Author Topic: You'll shoot your eye out, kid!  (Read 2943 times)

Offline Captainkirk

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You'll shoot your eye out, kid!
« on: August 16, 2013, 09:18:28 PM »
"You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”
If you aren’t familiar with that line, I suggest you crawl out from whatever rock you’ve been hiding under since Ronald Reagan was in his first term, ditch the parachute pants, and welcome the New Millenium.
Oh…and watch this clip..assuming you own a PC and know what You Tube is……

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrAwb9ptu9U

So there we were at the BP range, my son and myself, enjoying a Saturday morning making smoke. Me, I had no intention of shooting my eye out or any other bodily appendage, for that matter. Otherwise I would’ve stayed in bed. But here we were, on a beautiful Saturday morning, perfect temps and sunny with only an occasional passing cloud here and there. My son was shooting his brasser Colt Navy .44 that we had just “fixed” the loose arbor on, and his Uberti Remmy Navy .36. Me, I was sort of torn on what to bring, and in a fit of angst decided on shooting my ’51 Navy .36 and my Uberti 2nd Dragoon, bringing “Old Faithful”, my stainless Remmy along just as a backup. Not to shoot, you understand. Just as a backup.
The Wilderness (Black Powder) Range was fairly deserted; in fact, there were more range officers (RO’s) than shooters, and they took up residence on the porch of the RO shack, swapping lies and yakking it up, which turned out to be a Good Thing. That is, except for one RO who came over, proceeded to tell his life story, ogle and handle our guns uninvited, and jabber non-stop like a pesky mosquito buzzing around your ear as we were trying to concentrate on the delicate task of loading….a faux pas for any RO that knows his ass from a hole in ground (we will discuss this “hole in the ground” thing a bit later, in more detail). He was, however, a wickedly accurate shooter with his customized “Shooter’s Remmy”, and proceeded to ring a six inch gong at 25 yards, offhand, one-handed, with alarming (and somewhat embarrassing) regularity. The man could shoot, I’ll give him that….
My son, after graciously paying the old man’s range fee, stoked up the brasser Navy and put a dozen balls down range before asking “Is it supposed to be this loose?”
Shit. So much for my LocTite repair……
Me, I started off with the Navy. I’d been hankering to shoot the little .36 for weeks now, and found a lot of satisfaction in sending the .375 RB’s down range with 20gr of Pyrodex P and a Wonder Wad. Trouble is, I’m so used to hitting that big ol’ 12” gong with a meaty .44 slug, I found the faint “tink” and resulting reaction…..like that of a cat sneezing on the gong….slightly disappointing. Still, this is what I came for; to shoot my .36, and so I continued to rain lead down upon the hapless gong even though I’m embarrassed to say I missed it a lot more than I hit it. This was not shaping up to be a good accuracy day, but we all have them so I’m sure you can overlook it. Just this once.
Between Chris now shooting his Remmy and me shooting my Navy, we burned through all the .36 cal. wads in short order, and most of the .375 RB’s as well. I thought I had another hundred of the wads in my range box, but I’ve been known to be wrong before, and this time was no exception. So, with his Navy .44 wobbling like the King of the Weebles and all the .36 wads gone, I had to make an executive decision; use Crisco for lube, or drag out the heavy artillery.
I hate Crisco.
Out comes Ye Olde hand cannon, which Chris has never shot before. I explain how the loading lever drops frequently between shots and how he’ll have to keep an eye on it so as not to drop the ram into the cylinder bores and lock it up, he nods and watches as I load up with 40gr of Pyro P and a .454 RB over Wonder Wads. I shoot off 5, and grin with satisfaction at the CLANG! and apoplectic herky-jerky dance the gong does now….”Feel lucky, punk?” I mutter under my breath.
Chris takes the 6th and final shot, and while he barely misses the gong, the geyser of dirt that erupts alongside drags a smile out of him from somewhere…..
Forty grains seems light, so I decide to up the ante and see how fifty fits. Quite well, I might add; with room to spare.
I do three shots, now we ain’t playing around! Two connect with a solid sound like your Aunt Matilda clocking Uncle Bill over the head with a 12-inch skillet. Chris does the remaining three as I revel in the sight of that horse pistol bucking and snorting and belching smoke and fire like a rabid steam locomotive. I try to snap a video with my camera phone, but like a dipshit, press the camera icon by accident and a lousy picture is all I get…pre-smoke.
Damn.
We are both enjoying this obscene fireworks display, and decide to do the 50 grains again, so I stoke it up and head for the firing line. The RO’s are self-absorbed and paying no attention. I step to the line and fire off the first three…CLANG! KA-WONG! PRAAAANG! and then, anticipating #4, pull back the hammer to full-cock with the muzzle still pointing at the dirt somewhere nearby in front of my feet…..
KA-BLOOOM! The Dragoon belches smoke and fire unexpectedly and my left thumb is buzzing like a swarm of bees found their way inside. I can’t feel anything on my thumb and it is black as the ace of spades.
“Oh my God...I shot my eye out!” Or, worse yet; “Oh my God...I shot my thumb off!”
Still in shock, and trying to reason out WTF just happened, I force myself to gaze down at my thumb, afraid of what I might see. I can’t think of much more embarrassing than being lower on the food chain than a raccoon, he of Opposable Thumbs. No blood, just a digit that looks worse than Bert the chimney sweep’s face in Mary Poppins. Chim chimminy, chim chimminy….awwww, shut the hell up! I wiggle it, and even though I can’t feel a damn thing, notice with some satisfaction, that it does, in fact, wiggle.
Chris, quite shaken hands me a rag. “You OK?” he asks, and I tell him I reckon so, there’s no blood, anyway. I wipe the soot off my blackened, still-numb, tingling thumb, and notice under all the soot that it’s an ashen, sickly white color. “Must’ve scared all the blood away”, I wise-crack, and begin to reconstruct the crime scene. My thumb must have been very, very close to the cylinder/forcing cone area because it felt like your hand when a Black Cat firecracker goes off short-fused. And then there’s all that soot. It came from somewhere, right? And what about this goofy hammer-thing? You pull a hammer back to full-cock, it’s s’posed to stay there, by golly! That’s what they put notches in it for.
Meanwhile, the four RO’s don’t notice that I almost blew a hole in my tennies. Good thing, I guess. One hell of a big hole in the ground though, a few feet ahead of me. Damn gophers….. I told you we would discuss this "hole" thing further.
Well, no harm done. I’m getting some feeling back in my char-broiled thumb. Slowly, carefully I raise the Dragoon and eaaaaaaaaase back that hammer…KA-WHAAAM!. It does it again. Only this time, I’m somewhat ready for it. “Mother of Pearl!!”, (or something similar with “mother” in it), I mutter under my breath. And still the RO’s yammer on. I look at Chris and crack, “Might as well do a Hickok with the last shot” and holding that big horse pistol one handed, thumb back the hammer and deliberately drop it. The big Dragoon thunders and leaps in my hand…these pistols weren’t designed to be shot one-handed, Josey Wales be damned! But it was a hell of a rush, let me tell ya, boys!
With a now-empty “Auto-Dragoon”, I look to see what could possibly be ailing it. Pull back the hammer; it’s like there IS no full-cock notch! Pull it back and let go and it snaps down on the spent caps like the tempered steel jaws of a bear trap. Hmmm. I work the action through, oh, about eleventy-million times, and it seems to catch at last. Dare I?
Does a bear shit in the woods? You’re damn skippy I dare! I load it up and put another six through, but the cylinder feels tight and full-cock seems like a precarious cliff to be standing on each and every time and my nerves are pretty frazzled now, so I resign myself to wiping it down and putting it in the case.
By now it’s only a bit after noon and I’m not ready to quit. I never relish the idea of having to strip and clean more than two guns, but the Remmy IS stainless, I tell myself. If it just gets a wipe-down and not the Full Monte until tomorrow, I could live with it. Chris is game, so out comes Old Faithful and ‘fore ya know it, we’re making the nice silver gun all black like my thumb. I call this one “Old Faithful” because: 1) it always works,  2) I always drag it along as my failsafe spare, and 3) it always (most always) puts a ball right where I’m lookin’. Not today. My crappy shooting from the morning carried over into the mid-day sunshine. I dunno….maybe I was still shook up a little, But I couldn’t hit a bull in the ass with a broomstick. So after an hour or so of this charade, we hung it up and packed up our gear, and then hung out for a while observing a few newcomers shooting other cool BP guns, including a guy with a Colt Army complete with shoulder stock, and marveling at how none of the four RO’s had so much as an inkling of what had happened under their watch. No harm, no foul, right?
Anyway, that evening I was more than a little curious to rip the guts out of my Dragoon. I fully expected to find a cap frag wedged in the innards, but if there had been one, it was long gone. After a total strip, clean and lube, the reassembled Dragoon operated perfectly and the hammer locked up tight at full cock.
Whatever it was had come and gone, and hopefully for good. It made for an….um, exciting day, and I still have all my toes and both thumbs (although my left thumb still has a strange black line running diagonally down the pad of it).
Maybe, just maybe, that’s why we enjoy this sport so much. One thing’s for sure; it’s not boring!

