Range plans cancelled. Too wet to cut firewood. Set up in the shop, talking about old guns and old shooters we have known, special times at the range, and the power of memory.
Saturday, sunny, high 70s. I met my son Joe and my friend Dan at the range. Dan brought a Garand. Joe brought a Mauser. I brought TRNOW and a 1903A3. Here they are side by side.
Ammo was consumed. Noise was made. Holes were made in targets. Here’s a 5 shot group shot prone with a sling. Not quite one ragged hole in the X, but I’m improving.
And here I am, slung up. Rifle built on old military receiver, old military blanket, old military shooting blouse, old cotton military sling. There’s some sort of theme here.
I have a friend that is selling out his collection. He is older, has had two heart attacks, and has a wife with disabilities. He has seen it happen before. An older shooter dies, his wife and family have no idea, and all his “best friends” show up to help the widow with the collection. So he decided to sell them now, before they were in the safe for his family to deal with.
I’m not involved, another club member with a lot more experience is helping him. I’m not buying, either. This stuff was out of my price range. Colt Python, O/U shotguns, custom 1911s, Tubbs rifle in 6mm-br, lots of other rifles, everything in good shape, with excellent scopes, and so on.
Anyway, there was one that didn’t sell. An orphan rifle. Too modified to interest a military collector, and not modern or custom enough for the guys in the arms race that “F” Class has become.
It’s a 1903A3 from 1943, taken when they sold for about $25.00 and modified to be a long range rifle. Laminated stock, heavy barrel, aftermarket trigger, Redfield sights, and so on. It was a project gun, something to do to see what could be done with 30.06.
By the end of the afternoon my face hurt from grinning.
A base full of soldiers. Many of the them combat veterans. Unarmed by laws and regulations. A
gun-free target rich environment for the one guy for whom laws and regulations make no difference.
And how did it end? It ended like it always does. When good guys with guns showed up, it was over.
The shooter should have gotten off exactly one aimed shot before everyone else in range had engaged him. There would be a lot less dead and wounded.
Arm the good guys. Because otherwise this will just happen again. We are in a situation where soldiers are being killed on bases because politicians decided that guns were too icky and scary for soldiers to carry.