Recently, I’ve been shooting all the time and all over the place! I have made friends and received warm welcomes from the Sunnyvale Rod and Gun Club where in the last month I have been found practicing for the Steel Challenge with Jim O’Young and Tom Sparacino. Those two make sure I stay in line, and I pay attention to trigger pull and my sights. The constant badgering and humor between Jim and Tom is what makes the practice so much fun. For me watching and learning from the best is a gift and what I really appreciate. Their experience and knowledge of the Steel Challenge is as if the plates themselves are telling me “Let your sights be your speedometer.” (Or was that Jim?) The friends I have met at the Sunnyvale Gun and Rod Club remind me that no matter where I happen to be practicing, the shooting family still exists. Even far away from my home, the bonds that tie the shooting community are there. Or it could be my Mom’s sandwiches? (She always wants to feed everyone!)
Not only did we run through all of the Steel Challenge stages multiple times while in Sunnyvale , but I learned more about the efforts that go on behind the scenes. The Sunnyvale Rod and Gun Club only has one bay, so it was up to Jim and Tom to lug around the steel (You go, guys!)...until I figured it all out – the stands go in the ground, the plates go on the stands, and the bullet goes on the plate. On my second trip up to this club, I had leather gloves and heaved around that steel too! Setting up stages, painting, and picking up the brass are all a part of being a part of the community. I will always be able to look back (and cherish) at the memories of the “hard work” I have had to do this summer.
While at the Sunnyvale Club, I also tried shotgun! Thanks go out to Brent Browning for helping me out and getting me on my way with trap shooting. (And also for letting me shoot his AR! That was awesome!)
I also met another junior shooter… Evans Hauser! It was his first time shooting pistol and he did really well! He was hitting the targets and going rather fast… leaving me and Jim somewhat shocked. (I used the excuse, “Hey, he’s your nephew! Of course he’s gunna be a good shooter!)
I bet no one in the Steel Challenge has done the moon walk for Outer Limits. Well here’s a thought... Jim can do the moon walk! (Definitely left my mom and I in shock.) I want to see a squad of moon-walkers one of theses days… So thank you Jim for the challenge and the Best Summer EVER!
Overall, my shooting is improving, I’m making tons of new friends, I’m trying new things, and enjoying the “Steel Season” as Jim calls it.