Monday, September 01, 2014

If you aren't headed to Reno

You are missing out! 

  Go here to see all the goodness at this year's Rendezvous.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book of Barkley

If you've found your way to this blog, you've probably seen this already, but in case you haven't...

The Book of Barkley is out and available in both digital and physical forms.

Back in February Partner in Grime and I lost a dear friend.  I had not expected him to become a part of my life but I'm grateful for the time that I had with him, however short.  Partner took the loss quite hard, but this book provided her with an outlet and I'm very glad to see it go to press so that others can see it too.

It's far more eloquent writing than you'll ever see here, so go take a look!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The results are in!

I have to admit I really had fun with this one, and from the looks of it I would say some shooters really had a good time as well.

We had a nice range of scores but it did prove to be difficult to break 70 (which was at least partly by design) and we had a couple of people go for extra points with unusual firearms.

Class 1:
Name Firearm Score
Billl Ruger Mk I 73
T McAllister Ruger Mk II 73
Kim Ruger Single 10 65
Pat B S&W 617 63
Bill K Ruger 22/45 62
RB Ruger 22/45 60
Merle Ruger Single 6  57
Mac Remington Target Master 48
Chester Marlin 39 century 49
GROG S&W 22a 39

We had a tie for first on this one and some pretty high scores.  It did become pretty apparent though that using a .22 was a pretty risky proposition unless you were always aiming dead center.   Several rounds slipped between the teeth!

Class 2:
Merle Enfield No 2 67
Mike B S&W M&P 63
Pat B Detective Spl  61
Bill K Glock 17 61
Chester XDM 36

Merle takes first in this class.  His target was a actually a 42 but he gets a hefty bonus for shooting with his break top Enfield No 2 and sending in a pic.  

Also kudos to Bill K who shot the target with his every day carry Glock 17.  It's always good to see someone shooting targets with a regular carry piece.

Class 3:
Mr B Ruger 10-22 70
RB Ruger 10-22 67
Mr. B Browning Buckmark 65
True Blue Sam Ruger Mk III 55
Marty F 56
Billl Marlin ? 54
Paula Savage 64 54
Pattie Ann Ruger Mk III 53
Merle TC Contender 47
Mrs TBS Ruger Mk III 37
Mr. B takes top  honors in this class.  Again, plenty of .22s slipped through the teeth here!

Class 4:

Billl Hi Point 77
Merle TC Contender 44

Only two entries in this class but Bill comes in with the top scoring target (sans bonus points) and he does it with a HiPoint 4095 carbine.  Bill, Slap some gears on it and you would have won the whole darn shooting match.

However that title goes to Nancy  from Excels at Nothing who shot a target an open class target with a reproduction Brown Bess.

I think she scored about a 70 on the target itself but it's hard to tell because after firing a .765" ball at it 10 times there's not much target left!  Anyhow using a smoothbore musket earns her a substantial number of points and puts her at top dog in this month's match.

I hope everyone enjoyed shooting this month's e-postal.  Now go over to Bill's Idle Mind and check out July's match and the devilish target he's come up with.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014


Scores will be available tomorrow.  Meanwhile, enjoy this blatantly stolen graphic.

Lifted from:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Get your targets in!

Don't forget to shoot your e-postal targets this weekend and send them in by June 30.

There have been several entries already and a couple of people have gone for extra points using unusual firearms.  I might actually have to get out my Xanthinum series Hypersonic Vetterli conversion.  

You know it's getting serious when someone is willing to dip into their cache of rimfire .41 Xanthinum rounds!

Friday, May 23, 2014

June E-Postal

Greetings folks!  
If you’ve been shooting any e-postals this year you can probably guess I’ve not taken much time to go to the range.  Consequently I was at a bit of a loss for what use as a target.  I’ve experimented with several ideas and finally said “Just put some gears on it and call it Steampunk.”  

