Sunday, April 30, 2006


In four more days we will be heading down to the Kentucky State Shoot at Hooten Old Town. Jose and I were there a couple of years ago and had a great time. It is a fantastic facility with a ton of atmosphere. My bags are slowly getting packed and my guns are far from clean, but I still can’t wait to get on the road. We’ve got tents, chairs, beds, food, guns, gear, and of course cold hard cash for the trip.

We have already shot a couple of times this year, but I can’t help thinking this will be the real kickoff to the CAS season. At least it feels that way to me. If you’re a cowboy shooter and you are not going to Hooten for this match then shame on you. If you are going, then look Jose, Copper and I up for a cold one.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cowboy Camping

In a little over a week Jose, Copper, and I will be camping at the Kentucky State Shoot in Hooten, KY. Jose and I have been to several state level shoots and have always had a good time. In 2004 we went to Hooten and loved the atmosphere of the place, but hated the 40 minute drive every morning from the nearest hotel. We decided if we went back we would stay on site. So we have our modern camping equipment and it should be a lot of fun. But when I think of camping at a cowboy shoot, this is what I would like to see.A true period style campsite, and while the picture shows one a little over the top I would still love to have the canvas wall tent, canvas dinning fly, wooden chairs, tables, camp boxes, cots, water barrels, and all the little do-dads that would round out a true old west camp. Money is the only problem; all those things cost money, so for now we will just take what we can get. Thanks to Civil War Reenactors in Photos for the image.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ranger Camp

I have never met Captain George Baylor. I saw him on the TV show “Cowboys” once. I’ve read his articles in the Cowboy Chronicle. So, I know him only through a brief interview on TV and by reading his articles. All I can say is the man’s amazing.

Jose has a link to Captain Baylor’s Ranger Camp on the left. Click on it and go read his thread on Getting Started in Cowboy Action Shooting. It’s what I did when I started this game and while surfing the web today I ended up back there, finding it just has fun to read today as it was informative five years ago. If you wanna know what, why, and how Jose and I do what we do go check it out, but be careful you might get hooked.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Being as how my gun accumulation has reached the ten barrier, and because I want to have the information in one place, I downloaded the Insurance Information Institute's free home inventory software. This program is excellent in that it basically is a database of your possessions, you can put everything you own in the database or just the important stuff like guns. You can just list the items without any pictures or accompaning documentation, however, with a digital camera it is relatively easy to add photos of the item and scans of receipts.

I simply added my guns to the database as I think its overwhelming to think about putting every valuable item I own in this thing with a picture, receipt, serial number, model number, where I bought it and the date of purchase and replacement value. Yeah, just the guns for now. Maybe the comptuers and then TVs and such, but EVERYTHING?!?! sheesh! I've got a job already.

Once you get everything in the database on your computer, DON'T FORGET TO TRANSFER THE FILE OFFSITE! it would do no good to have this important document sitting in the same house as your guns and other valuables in the event that someone breaks in and steals stuff or a fire or natural disaster. My house is where I keep all my stuff and if it's gone, my stuff is gone. So I transferred the file up to my server at work. You could burn it to a CD and take it to a safe deposit box as well. I also "printed" the file as a PDF so that I wouldn't need the III's program to view the goodies. Again, you could print off the list (though its gonna be long) and put it in a safe deposit box.

I guess I feel a little better that if something happens to my guns, I can accurately report my loss to my insurance agent.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I spent this evening working on another of Judge Mint Day's guns. I installed the "Whisper Springs" that we picked up at the last main match into his '66. I went ahead and tore the gun compltely down and did an more thorough deburring and slicking up of the gun, though to be honest, these guns don't need as much work as a '92 or Marlin 94. The main way you improve a '66 or '73 is to lighten the springs on them. So the Whisper Springs are part of that equation, they replace the factory lifter and lever springs which are inordently heavy. The Smith Shop invented the Whisper Springs and they replace the stock heavy springs with some piano wire.Judge%20%2766 For $35 they're probably worth it because if you grind too much off the factory springs, you have to throw them away and do over.

