Guns! When Do We Get Guns?

There are a few things in this world that I will never turn down, regardless of how busy I am or what else I’ve got planned. Drinking coffee, eating doughnuts, Going overseas and playing with my kids comes immediately to mind. One other item on the list is taking people shooting.

(Me) Hi. My name is Turkish Prawn, and I’m a gun nut.
(Crowd replies) Hi, Turkish Prawn.

Actually, the truth of the matter is that I’m an unabashed gun nut. I love shooting, collecting and lusting after the next rifle that I need to add to the collection. Call it an illness or a sport, but I do enjoy time spent with a quality built rifle, a cup of coffee, a stack of clean targets and a small mound of ammunition. Or even, a very large mound of ammunition. That is a morning well spent.

Because I do not tend to fit in with the archetypical image of the gun nut, friends and acquaintances who are, shall we say, left of center are often caught off guard by my participation in the shooting sports. To some, it has been viewed as a betrayal to the cause of striving for a better world. Right of center friends are also often surprised when they find out that love firearms, having long ago taken me, I suppose, as a pinko, commie tree hugger or something. The truth is actually somewhere in the middle. More accurately, I’m somewhere in the middle. Just about dead center I’d say, but that’s a topic for another day.

What I love to do is use this middle position I occupy to introduce the two sides to each other and the things that are important to both. Shooting is the one I think I’ve done the best at.

A friend of ours is getting married soon and mercifully, she excused us from having to drag two small children to the festivities. We’ll be there in spirit but in actuality, well be at the beach with sand in our collective pants. At least Short Stack will, at any rate. She’s a very sweet person for realizing that this will work better for the kiddos and their parents. One evening not too long ago, she and another mutual friend came up with the idea of a bridal shower shootout. She wanted to get some girlfriends together before the wedding and go shooting. Now, all she needed was access to a range, guns and some instruction.

Enter, the gun nut.

While I probably have enough rifles to outfit the average Victorian era expedition to darkest Borneo, I am limited by range rules to bringing only four guests with me, and so, the four were selected: the Bride to be, my wife, our mutual friend, and the bride’s sister-in-law. This was going to be a hoot.

Only one snag was encountered. Action Girl (my wife) works hard hours. She’s a sea captain by trade and the hours that go along with that profession can be a bit harsh. The day before had been a twelve hour shift and most of it had involved fog. The next day, she didn’t have to go in until the afternoon, but the possibility of running in more fog looked likely. That can really take it out of a girl. With much gnashing of teeth and hemming and hawing, she elected to get more sleep in preparation of a long night ahead rather than blowing stuff up with guns. I was sad that she wasn’t going to attend, but I understood as well. There will be another time with just the two of us, coffee mugs, pastries and a couple of Mausers. That’s what I call a romantic date. *sigh*

We picked up the ladies and headed out to the field. In addition to the firearms, I had come prepared with a thermos of freshly perked coffee and about five hundred rounds of ammunition. Come to think of it, it might have been more like eight hundred.

We arrived nice and early and had our pick from the many ranges. I found one of the smaller, fifty yard ones that I knew we would fill with our group. I had visions of shooting at the larger ranges and having other gents on the line seeing me there with three ladies all to my self and wanting to “help me out”. I could imagine that getting… uncomfortable. I’m good friends with at least two of these nice ladies and didn’t think any of them would especially like enthusiastic assistance from just anyone down there toting a rifle and a high caliber smile. Woman at the range are few and far between and I thought that it might be just too tempting for some of the boys. With a range to our selves, the potential problem was averted.

The day was perfect for shooting. The sky was overcast but not gloomy. The temperature was warm, but not hot and the morning dew had almost completely evaporated off the benches. I opened the case and pulled out three .22 rifles. Two of them were mine and one belonged to our friend who cooked this up with the bride. Her rifle had belonged to her grandmother and it’s a beautiful Mossberg 42MB(a) target rifle and it’s in beautiful shape. She actually has a picture of Grandma competing at a shooting match with two other friends. Go Grammie! The other two rifles were my Savage made, single shot .22 that my Father’s dad gave me for my birthday when I was ten and the Springfield .22 single shot that my Mother’s father had been given for Christmas when he was eight.

