Home on the Range

Made what’s been relegated to a generally annual trip to the shooting range last night.  Champion is no longer brand-spanking-new and is generally finished, although I still think it would benefit greatly from a few more coat hooks and perhaps benches or shelves along the back of the shooting lanes, especially for those of us who like to meet up with friends and share a lane.  Amongst the things I was trying out were a scope on my .22- which makes it a very different game all the sudden.  Combination of the improved aim and ability to see and shoot at longer distances makes you much more aware of things that might be going on with your grip, trigger pull, etc.  Fun to try.  My Steyr M40 was popular as usual, and I got to geek for a while with the guy behind the sales counter, who I noticed was wearing an M40A1 on his hip.  Pretty uncommon handguns due largely to distribution issues, but with a devoted fanbase.

Ammo’s certainly gone up a lot in the last year or two.  I was using boxes of .40 frangible that cost me I think about $13 when I ordered them online a couple years ago, but the ammo at the range (admittedly always priced slightly high) was over $20/box now.  I’m glad the cost of blanks hasn’t changed much at all in the seven or eight years I’ve been ordering them, although they’re still more expensive than live ammo for some reason.  Makes the prospect of renting full auto blank guns a bit too expensive for my clients thus far, sadly… but they’re such fun and impressive props to have, I’m sure they’ll find an appreciative audience (and paying client) one of these days.

Not sure when I’ll get to play with it, but another of the projects I got to finish this last week was finishinga caplock pistol kit (it was on sale and with a coupon at the time).  As a side note- nice to discover that your cheap cap-gun ring of caps can be cut into individual plastic caps which will fit over the nipple on caplocks taking #11 percussion caps.  Results will hopefully get posted later this week when I have the digital camera back, but it’s now got some inlay and other decoration.  For finishing the steel parts, I went with Plum Brown– a bit of an experiment for me, having never used that before.  I like the look- much more old-fashioned than standard gunblue.

Since I had a couple of Starfire swords lying around at the time (I’d had to re-do the grips, which had started to fall apart after their last production), I decided to try just rubbing the plum-brown rag over the hilt and pommel of them while cold.  I did degrease them first.  Interestingly, the steel on those ended up developing a copper colored sheen that I kinda like.  Might have to use that again some time.  Always nice when you can take a pretty ubiquitous prop like a Starfire and dress it up or change it around a little.


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