Sunday, December 02, 2012


Went to the range today with Shootin' Buddy and burned some powder.

Iggle Crick's December hours caused some grief. Normally they open at 0900, and so Shootin' Buddy would show up at Roseholme Cottage at 0800 and we'd go and have our choice of Broad Ripple weekend bruncheries before the hipsters had dragged themselves out of bed, and then head to the range.

With the new hours, we met at 10:30 and headed to Cafe Pretenchou. Throwing in the towel at the line-out-the-door-thirty-minute-wait there, we headed to Zest instead, where we faced only a twenty minute line for chow. (Creme brulee French toast for me. Yum!)

Then on to the range where I ran a bunch of deuce-deuce through my 22/45 and enough 9mm through the M&P9 to keep my hand in. It's probably time to clean the Ruger, given that the bolt is getting so sluggish that I can feel it cycle...

The shooting was as enjoyable as shooting always is. Although there was one young guy a couple lanes down who ran probably 200 rounds of buck and slugs through his shotgun, leaning backwards with the butt perched right on the ball of his shoulder, head straight up and thumb wrapped over the wrist of the stock. It hurt just to watch him shooting, as each BOOM! rocked him back on his heels, flinching, and I had to fight down the urge to go give him some pointers on his technique.

How come people are willing to spend scads of money on guns but won't spend a penny on learning how to work them?


Al T. said...

"How come people are willing to spend scads of money on guns but won't spend a penny on learning how to work them?"

No shit, IMHO 98%. Took Ayoob's MAG 40 a couple of weeks ago and a significant portion of the class was folks I know. Tom Givens estimated something below 10k of firearms owners actually get training beyond what comes in the box with the gun. Think he's right as I've offered to take folks for free to the range and they all have excuses why not. :(

RabidAlien said...

....there's a manual that comes in the box with a gun? Oh.


Seriously, though, I'd take ya up on that free range trip offer. I'll be the first to admit that I know enough to admit I don't know very much.

PPPP said...

"How come people are willing to spend scads of money on guns but won't spend a penny on learning how to work them?"

What you talking about? They spent plenty on learning how to work em. You think that 56" plasma big-screen TV was free? They've spent thousands on their TVs, and hours upon hours of watching various movies to know how it's done.

DaddyBear said...

That reminds me. The Mossberg needs to go out to the range next trip. Thanks.

mustanger said...

I've been shooting guns for 30 years. I don't recall not knowing the butt goes in the pocket of the shoulder rather than on the ball. Seeing someone make that mistake would be too painful to me not to say something, keeping diplomatic, like "excuse me, are you open to a suggestion?" After that, the two or three changes in stance and mounting the shotgun are real simple.

Justthisguy said...

How come people..."? That always puzzled me, too, until I realized that I was some kind of weird outlier. As Vox Day says, MPAI, or "most people are idiots."

When I wanted to learn to shoot, I familiarized m'self with what the printed and Internet authorities had to say, trusting my native wit to discern the wheat from the chaff.

Then, I familiarized m'self with the piece I had just bought, taking it apart and putting it back together, and all.

Then, I went way out in the country by m'self, loaded one cartridge in the magazine, and yelled a warning to all who might be present. I touched that one off, then loaded another mag and proceeded to hit what I was aiming at. (I am an old woodwind musician who knows how to move one finger slightly while holding all the others still.)

Somebody should have told that poor boy where the butt of the shotgun goes in relation to his collarbone and his shoulder joint. Or, if he had not been so certain that he knew all, he might have looked up how to do it on any number of Web sites.

I really hate that kind of NT; you know, the kind who thinks that his perceived (usually only by himself) social rank grants him automatic Mad Skillz with weapons.

Justthisguy said...

P.s. I have written this before, both here and at other places, but it bears repeating: My high-school sweety, who might have gone 90 pounds soaking wet after a heavy meal, shot skeet and trap competitively as a teenager with a 12-gauge, and never complained of the slightest discomfort.

She was sharp, and no idiot, oh no, not the least bit. When she went off to college, she got a Math degree, and then went off to Grad school for another Math degree.

If someone has brains, it's easy to explain to him how to work something. If not, well, I reckon that's why we have Sergeants with loud voices, big biceps, and bad attitudes.

P.s. That gal played a mean piccolo. Y'all should have heard her on the Trio of "The Stars and Stripes Forever." She rocked it.

Ed Foster said...

I shoot a couple of hundred rounds of .45acp, 9mm, and .400 Corbon (Yowzah, THAT is a cartridge) each week, testing the pistols I build, so I think I'm reasonably competent with a 1911, as long as whatever is attacking me is shaped like a 25 yard bullseye.

But I need work with the rifle. Embarrasing to admit, as I made my living with one for a while, but when I was competing regularly virtually all my offhand shots at 100 yards were at least nipper tens. Now half of them are out in the 8 or 9 ring.

An Army study out a few years ago said that any level of shooting skills will deteriorate with less than two hours a week of challenging practice.

I just picked up a Shultz and Larsen .22 target rifle, essentially a 52 Winchester clone, and I'm looking for an indoor club I could shoot at every night on the way home from work.

Fifty rounds/four position with the rifle, and fifty rounds offhand with the .22 Colt, Monday through Friday. A brick a week.

Add that to the centerfire handgun work during the day and getting back into serious high power rifle competition on weekends, and I might be able to start holding my head up around some of my competitor friends again.

Speaking of which, for anybody in the central to northern Connecticut and Springfield Mass areas, East Windsor Marksmen is running it's Frostbite matches again this winter. The last Sunday of every month through the end of April. Apothecary's Hall Road off Rye St., first left off Sullivan Ave (at the gas station), and Sullivan is a right off Route 5 north.

