We shoot 2700s every other Sunday but this was the other, other Sunday.
Nothing on the calendar, I assumed, range open with maybe no more than a couple of die-hards, and a perfect day to go and work on my trigger control. So after a leisurely breakfast at Chez McBarf’s — “Big Breakfast, no pancakes, and a big decaf” — I head down with my wadder and four partial boxes of crap ammo to use up on the short line.
But as I pass through the gate and into the range, there’s a dozen cars at the pistol range.
WTF? Did everyone and his brother decide to come out and shoot today? Geeze, this could be a real mess.
I park and open the car door to get out.
“For your next string of Timed Fire, with five rounds, Load!”
What? They’re shooting a match?? And isn’t that John on the PA calling the line???
I put on my ears and walk up to the line.
After the two strings I ask Reinold where they are.
“Rapid Fire match is next. Then Center Fire.”
Hmmm, I think to myself, looks like practice is out.
But then again, I could shoot the Center Fire 900 and just work on doing it right every shot?
There’s no better practice than that, after all. A fragment of the phrase about “Perfect Practice” echoes briefly in my head.
So I get my box and set up on 17 next to Reinold.
“I thought the range would be empty today,” I say.
“Steve and John wanted more practice before Perry so they set it up.”
I nod taking out the timer, magazines, wad gun and staple gun.
A new voice asks, “Excuse me, are you Ed Skinner?”
I look up to see a new face. They sure look young these days.
“Yes?” I answer.
“I read your blog and emailed you a while back. You connected me with Don and I’ve been shooting here Tuesday nights and really enjoying it. Thank you.”
“You bet,” I nod, not sure what else to say. (I write this blog because I like to see my words in print — well, in fluorescent black and white, to be accurate — but if I can help get someone started in Bullseye, well that’s OK, too.)
“My name is Chris,” he says and we shake hands.
“What do you do for a living, Chris?” I ask thinking how young his face looks.
“Oh, I’m professor of Astrophysics at ASU.”
“Cool,” I answer, trying to keep my jaw from dropping.
Later, Jason shows up as we’re scoring targets.
“Hi, Jason, good to see you!”
“Hey Ed, I got this idea for an app for the iPhone, you see, you hold it like this and …” he explains his idea and we compare notes with something I dabbled with a while back. Jason’s a Patent Attorney and if I told you what he was thinking about, well, I’m under NDAs with so many now that I just don’t talk about what anyone tells me. Safer that way. Mum’s the word, you know?
When CF is done, I’m out of ammo — I had to borrow ten rounds from Chris for the last Rapid Fire.
No alibis today with the crappy ammo unlike last Sunday. Interesting. Guns are cleaner, gripped it harder, and it was warmer. Lots of possible explanations for last week’s problems.
Bottom line is they didn’t bug me today. I was able to concentrate and get off a few really good shots. There were some lucky ones and, well, a few that didn’t go so good. But that’s why I’m here.
But now it’s time for me to go. Ammo’s gone and honey-do’s await.
Driving home I think that if I’m gonna get in some real practice, practice where I can work on one thing at a time, fix it, practice it fixed, and then move on to the next problem, then it’s gonna have to be before Tuesday evening’s Nighthawks. Not much time between Sunday and Tuesday.
I’ll come early on Tuesday, I decide. I’ll shoot Slow Fire with the wad gun and a hundred rounds. See if I can fix a couple of things. Then, I’ll take a dinner break before shooting the evening’s 900.
Two hundred rounds Tuesday.
If you call me at work Tuesday afternoon, expect to leave a message. My carrier ain’t Verizon and “I can’t hear you” when I’m inside the dot.