Monday, January 28, 2013

- Notes From The Shooting Range

Just some quick range notes. Yesterday Fritghguild, RA and I went over to the pistol range for a few minutes with a few other people to break in one new shooter and one new gun. Both seemed to work out fine, but there was definitely a change in the air.

First of all, I stopped by Dick Sporting Goods (if ever there was a website name you didn't want to mis-type that would be it) on the way to pick up a few targets. And since I was down to about 700 rounds of 9mm, I figured I'd take a quick look to see if they had anything cheap. Silly me.

The place looked like locusts had been through it. There was a few stacks of shotgun shells available in unpopular shot sizes, as well as some medium powered rifle ammo (30.06 and .375). But apart from that there was nothing. Even the back room where they keep the bulk ammo was thrown open and picked clean.

There were some signs posted here and there about how they wouldn't sell any one person more than 6 boxes of ammo, but it hardly mattered. Not only was there no ammo, there was no one to sell it. I had looked on gunbroker too (which is where I usually buy ammo) and the cheap Russian steel cased "junk" practice ammo that I used to buy for $140 per thousand rounds was now selling for $400. That's 40c a round for those messy green lacquered extractor snapping 9mm FMJ cartridges. The same stuff that many competition shooters would never allow near their guns. Amazing.

When we got to the range it was pretty quiet - just two other people there. So we set up and starting shooting. I had aluminum cased .45 ACP I was shooting, but RA had nice pricey brass cased .45 also mixed into the mess. The man next to us who was shooting with his teenage daughter, politely laid claim to it for reloading almost before it hit the ground - and offered one of our shooters a chance to try his AR15 which had been modified for 22L in exchange.

We fired off a few boxes of ammo, taught the kids a few tricks and put a bunch of holes in some of the 'zombie' targets that Frith and I had picked up at the Gun show a few weeks back. Their legality in NJ might be something of a grey area - you aren't allowed to shoot targets that look like people in the state. But that sort of thing is subject to interpretation, and we were surrounded by like minded folk, so it slipped right by without comment. We weren't planning an insurrection, just trying to make it fun for the kids. Contrary to what Democrats (and Bob Hope) will probably tell you, zombies are not people.

Speaking of being surrounded, by the time we left, every shooting station was occupied, and there were people waiting in line to get access. I've been a member of that club for nearly a decade and this was the first time I've ever seen that.

I don't think gun owners are so great at political handicapping. They hear the people in the media calling them Nazis and accusing them of being complicit in murder, and they assume that bad things are going to happen to them. They hear virtually every 'objective' media source in the country demanding that they be treated like criminals, and they assume that's the way it's going to go. I can see their point, even if I'm a little less concerned than some.

The thing about being a gun owner in NJ is, you need to be determined about it. No one can do anything casually - it's too easy to end up in prison for accidentally breaking some byzantine rule or picayune regulation. And that group of people - people who take their gun ownership seriously, seem to me to be in full blown PANIC mode.

People waiting in line with their kids to make sure they know how to shoot. Ammo shelves picked totally clean. Don't even think about trying to buy an AR rifle - they're selling at a 200% premium. From here in NJ, the entire retail gun world looks like the supermarket shelves before a hurricane.

Lets all hope the storm passes us by. Barry is already blaming FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh, and that's an encouraging sign.


Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

I never knew about the people-like target ban. Lots of little laws that will trip you up...

ikaika said...

Florida has a similar no silhouette rule. However most NJ private ranges and places like ShoreShot or Brick Armory provide silhouette and milk bottle tarrgets. They even had a fe bin Laden targets.

Ammo Prices have sky-rocketed. They is a company in florida that opened last year. They sell remanufactured 9mm and .45 ACP.
Some guy got industrious after the last supply shortage and rolled-his-own.

My friend up in Bergen Cty called me two weeks ago to say:
"I bought the last box of Remington 115 gr FMJ's at Dick's... it cost me $44.00!"

Meanwhile, Rahm is trying to tell TD Bank and BoFa to defund Ruger and S&W.
I would like to see all the gun and ammo manufacturers boycott Chicago.

frithguild said...

The zombie targets added a little something to the afternoon for sure. Many thanks to St. Thomas of the Armaments. And a good time was had by all! Yeah!

Tom said...

We actually weren't the only people there with a zombie target. Lots of guys shooting with their kids yesterday.

The truth is, it's the only NJ firearms law that I've seen broken with (pretty much) impunity.

If you showed up with a target of Barak Obama standing behind a podium, I think people would ask you politely to find something else to shoot at. (That would be my reaction anyway.) But even then I doub't anyone would try to cart you off to jail for it. Like most NJ firearms laws, prosecutorial discretion is paramount.

But the zombie was really just designed to make it fun. Totally harmless in my opinion, and that opinion seemed to be shared by everyone.

ikaika said...

I need to find an Iconographer to either do a Fresco or a triptych of St Thomas: Patronus sanctus de Armatura
In one hand a Zombie Target in his other hand a box of crummy Russkie ammo.