Well boys, I finally made it to the range! Buckle up, this might be a long one…
I awoke at 4:30am this morning (for no damn good reason) and decided today would be a range day at all costs. I figured since sleeping was clearly no longer an option, I’d go ahead and clean the Ruger ladies (Subby is still out of commission, sad to say), the 9mm PC Carbine and the newly acquired AR556 8529. I spent some early morning happy time huffing Powder Blast and CLP and admiring them in all their fabulous, oily mechanical blackness.
As some of you know, I’ve been having a bit of time trying to find a decent local public range. I got a tip off when picking up the AR last Thursday from the guy running my background check regarding a range on the Eastern Shore (MD, that is), he recommended a place called Delmarva Sporting Clays & Rifle Range…I’m glad he did and I’m glad I went. It’s only an hour away in “Chesapeake Country” (read rural, nice drive) and they’ve got 18 covered rifle stations with berms at 50, 100, 200 and 300. They also have a separate 500 yard berm and 2 covered pistol ranges at 25 yards. They’ve got some large steel plates at 300 on the rifle range and lots of plinking steels on the pistol ranges. As the name suggests, they also have a clay range with over 50 stations at a location close by. Apparently they also run 3 gun comps, too. Inside they’ve got a gun shop with a decent selection of rental guns as well as ammo and targets for sale, the usual range fare. Family owned and operated, I believe someone said the wife was an Olympic medalist in shooting of some flavor at some point in the past. Anyway, nice folks and a pretty decent facility in a relaxing rural atmosphere. Range fee is 20 clams if you pay cash and you have use of all ranges (save the skeet) as well as a good 8-10 spotting scopes, bench bags and shooting rests. Open 9-6, 364 days a year. Ka-ching!
Bear in mind this is the first time shooting both of these firearms and first time shooting for me in literally decades. I started the day with the AR, irons at 50 yards to sight it in. The AR is an absolute blast to shoot but I’m still hitting left frequently after 60 rounds and adjusting the rear windage well beyond what I feel it should be. I’m quite convinced it’s not the gun, ammo or sights, it’s me and something with my shooting position or trigger pull that I need to work on. I actually said that out loud when the range was cold and another patron nearby mentioned that’s the first time he’s heard anyone blame themselves for poor shooting. I gotta be me, my old man always told me to be accountable. Having said that, I did find the trigger a bit on the heavy side and a little vague as well, already have an upgrade/replacement on the way to solve that minor hiccup. I enjoyed shooting open sights but I also discovered my eyesight “ain’t quite what it used to be”, I will be digging through the AR scope post here in earnest in the very near future for some ideas. I really want to have a go at the 100 to 300 berms but I’m afraid my eyes are a weak link and I’ll just end up hemorrhaging rounds in the name of pride.
Next up was the PCC…let’s just say I wasn’t expecting the fun level to elevate, but she did not disappoint. I started out punching a hole through the target the size of a small child’s fist at 25 yards, dead center just south of the bull on an 8" target, tweaked the rear sight a bit and it was party time. After pulverizing the centers of three more targets, I unleashed the 9mm fun seeds on some steel. I’ve never done any plinking before but I can now officially say I’m addicted, for the record. I shot from the bench, bagged and freehand, standing, it didn’t matter, the rounds kept things ringing like they were being drawn to a magnet. Approximately 250 rounds later, the PCC’s fluted barrel was cooking and I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
Only one malfunction the whole day for both guns, a failure to feed about 28 rounds into a 32 round ProMag on the PCC. Pretty sure this was the magazine’s fault and not the firearm or ammo. Shot quite an assortment of rounds through both, no issues otherwise.
Only real downside to the day was some asshat sweeping my legs at about knee height with the business end of what I believe was a lovely 1903 Springfield while he was telling me about it, I can’t be sure about the gun as I kind of stopped listening as he did it and proceeded to move away from him as quickly as possible in an involuntary act of self-preservation. A younger Dave probably would’ve punched him in the head and shoved his firearm up his bung sideways for his indiscretions, but the new and improved Dave just GTFOH. If the RSO had seen it, that dude would surely be missing a sizeable chunk of his ass this evening (and possibly be banned from the range). Some people’s kids, I swear…