FEBRUARY 2021 FWRR NEWSLETTER

FEBRUARY 2021 FWRR NEWSLETTER

FWRR Club Meeting

Assuming that the Allen County COVID 19 status is not Red, the next club meeting will be held on February 2nd.  Meeting Place:  New Haven Community Center.  Time: 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (The building must be vacated by 8:00 p.m.)  Venue Restrictions: No Alcohol or firearms on the premises.  Please try to attend as a quorum is required to conduct club business.  Attendees are asked to wear masks and to observe social distancing protocol. If the meeting must be canceled, a cancellation notice will be placed on the club’s website.

Agenda: Club election and standard meeting format.   Clean-up Day activities will be addressed under the heading New Business. Please feel free to bring up ideas for work that you would like to see accomplished or started on Clean-up Day.

Election Ballot

President: Jim Sweeney (present)

Vice President: Matt Hice (present, acting VP) and Dean Drews

Secretary:  Mike Miller (present)

Treasurer:  Marty Didion (present)

Director:  Jim Johnston, Gary Walker, and Tim Wunderlich

Program Manager:  Ryan Brammer (present)

Safety Officer:  Larry Beardsley (present)

Nominations will be accepted from the floor.  Thanks to Committee Head, John Halter, and the Range Officers (ROs) who assisted him with putting together the ballot.

Events Schedule

Ryan Brammer (Program Manager) is preparing the 2021 Events Schedule. When completed, the schedule will be posted on the club’s website and copies will be mailed to those persons who have elected to receive the newsletter via USPS.

2021 Dues

Dues must be received on or before March 31st to avoid a late fee or possible membership termination.  Dues received with postmark dates after March 1st  but before March 31st are subject to a $25.00 late fee.  After March 31st, delinquency will result in membership termination.  Terminated members must reapply for membership and pay the new-member initiation fee if they desire reinstatement.  If personal hardship prevents timely payment, contact a club officer who may arrange for dues to be waived or payment to be deferred.

Newsletter Editor

The club is still seeking a volunteer to serve as Newsletter Editor.  The editor is responsible for collecting inputs from club officers and ROs, preparing the newsletter, and distributing it via email or USPS (per member preference) two weeks prior to club meetings. Interested members may contact Marty Didion (martindidion4@gmail.com) to volunteer and/or to receive additional information.

Clean-up Day

Clean-up Day is tentatively scheduled for April 24th.  Refer to the 2021 Events Schedule for date confirmation. 

Foot Bridge

Through the efforts of Greg Peck, we have received steel trusses and bracing for a new foot bridge over the ditch on the 25/50/100 yard portion of the range.  Thanks go to Nucor (and Kian Dolsen of Nucor) for the donation of the trusses,  bracing, and assembly hardware.  The plan is to fabricate and begin installing the bridge on Clean-up Day, conditions permitting.

See the reverse side for more news.

Pistol Bay Work

Work to raise the height of the wing berms in the Pistol Bays by approximately four feet has been completed.  Thanks go to Matt Hice for coordinating the activity and to Ted Smeltzer and his son for helping with seeding and strawing.

Junior Program

After several attempts over the past 30 years or more to get youth involved in the shooting sports on an ongoing basis, it appears that Larry Beardsley may be succeeding in achieving that objective.  Larry has three juniors, who have parental support, interested in High Power competition.   Donations for the Junior Program were casually solicited from members over the last several months.  The response has been outstanding.  So far, over $2500.00 has been pledged.  The funds will be used to purchase two entry-grade rifles and optics, ammunition, components, and other essentials. Members interested making donations of funds , equipment, ammunition or ammunition components  may contact Larry Beardsley at fwrrhpdirector@aol.com.  Larry wishes to thank members (too numerous to list) who have donated brass to the program.  Special thanks to new member Mark Richard for his donation of a large quantity of M193 LC ammunition.

