Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gun Bloggers Meet-up

Glenn and I met up with a bunch of the gun bloggers yesterday for a few rounds of shooting and then for dinner. The guests included SayUncle, Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell, Bitter at The Bitch Girls, Les Jones, and Tam at View From the Porch Blog. I got some great shooting tips from everyone, including Say Uncle who tried to teach me not to flinch (not an easy feat) and from Bitter and Tam on the best guns for women with smaller hands (for more on grip techniques, check out Women Learning to Shoot). Everyone at the meet-up was knowledgeable and respectful of weapons and really knew their stuff. I was amazed at the variety of weaponry and got to try out an AR-15 which I have never shot before. See the pic.



Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

The 2nd Amendment really IS the Equal Rights amendment, isn't it?

Talk about homeland security!

9:28 AM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger DoubleTapper said...

It looks like a good time was had by all. Let me know when you guys will be in my neighborhood and I'll set you up with some more good clean wholesome shooting.

9:51 AM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger Don Surber said...

I take it no one brought just a knife

9:54 AM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger Joel Rosenberg said...

Very cool. I'd love to make one of these, some time; I've got to make it down to vaguely your neck of the woods, as Oleg's been wanting to shoot me (the other kind of "shoot") for some time, and shooting this sort of gathering (the same other kind of "shoot") would be right up his alley.

10:50 AM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger Mad William Flint said...

Heh. Well said Joan :-)

I swear, this stuff is making me even MORE jealous of where you people live.

Could you imagine proposing that in Manhattan? I love my city, but yeesh!

It would be a meeting of "wish you were a gun blogger"s.

We'd sit in a Starbucks and talk wistfully about Kim du Toit posts. :-p


11:26 AM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger FOD said...

Those weapons of "unusual lethality or power" can be pretty fun. Take Romney next time.

12:01 PM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger Newtons Bit said...

Advice on shooting a rifle:

Instead of bringing your head down to the sight like you're doing in the picture above, bring the rifle butt up higher on the shoulder so that you don't have to bend your head down. That will help with keeping your eye on the target after you plink off one round. Your body won't be scrunched up and you'll be able to handle recoil (even the slight pushing of an AR-15) easier.

12:41 PM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

"Helen Smith, madcap! Where you goin' with that AR-15 in your hand?" (Apologies to Doc Holiday in Tombstone.)

Ha! But seriously, I think it's great for you to take an interest in being educated and informed about firearms, and more importantly experienced in their use. In this insane world today, you just never know when you might need to use one.

I've never fired an AR-15 myself. I prefer a 12-gauge riot shotgun, which is the weapon of choice in close combat. But I also have a Glock 9mm and a Ruger .357 double-action revolver. So I'm prepared for any eventuality.

An armed citizenry is a free citizenry. I truly believe that. Just don't ever forget the three rules of guns.

1. Never point a gun at something unless you intend to shoot it.

2. Never put your finger on the trigger unless you intend to pull it.

3. If you shoot something, kill it.

That's how I was raised, growing up in the backwoods of Texas.

1:40 PM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger Duke of DeLand said...

Dr. Helen....

Good On Ya for the gun story....I am sure you and Glenn had a great time. i have found most gun owners to be fine folk.

I had not owned a gun since my teen years, but when Duchess 7 I took to the road in our motorhome, I changed I posted:

The key for me is deterence, and being prepared...

Duke DeLand

1:55 PM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger Ted said...

crazy girl

7:01 PM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger jeyi said...

You sure, Dr Helen, that that's an AR-15 in the header picture? Maybe it's a custom stock or something, but normally an AR-15, aka the M-16 (more or less), doesn't have a vertical front pistol grip for your left hand. Pretty strange looking and very long magazine also for an AR-15??

7:11 PM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger SayUncle said...

Jeyi, yes it is. It's mine. the odd magazine is because it's chambered in 9mm. And it has a vltor modstock and yankee hill forearms. Better pic here.

