I got in a bit of range time this afternoon after church. A friend from church wanted to try out a .357 Magnum to decide if he wanted to buy one or not so I brought out my S&W Model 66 and Marlin 1894 lever action for him to shoot.
I'm happy to report that I think I've created a new magnum shooter. He's got the bug bad for a K-frame now.
As for me, I finally got to test out the new (to me) Spanish Mauser.
I had to wait until I could find a few boxes of 7mm Mauser ammo, and I bought three boxes, figuring that'd give me enough experience with this one to decide whether to buy more ammo or sell the rifle.
I'm in love with this rifle.
With the sight set at 100M and using my soft range bag as an impromptu rest, it put every round on a paper plate at 100 yards, and in a pretty decent group. Recoil was noticeably less than a comparable .30 rifle to boot. Did I mention that I now love this rifle? I love this rifle. Ordering me a case of that 7mm soon as I can get it. The ejector is broken on this one too, as it turns out, but who cares? I'll replace the ejector just like I'm replacing the one on my Turkish 8mm Mauser that I bought with this one. And next time out, we'll start at 200 yards and work out from there. This thing's fantastic. 83 years old and it shoots like a new AR. Just wow.
Then it was off to play with the steel targets on the .22 range. The weapon of choice for this course of fire: The Mossberg M44 in all it's "US Property" marked glory.
The only way this critter misses a target is if I screw the shot up. I wish I'd bought more than one back when the CMP was selling them still in the vacuum wrap bags for $75.00.
Then it was off to the airport to try to get some quick proficiency flying in before an expected winter storm got here.
First, I had to wait on this guy:
A big old C-5 Galaxy was landing, and they get the right of way out here. Only fair, I suppose, since it really is their field.
Taxiing out, I tried to raise the Ground Controller on their frequency and got no answer. After a couple of hails, I switched over to the Tower frequency and asked if Ground was working. A voice came back and told me that the tower had shut down early and Tower frequency was CTAF, or Common Traffic Advisory Frequency, meaning every aircraft in or approaching the pattern just calls out and lest everyone else know what they're doing.
OK then. Yippee! Up and off for some pattern work. With weather coming in, I didn't want to stray too far from the field. And this turned out to be a good plan, because as I lifted off the end of the runway and climbed out, I could already see what looked like a low squall line off in the distance. Climbing out after my first touch-and-go landing, it looked like the squall was a bit closer. But it was still a ways out there so me and a Beech Baron made a few more circuits of the pattern, me flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules, meaning I can see the runway and have at least 3 miles visibility in all directions and be 500 feet below the clouds), and him flying Instrument approaches which are beyond my ken but which involves him flying farther out and coming in on long final approaches. But we talked to each other and coordinated our approaches so no sheet metal got bent. After my fourth landing, I noticed that the squall line was getting a bit close for comfort so I cut the practice session short, made the next one a full-stop landing, and turned into the parking area with five most excellent landings logged. I wanted more but I'll take five.
Parked and tied down, and not a moment too soon--the squall's here and it's not rain but SNOW! Glad I chose not to go sight-seeing today.
I drove off from the airport and stopped in at the closest gas station/convenience store for a coffee and some beer. Just after I walked in, another man came in and he was wearing a flight suit. I asked him if he had anything to do with that C-5 that had come in, and as it turned out, he was the pilot, just in from a trip up from Kentucky. We got to be talking and as coincidence would have it, he was the one who told me on the radio that the tower had closed. Apparently the tower crew isn't allowed to stay late right now due to the Obama sequester so at exactly 1600 hours, they pulled the plug and shut down on him while he was still in-bound. Un-fricking-believable! We chatted for a bit, I bought him his coffee, and he invited me out to his side of the field for a look-around when we can schedule it. Real nice guy.
Now I'm back at the Lair and me and Murphy are just gonna sit in front of the stove and watch the snow fall for a while, him with his plush toy and me with my beer. It'd be hard to imagine a nicer day than this one.
"And I didn't even steel nothing while the Boss was gone!"