February 07, 2018
It was a humid 85 degrees as I hovered over the charcoal grill. The venison steaks were slowly sizzling away, their Italian marinade aroma hanging heavy in the air like a wet blanket. It was a typical weekday night, and my girlfriend and her teenage daughter were hungrily awaiting the final product of the hot coals. Camryn, (who is 17 going on 27) strolls out of the house and heads in my direction.
“Why are you sweating?” she asks, oblivious to the 300 degree grill and lack of a breeze. I bite my tongue as a sarcastic remark nearly exits my mouth.
“You want to do this?” I ask- as I attempt to hand her the tongs. She jumps back as if I just tried to hand her a snake covered in poison ivy.
“Nope, looks like you have it under control” she smirks. She lingers a bit with a pause and I wonder what she’s scheming. I quickly think to myself—“she must be out of data and want to use my hot spot……or maybe she is going to strike a bargain to vacuum my house for money.” Instead, she gets a little grin and asks: “Can we go out on your range and shoot guns after dinner?”
Immediately I smell a trap. Teenage girls always have an angle. Although I never need an excuse to go do some target practice, this seemed like a great opportunity. Still unsure of what she is really after, I agree.
“Sure!” I reply, I’ll go grab the gun.
As I wander downstairs, still chewing on the last morsel of tenderloin, it occurs to me there are a couple things I need to make happen during this firing session.
- Shooting can’t be painful. Young shooters are sensitive to recoil, and if she feels any nasty kick, the fun is over.
- The gun has to be simple to load, fit her well, and be comfortable to shoot. Nothing creates frustration like trying to be accurate with something that feels heavy, bulky, or uncomfortable.
- Something has to explode down range.
So I head to my gun safe and pull out the CVA Scout. This particular model happened to be the Scout V2 with a compact stock in 44 Magnum. With readily available ammo in 180 grains, the recoil is very manageable on this gun, especially with the Crushzone recoil pad. Loaded with my own personal 300 gr handloads, the gun becomes a serious thumper.
I have the luxury of having a 100 yard range in my back yard. Combine that with a reloading setup in my basement, I usually end up tinkering around with various loads on a regular basis. I had just finished loading a bunch of 180 grain hollow points that I suspected would be perfect for tonight’s fireworks.
My next thought was “what can we use for a target?” It was at that moment I happen to eye an empty milk jug in my recycling. In a flash I was out in the trash, digging out a half a dozen plastic bottles, jugs, and containers. Bridget, my girlfriend (Camryn’s mom) eyed me nervously as I started filling them with the garden hose. She always can tell when I’m “up to something” and it is usually followed by the words “oh Lord no!” or “what do you think you are doing with that?” But I just shrugged off her suspicions with a smile. “You want to shoot too?”
As she realized what I was up to, the nervous look was replaced with a shake of her head and a roll of her eyes. Did I sense just a tiny bit of affection? There is a fine line between sarcasm and affection. Women are strange sometimes. At any rate, I had a plan. We were going to see “results” instead of holes in the paper.
After I opened the legs on the bipod, Camryn settled in behind the gun. Although this was not her first time shooting, I could tell she was still a little uncomfortable.
“Is this going to hurt?” She asked.
“No way, Cam. I wouldn’t do that to you”.
Satisfied, she donned the ear muffs, and lowered her head and peered through the scope.
“Pull the hammer back” I instructed, “that’s your safety. Then when you are ready, pull the trigger nice and slow”.
As Camryn finalized her aim and with her mother nervously watching, I could tell both girls were unsure of what was about to happen. But I was well aware, and doing my best to contain my excitement. I have always been a fan of big, heavy bullets. And as that 180 grain slug left the barrel and traveled the 50 yards down range, there was no doubt what it hit when it arrived. Approximately two gallons of water, trapped inside a kittly litter jug erupted in a geyser of epic proportions. Awestruck, Camryn jumps up with a loud “woo hoo” and high fives me.
“That was awesome!” she yelled, a huge grin across her face.
For the next few minutes, thoughts of snapchats, Instagram, and boys were replaced with gunfire and giggling. The three of us took turns shooting, digging through the trash, and filling containers until I ran out of ammo. As the last round splashed home, Camryn set her ear muffs down and turned to me and said something I never ever thought I would hear from her. “Will you and mom take me hunting?” I shoot a quick look at Bridget and a smile creeps across her face.
“That would be awesome!” I reply. “But first, we better get these pictures up on your Instagram.”
“Do you mind if I use your hotspot?”
I roll my eyes and give her a smirk. Maybe she was up to something after all.
By: Prostaffer Dan Mortensen