More Fun at the Range – Ice Blocks for Target Practice

We went back to the range this weekend with six ice blocks. Our group had a variety of rifles this time in .308 Winchester, 7.62×51 M118Lr, .30-06 Springfield, 8mm Mauser and .444 Marlin. As appealing as it was, I resisted the urge to just empty an M14 magazine. Perhaps its the engineer in me, but I wanted to test each cartridge on a different block of ice and record the results. Surprisingly, the .30 caliber rounds made more spectacular explosions than the .444 Marlin. While we were dismantling the block ice, my two-year-old was watching with LRH safely from the parking lot. After we started the experiment she commented, “loud things break a snows Momma”. LOL.

She also commented when the guy with the Mauser took three shots to bring down the block. He was using AP rounds so they punched little holes in the ice that she couldn’t see. Her remark was, “he can’t do it Momma, Daddy do it!” Just priceless.

Fun at the Range: Shooting an Ice Block

I had a good time at the range this Saturday. We showed up with a block of ice, placed it at about 25 yards and proceeded to destroy it with one 40-caliber rifle round. I’m going to bring 5 blocks next time I go shooting. Check this out:

The 444 is an intimidating cartridge that produces plenty of recoil. There was a small group of guys at the range and only two of them were willing to shoot that rifle. My wife walks up, chambers 4 rounds and proceeds to dismantle a block of wood at 50 yards. After she was done, her first comment was “that didn’t kick much.” Any woman who can handle a large-bore rifle is hot. Add red hair to the mix and you’ve got mega-hot so I count myself blessed!

We also brought some clays and put them on the hill at 100 yards. We had a Mini-30, Mini-14, 30-30 and a brand new absolutely badass Ruger Sr-556. Those clay zombies didn’t last long. I’m going back in a few weeks with more ice blocks and a real video camera (not that worthless thing in my iPhone). Stay tuned.

Shooting in the Dark: How to do Muzzle Flash Photography

I brought my camera to the range yesterday with the intent to capture some muzzle blasts from pistol rounds. The idea was originally inspired by my friend who has a Bersa Thunder in .45 and some +P rounds. The results were amazing, to say the least.

The process is fairly straightforward provided you have solo access to an indoor range or can find a safe place outside to shoot with low lighting conditions. You’ll need a good SLR camera with support for bulb exposure, a solid tripod and some patience. Follow the tips below:

  1. Choose a location where you have control of the light. Ideally this would be access to a private indoor range. In order to get a good exposure, the shutter of the camera must be depressed with ambient light at a minimum. Obviously it would be unwise to shoot in complete darkness, so dim the light just enough that you won’t overexpose but are still able to see the target. Always observe the four rules of gun safety, especially rule number 4: “be sure of your target and what lies behind it.”
  2. Set up the tripod and camera near but slightly behind the shooter. Adjust the focal length to frame the photograph how you want. If you instruct the shooter to keep the firearm in an invisible box, you can try zooming in to fill the frame with more of the blast.
  3. With the lights on, instruct the shooter to take position and take aim, but not fire. Set the focus to manual and adjust until the firearm is in focus. In cameras that have a live-view mode, this is a simple task since the LCD display can be zoomed in while the focus ring is tweaked appropriately. Mark the position of the shooter’s feet, so he can return to that position for subsequent shots.
  4. Set the camera to the lowest ISO speed to reduce grain and light sensitivity.
  5. Set the camera for manual bulb exposure and adjust the aperture to an fstop that darkens the background without reducing the muzzle flash. I found that f/5.6 to f/8 works the best in very dim light.
  6. With the shooter in position, turn down the lights and instruct the shooter to fire after depressing the shutter button. A bulb exposure holds the shutter open as long as the button is pressed, so when the shooter is done firing the button may be released and the muzzle flash will be captured.
  7. Adjust aperture as needed to brighten or darken the blast.

Here are the results:

UW College Republicans Know How to Party

Spent the evening with LRH and the UW College Republican Club at Wade’s Indoor Range in Bellevue. Free gun rentals, tons of ammo and free targets. T and I got to shoot Sigs, Glocks, XDs, and 1911s all chambered in 9mm. I brought my 45 and let some of the club members try it out after I convinced them it wasn’t going to explode. (A few of them were actually afraid of the 45’s recoil, but I assured them that if my fiancée can shoot 2 inch groups at 15 yards with it then they can hold the thing down range and pull the trigger. Speaking of which, T’s shooting was quite impressive. While some of the guys were cheering when they hit the paper, she was upset if she broke the 2″ mark on the bull’s eye. LOL.

A Beautiful Redhead Who Can Handle a .45

What more could a man want?

20 yards, Winchester 185 gr. Silvertip JHP .45 ACP – 8 mags.

Beautiful redhead with a 45

Yep. She can shoot too!