Keep The Change You Filthy Animals
I took my wife down to an indoor range today where I had made arrangements to let her fire a Thompson Submachine Gun. She's always wanted to so that she could give that famous line from Home Alone. I made a couple calls to the range over the past month, and made tentative plans for it to happen today. Although the sell Class III/NFA weapons, they don't typically rent their full-autos. I guess I caught them in the Christmas spirit or something.
We took my wife's .357 Taurus and my Colt Agent .38 so that we could get some trigger time on them. First thing, we went through a range orientation and safety quiz with a few other couples that were there to use the range. We had to use range ammo for the Thompson, and I went ahead and bought range ammo for our wheelguns. Unlike a lot of indoor ranges, their ammo was not high priced. After range fees, buying a few targets, and the ammo (150 .45 fmj, 100 .38 fmj, and 50 .357 fmj) + tax, the total was only $139. No charge to rent the Thompson, and no fee for the range master/instructor... although I did give him a $20 in thanks when we were done.
We used 30 round stick magazines, putting 25 rounds in each one for ease of keeping track. My wife shot 100 rounds and I took care of 50. It was really cool seeing the huge grin on her face after each magazine was completed. We dumped all 150 rounds on one target, and you can really see the tendency of the Thompson to pull from low left to high right with each burst. We kept to 3 to 5 round bursts for the most part, but there were a couple of 10 to 15 round bursts mixed in. After getting home, we counted the holes in the target and can account for 143 impacts, but there were two places with ragged holes and no way to be sure no rounds went in there.
If you've never fired full auto before, you really should try it at least once. It is a real treat and as my wife put it, "empowering." Find out who your local Class III dealers are and see if they can steer you to a range that rents them. You can also consider a trip to the semi-annual machinegun shoot in Knob Creek, Kentucky. Your local police department may have a public range day or citizens' police academy where they let residents shoot their weapons. Since the place we went doesn't normally rent full autos, I won't name them, but if you are in the Tidewater, Virginia area, listen for their ad on the radio that mentions Class III.
After finishing with the Thompson, we were then left to our own devices with our wheelguns. My Colt functioned flawlessly as I knew it would, and I did some practice with my speedloader and some speedstrips. My wife's Taurus started shaving lead with the magnum rounds, indicating that the timing is off on it. After getting two pieces in my cheek to point of dripping blood, we set the Taurus aside (good thing I had bandaids in my EDC kit on my belt). I'll be sending it back to Taurus for their lifetime warranty work. I'll let you know how that goes.
I got some cool gear for Christmas that I'll be reviewing over the next few weeks for you all.
Cobra 75WXST CB radio with NOAA weather radio built in
Cobra S300 external speaker
FireStick II tunable CB antenna
Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal, by Joel Salatin (I actually got two copies, I'll be giving one away to a lucky reader soon)
Folks, This Ain't Normal, by Joel Salatin
Eno camping hammock
Spy Net night vision goggles (these things are a kids' toy, but are of a better quality than the 1st generation Soviet monocular that I had as a small town cop in the mid-90s that cost over a thousand bucks and weighed close to 5 pounds)
a custom PVC/plastic sheeting green house kit that my Dad designed and he's coming over one day later this week to help me put it together
What prep gear did you get or give this year?