Afternoon Shooting Part One

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I planned for a few hours of ripping up the hillside with hot lead and ejecting shell casings today, and I invited Dara, Wingnut Dan, and a couple of his buddies from the Army Reserves. Since I picked up that rifle I’ve been going to an unofficial outdoor range in the woods that Wingnut Dan told me about. It’s secluded, on a massive amount of unused acreage only a thirty minute drive from my house. We all met up at B Street and proceeded to load up our gear into one car, then head out.

Dara was excited about the prospect of firing weapons, and I told her a few days ago that I had a thing for pretty girls with machine guns. I was just joking around with her when I said that, but she decided to surprise me by going all-out on her attire. Wingnut Dan and his Army pals got to the house first so we were sitting around in the living room jaw jacking and waiting for Dara. She wasn’t terribly late. When she finally arrived and walked through the front door everyone’s eyes practically bugged out of their skulls. She was wearing a gothic styled mini-dress, fishnets, and those spiked heel bitch boots. Her makeup was killer. I was impressed. One of the Army guys looked at me, leaned over in his chair and quietly said, “Where did you find HER”? I laughed.

Bitch boots were going to be a problem. Since the range we were going to was in an isolated area, we would have to hike about a mile up a narrow, steep, inclined dirt trail to get there. Dara wouldn’t make it with footwear like that. I grabbed a pair of my old tennis shoes for her and threw them into my pack. As soon as we got out of the car she would have to change to the tennis shoes. It was kind of a bummer because her outfit mixed with white tennis shoes was going to look entirely silly. Oh well.

It was a beautiful day out, clear skies with no wind and fairly warm. The drive to the trailhead was quick enough. After parking the car off the road and getting everything squared away we began the walk single file up to the shooting area. Wingnut Dan had an ALICE pack on his back, the two Army guys were carrying their rifles on their backs. One of them brought an FN FAL with bipod and the other guy had an AK-74. The AK-74 is identical to an AK-47 on the outside, the only real difference is the round it’s chambered for. I had an ALICE pack and my black AK was slung over my shoulder. The walk on the trail is scenic. As the trail winds up the hillside you pass through dense redwood forest and there’s a fast running creek with a few waterfalls.

At the top of the climb the forest begins to thin out and part to reveal a wide, open field that faces the side of another hill. It’s a perfect backstop for absorbing bullets. We stayed on the edge of the tree line and found a spot to set up in the shade. I walked out to the hill and placed twenty or so bright orange clay targets into the dirt. They’re clay pidgeons meant for blowing away with shotguns but I like using them for distance targets. A case of 90 of them only costs five bucks and when the rain comes all the clay fragments will dissolve into the mud like they were never there. It’s better than cleaning up broken bottles and shredded cans when we’re all done for the day.

While we were getting situated, Wingnut Dan and his friend with the AK-74 got into a serious discussion about how rugged and reliable the AKs are. Apparently they have an almost legendary reputation for reliability in harsh conditions and for taking a ton of abuse from soldiers. Wingnut Dan was of the opinion that if the AK-74 was dragged around in the dirt and stomped on a bunch, as his friend was threatening to do to prove his point, the rifle would jam. AK-74 guy went on a tirade about how AKs have been run over by tracked vehicles like tanks and still functioned properly. Their debate was becoming more of an argument so I stopped what I was doing and looked over to where the two of them were standing. AK-74 guy took his brand new rifle and threw it down to the ground and he began kicking it. He heaped piles of dirt and weeds onto it and then jumped up in the air over it and stomped it’s guts out. I was glad the rifle wasn’t loaded. All of us were watching as he picked up the filthy AK, placed a magazine into the receiver, slammed the charging handle backwards, took aim on the hill across from us, and pulled the trigger.

In a split second a cloud of dust erupted from the hill. The report of the round exploding from the rifle’s muzzle echoed out of the forest and a shell casing bounced off the ground. AK-74 guy took aim again as his finger twitched. Click. Nothing happened. The rifle had indeed, jammed. Wingnut Dan gave his friend an “I told you so” speech as the rest of us laughed at him. Chump.

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~ by factorypeasant on September 15, 2005.

3 Responses to “Afternoon Shooting Part One”

  1. Do the 47 and 74 refer to bore size?

  2. AK-47 refers to the model name and year, so Avotomat Kalishnikov 1947 (i think that’s how you spell it). AK-47s use the 7.62×39 round which is a .30 caliber. The AK-74s use a smaller round which was supposed to be a higher velocity sort of on par with the 5.56mm (.223) round in AR-15/M-16 series rifles. The AK-74 round is 5.45x39mm.

  3. ty

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