Well, that’s what this is, but it’s not quite as straightforward as just shooting at the gears.  The points (also marked on the target) stack up like this.  You get 10 points for hitting a key, 9 points for hitting a shaft, 7 points for hitting a tooth, and 3 points for hitting anywhere else on the gear.  
You get 10 shots at 10 yards (standing unsupported) which you can aim anywhere you please.  However, if any of you are thinking about skipping that troublesome partial gear on the left, I’ll throw in an extra 10 bonus points on any target where you score points on ALL FOUR GEARS.  Each shot scores only once so this gives a (highly unlikely) perfect score of 110 points.  
Target size: 8.5x11”
Range:  10 yards (or as close as possible at your range)
Number of shots: 10
Position: Standing unsupported
Time limit: None
Scoring: Each shot counts once as the highest zone touched.  10 bonus points for scoring on all 4 gears.
1 – Iron sight rimfire
2 – Iron sight centerfire
3 – Optical sight rimfire
4 – Optical sight centerfire
5 – Open class:  Anything else.  If is unusual then shoot a target and send it in.  Send a picture too…if you and your gun look “steampunk enough” you will get extra points out of it!
Email scans or photos of your targets to my email address (right side near the top) by the end of June.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Some things I cannot express with words.

But someone in my life can.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What a Trip!

This year’s Rendezvous was incredible!  We had over two dozen attendees, some old friends, some new faces, lots of shooting, and plenty to do.  Plus we sold out all 300 of this year’s raffle tickets benefiting Soldier’s Angels Valour IT project.  If you weren't there.  You really missed out!

The trip started off at O’Hare as usual.  In my checked luggage I had 4 firearms shoehorned into a fairly small case.  This year’s kit included my Ruger 22/45 (MkIII) for steel shooting, a Ruger Super Blackhawk playing the body double for the Blackhawk True Blue Sam donated to the raffle this year, a Walther PP in .32 acp (because I could shoot it without burning up harder to find calibers) and the Stevens “Little Scout 14-1/2” I donated to the raffle.  Luckily the Stevens is a takedown so it fit crosswise into the suitcase (lockable hard sided camera case) 

With all of the shooting irons packed, I was still able to fit in ammo to feed them all including some precious mini-mags and game-shok 22 for the little Ruger.  That didn't leave a whole lot of .22LR at home, but I figured I’d rather use it up on this trip than resort to throwing pebbles at steel plates.

So with everything locked up securely I handed off my bag to the TSA and spent the next several hours listening to various airport security warnings  and sitting in flying Aluminum tubes.  That gave me plenty of time to ponder topics like “If it’s such a special announcement, why is it pre-recorded and playing on a 15 minute loop?”  Or, “Where do the bag handlers learn how to drop bags from 6” and make them hit with the same force as a 6’ drop?”

I dragged into the Silver Legacy at nearly 2AM so I checked in and hit the sack right away.  Luckily the time difference didn't let me sleep  more than a few hours before I was ready to get up again.  A quick meet & greet with the other early arrivals, a run through the buffet line and we were off to Cabela's.
The folks here have been quite good to us in years past and this year was no exception.  This year they received and held practically all of our door and raffle prize swag for us, which they had waiting for us as we walked in.  Then they proceeded to give us coupons and offer us tours through the gun library.  While everyone was drooling over the ‘if I won the lottery’ cases I did a little ammo scouting.
Me:  “Hey Kevin, didn’t you say you hadn’t seen any 22LR in the wild for 6 months now?”
Kevin: “Mini Mags!!!  WHERE?!”

We all managed to score a 100rd case of mini-mags for pretty much the same price I would have expected before the shortage.  From what I could tell, they were putting out a fixed amount each day and not replenishing until the next.  The system seems to work pretty well.   They had more out a couple mornings later when I made a quick detour before going to the range.
Their gun counter was pretty well stocked too.  The last time I was in a Cabela's the shelves were almost devoid of firearms with the possible exception of a couple used shotguns, a Taurus Judge and a purple gripped LCP (really Ruger…why?) This time I didn't see any empty slots in the display cabinets.
After a little perusing the shelves we all ponied up for the ammo and loaded up once more for a trip to the Roop County Range at Fernley

Now last year we came out here on a Sunday and were treated to a little exposition shooting by the Roop County Cowboy Shooters. 

