Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll returns this week THINKING ABOUT PLINKING. She writes:

It is 7:00 on a Wednesday morning and just turning from dark to light. It is a beautiful 55 degrees. And I am loading magazines preparatory to going plinking. I got an Israeli-made autoloader for my birthday. Last year I got a gun-cleaning workbench. I’m easy to buy for.

Indoor ranges are fine, but for the most fun you can have with your clothes on, you have to plink in the desert of a beautiful clear morning. The mountains surround you on three sides. The bees are humming in perfect unison at a decibel level that you wouldn’t notice with city noises. The sun is just peeking over the horizon and the temperature will eventually drive you back to your air-conditioning or heat, depending on the season. But for now, all is perfect.

Here in the desert, in gay profusion all around us, the evidence exists of the inventive things that others have shot at: old 33 rpm record albums and their covers; retired Hallowe’en pumpkins; bowling pins; watermelons; metal targets that spin when you hit one of the movable arms; hay bales with shredded bullseye targets still on them. Shooters are a convivial lot – they will leave cool stuff to play with. They pick up their brass, though.

I tried shooting at the album covers, but found it too creepy. I’m not comfortable shooting at a picture of Barry Manilow, no matter how much he may have it coming for “I Write the Songs.” It felt a lot more personal than shooting at the grey or pink silhouette guys with the concentric circle innards. Or the evil yellow triangles, rogue red circles, and menacing blue squares.

Despite working out with weights three times a week, after two or three hours and several hundred rounds, I readily admit that my hands and arms get tired and I start doing figure-eights. Then I know it’s time to go home.

This used to make me feel inadequate until I reasoned that if this small woman of late, late middle age has occasion to be in a gun battle that lasts over two hours, it’s probably not going to end at all well. I think the gunfight at our OK Corral lasted a couple of minutes as did the SWAT attack on the Lone Wolf Probably-a-Unitarian Terrorist (Nothing to do with Islam) in Sydney. Not to mention that I’m going to need an assistant to load magazines. And a snack and potty break.(“Excuse me, there, zombie bad guys, I had a lot of coffee this morning, so ‘talk amongst yourselves’. I’ll be back in a minute…and no peeking!”)

Just like when I shot with John Hinderaker, my shooting buddies share guns. It gives you a chance to try out a gun before you buy one. People develop loyalties as fanatical as religious loyalties. You’ve got your Glock devotees, and your Glock haters. I’m a Sig girl myself, though I am also very fond of my Walther PPQ 9 mm. No matter how cool the brand, the gun has to feel right in your hand. And not be a terrible pain in the patootie to field-strip and clean.

When we first moved to Arizona, we attended a fund-raiser for Sheriff Paul Babeu. Later he was outed as gay and nobody in Arizona much cared. Except that he’s very good-looking and a friend had him picked out for her niece. Oh, well. Anyhow, they were raffling off an AR-15 at Sheriff Paul’s fund-raiser, but ticket sales were really slow. When I asked somebody at our table why, he said, “Because everybody here already has one.” Point taken. I love Arizona.

Errata: In my column two weeks ago, I mistakenly typed .9, instead of 9 mm. Strangely enough, it was even correct on my t-shirt. Sheesh! My bad. This was caught by Philip Carlson, Deborah Brown, and Dan Schwartz, and I suspect many others who just didn’t want to embarrass me. Dan predicted that the gun-experts – which I have never claimed to be; I’m a decent shot and an “expert” at standing in lines only! – will never let me forget it.

I’m used to that. In my regular Tuesday night poker game with my Ammo Line buddies, I once got bluffed skillfully enough to fold with trip 10s. I would have won walking away. Now, every time I get a “10” in an “up” card, The Paranoid Texan needles me. (“Just two more tens, and AG can fold!”) Poker is just one more thing at which I’m not an expert. The list is long. By the way, the Great Trip Ten Folding Incident happened more than a year ago, so I’m prepared for a long siege. Anyway, guys, good catch.

And to Nis Silver, three weeks ago, in the Gruber column I meant to say “Trix” the fiberless breakfast cereal rather than Twix, the 1967 candy bar. My baby brother pronounced it Twix and I just remembered it wrong. We’re talkin’ more than half a century here.

Thanks for reading closely. Thanks for reading, period. All y’all. I tried to acknowledge these errors via Comments, but they presented as Spam. Yes, me, a nice Jewish girl, as Spam! Now, thanks to Joe Malchow, PL’s tech wizard, that problem is solved. I will try not to comment after every Commenter with my intoxicating new-found power, tempting though it is to join in the back-and-forth Commenter reindeer-games.

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