Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shooty Saturday!

Mike is practically giddy with excitement - he's going to learn to reload today! We've been saving brass for well over a year now and his best friend's father, who has all the reloading equipment, is delighted to be able to share his knowledge.

Knowing nothing about the subject myself, I made Mike promise and reassure me about 10 times that no, he is not going to blow a finger off or lose an eye and that there is no chance of him blowing a finger off or losing an eye. (I'm assuming that there's gunpowder involved. I tend to be cautious around things that can go all 'splodey.)

While Mike is learning to make things that go bang, I am taking my mom to the range. She has fun shooting but is still a little nervous around guns. I'm bringing everything we've got, even the rifle. She has recently expressed interest in getting some real one-on-one instruction at the range and perhaps even a gun to keep around the house. I don't know if she fully understands why I carry, but I do know that it makes her nervous and she doesn't like it. Just yesterday she asked me why I wanted to carry at the Medieval Faire next week..."Why would you need to?"

Perhaps it's because I love her and never ever want her heart to be broken by "what if's" or "if only's."

I may proselytize, but I do it very subtly. "Come to the range," I say. "Just you and me! It'll be fun!" I give the big smile, talk about my pretty pink grips and...who could resist a petite pistol shooter? No one has ever said no.

First we chat about safety, then we make some noise. And without fail, every woman I bring to the range gets that same big grin. Every single one.

I'll bring my camera today. You'll see.


phlegmfatale said...

I can't wait to see the photos - it'll be wonderful!
Have fun!

Anonymous said...

It's usually not the gunpowder, it's the primers that go boom.

But having said that, I've done a fair amount of loading over the years and nothing has gone boom yet. (Except the finished product!) Nor have I first- or even second-hand knowledge of any reload-boom tales.

Read and heed the third-hand tales in books, magazines, blogs, etc., use common sense and safety goggles, and you'll be good to go. Nothing to sweat.

(Heh. Try typing goggles and see if you don't end up typing googles. It's the age we live in.)


Willorith said...

I am tickled pink that you and your man share this wonderful hobby. Curious that you are into the medieval thing, what with the moniker I've tagged you with. I think some edged weaponry would be appropriate armament for Boudica.

Breda said...

Hank - thanks for the reassurance!

Willorith - I have a small pocketknife. Will that do? ;)

Heath said...

You like going to Ren Faires?? Awesome!? Which one you guys going to??

Breda said...

Heath - my girlfriends and i like going to medieval faires...Mike? Not so much. ;)

Here's where we'll

Fearsclave said...

Reloading is a lot of fun, and surprisingly easy. I picked up a Lee turret kit back in April.

I was thrilled to discover that my .308 reloads shoot considerably better than Winchester silver box stuff. And I've yet to blow myself up.

Heath said...

How can you not like a Renn fest? Lots of good looking wimmins running around in suggestive costumes, Mead and beer in large quantity, live entertainment, I don't get it.

'Manda drug me to my first faire last fall out in minnesota, and it was great.

aepilot_jim said...

Today was shooty day for me as well. A friend of mine just submitted his CCW app and wanted to shoot his new Kahr PM9. I had a box of OMC reload I wanted to try. Fun was had, that I'm sure of.

Bob S. said...


Some words to address this question

Just yesterday she asked me why I wanted to carry at the Medieval Faire next week..."Why would you need to?"

I have found that asking people about their safety precautions helps tremendously, especially if you use things they've said in the past.

Parents are especially open to discussion: Remember the times they said don't drink and drive, to park in a well lit area, don't walk the street alone, keep a fire extinguisher available in the home and car, buckle your seat belt.

I use the seat belt often; is it paranoid to buckle it every time you get in the car when accidents are so rare? Isn't it a good precaution to take, just in case something happens?

Lead people to realize we take dozens of precautions daily, then ask with the level of crime, the consequences of it happening to you or others; shouldn't you take reasonable precautions?

Another one that helped convince my daughter to consider concealed carry was the impact on us, the parents, if she was hurt and we didn't make sure she had all the tools possible.

