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30th annual York shoot trip in Pall Mall TN

March 26, 2022
by Jon Burgess

The Talking Rock Black Powder Shooters sent a contingent of talkers to the Over the Log shoot in Pall Mall TN named after Sargent Alvin C. York and in his honor.  Pall Mall is up on the Knoxville side of TN close to the Kentucky border.  This is a unique match, 10 shots, change your target after each shot, prone, over the log at 60 yards.  As I say, a unique match that literally takes all day to shoot 10 shots.  Each shot is a relay so you wait for up to half the attendee shooters to take their one shot.  They have a morning group to shoot their 10 shots and an afternoon group to shoot their 10.  An all day affair for sure to manage.  Dry ball, pan flashes, failure to fire, equipment failures, everyone waits for everyone to get their one shot off each time before the range is called cold and you can change your target.  So our talkers fit right in as there is a LOT of talking between shots!

The TRBPS Scouts

Weather was again a major hurdle for the 30th Annual York Memorial Chunk Shoot.  No precipitation this time, last year got rained out and year before was canceled, and we had beautiful skies….. the day started in the 20’s and while temps rose so the wind did too violently.  I’d speculate around 30 mph sustained and gusts to 40, 50, ?????  It blew my 20 pound shooting box off the loading table TWICE.  Likely as much powder was lost in the wind as ignited in barrels.  There was a weird weather/humidity phenomenon like I’ve NEVER seen out there.  It didn’t feel humid, but guns were fouling so badly you almost had to drive a cleaning patch down after each shot.  Most years I swab after my practice shots and after 5th shot.  This year, 3 patches after EVERY shot or you couldn’t drive the ball down with a hammer, seriously.  Relay took forever with clearing hot guns that wouldn’t fire.  Exhausting day.

Chunk Guns

Very low turnout with wind forecast, gas prices as most of these guys are from Indiana, Ohio, and the Northeast.  Around 90 shooters total…..probably the lowest turnout since the event kicked off in 1993 unfortunately.  The shoot had reached it’s 220 shooter cutoff before.  Wind was a major player with the winning score more than double what it takes any other year in my recollection.  

Large Turnout

Another BP club out of Defiance Missouri outside of St. Louis comes over named Gemmer Gub Club.  They are hosting the Hawken classic at the end of April.  Big event up there and the NMLRA is helping and heavily involved to honor the anniversary of the Hawken rifle and family that created it.  They bring a lot of folks over and have a very active facebook page of pics and videos.  One thing I noticed was you want in a picture at the York Shoot?  Wear blue jean overalls.  Notice in the pic of our contingent?  Yep, I think it is the required uniform to shoot.

Lots of participation in this event

Dad, Steve, Robbie, Wes, and myself shot from the TRBPS gang with Pokey Young and Toby Jones along for the ride as well.  Can’t tell you which one of us won bragging rights since we were all too ashamed to add our targets up….lol.  There was as much chasing of shooting mats and hats as shooting, but was a great time as always.  The winner this year is a multiple time winner and holds the York record at a 2.44″ cumulative score, but won in the mid 6″ range this year and only had maybe 1 or 2 shooters even within an inch of his score. I’m building a 75 caliber chunker after this year to battle the wind…  

Some pictures are attached as to the layout and our talkers.  A heck of one long firing line across a simple green grass field.

Take care all and be safe and healthy till the next time we shoot.


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