When I was testing the new Ruger Mk IV pistol last week, I’d also brought along a rifle (my AK-47) for a little practice on the side. On that side of the range at Frisco Gun Club, there are four lanes set aside for rifles in a separate part of the building. When I walked in, there were three shooters already there, all shooting AR-15s, and all the AR-15s were tricked out with red dot sights, tac rails, flashlights, telescoping stocks — you name it, those rifles had ’em. And the shooters were taking this seriously: tightening the stocks, adjusting the sights (one guy even had a spotting scope — in an indoor range) and in general, going about their business with marked intent. (When I go to the range, especially when I’m with a friend or friends, it’s more of a social occasion, and we kid around, teasing each other and what have you; that didn’t happen with these guys.)

While I was busy with the AK, two of the AR guys finished up and left, and their places were taken by two more AR guys, also with tricked-out rifles and all the stuff which would make Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer have a heart attack (I wish) if they saw it. The two new guys were likewise professional and intent on tuning up their rifles, and one had a suppressor screwed onto his barrel. My plain-Jane AK looked like a muzzle-loader by comparison (but it was just as accurate, so I didn’t feel too bad).

It was the first time I’ve ever been at a range where all the other guys were shooting ARs.

Me, I was just there to make sure that my two 20-round mags were still feeding okay — any excuse for trigger time, right? — so I only popped off twenty or so rounds, then headed over to the pistol range for the real business of the day.

But I have to tell you, I really, really liked the way the AR guys were going about their business. Even though they were a bunch of individuals, they looked like a very competent citizen militia… and the whole thing smelled like freedom. I like that smell.

It looks like we’re turning back into a Nation of Riflemen, at last.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Update: I changed the pic, because I prefer the thought that women are becoming riflemen in ever-increasing numbers.


  1. I still have my Nation of Riflemen shirt and it’s in good shape. Up until last year, it was pinned to the door of my office but we have moved to a new location and I no longer have a door so I started to wear it.

  2. I am glad to see you are back up and sorry about the isolation and your loss. I do enjoy your observations about our gun community and I agree, we do have a new generation of riflemen and they have some fantastic gear. Younger ones in my family in their 30’s and 40’s are building ARs, reloading and participating in 3-Gun, long distance and they are good.

    Over the years I really enjoyed your questions about what gun to take, if you only had one and had to go across the USA during certain situations and the discussions that followed. Your social observations were also thought provoking.

    1. OT, thankee for those kind words. I may resurrect the Crossing America question again, because it was a lot of fun.

      1. Okay, lemme get this straight. Ya went to a range. Caps were popped. Your 6.5 Swede was not aired out. Just to keep the dust off. [slimpickensmode=1]Now I am depressed.[slimpickensmode=0] Just sayin’. 😉

        1. The Son&Heir has stolen appropriated my Swedish Mauser, on the grounds that he can shoot it far better than I, I with my failing sight.

      2. heck yeah! that one was fun!
        I’d change my answer from the last time though, not sure if that means I was wrong then, or just younger 🙂

  3. They ALL have orange tips on the barrels — it’s common practice at many tactical courses to put them onto the muzzles when not on the range or shooting course. It’s so that the instructors can easily track where the new students are pointing their rifles.

  4. Kim, I’m really late to your blog and I’m very sorry for your loss. I’m glad to see you soldiering on. As for me, I’d be lost without my current wife.

    Anyway, if you get chance, do some two gun and three gun stuff. I’m not a three gun guy, but I like shooting two gun.

    I plan on hitting the Phoenix Two Gun Challenge sometime in the near future. I won’t place, well, okay, last is a place, but I know I’ll have a blast.

    M1 Garand. If the wallet will ever stand it, I will get an Ohio Ordinance H.C.A.R.

  5. Kim,

    Sorry to hear of your recent loss. I hope you can find some little comfort sharing your thoughts with us. I look forward to reading and sharing your thoughts.

    Sarge, Out

  6. Having owned both the AK and AR, I’ve got to do a metaphor.
    An AK is like my old late 70’s FJ Landcruiser SWB. Simple, rugged, reliable.
    But, my Colt 6920 is like an Isuzu DMax turbo diesel pickup. Far more comfortable on long drives, even on the liner potholes that the third world calls roads. Plus, it is also pretty rugged and reliable- 4 years of abuse and overloading, and it still works like a champ.

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