Thursday, October 25, 2012

Stupid Shooter Stories (Prompted by Six)

OK, it isn't so much a Stupid Shooter story.  But I needed a catchy title.  So...  Six over at his blog The Warrior Class, has lately been talking about introducing noobs to shooting.  Since I'm all politicked out lately, I figured I'd add a tale to the topic.

Back in college I had a friend/roommate.  He was a good guy, but a bit of a clown.  Think: A Jim Carrey movie character.  His dad had died when he was quite young, and he grew up a bit of a momma's boy in a wealthy Seattle suburb.  He had never even *touched* a gun prior.

We drove up in the woods to a clearing outside an abandoned mine.  I brought my Ruger Mk I, a Browning BL-22 lever-action, a Ruger .44 Carbine (old model w/ tubular magazine) and the Super Blackhawk.  (Yeah, I like Rugers).  First off, the usual rules about safe gunhandling, etc.  He was actually serious and attentive for a change, which was good, since we were about 2 hours away from the nearest thing that would pass for "civilization."  Then I turned him loose with the BL-22.  Crack!  "Whoo!  Teehee!"  Crack!  "Dude!"  Pine cones and such began to be struck with regularity.

Then the Mk I.  Similar results.  Then the .44 Carbine.  I give him the obligatory "Keep in mind that a .44 is a LOT more than just twice a .22, OK?"  BOOM!  "Holy s**t! This is awesome!"  (I can't believe that Ruger keeps discontinuing their .44 Carbines.  They rule.)  He was having a ball, and turned a lot of my .44 Mag ammo into empty brass.  Had to slow him down before we ran out, because he hadn't shot the Super Blackhawk. Yet.


I shot a cylinder-full first so he could experience vicariously the noise and recoil.  These were pretty hot loads my dad had cooked up on his old Rockchucker and the effects were, umm, "noticeable."  Especially that stupid sharp thingy on the trigger guard that was already leaving a mark on my middle finger.  I showed my friend the old cowboy "load one, skip one, load the other 4" thing even though the Ruger didn't really need that precaution.  I just wanted to see what would happen when he clicked on an empty chamber.  He took aim at on old surveyor's stake that was just laying there.  BLAM!  Nothing.  The stake was untouched.  No flying dirt or anything.  Then - after a delay that seemed like forever - a distant tree limb creaked and groaned and fell to the ground.  "Maybe I aimed a little too high?"  "Yup."  The next several shots were much more on-target.  Then he clicked on the empty chamber and barely flinched.  I was like a proud papa!

We burned through a bunch more .22 and called it a day.  Over the next couple weeks, he went out and bought a Ruger Mk II (fancy-schmancy bull-barrel adjustable sight model that made my fixed sight, tapered-barrel Mk I look rather gimpy) a nine (don't remember for sure, I think a CZ-75 or similar) and used but still really high-end .22 rifle.  I think it was an Anschutz.  He even joined, and then became president, of the OSU Pistol Club.

The next time we went out, was to an abandoned rock quarry, and his girlfriend was with us.  We went through new shooter instructions with her and stepped her up again from .22s to larger stuff.  This time I had brought along the Winchester Model 54 in .30-30 (I know, weird caliber for a bolt gun, but it shot SUPER nice.  Wish I never sold it.)  She *loved* it.  Then my friend was ready to show off the .22 rifle he was so proud of.

He was calling his shots.  "See that pop can, next to the stump, about 40 yards away?"

Girlfriend quick-shouldered the Model 54 and blasted the can.  "That one?"

"Yeah.  Knock it off!"

"Hee hee"

"OK, that pine cone, about 30 yards, to the right of those weeds."

BLAM!  "That one?"

"I said knock. it. off!  Lemme get a shot!"

"Hee hee"

That went on for a while and everybody had a great time.  I don't know if it was the guns or just natural maturation, but my friend got a lot less clownish over the coming months.  I haven't heard from him in about 10 years, but last I heard he was a cop in the Seattle area and had a safe full o' guns.  Pretty cool, huh?

18 comments:

  1. My son and I started a thing a few years ago where we would go to an indoor range every so often and shoot up the bin Laden targets. Very addictive!

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    1. What's strange for me, is that I can't hit paper WORTH CRAP. With a decent rifle I can hit a pop can at 100yd but I can barely hit a big piece of paper at that range. Probably something mental. (Mental? Me?) But that ugly face would act as a bullet attractant. I need to get me some of those!

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  2. Great story Inno. Just think of how you influenced not one but two lives.

    Fabulous!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Need to do it more often, tho.

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  3. I'm calling Homeland Security. Obviously this is racist teabagging code of some sort.

    Oh, and go Giants. (baseball is dead for me until April.) I was at game 5 of the ALDS and game 1 of the ALCS when Jeter shattered his ankle.

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    1. I sooooo wanted Giants/Yanks. Hopefully Jeter recovers comepletely. He probably has a few more good seasons in him.

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  4. Years ago, I had a Ruger Redhawk .44Mag with an 8" barrel.

    Thing kicked like a mule with the magnum loads, and the top of the wood handgrip had that same Satanic design that your trigger guard had: square. Chewed my hand to hamburger after about 20 rounds.

    After awhile, I went to .44 special loads. Lots easier on me. I eventually sold this beast to a guy for $225 in 1984.

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    1. I loaned that Super Blackhawk and an old sporterized Mauser to my brother, and he traded them for an outboard motor! That was back in around '93 or so, and I'm still kinda ticked about it.

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  5. I'm a Ruger guy too, Inno. My favorite is my 357 mag.

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    1. Yep. That same friend I was talking about later got a Ruger .357 but I can't remember if it was a GP or an SP.

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  6. The Rugers just look cool
    So, the friend turned out okay
    What happened with the girlfriend?


    Go Giants!

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    Replies
    1. They got married! Last I heard they were cranking out babies at an alarming rate.

      Giants! Yes!

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  7. Teach a man to tune a piano...

    (I'm getting a new Henry next month.)
    .

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    Replies
    1. Cool. I like classic designs like those more than the newfangled plastic stuff most gunmakers produce anymore.

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks. I guess I don't suck at everything.

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  9. Congratulations!

    Go Giants! (and yes I love the fact that Detroit got swept after sweeping the Yankees.)

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Family-friendly phrasing heartily encouraged.

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