Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shooty goodness weekend recap:

So, Sunday morning dawned bright and early, as it is wont to do, and after a relaxed breakfast at Petite Chou, Shootin' Buddy, Turk, Bobbi, and I saddled up and drove out to Eagle Creek range for the blog shoot, as had been announced across half the internets for two weeks.

Only except the range was closed.

See, the pistol range at Eagle Creek park is operated by the Indy Parks Department (Stuart Lowry is the director of the Parks Department, by the way,) and is used by the Greater Indy Metro Police for training during the week. On weekends, it's supposed to be open to the public. Except frequently the G.I.M.P. will make use of it on the weekends as well, without actually alerting any of the taxpayers ahead of time that their weekend plans will be disrupted. It's sort of "Shooting Range Roulette"; drive thirty minutes and see if you've wasted your morning or not.

Now, I'm all for our local po-po getting all the remedial marksmanship training they need, and Lord knows that recent officer-involved shootings show that they need plenty, but would it kill Stuart Lowry to let us know ahead of time so that we don't all drive out there and run into a closed and locked gate with no explanation? The shooting isn't free, but it's cheap; I'm sure most people wouldn't mind paying a buck or so more in order to have an official web page with accurate scheduling info. (Or maybe the Five-Oh can shoot Monday through Friday and let us simple civilians shoot on the weekends.)

Anyway, since our primary range had malfed, we transitioned to our backup, which meant a drive down to Camp Atterbury, where the State Bureaucracy of Fishing and Hunting and So Forth runs a beautiful, recently-revamped facility with everything from ammo and cleaning supply sales to a palatial and clean loo. Of course, since it's run by the State Bureaucracy of Fishing and Hunting and So Forth, it's maximum security, lowest-common-denominator shooting: On top of the usual public range restrictions like no drawing from the leather or practicing your rollover prone, there are rate-of-fire restrictions (one round per second) and an extra-safe cold range procedure that stops barely short of handcuffs and a cavity search. Given the demonstrated gun handling skills of some of our fellow range attendees, I wasn't too upset about the scrutineering; come to think of it, maybe handcuffs wouldn't have been out of line while people were downrange.

Further, there are signs on the gate proclaiming no loaded, holstered firearms. But there was no clearing barrel, either. Shootin' Buddy and I tramped off to the nearest berm-like object as the R.O. said "You could just clear 'em right there!", indicating the parking lot by the gate. I just don't get this mentality whereby it is safer to have people fiddle-farting around with handling and clearing loaded guns than it is to just leave the damned thing safely in its holster.

It's not especially excruciating; if you can survive the boredom of, say, an NRA High Power match, this is going to feel like free-form sparring by comparison. Also the standard NRA Three Rules Of Gun Safety are strictly enforced:
  1. Keep your gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
  2. Never climb over a fence with a loaded rifle.
  3. Don't spill your drink on your Perazzi trap shotgun.
Having watched Public Enemies the day before, I had one of my Colt 1903's out to play, as well as shooting the 1902 Military for the first time. I also got in some remedial practice with my two favorite trainers, the Para 9mm LTC and my K-22, and ran some full-throttle +P defensive ammo through the 2" Model 64, so the day wasn't a complete loss. Being held to 1 rd/sec makes you concentrate on stance and trigger control and suchlike; I'm not used to shooting such good groups in weak-hand-only drills.

A side note: Atterbury is located hell-and-gone south of Indy, so it was about an hour's drive to get there, and we'd worked up a powerful thirst with a couple of hours' shooting, and so we stopped on the way back at a convenience store in the little hamlet of Two-Mules-In-The-Soybeans to pick up something with which to wet our whistles. The clerk behind the counter, whose witty repartee and dull, bovine gaze indicated that he had arisen from more of a gene puddle than a gene pool, had those big stretchy things in his ear lobes. So, any of you readers that are wearing them to be edgy and hip should stop, because that fad is officially no longer trendy.

20 comments:

Lorimor said...

I've never understood how some deem it safer to clear a weapon in the parking lot rather than just leaving it holstered up.

It's always loaded, right?

reflectoscope said...

Ear hoops: Were they ever trendy in the first place? As for the G.I.M.P., gee whiz, I'm glad my coffee was on the table so it didn't end up on my laptop!

Jim

BryanP said...

I used to gripe about the apparently over-enforced safety rules at the TWRA range nearest my home in middle TN. That was before the day we all had to stop and leave because some moron had managed to pop himself in the abdomen with his POS .25 while trying to clear a jam.