Any bolt or semiauto military weapon in original condition, or get there early enough to do familiarization with one of the club's National Match M-1's and you can shoot one of them.

All shooting is at 200 yards, with reduced targets for the 300 and 600 yard parts of the 50 shot National Match course.

You need to be there by 9:00 a.m. SHARP to be squadded. Experience isn't necessary, you'll be getting friendly, informal coaching from State Champions and guys who shoot President's 100 in military matches.

If you aren't good with it, you're a gun owner, not a shooter.

Justthisguy said...

Yah, I'm a gun owner, and not a shooter. I do, however, believe that the most elementary skills of operating a gun are accessible to anybody who cares to learn them.

Or is not so arrogant that he is not willing to have them taught to him. (See my comment above about NTs, those annoying monkeys)

Justthisguy said...

Dang, Tam! Why did you fight down the urge? You are everybody's Gun Mom by now, and no rational person could have objected had you gone over there and said something like,

"Look, kid, let me help you out, here. Butt of shotgun goes here. Feel that? Now shoot it. Isn't that better?"

Of course, that guy might not have been a rational person, eager for instruction, so you may have done the prudent thing, there.

Brad K. said...


There is no tool that doesn't take skill, to use properly.

A hammer? How many hammer owners never master the art of hitting the nail head square, driving it in a few stout blows? How many screwdriver owners never master a secure grip, correct alignment with the screw, keeping the flat blade centered in the slot, every time?

How many people fumble with the table knife, getting an uneven spread of butter on the toast most times?

The shotgun guy was following the best advice that he had heard, to put some rounds through the gun before investing in the "no scent" gimmicks, putting out the blind$, paying the hunting lease, etc. The advice to invest in shooting training may have passed his way, but he apparently hasn't heard it, yet.

Until he hears from a friend, or relative, how training helped (which might be somewhat tougher to measure, with shotgun patterns and ranges, than with solid shot rifles and handguns), or a local trainer markets the opportunity with a campaign as glitzy as Bone Collector (Did you know WalMart carries the Bone Collector wrapping paper package for Xmas?), then training won't be seen as "effective" or "needed". Or helpful.

The Duck said...

Hey they watch all the Tee-Vee shows!

Joel said...

It's probably time to clean the Ruger, given that the bolt is getting so sluggish that I can feel it cycle...

Good luck. Don't forget the sacrificial chicken, and the spare Ruger for when that doesn't work.

And how is it we didn't hear of the horrible massacre at Cafe Pretenchou? I understand those long lines can get irritating, and just naturally assumed that all your guns would have gone crazy out of control and wiped the place out.

mikee said...

When I first started shooting, I often would approach the person at the range with a neat firearm and ask them about it, offering them the opportunity to blast a whole mag of 22LR through my Ruger Mark II pistol for telling me about their Remington black powder hogleg, their Swiss surplus rifle, their Krag 45-70, and so on. Usually I'd get a trade - they'd shoot a mag through my "toy" 22 and I'd take a shot or two with theirs.

And they'd always give me tips - like "Don't put my off hand around the cylinder to support a Remgington black powder hogleg, because it will flame-cut my palm." and "The AK kicks a bit, so seat it tight into your shoulder and grip the forearm tightly to avoid muzzle jump."

I've gotten to shoot a Beretta plastic 9mm semiauto subgun and a Hawken bison rifle on the same day by talking to other shooters at the range.

And oddly enough, nobody (absolutely, not once) nobody ever did not enjoy shooting the little Ruger 22LR in exchange for the fun of explaining their own flavor of firearm, and letting me shoot their pride and joy.

All this has convinced me that gun owners at the range have the capability of being the most amiable of instant companions, if approached with an open mind and a Ruger 22 pistol. A Buckmark would probably work just as well, too.

M said...

Same as people will spend a cool $1000 on a thoroughbred pup, and won't invest the three or four hundred to get him obedience trained.

Hell, I've got friends with houses that are large fractions of a million dollars, which they won't clean or hire someone to do so for them.

The idjit driver behind the wheel of the high performance car is so ubiquitous as to have become a stereotype, now.

Kristophr said...

It's probably time to clean the Ruger, given that the bolt is getting so sluggish that I can feel it cycle...

Just installed one of these on mine last week:

Cock it, put it on safe, unscrew the pin, and drop it out.

You'll need to push the hammer down while putting the bolt back in ..but it is a damned sight easier than trying to yank that spring/pin assembly out and replace it.

Steve C said...

When I took Hunter Safety there was a film on this point. I won't say how long ago, it was a film not a video but it was a "talkie". The film pointed out that a guy will buy a set of golf clubs and head straight to the Pro. He buys a gun and he thinks he's Danial Boone and heads to the woods. After all, any true American can use a gun, its our heritage.

Kristophr said...

Vidjo of same ...

Will said...

I'm curious, have you encountered problems in previous circumstances of that sort?

Windy Wilson said...

Consider yourself lucky that as he fired the gun he didn't wipe his neighbors bringing it back to target.
I think it's the case with any machinery, people don't think they need to learn, train or practice.

Brad K. said...

@ M,

"Same as people will spend a cool $1000 on a thoroughbred pup, and won't invest the three or four hundred to get him obedience trained. "

The point is that it is the owner that needs the obedience training. Train the dog, and the training will help, some. If the owner doesn't use the dog like it was obedient, and if the owner doesn't know what obedience means, then the dog's training won't help the situation.

"You can tell about a man's character by looking at his horse and his dog." If the dog needs obedience training, it isn't the dog that is at fault.

drjim said...

""How come people are willing to spend scads of money on guns but won't spend a penny on learning how to work them?""

Let me know when you find out......