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Friday, August 29, 2008

Fast Draw

Lady di tn said she wished I would talk more about my competition days so here it goes:)

My husband was already a top notch competitor in Fast Draw when we married but I just didn't know how much he loved after several years of whining and complaining about spending every holiday at some competition, I decided if you can't beat them you may as well join them.

I entered my first contest in 1970 and to my great surprise, placed third. We had been trying have a baby prior to my entering competition and I was just thinking maybe I would postpone it a while when on the way. I continued to compete until my holster wouldn't fit me any longer and took it back up when our daughter was about 1 year old. I continued to shoot until about 3 years ago so that would be a grand total of around 35 years. Now to explain Fast Draw...........

It is a world competition that is governed by the World Fast Draw Association. It is shot with a single action pistol (mostly 357 Ruger bored out to a 45 or a Colt 45) and it is reminisce of the shoot out at the OK corral except you do not face an opponent but rather a target with a light in it or on it. After you have readied yourself, you take a command and from 2 to 5 seconds the light will come on which is your command to draw and fire and hopefully hit the target. There are several different types of draws used: Thumbing which means that it is all done with one hand (my husband is the World Champion for this) and many different forms of Fanning, in which you draw with one hand and the other hand cocks the gun (this is my preferred way of competing). I have always held the belief that a picture is worth far more than words.
These are a couple of ladies I shot with and this particular event is called "step back wax". The target is a metal FBI silhouette and the light is in the middle. You shoot a synthetic wax bullet that is propelled by a 22 blank and it must hit the target in order to stop the clock and record your time. The time is calibrated in 1000's of a second. Here is a little takes about 15 thousands of a second to blink your eye and these gals are probably shooting around a .3900 here.

My greatest claim to fame was winning the International Championships in 1978, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I continue to hold two World records......Standing Blanks at 10' in 1995 and Walking Wax at 15' in 1997. I won my share of contests like Arizona State, Tombstone, A Canadian competition and etc. but what I was the most proud of, is that I was considered a tough competitor and most always placed in the top 5. I met people from all over the World and traveled to many places most people have never heard of. It was a fun time and people ask me why I have hung it up........ Well, the truth is that World Fast Draw as I knew it, is a dying sport and has been overtaken with other competitions like Single Action Shooting and Cowboy Fast Draw which is similar but yet different and I have decided this old dog isn't interested in learning new tricks. It is a very physical competition and in order to do well you need to be practicing all the time. With only a handful of contests a year in Fast Draw, it just wasn't worth the time for me.

My hubby and I also use to perform Gun Shows around the valley for conventions in some of the big hotels. Here is a picture of him firing at a balloon that I dropped out of my hand............ Yes, this is a VERY old picture (I almost don't recognize myself I am so skinny) taken in 1992 but it was hard to find pictures of us in action instead of with fellow shooters. Blanks are a 45 shell filled with black powder and it is the unburnt powder that breaks the balloon. It creates a spread like a shot gun would. It is the fastest kind of shooting and is popular for the twist fanner's which shoot elimination type competitions and their times are in the 20's.

This is me shooting at the balloon target used in competitions and as you can see....I broke the balloon.

This was the last Championship I won in 2003 at Big Timber, Montana
I sold my custom made gun at the competition last week-end so folks....I won't be coming back but thanks for the memories.


Granny Annie said...

I was grinning when I started reading this and was so proud of you and I was crying when I finished. You're always a champion!

Shammickite said...

WOW! You are a TRUE champion!
To be honest, I haven't heard of this sport before... I suppose guns were not part of my existence when I was growing up in UK. Guns meant cowboys and the Wild West and movies and I was a long way from that. But you weren't! That's amazing.... congratulations. I'm so glad I read this, it's so interesting. WOW again, you're a real live world record holder! WOOHOO!

Lady Di Tn said...

Thank you for sharing and this is truly so very interesting. Wow a world record holder and a Champion hubby. Sounds like you and he had a wonderful time doing this. Prince is planning to bush hog off our target range and your post makes me want to go and practice, practice, practice. I would never be in your league especially fast draw but I do like to shot at the targets. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful story with us.
I was sad to hear you sold your gun. Was it the one you used when you made the world records? Well, I enjoy this so much I plan to show it to Prince and read it again.
Peace be with you.

JeanMac said...

Wow, I'm so impressed!

Chatty Crone said...

I had never heard of this sport or competition either. I am so impressed. You go girl. Chatty

adoodleaday said...

The first uttering that came to me was WOW too! And seeing the photos of you "in action" is brillant :)

bigbikerbob said...

Hi, A proper little "Annie Oakley" in your time then.Sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed the Competition and you were good too, i expect you'll miss it.

Shammickite said...

In regard to Tessa, the mad puppy on my blog today, it's not a muzzle, it's a Halti head collar, it doesn't affect her mouth at all, and she's very gentle, and has never been known to bite. It just gives a bit more control when she's outside or walking on a leash.
Have a look here:

Changes in the wind said...

Thanks to each of you for your uplifting comments:) It didn't seem like that big of a deal to me...just a part of my life and in answer...yes, it was the gun I used when setting the records....... no, I won't miss it but will miss some of the people and a little update.....I have used the money from the sale of the gun to go on another Elder hostel trip later this month...more on that later:) I truly believe that when one door closes another opens:):)

OneCowgirl said...

Annie Oakley! Great post - love the pics! Glad to hear as another door opens....enjoy your trip.