Life hasn't stopped moving since I got home Sunday, so I have been really, really busy. Too busy, in fact, to share my thoughts on the Dallas Area Blogshoot and Dinner.
The first DAB was a smashing success, and with so many bloggers in the area, it only made sense to have another blogger roundup and range trip. Since Borepatch designated Bob S. as the official "community organizer" for the Dallas area blogging functions, Bob S. started to get the ball rolling a few months ago on a second event.
After going back and forth with Bob about different range options, Bob asked for a consensus on his blog of what others preferred, range wise and dinner wise. After consulting several people interested, it was evident we would make use of Campo Verde in Arlington for dinner the evening before the shoot, and the next day the lot of us would meet up near my range to head out there en mass.
I was very impressed with the way everything worked out, the whole thing went very smoothly and everyone seemed to have a great time.
To start, I spoke with Scribbler early on, as he told me he needed a ride from his apartment to the dinner and the shoot. Since I'm such a nice guy I offered to pick Scribbler up on Saturday on the way to the dinner meeting.( No word as to whether he bribed me and Mrs. Redneck with buying dinner.)
We arrived an hour early, and sat around taking in the view of the establishment that is Campo Verde while waiting on others to arrive. For those who have not been there, let me tell you, that place is lit the hell up. The outside of the building is pretty kitschy and a bit eclectic as well. Don't believe me?
Speaking of the inside, here's what it looks like when it's full of gunbloggers.
It's tough to see, but here's a pic of Scribbler, Artae, a couple of Artae's kids, Kx59, Southern Belle, and "Bootsie".
Here's another view of a few of the bloggers.
My wife was trying to take pictures of some of the lighting inside the restaurant, but the iPhone just doesn't do some things very well. Suffice to say that the inside of the place looks like what I imagine Christmas in hell would look like. LED and various Christmas tree lights abound. I imagine when they turn the lights on when the employees arrive in the morning, the streetlights along Pioneer Parkway dim. Bob S. informs me that around Christmas time, they pull out all the stops and cover every last square inch of the interior with lights. How it could get any more lit up than it currently is, I don't know. It's everyday appearance is such that you can literally hear the color when you walk in the door.
This is what happens when you leave an introverted redneck in a room awash with color and feed him really good steak and pack in lots and lots of people.
|Did you hear that shade of blue? They're coming for me.|
After a couple hours of great conversation and pretty decent food (the quail was sad, but the steak was good), we all went our separate ways for some rest in preparation for the next day. This resulted in Cormac, Nick, Scribbler, myself, and Mrs. Redneckengineer sitting in the parking lot doing some bench racing while I had a nice after dinner cigar.
We also got to "admire" the lights outside the restaurant.
(Man, do I love a good cigar. Too bad I forgot to bring any the next day.)
About 11 or so we headed back to base Redneck, Scribbler in tow to save us a trip that night and another trip the following morning on the way to the range.
Sunday morning saw the Missus, myself, and Scribbler all gathering ammo cans, rifles and pistols, and a couple new firearm projects as well as a couple old ones. After loading up the truck, we headed to the Wal Marts to pick up some bottled water and some important range accessories.
Range accessories, you say?
Yup. Range accessories. Not this kind, though.
We were a bit late to the arranged meeting spot, but we made it just in time for the local police to make a fourth loop through the parking lot. The Redneck couple and the Scribbler hopped out of the truck, and introductions were made all around to newcomers, bloggers, commentors. readers, and a couple other fellow firearm home builders. I was a bit taken aback at the number of us present, and there were still more to come at the range later.
Here is a quick pic of many of us, plus or minus a few who were afraid the camera would steal their soul.
|Can we start shooting something besides a camera?|
Shortly after the pic was taken, we left in a caravan of several vehicles to hit the range for some Texas-style shooting.
After we got to the range, I let everyone in and we set about going over the range rules and some basic range safety, which really isn't saying much. My range is the only one in the metroplex that allow machineguns and other fun items, as was evidenced by the pile of weapons present. Not everyone brought firearms, but those that did managed to shoehorn several armories into the range.
There were a ton of weapons at DAB I, but I think we managed to top that this time. Total tally of attendees was over 30. I literally lost count. I know I brought a couple dozen firearms on my own, and I'd say 2/3 of the attendees brought at least half a dozen or more firearms.
