Plink, plink, plink plink, plink. The sound soothes good folks' ears even if muffled by foam plugs. It's the sound of everything we know to be good.
Plink, plink, plink, plink plink, plink. It's the sound of fun on a Sunday after church. Most of us will never compete in the Olympics, but then again plinking isn't an official sport yet. Show us a Winchester 61 or a Ruger Mk II and a good backstop and we'll go for gold until dark or the bottom of the 550-round carton of .22s shows cardboard. Nobody's keepin' score—unless you count friendly wagers on the trickiest shot—and you won't hear any sappy Bob Costas commentary save for the satisfying plink plink, plink plink of lead on aluminum can, lead on plastic and lead on whatever else needs pluggin'. "See that piece of clay pigeon way over there?" Plink. Not anymore!
Plink plink, thud thud, plink is the sound of mostly good shooting. And it's more than merely for giggles. It's fun with a purpose; it's the sound of a good hunter getting better; it's the glorious, ringing sound of success. In contrast, misses are hardly audible, forgotten the instant they thud into dirt. But they are helpful to the astute shooter for aim corrections—and for hearing more gratifying plinks!
Plink plink plink is the sound of freedom. Think the average North Korean can walk out onto his back yard or go to the local Izaak Walton League and send a hundred bullets into an old Coors can as fast as he can pull the trigger? Highly doubtful. Fact is, one reason why our soldiers routinely whip our enemies is because they grow up plinkin'.
Plink plink plink; pause; plink plink plink. Unlike the deer stand we love but occasionally becomes boring and cold, it's mostly all action out here on the sunny plinking field, where the only lulls come when resetting pummeled targets and reloading. Paper targets and a benchrest? Great for zeroing a rifle—and for sapping all the fun out of an otherwise peachy endeavor. Stand up, quit trying to be perfect and just plink. If you miss, you didn't miss by plinkin' much!
Plink plink, plink plink plink "That's how you do it, boy!" Plink plink. It's the sound of our girls and boys learning the fundamentals of shooting and the lessons necessary to become responsible adults and productive Americans. It's learning that even though it only goes plink, it can have permanent consequences.
Plink plink plink, click. It's the alarming sound of running out of ammo. If you don't have more, it's the sound of a gun about to be cleaned and put away until you can go plinkin' again. Remember your New Year's resolution? If it wasn't to plink more this year, it should have been, because plinking is good for your health. So plink away, NRA members, for July is prime plinkin' time, and best of all, everyday is the opener.
Do This at the Range
Start range sessions with an understudy rifle
that mimics your deer rifle. You likely haven't fired a round in earnest in months, and no doubt your skills are rusty after the winter/spring layoff. So don't beat yourself up, waste expensive ammo or grow frustrated. Use a rimfire to concentrate on breathing, relaxing, squeezing the trigger and following-through on meaningful shots. Then move to your centerfire rifle of choice.
Bore-sight a new scope at close range.
Weighing 55-70 pounds, shorthairs push size limits, but they can make charming house pets if not overly hyperactive. They may not require as much exercise as setters or pointers, but probably need more than any dog on this list.
Move off the bench.
In preparation for hunting, a bench rest is good for one thing only—assuring your rifle is zeroed. There are no shooting benches in the woods, so why use one for practice? Instead, fire from the prone, sitting, kneeling and offhand positions most likely used while hunting.
Become proficient with artificial shooting rests.
The best field-shooting position can always be enhanced with a backpack, a pair of shooting sticks or a proper sling. Practice shooting with all three, make them part of your "kit" and never leave home without them.
Identify problems with rifles and ammo now.
Extractors break. Scope erectors grow weak and stop taking adjustments. Ammo misfires. Now, not November, is the time to wring out problems with equipment.
New 2011 Ram Tradesman Could 2011 be the year of the work truck? If so, the Ram Tradesman is ready to clock in. Equipped with a juiced-up HEMI® engine for under $22K (excludes destination) and a standard class-four trailer hitch with 9,100-lb. towing capacity, it's available this spring at a dealer near you. It's a tricked-out tool that's anything but standard for under $22K.
Ready for Whatever Forget flashy rims and custom bed liners. Ram knows that what you really want in a heavy-duty pickup is improved performance. Our engineers figured out a way to deliver it with best-in-class 22,700 lbs. towing and an astounding 800 lb.-ft. of torque. We just improved proven.
Ram Truck Month Ram trucks offer impressive performance statistics, and the numbers keep getting even better. You'll get a no-extra-charge HEMI® upgrade* when you buy a Ram 1500 or 2500. There's Strength in Numbers. Now at Ram Truck Month.
*Offer based on factory-to-dealer reimbursement. Dealer contribution may affect final price. Take new retail delivery by 3/31/11.
Like the fossilized skeletons of its ancestors displayed in the Smithsonian, a 12-foot alligator can be scary even when it's dead—something that Shooting Illustrated's Adam Heggenstaller learned in person during a gator hunt in Florida. Read More »
Could 2011 be the year of the work truck? If so, the Ram Tradesman is ready to clock in. Equipped with a juiced-up HEMI® engine.... Read More »
The year that Sumner, Mo., erected a statue of "Maxie" to commemorate being the "Wild Goose Capital of the World."
Maxie sports a 65-foot wingspan while resting on a cinderblock building in a community park.
The number of cackling subspecies.
The cackling goose, a smaller-bodied goose prominent in Canada and Alaska, is a tundra-breeder with considerably more black plumage than the Canada. At one time, the cackling goose was considered the smallest subspecies of the Canada, but is now recognized as a separate species.