Sunday, January 24, 2016

Such a Thoughtful Gift

Sometime between last night and this morning, somebody went to the trouble of setting an intact six-pack of empty Guinness beer bottles on my property -- well off the county right-of-way but right next to our entrance drive.

Having recently acquired a 12-gauge shotgun but not having had the opportunity to shoot it, I had an immediate brainstorm.

First, of course, I carried the six-pack farther away from the road and into the sheltered area, backed by a nice upslope, where I've done some occasional shooting in the past -- for example, to complete the decommissioning of some failed but then-intact hard drives.

The shotgun is a no-frills pump-action model made by Mossberg, and the first thing that happened after I fired the first shot was that I couldn't get the slide to open. I'm still not sure what the trouble was, but after some fiddling I finally got the spent shell to eject so I could load another (I hadn't loaded the tube magazine, but had carried a handful of shells out with me to load one at a time) and resume shooting.

The second shell ejected easily, the third gave me a little trouble but did come out more easily than the first. I can only hope the action loosens up with practice, or I may, in the instance of a self-defense situation, have to exercise undue care in shot placement (between the eyes, of course) lest I not have the opportunity for a second. That thought is going to keep me awake all afternoon.

These rounds were birdshot; I'm going to be on the lookout for slugs though.

Another thing I've learned is that my pistol -- a Beretta with a four-inch barrel -- seems to be pulling to one side. This wasn't much of a problem when shooting at hard drives from close range, but I was standing farther back from the bottles and was more likely to knock them over than to break them. I'll need some range time with paper targets to diagnose and adjust accordingly.

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