The firing range, that is. Since Wednesday of last week we’ve been hanging out in the beautiful NRA Whittington Center ten miles south of Raton, N.M. Here is a shot of our campsite taken just at dawn. There aren't many big events going on right now, so the campground is fairly empty...lots of room between rigs and no noisy neighbors.
Here is the view from our patio.
The Whittington Center is a world-class shooting facility, and John and I have been taking full advantage of the opportunities to hone our marksmanship skills. (Or, in my case to try to figure out why I’m not shooting more consistently.)
In addition, we have gotten reacquainted with some folks we met here last year. Starting on Monday of this week, the ISSA Schuetzenfest began their 2016 competition. Schuetezen is a term for both a kind of firearm, and a style of competition in the European shooting tradition. The competition features a number of different firearms, all single-shot models, with historical significance dating back some 200 years.
The original Schuetzens rifles arrived with German immigrants were muzzle loaders. Breech Loading Schuetzens are now the rule in competition, and the 32-40 cartridge is now the most common in competition. Schuetzens are heavy, 12 to 15 pounds, and many feature elongated prongs on the rifle’s butt plate. Competitions are shot at 200 yards, and require great skill. Some of the competitors and their firearms are shown in the following photos.
The weather this week has been lovely. The monsoon season has started here in New Mexico, and frequent afternoon showers are the rule. We have enjoyed watching the thunderheads build above the mountains and relished the cooler temperatures that follow the showers.
This particular thunderhead, however, appeared a little too ominous!
This is also a place where, according to the old song, the deer and the antelope play. Pronghorn antelope and mule deer are everywhere not only on the grasslands, but on the shooting ranges and in the campgrounds as well.
We're having a wonderful time!