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Well, Connie and I were planning to go to the Worm Grunting Festival in Sopchoppy today (no joke! There really is such a thing!), but she felt she had too much work to do around here so we bailed on that idea. So to console myself with the loss of this social event of the year in this county (the only other close competition is the Pig Parade in Crawfordville), I decided to take one of my .50s and site in the new scope I had put on it months ago. This one is the model 99, which is a single shot bolt action. Tell you what, I was actually feeling nervous about shooting it. Been a long time, and I think I had a touch of wimplash. I put up a big cardboard box about 25 yards away with a target in the center, since I had no idea how far off the scope was going to be.

So I loaded up a round, gulped once or twice, and squeezed off a round. Damn! All the dust that had accumulated in the roof of the gazebo came down in a cloud, and I think the wasps that were nesting there either evaporated or took off for the hills. But the round went into the black around 2 o'clock, so that wasn't bad at all. So I carted the target down to 70 yards and further sited it from there. The next shot was still around 2 o'clock but about 8 inches wide of the center. After about 4 shots, I have it hitting about 2 inches high and centered at that range, which should be just about right, I think. If I can get the woods cleared out to my 170 yard hillside, I'll try that some other day.

While I was thinking about wrapping it up, I noticed I had a couple of spotter/tracer rounds in the catch-all bucket I take to the shooting area with me. Hmm, I've been wanting to take out that pine tree that is kind of in the way of my range, so I figured maybe a couple of shots with those should do the trick. These are semi-explosive rounds used as spotters for a 105mm cannon. Makes a neat toy when loaded in a .50BMG!. I sighted in at the base of the tree and let loose. Uh oh! I saw a huge red spark fly out of the back of the tree! It's been fairly hot and dry the last several days, so I hustled on down to the target area to make sure I wasn't going to start a major forest fire. Yikes!! There was a spot about 2 foot in diameter on the ground burning pretty nicely in the pine needles. So I had to do my fire-putting-outen-shuffle to get that snuffed out, but I was really sweating it. Could have been a pretty bad scene if it had gone much longer! But obviously shooting those spotter/tracers was a bad idea, so I packed it in.

I do have to admit, however, that the thought did go through my mind while shooting that .50s are a whole lot more fun to own than they are to shoot! I guess it's like bungee jumping. It's real fun to watch them, but I can't see me doing that myself. Shooting a .50 sort of feels something like that, I suppose. The whole time you are thinking "Is that scope going to hit me on the forehead and rearrange my eyebrow this time?"

Surprisingly enough, the sherrif's department didn't show up this time. For a while there, I was calling my model 82A1 "old 911", because without fail, wheneve I shot it, a deputy would show up about 20 minutes later. Guess they are getting used to me by now.

Now I only have to site in the model 95.... Aw heck, I just remembered. I did some mods on the magazines for the model 82A1, so I guess I should test them out.... :)
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