Well Hi everybody, I'm back. Anything happen last weekend? No? Good. I'd hate to think I missed anything of any importance.
I just had a relaxing (1) 3-day vacation in scenic Ramah(2), Colorado, where I participated in an Appleseed event. This is sort of like attending a warm-up party for the Gun Blogger Rendevous later this year, only without the glittery casinos, scantily clad women, and a bar.
Actually there probably is a bar in Ramah. Possibly even two of them. I don't know. The Ben Lomand Gun Club is about 10 miles north of Ramah and I never actually got into town.
The Ben Lomand facility is very nice with everything anyone could want from a separate training area for youth and special events, to a western town front for cowboy action. I'm not sure how far the rifle ranges extend to, but the last backstops are way out there.
Took advantage of the spring weather Colorado is famous for, with 4-8 inches of snow last week all melted off, and 3-7 expected tonight and tomorrow. Ben Lomand was actually dry and mild.
I learned a good deal there, about myself and my trusty rifle. First the rifle. It's a Remington Nylon 66, a real bit of history, one of the first mostly plastic firearms ever mass produced. It will shoot dime-sized groups all day. Unfortunately the scope is mounted on a metal shroud which is attached to the plastic underpinnings, into which the metal bits are seated. As the day goes on, the scope is prone to move slightly which puts those dime-sized groups in a new location about 3/4 of an inch away from where they started in some random direction. If this was a slow creep, I wouldn't mind as I can compensate for this, but it happens all at once when I put the gun down, and no, I'm not dropping it. I put it down very gently onto a padded surface.
Note: You may decide that one screw or another might be loose during a match. NEVER tighten a screw during a match. Your point of impact will reappear somewhere off the paper. In another county.
The Appleseed rifleman qualifier involves 4 stages, shot in 3 positions, 2 of which involve starting with 2 rounds, then reloading the remaining 8. By preparing the right number of rounds into plastic tubes(3) reloading a tube-fed rifle is almost as fast as reloading a magazine-fed one although the gymnastics are akin to trying to reload a revolutionary war musket from the prone position. One of those stages is fast-paced and timed. Get a mag-fed rifle and practice changing mags before the event. It sucks when they start yelling "cease fire!" just as you finish reloading and get back into position, although sometimes they let us "tubers" load all 10 rounds and skip the reload.
With a 60 mile drive out to the range, 9 hours of shooting and instruction, and 60 miles back, I found that on Sunday my shooting was noticeably worse due to fatigue. In the future I think I'll stick to Saturdays only.
(1) Ignore my Shooting Buddy calling me Mr. Cranky-pants on the way back. I'm almost always that cheerful.
(2) Look it up on Google maps
(3) I am told that McDonalds and only McDonalds has large diameter red straws that neatly hold 10-12 rounds of .22. Permanently plug one end, put a removable cap in the other, and fill the space between with the right number of rounds. Observe correct orientation. Voila! Instant speedloader.