Before I Begin:
I'd like to apologize for a mistake in last weeks Light Gun Score Shootoff Scoring. First, Dianne Hoover who did win the shootoff, won it with only 9 shots scored. She actually had a 90 instead of an 81 but even the 81 was enough to get the job done. Thankfully, it came to nothing in the end results. While our system now double checks us and we cannot make that sort of mistake in the aggregate match relay results, nor in the World Open, the system does not double check us in the shootoff results. It will next year but at this point in the season, I cannot make that change to the database. If I did, I could cause a major nightmare for the people in the target room, and for myself when I had to fix the nightmare for the people in the target room. Thus, we are human and mistakes will be made. Please from now on (Everyone) check your own target. Be certain that it agrees with the wailing wall results. Once they leave the range, they are final, correct or not.
A second item in the same shootoff was a decision to not break a tie for score by measuring groups on two targets. We did this because they did not affect the result of the payout in the shootoff. The tie was for 4th place and we pay 3 places. In the future when we see that happen, we will most likely tiebreak those targets. I do not know what used to be done in the past when that happened. I think they would tiebreak them if they were on the first few benches because they needed to know who was first, second and third at that point, and didn't' want to get the targets back out later. Honestly, I just don't know and never asked. The suggestion to tiebreak those targets has been duely noted. That does not mean it will happen, only that it will be considered.
If anyone who is not familiar with how the target room works would like to see what happens there, by all means, PLEASE stop in and check it out. Ask someone when is a good time and come on in. This does not mean we want people in there to heckle the workers. If you want to observe and be quiet, or if you'd like to give it a try, fine. This is not an offer for folks like Joe Saltalamachia whos already worked the target room for years in the past. We regularly have people stop in to help out with the scoring and we're glad to allow a new person to give it a try. Don't think we're going to shoo you away. In fact, there has been a new person in the target room at least for one relay, every match of this year. That includes the World Open. (I think that also includes last weeks shootoff) This is not the situation room of the Pentagon. It's the place where volunteers measure targets for a bunch of folks who are having a good time shooting. That's it. I'll admit that it's not the most fun job but those of us in there now, actually do enjoy what we do and we take pride in how we affect the way the matches run. I'm pretty certain the day will never come when mistakes are not made in there, but we try to do the best we can. I'm also pretty certain that it happens less often than it ever did in the past. By next year I hope that our system will double check us to where errors are far less likely for us to make. I know there will never be a time that it cannot happen and I've already accepted that. Hopefully, so has everyone else. When I look at the way we do things there, and see all the changes that have been made, even since the beginning of the year, I think we've come a long way. From the Secretaries to the Target Room Guys, the Rangemasters and the Pit Personell, these are the people who make each match come off the way it does. Procedurally, I honestly can't think of anything I'd change about the club at this time, and I think about it, believe me. For next year when some other clerical tools are in place, we may do a lot of things differently to help make some jobs easier. I doubt though, that there will be any change to the way people view what we do. It will only affect how much work it takes to do what we do. If we can become a little more efficient, I'll be thrilled. I'm sure that all the changes will not be without some growing pains.
Even some of us who are now "Experienced" in the target rooom, regularly try another persons job. We do that so that the matches run smoothly even when we can't be there. My goal is to have the place not need anyone in particular, and so far this year, several matches have either begun, run or ended without me or other target room people being present. All the jobs can be done by someone else. The down side to that is that when we swap jobs, we are now rookies again at the job we take over. That's changing as we do this each week and get experience at everything. The upside, you may notice is that it's not like it was in the past, where if one person was missing, the entire match came to a screeching halt. We in the target room simply do not stand still while targets are sitting around for 4 or 6 relays before they get scored. Even if a lightning bolt hit the target room and killed us all, other people who have done that job could throw the dead bodies out in the back yard and keep the match going the way it should. We'd like to have more people who could do these jobs and welcome anyone who steps forward to give it a shot.
