Hunting Bunny Wabbits. ESS Eyepro Video Volume Two.

Here is the second release of ESS eyepro‘s videos. This one focuses on me! About 100 shooters were after the pink bunny staged up on the hill. Shelley and I hit it. I have a nod to Nosler and Leupold, two of my sponsors. Stay tuned next week for Shelley’s story in Volume 3! The awesome filming and editing credits go to Andy Tran from Couch Creative Productions.


30CalGal – “Shoot Like A Lady! If You Can……”

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Sighting In a New Barrel on My Quadlock Palma Rifle. Old School Style.

M1 Rifle Sighting Target. Notice the little notch a few inches below the 1000 yard line.

I had a new barrel put on my Quadlock a month ago. It is a 30″ 5R 13″ twist Kreiger barrel. Saturday was the first opportunity I have had to sight it in. For some of you reading this that are fellow competitors this is nothing new. But in my short life of shooting Palma

Original label of M72 match ammo issued at Camp Perry. Photo courtesy of Ray Meketa from article for The Rifleman’s Journey.

rifles I have only changed barrels 2 – 3 times. And someone has always set it up for me where all I had to do was show up at the range and shoot it and adjust accordingly. This time I made sure Jim Cloward, my gunsmith, did nothing without me so I could understand the process better. It is not really that difficult but it is certainly interesting. The rifle is meant to shoot up to 1000 yards but I sighted it in at 50 and 100 yards.

It is still pretty old school how this is done. This target shown at top of this page is a sighting target used for M1 rifles and using M72 match ammo. M72 is a military term for 173 grain bullet for a 30-06 rifle. Basically it is what was issued. How old is this? Apparently this ammo has

Palma rifle front sight mount

not been made since the 60s! They really do not print these targets anymore. Jim thought I should save it and paste up to reuse again. He only has half a dozen or so left as well. But it works great! First things first. Once the barrel is installed the front sight base has to be put on. Now this has to be as straight up and down as possible. Eyeball as best as you can and then put front sight on. Then put the rear sight on. Now the front and rear sights need to be exactly level to each other. Who needs an actual bubble level when you can eyeball it? We laid the rifle

Palma rifle front sight attached

down on side and put a metal straight-edge on both sights as seen in photo. Look level to you? Yep! Okay done. (Trust me, some people would roll over in grave knowing it was done this way with out a proper level) Now we bore sight it. Again the rear and fright sight pictures need to be as level as possible to make sure we get on paper at 100 yards to start. There is a little gizmo called a bore sight collimator. You attach it to the barrel in front of the front sight. Look through the rear sight and an X in the collimator should be in the center of the ring in the front

Palma rifle rear sight attached to base.

sight. Done. Next step is getting behind the rifle.

Being more comfortable in position than bench rest shooting I chose to sight in as I normally shoot. We set a basic bulls eye down at 100 yards and found the center of that. Now another little detail one needs to think about is the location of your zero on rear sight and front sight. There are notches on both. I want to make sure I leave myself room for adjustments to raise or lower sights. So they need to be comfortably in the middle of

Bore sight collimator attached to front sight

the adjustment range of the sights. As you can see in the photo of the front sight that there are notches that are numbered. I need to have my “500 yard” zero at a point that I have room to lower the front sight so I can make it back to 1000 yards without running out of notches. Same concept for the rear sight. Each of the notches on the front sight are worth approximately 5-6 minutes. With a good 100 yard zero we then moved over to the M1 plumb target at a closer 50 yard distance. When hanging the target you also hang a plumb line in front of it and make sure that

Leveling the front and rear sights. Eyeballing it!

center vertical line is straight. Very important to help make sure your elevation is perfect. I then set my sights at what should be 1000 yards from that 100 yard zero. I brought the front sight down 25 minutes and the rear sight up 12 minutes. One just knows this okay? If you look closely at the target you will see a line at near the top with 1000 yards marked on it. A few inches down from that is a tiny line or notch that is actually my 1000 yard mark. This notch is 19″ above the bulls eye at the bottom that I am aiming at. Remember, I am using completely different ammunition and the length of my barrel is much longer than an M1. Much flatter trajectory.

