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Dusty Devil Dale

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Posts posted by Dusty Devil Dale

  1. I used to (15+ years ago) buy Duracell batteries for my many flashlights and other battery appliances.  I  bought them from local hardware stores or drug stores and they always worked well, lasted well and had no obvious problems.  A flashlight would last me all night, hiking or working. 

     Then, about 10 or so years ago,  I began to buy them at COSTCO in much cheaper bulk packages.  It looked to be a good deal. 

    But WAIT!

    "Made in China" should have signaled me to be cautious.  But I put them into my many lights and appliances, just as I had always done.  These included expensive  tachometers, wood moisture meters, temperature instrumentation, Cameras, and other tools that are expensive to replace.  The Duracells did not last very long, which actually ended up to be a blessing.  Thankfully, I now have to open the battery compartments much sooner than usual to replace the cells.  I very often find  tell-tale white (acid) powder and blue galvanic corrosion that if left unnoticed for a time will slowly destroy the expensive appliances' battery harness.  


    The Duracell external cases are now very fast-corroding, seemingly regardless of humidity or other environmental  conditions.  And I am lucky to get a half-hour of use before the flashlight starts dimming.  


    So, I'm frustrated and looking.  Short of converting everything to Lithium batteries, do any of you have any good reports to share about ordinary batteries?

    Is there a good quality dry cell battery brand out there any more?  I'm looking for a source of all sizes of dry cell batteries that are of similar quality to what we used to buy.  


  2. 22 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

    Running the AC, lights and wipers does lower the range but most of the e vehicles now show where the charging stations are up ahead and there are more and more charging stations being built every day. That being said a few years ago some friends of mine that bought one of the Tesla early models and decided to take a road trip back east in June. They got to about a mile out of Quartzsite, Az. and the car ran out of juice. They could see the Carls Junior sign where the charging stations were but had to wait a couple of hours for the tow truck to get them there. 

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t charging stations at most fast food restaurants and grocery stores and other businesses in the not to distant future. In Escondido they’re cropping up everywhere, even out in the small town where I live they are in a number of locations.


    Personally if I were going to buy an e vehicle, I’d buy a plug in hybrid. The gasoline engine would still get you there if the batteries wouldn’t.

    IMO, the hybrid technology is much more versatile for people travelling more than a small mileage radius.  TESLA is getting a lot of criticism over their EVs not achieving the advertised mileage.  I suspect the things Alpo mentioned are the reason.   I would love to be able to fuel up my cars right in my own garage, but only if my lifestyle only included short trips.  Unfortunately, the short trip lifestyle doesn't match with my needs.


    Off Topic but related --electric tooling:


      Next year, it will be illegal to sell or buy a new gasoline powered lawn mower, leaf blower, chainsaw, etc.,  in CA.   I need to do heavy logging, so I gave in and bought a battery powered saw to give them a try. (It is my 13th chainsaw -- I do a lot of logging and fire fuel clearing work) 


    I normally use gas-powered saws: Stihl 390 with a 28" bar, 490 with 36" bar, 660 with a 46" bar or 860 with a 56" bar, all using chisel tooth chains.   The largest battery model currently available has a 26" bar, so I was limited right off the starting block. 


    I tested the saw yesterday, limbing and bucking a +- 33" dbh previously felled Jeffrey Pine about 140' in length.   Limbing went ok, but much slower than with a bigger, heavier, higher RPM gas saw.  It took three batteries to limb the fallen tree (about 30 large 12-16" limbs and many more small branches).  Normally, I walk the top of the log, reaching down and cutting limbs with longer saw bars -- i.e., not having to bend over.  The shorter bar necessitated bending over and finally dismounting the log and having to climb through branches and snakes on the ground to do the remaining limbing work.  


    Log bucking to length was a different story.  2/3 of the way through the first bucking cut, using a fresh (4th) battery, the battery became exhausted.  While I paused to change batteries,  the log predictably settled and impinged the saw.   The fresh (5th) battery did not supply sufficient energy/torque to restart the impinged chain, and the high torquing effort exhausted the battery after a few minutes of  trying.  I hiked out to get a gas-powered saw to free the saw and finish the work.  


