Have you ever felt as if you don’t have two brain cells left to rub together anymore? That’s been me the past few weeks. Too much life and too many projects – getting a kid moved to grad school, trying to learn to knit, taking a spinning class (the wool, not the bike – I’m not THAT insane), learning to dehydrate foods for long term storage, working a full-time job … and working on my shotgun rehab project.
The shotgun project is making me lose the most brain cells. Although there’s not much in the way of rust, this gun is incredibly dirty. I’ve been soaking and scrubbing with various solvents and oils off and on for the past few weeks as I get time and motivation. But wow, I’m starting to think that I need to install an industrial fume hood at my house. I’m getting worried about preserving those last two brain cells. I don’t think seeing visions in my own basement is in the manual of arms for this gun. I finally moved some of the operation upstairs into the living room in front of the TV, because at least there are windows upstairs.
After I broke up the worst of the crud with Kroil, I’ve now moved on to Hoppes #9 for the detail work. That smell is bringing me back to my childhood, with my father cleaning his FIAS in front of the TV after a day chasing woodcock and grouse. The Hoppes receptors in my brain are apparently still functional after all these years. THAT was a surprise.
But it isn’t just the solvents that are getting to me. Some of it is the bargain-hunting process that is endangering my cognitive function. I got a fantastic deal on Amazon for a Magpul SGA replacement stock. It was listed as “used, in damaged original package”, and it was $23 cheaper than new. That was my score-of-the-month. It arrived in perfect condition and I am just tickled.
But when I went to use another supplier for the Magpul forend, I started getting brain damage from pounding my head on the desk. The supplier (not Magpul) kept sending me emails about the stuff in my cart. (I left it in the cart while I shopped around the web for a few days) Here was this discount code and that discount code and yet another discount code – but when I broke down and tried to actually make the purchase, then those codes were no longer valid. ARGH. Talk about bait and switch. It made my brain hurt. I did finally make the purchase though, because I figured that the $23 I saved with the stock almost paid for the forend anyway. See the kind of higher math I rationalize purchases with? Only two brain cells remember? Plus the closed head injury from the desk. (There’s no photo of that deal because it hasn’t arrived yet)
I did have passing thoughts of keeping the original stock and forend and just spray painting them or something, but I finally decided that it was more work and mess than I wanted to get into. Besides, the Magpul stock has an adjustable LOP, and the forend has M-LOK so I can attach a light if I want. This is supposed to be a defensive/tactical shotgun after all. And using spray paint would have just exposed those last two brain cells to even more solvents and propellants.
Once I’m finished with the re-build project then I plan to further stress my brain by taking a defensive shotgun course.
A quick interwebs search showed that:
Sig Sauer Academy has a two-day course
Range Master has a one-day course
And I see that Gunsite Academy even has a three-day course for “Seasoned Citizens”.
[Editor’s Note: Sentinel Concepts has one too]
Although I have not yet reached retirement age, I am finding that it takes a lot more effort than it used to to get up out of those kneeling and prone positions. Not to mention that I tore an ACL in med school and never got it fixed. (Sometimes you just can’t fix stupid.) The “seasoned” shotgun course doesn’t require those more challenging positions, so that sounds like it might be more up my alley.
I need to get my new/old shotgun into working order first, before I pull the trigger on a class though, and I also ought to practice up a few reload skills. I haven’t tried to do fast reloads since I stopped doing 3-Gun a few years ago.
So, I think I’ve got the prerequisite skills needed to take a defensive shotgun class – now I’m just hoping there isn’t a brain cell count requirement.