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Lil_Rob

Tips For Shooting In Heavy Smoke

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Lil Rob... ya bob n weave, bob n weave...

I'm pretty sure I have seen some that blow so much smoke, no one can see the targets. Can't call a miss if ya can't "see" one...

No one would do that. :D

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2 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

 

No one would do that. :D

 

I beg to differ :ph34r: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Movement is your friend! For example if the stage instructions say to shoot your pistols with one foot behind the box. Start on the left side with your right foot behind the box and as you change pistols move to the right side with your left foot behind the box. Same thing with the shotgun, shoot two, take a step shoot two and so on.

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23 minutes ago, Indy Kid, SASS #4638 said:

Movement is your friend! For example if the stage instructions say to shoot your pistols with one foot behind the box. Start on the left side with your right foot behind the box and as you change pistols move to the right side with your left foot behind the box. Same thing with the shotgun, shoot two, take a step shoot two and so on.

 

Most of our stage props are set up with windows and doors to shoot though.  Not much chance to move from one position to another while shooting.  

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11 hours ago, Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283 said:

"Blackpowder category contestants are expected to understand they will contend with smoke obscured targets."

 

Howdy

that is the first sentence in the description of the Black Powder categories. I wrote that back about 10 years ago or so when the idea of the Black Powder standard was first being proposed. That is not the exact wording I originally wrote, the wording has changed some over the years. But the TGs thought enough of my sentence to include it in the Black Powder Standard.

 

When I wrote that I was thinking of what President Kennedy said in his 1962 speech about the space race. "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.' (yes, I remember President Kennedy giving that speech and I was very impressed with it)

 

That is part of what we must put up with when we choose to use Black Powder (or a sub) as our propellant. Anybody can shoot Smokeless. It takes more determination to shoot Black Powder, because of smoke obscured targets, and also because it is generally more complicated loading Black Powder into our cartridges than Smokeless.

 

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The stages all face east at one of the clubs I shoot at. On a sunny, windless day the BP shooter's targets are always obscured in the haze. My usual technique is to plant one foot, then hop around on the other foot ducking and weaving trying to get a clear picture of the targets.

 

The other thing to bear in mind is, if you choose to shoot Black Powder, sometimes you just have to slow down so the smoke will settle a bit. No two ways around it, if you choose to shoot the smokey stuff, you will probably have to slow down from how fast you shoot a Smokeless stage. We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

Thanks for the input Driftwood. It was very helpful. One of the hardest things is to slow down. I have to keep telling myself if I can't see the targets because of the smoke. Than the other shooters can't either.

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In the video I posted earlier,   I paused a number of times to get a clean stage (less the clay target <_<). I had problems on a couple of stages to start with so there was no chance to have a respectable time score.  Still it was a fun stage.  Different.   

 

The Gateway Cowboy Action Shooting  range is in a tight "gulch",  heavily wooded with just enough room for a street and row of stages.  Stages are tight against each other with thick tall walls between stages.  Upshot,   you are shooting into a closed dark box.  Great for smoke retention.  

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I think we're all in agreement here, BP (and subs) shooters will probably be slower than smokeless.  We are competitive within our category, but overall times are slower, just part of the game.  That is one of the great things of SASS you can be a gamer if you want, you can go out for fun, you can even do both.  In my very short, very limited exposure with SASS I've met both slow and fast shooters who were fun to be around, had fun at the match but were also very fast and accurate.  So if all out speed is what you want then BP may not be for you.  As for me I'll shoot slower, with no regrets and a sooty smile on my face.

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10 minutes ago, Tequila Chase said:

I think we're all in agreement here, BP (and subs) shooters will probably be slower than smokeless.  We are competitive within our category, but overall times are slower, just part of the game.  That is one of the great things of SASS you can be a gamer if you want, you can go out for fun, you can even do both.  In my very short, very limited exposure with SASS I've met both slow and fast shooters who were fun to be around, had fun at the match but were also very fast and accurate.  So if all out speed is what you want then BP may not be for you.  As for me I'll shoot slower, with no regrets and a sooty smile on my face.

 

Have you Branchwater Jack and/or Jackalope shoot? If they're slower, it ain't by much.

