Musings of a Heavily Armed Soccer Mom
A Day at the Range
In keeping with the original spirit of Musings of a Heavily Armed Soccer Mom, this edition will maintain a positive outlook. At the very least we’ll always deal with good triumphing over evil but, sometimes, like today, we’ll just have fun.
As you may have already guessed I’m a firearms aficionado as are my sons. We take great pleasure in owning, using, and maintaining all the guns in our collection. One of our biggest joys is caring for historical weapons. We look upon ourselves as their custodians; their caretakers until such time as they’re passed to their next keeper.
One day last spring, at a gun show, the boys and I discovered something we had been searching for. She was on a table amongst a few plain-Janes, but she was a standout little beauty. The picture below is of her identical twin.
She’s a Lee-Enfield No. 5 Jungle Carbine, manufactured at the Royal Ordinance Factory in Fazakerley, Liverpool, England in 1947. After some haggling with her owner she, like many before her, followed us home. After a thorough cleaning we took her to the range.
This particular model is supposedly cursed with a wandering zero which implies she may never hit the same spot twice in a row. I’m not sure I ever believed that claim and that’s why we brought her home. We set up at the range and I took the honor of the first shot, as I always do with an unfamiliar piece. If anything goes awry on that first shot, I want it to happen to me and not one of the boys.
The target was placed 100 yards out and I was going to be firing off the bench. The little girl felt great. I shouldered her and when my cheek hit the stock everything was right. Some of you know that feeling. Even though you’ve never met before you become one with the piece. You open your eyes and the sights are right where they’re supposed to be. At that point everything else just disappears. Concentration is simple because nothing else exists. You develop a sudden case of extreme tunnel vision. There are no more chirping birds or any other sound. It’s the closest I come to complete tranquility.
I’ve fired enough different weapons, over the years, that a few dry-fires are enough for me to get the feel of almost any trigger. All I was seeing was the target and the sights. The only movement was caused by the beating of my heart. Since that can’t be stopped one learns to fire during the brief pause between the beats. A gentle squeeze of the trigger and I suddenly discovered this little girl kicks like a mule, but it was worth the abuse when Mike, who was looking through the spotting scope, said “Dead center bull.” I loaded another round and Mike’s report was “Low and right but touching the first hole.” A third and Mike announced, “Right but touching both of the others.” I was ecstatic.
It was in the pause after the first three rounds that I noticed an elderly gentleman watching us. I asked him if he’d like to fire a few rounds and he politely declined and explained he was content to watch because of arthritis in his shoulders. He also commented on the Jungle Carbine saying that it was a beautiful little rifle. I did notice that during the next 18 rounds he kept moving about and watching from various angles.
I fired six more three-round groups before I’d had enough. Our audience thanked us again, for allowing him to watch, and then went about his business. The boys finished off the other two boxes of ammo and we cleaned up and left for home.
On the drive I commented to the boys about how interested the older gentleman was in the Enfield and how the old war-horses always attract attention. I was droning on and on for some time before I noticed I was conducting a monolog and that neither of my sons were joining in. Finally, I asked “Hey guys, what’s wrong?”
Neither answered and since we had just arrived at our favorite Chinese buffet, I let it drop, temporarily. Sean’s the quiet one so his silence didn’t surprise me. Mike’s did. I asked again what was wrong and this time Mike answered but not before he gave me his patented “Mom, I love you dearly but sometimes you’re the blondest Asian anyone ever saw,” look. I knew that look. I’d seen it a few times before and every single time he’d hit me with a real zinger.
“He didn’t care about the Enfield,” Mike explained. “He was watching your boobs jiggle.”
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