Fun at the range – golf ball guns

Two of my fellow RSOs have golf ball cannons, its a M44 Mosin Nagant with a iron tube welded to the bayonet lug. You cover a golf ball with a tissue/paper, push it into the tube, load up a blank 7.62x54R round, aim, and fire! And the golf ball goes flying. We did this in the backwoods and the golf ball must have gone over 700 yards before it was lost from sight.

But its’ still a firearm, gotta watch where you aim it.

Yesterday (Sunday) a golf ball was fired, it hit the 25 yard beam and came straight back. It then hit the front of rifle bench 12 then bounced back hitting another pole and coming to a rest in front of rifle bench 13.

A picture of the 25yr beam:

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The danger of squibs

Was on RSO shift yesterday, the pre-hunting season mania has calmed down. Had a ad there with Grandpa, an uncle, and his 4 kids.

He was shooting a 12+ yr old Savage 17HMR bolt action rifle. They were using Hornady 17HMR ammo. One of his sons had a problem with a a round, the bullet had been pushed in all the way into the case and the powder trickled out. The Dad checked it out, I was there and said looks like either 1 round was attempted to be chambered while another was in the chamber or the ammo was flaky.

Later I heard them talking about the rifle and sounded like there was a problem so I walked over. The Dad was shooting, had a squib round, he did not notice it, and fired again. The side of the rifle blew off,  luckily no one was injured, but the rifle was ruined. We used a rod to push both bullets out of the barrel, the brass was still in the chamber and the end of the case was blown out. I suggested he contact Savage and Hornady and see what they say.

A picture of the damage:

A Snr RSO went to a local gun shop, the guys at the shop say that bolt action Savage 17hmr have a problem with bullets getting stuck like this.

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Practice practice practice

A regular brought her new BF to the range, she had given him a Kahr 10mm pistol. At 7 yards, he got 1 shot on paper. She tried, she managed to get 2 shots on paper, and this is while shooting several 7+ round clips each. And by paper I mean on the paper of the target, no where near the bullseye.

I was watching them, went over to ask and see if the sights can be adjusted. The rear sight can be adjusted for windage. I asked if I could try it, they agreed, so I shot 3 shots.

All 3 were almost on top of each other just slightly high and to the right of the bullseye, about .5″ from center. I think I did better with this pistol than with my own.

Just shows what practice can do, I’ve been an RSO for almost a year and try to shoot at least 50 rounds from my Ruger revolver weekly.  So I practice quite a lot.

Now I need to see how accurate I can be at 7 yards with my revolver..

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Another garage sale find

A different RSO showed me a black powder pistol he picked up at an estate sale. It was in a box on the wall as a decoration. He bought it for $10 and had it inspected. If it was original, it would be worth about $6000. But since it was a replica, it’s worth is only $600. Still not bad for a $10 garage sale find.

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Great garage sale find

A fellow RSO dropped in the range yesterday while I was on duty. He just had to tell someone about the garage sale find he stumbled upon.

It was an old black powder musket, marked as made in the 1830’s somewhere in Prussia. Since both sides bought muskets form Prussia during the Civil War, that is probably how this rifle came to the states. It had a crack in the stock and a small chip out in the wood, but otherwise was in good shape.

The best part? It was a wall hanger and cost him $10…

What a find.

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New gun…

Last weekend two guys came in with 2 guns. 1 was new, just picked up, all shiny. The owner was all excited to shoot it. He setup at target @ 7 yards, one of the 5 bullseye targets, then proceeded to make holes all over it.

He was shooting at the top left bullseye and hitting near the center bullseye when I walked over and heard him discussing with his friend that the sights are off. He was shooting awful and his friend was not much better. I asked if I could take a look at it and saw that the read sights can be adjusted for windage using a punch and hammer.

The owner suggest I try it, so I also aimed at the top left bullseye, put 5 shots in a 1″ group.

I turned to the owner and said ‘Sorry, looks like the gun is ok’.

It made the owner feel a little better that he did not get a bad gun, he just needs to practice.


I try to shoot at least 30 shots a shift, working at different distances and concentrating on double action with my revolver.

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Nice old rifle

A fellow RSO brought in his oldest rifle, a 1878 Springfield bolt action 45-70 rifle. It was in great shape, he actually has a brother who reloads and his brother made some low power rounds for this rifle. It was interesting to see how it worked. Even better was that it was stamped ‘MGM’, it had been an MGM prop gun at some time.

I should have taken a picture of it..

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Never make assumptions

A couple showed up to shoot, they had not been to the range before so had to go thru the safety spiel/etc. Younger couple, in their 20’s, had 2 new rifles to test out. I assumed (incorrectly) that the guy had brought along his wife/gf to teach her.

Boy was I wrong.

She has hunted in Utah, worked in small gun shops in Alaska, she also worked at a local large chain sports shop before getting tired of the politics.

He was the completely new one.

When I heard this, I sheepishly ducked my head and watched as she setup the scopes on the rifles, she knew what she was doing and knew more than I do about it.

Lesson: Don’t make assumptions!

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I was outside the shooting shack, giving the safety briefing to a bunch of new shooters.

The parking lot is at a higher level than the shooting shack, the level of the lot is about shoulder high.

So I’m jabbering away, and hear the sound of a rifle being cleared, I look to the parking lot, and there is a guy cycling his AR style rifle to make sure it is cleared. While the rifle is point at us!

I did not loose it, I went up to him and told him what he did and that I was going to bring the rifle into the lobby of the shed and put it in the gun rack there.

Jeesh… Things like that make my hair turn gray faster.

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Hairdo by .50 BMG

We have a regular who brings in her .50 BMG. Now a .50 BMG is an impressive rifle, they weigh in about 30 lbs and seem heavier than that. The bullet is quite large, see

for a size comparison.

And when it fires it gives off a very large wave of sound and pressure. All the BMGs I’ve seen have a muzzle break, which reduces recoil which is a good thing. I’ve not want to feel the full recoil. But the muzzle reduces the recoil, it just blows out the pressure wave sideways and backward. This can be quite distracting if you are the poor soul on the benches next to the BMG, or are even waling by because it will hit you and blows your hair all over. As well as give you a nice dusting of spent powder . Always fun.


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