Y-man Goes Shooting in the USA

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Hello all, Y-man here. It’s been a long time, and I have missed writing my guest posts. Thanks to Steve for having me. Many thanks for all your kind and constructive comments.

Like some would know, I finally travelled from Nigeria to Orlando Florida, USA in early October, for work and training related stuff. It was a GOOD trip, and in between several days of hard, concentrated work and training, I actually got some firearms related things done. I was able to buy quite a few desperately needed items, and DID SOME SHOOTING!

I arrived Atlanta Georgia in early October after a draining 12-hour direct flight from Lagos Nigeria, and connected to Orlando for another 2 hours. Landing in Orlando, and driving down the road through lush vegetation, and the little lakes to my hotel, I was struck by how similar everything is to Nigeria! The weather was divine.

Whew! Was I knocked out or what?! Jet-lag and confusion on time differences set in, but with the excitement I felt, and luckily, my booked hotel had a room ready for me that morning: my 14 hour flight did not seem too bad after all – I freshened up, and hit the shops.

I started with electronics in Best Buy (Felt like I was in HEAVEN!) Got me the new Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet (The rest of the world is BIG on non-Apple things.), 2 GoPro HD cameras, a good tripod, new Nikon Nikkor 55-300mm zoom lens for my Nikon D7000 camera. It was a hoot! I had to control myself from blowing too much money. It was all made more easy by the fact that my Nigeria Visa Debit Card, full of “Naira” (The Nigerian currency is “Naira”, Google it.) worked perfectly! I was able to pay in Dollars in all the shops.

From Best Buy, I went to Bass Pro at Orlando, on Vineland Road. It was another heavenly experience: seeing all the things I had previously only seen online, and in catalogues, in REAL life. I handled rifles, checked out shotguns, browsed through handguns, sat in several ATVs, and “crewed” a few boats. It was better than Disney World! (Maybe Bass Pro should think of setting up a theme park! With rides and everything…)

After taking these items back to my hotel (They FILLED the trunk of the taxi!) I left on a great adventure.

First Range visit (04 October 2012)

| went off in the evening to the Oakland Ridge Gun Range, an indoor handgun and carbine range, about 25 minutes drive from my hotel. I was surprised the taxi driver was not perturbed that I wanted to go to a shooting range. Imagine asking that in Nigeria: the man would most likely run screaming from the moving taxi (Ok, ok, I exaggerate!) Well, I was pleasantly surprised, I got to the range, no 7-foot tall guard at the door demanding to see my mental health certificate, my passport and my visa, I walked in, nice people, warm greetings all round. I was amazed at the variety of the spread of firearms I saw on display.

I introduced myself, told them I wanted to do some shooting, and got talking with one of the friendly staff, let’s call him “Jim”. He asked if I had ever done any shooting before, and in response, I whipped out my Galaxy Tablet, and opened up a video of me shooting my shotgun from earlier this year. He was impressed, and was even more impressed when he spotted my shotgun stock – I told him I self-fabricated that, and even more when I told him about my homemade slugs. His colleague voiced concern about “you giving that African gentleman range time?” when Jim began to clip my Passport to the Range board, and started to get me a firearm to start with. Jim simply looked the older gentleman in the eye, and told him: “This here is a certified expert shooter, hell, he makes his own slugs!”

So this is how I did:

  1. Started small: .22LR in a Ruger long-barrel Revolver. I went into the shooting area, lane 4, set up my target at 25 yards, and quickly got bored with the little “Pew! Pew! Pew!” of the .22LR round. Revolvers are NOT easy to shoot. At least I hit the “bad guy several times, and saved the hostage lady without killing or wounding her. I fired off half a pack of ammo.

  2. Went back to get a different gun, and ammo: did the Magnum .357 calibre in another long barrel Revolver. I had some reasonable accuracy at 20 and 30 yards. Again, another revolver not liked. I did not enjoy the double action (Where pull of trigger both raises the hammer, and then releases it.), so I kept using my thumb to pull back the hammer for each shot. I also kept flinching, and (As the video shows) closing my eyes when firing. The blast from the chamber gap did not help matters one bit either. I fired off half a pack of ammo.

  3. Went to the desk, and got me a .45 1911 Pistol! Came back to my lane and Lord have mercy! Like a duck to water: sweet-shooting, smooth-cycling, hard-hitting FUN! I fired off 8 rounds magazine after 8 round magazine of .45 ACP. Lovely accuracy too, out to 30 yards and beyond. Working the slide, the safety and magazine release just seemed to come to me naturally, as well as instinctive aiming. I can see why the 1911 is such a widely loved pistol now.

