How I sent my Spring:
This spring has been pretty dog-goned busy for me. Three of my favorite matches were held in March and April. Besides the shooting itself, I got to hang out with some of my favorite people who I don't get to see often enough.
I got to serve as the RangeMaster at both the Georgia State Steel Match and the U.S. Steel Shoot. We had 321 entries at the Georgia match and 460 at the U.S. match. As a shooter, I had "my typical steel match" at both events: moments of sheer brilliance, immediately followed by extended episodes of stupidity. I think that's why I enjoy Steel Challenge so much. Despite the simple premise ("five plates from the draw as fast as you can"), it remains very challenging to me. As a match official, both matches went really smoothly, but I still had a chance to learn a lot and hopefully get better in the future.
The South Carolina USPSA Championships was held just outside of Myrtle Beach. The group there is relatively new to the sport, but they bring a fresh approach to stage design and the exuberance of youth. They did a great job of putting a challenging match on the ground. They learned a few things that will only improve their matches in the future.
I served as the CRO for the Chrono stage. It was another weekend of getting to play with everyone else's guns. For the most part, it went pretty smoothly, but there were a large number of shooters who were "bumped" to Minor or, even worse, Sub-Minor. [For those who don't know, USPSA requires that ammo have a power level that would be comparable to 45 ACP ("Major" power factor) or 9mm ("Minor" power factor). This affects the point value of each shot fired. "Major" earns more points. If the ammo doesn't have the power of a 9mm, then the shooter is allowed to keep shooting; he just doesn't earn any points. He's shooting for fun.]
Most of the problems with ammo were the result of changing weather conditions. It had been pretty cool in most of the country until just before this match. It warmed up pretty well in Myrtle Beach and those who'd tested their ammo in the cold were surprised to learn that some powders produce less velocity when they heat up.
The Chronograph station is also where the shooters' equipment is inspected for rule compliance. Recent changes to Production, Carry Optics, and Single Stack Division rules have really eliminated a lot of compliance issues that we used to see. I did see a "first" for me. A shooter came up with an STI hi-cap 9mm in Limited Division. The ammo was 147 grain, so it should have been VERY soft-shooting in a gun that heavy. When I hit the trigger, I was a little surprised to feel a pretty good thump of recoil. The chrono read approximately 1160 fps. I said, "That can't be right...". He said, "Yeah it is. I shoot 9 Major.". The problem is that one can't use Major 9mm ammo in Limited Division. The minimum caliber for Major is .40. So I had to bump a hard-recoiling gun to Minor. There's a first time for everything, right??
Hunters HD Gold glasses:
Simply put, shooting is primarily a visual activity. The better you see, the better you will shoot!
I have been using Oakley glasses as eye protection for over 30 years. I was very brand-faithful, knowing a bunch of folks in the management and design areas of the company. Once, while shooting a shotgun Bowling Pin match, I had a number of #6 pellets ricochet and hit me in the face. The glasses were ruined, but the did their job, stopping every pellet.
Over the past couple of years, we have seen a new company come onto the scene, Hunters HD Gold. Originally, the founder of the company, Brian Conley, was making shooting glasses for his hunting buddies. The color of the lenses enabled hunters to better see their quarry during the dawn and dusk times, when most game is active. Brian got bit by the SASS bug shortly thereafter and started shooting "Cowboy" events. He found the lens color worked their also, increasing contrast between the steel targets and the background. Eventually, he accepted an invitation to a Steel Challenge event and expanded his horizons into that and USPSA shooting. HHDG has now been named the Official Eyewear of SCSA and USPSA.
A lot of folks think that building shooting glasses involves nothing more than hanging a sheet of polycarbonate in front of your eyes. It can be clear, dark, or any of a myriad of yellows and vermilions. In the simplest form, this may be true, but why not be an over-achiever?
HHDG glasses are not polycarbonate. They are actually made of an optical-grade material called Trivex. Trivex has the impact resistance of polycarbonate, achieving the ANSI Z 87.1 standard, but it transmits 43% more light than polycarbonate. More light equals more clarity.
The lens are also "photochromic", meaning that they'll automatically adjust to changing light conditions. At dawn/dusk or with an overcast sky, the lenses are a very light yellow. This color enhances contrast and allows enough light through that the shooter's pupils will constrict. A small pupil promotes greater "depth of field", letting him see the front sight clearly, all while the target remains visible as well. In brighter light, the lenses darken, preventing eye strain.
