Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Went up to Gatesville a few weekends ago and had a big shoot.

A few weekends ago back in mid Janyary, my buddy Dave Waters made plans to have a big shoot at his place up near Gatesville. It turned out though, by that Sunday, the weather had gotten cool and there'd been a little rain. That made drivin' out to his back 40 and issue.

Also, his original date for the shoot coincided with the Cowboys/Vikings game on TV. So, the shoot was put off for a week. Yea, I know. We should'a shot and missed that lousy game, but who knew?

By the time the next Sunday came along, the weather was dryer, but the land out on Water's place was still too wet to take his truck out there. So, the plan changed. We'd all gather at Water's place and then drive over to a range that's been set up on some land belonging to an old friend of his named Dody Belknap.

I was really lookin' forward to this shoot. I told a few other friends of mine about it and before long it was evolving into a big meet. It was my chance to get a few new friends together.

Dave Willingham, on the left here, works with me in Florence. John Hoenow, on the right here, works with me in San Saba. Both of these guys are great, and I knew they'd get along fine and fit right in with Dave (Waters... There's too many Daves in this story) and all of his reenactor buddies.

I'd never been to Belknap's range. It's really cool, with steel targets, painted red, set up at 50 yards, 100 yards, and then another set, painted white, set up there on the left at 200 yards. The targets are just cut pieces of steel ties, set up on a horrizontal steel tie. When you hit them they make a cool "ting" sound and fall over.

The Civil War dudes had a great time loadin' up their muskets and rifles and knockin' those things over.

John's into black powder shootin' too. He goes on a hunt to New Mexico each year where he uses a black powder rifle. He brought the rifle he hunts with to thius shoot, and also brought his Kentucky rifle for me to shoot. He knows I'd love to have one.

Of course, I brought a few of my toys for him and the others to try out. As usual, everyone had a great time.

Dave (Willingham) got to try out one of the guys Civil War rifles.

So did John. I think the fellas love to let new guys try out their gear. It's fascinating, the process of loading and shooting one of those old things. You can see some of that process in this video.

You can also see the general mele of shooting that went on. It was a mess, but fun.

At one point, another guy showed up in an old jeep and helped Waters out, sighting in his new Garand. Yep, he's got ANOTHER Garand from the CMP. That makes about five. I've learned since the shoot that this guy is an armorer that's helping Waters turn this Garand into a replica of a snipers rifle from World War Two. He didn't introduce him at the time, and I was too busy filming and taking pictures to ask.

At one point, Dave (Willingham) brought out a cool over and under rifle.
Then he brought out this lever action rifle and we all took turns with it, and then he tried out my Hungarian AKM.

(Shit! I've been tryin' to upload this video for weeks. They must have a limit on how many you can put in one post. It just won't upload. So here's the link. Enjoy).

Sprayin' from the hip is always fun.

Then, Dave (Willingham) brought his 9mm Baretta, and the after market clip he's recently got for it. The friggin' thing holds about 32 rounds, and shoots forever. You keep thinkin' you're done, but you're not. Check a look.

That thing was fun. I may have to get myself one of those pistols, and look over at Cheaper Than Dirt to get myself one of those long clips.

In the end, the sky began to look like rain again. So we all gathered up our gear and headed back to Water's place. The plan was to head into town and eat lunch, but John couldn't come along. He had critters to feed and stuff to do back at his ranch, south of San Saba. So he headed off, and the rest of us drive into town to eat some BBQ.

The food was good, like the company, and then we split up and headed for home. I took Dave (Willingham) back down to my house (he'd ridden up with me) and let him stick his head in the big blue safe. He was amazed, as is everyone.

It was a great shoot. There are more shots and videos of it over at FlickR. Check 'em out. Cheers.


BRUNO said...

So, how did you like the "black-powder experience"?

Not for the nervy-and-jumpy, is it?


Suldog said...

Sounds like fun. I've never fired a real gun in my life, but I'd like to try it some time.

FHB said...

Bruno - I love it! I think there's some black powder in my future... Considerin' I've got the AK-47 thing essentially covered. Why not branch out?

Sully - Come down to Texas some time dude. I'll scare the hell out of ya.