(You may recall a couple of weeks ago I asked if anyone wanted to contribute articles for Guns and Gunsmiths. I received this great story very quickly, as well as a couple of others. Thanks guys! If anyone else want to do the same please send me an email–Gary Howes, editor).
Umm… hey buddy, can I give you a hand?
You see some amazing things at the gun range. I am lucky enough to be a member of a nice little 100 yard gun club not 15 minutes from my home in Southeastern PA. I like to rebuild military surplus rifles, accurize bolt action rifles, but my favorite thing to do is take inexpensive firearms and make them shoot great.
Last week at the range I was sighting in a new scope while testing out a few reloads in my .308 bolt gun. A friendly looking young couple sat down at the bench next to me (there are only 2, did I mention small club?) After a few minutes of them setting up I could hear the unmistakable sound of the slide dropping on an AR bolt, then silence, birds chirping, and click, click, CLICK followed by a good helping of goshdarnrazzafrazanogood!
Next was a hushed “Honey, what’s wrong with it?” and the obvious reply “Would you gimme a minute!” Now, I like to give people their space, but in the spirit of a nosey neighbor I had to take a glance over somehow. So, by executing an almost perfect “yawn and swing the arm around your date at the movies move” I glanced over to see the dude sitting down with one foot on the rear of the buttstock, and both hands grappling with the charging handle. Picture a cowboy putting on boots that are too small.
When the wife glanced over at me with a “by God please help my insane husband” kind of expression, all I could think to say is the title, “Umm… hey buddy, can I give you a hand?” Please. Now, being a dude myself, you never know how another dude is going to react to the offer of help in front of his girl. By the guy code he has every right to punch me in the face, and all I could do is reply “yea, I had that coming.” But, he was a sensible non-violent kind of dude, and let me take a look at his new unfired AR which was jammed going into battery.
First things first, safety! Eyes, ears, safe muzzle direction, and let me see the ammo you are using. “Oh” he replied, “My friend did some reloads and told me they were going to be excellent in my new AR.” Hmmf friends! My reply was “I bet you friends gun is a bolt action? Yup? Well, we have a head space issue with the .223 resizing die, and your friend not using the small base die needed for the AR platform.”
SO, I grabbed my range bag tool kit and with a gentle “Mortar-ing” of the new black rifle, the round popped out and I explained what happened. Luckily they had a box of factory ammo that ran perfectly, and they didn’t seem too dejected with the whole situation. So, I think the moral of the story is you can help another dude and not get punched! Oh yea that, and be VERY careful shooting another “friends” reloads.
Gerry is located in Gilbertsville PA, a farming suburb northwest of Philly. He is a Master Plumber and would like to be a full fledged gun smith in the future. Currently he has a C&R FFL03 license and his passion is reloading and building all kinds of rifles from AR’s to Milsurp bolt guns. Most of his shooting is punching holes in paper as far away as he can find a target with his rifle scope.