Women seem to like that gun.


7:50 PM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

see: Mall Ninja

8:59 PM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger Carteach said...

Looks like a good time had by all...

Wonder if theres enough gun bloggers up PA way to make it happen here?


9:28 PM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger SayUncle said...

"see: Mall Ninja"

No, i'm a real ninja. Pretty good gig but the dental plan sucks.


10:20 PM, December 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pretty cool picture. All those people there at one time firing, must of sounded like the fourth of July.

11:12 PM, December 30, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Thanks for the picture--and the info on your AR-15.

5:49 AM, December 31, 2007  
Blogger tomcal said...

Here in California, you are not allowed to have a grip on the forearm because - well, because.

Helen, isn't there an outdoor range in all of Tennessee? I hate those stinky noisy indoor ranges; and half the fun is annihilating things hundreds of yards away.

You should take a precision rifle (i.e. sniper) course. That will get you over the flinches. Be careful though; if you really get into it you will end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on equipment.

Happy New Year!

BTW: There seems to be a rising interest in sniping in the entertainment industry these days. From "Spy Game", "Enemy at the Gates" and "Shooter" in the movie theaters, to a new upcoming series on the Military Channel, the public seems to be buying tickets to see snipers in action. I wonder why that is?

11:27 AM, December 31, 2007  
Blogger Carteach said...

I know a number of ways to work through a flinch... and usually one or more work for everyone.

It can be done, and it's not too hard. Done right, it can a lot of fun!

I should blog this.... write it up somehow anyway....

11:35 AM, December 31, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Hi Tomcal,

Yes, there are outdoor ranges, we have one sportsman's club in Oak Ridge that I used to go with Glenn to shoot and it had a lot of space.

I'm not sure what is behind the rising interest in sniping. I know I hear a lot of young boys say that this is an interest of theirs.

Happy New Year to you too!

2:08 PM, December 31, 2007  
Blogger mamahen said...

how are things going. .

2:34 AM, January 02, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

including Say Uncle who tried to teach me not to flinch (not an easy feat)

I think a BB gun is the only thing I have ever shot and it has been a while. However, I flinch all of the time when people get too close to me.

Tomcal, I have seen Spy Game and Enemy at the Gates, but not the third one.

2:11 PM, January 03, 2008  
Blogger 1charlie2 said...


Hope you weren't flinching on account of a 9mm AR-15.

My youngest son (completely unafraid of loud noises when he has his ear defenders on) fired mine (in .223, no less) at 7 years old. This was after shooting a .22 rimfire for about a year.

Although the AR15 Sporter has very little kick (owing to the buffer spring), those who fire one know how godawful loud it is.

So I load one round in the magazine, load the mag, chamber the round, safe the rifle, and hand it to #2 son to aim.

Buttstock's collapsed, he sights the rifle.

Since he's only shot .22 rimfire, he doesn't fear recoil (that'd change if he ever fired my Weatherbee )

I ask him if he's ready. After he says yes, I unsafe the rifle, remind him it will be a lot louder than he's used to, and tell him to fire when ready. Watch him like a hawk to make sure he's okay with it -- heavier and larger than the Rossi he usually shoots.


Total shock on his face. Don't think he expected it to be quite that loud, even though he heard dad firing it.

I've got my hand on the forestock now and I'm watching his reaction closely.

Face frozen for two heartbeats.

Then a huge grin, "Wow, that was really loud. Can I do that one more time ?"

After the second round, he lost interest. Novelty gone, I guess. He still loves shooting the .22 rimfire, though.

8:29 PM, January 03, 2008  
Blogger tomcal said...


Shooter is cool because it is very realistic, at least for a movie. They speak of all of the mathmatical corrections you need to make a long range shot, plus it shows all of the sneaking and hiding required of a sniper.

It also has the requisite love story and revenge scene at the end. Something for everyone!

10:18 PM, January 03, 2008  
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