Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Bloggershoot, Part the Second: The Tools/Toys

Posted by Lissa on July 23, 2008

I *really* better write this soon, before I forget everything.  The way you can tell I’m a noob?  I remember everyone I met, I memorized everyone’s real names (not that I’ll tell you peasants — ha!) . . . and I can barely remember all the pretty weapons that folks let me borrow.  Note to self — next time, I’m bringing my AlphaSmart Neo (thanks Marko!) and taking notes as I go along!!  No, you may not use it for target practice, I like that little doohickey.

As I wrote earlier, I was too shy to say, “Oo pretty!  I can haz rifle?”  So I stood around enjoying the bangs and exploding water jugs until Mrs. Doubletrouble very kindly took me under her wing.  (TOTWTYTR generously offered me a pistol and use of his magazines/ammo, but the last time I went shooting was about two years ago.  I wasn’t sure I remembered everything about the safety, slide, etc. and I wasn’t going to try and “learn as I went along” with a borrowed pistol!  So thanks TOTWTYTR, may I take a rain check?)  Mrs. Doubletrouble had a pretty lil’ .22 that was marketed as a “boy’s first gun,” very smooth, very light, short stock, and very comfortable.  It was a great start to my day; I reminded myself to squeeze the trigger slowly and smoothly, to keep my sights nicely aligned, and to allow each shot to “surprise” me, rather than tense up in anticipation.

After that, it all merges together in an orgasmic discharge of powder and bullets.  I freely admit that I went here to try and match shooting experience to gun and to provider; please guys, pop up in the comments if you feel helpful!  So, in no particular order:

Thank you Weer’d Beard, who allowed me to shoot his .22 pistol.  It was little and cute and light and shot smoothly, and held enough rounds to make it look like a FREAK OF NATURE.  I swear the cylinder was like a clown car, y’all.  I liked this pistol because it was easily shot; I don’t know enough to say whether a .22 is a reliable carry gun or home defense gun.  My guess is that it would make an okay carry gun (if MA ever gave me a carry permit — SNORT), but that I’d want something with a little more oomph for home defense.  Like, say, a certain 12 gauge shotgun . . . more on that later!  Weer’d Beard also let me shoot a rifle, but damned if I know for sure, or what it was!  Hmmm . . . was it the one with strip ammo?  Help please!

Bruce was nice enough to lend me a cycle-action (?) lever-action .22 and untold handfuls of ammo.  (Oh, and everyone was nice enough to load the guns for me, at least the first time; thank you!)  Doubletrouble and his Mrs. thank you as well, because that was the gun that I wasn’t cycling properly, thus merrily ejecting live ammo all over the firing line.  Good times. 

I believe it was ArcticElf who loaned me the happy, happy AR-15 with the happy happy laser sight.  I [bleeped] that metal target UP, though I do say so myself.  This bad boy was heavy enough that I had to work at keeping it steady, but oh, the bad bad things I could do to home invaders with this sucker . . .

TOTWTYTR, your Enfield did NOT weigh as much as I did!  After all, I had to sample cookies as I baked them to make sure they were coming out correctly 🙂  However, I freely admit that it was too big for me to comfortably handle; the action was smooth and the kick wasn’t bad, but 1) I had to take it off my shoulder to cycle it, 2) TOTWTYTR actually had to cycle it FOR me the first few times, 3) my left hand started shaking badly enough that I gave it back without exhausting the magazine.  No point in shooting if your hand isn’t cooperating enough to give a good shot!

As far as home defense, according to my daddy what I really want is a shotgun.  (“Nothing stops a home intruder like the sounds of a shotgun being cocked, honey.”)  Luckily for me, Jay G brought his 12-gauge shotgun *and* was thoughtful enough to load it with birdshot; I think bigger stuff would have knocked me on my butt.  Gunnies, birdshot will still do to dispose of a goblin coming down the hallway, right?  I *really* liked the shotgun; the kick was minimal, and the BOOM was maximum.  (I’m the type that LOVES LOVES LOVES fireworks, for the sound and the WHAM! to your chest as much as the pretty lights.)  Jay also let me play with his pistol (which one, Jay? actually two pistols, damn shame I can’t remember which one I liked better!) and try both .357 and .38 special; the gun shot VERY smoothly.  I really got a good feeling from this one; I think it would make an excellent primary pistol.

And, of course, we have to finish off with my very first sub-machine gun.  True, I trimmed the trees more often than I hit the damn target, but O Joy of Joys!   As you can see from the video, I stagger away looking punch-drunk; that’s soooo much more fun than my average Sunday morning!  Mmm, worshipping at the Church of the Second Amendment . . . Thanks Paul!  (Daddy, if you ever drive by there on your way back to NH, it is your paternal duty to stop there and buy some ammo, at the LEAST.)

