Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cavalry Charge!

Many years ago a buddy of mine was into Civil War reenacting. He almost drug me into that, but I somehow managed to resist. Since then I have always had an affinity for the re-enactors and as you have probably already figured out from reading this blog I’m into anything I can do stretch the experience.

While investigating my family history I found out that a distant relative was a Colonel in the Civil War. After the war he became a Justice of the Peace and while I ended up not using his name for my Alias it defiantly influenced my “character.” What I’m trying to say in a roundabout way is that I have been interested in an 1876 Cavalry Officer Uniform for CAS since I started this sport. So for fantasy purposes lets take a look at what’s out there for an authentic looking 1876 Cavalry Officer Uniform.

The internet is amazing. I remember my buddy having a very difficult time finding the necessary items for reenacting. Now, with a few key strokes, you can find everything you need from specialty stores online. So let’s start from the ground up.


This is the Military Civil War Cavalry Boot. It was found on both sides of the war and was common up until the 1900’s. Civilian Stovepipe Boots or shorter Military style boots from the period would also be acceptable, but the well dressed Cavalry Officer would probably be wearing these.


The M1873 Trousers, Sky Blue were made from “Kersey” and for the cavalry would have had a 1.5” Lemon Yellow stripe down each leg. The stripe width varied depending on the rank, but since we are looking at what a Colonel might have worn we will go with the wider stripe.


Here is where things get a little interesting. First If I was shooting for an 1873 look I would probably have to go with a M1852 Pattern Civil War Grey Flannel Shirt. In 1874 they issued a slightly modified version and in 1875 came out with a Dark Blue Version known as the M1875 Dark Blue Experimental Shirt. Since 1876 is our target year then we’ll go for the Dark Blue Shirt. The shirts changed often and there are many variations including a white civilian shirt. The shirt doesn’t matter as much because the well dressed officer would be wearing a fatigue blouse.


This one is easy, the M1876 Undress Blouse with Shoulder Boards for a Cavalry Colonel.

There will be more to come including the hat, belts, holsters, and shotgun belt so stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hoosier Ambush scores are up

I'm pretty darned happy for a guy who finished 7th in his category.  I finished overall 53rd out of 163 shooters, a top third for me is good.  I shot very consistently within my class and was able to pull off a quick stage 7 to put me ahead of a couple of duelists that would have otherwise beat me.

I was able to stay ahead of some shooters from other categories that can or usually beat me, like Buffalo Dick, Randy Atcher, Manatee, Abu, Judge Mint Day, Hardscrabble & Graver.  The only shooter that I would normally compare myself to that beat me is M'bogo and I've really no right to compare myself to him, but he's my goal and I'm even happy for staying within 30 seconds of him over 10 stages.

I'm improving and that's what I get out of the competition.

The match was ranked by category, so shooters are measured against other folks in their category and not all the other classes (except for the overall results).  This sounds like a good idea, except that it isn't.  In several categories there is not a large enough sampling of shooters to make rank scoring work, so I hope this is the last big match that does this.  I don't think it would have changed Duelist much if at all, but I know it affected Traditional and FCD.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Almost There

I've gotten the Rock Island to the point that I can send it in for refinishing, the problem is that I can't get in contact with anyone who can do the parkerizing. Both of the guys who I am assured can do this are either out of town or not answering, so I'm kinda stuck.

So here are some pre-finish pics to show the work that was done on the pistol.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Why does this rule exist?

ROI Course, Page 13

11. The shooter with firearm in hand shall
never be allowed to move with a live
round under a cocked hammer.
Movement is defined the same as
“traveling” in basketball. Once the firearm
is cocked, one foot must remain in
place on the ground until the firearm is
made safe. This means, on revolvers, you
may move, restage, or reholster when the
hammer is down on an empty chamber or
expended case. You may move with a rifle
when the action is open or hammer
down on an empty chamber or an expended
case. If restaging the rifle, the action
must be closed and hammer down
either on an empty chamber or expended
case. Shotguns are considered safe for
movement when the action is open and
may be restaged only if open and empty.

