Post By gasmitty
December 28th, 2012 11:48 PM
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!
shootin spot.jpgDSA FAL.jpgGAS - Garand_r.jpgGAS - SKS2_r.jpgTrap Door Wow.jpgM-N cr.jpg
NRA Endowment Member
December 29th, 2012 08:02 AM
Sounds like a great time!
Those Garands are looking better to me all the time!
Cape Locum Et Fac Vestigium
December 29th, 2012 08:06 AM
Wishing that I was there to "assist" you in all that shooting.
From the looks and sound of things you all have a fantastic time!
Thanks for the story and pictures!
"A Smith & Wesson always beats 4 aces!"
The Man Prayer. "Im a man, I can change, if I have to.....I guess!" ~ Red Green
December 29th, 2012 08:21 AM
Looks like a great day, Since I moved to Kansas I really miss going out and having a day like yours. The land around here is all private land and not much access.
December 29th, 2012 08:35 AM
December 29th, 2012 08:48 AM
I miss the days when I could just go out in the sand dunes and shoot whatever I wanted to. Civilization has encroached on us too much to do that these days. And the sheeple have gotten to squeamish at the sound of gunfire. What's this old world coming too.
Enough whining......I'm glad you had a good time.
December 29th, 2012 08:50 AM
The stupidity of some people NEVER ceases to amaze me.
December 29th, 2012 08:51 AM
Hot dog! Now that looks like a wonderful time, the kind of stuff that is what shooters dream of!
You are lucky to have temps that allow for such an outting. We have snow on the ground this morning, and the temps have been cold enough to discourage outdoor shooting.
As to 30 calibers; when you shoot them alongside varmit guns, kinda opens your eyes don't it?
Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.
December 29th, 2012 09:05 AM
Thanks for sharing. One thing I DON'T like about Texas is the lack of public land available to do things like this.
One Riot, One Ranger. Long live the Republic of Texas.
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