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Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Gunday: a Hard Lesson Learned

I have mentioned that I'm a useful idiot, yes?

Then let me tell you all something so that my pain can be your gain:  If your guns get wet while you're shooting them, don't put them back into foam-lined cases and then keep them there overnight, thinking "Oh, they'll be fine, and besides I'm too tired to take them out and clean them."

Don't do that, don't say that, don't even think that. Because if you do, the foam is going to act like a sponge, and absorb the water but still leave it in contact with the metal, and then you'll get rust like this:


No, what you do is, you take your guns out no matter how how tired you are, and you give them a good wipedown with a towel.


Now fortunately for me, this was all surface rust with no pitting, so a good scrubbing with a blue nylon bristle brush cleaned off most of it (I only needed the bronze for a few trouble spots). But as you can see, there was a lot of area covered, and this was spread across two rifles, a carbine and a shotgun.  It took me hours and hours and hours to get all the rust off and the metal coated in a thin layer of CLP and I swore that I would never do this again as long as I lived.


That said, I have to wonder just what the hell was in that rain that it caused such fast corrosion. I swear, those guns were only in their cases for about 12 hours, which to my non-scientific mind seems like not enough time for such corrosion to take place, especially on protected (blued) metal. I didn't think Cocoa Beach, Florida had a problem with acid rain, but now I'm starting to wonder if it does.

So here's the lesson:  Always take time to remove wet guns from cases and wipe them down, because otherwise you will end up losing an entire afternoon and evening to field stripping, scrubbing, lubing and re-assembling. 

However, my weekend wasn't all bad: I got the chance to take a newbie shooter out to the range, and let her play with all of my toys.

This is my friend Rinnie. She's excited about shooting and learning more, but still has a lot of nervousness when it comes to guns, especially guns that look big and powerful (You can't tell, but she's actually several inches shorter than I am!).

She does, however, have a firm grounding in the rules of gun safety and knows what a proper shooting stance is (I only caught her doing the "chick lean" once, and once I mentioned it she never did it again.

I started her off small with Colby, my Ruger Bearcat SA revolver in .22.

She had some sight issues at first, but once I explained how to put the blade in the groove (my shot is the one in the orange), she figured it out quickly. Notice the nice, tight grouping at 9 o'clock.  This was taken at a distance of about 15 feet or so.

By this point the rain was coming down steadily and causing the paper target to curl up, so I transitioned from "basics of aiming" to "okay, let's expose you to as many guns as possible and just have fun making things go bang."

She couldn't work the trigger on the DAO S&W.38, and she didn't like either of the .380s I brought along (one shot from each was enough for her, thanks... they hurt her hands).  She couldn't get her hands around my Glock 26's double-stack grip, either.

But she absolutely loved my Sub-2000!  She was taking potshots at an empty Gatorade bottle, and the first shot sent it spinning into the air... at which point she started giggling like a murderous pixie.

I was afraid I'd have to wrestle her to get my Subbie back, but she eventually relented after taking a selfie with it.

My SKS was too heavy for her to hold. Fortunately, I brought a shooting pad and a bipod, and she was game enough to give it a go. She thought it was okay, but didn't shoot a full magazine.

Izzy, on the other hand... I asked her if she wanted me to take a shot with it first and she said "Yes please." But she was paying attention to her phone, and not to me, so when I took a shot it surprised her and she nearly jumped out of her skin!

Rinnie was game enough to get into position behind it, though, and thought it was cool enough that she snapped a "shooter's eye view" of things.

She took a shot with it, said something like "Wow!" or "Whee!" and after working the bolt she said "Mm, that smells good."  Anyone who likes the smell of 7.62x54R propellant is my kind of person!

I'm pleased to report she shot an entire magazine.


Finally -- because I had been building up in recoil -- I bought out Leo, my shotgun. She had specifically asked me to bring him along, but I was worried the recoil might be too painful for her. So after making sure it was tight in her shoulder pocket, I let her shoot the Gatorade bottle with birdshot.



SHE LOVED IT. She loved it so much that she asked -- nay, demanded -- that I take a video of her shooting it. I can't embed the video because Facebook is stupid, but if you follow this link you'll be able to watch her shooting it. I thought I'd need to pry it from her hands, too.

So in conclusion, a new shooter got to experience a lot of different guns and had a great time. And I had a great time, too, marred only by the fact that I was dumb and didn't wipe my guns down afterward.

So, y'know, don't do what I did.

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