Mowing Crew

Thanks go to the members who served on the mowing crew during the past year. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the mowing crew should contact Marty Didion (martindidion4@gmail.com) to be placed on the 2021 Mowing Schedule.  A mowing schedule will be posted on the club website sometime in March.  Typically, mowing is performed on Wednesdays. Dates may vary due to weather conditions and grass growth rates.

2020 New Members

The following individuals  became FWRR members in 2020:  Scott Davis, Anthony DiVita, Aaron Holdgreve, Patrick Jessup, Rick Jones, Mark Richard, Steve Vinson, and Austin Wunderlich.

Caution Note

Be aware of the slip/fall hazard posed by icy conditions at the range.  Known icy spots include the slope at the north end of the building on the 25/50/100 yard portion of the range and the concrete at the north end of the 100/200 yard covered firing line.

Sale Items

M1A for Sale:  Gingher-built rifle.  All USGI parts.  Match sights. Single-lugged receiver. Douglas barrel.  Laminated, glass-bedded stock.  Very good price.  Contact Tom Easley at gunner@artelco.net or (419) 393-4206.

Brass for Sale:  Lake City, 5.56/.223 brass, mixed dates, believed to be once fired, $50.00/1000. Contact Darrell Fish at dwtroll@yahoo.com or (260) 615-1046.

Junior Program Load Development – Update

Junior Program Load Development

As we move forward toward a summer of Junior shooting, we are working to overcome the problems of not being to able to get the “good stuff” to load ammunition for the program.

As I’ve noted earlier, we have been able to find components, but they are not what are generally considered for “Match Loads”.  We have Russian primers, not CCI Match,  Remington 7 1/2 Bench rests or even WSR, but they are generally considered to be pretty good.  We are using military cases; LC, WCC and a few TW.  Most have several reloadings behind them, so we will need to watch for neck splits. 

Our bullets are Sierra 69-grain Match Kings.  For some reason they come up as available at suppliers and when I get an email notification, I grab some.  Natchez Shooting supply had 100-quantity boxes one day.  The next day they were gone but they had 500-piece boxes.  You bet your hat I grabbed some both days – we are pretty good to go on bullets.

The biggest unknown has been propellant.  I was able to buy two 8-pound jugs of WC-842 surplus pull-down powder in a parking lot at a convenience store way out  in the country south of Warsaw.  It wasn’t a midnight drug sale, but it did feel weird!  Surplus powder is a big unknown, it is a mix of powder lots from surplus ammunition that has to be demilitarized and cannot be sold as complete rounds.  It has to be characterized one jug at a time.

Just after New Year’s Day, Aaron Kohler and I did pressure tests to see just what this powder looked like.  We started at 20 grains which chronographed as way too slow and went up to a load that was a bit too hot – we pierced the primer.  But, we found that the sweet spot was between about 22.4 grains and 23.8 grains.

The next step was an accuracy test to find if there was a real sweet spot and if our components were compatible when we put them together.  I loaded six rounds at 0.2 grain increments from 22.4 to 23.8 grains.  The test protocol would be that Mike Grannis would shoot half from a match gun and I would shoot the others from my stubby barreled service rifle.  We would shoot on the Silver Mountain electronic targets and use the circle tool to record group size – easy/peezy.  We chronographed the service rifle for muzzle velocity and used the Silver Mountain system to get target velocity for both rifles.

The quick answer – we have components to make some pretty good loads.  Mike was shooting his Match rifle with a 20X scope and I was shooting the Senior Chief at 4X, so it would be expected that Mike would shoot tighter groups that I would, he actually shot groups about half the diameter I shot. But, in both cases we found that in the short barreled service rifle and the long barreled match rifle, groups were as tight as either one of us thought we were able to shoot.

The picture shows the 100-yard target we were shooting with a Shoot-n-See center.  Mike’s aim point was at 12 o’clock on the center and I was hitting at 6 o’clock on the edge of the black.  We chewed it up pretty well for a couple of old guys with runny noses and watery eyes on a chilly, breezy afternoon.

