Bad start at the range turns into a spectacular day


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MilsurpShooter
April 9, 2005, 06:06 PM
For those who don't know about me, I'm an avid WWI and WWII history guy. This set's me out among most of my friends being that i'm only 20 years old. I took my Yugo M48 out today along with about 150 rounds of the new Yugo Surplus ammo I picked up. Put my stuff in the car and drove down the the range. I like going around 2:30, this way I can shoot and ocne we clean up I can walk down and collect my target (a cease fire on this range usually means something really bad has happened, glad to say all the times i've been there, no cease fires.) I pulled into the parking lot, locked the car and headed to register. As i'm in the lobby part I can hear some rather heated debating going on, yelling, a little cursing, sounded like a very angry person. I look over, and sitting on the couch are 2 of the range officers and a older guy, from the look of him I automatically thought WWII vet. I walk up to register and can hear him in the background.

(edited to follow)

"Those stupid kids, just because they're younger and have the newest top of the line rifles that daddy probably bought them, think they can tell me how to shoot and make fun of me. They didn't think I heard them but I did."

Now, this perked my ears up a little, so I asked Eddie at the counter what happened. Some 18 year old kids decided to come in today with AR-15's and brand new Remingtons. They saw what he was shooting and started making comments and generally making fun of the guy. Now that got me a little mad, these guys making a bad name for the younger shooters at this range, but I just let it stay. As I got my receipt and headed to the car to get my gear the elderly gentlemen came into the lobby, stared at me and said:

"Oh great, another young guy who'll make fun of me"

Now at this I stopped and looked at him closely for the first time. White hair, short but still looked like he could make anyone pay in a fight. Rather then say anything negative or try to defend myself I asked him if he was a WWII vet, he said yes and I just held out my hand to him. Didn't say anything just looked at him and held my hand out. He looked at me kind of wierd, rubbed the back of his head and took my hand. When he asked why we were shaking hands I just said "Because your a vet, and I appreciate the sacrifice you, and your generation made for the rest of us".

We sat down and talked a little, I asked him what happened, which he explained to me. Curiosity got to me and I asked him what he was shooting, a surplus Garand that he managed to pick up.

I just told him my entire generation wasn't like the poor example that he had just seen. I paid another hour for him, even though he objected a number of times and we headed to the cars to get our stuff and head back down. As he opened his trunk he pulled out a different rifle then a Garand. I looked over and saw him proudly holding a 1903 Springfield with a scope. When I asked him if that's what it was he proudly said yes, and that he was a sharpshooter in the war. As I reached into my trunk he asked if I was going to pull out some Barret .50 caliber. I just smiled and showed him my Yugo M48. We both laughed a little at that one and headed down to the range.

The kids were still there, just generally being obnoxious, quieted down a bit when the elderly guy sat down at the table and proceeded to fire. They all shut up once they saw his target, by the end of the session, the entire center X of his target was blown out with a large portion of the 10 ring gone as well.

As we were leaving he gave me an invitation to a 12th annual FNRA event. I look forward to being there and finding out his name, which, I stupidly, never asked for.

A thank you to all the Veterans out there, and there are some of my generation who realise what you gave and suffered through.

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dasmi
April 9, 2005, 06:25 PM
Great story!

Mulliga
April 9, 2005, 06:26 PM
I'm 20 years old as well. Anybody who laughs at a scoped '03 (and the seasoned vet behind it) deserves to get chewed out for stupidity.

Whatever happened to, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all"?

Bart Noir
April 9, 2005, 06:30 PM
Ya did well. And so did he, both in getting upset about the range-jerks (some things are worth getting upset about) and then showing them what real shooting consists of.

Bart Noir

Cacique500
April 9, 2005, 07:27 PM
Well done!

NeveraVictimAgain
April 9, 2005, 07:33 PM
Yes, nice to meet someone your age who's a gentleman.

Thanks for an interesting post.

Parallax
April 9, 2005, 08:21 PM
Why would you make fun of someone holding a gun? :uhoh:

mcooper
April 9, 2005, 08:34 PM
I am almost 19, I never make fun of other shooters at the range...in fact I usually try to converse with the older guys, they generally have alot of helpful information...that being said I am quite the knowledgeable "gun nut" so it is nice to have someone to talk to about things and have them know what I am talking aboutand for us to have a VERY informative or useful dialoge...sometimes I keep to myself...like if I am introducing a new shooter to shooting, but that is because they need alot of attention.

