Rockets, Santa and guns.

Like many activities there are times where the after event fun is better than the activity itself.  This weekend was a good example of this, I went out to an experimental launch weekend, not to launch any rockets, but to help out and meet with friends.


I packed lots of food and drinks, some tools, and an easy-up for shade.  I also packed a bag-of-guns on the chance that once the rocket range was closed I may get in some informal target practice.  (Plinking)  I brought my .22/.410 combo gun and a .22 pistol.  Both are cheap to feed and relatively quiet.


By 10am I was put-putting down the eight mile gravel road to peace and tranquility. 

No cell phones, no traffic, no boss, no air-conditioning, no whiners, just friends, rockets, guns, beer, and lots and lots of land to play on.


I just changed the spark plugs and the oil on my HPM so it almost eager to head down the road.  I managed to maintain a good 55mpg all the way out to the launch site.  I also brought the tower for Johns altitude shot that I built the night before.


Once there I found that all the cool kids were already in attendance.  John, Elvis, Jim, Joe, Art, everyone who I would invite to a really good, albeit geeky, party was already there.  I helped John with his M class altitude shot, which earned him altitude records for the club and all of Colorado, but was just shy of the national record.  Then helped Elvis with his launch, which had rather different results, but all the parts were found and no one was hurt….


After the FAA waver was closed and while there was still enough daylight a few of us decided to do some informal target practice.  (Plinking)  So we drove a few miles down the road to a canyon usually used for OHV recreation.  Its closed at this time of the year to off-road stuff, but not for plinking!


Lucky for us Jim was there with his toys.  He handed them out like Santa handing out toys to good little boys and girls.  And Ammo, lots and lots of ammo.


I figure that over a thousand rounds were fired that evening.  I saved one of each type see if you can name them all. 



The answers are here.


You may or may not enjoy shooting or informal target practice.  You may be a person who feels that all guns are evil and should be banned.  Everyone has a right to their own opinion.  We also have the right to keep and bare arms.  We exercised that right to the fullest on Saturday afternoon.  Over a dozen guns were used, and probably over a thousand rounds were fired.  No one was hurt, no crime was committed, and everyone had a good time.


When all was over, and the range was picked up and cleared, I unloaded, and locked up my guns and went back to the campsite.  Doug had his movies set up by the time I cooked up some brats and settled down for a beer.  We watched is excellent movies of 1000 frame per second camera rockets, ate popcorn, drank beer and relaxed.  Mike had some propellant that needed to be burned and the camp fire was starting to cool off.  Every once in a while, during the movie, you could see a slight red or blue reflection off of the moon.  That was mike burning lots of propellant.


Friends, rockets, movies, guns, beer, popcorn, I am not sure the day could go any better. 

Not a bad day.

Not a bad day at all.




7 thoughts on “Rockets, Santa and guns.

  1. Burrowowl says:

    Guns don’t kill people. Cops kill people.

  2. Man! I wish I could have been there. It sounds like a worthy time was had by all.

    It’s been ages since I went to the range and frustratingly enough, sitting not more than five feet away is a Mauser HSc and about a hundred rounds of fun, just waiting to be put through its paces. It won’t happen today though. ARGH!

    I made up about a hundred rounds for the wife’s new M96 and another hundred for my new/old M95 Steyr and they are just begging to be taken out and enjoyed. Oh well, perhaps this weekend.

    Glad you had a great time. One day we are going to have to get together and play! I’ll bring the ammo and chips. You bring the rifles and coffee!

    -Turkish Prawn

  3. My bachelor party involved about a dozen guys, around 20 shotguns, 4 cases of clay pigeons, 2 cases of ammo, 2 throwers, 15 pounds of pork ribs, 10 pounds of potatoes and two wheelbarrows of beer (after the shooting). Still one of the best times I’ve ever had.

    Looks like you all had a blast. I’ve shot everything but the 2 weirdo Russian rounds and the big .50 cal. That thing must be a bear. Those things will turn an engine block into swiss cheese.

    That .410 / .22 combo…is it an over-under? If so, that’s got to be one of the best guns a father could ever give his son. You could hunt any small game with it and the single shots would make you a better shooter. Personally I started out with a single-shot 20 guage and a nice Marlin .22. I still hunt regularly with the Marlin and occasionally embarrass myself by trying to hit doves with the 20 guage.

    Anytime you head east you and TP have an invite to join me at the range. :-)

  4. It’s a deal! Next summer, plan a trip back to lake Winnipesaukee. I’ll have everything ready!

    Same goes for you PF! If you find your self over this way, the range is open and the rifles are waiting!

    -Turkish Prawn

  5. I think we may in fact be heading that way. We thought everyone would be glad to take a break this year but the kids have said several times, “We miss Three Mile.” If it weren’t for the pain of flying back and forth it would have been an easier call.

  6. I am sorry to say that I am about as far eastward as I wish to be. Any vacation I take will be west or north of Colorado. I am sure that there are wonderful and interesting places east of Colorado. I have lived in Colorado, Missouri, Texas, Alabama, and California. I have spent time in Wisconsin, Michigan, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Florida, and the District of Columbia. The Desert south west still needs much more exploration before I am willing to find out what I missed east of Colorado.

    However just because I am a stick in the mud and don’t wish to play in someone else’s yard doesn’t mean that I am not willing to play host. Denver is a major hub to lots of locations. Please feel free to drop by for a blast. I will see to it that fun with kinetic energy is had by all. Just ask Spudgun, I host a hell of a BBQ.

  7. Ironically, I have a similar policy about the Southwest. I just keep picturing cactuses and tumbleweeds. I would like to see the greener parts of Colorado sometime though.

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