MILITIA FIELD DAY
Saturday, April 15th, 2006
Above: Cameron "Big Damage" Miracle shooting his Ruger 10/22. Notice that the photographer has managed to capture the muzzle blast. (Photo by CSL)
Saturday, April 15th, 2006. Camp Stasa, MI
Three words. Just three words. No, they are not "guns", "fun", and "sun." These would be excellent and appropriate words to describe the event enjoyed by about 80 people, and they certainly provide an apt description of this year's Militia Field Day. The three words, however, are instead: Wild Boar Jambalaya. That's right. In addition to burgers, dogs, and beans, The good Corporal Punishment, assuming the duties of chef par excellence, also furnished a mess of some fine wild boar jambalaya. So if you didn't make it to Camp Stasa for The Militia Field Day, you sadly, woefully, tragically, missed out on the wild boar jambalaya. Poor, poor, sad you. It was that good.
You also missed this:
The guys had done an incredible job on clearing out, cleaning up, and squaring away the range and surrounding areas. Several of the questionable and possibly even dangerous structures had been removed, the range cleaned up, the outhouse straightened up, and of course, in the finest of Corporal Punishment's engineering traditions, the backstop rebuilt. A new shooting table replaced the ancient wooden one, and a new "rooftop simulator" structure was also there. Big ups to CPL Punishment and all of his peeps that worked on these. Kudos to all the people who worked on all of this. Truly an excellent bunch of folks, there. There was also a new flagpole that had been installed. From this we flew a 5X8 US flag, and beneath that, a 3x5 Gadsden flag. Pole was installed by Jester and Wagon Wheel.
Rooftop training aid and new shooting bench. New flag pole, great flags, clear sky.
The morning started out with perfect weather, and remained so all day. It was clear, sunny, and warm. Later on, there were multiple cases of sunburn (including me), but nothing too severe.
We started with the free open shoot, and Thumper, as usual, provided some mean targets for us to pop some rounds at. The clown targets, especially, were on the wrong end of most of my personal gunfire. Terrorist targets, clown targets, tax forms, rats (for my good co-worker Dennis), and even some Tapirs were there for us all to shoot. We were worried at first that maybe turnout would be negatively impacted by the holiday weekend, but the folks began trickling in, and the good old deuce and a half from Macomb County was soon joining in the shuttle effort, along with Mad Hatter's van. As it turns out, we really did need the extra shuttle capacity.
The big shuttle what brung the shooters. The shooters what shot the targets. Woo-hoo!
"The family who trains together, stays together." More shooters on line. RSO in orange vest.
The kids' shoot was rolled on into the regular target shoot, and many of the youngsters went above and beyond the usual .22 caliber weapons, and we had some of them taking a crack at just about everything, from the 9mm Glock17, to a venerable M44 carbine ("Ouch!", commented one of the young fellas after the M44 put a minor hurt on his shoulder...), to an AK47. Yep, the youngsters shot a lot more than the .22, and this was encouraging and impressive. From 9 years old (maybe younger) on up, these kids showed a willingness to take on some large caliber fun. We salute every one of the young folks, boys and girls alike, who demonstrated that they need not be limited to small-caliber arms. Great job, guys! Special thanks to all the older folks who were willing to help these kids get a handle on some of the larger guns. Hopefully your kindness, patience, and willingness to teach will leave a lasting positive impression with these youngsters. Please also note that ear plugs and safety glasses were available for everyone, and minors were required to wear both while shooting, and while anywhere near the fifty caliber.
As this wound down, we got ready for the bowling pin competition. This was also when CPL Punishment had lunch ready. Did I mention the wild boar jambalaya? Yep, it was spicy enough to get your attention, but not enough to hurt. It was perfect. The ECVM people had also rented a port-a-potty for the ladies and children. This was a very thoughtful gesture. So with the jambalaya and other assorted goodies, and the port-a-potty, the ECVM had it covered both ways.
Cpl Punishment: Engineer and culinary artiste. Potty rented by ECVM. Big thanks to them.
During the pin shoot, several of the youngsters went back to the airsoft range. One of the young folks, Nick, however, decided to participate in the pin shoot. The pins were set lower, on two-by-fours. This made it a bit easier for smaller calibers to have a chance, but it did remove the fun aspect of watching the pins spin around on the table, to the consternation of the shooters.
Chuckwagon watches Nick compete. Finals: Snipe, Super Six, and Roadkill.
We had fifteen or sixteen shooters compete. There were a couple of re-shoots in there. The cut-off time was around 22 seconds, with Roadkill getting the number one seed with seven seconds and some change. Overall, due to the narrower area that the pins rested upon, the times were better than previous ones. A big salute is due to the newer shooters, like Nick and Samantha. We hope to see you all again.
