My experience at the pacific rod and gun club


May 17, 2003, 08:12 PM
I passed the Pacific Rod and Gun Club during one of my long and luxurious bike rides. There were few old fogies shooting off 22s at skeets. The loud pop! of 22s and the louder CRACK! of what I assumed to be 30-06s were music to my ears. I walked past a clubhouse of sorts, and this old man was staring at me. I looked him directly in the eyes, smiled, and said "Good afternoon." He said "Hi" and looked away. I sat for about 15 minutes watching people shoot orange clay before I left. On the way out I saw a shotgun shell.

I have two questions. How can I hang out at that Gun club without becoming a nuisance (I want to chill with the old guys and hear stories about the winter of '68 and how Jonny over there killed 238 Charlies), and what kind of shell is this shotgun? I don't know anyting about shotgun shells, so I figure this is the time to start.


PS- The shell looked REALLY big to my naive eyes...:what:

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May 17, 2003, 09:10 PM
Bring an Airgun, and shoot 10 meter targets. In between target changes, shoot the ???? w/ people. They'll let you shoot their toys if you are cool and safe.


Don Gwinn
May 17, 2003, 09:29 PM
That would be a Remington 12 ga. You can tell because it says "Remington Peters" on the top and bottom and "12 GA" in between. That one is a gaming load--which I guess makes sense if you took it off a clay range. You can tell by the brass. See how the brass portion isn't very long? Heavier loads, with larger shot and larger powder charges, require "high brass" hulls.

A 12 gauge is more of a boomer than the average rifle, but that load in most 12 gauges is probably a pussycat. The better to win games with, my dear.

J Miller
May 17, 2003, 09:31 PM
(I want to chill with the old guys and hear stories about the winter of '68 and how Jonny over there killed 238 Charlies), and
Never been in the military, but from the vets I have known, most of them do not want to talk about the killing. To hear stories like this you have to earn their trust and friendship. Just be yourself and don't be pushy. Even then many wont open up about it.

What atek3 said about bringing an air gun and shooting with it, then getting to know the older guys is pretty spot on.

Take it easy and before you know it, you'll be there.

Standing Wolf
May 17, 2003, 10:18 PM
It's been my experience that lots of old timers tend to ignore young folks. I noticed it when I was your age and in my twenties. People who step right up, offer a hand to shake, and introduce themselves usually break the ice pretty quickly.

Now that I'm an old timer, I find myself thinking to ignore young folks, but usually make the effort to set aside my insularity, step right up, shake hands, and introduce myself.

May 18, 2003, 12:55 AM
Like Wolf said, step up and say howdy"Sir" and be respectful.

I regularly hang out with an old guy in his 70's.
He owns a surplus shop near here. I wouldn't trade my time with "ol Bill" for nothin. (kinda like a granpa I never had)

May 18, 2003, 01:21 AM
My experience has been to be friendly and respectful.
Some of the older guys I have met tend to be a little onery,but if you put up with them for a while,they get used to you.
After another while,you'll find out more stuff then you ever thought was out there!Like walking encyclopedias!
As a bonus you might get a new (old) friend! :)


May 18, 2003, 01:53 AM
You might ask them if they have any youth shooting programs. Or ask them how they first got involved with shooting. Ask them what their favorite shooting sport is, and why. People always like to yak about their favorite past times.
A few months ago, back when I had tons of time and no money, I started shooting bullseye pistol with a group of older guys at a local range. I was easily the youngest one there by at least 20 years. The first night I walked in, you could have heard a pin drop. Right up until I asked one of the guys about his High Standard. From there, everything was cool, and I miss shooting with them. (oh well, I've got a job now, so that's good. :) )

Once you get in with them, be respectful, even if you disagree. A lot of older people think that young people are just a bunch of show-off idiots with something to prove. Show that you're willing to listen and learn. If you give them the time, more than likely they'll give you the time.

As a caveat, this may not always work. There are some genuinely mean ol' jerks out there. Just try to avoid those guys. But, as the old saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

May 18, 2003, 02:14 AM
Here's a story for ya.

I had driven by the Beale AFB Rod & Gun Club for over a year and never stopped in there. Finally, one day I stopped in. I asked the gentleman behind the counter how the game worked, and he directed me to an "old guy" down at the range.....I went and introduced myself (I'm 26 years old) and he asked me if I had a gun. Of course I did. He told me to show up on Thursday nights for league. Of course, I was terrified of showing up with my little 'ol pump shotgun and embarrassing myself. I shot my first round of trap and shot an 18. Not to bad....the 'ol guy looked at me and said, "There's nothing we can teach ya that you already don't know...good shooting."

Three years and many beers later, I'm there every Thursday night unless it's a death or disaster. The time I spend on the range with them is what I treasure most about this point in my life. I would gladly stay at this horrible base with my meaningless job just to shoot with them every Thursday night. It means that much.

Introduce yourself. They'll understand that you're young and eager to learn and in turn they'll teach. One more tidbit of advice....You can't listen if you're talking...Sit back, watch and listen....they'll open up with time.


Baba Louie
May 18, 2003, 02:16 AM

Offer to help clean up, police brass, trash, etc.

Ear plugs or muffs, eyewear too... very important.