That picture was actually taken after the last of their matches, but they were nice enough to stick around for us.  This year we arrived while their matches were in full swing expecting to watch some shooting, chat with a few cowboys and cowgirls then go home. 

We watched a few people shoot then something wonderful happened.  People started putting down guns and ammo at the loading table and saying “What would you like to shoot?” 
Apparently we looked a bit hesitant because folks started coming over and saying things like “Around here, if someone offers you free ammo, you say yes!” 
Fair enough!  We all started taking turns at the firing line whenever there was an opening between the paying shooters. 

We even had a chance to shoot some beautiful rolling blocks at a 4oo yard target!

Now for those who aren’t familiar with Cowboy Action Shooting, I’ll backtrack just a bit.

CAS is a sport supported by the Single Action Shooting Society and is one of biggest (if not the biggest) shooting sports out there.  Basically it’s speed shooting for pre 1900 type firearms meets wild west cosplay.  Most CAS clubs set up western themed range facilities where competitors can shoot stages through bank windows, over saloon doors,  from gallows platforms, out of stage coaches, or even from faux horses.  Competitors are also expected to dress in period attire and adopt cowboy handles to further enhance the experience

Getting started does require a fair bit of equipment.  Your basic kit includes two six shooters, a lever action rifle, a shotgun, some serviceable gunleathers, a costume, a cart to haul around all of your loot, a toolkit for emergency repairs, a cleaning kit, and usually some reloading equipment to reduce the cost of all of the ammo you burn through.  The initial cost may be a bit of an obstacle, but CA shooters are notoriously easy going usually willing to lend a hand (or even a gun) to a new shooter. 

There are usually side matches as well, some SASS sanctioned and some club specific.  These typically use firearms other than those used in normal competition.  Some matches are designed for percussion/muzzle loading firearms, some for derringers and pocket pistols, others are for long distance rifles.  There’s a place for pretty much any pre-1900 (or in some cases early 1900s) firearm you like.
And if you just want to do some shooting for the sake of shooting, you can use a break in the competition to shoot stages wither pretty much any firearm you like.

Now that’s a funny lookin’ shootin’ iron fer a  cowboy.

The Roop County Cowboy Shooters club has some really great people in it.  Once we used up a little of their ammo they invited us down to their pavilion to rest up and chat a bit. 
“Care for some water?”  “Here, have some cookies.”  “Help yourself to an air rifle.”  Yes, they had an air rifle range set up next to the lunch area so people could unwind from shooting by doing a little target practice.  Nice eh?  Hopefully next year we can get together again!

After that it was back to the hotel for a quick nap before we metup with the crew for supper.  More on that next time.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

How cool are your weekend plans?

If they aren't at least this cool, you should go to Reno!

Win a RUGER   Blackhawk with a hand-made holster.

Win an antique Stevens Little Scout

Raise money for a good cause!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cheap guns, the good the bad, and the ugly.

A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon-so long as there is no answer to it- gives claws to the weak 
      -George Orwell

Have you ever used a Hi-Point?  I’ve handled a few of them, and if it weren’t for a few Cook County busybodies I’d probably own one of their carbines.  Now I’m quick to say that their reputation as ugly ducklings is well deserved.  Their pistols in particular have an odd sort of top heavy look to them and aesthetics that are vaguely reminiscent of B movie scifi props.  But before you get the opinion that I don’t like them, let me make it clear that I’m actually a fan.  Not because of their looks or their performance, but because of their cost.  

