I have a friend who is Australian, and a black powder enthusiast. He and his cronies get together at a big shoot, camp out, and just enjoy the good company and the shooting. Many years ago, the gun club here used to do that, when it was mostly older guys and there weren't so many members. So I particularly enjoy hearing about his experiences.
I asked him if I could use some pictures he sent me, and he was ok with that.
These guys are blazing away. I wish now I had put more effort into learning black powder shooting. I have a Hawkins Plains rifle replica, and a Colt Army replica, but just never got the knack of using them.
Shooting black powder is so meticulous, and the steps involved are more intricate than just putting another magazine in the weapon.
I was surprised that the kick from my .50 caliber Hawkin was not very much. I thought it would be a lot worse than a smokeless powder battle rifle, but it wasn't.
One nice thing, as long as you have powder stored up, you can get lead from all kind of things and make your own bullets. The guys I was shooting with used "fake" black powder, that wasn't so explosive. The real deal is dangerous, but I think that would add to the experience myself.
These fellows camp out on site. Take a look at that vehicle! I don't know what it is, but I'd like to have one. Looks like something out of Mad Max, which is appropriate since these shooters are Australian.
This is more like a camping vehicle you would find here. My crony and his wife travel all over Australia. He's an accountant, and having been one myself, I hope he retires pretty soon before the job kills him. However, he and the wife get out enough to provide some stress relief.
When I still went out in the woods and stayed there, I didn't mind roughing it some. There is a wilderness area SW of me, and you could meet some interesting people camping there. So I imagine that when you get a bunch of shooters together in that environment, good times are had by all.
Who doesn't enjoy sitting around a camp fire at night, with boon companions to hand? Of course, in Australia there are things like giant snakes and monstrous crocodiles, but these fellows are well away from the ocean or the swamps. I'd still take a big light and a pistol if I had to go out to the woods after dark.
Looks like fun. All in all, given the interaction I have with this particular individual and other Australian friends, they seem to be more inclined to "rough it" when they hit the road. Most of us, I think , are more Holiday Inn campers. Of course, there are some people like Six Bears who are stalwart travelers and think nothing of living it rough. I just think it's kind of a dying breed here in the states. I don't count the young people who ride their bikes around and camp in little bitty tents, I'm talking about real camping.
Thanks to the Sgt. for letting me share these pictures with everyone.
I was lurking (I do that a lot) on a blog that had a conversation going on about the crusades. I didn't participate because, in all honesty, the folks were not really looking at the historical aspects of it, just using the fact that the crusades took place to justify Islamic radicalism. They seem to feel like there was no history between the West and Islam prior to the Crusades. Not so. The Spanish, Carolingian's , the Balkans , the Byzantines..... there was a lot of history in this regard before the Crusades.
In the 8th Century A.D. the Carolingian's (French) and the Spanish were fighting Moslems, before Ragnar and his doughty band of TV Vikings ever reached Paris. We are still fighting them today.
I didn't hang around, as I mentioned, but it did put me in mind of the movie "Kingdom of Heaven." A very good and fairly accurate drama about the Horns of Hattin and it's aftermath. Here are some good scenes from the movie, presented for your viewing pleasure!
This first scene from "Kingdom of Heaven" always makes me think of two things. One, you had to be pretty hard to be a soldier in the Middle Ages. That hand to hand stuff has no appeal for me. I think just before the charge, I would have been the dust trail headed for the castle as everybody else went forth to do battle with the Islamists. "Hold them off boys, I'll go get help!"
The other thing the movie reminds me of.. They didn't horse around with a bunch of philosophical breast beating. They liked simple solutions. I've been in many a conference and meeting where "God Wills It! " would have been a great way to end an interminable get together!