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The Coming European Civil War (12) – Guns or Flowers

Posted on February 3, 2017

Guns – building your own gun for amateurs

Flowers – and free kisses

The Coming European Civil War (12)

Part 12:  Guns or Flowers

    Crash!
               Tingggg…!  
    Crash!
               Tinggg….!
    Crash!
               ZINGGGGGGGG…..!

The echoes of gunfire died slowly away. His last well aimed shot on the hardened steel target had ricocheted away with an oddly pleasing ZINGGGGG, and he felt that peculiar, quiet, savage satisfaction known only to the shooter, who is beginning to master his art. He liked those targets. They rang, when you hit them, like a gong. Even in a rapid fire exercise, you knew exactly how well -or not- you were doing. He would find himself counting. Ten rounds in the magazine. Seven hits, Three misses. Fast magazine change. Drop the mag. Load a new one. Continue firing.

    Crash!
               Tingggg…!  
    Crash!
               Tinggg….!
    Crash!
               ZINGGGGGGGG…..!

Eight hits, two misses.  Rinse, wash, repeat.

   Crash!
               Ting……!

Nine hits, one miss.  Better. Better. The afternoon wore on. These shooting sessions were a staple diet. Victor coached quietly but steadily. Weaver stance. Trigger squeeze. Double tap. Re-acquire target. Faster. Spin around, shoot left. Three targets. ZINGGGGG…. Stop. Spin right. Two targets. ZINGGGG….

Ruger Blackhawk 357

Gustav was developing favorites among the wide variety of weapons that Victor brought to the table. Only ten days earlier, having never touched a gun in his life, he had gingerly held a Ruger Blackhawk .357 single-action. On some deep level, convinced that the gun would turn on him. Perhaps it would levitate, turn around mid-air, and shoot him in the face. Guns were evil. Guns killed. Guns were best left alone, and never seen. Never mind, fired.

Now…

It was strange, but there had been a seismic sea change in his attitude. Having now handled a dozen different guns, dis-assembled them, cleaned them, re-assembled them, and fired the living heck out of them… all under the watchful eyes of the Old Man… he realized he had gone from secretly horror stricken/ terrified, via the stages of slowly increasing confidence, and then moderate confidence, to an almost comfortable familiarity. A gun was just a tool. If you handled it with respect, as he had been taught, and never pointed it at anything that might bleed, it was an innocuous implement. It didn't self levitate. It didn't wait until your back was turned, to then seize the moment to sneakily aim between your shoulder blades. In fact, it didn't do a single damn thing until you deliberately finagled it to do something. In fact, his whole attention was now focussed far less on the gun. He was much more fixated on the targets. They routinely fired from five to twenty-five yards. Fast draw. Multiple targets. Run. Weave. Bob behind cover. Pop up. Shoot. Repeat. Over, and over again.

    Crash!
               ZINGGGGGGGG…..!

He had also developed senses he had never even realized were there to be developed. Distance, range. Squeezing off the trigger with minimal muzzle flip. Dry-firing. Hundreds of times. Just practicing that feeling squeeze. The finger lick. No pull. No jerk. Just a massage of the trigger finger.
The revolvers were fine, but the trigger actions did not gave the same amount of feedback. Reloading in a hurry was cumbersome and slow. The speedloaders for the Ruger GP100 reminded him of a parachute. The disc from which six bullets dangled had to be inserted – all together- just right. It was easy to fluff it up, when you were in a hurry.

Speed-loading a revolver

And they were always in a hurry.  Victor almost invariably used a timer now. The pressure – succinctly- was being ratcheted up all the time.

The semi-automatics, especially the Glock family, represented a newer generation of firearms. Much smoother trigger pull, more rounds available, and the reload was a breeze. Hit the magazine eject button, drop the magazine, slam in another one… In terms of speed, there was no comparison.

   

Glock 23 semi-automatic

Gustav, despite the pressure of the timer and Victor's critical eye, found himself smiling quietly one day. Amidst a cloud of gunsmoke, with empty rounds being ejected in a constant rain of brass, he knew that he had somehow found his feet. Now he knew why he had been sent to America. This learning was amazing. The echoes died away again, and he pondered the Glock 23. It was his favorite. The Glock 17 in nine millimeter was fine, and held more rounds at seventeen. But he now shared Victor's slight disdain for the smaller round. The rumors of the diminutive nine millimeter round failing to penetrate leather jackets and car windscreens made a larger round more appealing, notwithstanding the velocity versus mass arguments that raged incessantly on various Internet gun forums. Then again, jumping up to the Glock 21, with its impressive .45 auto lead nugget, meant a larger cannon. Gustav shot well with it, and liked it, but after a few hundred rounds, he started to feel it.  A compromise seemed to him was the Glock 23 in the middle-of-the-range .40 Smith & Wesson caliber. Between both the nine millimeter and the .45 Glock 21, Gustav was most comfortable with the 23. Smaller and lighter, it concealed better as well.

One of his learning tools was a home made gun. Or, perhaps more precisely, a home finished gun. That he himself had manufactured, under the watchful eye of the Old Man. It was called a Polymer 80, and Gustav was proud of his work.

build-it-yourself-at-home pistol kit

Only in America, he thought. The Land of the Free, where you could buy home build gun kits. Assemble them, fire them, all legal, without any Government paper work or oversight or approval whatsoever. It worked. It was every bit as reliable as the factory built Glocks, and Gustav hated to admit it, but he enjoyed shooting it. Try that in Europe!

Why…

Why did he feel a pang of guilt?

Why did he somehow feel he was betraying his upbringing? Betraying his superior non-gun culture back home? Betraying decency, and civilisation, by not following along with most people back home, who regarded guns as fundamentally evil? Who saw guns as representative of a backward, American, Wild West primitivism? An unnecessary presence in the much healthier, wiser, more compassionate culture of Western Europe? What would his old school mates say, if they saw him now? What would his former University colleagues say, if THEY knew what he was up to? They would have a week of FITS. The condemnation and ridicule would be torrential.

Aaaaaargh…

Even the thought of it was all too much.  
He reloaded mechanically, on auto pilot. One per cent of his mind focussed on the routine, well practised task. The rest of his mind wondered. And wandered. He thought of Maria Ladenburger. And he thought of Elin Krantz. He thought of his gentle younger sister, Tuva. And felt sad. Homesick.

He raised the weapon he had slaved over in the workshop, that he had tendered to with drill press and micrometer, files and feeler gauges, sandpaper and sweat, and squeezed delicately on the trigger…

A series of booms rolled around the countryside, echoing and reverberating. Messengers of salvation, or harbingers of doom. Keepers of Liberty or the obsession of backward, ignorant fools.

Gawd…

What was he becoming? He tried hard to think of his gentle, ultra Liberal little sister picking up a gun. It was a jarring thought. Women didn't shoot. Maybe in America. But back home? They unanimously hated guns. A life time of anti-gun propaganda was not easily balanced by an opposing view.

The booming died away, as a round failed to feed. Expertly, he dealt with the snag, and continued destroying steel targets.

The Old Man watched attentively.

Sadly.

His memories revolved as well. They went back decades.

And hurt.

Still.

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on February 5, 2017, 9:39 am


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