Thursday, July 4, 2019

Damn, That's A Lot Of Noise...

...and it sounds nice in a really a patriotic way, a perfect way to enjoy Independence Day's night is it! I have not heard as many pops, bangs, whizzes, crackling and loud explosions on the 4th, nor have I seen as many colorful rockets up in the sky even before full dark, in NY 15 years or more. Arkansas is a freer state than NY will be on its best day if only because this is the way the 4th of July, our Independence Day, should be celebrated!

All the best,
Glenn B

Hope You Are Having A Happy Independence Day...

...ours has been excellent so far. 

Brendan and I drove out to Pigeon Roost Range and had a blast. We were lucky because while it rained a bit along the route, it stopped by the time we got there. We were also lucky when we got there because there was only one other shooter on the line and he was safety conscious and a genial type.

We brought along a decent variety of hardware. Brendan hauled along his Bulgarian AK with a few typical 30 round mags and both a 75 round drum mag & a 100 round drum mag. He also brought his Mosin Nagant M44 and his Beretta M9A3 with silencer. I grabbed my Schmidt Rubin 1911 rifle (unfired sine I bought it), two Glock 30s, Remington R1 1911 and Rock Island Armory 1911 A1 FS pistols.

My first impression of shooting the Schmidt Rubin 1911 was the relatively light kick. I liked that and so did my aging bones, especially my right shoulder. It shot high at 50 yards, maybe 4 to 6 inches and did not group all that well for the first 20 rounds shooting PPU 174 grain soft points. The first set of shots I took was at a 6" Shoot-N-C target at 50 yards. I did not hit it once and forgot to mark off the other shots already on the already well used target that we found at the range (yeah, we forgot to bring a stapler so had to use what paper was already on the available backers) so I had no idea where I had hit. 

Then I switched over to a clean piece of cardboard with two circles painted on it of about 10-12" diameter each that I found lying behind the firing line. I impaled it on the frame of a shot up lawn sign that also was at the range. At least shooting at that cardboard target let me know where I was hitting - high and a bit left. Probably the same place Brendan had also hit for the eight or so shots he took when shooting at the Shoot-N-C on the used backer.

Next time around, I decided to give the Shoot-N-C target another try but went downrange but marked off most of the holes in the backer before taking another shot. Funny, I needn't have bothered with doing that, that time around. I don't know what I did right, maybe we just had fouled the barrel enough with the first twenty or so rounds and that helped because I shot this four shot group next, all shooting was done sitting at the bench elbows supported on the bench. 

This 6" Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C Target was pasted
onto a well shot up paper target we found at the range,
this was my best group of four shots including the flyer.

Of course, I was aiming about 4-6" or so low this time, lolipop style,  since it had been shooting high before and that got it pretty closer to center elevation wise. I am thinking maybe if I use some different ammo, I may get it right on the money when holding dead on as far as elevation goes. As for the improvement in my windage, it wasn't shooting to the left any longer and I am none to sure what I must have changed to accomplish that. I figure it had been user error on that for the first few volleys and that maybe I was just concentrating a bit more and inadvertently corrected whatever I did wrong in the first place.  Anyway, I like it, it is not an excellent shooter but is a good one and trying out various ammo weights and brands may be the key to getting it dead on the bullseye.

As for the Mosin Nagant, which Brendan had not shot since buying it, we did not have the same luck at improving the group size. Oddly enough all of the groups were also going high and left but the best was a group that fit in an oval about 6" wide by 4" high. Another thing was that while the bolt closed easily enough, it took an awful lot of effort to get it turned up all the way to the point where you could pull it back. After checking it later, I think the fact that there is glazed on dry Cosmoline on a lot of the parts of the bolt may be the cause. A good soaking in a solvent and a good brushing down of all the parts when wet is probably going to help with that.

Of course, there was some shooting where aiming did not matter and I kind of screwed up there. I don't know why I didn't think of it but the thought of shooting Brendan's Bulgarian AK with the drum mags never crossed my mind; heck I didn't even shoot it with the conventional 30 round mags. I had a lot of fun anyway just watching Brendan shoot it, his Mosin Nagant and his Beretta. Of course I had hands on fun shooting my 45s, the SR1911 rifle and his M44 flamethrower. I suppose though it would have been a lot more fun shooting the AK too - hopefully there is always next time. Anyway, as I said, Brendan had some fun shooting it and aiming did not matter much the way he was shooting it.

You just need to watch that short video to realize 
the extra fun  I missed out on. Next time, I will 
make darned sure to shoot a drum-load or three.

 We were probably at the range about an hour when the other guy there left. Shortly after he left, a group of four other shooter showed up, two guys and two gals. They were okay, all seemed pretty safety aware and that was good. We shot for another hour or so and I am pretty sure that without saying it to one another we both were feeling like it might be time to get some eats cause neither one of us had anything but coffee for breakfast. 

At about that point another shooter showed up. We shot awhile longer, maybe 15 or 30 minutes and in that time we realized this guy was a bit of a dickhead when it came to range safety. So, we kept an eye on him. He sat there at his bench, at least twice when the group of four other shooters went to check and fix their targets. Each time, there was a magazine in his AR and the action was closed. When he started shooting later without changing mags it became obvious the gun was loaded when the others were down range. At least he did not touch it then, but we decided no more going downrange.

By that time, two more guys showed up and they were worse than the guy keeping the loaded Ar on the bench with other shooters downrange. First of all, both walked onto the range without ears on while not knowing if the range was hot or not. They were less than safe as to where they pointed their rifles. While one fiddled with his guns on the bench, while the oter four shooters were again downrange, the other went back to the parking lot and came back with a modern legal version of what was essentially a sawed shotgun. He passed my son pointing ait at him. The only thing going for him at that point was he did not have his hands on the gun so his finger was nowhere near the trigger. Yet, it was sitting atop something else he was carrying so then again that was another unsafe act with a gun right there - zero hand control of it.

We did not wait for the two latest arsehats to start shooting and decided to leave immediately. So, we packed up and got our arse to the car. On the way back toward benton, we had hoped to stop at Bubba Brew's Sports Pub & Grill in Bonnerville, AR. As Brendan had guessed, it was closed for the 4th. The thing was, we had passed another of what I am guess is a chain - Bubba Brews - On Lake Hamilton - on the way to the range earlier in the day. I gave them a call and they were open. We an a truy delicious meal there starting off with an appetizer of oysters of the Rocky Mountain variety. First time for Brendan and he liked em. In fact, while a bit too salty they were delicious.

Some tasty tidbits.
For a main course Brendan has fried clam strips and I had their 14 hour Smoked Brisket. We each sampled a bit of the other's main course. Brendan's was excellent but I have to say, Brendan was right when he said that my smoked brisket was the best he ever tasted; I thought the same of it as compared to any I had ever eaten as well. Damn it was wet (fatty), pulled apart with the fork (I asked for a knife then wondered why I had bothered) and extremely delicious. That meal and no traffic of which to speak for the ride back to Brendan's place were the perfect ending to an outstanding Independence Day outing.

As I said, hope yours went as well as ours.

All the best,
Glenn B