I am lucky enough to have family in Canada and on a most recent trip was invited to spend an evening at a range with a family member and two of his friends.
The range is a relatively formal affair by my expectations, members only, located in a remote rural, wooded location, cut out of thick forest, solid backstops built by digger, Range hut and car park, covered firing point with backstops at 50 and 100 yds and portable target holders for pistol ranges.
Now I will shoot anything given half the chance but this particular trip interested me because of one rifle.
A newly restored, fully functioning M1 Garand, semi auto .30-06 rifle.
also on offer for the evening were:
A Chinese SKS 7.62x39 Semi Auto rifle
A SMLE .303
A AR15 .223 Semi Auto
A browning Buckmark .22 pistol
A 9mm SIG semi auto pistol
Not wanting to pop my cherry too early I started off with two clips of .303 rounds to "warm up"
Great noise bouncing back off the nearby tree line.
Blatting 20 rounds into a target at 50yds off a bench and freehand with emphasis on fun...is...well...FUN!!
Next up...the main event.
The M1 Garand for those that don't know is it fed with a U shaped clip holding 8 rounds of .30-06 into the top of the receiver.
once firmly stuffed home the "bolt" is knocked forward chambering the first round.
This one is going off hand!!
.30-06 semi auto with a solid metal butt plate is not something I fancy off a bench in nothing but my shirtsleaves!
The original open service sights are chunky and even in the low light of an overcast Canadian evening show up with ease, if not limited precision in my hands.
Trigger is firm and clunky as expected on a rifle of this era and type
First round goes off with a satisfying crack.
First impressions are of the relatively low recoil.
The action is heavy and does a good job in diverting a lot of the energy to reload the next round.
It spits the cases in no particular direction making recovery a pain in the undergrowth
Rounds 2-7 fly by, each time the rifle easily rocking back into the sight picture of the big black bulls-eye
Round 8 goes off with the accompanying "PING" as the clip is fired skywards indicating more food required
Not me but you get the idea:
The target below is peppered with various holes from .303, SKS and several clips from the M1 but the bulk of the two clips of 8 I initially shot are in the same area in the lower target between 9 and 6 o'clock many in the same hole!
I am very surprised by the accuracy...or should I say in my hands..who made no real attempt to shoot for groups and every attempt to see how quick I could blow 8 off with a reasonable chance of hitting the 6" target!
With practice and tweaking technique I am sure this would be shrunk
Feels like awesome running boar medicine!
Next up was the SKS,
Stripper clip fed it swallows 10 rounds with ease,
quick crank of the bolt to cock and we are away
this is just an exercise in how quick 10 rounds can be blatted away!
apparently this thing can be fired until the wood smokes!!
Agricultural and functional but fun.
Next up was the .22 pistol
my first efforts at pistol shooting!
10 shot mags and a "bucket" of 2000 Remington ammo for some ridiculous price no doubt!
Difficult to see shot impact on the target as the round count went up but far to easy to blat through a few hundred rounds.
Very easy to shoot and be fairly accurate once you get a feel for where they are going
In the hands of one of the other chaps I was most impressed to watch him get a grip on where it was shooting compared to POA at 50yds, pick points on the bank and hit them and then put three consecutive shots on a rock about the size of a small apple!!
Next a quick shot with a 9mm Sig, only three rounds but very easy to handle if a little flippy with my poor
no idea where the rounds went on the target as it was peppered with holes already...although I suspect they were nowhere near where I wanted to put them!
a fine way to spend an evening despite the bird sized mosquitoes capable of biting through clothing!