I left Tucson Thursday afternoon about 4:30 with the intention of stopping in El Paso. I got to Deming, NM before I decided I'd better stop. That was about 8PM Mountain Time. I left Deming the next morning about 6AM, which put me in El Paso just in time for rush hour.
Aaand there was an accident on I-10 East. I spent 45 minutes to go two miles. Oh well.
I got to Arlington, TX about 5PM Central time, and met up with US Citizen at his palatial abode. I took the family out to dinner. We went to Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen. I'd never been to one before. They say everything's bigger in Texas, but for a restaurant, this place was HUGE. And FULL. The food was excellent, as was the company.
We discussed the Super Secret Shootin' Location, and I was concerned about whether the Mustang would possibly get stuck going in. There had been a significant amount of rain on Thursday, so there was some concern about the condition of the access road. So when we got back to the house, I transferred my firearms, ammo and range back from the trunk of the Mustang to the already overloaded Traction Control SUV. Then I went and got a hotel room and got some sleep.
The next morning, I waited for US Citizen to pick me up. I called him at 9:00 and he said "I'm waiting out in front!" but when I went to the front of the hotel, no SUV. He was in front of the La Quinta. I was staying at the Quality Inn. Once we got that worked out, we were on our way to the blogshoot. When we arrived at the prearranged meeting point, there were already a half-dozen people waiting. We introduced ourselves, and got acquainted around waiting for others to arrive, which they did over the next thirty minutes or so. Best line of greeting: "Are you from the internet?" "Yes, we're from the internet, and we're here to help you." To the best of my knowledge, a total of seventeen people turned out for the shoot. A partial list:
- The aforementioned US Citizen
- The Redneck Engineer
- Southern Belle and kx59 of Bells A Ringing
- Borepatch and Mrs. Borepatch
- The Scribbler
- Bob S. of Three Boxes of BS
- The misnamed Bikerscum
- Cormac of the not-a-blog Sovereign Screwups
About 10:15 we headed off to the range. I'm pretty sure I would have had no problem getting the Mustang in and out. Apparently the worst of the storm missed the range site. Oh well. What a beautiful place to go shoot! Sixty-five acres on a branch of the Trinity River, about 100 yards across to the opposite bank, and there's a flat area about 500 yards downriver from the shooting area. Oh, and in Texas they have these huge tall wooden things with these "leaves" that block the sun! Imagine that, natural shade! I wonder if we can get those here in Arizona? We could not have ordered more perfect weather.
So, the obligatory photo dump.
I got to shoot a semi-auto M1 Thompson, and a .50AE Deagle. I'd already shot US Citizen's Kriss SBR. The one gun I wish I'd taken a crack at was Southern Belle's SVT-40 "Natasha." What a beautiful piece! As mentioned previously, I brought four rifles; my M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, LRB M25 and my M4gery. I managed to break the M4gery. The first couple of (blurry) photos in the slideshow are of the missing extractor hook. It shot well for two or three magazines, but then started failing to eject. It was failing to eject because there was no extractor hook. Oops. Gotta fix that. Several people shot the Garand, and uniformly loved it. It's cosmetically beautiful and functionally perfect, but a bit worn. It is, after all, a Danish rack-grade return from the CMP, but it's still a lot of fun. When I finally run out of milsurp .30-06 on en bloc clips, I may just have to break down and have it rebarreled in .308.
We shot until after 3:00PM, and then packed it up for the day. The only thing I'm bummed about on this trip is that I wasn't able to join the rest of the crew for dinner. I was riding with US Citizen, and we were headed in a different direction from the crowd.
So I took vacation, drove about 2,000 miles round-trip and spent three nights in hotels to make this trip. I think it was worth it.