Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shootin' at Dave's, again.

Went up to Gatesville last President's Day to shoot with a few good friends. It was our friendly way to celebrate the day.

Dave's dog Red doesn't like loud noises, so she kept her distance when she saw the guns being stacked on the back of Dave's flat bed truck. You can see her head sticking out of the tall grass there in this shot.

But she's got good reason not to like the sight or sound. When Dave's family found her she had a scar, like a grazing shot down her side. Someone had taken a shot at her. She's a survivor, fer sure.

Dave and I work for the guy on the right there. Jim Nixon is a great guy, an old hand with a six gun, and a decent boss to work for. He was an award winning pistol shooter in his day, almost an Olympian, and he's still not half bad. I've got a huge amount of respect for him, and I'm not saying that because he might see this post. I'd want to hang with him even if he hadn't been my boss since I started working of the college on the base in 1995.

He's been hearing about our shooting events and wanting to come up and shoot with us at Dave's for a long time, and it finally came to pass.

He's a huge fan of old guns, and even new guns with a classic old design. He's a pistol guy. It's funny how that goes. Dave's thing is Civil Car muskets and rifles. My thing is the Kalashnikov, and other military rifles. The Dean there mostly goes for pistols, and really likes older, western movie type stuff. But he's got a HUGE collection of lots of stuff. It's big. Mythic.

There's a joke that goes around the campus on base. The guys say that if the shit really goes down, they're all gonna come to my house. I've got enough stuff to fit out a squad or so. Then, were all gonna go to the Deans place. That'll be the stronghold.

Of course, very few of us expect the shit to go down any time soon, but bein' ready is fun enough. He's always giving me shit about the stuff I like. He thinks AKs are crap. Well, on a certain level, they are. But you like what you like.

Kalashnikovs worked their way into my consciousness early, lookin' at pictures of folks in Asia, Africa and the Middle East carryin' the things around. I've been hooked ever since then.

So it was particularly fun to get him to shoot one of my Kalashnikovs. Turns out, even after two tours in Vietnam, he'd never shot one.

He's always giving me shit about them, wondering why I don't want to get "a real gun"... like a Colt six gun or a Winchester '74. Hey, to each his own. If I have the time, and it all doesn't become illegal soon, I'll end up with all that stuff too.

Here's a shot of some of the gear I brought for the days fun. That's my Hungarian side folder, a Russian bayonet and Bakelite clip. That short clip is a ten rounder for shooting blanks. The blanks were to test the home made rifle grenade you see there on the top right. You see it's in two pieces. A work in progress.

This is a shot of our buddy Joe's stash. That's a Yugo folder on the left. I worked on it for him a while back, putting that new top cover and scope rail on it for him. The cover didn't fit when he took it out of the box. He asked me about a good gunsmith. I told him "Hell, just bring it to the house." So he left it with me one Saturday and I did my magic. It was fun. He added the scope and now he's poppin' head shots on the targets like a pro. Good times!

That "Pistol" you see there sitting on the case there in the center is a Kel Tec PLR-16. It's a pistol that shoots .223 from M-16 clips. It's one of the loudest friggin' guns I've ever seen. He's got a collimator sight on the top of it, and a flashlight (Laser pointer?) there under the nose. Mmmm, home defense! Ya gotta love it.

These are brother Dave's two new Winchester Garands. Ever since he and I were hired to be full-time Profs, he's gone nuts, buyin' stuff from the CMP. He's got about four M-1s now, produced by various folks. He ordered me my Garand last year, and still slobbers on himself when I take it out and let him shoot it.

Of course, he's a good shooter. I'm tryin' to pick up a few things from him when I go up there to shoot, but he's been doin' it seriously for about as long as I've been alive. So I've got some serious catchin' up to do.

We all took turns shooting from his handy, home made bench rest, set up at the 50 yard mark.

This is Joe, gettin' ready to shoot his "pistol". I was eggin' him on, dyin' to let the Dean see this little toy in action. Of course, I had a plan of my own.

Joe stepped up and started blastin' away, one shot at a time (the PLR is semi-auto), tryin' to hit the targets from our position at 50 yards.

As he did, I took up my Kalashnikov and folded back the stock. I focused on the pile of rocks that had been bulldozed up at the edge of the field when the power company came through and cleared the land next to Dave's burm and sank poles for new power lines. You can't see them here. They're far to the right of these targets.

I said somethin' like "Naaa, this is how you do it," and started blastin' away, holding the rifle at my hip and pullin' the trigger again and again, as fast as I could. Pieces of bolder went everywhere, and there were heads shakin' and smiles all around.

A little while later, Dave and the Dean were carefully shootin' one of Dave's new Garands, sighting it in when we heard a shout from the road. Apparently someone had been driving along the road that runs near Dave's shooting range when I was killin' those rocks. They called the Sherri's department. Next thing you know, we're standing there and hear "Sheriff's Department! Can you come to the fence?"

We all laughed our asses off as Dave sheepishly walked over behind the cypress scrub by the fence and talked to the authorities. I was hopin' they'd walk on up to where we were shooting. It would have been fun to see the look on their face when they saw my AK, or Joe's PLR-16. Those pictures would be great.

In the end, we went on to shoot pistols, in this case it;s the dean shooting an old 1911. He was plinkin' the target at 50 yards. Damn good shootin'.

In the end, it was a fun day. The Dean said somethin; about how we should do it all again, and maybe build a fire and grill some steaks. Sounds like a wonderful time.

I got a call from Dave a while back. There's a Gun Show in Belton this weekend. We made basic plans to meet there at about noon on Saturday and check it out. Should be a good time.

Anyway, you guys have a good time this weekend. Denise and I are going to Austin tonight to see Johnny Lang at the Paramount. The plan is to hit Pappasito's first and have some more of that good Mexican food you saw in the last post. I've got someone covering my classes in Florence Friday morning, so my weekend's already begun.

So, we'll talk again next week. Cheers!


Suldog said...

I've never been shooting (I'm such a yankee city boy) but I'd love to try it sometime. Looks like fun.

JDP said...

FHB it does not get much better than that, looks like a great day and a lot of fun!


BRUNO said...

So, that WAS a grenade-launcher assembly layin' there! At first glance, I thought it was somethin' MUCH MORE disgusting, that you'd forgotten to remove from your overnight bag!

I'll bet that sucker COULD be made "functional", with the right amount of "materials"......???

Brigid said...

Let's see, all on one page. Shooting, shrimp and ice cream.

Makes working in the yard all afternoon look kind of dull.

FHB said...

Sully - Well, get yourself down here and we'll put some holes in somethin'.

JDP - Absolutely my friend. Absolutely.

Bruno - Some PVC pipe and a Dr. Pepper bottle, skilfully remanufactured. Once I screw the Polish grenade launcher onto the rifle and apply the clip full of blanks, I'm ready to go. But, you see it's in two pieces? The first prototype proved too flimsy. So it's a work in progress.

Brigid - Yea, I can imagine. That stuff gets ignored around here.

Pat Houseworth said...

Wonder if Obama has his henchman(ATF) zeroed in on you guys? I'll be heading off to the Fort Wayne Gun Show this weekend...I plan on stocking up, this are getting grim.