Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sometimes you have to dazzle them...

I went looking for the Spearfish, South Dakota range for the Appleseed I wanted to see and maybe help out. Found it about half a mile farther than advertised but my odometer might have been off. It is a beautiful range, rifles on the left, pistols on the right, great big bluff behind for a backstop, the Black Hills National Forest surrounding. Covered line for hundred yard bench, benches provided.

There was an elderly gentleman there shooting so I thought I would talk to him. I asked about the Appleseed Shoot, and he said this was where it would be tomorrow. Since I looked like I must know something he asked if I would shoot his rifle, he couldn't get it to hit the golf ball beside some spinners out in the range, about twenty-five yards or so. Well, it was a 22LR AR of some kind, with a scope -- he had just purchased it Thursday off the shelf and was thinking of giving it to his grandson, but it wasn't hitting and he couldn't tell where it was hitting. So I shot once and we couldn't tell where it had hit, and I suggested that we try the paper target out at the hundred yard line. Well, that shot was off the paper but low, so I could dial the scope up and get on the paper. And we know what an inch is at a hundred meters, and a 1/4 MOA click gets you how many?

Unfortunately, under the shelter the Sun wasn't lightening the letters for which way to turn, so I twisted the wrong way (like he told me it was supposed to go), saw my shot go twice as far bad as that last on in elevation, but right on in deflection.

Took the rifle into the sunshine, read the proper instructions and clicked off the elevation and got close to center on the target. A few more and I was right on and tearing it up. Wheeler44 taught me everything I know about optics - but I was paying attention. So the older gentleman asks if I can hit the yellow golf ball. So I swing on to it and pull the trigger - one of those hard to squeeze and then it goes off type. I hit the golf ball, and he says hit it again laughing at the way it shot off down range, so I did. Hit it again and it skitted off. I put the rifle on safe and went down to check the targets and the golf ball, I couldn't see that I had hit the ball solid, but I didn't know what to look for. I took it back to show him the target now it could hit center and the golf ball. He was happy and threw the golf ball out there again and told me to shot it some more. So I did, hit skittled off, hit skittled off, hit skittled off, hit skittled off and then I was out of bullets and the golf ball was behind some grassy knoll. It had been fun.

We had been talking, he was a Korean War vet, flew F86s, went into aviation maintenance. Had grandchildren going into the service, some in, and had seen the flyer for the Appleseed, and pointed out to me that $80 or $50 for a walk on was a bit much. His club only costs $16 a year. I pointed out to him that he could bring youth and women to shoot for free only needed a rifle and ammunition. He looked at the Appleseed a little differently after that. It was a great unexpected gift on this trip, meeting a man with a rifle, bullets and target and needing my help. My pleasure, I brought the targets and golf ball back and saw how the hits impacted and the almost exits were more noticable than the entrance wounds.

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