Monday, November 19, 2012

Hangin' with Oleg Volk

Oleg Volk -- gunnie, photographer, and friend of this blog -- was in Florida this week doing work down at Kel-Tec, and so I had the opportunity to spend most of the weekend  hanging out with him. Despite my previously-stated aversion to meeting people in public, I leaped at this opportunity.

I can't adequately describe in a single blog post the events that happened, because there was just so much that happened, and a lot of these events (such as firing the KSG and RFB) require their own posts.

The fact that I can milk these for several entries is just icing.

For those of you who haven't met Oleg, he is a unique individual. Just for laughs, here are some amusing facts about him you may not know:

  • He looks remarkably like Alan Cumming. Specifically, Alan Cumming's role as Boris Grishenko in Goldeneye. You probably think I'm exaggerating, but I promise you that it's true.

  • The first time I met him, he was so incredibly amped up that I swear I saw his right arm vibrating.  He also talks a million miles a second and his conversations veer so sharply that half the time I think he interrupts himself. 
  • Between the accent and the motion and the photography, he's basically a human version of Photo Finish
  • He's nowhere near as arrogant or pretentious, of course. But the constant "and now... WE GO!" vibe is strong with him. 
  • Which is funny, because the man himself is like a human Valium. Always soft spoken, always very calm and zen. In fact, the only time his voice approaches what I would consider to be an acceptable level of volume is when he's talking to his parents in Russian. 
  • It just seems like the entire world constantly whirls around him while he manages to remain the calm center of everything. I like to refer to him as "The Entil'Zha of the Gunnie World," and if you don't get that reference then you should be ashamed of yourself for missing some excellent science fiction
  • He apparently thinks the ability to sharpen a knife is wizardry. 

In the time I was hanging with Oleg, the following things happened:
  • I was convinced at least twice that I was about to die. 
  • I found myself chasing a feral pig whilst holding his camera. 
  • I got to shoot a KSG, an RFB and an SU-16. 
  • I was part of a zombie firing squad. 
  • I saw a target go boom from Tannerite. 
  • I nearly blinded myself with a flashlight. 
  • I had at least two moments of awesome when I was able to reach into my bag or my car and produce something utterly unexpected yet absolutely useful. 
  • In an amusing bit of role reversal, I got to take a picture of Oleg in front of the camera for a change:
I took this picture with his camera. 
So, yeah. In the course of a weekend I probably have a week's worth of posts. I will talk about amazing things and give reviews of the guns I shot. 

And I will probably name-drop shamelessly, because I crave attention and validation. Look at meeeeee!


  1. YOU took that shot? I just got finished reading about that on his blog. Oh, man, so jealous! Plus, you're a good photographer. How hard is it to make a feral pig that just had it's SPINE SHOT THROUGH look good? :)

  2. So, will there be photos of you?

  3.  It always depends on the ammo. Bleeder-shots or heavy calibre ammo tends to make a mess out of things. In this case Oleg used a 7.62 medium game bullet. Which is fine for a well placed shot, and quite appropriate for a feral pig.
    I'm not sure I'd trust 7.62 for a proper wild boar though (but then you don't have those in the states). It's definitely enough for a spine/head shot, but for a shouldershot on a wild boar I probably wouldn't feel safe with anything smaller than a 8mm mauser round.

  4. Sounds like you had an amazing time - yay! ^_^

  5. This particular RFB was chambered in .308, assuming I am remembering correctly. 

  6. I took that particular photo, yes. There was another photographer there (Robin Curry) who was also taking pictures. 

    Really, I just pushed the button. The hunters posed the pig and Oleg knew how to set up for a good shot; I was only the monkey behind the camera. What Oleg hasn't shown you is all the pictures I took that were slightly out of focus, or cut the head off the pig, or were otherwise unusable. ;)

  7. Not published online. That was part of the agreement: he can take as many pictures of my gun as he'd like, but no pictures of me are to published. 

  8.  According to his blog, yes. A .308 150 grain bullet. Which means that the bullet has a 7.62 calibre and preformance is practically identical to a 7.62 hunting round.

  9. Okay then. We've officially reached the limit of what I know about hunting calibers. 

  10. Good for you!! How awesome! Glad you made the exception and met him and so happy it turned out so well!!

    Sounds like a fabulous time!!

  11. I didn't know you went with him when he took that pig or that you took the photo!


    More stories!

  12. It seems to me that that is part of the trick of photography.  

    Being able to sort through the bad pics for the good.

  13. Whenever people ask me what Oleg is like, I always find it easiest to remind them of the dogs from "Up!" - you know, the ones that would be rapidly talking to you about damned near anythi... SQUIRREL!  

    Yeah.  He is kind of like that.  

    Glad to hear you all had a good time :).  

  14.  Typical Soviet surplus 7.62x54r is 147/148 grain bullet.  In fact, the PSL-54C is limited to 150 grain unless you rework the gas systems.


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