Monday, October 3, 2011

There are many others like it, but this one is mine.

It started like most typical weekend evenings in Los Angeles. A dinner made up of fresh ingredients, most of which came from the hosts garden. Bottles of wine, an assortment of cheese and grapes were on hand as the kids performed tricks on their newly acquired scooters. I respect evenings like this, I love them which is partially why I dress up for them. I acknowledge, at least to myself that I like being a yuppie in Los Angeles. But something was different about tonight. As I mentioned, the wine flowed, the amazing conversation and laughs were there but something was definitely different. I was there not just for an evening with friends but to learn a skill.

After dinner I found myself staring at a Marlon Glenfield Model 60 .22 Caliber and an Australian Jungle Sniper Rifle - Enfield .303 Caliber. Sure, I’ve shot guns before, I live in Los Angeles, but never before had I taken a gun apart, understood the mechanics and cared for a piece of machinery.

Learning from the master. Notice how he holds the gun down.

When I asked my host to teach me something unique, I jumped at the chance to learn how to properly take apart and clean a classic weapon. I saw us sitting in the jungle taking apart our rifles, cleaning them before a hunt. In reality, we sat comfortably on the living room in front of the other guests as they watched Pirates of the Caribbean. This honestly added a nice addition to learning this, if I make a complete mess of myself with the oil, break his gun or handle the rifle like city boy, there will be witnesses. Some of them...lady witnesses.

We took the guns apart and my host explained how each gun functioned, what each part was doing when the user took an action. The mechanics of it all were fascinating, but holding thing really made me want to go out and shoot down Pepsi cans. I wouldn't say the skill or experience was hard by any means but it was a thrilling experience. There was something satisfying about working with my hands, that I had forgotten about until recently. When I was putting the gun back together, I was having difficulty sliding the bolt back into its proper place. "What does it take to get this thing back down", I asked, defeated. "Confidence", my teacher replied. Touché, Paul Hogan. I could explain in detail the instructions given to me and how to take a gun apart and clean it, but I suggest you go out and learn also. Also, I probably wouldn’t it justice.

Working with hands might have been the central theme of the night. Not all the men were on the ground getting dirty and greasy taking apart a machine and putting it back together. While some were reloading bullets with one hand (me) I found another comrade working diligently with his hands, learning a difficult skill. 

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I can't exactly teach you all everything I learned, but I can share some of the key words I remember.

Words I remember:
  • Gun
  • barrel
  • safety (seeing red means its...on?)
  • stock
  • sight
  • bolt
  • magazine
  • bolt sliding thing?
Overall a great experience and I’m very happy my hosts took time out of their lives to show me this skill. Though this entry doesn’t do the evening or the learning experience justice, I am confident in my ability to disassemble and clean a rifle. I have gained an understanding on the inner workings of a rifle.

The only thing I’m confused about is what light reading has anything to do with bullets.

And with that horrible joke, I bid thee goodnight.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate that you excluded any note about how frequently I consulted Google for part labels and assembly instructions. And how you made Scott look lame. Here, here.