That’s all I’ve got for now . . . I reserve the rights to update as 1) I remember more specifics, 2) the nice folkses from the Meet tell me what they let me play with, in the comments.  Have at it, gentlemen!

P.S.  drmac, thank the Mrs. please for being willing to lend me her piece; maybe next time I’ll have time to shoot it 🙂

UPDATE: Thanks guys, some corrections to the entry.  ShootBarbie (I *like* that abbreviation!), I’ll put up pix in the next post, where I dish about all the fabulous people who came.  Jay, sometime when I have time, I will *definitely* take you up on that offer!  That way we can pick me out a primary pistol that *isn’t* a .22.  And we’ll take lots of pictures, and there will be much rejoicing.  (Breda . . . can’t I do both?  Piss off the goblins and THEN kill them?)

17 Responses to “Bloggershoot, Part the Second: The Tools/Toys”

  1. secretlivesofscientists said

    love the video’s, sugar! I heart the ARF, tis a sweet li’l thang, aint it?! That’s some perma grin you got on your face after the submachine.

  2. Bruce said

    Lissa, the correct term is “lever action”. Glad you enjoyed it. Then again, anyone who doesn’t enjoy shooting a .22 rifle is dead inside.

  3. Jay G said


    It’s a Ruger Security Six .357 Magnum. You also fired my Smith & Wesson model 39 9mm semi-automatic pistol, don’t forget!

  4. Breda said

    “I swear the cylinder was like a clown car, y’all.”
    Hilarious! This is like the funniest and most adorable range report ever. I love it!

    But, no, Lissa. You do not want to carry a .22. You want to kill goblins, not piss them off.

  5. Yeah the .22 Revolver you shot Was my S&W 617 with a 4″ barrel
    The .22 Rifle you shot was a Glenfield (Same as Marlin) Model 60 Semi-auto
    The Clip-fed Military rifle was a Romanian SKS in 7.62X39mm

    As for Carry, I’m with Breda on this. You can (and many DO) carry .22, but its not the best choice ever.

    Though a .22 that is similar to your carry gun can be great for non-tiring and cheap training.

    Usally the concensus for Carry caliburs (aranged from least powerful *and kicking* to most)
    For Revolvers .38 Special, .44 Special, .357 magnum
    For Semi-auto Pistols. .380 Auto, 9X18mm Markarov, 9X19mm luger (what the SMG was in) .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

    There are others out there, but those cover 99% of the carry caliburs you’ll find.

    Also drop me an email if want some detailed info on applying for your permit.

  6. secretlivesofscientists said

    I know that 9mm aren’t the most desireable for a primary carry (primary carry what? I’m still working on carrying just one, let alone two pistols – for now heehee)…but many cops use them as their 2ndary carry. I love my sig saur P239, it’s a good gun for small girl hands, the only problem is that the max load is 10 rounds.

    I wanna see pictures of you shooting that magnum!

  7. Jay G. said

    I don’t think any pictures were taken of Lissa shooting the Ruger, unfortunately.

    Now, if she takes me up on my offer to go shooting at my gun club, I’ll bring along both a .357 Magnum *and* a .44 Magnum (you know, Dirty Harry’s “Most powerful handgun in the world”???)


  8. Jay G. said

    Oh, and we’ll get pictures.

  9. “I know that 9mm aren’t the most desireable for a primary carry”

    9X19mm Luger (also known just as “9mm” or 9mm Parabellum) kinda has a bum-rap in the shooting world. Its not as big and heavy as .45 ACP (My favorite round in existance, in spirit of full disclosure) or .40 S&W, or go as fast as the bearish .357 Magnum, but much of its bad name comes from the World Wars when Americans went up against Germans. The Americans had M1911 Pattern guns in .45 ACP (or S&W Revolvers chambered in the same) while the Germans had the Luger pistol in 9X19mm…..all of these rounds were Full Metal Jacket.

    Now take a note of that. I wouldn’t even choose to carry my .45 loaded with FMJ ammo (not that they won’t do pleanty of killin) Instead I choose to carry high-quality hollow-point ammo (My personal preference is Federal HST bullets, the other big names are Federal Hydra-Shok, Speer Gold Dot, Winchester Silvertip, Remington Golden Sabers, the list goes on)

    Essentially where I’m going with this is that with a good quality bullet and good quality ammo 9X19 is a VERY good defensive choice….sure somthing like .44 Magnum might be considered “Better” but so long as its .38 Sp or .380 Auto or bigger, and you use quality defensive ammo, things like shot placement, and number of shots landed, and speed of presntation of your firearm will be FAR more important than the difference between a .380 Auto, and a .45 ACP.

