Sunday, December 29, 2013

Celebrating Christmas With Rifles and Whisky

The second day of the Christmas season was a day spent celebrating with a close friend of our family. After a tasty brunch of Scottish Eggs, Baked Beans, and homemade Crumpets it was time for some shooting fun. Another friend had graciously allowed us the use of his backyard range for the afternoon to sight in a couple of new AR-15 rifles. We've only shot the AR-15 a few times, our shooting experiences being mainly handguns and the occasional shotgun, so we were looking forward to a fun-filled learning experience.

We initially set up at 50 yards, since our goal was to sight the rifles at that distance. After everyone had a few rounds of shooting, and numerous trips walking downrange to check the targets, we humbly surmised there was a lot of "operator error" going on. In the interest of openness, I must admit that our son had the best accuracy right from the start. I attribute that to his frequent participation in airsoft battles using an AR-style airsoft replica. It's generally accepted that airsoft practice is beneficial for shooting real weapons, and I think he demonstrated the truth in that.

We moved in closer to use the standard 25 meter military sight-in targets. With that change we were able to get the rifles sighted in. Returning back to 50 yards we enjoyed continued success. Of course, just as we were feeling confident, our friend suggested it was time try shooting standing and unsupported. We'd previously shot offhand at closer distances, and this was a new experience. Less successful, but still much fun.

Eventually the sun, and the temperature, began to go down and it was time to finish the day with the requisite spent brass hunt. It was a truly enjoyable afternoon. As noted previously, shooting the modern sporting rifle is both fun and a fairly new activity for us. Most rewarding personally, is that our son enjoys the rifles much more than the pistols, which I'm sure will lead to more frequent family outings to the range.

Arriving back at the house, it was time to switch our attention to my other favorite topic; tasty beverages, namely of the alcohol-bearing persuasion. While craft beer is my usual beverage of choice, I've been interested in an increased exploration of distilled beverages. To that end, our friend had gifted me a bottle of Lagavulin Distiller's Edition 2013. This single malt scotch whisky was aged for 16 years and finished in casks that were previously used to mature sherry. I was told this particular whisky was chosen specifically due to my fondness for smoky flavors. While Colleen prepared a fitting dinnertime feast, we all sipped on a glass of the Scotch. The sherry influence and the Lagavulin smokiness made a great combination. We tried it "neat" and with a splash of water. Adding the tiniest bit of water quashed some of the alcohol heat, and the smoky aspects were further revealed. This indeed was a fitting way to knock off the chill left from the time on the range.

It was quite a memorable day, spent with family, friends, firearms, alcohol and food. I can hardly wait to see what the rest of the Christmas holiday holds in store!


  1. I received a bottle of 16 y.o. Bushmills from the wife for Christmas, which is quite good.

    1. Tasty! I'm looking forward to expanding the shelf. ;-)


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