Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lucky Gunner Blogshoot

Well, the weekend had to eventually end, but the smile is still on my face.

Here are some more pictures:

There were multiple re-enactment groups attending the first day.  The half-track and tanks were joined by extremely well restored U.S. and German vehicles such as the jeep and BMW motorcycle you see above.  The re-enactors were more than happy to allow us to shoot their guns, even taking the time to explain how the guns worked and demonstrating the best ways to shoot them.  My favorite of all of these was of course the M-2 .50 caliber machine gun, but a close second was the Thompson.  There's just something about that sub-machine gun that tripped my trigger.

Of course, no shoot would be complete without pictures of what the range looked like with lead flying at it:

I love the smell of tannerite in the morning!

The only good min-van is a dead mini-van
Someday my minivan will meet a similar fate.   But I'll use more tannerite if I can afford it.

During lunch, the organizers of the event recognized two soldiers who were veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I'm proud to say that standing ovations for these two brave men came easily.  It was fun to sit back and watch these two gentlemen sit down to compare notes with Vietnam veterans.   I'm sure a lot of good stories and advice were exchanged.

Next, we see the signs that a good day at the range has occurred.  The evidence is the many large piles of brass and the many trash bags full of bullet boxes:

Over the course of Day 1, I tried to shoot as many different guns as I could.   I have decided that my "Guns I Will Own" list will now include an MP-5, a G-3, an M1917, an M-2, a Thompson, and a BAR.   There were others that I shot and were fun, but these are the guns I want in my safes for 'entertainment purposes'.

The evening of Day 1 was taken up with a dinner with the staff of Lucky Gunner and the other blogger and media attendees.  During the dinner, the winners for the 2011 Gunnie awards were announced.   Congratulations to everyone on those!

On Day 2, the re-enactors had gone home, so for the most part we shot what we brought.  Representatives from Kriss were there to demonstrate their new line of guns, and I must say they are sweet:

Oh my gosh!  Someone gave me a suppressed machine gun!
I tried all four variants of the Kriss gun: the pistol, the short barreled rifle, the suppressed sub gun, and the non-suppressed sub-gun.  It's basically the same action with different options added to it.  All of them use Glock .45 magazines, so a user won't have to search for proprietary magazines to keep their gun fed and happy.  All of these guns were comfortable to shoot, accurate within the limits of the .45 ACP round, and had amazingly light felt recoil.  The Kriss representative who worked with me on the firing line showed me how the bolt pivots downward into the area just forward of the trigger guard, driving a lot of the recoil down instead of back at the shooter.  This reduces felt recoil and muzzle climb.  I must say I was impressed.  When compared against the 9mm MP-5 and .45 Thompson, the recoil on the Kriss was very light.  The civilian model has an MSRP of about $2000, which is steep, but do-able.  This one goes on the "Guns I Will Own" list.

While shooting on Day 2, I realized that Oleg Volk should be nick-named "The Candyman".  He brought out several really nice toys:

Keltec KSG
I got a chance to shoot his Keltec KSG and the Coonan .357 automatic.  The KSG is a neat concept and it carries a metric crap-ton of shells in its two magazine tubes.  I've been told that shooters are encouraged to put buck shot on one side and slugs on the other.  Using the switch to select which magazine to feed from would allow the user to tailor their ammuntion selection without having to unload their weapon.  The overall shortness of the gun made it easy to quickly change targets, and it kicked against my should in about the same way that the Mossberg 500 I brought to the game did.

The Coonan is also going on the list.  I put two magazines through it, and I am officially in love with it.  My impression of its heft at the NRA convention was correct.  It's a solid chunk of steel, but that weight helps a lot in controlling recoil and climb.  I was able to make respectable groups with it at between 5 and 7 yards, and I'm sure with practice that would tighten up.

I have to say, even though Day 1 was a complete blast, I enjoyed Day 2 even more.  It gave us more time to talk and socialize, and since no-one was waiting for us to shoot, we could take our time and discuss the merits and failings of each of our guns.  One thing I noticed on both days was just how happy and friendly everyone was.  It's something I've noticed about the gunnies I know.  Even the rock stars like Tam, Oleg, and Uncle were more than happy to sit and shoot the bull or share their guns with the rest of us.  I was asked to shoot other people's guns and offered my own meager collection up for others to enjoy, and no-one batted an eye.  Even when we were discussing politics or gun issues, which tend to get everyone's Irish up, we never stopped being polite and respectful. This reinforces something I already believed:  Gunnies are good people.

One thing that allowed us to enjoy ourselves as much as we did was the copious amount of Magtech and Seller & Bellot ammunition that the folks at Lucky Gunner were handing out for our enjoyment.  I'm pretty sure the only thing that can make a range trip with a great group of people better is free ammunition.  Rounds of just about every caliber were given out with a smile.  I can't imagine how many thousands of rounds were fired over the two days, but I'd really like to thank Lucky Gunner, Magtech, and S&B for the ammunition.

It was a great weekend, and I took my time saying goodbye to everyone as I packed up and headed north.  Angela and her staff at Lucky Gunner put on a heck of a party, and the people who attended made the weekend enjoyable and interesting.  I'm already looking forward to next year!


Jennifer said...

Gunnies really are good people. I've been involved in hobbies before where I've made a few friends, but with firearms, it has been overwhelming. I had a similar conversation with someone on Saturday that was there for the BulletFest event. Every time I go to a new shooting event, I make new friends. Real friends. Friends that I will remain in contact with long after the smoke clears. That is just awesome.

MrG's said...

Sounds like you had a blast. Maybe I will get an invite nest year;) I have noticed that overall gunnies are very polite, something about an armed society is a polite society.

Laura said...

Chris is a big, BIG fan of the Coonan. I fully expect there to be one in his possession in the next few years. :)

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at daddybearden.blogspot.com.