  4. Went back to the desk, and spotted the Beretta CX4 Storm Carbine in .45 calibre on the wall. I told Jim: “I want! I want! Gimme!”. Picked that up, and took it to the shooting lane, quickly got used to the firearm, and loaded up the 8-round magazine they had. I REALLY enjoyed the shooting out to 40 yards: accuracy was sweet also. My only problem: had to use the clunky hearing protection given to me at the range: it interfered with my cheek-weld. Also, lighting was not the best there, I could barely get a good sight picture, and sometimes shot instinctively, I got some REALLY good accuracy.

When I was through, I took my remaining ammo to the desk (.22LR, .357, .45.) and was told I could hold on to them for a later visit to the range, as they had already charged me for the full boxes. So I left for the hotel with almost 100 rounds of ammo in my backpack, thinking, wow: if my local Nigerian policeman could stop me now: he’d sh!t bricks!. I proudly took my target papers too. I had gotten some video on the GoPro cameras and will share with you here via YouTube.

Second Range visit (A day before I left the US.)

I met the older gentleman this time, and he remembered me when I mentioned “the African who makes his own shotgun stock…” Everyone was nice and friendly. “Jim” seemed to have gone out.

This is what I fired:

  1. Glock 19 40mm (Good gun, 15 round magazine, hit me with a “slide pinch” when I stupidly put my thumb over the grip top. Small wound but hurt and bled like hell.

  2. Beretta CX4 Storm carbine in .45 ACP (While firing, at one point, I took a phone call from a friend back in Nigeria, and scared the living daylights out of him by punctuating each sentence with a shot. He kept asking: “What was that?!”)

  3. Finished off the remaining .22LR ammo from my first range visit in a AR-15 type rifle: sweet shooting!

  4. Finished off the remaining .357 Magnum rounds in a snub-nosed revolver. Man! It was LOUD! (I HATE revolvers!) I was flinching and closing my eyes as if my life depended on it. Muzzle and chamber blast were massive! Other shooters actually stopped to watch me shoot this…

Can anyone help identify this rifle? Seems like the front sight is fixed backwards! That didn’t stop me from VERY good accuracy.

I can honestly say I walked out from the range both days with a big smile on my face, and on 11th October, flew out of Orlando, via Atlanta to Nigeria with an even bigger smile. I thoroughly ENJOYED myself!

Now, back to the Knoxx Blackhawk! stock I bought from Bass Pro. I initially thought to cut the folding stock part off the pistol grip, and bring it into the country on my return. But it turned out I did not need to. I simply brought it in as it is, in my checked in baggage, and got waved through after checks. Of course I had taken it out of the packaging first. So now, for the first time, my Mossberg has a proper folding stock!

I have installed it, but testing it will be another story. When it is safe enough to take the shotgun to some distant empty areas, I will test the stock, the H—Viz sights and my new slug designs and let you know.

I really enjoyed my Orlando visit, and hope to make more soon.

Many thanks Orlando, many thanks USA! (And I got the T-shirt too!)

Related

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

    I am very glad you had a good time in the US of A!

    That rifles looks like it is a S&W M&P15-22, and you are correct, the sight is backwards!

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/01/20/sw-mp15-22-a-22-lr-tactical-rifle/

    • Phil White

      No doubt you had a great time and I’m glad to hear it! Yep the sights backwards alright.

      Come back soon!

  • cc19

    Great read!

  • Murph

    As always, I enjoyed Y-man’s post, and am again reminded of some of the things I take for granted.

  • Nadnerbus

    I’m struck by how much a Nigerian man entering a free state feels the same way I do when I leave California. I always feel like almost a criminal just looking at full cap mags. Bad laws don’t just impinge on our rights, they make us accustomed to state power where it really should have none.

    Sorry if that’s too political, I understand if it gets cut.

    • Bryan S.

      Thats not a political condition, its a human condition. :)

    • Zermoid

      I had the same feeling when I left New Jersey in 1990 and moved to PA.
      I could carry a gun openly around town and not have a SWAT team called on me!
      Almost got arrested once in NJ for having a BB gun in hand on my front lawn!
      Couldn’t pay me enough to move back to NJ!

      Which begs me to ask YMan, WHY did you go back?!?!?!?!