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Smoke 'em up, keep the spotters confused...

if you "THINK" it's a miss... IT'S A HIT!

Benefit of doubt always goes to the shooter! :D

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7 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

Have you Branchwater Jack and/or Jackalope shoot? If they're slower, it ain't by much.

 

No doubt you're right, and I can only imagine how much faster they'd be without the smoke.  But just looking at the times at most matches BP shooters usually post slower times.  Not a bad thing just different and accepted.  And TC after seeing you shoot I know you are also a great BP shooter who can compete with the best of them and a true emissary of the game.

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Pray for wind!

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2 minutes ago, Tequila Chase said:

 

No doubt you're right, and I can only imagine how much faster they'd be without the smoke.  But just looking at the times at most matches BP shooters usually post slower times.  Not a bad thing just different and accepted.  And TC after seeing you shoot I know you are also a great BP shooter who can compete with the best of them and a true emissary of the game.

 

I don't think the two I mentioned would be much faster shooting smokeless. I know they've put in the work to get where they're at. I'm sure there are others that I'm leaving out. 

 

I get your point though, smokeless will be slightly faster in most cases, but it ain't near as much fun :D

 

I also appreciate the kind words :blush:

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I love the dense black smoke and gouts of flame in CAS and BPCR. When I want "technical" shooting, there's NRA Bullseye, PPC, etc.  :D

 

That's my phantasy game and I'm stickin' to it!!!  :lol:

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I'll have to re-check the rule book but I wonder if I can put 2 battery operated fans on my hat to blow the smoke away.

 

Like a pair of these attached to the brim....LOL

 

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Turn on the ceiling fans.......

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Welcome to the dark siders Lil Rob. Living in the Pacific Northwest we dark siders are faced with a lot of cool damp mornings that make the smoke really hang.  Than add when that big candle in the sky coming up over the berm and may the force be with you as my friend Jedi says because you cant see anything.  You will be doing a lot of bobbing and weaving and dancing.  I call it the Knucky shuffle.  Like many of the dark siders said.  Memorize the targets, look for the stands,  and spray and pray.  Don't waste a lot of time to see a target to save a 5 second miss.  Have fun Lil Rob there is nothing like fire and smoke.

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Welcome to the ranks of smokey shooters in New Mexico.  There are too few of us.  The state match in Silver City this year will be a test of our abilities to shoot in obscured conditions.  It will be during the rainy season, in a moist river valley in a wooded canyon that blocks the wind.  I doubt any of the smokey shooters will finish in the top ten.  You were already advised to shoot from downwind to upwind when allowed.  Also shoot low targets before high targets when allowed.  Be aggressive on the shotgun targets.  You will hit most of them you can't see and can quickly make up your few misses.  Your 45 Colt ammunition can hold more black powder than needed to meet the SASS smoke standard.  Consider using a minimum black powder charge and a filler.  You won't set off auto alarms in the parking lot but will have better stage times due to reduced recoil and smoke.  During the first few stages each day morning try to shoot last.  Sometimes wind will start as the sun rises.  Shooting in a mild wind beats shooting in dead calm.  Talk to Two Timer at local matches.  He has won FC at state matches and knows how to shoot the smokey propellant.

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I really enjoy the heavy recoil, deafening explosion, sheets of flame and clouds of smoke from my wart hog.45 Colt and ten gauge 3-1/2" loads of Holy Black. No one ever said that you have to be particularly bright to shoot black powder!!!   :D

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If it is a bright sunny day, look for the "gleem" or  "highlight" on the sunny side...   otherwise it is a target memory thing...

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It sure would be nice if the targets were painted with a color other than white or other light color.  One range shoot at has white chat rock down in its bays.  Black powder makes gray smoke and white targets on white chat rock background just disappear.  If the edges were painted in some bright or dark color, it would sure help. 