The Dragon....errr, Dragoon that bit me!



The 1851 Navy...man, I love this thing!



"Old Faithful"


"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: You'll shoot your eye out, kid!
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 07:28:08 PM »
Update:
I've not shot this gun since the um....incident....but have handled it many times attempting to see if it slips at full-cock. No recurrences and no possible explanation other than the cap frag idea. I'll have to see what springtime brings.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Damol

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Re: You'll shoot your eye out, kid!
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2013, 08:20:00 PM »
Glad you are OK, I would of filled my shorts.

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: You'll shoot your eye out, kid!
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2013, 08:23:58 PM »
Glad you are OK, I would of filled my shorts.

Nah...you would've done just what I did. Act like nothing happened and keep shooting! ;)
Good Karma sliding your way for your brutal honesty, though!
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: You'll shoot your eye out, kid!
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 08:52:06 AM »
 *6' 

Offline Krylandalian

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Re: You'll shoot your eye out, kid!
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2016, 08:29:14 PM »
Red flag red flag! All shooters cease fire cease fire!  You!  The one with the auto Dragoon.  Raise your hands and    s l o w l y   back away 5  paces and remain still until , ,   we decide what to do about you.

You have   g o t   to be more careful than that.  Don't you know you can , ,

 , ,  shoot your eye out?!

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: You'll shoot your eye out, kid!
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2016, 09:14:36 PM »
I don't think the RO's even opened their eyes.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"