Sunday, June 14, 2009

Membership Has Its Privileges and Its Responsibilities

So, my local gun club (the Abe Lincoln Gun Club on Springfield's wonderful far west side) had its annual work day today. I staked out a spot on the 25-yard range taking down the old wire used for hanging targets and wow, that was a pain. Whoever put the posts that held the wire together decided to ensure it wouldn't go anywhere through the use of guy line anchors screwed into the ground. Both anchors were around five feet long each. I'm glad I was able to borrow a prybar for that job. I slipped the bar into the eye of the anchor and unscrewed it that way. That's some tedious stuff right there.

The wires got an interesting replacement thanks to a visit by the club president's recent visit to the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area shooting range. We now have movable wooden target frames to set into posts at 7, 15, and 25 yards at the outdoor range. Set your target at the appropriate range and height (lower for bench rest shooters, higher for standing shooters) and start practicing. The frame is too big for an IPSC/USPSA target to be attached to the frame itself, so you'll have to attach it to a larger cardboard backer if you used that specific frame pattern. I don't even think the NRA "tombstone" targets for their Action Pistol event would fit without a backer. Regardless, it'll be nice to train outside at 7 yards with my snubnose revolver and be able to use regular .357 Magnum rounds instead of just using .38 Special all the time. .38 Special is good, but it's also good to practice with full-house stuff, too. You never know what you'll have to work with, after all. I think there's about a dozen or so of the frames built at the moment, so everyone will have to go easy on them. At least, I hope they will.

The best part of the work day was hearing all of the hunters go dead silent as soon as a wild turkey strutted its way from behind the main berm of the 25/50/100 yard ranges. The work day is very good for meeting a lot of the folks in the club that you don't always see when you're out there. We had a huge turnout, too, probably around 125 to 150 members. That's always a good thing. It sounds like there was a suggestion to host an Appleseed shooting clinic in the future. I'd love to hold one at the club, but the parking wouldn't just be tricky, it'd be nearly impossible. We didn't have enough parking for everyone who showed up today, so unless that can get fixed we might not be able to do that. I'll still support one if it comes through, though. Teaching people how to shoot is teaching them a part of American history and heritage.

Also, always carry your boonie hat with you. It'll keep the sun off your ears. Even with the cloud cover we got today I'm pretty sure I'll have some sunburn on my arms. It wasn't too bad for four hours of work.

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