18 May 2013

Range Day

Temperatures here in the Sonoran Desert are still tolerable but we are about to start the steep climb into serious triple digit territory.  But today held in the mid-90s so we were good to go.

We hit the range with  the mission to shoot some ePostals.  This target was shot with a Ruger 10/.22 with an 8x optic sight.  This is something of an easy call at 25 yards.  OTOH, it's also there to set up an "easy" class to give noobs a good score with scoped rifles.

I kind of expected the 10000 point cyberdemon to be a big draw and if you score, it's worth the 10 shots.  I lost count of my hits and ended up with 12 on target.  Then I went for the BFG-9000 and cyberdemon.  Missed the BFG and only scored 1 on the cyberdemon so no scores there.

If you do the value per shot calculation, and take into consideration the target size, there are some targets well worth aiming for, and some that are not.

Recoil Therapy
BTW, The SCSon is turning into something of a recoil junky.  In his early days he was rather recoil sensitive.  But now with better understanding of shooting and how recoil ties into that, he now seeks it out as something to be tried... and conquered!

A few months ago he asked about shooting the .30-06 so we took the M1 Garand to the range, and he liked it.  Today he wanted to try the .44 Magnum.  Here he is firing full 240gr, 1300+fps rounds.  He tried a couple singles first, then moved on to a full cylinder.

Next stop... .300 Win Mag!  And he's already asking about that.  After that, anyone have a .50 cal he can shoot? (I'll buy the ammo)

Unfortunately this range day had a little more drama than usual.  I was trying to figure out why my 10/.22 wouldn't feed when I heard a range master asking a few benches down "Are you shot?  Are you hurt?"  Then he got on his radio to call for a cease fire "...we've had a gun blow up down here".  Apparently while walking up and down the line, the range master noticed someone sitting back on a bench bleeding enough to cause notice.

We cleared the weapons and held back behind the safe line.

The shooter was ambulatory but obviously in need of some medical attention for a bloody right hand.  "We need to get some pressure on that wound" called out the range master.  The injured shooter returned a few minutes later with the hand wrapped in paper towels from the bathroom.  I am surprised the range didn't have a better first aid kit with at least some sterile gauze.  Then again accidents are rare events.  I mentally reviewed the contents of my bag for 1st aid...  Couple bandaids are probably the best I could conjure.  Felt a pang of regret having been forewarned by other bloggers. (after all, learning from others is one reason for following blogs).  Note to self... procure a reasonable 1st aid kit and keep it in the range bag!

Putting together other evidence, it appears a round went off out of battery.  The SCSon reports he saw a piece of splayed brass and I found a mangled projectile.  I had the camera handy but this is one time I chose not to get the shot.  Blood & gore is not my game.

09 May 2013

May ePostal

If you've ever played First Person Shooter (FPS) video games, you've probably played Doom, the game that started it all.  The SCSon presents an ePostal match based on the original: Doom!

Course of fire:
Download and print target here.  (do not use the image above, it probably won't print correctly)
Download and print scoring here.  (this is the part that's delayed the posting)
Each target icon only scores once.  That is if a target icon requires one hit to score, additional hits score as misses.  If a target icon requires n-hits, anything >n scores as a miss.

20 shots.

Pistols: 25ft/10 yds or range minimum which ever is greater.  Standing unsupported, one or two hands. No time limit.

Rifles may be shot any position including off the bench, but rests such as sandbags and bi-pods are disallowed.  The fore end of the rifle must be supported by the offhand elbow.   No time limit.
  • Rimfire, both iron sights and scope: 25 yards.
  • Centerfire iron sight & scope: 50 yards
(see linked document)...  This section will be filled out in the future but for now I just want to get the match up.

Shoot as many times as you like with as many weapons as you can lay your grubby hands on.

Classes:  You got it? shoot it and we'll find a place to record the score. (I reserve the right to draw the line at tater-guns & scatter guns).
  1. .177 cal air pistol, iron sights (air or C02 powered)
  2. .177 cal air pistol, optic sights (air or C02 powered)
  3. .17/.22 cal rim fire pistol, iron sights
  4. .17/.22 cal rim fire pistol, magnified optical sights
  5. center fire pistol, iron sights
  6. center fire pistol, magnified optic sights
  7. .17/.22 cal rim fire rifle iron sights (25 yds)
  8. .17/.22 cal rim fire rifle magnified optic sights (25 yds)
  9. center fire rifle iron sights (50 yds)
  10. center fire rifle magnified optic sights (50 yds)
  11. other (anything that doesn't fit the above categories)
Non-magnified optic sights (e.g. reddot) count as iron sights.  1:1 "RedDot" sights might be slightly faster to align than normal iron sights as there is only one sight to get on target, not two.  But speed is not a factor in this game so it's a wash.  Take your time and make good hits with either system.

