Monday, June 30, 2008

That Was Fun! Part Too.

So Saturday night, we rolled in at around midnight, weary and bleary but happy and . . . slappy? Flappy? Something that means we had a good time.

Sunday morning I hauled myself out of bed at six so I could make it to Abe Lincoln Gun Club by 8:00. They have a Highpower match once a month during spring and summer as part of their Civilian Marksmanship Program affiliation, and I've always said I was going to go try it out
soon, but I just never seem to find time. This time I was determined. I didn't even try to borrow a rifle or bring one of mine. I even left the house without a hat, which is never a great idea when you're going shooting, but I did manage to get there and get signed up early. For $16.00 they sold me three boxes of CMP 30.06 ammunition to go with my borrowed M1 Garand "club rifle," and the match director set up his spotting scope at my station to help me get sighted. I'd never really practiced at 200 yards, but to my surprise I don't think I completely embarassed myself. In a 50-round course of fire (Prone slow fire, prone rapid fire, sitting rapid fire, offhand rapid fire, offhand slow fire) I "only" had two shots outside the scoring area and none off paper. That was a lot more than I expected, particularly while I was shooting in the pouring rain.

Oh, did I forget to mention the pouring rain? It soaked us all to the skin shortly after we were done with sighting shots. I was actually rather impressed that they let me shoot their "club gun" in the rain, and since someone else planned to use it in the second match, I didn't even have to clean it.


The rain ran down my un-hatted head and my cheap yellow
shooting glasses. At first, I tried to wipe the glasses on my sleeve, but it was soon thoroughly soaked. By the second course of fire, the things were constantly steamed no matter how I tried to hold my breath or "breathe away." I finally realized that the water was going down into the Garand's action and the gun was steaming in my face! In the end, I just chucked the things and shot without them, with the added advantage that now everything looked amazingly clear despite the rain and haze. In the picture at right, you're actually looking downrange at the 200-yard targets.
This photo was taken after the worst of the rain let up, but you can get an idea how wet everything was. Ammo boxes and targets were sodden messes of runny pulp. But the guns ran like champs and only a few people quit.


I had a blast; I'll be back next month with dad's Garand to try again. And finally, I'll leave you with the photo I took downrange five minutes after we'd pasted our targets and were packing up to let the next match begin. Isn't it ironic . . . don't ya think?




3 comments:

Brian Dale said...

Sounds like my first match, several years ago. Let's see:

1) Pouring down rain? Check.

2) Borrowed club Garand? Check.

3) Good, cheap ammo? Check.

4) Showed up without all the usual gear? Check.

5) Had an amazingly good time, with terrific folks? Check.

6) Rain quit when we did? Check.

7) Knew that I'd be back? Check, Check, OhYeah (I was at another match the following week, with another borrowed M1).

Did you get your butt kicked by teenaged girls in that first match? I did.

Glad that you had fun. :)

Don Gwinn said...

I'll have you know, the results came in the mail yesterday, and I was not in last place.

In fact, I beat five other shooters. Of course, four guys quit because of the rain. :)

It looks like, out of a possible 200, 100, 100 and 100, I scored 71-0, 69-1, 74-0, and 69-0. So, in essence, I only scored two more points in slow prone fire than I did standing--despite the fact that slow prone is 20 shots and standing is 10. Partly that's because slow prone was first and standing was last--slow prone was when I took several really lousy shots before chucking my shooting glasses.

I'm shooting again at a different range Sunday with dad's Garand and some new clips from Scott Duff Publications. We'll see how that goes.

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