Sorry, a little long and rambling, but I hope this helps in talking to your mom.

Peter said...

One of the best answers I have seen to the "why do you carry" questions is posted here.

Ted said...

Oh, man. Mike's a lucky man. Not only can he go shooting with his wife, but he gets to go play Mr. Science with his buddies. I'm way jealous!

I have to bribe my lovely bride to go shooting with me (Kalashnikitty shirt, this time). She seems to have a similar opinion of guns as your mom.

Let me amplify Phlegmfatale's comment: please, please, please post picts, the better to convince the lovely Mrs. Borepatch. ;-)

Robert said...

Medieval Faires are a natural for carrying. Modern civil rights began when common folks like Robin Hood, William Tell, and Jack Straw the Peasant Revolt in England decided ENOUGH of the government being armed and the People being helpless.
I'd pack that blade...and something extra, with PRIDE!

Robert said...

It was longbows and daggers back then. When Sam Colt said he was making everyone equal, I bet he was remembering not the King, the Czar, the Lords or the Emperor, but a common guy leaning on his bow with a quiver of arrows over his shoulder.
And his goode wiffe!

I've always wondered....when our modern politicians, bureaucrats and Law Enforcement folks watch Kevin Costner in Robin Hood, Mel in Braveheart, even Duval in Open Range.....which side do they root for? The elected Civil Officials who are charged with collecting taxes and keeping the status quo or the peasant rabble who have aires of being equal and free men?

Tam said...

Lucky you with the shooty fun!

Tell Mike that I said reloading was the single geekiest gun-related thing you can do, and lots of fun!

doubletrouble said...

Good on you for getting Mom to the range. The more folks that understand, well, you know the rest.

Second on the safety glasses. I've notice Mike doesn't wear glasses, so plain plastic safety glasses are a must when reloading. I've been loading for about 30 years, & have had only one primer go off when it wasn't 'sposed to; wear the glasses!

Buckshot said...


Mike will be working with smokeless powder for the reloading he will be doing.

Smokeless powder is NOT an explosive, it is only a flammable solid. It can not be ignited by percussion or compression, and can only be ignighted by static with relative difficulty (it would take a whole lot of static, when most reloading gear is designed to dissapate)mostly leaving heat, fire on intentional ignition only, and heat and fire pretty much require open flame or the heat from a very intense fire.

Black powder is the "gunpowder" you are thinking of, and while it is an explosive, it is very seldom used for reloading, unless it is something like cowboy action shooting for someone that wants to be very authentic.

Black powder's main use any longer is for muzzle loading firearms, and especially, the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War Reenactors. You can also add in the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Assn. (NMLRA).

Hope this makes you feel much better about his reloading adventure.


Christina LMT said...

I hope you two had scads of fun!

TJH said...


Great! Looking forward to reading about it here and over in Mikeistan.

Speer #13 is a good beginner's manual.

38 S&W Special and 9mm Luger are the two cheapest handgun cartridges to reload. My 38s are as cheap as rimfires because all my brass was free, and I cast lead bullets from range scrap.

Jay G said...

So... where's them pics again? *g*

Earl said...

Some people have no patience, but I do think the way to defeat those that "KNOW" guns are evil, is to take more people to the range and teach them how to shoot safely. Just the number of other happy healthy shooters having a good time hitting the target puts a nail in that story about only outlaws having guns. Breda said there will be pictures, there will be pictures.

The Redactor said...

If you're worried about Mike blowing himself up, I'd suggest two things:

1. Eye protection
2. A copy of Julian Hatcher's Notebook available at Amazon here:

As you are no doubt a resourceful librarian, you may be able to come across a copy somewhat cheaper, but it's really a useful volume to have on hand. Toward the back 100 pages or so, Hatcher discusses experiences and experiments with various types of fires which gunpowder and primers were involved.

Based on that work, as long as Mike isn't carrying a few thousand primers loose in a coffee can and shaking it like a maraca, he's probably okay.