Monday, May 7, 2012


Yesterday the monster girl and I went to a gathering at the range in our local national park. It’s a nice range in a lovely area, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. She took her little pink .22 and I took my 1911, LC9, my husband’s ar-410 and my mosin. I had hoped to bring our pre-ban Calico m100 carbine, but it’s still in the shop having a feed ramp smoothed into the top of the chamber to hopefully resolve some minor feed issues. It’s a hundred rounds of happiness right in your hands.

My teenager packed the ammo for us, but unfortunately he’s had issues and managed to pack the wrong ammo for the .410 (it needs the shells designed for the pistols otherwise the shells won’t fit in the magazine, he sent the stuff for my youngest child’s break action that’ll eat anything) and he packed up the frangible rounds for the .45 acp rather than the ball ammo, so there wasn’t any firing of those weapons. That left me with the LC9 and the mosin, unfortunately I had issues and forgot the LC9 in the car and didn’t feel like fetching it. So I shot other people’s guns and shouldered my mosin for the first time. It was a lot of fun, although today my body is protesting.

My mosin is a 1930 hex receiver with all matching parts, I’m told it was made in Tula, and that it’s an ex-dragoon. I don’t really know much about that. Some of the people interested in mosins liked it and it had a good run there among the guys because “it’s so smooth and hardly kicks.” Hardly kicks, my rosy red behind! If they thought that was easy I should have brought the Garand, they’d have had a field day. I didn’t though, because right now I only have hunting rounds in 30-06 and I don’t want to risk the op rod. I need to get off my duff and load some to milspec. Or buy some.

I did have a problem with the mosin, at first I couldn’t figure out where the rounds were going. I usually use the dust clouds off of the berm to know if I am too high, left etc but I couldn’t get it dialed in with the mosin. It took asking the guy next to me if he’d scope for me and his telling me “they’re all going into the black” before I figured out why the dust clouds were looking weird. I’d heard that mosins are accurate, but that was embarrassing. I suppose an 82 year old rifle knows how to plug a target, even if it’s operator doesn’t. As for grouping, I have no idea. He didn’t say and the target was gone by the time the range went cold an hour or two later.

I fired mostly from a sitting or standing position, I think if I can figure out some recoil protection or maybe fire from a prone position that it’ll make a fine hunting rifle for me when I get a license and half a clue what I’m doing out there. A friend supplied us with four deer and two hogs last year, and has already started in on the hog resupply for this year. Judging by the animals his network provided I’d say it’s powerful enough for the hogs, and it’s more than enough fire power for the large white-tailed dogs deer they grow here. Seriously, the first doe we got, I was turning her over looking for her spots. The internet told me that her teeth put her in the 4 year range but she weighed less than 90 pounds on the hoof. Where I grew up it wasn’t uncommon to see does weighing twice that. We got three deer later, two of them were in the 100-110 pound range, but the third was a yearling and she was only 40 pounds!

My daughter had a great time. Besides running half a brick through her single shot cricket she got to fire a little tip up Beretta pistol, an old cowboy style revolver that you had to load by opening a door on the side, a 10/22 with an awesome scope on it, a boxy little 10 round semi-automatic pistol that looked a bit like a cross between a mini-uzi and a HiPoint that I can’t remember anything else about, a Kel-Tec PMR30, and she said good-bye to a gun she fell in love with at the first gathering she attended, an ATI GSG 5-22 with a red dot scope. Fortunately it was traded to another person in our group so there’s a good chance she’ll get to fire it again once the new-gun smell wears off. Then we had lunch, the best hot dogs ever, baked beans, chili, chips, I brought coconut cupcakes and my daughter brought chocolate chip cookies, the very first batch she’d ever made, and I looked the other way when the boss chef snuck her a second soda. One is a rare treat, two is practically unheard of.

After lunch I had a rest in the shade while she watched the other shooters with a trusted friend of mine. There were several full auto’s there and she was disappointed that she couldn’t fire them, but she was the first to admit she’s not ready. We were both a little disappointed that one of our members couldn’t make it down with his antique full auto chromed tommy gun. And here I will admit that we both decided we weren’t going to examine too closely which one we missed more, our friend or his blingy tommy gun. I consoled myself by firing another friends collection of kimbers, from the tiny solo all the way up to his pride and joy limited edition from the custom shop. He keeps telling me he’s taking that one to the grave with him, I keep telling him don’t get too comfy cause I’m following it with a shovel.

When most everyone had cleared out we took the broom and swept up the brass and took it home. We scored an absolute boat load of 9mm, .223, 5.56, a couple of handfuls of .40 s&w and .45 acp, some boxer primed British .303 that the hubby was thrilled to get, some 7.62x25mm tokarev that is neat to look at, 9x17mm and .380 auto (aren’t they the same?), 9x18mm makarov, some yet to be identified rifle casings and a lone 10mm casing. It’s always interesting to see what oddball brass you pick up at a range like that. I dutifully picked up all my 7.62x54, but it was all berdan primed. I think I’ll make a pretty red wind chime out of it, although I may have to go shoot a couple more boxes to have enough raw materials at hand. Ouch.

All in all it was a great way to spend the day with my girl, and I’m looking forward to the next one in a few months. Hopefully by then I’ll have recovered from the lung crap and the sinus infection from Hell that started it all so I won’t get knocked on my keister and can attend the private swap meet after words instead of going home and crawling into bed. It was great to see that we managed to increase the female attendance rate, I think renting a port-o-let helped with that a lot. Ours was purple. Take note guys, girls are more likely to spend the day out shooting in the middle of the woods if they have facilities at hand, cold drinks in the cooler and the opportunity to eat. 


  1. Sounds like a great day!!! I love my Mosin and I like her kick!!!!! And for the record I would pee in the woods, eat bugs and drink from a stream if i was promised a chance to shoot some

  2. For the record that's what the girl and I have been doing for the past couple of years, but not every woman is willing to get so close to nature, at least not every week. We live in a place where women do their hair and put on a little lipstick and mascara to garden, I think a toilet is a concession we can make for them LOL
    Me? I can't remember the last time I wore makeup, although I do love a good French perfume.

  3. Heh. Yeah, the ole Mosin will sneak up on you. Not that bad after one or two, but after the end of the first mag and starting into the second, she makes you feel like you're accomplishing something. :)

    1. Yep, accomplishing the chiropractor's next mortgage payment lol

  4. Nothing like having that nice rectangular Mosin bruise on your shoulder. It's great that yours was on the paper so well.

  5. Too many deer for the feed causes the lightweights. Son in charge of making sure the ammunition was right? He was supposed to walk back for the good stuff, but sounds like he didn't go with you. Any day is a great day to be shooting with friends and family. And men really don't understand how civilized women want to be... but they did make us move out of the caves, didn't they?

  6. My eldest elected to hang with some of his friends rather than go shooting, and I'm pretty sure he was in a hurry to get going, hence the mish-mosh ammo grab he did. He has atoned, and has been handling the ammo pop quizzes with good humor.
    I agree, not enough hunters and a lack of winter kill leading to overpopulation is probably why they're so small, but there are some other factors at play too. Animals living further away from the equator tend to be larger, it has to do with their ratio of body mass to their surface area and how that effects heat loss. I grew up within spitting distance of Canada, and I now live in the deep south so it makes sense that the deer would be smaller. Also, there are five subspecies of whitetail here and four of those evolved on itty bitty islands, island species also tend to be smaller. Still, I'd happily butcher many, many deer to do my part in helping the survivors grow to be the best that they can be. :)