Last Sunday I was pretty frazzled from the race the day before so an AM at the range sounded like just the ticket. Actually, I'd partially arranged the weekend activity including the racing around range time on Sunday, which my buddy Chris proposed earlier in the week. I knew that I was interested and was certain that Cathy would be as well.
We made the trip out to Harvard and met Chris with a load of goods with which to enjoy. We started out with a new toy, a S&W M&P 15-22. This is a very fun weapon and as a .22 rimfire, very affordable to shoot. All the benefits of the AR platform as well, save some of the bang, so to speak. The Ruger 10-22 fitted with some crazy optics and a bi-pod made for some very fun 50 yard plinking as well.
Moving on from the rim-fires we went on to the pistols and did a little bit of steel target shooting. In my case it was primarily steel target missing as I still can't hit anything. Part of the issue, and I'm going to use excuses here, is that I was using a stock S&W M&P 9 with a MA compliant 12# long pull trigger. I seem to hit consistently low and left with it and even Chris was hitting low. I've heard that the Apex trigger kit which includes new springs, sear and striker block will make all the difference. Some different sights like a fiber-optic are a good upgrade as well.
Cathy spent a bunch of time with Chris working on her pistol shooting at the 7 yard range punching holes in paper and by the end was doing really well. She was using a MA compliant pre-ban (of course), Glock G17. I've got to admit that I too am very partial to that weapon, though at least part of it is because it has had competition grade work done to the trigger/action.
Last up for Sunday, which was a cool and damp day basically good for not much otherwise, was to break some clays, or at least attempt to. Shooting clays is my strongest suit as I spent a ton of time doing that as a young adult. Chris provided all the goods, for which I am yet again in his debt, and also let Cathy and I use his H&R over and under 12 gauge shotgun. Nice shooting, no frills gun. We took turns shooting doubles with mixed results. Cathy lined up for her first attempts with the 12 gauge and took it in stride though it nearly set her down at first. Always fun to watch a virgin in their first go. I'm thinking that a 20 gauge may be a better choice for her, though after some practice I'm sure she will be fine. She does have a nice bruise on her shoulder from the recoil. The H&R has a hard butt plate and no recoil pad so if you misplace the butt on your shoulder or don't have it tight to the fleshy part, it will certainly sting a bit.
All in all, a great day and lots of fun. I was whupped by the end though from standing and bracing for the many impacts of the morning. Many thanks to Chris as well as to the Harvard Sportsman's Club and for that matter, the people at G.O.A.L. and the NRA, who are working to make sure that honest folks can still do fun stuff like this in the state and country. I realize that may be somewhat controversial in certain uninformed circles but hey, it's good clean stuff. People stereotype about many things and guns are one of them. All of the gun owners that I have met are very, very responsible people. It's funny but people often also assume that guns and booze go hand in hand but that isn't the case, at all. It's like snowmobiling in fact, where most people will not drink and ride. We were at a pub in Bethel this winter and the owner actually commented on it, stating that he doesn't cater to the snowmobilers as they won't drink. The skiers on the other hand are happy to get loaded up and then hop back in their cars. I know cyclists (MTB and cross primarily), myself included, tend to be less than discriminatory drinkers as well. My key to this is to always run rides from my house so that I never have to drive :)