The Simple Pleasure of Shooting

I like going shooting, and I do it frequently. But it’s always a bit of a production; get cleaned up from the shop and change out of work clothes, gather the ammo and decide which guns to take this time, drive 20 minutes to the range. I occasionally have to wait for a lane to open up. It’s a good time and all that, but some days I’m worn out and would just as soon pass.

It took a box of the least-powerful commercial ammo you can readily buy to reacquaint me with the simple pleasure of shooting. I have some issues, and it’s been kind of a rough couple of weeks. It’s been hard to get much done, and even when I do get something concrete accomplished the satisfaction of that is tainted by the fact that I didn’t do more, and the thought of how much more needs to be done.

After work I futzed around the shop a little, did some lathe work on a project but I really wasn’t into it. I plopped down in my chair in the clean-shop to have a smoke, and my eye fell on a pistol on the work-bench.

.22 Field Pistol

This is a single-shot .22 I made a couple of years back. OK, it was originally a .22 Magnum, but I got tired of paying center-fire prices for rimfire ammo that I couldn’t even reload, and I rebarrelled it for .22 LR.. I remembered I had bought a box of .22 CB Caps to test-fire the H.C.Lombard pistol…

For those not familiar with them CB Caps are a 29gr. bullet in a .22 Short case with no powder- just the primer. They are about as powerful as an old pellet-rifle. I had a stout board with two layers of plywood backing it up at the other end of the shop- about five yards from my chair… I got up and made a square of blue masking tape and returned to my chair, dumped out a small handful of CB Caps and had at it.

It was excellent. Sitting in my comfy office-chair, enjoying a smoke and casually plinking away with the little pistol. The CB caps aren’t even loud enough to require hearing protection. OK, it might still be a good idea, but I wasn’t going to stir myself to fetch them. It was relaxing, casual and felt almost decadent.

After about twenty rounds I taped up the target (a pretty decent group, actually) and fetched out The Cherub and ran a couple of cylinders through that too. Hmmm… hitting low and left with the CB Caps, but not a bad grouping.

The Cherub,’ an 1849 Pocket reproduction converted to .22

It was very relaxing, and I was not only shooting, I was getting to enjoy my own handiwork, which made it just that much more satisfying. I only spent about fifteen or twenty minutes and fired around forty shots total, but at the end of it I was relaxed and in a pretty good mood.

It really reminded me that shooting is fun, and it doesn’t always have to be about testing a gun, trying out a new load, training or trying to nail down an impressive target to post. Sometimes it’s OK to just kick back and shoot just for the pleasure of shooting. Sometimes it’s better than OK, it’s just what I need.

I think I need to buy another box of CB Caps…

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