As long as we're on that subject, Erin and Vic in the Pits would love to get a break at times too. Even if it's just to get the match started and take the paperwork to the pits. Doing roll call or whatever. Mike and Bob would LOVE to have some help in the rangemasters stand. Stop in and give their job a shot for a while. My asking this is not intended to scare anyone off either. I'm saying this because first of all, trying something new is usually fun. Next, it gives a new perspective of all the things that affect what gets done. And last, it gives these folks a much needed break. Despite some of the shortcomings of being on the board, rest assured, we all do it because we enjoy shooting, and in all truth, it's fun. Give it a try and you'll see.
Last week in the newsletter I wrote some stuff about pit duty. There's just not enough room in the newsletter to cover a lot of things that should be pointed out. What I was trying to say in there is that there are mistakes that will be made. I have no trouble with that. I would like to fix the problems that are caused by people who do the wrong thing, and think they are doing the right thing. If we just eliminate the troubles in the pits with people who do not know the right thing to do, I think the range will run about 1000% smoother. I hope to have a "Handbook" for the pits written up soon. This is something that in my opinion, should have been done decades ago to help everyone understand what takes place at the range. Even people who have been there a long time do not get to see all the aspects of what takes place. Especially when there's a breakdown in the pits or at the line. Keep an eye on the site. I might just make this into a publication that we hand out to shooters every year. Any input will be gladly accepted. If you have any ideas of what to write, OR, if you'd prefer to write this, please step forward. Something tells me that I won't make many friends writing about pit duty or the way it should be done... Somebody has to do it!
Week 6 Showed There's Good Guns, Even if They Don't Shoot So Good:
Week 6's light gun match began with a lot of really nice targets being fired. John Hoover and Ken Brucklacher both shot targets in the 5's. Nice shoot'n guys. Ed Oncay shot another light gun 99 to add to his list of great targets. Suzie Earley who's been so close so many times already, got her first relay win for group with a Flat 7"er. Nice shoot'n Suzie. That won't be the last one, trust me.
Thirty seven people shot in the 90's. Forty two shot under ten inches. No relay had less than 13 shots in the 10 ring. Relay 5 had scores of 97,97,95,95,95,95,94,92 and 89 with FORTY EIGHT 10's, 34 9's, 7 8's and 1 7. WOW, it's no wonder the centers of our backers are gone. I know I'm not responsible for much of the damage to the centers, that's for sure!
In the heavy class, scores were hard to come by at times. Small groups were as well, but the conditions allowed an incredible number of guns shoot one hole clusters of bullets. The relay results don't show just how good the targets looked. It was obvious that a lot of guns were capable of shooting clusters in the 1's given a good day. 40 targets were 90 or better and 45 were under 10 inches.
Then came match seven...
Well, I'll just say scores were not as good as match six. Dan Knight shot his first 98 and first score of the day. Work on that Flier Dan. And, Nice shoot'n even with it! Only 5 people managed to have an all in the black. 34 scored a 90 or higher but this week, only 9 scored better than a 93 where last week, 20 shot 94's and higher. Groups began with John Hoover again for the second week in a row. While not as small as last week, it was the smallest at 7.166. Nice shoot'n John. Only 21 people shot under 10 inches. Yippie! I was one of em, even if I was 19th! I won't discuss the score... Only relays 1 and 6 did not have shots in the 5 ring on the day. Relay 9 was the score relay of the day, if you wanted to call it that. They had 66 shots in the black.
As for the heavy class, I just don't understand how some of these people shoot so well in such ugly conditions. Relay 1 and 2 had 7 all blacks but relays 3-10 had 6 between them. Relays 4, 5, 7 and 10 combined to have 2 shots in the 10 ring amongst them all. Just so you don't think they were the only bad ones, there were lots of folks who got to shoot in worse relays by a long shot. The only reason they had shots in the 10 ring was because the groups went from coast to coast on the targets. I'm laughing as I write this cause it's the truth, and I was real near the bottom of number 7. I was just glad to not be in number 8. Despite having enough wind to move everyone all over creation, these guns still shot great groups. We still had 37 people under 10 inches, and 9 of them were under 7 inches. Those 9 ranged from Eric Springman's 4.449 to Kathy Saltalamachia's 6.907. One of those 9, scored a 6.1" 49. That's some big movement. Much more and it'd been a 6.1" zero.
