July Lake George 3Gun Match: Now With Steadycam Goodness

Ok, I’ve got videos up and live from last weekend’s 3Gun shoot up at Lake George. This is always a fun match with a great focus on speed shooting. This match marks the first use of the DIY steadycam. Overall, the video appears to be much smoother, especially when following a competitor who’s moving quickly over open terrain like on the last stage.

I ended up placing third overall.

Rampart Range & Pittman Robertson

One of the local bits of news to make headlines here in Colorado Springs is the recent negligent shooting death up at Rampart Range. This has resulted in the Forest Service shutting down the range until further notice. Tamara’s summation of the events are both pithy and pretty much spot on.

On the two occasions I visited the range, it was clear that the place was an absolute dump. I didn’t see any behavior that was categorically unsafe, but it was in the middle of the week. What I did see, however, was an unsupervised range that had shooters there who were not very experienced or savvy. Ultimately, I’m unsurprised that there was a negligent shooting death there.

Ok, so that’s all pretty cut and dried, stuff that everyone already knows. But I’ve got a question about all of this:
If the local authorities did not have the funds to convert Rampart Range into a proper shooting range with an employed Range Officer present, why did they not avail themselves of the funds earmarked by the Pittman-Robertson act specifically set aside for building and maintaining shooting ranges? Far be it for me to speak up in defense of further federal spending, but if you’ve bought a rifle or pistol in the last several decades, you paid an excise tax of between 10-11% on that firearm. The money from that tax is supposed to be used for conservation and outdoor programs, to specifically include the funding of shooting ranges.

Even the NRA has information on this. It would be ridiculous of me to place responsibility for this death on the local authorities and their lack of initiative with regard to securing funding for a proper range; plainly that responsibility is carried by Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dead. But I can’t help but think that this death could have been easily avoided had the local government made a token attempt to secure funding for a proper range, and even possibly charged a small fee to shooters to cover the costs of maintenance and staff.

DIY Steadycam

Just a quick post. But below is a picture of my build of the $14 Steadycam. I tend to shoot a lot of match videos, so I figured that the small investment to put together a platform that allow me to shoot steady handheld video would be worth it.

It’ll be interesting to see how noticeable the difference is between the video I’ve shot before and the video I plan to shoot with this piece of gear.


The camera is a Canon SD850. It has a video mode and shoots fairly decent stuff, though resolution is standard def rather than high def. For a reasonably-priced point-and-shoot, it takes excellent stills and good video, though in the next year or so I’d like to upgrade to a prosumer camera capable of shooting in high def. Which will happen ten minutes after I get that precision bolt gun built…

Videos from the 2009 Johnson 3 Gun Match

Ok, some of you already know that the videos have been up and live for a couple of weeks now. But here’s the official blog post.

I’ll be pretty frank here: I’m generally embarrassed by my performance at this match. Many of the stages, I shot too slowly, on some I didn’t have a proper plan worked out in my head beforehand. At any rate, lessons learned.

These are the stages from day one:

Stages from day two:

I’ve also got videos of a couple of other competitors who didn’t have their heads planted straight up their asses here.