In honor of Astro’s many “Range Report” posts, I figure I’d do one since The Astronomicon is down for the count (for the time being). Granted, I don’t have nearly the repertoire that Astro has when it comes to guns (nor do I intend to), but I do like to go shooting when I have the opportunity.

My revolverI grew up shooting BB guns and that’s about it. It wasn’t until after college that I bought my first gun and started shooting. My roommate at the time, Tony Colella, was seriously into guns: mainly western-style revolvers, shotguns, and rifles. He even entered into one or two Cowboy Shooting competitions. I’m sure he won the “dueling competition” because he’s still alive (I jest). Anyway, in Mississippi, he finally convinced me that I needed one to join in on the fun; hence, my first gun, the Smith and Wesson .44 revolver. That remained my only gun for quite some time.

Fast forward about 3-4 years later. I was at Cannon AFB in New Mexico. I became pretty good friends with Astro and many of the other pilots. Toward the end of his tour there, Astro all of the sudden got into guns (I think from a combo of Tex Cobb and Magic Johnson, who both owned their share of guns). Within a few months, Astro owned more guns than I’ve seen any one person own: a Remmington 870 shotgun, almost the exact same revolver that I owned, about 10+ military surplus WWII rifles (to include the Lee Enfield, Mosin Nagant, and the mighty Springfield and Garand), and an assortment of small handguns and .22 rifles. Needless to say, I went shooting with him on many occassions, the last being the Tex Cobb Memorial Saturday Shootout. My SpartanOn one of the occassions, I went on a whim and bought a Remington Spartan; mainly because I wanted my own shotgun to shoot clays with, and influencing me toward the old, short, double-barrel granny-style shotgun was Tony Colella’s love of western-style guns. Initially I was horrible with that gun, but after some practice, I could nail a decent amount of clay pigeons (though I was almost flawless with Astro’s 870).

As stated above, I really haven’t shot a gun since Astro and Tex moved out of Clovis… until now. Granted, it wasn’t going out in the middle of the woods or shooting with friends, it’s still shooting. I had to go qualify on the Colt M-4 Carbine before I can deploy overseas. Even this was fun because I was able to shoot at an Army Guard range (which Guard guys are, for the most part, more chill than active-duty) and I was the only one there, so the whole session was tailored toward me. Even better, I’m actually pretty accurate with a rifle (as you can see at Tex’s Shootout… I tied for 1st with the iron sites), unlike with handguns, such as the Beretta M9 that officers are supposed to use.

Shooting the M-4

After about 20 rounds of adjusting the site (mainly, we ended up moving it to the left. The vertical was spot-on), I was ready for the graded event: 50 rounds (timed) with the following breakdown on “multiple” targets ranging from 50 meters out to 300 meters:

  • 10 rounds (via 3 magazines) in a prone-supported position
  • 10 rounds (via 3 magazines) in a prone-unsupported position
  • 10 rounds (via 3 magazines) in a prone-unsupported position with a gas mask on
  • 10 rounds (via 3 magazines) in a kneeling position
  • 10 rounds (via 3 magazines) in a standing position

Overall, I don’t think I did that bad. It was freezing outside, but that only distracted me between events. The target sheet is below. I ended up getting all 50 rounds on paper, with 46 of them being in the black silhouettes. To shoot expert in the military, you need at least 43 on the silhouettes with all 50 being on paper.


Not bad for not shooting in a while… too bad I can’t do that with the M9, where I can only qualify by two or three rounds.

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