The only time I got mad was when some idiot was messing with a revovler when I called down range and everyone in that group of people acknowledged me...I was quite pissed, but did say more that "HEY!" to get their attention...that fixed it.

Well anyway, I have always had postitive experiances shooting.

OF
April 9, 2005, 08:37 PM
What a great story. :) Outstanding.

- Gabe

Clean97GTI
April 9, 2005, 08:48 PM
My favorite story from a range was last year.

A man with a very nice Kimber (mucho bucks) was consitently missing the ten ring even with his laser grips. He was spitting and swearing about the thing not being on target even though you could watch the beam dance all over the target. All the while, I was consistently hitting in the ten with my grandfathers old service revolver and its iron sights.
The old S&W Model 19 is kinda beat-up, but is it smooth and boy does it make me look good.

Kinda the opposite end of things. Young guy follows old rules and uses old technology to show up older guy with a much bigger wallet.

John Henry woulda been proud.

Farnham
April 9, 2005, 08:52 PM
Outstanding behavior, Jay, you probably made his entire month AND helped change his opinion of "them youngsters". (Not to mention, the mouthy kids got to see he could shoot, so maybe they'll change their opinion as well?)

I just turned 30 ( :what: ), and I long ago figured out that that old man down at the end of the line with an old '03A3, or a battered Model 70, or even a Marlin Model 60 has usually forgotten more about shooting than I'll ever know.

Once again, well done!

Farnham

critter
April 9, 2005, 09:22 PM
I knew an old guy like that for many years who is sadly no longer with us. He got his rifle training on a 1903 Springfield in the Marine Corps and a LOT of practice with it staving off Banzi charges on Guadalcanal in WWII.

Quite a grand old man, through-and-through Marine till the day he died. You best not shoot against him!

And DO NOT try to sell him anything that said 'made in Japan' on it!

P95Carry
April 9, 2005, 09:32 PM
Jay - excellent young Sir - you do the younger generation credit, as well as giving the old fella the respect he deserves. Indeed, a transition for the day that was both unexpected I guess and also very satisfying.

I am glad you posted this - very glad. It shows that a guy of your relatively tender years can easily have respect for ''oldies'' and vet's too. I am certain there are a great many more like you but needless to say - it is the minority ''punk'' category that give the bad name.

I am no vet' but at 60 no youngster either. I would welcome you to my firing line any time - at which point you could enjoy Enfields, Mosins, Mausers etc ... plus a few other ''goodies''. Keep up the good work... you are a credit to us all.

Guy B. Meredith
April 9, 2005, 10:27 PM
You set an excellent example of common courtesy. Can't say enough good about your actions.

Blackburn
April 9, 2005, 10:42 PM
I am proud that there are still young men like you in America. I would have given almost anything to be there with you two and watch the events unfold!

english kanigit
April 9, 2005, 11:24 PM
It is pretty sad the way some of the pukes our age act; when it comes down to it, I have a hard time blaming the previous generations for looking down their nose at us. :( I really don't know what else to say about this except to give an e-pat on the back of Jay_Anderson, well done buddy.

I suppose I could relate a story from my high school.
Our jr and sr classes were allowed to leave the campus for lunch. One day a group of the "pukes" was sitting at an intersection blasting that :cuss: stereo loud as they please. According to the story, an old man (65+/-?) with his wife in their car was sitting in the next lane. He made a "turn-down-the-volume motion" to which the lead "puke" started cursing at the older man and his wife. Older fella calmly gets out of his car, walks around to theirs and proceeds to beat the holy dog piss out of the lead "puke"; his friends continue sitting in the car motionless. This story was told to me by the SGM of our JRROTC unit while we had some free time during a class. Funny if its true and funny to think about if it ain't. :D

runswithscissors
April 10, 2005, 01:26 AM
I have an older WWII friend and he loves the new and the old guns. His eyes aren't what they used to be so he mostly shoots scoped. He really got me into firearms and trained me quite well. As for those young individuals who were disrespectful, I will leave them with this thought:

Do not pick a fight with an old man, he knows all the dirty tricks you haven't learned yet, and has less to lose.

Matthew748
April 10, 2005, 07:18 AM
Great story. The older the better is generally the way I prefer my range companions. I make an effort to be nice to everyone I meet and have found that once they warm up, older seemingly bitter people are great fun to shoot with and learn from. The only thing I do not like to hear are stories about the old days when pristine 03-A3s were practically given away, full autos were fairly easy to get, and guns could be gotten mail order without any of the FFL to FFL nonsense we have to deal with today.

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