06 August 2010

Slice of Life: Day at the Range with Family

Ahhhhhhhh.  A Saturday with range time!  It has been far to long since I got to put a few live rounds down range, and I was able to accomplish that with a visit to my parents this past Saturday.  Their undisclosed location has enough land where I can safely and legally practice with my arms and without the hassle of having to deal with unwanted company.  It even affords me an opportunity to hangout with my old man and sometimes teach him a thing or two.

Don't get that wrong however, he still kicks my ass every time we hit the skeet range or sporting clays course, but that's not a surprise.  He was practically raised with a goose gun in his hand and the older I get, the more I appreciate that about him.  It also means that his wing shooting is more developed and more refined than mine will ever hope to be.  Then again, he has hundreds of hours in the field compared to me and repetition is what this sport is all about.  Drill it until you can't get it wrong.

I have been hoping that my wife, who isn't the biggest fan of arms, would become more interested in learning about shooting.  If nothing else, it would do some good for her to be able to dismiss some of the emotional and irrational fears that she has with firearms.  Both my dad and I were unsuccessful in attempting to get her to shoot a .22 pistol on Saturday, but that means I will just have to try harder.  Death by 1,000 paper cuts!  (Love you dear).

Obviously, the cost of ammo these days is one of the prohibiting factors in lack of arms training, and it showed on Saturday.  While, I've been doing some aiming drills with my AK from time to time in the basement, I need to remember to do the same with my pistols.  I was all over the place with my XD in 40 cal from 25 yards.  Moving in to get on to the paper yielded slightly better results.  I like that arm, but I hate it's trigger.  Long, hard, and heavy with a squishy break are not the best attributes for a trigger of any kind, especially on a handgun.  I have been toying around with trading or selling it for either a Glock, XDm, or perhaps a Rugger SR9, all in the more affordable to shoot 9x19mm. 

Compared to that XD, a 1911's trigger is a dream.  Unfortunately, at $.40 a round, I tend to keep that ammo pretty well built up in reserve for the "emergency" stash.  The solution?  A .22 LR conversion slide, barrel and magazine.  Just need to get spousal approval for such a purchase (along with the other items on the non-discussed "dream" list).  Of course, dear readers, if you're so gracious in gratuities, I have no problem accepting donations for the "gear" pile (shameless plug, not obligatory, more tongue in cheek of course).

I did get to test out two new pieces of gear.  My Eagle Industries AK47 6 Mag Chest Rig and my tactical sling.  Lessons learned on gear?  K.I.S.S.  The sling works for it's intended function, but it has too much "fluff" on it with the quick detach and a three point design.  It got caught up on the chest rig going from ready to aim nearly every time.  No matter which way I sliced it, it always seemed to be in the way on the forward hand guard when using it from a "two" point position.  Single point didn't have that issue, but there was still the strap running the length of the rifle which seemed to be in the way.  I'm not ready to throw it away yet, but I will keep my options open.  Perhaps after I take an AK carbine course and get some instructor feedback, I might look for a better sling option.

The chest rig on the other hand, while over kill for the range, worked great.  I hauled 4 full mags with me and used the other two indexes for pistol mags.  No rattle, no clang, and loaded out with 4 mags it fits better without all the weight from 6 mags of Combloc ammo.  Now, to train up and go to a three gun shoot (yes, I know, it's overkill for that too).  AK report?  It's an AK.  I goes bang.  It makes holes in targets and from 30+ yards (or my personal, don't come much closer distance if SHTF) I am affective with it by keeping full mags inside a pie plate (except for a few fliers).  I can even say I have better groups with it than my father can manage.  I'm trying to work on him to get one, but he just doesn't appreciate fine Soviet engineering.  Made to function with cheap ammo and anyone who has gotten blood in their vodka stream. 

All of that stuff said, the shooter needs to do his job and shoot more.  Which is one thing I have resolved to do over the rest of the year.  Considering I have an indoor range not that far from my residence, I will start to make it a regular trip a couple times a month for handgun practice.  Additionally, every time I make a trip to my parents and the weather is half way decent, I'll take the AK along.  While affective from SHTF range, I want to work on up to 100+ yard distances, for the "just in case" set of skills.  Perhaps I need to find an Appleseed shoot?

Was it a good day?  Yes it was, and I really need to do that more frequently!