End results: He lived, I had to stop my shooting trip after putting precisely six rounds through my GP100, and the current rules enforcement make the previous levels look quite mild.

Jay G said...

My gun club has the one-round-per-second rule, too.

Fortunately, it's also very sparsely attended - like, out of the past six visits to the pistol range, I've encountered another shooter there once...

Glad to hear you overcame the GIMPs...

jimbob86 said...

"One round per second rule"......

Uhmmm..... errrrr......kinda like them CAFE Standards for guns? So range management is tryin' to do somethin' 'bout this here ammo shortage, huh? Mighty thoughtful of 'em!

pdb said...

I knew I wouldn't fit in with the clay breaking crowd when I got the stinkeye from some guy because his Caesar Guerini double almost got hit by a shell tossed from my 1100. Hey buddy, it's an auto, it does the work for me. If your gun's finish is too delicate to be touched by a flying empty shell, either stand to my left, leave it in the safe, or stop blaming me you paid too much for the wrong gun.

And stop putting your muzzle on your foot! Are you really willing to destroy your toes?

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Ear hoops.

Won't be long I suppose before we start seeing teens roll around in long curly hair w/ plain rubber bands in it, and blue hawaiian shirts. And pastels. Leg warmers. *shudder*.

Caleb said...

"One round a second"? /looks at my average split times.

YEEEESH, that's the time it normally takes me to fire 3-5 rounds. How are you supposed to double tap a drop turner if you only shoot one round a second?

Buck said...

Our gun club has only a few rules 1. Don't shoot anyone. 2. Watch where you point your muzzle (gun). 3. Bring plenty of ammo. I love living in rural Missouri.

Tam said...

Buck, there are plenty of places to shoot around here like that.

I don't happen to have a membership at any of them, but that will be changing.

"I love living in rural Missouri."

That's right, they finally started letting y'all CCW, didn't they? ;)

Caleb said...

Tam - join The Jewel of Indiana's gun clubs, Atlanta CC.

Seriously. Plus, you should come shoot our ICORE match this weekend. I think you own a revolver or two, right?

Buck said...

Yes and as soon as I get over my carpel tunnel surgery. I'm going to get mine. I realize the need for me to carry is low but I live in a area of culture clash (big city transplants and rural locals). It's a weird county, like living in Twin Peaks. If you ever need something to be snarky about you ought to check out our newspaper and forums out. Lebanon Daily Record. And please if you do don't hold anything there against me, Ive lived here all my life and I think those people are nuts. ;)

Mad Saint Jack said...

Bang...Mississippi...Bang...Mississippi...Bang...Mississippi...


I'm glad I didn't make a two hour drive to find the range closed.

Anonymous said...

Your travails with management not bothering to let you know the range is not available will be familiar to any of us who were members of the Quantico (VA) Shooting Club. Never could figure USMC's seeming antipathy towards folks shooting on the weekends.
Gotta love "least-common-denominator" rules. Welcome to the Era of the Common Man" as Cooper said

Joanna said...

Dr. StrangeGun: You're thinking of hoops that go perpendicularly through the earlobe. These are parallel. Think Aztec, not Eighties.

It's exactly as gross as you're thinking, too.

Anonymous said...

Bummer about the petrochemicals wasted in the vain search for nearby shooty goodness...but hey, it looks like Mississippi's love life is really improving.

Anonymous said...

FYI, we were in You-Me-And-That-Dog-Over-There-In-The-Orchard, Indiana, not Two-Mules-In-A- Soybean-Field, which is one county east.

Two-Mules-In-A-Soybean-Field, Indiana is known for its annual Mule Fest where the mules engage in feats of strength and clogging all while wearing straw hats. Soy dishes are served.

Shootin' Buddy

Ed Foster said...

Boredom of an NRA High Power match? I'm wounded. I usually have to pull over for a nap half an hour after a rifle match, often soaked in sweat. The concentration is that extreme.

It grows on you. the difference between cracking 400 and breaking 470 is entirely intellectual, and the amount of Gi needed increases to the square of the increase in score.

There is a serious zen to it if you make the commitment.

Admittedly, being in the competitive atmosphere of club shooting pushes it along. The peer thing and all. But give it a try, and find a club that shoots at least 300yds.

You are required to look at the posted scores at least daily, to get the competitive juices flowing.

Anonymous said...

Cops are civilians. Hence, talking about us simple civilians includes cops, unless they're MPs. -- Lyle

Tam said...

Lyle,

That was sarcasm, a frequent (if not daily) feature here at VFTP. ;)