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The Three Amigos go hunting clays...

...and the clays won, hands down.

Yesterday, the Three Amigos went and did a little skeet shooting.

Conclusion: It's a good thing we don't rely on shotguns to get dinner.

We suck.

And that's being kind. 

No, really, we suck. If you open a primer on skeet shooting to the chapter "Rookie Mistakes" - we're the demonstrators.   I can imagine Rob and JW rolling on the floor, wheezing for breath and their bruised diaphragms jerking spasmodically as they laugh so hard they cry to the point of dehydration, after LC and Mike regale them with this tale of woe.  Or they read this post, whichever is first.

We had fun, regardless.

However, if you laugh at us and we have pistols with us - your liver will look like swiss cheese. So, keep yer opinions to yourself.
...

Rather than being out at the Castle, we were at the demesne of Denizen Leavenworth Centurion.  Said property is known locally as Flying Pig Farm.  Denizen Mike L was also present.  The original kernel of the shoot was to test LC's new concealed carry pistol, a SIG 229, while Mike was going to shoot his Walther .380,  and Ruger P95.  I brought along my favorite plinking pistol, the Polish Vis 35 of WWII vintage.  LC also brought out his Walther P1.  I brought along the Fiocchi Tracer ammo the guys and gals at LuckyGunner.com sent along... but they didn't get a fair workout.  Suffice it to say for the nonce - even with a dark backdrop, in the gray, cloudy conditions and general Three Stooges shooting yesterday, the performance of the tracer rounds was not what was expected. 

Right now, I'm not blaming the rounds - we chose the venue, and it was one clearly not suited.  We're going to try a different location and conditions and re-run the test and see what the differences are.  I suspect that lighted skeet ranges in the evening dusk are the natural habitat of these rounds.  And they're intended for training and practice...  which we clearly need.  Especially the training. 

Moving on...

All three of us are handy with the assembled ironmongery (save the frickin' shotguns), and I am reluctantly forced to admit that modern gun-makers do, in fact, know what they are doing.  Both Mike's Ruger and LC's SIG were really handy, comfortable, smooth, and had good sights.  Scratch that - the SIG has *great* sights, at least as far as these eyes are concerned. 

Shooting the Vis, the P1, and the Ruger and SIG, especially in order, gives you a short course in the evolution of the 9mm hand-held short-barreled powder burner.  All shoot well, but when it comes to rapid shooting and handling, the newer pistols are an order of magnitude better.

And coming from me, who prefers to wander a room hung with oil-soaked wood that reeks of history, that's a major compliment.

One of the things I tell people when asked for recommendations for carry pistols is that they find out what their friends carry, and arrange to go shooting with those weapons, and don't be shy about going to gun ranges where they allow you to rent weapons and try them out.  It's a very personal thing, the carry pistol - what works for me may be disastrous for you.  But unless you feel you have no choice, don't buy the first bright shiny you see in the case at the gun store...

I've been eyeing the SIGs, and there's a couple others I've been looking at as well - and I have a lot more confidence in going that direction now that I've shot the Mike's Ruger and LC's SIG.  Both were really nice pistols.

And I'm forced to conclude that maybe the folks who design and build this new stuff really do know what they're doing.

19 Comments

And in case anyone is wondering - yes, like all Argghhh!!! denizen gatherings - blood was spilled.  Our hands ( all three of us) are simply too meaty for my Walther .25 caliber - stings like an SOB - bites, too!!  ML
 
I bet that if we'd have taped those clays to our target frames, we would have done much better.
 
Actually, LC - I think next time we'll shoot trap, not skeet.  And was your shotgun full-choke?  I'm thinkin' if we used blunderbusses...

For those asking - skeet shooting has the birds flying across your front.  Trap has them flying more away from you - much easier (though I'm sure we'll still suck).
 
I use a M1897 Winchester in 16 gauge for skeet. It's always funny watching the faces of the other shooters when they see that slide-action beauty slip free of the case.
The newbies with $2000 shotguns with gold plated triggers kind of snicker...
The ones who've shot against me (especially for money) just grimace.
 
Love my 229, my carry weapon (except in the summer).  I am hard pressed to shoot any other handgun better than my Sig, specially when I shoot quickly.  Cadillac recoil out of the box. 
 
Skeet is easier as the birds always fly in a pre-perscribed flight path, crossing a specific point. Really good skeet shooters use 410's and half the birds are coming at you. I shoot with a 20.

Trap sends birds out in any direction to your front and sides in something like a 120 degree arc, faster and never in the same direction twice and at different speeds. Few people shoot with less then a 12 gage which tells you Trap is harder. Nobody shoots with a 410. I use a 12.

