Range Day

I haven’t been shooting in a looooooong time. So when LT Rusty offered to let me tag along with him and his father in law, I leapt at the chance.* Off to the high desert to kill cardboard and various rocks and shrubs.  For a guy who hasn’t shot off anything but his mouth in a long time, I was very please with my pistol performance. My rifle work was pretty unsteady. Still, it wasn’t really the point. The idea was to go and have a good time. And we did. Thanks to LT Rusty and his FiL for not only letting me shoot two different AR15 rifles, an AR in .22, a Berretta 92, a Glock in .45 and a S&W Model 59, but for letting me do it with their ammo, and not even expecting me to help clean guns afterwards!


LT Rusty sets up a target. No, he’s NOT the target.





The FiL shows us that real men shoot .44 magnums.


LT Rusty unloading the single action Ruger .44


A custom built AR on a Winchester receiver and an S&W AR action .22LR


XBrad really IS in this pic. Click to embiggen, and you should be able to spot me.


XBrad is the blue dot, next to the cardboard target. LT Rusty and FiL were kind enough to wait until I got back to start shooting.


Using FiL’s AR to pop some holes in the 250m cardboard target. After 20 years of not shooting, AND having nothing for breakfast but a pot of coffee and a half a pack of Camels, getting a steady sight picture was harder than I had expected.


*Only later did it occur to me that being unarmed in the middle of the desert with two guys I barely know, loaded down with guns could end badly…

12 thoughts on “Range Day”

    1. Heh

      Those are my wife’s. I offered to let him use the black ones for pictures, but he said something about pink being his color.

      Glad you came with, Brad. Looking forward to the next time!

    2. No fatalities? Then what was the point?

      By the way, I have achieved blog fame! My pic has made the cover of Castle Argghhh!

      You smoke? And here I thought you were a saint.

  1. The S&W 59 was my first holster gun. It’s archaic now, but still my favorite 9mm for blazing 15 downrange fast and accurate. Nice to know someone else appreciates a classic.

  2. My first 9 was a S&W 459, which I still have. A very good pistol. I also am an owner of a S&W M&P-15-22, a rifle so much fun to shoot, I am surprised it is legal. My duty rifle is a M&P-15OSR, the one that comes without sights, so you can put on whatever you want. My real AR is a Colt Match Rifle, which I bout in 2000, at the height of the “Colt will not be selling to civilians anymore” scare.
    I bought the M&P15-22 as a money saving device, as I can buy 555 .22lr rounds for the price of 60 .223. The M&P15-22 is so much fun to shoot, I went and bought a SIG SAUER 522, the .22lr version of thier 556 assault rifle. So I am not sure just how much money I saved, since I spent $500 for the SIG.

    1. As to the Model 59, I really enjoyed shooting it. It was a very comfortable fit to the hand. I used to own a 645, and later a 4506. My only complaint on the 59 was that the slide release wasn’t ergonomic. I couldn’t release the slide with my right thumb. Instead, I had to hit it with my left thumb as a gained my grip. Not a major problem, but an annoyance.

      Of the pistols I shot, I was surprised by how much I really liked the Glock (I’m guessing it was a Model 21). It fit the hand very naturally, naturally pointed extremely well, and the controls were, of course, quite instinctive. The sights, while simple, were very bright and easy to use. That flat top makes for easy pointing as well. And the perceived recoil was very nice. I don’t know why, but I’ve always felt a .45, of almost any sort, felt more comfortable in my hand than a Beretta 92. Sure, that Model 92 was fun to shoot, but it wouldn’t be my choice for a gunfight.

      I was surprised by how quickly adding just a few accessories, today almost mandatory for any AR variant, such as optics, added to the weight. Both ARs were quite a bit heavier than a standard M16A2, and much of the weight seemed to be further forward. That helps dampen muzzle climb, but also makes pointing and a steady hold just a tad harder. The 15/22 was a blast, and seeing the familiar iron sight pic brought back a memory or two. California, being what it is, restricts us to 10 round magazines, so while it was a blast to shoot, you have to reload quite often.

      Of the 5.56mm ARs, it just felt good to have that familiar grip in my hands again. I was never a terrific marksman, but I sure did love to pop some caps!

    2. You know, your thoughts on 59 vs 92FS are interesting.

      To me, they’re basically the same gun, with the same grip. I could use my 92FS magazines in the 59, if I was willing to cut a notch on the other side of the magazine for the mag catch. Just messing around with the magazine and the 59, while holding it in place, the slide locks back on an empty, and it feeds just fine.

      To me, the 92FS is essentially a lighter 59, with an easier-to-operate slide stop lever and an ambi safety / decocker. (Also a longer barrel.)

      I didn’t shoot the Glock this time – yes, it’s a 21, or maybe a 21SF, I can’t remember – but I’m with brother Badger on this one. I’m not a huge fan. The grips just feel huge and chunky, the angle is all sorts of wrong, and it just feels like a clumsy brute-force solution, where my Beretta feels slick and elegant. Hagar the Horrible’s wife vs Giada Laurentiis, if you will: Teutonic brute force vs elegant Italian design. They’ll both get the job done, but I’ll betcha there’s a difference in the way they feel in your hands that matches the difference in visual appeal.

      1. Taste in pistols is indeed a lot like taste in women. And I just happen to like ’em with a bit of junk in the trunk.

        I’m not knocking your Italian fetish. It is what it is. I just was surprised by how much I liked the Glock. My own personal tastes over the years have run to 1911s and S&W full size autos. If you don’t kill ’em with the ammo, you can always beat them to death with the empty pistol.

  3. GLOCKs are unusual guns, in that you either love them, or loathe them. I dislike the grip angle intensely, as it is very unnatural for me, nor do I like the feel of the trigger, I find it uncomfortable, and their concept of the safe trigger leaves me considering it a AD waiting to happen. i agree about .45s. My duty weapon is a Heckler & Koch USP45F, a fine piece of weaponry.

    I feel sorry for you about living in a 10 round state. Mine has 25 round magazines, as does the SIG.

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