    Net conclusion:  The $550 electric saw and FIVE batteries ($140 apiece) could not do the work that a gas-powered saw can do on a pint of fossil fuel.  Electric saws definitely have a place and are even impressive in lighter home maintenance and some commercial tree work.  They're lighter and less maintenance intensive and they can get a lot of light work accomplished with less effort.  But , their current development is insufficient for constant heavier work.  The electric tooling is not yet up to the work requirements of commercial or heavy logging.  I can't carry enough batteries and wedges in the field to keep them operating for a day.  And their lower RPM and slower cutting rate is a major production handicap. 


    I guess I'll be driving my gas-powered pickups to Reno or Kingman for future gas-powered saw purchases.   


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  3. On 9/9/2023 at 8:03 PM, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

    I've been thinking:

    EVs may end up being a real boon to the hotel/motel industry.

    I imagine the large chains are selecting land near the limits of a charged vehicle's range, where they will build parking lots with chargers for each parking slot, waiting areas, toilets, restaurants and rooms to rent, short term, while your vehicle is charging. 

    May be time to buy Holiday Inn stock.

    Possibly, but I suspect a more likely outcome is to see distance travel being greatly reduced.  After all, gradually limiting our ability to travel and escape their ultimate One World Government control was the central theme of UN Agenda 21, which is the core of the current progressivism and climate hysteria.  

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  4. On 8/21/2023 at 9:34 AM, Alpo said:

    You are in an accident. You are taken unconscious to the hospital. You are wearing a set of dog tags.


    Would they automatically give you the blood type that it said on the tag, or would they check first?


    Online story. He is wearing his dead wife's dog tags. I presume that it would just have initials for the first middle name - S.J. Johnson, like that? Because I'm pretty sure that "Sarah Jane Johnson" would be a good clue that these were not his dog tags.


    And he and his wife did not have the same type of blood, so they gave him the wrong blood and he goes into a coma.


    Would a hospital actually do something like that, or was that just the author's way to make putting him in a coma work?


    Seemed kind of dumb to me,  but a lot of things people do seem kind of dumb to me. B)

    No.  It takes only a few minutes to type and cross a blood sample, so the hospital would do that first.  But that is not saying mistakes don't get made.  quite a few people handle donated blood, so there is opportunity for human error in labeling, etc.  

  5. 5 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

    Dale is saying that not saying the line is contrary to SOG by attempting a competitive advantage.


    BUT I don't believe the definition of SOG supports his argument. 

    SOG applies to actions AFTER the beep - that might be taken to mimimize the effect of an error (i.e. dumping rounds after earning a P).


    The only other thing that could be (wrongly) applied is Failure To Engage.

    I.e refusing to perform a non shooting activity on the clock.

    But again; this is a penalty that only applies AFTER the beep.


    As far as I can recall - other than safety/ loading/ unloading related and interpersonal conflicts - there are no penalties for anything outside the time beep to beep.


    IF the timer is following procedure - regardless of the shooter signifying ready by saying,

    "It's a hell of a thing killing a man - taking away everything he has or will ever have".


    "Shooter ready"


    "Yabba dabba doo"


    The timer "should" follow that by

    "Shooters ready - Standby"...



    There is no time or focus advantage to any of the above.

    No advantage - no penalty.

    There are penalties assessed for various rule violations occurring before the beep, for example(s):


    1) moving from the loading table to the staging location with a closed long gun with a chambered round.  


    2) Dropping a gun off the loading table.


    3) Leaving the loading area with loaded pistols before being called to the stage. 


    4) Dry firing at the loading table.


    5) Sweeping a loading table officer or other person with an empty or loaded firearm.


    You are correct that these are safety related, but they nevertheless are penalties incurred before the beep.   But the Failure to Engage section makes no mention of when infractions occur with respect to the beep.  When a shooter is on the stage or firing line, as defined,  I would assume that  all rules and conventions apply.  


    And I guess we'll just have to agree to  disagree on whether or not there is competitive advantage afforded by skipping a part of the stage instruction.  My experience has been that those who commonly skip over the start lines argue there is no advantage.  Those who follow the stage instructions believe skipping the start lines is taking unfair advantage.

    We re unlikely to settle it here.  The fact that folks so very strongly resist being required to say the lines suggests they do see an advantage of some kind.  