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3 hours ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

Welcome to the ranks of smokey shooters in New Mexico.  There are too few of us.  The state match in Silver City this year will be a test of our abilities to shoot in obscured conditions.  It will be during the rainy season, in a moist river valley in a wooded canyon that blocks the wind.  I doubt any of the smokey shooters will finish in the top ten.  You were already advised to shoot from downwind to upwind when allowed.  Also shoot low targets before high targets when allowed.  Be aggressive on the shotgun targets.  You will hit most of them you can't see and can quickly make up your few misses.  Your 45 Colt ammunition can hold more black powder than needed to meet the SASS smoke standard.  Consider using a minimum black powder charge and a filler.  You won't set off auto alarms in the parking lot but will have better stage times due to reduced recoil and smoke.  During the first few stages each day morning try to shoot last.  Sometimes wind will start as the sun rises.  Shooting in a mild wind beats shooting in dead calm.  Talk to Two Timer at local matches.  He has won FC at state matches and knows how to shoot the smokey propellant.

I shoot regularly with the Gila Rangers so far it hasn't been to bad shooting FC there. Nothing like it was last Saturday at Ruidoso. I think their small bays had a little to with the smoke hanging around. 

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Get ya one of these hats... retrofit it to your cowboy hat! :P  If ya shape the brim "just right" it'll keep the smoke movin'!

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39 minutes ago, Lil_Rob said:

I shoot regularly with the Gila Rangers so far it hasn't been to bad shooting FC there. Nothing like it was last Saturday at Ruidoso. I think their small bays had a little to with the smoke hanging around. 

Small bays tend to confine smoke as do bays with elaborate props with lots of walls.  I've had to shoot at a small dump target inside a structure and also shoot out of a mine tunnel at distant targets.  This was not fun shooting!

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5 hours ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

You won't set off auto alarms in the parking lot

I shoot a 45 colt rifle (35 grains) and 10 gauge 87 lever or 10 gauge 89 hammered (85 grains). How much more BP to set those alarms off?

 

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You can probably set off the alarms.  You know you have enough powder when the local seismic station records your individual shots and NASA observes your smoke from satellites in low-earth orbit.  :D

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One time at Hell on Wheels we had to shoot pistols through a culvert about 24"  diameter and 6 to 8' long laying on a table . Rule was muzzle had to be inside the pipe when you shot. There was a bit of groaning going on for that one ....   :o:D Pretty interesting with BP loads.

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It is only a matter of concentration and an enormous influence of "The Force"  that leads to any success.

 

That and  lotta luck....

 

Ol'  #4

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1 minute ago, Ol Number4 said:

It is only a matter of concentration and an enormous influence of "The Force"  that leads to any success.

 

That and  lotta luck....

 

Ol'  #4

And - you gotta hold yer mouth right !

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Start by standing really tall and after every shot, lower your body a couple of inches.... That's what I do....

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4 hours ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

If you generate enough smoke to truly obscure all the targets, you only need to know where one target actually is . . .

Now who said the Dark Side has no sense of humor!

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On 1/20/2020 at 10:13 AM, Hollifer A. Dollar said:

Pray for wind!

Nope, I like thick heavy clouds with a low ceiling:ph34r: I shoot the KY state match one time when it was like that in the mornings, you could barely see anything after a couple of shots:D It was greatB)  

20 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

It sure would be nice if the targets were painted with a color other than white or other light color.  One range shoot at has white chat rock down in its bays.  Black powder makes gray smoke and white targets on white chat rock background just disappear.  If the edges were painted in some bright or dark color, it would sure help. 

Get some black and red paint and just do it;) We paint a border on all of our rifle/pistol targets. Good Luck:)

 

Jefro:ph34r:Relax-Enjoy

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Black powder is about a whole lot more than shooting - it's a whole process.  From melting lead and cleaning it up to make plump, shiny bullets to tearing guns down for cleaning, the whole thing is about being a Soot Lord or Soot Sister.  I'm sure my mother rolls over in her grave every time I use my childhood ballet training to go lower, lower, lower to get below the smoke.  Smoke is good, but I like a side of flame with it.

The Darkside beckons  many, the force is strong in only some and Driftwood is my Yoda. 

Lou GF.png

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First you must graduate from the Duc McCandless School of Dance. There are a large number of highly technical moves from side to side and up and down which you must master to see around the smoke without moving your feet. 

 

https://youtu.be/hl9gwvdNy7c

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