May 22, 2021 – William Tell and 5 Card Draw
by John White
Ok folks it is getting warmer. Not from shooting, but that sun is coming out!
So yesterday we had 8 shooters and 4 observers. Nice turnout with 4 new folks to shoot and some unique targets and ammunition. More on the ammo later. The shoot was actually designed last month but the gathering did not come off due to some really bad weather that day. So it carried over to yesterday.
We started off with a simple game of 5 card draw poker starting just before 10:00 AM. Cards were glued to a cardboard backer face down just like a casino as you can see in the attached picture. Your card if you hit the card. Problem for some was because they did not hit the card, their hand was short a card or two. You can see how we removed the cards in one of the attached pictures. Before and during. We had 2 hole cards. Sure got tougher on the target after a few cards got pulled as one of the pictures shows the hand they were dealt. So after everyone took their 5 shot, 5 card draw, we gathered and showed our hands. Two hole cards turned up and Chris G. won with three of a kind – sevens, and Jon B. got second with two pair.
We did have one incident in this relay. A dry ball. Try as one might, and try some more, just would not come out. So for me the day would have been over, put the rifle in the car, along with 6 other shooters. But this shooter? No! He brought a spare rifle! I think he actually had two rifles as spares🤤. Who brings a spare rifle to a shoot let alone two? At least one does – who would have thought to do that.
The second relay was literally a fun shoot, challenge fellow shooters, challenge yourself. Water balloons at 50 yards, steel swinger pig at 50 yards, bananas and flour bombs at 40 yards, apples and flour bombs at 30 yards, cut a string and lite a fire at 25 yards. Simple hit or miss and enjoy the ribbing when ya miss. Quite a bit of that. Those targets are a LOT tougher than it sounds. So as I said this relay had unique and fun targets. Water balloons at 50 yards, William Tell apples off the top of the target frame at 25 yards to simulate a person’s head under the apple. No one under the apple survived yesterday, the apples ruled. But I digress. Ammunition in the telling of the William Tell shoot story is NOT a plain ole roundball. For the first time ever for me shooting black powder, someone decided to shoot an arrow out of their black powder, flintlock rifle to try a William Tell shot! Yep folks, out went the ramrod in 4 pieces, one of which took out the target frame. But alas, the apple remained steadfast on the top of the frame. Found 3 of 4 pieces from 25 yards all the way to the 50 yard berm. We will let the shooter tell the rest of the tale *. I hear the recoil when shooting a ramrod is not the same as a plain ole roundball. I wonder?
We finished up and escaped the heat around 12:30 PM. Could not even tell we were there. All cleaned up, we discussed many a topic, talked many a story, exchanged a bunch of experiences, cleared our heads of useless trivia and had a very relaxing enjoyable, no pressure day. There was a social gathering in Talking Rock at a new micro brewery that opened in the old remodeled rail cars. The brews are highly recommended for a nice sit on a porch for an afternoon beverage of your choice to discuss any topic.
Take care all and see you next month. Stay safe and healthy.
* Well let me recollect the event…
I was having a hard time hitting the charcoal brick in the middle and it flustered me to agitation. With that on my mind, I loaded up and, for the first time ever in all my years of shooting BP, left the ramrod in the barrel. We’re all busy loading and shooting the breeze and watching others, so no one noticed.
I took aim at the middle charcoal brick. I squeezed off the round. The kick ‘may’ have been more than usual, but I was focused on hitting the darned charcoal brick and witnessed instead not only the survival of the brick once again, but the destruction of the stand. I was gobsmacked wondering how I could possibly have been off by that much.
Immediately after the shot I noticed my left support hand felt an empty ramrod tube. I looked and declared, “I shot my ramrod!” Yet, in my mind, I was in denial that I shot my ramrod, but the evidence was clear. I looked at the loading bench just to be sure I did not leave it there. I noticed someone else’s ramrod, probably Bob’s, and I looked at it closely wanting badly for it to be my ramrod. But no, the Fates rested their case. I shot my ramrod. I was mortified.
Looking downrange after the incident, I noticed a black elongated scar on the right vertical support leg of the stand – more evidence of the unseemly. I shot my ramrod. I felt my face turn scarlet. The shame of it all.
I cannot really say the recoil was much more than usual since it was the wood ramrod that weighs only a couple ounces if that much. Maybe those that spoke of a heavy, painful recoil shot out their bigger, heavier range rod.
I showed the pieces to Bob Wilson and he agreed to make me another. He’s the maker of the gun, so not wanting to bastardize this investment with a foreign rod, I asked the gun maker to make the rod. Seems right. A new original is how I see it. So I cleaned up the gun and handed it off to Bob so he could fit the new rod to the gun.
Joe commented that this incident will be forever known as “Jam Rod”.
I have the pieces we recovered in my play room. When I can I’ll make a proper resting place for the pieces keeping them as a grim reminder of my senior moments.
Program Manager – Talking Rock BPShooters