Wolfe Publishing Group

    Letters from Readers

    The Black Powder Target Rifle Federation, Remembering Mile Gilbert, ERRATA Shooting the Remington-Type Revolving Carbine, Updated Address for John Taylor, “Thank You” to the Davenport Shooting Association, Vision Tips for Older Shooters

    The Black Powder Target Rifle Federation

    With the demise of the Black Powder Target Rifle Association last December, a pair of intrepid souls decided to try and save not only the match at the Byers, Colorado, Rifle Club range (arguably the finest 1,000-yard facility in the Rocky Mountain West) but also form a loosely organized “Federation” to promote Black Powder Target Rifle shooting matches. The key word here is “Federation”, more on that later.

    This duo, after some “wool gathering”, enlisted a third member (who happens to be our friend and a member of the Colorado Rifle Club) to be our Match Director. He gladly took on this role and met with the CRC board. A plan was formulated and we secured a set of dates to hold a match. On the weekend of April 13th-14th, this group met at the range. With materials provided by the club and the many tools brought along, we demolished eight of the most damaged target frames and constructed new ones. Our gesture of sincerity and good will was recognized by the CRC administration and we were given the opportunity to secure our original dates in September. Those individuals included Michael Jackson (Match Director), “Jimbo” Terry, Rick Rutter, his friend Randy and myself (Kenny Wasserburger). The drive itself from Gillette, Wyoming, is just over 400 miles – one way.

    The Birth of the BPTRF: The Black Powder Target Rifle Federation.

    First, a definition is in order:

    “Federation: An organization or group within which smaller divisions have some degree of internal autonomy.”

    The proposed federation would encompass all types of black powder competitions including, but not limited to Creedmoor, Midrange, Gong, Silhouette and 22BPCR. All of the different disciplines would have their own set of rules and requirements, none of which would change, as all of these disciplines would simply show support and solidarity with each other. Unlike the NRA or the BPTRA, match directors run their events as they see fit; there is no governing body and no rigid rules to follow. No one is going to tell you how to run your event or match. All like-minded individuals and clubs are asked for their support, as we are all working together to promote all of the black powder shooting disciplines.

    However, we would like to have various individuals to be Directors, as well as volunteers to offer advice and experiences, in order to help promote the sport of black powder target rifle shooting and competition. Advise and participation coming from the Gong, Target Rifle and BPCR Silhouette match directors is also welcome. If we all work together for the common good of BPTR shooting, we can accomplish much. There will be no President, just simply a group of directors where no one person has more say than another.

    This year marks the 150th anniversary of the matches fired at Creedmoor in 1874. To celebrate this historic event of BPTR shooting of both long-range muzzleloading and breech loading rifles, a match is being held Labor Day weekend at the Wasserburger Ranch, five miles off US Highway 85, north of Lusk, Wyoming. The match is welcome to all shooters that wish to experience the shooting of an original-size 1874 Creedmoor steel target – one shot at a time – as it was done in 1874. Any safe position is allowed along with shooting from traditional cross sticks, or from bench cross sticks; the only caveat is that the rifle must be shot off the shoulder, utilizing no rear bag. We are trying to be more inclusive than other matches with our event, and long-range muzzle loading rifles are also welcome. The match is capped at 40 shooters and we have 16 paid entries as of April 19th, 2024. We also have two long-range muzzle loading rifles entered already. This will be the premiere BPTR event in the western United States for 2024.

    For further information contact me (Kenny Wasserburger) at kwsharps@hotmail.com. The match is an invitational event; you must contact me to receive an entry form. Updated information can be found on our “BP cartridge rifle match dates and information” page on Facebook.

    Thank you for your consideration and your support.

    Kenny Wasserburger

    Gillette, Wyoming

    Remembering Mile Gilbert

     Upon reading Issue 125, Spring 2024 of the BPC News, I was sorry to hear of Miles Gilbert’s passing. It’s great that you remember him in your publication. I never met him in person but have talked with him by phone. After reading Miles Gilbert’s book Getting a Stand, I read his biography on the inside back cover. I discovered that he had written a book on the dendrochronology of bones. I thought that no one would ever write about dendrochronology, unless he was an archeologist. So, I decided to give him a call. I found him at home in Arizona and he was indeed involved in archeology as a professor. He became interested in the field from examining buffalo bones (Bison bison for the purists) at a buffalo jump that he discovered during his youth in his home state of Texas.
    We discussed the great photograph that he had published in a magazine that he had written for (BPC News) of a buffalo hunter’s camp of well-armed and dangerous hombres. He asked me where I lived, and I said, “Nevada.” He told me of a story where he was summoned to do an archeological forensic examination of a corpse that was found near Las Vegas, Nevada, while excavating for a new freeway. He described the body as a man buried face-up with a .44 or .45 caliber hole to the center of his forehead (from close range) and a circa 1855 nickel strategically placed in his front shirt pocket (for later discovery of the intended killing). Now, let your inquisitive mind work on this find! The man needed killing or was “Wanted, Dead or Alive.” A .44 or .45 caliber handgun in 1855, would have likely been a Colt Walker or Dragoon, meaning he was taken by law enforcement from either Arizona or Texas. An 1855 coin proves the corpse was taken on that date (or later) for future discovery should it be needed.
    Miles will be missed.
    Kingston Wulff
    Reno, Nevada

