Sunday Jim invited me to All Gun Day at the Central Jersey Rifle and Pistol Club. I fired a bunch of different handguns and rifles Alas, didn't get a chance to shoot any revolvers, but I'm not keen on them anyway. I also didn't get to shoot any shotguns, which I really like to shoot.
The highlight of the day was actually our first stop - the authorized fully automatic rifle dealer. This was not some kook, he mostly dealt with police departments and not civilians. It was very obvious that he loved his job. He also had two people helping him out at all times, they knew without being told exactly what to do every time someone stepped up to the line.
They had just about everything on display: Grease Guns and Tommy Guns, Mach 10s, UZIs, M-16s, and all the way up to the most advanced H&K assault rifle. That was how many firearms he could display on one table, and he had 4 or 5 set up, but I'm unable to remember what everything was. The line was long, even at the beginning of the day, and just got longer as the day wore on. But we had plenty of time to watch the people ahead of us fire their guns. I have to admit, there's something strange seeing kids fire guns, but they all came away with big smiles.
When my turn came I chose the H&K G36, one of the most advanced rifles he had. Two rounds, I kicked up some dirt. Two more rounds, I saw the target go down and some more dirt. Then I squeezed off 5-6 rounds all at once...man, I don't know what to call that but it felt great! Then the last couple of rounds and I was done.
Up until the moment I first pulled that trigger, I was thinking 'I really don't want to shoot anything today, I'd just like to sit back and watch.' Immediately after that, and for the rest of the day, I was thinking 'Wow, what are we going to shoot next?!?'
I shot something called a 5.7, which Jim tells me was for police use only until recently - it was okay, the heft and kick reminded me of a 9mm.
I tried a few Glocks, including the .40 - it was okay, but not as cool as the .45.
I tried three different .45 1911s: Glock, Colt, Smith & Wesson
- Glock didn't jump as much as the other two, but always seemed to be pointing in some weird direction once it had settled back down (ie. not at the target).
- S&W was okay, it performed better than the Glock, but I was otherwise unimpressed.
- Colt .45 really impressed me. Yes, it kicks a great deal, but the weapon seems balanced so that it settles right back on the target. Unlike the other .45s, I was able to fire this one quite rapidly while maintaining decent accuracy. And unlike the other handguns I fired, this one felt like I was firing a gun, not something that shoots paintballs or airsoft pellets.
We returned to the handgun stand several times that afternoon. It was especially fun during the last hour, there was a short line and we were just cycling through over and over again. I got to fire both the Glock and Colt .45s repeatedly (it helped that all the girls, but one damn accurate teenager, were opting for 9mm). This just confirmed that I'm a Colt .45 man!
I've had plenty of practice shooting Jim's .22 and his custom metallic silhouette rifle, so I wanted to try something different. Several stands were set up with M-1s, so I opted for that just for nostalgia. I was given three rounds (thankfully I didn't have to load these - the instructor had a thumb that had obviously been snagged by the bolt a couple of times.) I shot at a target 200 meters away, 2 shots missed just to the left (in about the same spot), the third I adjusted for wind and hit dead on. I was impressed by the accuracy of this old rifle, now I can see why some people still prefer it.
I got to shoot two of these, a smooth bore rifle (circa 1840s), and a rifled bore Springfield (circa 1860s). These things are loud and give you quite a shove, but again I was impressed by the accuracy. I hit both targets at 100 yards, shooting off hand (ie. standing up).
There was also 'Cowboy Action' on display, which I observed briefly. Basically it's a bunch of guys kinda dressed up like the old west, though somehow they inexplicably remind me of warped versions of Devereux's cavalry uniform...but nowhere near as cool. Just something about the cheesy outfits and the cheesy targets they were shooting at didn't appeal to me.