Today, Brendan and I went to the Long Island Shooting Range of Brookhaven and we brought along a decent selection of firearms. I packed 2 Beretta 92 series pistols, my Glock 26, my Sig 229, A Remington 513T Matchmaster, the Marlin 25MN, the Hungarian M44 Mosin Nagant, the Russian M91/30 Mosin Nagant, my new Yugo M24/47 Mauser, Brendan's Bulgarian AK-47, and his Stag Arms AR15. A I said, my neck and right shoulder have been acting up ever since the surgery so today when we carried the gear out to the car maybe I should have taken it as a hint that the twinge of pain I felt when carrying the ammo was a warning sign. I did not since it did not seem unusual since the surgery. Well we got the car on the road with Brendan driving and I soon felt another sort of a pain. That is the pain that comes with removing the cash from my pocket to fill up the gas tank on the car he has been driving lately! Oh well, another $30 down the drain. Then off to the range.
Soon after arriving at the range, I again felt another stab of pain, this one was again the type I sometimes get when I have to reach for my cash, or maybe I should say it more likely to happen at exactly the time the person taking it from me reaches for it and removes it from my grip. The forceful amount wrenching movement required on the other person's part to remove $75 from my hand today sent a pain right up my arm, through my right shoulder, all the way to my neck. Yep, I said $75 but I did get back about .45 cents or so in change. Here is what I paid for: 2 range passes at $18 each (I am guessing based on the total and the known prices of the two other things I bought), 1 box of Remington Core-Lokt 8MM Mauser ammo at, get this, $32.20 a box of 20 rounds, 6 targets @.50 cents each (we already had a bunch of targets with us), and not one other thing except of course for sales tax! I must be out of my mind.
Okay, that would be all the cash spent for the day, and we were off to the actual range for some shooting at last albeit it a little poorer. We got to the gate at the range and realized that a session just started. We missed the cease fire and our chance to set up our targets by about a minute. Oh well, we were admitted and we could get things ready including stapling targets on backers, setting up sand bags on the benches, loading mags and taking rifles out of their cases and putting em into the rack. Then we waited an awfully long time. Another shooter, who was just finishing up for his day commented to me that it was an unusually long shooting session but we waited patiently anyhow. Soon enough Brendan was shooting at the 100 yard line to sight in his AR15 and I was at the 50 with the new Mauser. The Mauser is not a tack driver, at least not with the Core-Lokt ammo and me shooting it but it would have certainly been a deer slayer at 50 yards with all but one of my first 7 shots. The very first shot was way low and to the right, probably me anticipated recoil or something like that. The recoil really was not too bad - or so I thought. More on that and my achin' shoulder later.
As for the Yugo 24/47 Mauser, let me put it this way, the trigger has a lot of creep and a lot of travel before it sends things into motion. After a few shots, I realized that it was almost staged. A bunch of trigger creep followed by a bit of resistance and once the trigger had traveled that far there was some more to go but it was much smoother and almost as if a staged trigger was entering the second stage. I started to index on the resistance after the trigger creep as my "it is about to go off index". I'll have to see if I can improve things in that department but it was not bad at all, just took getting used to. After I shot it, I went over to check on Brendan. he was shooting way off the target despite the new front sight that had been put on his rifle, supposedly at the STAG factory according to the dealer to whom he returned it for repair. I told him to move over to the 50 and I would see if we could get it on the paper there. We did eventually by adjusting both the rear and front sights for elevation and the rear sight for windage. Yes,both sights are adjustable for elevation - go figure. Now that we have the front sight in a good position he will use the rear sight for fine adjustments in elevation. Before we got it to the point where it was firing fairly well on target all I can say is that it was way off. Aim dead on at the bull's-eye at 50 yard and it was going over the paper and the backer by about 6 inches1 Same problem he had originally and that set me off into a small tantrum during which I cursed out the dealer. We kept at it though and I shot the Mosin Nagants and my Glock 26 in between my attempts at getting the STAG Arms AR15 on target.