On other subjects:
If anyone would be willing to take some photos and post them to the website, I and many others would appreciate it. All that it takes is a digital camera and some time. I don't get time to take any photos at the range. I had my camera there this week and never got it out of the bag. By the time I get time to shoot photos, the match is over and everyone is gone. Then to get them up on the website is not hard work, but it does take time. With this website and the newsletter, I don't get time to do that. ANYONE can take photos and post them. Please do. Just go to the photo gallery and right at the top is a link to where you upload pictures. It's as easy as pie. Just send them and once they're approved, everyone can go take a look. If you have some video you can put up there, I'd like to have some of them as well. Just use Windows XP Movie Maker to make it small enough to go on the web and you're on your way. I'll provide a way to upload it or you can write it to a CD and give it to me at the match, I'll do it.
I have lots of ideas for things I'd like to do to the website this winter. If I'm not bogged down with other things like newsletter changes, I think there's going to be some interesting new information to look at. My time however is limited and the program we use to run the club needs some changes made to it first. I wish that last year I had seen the troubles that we would be faced with this year, but I didn't. Once some of these changes are made, I may be asking for volunteers to do some data entry of past years. I have data from the last few years but don't have it for anything 2003 or earlier. Several people have asked me if the other years data would be available and I want to say yes but it takes time to put it on the website. Once that's done, I'll need other information entered to have the other years available to look at. It's not as much work as you might think to enter a match. Even if a person only does one year, I bet it would take only a few hours to enter that information into the database. Then, if enough people offer to help, it will be an easy job. This information would come from old newsletters which I do have access to. Let me know if you would be willing to help out this winter on that project.
Week Six Articles from Joe and Frank
A Word From Joe:
We held a board meeting Saturday and discussed several things. Our World Open numbers are mostly all in and we had the most prosperous Open ever, by a significant margin. We're still looking for ideas on how to make next year's Open, our club's 40th anniversary year, something extra special. One suggestion that has been made is to make the Open a three day event with winners determined by a three day agg. Please let us know any feedback you have on this. We also set the dates for next year's Open, it will be the weekend of July 12th and 13th, 2008, but would include the 11th if it was a 3 target event. We hope that by setting the date this far in advance people can make vacation schedules well ahead of time.
We're having our annual chicken and corn roast on Saturday August 25th. It will start at approximately 5 PM. The club will provide the chicken, corn and drinks. Please bring a dish to pass.
We still haven't had all the gun raffle tickets handed in. Please sell or buy these tickets and get the money in. We only have two more matches before the September lottery drawings that will determine the winners.
I want to thank the people who volunteered to go to the pits at the last match. We can't keep the matches running if we don't have enough people in the pits and when we ask for volunteers those that step forward deserve a big thanks. Thanks, too, to Helen Shelanskey for putting together that great display in the club house of the match winners and World Open winners. She's thinking of putting together a display of our founding fathers and the club beginnings. Thanks, Helen.
We sold the last of the penny raffle tickets for the NightForce scope on Sunday and asked Bob Foulkrod to draw the winning ticket. Eugene Bugg was the winner. Congratulations, Eugene, and thanks to everyone who bought a ticket. After Bob drew the winning ticket, I reached in and drew another ticket just to see who I drew. It was Sheila Foulrod. I probably shouldn't have told her but I couldn't resist telling her she was first place loser. This was right after she had shot a 96 score in her relay with a 7.8 group and still didn't win, getting beat by Doug Heisen's 5.9 group and Wes Springman's 98. Sorry, Sheila. Guess Sunday wasn't your day. Competition was tough Sunday. It's sad when you shoot a 6.9 group with a 98, or a 7.2 group with a 98, and still lose the relay. That's what happened to Sarah Morgan and Frank Grappone. Their relay was won by John Buhay with a 5.2 and Chip Wagner who shoot a 99. Oh well, those great groups and scores had to help your aggs.
