Shootaholic
May 1995
Gerhard Schroeder

Habits; everyone's got them. People pick them up, sometimes on purpose, often naturally or subconsciously. Sometimes these habits try to take control, overpower you gradually, and take a big chunk out of your life. When that happens, you usually accelerate to the end, or you realize what's going on and struggle to do something about it. Maybe I'm now at that point.

"Hello. My name is Gerhard Schroeder, and I am a shootaholic!" That became clear to me after talking to other guys that own firearms and go shooting. Except, they don't do it a couple of times, or at least twice, per week. Now, that's not so bad. But when they go shooting, rarely do they burn up more than a box of ammo. And get this, they even bring some of the ammo back, in other words, they quit shooting although they still have ammo left. Strange. I look at this issue like the "Cracklin' Oat Bran" commercial: "An open box is an empty box."

The same goes for bricks of .22's. And that's not always as easy as it sounds, particularly in the cool time of year where daylight goes quickly. You really have got to have your reloading down pat to do in a brick after work, before it gets too dark.

And think about it. Those MTM boxes aren't meant to be only partially full. That messes you up too much when you reload the empties. Just look, primers, bullets and brass is all sold in multiples of 50! And I will easily do several of those in one session. Just ask David Stimens. If he'd see me pack up a partial box of .44's, he'd call 911! And, I believe Glenn Sampson has also noticed. Dan Martinez mentioned in one of the last club meetings that he was a little sick of having .22 ammo as event prizes. Weird. That stuff makes me feel goood!

Sarah, that bitch, made me buy one of those $100 Russian Tokarev 9mm's, before her stupid law became official. Got me hooked good on this semi-auto centerfire blasting. Then, a few months later, our latest "Fuehrer," who did the illegal immediately, but needs a little longer for the unconstitutional, wants to limit magazine capacity. Hello, Beretta 92! Oh, what a feeling to rip out 16 of those Luger rounds without requiring a breather. An aftermarket clip can push that to 21. Heaven!

A Contender provides pleasure at a different scale. You can really reach out and touch something. But since it is only a single shot, you have to bring another gun along to "make the numbers" with respect to quantity of ammo consumed. Some type of semi-auto is best. That way you can let one gun cool while blasting with the other. And you're also covered should one of them break down. Scary thought, because then you'll probably have to bring ammo back home.

I'm still a beginning shootaholic, since I don't have such exotic paraphernalia as a Dillon, or Uzi or Tec. Heck, not even a Mini 14 or 10/22. In fact, handguns are my first love, but yeah, occasionally I screw around with a long gun.

Nor do I yet carry concealed. Or fondle my guns and scopes and XTP ammo when I'm in my underwear. Okay, but not very often.

But I do relate to many things in terms of gun stuff. Like paying for gas and thinking how many boxes of Federal Lightnings that cost me. Or how many speed loaders I could go through in the same time needed to mow the grass. I evaluate materials in terms of target medium: Will it withstand repeated impacts? What caliber/bullet style will penetrate it? Will it burst or splinter or even explode? Can it be used during a Desert Action event?

My workplace is really frustrating. Why? Well, look out the window of my 6-story, and all you see is a target-rich environment . . . and you're not allowed. There is the duck pond right below, and across the street, sheep are grazing and jack rabbits are trying to mate. What would be wrong during lunch, instead of typing this, to climb to the roof and knock off some of those critters?

And if nailing one of those ducks is too much to stomach, (first, the ducks are sick looking mallard mutations, and second, addicted to parking lot runoff), how about a chunk of two by four floating in the pond? The company already issues earplugs anyway. On second thought, I'd rather hollow point the damn mutations. That way they wouldn't accidentally make it to Horseshoe Lake.

But hey, relax! I'm ok. I realize the condition I'm in, and I'm doing something about it. A small foam ball that the company gave out as a tool to reduce stress simulates a trigger pretty good. People just react strangely when I point it at them Weaver-style. Or when I'm talking on the phone in the Creedmoore position.

Finances are mostly in control. Recently I recycled all fired pistol and rifle primers. That provided for a can of Winchester 296, plus some change. I minimize the damage by going for the lower prices. I buy in bulk from Midsouth. Five thousand primers amortizes that damn seven dollar hazard fee a lot better. Ditto for 8 pounds of #2. And if you buy 5000 CCI .22's when K-Mart has a sale, the only trouble you go through is trying to explain to the confused clerk that you really want 5000, not just 500. Especially, if you speak with an accent. And the guy at Walmart wanted to know if I was going to start a war.

So, when is our next shoot? You know what, we should schedule all of our club shooting events on full-moon days. That way we could stay out a little longer, and shoot well into the night. Yeah!

Honest now guys, just from looking at me, can you tell that I am a shootaholic? The reason I'm asking is that during my trip to Europe last summer (when I missed my own shoot and suffered from withdrawal symptons) the German customs officer asked me (in German): "Herr Schroeder, do you have firearms?" I was surprized that he could tell just from looking at me, so I replied: "Sure, what do you need?"

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