Friday, December 12, 2008

Things that go boom...

In May of this past year, I attended a family reunion of my mother's side of the family. Other than size, it was fairly typical of a standard family reunion, some folks I haven't seen in awhile, some who probably wish it could have been longer between reunions, more of my cousins with kiddos of their own, etc.

My favorite part is meeting new boyfriends/girlfriends of some of my younger cousins and seeing the expression on their faces when they realize that quite a few folk weren't even able to make it. (I can usually get away with introducing myself by at least 3 or 4 different names, 'cause it's almost all going in one ear, passing behind the glazed eyes, and out the other ear.) Yeah, my grandparents had well north of a dozen kiddos, so multiply that by significant others, their children (my level), and then great-grand kids... well, it can be slightly overwhelming. Heck, I have to review the family tree sometimes just to make sure I have it straight re: who's married to who- the offspring of aunt & uncle so-and-so.

Even with the no-shows it was a pretty large gathering, so last years reunion was held at one of my uncles farm, with some staying at the main house, some in RVs, some younger kids in the barn I think, and others in crappy, overpriced little hotels in the neighboring town (guess where I stayed).

Lots o' space on my Uncle's farm.

Plenty of uncles who hunt, recreationaly shoot, and collect guns n' stuff.

Yup, didn't take long for a shooting range to be set up down the way.

Of course, once the shooting started my ears sorta perked up and swiveled around and I lost interest in BBQ & conversation, causing My Love to laugh. She cautioned me not to spend too much time shooting with my uncles and cousins...

So the first day of shooting was pretty much handguns and a few shotguns, nothing too wild, just whatever some of the guys had in their trucks, RVs, or laying around the farm. The second day, well, that was special.

Early the second morning some of the uncles broke out their hunting rifles, project guns, antique guns, how-the-heck-does-this-thing-still-shoot guns, reloads, dare-ya-to-shoot-this guns, gizmos to measure bullet speeds, and (my favorite), old stories. My grandfather showed off and let us shoot a few pistols and rifles that he brought back from WWII and some that he had collected throughout the years. Most of my uncles had seen and shot these weapons many times before, but I was like a kid in a friggin' candy store [drool]. Grandfather asked me if we had been able to keep personally owned 'emergency pistols' over in Iraq, and seemed kind of disturbed when I told him that we were most definitely NOT allowed to do so. After I told him about the many, many, many shakedowns that we underwent to prevent anyone bringing anything back he grunted and told me how when they were sailing back the only restrictions on bringing back weapons was that they not be loaded. Some of his buddies had bags o' guns...


Other than the 'story guns', one of the pistols that I particularly liked was this old CZ-85. It looked like it was older than I am from apparently serving a bit of time as a truck gun, resulting in plenty of wear and tear to the finish. The slide stop and safety lever were thumbed silver from repeated use and contrasted nicely with the rest of the gun. The grips were wood, faded and dirty, complimenting the overall dirty/dusty color of the rest of the gun. The right side of the rear sight was the only one that had all its paint left, and it was pretty faded.

It shot like a champ.

This was surely due to the fact that I'm a natural born pistol-yoda, but the fact that it's still a good gun on the inside might've had something to do with it, I suppose.

Later on in the festivities, I was talking to Mom about family plans, people, and whatnot,when she asked me about the shooting. She told me that she had heard that Baby Sis and Little Brother had also fired off a few rounds and even managed not to shoot any eyes out. I told her that they did pretty good, we all had a great time, and I had been smitten with this little 9m that I had shot. I was already contemplating getting ahold of one to use for personal plinking and to offer a bit of variety to my humble collection when it came to going to the range with new and/or tentative shooters.

She took note of which of my Uncles it belonged to.

Fortunately for me, he had been considering finding it a new home, someone who'd take care of it and give it some TLC. He felt kind of bad at some of the treatment it had undergone, and was happy to send it off to a new home.


Sorry all (&/or Jay), I seem to be having some camera issues (no pics for you!), but in the vein of personal shooty goodness, there's some stuff I kinda like over here.


Bob G. said...


Nice to hear stories about REAL family gatherings (read shoot-ins)...LOL.
Having grown up on the streets of Philly, PA, there wasn't much to shout home about, unless you went to a pistol range (I did...regularly).
As for OUTDOOR & long gun ranges...that was reserved for people that (also) had FARMS.
The city didn't take much to having people own guns, let alone shoot them in the limits.
They still don't (funny, all the thugs haven't an issue with that).

And that story about bringing home WW2 guns is spot on.

Still, when someone PAYS you to shoot (like the gov't), that's always a nice "bonus".
Down side is that nothing (that good) will last forever...
Then (as a civvie) you've got to jump through a mess 'o burning hoops to once again be able to do what these same people PAID you to do.
And the ammo is no longer "free",

Glad you made out nicely.
Sounds like a real great find.

Carry On.

Joe Allen said...

You're in for it now!

CZs multiply almost as bad as 1911s!

My affliction started the same way - with a beat to hell old CZ85. I've now added an SP-01, a 75 Stainless and a 40B and I'm getting ready to pick up a 97 for a pin gun.

If you value your discretionary income do not go to: You have been warned.

Welcome to the club!

Old NFO said...

Heh- sounds like my family over in Louisiana, same thing; bunches of people, 4-5 generations worth, guns are NOT supposed to come out before lunch... yeah, right... Glad you had fun and came up with a nice little piece of family history!

Steve said...


Glad you could have such a great time.....Seems to me you struck a metaphor about how the best guns on the inside are often times beat up and old on the outside.....

Hope you get to MANY more reunions.

God Bless,

Snigglefrits said...

Pistol Yoda?

Snicker, giggle, chortle, guffaw, LMAO even.

Karla (ThreadBndr) said...

Family guns are the best - I have the shotgun that originally belonged to my Grandma's mom. The one that her hubby bought her when they moved west and she would have to cope with assorted varmits - coyotes, rattlesnakes, and the occasional two legged sort, even.

My mom tells the story of her mom (my grandma) shooting a rattler in the farmyard and getting knocked on her backside at about age 7.

It was MY house gun until last spring when the Marine! Goth up graded me to my lovely Mossberg with the collapsing stock. I LOVE that much history.

Jay G said...

'Cuz you just KNEW I'd be along with the obligatory "this post is worthless w/o pics"...

Excellent score Murph! I'm jealous. Free guns are the best!

Xtine said...

Man...I'm kind of jealous

I'm always on the other side: arm candy, three years later STILL trying to sort out the family tree. Almost done, I think. Except for one cousin whose name I can't remember, who doesn't like me, so I nicknamed her Helga. Then got drunk and started calling her Helga. Oops.

Damn those catholics!