Wedding Anniversary Plinking

Friday, December 5, 2008 marked the ten-year anniversary of the day that Jenni and I became legally married in the eyes of The State and our friends and family. Friday was not terribly note-worthy as we had things that we had to take care of during the day. Saturday, we had a brief and heartfelt restatement of vows. We promised to do even better for each other than we have in the previous decade. We confessed that the last ten have been largely blissful (but even the rough spots have only drawn us closer together), and we are each looking forward to whatever adventures we wander into together in the future.

The weather was idyllically gorgeous, and we held our restatement at the family property in Luther, OK, where we frequently camp. After our ~10-minute ‘ceremony’, we changed into our grubbies, and did some very romantic target shooting. We decided to try some 150-yard plinking with our M4 carbine, across its iron sights. This is the first rifle that either of us has spent any time shooting, and this was the first time that we had attempted any such reach with a firearm. This was also the first time that I’ve adjusted sights on a gun, so please bear with my left-pull. Here is the last 5-shot group that I put downrange:

That would be a 5-shot group that measures 3-inches across and 7-inches high. At 150-yards. Across iron sights. On a carbine. Oh, yeah. I’m looking forward to seeing if I can duplicate or improve upon these results on the next try.

Jenni also shot well, but did not embarrass me, much to my complete surprise. It seems like we usually trade off who will do better at the range from session to session, but she usually beats me to the punch-line on whatever new experience of its type. I fully expected her final group to be half of what mine was in this endeavor. It’s not that she was not shooting well, it’s that this was outstanding – that is to say that I far exceeded my expectations in this shooting attempt.

The pattern suggests that we always do our best shooting outdoors. I believe that the indoor gun-range is a head-game. I think that when the target is rolled all the way out to the maximum 30-yards, and there’s that much paper to hit, something in my psyche won’t completely take it seriously. When I’m aiming at a 6- to 18-inch target at some serious yardage, out in the open, that part of my brain gets nervous and I perform better. If I could figure out how to consciously alter that perception, I believe I could perform a lot better while burning far less ammo.

I’m happy with how things went on Saturday. Like I told my wife then, I’m more in love with her now than I was in the beginning, and I was crazy about her then. I did what I consider to be some damned fine shooting. The weather was great, and it was a feel-good weekend in general. Sometimes, it’s just hard to complain.

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