Plumb target with my rounds. Shots at the actual 1000 yard mark were because I missed a notch on sight.

I want my shots to hit that little notch just to the left side of the plumb line. In this lower photo of the target with shots in it you can see this. Why to the left side? My interpretation is that since the twist of the barrel is to the right then your bullet spins that direction. Like throwing a football. By the time it reaches 1000 yards it will be at the center of that line. (Umm not the football) Eh Voila! I have my 1000 yard sight setting and since I know my “come-ups” to go backwards to 900, 800 and 600 I can easily get on paper and finely tune it then.

Well I think it is interesting anyway. Everyone has their own way of doing this. I like this old school method. Thank you again Jim for your help!

30CalGal! “Shoot Like A Lady! If You Can…..”

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Starring Roles in ESS Eyepro and Boomershoot Video Series

As you may remember, last April Shelley Rae and I were sent to Northern Idaho by ESS Eyepro to participate in Boomershoot. We received an all expenses paid trip to blow stuff up. We felt like superstars as the two person camera crew followed us around for three days and documented the event and Shelley and I. Andy Tran from Couch Creative Productions produced, filmed and edited 5 short videos that will be incrementally released over the next five weeks. This video here is Volume I, an introduction to Shelley and I. This was filmed ahead of Boomershoot at Cascade Rifle Range as we were practicing some practical pistol and 3 gun stages. And I sporting my Leupold pink hat and optics! Hope you enjoy the series as much as we had fun “shooting” it!

30CalGal – “Shoot Like A Lady! If You Can…..”

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2012 Puget Sound USO Gala

SAS Badge. A super cool elite unit of AU

Charles and I were invited guests at this year’s local USO Gala by a good friend Brian. Brian is one of the Co-Chairs of the P.S. USO Chapter. He

My lucky day to sit next to “Mr. SAS” and “Mr. Ranger”

bought a couple of tables and also made sure there were a few spots for local servicemen to mix in to the group. It so happened that I sat next to two, “John” from Australia and the other, “Bob” who has been based out of our local Fort Lewis. I am changing their names because they would have to kill me and you if I mentioned them. Not only was I lucky to sit next to two really good looking gentlemen, (Charles is rolling his eyes) but John was a member of the elite SAS. Sorry ladies, these two are happily married. To be honest I was not even aware of the SAS unit. I thought I had learned quite a bit of the military lingo from Charles since he served in the USMC and is a huge history buff. But SAS I had not heard of. Charles was much more excited than I and was annoyed he was not sitting next to him. His eyes grew big when he noticed the SAS pin on the uniform.

The SAS is basically a special forces unit of the Australian Army. It is modeled on the

2012 USO Gala Auction

British SAS and shares the motto “Who Dares Wins”. This is for sure a bad ass unit! John has been at Fort Lewis for a couple of years as a liaison officer and will be returning to AU in a few weeks. “Bob” is a Platoon Sgt. with the Rangers. He had some incredible stories of his deployments. He has been deployed 13 times!!! These two happen to be very close friends. They met during some travels and realized they would be stationed together at Fort Lewis. The great part is that Bob and his family moved to AU only two days after this USO event and will be stationed very close to where John will be returning to. Especially for Bob and his family it will be great to have some familiarity there.

One forgets how much the USO does for the men and women who serve our country. I always see the USO room at airports but wondered what they provided for the travelers. Anything they possibly can. At the airports they will provide small things such as food and drinks and cab fare needed to get to the next spot. On a bigger scale they will house and help with medical expenses and much more. Remember the Bob Hope specials around the world entertaining our troops? Those were USO events.  The USO is all volunteers. I was so happy to hear that just from the live auction portion over $130,000 was raised. And this was an estimate. What a night and what an organization! But most of all a huge thank you to all of those who serve our country. It almost seems cliché these days to say this anymore. But now more than ever these men and women need our support and prayers. Next time you see someone in uniform say thank you. I realized that night that they never get tired of hearing it.

