A Turkey of a Match?


So you are expecting to read about how Paul Ruffle pounded the rest of us with his mind numbing regularity in the five gun aggregate score.  Can you believe that Matthew Babb posted a scorching 3.13 string time in major? Sure the weather was great and we all had fun … blah, blah, blah. Except that isn’t what I want to write about. All of that math stuff is at the end of the article where it always is.

I want to talk about the curse of the Bambino. Within days of the Sox taking the World Series, that curse seems to have been transferred to me at the ASC range. It started with Courtney’s power auger. It’s really a neat tool to set up the tables as close to the berm as possible. It was working fantastically until I asked Courtney to shut it down to ask a question. When we went to restart it, it wouldn’t go. OK, let’s dig by hand.

Worse still, two .45 ACP carbines came to the range today to shoot that part of the event. Neither of them made it to completion. The worst causality was mine. Every month, both Art Schoner and I shoot my sweet little AR 15 .45 carbine. Art usually beats me with my own firearm. Not content to humiliate me, he breaks the gun this outing. As I walk over, he hands me a mangled case clearly ruptured by firing out of battery.

Great. Here we are on the cusp of hunting season when every gunsmith is taking bribes to get guns done in time and my only .45 carbine is down for the count. Better still, there is at least one and maybe more projectiles stuck in the barrel. After a couple of minutes with various cleaning rods, I decide that you can tell time without being a watchmaker and you can shoot without being a gunsmith. Fixing things, on the other hand, requires skills and as much as I love my fellow shooters, I am not convinced that they or I have those talents.

Tired and pissed off, I left everyone else to clean up (sorry guys) so that I could head home after dropping the gun off at a smith for what would certainly be a long winter’s nap. After December, we won’t shoot pins again until April since they shatter in the cold winter weather. Oh well, it is a good time to drop in on Richard Harris and at least get a free cup of coffee.  So I pull in and bring the gun to the counter. They open it up and sure enough, there is at least one bullet on the barrel. It looks like a hollow point. “Hollow Point?” I think to myself.  Art is cheap; he won’t spring for hollow point ammunition. There must be some mistake. The next thing I hear is gunsmith will look at your gun in about fifteen minutes.

Ok, now I know that I am in a parallel universe. Art is shooting hollow points and the gunsmith will see me right away in the fall on a Saturday. I push my luck and track down a mirror to see what I look like at 165 pounds, but there are limits even in an alternate world.

Out of my barrel comes a .40 S&W casing and a .45 slug. The slug isn’t even round nose, it is completely flat with a perfect reverse imprint of the .40 S&W headstamp. What looked like a hollow point down the barrel  was actually the shell casing.  I give these guys great credit for being respectful. I come in explaining that “my friend” has jammed the gun. They’re almost certainly thinking yea, right, like the guy who comes in the emergency room complaining that he has rectal discomfort and they pull out a hamster. Sheepishly, the patient looks at the doctor and says something to the effect that it must have crawled up there in his sleep.

It appears that Art must have inadvertently loaded a .40 S&W in the magazine and it fed and fired. The cartridge wasn’t quite big enough to extract and the next round forced the empty brass into the chamber and loaded a .45 behind it. Since the design on these firearms is blowback, when it fired the bolt opened due to the pressure and case ruptured venting the excess gas.  Amazingly, the gun isn’t damaged at all and is ready to run again.

More amazing still is that Firearm Sales in Ivor took the time to check the gun out while I waited. I don’t know of a place where that would happen in Norfolk or Virginia Beach. Thanks to Richard and the gang for helping out. It was a nice ending to a tough Saturday. As we all know, everything will be perfect on Saturday, December 7th when we host the last match of the season at the range. See you then.


Match Results: 

CategoryRankShooterString 1String 2String 3String 4TotalFastest String
1Courtney Bolze7.375.543.8110.3127.033.81
2Paul Ruffle7.267.7410.227.0332.25
3Cort Tompkins35455.065.0390.09
4Art Schoner7.5211.366565148.88
1Matthew Babb7.813.136.314.5921.843.13
2Paul Ruffle5.636.91356.8354.37
3Terry Miltier355.949.061565.00
4Art Schoner12.49.3611.123567.88
5Cort Tompkins10.3825259.1269.50
NFSTerry Miltier5.869.69.434569.89
6Courtney Bolze2525259.5784.57
NFSTerry Miltier7.028.985.547.0828.62
1Paul Ruffle8.269.126.427.6531.45
2Michael J Lawler8.557.456.7612.3235.08
3Courtney Bolze10.5413.386.2411.241.366.24
4Terry Miltier8.83258.137.0749.03
NFSMichael J Lawler9.1510.358.762553.26
NFSTerry Miltier25256.397.0163.40
5Cort Tompkins257.59458.6786.26
6Steven Gordon35559.5510.9110.45
7Art Schoner13.534514.3685157.89
1Cort Tompkins4.384.556.3812.2327.544.38
2Paul Ruffle8.767.936.146.229.03
3Courtney Bolze5.926.3257.6644.88
4Art Schoner7.0325259.8766.90
5Steven Gordon359.943535114.94
1Paul Ruffle6.235.325.15.0321.68
NFSMichael J Lawler9.155.578.3810.0233.12
2Michael J Lawler114.858.8812.0436.774.85
3Cort Tompkins257.386.955.3544.68
4Courtney Bolze4.935.257.043552.22
5Steven Gordon14.062510.3411.3860.78
6Wendy Ruffle45252525120.00
7Art Schoner2513.815535128.81
5 Gun Aggregate
Paul Ruffle32.2554.3731.4529.0321.68168.78
Courtney Bolze27.0384.5741.3644.8852.22250.06
Cort Tompkins90.0969.5086.2627.5444.68318.07
Art Schoner148.8867.88157.8966.90128.81570.36