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Thread: International Lawn Steel shooting

  1. #41
    Boolit Buddy gunarea's Avatar
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    Hey I'LL MAKE MINE
    That Lee bullet is used by several Lawnsteel players. One person opted for the higher BC of the round nose and as you suggested, it does come up short on knocking down steel. Lyman and Saeco make a "cowboy" bullet design which are the most popular. The Saeco looks just like the ones shown on "Cast Boolits" logo. The Lyman bullet has an ogive of 2 on the nose and a bevel base. Depending on the age of the Lyman mould, the lube groove may be flat or curved. Again, you are correct about bullet fit and with these lower operating pressures it becomes critical. The few who use commercial and jacketed stuff struggle with loading for accuracy. With the low velocity a soft alloy is actually much more effective. Softer alloy will yield a heavier slug and the predicted weights from given moulds are based upon Lyman #2 alloy being used. Also the casting temp can be reduced when alloy approaches higher lead percentage. Typically tin is added to reduce weight without making a significant rise in hardness along with reducing the casting tempature. Gosh, it sure does make a nice shiny bullet. The Lee mould does a fine job and those who use them swear by them. It is not difficult to make Lawnsteel ammunition, but it is different. You may find your wesson oil to be far more accurate than imagined. Soon as you get a chance, shoot some Lawnsteel ammo and tell us all about it.
    Roy

  2. #42
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    Roy's earlier comments about the Contenders is spot on.

    I got VERY lucky with my first "out of the gate" attempt with the 44 mags. My combo of alloy, sizing, use of a gas check, and powder selection gave me a combination that keeps me in the game. My success in the game dramatically depends on my concentration, trigger control, etc.

    The 38/357 mag small bore barrel, however, is giving me FITS!! I tried all of the variations for 357 mag, figuring that the closer to the lands the bullet is, the better. Well, it didn't work out that way. After consulting with several (including Roy) who have been playing this game for decades, the Contender actually seems to fare better with the 38 special brass. I tried several powders, and several variations of those powder weights, hoping to hit a given velocity which seems effective for lawn steel. Only Red Dot powder seemed to obturate the bullet properly upon firing. As Roy suggested would be the case, the immediate pressure spike allows the bullets to quickly seal the barrel, and prevents gas jetting.

    I'm having other mechanical issues with the barrel (rear sight keeps loosening up, and barrel locks up properly, but the hammer doesn't always allow me to pull it back completely), and those are my distractions. Otherwise, I'd be a nickel grubber. None of those issues exist with the 44 barrel in place on the same frame. It's one of the reasons Roy and other dislike the Contender for this game. My budget, however, forces me to go that way. Can't afford to have 2-3 or 4 guns to play. Heck, I can barely afford the primers and powder... let alone the nickels.

    I want to publicly thank Roy for his continued help with getting me set to play this game. He doesn't yet feel that I am a threat enough with the nickels, so he keeps feeding me tips, hints, and has even allowed me to cast using his mold, etc. Guess I'll have to continue "throwing" an occasional shot to distract him.... LOL


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  3. #43
    Boolit Buddy gunarea's Avatar
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    Hey Folks
    For those who might be following this thread, typically on a fifth Sunday, a tournament of some sort is offered to ILSA members. We are now hosted at the Volusia County Gun and Hunt Club(VCGHC). August 31 will be a fifth Sunday and we will be having some sort of Lawnsteel game competition. Come on out and see what we are doing. Although there aren't any "fantastic marksmen" here, there are some who will do until one gets here. Stay tuned for further news of the impending tournament.
    Roy

  4. #44
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    Got an email from gunarea (Roy) the other day:
    --------------------------
    Hello All
    Fearless Leader has come up with yet another tournament format completely virgin and alien. "[Nickle Grubbers Double Down]". Since this has never been done, expect some serious stupid fun. Space is very limited so this will be done by reservation only. When slots are filled, entry will be closed. Masters Invintational games will be played exclusevily. There will be no registration and all aspects will be governed by the presiding ILSA Rangemaster (Roy). Participation will cost $5. Get with me to reserve a slot.
    ---------------------------

    I am told (during our Wednesday morning weekly shoot) that trophies will be awarded, but biggest trophies won't necessarily go to the best shooters. Apparently, the day is more about "nickle grubbing" ( the person who earns the most nickels during a day is affectionately referred to as the nickel grubber for the day) and having fun.

