Sunday, February 24, 2013

Training - Snowball Shoot . . . . Steel


Temps this morning when I work up . . . . around 5F.  Clear, Sunny – no wind!  Sounds like a great day to go to the range!!

Today was the day our Ikes chapter set for a “Snowball Steel Shoot”.   Why not.  It was from 2PM to 4PM, $10 fee, shoot as many rounds as you wish.

We only set up one stage – 2ea 8” rounds, 2ea 8”x10” plates and Red 8” round for the stop plate.  The layout was the 8” rounds at 30’ on the opposite edges of the range, the 8”x10” plates were at 60’ at 1/3 in from opposite sides of the range and the 8” Stop plate was dead center at 45’.  Nothing tricky, just a fun day trying to beat the clock.  It looked something like this:

Jerry-Doug 1

This is Jerry, one of our RSOs as timer and Doug shooting his first steel ever.  Photo by yours truly.

Couple changes coming to my range gear this year.  I’m switching to my Springfield 1911 for most my work.  I’ve gone the distance to purchase bullet molds and reloading gear to both make and reload my own rounds.  And, I have thousands of casings for .45 along with primers.  So, given the rarity of finding ammunition, especially .45 and .9mm – I’m going to make it myself.  I am still short dies for 9mm and only have 1,000 small pistol primers, so plan on concentrating on the .45 for this summer.  Should be fun . . . . I love learning new stuff!

My runs could have be so much better . . . heavy sigh.  Yet, first of the year and probably only the 3rd time I ran just the 1911.  Should improve with time.  In the interest of full disclosure here are my times:















Run 3 my gun just was not interested in running – one Failure to Feed, one Failure to fire and I needed a mag change.  Heavy sigh.  And Run 5 was essentially the same.  In chatting with one of the guys that just runs a 1911 it was determined I simply have not run enough rounds through this fella – around 300 or so.  We’re going to take care of that.

Otherwise, a fine time was had by all, everyone helped setup and tear down, everyone left with the same number of holes they came with and we introduced an old shooter to a new sport!  Our normal “season” begins the 2nd Tuesday of April . . . . can’t wait!!!


  1. Sounds like fun! But that is damn cold!!!

    1. Honestly, didn't state that very well. By 2pm we were pushing the mid-20s. Much better than 5 and actually not all that uncomfortable . . . . which means it's been too chilly for way too long! :)

  2. If you are working up new loads - and are not near max on the 9mm you should be able to use Small Rifle Primers.. There are a few left in Cedar Rapids as of last week. Only issue is if you have a stiff enough spring. SPP & SRP are dimensionally the same. This is NOT true for LRP & LPP. I might need to talk with you about the 45 mold if things do not get normal again soon...

  3. Sorry.. Reread the post... Did not see you didn't have 9mm dies.. That would make it a bit harder! 45 dies are still pretty available as as LRP and 45 ACP is a low pressure round. Good one to start with.. Second in simplicity to .38. Enjoy.. Casting & reloading is fun. You'll get hooked...;)

    1. Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. Yep, I think the .45 is a good place to start. Eventually I'll come across a set of dies for the 9mm - hoping that happens before summer!

      I think the casting stuff will hit alot of the techie buttons, looking forward to it. I suspect it will generate a post or two or five or ten . . .

  4. I just don't do well in the cold anymore. My body does not retain heat and my fingers stop working:)

    1. I'm not nearly as tolerant of cold anymore either. Still, if I focus on the purpose rather than the cold I seem to be able to hang in there. :)