    For my part,  I will continue requiring shooters to comply with the stage instructions, including making a reasonable effort to say a line at least similar or equivalent to the start lines in the instruction.  But with that said, I often write stages requiring very simple one or two word starting lines.   Lots of people adlib the lines and have fun doing it.  That isn't what I was referring to in my original statement.  Somebody invented creative starting lines for some reason.  It appears those reasons are lost now on many here.  






  6. 41 minutes ago, PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L said:


    No, it does NOT.


    You seem to be confusing the "Spirit of the Game" philosophy with a SOG violation...which is explicitly defined as a SHOOTING infraction related to stage instructions (e.g. committing additional procedurals after receiving the first one on a stage in an attempt to make up the time...knowing only one "P" may be assessed per stage) and failure to meet ammunition MinVel/PF standards.


    The SHB examples defining a "SPIRIT OF THE GAME" infraction are:


     A Failure to Engage or a Spirit of the Game infraction carries a 30 second penalty. The accumulation of two Failure to Engage/Spirit of the Game penalties in the same match results in a Match Disqualification Penalty. 
    - Willfully shooting a stage other than the way it was intended in order to gain a competitive advantage (Spirit of the Game). 
    Shooting ammunition that does not meet the power factor or minimum velocity. The penalty is applied for each stage a competitor is checked and their ammunition is found to not meet the power factor or minimum velocity (Spirit of the Game).
    SHB p.23
    If the average velocity of the four rounds meets or exceeds the calculated power factor of 60 AND the minimum velocity of 400 fps, the loads will be considered legal. If the loads do not meet the 60 power factor OR the minimum velocity of 400 fps, the competitor will be assessed a 30 second Spirit of the Game (SOG) penalty for the last stage completed. Any subsequent stages completed with the illegal ammunition will result in the SOG penalty being assessed for those stages. Two SOG penalties will result in a Match DQ.
    SHB p.25

    None of which mention "saying the starting line".

    Thank you for clarifying.  I was in fact mixing the two sections in memory.   Are you in agreement that the start lines are non-shooting  "stage instructions" or required "non-shooting procedures"? 


    SHB p11:  Failure to Engage
    A “failure to engage” penalty occurs when a competitor willfully or intentionally disregards the stage instructions in order to obtain a competitive advantage and is not assessed simply because a competitor “makes a mistake.” A “failure to engage” applies only to non-shooting situations such as refusing to rope a steer, throw a stick of dynamite, or otherwise make an attempt to complete any other non-shooting procedure written within the stage instructions. In such case, a 30-second “failure to engage” penalty is assessed in addition to any penalties for misses, procedurals, or minor safety infractions.

  7. 18 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

    If I can't remember the line I usually just say "I work for Mel Brooks" or "Are you going to pull those pistols or whistle Dixie".  Thirteen years and counting and I've never seen anyone pick up a penalty for not saying the line correctly, or for saying "Shooter Ready".  As @Cypress Sunpointed out, there's no competitive advantage to not saying the line, so I don't see how there's a penalty.

    Capt, Pls remember that the top ranks of our matches are sometimes separated by fractions of seconds.  Interrupting one person's focus to say a reasonable start line (like your first two examples) v. not requiring it of others seems to me to be a differential time factor at that level of competition; particularly in a sport where focus and rapidly remembering a course of fire on top of transitioning plans is such a big part of the competition. 


    Like you,  I never have seen a SOG penalty of any kind assessed, so there is obviously a lot of flex, as there needs to be.  But following the stage instructions seems like an easy thing to expect --otherwise, let's  just write all the stages to require "ready" as the start line.   Easy enough.  

  8. 2 minutes ago, Cypress Sun said:


    How exactly does adlibbing a starting line or saying "shooter ready" create an uneven playing field?


    If the starting line is Train's coming and I change it to Train wreck coming...I should get a SOG? :angry:

    No.  Don't overplay or put words into my mouth. . 

     Any reasonable attempt at the line, or creative approximation is OK and welcome with any T.O. I've ever known.   Creative  approximations to the lines are common and  many are pretty entertaining.  


     But saying "shooter ready" at every stage in every match is not OK.  That  gives you an easier path through the matches than the other shooters who are expected to follow ALL of the stage instructions. 


