Monday, August 4, 2014

Gather the Tribe...

A.K.A. Seventh Annual Northeast Bloggershoot AAR

This year saw numerous firsts for me, with regard to the Northeast Bloggershoot. The most obvious, of course, is that I traveled a significantly greater distance this year than in years past. Rather than wake up early, hit the road and be there before start time, I started a day before the shoot and drove pretty much all day to get there. 11 ½ hours in my truck to come share in the shootie goodness, then about the same the day after the shoot (traffic was particularly bad this week).

Why would I do that, you ask?

These are my people. These are my chosen friends. These are my brothers and sisters of the gun. They are young, they are old. They are black, white, and many other colors in between. They are Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, atheist, and agnostic. They are male, female, and combinations of the two. They are gay, straight, and bisexual. They are physically challenged, able-bodied, and varying stages in between.

Sounds a lot like America, doesn't it?

This group is more than just a collection of gunnies. They are people I am proud to call friends. Every single one of them I trust implicitly; I don't have to question if they'd have my back in a bad situation, I know that not only would they cover my six, but they'd do it without being asked. We are united not by a common race, nor religion, nor gender or other construct; rather by a common belief in self-determination, free will, freedom, and love of the tools that make all these things possible.

While we do love our shiny:

It's the people that make the blogshoots so great. We have just as much fun at dinner as we do at the shoot (and, generally, are about as loud). From one single common interest, kindred souls come together, enjoy each others' company, and, oh, send thousands of rounds downrange.

And that's another thing. The ordnance. This year was a serious arms race. It's interesting that suppressed firearms and full-auto weaponry have become commonplace (although quite welcome and enjoyed, of course); it's one meet out of the year where we all try to bring our favorites. There was a .50 BMG rifle, a Brown Bess musket, an MG43, and a short-barrel KSG shotgun (yes, they *do* exist!) just to name a few.

And again, it's worth noting that with dozens of people of varying backgrounds in firearms and their usage, there was only one very minor injury (one participant got a touch of slide bite). With .50 BMG power, belt-fed machine guns, hand cannons, and everything else that was there - hundreds of guns and thousands of rounds downrange, we had only the slightest of injuries to report. No blood in the streets nor gunfights over parking spaces.

Regarding the handcannon, one of the few things I wished I'd gotten a video of was Glenn B.'s son's girlfriend. She's this tiny slip of a thing, some young 20-something barely 100 pounds dripping wet, and someone handed her Libertyman's 8" barrel S&W 500 Magnum.

Which she proceeded to run *perfectly* through all five rounds, laughing all the while.

Here's the interesting thing, though. This year, I left most of the camera gear home. Rather than bring the DSLR and the Handycam, I went with the old Nikon point-and-shoot. And then proceeded to leave it in the bag in the back of the truck the entire time. I took perhaps six pictures and two videos with my phone, and was perfectly and completely happy making memories rather than photos. I'm good with that. The guns are great, don't get me wrong, but the time I would have been taking pictures and video was better spent catching up with my friends.

Was it worth the ~ 20 hours in a car, driving through some of the fiercest anti-gun states to get there? Heck yeah. I'll do it again next year gladly, although I might look into flying up to avoid the blood pressure-increasing drive...

The biggest hit, for me, was helping a friend introduce his son to handguns and his daughter to centerfire. I brought along some .22s, as I always do, and found that the Ruger 22/45 and the Bushmaster with .22 conversion are a HUUUUUGE hit with kids - and grownups as well. The Bushmaster ran hundreds of rounds through it, being handed off from kid to kid to kid (with a grownup or two in between), and was easily the most-shot gun I brought.

Anyways, to friends old and new, to everyone that made the trek out to play with us, and *especially* our supremely gracious host and hostess I say thank you. I had a wonderful time, as always; I think most everyone else did, as well. Given the reaction and pictures up on Facebook and around the web, I think our Seventh Annual Northeast Bloggershoot was one of the best yet!

Thanks again, everyone!

That is all.


Mopar said...

Would it be too cliché to say I had a blast? Jay and our hosts get the usual thanks, but I especially wanted to thank Libertyman for helping everyone check off "shoot a .50bmg" on their bucketlist. He came to the line with 2 boxes of ammo, fired one round, and told me the rest was for anyone else who wanted to shoot it. Talk about generous!

Cher will hopefully have a recap video in a few days, and we also had a timelapse camera running most of the shoot. That may or may not be interesting. In any case, I'm sure bummed to be back at work, and already ready for the next tribal get together.

Bräuista said...

