Today I hit the range for some much-needed relaxation and practice. This time, I brought out two "old friends" that haven't seen the light of day in years: A Harrington and Richardson M-1 Garand and a Smith-Corona (yes, the type-writer company)1903-A3, both chambered in .30-06.
Normally on a week-day, I can count on having the place to myself, but this time there was a group of 4-5 guys there already, and to be frank, they were shooting like doorknobs. One was blazing away with his pistol so fast that it sounded like he had a sub-machine gun there. He was shooting in the general direction of the steel plates but not a one of them dropped despite his emptying a whole magazine at them from maybe 20 feet away. One of his buddies was firing an AR-15 on the 50-yard line nearly as fast. Wankers. A third member of their group was shooting a bolt-action .308 on the 100-yard line next to me, and he was at least aiming and taking it slow so I had no reason to bitch about him, at least until I went down to set up my one target stand and found that he was setting up bowling pins across the entire downrange end of the lane.
"You don't mind if I move a few of your bowling pins, do you?" I asked nicely. (And I wasn't really asking.)
"Well I'm shooting at those," he replied, as if to indicate that yes, he did mind.
"Are you telling me that you really need the entire 30 feet of target space down there? Seriously?"
He seemed to get the message this time. "I guess I can move a few of those over," he replied, walking downrange to do so before I could get down there and start kicking half of them over to one side of the range like I was about to do.
Where do all of these wankers come from, and why do they always seem to show up when I'm around?
I put up one target stand and put two targets on it, one above the other. I would use each to zero one rifle. Ding-dong next to me was shooting at maybe a dozen bowling pins all spread out. He was shooting from the bench and contorting himself like some sort of pretzel so that he could rest his rifle on a carpeted wood block that was way too low for a seated shooter to use. I just unrolled my shooting mat and shot from the prone, using the rifles' slings.
"Did you shoot my pins?" he asked?
"Must have been the wind," I said as I began policing up my brass.
I love this M-1. If I recall, it was a CMP Select-Grade that came to me with a beat-up stock but near-new barrel.
The 03-A3's action seems to be a bit loose in the stock. Still a nice shooter, but it's going to need a bit of tuning to be much use at the next Springfield Match.
I picked my stuff up and went to go drink coffee in the range office for a bit. As I was doing so, the guy who was speed-shooting his AR brought it over to the 100-yard line. Bowling pin suggested that he try his rifle out on the pins, and AR-guy said: "I dunno. a hundred yards is really pushing it for an M-4." This from a guy who an EOTech-clone optic mounted on his rifle. How do you so not understand your tool as to think that it's not adequate for simple 100-yard shots? The mind boggles. I just shook my head and went inside.
After I had a nice cup of coffee and chatted with Jerry the range guy for a bit, the wankers packed up and left. Relieved, I went back out and wandered over to the pistol line for a bit of practice with a Glock, this one a Model 19 formerly owned by the Washington, DC Police Department.
I also fired a couple of magazines from various "man down" positions that had me lying on the ground as if I'd fallen or been knocked down. I shot one-handed, alternating between my weak and strong hand, and the results were acceptable...barely. Again, more practice is going to be required owing to the lack of shooting this summer. But that's hardly a bad thing, since shooting's fun even if the range is infested with nimrods from time to time. :-)