So here is a completely random experience that Ron and I had in Las Vegas. Ron saw an advertisement to shoot a gun at a range on some brochure. So like Ron does, he was telling everyone. Then one girl, Toni, who ran the Joomla conference, said we shouldn’t do that but shoot guns with her husband instead. So we did. We drove an hour out into the dessert of Arizona and met her husband on the side of the road. Then we drove 15 minutes off the road into the middle of nowhere, setup a a target and shot away.
This was much more fun, and as I’ve been told more dangerous than going to a boring old range where we get 15 minutes of going gun happy. We got a history, gun and political lesson all in two hours. Yes, that is an AK-47 in my hand.
Here is the e-mail he sent us after to tell us all the guns we shot.
CZ 52, a Czech gun in 7.62X29 caliber. The gun is unique in design. It is based on a Nazi artillery piece, but scaled down to handgun size. It is a very sturdy design. The bullets are fast and small enough in diameter that they can penetrate standard body armor.
1911, Norinco, in .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol): a Chinese copy of a Colt 1911 that was the standard issue sidearm of the U.S. military from 1911 to about 1980. The Chinese copy is actually made of better metal and to tighter specifications than the American military models. This particular gun is highly customized.
Tanfoglio 97B in .45 ACP: This is an Italian-made gun that is based on the Czech CZ 75, a Czech military and police sidearm. This one is customized and I use it as my primary competition gun.
1911, AMT Hardballer in .45 ACP: Another one of my customized guns. This was the first time it was fired after I did the custom work. It was came out very well. This is the one I rapid-fired while you took pictures. It was the first American-made gun you shot that day.
CZ 82 in 9X18: This is a Czech modification of the Russian Makarov design that is based on the Walther PPK. It, too, served as a military and police sidearm for the Czechs and in a number of other countries. The recoil was sharper than the previous pistols even though it was the weakest ammo we shot. That is because of the design and the light weight.
Smith & Wesson Model of 1917 in .45 ACP: This is the revolver that was made in WWI because the Allies could not produce enough automatic 1911 pistols to supply their needs. This one was also customized and made into a belly gun. It has a shortened barrel, rounded grips and bobbed hammer spur making it a double action only gun.
Kimber Custom 1911 in .45 ACP: This came out of the box customized in the ’90s, but last year I put about another $1,000 into it customizing it about as far as it can be done. It is a sweet shooter and has been my primary carry gun for more than a decade. It is probably worth in the neighborhood of $2,400, but I wouldn’t sell it for less than about $3,000.
Romanian AK47 in 7.62X39: The ubiquitous carbine of the former Soviet Union. You see them every time you see Arabs on TV shooting guns into the air in celebration. What can I say? They’re just plain fun!
Mossberg 870 pump 12 gauge shotgun: We used 00 (double ought) buckshot. It is a very powerful weapon at close range that will stop an adversary in their tracks. Just racking the slide will generally make them feel a need to change their drawers. A fun toy that lets you know you are shooting a powerful firearm.
I think I got all that we shot in order. When we got home I realized I’d brought a couple others that we didn’t get around to shooting – maybe next time. Everything you shot was originally a military design. The designs date from 1908 to 1982. The only unmodified guns were the CZ52 and the CZ82.