So everybody knows I've been bound up for the past month and a half with house guests (absolutely wonderful houseguests, more about them later) and other obligations and haven't been able to do my mountain trip until this weekend.
Let me tell you how bad it's been: Lisa bought me my Mini-14 back in January. I've put less than half a box of rounds through it since then, just enough to make sure it works and shoots in the general direction I want it to go.
So yesterday I took off with my Ruger, 10 or 11 bandoleers of ammo, a fist full of magazines, the new GPS I also haven't used and a bunch of other shit and took off for Sonora Pass with a list of places I wanted to stop and visit, plus a road complex that I at least wanted to get a handle on. I figured to drive up to the top of the Pass and work my way down, taking all day and into the night to do it.
I made the Pass in a little less than 2 hours and headed back down, my first priority to check those roads and find a place to shoot up a shitload of ammo. I figured a couple hours for that and then 3 or 4 more hours to find my way back out even with the GPS. What the fuck, you folks know I have absolutely no sense of direction at all. I also don't trust a GPS. Or a compass either, evidently.
I found a place about 7 miles in that's perfect. Brushy, big trees, lots of boulders and no reason for anybody else to be down there. Great place to shoot.
I started out with five 10 round magazines. I put an orange out at 25 yards, blew it up, another one at 50, and was ready to go - didn't have to make an adjustment to the factory zero at all. If I can hit an orange at 50 yards, I can hit a head at 100. I'm not gonna quibble over a 1/4 MOA adjustment when the rifle is only guarenteed 2 MOA.
I went around and put little red dot stickers all over the fucking place at different ranges out to about 50 yards and commenced to sharpening up my snap shooting with a new weapon.
I fired from different positions and angles, only stopping long enough to stuff more ammo in the magazines from strippers, almost continuous aimed semiautomatic fire. The only malfunction I had was a failure to feed on the 2nd magazine and it felt funny when I seated it. After I reloaded the mags, the same one gave me another failure. When I tossed that magazine, the problem went away.
I tell you what, that fucking rifle got hot but kept hammering them out, even in the contorted positions I was attempting to fire from. I'm glad no one else was around, the laughter and harassment would've been intolerable. It performed flawlessly and all those 10 round magazines kept me busy reloading from firing positions which I needed the practice doing, thank you Kalifornia.
I'm a firm believer in range work until you get your weapon down as far as zeroing and positioning goes but after that you need to get you and your Pride and Joy out in the environment you think you're going to working in and do some live fire drills. You have to make sure you can hit what you're fucking aiming at from a position other than a bench rest, and yes, your point of aim does shift when you're shooting from a prone position with a big motherfucking tree root jabbing you in the ribs. You have to make sure you're hitting where you're aiming, I don't care if you're hanging from a fucking tree, make sure you can hit while you're doing it - your life depends on it.
I lay no claim to being an expert on anything, especially tactics and techniques but I do know that I need improvement on my practical shooting. Fuck, everybody does. So today I practiced and even got a couple pictures thanks to a handy rock to set my camera on. I tried video but I looked even dumber than I do in still photos.
Cranking off a few rounds using a big ass tree for cover. There's a big pointed stick that I'm kneeling on poking me right in the balls. Talk about my point of aim shifting.....
From a gook squat. That's my last ditch position because once I'm down there I can't get back up. I found that out today. Twice. And now my hip hurts. Fuck it, I'll let the bastards shoot me down before I try that again.
And then the obligatory Billy Bad Ass pose. Yes I know I'm going to be in a world of hurt when bullets start chipping that granite but hey! it looks cool. Maybe Zoomie could do something with it.
And did you check out the lid I'm wearing? Maybe that III patch will be the last thing a bad guy sees.....
The weapon performed flawlessly, a hell of a lot better than I did. I could feel the action starting to cycle just a little slower at about the 450 round mark but it didn't jam even with double and triple taps. My biggest complaint, believe it or not, is the noise it makes when I push the safety off. I can work with that.
I'm mixed about a sling. Part of me wants to put a simple sling on it, the practical side of me is saying to leave it be, the fucking weapon needs to be in your hands. What the fuck, I carry 550 cord with me if I need to sling it.
I haven't even considered putting any other sight system on it. I love a peep sight for the quick target aquisition - see the target through the little hole and shoot it. I wouldn't even consider changing them out. They suit me, my aging eyes and my confidence just fine.
After I got done shooting I cleaned the weapon and ate my lunch, then using my trusty GPS found my way back to the main road. I mean right back to the main road, without getting twisted and turned even once. That kinda sorta pissed me off because not only did it put me 3 hours ahead of schedule but other than seeing that tree growing out of a boulder (a couple of posts down) I didn't find nothing interesting. I find more cool shit when I totally lost than I do when I'm looking for it and now I'm getting cheated out of it. I may have just gotten lucky the first time out so I'll give it time - if I can get lost with a map and compass I'm sure I can do it with a GPS.