Monday, October 12, 2009

What Can't You Shoot with a 4 Oz Bullet?

This weekend was a good one for what marketing drones call the "highly-gun involved." Saturday, I spent a couple blissful hours at the Wooster Mt. Range with my Mosin Nagant M44, Yugoslav M48 and the Ruger 10/22.

Amusing moment of the day: After letting loose with the Nagant, and waiting for the smoke to clear, a guy comes up to me and asks "Is that a Springfield?" I said no, it was a Soviet-made carbine from 1946, about as far from a Springfield 03 as you could get and still be a rifle, and not say, a bicycle. In his defense, 7.62x54R has a pretty authoritative report, and does sound a little like a .30-06.

Other highlights of the range trip was the guy to my right letting me rip off a mag from his AK into the array of clay pigeons I set out on the berm. Poor guy lives in NYC, but keeps his rifle at his parent's house in Westchester.

And there was the guy with the Remington 700 (chambered in .308 Win.) The trigger on that must have been about 2 lbs. Beautiful rifle. He was yearning for the old battle rifles he'd sold off years ago, and shot my Yugo Mauser with a big grin on his face. We both thought we got the best end of that trade.

Sunday I went up to the New England Antique Arms Society show at the convention center in Hartford. I think a lot of dealers were at the Big E show in Mass that weekend, but there was a pretty good selection of stuff there, including:
  • An 03 Springfield with Elmer Keith's inspection stamp on the stock, 
  • A mint K-98 with a 25-round Anstekmagazin (fixed magazine)
  • A Beretta-made Garand chambered in .308 
  • A 4-Bore elephant gun, single barrel. Fascinating rifle -- it used a brass cartridge and an external hammer. At first I thought it used a percussion cap of some kind and Im not sure now. Instructions for different loads were carefully printed on the side plates. Apparently you use a 4oz bullet on "Elephants, Rhinos and Other Pachyderms." An idea for a series of novels on time-traveling Victorian English gentlemen who used rifles like this to shoot dinosaurs fluttered through my mind and then was thankfully lost forever.
All in all, great fun.


Tangalor said...

I love shooting my M44. If anyone ever sets a round off in public, everyone will have no doubt that it is, in fact, a gun and not some clunker blowing off an exhaust clog.

I love the smell of gunpowder. Seriously. I think it was because my father made his own fireworks, reloaded almost everything, and loved to shoot flintlock and cap-and-ball weapons (he owned several.. wish I had them).

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