All three rifles were laid out on a bench and I began the safety talk. Once that was covered and ears were plugged, the first shot was taken by, naturally, the bride to be. I had set an empty paper cup on the berm for zeroing in. I find that if you have folks shoot at an object on a dirt hill, they often have an easier time figuring out what they are doing and how to compensate. The flying dirt is a good indicator where you are hitting versus simply knowing that you misses the paper target on the stand.

CRACK!

The first shot was taken and I heard the unmistakable sound of paper being punched. A quick peek through the spotting scope and a sound that is not often heard at the range broke out. Happy girl squeals. This was the first time that our soon-to-be-married friend had ever fired a rifle and on her initial try, she had hit a paper cup from the standing position at fifty yards . Not too freakin’ bad! She was thrilled!

Soon after, we were all having a great time making little holes in bits of paper. Everyone was having success as well as fun. I didn’t get to shoot much, but that was fine. I get a kick out of introducing shooting to people who normally wouldn’t go near a fire arm and watching the them realize how safe and fun it is. The sister-in-law had never shot before, but was doing fine and having a kick. I knew that she has two young daughters and I brought up the fact that one manufacturer makes a .22 rifle with a chrome barrel and pink stock. She thought that was a great idea and told me how much her older girl would love it.

After a few hours and a lot of ammo, we headed home, happy and black fingered. Each lady kept their targets as souvenirs and the bride had her lucky cup as well. She insisted that it would somehow get worked into the reception. I almost regret not being there, just so I could see that. It was a great morning and I only wish Action Girl could have been there too. Next time, I hope. In the mean time, I have a lot of rifles to clean, but I don’t mind that one bit. It was a blast. Some day, perhaps Lulu Belle can join us shooting, with her little pink rifle slug stylishly on her shoulder. I wonder if Coach makes a sling for that?

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11 Responses

  1. You’re my new hero.
    -pf

    I do my best. If my best can include friendly ladies and guns, then far be it from me to not put in 100%! 🙂
    -TP

  2. Seems like you had a good day,eh! Three chicks all to yourself. I like the way you eliminated the competition. Who knows? Perhaps the mutual friend and the sister-in-law may have appreciated the attention of big burly NRA members?
    I like little guns. I have a colt, but the next one I get will probably be a Glock 19.
    You are going to think I’m nuts (you probably think that already so it’s not as if I have a lot to lose!), but I like to dress up all in leather when I go shoot at the indoor range. I feel like James Bond except, he was not wearing leather.
    It’s fun playtime!

    Somehow, I can totally picture you all decked out in leather at the firing line. I’m not much of a pistol shooter myself, but I do know that the Glock 19 is a mighty nice choice. The one firearm that I brought along to shoot was a friends Mauser HSc pistol. It’s a .32 cal, war production model and though pretty to look at, It just reinforced my love of rifles. I just like being able to hit something at long range, but that’s me.
    The real fun of all this was that all three ladies are school teachers. That ought to make for some interesting talk in the teacher’s lounge this fall.
    -TP

  3. I enjoy shooting but I don’t own a gun. I used to be in the army cadets here in Australia when I was in high school (it was a part of school). I used to love it when we used to get half a day off to shoot Bren guns (303 fully automatic machine gun).

    There is a real beauty about guns and the way how they work. Sort of like engines with gunpowder driven pistons.

    At one range, at an army base out in the country, they had naval gun turrets (without the guns) on a small hilltop at 650 yards. I can’t describe the joy of putting a short bust into the slots of the turrets at that range and hearing them ricocheting around inside but I’m sure you might understand.

    The only problem I have with guns is that in the wrong hands they are so ……

    Yah, I understand. In the wrong hands, just about everything is so…

    It’s just that you can do a lot more damage with a gun than say, a base ball bat. It’s not an easy tightrope to walk. I can understand the argument for restrictions on gun ownership (I say “understand” here, not agree) however, I get very itchy about government control of just about anything. So far as I can tell, there is no simple answer to this question and since it’s written right in to the U.S. Bill of Rights, it’s not easily swept aside like in so many other countries… for better or for worse, depending on your P.O.V.