As shooters, it’s easy for many of us to dismiss inexpensive guns as junk or Saturday night specials, but if you look at the firearms owned by ordinary citizens over the years, the importance of ‘cheap’ guns is hard to dismiss.  

Take the wild west for example.  The images we conjure up are full of iconic cowboys with six-shooters, lever actions, and coach guns; but for all the cowboys and horses in the west you also had merchants, book-keepers, tradesmen, and other townsfolk who weren’t likely to need a big six shooter on their hip, but still wanted something that they could use for self defense.  Many of these folks got a bulldog.

No, no...not even close.  we’re still talking about guns.

The “British Bulldog” was a basic double action revolver who’s design can be traced back to Webley.  These had a reputation as being good, reliable handguns.  But most of the “British Bulldogs” in circulation weren’t made by Webley, but rather by small shops throughout Europe, and particularly in Belgium.  A few gunsmiths with mostly hand tools, could turn simple forgings into functional firearms, have them proof stamped, and then send them off to foreign markets by the dozen.  

Most Belgian copies were not particularly long lived.  ‘Soft’ parts would wear quickly, giving way to timing and lockup problems, but as long as they were seldom used and kept clean, they were likely to work when called upon. They were usually small enough to fit into almost any pocket discreetly, and though they weren’t likely to be accurate at ranges much beyond arms reach, the stout looking big bore barrels gave plenty of incentive to leave the wielder alone.

The evolution of cheap guns paralleled their more expensive counterparts.  While Smith and Wesson turned out high quality top break revolvers, their neighbors at Harrington and Richardson turned out budget minded copies.  Many of these designs were nearly identical to their better known counterparts.  Their differences were most likely to be in fit & finish, metallurgy, and heat treatment.  

Like the (Belgian) British bulldogs, they were not likely to hold up well if shot regularly, but they still served a purpose. 

Someone of average means could save up a few dollars and order one of these from the Sears catalog, and have a functional sidearm for much less than the cost of a higher quality brand.  

This little example (if you choose to believe the story) spent most of its life under a cash register in a Chicago hardware store, just in case of ‘trouble.’  I don’t know if was ever called upon to protect its owner, but aside from a little cosmetic wear, it’s lovely, and quite functional.  I certainly wouldn’t choose it as a primary self defense tool, but I would be confident in its functionality as such.  

So, “EJ” you say, “These seem like short lived but functional tools.  Has the whole ‘Saturday Night Special’ thing been overblown?”

Not exactly.  Proponents of gun control often apply the SNS label a bit too liberally for my taste, but there are certain firearms that do constitute a safety hazard, and not just to people in front of the muzzle.  

Meet the Valor SM-11.  It belongs to a class of firearm which has only two design requirements: 1.  Be a firearm. 2. Be cheap.

I see these occasionally come up for sale, and they are usually in one of two conditions.  They’re either parts guns, or mint in box with a nearly full box of vintage ammo.  The way I see it, some people bought the gun, shot a magazine or two to see how it worked, then put it in a drawer for the rest of its life.  Anyone who continued to shoot one of these likely broke it a box or two of ammo down the line.  

The owner of this example lost the front of the slide downrange using ordinary factory ammo.  “What’s that?” you say…”Is that, pot metal?”  

No, it’s probably Zamak, which is just a fancy way to say high strength pot metal. 

Apparently in order to avoid the cost of forging or machining the frame and slide, they were die cast instead.  It’s a much faster, cheaper process, but Zamak is a lousy material due to its brittleness and corrosion problems.  The cost cutting didn’t stop there.  Compare the internal workings of the SM-11 to the much higher quality Colt 1908 parts.  

The moving parts in the Colt were milled, heat treated and usually ground to a good finish.   Now you may not need to have such a clean finish on every part of a more budget oriented gun, but remember, these are the bits that keep the gun from going 'bang' when it's not supposed to...they should at least be fairly rugged.

