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Range report - The Marksman


March 31, 2013
I've been itching to get out somewhere and shoot, so I headed out to Norton to check out the indoor range at The Marksman today. Other than the price being steeper than I'd really like to pay, it was a pretty good experience. There were more folks there than I really expected for a Tuesday afternoon, but I only had to wait for a couple of minutes for a lane to open up. The guy that I talked to at the counter was nice enough, and got me set up with a target and got me going in no time at all. Manouvering through to the lane was a little tricky. . . There's not a lot of space between the stalls and a table that they have set up behind them, and as mentioned there were quite a few people out there today. And of course, it didn't help that I was carrying two long guns. :)

Once to the stall, I found there to be ample space to lay everything out and get loaded up and ready to shoot. It was definitely better than a couple of the indoor ranges that I went to in Indy while I lived there, but not nearly as nice as the outdoor ranges that I preffer. They do seem to have a good ventilation system, and the lighthing was pretty good too.

I stared out with a Mossberg .410 that I recently inherited from my grandpa. I'm considering it for a home defense gun. I know, I know. . . Maybe not the best choice for that purpose, but it's a combination of making use of what I've got, and picking something that my girlfriend will be comfortable shooting too if the need arises. I tried it out at what I estimated to be about the maximum distance that I could shoot in the house, around 8 yards or so. 2 1/2 inch 000 buckshot put all three pellets through the chest of the sillouhette at that distance, and 3 inch shells seemed to send all 5 pellets through the same hole, though the target already had enough holes by that time that it was hard to tell for sure. I only shot 5 rounds. . . I mostly just wanted to make sure the gun functioned properly. Some time in the near future I'll get out with my girlfriend and put enough rounds through it to make sure we're both comfortable with it before actually starting to keep it at the ready at home.

Next up, I broke out my Springfield Champion 1911. I recently swapped out the hammer and grips on it and was happy to finally put a few rounds through it after over a year of not shooting. The first two magazines that I tried came from my Grandpa's safe, but neither one functioned right. . . After 2 failure to feeds from the first, I switched to the second and had the same result. I unloaded both of those mags and moved on to the military surplus mags that I usually use, and went through two of them without a hitch. So I loaded the rounds left from the first two mags into the second two and put a few more holes in the target. Later on I looked at all of the magazines side by side, and there's a difference in the way the lips that hold the cartriges in place are shaped. My Springfield aparantly really doesn't like those old mags. Too bad Grandpa hadn't held on to the 1911 that those magazines came from.

Lastly and just for fun, I wanted to try out the old Winchester pump actionm .22, also from Grandpa's safe. I stuck an orange bullseye sticker on my target and ran it all the way out to the maximum distance. . . About 50 feet or so. With the ventilation system blowing, the target never really settled down, so there was no way I could really be too accurate. I was just out to have fun though, so I didn't worry about it too much. I went for 5 rounds at a time, bringing the target back in between sets to see where I was hitting. the first couple of groups were consistantly high and to the right. I compensated for that, and got most of the next couple of sets all on that 3 inch orange target I'd stuck on there. Not outstanding marksmanship by any means, but enough to make me happy for now. That's goingt to make one fun plinker, and may even make for a good squirrel gun. I'll probably favor the Winchester 9422 for that though. . . It's alredy grooved for scope mounts, so it'll be an easier set up.

I don't think I even put in a full half hour of shooting, but I accomplished everything that I wanted to, and had a lot of fun. At 12 bucks for a half hour, I can't see myself spending a whole lot of time shooting there, but it'll definitely do for a quick fix when I can't get out to anywhere else for whatever reason.

*Please pardon any spelling errors. . . I know my speling tends to be horrible, and I can't seem to figure out how to run spell check on my post.