Sunday, December 27, 2015

Isn't this Sport Great!

Boxing day 2015 was a pretty typical day for the Arizona Gunslingers except for the cold windy weather. Thirty-three shooters braved the cold weather including some from Texas, Idaho and Iowa.

The format: We shoot a no X "I came to shoot" format for as many rounds as we can get in.  After the seeding rounds, the field is divided into three equal brackets based on Xs and time out and we hold a 1 X magnificent shoot off.  We therefore get three champions and everyone gets to shoot in a magnificent shoot off.  So Saturday we had three magnificent eleven shoot-offs.

Bracket C:  The top seed in Bracket C was Hogleg Willie from the Loess Hills of Western Iowa. He is a new shooter with less than 1.year in the game. Also from the Loess Hills was Council Bluff Ranger seeded seventh.  The Ranger was on a roll putting three or four to boothill.  Isn't this game great.

Also in bracket C was Texas Gunny shooting in his very first shoot.  He is the father of Smoking Shawn, a  deadly new shooter.  In the third round Texas Gunny was matched up against World Champion Miss Kitty and he won.  Where else can a new shooter in his third match go up against a World Champion and win.  Isn't this game great.

Bracket B:  The three top women shooters ended the seeding rounds all with two Xs.  Seeding is by Xs first, then fastest time out in the last round. Therefore there is a speed bias, after all it is "fastdraw."  So, Holli Day went to Bracket A, and Miss Kitty was seeded 1 in Bracket B and Southwest KC seeded 3rd in Bracket B. In the finals of Bracket B it was Miss Kitty against Southwest KC.   Isn't this game great.

Bracket A; It was exactly one year ago that Holli Day started her fastdraw career. No one can argue that she has not entered the realm of the quick.  She finished 10th overall, being sent to compete with the quick and the deadly.  Bracket A was a interesting mixture of the Quick (Sub 4 shooters) at the bottom of the bracket, including Holli Day, and the Deadly (those who don't practice missing) in the middle of the bracket, and near the top of the bracket, the quick and the deadly from Shady Mtn.  Wyoming Ranger, shooting the long gun in the 6s did his part to take care of the Quick. Four shooters from Shady Mtn were left to face the Windmill Kid, the # 1 seed. The finals were between Windmill Kid and Alleluia.  There is a bit of history here, the last meeting of these shooters  making the front page of The Daily Republic of Mitchell, South Dakota, because Windmill just looks like a cowboy shooter.  The results were the same.  We don't practice missing on Shady Mountain.

Isn't this sport great!  Where else can such a varied group of skill levels, ages, and quickness, compete and everyone has a chance to win.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Dilemma, Rule 17, A Positive View

"Life has a way of making the foreseeable never happen, and the unforeseeable that which your life becomes"  Everett Hitch.

This fall I was going to become a new man.  I had gotten a couple of long guns, was going change my draw, in part to stand more upright for my aching back, and change my alias to shed some ill gotten reputation.  I figured three thousand rounds of wax would do the trick.  About five hundred rounds into the new venture, I decided to abandon the effort, being dishearten with my lack of speed and mostly accuracy.  So I abandoned the change and rededicated myself to the short gun.  Two days later the Gazette arrives with Rule #17.

The Dilemma, now what to do?

Option #1:  I could go to the long gun.  Add 3 inches and I will be clearly out front of the holster pouch cut.  I have a Colt which I can get out of the Shaniko holster in the high 4s and be "clearly obvious" with about 40% accuracy.  I struggle to get the shot up and find myself again leaning back which is painful for me.  My backup gun is a New Vaquero which I have yet to get out of the holster.  That wax just rattles down the holster with the New Vaquero.

Option #2: The Colt long gun came with a 5 inch barrel.  I can put the five inch barrel on and I would in fact be compliant with Rule #17.  Although I am sure the additional inch would put me out in front, I am not sure it would be "clearly obvious." I would also need another backup gun with a 5 inch barrel.

Option #3:  I can change my draw.  I use the locked elbow draw as most quick shooters do.  I have controlled my elevation by my balance and my stance has a pronounced backward lean.  See the following:
Note that the gun is fired about 1 inch behind the front cut, a guess but probably correct.  Adding one inch or three inches to the barrel would probably solve the issue except one inch would not be "clearly obvious." (This was a winning shot of .415)

I am a old fella and shooting this way is painful.  I think I can comply with the Rule #17 simply by standing more upright.  If I stand more upright my shoulder will move forward more than a foot and I believe the front of the barrel with move forward to be "clearly obvious" outside the front holster pouch.  I think I will give this a try.  For bucket work, I need to recalculate my target height.  My new shooting height is 45 inches which makes my target height 46 inches at 5 feet.  My problem will be getting the shot up, but I think that it is doable, just need lots of wax.

