Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Shooting, Salmon, Smokes And Scotch

El Capitan's Big Day Out

Home again, after a pretty good day wildly flinging my Visa card all over town!

This was the 9th Annual West Houston Smoke & Powder Crawl, which makes me kinda sad I've missed the previous eight. You couldn't ask for a nicer group of people to hang with, and aside from a self-inflicted booboo at the range, it was a perfect day.

I puttered down I-10, stopping to pick up a wad of cash at the Wells Fargo ATM at Hwy 6. One thing is certain, whenever bloggers get together, it's good to have lawyers, guns & money handy.

I was just leaving the Pro Shop after paying my tab at the American Shooting Center when a guy came walking in wearing a Nation Of Riflemen shirt, and he looked extremely familiar. I turned around, and said "You gotta be Jim!" Sure enough, it was our intrepid yachtsman from the Smoke On The Water blog, looking none the worse for wear after his "Escape Rita" adventure.

I tend to be a man of few words (until I get good & likkered up), so I didn't get to shoot the breeze with Jim as long as I wanted to, but then again, the firing line on a pistol range isn't the best spot for extended conversation!
Still, Jim seemed like a very nice guy, and he's absolutely hell on wheels with that S&W wheelgun!

I'm still in the honeymoon stage with the .45 Auto and the Vaquero, having owned each less than a year, so my shooting (shown here) is perfectly acceptable for shooting an intruding goblin in my living room, but not quite up to competition standards.

Jim, OTOH, is no one you want to mess with! (Pic's a bit blurry, but you get the point...)

I was on my last magazine of .45 Auto for the day, when I let my ring finger slip out of place on the grip just as I was slamming in the magazine. The bumper on the mag caught the fingertip between itself and the mag well, and I ended up with a gloriously painful blood blister on the finger tip. Ouch! No pics, it's kinda icky.

My buddy Zibig showed up an hour into the shoot, and commenced to fling rounds downrange just as I was winding down. I left him after taking a few "action photos" to pack up my stuff and see who else was around.

I wandered down to join the rest of the Cigar crew at the end of the range. They had paid the extra $6 to shoot the steel falling plate targets, and were warming up for a shoot-out. I settled in behind my camera to watch the action.

The organizers figured out I was there as part of the day's event, and not just a casual wanderer, and commenced to showering me with cigars. Apparently this Crawl has sponsors who volunteer their wares to the participants. Bonus! I told them I was there for more powder than smoke, but they still gave me lots of gifties, which was much appreciated! Heck, there was even a gen-u-wine Habana Montecristo in the stash! I dunno whether to smoke it or bow down to it!

Back to the shoot-off...

The match was simple, just shoot at the steel falling plates, and when you miss one, you're done. High score wins. First prize was a Day-Glo hat and a pile o' stogies. Second prize was a tiny stuffed koala and a few stogies. Third prize is YOU'RE FIRED!! (OK, just kidding. A little Glengarry Glen Ross moment there...)

The plates don't always fall, especially with .22s, but you can hear the "PLINK" of a hit. The shooting was... not so good! Most people were hitting 1-4 before missing, and the high score was a tie at 8 hits.

Then, here comes Deadeye Jim. He knocks down some ridiculous number, like 42 or 48. I think he might have quit due to lack of ammo instead of a miss! Needless to say, he easily won the event! Bravo!

After the match, the group split up, some to shoot rifles, some to go smoke more cigars and eat seafood. Being fresh out of rifles at that moment, I chose the shrimp/stogie faction. As we're packing up, this guy introduces himself, and he's already got me on his blogroll! OK, I feel the need for a quick update to mine! I've read his blog from time to time, but his Friday Fishing pics make it NSFW, so he's now on my early morning "To Read" list! (Yes, I remembered his name for this writeup, but it's not on his blog, so I'm keeping mum!)

We repaired (minus Zibig & Jim, alas...) to Paul's Seafood & Oyster Boat, which unfortunately was completely out of oysters due to Katrina and Rita shellacking the Gulf's oyster beds. The food was passable, the company was better. I liked the stuffing in my stuffed salmon more than the salmon!

Despite my flirtation with cigars back in the '96-'99 era, I'm still very much a novice. These guys are cigar pros. Hell, if they knew how many boxes of Swisher Sweets and King Edwards that Zibig & I puffed away on back in high school, they likely would have pelted me with shrimp tails and beer bottles!

After lunch, we went over to Richmond Avenue Cigars, where I couldn't resist the pull of the Macanudo. I bought a trio of Ascots to add to my growing cigar stash. I prefer the Macanudo Petite Corona Cafe, but they had just run out. We got treated to a splash of Dalmore Cigar Malt scotch, which was most neighborly of the cigar seller!

After puffing a while, a few of us went to the Mecca of all things gun-related, that veritable cathedral to cordite, Collector's Firearms, conveniently located in the same shopping center. I drooled a while over the Savage 1907 and the Mauser HSC, both of which I crave for some reason, but the seller thought I might be better off (due to my huge meaty paws) with a Walther PPK in .380 ACP, if I wanted a pocket pistol. Heh. PPK. I'm Capitan. El...Capitan!

I had to bolt for home after that stop, but I had a great time, and can't wait for the next one!

Now, for a glass of single malt, a seat on the porch, and this tasty Hoyo de Monterey that a very nice man gifted me with!