Interesting Observation

Earlier this week my wife said, “I’m off Saturday. We need to go to the range. It’s been too long since I’ve shot that .38.” We have a S&W Model 60 2″ .38 Special that we keep in a quick-access safe (along with a 4″ Ruger GP-100). The .38 is “hers,” though she can shoot either in a pinch.

As I’ve noted here previously, my wife is not a “gunnie,” but she’s a decent shot, and I can hand her my Ruger MkII Target, a brick of 500 .22LR, and set up our swinging target stand, and she’ll happily blast away all day.

So we got up bright and early this morning, loaded up the truck with the .38, the .357, the MkII and the Single-Six, my Kimber Classic and M1 Carbine, the swinger stand and the rest of the paraphernalia, and we headed out to the Tucson Rifle Club – a 45 minute drive. The TRC is a nice facility, with a 500 meter rifle silhouette range, two 100-yard “public” rifle/pistol ranges, a 100-yard .22 rifle range, a 100-yard range dedicated to law-enforcement (members can use it when law-enforcement isn’t), a 200 yard handgun silhouette range, an action shooting range with three bays for cowboy and IDPA/IPSC shooters, and a 1,000 yard range with shooting positions also at 200, 300, and 600 yards. There is some interference. For example, if there is a match on the 1,000 yard range at anything over 200 yards, then the action bays are closed since they can be observed from the shooting positions on the 1,000 yard range.

Today, everything was busy. There was a match on the 500 meter range, the two 100 yard public ranges don’t really suit themselves to close-range pistol shooting aside from the fact that they were nearly full, the .22 range and the police range were occupied by a Hunter Safety class, the pistol silhouette range was running a Cowboy Lever Gun silhouette match (pistol caliber lever guns), and there was a 600 yard match going on.

The place was hopping.

So I asked my wife if she was game to go to the Elsy Pearson public range in Casa Grande, which is quite a hike North of town, and she said “Fine!” (No, the actual, heartfelt “Fine!” Not the “Whatever the hell you want” “Fine!” which doesn’t really mean “Whatever the hell you want.”) On the way back towards town I had an idea. There is a 100 yard range operated by the County in Tucson Mountain Park, and it was not far off the track. I have never shot there, but I’ve driven up to it to check it out before. I thought we’d give that a shot (so to speak.)

It was packed. And it wasn’t packed with deer hunters sighting in for the fall hunt, either. More on this in a bit.

So, we decided to go ahead with the original fallback plan, stopped and got some breakfast, continued home so I could pick up my home-made target stand (the Casa Grande range is unattended and has no target frames or targets. Bring your own, and take ’em home when you’re finished with ’em.) Then we hit the road again.

It’s about an hour from my house to the range, mostly on I-10 and a short stint on I-8. Unfortunately the I-8 exit was closed due to an accident, so I had to take the long way around to get to the range. It wasn’t packed, but it was pretty busy. Recently the City of Casa Grande got some grant money from the department of Game and Fish and have done a very nice job in expanding and improving the range. There are now four bays; a 100 yard, a 250 yard, and two 25 yard bays, all with concrete shooting benches under sunshades. The 25-yard bays have three shooting positions each, and the 100 yard has six or eight, I believe. We took one of the 25 yard pistol bays for ourselves, but the main 250 yard bay (some 20 shooting positions, I think) was damned near full. Again, not filled with Bambi hunters. One thing I noticed at TRC, the Tucson Mountain Park and again at Casa Grande, it appeared that at least half the shooters were there for purely recreational purposes, and at least 10% of the guns on the firing line were EBRs (you know, the guns that Barack If it Looks Like a Machine Gun it Must Be a Machine Gun Obama believes are fully automatic and not used by “sportsmen and hunters,” but which are, in fact semi-automatic and of a “kind in common use at (this) time.”

Moreover, at least 10% of the shooters on the line were of the female persuasion as well. And some were shooting those EBRs.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable morning, even though I put some 240 miles on my truck. I got to spend several hours with my favorite person in the world in the pursuit (and capture!) of my (second!) favorite recreational activity. 😉 Can’t beat that even with a big stick.

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