The best part of the day was when Daniels brought out his Barret M82A1. I think it was the most popular item to shoot the whole day. Not only was it a .50 BMG, but it was a semi auto (not to mention it always went bang every time you pull the trigger, and you didn't need a plastic hammer to open the bolt after firing.) There were a few suppressed weapons, a bunch of Mosin Nagants, a whole lotta ARs, Remington 700s, 03 Springfields, Garands, M14s, revolvers, plastic pistols, 1911s, a whole mess of .22 rifles and pistols, and a few project rifles. Among the project rifles were Genetic_Tool's .510 Reedwhacker, (which is a Winchester Short Magnum case cut down with a .50 caliber bullet, all designed to fire from a standard AR 15 with a modified bolt), a few AKs (including Henry's awesome homebuilt heavy barrel AK), my own RPD (which did not survive the day thanks to the recoil rods effing up), and a couple of Suomi carbines I helped some locals craft. The Suomi carbine is a real hit with everyone who shot it, save for "Bootsie", who had trouble hefting it. It is, after all, the heaviest 9mm carbine I've ever seen.
I also was gifted with a new moniker by Pat, as "The Redneck Gun Wrassler", after trying in vain to get a full belt of ammo to cycle through the RPD.
The video explains it a little better, but I'll leave that for another time.
I brought out some 1/4 and 3/8" steel plates to put out on the rifle range, and Eric was kind enough to construct some target stands to hang plates from. Once the stands were constructed, it was discovered that we had no rope or cord to hang the targets with. In my typical redneck fashion, I looked to the bed of my truck for a solution. As it turns out, I had some 4130 welding rod left in there, rusting away quietly. This made the job of hanging the steel plates a breeze.
Once the plates were up, we barely got back to the rifle firing range before everyone took advantage of the new targets. There wasn't much left of them by the time the afternoon arrived, but that was what I brought them for.
I finally got to put a couple of mags through Southern Belle's Tokarev rifle, did a few mag dumps with my sks and Mini 14, which my lovely wife purchased for me prior to our wedding, as a wedding gift to me. I also set up the range accessories mentioned earlier, as evidenced here.
Just because I promised to include it, here's a picture of the man, the myth, the legend, our community organizer, Bob.
Among those who attended, Bob brought his daughter-in-law along, who up until a couple of weeks prior, had never shot a firearm before.
She took to the hobby like a redneck to baling wire and chewing tobacco. The entire day she had a ear-to-ear smile. I think she shot one of pretty much every gun present.
Also present was
Pat St. Jean and his lovely new bride, Heather of Bikerscum fame
Eric, Scott Jr. and Scott Sr., friends of mine from Baconfatlabs
Big David and middle David, friends of mine from www.weaponsguild.com
The Big Guy from Listen to Uncle Jay
Daniels from Among the Leaves
Kx59, Belle, and bootsie from BellsaRinging
Cormac, from the internet
NicktheBlogless, also from the internet
Scribbler, from ScribblerScrawls
Duane and Tim, fellow gun enthusiasts and friends of mine
Henry, a blog reader and fellow home builder
Paul and his guest, Michael, blog readers from internet land
Artae and family, from Artae.blogspot
and others that I know I'm forgetting.
Around 1400, people started to head out and make their way home. The weather forecasters had predicted rain for the morning, but none for the afternoon. Man, were they wrong. It rained or sprinkled almost the entire time we were there. Thankfully, this did nothing to dampen the spirits of all who attended. No one seemed to care that it was raining, they just stayed under the awnings and kept reloading. Jay definitely wins the long distance award, and Nick wins the bad luck award. Not only did his FAL have an OOB discharge, but his Saiga 12 went down as well. Upon leaving, poor Nick managed to sideswipe the tire baler, tearing a huge gash in the side of his pickup and leaving an enormous dent. A ball peen hammer temporarily repaired the damage so that he could close his door and make his way home. There are a LOT more photos from the day, but I'll save them for the video collage I am working on.
That's all for now.
To everyone that attended, thanks again for such a great weekend. I hope I'll see all of you at DAB III.