Enduring weather similar to this photo from Chuck Haggard? It's not too early to get ready for Spring.
We’ve had six measurable snows this season – thus far – and that’s a five-year record for this locale. It’s a wet season, so the ranges will be as much like swamps as the federal legislature is.
Take this time to get ready for the change in seasons – and, with hope, the passage of the torrential rainfall being seen across the South.
Among the many things we can do to prepare is target repair. If you have target frames that need replacement of parts – clips, furring strips, bolts – or you want to re-use cardboard USPSA or IDPA targets, these are things you can prepare now for use later. Action Target is a good source for target facers. Use spray glue or the simple stapler to rejuvenate these targets.
The range bag is often used as a "carry-all" as well as a support for shooting from the bench. Think it's time to go through that range bag, get rid of stuff you don’t use and straighten it up?
It’s also a good time to strip out that range bag. If you’re like me, it becomes a carryall until one bag becomes two, then three – increasing the load to take to the range. I’ve added tools, firearms lube, a range rod, staplers, staples, timer, batteries – and more and more.
If you’ve not used something in that bag for the past year, it’s time to consider whether it’s a good idea to keep in that bag. I’ve consolidated three range bags down to two, while keeping a chronograph in the third for those ammo test occasions.
Aside from tools, target and gun repair items and batteries, consider insect repellent – like politicians, they’ll be back – and a medical kit.
Do your rimfires get a lot of use? Mine do -- and I'm not good about maintaining guns. The foul weather times are here for us to get those rimfires -- fun guns like the Ruger Mark IV (above) and business guns like rimfire trainers from Tactical Solutions and Advantage Arms -- below.
Rimfire guns can be finicky – that’s because 22 ammo is generally pretty dirty, especially compared to centerfire guns. I know it’s a bad thing, but I’m not a big fan of firearms “cleaning.” I expect lots of guns get worn out by cleaning more than by shooting. That’s backwards.
The exception is with rimfire guns. The outside-lubed lead bullets can be pretty nasty. Now CCI is making the “Clean-22” round and I’m hoping to get to check those out as soon as I can find them. In any event, it’s a good time for letting some of those metal parts soak and get all the crud and corruption off of them.
Using laser training modules or non-firing gun models with lasers are attached are good to knock the "rust off" the skills from a long winter.
Finally, there’s dry practice. The usual safety rules apply: we don’t take phone calls, we don’t have other people around, we don’t have any ammo around – we “make ready for dry practice,” use a safe direction and do dry practice only – for about ten minutes. Boredom can set in pretty quickly, increasing risk.
Using the laser training cartridge and target from LaserLyte or a nonfiring model – like a Ring’s Blue Gun with Crimson Trace Lasergrips attached – is even better.
When you complete dry practice, put the target away, put the model or training cartridge away and tell yourself ‘dry practice is over.’
If you practiced with the same gun you carry, you need to “make ready for live fire.” Better yet to secure the practice gear and make sure your mind is right – you don’t want that last quick draw, that last ‘dry snap.’
It’s all part of getting ready for more hospitable weather and a new season of shooting.
- - Rich Grassi