30CalGal – Shoot Like A Lady! If You Can……….


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2012 Tri-Cities USPSA Multi-Gun Match

2012 Tri-Cities USPSA Multi Gun – Our squad. A few ran away before the photo was taken.

What a difference a year makes. My very first 3 gun match was this one last year. At that time I was not sure if I wanted to continue on with the sport. It was a really difficult and LONG match. We were almost in the dark when we were finishing. Now that I look back, that was a trial and it was basically a version of an Ironman. I was consoled when other experienced shooters told me that was an unusually difficult match. Whew. This year was an awesome 6 stage event that was almost half of the round count. I am not saying it was easy by any means. But they were better stages and we were finished at a decent time. Again, Charles and I were on a great squad and we all had a really fun time. Except for the first stage of the day, I did much better this year and even I could see the improvements I’ve made.

Our first stage was a long range course. There were flasher targets scattered at distances

An awkward position to say the least! Shooting at long range targets

up the hill to about 350 yards. You had to hit all 6 flashers from two platforms. One was an incline facing the range and the other was an awkward incline facing away. As you can see in the photo at right it was not comfortable. I had to use all muscle to hold a sight picture. Steady it was not. But I managed to hit 5 out of the 6 flashers in that position before I timed out. By the way, everyone timed out on this stage. But I got up from the platform and was “high fiving” myself for hitting 11 out of 12 until I was told that I completely forgot all of the paper targets that were right in front of me. I can’t remember how many there were. But enough that that one stage cost me so many points it put me at the bottom of the pack for the day. At least I was not dead last! I think I was about 40 out of 55 in the scoped tactical. If I had not forgotten those targets I believe I could have been at the middle of the pack. Charles did very well at the 29th spot. Right in the middle. I had one other stage as seen in the video that I lost time because I thought I had missed one rifle target. So I ran all the way back to that side of the range to engage it and realized I did already hit it. I am sure everyone on my squad was shaking their heads wondering what the heck I was doing! This is 3 gun. Can you keep

Randy and Charlie from Warne and myself finding much needed shade in the 85 degree heat.

your brain together when the timer starts? The best thing is that all of my equipment ran perfectly.

I never doubt my JP rifle but my Tanfoglio and my FN SLP MK I have kept me on edge in the past. Ever since Jim Corolo my gunsmith at West Coast Armory overhauled those two for me they have run flawlessly. All of my mags for the Tanfo work as well. The FN that WCA sponsors me with has not had any problems. Yippy! My Leupold scope was awesome as usual and looks so cool mounted on the red Warne mount. (Bear with me as I

Taking a stroll with my “kids”. This is as close as I get!!

do a bit of Link Love here) They now have a bright green color of mounts in their Zombie collection. In fact we had the Warne team and owner Charlie on our squad. They gave me a red front iron sight mount to match my scope mount. It is called the A645 adapter. It is a 45 degree angled mount. Now I need to get the off set iron sights. I realize now how nice they will be for the close range targets. I struggle with the scope when some targets are only 3 – 15 yards away. This way I can pre-set the power of my scope to the longer range and not spend time trying to adjust it in the middle of the stage. I used my Nosler 77 grain bullets for all of the rifle rounds. I had an easy time hitting my long range targets. And my ESS eye pro sun glasses. It was a bright day out there and these glasses truly are awesome. The staff team of Colt was on our squad as well. Colt is really making a big and successful leap in to the 3 gun world. Both Warne and Colt were just a couple of the many sponsors of the match. I

Charles aiming at some mid range targets. Shooting through these little holes was tougher than it looked.

was hoping to win the Colt rifle they donated for the prize table but no such luck this time. Thank you to Seekins Precision and the many other sponsors who contributed to the prize table and match. Another NW owned company, these guys are out of Lewiston, ID.

Sadly it may be awhile before my next multi-gun match. For some reason this area does not host many. Oregon has several ranges that have monthly matches but that is a long trek for one day. Although we have many ranges locally, none of them want 3 gun events there. Unfortunately there are so many clicks and politics in each of our clubs/ranges. Multi gun is looked down upon by the other disciplines. This is a topic I could fill many blog pages with. I hope to change that.

