You know how some range days just don't work out for you? That was my Sunday.
Saturday night I had loaded up 100 rounds of Gold Dot 230g bullets over 6.2 of Unique in factory-primed Remington .45 acp cases for my hunting load. I'm eager to finally blood my Gold Cup this year, and figured this was as good a load as any.
I borrowed Dad's .44 Mag Super BlackHawk with 4.5" barrel and some .44 Mags loaded up with 240g LSWC over 231 for around 1000 fps (light loads). Might want to tag a deer with that, too. It's a 4 deer county, and I might have the outside chance at another one later. (mule deer.)
Took along my reliable .300 Win Mag Sendero and my standard load, 180g Sierra BTSP at 3100 fps.
Off to the range I go, with my father in tow for good measure. I may get to go hunting this next weekend, so it's important to do this now...
And... so, of course, we find that our friend's ranch gate is locked, and we can't find our key. There goes our private 300 yard range! *!$#%!!* and drat!
Down the road
we go, high-tailing it the 20 miles to the public range. First weekend of the season, and BOY, is it packed! At least the range officer is on-duty. We sign in, I pay our $15 in combined range fees, and we head out to the pistol line. And take a seat. And wait. I only had about 2 hours set asid to do this before heading off to work. Now we wait. How do you people deal
with this public range business!? Gawd! I've been spoiled!
So the pistol line opens up, and I put targets at 25yds and 50. I then proceed to completly embarrass myself, while spending good quality ammo. Sights needed slight adjustment on the .45, but good lord! LONG TIME NO PISTOL! I've been doing some occasional taps at paper plates at 7 yds, but I have gotten so out of practice, I was barely hitting paper at 25 yards, never mind groups at 50! I used to be able to regularly group on a paper plate at 50 from a decent rest.
After a few groups with LRNs, I was finally printing "groups" at 25, but I swear, no deer will be shot beyond 20 yards by me this year. With the .44, I was finally able to settle down to about 5" at 25 yards, so I might extend that to 30 yards. (sigh.)
Then to the rifle range. Worse and worse. The rifle/cartridge combo that was giving me .75" groups at 100 and was sighted for 2.7" High at 100 yards last season was now hitting the berm 3 feet
above the target! YIKES! Something is bad, bad, BAD wrong. I didn't see any play in the mounts, but all I can figure is that that light-bodied, large-belled Simmons 50mm scope got banged badly. I can't adjust 3 feet down-- that would be ~144 clicks! So I sadly packed up the rifle for that weekend.
Because I may need to use it, I tried Dad's 25 year-old .257 Rbts with a tired Weaver 3-9 on it with 100 g. Ballistic Tips on it. 1" group, 3" high at 100 yds. (dead on at 220, 7.5" low at 300...) So now Dad's kinda gloating (silently, but I know he's gloating...) about "what works," and my shooting's no good, and my absolutely dead-certain rifle isn't. And I leave on Friday, have class and work before then, and may not even have time to clean
my arms, more less do the maintenance necessary.
My wife saw my expression when I got home and said "What's wrong? I thought you went shooting? You never come back looking like that when you've been shooting...?"
"Bad day at the range..."
But I'm feeling much better, now. If you've subjected yourself to my self-pitying rant, I'm so very sorry. But thanks, for listening...
Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?