Sunday, January 23, 2005

Gun Range

I never thought that I would really like to shoot guns or rifles. But the more I try the art of shooting with a rifle, the more interested I become. Television and the media have portrayed the National Rifle Association as gun nuts who will do anything so that anyone can buy a gun. However, just like people, there are many different kinds of guns. There are those that are fun and then there are those that are used to kill people.

This past Saturday the 22nd of January, I went to the Chabot Gun Range in the hills of Hayward. The SOwas supposed to go with me, but sleep deprivation and her addiction to karaoke singing made her pass. So, off I went driving into the hills of Hayward. What surprised me the most was the amount of fog that blanketed the hills. After a while, I began to doubt whether I could go shooting because visibility was down to twenty feet.

Miraculously, when I finally got to the floor of the valley, it was reasonably clear. When I left the car, what struck me was the coldness of the air. It seemed like it was sucking out the heat from my body. In the end, the cold caused me and my friend to leave. We were just too ill prepared to be shooting in weather that ranged from 40 degrees F to 50 degress F.

One of the other shooters in the range had just bought a M1A rifle and was willing to share the joy with everyone. He looked like a typical "gun nut" but that is why that saying "looks can be deceiving" is said over and over again by people. He did mention that "I bought a battle rifle just in case some shit goes on. You know, shit has often occurred in the past." He was a little paranoid, but with W on the flightdeck of the governement, you can never be sure. Hell, a peanut could be sitting on the president's chair and I don't think anyone would see a difference.

At any rate, the bullets were 7.62 mm NATO issue. In other words, think .308 Winchester bullets. The magazine was enormous. I usually shoot the .22 caliber rifle. I was looking at the bullets and I figured that the rifle would take off my arm. I really did not want to shoot the rifle. Some people are very iffy about having other people touch their rifles. But Billy was insistent so I went ahead.

WOW! Wow! Wow! That's all I can say. The kick of the rifle was not that bad. You can definitely see yourself firing away at the enemies a hundred yards away. In fact, the sights were so good that I was on the paper and about four to six inches away from a one inch target. Folks, with iron sights, it's not that easy. But with this rifle, I could see myself being on target. At $1500 per rifle, I don't see myself purchasing one of these bad boys. But you never know. Sometimes, you can try to set a goal and it might happen.

The target shooting with the CZ rifle while using iron sight was not too bad. Before, I could barely find the paper. This time around, the first ten rounds were a little too high. But after a while, I was starting to be on the black. However, the weather was so cold that my hands actually hurt. Leaning over and taking aim was a definite chore with the frost coming from my mouth. And the steel seats did not help any with the concentration required to fire away.

I asked my friend if this was typical weather when hunting and he said that it was. With weather like that, I don't really want to go hunting after deer or duck. Imagine, 40 degrees and you have to be wading into water. The heck with that!

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