July 2021 – Blanket Prize

by Chris Greene

The Blanket Prizes

Like some of our meets, but not all, this one started out smooth and on schedule but hit some rough and outrageous happenings along the way. We had some rifles with obstinate personalities that insisted they were the stars of the show, but their owners overcame these rifles’ dogged, unrelenting self-importance and dominated their wayward smoke poles in spite of any time constraints presumed or actual.

Overcoming a cap lock’s misfire with primer

The nine blanket prizes donated to the event were a collective any firearms enthusiast would have in their tool chest. These were top shelf, quality items: a .40 caliber smooth-bore cap lock pistol, conical bullets, round balls, powder horn, splatter targets, cleaning kit, flints, GOEX in a classic metal can, a sheathed patch knife. Nice!

Bobbie Jo and her .36 Badger cap lock

Up first – – the NMLRA paper targets at 25 yards – one practice, five bulls. Whether off-hand or bench – shooters’ choice – all demonstrated prowess and familiarity with their respective arms and were judged / scored equally. As mentioned earlier, we had two particularly petulant rifles that gave their operators a truly hard time, and that is a polite understatement. Let’s put it this way, these rifles made their owners ‘earn’ the right to ownership.

Brad taking aim

Not only was dry balling an issue, but stuck balls too. Driving the ball downwards with the ramrod and suddenly the rifle was like, “Nope, uh-uh, I don’ wanna”. So we had at least five ball pulls and some red-faced riflemen that sallied on through rock-ribbed and resolute. Nothing was going to get in the way of finishing this match.

Steve regards his target

By 11:00 we were ready for the bowling pin match at 50 yards. As the contestants were helping to set that up the score keepers tallied the points for everyone’s paper targets. Petulant attitudes from irritable and peevish rifles continued to raid the event like drunken marauders – – there seemed to be no end to it.

Nice Flintlock rifle

Yet again the operators overcame with plenary resolve and hair-raising expletives and finished this event as well. And so we ended TRBPS’s first Blanket Prize shoot with resounding accomplishment, laughter, good natured cajoling – yet relief from all the literal sweat equity and inherent aggravation.

The Bench Of Woes

Ranking results as follows:

1st Place – Brad Thomas
2nd Place – Tim Coleman
3rd Place – Dennis Schmidt
4th Place – Bob Wilson
5th Place – Jonathan Burgess
6th Place – Doug Burgess
7th Place – Bobbie Jo
8th Place – Ken Hunt

Congratulations and Thank you to everyone that participated and contributed to the blanket prizes. Website and video updates forthcoming. Stay cool and hydrated. See you all again August 28th.


Chris Greene

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