Friday, October 3, 2014

My Opportunity to Shoot An Original Gatling Gun

After a particularly challenging work week my husband rewarded me with a gift that I would have never in my wildest imagination have considered - the opportunity to shoot an original Gatling Gun. I received the peculiar call around 2:00pm this afternoon as I was trying to complete a couple of tasks that I absolutely had to finish before shutting down my laptop for the weekend. My workday had started at 6:30am after our daily workout and it was my plan to logoff by 2:50 so I could catch the 3:15 showing of Gone Girl at the local cinema. 

Todd's N-SSA team, the Union Guards, were one of the teams hosting the 130th National event for the N-SSA at Fort Shenandoah, the N-SSA National Range that is located about 12 minutes from our driveway. As a member of a host team, Todd was working at the fort. When he called to ask if I could make it to the fort by 6:00pm because he had a surprise for me, I was not particularly enthused. The weather was overcast and rainy. I was determined to see the 3:15 movie on opening day  and I could not conceive what type of surprise awaited me at the range - unless we had a winning lottery ticket and Todd had found the perfect snub-nosed Derringer for me to tuck into my purse. So I pressed him for a hint until he said there would be an opportunity to shoot an original Gatling after the demonstration this evening.

Dr. Richard Gatling invented what is considered the first automatic weapon in 1861. It was used by federal forces during the American Civil War and again during the Spanish -American War. It was operated with a hand crank.

For a $25 donation to the N-SSA I was able to fire 10 rounds. The flash of fire as I cranked was awesome as was the sound of the firing. Regretfully, the 10 rounds fired in seconds.  My experience was over nearly as quickly as it began. But I can be thrilled that I am one of the few women in the 21st Century who have had the experience of firing such an historic piece of military history with life rounds. I must say it was worth speeding from the theater at Apple Blossom Mall to Fort Shenandoah, parking in the mud and dodging the raindrops to have such an amazing experience.

Thanks to my delightful husband for considering such a creative gift to help me end my work week on a celebratory note!

A brief video of my experience~

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