Almost all modern eyewear is advertised to be 100% UV protective. That is great and helps stave off long-term damage to your eyes such as cataracts. HHDG goes another step forward, acknowledging that we spend a lot of time on brightly-lit shooting ranges will harmful light coming from every direction. Not only do the glasses stop UV as it is traveling through the lens, an Anti-Reflective Coating on the inside of the lens keeps light that may come in around the sides or bottom from transmitting UV to the eye.
Hunter's HD Gold lenses are produced in a real optical lab, just like those expensive lenses that your optometrist prescribes. If you require correction, you can provide your prescription and have a set of custom-made shooting glasses.
HHDG has a number of different frames, from wrap-around styles like the "Gauge" or "Velocity" models to the conservative-looking "Aviator" line.
Brian attends most major Steel Challenge and USPSA matches. Stop by his booth and check out the glasses. He'll let you "demo" a pair during the match; he's that confident in the product. Additionally, you can sign up for his e-mail updates and be entered in a drawing for a free pair of glasses.
For a preview, check out www.huntershdgold.com on the web.
Our Big Special This Week:
Ruger SR-1911 Target in 9mm or 45 ACP: In stainless steel with adjustable sights, lightweight trigger, and a Dawson ICE magwell with either arched or flat mainspring housing. A great gateway to Single Stack Division at $929.95 each, plus tax.
SCCY Industries CPX-2 in 9mm, in various color combinations. A great sub-compact 9mm featuring two 10-round magazines, double-action only trigger, and a transferable lifetime warranty. Our lowest price of the year at $229.95 each, plus tax.
Lots of folks make big purchases this time of year. One of larger "capital" items that shooters buy is a reloading press.
I have recently gotten hooked up with a wholesaler who sells presses. My dealer pricing is so good on these presses that I can offer them to you for a ridiculous price. It doesn't matter whether you like blue presses, both flavors of red presses, or even the green ones, I can get them for a great price for you.
I am not going to run afoul of "Minimum Advertised Price" restrictions, but I will say this: I just purchased my second "big press" by my favorite manufacturer. I saved over $200 doing it this way rather than buying from the manufacturer's website. (Those who know me know which brand and model I prefer.) $200 is a lot of bullets to feed this thing....
E-mail me and let me know what you're looking for. I'd bet that I can save you some money!!
Speaking of presses, we have a Dillon 550B package on consignment. Press, 9mm and 45 Conversions, dies for each, two Powder Measures, tumbler, media, 500 Large Primers, 500 Small Primers, 45 bullets, 9mm bullets, plus some brass. $600
Gun Cleaning Special: Get the full-house, world-renowned CCGW cleaning job on your match guns, carry pieces, and hunting guns. Most every gun will be only $25 each; complicated guns slightly higher. (Glocks, M&Ps, 1911s/2011s, and the like are simple. Benelli M-4s, piston-driven ARs, etc. are NOT.) Turn-around time is typically less than a week.
We are offering complete basic guns built on our Camp Creek Gunworks-branded Lower Receivers, in addition to the full-house competition guns that we've always offered. We're calling these mil-spec guns the "Basic Defense" series. They feature a 16-inch barrel with A2 flash hider, a flat-top upper receiver, free-float handguard, collapsible stock, mil-spec trigger, mil-spec pistol grip, and the Magpul MOE trigger guard. Add a soft case and 30-round MagPul magazine. Of course, like all CCGW products, they're backed by our "We'll make it right" warranty. The price is only $749 plus tax.
Our latest thing has been PDWs (Personal Defense Weapons). These are built off of our CR-15 lowers and feature short barrels (length depends on caliber and your desired features). A pistol-stabilizing brace is added for greater accuracy potential. 5.56mm and .300 Blackout guns get the Noveske KX-5 suppressor. 9mm's don't need it. An upgrade to a folding stock model is available for $300 more. Prices start at $1500 for a basic model and go up to $3750 for the top-of-the-line model with EOTech HoloSight, TLR-2G light/laser combo, backup sights, premium SB Tactical brace, upgraded trigger, and custom fit case.
We have a 6-inch 2011 in-stock in .40 S&W. It is built light, so it swings well from target to target. The extra sight radius makes mid- and long-range shots EASY. Only $2700
CCGW PCC's suitable for USPSA or 3-Gun competition are available. Got one ready-to-go now for $950!
Glock 22C: These are Blue Label Glocks (3 mags & night sights). Brand new in the box for $499 plus tax.
Used Glock 23C. LNIB with night sights and three mags. $425
Until next time, See you on the Range!!