Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Outgunned in the Desert!

I've blogged a few times about a couple buddies going out to the desert for some target practice. Each of us own a handgun or two and while one of us (Dan the retired police detective) carried one as part of his work, we all enjoy occasionally slingin' a little lead at targets. 

But it turns out that I work elbow-to-elbow with a certified bunch of gun nuts! During our holiday shutdown at work last week, a "shootout" was organized. Man - I had no idea what I was getting into!  I had rifles and shotguns growing up way back on the farm  - nothing unusual about that - hunting and varmint control almost requiring having guns around.

Most of my co-workers continue the hunting tradition - I've heard lots of stories about various outings for elk, deer and javalina.  Much of the arsenal was on display at the shootout. While there were a couple handguns in evidence, most of the shooting was with the rifles, from small caliber .22s to 30-06 rifles. At left our office staff Linda (left) and Danielle (right), get instruction in small arms. At right, Michael shoots the WWII vintage M1 Garand 30-06 while owner Ray looks on.

There was a wide variety in things to try. One of the newest "toys" was Kevin's AR-15 platform, built up module-by-module to the product he used here. Shooting supersonic 300 AAC (Advanced Armament Corporation) blackout rounds, it is actually licensed as a pistol with its short stock (designed to be strapped to your forearm) and short barrel. He is making an adjustment at left. It had a unity-power LED sight for aiming with arm extended...

Interestingly, between taking turns shooting high-power rounds, Linda admires Danielle's new fingernail polish color at right.

As time went by, shotguns and rifles appeared as if by magic! The image at left shows part of the arsenal, and you can spot the paper target at left and the steel target at right that you could hear "ping" when hit by the handguns. Not quite as much fun as the dueling tree my buddy Chuck has, which is better for head-to-head competition. The high-power rounds were aimed across the 100 meters or so to the other side of the catchment where we were shooting. At right, Heath, who organized the outing, was shooting targets from a sitting position.

Into the second hour of shooting, there was a shift to moving targets and shotguns. At left Kevin tosses a softball to bounce down the hill for Danielle to aim for (mostly successfully!) with a small 410 shotgun. And at right, Kevin is about to fling a skeet for Heath to aim for. They were shooting in pairs for the skeet shooting, but determining who hit the targets was sometimes difficult... I wasn't much interested in shooting rifles or shotguns, so I eventually drifted off and left them to their fun. The girls left before me, but I was next to retire, leaving the hunters going strong.

I'm thinking that after writing this post, there might be some crossover between my shooting groups - I can see Chuck's eyes lighting up shooting Kevin's AR-15... We'll see if we can get it to happen!

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