In the Valor, there are several parts made from stamped sheet metal and a few made from plastic (including the safety)  A quick check with a file makes it clear that the steel bits, maybe aside from the barrel, were not heat treated.
The design itself is not actually that bad.  It’s a rip off of the Walther Patent Model 9, which is a perfectly decent little pistol.  The Valor is easy to assemble, somewhat ergonomically sound, and (aside from the undersized safety lever) functional.  It’s the choice of materials that makes it a nightmare.  Between the brittle slide and the plastic safety block, I don’t think I would ever want to fire one of these, much less carry it.

Now contrast the SM-11 to the ‘cheap gun’ of today.  The Hi-Point is still an ugly duckling, but it’s quite rugged. Iraq Veteran tried to destroy one of these and pretty much had to turn it into a pipe bomb to do it.  

The pistols may not have a spotless reputation but from what I've both seen and heard they run great so long as you use hot ammo and don't limp wrist. And if you think the stock factory trigger isn't quite your speed, it's actually not too complicated to polish up the sliding surfaces to make them pull smoothly.  (Note: Use caution, just because you saw it on YouTube doesn't make it a good idea!!)  If you're still not confident, shoot one to prove it to yourself and practice clearing stovepipes just in case (you should be doing that anyway!)

No, Hi-Point doesn't do fancy, they aren't pretty, and they won't get oohs and aahs at the range, but they won't cost you a fortune, They're made right here in the USA, and they won't fall apart when you use them

When I look at it in that light, I’m actually quite glad that there are affordable guns like the Hi-Point.  
They make it affordable to have ‘claws!’

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Gunblogger givaway

I hope everyone out there is keeping up with what’s happening over at Mr. Completely’s Gun Blogger Rendezvous page. Mr. C has posted this year’s schedule, including the newly added bowling ball mortar event! He’s also posted a list of sponsors which, looks pretty impressive. If you’ve been to the rendezvous in years past, you know there has been some pretty good swag lately, and this year is no exception. I already know that True Blue Sam is donating a Ruger Blackhawk to this year’s raffle. If I get my tail in gear it will be clothed in a nice custom holster rig.

Also, I’m pleased to announce yet another firearm will be joining the raffle.

Back around 1900 Stevens was very well known for making an assortment of ‘boys rifles.’ Unlike today, teaching a child to shoot was the norm in most places and being able to give a child a rifle would ensure many hours of entertainment, and maybe even a critter or two to put on the table.

Stevens targeted this market by making a string of single shot rifles in small sizes. They were mostly simple construction with colorful names like “Sure Shot” “Crack Shot” “Maynard Junior” and “Little Krag.” Around 1906 they introduced a model they called the “Little Scout 14.” It was a rolling block action that was operated by a simple thumb stud on the side of the block. This model had a single piece stock that enclosed the receiver. This was made for a relatively short time before Stevens redesigned the rifle with a two piece stock, making it a very simple and compact takedown rifle.

The new model was dubbed the “Little Scout 14 ½” and produced from about 1911 through the WW 2 (Dates vary according to source) When I ran across this I wasn’t all that enthused at first. These rifles were intentionally made to be as simple as possible and the outward condition of this one didn’t look too good from the pictures I first saw. Then the seller said “I was thinking about polishing it up and rebluing it, the old bluing has funny streaks running through it.” I winced a bit and struck a deal on the condition that he NOT try to clean it up before I could check it out.

You see when Stevens switched to two piece stock with the exposed receiver, they didn’t use any bluing techniques on the receiver, they color case hardened it, a process in which you heat the steel in a carbon rich, oxygen starved environment and then immediately quench in water. It creates unique color combinations depending upon the carbon source and the minerals you have dissolved in the water.

When I got my hands on the rifle it was not particularly pretty. The receiver looked very dull, but you could see the case hardening hiding under a thin layer of oxidation so I disassembled the rifle slathered the receiver with heavy oil then carefully went to work with #0000 steel wool, craft paper, and a copper penny. After a couple hours I was satisfied that I had removed most of the corrosion (better to polish too little than too much) so I wiped it down. It looked good, and I was happy, but then I took it out into the sunlight.

