Thursday, June 25, 2015

Day on the Range

Even within this lovely group of bloggers, life is not just one spanking after another.  We all have lives outside our blog - families, careers, travel, entertaining, and hobbies.  One interest of mine is shooting out at the range with Sam.  Yes, I suppose we do live in the Wild West part of the country, but we are city dwellers.  For this post, we'll call our city "Dry Gulch."  And there's a new sheriff in town, and his name is Sam.

So when the sheriff and I can plan some time away from work, we jump in my speedy little truck (SLT) and drive to the outskirts of Dry Gulch to a private shooting range.  I love these times with Sam, and we usually plan to spend the whole afternoon together. 

Sam both collects and restores guns.  The restoration is a long,
meticulous process, but the final product is a matter of pride.  He also reloads his own ammunition.  Sam has taken many shooting courses; we have a dear friend who is retired Marine
Corps and a great teacher.  I have only taken one course from Alex, but he designed a whole day for women.  That was a good idea, because I don't really have the upper body strength to safely lift some guns, never mind properly aim them.

Here are the 4 cardinal rules of gun safety that Alex taught me: 

1.  A gun is always loaded.
2.  Know your target and what's behind it.
3.  Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
4.  Always point the gun in a safe direction !!!!

I always feel like Alex is talking in my ear when I am holding a gun.  

The range to which we belong is very safety -minded, too, and Sam has taught me the etiquette that is part of being responsible.  For example - If the range is "cold" because someone wants to place targets, all guns and ammo are out of your hands and laying on the bench.  It is best to step back from the bench, too.  When the person returns and is behind the bench, they say the range is "hot", and it is safe to pick up a gun and get ready to fire.  Sam continues to help me with my stance and my aim.  I mostly shoot a .22 caliber Browning Buckmark or an old J.C. Higgins .22 semi-automatic carbine rifle (right out of the 1950's Sears & Roebuck Catalog.)

Sam will set out targets for me, and just recently bought me a spinner target which has different sized metal spinners that fly around a metal rod when they are hit.  I really like that gift!  At 12 yards, I am fairly accurate with the Buckmark, which is a pretty little black handgun.  Lightweight, too.  Sam worked me a bit harder last time by putting a green plastic soda bottle out about 35 to 40 yards.  Much more difficult and I was using the rifle, but I was pleased with my progress.  On the last load, I hit the bottle 6 out of 15 times.  Sam told me to make it "dance."

Beautiful day!  We cleaned our area and picked up Sam's brass for reloading bullets.  Once we unloaded the truck at home, we finished our afternoon at our favorite pub.  I thought about how much we enjoyed our time together, talking and laughing.  I guess Sam has always been my HOH out at the range.  He teaches me patiently, but expects me to always listen.  Just like with ttwd, I want to be the best possible me. 


  1. Sounds like you are both doing a great job. I've never shot a gun as an adult, but 'Cassie' loves to shoot. Strange as that sounds it makes me interested in shooting too. Sometimes I'm stranger than I thought, LOL! Keep up the good work.

    1. Hi PK,
      So nice to hear from you. I am anxious to read about your vacation adventures!

      Sam says if you are ever planning a trip out west, he would be glad to teach you or 'Cassie' the basics.

      Ella in Dry Gulch

  2. Ooh Ella...I do love to shoot also. My favorite is a Ruger 22 semi-automatic rifle with a 10 round clip. I can just step out my door and shoot in my it. Your spinner looks like fun...will have to check into getting one of those.

    My dad taught me the same shooting rules, worded a bit differently, but with a few extra:
    Don't point a gun at someone unless you intend to shoot them.
    Don't shoot at someone unless you intend to kill them.

    Thanks for sharing your fun.

    Hugs and blessing...Cat

    1. Cat,
      I am overjoyed to hear from another woman who loves to shoot! I was a little hesitant to post this. Totally jealous that you can shoot out your back door.

      Is the Ruger very heavy? When I took my course, I started lifting small weights to give me a little more muscle. It hasn't really helped much.

      I like that you have memories of your dad associated with learning gun safety. When I was still teaching, I remember one little girl who took off school once in a while to hunt with her father. She was so proud of her accomplishments. She even brought us elk jerky to try.

      Hugs to you, too,

  3. Oh gosh, life is very different here. No guns !!! It is definitely not a common practice round here, I've never been near a real one, let alone shot one!
    love Jan,xx

  4. Oh Ella, that is so awesome! I have always wanted to learn to shoot. I know the basics from my uncle (who was a marine) from when I was young. I've also always wanted to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow, and a crossbow. I'm not sure how many places we have close by that do that. So cool that you and Sam have something like that to do together. I keep hoping as time goes on and we find more "couple" time that we can do things we enjoy together. Maybe we will dig out those old golf clubs. Or maybe I'll talk him into a crossbow. Woohoo!!

  5. I have never seen a gun up close. I am a city girl. To be perfectly honest they scare me! However, in books and fantasy I love a gun toting lady!

  6. I wrote you such a long comment - and Blogger promptly ate it! I am now sulking!

    It sounded such a good day out with Sam and I am glad you got some time to yourselves.

    We keep our guns in a gun cabinet up in the loft screwed to the chimney wall as it's the only brick part of our house. The law here is very strict on the ownership of guns and we have to have gun certificates with our names etc just like on a passport. The police come every year to inspect the guns, see where they are kept and to ensure our gun certificates are up to date.

    We have a shot gun and a special air rifle which is very powerful and has sights on it. I got a black eye the first time I used it as I didn't realise you were not meant to rest the sight on your eye! LOL!

    I am rubbish at clay pigeon shooting, but can hit cans swinging from trees, and rabbits etc. We are inundated with rabbits at the moment. I've never even held a hand gun, and they scare me a bit because I associate them with shooting people.

    I love all your gun rules and Cat's as well. We have one more rule in England and that is never to walk holding a shot gun or rifle without breaking it and hooking it over your arm.

    It is very interesting to hear that Sam collects antique guns. There are quite a lot over here in various antique shops - he would have a field day.


  7. Hello there, Ami,
    I know it is quite different across the pond when it comes to guns. When we last came to London, we sat in a murder trial in the Old Bailey. To us it seemed odd that the bad guy had the gun, but the police had none.

    I don't have a rabbit problem, but I do have a pigeon problem! Rats with wings! They are crowding out my finches and hummingbirds. For my birthday, I received a small BB handgun and am planning to ask those pigeons to take up residence somewhere else!

    Hugs across the pond to the esteemed English author!