It was a dark and stormy night, then suddenly, LOTS of shots rang out!
The dark and stormy night was the flooding that hit Central Texas and wiped out long time IPSC shooters Mike and Cheryl Leck, along with a lot of folks from IH-35 all the way to the Texas Coast. Despite the heavy rains and flooding, the stages were set for the River City Shooters' Halloween Match '98. The call went out about the Leck's just prior to the match and shooters were asked to bring what they could to the match. A truck would be headed to Cuero as soon as the shoot was through. All in all over $1800 and two truckloads of supplies were donated at the match! Truly the shooting community at its best.
The stage was a rolling cart that you start with your gun on the table at the head of the track with arms up and looking up for inspiration. On signal retrieve gun and start to propel yourself backwards engaging targets left and right as they become visible. If it hadn't been for that one no-shoot that jumped out in front of my muzzle I would have had a good run on this stage.
Photo 1: Huston LaClair III starts the stage looking for vampires.
Photo 2: That one no-shoot kept getting in my way. Pivoting to engage targets is one thing but doing it from a chair really bites.
Buffy has become incapacitated and YOU have to save the world from the three vampires and their minions. Start standing in front of Buffy, fists clenched in rage and a look of anguish on your face (It's in the stage description!). On signal you retrieve the STAKE from Buffy and stab the first vampire in the heart. Knocking the vampire to the ground activates two swingers. Then you proceed downrange, with the stake, and stab the next vampire in the heart to open a panel and engage targets through his midsection. At the back end of the range was the final Vampire. This guy, when stabbed directly in the heart, activated a sliding array of 8 targets. These could be engaged through a 2' wide window next to the Vampire as they passed, then finished off the end of the array through a series of no-shoots. (I NAILED BUFFY!): I was possessed by the spirit of an 'A' shooter for this stage. When finished with the stage I had to sit down because I was shaking so hard after the spirit left me. To think a D-Limited Single Stack shooter can walk away shooting 71% of the top Open Grand Master Shooters score on this stage.
Photo 1: Huston trying to catch sliding target array as it passes 2' window.
Photo 2: Those stomach cramps are hell.
Photo 3: Guns don't kill Vampires - stakes through the heart kill Vampires
It was a surprise stage, I could tell you about it but then I would have to Kill You!! Start outside the stage in front of a table with red and blue targets, a Mondo kitchen Knife, and a six sided Die with sides painted red and blue. On signal, roll the die and stab whatever color target matches the color on the die. Then proceed through the door and DRAW and engage only the targets that match the color you rolled. My only problem on this stage was the slow start. I kept screaming my Ex's name and stabbing the first target. But I'm not bitter.
Photo: The RO said I wasn't the first to use my Ex's name in vain here.
The Qualifier stage. Start with gun on shelf, standing in box. On signal step forward, retrieve gun, engage center target array through teeth. Just a step to the left and engage steel, then a jump to the right and engage right target array. If you didn't like your first run on this stage you could reshoot for the match standing only by donating $5 to the Leck's fund. I couldn't seem to get my brain engaged for this one. TWICE! That's all I have to say about that.
What a stage! Start in the shower, with curtain closed, washing your hair. When you hear the REEE, REEE, REEE, REEE or the beep, pull back the shower curtain and keep Norman from stabbing you. Please just don't hit the face! Then proceed downrange and engage all targets through the orange plastic safety fence. It is there for your protection! One low array was behind solid black plastic and could be shot through the plastic blindly or run up to engage over plastic. There were also overhead obstacles for those of us of average height and/or stature. OK so my time was a bit slow on this stage but I hit 199 of 200 possible points. Can't believe I dropped that one Charlie hit.
Photo 1: Gee Norman, here's 460 grains of lead for you! I am not a screaming coed!
Photo 2: There is something fundamentally wrong with shooting blindly at 3 targets you can't see and expecting a good score.
Photo 3: The Match was single-stack friendly, but no one said anything about height friendly!
This one was bad for the mentally challenged among us. You either had to remember what stone was where, or look at each as you stepped on it. Or occasionally stop and look if you forgot while shooting. There were 6 engraved pavestones buried in the course. Start on the first and on signal run to each stone and only engage targets that had a symbol matching what you were standing on.
Photo 1: Death was the first to come calling, notice the spider has dropped and is now climbing back up its web!
Photo 2: Punkins R Us in the Field of Screams. Hard to get a good stance on a 1 foot square.
The stones were then given away at the end of the match. Jack'o'Lantern - High Junior (Brittany), Witch on a broom - High Lady (Victoria), Frankenstein - High Law Enforcement, Death - High Senior, 'I ain't afraid of no no-shoot' - Highest penalty shot count (no-shoot) , and the 'But not Least', skull and crossbones - Lowest non penalty shooter.
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