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?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sneaking up on normalcy

The hell of the last couple weeks is now in the rearview mirror (but the little writing on the mirror keeps reminding me that all that hassle is still Closer Than It Appears.)

What am I talking about?  Some of y'all have heard some of this, so I'll keep it fairly brief...

Had to pull up the tent pegs and make a fairly hasty move to a new casa.  I wasn't financially or mentally prepared, but it had to be done.  See, a few months ago, one of my pooches got out while I was at church.  The neighbor lady tried to be helpful and shepherd him back home.  Pooch didn't like the way the neighbor lady was approaching the front door so he gave her a little nip on the arm.

Neighbor lady is quite elderly.  I've been taught never to guess a lady's age or weight, but she lives with her retired daughter, so I gotta be thinking she's in her mid 80s.  That little nip would have done almost nothing to me, but her skin didn't cope with it as well and she had to get stitches.

Which makes my dog Potentially Dangerous.  Oooh, that sounds scary!  The City of Corvallis said I had to post a $100k bond to keep him in the city.  I couldn't find any insurance company who would write a policy for a dog that already has a bite history.  So it was either get rid of the dog or move.  We chose "move."

So the last few weeks have been a mad scramble of scraping up cash, finding a place, and moving into it.  The move-in is mostly done.  Still have some stuff at the old place and a TON of cleaning to do.  But things are starting to feel closer to normal.  Now we're a couple miles outside of Corvallis and the City statutes don't apply out there.  Ha.  My next-door neighbor has horses and chickens and is already pushing his yummy farm-fresh eggs on me.  We can hear the coyotes howl at night and the stars are a lot brighter.  The drive to work only takes 3 more minutes than it used to.  There are apple and plum trees in the backyard (which is VASTLY larger than what I had before) and also some grapes.  More like "jam" grapes than "eating" grapes, but they're still pretty good.  And, of course, an abundance of blackberries for those who can stand them. (I cannot).  There's even a swing hanging off a tree limb which the granddaughter thinks is the best thing ever. 

I gave up a few square feet of interior, and the well water tastes slightly sulfurous, but all-in-all it has been a worthy upgrade.  I feel like I can start thinking about blogging more frequently now. 

There are a few things that are bugging me, though.  For one, my Giants are on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs by the freekin' Cincy Reds.  Ugh.  And the starting QB for my undefeated #10-ranked Beavs is hurt and out indefinitely.  Needs surgery on his knee.  Double-Ugh.  The backup competed for the starting spot back in fall camp, so hopefully there won't be too much drop-off at that position. 

Anyway...  That's the news!

Monday, October 1, 2012

In lieu of actual content...

... I present ya with this winner that aA put in my inbox.  Clicking will slightly biggify.


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