 grain Sierra MatchKing weighs?  That's just the jacket, not the lead.  (As if, for example, they formed a perfectly normal-looking bullet out of the jacket but forgot to put the lead core in.)  Answer: 15 grains.


And if you get some of those in your batch of bullets and load and fire them along with your normal ammunition, you will get a squib load.  Every time.  Ask me how I know.

Col. Charles Askins
Category: Member Blogs

Col. Askins had a monthly column in the Rifleman when I first joined the NRA.  At first, I didn't know what to think of his writing, especially since in one column he related an ambush killing.  And even for me, someone fairly steeped in old, Victorian English, his use of the language seemed antiquated.  His knowledge of guns, on the other hand, was voluminous, and mine was non-existent since I had 'discovered' firearms and hunting all on my own.  Col. Askins' autobiography is 'Unrepentant Sinner,' and from what I can tell, the 'sinner' part is correct.  Still, the humor in his writing left me with a great affection for Col. Askins, and I misted up the day I read of his passing.


So today, taking a link from the Facebook Highpower page I ran into this article on booze and shooting.  What a howler! 




His swan song.



KS-SR-Ch, Ron Rumpf Distinguished Rifleman
Category: Member Blogs

Mill Creek Rifle Club in De Soto KS hosted the Kansas Service Rifle Championship Saturday September 12 and an Excellence In Competition match on Sunday.  Saturday's match had but 17 shooters, and more than half were from Missouri.  Many of the usual suspects from Kansas and Missouri were missing. Mike Borkon and Greg Krebaum took home the Championship and the Mike Van Dyke award (for the highest Mill Creek member).  I can't remember which went to who.


In Sunday's match with 18 shooters, John Bonjour took top honors with a 490, Caleb Smith took first leather with a 481, and Brad Wynes took second leather with a 480.  The big news was that the only leg given out went to Ron Rumpf (485), and this put him over the top with 32 points to make him Missouri's newest Distinguished Rifleman.  Caleb and Brad will be happy that Ron's scores no longer count towards legs in EIC matches.


The weather was perfect, and we even went out to dinner at JT's Sports Bar.  Good times, good times.

August 28, 2020, High Tide?
Category: Member Blogs
Cheaper Than Dirt, the online retail establishment, sent me an email add touting their good prices on ammunition. Buy now!! they screamed.

9mm Luger ammo, Winchester brand, $59.00 for 50 cartridges.

I checked their .22 ammo for my favorite, Aguila Standard, $19.98 for a box of 50. This is NOT "match" ammunition as the term is normally understood. I would use it for our matches and it is reliably good for practice, but I would not shoot it in an NRA Smallbore Prone match. No way. I would expect to pay $2.50-$4.00 a box of 50 depending on where I bought it. Twenty dollars? Holy smokes, we're in trouble.
Now Do It With Files, A Hacksaw, And A Drill Press
Category: Member Blogs

This Old Tony adds a sling swivel to an air rifle.  Chronograph usage included.

High Blood Pressure And Saturday
Category: Member Blogs

One of the disturbing pieces of "news" about the Covid-19 epidemic concerns the use of high blood pressure medication, ACE inhibitors and ARBs.  There is now some evidence that they can provide an enhanced entry for the COVID virus into cells in the lungs.  You can do your own "research" with Mr. Google and make of this what you will.  But I'm guessing most of our members are on one of these meds.  Makes you think.


I just wish to say this about our upcoming match: during registration I will do my best to adhere to social distancing guidelines; in fact, I'll probably wear a mask of some sort.  You might also consider wearing a face cover during registration.  A simple bandana around the mouth and nose is fine.  Out on the firing line I wouldn't expect anything but "normal."


As a generalization, the COVID-19 epidemic doesn't scare me too much.  But as match director, I feel a few extra pangs of responsibility bordering on guilt.  What if somebody is ill or gets ill?  We all have the same questions and doubts, I'm sure, so let's just be a little careful Saturday.  Consider it along the lines of burning incense or making a pentagram around your garden.  Maybe it will help.  Can't hurt.


And Now I Have A Big Problem
Category: Member Blogs

Here it is, in picture form

That looks really nice, eh?  Supposed to be Lapua 77 with 23.2 grains IMR 8208, a load I've been shooting for years.    But lookee what rapid fire practice provides:

Brass is good, powder charges a bit heavy (like, 24.4 or 24.5).  I put 50 of 'em in the tumbler for 20 min, that usually vibrates out loose primers.  Also pulled down a dozen and decapped them to measure primer pocket.  No sciencey answer other than the charge is too heavy for my rifle.  Damn!  That's a lot of slow fire ammunition in that can.  Actually, maybe just practice ammo or 600 ammo, because I couldn't stick a primer in the lower and then immediately have to shoot the sitting position.  Aw shucks!  Black powder's sounding better and better.

Category: Member Blogs

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