Sunday, November 2, 2008

This Weekend's Shoot

Hey all!

Well, this weekend I got to have a bunch of fun!
You may recall that there is a friend of my wife's family who is a serious military antiques collector and historian. This fine gent has a large tract of land where he often hosts friends who come over to blast away with their favorite black powder weapons! This same gent is the one who gave me the original ACW pack that I have yet to find a safe case for to hang in the wargames room!

So; some time ago this same gent told me he would be hosting a shoot this fall, and that I would be welcome to come. Well, the time had come, so off I went! Myself and my father-in-law headed up for the afternoon... we did not camp out, as most people were doing (it was a two day event) but we had a great time.

Now; the property is fantastic. This gent built his house himself, and the interior is BEAUTIFUL. It is a true dream house; on the inside it looks as if it is from the 17th century, with huge fireplaces and beautiful rooms, all full of antiques. It is simply mamouth; I have nothing to compare it to, but the square footage must be at LEAST five times that of my house. It has three different living rooms with multiple parlours off of each, on the order of eight bedrooms, three rooms built specifically for display of military antiques (he owns hundreds and hundreds of original guns, dozens of uniforms, and a wide array of other bits and pieces, including hundreds of packs, canteens... it is an amazing collection), an enormous kitchen, a vaulted entrance with 60 or 70 original weapons lining the ceiling... oh, and THREE different stocked bars. It is truly a man's dream house. I have included a few shots here. First up (to the above left) is the fireplace in the central living room of the house. It is absolutely huge; you can tell by realizing how long the Brown Bess that is hanging above the fireplace is! I also took two shots of some shelves he has in that room, which show off his obvious love of the Sherman tank, and a few other neat bits and pieces. Not featured; his two MASSIVE German Shepherds... he uses them as guard dogs, and I've never seen dogs this size in my entire life. Thankfully, they were kept out of sight and locked away all day.

The outside is beautiful as well. A true craftsman, this gent has not only made the house, but also the six car garage (complete with a huge office above it, which is larger than most houses.) He put up a tent with a few weapons for display (note the extremely rare Tiffany and Co. packs that were made for members of Berdan's Sharpshooters) and even build a snakerail fence around the shooting area just for this event.

But the real kicker is the pavilion he built overlooking the firing range, again SPECIFICALLY for this event. He used to work in construction, and put this thing together over the course of a few days (with the help of an industrial level backhoe) for this shoot. It seats between 80 and a hundred people for meals (all while being able to watch the fun) and includes a full kitchen with 12 burners and two outdoor wood BBQs. The food was fantastic and kept coming all day; stews and chilis and pastas and all sorts of delicious goodies.

But what about the shooting? Ahhh! Well, there was a large range of black powder weapons, including a bunch of flintlocks and percussion guns. There
were a few more modern guns, ranging from the SpanAm war all the way up to WWII. But the big attraction was the 10lb Parrott and the 6lb smoothbore, as well as a trio of mortars. All day people blasted away at a mix of large pumpkins and plastic buckets filled with water... and I'll tell you what, the most accurate of the bunch was by FAR the Parrott. A cannon makes a real mess of a pumpkin, I'll assure you. And there were Rough Riders there, Doughboys, a WWI Nurse, a few Continentals, some Yanks and Rebs alike... almost every uniform from the Revolution through the modern day was on the shooting line at one point or another, as well as whoever wanted to just borrow a gun and blast away!

All in all, it was a fantastic afternoon, and reports are that the second day saw even more guns show up.

A great time with a great host, who said that next time I can get back up there just a few of us can spend all day shooting with everything he's got. Good times!


Anonymous said...

Amazing house your friend has there.

Sometime i wish I lived in the US for days like this.

muzik212 said...

Would this dude want the entire CVG to come up for a battalion drill? We are very low maintenance!