December 3rd, 2005


"The customer is always right. But not everyone needs to be our customer."

The problem with doing things on short notice is that one's friends do have lives of their own and have plans of their own that the're not always willing/able to drop so as to make time for you. So it was that Carlos and RS and I were the only ones heading out to the Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly to fire off some rounds, mostly through Rob's Reising gun and his MAC-11, though we did put some rounds downrange from my Dad's .22 Magnum Taurus revolver, Carlos' Glock and Colt Commander, and Rob's Ruger. Sadly, BRA didn't carry ammo for my Makarov, so Masha will have to wait until New Year's Eve for her first firing. Oh, well.

The Reising turned out to be a lot of fun to fire, though the safety did tend to self-actuate and require resetting after every couple of bursts. OTOH, the Taurus was a pain. The ammo was unreliable and after having fired nothing but auto and semi-auto weapons all my life having to deal with a single-action revolver was an exercise in mild frustration. Aside from that, the recoil was fairly minimal, especially compared to the Colt Commander, which took a chunk out of my left thumb after I forgot the proper grip. (Dumbass.) Even lighter was Rob's Ruger Mark II, which felt practically recoilless after firing the heavier .45 weapons.

It felt good to be on a range again. There is something familiar and satisfying about loading magazines, doing function checks, and punching holes in targets. I am now satisfied of my competency with common pistols at close range, which is to say I can put a full magazine into someone's chest at fifty feet - and with the Ruger, which is practically a point-and-shoot weapon, I might be able to manage head shots. Not that I'd want to do this, mind you, but it's comforting to know that I could if I had to. Rob is almost certainly correct that a shotgun is a better weapon for personal defense, but those are considerably more awkward to carry around.

Anyway...tomorrow I'll be spending most of my time with the family, then getting together with the Dunhams somewhere, sometime, and finally returning to the hotel for an early bedtime, since my flight leaves at 0645 Monday.