Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Shrapnel Anniversary

Or was it lace?

My wife's and my thirteenth anniversary was Saturday. This coincided with the first ever Nation of Riflemen Shooting Festival and Conference. For an anniversary present she signed me up for it. (I am not saying what I got her because I may not be able to get it and if not, it will still be another four weeks before I know that I did not and if so it will be two to four weeks beyond that - just in time for her birthday. She might read this post too.)

Much fun was had and many paper and cardboard targets were killed. A steel target was injured pretty badly too.

Part of the shoot featured a "live" range for anyone to go and do some pistol practice. On this particular range, no rifle practice was allowed. No rifles firing pistol ammunition was allowed. And certainly no crew served machine guns firing rifle ammunition was allowed.

For some reason, this slipped my mind. So when I saw one of the participants setting up a .30 caliber machine gun, I said nothing to him. Neither did anyone of the other dozen or so people down there. The man with the machine gun was not there for the safety briefing. He did not know the restrictions for that range.

He should have known better not to shoot at a steel target that was ten yards away though.

I was the farthest person on the range from him and the farthest from the target. When he started shooting, he aimed at that steel target and shattered it. While this may have looked impressive it 1.) damaged the range equipment; and 2.) sent shards of steel flying.

The man beside me was hit in his arm. I felt a sting on my nose. I though that maybe it was a casing that was ejected my way and did not think anything more about it for almost a full two seconds. I felt a drip off of my nose. I touched it and saw red. For another few seconds I kept my hand under my nose until it was covered in blood.

During the safety briefing, they said, "Unless you are bleeding, don't come whining to the medical station."

My nose was now free flowing blood, both on the outside and through my right nostril. I thought, "This will probably qualify."

At the medical station, an Army medic washed it and bandaged it. He said that it may need stiches or at the least a tape suture.

Since the bleeding had stopped - or mostly stopped - I finished the shoot that day.

I was slightly pleased with how well I did too. The two events that followed my blood letting were multiple target events. The first was four shots on one target, switch magazines, four shots on another target. It was hit or miss and the RO called which target was first. The second was two shots each in three targets, switch magazines, and then two additionals shots in each target. This was scored 5 to 2 per shot. I hit perfect in the first and dropped a single point in the second (4 instead of a 5). *pats back*

Then it was time for dinner. Another shooter - the one that had been hit in the arm - and I wound up at Bone Daddy's Smokehouse in Richardson, TX. The waitress asked how we were doing.

I explained that my nose that was once almost as cute as hers was now all mangled and ugly but I was otherwise fine.

We had ribs. I cannot imagine sitting across from me would be very appetizing. It looked as if I rubbed one of the barbequey ribs over my nose then put a band-aid on it.

After dinner, the other shooter explained that he was not going to go shooting the next day. He had a earlier flight and did not want to miss it. Then he gave me his unused ammunition. I explained that he could check up to 11 pounds in it's original packaging on the flight. He told me that it was more than that.

Then I saw he had the better part of a case - approximately 800 rounds - remaining.

How does one respond to this type of generosity? He could not fly with it. Even with just 11 pounds, the packaging it was in would not be allowed. Should I have offered to hold on to it for him "until next time"?

Oh well. Thanks for the ammo, Chris. I will endeavor to put them all in the black for you.

My lovely wife had arranged for a baby sitter for the girls while we went looking for an urgent care clinic. After two calls to our insurance company, we were able to find one with whom there were affiliated and that was open.

The nurse asked how "it" happened.

My wife told her that she did not like my anniversary gift to her and threw it at me.

The nurse then asked how it really happened.

I then repeated pretty much everything that you have read up to here - leaving out the Bone Daddy's waitress of course.

The PA washed it, washed it some more, and took a look at it. He said it could be glued. He then glued my nose with what smelled like model airplane glue (fortunately leaving the nostrils open).

He gave us some instructions* for care and sent us on our way.

* There were
avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight;
avoid sweating;
keep it clean;
keep it dry.

Did I mention that Day 1 of the shoot was in the mud, sun, and hot? Perhaps I was fortunate that Day 2 of the shoot was cancelled because of rain, wind, and a lot more rain.

If this is what I get for lucky number 13, I anxiously wait with some trepidation for the next anniversary.


Weetabix said...

My son and I tracked your blood spoor from the open range to the first aid tire.

I feel certain you'll be as pretty after you heal as you were before. Take that how you will.... ;-)

I got to bleed a bit, too. I shot aglifter's 375 Ruger. I'd never shot that powerful a rifle with a scope before, so now, I have a semi-circular cut on my forehead. It was so minor, I decided not to whine.

And my son was shooting a .22 handgun so fast it heated up and the brass branded my arm.

Mud, guns, blood, & bacon. What could make a better day?

Shawn McManus said...

The Bone Daddy's waitress was a nice touch too. =D

I shot his rifle too after seeing you ram the scope into your forehead. I would like to say "thanks" to you because I would have done the exact same thing had you not already demonstrated.

Spring said...

I then repeated pretty much everything that you have read up to here - leaving out the Bone Daddy's waitress of course

Funny, you left that out when you told me about your dinner. You're lucky I'm not the jealous type. *kiss*

molonlabe28 said...


Please e-mail me at so I can give you my complete info.

I have (characteristically) misplaced your e-mail address.

BTW, I enjoyed the company, ribs and scenery at Bone Daddy's


Weetabix said...

I would like to say "thanks" to you because I would have done the exact same thing had you not already demonstrated.

What are friends for?

It's funny. My Mosins kick much harder than that did. 'Course they don't have scopes......

Shawn McManus said...


Must have slipped my mind. =D

Also, her nose wasn't nearly as cute as your.


Email sent!


Once on a MC rifle range, my "loaner" M-16 spewed gas between the upper and the stock right in my eye. I couldn't see out of the peep site for the rest of the range.