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Patrick Sweeney

The Early Days of IPSC

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The frame is what is probably the 1st hi cap 1911 style gun ever built. In 1985 Mac from Mac's 45 Shop in Seal Beach Ca cut the whole grip and magazine well off of a Colt single stack and pieced together one that would accept S&W model 59 magazines. I used it until I switched to an EAA Witness and then to a TRI. The Plaxco World Speed Model by Rogers holster was what I used before I put a red dot on it.

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OK, I was doing some cleaning, and I came across some packets of photos. Those of you who have always been in the digital era, thik a wide-mouth envelope, thick with photos prints. In the old days we'd quickly flip through them, then stuff the packet into a drawer. Well, I found a fistful of them. Marked "SC 86". As soon as I remember how to post photos, I'll stick some up, with comments.

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We'll be looking forward to those Patrick!

A move I've been using lately... Take a pic of the photo with your smartphone, then send or save it to your computer. Then you can easily add them to a post.

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OK, here goes. This is from the Main Event, the 5-pin event, in June 1986. I still have that gun, it is a single-stack .45 ACP, but it has had a new barrel and comp since then. In 1986, I would have been shooting a 200 grain Speer JHP over 6.3 grains of WW-231.

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Note the hand position. This was state-of-the-art ca. 1986, and not much has changed since then.

Edited by Patrick Sweeney

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The true tale of the HK 21, and the range set on fire? Here's the gun in question. Yes, that's me, smiling like a maniac, and yes, that's my beard.

I was bearded like a pirate before it was tacticool to be bearded.

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The five-pin event in 1986 was still done on the flat-eight tables. That is, they were stands that supported a 4'X8' sheet of steel. eight pins, you had to knock them off, and time was a ticking.

And no "New York Reload" allowed. You had to dump the empty six and reload the same wheelgun.

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This would have been the faux 25-2 I built, on an M-28 frame, with a barrel from a gun show and a cylinder from S&W.

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And finally, some rolling thuinder, three-man team action. Closest to the camera is Paul Askew, with a comped .45 and eight assigned pins. In the middle is Bob Gerak, with an 870, and eight assigned pins. I'm the guy furthest away, with my Remington Model 11, my eight pins, and we have a plan; the idea is teamwork, not spectacular demonstrations of shooting skills.

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And, we are all trying our best to shoot at about 85% of max throttle. Three-man teams needed a clean run from all three, on the same run. In 1986, a winning time for the five-pin was just under four seconds a table, or 20 seconds total. A winning time for 3-man was anything under five-and-a-half seconds. At 85% throttle, we're playing the percentages.

The plan was to post a time good enough to get on the prize table, then come back and do better. You could enter a dozen times in 1986, later years, entries were unlimited.

Edited by Patrick Sweeney

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Worn out long ago, and besides, I have no hope of fitting into pants with a 28" waist any more. Don't have the hat, either, just the guns, the patches the loot and the memories.

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Hello Patrick, This is David Clark. I have been toying with the pistols again. I still have my Second Chance commemorative model 29. I actually shot at Livingston this month. I asked about Bob Gerak, he was not there. I have ran in to a few of the older guys. They have came to me three times after signing up at matches to tell me I left off some of the digits on my USPSA number. Are you still in Michigan?

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Maybe I will run in you there. Its been great seeing a few of the guys still around. I was cleaning up my gun room this morning and found a Second Chance memory. I was on the back Range trying to hit the Clay birds they were throwing with a .45. There was a guy helping me who I saw break a few. We were sitting there talking and I asked him where he got his Colt Hat, he took it off and insisted I take it. I walked away and Mark asked what I was talking to Bill Blankenship about? I said who is that? lol. Must have been around 1986. He was quite a Gentleman, I still have the hat!

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My wife and I moved to Wyoming a year ago-----in packing up stuff in my reloading room that I had "filed" away I found one of the posters that Rich gave out at the match----big letters: "F*ck Communism" Never was able to actually frame and hang that poster but couldn't bring myself to throw it away either!!

(asterisk is my editing to avoid censorship or offense).

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I thought of another Second Chance moment. Mark Vanderbroek and Myself did not like the place we rented for the week. We went to look at another cottage to rent for the next year. The people told us it would be open to view. We get there and its locked up. Despite Mark saying lets come back, I take out my state of the art Spyderco and shimmy the window latch. I get a leg in and tuck my head through the window and right there on the night stand is a Second Chance name tag "Massad Ayoob". I slowly backed out and pulled the window down. Good thing for me no one was there! I looked a little spooked and Mark is asking what wrong? He had a good laugh at my expense.

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I believe it was Ned Christiansen, myself and someone else took a giant water balloon slingshot and tried to take out Richard from his podium. He grabs his sawed off shotgun and lets a bird bomb go right at us. We ran like rats caught in the grain bin.

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I forgot about the giant water balloon slingshots. One year we were launching balloons from the Pit Crew's fire pit. Me and Matt Davis were the "posts" and David Ryan was the launcher. The goal was to hit a car driving into the range (on the range road, which was pretty far away... might have been 75 yards from the fire pit). After lobbing in a few close calls, David nailed one square in the middle of a car's windshield. It was an amazing shot. I can't remember who was in the car, but I'd loved to have seen the espression on the driver's face when that balloon hit the windshield.

The days at Second Chance were the best of times.

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Doing some more cleaning, and I came across a letter from Nyle Leatham. A form letter. Nyle had the bright idea of setting up a camera on a tripod, and getting aciton photos of each shooter. Then, sending out letters with the frames from teh contact sheets, and letting you know you caould have your own full-szied action shots, as if you had been featured in the pages of American Handgunner.

I had intended to send off for a pritn, but one thing led to another, and I didn't.

This was the 1992 Steel Challenge, the third one run by Kerby Smith, and by then it had moved to Bakersfield, I believe.

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Edited by Patrick Sweeney

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I can't imagine doing match photographs with film…. all those photos to develop and its only when they were developed that there was any clue if the shots were good or not… Now we can just check the viewfinder at the range…, and take 11 shots in a second !

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I've got a couple of pics somewhere taken by Nyle at a match in Arizona.

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At the 94 or 95 desert classic there was a mine cart stage where you sat in a cart and pushed yourself backwards thru the stage

Nyle had a couple of cameras set up in the stage, and took pictures of everyone shooting the stage, then gave them all away to the shooters, and he wouldn't take money for them

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OK, back to the era of trucker hats, trimmed beards, and post-1980s.

That's a Steel Challenge 12th shirt I'm wearing, so clearly this is later than 1992. but not much, since the range at Second Chance isn't covered.

Those who were there can tell you the names of the two people we can see. Those who weren't, can't.

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Edited by Patrick Sweeney

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Doing some more cleaning, and I came across a letter from Nyle Leatham. A form letter. Nyle had the bright idea of setting up a camera on a tripod, and getting aciton photos of each shooter. Then, sending out letters with the frames from teh contact sheets, and letting you know you caould have your own full-szied action shots, as if you had been featured in the pages of American Handgunner.

I had intended to send off for a pritn, but one thing led to another, and I didn't.

This was the 1992 Steel Challenge, the third one run by Kerby Smith, and by then it had moved to Bakersfield, I believe.

yep-i seem to have one from there as well.

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