Sunday, May 7, 2017

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Shoot

As most of you know, I'm relocating to Columbus, Ohio from my home in Sylvania Township, Ohio.  My official sayonara, so long, farewell, goodbye and good riddance celebratory shoot was on Saturday, May 6th.  A few people from the local message board Toledo Talk showed up.  My thanks to Trilby, Solleks, and Solleks's Wife, Hot Stuff, all of whom made this a memorable occasion.

I also wish to thank the fine folks at Shooters of Maumee, who were kind enough to reserve some lanes for us and gave us the royal treatment - see my review at Range Report: Shooters of Maumee.  I think they installed some brighter lights for us, which was nice of them.

Shooters of Maumee
Trilby and I lined up around 9:45, and a few minutes before 10:00 a young man unlocks the front door and steps out, holding a stack of numbered placards.  He bids us all a good morning.

"I've got a stack of numbers here, and I'm looking for Mad Jack."

Seeing that he's not a law enforcement officer with a warrant or eviction notice, I raise my hand.

"That's me," I say, without much conviction.

"You're Mad Jack?"  He stares in obvious disbelief.

"For my sins, I am,"  I say, wondering if that's actually true or not.  My head still feels a bit thick from the night before.

"Okay... you're Mad Jack."

"Yes, in point of fact, I'm Mad Jack.  The one and only,"  I say, trying to put some conviction into my words.  I don't know what the hell this kid expected, but clearly it wasn't a fat old man with a death dealing hangover and enough baggage to start some kind of Iwo Jima.

"You're number one,"  He shoves the appropriate placard at me and moves on.  I accept the proffered numeric and look around vainly for a porter.  Seeing none, I heft all my gear (it builds character!) and waddle inside.

Number One
No one is going to believe this, so I fumbled out my camera and took a bad picture of it.  We're number one.  See?

In truth, I didn't think to photograph most of my targets.  My shooting was unremarkable (for me, anyway), although Solleks was kind enough to say that the targets looked good.  The photo below shows the results of Big Nose Kate, my Springfield long slide .45, at fifty feet.  The target on the right was shot two handed, slow fire, and the target on the left was shot one handed (primary hand), slow fire.  All I can say is that I kept everything on the paper, and for someone who can barely see the target at 50 feet, that isn't too shabby.

At 50 Feet
Although I can't see the target all that well, not to mention the sights on the pistol, I did manage to pass the vision test at the Ohio License Bureau, and so renewed my license.

I put 60 shots or so through my .22 Ruger Mark II Government pistol, and was not happy with the results.  I switched to my self-defense automatic, a Smith and Wesson Model 59 in 9mm, and by using fiendish concentration managed somehow to turn in a respectable score at 25 feet, and again at 50 feet.  I'm happy with that, as the pistol is hard to shoot.  It's got a stacked, high capacity magazine which results in a thick grip, and the trigger pull has a lot of slack in it, which is good for a combat pistol, but not so much for a target pistol (my opinion only, your sleeves will ride up with wear).  Moreover, the chamber is high above the grip, and the 9mm ammunition has a nasty snap to it.  This results in a recoil that makes the pistol jump and point at the ceiling.  I have to really tie down on it with both hands to control it.

About this time Solleks and his wife Hot Stuff arrived and set up shop next door.  Solleks is shooting at a giant, pink, silhouette target.  I have no ideas about this, but after a few minutes the six foot target has a lot of holes in it, so I don't ask.  Maybe I'm afraid of the answer.

As it turns out, Hot Stuff is a pretty good shot, and blazes away with a Glock .40.  I'm suitably impressed, but it's getting on towards lunch time.  I break out my pride and joy.

The acquisition of this pistol is a story in and of itself, and involves Shotgun Bob, Big Mike, and California Dave.  I'm going to save it for another occasion.  This revolver was given to me as a Christmas present by my brother, Shotgun Bob, and was engraved by RW of South Dakota.  All the engraving was done by hand.

For those of you who don't know, the .45-70 is a rifle cartridge designed to take down a 2,000 pound animal.  It's good for anything I'm likely to encounter in North America.  It holds 5 in the cylinder, is single action, and is a real handful.  It's generally recommended that you shoot it with a two handed grip.

.45-70 by D-Max
I explained to Solleks that the Toledo Police were a bit under-gunned, so to speak, and that he should review this pistol as a good alternate to their current service pistol, the .40 caliber Glock.  Solleks made no comment.

I loaded up and torched off five shots, and didn't do too badly.  The results can be seen below on the left hand target, shot at 25 feet, two handed.

Left Side is the .45-70
I've shot it one handed, but the gun is so heavy that I can't hold it out very long.  In this case being heavy is a good thing, as it tends to soak up the recoil.  Even so, the pistol is a real handful.  I let Solleks test fire it; he said he was searching for the best way to hold on to it.

Solleks Shooting the .45-70
I guess the most amazing thing about this pistol is that you can actually hit stuff with it, and with all that weight to soak up the recoil, it doesn't kick as much as you think it does.

Boy, This is Big!
We got Hot Stuff to pick it up and squint down the barrel.  Her initial reaction was, "Boy, this is big!"  In deference to Solleks, I'll refrain from the obvious rejoinders.

We finished off shortly thereafter, and went to lunch.  I had a good time, and I shot pretty well considering I'm half blind (the left half) and haven't shot at anything for several months.  My thanks to the people who showed up and made this an enjoyable event.

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