05 July 2013

Recoil Therapy

I has a happy.....

so anyway, I managed to get some range time in late this afternoon, long gun style.  I had planned on shooting the Ruger as well, but I was having too much fun with the SKS.  We'll get to that in a minute.

First of, the venue.  Island Lake Recreation Area, one of the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources not quite "State" parks. (42°30'52.55" N 83°40'34.07" W for my fellow Google™ Earth freaks).  It is spectacular.

$10 buys you all day access to the range

The range(s) are operated by a private outfit, but I haven't drilled down deep enough yet to provide any 411.  I'll get back to you on that.

The Island Lake Shooting Range is very professionally run, with one small caveat.  I show up in the clubhouse (there's no other word that describes it) with my shooter's bag full of shooter's shit and a SKS slung over my shoulder.*  Tits McGorgeous signs me in and takes my money.  Did I mention that I had a SKS openly slung on my shoulder?  I did?  Good, we can move forward.

So, I get down to the firing line to be told by the Range Officer that my rifle must be in a case to enter the range.  OK, "his" range, his rules.  But don't you think that Tits McGorgeous could have mentioned that shit (that my rifle had to be encased) when she checked me in?  The front desk should know the rules.

Speaking of range rules, their policy is six rounds at a time.  I showed up with a collection of magazines that hold considerably more that six rounds.  I spent a fair amount of time emptying ex-cap mags and loading stripper clips in six round increments.  Next time, I'll set the rifle up with the stock 10 rd box magazine and load out the stripper clips with 6 rd each

Anyhoo, mild inconvenience, overall, a great range experience.  I know now.

Second, I shot a lot better today with the SKS.  I had forgotten what a laugh-riot the SKS is to shoot.  I was having so much fun, half way through my second reload, I get tapped on the shoulder by the Range Officer and told to reduce my rate of fire.

 I'm still not posting any targets, but 50% of my hits.were in the black at 50 yards using iron sights.  Most of the slop was my lack of recent hands on run-time with the rifle (I hadn't shot it in years), and I still haven't figured out the eyesight thing.  Part of it was environmental: I was dressed for the air conditioned office, now I was outdoors, in direst sunlight, on an 83°, very humid afternoon and sweating like a pig.  Remember, kids: dress for success...

The other lesson that I quickly re-learned about the SKS is that the metal parts on the fore end (especially the gas tube) get really freakin' hot really fast.  I'll be adding a leather glove for my left hand to my range bag.

more soon

* In retrospect, I should have knowd.  The reason I left the case in the car is that as I was unpacking my stuff from the trunk of the Mighty Commuter-Mobile, there were a couple of shot-gunners returning from the range carrying uncased shotguns.  They opened their trunks, re-cased their shotguns.  I was thinking "good idea, why mess with taking the case when I can just sling my rifle.  One less thing to mess with on the range."

Turns out I choose poorly.  Still, Tits McGorgeous should have said something.

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