I’d printed out directions for the range, but neglected to put in the actual street and address. My Garmin didn’t recognize the name of the town I needed and so I just headed in the general direction of WV and decided to figure it out later.I got to Fredericksburg before I realized I’d left both the promised cupcakes and my coffee on the kitchen counter.
There was a lot of cussing during the next 45 miles or so.I found the range, no problem, then had the always enjoyable conversation of telling a stranger I was looking for people I didn’t know except from the internet. For some reason, that always makes me feels a little … odd.
|Stretch made me feel ... petite.
Saw some familiar faces and, considering how my morning was going … just hung out for a while. I got the hackbut going, and the first shot gave me no problems. The balls were a little bit snug, and the second got stuck, as did about every 5th round. That got frustrating, and so I went and watched the guys on the 200 yard rifle range. And I got to shoot a Swedish Mauser. And a lever action something of Andrew’s (sorry … I don’t remember what it was) and an M1.And then the call went out “There’s a guy here with a Barrett (M82A1).50 and he’s letting people shoot it!”
I went and watched. When that thing fired, it was like being passed by a car on the highway. The hair blew back, and pantslegs flapped in the passing wind. I got to shoot it. Twice. On a 400-yard range. (I was too chicken to ask if I actually hit the target.) There was a happy dance. There is video somewhere, but hopefully not of the happy dance. I’m here to tell you that the adrenaline rush of that thing lasted a solid 5 hours. No back pain at all on the drive home. It also gave me a case of lead-foot, but that’s what cruise-control is for.
Afterwards, Murphy’s Law said, “Did you bring any 9 with you? Bring it here.” And I got to fire this.
And my first target looked like this.
Then I got to shoot some lovely pistols. Murphy complimented me on my not flinching.
“Flinching?”“Yeah. You’re not anticipating recoil.”
“I just shot a Barrett .50. What recoil??”I got to watch Keads shoot … and then, when I thought the day couldn’t hold any more awesome, out came the M-60. There is something hypnotic about that thing. That was, without a doubt, the best range day I have ever had.
Thanks to all who made it happen!