Monday, December 5, 2011

Of Skeet Shooting and Small Miracles

I love my Remington 870, but I only shoot it a few times a year anymore.  I'm more proficient with other guns on sporting clays (Browning Gold, 20ga) and birds (Mossberg 935, 12ga), but the 870 is still an outstanding gun, and worth pulling it out of the safe every so often.

Regardless, we were headed down to southeastern Virginia for my Dad's retirement party.  41 years as a civilian in the Army.  Wow.  To break up the wholesome family fun, we decided to take a few cracks at one of the skeet ranges on one of the area's many military bases.   Brother T and his hunting buddy Kevin tagged along and we definitely had a great time.

I believe I shot 19/25, 21/25, and 18/25 with the 20 gauge.......not horrible for staring directly into the sun on a skeet range I'd never shot before.   Then T asked to borrow the 20 gauge and I suited up the Remington with my favorite choke - an extended Briley in IC.  I've had that choke for a decade, and killed many geese with it. I have a "Dead Zone" mod choke that I used to use for shooting clays with that gun.......don't know what possessed me to screw in the Briley instead. But I did.

I finished the round, and scored really poorly (11/25 or so).  Plus, the gun was kicking like a mule! I had no idea what the problem was until I pulled the old choke out.   You see the results above.  Minor miracle, small blessing, whatever.  Thank God I caught it before it caught me in the face!


9 comments:

Tim said...

Wow! I've never seen this happen before. Can you explain what happened?

DirteJp said...

Holy smokes man! Count your blessings. That looks kind of like the skeet range at Oceana. I love shooting at that place.

Alex said...

Yikes! Maybe it was damaged a little right before you screwed it in? I imagine it wouldn't take much for the shot to 'grab' a tiny defect spot.

Glad it didn't explode.

River Mud said...

I don't know if the choke was damaged (I didn't closely inspect it beforehand) or if, during shooting, it rattled loose. I think that's how it started.

And then pellets started catching it, which is what made it look like it does.

Yup, it was Oceana - my first time there, but the other guys shoot there pretty regularly. I also didn't want to put it in the blog title because I'm not sure how much publicity they want or don't want...

Trey said...

You are lucky that didn't turn out bad!

River Mud said...

Brother, you ain't lying! I don't use the word "miracle" in common conversation....thank you God for not having me be a victim of my own stupidity, specifically, spending the next two weeks getting skin grafts to the face!

prpark said...

Great Cautionary post, as I will double check my chokes before hitting the skeet range. I shoot near home in Easton and that little extra time on the equipment check will pay off. Def want you on my skeet squad; solid scores!

tugboatdude said...

I won't ever forget the look on your face when we took that choke out.I leave my chokes in and I also fail to check them as often as I should.This makes two close calls for you in less than a year,huh quick draw?

River Mud said...

PR - where do you shoot, Pintail? I enjoy shooting over there but it's a rich man's game! Loch Raven T&S Club is about 10 minutes from home, it's not high end but it's a nice, clean facility and pretty cheap.