I am attaching a graph with a lot of data on it – look at it and I think you can see the same sweet spot I see.  Once we get our new rifles I am going to run one more test at 22.8, 23.0 and 23.2 grains of powder for a load.  I suspect that about a  23.0 grain load is going to give us the capability to shoot about half-inch groups off the bench.  That makes the shooter the limiting factor – exactly what we are looking for.

Now, we wait for rifles!

Winter Offhand Match; January 9, 2021

Winter Offhand Match

January 9, 2021

The shooters were ready for the 2021 season to get underway this morning.  By the time I arrived at the range at 7:55, folks were already there getting ready to go. The gate was open, the lights were on and the 25 and 50 yard target stands were taken down.  It was a good morning, a bit chilly – it’s January in Indiana after all – but the lack of wind made it a lot nicer than it could have been.  There were cold fingers and couple of drippy noses, but not too bad.

We had to do some target patching, but things went quickly and by 8:30 we had twelve shooters ready for the first relay.  We had our safety briefing and by 8:35 the first relay was under way.  There were four shooters who had to wait for the second relay and we had one Junior shooter. Marshall, who only wanted to shoot 20-rounds for his inaugural match, so five shooters made up the second relay.

We repeated the process, and on the second string of the second relay, we had another Junior who wanted to try his hand as well, so Zion was the fifth shooter on Relay 2, String 2.

It’s always good to get the group together.  I’ve learned that High Power shooters make their excuses early so that if something doesn’t go well – they have a reason to explain it.  One of the Masters of this Mark Richard – I poke fun at him with all the respect in the world. 

He had his list ready; it was cold.  His joints hurt, he had a crick in his neck and in his back.  He was unsteady and rocking around like he was on the deck of a ship, and that was why he was going to shoot such an awful score for the day.  Of course he took the top spot with a 194-13X.  I wonder what he would shoot on a day when he felt good?

Mike King took second place for the day with a 369-6X and Robert Davis closed out the top three with a 364-4X, good shooting guys!  For the winter season so far, Mark Richard leads the group with a two match aggregate of 773-24X.  Mike King follows with 755-10X and Mark Walters is third with 736-6X.

After the match I had a class session with our Junior shooter where we went over the basics of shooting from the sitting position.  It was a good session with an apt student.

Several other really good things happened on Saturday that I need to mention.  We had a donation of old shooting gear; leather coats, canvas coats, lightweight jackets and the like.  I had put them out for folks to take for a donation to the Junior Program.  At the end of Saturday, everything was gone and the Junior program was $106 better off.

We needed brass for Junior ammunition and several people brought me bags of brass.  Thank you to everyone who donated to the cause.  I have sorted through the donations and I have about 1500 LC, WCC and TW cases I am sending to a commercial brass processor to get them cleaned, deprimed, decrimped, sized and trimmed.

Thanks to everyone who donated brass to the Junior Program!

One more Thank You; Mark Richard donated a can of M193 LC ammunition (about 500-rounds) to be used for Junior practice.  This will be a great help and will ease the burden on our limited supply of components for match ammunition.

Upcoming events: 

The FWRR Club February meeting will be on February 2.  It will be held at the New Haven Community Center, behind McDonalds on Highway 930 (30) just west of New Haven.  This will be an election of officers meeting, so try to attend.  Just a social note; no guns, beer or smoking is allowed in the Community Center, so we need to be on our best behavior.

Our next match will be the second Saturday in February, February 13.  I will not be running the match that day.  My wife has decided we need to make our annual trip to Florida, so I regret having to be in all of that warm weather while you guys enjoy February in Indiana. I’ll think about you.

Be safe, stay well.

Hoosier Home Range Hundred Match – 2021

Hoosier Home Range Hundred 2021 

The initial Hoosier Home Range Hundred Match was well received last summer and the sponsors have decided to do it again this year.  The Match format will remain much the same; an 80-round Regional Match shot at 100-yards on reduced targets. 

Matches will be scheduled in August and September and a maximum of three matches may be scheduled at any Club. 

Organizations or businesses interested in joining as a Match sponsor should contact Larry Beardsley at FWRRHPDirector@aol.com for more information.