Rule #17 may be a blessing in the end for me because it may cause me to shoot in a more comfortable stance and add years to my shooting life.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Did he really mean to say that? Rule#17

As the Counselor astutely points out, "It must be clearly obvious to the Line Judge that the front end of the barrel is in front of the outside of the front holster pouch cut."  It is a guilty until proven otherwise standard.  Applying that standard a fair and reasonable Line Judge would have to conclude that the draws of the following gunslingers violate rule #17: Oregon Ranger, Master Gunfighter, The Draw, Old West, Marshall Cooper, Caleb, Beaver Creek Kid, Boulder Vaquero, and a host of other quick shooters.

Did he really mean to say that?

I have good video from the Great Plains Territorial of Beaver Creek Kid.  Watching at slow motion 1/8 speed it would be "clearly obvious" to a fair and reasonable line judge that he is shooting in front of the outside of the pouch.  However, to the naked eye at real time speed, it is also a reasonable conclusion that it is not clearly obvious that the barrel is in front of the outside of the pouch.  Buzzard Cooper is interesting because he was shooting between .385 and .430 depending on the competition. To the naked eye at .430 it is "clearly obvious" that he is in front of the outside of the holster pouch.  He shoots a very pronounced level and follow through draw.  However, at .385, it may not be "clearly obvious" that he is in front the outside of the pouch, but most would give him the benefit of watching his slower draws.  Old West is also a proponent of the level and follow through draw.  You would think he would not have a problem with this rule, but as Old West has gotten faster he to has a draw that may not be "clearly obvious" to a line judge.  Boulder Vaquero has a draw that is not "clearly obvious" in front of the pouch by the naked eye, but at 1/8 slow motion speed you can see he pokes the gun forward just beyond the lip. The correct call with Boulder would be a technical violation, even though factually he is out front.

Some shooters have such a quick draw, in the 90-110 millisecond range, such as Parttime, Thirsty, and Master  Gunfighter, that it is impossible to see where the gun is fired. This rule says if you can't see it, "must be clearly obvious", then it is behind the pouch and a technical violation.

Some have commented that the photo on the cover of the Gazette shows Master Gunfighter and Oregon Ranger clearly in front of the holster. That is not what is depicted, what is depicted is the flail after the shot.  By the story and the times posted, it is obvious to me that a fair and reasonable line judge would have had to conclude that it was not "clearly obvious" that the gun was fired in front of the pouch for both shooters.  Having hand judged Master Gunfighter at World, I personally know nothing is "clearly obvious" concerning where he fires from.  Oregon Ranger uses a hip thrust which projects the holster forward. I have also watch him closely at World and it is not "clearly obvious" that he is firing in front of the outside of the holster pouch.

Powder Keg on facebook has been accepting of this rule saying he can make an adjustment in his draw, which he can.  I have a lot of video on Powder Keg and he has a very consistent compact draw.  He fires between 1/2 inch behind to 1/2 inch in front of the lip of the pouch. He is between .35 to .39 in times with the faster being behind the lip and the slower in front of the lip.  He can make the adjustment to the rule.  Unfortunately, that will not solve the problem.  Even if he is well in front of the lip of the pouch, it will not be "clearly obvious" to a line judge and therefore the correct ruling would be a technical violation.

Did he really mean to say that?

Some of us wear stain protectors, mostly because the little woman objects to the "ruined shirts."  Most do not because the "gunslinger badge" is a sign that you have arrived and finally entered the realm of the quick.  I am going discard the protector at least in titled events because it probably tags me as one to be watched and secondly because the "gunslinger badge" may be useful to prove I do not shoot behind the holster.  If a line judge is ever appointed for me,  I will whip out my 4 inch ruler and show the line judge that my "gunslinger badge" is exactly four inches behind the front of my holster pouch cut.  For New Vaqueros, it is 4 1/2 inches from headspace to tip of the barrel.

I don't think anyone would have any objection to Rule #17, "Discharging the gun with the muzzle behind the holster is not allowed."  I think that is pretty simple and straight forward. Sort of like the boot shot rule.  It is in the implementation that there is a problem.  The implementing sentence sets a guilty unless proven by naked eye standard and prohibits shots from above the holster, not behind the holster but above the holster.  This is the dominant shot in cowboy fast draw today. The shot just as the barrel clears leather.

