Sunday, August 12, 2007

Socializing at the range

I was getting restless this afternoon, so I headed to my favorite gun range, Eagle's Peak, to get some practice in with my XD. My logic was that since it was 100F degrees out the range should be close to deserted.

I arrived at the range around 5pm and there was just as many folks there as usual. I've been there now several times so I've gotten to know the range officer at the desk, Ron. who is a heck of a nice guy. As I was going in an older couple was talking to him. The man was telling Ron that he bought a new Springfield Armory XD compact and that it shoots better than his Glock. Cool! I told the man I also have an XD and he smiled.

I then proceeded out to the pistol range as usual. While I was out there, two young men set up in the next stall and were shooting a .45 auto and then one of them pulled out a rather large automatic that had a scope on it. Impressive looking pistol and then he shot it. Holy smokes! The thing was a cannon! A very accurate canon! It kicked up a ton of dust on the backstop and made a rather large hole in the target. I had to ask him what it was. He said it was a Desert Eagle in .50AE. He asked me if wanted to shoot a couple of rounds through it.

Now, at this point I felt like Ned from the Three Amigos! movie as he's about to face "The German" in a duel and Jefe says to him, "You'll want to die with a man's gun - not a little sissy gun like this.". So I put down my XD and picked up the Desert Eagle. I loaded two rounds in the magazine that were huge! They are so big that the double stack magazine only holds seven! The pistol was almost four and half pounds in weight and was almost 11 inches long! Each round cost about $1.25 so it's a pretty expensive pistol to shoot. What would you shoot with it normally is anyone's guess. A rhino?

I fired one round from the Desert Eagle and surprisingly it had a smooth push back type recoil rather than a kick, reminiscent of a .45's recoil. He mentioned the heavy weight plus that it has two recoil springs helps with the recoil. He said that he's shot a revolver in the .50AE and it kicks like a mule! Again, I am reminded of Ned after he fires the revolver that Jefe gave him! :-)

The guy offered the half dozen others at the pistol range a chance to shoot the handgun and it certainly had a wow factor. It was a conversation starter for sure. And that got me thinking that being at an outdoor range is a lot nicer than the indoor ones. You get to interact more with other people, at least from my experience. It's not as noisy as the indoor range and so you can talk easier even with ear protection on.

Later, I commented to the guy next to me that he was a very good shot. He was tearing a large hole in the center ring of his target. He showed me his .40 S&W custom race pistol that he said he built himself. As it turns out, he works for a local company called STI that handcrafts competition pistols. He had put almost 98 rounds into that target! Only one was outside the 8 ring. Almost all of them were in the center bullseye!

He said that the race gun was built specifically for competition and that the light trigger and 5 inch compensated barrel made for a very flat shot. He let me shoot it a couple of times and I was astonished at the almost lack of recoil. My XD has a pronounced snap to it but then again it has a 3.9 inch barrel which is not compensated and is nowhere as expensive as this $3,300 competition pistol. It was very nice!

I ended shooting only 150 rounds and then headed out. I stopped in the office to talk to Ron for a little while then I left. I like this range a lot. I forgot to mention that it is only a 10 minute drive from my house.

I'll be out there again for sure.

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