Precious Snowflakes

We are not, sadly, not even to some parents who should at least begin that way. Nor are we all the same. We each have an unequal distribution of gifts, just starting with gender which presupposes a difference in upper-body strength. But don’t tell that to a 11 year old boy who just had his ass kicked by a girl. Maybe that is a memory-test.
There is much we can overcome, but it helps to be wired with a certain propensity for those things towards which we reach. Some reaches are beyond the reacher. Some are gifted musically, some linguistically, some physically, some politically, some artistically, some intellectually, some with “Beauty” and others with animal-magnetism.
And some have a heady cocktail mix of that which makes everything a turbulent frustrating struggle, while others travel with ease and an un-furrowed brow on still waters. The best thing about this country is we are not separated by Hereditary Titles of Nobility but by actual inherited physical differences, and those are legitimate.
So we each get to struggle, and in some kinds of struggle the athletes will win out over the intellectuals, and in other struggles the advantage is reversed. I’ve always been able to draw pictures, since I was small, to help make a memory-point, or explain an idea that words did not complete, but the same fluid-fingers are totally useless at music. So “creativity” is also unequally distributed. I find it odd that some people cannot draw a simple landscape-view or a person’s face, but other people can plot the financial outcomes of nations and the strategy of war, which I cannot.
At sports I was pretty fast and strong but not the fastest and strongest, pretty agile but not the most agile. Some sports, like basketball, are completely beyond me and hold no interest whatsoever – the enthusiasm for “March Madness” defies any and all of my comprehension, I never played much basketball since we lived overseas. I got stronger because I had to defeat my older and bigger brother – and I did.
My own physical tendency is to individual things where competition is not really central, because I’m not really interested in how well (or better) other people do the same thing – they are not me. I like to snorkel, but I’m a good swimmer and a lot of people have problems with open-water, or just water itself. Like shooting. I enjoy shooting competitively, but not because of the competition or any thought of “winning,” but because of the structure and organization that enables me to gauge my own personal progress. Some people care about winning and losing and keeping score. What color is that again? Like racing Enduros. I started riding late in life and “raced” as a C-Senior. Because I was persistent and showed-up at enough events I got the semblance of “Sponsorship.” But “Mistakes were made” and the color of that was purple – as in bruises and broken ribs, and the permanently bent finger. Before it was just a do-it-all hand, now it’s perfectly curved to grip a throttle or a gun.

Drizzly Day Thoughts

Not all is gloom-and-doom, the small spate of wetness somehow brought full rain-barrels! The damp also brings to mind perfect riding conditions locally, of loamy soil and a tall rooster-tail of dirt flung high on a dark trail through piney woods – and crashing my brains out. Good times! Fun! Looking at the District-36 page of activities and events I see a Family Enduro advertised. Don’t be fooled, they have classes for everyone including the biggest sandbaggers of ’em all, feisty old former national racers who sign-up as A-Level Super Seniors. Since my last best ride was as a C-Senior – back when I started, I’d now be in the C-Super-Senior class. Since I haven’t even ridden in several years, I’d be a super fool. Oh well, lets play with guns instead!

Out and About

The weather was a cool 68-degrees when we rolled out at 9:45, no clouds. We went down Bass Lake Road through Serano onto White Rock Road, and took that way out to Scott and hung a left out in the middle of nowhere. We drove past the backside of the Hangtown MX National Track.
Scott is a quintessential crowned two-lane blacktop hoot-and-holler blind-turn decreasing-radius roller-coaster ride. Be careful, there’s no shoulder and the barb-wire fence is right there after the ditch. Surprise! Some heavy-equipment came past in the opposite direction, wide-load stuff that was too big (and slow) for the freeway. One rig was pulling a flat-bed equipment-trailer, with a well-used, giant-yellow, earth-moving dumper riding on it. It was like a super-giant Tonka truck. Wide-Load indeed, the rubber of the tires bulged-out off the side of the flatbed and I thought it might brush-off my side-mirror. Be careful for what you find out there.
We drove on down, up and down, through an arbor of old oak-trees to Jackson Road (Hwy 16) and (right turn) thence through Rancho Murietta to Ione Road and on down to Meiss Road. You can guess where that leads. Forty-odd miles later we arrived.
Waiting outside in the truck my wife had observed the “changing of the guard” protocols: the RO calling the Cease-Fire over the PA system, then checking down the line, calling safe, and everybody (what few were there this morning) standing back behind the yellow, or going forward to change targets. I had briefly explained the touch/no-touch rules, but for a non range-rat it really helps to actually *see* it in operation and understand the safety involved. My biggest gripe going shooting the very first time was that nobody told me what to do or not to do, and I got yelled-at by an RO because I was out-of-line. I didn’t think my wife would appreciate that kind of baptism by fire-breath. It’s something we should all do for newbies. We put eyes-and-ears on, and entered the Main range-house/Pro Shop for some orientation.
The Staff is friendly and facilities are HUGE! They operate the facility and have some 40-different vendors who teach and train there, lotta classes, lotsa public matches – and somehow I gotta get back into my CMP groove.
Upon entry to the facility, by the front gate, are separate Skeet, Trap, and Clay ranges. Up By the main-range house are the 100-yard Rifle and 50-yard Pistol ranges – with a 300-yard rifle-lane for the public (if you can shoot a 100-yard group).
Next to that is a whole Silhouette set-up, with chickens (200 M), pigs (300 M), turkeys (385M), and rams at 500 meters – huh, metric guys. Further along there are six action-pistol bays for the SASS crowd, and then you get to the 1,000 yard long-distance range…
We joined. My wife wants to go back and shoot her Model 90 Winchester, and revolvers. Maybe try the AR too…
On out way out we went back up to Jackson Highway and took a right, then after a few miles a left on Old Sacramento Road and another left when we crossed Latrobe. We drove up Latrobe back to EDH and had a pizza at a little place in the newly built “Towne Centre.”
We could have gone right on Latrobe to Plymouth, and from there up 49 to El Dorado, or taken South Shingle off Latrobe right up to Durock Road (my buddy Pete told me “Durock” (durak) means idiot/moron in Russian – take that Putin.), and that’s the way I’ll probably go on any return trip since it leads right home… Rain forecast for Wednesday.