The brackets were set up, and the fastest nine moved up. (I actually made it into the second round, and I didn't have to reload, despite having seven magazines on the table, just in case.) Number one shot against number eight and nine, number two shot against six and seven, and numbers three, four, and five shot against each other. I had the extreme misfortune of shooting against both Super Six and Gerry R. Yeah, you've heard those names before. Still, it was an honor to be in the same group as those two.
After the first round, the finals were set. Snipe, Super Six, and Roadkill were the top three. This is a fact of which the SMVM in general, and Wayne County in particular, should be proud.
Snipe, using a wonderfully juiced up AR pistol (yep, it's a pistol, it's registered as a pistol), edged out Super "Somebody Hand Me a .45" Six, and Road "I won't need to re-load" Kill.
Congrats to Snipe! (Yeah, I want one of those, too...)
This was fun, sometimes intense, and full of encouragement and good sportsmanship. Everybody cheered for everyone else. That's how it should be.
Snipe won a nice .308 Ishapore Enfield package, including rifle, bayonet, sling, case, and 260 rounds of ammo. We try to make the prizes better every year, and in this case, we think we upgraded fairly well.
Second place won a knife, a 5x8 US flag, and a helmet rag top cover kit. Third place won some British web gear, the new Keith Butler book, and a rag top kit. If we continue to provide nifty prizes, we hope that more of you will come on out next time.
Next on the agenda was our first-ever "Pre-Emptive Strike" shoot. Basically, anyone who wanted to pay a mere two bucks per chance, got a map of Iran target, and they were allowed to take five shots at it. The idea is for us to help the current administration locate the secret Iranian nuke-you-ler facilities, for informational purposes, of course. We checked these against a template upon which we had marked suspected nuclear sites.
Looking for those nuke-you-ler sites. Targets checked by Operative Thumper.
Anyone who lucked out and hit a site got to shoot ten more rounds at a second target. Eventually, Gerry R won, followed by Brian and Griswold. They won an assortment of gear and newsletters. Gerry won a complete web gear set, and second and third places won stuff, including helmet rag top covers. Yeah, we are pushing these covers. There's a reason for that.
We held a brief SMVM meeting to discuss support qualifications, and to hold an election for SMVM coordinator, as per our regulations. Weapon M was nominated and re-elected with two abstentions. Thanks guys. We will also be posting the support qualifications on another discussion board for comment. This will be discussed and we will vote on this officially at our next public meeting. Wherever that may be...
Look at all the Level One or better people gathering for a meeting! Hooray! Hooray! We need to do this more!
After a short period of open shooting, it was time for more bang-o-riffic fun. Not only did we have Mr. Becker's .50 cal on hand (That sounds like a good movie: Mr. Becker's Fifty Caliber), but we also had Corporal Punishment (yeah, he is trying hard to get that Militia MVP award) bring his 37mm flare launcher, mounted under his AR15. Please note that this is a 37mm Flare Launcher, and it has nothing to do with 40mm anything.
Yeah. You want this, baby! "Chooooomp". 37mm fun...
Little dude, big fifty. Lots of courage. .50cal + 37mm = Yayyyy!
The fifty caliber and 37mm flare launcher turned out to be a real bucket o'fun for everyone who participated. A few of the younger people even had a go at these unique items. Nobody who shoots these fails to enjoy them. Sure they are loud, and sure they can kick like hell, but you never forget the experience. We appreciate Mr. Becker and Cpl Punishment for bringing these along, and we always strive to have new, neat things for folks to try.
Late in the evening, about 7PM, a group of folks arrived. Everything had pretty much wrapped up by then, but they had come out to shoot and meet some militia people. Kudos to Mad Hatter, Gerbil, and Bunny, who stayed and let these latecomers shoot. Also, props to the good militia people who went out of their way to encourage these new arrivals and who donated ammo and whatnot so they could get some shooting time in. This shows how much we will go out of the way to get people some hands-on range time.
We should mention Macomb County, and everyone else who pulled guard duty at the gate. Thanks to Caryn and D-day for taking lots of pictures, too. Thanks to everyone who was RSO, and thanks to everyone who was kind enough to let complete strangers handle their firearms. That's what is so cool about this event. And as always, big thanks to The Camp Commander himself, the always friendly, kind, and encouraging Mr. Frank Stasa.
This was the third straight year of absolutely perfect weather. The turnout was good, the jambalaya was fantastic, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The competitions were tight, fun, and fierce. We even saw a few good old friends that we haven't seen in years. I even brought my oldest boy out and he had a good time. This has turned into one of the highlights of the year for me, and we are already considering how to make it better next year. Your ideas are always welcome and encouraged.
This is the future, people: Proud, armed and free. This is what it is all about, right here. Teach them well.
The whistling toadstool stands upon the ledge.
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