Og has--or had--a tendency to refer to gun shows as "fun shows" a lot, and it always amused me because of my little typo/freudian slip. Today, though, I ended up going to one with Og and the friend he refers to as "Partner". (I'll follow his convention.)
I saw a lot of neat stuff there. I'm a complete n00b when it comes to gun stuff. I saw large magazines for semiautomatic guns--the curved ones some folks incorrectly call "banana clips"--and I couldn't believe they were still legal. I thought high-capacity mags had been outlawed, but then I recalled that the law had expired or something. (Or if the mag was made before the ban? Or...?)
Anyway, I don't have a gun which takes such a magazine. The .22 has an 8-round mag; a few more of those would be convenient but a 30-round mag would be pushing it. (A drum mag--forget it. On a bolt action rifle?)
I bought a soft case for the Astra ($3) and a bag of cinnamon almonds for me. I saw what looked like a magazine for the Astra, but lacking anything to check it against I gave it a pass.
The most expensive thing I saw there was a .50 caliber BAR (I think it was a BAR) with pintle mount and extra barrel. It was semiautomatic and it cost $10,000. I thought about how it would look mounted on the Jeep. Pointing backwards: Are you really sure you want to tailgate me? But some liberal would wet his pants, so I had to pass on that idea. (Well, admittedly, not having $10k worth of pocket change doesn't help much.)
Anyway, once done with the
I got to put a few mags' worth of ammo through the Mossberg and the Astra. Also Og let me shoot his Ruger .22 pistol and his M1 carbine.
The sight on the Mossberg confuses me just a bit. It's got these adjustments for zeroing and I have no idea how to set them, so I shot them as they were. I'm chalking up the shooting I did to "beginner's luck", because I did not know WTF I was doing. Well, a human silhouette target at 50 yards with no wind isn't exactly a challenge for a serious marksman--meaning that it's not hard for a beginner to hit--and the few things Dad did teach me about firearms stood me in good stead: inhale, exhale, squeeze the trigger. I think the gun was doing the hard part.
What made me feel good was shooting the Astra on the pistol range. The thing's got a 3" barrel (at most) and no sights, yet I was consistently hitting the steel targets: I could hear the bullets hitting the damn things even if they didn't have enough oomph to knock 'em over. I fired five bullets at one target, all five hit, and not one of them knocked it down. (I could knock them down with Og's .22, though, which does have sights.) Of course, I was a lot closer to the target than I was on the rifle range--five yards, I think--but the gun's not designed to be a long-range target pistol; it's a self-defense gun.
The Astra's got a hard trigger; I really had to pull on it to get it to fire. I don't know if anything can be done about that.
I definitely want more mags for both guns. And I want to shoot more.
The M1 is a 30 caliber rifle, and it's got more kick than the .22 does. (Obviously.) But it's manageable and I wouldn't mind having one.
Overall I'm pleased with how the Astra performed. Considering that it hasn't been fired for decades I think it worked fairly well. I had a feed problem with the last bullet in the mag a couple of times; Og pointed out that the safety was rotating. I don't know; I can't seem to get it to stay under my thumb the way he suggested. Clearing the jam was pretty easy, though, and both jams happened on the last round, so it might be the mag and not the safety. Two jams out of 24 rounds--not bad for a gun that's around 80 years old and survived a flood.
The Mossberg--I was expecting it to be excellent, and it was. When I'd work the bolt to reload, the spent shell casing would fly into my open range box. I got a kick out of that.
I had a hell of a good time today--so much that by the time we were on our way back to Og's cave, I was half-asleep. (I'm afraid I wasn't much conversation.) When I got home, I put the guns away and told Mom about my day, and then hit the sack. I slept until 10:30 PM; and once I'm done with this, I'm going back to bed, because I'm still tired.
Today makes three really fun days I've had this year (and one "ordinary" fun day, last week). I don't know what my quota for fun days is; I hope I'm not using more than my allotment.