Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How did I get here?

In a Galaxy far, far away......Nah, it has been done before and undoubtedly better. I have always liked weapons. Almost any kind, guns , knives , swords, bows, and many more exotic things. I have always been interested in how to make them work and how the introduction of new or different weapons could change the course of a battle on the battle field. I grew up in the 60s watching Combat, and Rawhide, and Rescue 8, and Dragnet and Maverick, and Have Gun, Will Travel. Guns factored heavily in my entertainment. We had no guns in our house, in the suburbs. My father owned a shotgun (a .410 bore side by side) that was kept at his parents house in the country. He carried it for snakes when we went stomping around my parents acreage in North Carolina. My brothers had no interest in it and I was the youngest so shooting it just did not happen. When racial strife hit North Carolina my Grandfather decided he needed a gun and purchased a .22 caliber rifle, the Remington 552 Speedmaster. On future visits to the "country" I would get to experience it. We went out behind the farm house and had to be sure of our direction of fire. There were neighbors "over there" and these bullets "can go a mile". I think my first targets were wooden blocks and tin cans shot from perhaps 20 feet. POW! POW! POW! I do not remember wearing hearing protection, since there was none in the family until I purchased some in my teenage years, I doubt we had any to use. I am pretty sure we used .22Longs. The 552 is fairly unique in that it feeds Shorts, Longs and Long Rifles. I imagine that we fired less than 30 rounds, but, I HAD FIRED A GUN!!!!!!!!! Other visits would get more shooting in but it remained rare and special. After my Grandfather died and I had friends at home, who shot, and places we could shoot, the Remington became mine. Many hundreds of rounds of ammo from Kmart went through it. It shot well, we plinked and had fun. Some of the most fun times that I recall from my teens and 20s included that rifle in my hand. My friends led me to handguns. One friend acquired a Ruger Mark 1 and another a Ruger Single Six. More handguns were added to our "shooting club", A Colt .45 ACP (Now I would call it a 1911) and a Dan Wesson .357 Magnum. I made my first rifle purchase a Ruger Model 77 in .300 Winchester Magnum. Other folks joined the "club" bringing Black Powder rifles and pistols and more rifles and shotguns came with them. I would not purchase my first pistol until I was in my 50s but I had owned one that was a gift for more than 20 years. Early in my marriage, I took my wife shooting at the Carolina property. .22, 12Gauge and .38 Special were expended. She shot well but firearms were not of much interest to her. in the intervening years we raised a family. When my youngest was about 12 I took them all to the range. It was the start of my reawakening. I had missed shooting. I had missed those people who shoot. I was back among them to stay.

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