I was cold and wet, but I had a big smile on my face! On April 22nd of 2012, I made the 3 and 1/2 hour trip north to Fort Miller, also known as the Springtown Rod & Gun Club in Springtown, Pennsylvania.
Why was I so happy? Well, it was my favorite Musket Match so far this year. First it was great shooting with my very own team, and not having to farm out, and I also shot very well!
It all started out on Sunday morning, like dark, early, dog howling, early. Loaded up the musket with plenty of ammo for a bit of a road trip, and headed out. I departed my neighborhood at 5 o’clock.
I made a stop in Gettysburg at 6:30, where I joined up with my father and brother, then we motored up 15 to 83 to 81 to 78.
They call this place Fort Miller, that’s a new name to me, and I haven’t heard the explanation as to where the name came from, but I’m sure someone will soon share the story with me!
It was cold in Springtown, colder than when I packed my car early in the morning in Martinsburg, and I wasn’t prepared for that. It was also overcast and drizzling a bit, I expected that and more as the day went on.
First of all, I love shooting with my brother, we kid around and throw spent caps at each other, and cause all sorts of tom-foolery. Nothing bad mind you, just playful and entertaining.
Then there is the crew I play with: We’ve got “the Lawyer”, “the Engineer”, my brother “the Mechanic”, “the other Engineer”, “the new girl”, and of course me! We we’re all loaded up and ready for our first team event of the year. Cheering us on was the “other Engineer’s” wife, my dad “the clock doctor”, and “the grump”. A more entertaining group hasn’t been cobbled together yet.
We started with 32 clay on a backer, the classic. After my first shot I was worried, another miss on my first shot, a gremlin giving me great concern, can’t seem to shake him. I ended on 7 hits in 10 shots, I was very pleased.
Next event was 16 tiles, drizzling more now… First shot was a HIT! Yes, this was shaping up nicely, now two hits, and three, and four, wow five, and six. I ended that event 6 for 6. According to my records, a personal best.
16 hanging clays came next, we did alright there too. And then we shot at 16 wood pot silhouettes, I never liked pots, or pot tiles, and I like these even less…
After that we shot at an interesting target, 16 1-inch black tiles along with 16 1-inch white penalty tiles in a checkerboard pattern, shot at 25 yards. In this event the goal was to break the black tiles without breaking the white ones. Not my favorite target to shoot, but I need more 25 yard practice, I kept missing the black tiles by a hair’s width.
Finally we ended with ten 100 yard tiles, where I made another record for myself, I hit 4 tiles out of 6 shots, a personal best in this event.
My Final Target
I saw “the engineer” hit the second-to-last tile, and my brother and I were both finishing loading our last rounds. I saw him start aiming at the very last tile just a moment after I brought my zouave up. I was able to bear down on the target and get the shot off, and in my follow through I observed my brother fire, the tile twitch as a small fragment broke off the right tip of the tile, and then the whole tile broke.
I guess my brother and I effectively “double-hit” that tile. We couldn’t agree which one of us should claim the hit, so we both did.
Another weekend for the record books! I love the Springtown, er, Fort Miller shoots, but not sure I prefer the new name, something to get used to.
The heavier rains in the forecast held off until after the match, so while it wasn’t dry, it was tolerable weather. We were all thankful for that.
Thanks to the 56th PA and the Middle Atlantic Region for hosting such a nice event!
Next event on my calendar is the Central Virginia Regional on May 5th and 6th. Anyone need a good Musket Team tile breaker to farm in?