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For the holiday, I took my family out to the West side of Utah Lake -- a desert area -- to go shooting. We made a fun day of it. I had my wife, my 21 year-old son and 13 year-old daughter with me.

For targets, we took dozens of 2-liter and 20-oz plastic soft-drink bottles filled with water, in order to see what hydrostatic shock looks like. We shot the following guns:
  • Walther P-22t (.22lr)[/*]
  • Ruger 10/22 rifle (.22lr)[/*]
  • S&W 686P (.38 special and .357 mag) -- see avatar[/*]
  • Springfield 1911A1 MILSPEC (.45acp) -- see avatar[/*]
  • Winchester Model 1300 Defender (12gauge - 3" #4 shot)[/*]
  • Winchester Model 94 lever gun (30-30)[/*]
It was striking to see what it took to really see the effects of hydrostatic shock. The .22s merely punched holes that leaked water. So did the .38 special. But when we got to the .357 magnum, it got impressive really fast. The bottles would violently burst open. The .45acp (230gr FMJ) also, but not quite as violent.

The shotgun was very impressive. It shredded and exploded the bottles. Instant gratification! Then I shot the 30-30. The bottles exploded in geysers into the air. Wow!! How fun is that!?

But the most fun part of the whole thing was seeing my wife, son and daughter really enjoy shooting the bottles. They each had a turn with each of the guns. Before today, my 13 year-old daughter had only shot the Walther P-22 and Ruger 10/22. I've been working on her to get her courage up. Today I reassured her and she finally agreed to shoot the S&W 686 with .38 special. She discovered that it wasn't scary to shoot. Then she tried it with .357 magnum and discovered that it still wasn't scary to shoot, but was a lot more fun on the target (the 686 is a sweet gun -- perfect size and weight to handle the full-power magnum loads).

Then I got her to try the shotgun for several shots and even the 30-30 for several shots. She admitted that they kicked more than she expected, but weren't too much to handle. The effects on the target were nothing short of exhilarating.

My wife and son also had lots of fun with all these guns. It was a joy to watch them enjoy. Especially my daughter who had been afraid to try anything other than the .22 pistol at first.

I call that a successful Labor Day celebration!!!


My wife pulled out her camera cell phone and snapped a couple of pictures. Here are a few of the targets set out, ready to be shot:



Here's what one of them looked like after getting hit with the 30-30:



We hauled out the plastic bottle remnants in two large trash bags, leaving only the wet ground and whatever lead we had sent downrange. Then we drove to a restaurant and had a late dinner. That's what I call a family day!

Ahhhh, life is good!
 

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Sounds like fun, Jeff. My father and I used to go shoot prairie dogs down by Moab, me with a .223 and he with his 22-250. When it would cool off the prairie dogs would go away, we'd throw some plastic bottles out in the field and have fun. A .223 with a hollowpoint would rip a 20 oz. bottle to pieces if it was filled with water.
Devin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Devin said:
Sounds like fun, Jeff. My father and I used to go shoot prairie dogs down by Moab, me with a .223 and he with his 22-250.
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I've hunted jack-rabbits many a time, but never p-dogs. I'd like to give it a try. So, there are p-dog colonies around Moab? Where else in Utah?

I'm assuming that they're classified as varmints and are not protected.
 
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