Been a Long, Long Time

Back in the day, back when my kids were way young, I’d go shooting with my friends nearly every weekend. Typically we’d go to the shooting center at Manassas Battlefield park, because it was fairly close and super cheap. We’d shoot skeet and sporting clays.

We’d also go to other sites. There was one on the chesapeake bay (I think in the eastern shore) that had a super sporting clays setup. Geared towards local hunting, I’d say. Like, it had a shot where the ‘duck’ would fly straight over your head. Super cool.

I got good at it too. A typical round of Skeet, I’d hit 15-20 at least. And this was with an 870. I didn’t get an automatic until later. BTW, I’ve since given my 870 to the boy, as it’s the only gun I own that I’ve purchased through a store. The rest, I’ve collected here and there, at least until that unfortunate boating accident. By the way, at one point, we were shooting sporting clays along with a charity clays event where everyone was shooting 410s. At the end, one of the dudes congratulated me for being so hot with a pump, as I congratulated him for being so hot with a meager 410.

Another funny story – Me and Tim had finished a shitty round of clays in miserable eastern shore heat. I said “Man, I suck”. And he replied, “Yeah, but you’re sucking with a $200 870. I’m sucking with a $1700 Beretta.”

Great times that make me smile to this day.

So the other day, the boy texted and said he’d like to check out this range on Luna road. Oh…that range I’ve been meaning to check out for like 15 years? Hell yeah let’s go!

Mein Got! what a place. I love outdoor shooting. You can shoot all day in an inside range, but until you’re outside, you have zero idea how your shootin iron will work in planet real world.

What a facility! It has a yuge rifle and pistole section, then on the other side, massive shotgun sports. Skeet, trap, five stand, sporting clays…wow…my people are here….

So we did some skeet.

Skeet field at 100+ temps. Africa hot.
There was a charity group handing out free water, God bless ’em.

Nice facility. Real nice. High tech, too. They gave you a remote and a card. You plugged in and went to town like one of those conveyer belt sushi bars. Pay for what you ate at the end.


Last time I shot with the boy, I spanked him with his own AR. This time there were no such bets, which was a good thing. He’s never shot the 870 I gave him, and I’m rusty as hell.

I think my top score – with my badass 1100, was…..6.

I was having a big, big issue with my left arm. Specifically my left shoulder where my rotator cuff was repaired. It was tough manuvering the 1100. The 870, I couldn’t hardly rack the pump between shots like back when I was a stud.

Wow. I need some PT on that arm, for sure. It’s still very, very weak on a lift.

The boy and I had a discussion about chokes, looking for something to blame. But I’ve only ever shot either gun for skeet (although his, the 870, I may have a full choke since I dimly remember going after turkeys at one point) but I’m certain the 1100 has a skeet choke, or a modified. Not enough to excuse my performance.

I love shooting, but man, oh man, these days I dunno if I want to burn my ammo stash.

It’s a thing. Then again, skeet loads? Yeah…. not like buckshot. And I got tons.

BTW, I was rooting in my stash for skeet loads and I opened a box I thought were shells.

It was a big ass box of .22 rounds. Fuggin christmas in June. A brick (1000 rounds).

The other day, the boy comes by. He was visiting the local merchant-o-death (the same one Kim DuToit frequents – he lives a mile away from it). Hands me a box of .44 hollow points and says “I know these are tough to find, So when I was over there I picked some up for you”.


My son is not only a dude…(Sniffs..wipes tear….) he’s a mensch.