Gunblogger Rendezvous IX WOOT!

The DezWell THAT was fun! Highlights include shooting a suppressed rifle in a pistol-calibers while in Happy-Dance Mode. suppressed fire

It’s been a while since I last shot full-auto, the GBR III in 2008, at which I also took more pictures than this one – but at this one Engineering Johnson took more pictures than anybody. Yeh, I’m a slacker, but grateful for the chance to renew auld acquaintance and meet again the still-alive Jimmy-B and the lovely Mrs., and made some new friends like the AZ cowboys Dusty and Ken, and Tactical Miles.

At range-day #1 I basically set-to (trying-to) bang the 300-yard gong with both the ’42 .303 and ’66 7.62 NATO Ishapores.  The Turkish NATO ammo was a bit hot and extraction was a bit stiff but basically  the ’66 (Ashoka) needed a bit of lube as it was dry as a bone and hadn’t been shot since dirt-ridin’ buddy Wes had it re-parked.  George-Rex .303 Imperator ran fine, and was noticeably thinner than the glock-profile stock on the 7.62 gun…

Then I shot bench-neighbor Robert’s (occasional blogger at Great Satan, Inc.) Remington 700 .308 with Nikon glass and it was way-easier than with iron-sights – but my own set of corrective lenses adds a third layer (of distortion) and oftentimes interferes with the sight picture in a scope. Jaci (also of Great Sastan) had an incredible racy space-chassis .308 precision rifle that was set up a bit more individually, and with a honkin’ big Vortex scope – whole thing was dead-sexy and a cinch to clank steel at 300-yards.

The Scheel puffer waves hello.  Hey Baby!

All together a great reunion, even though my contribution didn’t net me a lot of swag or big prizes I was very happy to receive an Enfield No.1 low-mount picatinny scope base from Special Interest Arms owner, merchant, and maker of the De Lisle carbine; Richard Brengman – who also kindly let me bang away at the berm with the suppressed full-auto 9mm AR-type carbine. Thanks!!

Special thanks go to the sponsors to whom I need to write an actual dead-tree letter-type thing… Ruger for the Mark III pistol, and Brownells for the mongo gear-bag and tactical pens and Hi-Point who totally stepped-up AGAIN and donated a 45acp carbine, and Osage County Guns, who donated the  SIG Sauer 1911-22 and Burris for the Burris AR-F3 red-dot, and Dillon Precision for donating a  Border Shift ammo bag…and…

OK:  Hi-Point – a lot of people bag on them because Ewwww…Not-Pretty, but a couple of the Rendezvousers have ’em and they seem to run just fine in 3-Gun competition, with the added super-bonus of freaking out Tough Guys with triple-cost high-zoot guns that are only shot at angle-of-berm anyhow… Kevin won the Hi-Point .45ACP, Billl has one that has never required cleaning, and Robert shoots his in 3-Gun and never cleans it either – so Pbbbth! to the naysayers.

Hack attack… (cancelled)

Hackers' ToolsWe are set to go ruin a nice walk in the sun-dappled rolling hills tomorrow – if it’s indeed sunny.

It looks like rain and I’m not so sure about my knee or wrists, not to mention ankles.

