Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

This is my obligatory Happy New Year post. Happy 2011. So long and good riddance to 2010.

I had an enjoyable New Year's eve, although my august years dictate a much more sedate celebration than in times past, which is just as well in some ways. For one thing the idea of a group of people having an early morning swim in the indoor pool of a local hotel while still dressed in formal evening attire no longer carries the appeal it once did. Another good reason is that the police are getting serious about this drunk driving business, and the patience of the local constabulary is notoriously thin around the holidays. The topper is that New Year's Eve is the original amateur night, something I want no part of. I'll just miss out on all the fun, thanks.

My brother Big Mike suggested we go to the Bullet Stop and perforate some paper targets then follow up our success with a short stop at the Maumee Bay Brew Pub. I observed that Mike can always be counted on for good suggestions where guns and drinking are concerned, and so accepted his invitation.

Ruger .22
I started off with my Ruger .22 and didn't do badly. Here's a typical example of 30 shots at around 30 feet. I fired ten with a two handed grip, another ten one handed in my primary hand and the final ten shots one handed on my weak side. I managed to put everything on the paper but the groups are not outstanding.

Big Mike's Glock
I shot 10 with Mike's 9mm Glock, two handed at 30 feet or so. I like the sights on the Glock and the recoil is much better than most 9mm pistols which tend to have a nasty snap to them, but the pistol is small and a little hard to hold even with my small hands. As I've mentioned before, Big Mike has enormous chow hooks and I can only guess how long it took him to come to grips, so to speak, with the miniature Glock.

I ended up shooting one handed most of the time. My eyesight is crap, and if I hold my pistol one handed the rear sight, the front sight and the target are all blurred. Holding my gat one handed and extending my arm as far as possible I can bring the sights into focus, leaving the target blurred. On top of this the lighting at the Bullet Stop leaves a little to be desired. Bluntly, the range is shadowy even when you align your target just right and get it illuminated by the overhead lights, which I think are 40 watt bulbs instead of the 250 that we older gentlemen require.

Oh well. If I ever have to get up in the middle of the night to deal with a misguided choir boy or two I can't very well stop the proceedings and politely ask them to stand under the light so I can get a clean shot at them, so I'm putting this down to good practice conditions. Besides, the owner of the Bullet Stop is an old guy too, and is cranky into the bargain - meaning it's no use asking him to replace the lights, because he won't.

Mike ran a clip or two through Betsy and got a new battle scar on his hand for his trouble. The web of Mike's chow hook overlaps Betsy's beaver tail just enough to put it within range of the hammer, so if Mike is careless he can get bitten. Which is what happened.

The Maumee Bay Brew Pub is doing a brisk business, which is nice to see. I had a cup of the cheese beer soup and a few red hot chicken wings, all washed down with two beers. Then it was home to rest up before taking Main Lady out to dinner.

Main Lady suggested we go to Mac and Tong's Place (4330 W Central Ave; Toledo, OH 43615-1669; (419) 531-3103) which I highly recommend. They have live piano music and excellent food, if a bit pricey. I had steak Diane for about $35, and while the dinner lived up to the price I can understand that not everyone wants to spend the best part of $50 a person on dinner. Mac and Tong's is a proprietorship, and the owners are on the premises when the place is open. Tong does all the cooking and Mac handles the front. We've been going to Mac and Tong's for some years now, so when I got stuck with a bad server last night my irritation was mitigated by the fact that this was the very first time I'd ever had bad service at Mac and Tong's, and secondly I knew what to do about it. I went over and talked to Mac who apologized profusely before he adjusted the waitresses focus. She was one of those waitresses that refused to look in my direction and wouldn't stop by the table. Mac fixed the problem, which is what counts.

Perfect Manhattan
I had one drink, and one drink only before dinner, and nothing buy water after. Main Lady and I drove over to the video store and rented two DVDs, neither of which was much good. We walked Excellent Rachmaninoff at midnight, bringing in the new year in fine style. A few minutes after midnight I watched one of Sylvania's finest come tearing through Lincoln Woods, doing around 50 in a 25 mph area with his bubblegum machine off. Clearly the man was on a mission. Like I said, amateur night.


flask said...

you know, dude, i had never heard the term "amateur night" in reference to new year's eve until i got to living in the quarter of the way house with all the drunks and junkies, which is about seventeen different kinds of AWESOME, considering that when they get out they're some of them going to be going straight and it is super good to hear a story and of someone who goes out and has just one drink and leaves it at that and doesn't end up drunk in the pool and i was sorta thinking of you and hoping you were going to have a nice evening involving firearms an' all that, because while there's a lot of things we probably don't see eye-to-eye on, i think some basic concepts we agree on are constitutional rights, and having a really good time. so i'm going to go check on my brown-butter-maple-pecan ice cream and get all pretty for the dance i'm going to but i won't stay out too late because church will come up early in the morning and then i'll have to pack my gear and report back to the dorm to spend the week with the drunks and junkies and the batshit crazy as we try to make our way in the world and next time you go to the range squeeze off a few rounds for us, ok?

sometime next week we're going to have a lovely ladies' tea and smahing-things-with-axes party which sounds lovely to me, but i wonder what the social worker will say.

happy new year.

Capt. Schmoe said...

I have a baby Glock .40 (27 i think) that has less snap/recoil than the 23 I used to have. I think it is because it uses a shorter yet stiffer recoil/buffer spring that does a better job of it.

I use the longer 23 mags in it with a slip on grip extender that allows me to use the higher cap mags and gives me a place to put my pinkie.

I shoot both Glocks better than the H&K USP 40C that I replaced my 23 with. Who knew.

Sounds like you had a productive 1st, thanks for the post.

Older School said...

I'm certainly a Glock fan but I too had a bit of trouble with that 23 that I eventually sold. It was a great concealed carry handgun, but it never failed...whenever I took it out on the range, my pinkie finger would slip and get pinched between the grip and the mag. Even with the grip extender, I was forever struggling with the grip. I'll stick with the 19. I also have a 20 year old S&W 9mm with a 15 round mag that is my baby.

Sounds like you had a quiet and responsible New
Year's...or as the younger ones tell me, "a snoozer." In my state, and in most surrounding cities, fireworks are legal. So - my philosophy has always been that alcohol and firearms do not mix. Alcohol and fireworks are just as bad.
More amateur night here too.

Mad Jack said...

Flask: Thanks for your comments. Next time I go to the range I'll ventilate some paper for you and post it.
Capt. Schmoe: I'll suggest the clip to Mike. I really like the Glock but it seems like I have to develop some kind of three finger grip to hold it.
Older School: Yeah, the old pinkie between the clip and the grip wound. I own one of those PA-63 9x18 pistols which also has a short stock. The clip is a little hard to slide in, so one day in a fit of impatience I slammed the damn thing home with my left hand while holding the pistol in my right, neatly catching the meat of said right hand between the clip and the stock. Trust me, I'll never do that again.