Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather sand my eyeballs with pumice stones than go through another year like this past one. The COVID epidemic was bad enough, but the associated politics and controversy turned it from a dumpster fire into a landfill conflagration.
But being an eternal optimist, there were some good things that came out of an ugly, and far too often, tragic year.
Yes, we’re all at stir crazy level Caged Velociraptor 11 by now. But I also think we might have learned to find more joy in the confines of our own homes. Or maybe we’ve just learned the hard way how to entertain ourselves without going out to movies, sportsball events and the like. Those types of activities deliver entertainment on a platter — we don’t have to create it ourselves. Satisfying, but lazy. So, maybe we’ve learned a bit about creating our own entertainment over the past year?
I don’t know about you, but while I’ve gone a bit stir crazy at times, I’ve become much creative and industrious about my hobbies and leisure time activities. When stuck at home, and I’ve reached my limit on new home improvement projects, I’ve found myself doing more airgun tinkering.
Pistols are easy as setting up a safe range is doable even in a basement or garage, or when your significant other isn’t home, in the air-conditioned luxury of your front hallway. It’s amazing what you can do indoors with a quality air pistol like the SigAir Super Target .177 caliber. With its single-shot, one stroke cocking on the pneumatic action, you’ll get somewhere between 300 and 400 fps depending on your choice of pellet. That’s a pretty good indoor option. It’s built for 10 meter competition, and if you get creative (remember the front hallway range I didn’t confess to earlier?) you can reach that distance indoors or get mighty close.
Yes, we all want to strangle each other, but in most families that’s often a temporary, albeit powerful, emotion.
But I have to say we’ve gotten more creative as a group too. While certain state governors would frown upon any two family members being within 60 miles of each other, we did a pretty good job of limiting public exposure precisely so we could gather more comfortably as an immediate family.
One newer tradition falling into the creative family entertainment is the Holiday Olympics. Not strictly limited to airgunning, we’ve set up knife throwing ranges in the front yard, Pepperball (inert) target shooting contests, and yes, airgun ranges that flow from the front yard into the garage. Add some steel targets and Dust Devil BBs and you’ve got yourself a fun time.
Postal matches aren’t new. If they were, I suppose they’d be called something more like HTTP:// matches. That’s not nearly as catchy as “postal matches.” not to mention hard to pronounce, even if more accurate in 2021. Regardless, we’ve seen other not-very-new phenomena like working from home transition from the nosebleed seats to 50-yard line lower deck as a necessity over the past year. Perhaps we’ll realize “remote competition” is a cool thing to do even when we don’t have to — and perhaps we’ll do more of it.
The CMP does a wonderful job of assisting with all the logistics through their quarterly ACES Postal Program. For a reasonable fee of just $5 (if you use electronic targets) or $8 (if you have to request Orion paper targets), you’re in. Check the CMP website here for more information.
This last one is a bit of a stretch, but as you’ll recall, I did say I’m an eternal optimist… neighbor desensitization. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been doing more airgun shooting within the confines of my small bit of property right here smack dab in the middle of the Republik of Iron-Fisted Neighborhood Association. The backyard is a frequent designated shooting area. I think neighbors are becoming accustomed to hearing strange popping noises from the garage. And I know for a fact they can’t miss the Holiday Family Olympics in the front yard. I think they’re getting acclimated to my airgunning habits, so I should be able to be less fearful in 2022.