Wow, in daylight the colors just light up and make this a really pretty rifle!

There’s a little bit of oxidation still left on there, but the colors are still bright and more importantly it looks ‘right’ for an old rifle. With a light coat of oil this can stay looking pretty for a long time to come.

The bore has a little bit of corrosion in spots, but the rifling is still good, so as long as you give it a good cleaning from time to time it will shoot just fine. I took it to the range for a brief workout and found that standing, unsupported (no sling) I was able to group inside of ¾” at 11 yards so I would say this rifle is capable of killing tin cans all day!

I’ll be donating this to the Gun Blogger Rendvous raffle, so the only way to get your hands on it is to buy raffle tickets. Better still, the proceeds from the raffle go to Project Valour IT, so regardless of how much you win, you’ll still go home knowing you’ve helped a good cause.

So fill out your registration and make your travel plans. You need to get to Reno!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Results are in

 This has nothing to do with anything, but Snoopy and the flying doghouse cracked me up. 
 Now where was I?

Right.  We had several submissions this month, all of them in .22 LR, So thankfully people have at least a little ammo out there. (I've been informed that the local range is no longer limiting sales to 'range only' so that's encouraging.)

 In class 1, Rimfire Iron sights, the rundown goes like this

Mike B                       S&W 617 Revolver (22LR) Iron sights                   180
Billl Ruger                   Mk I Iron Sights                                                   130
Pat B                          S&W 617 (22LR) Iron sights                                 120
SCSon                        Ruger Single Six Score                                           90
Engineering Johnson     Browning SA-22 Takedown Iron sights                   90
SCSon                        Ruger 22/45 (Iron Sights)                                       40
Danno                         Ruger Single Six                                                    30
Danno                         Ruger 22/45 (Iron Sights)                                      30

 I'm pretty impressed with the scores in the triple digits on this one. Personally I find with iron sights it was tricky to figure out the exact location than more than the lower two aircraft, however the target did blur into a near vertical line in my case which made it easy to shoot five quick shots from top to bottom.

 In class 2, Rimfire Optic sights, the winners are...
Mr. Completely         High Standard w/ OKO Red Dot                             260
True Blue Sam           Ruger Mk III 1.4x scope                                        170
True Blue Sam           Ruger Mk III Red Dot                                            130
True Blue Sam           Ruger 10/22 Red Dot                                            130
Engineering Johnson   Ruger 10/22 3x scope                                          130
Mrs.True Blue Sam    Ruger Mk III Red Dot                                              60
Billl                            Remington Nylon 66 (scoped)                                50

 I'd say Mr. C is the big winner on this one and some of the hits he made on this target made it look easy!

 When I was putting together this target I found that a 3 power scope and a fair bit of patience pretty much assured a hit on one of the smaller planes, so that's why I encouraged people to at least try to shoot this quickly. I didn't end up timing myself (the range frowns on cameras) but I did enjoy shooting this by jostling the line holding my target just before each string. It really forced me to touch off my shots quickly.

 As for Timed entries, I received a few comments about a 3 or 4 second string being impractical. I also received a timed entry from Mr. C. Once again, he used his Hi Standard to shoot a target scoring 140 (one hit on all of the top four planes) which is a good target, but the really impressive bit is that his string time was 2.46 seconds.

 Once you've picked your jaws up off the floor, why don't you join me in congratulating Mr. Completely as the "Ace of Aces"

Friday, July 05, 2013

E-Postal Deadline

I've received several targets for this month's e-postal contest. 
I know several of you have taken a long seekend thanks to the holiday, so I've held off posting results.

If you can get your targets in by Sunday night I'll include you in the results.

Friday, May 31, 2013

June E-Postal: Twelve O'Clock High!

I think I'll start off this month's e-postal with a bit of humor.

