Spring is here! I know this because I recently turned on our irrigation system, and found new water geysers where the pocket gophers had chewed the plastic lines. I also know it is spring when I suddenly realize that I failed again to reload thousands of rounds during the winter so I would be fully ready for the new shooting season. Oh well.
On Sunday we will have the WMFGA Range Cleanup Day. We all recognize the wonderful facility that we are lucky to have as our host. Like BSPSC, the range relies on a significant amount of volunteer efforts. We will have an array of tasks to complete, ranging from raking pine needles and debris to replacing shooting cover shades. Any help that you can provide will be welcome. We will start at 9:00 AM on Sunday. If you cannot work on Sunday, but would like to help, please contact me and we will figure some alternative times.
One of the range projects that will be completed this year is the rehabilitation of 50B. Anybody who has shot a stage on 50B dreads the mag cleanup afterward. Rumor has it that Scott Morley (who became a Super Senior this year) lost a flintlock in the dust over 150 years ago. To improve the bay, it will be disked and improved soil/organics will be mixed into the existing base. It will then be seeded and watered throughout the summer. 50B will closed to shooting for the rest of this season. A shooting cover will be installed during the closure. The temporary loss of the bay will be well worth all of the improvements. Our members continue to work hard for the club, and we have most of our steel targets repaired and refreshed due to Vic Fink, Andy Hubbard, and Jim Clark. In particular, Vic Fink has turned and repaired Pepper Poppers and Mini Pepper Poppers over the last several weeks. He is determined to get as much done for the club as possible before he moves to the Peoples Republic of California this summer. I've promised to smuggle him photos of high-capacity magazines and fully functional AR-15s after his move.
Gary Ritter completed another great New Competitor Clinic, with help from several of our experienced members during the afternoon range time. Many of the new competitors shot the Spring Steel Challenge Match, then shot again at the Special Classifier. A particularly good note is that nearly 1/3 of the new competitors (and new BSPSC members) were women. We also had our first member of the Junior Shooter Program, Brennan Richardson. This type of growth will help maintain the health and the interest in our club.
Congratulations to the following new Range Officers: Lee Bergman, Jim Clark, Bruno Friia, Mark Grimes, Andy Hubbard, Jason Ritter, Mike Rogers, and Jack Spillman.
All of these shooters have taken the extra step to commit to this new responsibility. As you already know, the ROs keep our matches running safely and efficiently. When we do not have enough ROs to distribute between squads we have to draft ROs from other squads that the RO may have registered to shoot with. Steve Banks has been a frequent (and gracious) target of these changes. With these additions to our RO cadre, we should be able to handle the match squadding with less changes.
Our Wednesday Practice continues to grow and prosper under Mike Shapiro's direction. We have introduced many new shooters to BSPSC through the practice, and we will be adding scoring systems and timers to the practice kit. For some strange reason, Mike believes that he and his wife are entitled to go on a vacation, and Shawn Stinton has stepped in to coordinate the practice during Mike's absence.
Last, but not least, thanks to Joel Peters, Jeff Turek, and Shawn Stinton who have developed or selected some great stages for our upcoming NRS Slot match. They can still use stage ideas, in just about any form. So please help us keep our stages fresh by sending one to them.
See you at the range,
Earlier this year we requested volunteers to serve on the Stage Design Committee. We also
encouraged any of our shooters to contribute stage designs. So far only two volunteers have
joined the committee and submitted stages.
As you know, we lost Joe Ocken early this year, and lost Bill McBroom, another prolific stage
designer in 2014. Joe was able to pick up much of the slack from Bill’s passing, and even
created several original stages for Wednesday practice. Over 90 percent of our pistol stages were
provided by his creativity and energy.
While it is difficult to replace someone like Joe, he left a number of tools for the next wave of
stage designers. Among the tools he left are his previous stages, SketchUp components, and
design templates. He encouraged new designers to use his stages as starting points and to
modify them with new props, layouts, or targets. He understood that it was less intimidating to
start with an existing stage than a blank piece of paper.
Our club really needs people to step up and help with stage designs. Please don’t feel like you
have to be a Master class shooter to serve on the Stage Design Committee or to submit stages.
While we would prefer that committee members be certified Range Officers (to help insure
legality and fairness of the stages), any experienced shooter can serve.
Have you seen those commercials that say “All credit applications will be accepted”? You
immediately note that it doesn’t say “All applications will be approved”. Well, the Stage Design
Committee will accept ALL designs. Designs can be submitted as SketchUp files (preferred),
scanned drawings, paper drawings, and even (clean) napkin notes. Unlike the credit application,
the committee will work with the stage designer to correct any issues and help turn the design
into a successful match stage.
Our club consistently tries to balance the stage difficulty to challenge all levels of competitors.
We cannot achieve that balance without new stage designs from a variety of shooters. While you
will never lose your right to grumble about a particular stage, please remember that the
Malfunction Gremlin is very fickle. If you complain about a stage, and haven’t contributed to
the design or review of our club stages, you may find your finely-tuned, multi-thousand-dollar
pistol has turned into a bolt action single shot (karma).
Please help us with our stage design efforts, even if you are only able to submit a single stage,
and keep the Malfunction Gremlin at bay.