Bring an air rifle like atek said (if ya got one).

12 ga., 20 ga., .410, maybe a 16 ga. if you're lucky to spot one... most common bore sizes in the smooth-tube world (I left out the 28 ga. and 10 ga. since they're kinda a specialty).

Over unders (OU), side x side (SxS), pump, semi-auto and the occasional single shot will be the types of action/design for the shotguns.

Each type of shell size come in different loads (size of shot) from the small BB's which have larger numbers like 7's & 8's down to the smaller numbers 0 (ought) and 00 (double ought) which naturally are the larger sized shot and to make it even more interesting shell sizes range from 2 3/4" up to 3 1/2".

Check out Wally Worlds sporting counter and look at the different ammo boxes for shotgun shells to see some of the variety I'm talking about.

Bore size relates to the number of equal sized spheres found in 1 pound of lead... so a 12 ga (bore) would have 12 spheres, a 20 ga. 20 spheres, etc. with the exception of the .410 which has a bore size of 41/100ths diameter.

Check out the Shotgun Forum and ask lots of questions cause I haven't even gotten into the different choke sizes, mfgs., etc.

New friends? Be a friend.

Discussion of military service can be quite easy if you steer clear of asking questions about killing enemy or of friends lost. Stick to topics like "I'm wondering if I should join the military when I'm 18 or after I graduate college and which service would be the best..."

If your Dad or some other adult figure would show up with you once in a while, it'd probably speed up the trust thing as most people are leery of sharing their deadly toys with someone young and unknown to them.

Find out if that range has any competitions and what their schedules are. Find the range officer(s) and volunteer to assist. Be prepared to do the "low man on the totem pole" kind of duty.
3-gun competitions are a blast to watch and even more fun to participate in (rifle, handgun and shotgun).

There's more than I can post here but you get the drift. Be careful of being a "know-it-all". Learn to read people, who's real, who's full of BS, who's loud and boastful.

Beware of the man who only has one gun... (you fill in the rest of the statement when you know it or become one)


May 18, 2003, 07:55 AM
most gun clubs are more than happy to sign up new members,

its usually not too pricey

then participate a little and the good people who love to shoot and love to teach others about it will find YOU...

yes there are those who don't necessarily like to play with others

take their gun safety courses and you'll get to know other new shooters/club members

find out what the basic necessities are for a particular league and aquire them, then shoot the matches.

dont worry, youre probably not the worst shot there, and if you are, well, somebody has to be...we were ALL there at one time or another.

you don't have to go all hole hog on equipment at first, then as you improve you can move up to the better stuff if you want

don't buy without asking others first, never trust the gun store guy...he's just there to make a buck and unload some of that junk he's had laying around forever,

ok, not ALL of them are like that but it pays to talk to disinterested parties before spending your $

i think you probably ran into the "non-member" cold shoulder routine, which is not great for the club if they are really interested in signing new members...

just some thoughts...

most of all HAVE FUN!! cause thats what its REALLY about


p.s. i had an uncle who fought the japs in new guinea, he NEVER talked about it, noone ever knew what he actually did there...and he never forgave the japanese:(

May 18, 2003, 09:20 AM
"old fogies" shooting skeet with .22's and a 30-06?.....hummm... I've heard Californian's were a little different....

May 18, 2003, 12:50 PM

We are a little different. I'm different in the fact that I know crap about guns. I was just going by the look of the firearm, and the pitch of the sound it made....

Sorry if i caused confusion..


May 18, 2003, 01:47 PM
Used to shoot there when I went to Skyline College in San Bruno.
Thought the Bay Area Liberals had managed to shut the place down like they did SF R&GC in Pacifica and Coyote Point range on the bayside by SFO.
Good to know the old farts are still out there blazing away:D
By all means join them.
You may be short on knowledge at this point, but that can change
really fast :cool:

May 18, 2003, 05:18 PM
Winston, skeet is an arial moving target game....did you mean they were shooting at stationary clay targets with .22's?

May 18, 2003, 05:30 PM
although winston probably mistook what he saw for guns. there ARE (or at least WERE) those out there that can shoot a crow out of the air with a .22.

280's believe it or not...


Henry Bowman
May 19, 2003, 09:22 AM
Also keep in mind as you look at those trap and skeet shotguns that they cost anywhere from $500 to $8,000 or more. If an old timer hands you an O/U with a high vented rib (rail along the top of the barrel), handle it very gently and carefully, don't point it at anyone, and complement it the way you would a really hot car (because it may have cost just as much!).

Go to the counter. The guy running the place has a greater interest in being nice to newbies. Also look for women shooting. They may more recently remember feeling intimidated as a newbie.

Steve Smith
May 19, 2003, 09:47 AM
Henry Bowman has a good point about gun etiquette. Always treat someone else's gun like it is a museum piece. Don't touch unless its offered, and when offered, you remove your jewelry and handle it with a sure grasp so you will not drop it.

I say just show up often, shoot a 10M target with an air rifle, and introduce yourself every once in a while. They'll warm up eventually. Don't push it. And like J Miller said, don't expect them to tell you anything about "the war" as they keep things inside that they would not tell their wives or best friends. Just respect that and move on.

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