My gun licenses are due to expire shortly. A .38 revolver loaded with shot to keep the snakes at bay, a 12-bore shotgun for guinea fowl and a .243 rifle for hunting for the pot. I have to write an exam and show proficiency in use at a shooting range. If swot up the regulations, the exam should be a breeze. could, however, have a problem on the range. Shooting a snake at 2m (if can pluck up the courage to get that close) is easy if can keep my hand steady, but anything over 50m has a good chance of survival. So practise is called for. Trouble is our Jack Russells are gun-shy. They cower in corners, or anywhere they can squeeze their bodies into. clap of thunder has the same effect. not to cause them distress, packed my weapons into my bakkie and drove across to neighbour Jan.
“We’ll go up to my dam and practise there,” he said. Starting with the rifle and a cardboard box at 100m, missed with five shots. “Squeeze the trigger, Townie, don’t jerk it,” he admonished. “Let me show you.” Jan missed the target too. “Ah, no wonder, your sight is out,” Jan said and proceeded to adjust it. He promptly put five shots through the centre of the box. managed one! “Now let’s try the shotgun,” he said. At 50 paces he blew the box apart. “Your turn.” It took four rounds for me to hit the remnants of the box. “Guinea fowl are safe with you around!” Jan chuckled. “Now for the revolver, loaded with proper bullets.” Adopting the Miami Vice, two-handed grip, let fly at an old oil drum 50m away and missed. “Too high,” Jan scoffed. “Cock the hammer first then squeeze the trigger, like this.” Five bullets hit the drum. “You’ll never make a cop, or pass the shooting test at this rate,” said Jan at the end of the practice session.
Driving back home saw some guinea fowl perched on an Eskom power pylon. I stopped, loaded my shotgun and took aim, determined to prove Jan wrong. “Boom!” There was a shower of sparks as a cable snapped because I’d hit the conductor securing it. The birds flew off in alarm. “So your power’s out again?” Jan asked on the phone. “Damn Eskom are at it again!” lied. Their technician arrived two days later to fix the line. admitted guilt, paid the whopping fee and pleaded, “Please don’t tell my neighbour, I’ll never live it down.” “And you’ll never get your gun license either,” the technician responded dryly. – Derek Christopher |fw