I intended to do this for a while but got distracted by some other things. (Yeah, I know it sucks how often my posts start out with some statement like that. Deal. I do.) I want to thank a couple friends who gave me and Sepp some wedding presents back when we jumped the broom in January.
First of all, Ernst Osterham gave us our very own fish-can target set to plink at.
The fish can target set consists of three cans that rez on a railing (included with the set). You shoot them and they fly off. After a short pause (plenty of time to take out all three cans on the rail) replacements automatically rez on the rail for the next round.
I've written about these before. They look great (note the awesome vintage label on the can) and they do cool things as you shoot them, making a plink or clank noise and flying into the air when struck properly. They then lay around on the ground for a little while until they self-delete. By the way, Ernst now has these can targets available for sale at his Albion Importers shops (New Babbage, Deadwood, among other locations, I think). When he first introduced them, they were not up for sale at first. But now they are. Go get some. They're hours of fun. And I really got to hand it to Ernst--he knew that Sepp and I would find this an incredibly romantic gift. The family that plinks together, thinks together....or something like that.
Oh, and speaking of the social aspects of firearms in a conjugal context, the other wedding present we got was a pair of Remington-Rider "rolling block" rifles made by our friend Jasper Kiergarten. Sepp hadn't been around much since the wedding, but last night we managed to get together and go running around in the hills above Deadwood trying these out.
So we spent some time shooting the paper targets up by the old miners' cabin, and did a bit of hunting and chasing around after critters.
The guns themselves are of course the kind of work you expect from Jasper: museum quality 3-D modeling, with proper proportions and carefully sculpted pieces that are shaped to look like what they are supposed to look like. This weapon--which is offered for sale at a very reasonable price in the Kiergarten Amoury shop in New Babbage--features a vernier tang sight (as used at Creedmore and other target ranges), a "slung over the shoulder" pose for carrying, and a receiver that is textured to look like it is case hardened steel.
Another thing I really like: there is a version of the gun available in which the firing pose is adjusted for smaller female avies like mine, so you don't look like a bug-eatin' fool with the butt stock of your weapon sticking out the back of your shoulder blades.
Historically, the Remington-Rider "rolling block" rifle was second only to the Sharps in popularity among professional buffalo hunters. First introduced in 1866, this family of firearms featured an extremely strong action that eventually was able to make the transition from black powder to smokeless cartridges. Ultimately, the rolling block would be produced in a wide variety of calibers, including .50-70, .45-70, 7mm Mauser, .43 Spanish, .43 Egyptian, .43 Turkish, .303 British, .30-40 Krag, 7.62 Russian, 8x56R Danish, and even .22 rimfire, among others. As you might guess from that list of different rounds, it was made in a range of variants for military as well as civilian use, and target rifles built on rolling block actions frequently showed up in competitive shooting.
To load a Remington rolling block irl, you cock the hammer, then pull back on a small lever that protrudes on the right side of the block. This unlocks the block and allows it to "roll" back, permitting you to slide a round into the chamber. After you have placed the cartridge in the chamber, you push the protruding lever on the block forward, which closes the action, leaving the hammer cocked. When you pull the trigger and the hammer falls on the block, it not only drives the firing pin into the round, it also ensures that the action is very tightly closed, preventing any escape of gas. When you open the block again, the fired casing is extracted.
Naturally it takes much longer to explain this process than it doses to actually carry it out in real life. Nonetheless, it is a single-shot weapon that is manually operated, and therefore a tad on the slow side. Once again, it is greatly to Jasper's credit that--as he did with his Sharps--he gave this this weapon a reloading time, animations and sound effects that seek to realistically represent operation of a single-shot weapon. If you are one of those spit-dribbling, dry-humping morons who wants a fantasy gun for shoot-outs that operates in an unrealistic fashion (cranking out too many rounds too rapidly, without requiring reloading), then fuck you. This isn't the gun for you.
But it's just the kind of gun that Sepp and I love for hunting and target shooting. Oh, and bless his heart, Jasper even "engraved" our names on our respective weapons. Ain't that sweet?~~~