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Yesterday my husband invited two friends on the crew he is working with out for the afternoon. These two are in the 25-30 age range, from northern IL. They are working on a job site here in SD and only get to go home every other weekend. They are both shotgun fans, and my hubby invited them out for steak on the grill and some target shooting. My hubby had told them about my recent 30.06 purchase (I got two in two weeks) and the scope, and then the safe we got just last weekend. He said they were skeptical - some co-workers come up with pretty interesting stories. . .

They made it here around 2:30pm, and the first thing my hubby did was take them down to the basement and show them the open safe. Their eyes got big as he started to pull out some of my marlins. The 1894CB (octagon barrel) in .357 was followed by the 30-30. The 39A stayed in the back. He showed them the Marlin MR-7 and the Weatherby (both bolt action 30.06) and let them take them upstairs to check out the scopes. Then he pulled out my Savage/Fox 20ga sxs (my favorite). They could see something with a long barrel in the back, so hubby took out his BAR 7mm - they agreed that is one heavy rifle. He didn't pull out everything, but just so they didn't feel bad, he did pull out the Winchester 9417 and the really old .22 pump (that is probably the only one we have that could be considered a collector and the only one we don't shoot). That old .22 belonged to my FIL, and my hubby pretty much wore it out as a kid.

Having shown them the safe, and proving the two 30.06's did exist, we headed upstairs and hubby put the steaks on the grill. While the guys watched the steaks, I started showing off our "closet guns". These are the ones that we keep "handy" and the low end ones (yup, outgrew the safe before we even bought it). I posted on another site about wanting a safe, and got the response "why lock them up, it's good to have them where you can reach them" At least someone else responded with "That's fine for a few, but what do you do with the rest of them?" so I didn't have to.

I'll admit, I was worse than a grandma with pictures of the grandkids. They had commented about the lack of shotguns in the safe, so I brought out my Marlin 120, and then the savage 12ga and hubby's Stevens 20g. Then I brought out the savage .223 left handed bolt action. And for fun, I brought out the Mosen Nagants, regular and carbine. I get a kick out pointing out the hammer and sickle, and mention that it may have been used in World War II.

The steaks got done and eaten, and then it was time to head out back. We live on small acreage (for SD) and the nearest neighbor is over a mile away. We have berm in the back and have a lot of fun! We started out with the shotguns and a box of clays. Hubby took out his 870 Express, the Stevens double and the Marlin pump. I brought out my savage/fox. I'm a real novice, but I still have fun even if I don't hit much. The guys took turns running the thrower and shooting. After the box of clays was emptied, we filled it back up with spent shotgun shells. The shotguns got put away and we brought out the .22s for some plinking. Both mine and hubby's Marlin 60's (for fun competition) and hubby's buckmark pistol. Also brought out the Romanian .22 bolt action. The Marlins hold about 15, and the two guys kept going back for refills. Hubby gave them a short lesson on his buckmark and turned on the red dot scope and the smiles started getting bigger. Neither of our visitors had much experience with handguns. We’d already been out for over two hours, and we moved on to the .357’s. I have a Barretta stampede (single action) and hubby has a S&W (double action). Now they were really having fun (we have a shooting tree for the .357’s). I was going to bring out the .357 lever action carbine, but they were having so much fun with the pistols that we were almost out of shells as it was (I told my hubby he needs to have about 500 rounds of .357 ready at any given time – he only had about 200). As the sun was going down, I brought out the Mosen Nagant. Now that brought out the biggest smiles!

We made it back in around 6:30, after over 3 hours of shooting. They said days like that were better than going home for the weekend. We visited for a bit, talking about different calibers, and looking at the different holes in the metal disks they had been shooting at. My son uses these too, and they wanted to know what had put the small holes clean though the disk. So my hubby started talking about .17 rim fire, and they had never heard of that. About this time, my son got home from work, and brought out his Tikka 30.06 and Marlin 917 (.17hmr) for them to look at (yup, those are my grandchildren LOL!!). It was dark now, but they wanted to see the 917 shoot, so we went out under the yard light, and son shot a few rounds. Hubby took out his S&W and gave them a demonstration of why you want to be careful how you hold a revolver. It’s fun watching the muzzle blast when shooting at night.

Around 8 pm they left to make the 2 hour drive back to their hotel near the job site, and hubby sat down to start cleaning guns. They left with big smiles and hopes of coming out again. Hubby’s got guns to clean (a favorite pastime) and a big box of empty shotgun shells and brass to reload.
 

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In the words of a sage, "Don't get no better than that"
 

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In the words of Mister Rogers, "Won't you be my neighbor?"

Sounds like a fun evening that your guests will talk about for a long time.
 
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