Have you ever shot Mosin Nagants with that 7.62x54R ammo. They look like flame throwers going off, even in full daylight, and they feel like a jackhammer hitting you each time they fire. Did I mention my shoulder is aching. The 91/30 was really on today using Silver Bear ammo. It too is not a tack driver but I was getting 2 to 3 inch groups at 50 yards and with my eyes and the crappy rear sights on that rifle I figure I was satisfied with my shooting up to a point. Up to the point when I realized my neck, should and arm (right side) were obviously very stressed because when I assumed a shooting position on the bench my right arm was starting to tremble uncontrollably and my shooting started to suffer and did I mention my shoulder is hurting right now! It got to the point that, just when I had adjusted the Stag Arms AR15 sights to be hitting the bull's eye, I could only take about 3 shots and had to stop because I could not control it. So I shot my Glock while Brendan got it sighted in. There was good timing in my disability today. he had lost interest, I think due to frustration over the thing still shooting like crap after sight replacement. We figured maybe the dealer never really sent it in and maybe he just put another front sight on it and never test fired it. Cannot say for sure, but I got to the point where I told Brendan he had to shoot it because I could not and that is what got him back to shooting.
He fired it several times and was consistently hitting all around the bull's-eyes, I figure in a 5 inch group of so at 50 yards. Not great, not really good, but much better than either of us had been shooting it before I adjusted both front and rear sights and finally got it somewhat right. I had him adjust windage to move it more to the right about 2 inches and he was doing even better. His spirits went up along with his improvement. Finally the thing was shooting as it should be even if Brendan is not the most proficient rifle shooter. I must admit though, after a bit of advice from the old man, the young man started shooting even better - taking his time, concentrating a bit more on sight picture, and mentally saying squeeze as he started to pull the trigger once he had a good sight picture and alignment. He was a happy
Me being a knucklehead, decided to continue shooting the rifles after I shot up the ammo for the Glock. My arm, neck and shoulder felt better by then - pistol shooting apparently much less of a strain than rifle recoil. Well did I mention my shoulder hurts right now, I suppose I did, so I suppose you can guess I should not have gone back to the rifles. I wanted to finish all of the rounds for the Mauser before leaving. Yes only 20 of them and I only fired 20 out of the Nagants but it was more than enough. Actually I fired only 19 out of the Mauser, Brendan fired 1 shot and that was enough for him. We also fired quite a few rounds out of that AR15 and probably another 150 out of the AK. Funny, to me it actually felt as if the AK and the AR had more recoil than the Mauser but I know that isn't possible. Just ask my shoulder though and it will agree it felt like more from both of the smaller rifles - probably because they weigh much less than the Mauser. As for the Glock, I fired 150 rounds though it. I never got around to shooting either of the Berettas or the Marlin 25MN (in 22 magnum) or the Remington 513 T Matchmaster (in .22LR) although I probably should have been firing them instead of those darned larger caliber rifles, just ask my aching should and once again I think it would agree.
We left the range after about 3 hours of shooting (a few breaks included during cease-fires). As we were getting the things to the car, I realized I was in an awful lot of pain. I mean a lot. My shoulder was crunching if I moved it too much or if I turned my neck too much. Ouch, I can be an idiot, but the doc did say no restrictions. I should have known better I guess. We were off and since Brendan was driving I got to rest my aching bones and muscles. On the way home we decided to get a bite to eat and we pulled off the highway, drove a few exits on the service road looking for a restaurant and lo and behold a Hooter's was the first place we saw. We stopped there, ate some greasy burgers and fries and got to
By the time we got home my shoulder was on a rampage and my neck was too. I already have an appointment to see my regular doc, about my pain and swelling, on Tuesday and you can bet that up through then I'll be taking it very easy indeed. Since I got home I have taken 3 aspirin, one and a half Victoir (the generic), a beer and a good measure or three of Kirshwasser. The pain is only beginning to subside now - within the last 10 minutes or so - about: 5 hours after the aspirin was taken, 2 hours after I took the Vicodin and about 15 minutes after I started to sip the alcohol. Not to worry, I am not planning on an overdose or getting snockered; I have too much to do tomorrow and need to be alive when the morning rolls round. For now though I am enjoying the slightly pain relieving and mildly intoxicating effects of my remedial concoction. no gun cleaning tonight, that will have to wait until my shoulder feels better and my head is clearer. Right now I am just going to enjoy whatever foggy notion comes my way.
All the best,