    Again, I didn't write the rules, but I do associate very closely with friends who were original SASS Rules Committee members.  My pause/coach approach was their recommendation, andhwhat I've watched them repeatedly do.  It was also the advice given in response to questions aaked at my latest ROII course. 

    Again, change the rule if it's important to you, but let's require the same things of all shooters and not play favorites by allowing corner cutting.  

    • Like 1
  9. 31 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

    The starting line exists to allow the shooter to signify they are ready.

    It keeps the TO from asking "Is the shooter ready?" and bothering the shooter during their firearms staging and positioning.


    If anyone refused to start the timer because I didn't say the start line to their satisfaction...

    I would have another TO on the line pretty quickly.


    And if that occurred at a shoot I was responsible for - that person would never touch a timer at my shoots ever again.

    I agree that the line signifies when ready, but there are reasons why the rule authors  didnt simply be nonspecific or use "ready" for every stage, as in other shooting sports.  And there must have been a reason why they made failure to make an effort to say the line a major (30 sec) violation.   I wasn't there so I won't represent myself as all-knowing, but the original Rules Committee appears to have been looking for more than simply informing the TO that we are ready.  


    The T.O. (and all other responsible match officials) are expected to assure that the SASS rules are followed by everybody, so shooters have a level playing field. 


    My pausing/coaching, as I described, is a pretty inoffensive way to make the point, without any penalties.   Alternatively, as a T.O. I would need to assign a SOG violation, per the explicit rules.   If we don't like those circumstances we should change the rules as written, but apply the same standards to EVERYONE.  It's about fair play, not T.O. chest pounding or being a hard a$$.  


    No need to take offense.  If you simply say the lines properly and follow the other stage instructions, there won't be any conflicts warranting either of us leaving, and the two of us should get along just fine.  Looking forward to it!

    • Like 2
  10. 9 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

    I understand your concerns, but I ain't so sure that remembering a line from a Hollywood movie script

    has much historical aspect.




    I agree the start lines often don't have a lot to do with history, often being the only thing a stage writer could come up with.  Some are good for a laugh - like the Halloween match I saw where shooters held up a witches broom and said, "of course I can drive a stick".  Laughs are a good thing in our matches!  You didn't indicate if you object to the start lines or like them, so pls understand that I'm not directing this to you.  Your remark struck a chord for me.  My comment relates mostly to the OP. 


      But there is another side to start lines.  They were included in our game/sport for a reason.  The SHB calls out "... refusal to say a line..."  as an explicit example of a SOG violation.  


    I shoot with several experienced and accomplished/championship shooters who are used to getting away with robotically saying "shooter ready" at every stage, while everyone else is expected to make an effort to say the start line, briefly interrupting their focus and concentration on the stage course of fire and transitions. Many other shooters, including myself, see refusal to say/approximate the line as taking unfair competitive advantage.   That matters in close matches. 


    When I'm running the timer, I do not call the SOG violation.  Rather I wait quietly for the shooter to say the line as published in the stage direction.  If the shooter asks about the delay, I tell them I'm still waiting for the proper line.  But I see other Timer Operators letting them take advantage uninhibited. 


    (Most clubs where I shoot post the line at the starting positions, so memory doesn't really become a factor. )


    To be fair competition, the same set of rules must be applied to everybody, regardless of how well known or accomplished they may be.   It's a part of the game and was created for a purpose.

    If the consensus is to get rid of that aspect, that's fine.  Many people would miss it.  Stage writers would probably rejoice. 


    • Like 2
  11. On 8/6/2023 at 2:08 PM, Whip Assalot said:

    So what I did was I decapped the primer and skipped the powder and primer station. I went to the bullet seating station and then seated and crimped the bullet so it has no powder and no primer.

    The only problem with skipping the powder step, at least on my Dillon650, is that the case is not belled to accept the bullet.  Sometimes that works, but on some cases it doesn't.  

  12. Most of the Highway Patrol officers I see are watching double-fine construction zones, trying to keep workers safer.  


    But recently I called 911 to report a drunk driver on the road ahead of me near Jackson, Ca..  Out of nowhere a CHP car showed up w/in a couple minutes and pulled the driver over.   Just because you don't notice them doesn't mean they are not there and responsive.  

