My father and his wife is visiting us for a few days. It’s always good to see him.
Growing up I didn’t do much with guns. Dad was a Captain, Second Infantry, US Army. Mom however didn’t like guns. So while I always remember this .22 rifle being in the storage room, it was never used; in fact, I just learned today that Dad had removed the bolt and hid it long long ago, thus it was never functional. So while growing up I was never anti-gun, I was just never really exposed to it. I do remember one family vacation that Dad took me skeet shooting. Shot a 20 gauge, had a great time. My first real exposure to guns. Certainly had some pellet guns and such over time growing up, but really nothing much.
So that made today kinda special, especially since today ended up being Son teaching Father. 🙂
Dad does shoot, but mostly shotguns for skeet and trap. I believe he gets out on occasion as well to go duck and pheasant hunting (lives in Nebraska, after all). But the last time Dad touched an M-14 was back in the Army, Expert qualification I believe with the M-14, M1 Carbine, .45 handgun, and so on. But certainly, Dad’s technique reflected old school technique. I showed him some modern technique. 🙂 Plus some guns he’d never shot before.
Started out with my Smith & Wesson 442. I just got it back from the gunsmith (I’ll write about that later) so I had to try it out. Buddy foo.c gave me a bunch of various .38 loads that he had lying around I think from his father-in-law, so just an assortment of stuff. They all ran just fine, probably went through almost 100 rounds: me shooting 5, my Dad shooting 5, and trading off like that. Gun felt good, but I know I need more practice (now that I have it back, I can do that.. pulled to the right a lot, that long trigger). Dad was slapping the trigger a lot, lots of anticipation. But heck, for a first time with a snub he did just fine.
Moved on to the Browning Buck Mark. Of course, that gun is a lot of fun. Dad was certainly excelling with this, tearing one ragged hole in the center of his target. I think without question that was his favorite gun to shoot, because well.. that gun is just tons of fun to shoot.
Then we moved on to my Springfield XD-9. Dad fired one shot. “Wow…”. Heh heh. 🙂 He finished one magazine and said that was enough for him. Heh heh.
After that we opted to put the handguns away and move over to the 100 yard rifle range. I had brought along my Springfield M1A Scout Squad. Dad seemed to enjoy that too. One thing about his shooting is while he may have been off a slight bit in terms of “hitting the bullseye” he was very consistent. I think with the M1A it was probably some measure of the fact the gun was set up and sighted for me, not him. But he shot well.
While at the rifle range, met another gentleman shooting there. The M1A always seems to attract folks and strike up conversations. The gentleman actually did a lot of custom work on M1A’s. He let me try out the trigger on one he had just finished customizing. As well, he let me fire 5 of his handloads out of my M1A and man they were accurate. He even shared the load recipe with me (must remember, using Federal brass to put half a grain more powder in, and using other factory brass like Winchester, etc. to put a full grain more… that I think he was using Black Hills match cases). Anyway…. very nice guy and I’m sure I’ll be in touch with him in the future.
Just being able to spend the one-on-one time with my Dad was precious to me. For that, I am thankful.