Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Range Report

It's Always A Good Day To Go To The Gun Range!

I almost forgot to mention that I went out to the rifle range on Sunday. After a nice lunch, the Cisco Kid and I trekked out Hwy 290 to the Hot Wells range, where we joined every resident of 5 surrounding counties trying to get their deer rifle sighted in.

I knew deer season was upon us, but I'd hoped that most of the hunters would have done their sighting-in a couple of weeks earlier. Boy, was I wrong... I've never seen Hot Wells that crowded. We waited in line to pay the tab, then waited again to get assigned a shooting bench. Hot Wells doesn't have a lot in the way of amenities, so you pretty much have to stand around in the mud schlepping all your gear until they call your number.

I drew one of the few shooting benches that wasn't under the awning. It wasn't a terribly hot day, but out in the full glare of the sun, it got a mite uncomfortable. I wasn't out there long enough to burn, however.

I was woefully unprepared for the trip. Oh, I had rifles and ammo, safety glasses and earplugs, but I forgot the spotting scope, left the ballistic table for the 7.5 Swiss at home, and instead of carrying a reasonable amount of ammo, I brought the whole bloody ammo case of rifle fodder, which weighed 35 pounds or so.

I ended up shooting 20 rounds through the Swiss K31. It grouped as well as always, but something had shifted, and the rounds were impacting high & right of the bullseye. I didn't bring my screwdriver, and didn't even have a dime in my pocket to dial in the scope. Oh, well. Guess I'll have to go back to the range later. Damn the bad luck...

The Hog Rifle was acting really wonky. It's a Czech VZ24, shooting 8mm Mauser. OK, let me rephrase that... My handling of the rifle was wonky. Half a dozen times I got a *click* when I expected a *BANG*, and only three of those were due to the 60 year old surplus ammo. The other three were due to me short-stroking the bolt, and a round never stripped out of the magazine and fed into the chamber. That sort of thing will get you killed going after Buick-sized critters with sharp pointy teeth, talons & tusks. It's not such a calamity here in Texas, but still a bad habit...

I had numerous failures to eject, too. It always pulled the round out of the chamber, but unless you really worked the bolt fast & hard, the round wouldn't get tossed out to the side, and you'd have to reach in the action and fish it out. I was trying not to fling hot brass on the shooter to my right, so I wasn't giving the action the oomph it required to function properly.

I put maybe 30-35 rounds through the 8mm, and was semi-satisfied with the grouping. It's not the whiz-bang target rifle the K31 is, but it's good enough to put one in someone's boiler room from 350 yards with iron sights as long as you don't pooch the shot.

I'll probably have to do a shotgun session next. I didn't get around to blasting away with the coach gun out in Tennessee, and I need to be reminded what a mule-kick that little scattergun has!