The only other spring that can affect the cycling of the '66 is the hammer spring and they are heavy as well. I pulled this one out and had to shake my head as the milling marks on one side of it were so rough you could probably cut wood with it like a saw blade. I clamped it down and smoothed up the sides with a file, then took a drum sander to the concave part of it to elliminate the milling marks there. Milling marks btw will cause a spring to fail, so its important to get rid of them. I then cleaned up the hook on the end so that the yolk on the hammer would run smoother. Upon reassembly, I shimmed a couple of thin washers under the spring to further lighten it.

The deburring and slicking up consisted of me cleaning each part thoroughly, running my hands over it to feel where the burs were and removing them and then stoning the contact surfaces where needed. Then I reassembled the rifle. All told, it took me a little under 3 hours, I doubt that I'll strike any fear into the hearts of the good gunsmiths, but I think the rifle is a major improvement now. I probably should have taken photos, but I don't like pausing to do something totally unrelated while I'm working, so maybe next time.

BTW Judge, you WILL want to check out this rifle before the KY State match since I changed the hammer spring strength. I'm 90% sure it'll fire, but you want to be 100% sure. Oh, and you owe me a beer at the least for this job :)

Monday, April 17, 2006


Something that I thought was SASS related and definitely of interest is the "Deadwood bather". The healthy young lass who is seen during the opening credits of the HBO Deadwood series. Yeah, its a stretch, but you'll thank me for it. That's a posse member that'd make things more fun.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


After the shoot yesterday I had to check the calander because I could have sworn that this was April and not July. The official temperature was 87 degrees, I know it was hotter and they didn't give the heat index, but I'm pretty sure it was 150 or 160. Anyways, it was hot, we sweated A LOT! and had our resident elder statesman nearly succumb. But in the end, all of us made it through and I at least had fun if I didn't shoot particularly well (11 misses, ouch!). I got real sloppy and it wasn't the heat, it was just me being sloppy with sight picture and slapping the trigger.

I shot Judge Mint Day's '66 since he wanted to shoot B-Western and use my Marlin (funny, I recall him owning a '92 which is legal). After two stages, I was using my Marlin again because that '66 is annoying to me. The sight picture is disturbed too much, once when the hammer falls and again when brass is ejected, love the Marlin. I suppose when the '66 is short-stroked and massaged, it will be better, I bought a set of whisper springs for it after the shoot from the local purveyor of gunsmithing goodies Manatee. He's an alright guy when you're handing him money ;)

Judge shot pretty well, but that's because he's sneaking off to practice, here I am slaving away on his guns and loading his ammo and he's sneaking off to practice, what a pal!

April’s Main Match!

Yesterday was the April Main Match at Thunder Valley. This was more special then usual. Several shooters from Illinois and Michigan came down to shoot with us and I think they went away with a great appreciation for Thunder Valley and the guys that run the show down there.

Copper Quincy and I drove down on Friday and set up the tent. We were doing a little dry run for our camping plans next month at the Kentucky State Shoot and were looking to see just what we had and make sure everything worked well. When we arrived there were already 5 campers and a couple of tents. After getting everything set up we sat around with Vaquero Hayes, Fighting Eagle, Randy Atcher and Lizzy of the Valley drinking and shooting the shit. Pretty soon the camp site had put together a little impromptu dinner and we stuffed ourselves on Buffalo Burgers, Bratwursts, Beans, Corn Pudding, and Pineapple Upside-down Cake. We finished the night by sipping libations, smoking cigars and hanging out around the campfire with Zeb, Shoshone Slim and the other boys from Illinois.

We survived the warm and windy night and the next morning looked to be a great day for shooting. I dressed up in my B-Western finery and got ready to go as Jose showed up along with about 50 other shooters. Jose and I ran a posse and things started well, but the nice day turned into a record high scorcher and as the thermometer in the jail cell read 100 everybody started to loose some mental focus. I had to make a couple of tough calls as the RO and even had to give my first stage DQ when a shooter bumped his rifle as he moved and broke the 170 with an unloaded firearm. By the end of the day we were all hot, wet, and tired.

Now the shooting wasn’t bad for me at all. I ended up with 1 miss for the day and some nice steady times averaging in the low to middle 30’s. I did have one brain fade and slip hammered a round and then forgot which gun it was in (gunfighter will do that to you) until Jose helped me out. I finished 9th overall which made me very happy since there were some great shooters present. Copper Quincy shot better then ever by having a couple of stages in the high 30’s and looking very smooth with all his guns. Jose had way too many misses, but his shotgun looked good most of the day. Consistency needs to be his mantra for the year.