30CalGal – “Shoot Like A Girl! If You Can….”

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Building Warrior Women

“I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” St Joan of Arc

About three years ago I promised myself that I would go out of my way to try new things. Things that were out of my comfort zone. Two days ago I just did something I never thought I could do in a million years. Give a speech. I know many people have this fear of public speaking but mine was debilitating. And if you read the article I wrote just before this one you know that I just got back from Perry two weeks ago. I had a rough time there and was still feeling sorry for myself which added to the stress of speaking at this event. But as I approached the podium on Monday morning and stood in front of this group of  women my fear melted away and my attitude of my Perry experience changed.

This last January I attended my first Shot Showand that is where I met Lou Ann Hamblin

The awesome ladies of Louka Tactical class

of Louka Tactical Training.  My friend Shelley-Rae and I wanted to start a “ladies cocktail hour” at Shot that would gather women of the gun industry in one place for a networking meet and greet. We kept it low key for the first time and a nice group of about 10 ladies attended. (We forgot to get a photo of everyone before they left so photo at right is of the last few of us). Lou Ann and I started talking and after only a few minutes she asked if I would speak at one of her tactical training clinics. Caught up in the moment, and perhaps a couple of cocktails, I said yes. Although she told me about her training company and their mission I really did not know what I had agreed to. And to be honest I was not sure how serious she was of the invitation and if she would even follow up with me after Shot. She was serious.

Only a few days upon returning from Vegas Lou Ann contacted me to confirm the date and

Lou Ann Hamblin (left) and Cynthia Williams (right)

hotel info, etc. Talk about a snap to it organized woman! Louka Tactical offers training to public safety agencies across the country. A majority of their focus tends to be for women in public safety agencies such as law enforcement and firefighters. They offer courses such as police cycling, survival, defensive tactics and combatives, fitness and nutrition and many more. My favorite part of Louka is their  sub-theme of Building Warrior Women. A philosophical concept that women are strong and independent and willing to fight for their principals regardless of the outcome. Their mission is to instill a stronger mental place that is carried through out ones personal life as well as occupational life. The Joan of Arc quote at the top of this page is the Building Warrior Women tag line. But let’s not forget also that they are training people to kick some ass. I had the pleasure of meeting two of several of Lou Ann’s instructors the night I arrived in Dayton.

Now Lou Ann herself has quite the list of experience in her field. She has been in law

Classroom in action. Instructor Penny Phelps at head of class.

enforcement since 1990 and currently works for the patrol division of a Michigan-based police department. Her roles during her law enforcement career include uniform patrol, bike patrol, undercover narcotics and prostitution operations, and a temporary assignment with a DEA Task Force. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Performance Technology and Instructional Design from University of Michigan. Lou Ann travels the country with her huge pick up truck hauling a huge trailer full of lots of tactical training “stuff”. As well as the super protein drink blender. She is uber fit and an avid bike rider and eats way to healthy for my taste. The other instructors were Captain Penny Phelps with the Monroe County, FL sheriff’s office and Sergeant Cynthia Williams with the Palm Bay Police Dept. also in FL. All three are amazing leaders in their fields. Penny is the energizer bunny. She is “on” always. And so funny. A great presenter who instills leadership skills in her students. Unfortunately I did not get to stay and watch Cynthia teach her combative course the next day. Standing next to me Cynthia maybe came up to my shoulder. But I would not want to pick a fight with her. She is not only a SWAT team member but trains in Tae Kwon Do and Brazilian Jujitsu. When she is not working she is at the gym hitting the weights hard. Studette! And adorable. It was not just these three amazing women that inspired me. It was the class room full of the LE women I was standing in front of.