      I’d (as I assume many others here) be happy to give you a place to stay until you can get yourself setup here, just ask.

  • Chris

    Good read… Minor correction it is not the “Oakland Ridge Gun Range” but the Oak Ridge Gun Range (http://www.oakridgegunrange.com/)

    • Y-man

      Many thanks, Chris. Noted/ Corrected in my original document. Thanks.

  • Mr. Fahrenheit

    Good to hear from you, Y-man. Glad you had fun on your trip and thanks for telling us about it. Stay safe.

  • Sam J

    Not to rain on anybody’s parade, but depending on certain factors, you may be telling the world about an ITAR violation.

    • KC

      good point to bring up but nothing (besides ammo) he bought is listed, or classifed on, the United States Munitions List.

      • Y-man

        Thanks: I did NOT take the ammo to Nigeria. I fired every last round before leaving. The other items are not on any restricted list. Hell, I could be using the Remington glasses for welding work, and the laser boresighter for plumbing! Many thanks!

      • Sam J

        I am not a lawyer so my official knowledge is limited, but I work in an industry which is highly sensitive to this. The regulations are very ambiguous so the Feds can call it anyway they want; people have gotten into trouble in the past over this.

        Sights may be under ECCN 0A987 depending on what you think an “optical element” is. A laser boresighter also falls under 0A987, because it is a laser that points made for a gun. The stock is likely to be USML I(h) because it can be used on a I(d) shotgun. (All rifle stocks are I(h))

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      I don’t think he listed anything that would be ITAR controlled. Brownells would ship all of that overseas (maybe not to Nigeria because the fraudsters have ruined online shopping for law abiding Nigerians).

      • Sam J

        ITAR doesn’t say you cannot export things, you just need a license. If you read Brownell’s International Sales page, they want you to obtain the license yourself.

  • Lance

    Hope you come again and be someday a US citizen we need more good men like you here.

  • Mike

    Y-man…Glad You Had An Awesome Time In America! Come Back Soon!

  • Nathaniel

    The rifle you shot was a Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22.

    The front sight is indeed on backwards.

  • NI Shooter

    Very glad you had fun! The rifle is a Smith and Wesson M&P 22 :) Just out of curiosity, what do I have to do to shoot a 40mm Glock 19? ;)

    • Y-man

      Sorry, sorry! My error: Glock 19 is not 10mm. Strewth! these were the first times I ever HANDLED hand guns! :-)

      • Bill

        Got it wrong again!

    • Y-man

      Sorry Bill. Ok, let me be careful here. I DID NOT SHOOT A GLOCK 40MM. I THOUGHT IT WAS 10MM, BUT I NOW KNOW ITS 9MM. MEA CULPA, MEA CULPA, MEA MAXIMA CULPA.

      It was a ton of fun though! :-)

      • “gunner”

        i’m pleased to hear you got a sample of a shooters life in the u.s.a., and as an m1911a1 owner/shooter for many years i enjoyed your delight at your first meeting with the .45, it’s a good old gun. the shopping sounds like fun, going home with some nice toys. about the typo, te absolvo my son, nihil culpa. your english is very good, small mistakes are easily forgiven. i hope you have the chance to visit us again. good friends are always welcome.

      • NI Shooter

        Don’t worry about it Y-Man, was just a joke :) glad you had fun!

  • Brian P.

    Uh…you got a little typo there. “Glock 19 40mm”. The Glock 19 is a 9mm handgun. The Glock 22 and 23 are .40 caliber, and that’s not the same as 40mm. If you’re talking 40mm, you’re talking grenade launchers.

    And hey, what do you have against revolvers? (Joking)

    • Y-man

      Many thanks Brian P.

      Good question/ joke about Revolvers:
      1. Hard, long, double trigger pull: definitely affects accuracy. The anticipation is bad too: for a shooter who just started on hand guns.
      2. That blast from the chamber gap is disconcerting.
      3. The aiming blade versus the rear sights: maybe I’m just not good yet, but aligning them was tough for me.
      I agree Revolvers are basic, simple working, and reliable, but maybe not for me yet…
      Thanks.

  • Harald Hansen

    Y-man’s posts are some of the most interesting on the blog. He brings a lot of perspective, and is a good writer!

  • alex

    good read y man! come to oklahoma and we will hook ya up with some machine gun range time! and also a real beltfed 40mm launcher! dont listen to the nay sayers, prety soon it will be illegal to go outside, then only outlaws will be outside…

  • Arifonzie

    Great post, it makes me realize how good we have it in this country and how lucky I was to be born here and live here.

