Finally! Hotter’n billy blue blazes but range day nonetheless. Murphy’s Law once again allowed me to tag along to the local Izaak Walton League range. This time the S&W AirLite Ti went for testing and the Browning .32 went for play. The Browning had been useful earlier in the week in demonstrating budget matters: since the ammo I ordered on-line isn’t here yet I stopped at a gun shop to pick up a box. Ow! Twice as much as the on-line cost! Ow! (An aside about the gun shop: $1500 - $2000 for a BB gun? Really?!)
I don’t know where my head was for a while, but those first few rounds with both guns wandered all over the place.
I sure wasn’t focused, and I know I’m a new shooter but it was bad enough that I was embarrassed. I messed up the target so bad that I finally gave up on center of mass shots, thought about it, took a couple deep breaths, made myself settle, and started on the head so I could see where the shots were going again. Much better – if the bad guy doesn’t duck he’s in deep doo doo:
Definitely need to do a mental check before shooting next time. Focus!
Once I settled down the little S&W shot just fine (or, rather, the shooter shot the little S&W just fine). Its light weight means it does jar the hand – the force has to go somewhere – but not enough to bother me. If I shot it for hours and hours day after day I think my right thumb and index finger joints would get sore, but I’d take something more substantial to any intensive training anyway, so that’s not really a problem. It’s a keeper – simple, light, good for concealed carry. Need to get a couple five-shot reloaders for it.
Then we moved to the rifle range. Um. Yeah. Or, no. First time I’ve tried anything at 100 yards. Forty rounds with the Ruger 10/22. Five rounds actually in the target itself. Couldn’t seem to keep a good sight picture in my head for nothing, and couldn’t seem to get the rifle snugged up right no matter what way I wiggled. Bleah. Gotta work on that. I’d really like to try a gun with a cut down or junior stock on it. My arms are short and no matter what I did I felt like something was getting pushed too far back to be right.
Then of course, one has to eat and rehydrate, then home to finish the office part of the day before cleaning. The Browning is still a challenge to take apart and reassemble, but I’ve got most of the theory of how the parts fit together in my head now. I know that at certain points you just have to work at things for a minute and then they’ll go into place. All clean, reassembled, clip back in, dry fire to test. Um. It should dry fire with the clip in it. Nuttin’. Strip and inspect. Everything looks OK. All parts present. Reassemble. Nuttin’. Repeat. Grrrr…. I keep telling myself that it’s good practice. And telling the gun to “Fire, blast it!” No good. I was just getting aggravated enough to decide to set it aside for a while when Murphy’s Law and Murphy appear at my door with more .38 ammo for the S&W. Thank-you! And did you somehow know I was sitting here cussing the .32? So Murphy’s Law, whose knowledge of guns is way out there, strips the Browning. Fiddles with it, reassembles it. No dry fire. Does it again. This time the firing pin drops out and has to be reinserted. And that may have been the key, because suddenly cranky gun is fine. Only thing we can figure is that the pin wasn’t seated just right and when it had to be reinserted it fixed whatever was off.
So Murphy’s Law has pronounced me safe to myself and unlikely to cause fellow shooters at a range to duck and cover. It’s more fun to go with someone, of course – fun to ping and tease someone else about their shots. And I like Murphy’s Law keeping an eye on what I’m doing so that things get corrected before they can become bad habits – “Get that second finger off the trigger!” But I’m thinking I’ll join the Izaak Walton League myself now and feel safe in going alone. And the next step is my concealed carry permit.