FWRR Newsletter; November – December 2020

FWRR Newsletter

November & December 2020

December Meeting Date & Location: The next FWRR meeting will be held on December 1st at 6:30 p.m.  The meeting location is the New Haven Community Center. The Community Center is located behind the New Haven McDonald’s, along U.S. 930 East. Firearms and alcohol are not allowed inside the facility.

NOTE: THIS MEETING HAS SINCE BEEN CANCELLED

Club Election: The biennial election of Club officers will be held at the December meeting. At present, the offices in contention include Vice President and Director. Please make an effort to attend the meeting, as a quorum is required for conducting the election and Club business.

2021 Match Schedules:

Range Officers should submit their 2021 schedules to the Program Manager, Ryan Brammer, no later than December 1, 2020.  Ryan can be reached at rvbrkba@ yahoo.com.

End of Year Notes from the President;

There is a new firing point at 100 yards on the 300 yard range.  Please stay off of it. It is newly seeded and soft.

Winter is coming. Stay off the grassy areas going out to the target frames when the ground is soft. Mowing is done for the year. I would like to thank all of the men who gave there time to take care of the mowing.

A great thanks to those who came out to Workday. The range looks great. There are some projects that still need to be done: 1) Replacing the foot bridge and 2) installing drainage pipes north of the 100 yard target frames and at the low spot between the gate and the driveway that leads to the pistol pit.

If I don’t see you at the December meeting, have a happy holiday and pray for a virus free new year.

High Power Happenings November – December 2020:

We closed out a very successful and active High Power season with the October Mid-range match. Our Silver Mountain electronic targets allowed us to shoot more relays in smaller groups to allow social distancing and overall we had more participants this year than we have had in many years.

Several FWRR members were consistently among the top shooters at the State level this year. Mike King repeated as the Governor’s Trophy winner and Mark Richard, Mark Walters and Geoff Branson were consistently in the top-10 in just about every match they shot.

The Hoosier Home Range Hundred series was a brainchild of Mark Richards. With at least five clubs and 85 shooters competing for an award pot of $1,000 it turned out to be a very popular ISRPA event.

At the close of the year we managed to put in a 100-yard shooting position to give us a third distance to use with the electronic targets. We plan to shoot a 100-yard reduced range match on one Thursday night every month next summer. This would be during a Thursday practice time and will not take any more range time – another opportunity to work on upgrading your NRA or CMP Classification.

I have turned in a proposed 2021 schedule and part of that schedule includes several dates for NRA and CMP Team Matches at Camp Perry and Camp Atterbury. FWRR has been out of the team match habit too long – next year we come back!

Winter Offhand starts on November 14th; Saturday morning at 9:00. Depending on weather, we might shoot at electronic targets – we’ll see how it goes. Yeah, I know that is the opening day of deer season – so I guess I can understand why someone might want to go sit in a tree instead. Just be safe – wherever you go!

Larry Beardsley High Power Range Officer

Safety Officer: Many times the Club Safety Officer comes across as the bad guy – like the OSHA inspector at a job site or that QA guy who keeps getting in the way of finishing a job. But – every so often the Safety guy finds a way to make life a bit better for everyone.

I had some issues with some things in the pistol bays that led to a very good discussion of how things were being done and what could be done to make our range a safer place to shoot. The outcome was that we will do a major range improvement in the pistol bays – raising the wing berms to the level of the base of the containment berm to allow the Action Pistol folks to safely use a wider angle of engagement in their match setups.

Before we get too far into winter, I want to do some marking of our south property line to warn potential trespassers that they are encroaching on a danger area. This will include a simple horse wire fence line, purple markings on trees (per Indiana law) and signage to warn people off.

Larry Beardsley, Safety Officer

Newsletter Editor: A Newsletter Editor is being sought. The volunteer must have access to a computer, word processing software, and email. The present Newsletter Editor, Chip Seidel, is willing to assist with the transition. Contact Jim Sweeney or Martin Didion for further information. Thanks go to Chip for his work on the newsletter as well as with special mailings and membership renewals.

