Saturday, April 19, 2014

Patriot's Day. A Good Time Was Had By Most.

So in commemoration of those brave Americans who stood their ground on Lexington Common in 1775, the day that the "shot heard round the world" was fired as British troops sought to seize American cannon and powder stores in Concord, Old NFO, Proud Hillbilly and I went out to the range to burn some powder of our own.

We got out there a bit before noon, and the place was packed, notably with a group of yammerheads who took much delight in sitting on the 25-yard pistol range and firing AR-15s as fast as they could jerk the triggers. Here's a tip, AR guys: If you put out half a dozen sporting clays on the berm 25 yards away and three of you empty your thirty-round magazines as fast as you can at them, and when you're done most of the clays are STILL THERE, you're doing it wrong. Just saying.

But it was M1 Carbine day for the three of us. Jim had a wonderful old Winchester that seemed to have missed most of the upgrade modifications, PH had her post-war carbine, and I brought my CMP Rock-Ola carbine, just because I wanted to fit in. I also brought out my Remington Rolling Block .50-70, and we fired off the few black powder rounds that I'd loaded up for it. I've got the load down pretty good--now I've just got to adjust the rifle's sights to it. (And that .50-70 sure gets your shoulder's attention after a few rounds.)

Then Jim and I fired a few rounds of .22LR for effect, me with my trusty old Ruger 10-22 and him with a sweet vintage Colt Woodsman and his Savage .22 rifle.

Next, we switched to pistols for a bit. I had my Uberti SAA and Walther PPK out, Jim had a beautiful Colt Match Target .38 Special, and PH...Eh. Just a Glock. (But she shoots it well.) ;-) But by the time we started shooting these, a rather large group of what looked like college kids showed up and the range staff put them on two pistols and two AR rifles on either side of us. It was immediately obvious that none of them had shot before, so, after we did our duty to new shooters and coached a few of them, we called it quits for the day and adjourned to a local restaurant for lunch.

My rifles:
Top to bottom: Remington Rolling Block, Model 1871 made for NY State Militia; US Carbine, .30 M1 made by the Rock-Ola Corp.; Ruger 10-22.

My pistols:
Uberti Cattleman, .45 Long Colt (top) and Walther PPK (bottom).

Ah, that PPK. Packs a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window, or so sayeth Ian Flemming when he had James Bond issued one in Dr. No.

It was a much-needed relaxing day out for the three of us, and a great way to celebrate Patriot's Day.

So who didn't have a good time today?

Well when we got back to my house, Murphy met us at the door. Alone. Where was Belle? I called, but no Belle came. Quickly, Jim and I looked around the house. No Belle. Damn, she was in here when we left. Where could she have gone?

And then I heard something whine and scratch at the inside of the closed bathroom door off the kitchen. Yep. Poor Memphis Belle had managed to get in there after we'd left, no doubt to raid the dog food bag that I keep in there or to sample the kitchen scraps in the trash bag that was in there. (Both bags were in there specifically to keep them away from two dogs, BTW.) Well Miss Belle managed to knock the door shut while she was in there, trapping herself quite nicely. She may have been in there for up to four hours, and let me tell you, she destroyed the place during that time. The trash? Scattered everywhere. Dog hair and paw-prints? Everywhere. There were scratches on the inside of the door and paw-prints in the bath tub, up on the top of the toilet tank, and even on the sink. I even found claw marks on the window sill five feet off the floor as Belle apparently climbed on the toilet in an unsuccessful attempt to try to get out the window. Poor girl. She was a little upset when I finally sprung her to say the least. But she got over it quick enough when she saw her new friend Jim there and her and Murphy both jostled each other to get some petting from him. I'm still mad at her though. And I'm blaming Murphy for it, too. I can't prove it, but I'm sure that he was somehow at least partly responsible.

Now I'm off to clean guns. Have a great Patriot's Day, everyone.


  1. Anonymous4:00 PM

    Sounds like a GREAT day, and a great way to remember those who sounded the alarm, fought and died!


  2. Glad y'all had a good time! Nice looking hardware.

  3. Guilt by association???

    1. He's the senior dog, so he's responsible.

  4. Thanks for the invite! It was fun, except for the thing with Belle... But she's a good pup!

    1. I'm seriously thinking about changing her name to Miss Chief or Miss Adventure. Or maybe I'll just call her "Preserve" because she's always getting herself in some kind of jam. Lucky for her she's cute and a calming influence on Murphy.

  5. Beautiful Rolling Block. Have one of those in .43 Spanish. Should probably shoot it more than once a decade.

    1. Nice. I want one in .43 Spanish. And 7mm Mauser.

  6. Great day! But I'm glad I took off to get groceries before you discovered the mess. I would have offered to help clean up and I would have been laughing at your cussing.