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  13. Beekeeper advice to me that works very well:


    The dish soap treatment works, if you do it at night when the wasps are mostly at the nest.   Mix about an ounce of soap per 5 gal sprayer.  Use a several gallon weed sprayer, because the wasps will dribble out of the nest for ten minutes or so.  You need to keep up pretty continuous spray at the openings. ( Make sure you find all of the  nest access openings. ) When the soap hits the insects, they just fall to the ground and crawl around until they die.  I have piled up several inches of dead wasps under big nests.  

      DO NOT USE A FLASHLIGHT.  Use car headlamps or a work light at a distance --do not position it near yourself.  The wasps will respond to the light, like daylight, and any escaping wasps will go directly toward the source.  


    We routinely get big German yellowjacket nests in the facade buildings at our club range.  Some of them have 10,000 or more individuals.  I go up at night and spray a dozen or so of the nests in advance of our matches.  I've not yet been stung in the process.

    In the past, I used the commercial off the shelf 'blaster" type wasp sprays.  The spray container held just enough to get the whole nest mad, then it ran out.  I usually picked up a sting or two.   The soap is much tamer, safer, and easier --also cheaper and less environmentally toxic.  


    The soap also works great when poured into a fire ant nest.  


    • Like 1
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  14. On 8/4/2023 at 7:16 PM, Johnny Dollar said:

    Do you reload? Or know someone that does?  
    they are easy to make.   Load a round with lead.. no powder and no primer.  Fill the primer pocket with silicone…. File the edge of the rim. 
    I’ve made them. Works great

    Don't do what I did.  Don't unintentionally  drop in a powder charge (w/ no primer), seat a bullet, seal the primer pocket with silicone, then go to a grinder to trim the case rim.  The grinding heat discharged the round in my bare hand.  No pain or injuries, just a blackened hand and jangled nerves.  I never found the empty case or the bullet.  Im sure it could have been much worse -- thinking eyes-- BE SURE TO DISABLE THE POWDER DROP AND VISUALLY CHECK BEFORE SEATING A BULLET.  

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  15. Unless you're super-human, have perfectly working guns, flawless ammo,  and have a LOT of practice time on your hands, don't expect to be shooting very many clean stages under 30 seconds during your first year. 


     The practice advice above is all good, but only if you put in the time and expense.  

    Get a good timer that is capable of reviewing split times shot by shot.  Then practice for a time, checking the timer afterwards and recording times for pistol, rifle and shotgun strings,  plus transition times between them.  You will quickly realize where you can cut seconds off your total times.   You will find that transitions and shotgun loading are the big time consumers.  You will not be a fast shooter until you master those two items.  


    Pistol and rifle speed will come with practice, as will precision.   But don't neglect transition practice. 


    Here are a couple exercises that I found helpful.  


    Pistols:  Draw - Fire 1 round -  reholster.  Do it over and over again.  Same for GFs, except fire one rd with each hand.


    Rifle:  Dry fire a LOT, until the timing and cadence become natural to you.  Set up a handful of Post-it targets on your living room wall and dry fire away.  ( BE SURE TO DOUBLE-CONFIRM THAT  THE GUN IS UNLOADED-- sounds obvious, but accidents have occurred)

    File the top of the rim off of a dummy/snap cap round so it does not eject when you work the lever, then practice rapid levering and trigger timing.  You need to have your lever-trigger timing under control to avoid jacking out rounds, costing reload time in matches. 


    Shotgun:  More time is used for shotgun loading than any other stage activity, so PRACTICE LOADING. 


    If shooting a double barrel, hold the open empty shotgun at roughly firing position and repeatedly load the chambers with dummy rounds.  With two shells in-hand, go back and forth from the belt/ bandolier to the chambers,  (never releasing your grip on the shells), and  push them only halfway into the chambers, then back to the belt.  Go back and forth 100 times, then repeat and repeat with multiple sessions until you can hit the chambers every time - with minimal watching.    (Hint:  align the top of the cases to the top curves of the two chambers, then tip them in)

    In this exercise,  you're only developing muscle memory for finding the belt and alignimg shells to the chambers rapidly, so it isn't necessary to take time to release the shells and re-grab them.  Those tasks require different exercises.  Practicing shucking of empties pretty much will  require live fire practice.   