If anyone is interested in running for a 2008 board position let an officer know. We'll announce those running for office at match 9 and hold elections at match 10.
The VP's thoughts:
Well another weekend is in the books and the weather moderated a bit as indicated by the results both days. Not as "pleasant" as my wife indicated the World Open weekend was but a better shooting weekend. Is it my imagination or is this an exceptionally windy year? Perhaps our chubby ex Vice President can explain this as some kind of global warming effect.
Events for the weekend were almost anti-climatic for the club directors after the World Open. The World Open is the premier event for the club to showcase itself and have a great shoot. It also stresses all the facilities of the club and the directors. We are already in the planning stages for next year's event as it will be our club's 40th anniversary. We are going to work on showcasing this event nationally with a publicity effort by contacting national and local publications for news features and articles in their publications. If anyone has any contacts at any publication that may insert an article on the club or even visit the club, please contact Matt, Joe or myself.
Highlights of the weekend: Matt Dienes, in an effort to prove the World Open win wasn't a fluke, shot a 4.199 group in heavy gun on Sunday in the 10th relay, and that wsa good enough for small group of the day. Matt has informed me that he's shooting for a sub 3" by the end of the year. Aren't we all? Worst thing about this series of events was that I sold him the rifle. Wolfdawg sold him the bullets and he beat the heck out of both of us. Well as Wolfdawg says, "If I owned a pumpkin patch, they'd cancel Halloween." Eugene Bugg won the new Nightforce scope in the penny raffle. If I saved all the money I've chunked into the penny raffle I could have bought the scope. But I'm sure that the next time the opportunity comes up I'll continue digging in my pocket again because "this is my lucky day."
One of the major challenges that the club undertakes the last half of the year is the election of the Board of Directors. Anyone who would like to get involved more actively in the club is invited to step forward. Although no board member has officially indicated a desire to not be on the board, there may be an opening. If you don't like the way a member of the club is doing their job and you think you can do it better- step right up. That applies to every position on the Board including the Presidency.
There was a short directors meeting after the light gun match. A number of items were discussed, most of which Joe already wrote about. The item that took up the most time in the meeting was the discussion of scheduling double matches. The "functioning" members of the board (the ones that make the matches go every weekend- pits, range masters, target room) unanimously voiced their opinion that the club has too many shooters to effectively run double matches. End of discussion...
We had the 5th 600-yard match this weekend. There will not be a 600-yard match following light gun match 7. The next and last match is scheduled for the August 25th weekend. That will be the last match 600-yard match of the year.
The fun shoot scheduled for the next match will feature military rifles. If you have an original military rifle at home and want to blast away at the range, bring it to the next match. We will have a 100-yard off hand competition, which may move to 600 if need be. We have 4000 rounds of ammo available for most common military rifles. So bring your Garand, M14, AR15, SKS or whatever to the range and have some fun. If you have an unusual caliber, bring your own ammo. The only rules will be basic- safety, open sights, all original. This will be off hand shooting except for sighting in. See you there.
End of Report
Week Seven Articles from Joe and Frank
A Word From Joe:
We had two people disqualified at match 7 for not fulfilling their pit duty for the shoot-off.
Rule 33.3: "In addition to being responsible for pit duty for your aggregate relays, you are also responsible for pit duty for the shoot off if you have won your relay for group or score."
Rule 33.4: "If you become eligible to participapte in a shoot off, but elect not to shoot, you still must satisfy your pit duty obligation."
Rule 33.5: "If you do not wish to pull targets it is your responsibility to provide a qualified person to take your place in the pits."
Rule 33.6: "Although the individual may shoot, anyone not fulfilling their pit duty obligation will be disqualified for score, group, and aggregate for the day's match."
I hate seeing people get disqualified for making a mistake like that. If you would please go to the range master or me and let us know the problem we could probably work something out to fulfill your pit duty so that you won't be disqualified. I'd pull for someone if they needed help, that's how much I hate to see a disqualification. And, since there is only one puller per target in shoot-offs, if a person does not ensure there is a puller it creates problems for everyone in the shoot off - late starts, asking for volunteers, etc.