Or where to stash the flask.

Fluorescent colored balls help to find themselves, but it’s no green laser…

 

UPDATE: The weather shifted and dropped 20-degrees with a forecast of rain, and everybody woke up sore and achy in the windy overcast – so we bailed…

More Range-Cart Madness

With my arm blown-out and in a bursitis-brace, I have some time for drawing and sketching and planning instead of just meaty action. And that is needed. The new 14-inch wheels and solid axle (instead of out-board axle stubs), has changed the structural geometry, and the sliding link/braces need to be re-worked.
The semi parallel red lines (with up-arrow) indicate somewhat the angle that needs improving if I want to have a nice flat shelf for the rifle. The green braces are what needs to grow longer to get there. In fact maybe I should lengthen and re-position the support-arms (green-to-blue) to a more forward location for better support.
This is all good because the taller shelf gets the butt of the rifle up higher and closer to me when I’m standing at rest during the off-hand stage.
But whether the cart will continue to fold-up properly is another question. The new 7/8-inch solid-axle tube is a bit of an impediment to flat-folding as far as the secondary short-braces are concerned. Here’s the cart with the secondary brace/arm in the “open” position:
Here’s the contact point when “closed” or folded – it’s not quite there and the 7/8″ axel-tube (which I slipped on to keep the wheels spaced apart) holds it off by a half inch or so.
1.) So why couldn’t it just pivot on the axel?
2.) Or it needs a dog-leg brace that is also somewhat longer to allow closure?

Also finally, where to put the tactical cup-holders – and it needs a rail somewhere on it right?
Dammit!

ADDED: What the old cart looked like…

Work on the range cart

The rotten wheels had to go.  And the cart needed a real axle instead of those stub-jobs.
But that meant I had to cut threads in a 1/2-inch piece of mild steel. 

Twice.

After cutting it to length.  Mild is a technical term, it’s still steel.

I used a bar and a socket inherited from my Grandpa’s old work-stuff.

(Notice the angle the poor clamp is operating at, to hold it from rotating.)

 

UPDATE:  My bursitus blew-up in the middle of the night, and I woke with my right arm, elbow, hand stiff and on fire. Now it’s in a splint – ice and ibuprofen. Crap.
I’m just glad my shootin’ class isn’t next week or next month. I should be healed-up in a while, but it seems to take forever nowadays.  And typing this shit is a pain in the ass.

Rangeday Springtime

Nice day Saturday…

I think I shot a 405-2X – they havn’t posted the scores yet.
Afterwards we held a pistol match and I had brought along Old Betsy, the Colt 1909 New Service. She acquitted herself pretty well too although again I don’t know the score, other people shot better and I don’t know how low I finished in the standings.
We shot from 50 yards and then 25, and from each distance I got an X which surprised hell out of me.

Range Day Happiness


Went to the range today to finally, once and for all, get the Aimpoint sighted-in. Set the stands up at the 50-yard line and later plinked at 200 – they kinda have the same zero. Yeh, workin’ good. Pics of targets (booooring) tomorrow…
UPDATE: I had finished my build of the Noveske lower, complete with the hideous CA-Legal magazine locking system that requires a tool for removal, and had the Upper mated to the lower for this exercise.

I started by getting the Aimpoint zeroed on the little targets tacked down the left side (see top picture). That took a bunch of clicking on the scope’s windage and elevation turrets.

A gripe I have with Aimpoints like this is they don’t have “witness marks” that establish the vertical or horizontal plane – so if the scope is rotated or canted in the mounts at all, any bit of Left-windage can also result in some “UP” movement, and while trying to dial the dot DOWN you might also be sending it Right… Arrgh!

Anyhow I finally got some good placement results, and then tried shooting at those tacked vertically on the right.

I loaded the magazine with five rounds and fired five-shot rapids from the bench and was pleased with the results – albeit this is only 50-yards. The Aimpoint 2-MOA dot was just about the size of the black…



Later I switched to larger targets with a bigger “black” and did the same. They have a larger “black” but the same sized scoring rings. Yeehaw! Well, good for me anyhow.

And the bottom one I shot Offhand unsupported – crap! Actually better than I anticipated. Watching the bouncing dot move around as you try to hold steady is really a learning experience.

During the second string of fire I took a 200-yard target down and put it up on the stand at position #12 (the black part is 13-inches across) and found some interesting and satisfying results.

From my distance and with the mirage coming up off the ground, even with my spotting scope I couldn’t really tell what was goign on but, every now and again I threw a bullet downrange at it, firing six shots in all (UPDATE: by just holding the dot on the target center).

A bit of vertical stringing obviously.

So OK, I kinda feel I got this dialed-in now.