Research at a Shooting Range

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My Punisher Armory editor, Don Daley, calls me up to tell me I had to call this guy. Seems that this man shows up at the Marvel offices claiming that he was a representative for a gun manufacturer. He wanted to speak to me. Don very nicely withheld my personal information but did take the fellow’s business card.

Turns out he was a representative of Baumannize, Inc. a specialist company that sold drop-in replacement cylinders for revolvers. They turned a 6-shooter into — surprise! — a 7-shooter. I had found that clever switcheroo gadget in one of the hundreds of gun magazines I used as reference.

In fact, Drew Permenton was a champion action-shooter, retired State Trooper, weapons dealer and collector, weapons expert and all-round nice guy. We discovered we were pretty much neighbors, so a meeting was quickly arranged. Drew came over several times to offer insight and advice. The winning visit, however was one night he walked over with a de-militarized LAW tube (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) slung over his shoulder! He tells the story of how a police car pulled over and made sure he was legit. Cops, being cops, they all had to play with it in the squad car!

That’s New York City for you!

Drew says, come on, let’s go shooting some weekend. Who can resist? We drive out to Long Island to visit his range on one of the coldest days of Winter, 1993 and drag several huge boxes into the range. In these padded travel cases are about a dozen revolvers and heavily modified .45 Colt semi-autos. I got to fire them all! Drew was a busy re-loader and thought nothing of handing me 6 18-round magazines for the Para-Ordinance modification for a Colt Government Auto frame. You can see me re-loading that. This particular weapon was tricked out with custom trigger groups and ultra-light back-strap safeties. The trigger pull was supposed to be 2 pounds. Let me tell you, after two magazines, I could hardly tell where my finger was, but I knew not to point the weapon very far away from the target!

Then he let me walk through the inventory of .44 Mag revolvers. From an 8″ barrel down to a 2″ “pocket rocket” that really kicked. I got some experience using “half-moon” clips and trying to speed-load. There wasn’t really enough time to gain any proficiency, but knowing the method is good enough. I also learned to count every time.

If that weren’t enough, we went to an outdoor range not too far away. Another set of cases yielded several shotguns, including a wind-up street-sweeper and a semi-auto! close enough to automatic! Firing “police” loads with plenty of kick — that was when I was thankful for a few extra pounds to soak up some recoil. Despite the 10 degree weather, I delighted in shooting a Colt Sporter and a 6mm hunting rifle — the loudest thing there by far.

That day took in a lot of shooting and while I may have thanked him for being so generous then — I must thank him again for going that extra mile for me. He made sure I had the rudiments of training to get the feel of shooting in safety and comfort. Plus he took pictures of me doing it all!

These days, Drew is a specialist movie and TV prop armorer. They couldn’t be in better hands.

All photos and text © 2008-2009 by Eliot R. Brown. Do not copy.

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