It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written much about shooting, but it’s not for the lack of activity. With the holidays coming up, there’s been a lot more doing, and less writing and downtime. My RSS reader had 700+ unread entries the other day!
In the shotgun department though, I’ve shot a couple more rounds of skeet at John Sevier HEC since I went to Chilhowee and did my first round I wrote about previously. I’ve registered for the required Hunter Safety Course that is a prerequisite to getting a hunting license if you were born after 1969. That is 4 evenings in late December. I am not exactly sure what, or even IF, I really want to hunt, but I’d like to, at the very least, try. Be a good excuse to bolster the arsenal down the road
ANYHOW, now that you’re caught up, here’s what my wife’s cousin’s husband (is there a term for that relationship???) Kevin, and my father-in-law, Rich, did Saturday after Thanksgiving. Neither of them had ever tried clay games before and I brought my guns with me on our visit to Ohio in hopes that I could find some time to go shooting, so we loaded up the guns and manual trap launcher and a couple boxes of clays and went to Deer Creek.
Deer Creek has an outdoor rifle range and an “unsupervised” shotgun range. It really is little more than a big grass field with a bunch of warning signs that people use guns there This is the first time I’ve shot at such a location, every other time being at some kind of club that had range officers, waivers, and fees. I do have to say that it’s nice to just yell “pull” and see the bird go up, rather than having to load each clay manually into the launcher, though.
That said, it was a really enjoyable time. There was one other big “family” group there that had maybe 15 people and 3 guns, so they were all taking turns pulling for each other and shooting. We had 3 guns (CZ, Mossberg, and Winchester Model 1300) and 3 people, so one pulled, one shot, and one took pictures and watched. But all that to say, it really wasn’t crowded, and the informal “field” setting with all manual equipment was kinda nice.
Since Kevin and Rich had never used shotguns before, I gave them a brief overview on how the two pump guns operated, and the CZ’s over/under action. All 3 of us rotated through all the guns and it was actually a really enlightening time for me as well as I got to shoot 3 fairly different guns back to back and start to get a feel for the finer differences between how each of them handled. If you’re paying attention to the pictures though, my CZ got LOTS of use. I am pretty sure it got picked up more than either of the pumps, although I found myself picking up my Mossberg quite a bit as well. I love how light that gun is, and even with the more significant recoil, it just is a fun fun gun. The fixed cyl. bore choke definitely hurt though if i let the bird get too far out into the field.
Each of us would take between 5 and 10 shots and rotate to the next person. Kevin and I started getting creative and started playing a game where we would see who could break the bird first. Rich pulled singles for us and we tried to line up on the clay as fast as possible. I think we ended up tied, or at least very close. A few of them we fired exactly at the same time and it was really hard to say who got the score. But you know, it was more about the fun than the actual score
In the end I think we launched about 150-175 clays (we started with a partial box, so I’m not sure exactly how many we ended up with), and close to the same amount of ammo. I actually am kind of irritated as I keep a log of the shots I put through the CZ, but with each of us swapping guns all afternoon, I lost track of how much we shot through it. I’m going to log 100 I think, which is probably a little over, but “close enough”