As I said earlier the last couple of years I promised myself that I would conquer certain fears and try new things. I figured I had 7 months to prepare for this speech.  Most people who know me would not have any idea of my shyness or lack of confidence at times. I come across as a very confident person. But I am one who often does not show my emotions. Okay, except when I cross-fire at Nationals. I have always lived by the phrase “never let them see you sweat”. Inside I can be a nervous wreck. But I will never let anyone see that. My husband always said he loved that I am aloof. Not so sure that is a good thing but I’ll take his word for it. He did marry me after all. So for the last 7 months I have had a nervous pit in my stomach trying to get ready for this one hour talk. Of course I did not sleep at all the night before. The morning of the clinic I went in early with Lou Ann, Penny and Cyndi to help meet and greet and register the participants. Mingling with all of these women started to put me at ease. I was worried at first that a room full of LE ladies would be a tough crowd to please. Was I ever wrong. These women came from a variety of cities and had a wide variety of LE duties. Some were fresh out of the academy and some had been in for 20 plus years. As they each introduced themselves and told their stories my fear of speaking started to slip away. Who am I to think I am the only one that has fears and has screwed up at times. My accomplishments as a competitor are wimpy compared to the sacrifices, accomplishments and the impacts these women have made on the lives of others. They love what they do. It is their whole life. Next thing I know Lou Ann was introducing me. I don’t remember walking up to the stage but I remember that suddenly I felt calm. I love what I do as well. Shooting is my life. I love telling people about it. The words flew off my tongue as though I was at a small dinner party talking to friends. I realized that the last few years of competing have changed my life. I have traveled the country to matches by myself and usually am the only woman or one of only a handful of women present. I have infiltrated a male dominated sport all by myself. I have made lifelong friends. I have a blog and a FaceBook Fan Page with several hundred fans.  I remember meeting Dennis the US Team Captain for the first time and telling him straight out to keep an eye out for me because I would be on his team.  I had the nerve to go to Shot Show this year and ask for sponsorship for 3 Gun when I had never even had one match under my belt. I realized as I was speaking to these ladies that I really had conquered a lot. I also realized I needed to let my Camp Perry incident go. I am a good shooter. I can only ask myself to perform to the best of my ability each time I go out there. Sh*t happens. Get over it.

My speech went better than I had expected. Lou Ann told me it was exactly what she was hoping for. We spoke of possibly doing this again and she suggested I should consider speaking for other types of women empowerment seminars. Wouldn’t that be a weird change of fate? I thank Lou Ann for the opportunity and I thank the courageous women students for their personal stories of inspiration to me.

30CalGal – “Shoot Like A Girl! If You Can…..”

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2012 Camp Perry Long Range Nationals

2012 Camp Perry America’s Cup Winners. Team USA!

This may be one of the more difficult blog entries I have written. In fact I am not sure I am

Long delays warrant nap time in the pits. You two know who you are.🙂

ready to talk about it. I write as I am on the plane back to Seattle with a heavy heart. Sounds so dramatic I know. But this blog has always been a sort of diary for me and there is going to be the bad with the good that I write about. This trip to Perry has been both humbling and a huge learning experience hopefully to never be repeated. Of course I had some wonderful experiences as I always do here. I get to see many of the friends I have made over the years in this sport and I had the pleasure of meeting new ones from the the international teams. The week of competition ended yesterday with the America’s Cup Team and Palma Team championships.

Before I arrived at Perry the team captains put together squads that would shoot together throughout the week. Then at the end of the

A view of the pits on VIalle range. 150 targets long!

day of the Palma Individuals they decided the final squads for the America’s Cup team and the 4 person Palma Teams. I shot well during the week on the other team matches and I was chosen for Palma squad A for the final event. I was honored to shoot with Nancy Tompkins, Justin Skaret, Jon Rhynard and our coach Phil Hayes. Captains are already starting to analyze everyone for the 2015 World Cup. Wednesday we started at the 800 yard line and we shot a clean score. Back at 900 is where my day went horribly wrong. We were on target 86. Trust me I will never forget it now. I fired a round in the middle of the string and my target did not go down. The one next to it did. Target 85. This seems to be my Perry curse. I cross fired the day before on my individual match and I did it two years ago in my shoot off. I have never done this anywhere else! I knew that as a team we were down about 4 points at 900 even without my mistake. But I felt now that we would be out of it completely. How I finished the string I am not sure. We walked back to the 1000 yard line and I lost it. Phil did everything in his power to calm me down and reassure me that it happens to everyone at some point. Bless his heart. He managed to get me through the last string. I knew Nancy and Justin were in the pits pulling our target when it happened and I could only imagine what they were thinking. My friend Trent came by and gave me the “buck up” pep talk as well. But you can’t recover from that. I shot fine on the last string at 1000 but that last trip down to pull targets was way too long. Bad enough to do this on your own match but on a team you just can’t imagine the feeling. I went back to the hotel and showered quickly to make it back to the awards ceremony. I was dreading showing my face.