Did he really mean to say that?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Certified Armed Citizen

On September 7, 1876, in Northfield, Minnesota, the environment was not much different than today when the terrorists attacked except the citizens had the tools needed and the skill set to use those tools to repel the attackers (James/Younger gang).

Our government should do nothing to solve our problems except provide a framework for its citizens to solve their own problems. We don't solve anything by pouring money on it.

I propose the following federal statute:

Section One:  Each sovereign state is hereby authorized to implement a firearm training program wherein its citizen receive training in the use of firearms, firearm safety, and firearm proficiency.  Upon successful completion of the training the state shall issue to the citizen a certificate certifying the citizen as a certified armed citizen and a distinctive patch of at least 4 by 2 inches.

Section Two:  Any certified armed citizen may travel anywhere within the United States with his/her firearm provided the citizen displays on their outer garment their certified armed citizen patch and at least one fluorescent orange sleeve.  The certified armed citizen  may possess his/her firearm at any location irrespective of any state or local  law to the contrary except in buildings and facilities where access is controlled by armed guards.

Section Three:  The sovereign states may implement this program by authorizing private entities to provide such training.


We need to get back to a time when citizens could and would defend themselves.  I think we could learn from Switzerland which requires its citizen's to be trained and armed.

I am not sure I would carry but think I should have the right to do so anywhere that security is not provided.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hunt on Mount X

We had just about as good an opening day on Mtn X (identity withheld) as possible, saw 7 shootable bulls, 3 5X5s, 3 6X6s, and a 5x7 which we harvested.  Had he not broken off a tine he would been a 6x7.  I was hunting with my son-in-law, Ben, with grandson, Isaiah, spotting on Mtn X.  It is an rocky outcropping with about 4-5000 acres to the east which you can looking down onto.  The west side is a 4-5000 acres plateau which is dense juniper and unhuntable.  The plateau to the West is a bull haven because it is so unhuntable. We have never seen a cow on Mtn X, only bulls, normally in groups of two, a large bull and then a 5X5.  When hunted, the bulls on the flats to the east move onto Mtn X to escape either to the south or the north of the peak.  From the top you can see them moving and intercept them.  I had a tree stand about 1000 yards east of the peak on the tip of a large canyon with mature pine trees.

Opening morning, Ben and Isaiah, hiked to the peak and I due to my years was in the tree stand.  First a 6x6 and a 5x5 moved up onto Mtn X on the north side out of gun range.  Next, a massive (Isaaih's term) 6x6 and a 5x5 headed up to Mtn X but were turned by late arriving hunters, the hunters left and the elk continued their route to Ben and Isaiah to within gun range. Ben opened up and believed he hit the 6x6 on the fourth  shot.  The elk bedded.  Ben waited about 30 minutes then proceeded to the elk on foot while Isaiah spotted from the peak.  Ben jumped the elk from it's bed and it ran about 50 yards then walked into a treed area where Isaiah lost sight of him..

I mean while was in the tree stand 1000 yards away.  From the shots I waited about an hour watching north where I had in previous years seen elk escape to the east.  After an hour I decided to leave and go help Ben look for his elk.  I unloaded my gun and turned to tie it on a rope to lower it down. At that moment I see the 5x5 which had separated from the bigger bull only about 15 feet from the stand heading directly to the tree I was in from the southwest.  I hurried to load the gun and the sound alerted the elk and he looked up at about 10 feet from the tree.  I don't who was more startled.  He turn and fled. I got the scope on him and fired only to miss.  I was happy I missed as he was a bull I should have passed on.  I then went to help Ben find the elk which we believed to have been hit.  We searched and searched and searched and never could find hide nor hair nor blood.  So we concluded he was not hit after all.

Evening found us all on Mtn X, I on a lower bench watching the north route.  Ben and Isaiah on the peak overlooking the flats.  They see two bulls to the south at about 275 yards.  Ben hits the 5x7 dropping him dead in a small clearing.  He shot  him at about 4:30 p.m.  It took us until 11:00 to get him packed out.  Long day. Best of days.

Lessons to be be relearned.  Don't get fixated on one area.  Had I been scanning all around I should have seen the 5x5 approach from at least 150 yards.  Effort is rewarded.  Ben had hiked onto the mountain the night before and slept there to make sure we were the first there.  It is always interesting to watch the latecomers show up about 2 hours too late and see how the elk easily avoid them.

Well, still have my tag.  Hope to be on mountain X for the last morning of the season.