From The Shooter’s Box
Most big time operations have a column in their publication called “From The Executive Director”, or “From The President”, or whatever, so the head poobah can dispense his wisdom to the masses. In this association, were pretty much all shooters, and the concept of sitting behind a fancy desk preaching to the flock just doesn’t work for me. I spend a lot of time in the shooter’s box turning money into smoke, noise, and fun, so think of this page as a conversation in the shooter’s box visiting with the RO, and waiting for “Make Ready”. If there is some news to spread around, this is where you will probably hear about it first.
July 5th., 2015 Wow, where does the time go? It’s been a while since I got around to posting anything new here! Yes, I had a bit of distraction with some open heart surgery, but six weeks after I got out of the hospital I was back shooting matches. I had to stick to rimfire for a while as it hurt too much to draw from a holster, but what the heck, it was still fun, and no, I didn’t ask the doctor if I could start competing again! Since I already knew what his answer would be, there was no point in asking!
In May I traveled to Holland for the European Steel Challenge Championships. held indoors in the small town of Winterswijk. This was the best organized and smoothest run match I have ever seen. Cees Van Diepen and Eric Rusink did an amazing job! ISSA was well represented, with Tilmann Keith, our guy in Germany, Endre Laszlo, our guy in Hungary, and myself, all shooting several divisions each. All three of us won medals! Endre won Iron Sight Rimfire, and along with Tilmann and another excellent shooter from Hungary, took second in Rimfire team, right behind KC Eusebio and two Italian guys. My Rimfire team came in third for a bronze medal, and all three of us were Seniors too! Old guys can still rock and roll!!
Earlier this year I headed to Eastern Washington to shoot in the inaugural ISSA steel match at the Rattlesnake Mountain club in Benton City, Washington. They have a beautiful range, and the match went smoothly. They had a good turnout for their first match, with over fifty entries. I didn’t see any rattlesnakes, but they assured me there are plenty of them around!
The Washington State ISSA Steel Championships at the Ephrata Sportsmen’s Club in Ephrata, WA. was also a great match. The match was totally filled, and the stages were all fun and fast. Grant did a fine job keeping everything rolling along smoothly. If you want to shoot this match next year you might want to email Grant Galbreath at email@example.com and ask him to put you on his email list so you will know when the match is open for entries.
Another great match earlier this year was the Yakima Rifle and Pistol Association’s Yakima Classic. Eight stages that were created just for the match, and no one except Larry Davis, the match director, knew what they were going to be, and no one got to practice them before the match either! It wasn’t an ISSA match, but a great match none the less!
If your club would like to come on board with ISSA and start shooting ISSA matches, it’s easy to do, and well worth it. Having a standardized set of rules and divisions is a big incentive for a shooter to come to your matches, since they know what to expect, and there are no ugly surprises! If your club might be interested in hosting a State Championship, and you have the facilities to do so, let us know. ISSA is still a new organization, and most State’s Championships are still available. It only costs $50 per year for your club to affiliate with ISSA, and you can do it on line, or, if you prefer, you can print out the application form and mail it in with a check. Either way is quick and easy! There is no ‘per entry’ fee for club level matches, and for championship level matches it is only $1.25 per entry. If you want to join as an ISSA Member, that’s also really easy, and it’s only $25.00 per year. Personally, I wish we could do it all without any money involved at all, but it does cost a bit to run ISSA. We will be sending out new membership cards to everyone who recently joined, as soon as our new (to us) card printer gets here. We had been laser engraving the names onto the membership cards, until we found out that laser engraving on PVC plastic produces cyanide! We found a good used ID card printer on ebay, and that should be here next week.
July 31st. On Saturday, July 26th. we all converged on Smelterville, Idaho (just East Of Coeur d’Alene in the Idaho Panhandle) for the ISSA Idaho State Championships. Although we are new, and the Idaho Panhandle Practical Shooters are a small club, everything was well organized and went off without a hitch. The best part of the whole match, though, was how much fun everyone had! For those of us who arrived on Friday before the match, we got together of a grand evening of BBQ’d steaks and chicken, followed by some good old fashioned socializing. We have decided to make the night before the match BBQ an annual event we had such a good time! We plan for next year to be even bigger and better, so make a mental note that when you see the match announced, you need to start making plans to be there too!
April 29th. As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted anything here for over a month. Not that I didn’t want to, though, but…….
About a month ago I was running a match, and I started to feel a little bit of chest pain. Not a lot, and it really didn’t hurt very much, and after a few minutes, it went away. Nonetheless, on the following Monday I decided to go check with a doctor and see what was going on. One test led to another, and one doctor led to another, and finally I ended up in the hospital for an angiogram. It turns out that I had three heart arteries all three of which were almost completely blocked. It was suggested rather strongly that I needed to be into surgery absolutely as soon as possible. I spent the next day at the hospital preparing for surgery, and at 7 AM the following morning I went in for a triple bypass operation. The first 10 days or so after the operation were kind of rough, but once some of the medications were sorted out, I started showing improvement. It is now about 3 1/2 weeks after the surgery, and my recovery is ahead of schedule. If all goes well, I may be back in the shooter’s box in a few weeks. unfortunately, this episode will cause me to miss the European steel championships and also the man of steel championships in Oregon. If my recovery continues on schedule, those should be the only major matches that I will miss out on.
March 24th. After some discussion, we have made a very small rule change to change “.38 Special” to “.38 Caliber” under “Ammunition”. This allows .38 Short Colt to be used. Since .38 Short Colt is quite similar to 9mm. in size, and can make power factor well above the minimum requirement, it made no sense to allow 9mm. and not allow .38 Short Colt.
Welcome to Endre Laszlo, our ISSA Contact in Hungary. Endre will be traveling to Winterswijk, Holland in May for the European Steel Championships. Endre, Andre Hartelman (a Dutch shooter) and I will be competing in the rimfire team division.
March 11th: Thanks to the sharp eyes of a couple of folks, it came to my attention that there was a spot in the rules that could be interpreted either of two ways. After reading it over myself, it was clear that a little editing was needed to make it more clear. As previously worded, it was possible to interpret that any shots fired after the stop plate had been hit could be considered as misses, and should be penalized for the misses. The problem was that the rule did not clearly differentiate between missed shots and missed plates. Missed plates draw a penalty. Missed shots do not. For example, you can shoot at a plate twice, but as long as you hit it at least once, there is no penalty, even though there may have been one missed shot. If you missed the plate with both shots and then hit the stop plate, you would be penalized for the missed plate.
Here’s the revised rule:
STOP PLATE HITS: Once the Stop Plate has been hit, regardless of where the shooter fired the shot from, any un-hit primary plates cannot be hit. Shots fired after the Stop plate has been hit count only as missed shots, but not as missed plates. However, they do add to your time for the run. In short, once you have hit the stop plate, stop shooting. The timer will not be backed up if you shoot the Stop Plate more than once.
March 8th, 2014: Vincent, our contact representative in France, is also a Gun Blogger, in addition to being an enthusiastic shooter. He has translated our ISSA Home Page into French for the benefit of our friends in France and parts of Canada, too! Here’s the link to his blog post: http://viedepassion.blogspot.com/2014/03/international-steel-shooting-association.html
March 3rd., 2014: I went over to the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club’s Fun Steel match yesterday near Bremerton, Washington, , and although it rained all day, we still had a good time. The first stage was a variation of ISSA Time Tunnel, but made a little bit longer to make it a little harder, and re-named “Long Time Tunnel”.