“So There I Was…”

…up in El Dorado, Kansas — just me, Reader JimW and a whole bunch of other Old Pharttes who love old rifles and such:

…plus boatloads of ammo for said old beauties, so that new shooters and old ones alike could shoot away to their hearts’ (and pockets’) content.

Which I did.

The event is actually a fundraiser for the local WWII museum (which, sadly, I didn’t get a chance to go to, but will visit next year).  The fundraising works as follows:  you pay $2 per round, all proceeds of which go to the museum.  I should point out that all the ammo provided comes from Reader Jim’s personal ammo locker, and the guns from his gun safe, so I hereby anoint this man a National Treasure.

Next year, I will be repeating the trip, and will bring along the Son&Heir.  Let’s make it a Nation of Riflemen event, shall we?  I urge everyone who can possibly make it to mark it in your calendar for around this time next year (Jim will supply the date when it’s finalized).

I need to meet more of you guys in the flesh — let’s face it, we’re all getting older and time is passing by — and this seems to be as good a reason as any, and better than most.

Having done the drive up from Plano (6 hours), I can attest that it’s not too bad from Texas provided that you do as I did on the way back, and avoid I-35 like the plague.  (U.S. Routes 377, 177 and 77 take you almost to the front gate of the range.)  I drove because I took a couple-three of my old ladies (K98k, SMLE and M1 Carbine) in case there weren’t enough guns, but as it turns out, they weren’t needed.

My advice, therefore, if your drive is too long or you’d rather fly, is to fly in to Wichita (ICT) on the Friday, rent a car and drive the half-hour to El Dorado.  There are plenty of hotels available, so accommodation shouldn’t be a problem.  You don’t need to bring any guns (unless you want to), so the flying thing should be limited to the usual PITA nonsense from the TSA goons at the airport.

And let’s have some kind of NoR dinner at one of the local BBQ places in El Dorado after the event — I tried two whilst up there, and both were good.

Watch this space…


  1. Given ample notice to get a decent flight (and to find room on my calendar and get a good dog-sitter), I’ll be there next year. Already penciled it in for next year.

    1. About 12 hours for me. In the unlikely event my finances improve by then (and if gas isn’t $10 a gallon, “Thank You Joe!”) I’ll keep it in consideration.

  2. Isn’t “National Ammo Day” coming up soon? Well, Golly Gee, I looked on my calendar and it’s exactly one month from now.

  3. GMC70 here – JimW as named above.

    Kim was an absolute gentleman, and a joy to talk to. I have been reading, and occasionally commenting on, Kim’s blogs since, well, 15 years, back in the Nation of Rifleman days. I well remember the “cross the continent” puzzles, and Kim’s joy at tweaking the various and sundry liberal and progressive fools. That hasn’t changed.

    And the weather – well, let’s just say God gave us a GLORIOUS day! Absolutely fantastic.

    I hope we’ll do it again next year – we raised over $1000 for the museum, and there’s enough ammo left to go bang some more. Most of you will identify the rifles by the pictures above; I think we had a good selection of battle rifles of WWII, and some of the handguns as well (and even a couple holdovers from WWI). And Kim left off of his recitation of events the star of the day, a M1921 Thompson. Full auto fun, owned and provided by the local Sheriff’s department. Hats off to Detective Bobby Albert, who was there, and Monty Hughey, our local sheriff, a man after our own hearts. Frankly, were it not for some loathsome and ridiculous federal restrictions, Monty would have simply sent the Thompson home with me for the weekend. I’d have really felt bad about that, honest. Honest!

    All in all, a good time, and an opportunity to shoot (that’s what all that ammo is for, isn’t it?) and share some history. It’s an opportunity for people who know these rifles as props in movies or pixels on a game screen to get behind the real thing, put their hands on some pieces of history, and appreciate some of the sacrifices their fathers and grandfathers made on their behalf.

    I’m sure many of you have similar rifles, and are every bit as generous in sharing the fun and tradition of shooting, the need for and role of the 2nd Amendment, and the history attached to these old battle rifles. As I often tell people, for the young men who served these rifles were the centerpiece of the single most important part of their lives, no matter which side they served on. And I – and many of you – are not owners of these rifles as much as caretakers: to make sure that the guns, the history they represent, and the tradition of firearms ownership and the place it holds in Constitutional government, are passed on to the next generation.

    We’ll do it again, I hope next year. Hope to see you there.

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