Score submissions: scan/photograph your target, fill in the gun info (make & model & caliber), distance, class, on-line identity (name/pseudonym as you want it on the score sheets, blog reference for linky love) however you want to be remembered on the score sheets... email to  
smallestconservative-at-hotmail-dot-com.  Might as well cc: me at 
SandCastleScrolls-at-msn-dot-com so I can backstop him and make sure no entries fall through the cracks. linked document

All target submissions will receive a return acknowledgement.  If you send in a target and don't hear back within 48 hours, raise the red flag.

Update 10May 1336:  Target updated.  Should print correctly now.  Also clarified "each Target icon" only scores once.  Obviously there are many target icons on each target.

08 May 2013

shots fired...

... too close to home.

This is the scene within a quarter mile of the Sand Castle on a road I drive every day:

The SandCastle Son came down stairs asking "Did you hear that?"

"hear what?"

"pop pop pop pop pop"
"pop pop"
"pop pop pop pop pop"
"pop pop pop pop pop"

The SCSon thought it sounded like a .22.  But given the distance and all the obstacles in between it could have been anything.

Currently we have helicopters over head.  Film at 11!

Update 2150:  [3rd hand rumor]  Neighbor talked to the officers manning the road block.  They told her someone shot a police officer at the Hospital.  This is the scene where other officers caught up with him.  He's dead.

Update 2228:  Apparently the Jody Arias verdict was more important than the shooting around the corner.  The helicopters departed at 2202.   No Film at 11.

Update 09May 1020:  News stories starting to come out but few details:
KPHO channel 5

05 May 2013

NRA Convention Day 2 (04May)

... We blew it off.  Nope didn't go.

We had to drive back out to the airport to swap out the rental car due to a flat on the rental car.  We were headed out to the gunbloggerpolloza and took some road damage in a construction zone.  A piece of rebar or something punctured the sidewall,
We changed to the spare within a couple minutes due to good teamwork among the SandCastle Crew.  Suddenly I was very apreciative of the having the LDW coverage!  That extra C-note looks cheap as this is probably a $250-$350 tire.  And they'd probably assert they need to replace them in pairs if not as a complete set.

It was noon-ish by the time the new rental was squared away.  Rather than head back into town to fight traffic, exploitative parking fees and gridlock in the aisles, we chose to visit NASA Johnson Space Center and take a tour.

I looked up JSC on the web the night before.  The tour is normally $22.99 but if you book online they knock $5 off each ticket.  We swung by a nearby McD's to use their free wi-fi (from the parking lot).  Less than 5 minutes later (while the SCQueen scored some much needed nourishment) the passes were stored on my tablet*.
We selected the blue tour which visited the Apollo era control center and "rocket city".  The control room tour was far more popular than the astronaut training facility by a factor of at least 10:1 maybe 20:1.

The control center was something to check off my "To Do This Life" checklist.  I'm glad we took the tour as  being there brings more to the subject than reading about it in a book or on the computer.  For example, history books generally don't mention it's on the third floor with an 87 stair steps to reach from the ground floor.  I'm glad we spent the time and $$$ to do it.

But it's amazing to see how far NASA has fallen.  The first YGBSM moment hit us waiting in line for the tram out to the comtrol room. Some hip new rapper performed a NASA rap apparently on-site, and accompanied with dancers decked out in NASA logo'd apparel. 
From the monitors in the tram line area

Rocket city: consisted of 1 Saturn V rocket and one other rocket test vehicle.  The Saturn V is on it's side but at least now it's covered where it sat outside unprotected, corroding back to base elements.  Two engines (one an F-1 monster), and a tunnel used to take the astronauts from the gantry too the capsule.  Compared to other "Rocket Cities" (Orlando, Dayton, Smithsonian), this is more like a "Rocket Ghost Town".  Without the Saturn V, we wouldn't have even stepped off the tram.

The visitor center has a few historical items:  Space suits throughout the years,  Pictures of every flight crew the from the first manned Gemini mission to the last Shuttle flight, and a Shuttle mockup again for that 1st hand experience.  Also there is an exhibit documenting Felix Baumgartner's leap from ~120k ft.  There is a capsule here but it is not clear if this is the actual capsule or a replica/mockup.

The rest is a space themed kiddie park & souvenir shop.  An "Angry Birds" themed Habitrail playset occupied a quarter of the space.  Flight simulators and other pay-to-play rides took a bunch more space.  And there is not one, but two souvenir shops.   Calling tourguides "cast members" completed the Disney-fication of NASA"  I am so disappointed.