Then there's sporting clays which you have to be totally insane to try more then once and is very humbling. Things run along the ground, fly over your head, streak across the sky at super high speed, go out in different directions...most of the targets you never get a look at much less try and shoot. And they're always in pairs and you only have two shots. A lot of bad words and throw rocks.
 
Like the Centurion said - we'll just tape 'em to the target stands....

And this topic is undiscovered country for me, clearly.
 
 The problem at Festung Kleinrot is that we've run out of good skeet recipes. Mom loves to shoot the things, but dang can they be hard to clean sometimes. 
 
For LittleRed1:
The only cleaning they need is a quck rinse to get the dirt off them.  After that, they are a perfect substitute for tortilla chips or any similar crispy crunchy food.  Of course, the metrosexuals can't handle anything like that...

For John of Argghhh!:
B-52s don't have any problems with skeet OR trap.  Drop a full load anywhere NEAR the range, and you're guaranteed to break every clay!
 
...we've run out of good skeet recipes.

The feds used to band bazillions of birds when I was a kid -- each band was inscribed with a serial number and an address, instructing the finder to contact "Wash. Biol. Surv." (the Washington Biological Survey).

'Bout August of 1954, if I recall correctly, they got a letter from a Kansas farmer stating:

Gents.

I shot one of yore crows and followed the instrictions on the tag. I washed it, bioled it, and surved it.

It was awful.
 
If I remember correctly, skeet clay trajectories are fairly consistent when launched and which tower launches depending on what station (1-8) you're standing on. Trap, on the other hand, is random in what direction and angle the clays are launched, i.e., could be a high crossing angle (pull lotsa lead) or low (going away, not much speed across your line of sight...shoot underneath).

I never hit anything, either. But once you get the hang of it, I think it'd be pretty fun.

"flying pig farm"...I like that...
 
Yes Rob and I laughed, but Mike and Uncle LC always tell a good story. Skeet or trap, the trick is to shoot where the bird is going to be not where it is and SWING the shotgun.  To correct the historical record, I thought LC had a Sig 228?
 
Correcto Mundo, JW - it is a 228. Side story; been looking for a replacement magazine for my .25 cal Walther.  Couldn't find the gun anywhere.  Decided to do a serial number trace and put my glasses on to assist in the read.  My Model "B" all of a sudden became a Model "8", and the lights came on.  The gun is somewhere between  70 and 90 years old.  I've had it 7 or 8 years. Still can't find a magazine.
 
JW

A P228R to be exact, but it would take a real expert to tell the difference if it wasn't for the number 228 on the pistol grips.
 
JW - I did swing the shotgun, continuing the motion after shooting and shot where I thought the bird was going to be....  but the birds apparently had other ideas, the dastardly little whelps.
 
I betcha it's all that "good cheek weld, focus on the front sight, take a breath and let half of it out and hold it while squeezing the trigger" stuff.

Shotguns ain't like that, from what people tell me. (I have never fired a shotgun.)

It's like when I have to (Spit!) drive a vehicle with an automagic transmixer (Eva Gabor's word for the thing), and remember to use the left foot on the brake.

Two different sets of motor skills, here.  There is something about this in "Four Day Planet" by H. Beam Piper. I have the book here. I'll try and find it. 
 
Ah, here it is! Ace Books, April 1979,  "Four-Day Planet" and "Lone Star Planet", by H. Beam Piper, page. 88.

Here:

" I know what you're doing wrong,"  Tom said. "You're squeezing the trigger."

"Huh?"

"You're not shooting a pistol," he continued.

"You don't have to hold the gun on the target with the hand you shoot with. The mount control, in your other hand, does that.  As soon as the cross hairs touch the target, just grab the trigger as though it was a million sols getting away from you.  Well, sixteen thousand; that's what a monster's worth now, Murell prices.  Jerking won't have the least effect on your hold whatever."

"So _that_ was why I'd had so much trouble making a pistol shot out of Tom, and why it would take a special act of God to make one out of his father.  And that was why monster-hunters caused so few casualties in barroom shootings around Port Sandor, outside of bystanders and back-bar mirrors.  I felt like Newton after he'd figured out why the apple bopped him on the head."

Thus spake H. Beam Piper.

Selah.
 
 
WHAT? My comment has been received and held for approval?  It was almost entirely composed of a quotation from an H. Beam Piper novel, to wit, "Four Day Planet."

(from page 88 in the 1979 Ace books edition)  Those there server gnomes, well, being sent to bed without dinner just ain't harsh enough if you ask me, and we need to sic the Draka onto them!
 
Yanno, JTG, I dunno why it got held.  Capricious little peckers, they are.