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The Hunter Thompson Affair

The Hunter Thompson Affair

Yesterday began like no other. My cats were anxiously waiting for me to wake, my morning brew smelled divine and the flavor was just the way I liked it. The day was shaping up to be one of those you wish you could bottle and save for a rainy day. And it was only going to get better.

The day was a long time coming. With the maintenance completed to the NRA range, I took both of my U.N.C.L.E. Specials to work—along with the parts I got back from Joe—to put the pistols through their paces. With all but one carbine part in my possession and a lot of correspondence requesting range reports, I cased up everything, tossed my range bag in my scooter and headed for the firing ling during lunch.

I started with my "S" variant with the pistol barrel. My target was one of the T.H.R.U.S.H. logo targets I made courtesy of the office Xerox. At 7 yards I managed to fire a palm-sized group hitting the "evil birdie" 8 out of 9 times with 1 flyer (not bad for a pistol with no front sight.) The second magazine wasn't as good, but still managed to stay inside the 7 ½-inch diameter of the T.H.R.U.S.H logo.

I put up a grid target, and transitioned to my "K" variant, attaching the carbine barrel—with dummy suppressor—Phantom scope and hi-cap magazine. My primary concern was to function-test the barrel and magazine. Both did extremely well. (The magazine displayed best reliability with 12 rounds as opposed to more—although the 15-round mag will hold up to 18 rounds.) Although, I was extremely impressed with how well the Phantom scope performed. For an optic as old as I am, it did extremely well. At 7 yards, the group ranged 3-4 inches. Ammunition ranged from military surplus hard ball to Hornady Critical Defense 115-grain FTX and Cor-Bon/Glaser Pow'RBall, due to the FMJ characteristics of their bullet designs (without +P performance). I purposely opted to shoot slow while using the Phantom for two reasons: First, I didn't want to subject the scope base and mount to a lot of recoil-related wear-and-tear until the grips and scope mount had the extra benefit of being hard-coat anodized. Second, I wanted keep an eye on the scope mount's tension screw to see how it held up under recoil. Recoil would loosen the screw approximately 1/4 turn after only a few rounds, suggesting the base may need to be drilled and tapped or have a threaded bushing inset in order to successfully anchor the scope-mount screw.

It happened somewhere in the second magazine. I felt something drop into my lap and I knew before glancing down for confirmation that whatever the source of the sensation—despite the old adage—was far from luck related. Suddenly I could sense a big, black cloud settling over the NRA test range preparing to unleash some major bad ju-ju, transforming my kick-ass day into one of pure Great Dane-sized doo-doo. Steeling myself for the worst, I glanced down only to discover the pistol's firing pin/indicator cover in my lap—a dual-purpose part that also retains the pistol's rear sight. The sight was nowhere to be found. Following a string of profanity that would make a sailor blush, I cleared and cased my broken beauty and proceeded to scour every square inch of the one-lane test facility without success. The miniscule part vanished. (Perhaps it was collected on a wing of a swooping T.H.R.U.S.H.) Nothing would surprise me at this stage. With head hung low, I left the range, searching the skies for the foulest of fowl from beneath my mental umbrella during on my return trip around the building.

Arriving at the loading dock I met a delivery man leaning on the intercom switch trying to get in the building. It seems the world's premiere feathered vermin knew my return route and had decided to set a booby trap. I knew better than to get a cup of coffee.

For those brave enough to delve deeper into the mind of Bob Boyd, visit Boyd's Blog fan page on Facebook, or subscribe to its Twitter feed.

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