    I've already reported to Roy that I will be there! Hope anyone who's also in the area will come by and shoot with us.


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  5. #45
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    We've had a new shooter come to shoot. Well, he said he came to watch and learn. However, it's the policy of the active shooting group to welcome new shooters by offering them the use of a gun, and ammo, and providing (at cost) enough nickels to shoot a game or two.

    The new shooter was thrilled and said he had a grand time shooting. He's doing some homework on what gun, how to load for the game, etc....

    If anyone wants to come and join us, we welcome any and all shooters. We shoot every Tuesday morning at the Volusia Gun and Hunt Club on state Rt 44 (runs between I4 and New Smyrna Beach). The club's web site is here, including directions.

    http://www.volusiacountygunandhuntclub.com/

    Click on the "calendar" page to see when we are shooting.
    Last edited by DukeInFlorida; 07-05-2019 at 12:08 PM.


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  6. #46
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    Our new shooter, Keith, has come to shoot a few more times. He's totally hooked.

    He's jumping in with both feet, bought a 357 magnum barreled Contender, and has all the casting stuff he needs on order.

    He's also scrounging lead like a madman. Told me he scored 2 five gallon buckets of lead wheel weights, and is actively sorting them. We are also doing a berm recovery bullet fest on Monday, and he took the day off from work to get his fair share.

    If any one else wants to join us, we'll let you use a gun and ammo to try it out.


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  7. #47
    Boolit Buddy gunarea's Avatar
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    Hey folks
    We, (as a group) will supply everything but nickles for your first taste of Lawnsteel. It is truly amazing what the Lawnsteel group will offer up to the novice for their test run. Personal items specificaly for game play are graciously supplied to someone of unknown charater based solely upon the possibility that they are a Lawnsteel player. By rule, a Lawnsteel player must be honest. Bear in mind that a seasoned Lawnsteel player will SCREW you over for a nickle.
    Loading ammunition for successful Lawnsteel play is not difficult, it is however different. Unlike many venues, attaining the badge of Bulleteer is done through dilligent effort and acomplished with result. Most all of the Lawnsteel players are very acomplished casters and reloaders. Without exception, they will gladly explain any and all portions of their ammo manufacture. Lawnsteel players take on the task of teaching without reservation and revel in the fact they are able to. We also offer a haven for the anal reloader and caster.
    This game is not for the urban Rambo who needs make believe life and death senarios to boost adrenaline or macho alpha male power factor. This is not the game where we pretend to shoot bad guys. Lawnsteel is discipline, control, finess and most importantly fun. Come watch Lawnsteel and count competitor smiles during actual competition. Now go to any other competition and count smiles during play. I, we, love it when "really good shots" come play Lawnsteel with us and eventually learn how to be "really good shots". If you are really that good, we know how to make it comfortably challenging for anyone. Don't take my word for it, find out for yourself.
    Roy

  8. #48
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    I wish I could get something like this going up here in NH we have a very active F&G and I think if I can get it all going this winter we can get some interest in the spring.
    "The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

  9. #49
    Boolit Buddy Pee Wee's Avatar
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    Hello all My name is Keith, I am the new shooter. I love this game. First I would like to thank Orville for introducing me to this game. Also for all of his help, knowledge of reloading and just plan dumb a@$ questions that I call him with. I would also like to thank Eddie Pollick for letting me borrow his 357 contender and then selling it to me, (sorry about the chair) and also helping me with the dumb a@$ casting questions and letting me cast boolets and he and Oriville teaching me what not to do, at his cool place. I would also like to thank Roy for offering me his gun and station that first day and getting me hooked on this game. (Sorry about the chair) inviting me to his place and introducing me to a hole neither side of casting,reloading and the most enjoyable and fun shooting that I have done.(my wife said that I cant go to your house alone anymore) so come out and join "the game" you won't be sorry.