    If shooting a 97, load your SG belt with snap caps and repeatedly load the chamber either over the top (left handed) or dropping them in right handed and working the action to chamber, then eject them until you have the motions, positions and timing down.  


    There are lots of ways to practice, and I suggest you ask other shooters for advice.  I'm only a medium fast shooter, usually breaking 30 sec in only about 70% of stages and 20 sec in maybe 5%.   The above practice hints were shared with me early on, and I found them helpful.  And they reduced practice cost and reloading time considerably.   Once you reach the plateau where this kind of practice ceases to help you improve further, you're on your own to develop live-fire practice techniques that work for you. 

    Best of luck.  Hope this is helpful.  


    • Like 1
  16. We surely can do better.  After all, we are here for fun.  I can't imagine wearing a buckle that I know I cheated to win.  Truth is, if a buckle is all that matters, I can just go online and buy one much more cheaply than the cost to shoot a match.  Few except me will ever notice --  or care. 

    • Like 6
  17. Writing stages is not an easy thing; especially if the expectation is to please everybody with everything -- or else.   More realistic goals might be to assure fair competition, i.e.,  by avoiding penalty traps, hazards, spotting/officiating difficulties, overtly strenuous or difficult scenarios, and assuring that everyone faces the same level of challenge.  Stages will always vary in difficulty or length, and appeal to different peoples' tastes.  Competition shooters, ought to have the ability to work out how to shoot different stages and handle what comes, without grousing and walking away. 


    We surely can decide which matches we personally choose to shoot, based on preferences and good or bad experiences.  But looking broadly, we might also keep in-mind that CAS clubs and their events need our support and participation to be successful, and our sport needs the clubs and matches to survive and hopefully grow.  Sometimes, it benefits us collectively to take some of the bad with the good.  

    There are no hard rules governing stage round counts, to my knowledge -- only traditions or customs.  Personally (and IMO), I enjoy working out how to shoot different stages.  Competitively handling varying difficulty and unusual round counts or reloads is just a part of our game and pretty much every other shooting sport. 



    • Like 1
  18. Roofers all wear long sleeve cotton shirts because they are cooler.  I tried it and they are correct.  But you have to drink enough water to generate some sweat.  Water is the key to staying alive/cool.  

    • Like 1
  19. 1 hour ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

    I do not holster without looking, but I do put my pistol on the table while keeping my eyes on the target. Everyone is different. When I do go to the table it works for me.

    I wish I could do that.  I agree fractional seconds add up.  I always start with great intentions, when I have a choice to shoot revolvers last, to set the first one on the table.   But somehow, when the beep occurs, my attention focuses on the shooting, and my best strategic intentions seem to escape me. At the end of the stage, I realize  I once again fell into my reholster reflex mode. 


    I think there is something to be said for practicing doing things exactly the same way every time.   But those fractional seconds and podium opportunities do get away by doing that ( But not the fun!)   

  20. About to leave on a long trip, towing travel trailer.  I thought I ought to at least know where the jack is stowed in my truck (never noticed it anywhere).  So I get out the manual and look up Jack under 'J' ---- Nothing at all.  So I try Tire, under 'T' ----  Still nothing about tires except pressures, and how to use the tools to remove the spare wheel, but no word about where the tool are located.  This is getting fun now, and my wife gets involved.  She wisely suggests that the book is probably written in Mexico, so look up the verbs.   I scoff a bit, but look up 'R' for raising the axle.  Nothing except raising the hood.  But now I know she is correct to look up verbs.  I look up 'C' for changing a tire.  Sure enough, there is the jack and tool location under 'C'.  Along with changing cabin temperature and a couple dozen other possible changes. 

    Wives are smarter than we sometimes give them credit.  

    Ford less so.  

    • Like 1
    • Haha 7
  21. My belt holds 10.  I've encountered two stages, one in a big match, that used 8.  

    I use all 10 slots (actually 5 doubles).  From the left side, I keep six of my light 7/8oz loads for ordinary KD targets.  From. the right, I usually keep four 1-1/8 oz loads for clay birds.  That has worked out well, but it does make for a wider pistol separation.  

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