Last Wednesday, I spent an enjoyable morning and early afternoon over at our local shooting range. The Albany Rifle and Pistol Club, outside of Shedd, Oregon. One of the nicest shooting facilities I’ve ever been associated with.
Having several thousand rounds of .22 Rimfire ammo on hand, I picked out a couple of .22’s from my collection, and headed on over. It’s only about a 20 minute drive, so I’m fortunate, indeed. A Smith & Wesson K-22 that I inherited from my Uncle John, along with a Winchester bolt action tube feed rifle that I also inherited from him.
I first stopped in at their Pro Shop, and picked up a few minor items I needed for the day’s shooting at the range – a couple sets of ear plugs, a new target back, and some target clips. While I was there, I checked out their reloading supply store, to see how well stocked they were. Very favorably impressed! Good supply of powder, primers, bullets, and all of the other goodies that go along with them. I can see that I’ll have some money leaking out of my wallet soon!
While there, I spoke at length with the gentleman who runs their trap shooting program on Wednesday afternoons. He’s as avid a shooter and bird hunter as I am, although his preferences run more toward waterfowl hunting, and mine run toward upland bird hunting. No matter – as long as it’s Hunting, I’m in!
I wasn’t able to participate in the trap shooting that day, as I hadn’t gone to the range equipped with any of my shotguns or shells, and hadn’t planned on staying that late. It starts at 2 pm every Wednesday, and they just shoot several informal trap shooting games, which sounded like on heck of a good time. For members, just show up with your shotgun, a few boxes of shells, and a few dollars, and you’re good to go. Games are $1 each, so you’re not liable to break the bank. I think I know how my Wednesday afternoons are going to shape up! By the time bird season rolls around, I’ll be ready.
The Short Range
I proceeded down to one of the short ranges, covered shooting facilities. A beautiful, sunny day, but one of the things I like about the covered facilities, is that it doesn’t matter what the weather is like. Rain or shine, you can shoot to your heart’s content.
I set up my bench rest setup, and got out the old Winchester bolt action rifle to fire first. Sighted in about an inch high at 25 yards, it was still dead on since the last time I fired it. I blew up a bunch of clay pigeons that were scattered around, off hand, and then put the rifle in the rack. What I really wanted to see was if I could shoot my Uncle’s old Smith & Wesson half way decent.
They had a rack of plates set up, so I started shooting at them. They were handy, with a rope pull right there for re-setting the plates. I thought I was shooting terrible! I’d miss the first plate, apparently, knock down the second plate, and then routinely miss the next four plates in a row. After about three times going down the row, each time with the same results, I decided to try something different. Firing only at the 2nd plate, and resetting each time I knocked it down, I was now consistently hitting the plate 5 times for every 6 shots. The plates were designed to be used with heavier hitting firearms than the .22 I was using. The only one ‘loose’ enough to go down when hit with a .22, was the second plate.
I guess sometimes, it just pays to experiment a little!