Just back from the first-ever Eastern Panhandle Blog Shoot and all I can report is goodness.
For starters, the weather was absolutely perfect when we all met up at the new Peacemaker National Training Center just west of Inwood, WV. This is a new facility with a ton of promise for local shooters and shooting organizations and Cole the owner was gracious enough to open it's Independence Range special to us on this day, giving us all exclusive use of a pistol range and a rifle range as well as access to their new 5-stand shotgun clays set-up.
First though, we all had to get past their security guard.Actually, that's none other than blogger Proud Hillbilly with her Japanese Type 99 Arisaka rifle that was just put into operational status this morning for the first time since it came back as a war trophy in 1946. And since she brought hers out, I brought mine as well, along with two batches of test ammo for it. Here are the two rifles together. Hers is the one on the top with the dust cover and anti-aircraft sight. Mine is the lower one with the monopod. (so many clever innovations...I can't imagine why they didn't win that war.) It's not everyday that you see one of these on a firing line much less two firing side by side. But that's what we did. And here's Proud Hillbilly firing hers.
And here's Andy shooting a German K-98k Mauser. (Hey Andy, I've got your bolt here.)
But it wasn't just old guns there. There was this Beretta Storm carbine that we see here in Les' hands. I think that it belonged to Marty, aka: The Miller, and he actually shot it well enough to run the 12"x18" gong at 250M not once but FOUR TIMES in a row. That was impressive.
On the pistol line, everything from .22lr to .357 Magnum was firing. Here are three vintage .22 pistols that blog lurker Stretch brought out.
And here we have three noted gun bloggers doing their thing. From left to right, Old NFO, Marty (bending over) and Keads.
I only wish that I'd taken more pictures. Darn it, I don't even have one of New Jovian Thunderbolt and his M-1A but he was there with it. Honest!
And apparently even West Virginia isn't safe from the "Occupy" movement. Have you ever seen such a motley crew?No protesting, just shooting. And unlike most occupiers, this bunch works and bathes.
Oh wait--There's NJT in the pic wearing the Jayne Cobb hat. Pretty cunning, eh?
After the shooting, most of us adjourned to a local lounge that, fittingly, had the Outdoors Channel on cable so we dined and chatted in a good pro-gun environment, one that allows citizens to carry concealed in restaurants.
I'm also proud to report that after the range cost was covered, we collected $251.00 for Wounded Warriors, this group also has the distinction of doing more good than every single "occupier" group in the country combined. A big thanks is due to all of these generous folks and I'm proud to know each of them.
And we will do this again, so to those of you who were not here today, (Jenn, Laura, Brigid, Six, Sean...) you'll get another chance in the future to shoot and rub shoulders with all of that gun-blogger greatness above.