Sunday, November 28, 2010

NRA Range Report

As you might have gathered from my previous post, I made it out to NRA HQ and their range over the weekend with family. Just like the last time I was there (3 years ago to the day) it was packed – we waited about an hour for a lane. Which was fine, actually – I’ve waited as long at ranges not nearly so nice, and NRA has a well-appointed waiting room that looks in on the firing line.

They recently renovated – that renovation caused me to not be able to go over the July 4 weekend, actually, as it hadn’t completed then. The main difference I saw was that the target carriers were programmed by touchscreen now, which allowed them to have a (somewhat) more user-friendly interface. I didn’t do much with the advanced features of the carriers, since I was there (more or less) to plink with a couple of pistols and a .22 rifle. The other thing I notices was that the baffle material on the side walls hadn’t been too badly ripped up yet :) (We were in the far right lane, and had been advised to place our targets a little to the left on the carrier, so as to not hit the right wall)

As for the shooting, we shot a Glock 17L, a Walther P22, an early-make Ruger Mk.I (which I actually didn’t fire myself this trip, but had gotten to shoot on my previous trip), and a Marlin 980S. All were relatively well-behaved except for the Ruger, which would consistently have feed and extraction issues if the lone magazine we had was filled with more than 5 or 6 rounds. I had brought some Dirty Bird color-burst targets, which are pretty cool for casual plinking at, since you get immediate feedback of where you’re hitting. We set the pistol targets at anywhere from 15 to 30 feet, and I was able to get all my rounds onto the 6” bullseyes, though my grouping was a little erratic at the farther targets.With the rifle, I shot one magazine unsupported at 30 feet, and 2 seated at 50 feet, once using a rest and once just bracing my left elbow. With the rest, I had screwed up something, since I shot a nice tight group (fits under a nickel) … 5 inches up and slightly to the right. I know I didn’t place the target at eye level properly, that may have contributed. My brother shot at the same target using the same rest and walked his shots towards the bull after he noted that point of impact was not point of aim, so it wasn’t just me. When I shot with my left elbow braced, point of impact was MUCH closer to point of aim (though my group wasn’t so tight), and I was holding the rifle much higher than the rest was.

Stopped by Dick’s Sporting Goods to pick up some ammo on sale on Black Friday, and the Lodge was a little madhouse (though nothing like as bad as, say, Walmart…) – I heard one of the clerks tell a customer that NICS was down and to check back later, and another person was having issues providing ID acceptable to the more senior guy behind the counter. I’m not sure what that was all about, since the two events weren’t separated by more than 5 minutes and there had been discussion between the two about the NICS screwup, actually. I can’t imagine DSG was going to sell on a NICS “maybe” result or a NICS “down” result, so there must have been something else going on. I snuck in, got my ammo from the guy behind the counter, and beat feet just in time to get to the register while the sale was still valid. Very deliberately avoided going to a real gun store in case I saw a rifle or accessory that I wanted; t’is NOT the season to be buying spendy stuff, and anything other than ammo that I want AND that I could legally buy out of state is over $200. For that matter, any handgun I want is over $200 as well! This is not a cheap hobby by any means. Though I don’t suppose any adult-level hobby really is. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent more overall on 40K alone, not to mention my (now-kicked) CCG habit, and my sporadic RPG purchase sprees – though those have had longer to drain my wallet.

The legal hassles attendant on interstate transport will get a post of their own.


  1. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent more overall on 40K alone, not to mention my (now-kicked) CCG habit, and my sporadic RPG purchase sprees – though those have had longer to drain my wallet.

    I don't want to begin thinking about how much I spent on Magic: the Gathering between 1994 and 2005. Why couldn't I have been collecting gold bullion instead? ;)

  2. If you don't mind selling them, check your collection vs the current prices. It's possible your M:tG cards are worth rather more than their weight in gold, if you were buying in that period and still have them

    I already sold mine that were worth much, early on.

  3. I'll take a look. But I started playing when The Dark was current, went on a long hiatus just before the Urza block, and got back into it in the Kamigawa block, cunningly timing my involvement to guarantee there were no valuable cards in my collection. ;)

  4. Oh, I'm sorry. I got in at the tail end of Arabian Nights, and more or less tapered off buying cards just as Ice Age came out (I would hang around the serious players and let them throw commons at me for a few years thereafter; and have several shoeboxes of "also-ran" card games that went Tango Uniform when the CCG market collapsed with the tech bubble)

  5. In what I sincerely hope was the worst investment in my life, I got to the point of saying "hey, buying piecemeal is stupid; I should get a box and save money per pack"... when the new set was Homelands.

    Yup. Now I look back on $300 an ounce gold Eagles and want to weep.

  6. Coulda been Fallen Empires that you bought a box of...


Please keep it civil