An English pastor once had the tradition of saying a special prayer on the Sunday before Remembrance Day each year, and after the prayer he would ask if there were any former servicemen in the congregation and invite them to speak for a few minutes. A World War II fighter pilot stood up and reminisced about his war experiences.

"In 1942," he says, "the situation was really tough. The Germans had a very strong air force. I remember," he continues, "one day I was protecting the bombers and suddenly, out of the clouds, these fokkers appeared." There are a few gasps from the parishioners, and several of the children begin to giggle. "I looked up, and realized that two of the fokkers were directly above me. I aimed at the first one and shot him down. By then, though, the other fokker was right on my tail."

At this point, several of the elderly ladies of the church are practically swooning, the girls are all giggling and the boys are laughing out loud. The pastor finally stands up and says,

"I think I should point out that 'Fokker' was the name of a German-Dutch aircraft company, one which made many of the fighter planes used by the Axis powers during the war."

"Yes, that's true," says the old pilot, "but these fokkers were flying Messerschmitts."

Why am I bringing this up? Because I'm giving this month's contest an aerial combat theme.

The target has five outlines of the Messerschmitt BF-109 fighter aircraft each larger than the next. German fighter pilots learned early on that attacking a formation from behind exposed them a hailstorm of machine gun fire, but by attacking head on they minimized the time they had to spend in the sights of the gunners.

You are in the nose of a B17 and you spot a BF 109 headed your way. He has a wingspan of about 34 feet and is traveling about 380 mph towards you. You are cruising at 200 mph so your combined closing rate is a whopping 580 mph. That means that it only takes about 6 seconds to go from a mile apart to impact! Now this target has silhouettes ranging from about 3" to 8" wingspan (I'm approximating, don't bother measuring) meaning that if you are a distance of 11 yards from this target, the little I mean Messerschmitt is only 5 seconds away, and the big one is less than 2 seconds away! Think you can hit all of them in 3 seconds?


Targets are to be shot standing unsupported with the firearm of your choice.
Distance to target should be 11 yards (33 ft) or as close to this as practical at your range.
Each target is to be shot in two strings of five for a total of 10 shots.  Begin each string at the top and fire one shot at each aircraft proceeding downward.  There is no time limit, but remember he's closing fast!
Scoring a hit on the small aircraft is worth 50 points.  A hit on the largest aircraft is worth 10 points.  The scores for the other aircraft are proportional, with a maximum of two hits allowable on each aircraft.  This should give a total possible score of 300 points.  I think you'll find however that it's challenging enough that scores shouldn't be terribly high and even a few hits are worth sending in.  (If you get no hits at all, you'll still have the option of folding the target into an airplane, lighting it on fire and watch it spiral downwards. 

There are five different classes
1.  Rimfire firearms with iron sights
2.  Rimfire firearms with optics
3.  Centerfire calibers with Iron sights
4.  Centerfire calibers with optics
5.  Flying Circus Class

Flying what? 

Here's where I'd like you to have a little extra fun with things.  If you want to do something different (i.e. break the rules) just mark it class 5 and tell me what you did.  Scoring will be the same except there will be a bonus (positive or negative) that is entirely at my discretion and probably unfair.  If it amuses me I'll post it and probably give you points for instance:
Shooting the target from an airplane: +300 points. 
The airplane is on the ground: -50 points. 
It's not a real airplane: -50points
It's a kiddie ride in front of Walmart: -100 points
You didn't have any quarters: -100 points
You convinced the store manager to put in a shooting gallery: +100 points
and so on.

On a more serious note, I would like to encourage anyone with a timer to challenge themselves by timing their strings (starting on target) and seeing if they can hit anything in the brief window a nose gunner would have had.  It'll give you a new respect for what went on in the skies over Europe.

Remember to print your target at 100% scale (not 'fit to page' ) and submit it any time between now and June 30.  I should have results ready by the time the fireworks start going off.

Now, test your guns and call 'em out as you see 'em.