  10. #50
    Boolit Buddy Pee Wee's Avatar
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    Also I forgot to mention, I just got a 44 Mag barrel yesterday and can't wait to try it out.
    we are playing "the game" tomorrow, so if you are interested come down I would be happy to let you use my station and pistol, (bring your own nickels) see you at the range

  11. #51
    Boolit Master

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    So let's (meaning those of you that have actually DONE IT) discuss 38, 357 and 44 boolits and powders for this game.
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  12. #52
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    T C, being that I just got into this I will give you my brief history of what I have learned so far. First, I have a Thompson center, contender. I started with 357 mag barrel. This was Eddies gun and he has been kind enough to sell me loads in 38 brass (at his cost) that he and Roy set up for this pistol. They have sized the boolets in different sizes for the bore size of this barrel with different loads of powder. The preferred powder of choice by these guys, and remember they have shot thousands of rounds doing this and have perfected it, is red dot, primo and bulls eye. They chronagraft their loads. I have not been able to find any of these powders to purchase. I was given a can of bulls eye buy Roy and he gave me a start volume of 2.9 grains. Now you will have to talk to Roy and Orville about why we use the low loads and the trajectory at the fps that is the optimal that is the most efficient. Orville is helping me with that. He brought his chronograph out sunday so after "the game" we could test my new loads. They were just a bit under the desired velocity, and gave me a number to go up to on my run for Wednesday Game. They have given me freely any and all information that I have asked for and about. Now this is just a small amount just on the powder. There is so much to learn and so little time. There are a couple of fellows that shoot 357 mag brass with a different load, and so it goes on and on. I am going to work on getting my 38 loads perfected before I jump into the 357 stuff, and for now Eddie is again being kind enough to let me use 44 mag loads, so I can just shoot my new barrel on weds day. I have ordered all the molds that they recommend to me that work the best for this game, sizing dies and all the equipment to cast my own boolits. So if you would like to follow me as I learn the ins and outs, I will be more than happy to post my journey and share with you what I am learning. I feel very fortunate to be able to do this with such a brain trust that is in this group, they give freely and brought me in as if they had known me all their lives. What a great bunch of guys and they can shoot to. We are playing "the game" today, whoo hoo.
    Last edited by Pee Wee; 10-01-2014 at 01:49 AM.

  13. #53
    Boolit Buddy Pee Wee's Avatar
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    The first thing that Orville said that I should do is read Glen E. Fryxell's Book, it is on line and it is titled From Ingot to Target. It is very informative. So if you have nothing to do and wish to learn more about casting a Boolit, Check it out.
    see at the range
    Pee Wee

  14. #54
    Boolit Buddy gunarea's Avatar
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    What kind of GAME, would compel a person, with three freshly broken toes to get into his truck, drive a half hour, carry two arm loads of stuff 600m, take all further Wednesdays off from work, postpone an interview for promotion and then sit next to the biggest arsehole playing? LAWNSTEEL! The same game brought another player out with a fractured sacrium to suffer along in silence while being continually raped for nickles. Yet both players began each and every turn at play with "I love this game". Lawnsteel whores.
    Yesterday gifted our new players with shots that thrill to the bone. This exhileration can not be correctly, properly or fully explained to anyone else that lacks the first hand experience of having felt it before. Due to rule, no shot is made without witness/es. Challenging shots of the nature I am feebly attempting to describe, are generally observed carefully by all present. These shots not only demand pinpoint accuracy for success, the chance for collateral damage is also great. Our ***'s have gotten a taste of the highly addictive "holy f#!@ing sh!t did you see that?". The smile that comes with this sense of achievement can't be removed with double ought steel wool on a drill arbor. My congratulation and condolence go out to them.
    Sincere thanks to friends for their help in relocating my gun room. There is no way, anymore, that I am capable of doing what you guys did for me. Thank you so much.
    Roy

  15. #55
    I'm A Honcho!

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    I'll try to cover a few bases, and hope that I get it kind of right:

