A Thoughtful Day At The Range ( Fiction)


Ed Wagner
September 24, 2008, 03:11 PM
Buck pulled into the range parking lot and pulled his HUMMER into a spot near the gate. He finished his Starbucks Grande Mocha Latte Special, got out and began to unload his gear. Buck noticed the 15 year old Ford pickup as it pulled into the lot, driven by an old man, who was accompined by a boy of about 13 or 14 , Bucked judged, as he watched the old truck park.
Returning to his task, Buck took out his Tactical Weapons Case, ammo cans,and targets, and hauled them to number 1 lane on the 300 yard range. Returning to the HUMMER,, he got his spotting scope and laser range finder, and took them to his lane.
While getting all his gear organized for use, Buck noticed the old man and theyoung boy pass behind him. The old man carried a cheap zippered rifle case of the WakMart type, the boy carried a small cardboard box , obviously holding ammo, and a pack of cheap targets.
Buck went down range and posted his military type target in lane 1, he noticed the boy in lane 3 posting one of the cheap 16 in. x 16 in. targets
they had brought.
Returning to his bench, Buck opened his Tac Case and removed his pride and joy, a custom built by him AR-15 with every bell and whistle you could except Nuke Launch capability. Laser, reflex sights, flashlights, if it went on a rail, Buck had it.
As he reached for some magazines from the case, Buck noticed the boy watching in stunned silence.
Buck immediately launched into an explanation of all the goodies and his rifles capabilities. The boy was amazed. Buck noticed the old man then, hehad walked down while Buck was talking. Nodding the old man said " Nice rifle ". Buck returned the nod and said " Thanks", and added, " since we're the only ones here do you mind if I go hot on this lane?" The old man said " Go ahead".
Buck shouldered th AR, chamber around and opened fire, in a matter of seconds he had sent 30 rounds to the target. Removing the mag and leaving the bolt open, Buck laid the rifle on the bench and looked through his spotting scope, " Check this out " he said to the boy and the old man. Both looked through the scope, Buck had at least 20 to 25 rounds in the targets torso, a group about 12 in. x 14 in. The boy said " Great ". The old man asked Buck if he minded if they shot now, Buck said go ahead.
Buck was checking all his rail accessories when he heard the first round from lane 3, he turned and watched the old man fire his remaining rounds, turning to Buck, the old man asked for a cease fire, with Buck's consent he sent the boy down range to get the target and post another.
Hearing the boys excitement, Buck walked down to lane3, on the bench lay the 16 in. x 16 in. target, the Bullseye was gone. The boys pride was obvious, " Grandpa that's awesome' he said.
Buck looked at the target and the well worn M-1 Garand on the bench the old man said " Gadgets and things are great, but if you don't have basic skills, they are just extra weight, learned in the war you don't need extra weight". As Buck stood in silence the boy proudly said, " Grandpa was a marine on a place called Okinawa in the war, he lied about his age to enlist"." He's going to teach me to shoot like him" the boy added.
Buck looked at them both and said simply, " He should boy, he should". Shaking the old mans hand Buck said " Thank you " and walked away, he had some thinking to do.

I hope this is in the right place and that the members enjoy it, it is kind of based on an event in my life way too many years ago. Thank you,

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September 24, 2008, 08:28 PM
Right on! I could see the end coming very early on.

Mr White
September 24, 2008, 09:11 PM
So, were you the guy with the whiz-bang AR, the little boy or Grandpa?

Ed Wagner
September 26, 2008, 11:20 AM
I happened to be the boy at that time. Grandpa was my paternal Step grandfather, the guy with the AR was my mom's youngest brother, just out of the Army, with a shiny new Remington 30/06 with an expensive scope. Unc was happy with accuracy of minuet of deer, ( he and an Army buddy neighbor used to go to Mich. to hunt.) Butch (Grandpa),tried to tell him many times using a rifle was not like being the tank gunner he was in the Army, close don't always count.


robert garner
September 26, 2008, 11:29 AM
Ed Wagner' your post ought to be stikied, it's a lesson most here know but many new members over time deserve to read.

Ed Wagner
September 26, 2008, 11:38 AM
Thank you for the kind words Robert.


September 26, 2008, 11:39 AM
So is the moral of the parable that accuracy counts, or Garands are better than custom built by me AR-15s?

My custom AR, built by me, IS my pride and joy... and I do have a handful of modular accessories for it... but I also work very hard on learning to shoot it well.

I wish the old-timey crowd could accept that firearm technology has developed, and owning an AR-15 isn't an inherantly bad thing, if you focus on the important part of learning to employ it properly :(

Let me rephrase... I hate the feeling that, being a young guy with a fancy-looking rifle shooting at humanoid silhouettes, older, more experienced shooters are going to look at me and immediately think "mall ninja." I'm starting to hate that term. I carry my rifles and gear in a coyote double-rifle drag bag because it's very convenient - not because I'm impersonating any go fast high speed low drag operator types... but posts like this one reinforce my apprehension :(

Deer Hunter
September 26, 2008, 11:49 AM
When does the civil war ghost come by and hit the 500 yard gong with his spencer, one handed?

September 26, 2008, 12:31 PM
I enjoyed it. As a new shooter, it gives me something to think about, and to not get too excited with all the fancy things ;)

Ed Wagner
September 27, 2008, 07:59 AM
It was never intended as a put down of anyones choice of equipment or accessories, everyone progresses in their skills and situational needs for equipment. The story was simply meant to point out that if you learn and use the basics, the use of better equipment is more enjoyable. You can't go to Neculear Phyisics without knowing basic math.

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