End of an Era: The muzzleloading program will come to a close this year due to low participation. Sincere thanks to Dennie McNabb for the many years that he ran the program.

2021 Membership Renewal: Members should expect to receive the 2021 Membership Renewal Form via U.S. Mail no later than the end of November, 2020. The exception is individuals who are inducted at the October and December 2020 meetings. Be sure to include proof of current NRA membership with your completed form. NRA Life members who have previously submitted proof of lifetime membership are not required to submit proof annually. The renewal form and proof of NRA membership (as applicable) must be submitted by all members, even FWRR life members.

October Meeting Minutes

Normally I do not post Meeting Minutes to the website – but these are unusual times and I have decided that unusual times require unusual actions. The December meeting has been cancelled, so keep an eye out for updates on when we will meet next.

FWRR MEETING 10/6/2020 

Meeting Minutes 

Meeting held at FWRR Range @ 7 pm. 

 Called to order by President Jim Sweeney.  23 members in attendance. 

Pledge of allegiance recited.   Minutes of last meeting read by Secretary, Mike Miller   Motion to accept and seconded. Minutes accepted by membership.   

Treasurers report:  Presented  by Treasurer Marty Didion. 

Motion to accept and seconded.  Report accepted by membership.

DISCIPLINE REPORTS

High Power  Larry Beardsley reports a good year for Hi‐power. September 5 held a new match, the Hoosier Home  Range Hundred.  

September 12 was the John Garand/cmp Games Mates with 20 shooters. 

September26 hosted the Leonard Johnson Memorial Match .  Mike King is the ISRPA State Champion for the second  year. 

Dirt moving has begun for the new 100 yard firing point.  fforts continue to start a Junior group   

ACPDL  Matt Hite  reports matches with 20 ‐25 shooters. 

USCPA  Ryan Brammer will be replaced by Brian Smith. Brian will also act as Safety Officer. Last match had 33  shooters.   Black powder  Dennis McNabb reports 3 shooters at last event

Safety Officer  Larry Beardsley reports  problems with pistol pit separation berms not being safe.   Bay closed sign are not visible at all times.                                    

OLD BUSINESS    None. 

NEW BUSINESS     New members:  Michael Camperman, Martin Hardwick and Doug Johnson are  accepted.     Work day was September 19 . Brush clearing and drainage repair were performed. Officer elections are in December and any person interested in holding office is encouraged to make itknown. Director and officers positions are open.      Mark Strahan is moving and has resigned as VP. Matt Hice will finish this years term as VP.  

Motion  is  made  to  increase  the  height  of  the  pistol  bay  separation  berm  at  a  cost  not  exceeding $7000.     Motion seconded and accepted by membership.    Next meeting (Dec 1) will be held at new Haven Community Center starting at 6.30 pm . 

  Motion to adjourn, seconded, and passed. 

 Submitted,   

 Mike Miller, Secretary 

Directions to NHCC: On highway 930 ,west of New Haven. Drive entrance on south side of road, near  McDonalds. Big sign is present.  Use east parking lot and entrance. 

Winter Offhand – November 14, 2020

Saturday, November 14th marked the start of the 2020-2021 Winter Offhand season.  The day started out as a very frosty morning – about 22-degrees.  But, there was no wind and it was surprisingly comfortable to shoot.  I don’t think I heard a single “My fingers are freezing, or I can’t feel my nose” comment from the line.

At 8:00, it was a frosty 22-degrees; but with absolutely no wind. It looked a lot like Christmas.

We have a new software update for the electronic targets that is hoped to fix the “red target” issue we have been having, so we decided to shoot this first match on the electronic targets instead of the usual paper targets.

The new 100-yard range isn’t ready for traffic as yet, so we moved back to 200-yards – a change from the usual 100-yard match.  Our eight electronic targets would not handle the number of shooters we had for the match, so we decided to explore a feature of our system we had not used previously- pair firing. 