  • West

    That’s a S&W .22, nice little gun but fix the site.

  • alannon

    hah, glad to see Y-man had some fun and made it out with some swag. :)

  • gunslinger

    glad to hear from Y-Man again. always a good read.

    also glad that you enjoyed the trip to FL. now i guess you have to find more trainings here in the states to attend?

    also how did the sight on the MP22 get on backwards? did someone at the range mess that up? HOW?

  • http://pss1online.com OH Slinger

    This is an absolutely amazing story. We take so much for granted sometimes…it’s easy to forget how blessed we are to be in the USA.

    Thanks for the reminder, I’ll hold my head a little higher today!

  • http://www.stoddardsguns.com Jonathan

    Y-man,

    Glad to see your trip to the US was both fun and productive. If you are ever considering coming back, I would like to personally invite you to visit our home range in Atlanta, GA. Send me an E-mail, And we can get the logistics worked out. I am sure Steve could contact me directly as well.

    As a NRA Certified instructor, I always recommend training over product. But, if there are items you are specifically looking for, we could have them ready for your visit. Our range is just minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. (I am not trying to promoted our range here, just a friendly invite.)

    Jonathan

    • Y-man

      Jonathan, many thanks. I will definitely take you up on this. I will get Steve to link us up. Many thanks.

    • Al T.

      Jonathan,

      Post when you and Y-man get a date firmed up. I’m sure that some of us Southrons can assemble a respectable amount of guns and ammo for him to shoot. If work keeps me away, I can always send ammo or money.

    • Y-man

      Hi Jonathan, I believe Steve forwarded you my email address? I am working on plans for a US vacation trip in January or February. Reach me so I can finalise my plans, please?

  • Yebache

    Great story! I can feel Y-Man’s excitement as I read the story. Glad that he could come and visit and enjoy although temporarily our shooting freedoms.

  • anon

    It’s funny (but not ‘ha-ha’ funny), the US press always paints Africa as ‘awash’ in guns where you can trade a chicken for an AK-47… Yet here we read a first hand account from an actual African who’s absolutely delighted to come half-way around the world to the US for a chance to shoot a 22 revolver and buy a multi-tool… No wonder the legacy media outlets are dropping like flies.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      Well thats the problem. Nobody is allowed guns, so only criminals (terrorists, rebels, corrupt governments, insurgents, pirates, dictators) have guns.

      • Jeff M

        Hey! No politics.

        Just kidding. Congrats on the success of your blog.

  • schizuki

    Excellent report! I’m so glad Y-man had fun and I’m proud that he encountered fine American hospitality!

  • Adam

    So happy to hear about your trip to the US. Glad you had such a good time and were able to bring a stock and sights back for your shotgun. Next time you come, you should look into purchasing a mold for your slug making.

  • Jeff

    I love this guy! I’m so glad he got to be treated to some good American times! :)

  • bisi

    Great post, it makes me realize how good we have it in this country and how lucky I was to be born here and live here.but soon it will not be possible, so check it out
    but soon it will not be possible, so check it out

  • sdog

    you are the man y man!

  • Jeff M

    Y Man, you might want to visit Las Vegas on your next trip. Ranges with fully automatic weapons and .50 BMG rifles are common. A couple hours from Las Vegas is where the US did all of the nuclear testing, there is a nuclear testing museum if you’re into world history. Also a lot of tactical training schools. Las Vegas is a pretty popular destination for U.S. travelers, it’s not very family friendly.

    -Jeff

    • http://conceptfootball.com Matt

      Im french and had the chance to stay in Las Vegas for a couple of days last year and the thing that really got me looking forward to that trip was not casinos, it was going to the shooting range. I had the chance to shoot a 1911, a M4, a SAW and a G36. The gun I wanted to shoot the most, a M1A1 was unfortunately not useable at the time.
      It was my first time shooting guns and I really enjoyed it, I sure wish we had the same gun laws you guys do. Guess Ill have to move to the USA so I can watch football and shoot guns.

      I really enjoyed your article Y Man.

  • Cameron

    I would like to propose trading all of my gun-fearing liberal college classmates for you. They can go to Nigeria and you can come be a U.S. citizen.

    We need guys like you. Come back soon man, you’re always welcome.

    • Andrew

      I agree. Glad you had a great time Y-Man!

  • David

    Y-man the rifle was a Smith and Wesson mp 22 I have one extremely good gun