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Range Report

Last week was spring break for the schools where I lived, so I took a day of vacation on Friday to take my son Joey to the range.

First, I need to apologize because nothing ruins a great range report like no pictures. But I took a real camera with me, instead of using my cell phone, and I didn’t get a chance to download them. Look for a follow up post this evening.

We drove up to the Chestnut Mountain Shooting Range at the John’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area, operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. It’s a nice little 100-yard outdoor range with covered shooting, located a few miles off I-75 near Resaca, Georgia. You could tell it was spring break, because a lot of parents and kids were there, quite a mix of folks. My son had a great time identifying the different guns people had, from a belt fed M-60 to M-1 Garands to M1903 Springfields, AR’s, 10/22’s, hunting rifles, 1911’s, and Glocks.

We brought the new Browning Buck Mark pistol, Bucky, along with Captain America the Ruger 10/22, Bruce the G17, and Vasiliy the Mosin Nagant.

Normally the range rules require paper targets only, so I brought some bullseye targets and a couple of zombie targets. But, people before us had ignored those rules and brought a bunch of plastic soda bottles, and various fruit. Since it was there, we felt compelled to shoot it.

As we do on just about every range trip or practice session, we went over the Firearm Safety Rules, and we had at it.

I knew Joey would love the Buck Mark, and I was right. After a couple of magazines he was able to easily put his shots in the zombie head from 10 yards, as well as make some soda bottles dance. He also did well with the 10/22, as expected.

What surprised me was that he hogged the 9mm Glock. Once he found out he could make the little tangelos dance, I think I got to shoot 4 rounds out of the 150 we brought. I’m not complaining, though, because I’ve been trying to get him to start competing, and success with the Glock will make it a little easier to talk him into shooting a GSSF match this summer.

Of course, he got to experience all the other fine points of a range day, mostly reloading magazines. But he also learned proper range etiquette, and how to paste targets.

Now, the one gun I couldn’t get him to try was the Mosin Nagant. In all honesty, I did spend the morning building up the recoil until he was expecting a small nuclear explosion when I lit it off. Oh, well. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad.

We were both very impressed by the M60. Yes, the family of 4 on the end had a belt fed M60. I have to assume it was semi-auto, or these people were a lot more disciplined than I would be, because they never lit it off full auto.

One interesting thing to report, and I’d be interested in hearing if anyone else has had this happen. I brought along some Russian surplus 7.62x54R ammo for the Mosin Nagant, a brand called Barnaul. I opened it and fed a few, and I happened to notice that one of the rounds had a brass case instead of the painted steel case the others had, but I had also noticed that before with 7.62×39. In any case, when the brass round came up in the magazine, I could not get it to feed at all. Eventually I had to open the bottom of the magazine and drop all the rounds out.

Well, it turned out that in the box of 50, there were four of these brass cased rounds, and they were not 7.62.54R. They were about the same overall length, but much narrower, so they would not feed. I don’t know what kind of ammo it is, but now I have 4 rounds to add to my Orphan Ammo Collection. (Pix to follow.)

After about 3 hours at the range, 150 rounds of 9mm, a couple hundred rounds of .22, and 15 rounds of 7.62x54R, we were ready to go. So, we cleaned up (always bring a black garbage bag!) and headed home, with plenty of good tales to tell. The conversation on the ride home told me we both have a lot to look forward to.

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