    • The "game" was developed with the notion that ANYONE, young, old, dainty, or large, could play.
    • I strongly urge you to READ THE RULES, published previously in this thread! It covers most of what I am about to discuss.
    • The game exists in several flavors, which I will cover later on.
    • The shooting is limited to low velocity, cast boolits, lobbed (that's the best way to describe the shots) at steel targets 200+ feet away.
    • The guns are either single shot, or revolvers.
    • They are either small bore (38 special or 357 mag) or large bore (typically 44 magnum or 45 long colt), depending on the call of the appointed line judge. Some guns seem to shoot 38 specials better than 357 magnums. Some guys use "cheater boolits" , ie: 357 mags on the large animal targets which are harder to knock down. My T/C Contender has two barrels that I use. A 357 mag barrel, which I use to shoot 38 specials, and a 44 mag barrel, which I use to shoot 44 mags.
    • Because of the rules, the speed limits on the boolits require softer lead than Lyman #2, for proper obfuscation. They also require a powder with a pretty precise burn rate to get the pressure spike right. So, boolits with a hardness of 6 or so work well. 160 grains for the 38's is a good weight. 220 grains for the 44's are good.
    • Red Dot and Promo are the two tested powders. I have been using Trailboss in my 44's, and will soon begin testing Trailboss in my 38's. My 44's are gas checked, and I just got a Lee mold to make gas checked 38's.
    • Because of the low velocity on the shots, the powder amounts are VERY low. So low that to gain any consistency in velocity from shot to shot, the guys have a habit of making the loaded round in the gun vertical, and tapping the sides of the gun to cause the powder to fall back against the primer. Failing to do so will result in a loss of about 15-20% velocity, and a missed shot.
    • The Trailboss powder I load fills the case to the base of the seated boolit, and burns clean. I get a perfect amount of velocity, and it's not as "location sensitive" as the other powders are. I'm using a gas check to make up for any error in obfuscation, etc.

    More in another post.


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  16. #56
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    Continued:

    Several variations of the game, per the rules


    Keep in mind that the targets are set by the shooters, either randomly or in some sort of sequence. However, every set is entirely different from any previous set. The possibilities are endless.

    • "The Game" - This version of the game allows the shooters, in turn, to shoot at which ever targets they prefer. Sometimes the focus is on shooting "open targets" with no collateral damage possibilities. It still requires that each shooter shoot down TWO lollipops to "get in the game", and then an "optional target" to qualify for an animal shot. This version is the most fun for new shooters, and can be a strategic game for those more experienced. Sometimes the "easy" targets get knocked down early, and all that remains are dangerous, "fuzzy butt" shots. It's common for nickels to fly when the required shots have lots of other targets near and behind.
    • "The Numbers Game" - This game can be played either ascending or descending. In a descending numbers game, the lollipops are shot #1, #2, etc. And, then, when a player is "in the game" (having knocked down two lollipops), they have to shoot at #1 optional targets and #1 animal targets until all #1's are down. Then, they move to #2's. etc. The descending version starts with #19 lollipop, and #4 optional targets and animal targets, etc...
    • "The Sequence Game" - This game is also either ascending or descending. Once in the game (two lollipops), you choose an optional target (card suit or quit), and you have to stay with that type of target (knock down all the hearts, for example) before moving on to another optional target. Ditto with the animal targets. Once the chickens have been started, all chickens have to be knocked down before moving on to the next. It gets especially challenging when the small chickens are placed such that only a head sticks out behind a pig target.
    • "Screw Your Buddy Game" - This game has the shooters taking turns calling the shots for the line. Each shooter calls the shot for the line, and then the next shooter to the right takes over, and calls each shot for the shooters in turn. REVENGE is sweet in this game! Get ready for the toughest shots you can imagine. Getting in the game, and shooting an optional target to earn an animal shot still are in force.
    • "Yes, No Game" - This game has the line judge call the shots for each player. The player is given the opportunity to call his or her own shot, but the line judge can rule Yes or No. If a No is given, either the line judge will call the shot, or the shooter might be given an opportunity to choose another shot, also subject to Yes or No. This one becomes very similar to the Screw Your Buddy Game.
    • "The East/West Game" - This one is similar to the sequence game except that the rules require that the east most or the west most target has to be shot. Honesty (ILSA shooters are always honest!) is expected, and the position of the most east or the most west shot depends on where the current shooter is sitting on the line.


    There are some other subtle versions of this game. I wanted to give you all an idea of the vastness of the fun to be had by six shooters on a shooting line, each taking turns shooting.

    The bantering is endless. The jokes are precious. The fun is endless. And the friendships made are timeless.
    Last edited by DukeInFlorida; 10-03-2014 at 09:01 AM.


