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Quigley Shoot
Bob Anderson

For over fifty years, I have been involved in sport shooting. I started at age 12 in the Junior NRA in Texas until my family moved to the Northwest. Then as luck would have it, I became involved in hunting more than competition shooting. However, winter, spring and summer seemed to drag by as I waited for fall to arrive and with it hunting season.

I did have a short stint shooting 1000 meter unsupported prone in the army. I have always had a fascination with accurate rifles and have owned many very accurate varmint rifles over the years. Hunting varmints kept me pretty busy during the off season. However, I missed my passion of competitive shooting.

So a couple of years ago after retiring, I took a part time job at a major sporting goods store selling guns and reloading equipment. I really enjoyed meeting people who shared a common interest and being able to share my knowledge with folks just starting out in the sport.

While there, I struck up a friendship with Jack Regele, who is a member of a local gun club and was invited to come out for a visit. Before you know it, I was a member and developed a strong interest in black powder cartridge rifles. After selling a few guns that hadn’t been out of my safe in years, I was able to purchase a Browning BPCR 1885 in 40-65 win. A group of us got together and had classes on bullet casting, black powder loading techniques, venire sights and so on. During these sessions, I was formally invited to attend the Quigley Shoot in Forsythe, Mt.

 

This is a long range rifle competition using original or replica rifles from the buffalo hunting era the competitors attempt to hit steel targets at ranges of 350 to 784 yards.  The shooters fire off of crossed sticks or offhand. The bullets have to be cast and most shoot black powder, though smokeless is allowed.

 

I spent many a day casting bullets and lubing them, preparing cases, cutting wads, and loading cartridges.  We finally scheduled a day to meet at the range and try outquiqley_shoot_bob7.jpg our rifles. There were eight or nine of us and we set up at 100 yards. With the help of a good spotter, I was finally able to get my rifle on target and shoot a very respectable group.

During this process, I discovered that the Browning, as it comes out of the box, has two serious flaws. The trigger pull from hell and no windage numbers on the Vernier sight. Because of the trigger and little practice time, my rifle shot 1 ½ min to the right. I forgot that the sight was frozen and the windage screw couldn’t be turned by hand. When I got home I doused it with Kirol and let it sit for a couple of days. Then I wrapped the windage knob with a thick piece of leather and gently turned it with a pair
of channel locks. It broke loose and I then went to the range and adjusted the windage. I was able to put one round dead center at 100 yards. That was good enough for me and I packed up and went home. I didn’t want to shoot a confirming shot and ruin my group.

 

The following Tuesday afternoon I went over to Jack’s home and hooked up his tent trailer to my crew cab Chevy. We loaded up all of his gear and Steve Irving’s gear, the third member of our group.

The next morning, at 6:30 a.m., we departed for Forsyth, Mt. We drove straight through to Butte the first day where we stayed the night and then left early the next morning and drove on to Big Timber. We stopped there to visit the Shiloh Sharps factory and the C. Sharps factory. 


Well, I left there a little lighter in the billfold, with a new addition to my collection. Then we finished the drive into Forsyth and followed the signs out to the Lee Ranch.quiqley_shoot_bob2.jpg When you came over the hill, you couldn't miss it, there was a trailer/tent city housing 600 plus people.

 

We spent that afternoon setting up the tent trailer and walking around and familiarizing ourselves with the area and range. My friends Jack and Steve introduced me to the friends they had made during the pervious three years that they attended the shoot. You could feel the excitement in the air. Everyone was talking about hunting and shooting. "Wow, what a great place to be", I thought to myself as I looked around.

The next couple of days were spent getting accustomed to the range and the targets. On Thursday, it rained a little and was somewhat windy and then Friday it warmed up and was hot and dusty. Each day we shot at each of the targets and became comfortable with the process. We met lots of people from all over the country, Canada, South Africa, Germany, and Australia.

A there was a total of 629 competitors. Everyone was friendly and willing to share their experiences with me.  As a matter of fact, the competition is pretty laid back and not nearly as formal as most matches. Friday we registered and then went to dinner in town.

 

Saturday morning came early. It started with a meeting for all contestants and then quiqley_shoot_bob8.jpgthe match began. Nervously, I ready my rifle. I took careful aim then shot. After that first shot my nervousness went away. Then I fired 8 more shots at each of four targets during Saturday's match.

Sunday morning we were on task again and this time we shot 8 times each at the two remaining targets. The match ended a little after noon and then we had the awards ceremony until around 4 p.m.

The winner of the shoot had 43 hits out of 48 possible. I have shot better. However, I found a new passion, wait until next year. On leaving, we decided to drive non-stop and arrived back home before lunch on Monday.
 

I must say that I had a great time, made new friends and was invited to go prairie dog shooting in Forsyth by one of the neighboring ranchers and antelope hunting in Wyoming. Plus, I found a new hunting rifle that I just might take on a prairie dog hunt into the Deep Countree.

If you're interested in shooting "Quigley style" please contact me via Ask Bob. It is a great way to spend a few days during the summer.