Where and When

I’ve been shooting Bullseye a little over four years, since early 2005.

Like many other shooters, I also have a full-time job that limits my practice time. And also like many others, my job includes travel which compounds the situation.

And in my case, I mean a lot of travel. On a typical trip, it is common for me to be “in transit” for 8-10 hours on day #1 with a combination of shuttle to the airport, checking in the recommended 60-90 minutes early, flying for 5 hours (Phoenix to some east coast location), and then having another hour of airport and travel time to some previously booked hotel. Then, I put in the next four days, 8 to 5 or 6 or 7, at a customer’s location. Then, there’s the company email to be scanned and mostly deleted before bed. Day #6 of such a trip is fly-home day with another 9-11 hours “in transit” since I buck the jet stream on the way back west.

So, I take my Bullseye sport if, when and where I can.

Most clubs are very welcoming to newcomers. And although my Outdoor Sharpshooter and Indoor Expert ratings aren’t the most stellar, they do say I’ve developed some small set of skills and that I’m not likely to do any harm … well, except to the target frames or maybe a low-hanging overhead on occasion (sorry, Florida!).

Although my progress up the Bullseye ranks has been slow, there are some advantages to how I’ve had to fit in the sport.

First, and as I’ve noted before, I’ve met a lot of nice, stable, solid and dependable people.

That’s because this sport attracts those people. Remember, you’re standing side by side with loaded guns, concentrating on your own front sight and trying hard to ignore everything else around you. This demands a deep trust in, and also from, the person standing next to you with his or her own loaded gun. Those undeserving of that trust, or who cannot develop the same toward their neighbor, don’t stay in the sport.

Second, because the laws in some places make it difficult for me to bring my own guns, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to shoot a wide range of very fine handguns that have been loaned to me by shooters in those locations. I’ve shot everything from stock Rugers to Hammerlis, from more Rugers with Volquardsen parts to Rock Rivers, and from even more Rugers that’ve been blessed and fussed over by the finest Ruger gunsmiths in the country to 1911s that have been tweaked, ramped, honed, pressed and maybe even prayed over by the likes of Roddy Toyota and Dave Salyer, and I’ve had the honor of being able to shoot more than one Ed Masaki which, as any Masaki owner will probably tell you, just getting to shoot one of those is fabulous.

And the triggers I’ve experienced across all of these get a very wide range of descriptions. A very small number have been like dragging a brick across concrete. Those are darn hard to shoot straight. Most triggers, though, are like breaking a glass rod in their abruptness except that a glass rod will give a little before it snaps but a crisp trigger won’t. And then there are the roll triggers, short, medium and long, with one so long I wanted a bathroom break before the shot went.

Over all those fine guns I’ve had the priviledge to shoot, I’ve learned to my public embarassment that I can jerk the finest handguns just as badly as the cheapest. (And thanks for not laughing.)

But I’ve also learned that I can hit the bullseye with just about any trigger as long as I concentrate, press straight back and move only that one finger.

This Sunday’s 2700 starts at 7:30AM to try and beat the heat.

I’ll be there concentrating on that “straight back” and “only that finger” and I’ll be the one feeling like all of me is just pouring into the red dot.

I know you’ll pardon me if I seem to be ignoring you while we’re shooting.

But then again, if you’re a Bullseye shooter, you already know that.

I’ll see you on the line!


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