Monday, June 13, 2005

Another weekend trip to the range

Very few weekends at Camp Freehold are complete without a trip to the range. This weekend was no exception.

Old Friend's Older Brother decided early last week that he needed to buy a pistol for himself and one for his Lady Friend. This isn't as scary as it might seem, since he grew up shooting. His Lady Friend also shot as a young child, but had not fired a round in many years.

Now I will question his choice in guns. For himself, he bought one of the winning contestants in the Ugly Gun Awards, the Hi-Point. (At least I was able to convince him to get it in .45 ACP.) One of my mother's favorite phrases was "ugly as homemade sin". Let me tell you, this gun is uglier, if such be possible.

However, it has the major benefit of being inexpensive (as in less, well less, than $200 new), and it seems to "go bang" every time the trigger is pulled. We put slightly over 200 rounds through it without any misfire, misfeed, or misbehavior of any sort. I can't say that about my Springfield 1911's first 200 rounds. I shot a 10 round magazine through it myself, and found it to be quite manageable. I think if you're looking for something inexpensive to stash somewhere as a backup gun, this might be an excellent candidate.

In order to get his Lady Friend reacquainted with shooting, he (in consultation with her, of course) settled on the nifty Walther P22 .22 semiautomatic pistol. Now I like this pistol--I better, since I own one myself.

We also took Lady Friend's 14-year-old daughter for her first experience with firearms. Believe me, this was with some trepidation on my part. I like the kid, but she is a natural blonde, if you follow my meaning.

Yours truly played the part of instructor and range master to these three as well as Daughter and Son. Rather a large group by my standards, but manageable. The all took to Col. Cooper's rules, the range rules and my rules without objection. I also gave them a brief introduction on safe loading, watching out for squibs, aiming, etc. I also made it clear that there is a moral responsibility that goes along with firearms ownership and use, and the possible consequences of carelessness. I tired not to overplay it, but I made it clear that strict adherence was mandatory, and violators would be sidelined for the duration of the trip.

300 rounds of .45, 100 rounds of 9mm , 400+ rounds of .22 and 4 hours later, we had finished. With the exception of less than one 50 round box of .22, all ammo was expended, and a good time had by all.

Daughter and Son both shot fairly well, with daughter working up her courage enough to try my 1911. She went 5 of 7 on 10" hanging steels from 10 yards. Son may have found his forte in rapid-fire shooting, since he seemed to do much better shooting quickly than when firing slow-fire.

Older Brother shot fairly well, for someone who hasn't shot in years and never owned a pistol. His Lady Friend also shot quite well. But our star was Lady Friend's daughter, who shot a pretty steady 70% when shooting either a .22, a 9 mm or a .45 ACP.

Older Brother is scheduling a trip to the next range business meeting where he'll be applying for membership, with me as sponsor. Another lost shooter returns to the Second Amendment fold. What else could you ask for in a weekend?

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