Monday, January 31, 2011

Another round of sporting clays

When you consider that my first full 10-station round with a 12 gauge was two weeks ago, and that it came right on the heels of my first time shooting a shotgun in my life, today was a resounding success. That round last week when I first tried a 12 gauge?

I shot 7 out of 50.

Today, with my new (to me) shotgun and two rounds of experience under my belt?

Missed 'em all!

No, just kidding!  I can't believe how much better I did. Out of the first two pairs, I nailed three birds. It went on like that for the rest of the round. I finished with a total of 22 out of 50! Out of the five of us in the group, that was second best.  The new gun worked great, but a big part of the improvement came from a suggestion from one of the guys I was shooting with. He's pretty new at it too, and he was also having the same problem I was having with trying to aim like you would with a rifle. They say with the shotgun you should shoot with both eyes open rather than with one closed as you would with a rifle. His advice was to ignore those guys and go ahead and just use one eye. It made all the difference!

I took my little camcorder with me today and while I'm a little disappointed in the jerkiness of some of the video, at least you can get an idea of what it's like.

Crossposting just to keep this blog alive

I haven't been flying at all this winter. Just the other day I was thinking about how fun it used to be to be a pilot. I've been busy on the RV-12, but even that project has its delays.  As we can see here:

The down side of winter projects is....

...winter is cold!!

The reason I need winter projects so badly is that I get cabin fever something fierce. I have to have something to keep myself occupied. In fact, February is the worst month of my life because it is so hard to find something to do that doesn't involve being outside. When I started on the RV-12, my hope was that I would consistently have work that I could do down in the basement, but for the second year in a row that hasn't worked out. Last year I was forced to move to the hangar to build the tail cone. I started the fuselage in the spring and was able to spend some days in the basement that would have been nicer spent outside. This year it's the wings.

It's 6 degrees Fahrenheit outside today.

I'm inside, and I'm staying there. At least there's football on TV!

I did go out for awhile this morning, and I'll share the details of that with you since I told you about shooting Sporting Clays last weekend. I might have mentioned that I'd be wanting to get my own shotgun rather than being dependent on borrowing a gun. To that end I did some research to try to find a reasonably priced gun that offered reasonable quality in return. From what I've seen in retail stores, there is exactly one low-cost over/under shotgun, and web reviews were not favorable. That gun costs $450 new. The next one up in price (and I was assured that this was a terrific deal by the guy at the counter) was $899.  Marked down from $1,200, I think. Didn't matter. You could mark down the Hope diamond from $12,000,000 to $5,000,000 - I still can't afford it.

I started looking for used guns. That's not as easy as you might think. Craig's List won't sell them, nor will eBay. I finally came across (which for some reason I keep reading as '' - a strange mental tick, that) which is kind of a Craig's List for guns. I spent a week perusing the listings and finally found one that I was interested in. It was a Remington 310 over/under (made in Russia) for $400. It took a week for the seller to get back to me, and that was just to tell me that it was already sold.

I decided to expand my search from Columbus to all of Ohio and BAM!, I found a Verona LX-502 (Italian made) for an asking price of $525. That was a pretty good price, but somewhat over my budget. The seller accepted an offer of $460. That was only $10 over budget, and he was kind enough to meet me in Washington Court House, thus saving me a couple of hours of driving.  We had a nice breakfast at McDs and chatted about guns, work, taxes, and wives. He seemed a decent and likable sort; that has been my experience with everything that I've bought or sold on Craig's List, as well as everyone I've met in shooting and gun shows.

So, here's my new sporting equipment:

I also found a few videos on YouTube that someone from the place I went last weekend has been uploading for the last couple of weeks. I suspect that it's hard to do Sporting Clays justice with a handheld camcorder, but you can kind of get the idea:

(20 gauge shells are yellow - that's why there was surprise over them being red)