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  17. #57
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    Strategic Considerations:

    I'd really like to have Roy pipe in on this area of discussion. I'm still kind of new at the strategies. There are several types of strategies.
    * Line Judge Calls
    * Keep the nickels flowing
    * Keep others out of the game
    * REVENGE is sweet
    * Setting targets so that the game is tougher or simpler, depending on the upcoming version of the game
    * Amazing shots


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  18. #58
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    The concept of LOBBING boolits:


    • The velocity of about 800 feet per second allows the shooters to dial in the gun sights on the front row of targets (about 200 feet out), and also hit the back row of targets in the same aim point.
    • The exaggerated trajectory of these slow bullets requires that for the middle targets, you need to aim low.
    • It's almost like lobbing in mortars. Well, not quite, but I hope that you get the idea.
    • The fastest velocity (875 feet per second) allowed for small bore (850 feet per second for large bore) doesn't get you pin point accuracy and same point of aim for all targets. In this game, faster is not better. Hitting the sweet spot for velocity is more important.
    • The hardness of the cast boolits is important. Obfuscation is important. Read Glenn Fryxels book, previously mentioned by Keith.
    • The high accuracy of dispensing powder is also critical. +/- .1 grains is a minimum. We try to hold even tighter than that, which stretches the ability of the powder measure and the scale.
    • Most of the better shooters have spent hours and hours loading, shooting test rounds, and chrono-ing boolits before competing. Holding the gun becomes a fine art. Pulling the trigger is also a fine art.
    • The guys shooting LAWNSTEEL have literally millions of rounds of testing under their belts over the years of playing.


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  19. #59
    Boolit Buddy gunarea's Avatar
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    Whew
    That was a lot of information to address.
    Lawnsteel is intended for participation of average folks with average shooting skills in a friendly game that will adjust as needed for fun, fairness and challenge. While there are some handguns that may not be well suited for Lawnsteel, the vast majority of non-custom handguns can and have been used to shoot the game. As Duke suggests, read the rules carefully. Seasoned players still blunder along making stupid mistakes due to lack of repeatative exposure to the written word. It's easy to spot though. Statements begin with; "I think", "I thought" or the more descriptive "I didn't think". The most astounding accostment had to be when a fairly new player explained, to me, that I didn't understand the intent of the rules. Priceless. Or worthless, depending on the perspective.

    Tip # 1; Modern noise cancelling audio enhancing ear protective safety muffs.
    Don't skimp here, the banter is part of admission and entertainment. Knowing what's going on is imperative to competent competition.


    Tip # 2; Binoculars. Although the targets are easy to see, positive target identification throughout a turn can make a big difference. Six to eight power magnification with a wide field of view and large objective lens.

    Tip # 3; Pay attention. In every bushel basket of verbal manure will be a truffel, try not to pass it by.

    Tip # 4; Check your ego at the entrance. A full line foul = $0.25. It isn't about you! Please don't screw it up for the others playing. If you can't take it, don't dish it out! Thick skin is not only a blessing but a distinct advantage in Lawnsteel.

    Tip # 5; Ask for help. Real Lawnsteel players will rush to assist.

    OK you got some stuff to dwell on, I gotta go tend to my female problems.
    Roy

  20. #60
    Boolit Buddy Pee Wee's Avatar
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    Oh boy tomorrow is wed. and we get to go lawn steel shooting. I am taking one of my two buddies that I shoot with to introduce him to "the game" I have told him about it and so he wants to go. another one bits the dust. So a lot of my new casting stuff has come in. I have built a casting table and my other buddy that I shoot with and I are going to smelt lead this sat. so we can get started to cast our own boolits. He also wants to see "the Game" but has to work on wed so he will make our end of the month Sunday game. I have loaded up with a new number for my 38 special to get my fps up, so I let you know how they worked out. My new 44 mag barrel is shooting way high and the sights are adjusted all the way down, because this barrel is octagon shaped the front sight is soldered on and can not be adjusted so I have come up with a system to get the back sights to adjust, so will be trying that out tomorrow to see if it works. Eddie was kind enough to sell me a 100 rounds with his loads for a 44 mag that he shoots, so I don't have to worry about getting the correct load for know. more on that after I get the pistol sighted in. Orville is helping me with that. oh yea I get to sit besides the biggest arshole in the game and rib him. he owes me, broke three toes helping him move his gun room. It was worth it though as he gave me a bunch of the secrete lube, you know, if I tell you then I half to kill you reciept. see ya at the range
    Pee Wee

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check