Is this what NASA is reduced to?  Trying to appeal to a younger demographic that has no meaningful  recollection of America flying space missions?  What is your mission these days?  "Castmembers" wore jumpsuits with Project Orion shoulderpatches.  Ok, what is Orion?  We didn't see anything in the visitor center to explain.  Click the link if you're interested.

Mission control was worth the trip.  The rest...  This isn't the NASA I remember.

* my Tablet is a Nexus-7 with only wi-fi connectivity, by choice.  I do not need another phone bill.

04 May 2013

NRA Convention day 1

We covered about 30% of the show floor and then headed into the Leadership Forum.  The SandCastle Son beat me to the post with most of the best pics of the day*

However he neglected to mention meeting someone more important than every one of those politicians combined.  We met a genuine Medal of Honor certified capital-H-e-r-o Hero!  Sargent Sammy L Davis, United States Army:
Sargent Davis, Sammy L
The citation tells of amazing feats under the worst conditions possible. Let me hit the high points:
  • Doing his job defending his base.
  • His Howitzer takes a direct hts injuring him and his crew.
  • Returns to the weapon (now on fire) to fire on the advancing enemy.  Several times.
  • Crosses a river, despite an inability to swim to rescue three soldiers injured on the far side.
  • Another soldier takes the first wounded across the river while he guards the remaining two.
  • Upon returning to the firebase, refuses medical attention and instead returns to duty with another Howitzer crew.
Wow!  By all means, RTWT!

He signed his photo "You don't lose, until you quit trying!"  Great advice 

BTW, as the ScSon approached Sargent Davis, an older gentleman also approached at nearly the same time.  SCSon offered polite deference to the older gentleman and waved him ahead.  The elder insisted "You need to talk to him more than I do.  Please go ahead."

*  This is as it should be!  He is young and energetic, while I am old and slowing down.  He should be faster!  Now if I can only get him to prove it in a footrace.

03 May 2013

NRA Convention Day 0 (arrival day)

I hate airline flying...  It's just a SWA flight 100% full.  They even had to bump a couple extras.  They were offering a ticket refund + 300 voucher good for a year.  No thank you!

Once on the Ground in Houston, nothing seemed to go right.  The rental car agency couldn't find our reservation.  He finally offered a top of the line car at "employee rate" but it comes with "Free LDW*" at $24.99 a day.  Hmm sounds like a scam to me... get me into the most expensive car the have but knock down the price in return for taking the LDW.  The SCQueen assures me this is comparable to her reservation.  Fine lets move on.

We get to our hotel, or so I thought.  "Nope, no such reservation here."  He catches a keyword on my handwritten notes of the reservation and explains "That''s our property 20 miles north!"  Oh great, instead of being 8 miles out and within walking distance of the light rail line we are now 20+ miles out and requires driving in nasty traffic and paying exorbitant parking rates (I was "happy to pay $20 for the day a block away".)

We instead headed to the GunBlogger dinner and slid in just in time to get our orders in.  The noise level in the restaurant was very high so it was hard to have a conversation.  Still it was nice to renew year old friendships with SnoozeButtonRonin, LawDog and Phleghmmy.  And great to meet T.O.T.W.T.Y.T.R.

* LDW - Liability Damage Waiver.

01 May 2013

May ePostal..

Should be posted here and over at Smallest Conservative but alas it is still under construction.....

The SandCastle Son will be hosting over at SmallestConservative and mirrored here.  He did a lot of up front work coming up with the target and course of fire.  Unfortunately the course of fire requires 700 rounds and has a maximum score of about 12,000.  This was obviously set up as a joke.  We need to re-evaluate to a more realistic course of fire and round count. 

Also he designed it in a format that is not easily transferred to the web.  The conversion will take another day or so.  Part of giving him a match to run is experiencing what it takes behind the scenes.  Getting the post ready up front, and processing the scores on the back end.  I want him to do it.  It doesn't do him any good for me to do it for him.

We should have been ahead of the game and ready to turn the key today.  My bad.  Bad Dad!  All I can say is "it's been a busy month".   The SCSon shot the state commissioner's cup Sporting Clays event March 30th, Trap April 5th and Skeet April 27th with practices on the intervening weekends.  That ate up a lot of free time. 

We have several hours scheduled tomorrow in airport waiting rooms* so we should get at least the target and course of fire up by tomorrow night in time for the weekend.

Final note, please submit your targets to the SandCastle Son.  If you do not receive an acknowledgement within 24 hours, resend to sandcastlescrolls [at] msn [dot] com.  Feel free to email to both addresses when submitting 1st time.  I just want to back stop him and make sure nothing falls through a crack to ensure we have a smooth ePostal match.

* We are enroute to the NRAAM.  If you are going too, I hope we can meet up!