On the Third Day of Christmas, a desert run...
Hit the desert Thursday with a few friends from work to reverse-mine some lead. We hadn’t done this in a while, and unfortunately it turned into a pretty raw day for AZ – overcast, temp around 50, and some light rain and hail. But we manly-men toughed it out.
We call this activity a "desert run." The fun part is that these things are like pot-luck dinners – you never know what’s going to show up. Bring what you like, bring enough to share. Given the circumstances, I left my ARs home to conserve 5.56 ammo, but I brought an SKS, a Garand, a 10/22 and a 91/30 hex receiver Mosin-Nagant. The other guys brought an AR-10, a DS Arms FAL, a replica trap-door Springfield, a pair of ARs, and a Finnish M-N for rifles. For handguns we had a pair of 1911s, a pair of CZ75s, a PPK, a pair of XDs in .40 and .45, a Glock 35 and a 20, a Colt .45 SA replica, a 1918 Luger and a S&W 625. All tolled, I think we had 12 rifles and 12 handguns. Plus a LOT of ammunition.
Our shooting venue was in Tonto National Forest, in the Superstition Mountains. We were shooting into loose shale and caliche, sort of hard, compressed sand. We had about 300-400 yards of gradual rise into a rock wall that rose up about 400 feet. Being that this is public land, the whole area is sadly littered with remnants of all sorts of shattered targets, most of which are not remotely biodegradable. Before we snapped a cap, we spent half an hour cleaning up our quarter-acre area, and we policed all our brass when we were done.
Not surprisingly, it was an absolute hoot. We had formal targets plus fun stuff like steel swingers and a couple of bags of oranges to blast at, not to mention the tons of other crap the slobs before us left behind. I found a 5-pound fire extinguisher to be a particularly useful target, and I could make it jump no matter what I was shooting.
I have to say I am really more impressed with the .30 cals these days than with the 5.56. I wouldn't want to get hit with either, but it didn’t matter if it was the 7.62x39 or the M-N fodder or the .308, those bullets really make stuff fly when it gets hit. And the .30-06 was a head above those! I was hitting stuff on the mountain 300+ yards away with the Garand, and the sound of the impact was truly impressive. I have no doubts about being able to hit soldier-sized targets in the 300-400 yard range with these sexagenarian eyes. Whoever designed the Garand sights was truly inspired!
In contrast, the sights on the Mosin-Nagants and the SKS were pretty basic, bordering on crude. The aftermarket stock on my SKS at least provided a more adult length of pull, and allowed the shooter to get the cheek lower on the stock to better engage the rear sight notch.
Several pics to share. One shows where we shot; paper targets on stands at roughly 70 and 130 yards. Steel swingers are at 25 yards, and oranges are all over. Another shows a young guy I work with, who just shot a replica trap door Springfield in .45-70. The hand loads were on the warm side and he felt quite a thump when he fired it - you can kinda see that in the expression on his face. There's one of the FAL, then a few of an old fart DC moderator. Most are self-explanatory; however, I didn't manage to capture the big grins that were present throughout!
Attachment 65999Attachment 65993Attachment 65994Attachment 65995Attachment 65998Attachment 65997