    So in the end, pick a gun that you are comfortable carrying (no sence getting a massive .44 Magnum if you’ll never bring it with you, or can only conceal it under the heavy winter parka you wair in February) and comfortable shooting (if the gun isn’t fun or enjoyable to shoot, then you won’t shoot it often, and therefore are less likley to shoot it well if you ever need it)

    So bottom line, get out there and shoot LOTS of different guns, figgure out what you like and don’t like, then hit the gun shops and handle lots of other guns, eventully you’ll have a good idea what will be a good fit for you, then practice, practice, practice!

  10. Sevesteen said

    I’m going to quibble a bit with Breeda–The official purpose of a gun is to STOP goblins, not to kill them. A .22 is still relatively likely to kill, but it doesn’t do very well at stopping immediately.

    In my mind, 9mm or .38+p with premium hollowpoints is where self-defense calibers get real. Below that, you are compromising a fair amount to get either a smaller gun or less recoil. Above 9mm, you can only gain a relatively small amount of effectiveness, at the cost of more recoil and (usually) lower capacity. Full disclosure: I usually carry a .40–The recoil is still manageable TO ME, and in my preferred platform I only lose 1 round capacity. 9mm is also significantly cheaper to practice with than anything but .22–My range gun is a slightly larger 9mm version of my carry gun.

    I consider standard .38 (rather than the slightly more powerful .38+p) and .380 as marginal for self-defense, especially out of a short barrel. I do own a Keltec .380–its tiny size makes up for a lot, and it is a whole lot better than a sharp stick. However, the tiny size makes it distinctly unpleasant to shoot-Even though it is only a .380, its recoil stings far more than my bigger guns. Not important for self-defense, but it makes practice a chore. I don’t carry it much, but that is mostly because my wife decided to take it as her main carry gun.

    In the summer, I often carry a 5 shot .38 revolver, and if I could only keep one gun, that would be it. I don’t think there is anything more versatile than a snubnose revolver.

    Birdshot is likely to make painful but shallow, superficial wounds. Goblins are generally closer to the size of a buck than a bird, so buckshot is far, far better. You can get reduced-recoil buckshot (sometimes referred to as “tactical loads” so the overly-macho can use them without embarrassment) or a 20-gauge. In a home-defense situation, neither of these gives up anything significant in effectiveness, while being much easier to shoot well.

  11. totwtytr said

    Was too, was too, was too! My Enfield that is. Heavier than you! 🙂 OK, just kidding, although it is a heavy rifle. Next time I’ll bring something easier to shoot.

    Had I known that you were a new shooter, I’d have spent more time showing you the workings of the Walther P22. You’d enjoy shooting it and the next time we’ll make sure you get to do that.

    I agree with Weer’d’s comments about 9mm rounds. I carry a S&W 9mm most of the time when I carry and I’m confident it will do the job if I need it to. A compact 9mm would make a good choice for a self defense carry weapon.

    The cookies were delicious and I ate way too many of them.

  12. Damn.
    The cookies, including the crumbs, are gone.


    On the brighter side Lissa, if’n you’d like to squander gas $$ to come out this way again, I can show you & let you shoot most all of the above mentioned calibers, in various configurations, revolver & semi-auto.

    A 2 minute trip to Paul’s will allow you to check out multiple options, & I’m sure we could “range test” any pistol (other than new) that he has on hand.

    Jus’ lemmeno…

  13. Jeff said

    “if MA ever gave me a carry permit — SNORT” This depends entirely on what city/town you live in. There’s a color coded list at http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=8703. Green towns, like the one I live in, give out unrestricted LTC-As (what you need to carry in MA) to all qualified applicants. If you want to get a license (required to possess so much as an empty cartridge casing), the first step is a safety class. Arctic Elf teaches in central MA; I took my class from him last fall. Jon Green at GOAL is also an excellent teacher.

    You also shot a magazine through my 9mm Browning Hi-Power.

  14. lookingforlissa said

    Thanks everyone! I live outside of Boston in the Volksrepublic of Massachusetts, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. However, Mike’s uncle is a flaming liberal and decently well connected in our town . . . Maybe if I lie and tell him I need self-protection against Jevovah’s Witnesses, he’ll grease the wheels?

  15. Just if you can get him to talk to the Cheif of Police (who will be in charge of slapping restrictions on your permit) and convince him that “All Lawful Purposes” sounds good to him.

  16. Arcticelf said

    Yes it was an AR-15. Yes you did beat the hell out of that target.



  17. […] tutorial with each gun.  It didn’t really matter though; I only borrowed guns that came from people willing to walk me through it the first time.  I think supervision is always wise when you’re dealing with unfamiliar and dangerous […]

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