A great day of amazing firepower and equally amazing people. My shoulder is bruised from the high powered shootin' goodness and I love it! Thanks to Jay and our host and hostess. A rockin' good time! As always :)

Bräuista said...

BTW - there is over 50GB of imagery for me to plow through. Lots of good footage to condense into a reasonable sized production. Stay tuned!

Wally said...

Top notch on all fronts! Can't beat the company ! Thanks to not only our gracious hosts but to everyone who made this a great event !

... and I think I did get some pics of the 500S&W in question, I'll try to get one on FB tonight.

Mrs JD said...

I made mention in the blog. OK I had to bleed to do it, and be noted for doing something I really do know better than to do, but Hey! Thanks for a wonderful day as always and I'm really going to try to to help with a mid winter pick us up dinner!

JD said...

Thanks to our hosts we have a great time and thanks J for pulling things together!

Lokidude said...

That's what Boomershoot is to me. (And I haven't forgotten you, just waiting on some details.)

Old NFO said...

Glad it went well and y'all made it back okay! Sorry I missed it!!!

Kevin said...

Jay, this is why I've driven 13+ hours to Reno every year for the last eight years (well, except for the one year when I got to go by Cessna 310), and will do so again this September - three days with people precisely as you described. You really should try to make the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. You won't have a better time.

doubletrouble said...

Great time Jay; thanks for the organizin'.
And, as usual, I think the only thing I had to pick up after it was over was one stray paper towel- amazing!

Dave H said...

Sounds like a fantabulous time! I'd say I'm sorry I missed it, but what I did this weekend was more important to me than even the Bloggershoot. (A man's got to have his priorities.) I will say that I envy everyone who was able to attended.

Regarding the slide bite, I had that happen to me a couple weeks ago in a gun shop with a completely unloaded pistol. (I racked the slide on a Diamondback 380 and got the web of my left hand caught in the ejection port when it closed. I bought the S&W Bodyguard instead.)

I know how you feel about the cameras Jay. I don't know how many family moments I've missed because I was trying to catch them on film. If somebody wants photos, they can take it themselves now. But modern technology like the time lapse camera may make that easier. (I have an idea for a variation of that. If I can get it working I'll let you know ahead of next year's shoot.)

Nancy R. said...

I'm still trying to process it all. So many fabulous people. And guns. And blammo. Lots and lots of BLAMMO.

libertyman said...

Many thanks to our hosts, as well as our community organizer, Jay. Two delightful evenings and a day of shooting, well everything.
Mr and Mrs Doubletrouble make this all happen and we couldn't do it without you!! Many thanks to all who came from far and wide.
Great times with great people!!!

Anonymous said...

what a great day! I'm still smiling. I feel lucky to know such a marvelous crazy bunch, and to call of you 'my friends'. I can't wait for next year.
I wish I had tried Alan's silly Bren :-) maybe next year.
-mrs. doubletrouble

Andie said...

I am still looking at all the photos and videos folks have shared. :)

Thanks to everyone for a great time--our wonderful host and hostess, those who brought fun toys to share, food to snack on and food for the toys. It was lots of fun, and I am glad I could be a part of it!

Bubblehead Les. said...

Uh. Where am I? Oh, back home in Ohio? Good. As usual, Awesome Shoot. But I will NEVER,EVER,EVER use the Mass. Turnpike to get there again! FOUR HOURS from N.H to N.Y. Friday AND Sunday! NO major Construction, NO Accidents, going the Opposite Way of the Bostonians heading out for the Weekend, yet we BARELY were able to make 50 mph! WTF!?

Next year, up to Vermont and over to N.H. If I have to get stuck behind 5,000 cars driven by Sheeple, at least I'll do it in a State where I can Pull Over and grab an Ice Cream Cone!

Oh, and when you have the Dates set for Next Year, BOOK K.C.'s for Saturday Night right then! Those of us stuck at the Other End of the Table seemed to be treated by the Staff like were we were at the back of an 1950's Alabama Bus!

Or the Tilt-n-Kilt.

Talk Later, and don't forget to Update your "Bloggers I have Met List." ; )

Anonymous said...

well, yes the service at the restaurant was kinda slow, but at least the food was good. my steak was the best I've had in years. And the company was the best!
-mrs. doubletrouble

Daniel in Brookline said...

It was a fabulous time, Jay -- Miss Z. and I were very glad indeed that we made it (even if she did sleep through The Evisceration of the Clifford).

It was great to see you, great to make some new friends, and, of course, lots of fun bang-bang goodness!

A million thanks to you, to Mr. and Mrs. Doubletrouble, and to everyone who made it such a memorable day!