Due to the sudden rain storm everyone was huddled under the deck of the patio where the awards were to take place. In typical fashion as the rest of the week the ceremony was delayed about an hour. This was a good last opportunity to hang out with people before everyone left for home. I was still not recovered but put on my best face. Both Justin and Nancy, who I had not seen since my cross-fire, came to me and shook my hand. Nancy gave me a hug and said some words that made me feel a little better. But here is the kicker. I assumed the loss of those 10 points would have put us at the bottom somewhere. They announced the bronze medal Palma team and then started to announce the Silver medal and said Team Hayes. That was us. I was stunned. I quickly went over to the score board and saw we lost the gold by 3 points. Without my mistake we would have won. This will take me awhile to get over this. Well, this makes the team that won the better team. I congratulate Bud Solis, Steve and Shirley McGee, Lusty Cebula and coach Tom Whitaker. Job well done and well deserved. Of course a really big high five to our USA team members that won the America’s Cup. This was the first time it was held at Camp Perry. They beat the GB team by 3 points. As I mentioned earlier there were some awesome highlights to this trip so I will try to finish this depressing entry on a happier note.

Awhile back I received a reply to one of my entries from a man who’s first and middle

At the America’s Cup ceremony with a few members of the AU team and James from the UK sneaking in there as well. Our funny Walmart shopper Dave Waters on the right.

name is Perry Vialle. His father was such a devoted Camp Perry participant he named his son after the range. He searched Camp Perry and my article from 2 years ago came up and he contacted me. Apparently his father’s ashes were buried at the 1000 yard line of the Vialle range and there is a plaque there somewhere. I tried and tried to search for it so I could take a photo of it for him but I could not find it. My apologies Perry. If you can tell me where it is I will try harder next year to find it for you. Then to Abe and Nikki, congratulations to you as young newlyweds and thank you for offering your leftover wedding cake to the several hundred

At the Meet and Greet with Mike Chad and Aubrey Sonnenberg. Yes, I know what you are thinking. Nice hat!

shooters present. I think it fed everyone. That thing was huge. And yummy too. I finally was able to use the rifle rain guard I made! We had a few rainy moments this week. I got to use it during the first team match on Sunday. It worked perfectly and kept the action dry and did not get in my way of loading or opening and closing the bolt. My favorite part was meeting the people from the international teams. Although the Japanese team hardly spoke a word of English they were certainly entertaining. Could have been my imagination but the Brits did not seem to be too social. The Canadians were great and my favorite were the Australians. At the official Meet and Greet dinner I barged right in to their circle and introduced myself. All of them were charming and how can you resist the accent? That is if you can understand them. Mike Chad you are such a gentleman and Dave Waters I will put you in another category of “You make me laugh”. Nancy Tompkins and I were in tears as he told his stories of Walmart employees and their reaction to the accent. You had to be there but Nancy and I now have the joke between us and we laugh every time we see each other.

I am happy to be going home. I have been away from Charles for almost 3 weeks. We will be going on a small vacation to our favorite local place in E. Washington called Lake Chelan. We will do nothing but be on the boat and in the water, visit as many wineries as possible and I am looking forward to the 80’s flashback concert of Foreigner at the local Indian Casino. So tacky but oh so fun. Something tells me a few glasses of wine will be needed to put this week behind me.

30CalGal – “Shoot Like A Girl! If You Can…..”

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