Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
After a fun morning of shooting Saturday, I retired to the back deck for some long-awaited treats before dinner. I'd recently picked up a new cigar from Black Label Trading Company, and had an interesting bottle of bourbon waiting in the wings.
Monday, September 28, 2020
It was raining lightly but steadily during my drive to the Cavalier Range for Saturday's monthly IDPA match. Despite the weather prognosticators indicating the rain would have stopped by the time I left the house, I was hopeful I'd be shooting in clear skies shortly. The mist was still falling as we gathered, and everyone lamented the sight of plastic bag covered targets. However, the match directors opted to delay the start for 30 minutes or so to let the rain pass. Success! We'd be shooting at un-bagged targets!
The first stage our squad shot had the longest shots of the match; quite the warm up. Three groups of targets were engaged in priority, near to far. All arrays featured a non-threat centered on the group. Two arrays of three had a target hidden being the non-threat, the furthest group was just two partial targets.
|Luckily the bags came off for shooting|
The amount of movement needed along the fault line depended on the shooter's confidence level with tight shots near the non-threats. Technically, I think you could "see" all the targets from just two positions, although every shooter I watched took a few more steps back and forth. To my surprise, this was my best stage. Despite shooting it down 5, it was a stage win in my division and a 3rd overall finish.
The next course of fire had us starting with just six rounds in the gun. Beginning the run facing a wall, there was an open target, and two targets engaged from cover. Successfully making all six of those shots meant you could reload on the move to the last point of cover to find the last two targets. I was -3 for the run.
The next stage also featured a downloaded start, this time with just one round loaded in the gun. We started with the muzzle of the gun pointed at a spot on a non-threat in front of us. At the signal we were required to fire the one round at our choice of two open targets before retreating to cover and reloading. We then engaged those two open targets from cover. The rest of the targets on the stage were visible from two further points of cover. All targets required three hits each. This was a -0 stage for me.
Next up was the "go fast" stage. We started centered on a wall, with an open target to our right which was shot first. There were five more targets arranged behind the wall, and it was the shooters choice from which side to shoot from first. Target priority meant there were three targets to be engaged from whichever side you started on, and two from the other.
Even though each target required just two shots minimum, I think most shooters fired extra rounds, really fast, to enable reloading while in transition. I was -1 for the stage despite extra shots.
The last stage was a long field course with seven targets, some with non-threat cover. We started touching one end of a wall. The first shots were at two targets at opposite sides of the course, but shot from the same point of cover. We then worked our way down a "hallway" engaging targets from different nooks and angles. It was a good "running" course and I was -4 for the stage.
The weather turned out great, but there was still a fairly small turnout. The possible inclement weather, and ammo shortages, are likely contributing factors. There was also a competing VCDL special event at a nearby range that attracted some of the regulars.
It was a good day of shooting. I was moderately pleased with how I shot, even though I was 13 points down total. That had me finishing 9th of 32 overall, and 4th of 17 in SSP. Not bad for a slow, old guy. I'm not going to win any major awards, but it's nice to be somewhat competitive, despite bad knees and old eyes. :-) Now if I only had the range and the ammunition to put in some practice.
|Pasting targets was a challenge at times|
Saturday, September 26, 2020
After dinner Friday I was in the mood for a nice IPA. I was also in the mood for a good cigar. IPA's aren't always the best companions for cigars, so I had to give my selection some thought. I originally had my eyes on some new cigars I'd not yet tried, but opted for the known.
I had a few bottles of Lagunitas IPA in the fridge, left from a friend's visit recently. That part of my choice was easy. Now for the cigar. After a few scans of the humidor I settled on a Black Label Trading Company Last Rites.
Lagunitas IPA pours a golden amber with a frothy white head. The aroma is citrus and pine. The flavor profile has robust citrus and pine hop notes, with a caramel malt backbone. The sweet malt and bitter hop aspects are in good balance. There's a lingering bitterness in the oily finish. This is a not a palate killer, but still highly flavorful.
I felt confident about the cigar choice, having enjoyed many Last Rites previously. The 6" x 60 Toro features a slightly oily Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, over a Honduran binder with Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers. The full body smoke has notes of creamy chocolate, coffee, and cedar throughout.
The bold, mildly spicy cigar cuts through the piney bitterness of the beer very well. At the same time the bold hop flavor of the beer isn't lost in the smoke either. I was very pleased with my selections for this flavorful pairing.
Friday, September 25, 2020
It was an early start to the weekend Thursday when I headed over to 1781 Brewing after dinner for a beer and smoke at the cigar lounge. After a week of very cool weather, one that actually had me turning on the heater for a smoke on the deck earlier in the week, it was nice to sit outside comfortably as the sun set. As usual, the first stop was to fill my mug with a tasty beer. Also as usual, I opted for the Washington's Hare Porter. The mildly sweet caramel and toffee notes, with just a touch of bitterness, go quite well with most cigars I smoke. And the low 5.5% ABV makes it easier to have a refill, should I desire.
In perusing the lounge's humidor, I saw it held a box of Black Label Trading Company Bishops Blend, in the Corona Larga vitola. I have been enjoying the Robusto size sticks I grabbed last July at the shop, but had never tried the slightly larger size.
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Continuing the fire pit and power outage story…
After rebuilding the fire, I headed inside to grab another smoke and a beer. The second cigar choice for the early evening was the Liga Undercrown Maduro from Drew Estate. This cigar has been mentioned before in these Musings and is a long-standing favorite.