The “Great Pumpkin” Shoot

By Jim Ballou

“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” of the Londonderry, New Hampshire Fish and Game Club. Though late October and Fall in the North Country, the day is clear and warm. A group of dedicated shooters lie in wait in a sincere pumpkin patch waiting for the “Great Pumpkin” to rise so that a half dozen belt feds and an equal amount of assault weapons can create pumpkin puree of the assorted targets placed strategically down range.

Linus, our range officer, looks up and down the line to be sure we are all sincere about safety before he unleashes a hail of fire on our whimsical but strictly biodegradable targets.

This is the Second Annual Shoot that Jim McLoud has invited us to. There are more than fifty or sixty spectators gathered on this beautiful Fall day to see us exercise our Second Amendment rights.

On the line you will find many veterans of the North Country and Sir Hiram Maxim shoots. Stan Andrewski is there to lend his expertise to ailing MG’s. Bob “Bubba” Naess is there with several exotic belt feds including his 1910 Russian Maxim and a rare post war MG 42 in 7.62 x 51mm. Speaking of Russians, a new face is in evidence, Alexi, affectionately called the “Mad Russian”, with an RPD and PPSh-41.

Also new to the shoot was Joe Kasparian, who had a 1919 A4 that proved John Browning is still King of the Line. It is rare today to find a club that will host a shoot like this and offer such luxurious shooting facilities. We shot from a clean enclosed position, from benches that were not bullet riddled nor was the area littered with junk or hazardous materials. This was still a pristine area deep in the woods of New Hampshire where the air was clear and crisp, and we left it that way at the end of the shoot.

My amiable companions were Jim Crump, who supplied the photos for this tome and Vic Duphily whose mechanical skills are phenomenal and last but not least Maria Giannette who supplied the food and drink and also added beauty to the van load of beasts.

It is imperative that we support generous clubs like these and leave a good impression upon all who watch, that we are not a threat to their safety, nor do we bear harm to anyone.

We are excersizing our Second Amendment rights, and having a ball doing it, despite the gun grabbers who wish to disarm us.

May you too find a sincere pumpkin patch.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V2N4 (January 1999)
and was posted online on September 30, 2016


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