Saturday, August 9, 2008

I Love Me

The last remnants of a fly at 25 yards, courtesy of my Savage MkII.

I was once again at my favorite shooting grounds, putting a few rounds through my .22LR Savage MkII rifle. My shooting buddy and I were taking turns putting up 10 round groups at 25 yards; he with his Remington 597, and me with the trusty Savage MkII. About five rounds into my string, a fly landed at the top of my target. I quickly chambered another Federal Champion 40 grain bullet, and took aim. I never thought I would connect, but I went through the motions: Breathe, release, aim, squeeze....bang! The fly exploded all over my target! I quickly placed my rifle on "safe", removed the magazine, and called the "range" clear so my buddy and I could go inspect my target. I sprinted downrange, spotting the blood splatter.

Same target as shown before; this is as close as my Nikon point-and-shoot will get with decent resolution.

I could not have been any prouder of my self than at that moment, or so I thought. We returned to the firing line, and I reloaded to finish my 10 round string. Just as I flipped my selector to "fire", another fly landed on the shoulder of my buddy's IPSC silhouette target. Pushing my luck, I lined up and started my routine; breathe, release, aim, squeeze....bang! Fly guts dotted the left shoulder of his target. I know, I know, I don't have any pictures posted of the second fly. I will get them if I can find that silhouette again. Or I'll just go shoot another fly.

Aside from my ego-massaging, the point is that once again, my $149 Savage bolt action rifle has proven to be far more than I paid for. Another point is that, with practice, you can also attain this level of marksmanship. Granted, I have been shooting since age 8, and I have been trained by the Army. However, everything I have been taught is available through friends, the internet, books, and good old fashioned practice.

Happy shooting!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Gear Review: Surefire Sonic Defenders Earplugs

I lost a lot of hearing in the war. Earplugs are usually uncomfortable, and make communication with your team nearly impossible. Because of this, a lot of troops don't wear them as much as they should. Communication in combat is crucial. If you can't hear your team, then you don't know what is going on, and confusion kills. Unfortunately, you can't call "time out" in combat so you can put your earplugs in. In the very near past, the choice was either save your hearing, or communicate with and understand your team. Surefire has a solution.

I picked up a pair of Sonic Defenders from my favorite gun stuff site recently. I went shooting with a buddy of mine and gave the Defenders a workout. I shot a shorty 20ga. shotgun, my 1911A1, and a Taurus PT1911 for a total of about a hundred rounds. First of all, the Defenders use no batteries, and don't weigh any more than traditional reusable plugs. In addition, you can convert them to standard ear plugs by inserting a removable stopper into the hole that allows you to hear. I put them in and noticed that they did muffle wind noise, and a little bit of "normal" sounds. However, they allowed me to engage comfortably in conversation with my friend, and even use my cell phone with them in. In fact, I could still hear so well that I cringed at the thought of our two pistols barking at the same time. As we walked to the "range" (a desolate area of my friend's property), I noticed that the Surefire plugs were very comfortable, and didn't slip out of place. I had just about forgotten I was wearing them as my friend pulled up his shotgun and shot twice. The Surefire plugs muffled the noise to a very comfortable level. This is a product that does what it claims to do. I give them the FGN Seal of Approval.