The only bad thing for the day involved one of our most beloved shooters. El Paso is in his 70’s and one of the nicest men you will ever meet. He loves to cowboy shoot and hang out with the guys. Well, he got overheated again and collapsed. This has happened to him before, he basically refuses to quit and pushes himself too far. We got him hydrated and I sat him down in my car with the air on high to cool him down and after about 30 minutes he was doing ok. I just wish he would take care of himself and let us know when he is starting to feel bad.

I can’t wait for the Kentucky State Shoot. I will probably fall flat on my face after having a couple of great matches, but I think camping and shooting for the whole weekend will be a blast. If you are in the area, look us up…who knows we might even have a sign.

April 15th was BAG day and while I didn't buy a gun, I did finally get my Whisper Springs for the '66 I've been waiting for. So I've improved a gun and I think that counts for BAG day.

Friday, April 14, 2006

It's FRIDAY!!!

Good grief this week has drug on for me. Its traditionally my busy time at work in getting ready for the summer technology installations at the University I work for, but this year we got re-organized and the new powers want us to intall four times as much as we've ever done in the past. That news will slow your week down to a crawl my friends! I'm gonna earn my money and then some this year.

What's this got to do with shooting or cowboy action? Not a damn thing. I guess in a way it will make any time I get at the range more special and meaningful, so if you see me at the range, don't give me any crap, I'm trying to have fun and forget about work. Luckily, I think I'll be able to make the KY and IN State shoots still, but I know there won't be room for Guns Of August this year. Maybe if they made it Guns of October or Guns of late September? Definitely doesn't have the same ring to it eh?

I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend, it should be a nice shoot with a lot of people and good food and a lot of BS at the end. Nearly perfect.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Big shoot this weekend

Our local club, Thunder Valley is having a lot of visitors from other clubs this weekend. Several are coming over from Illinois and several from the northern part of the state, so it should be a big turnout. I think all the cowboys from Illinois and a few locally will be camping on site Friday and Saturday, I believe there'll also be some shooting going on Sunday if enough folks want to. Redneck Rebel and Ellie May Moore are awfully hospitable people who will, I'm sure, impress the out of towners with their hospitality and fine shooting facilities. I need to figure out what I'm gonna bring for the pitch-in on Saturday evening, probably beans, but who knows. Judge and Copper are going down on Friday to test out the camping gear we'll use during the Kentucky State Match at Hooten Old Town. The Friday forcWinchester Gun Safe - 60" x 30" x 22" - Blackast is for storms, so bring your slicker guys!

I've been thinking more and more about the next gun I'm gonna buy, I think it might not be a gun at all, but a safe to store the growing collection in. I really should have one already, but since I live alone, I don't have to worry about children or others messing around with them. The thing I have to worry about is a break-in. That makes me think of my next gun after the safe and that just might be a house shotgun, either an 870 or something of the same level, but probably an 870. I'd put some sights on it and make sure it had a light and possibly a pistol grip stock, but that's about it.

m4PGSynthetic12Ga.jpg A Marine Magnum or maybe something a little more exotic like this Benelli would be terrific. The internet is a wonderful thing, in looking for the Marine Magnum link, I found that Remington is putting out a Tactical 870 line with some of the stuff I want.

I had to add this picture of an example of what I DON'T want! Good grief, ghost rings and a red dot? This looks unwieldy as hell and I'd hate to try clearing my house with it. Some bubba is pretty happy with it I'm sure.

Judge isn't the only gun snob here btw.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Where is it?

Come on Jose, we have all been patiently waiting for more pictures and updates on the RIA! Inquiring minds want to know!

As for me, I spent the weekend learning how to ride an Iron Horse. Yes that's right, I now have my Motorcycle Endorsement and know the meaning of T-CLOCS and FINE-C. Here is a picture of the class. Most are my new MPU (Motorcycle Patrol Unit) members. I'll let you figure out who's who.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Number 53

Carnival of Cordite #53 is up. Check it out, and cross your fingers for me so I can pass my motorcycle test.