The Raleigh gun show and its aftermath

I know you’re probably asking yourself “Does this guy do nothing but go to gun shows on the weekend?”

Well, no, not really. I only go on the weekends when there are gun shows. Thankfully, that isn’t every weekend, or I’d never have time to go shoot.

So anyway, my daughter and I went to Raleigh, NC for the latest incarnation of the Dixie Gun and Knife Show. This was the first time either of us have been to this particular show, but I don’t think it’s going to be the last. This was a heck of a show.

First, it was big–not as big as the Greensboro, NC show, but big. The selection of vendors was on par with Greensboro. I could get spoiled going to shows like this.

Of course, the highlight of the show was the near obligatory gun purchase. This little jewel, the Springfield XD Service Model (9 mm) in black, just had to come home with us so that the daughter could graduate up from the Walther P22. She’s pretty much mastered the concept of pistol shooting using the Walther, and I wanted her to move up to something with some recoil, so she can get used to handling it. A nice part of the deal was a special promo from Springfield that netted a nice polymer paddle holster and 3 magazines.

We also scored a supply of reloading components, and the book Where There Is No Doctor. Pity they didn’t have to companion volume, Where There Is No Dentist. I also wanted a copy of Boston T. Party’s Molon Labe, but struck out at all 3 book vendors. And of course, Daughter had to have some jewelry. She is female, after all.

For me, the highlight was seeing an M-1 Garrand, 1938 production, with a 4 digit serial number and all the serial numbers matching. There was no price tag on it, which is no suprise. I suspect the bidding would open at $5,000 for this piece of history.

I also got to check out one of the Guardia Civil Mauser .308 conversions that I’ve had my eye on at Samco. The guy at the show was way over-priced at $225, but it was nice to actually see one in person. I’m anticipating one of these as my first C&R purchase. I think it would make a great trunk gun, and it would keep me from having to stock another caliber of ammo.

After the show, we visited Hillsboro St., took in the sights of NC State University (I used to work there) and caught a slice of pizza to fuel us for the trip back to Camp Freehold.

Sunday, Daughter, Son and I went to the range, partly to try out the new gun, but also to let Mrs. Freeholder have some blessed Mother’s Day peace and quiet. Being that I footed the bill, I took the honor of running the first 15 round magazine through the new gun. From 10 yards I was hitting about 75% of the 8″ plates, which, given the way I’ve been shooting lately, was an improvement. I was surprised at the recoil of the XD shooting 115 gr. loads–I’d rank it as not that much less than my 1911 with 230 gr. loads.

Daughter, of course, had to show up her Dad. With 10 rounds loaded, she stood on the 10 yard line and nailed 10 8″ plates. Bang-ping!, Bang-ping!, Bang-ping!. Drat those young eyes. On her followup magazines, she didn’t do so well, but I think that she’ll get back up to her usual 90% with practice.

She did suffer one FTE somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd magazine. I had to use a cleaning rod and bump the spent case out of the gun. Checked the case; didn’t see anything obviously wrong with it. It did give me the opportunity to explain the principle of the “backup gun”. Other than that, the gun ran perfectly.

Son also got to try it out, but only with 5 rounds. He’s 3 years younger than his sister, and just isn’t quite big enough for me to feel sanguine about his ability to control the gun in recoil. Maybe in a few years, kid.

In total, we shot 100 rounds through the XD, around 80 through he P22 and 28 through the 1911. It was a short session, in deference to the fact that we hadn’t put any suntan lotion in the range bag. Still, we shot for around 90 minutes, which is a nice way to spend some time with the kids on a Sunday afternoon.

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