    Shooting the Remington-Type Revolving Carbine

    In the printed copy of Issue 125, Spring 2024, of the Black Powder Cartridge News, contains an error in the tables in my article on “Shooting the Remington-Type Revolving Carbine.” The table of muzzle velocities for the revolving carbine is a duplicate of the table for the lever action carbine. Here is correct table for the revolving carbine.
    William Curry

    Updated Address for John Taylor

     I was really pleased to see my story “Adding to Perfection” in the Spring 2024 issue, and John Taylor is still doing very good work. However, I should have updated things for contacting him because he has moved since that story was written. He’s now located at Taylor Machine, 3530 13th Street C, Lewiston, Idaho 83501 – and better still – probably closer to more readers now he’s in Lewistown. Phone number: (253) 777-7793. Please email him at John@JohnTaylorMachine.com for the best response.
    Mike Nesbitt

    “Thank You” to the Davenport Shooting Association

     I’d like to say, “Thank You,” to the Davenport Shooting Association for hosting the 2024 Winter League Gallery Postal match. It is a great way for those of us who aren’t within easy distance of an organized indoor shooting range to have a match to shoot during the winter months. Practice with a .22 is a great way to keep in shape for other shooting disciplines, including hunting. I am already looking forward to the Winter League for 2025!
    Burnham Bell
    Ringling, Montana

    Vision Tips for Older Shooters

     In the past, I have been blessed with excellent vision, which came in quite handy hunting deer and antelope in the Red Desert of Wyoming. I have always been partial to open country hunting, even though I am quite envious of real hunters that hunt the heavy timber for elk. The only time I ever see elk, in heavy timber, is when I get so fed up with falling over snow-covered logs and slapped in the face by a snow laden branch, that I just decide to barge through to the nearest road. Right at that point is when I spook a bunch of elk and see their cream-colored butts blasting through the timber.
    Recently, I entered a long-range gong shoot in Billings, Montana. I’ve lately had trouble with what is termed “dry eyes”. This is a real oxymoron, because your eyes absolutely flood tears. I set myself up to shoot the furthest gong at 692 yards – everything was blurry – I wiped my eyes, and adjusted my Hadley eyepiece, and then two identical targets appeared stacked one on top of the other! That ended the shoot for me and consequently, I went to see my doctor the next day. He told me to stop taking a particular eye drop that had been prescribed for dry eyes and get in to see an ophthalmologist – ASAP. Interestingly, the doctor put me through a rigorous evaluation and also proclaimed that the eye drops were the problem. Overall, my eyes were in good shape, and I was told to take an over-the-counter eye drop whenever I needed; also “don’t knock yourself out too bad, as you still have 20/10 vision!” She went on to say, I have some very minor cataracts forming on my left eye that were a long way from needing attention. Somewhat relieved, I asked her, “Why was everything blurry?” She said, “I can fix that,” and pulled out some machine, put a couple of lenses in, and everything turned magically crystal clear! Mystified, I ask her if this clarity was good from the front sight of my rifle to infinity? She said “Yup!” and she’d write me a prescription. Since I could read the eye chart, they would not be mandatory for driving. I commented about needing “cheaters” to read, and she included bifocals in the prescription, adjusted to my cheaters. Hot damn, I was going to be able to see the Vernier scale on my rear sight, as well as, a housefly at 1000 yards! Her firm did not provide optician services, therefore I needed to go to a reputable optical vendor.
    We are blessed in Billings to have a very reputable optician that is an old shooter. Dr. Syl Schidd (Barnett Opticians) sold the business to his daughter, who sometimes comes into work just to escape the boredom of retirement. Syl was at the eye clinic the day I brought my prescription in to get filled. I told him I needed some shooting glasses, and so the process began. He said the first thing was to find frames tall enough to provide optical clarity when I was down on the gun, so as to not look over the frames. (I never thought of that.) The second thing was to get lenses with the old “Bausch & Lomb Yellow” made specifically for shooting. This color eliminated blue light and was invaluable, especially on overcast days. Lastly, the frames had to fit, so they would stay in place during the heat of battle. So, we finally found a set of frames that fit Syl’s recommendations. They are exactly the same glasses that the driver of the assassin team used while Steve McQueen chased them through the streets of San Francisco in the movie “Bullet”. When I showed the glasses to my wife, Trish, she broke out laughing, proclaiming that nobody under the age of 65 would be caught dead with them!
    Well, sports fans, these things work! I prefer to shoot iron sights and these glasses have given me a new lease on life.

    Lon Morris
    Roberts, Montana
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