We had the usual start-up fluster of tablets, phones and IPads that wouldn’t connect, or stay connected – but we worked through those issues and got things under way.

Oops!

The Ranger Officers are still learning the system and we started off getting the order of fire wrong.  The Left shooter’s scores showed up on the Right shooter’s score column and vice versa.  Once we figured out what was going on, we told the shooters to just swap scores and life went on.

The firing line for the 200-yard Winter Offhand Match. There is still frost on the west side of the 200-yard firing point!

When we went to the second relay, we got the firing order correct and all went smoothly.  It was a learning experience for the Range Officers to figure out how the multiple shooter feature works and several of our shooters had never pair-fired before; kind of a win-win.  One shooter made the comment; “I liked that, it slowed me down and I shot at a better pace during the match.”

Thanks for all the folks who came out to shoot – and Thanks for helping us learn how to use the features of our Silver Mountain electronic target system.

Oh yes – the improved software looks very promising.  With the eight targets in operation for about four hours (32 total operating hours), we had only one brief “red target” incident – but it cleared itself with no intervention from us.  The system seemed to work well even in the cold conditions – something we had not verified for ourselves.

Our next match will be the second Saturday in December, December 12th.  We will shoot on paper targets from the 100-yard line under the porch.  We will start at 9:00 A.M. or whenever the first relay fills up the 12-target firing line.

Come on out and join us!

Range Etiquette Reminders

As we move into winter – it really will come sooner than we want it to – the range is in very good shape. Over the summer we made some really nice improvements by cleaning up brush, keeping the ditch cleared off and just in the last month or so finishing some dirt moving work on the High Power and Pistol Bay ranges.

As we move into winter there a few things we need to keep in mind to keep the range as nice as it is now:

Loose ammunition and cases: Housekeeping under the covered firing points has improved greatly over the last year or so. We don’t see the piles of .22 rimfire cases like we once did and folks have really improved in picking up steel cases that can’t be reloaded. Just a reminder – police up your brass (or steel) and if you don’t want it, put it in one of the buckets marked “BRASS”. The brass mice seem to get rid of it.

And, before you leave – take one last look around. We have found several live rounds laying around the porch lately; several .22 rimfires, some .223 that look like they got mischambered and thrown out and some dinged up .308 rounds. Leaving live rounds laying around isn’t a good idea- there is no telling where they might end up and cause mischief.

Sandbags: We try to keep a number of sandbags on the covered firing points for folks to use. But, we are seeing an issue with how people use them. We get the bags free from the Allen County Highway Department – we just have to fill them with sand and lug them out to the range. But, since they are free – they’re not a really high quality bag – they are intended to be biodegradable.

Folks tend to misuse them two ways. If you support a rifle with a quad rail on the bag, the notches on the bottom of the rail tear the bag open and all the stuffing spills out. It ruins the bag, makes a mess on the bench and gets grit in your rifle. The other misuse is that shooters rest the muzzle of the rifle on the bag and the muzzle blast tears the bag or burns a hole in the fabric. To help eliminate these problems, we have put several carpet squares on the bench up next to the house. If you want to rest a quad rail or muzzle on a sandbag, put a carpet square under the rifle – please.

One last request. When you finish with a bag, put it back up on a bench. If you leave it on the deck, it gets wet, freezes and becomes either a soggy sack of wet sand or an ice block; neither is a good place to rest a gun.

Trash: This is a strange request. We have trash cans at both covered firing points with liners in them. There is no trash pickup service at the range – trash gets hauled off by people who notice that the cans are full or overflowing. The request – use the cans as little as possible. The greatest volume of trash stuffed in the cans is shot-up targets and target backing cardboard and plastic. If you bring out targets, faces or backers and shoot them up – please take them back home to your trash.

Yeah, some trash will accumulate. When it does, there are new trash can liners inside the door to the clubhouse, just under the light switch. Feel free to pull the full liner out of the can, put in a fresh liner and take the full liner home to your trash.

THANK YOU FOR KEEPING OUR RANGE SO NICE!