I believe I might have an answer. This rule is here to prevent a shooter who has cocked a pistol in the incorrect shooting position from moving to the correct shooting position (shotguns and rifles can be opened and made safe without firing). I presume this is for safety reasons, having a shooter move with a cocked, loaded single action pistol is dangerous.

It has been pointed out to me however, that a shooter who's running with a model '97 shotgun, can drop a round on the carrier, rack and fire the round out before the shooter violates the "traveling" defined above. That is, the shooter has a foot on the ground and it remains "in place" for the time it takes the action to close and the hammer to fall.

Lets assume that's true, then by that logic, a shooter with a single action pistol, could similarly run, cock and fire that pistol while avoiding the penalty. Same principle, just hold the trigger down and slip-hammer with the opposing hand, the round is under the cocked hammer for a split second, not nearly enough time to lift a foot.

How about a rifle? I believe, neigh, I KNOW there are shooters who can lever their rifles and fire them in splits of a second. This would also be considered well within the rules.

So my question is why is it more safe to have shooters running and operating their pistols/shotguns and potentially their rifles and a shooter who has to take a step to an adjacent window isn't?

I propose that this rule needs to be fixed. To me at least, the INTENT of this rule is to keep folks from MOVING while operating their firearms and I don't believe that someone who is at a walk or run is not moving. It's like this, if you are in the action of walking, then you are indeed moving. It takes only a split second for the hammer to fall when a '97 is closed, however, during that split second, you are still moving (walking).

In the beginning, there was just the rule that a shooter couldn't move with a cocked firearm, but that was too restrictive. So the power that be added the "traveling" example and then made that example the definition of moving. This is a mistake in my book because you have to know what the traveling rule is in basketball and I'd dare say that 95% of the participants have never read the basketball traveling rule. The traveling example/definition was put in to save words and thats all. Instead of spelling it out properly, the rules writers got lazy and said it is the same thing as traveling in basketball and that was good enough until shooters started thinking outside the box and pushing the rule to the limit.

This rule also had more teeth until the rule was changed to allow movement with a live round on the carrier. It would be far harder to run, drop a round in and close the action before the "plant foot" moved. The rule would also then preclude a rifle from being made safe to move with, thus preventing a shooter who levered a rifle out of position from moving until a shot was fired, thus incurring a penalty.

Now I believe the rule is nearly meaningless as it can be demonstrated that a shotgun and pistol can be safely fired while running, so why punish the poor pistolero who just happened to cock his hammer at the wrong window or doorway? I'd as soon see someone take a step with a cocked Colt than run while loading/firing a '97.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday America

Concord Hymn

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Another hot one

Last Saturday was another hot one at Thunder Valley.  I think the official temp was 94 degrees and the humidity was up there too.  Of interest this month is the return of our TG and newly appointed SASS Regulator Vaquero Hayes, congrats to him for a well deserved appointment.  He is truly an embassador to the game.

Also of note was the injury last Tuesday to our club president and range owner Redneck Rebel who was thrown from a horse and broke one rib clean, three fractured and a punctured lung, OUCH!  I went down early with another pardner to help setup and then spent time after the shoot helping clean up.  I have a new appreciation for all that Redneck does and hope he's a fast healer.  Actually, I don't mind helping, I just wish some of the other guys would have pitched in on such a hot day, especially since I ran the posse.

As for the shooting, I shot pretty consistently and ended up the top duelist and 5th overall (out of 23).  I'll take it, my speed was pretty good (for me) and I had nary a bobble, just a couple of shotgun hulls that stuck in the port and were quickly cleared.  I'm getting several compliments on my shotgun work, four over the top seems to be fastest for me, so that makes you feel good.

I've got one more shoot next weekend before the Indiana State Shoot to improve, this is about as well as I've ever shot, if I can get the misses down, I'd feel better, but every shooter wants to do better and that's part of what makes shooting sports so great.  You can pick them up easilty, but mastery is very hard.