    I would love the chance to shoot a Bren! That sounds like a hoot! If you ever come to the east coast of the States, I have something else that might make you nostalgic. One of my favorite rifles is my 1915 BSA No.1 Mark III* Enfield. The things is a tank. A very, very accurate tank. .303 surplus ammo is getting harder to find though.
    -Turkish Prawn

  4. What a great way to hang out with the ladies.

    Pink gun? You’re not refering to this one, are you?

    I start squirrel hunting with my 9 year-old this year. No shooting until next year, but i’m excited to take her in the woods and see how she does.

    Ohh. That looks sharp! The one I had in mind was this one

    Though Mossberg is a great name and the rifle looks great, I think I’d start off my little girl (and boy) with the old single shot. Then there’s no guessing if it’s loaded or there’s another round in the mag. Short Stack is only two and a half and waiting for him to be old enough is eating me alive. He’ll probably learn on my Grandfather’s Springfield, but I’ll be sure to get him his very own when the time is right.
    -TP

  5. Oh no you don’t! Do I look like a well regulated militia to you? The Second Amendment is wildly debatable AND was written in very different times. I believe the spirit of it not to be individual means of defense: “The security of a free state”, I believe, was the intent.

    If you did not have such a powerful NRA lobby, things would be a lot different in this country, and a lot safer too. I know what I’m talking about. I don’t think that the man who assaulted me one night was supposed to have that gun.

    Don’t misunderstand me. I love shooting as a sport. But the reason why I have a gun in the first place is because there are way too many guns around. If there was zero tolerance, I believe we would ALL be much safer.

    Hi Nat.
    Well, this is a touchy topic to be sure. I’ll happily get more in depth with you off the blog or on a different one. I’m trying to keep this blog more happy-go-lucky and a-political. For the record, I don’t think either side has all the right answers.

    Anyone else what to talk about it, drop me an email.
    -TP

  6. Sorry. Take the comment out if you wish.

    I would not dream of it. I’m also a proponent of Freedom of Speech.
    -TP

  7. But you’re the one who brought it up.

    Indeed, that is so. I will endeavor to post something that will rankle the right wingers in the near future. It’s only fair that I should get everyone tweaked. 😉

    -TP

  8. Having gone shooting with you, you know I enjoy blowing things up as much as the next gal. Does this make me a gun nut? No. Gun enthusiast? Probably not since I don’t own a gun, but i LOVE shotting them!

    Here’s the thing though: the difference between the gun enthusiast and the gun nut. The enthusiast treats the guns with respect, is a right and proper citizen, and debates the topic intelligently. The nut, on the other hand, still respects the guns, but hoards said guns, has this fairly scary paranoia about someone taking the guns away, and can not debate the topic as much yell, scream and threaten to shoot you all while chanting 2nd Amendment.

    You, sir, not a yelling, screaming, chanting paranoid. You, sir, are an enthusiast. Of the best kind.

    Many thanks for that, Inmate1972. I don’t really aspire to be the fruitcake down the street with all the guns. Not good for the image. I prefer to go for, “Distinguished gentleman down the street… with all the guns”.
    -TP

  9. I never thought I’d say this, but shooting sounds like fun!

    Shows how everything is good or bad depending on what we make of it.

    Hi Damyantig,
    It is fun! In fact, it’s a lot of fun! Like anything else dangerous, it needs to be treated with respect and care. If handled properly, it is a very enjoyable way to spend a morning. Respect for firearm is key, however.
    -TP

  10. Nothing in the world like good-looking women handling good-looking firearms…

    Couldn’t put it better. I hear a lot of “Aw, man! Do you know how lucky you are?” when I tell some guy that my wife likes to shoot with me. The answer is, “Yes. Yes, I do!” 🙂
    -TP

  11. There’s movement up here that the police will get tasers – probably won’t, for now, at least. They don’t carry guns, except for the elite force. I believe it is because of this that guns (well, guns aimed at shooting people, not hunting rifles and such) are very seldom around here. As soon as the police get them, you can be sure the bad guys do, too!

    Here in the States, it’s rather the other way around. The bad guys have them and the police are often out gunned. TO be fair, there are a lot of illegal guns here. It’s not hard for them to get brought in. Our borders are laughably porous and smuggling them in isn’t too hard. There are a lot of guns in the U.S., to be sure. I think if we took them away from the police though, it would not be a pretty picture.
    -TP

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