We've only got one more match to hand in the gun raffle tickets. I know I keep harping on this but it's so important. Turn in your ticket money, please. We can only sell these tickets up to the end of August. Once the September lottery drawings start we won't be selling any more tickets.
Don't forget to bring a dish to pass for our chicken ad corn bar-b-que after next Saturday's 600 yard match. The club will supply the chicken and corn, the drinks and the place settings. The fixings will come from you. Don't forget to bring desserts- my favorite part of the meal.
The VP's thoughts:
Another great weekend of shooting is in the books. Any weekend of shooting is a good one. Some items need to be addressed.
We have to have all the raffle tickets returned at the next match- sold or unsold. Hopefully all sold.
The corn/chicken roast follows the 600 yard match at the next scheduled match.
The Long Range committee for IBS is deliberating a vote concerning recognition of our membership for the IBS Nationals at Quantico Labor Day weekend. If it is passed, you will not have to join the IBS to shoot and win at the Nationals this year. We allowed the IBS guns at our World Open and have not required membership to shoot at our Open and the IBS is considering reciprocating for this one event. Check the website or BenchrestCentral.Com for updates on this situation. In either case, we should represent our club well at the Nationals and given the right day- Quantico is a great place to shoot.
We will have a 600 yard match after the next light gun match. This will be the final match of the year. We have determined that we can skillfully run these matches and will continue with them next year. We will have 6 matches. We will reward financially, relay and aggregate winners for each match. We will recognize aggregate winners of each category for the year. Plaques will be awarded for each match and for aggregate winners for the year. We will have a 6 match winner and a 4 match winner. We will collect statistical information and archive it for future reference. We will continue to use the club facilities and reimburse the club per shooter to use the facilities. We will formally publish our rules and procedures and keep them separately or as addendum with the main club who is the sanctioning body. In other words folks, we are serious about this shooting discipline and I think that with some further refinements this will be the biggest 600 yard club in the country. We need some help. People who wanted the shooting to get going or, shooters that I "volunteered" to score targets, run the rangemaster job etc have done most of the work. We need to establish positions that are permanent that can be counted on to insure that the matches run routinely and flawlessly. If you have interest in helping or questions about roles, see me at the next match. These will be voluntary, uncompensated positions. You'll be helping because you like to shoot.
In lieu of the 600 yard match a group of shooters tried their hands at shooting off hand with military weapons at the 100 yard range. A suggestion was made that we should try it at 600 yards. The suggestion was quickly withdrawn after seeing the first results at 100 yards. The best target of the day was a 49 out of 100 points. A statistic from the Vietnam war was that over 100,000 rounds of small arms rounds were fired per casualty. That compares to 13 in the Revolutionary War. After seeing the results from some pretty fair riflemen on Saturday, I can see why they made full auto as an option on these modern firearms. A good time was had by all.
We had to call for volunteers a number times during the match and very quickly filled our requests and the match moved ahead without delay. I volunteered one time and went to the pits where I saw Scott Weber and thought I'd catch up with him and see what was going on with his family. After some small talk, Scott told Phil Bower and I a story. It seems that Scott was justifiably proud of a couple of his accomplishments this year. As you recall Scott shot a 100 and also shot a 3 incher at the Open. He also won the Open heavy gun championship. Scott had carried those two targets home and had cut out his groups for framing. He sat in his home and searched for the appropriate frame to accommodate these two cherished targets and then he spied it! It was his wedding picture and the frame size was perfect. Scott replaced his wedding picture with the two target groups and placed the frame back in its original place. Of course when his wife returned home that day it was the first thing she spotted. She was horrified. "Scott how could you do such a thing?" she asked. "You only get married once". Scott's response- "That's probably the same number of times I'll shoot a 100 and a 3 inch group too!". Well the end of the story is that Scott's targets are in another frame in a place of prominence- in the basement. I personally think these are not the two best targets that Scott will shoot. I told Scott that I was going to make mention of this little story in the newsletter. Scott is now waiting for the mailman every day!!
See there are rewards for volunteering.