Last weekend, I packed up my gear and headed to Oak Ridge for the first East Tennessee Bloggershoot hosted by Dennis at Dragon Leatherworks. For those that have never been, it’s a beautify part of the country, and I highly recommend visiting. Especially if you can manage to get a tour of the national labs that were involved in the Manhattan Project and are currently home to the second most powerful supercomputer in the world.
I started the weekend arriving at Dragon Leatherworks store, where I picked up a new purchase for me (a Sig p290rs, watch for a review in the near future). It’s a nice shop with a pretty good selection of firearms and some absolutely beautiful holsters. Of course, if they don’t have it in stock, Dennis is happy to order it for you. The Jack was already there, and we chatted while Dennis manned the shop for the last couple hours of the business day.
After that, we headed to Dennis’ place for burgers and met up with John Richardson and his wife. Erin Palette was supposed to join us for dinner, but due to some serious traffic issues, didn’t roll in until close to midnight. Oleg, being the crazy man that he is, decided to get up at the crack of dawn, and make the drive in Saturday morning. He also had a young shooter and his family in tow.
Saturday morning came, and we loaded up and headed to the range. Unfortunately, it rained during a good portion of the day. That said, one of the pistol ranges and the rifle range had cover over the shooting line, so we just shot from under those. The rifle range had steel targets set a various distances out to, I think, 175yards. For a guy that is normally relegated to punching paper, it was great fun to hear the ring of steel and see the target swing on every hit.
Unfortunately, due to the rain, this was pretty much the only good picture I got of the shooty goodness. We had a pretty good representation of old battle rifles, Erin brought her “Sleep of Reason” Mosin Nagant, which is now sporting an Archangel stock and new muzzle brake, and Oleg brought some interesting stuff including a triple barrelled shotgun. Oh, and Oleg brought a scoped Howa .308 (I can’t remember the model) that made hitting the steal torso at 175yards almost boring… almost.
One thing I always find interesting at these things is what people gravitate to. You have the oddities, like The Jack’s Boberg, that folks are interested in because they’re just weird, or Erin’s pimped out Mosin that shows that you can take one of those old war relics and turn it into a pretty accurate rifle. John brought out an IBM make M1 Carbine in good condition that sparked a couple history conversations. Everyone seemed to enjoy hitting the 75yard steel torso with my Marlin .357mag.
After all was said and done at the range, it was back to the ranch to clean up and get ready for dinner. For most of us, that meant at least a change of clothes due to the mud, and I think we managed to not track mud all over the house. The Jack was gracious enough to work the grill for us. If you ever have the chance to sample his cooking, do it.
Did I mention that there was tasty, tasty meat?
I was also told that my apple and peach pie went over well. As a side note, apple pie (the drink) does go well with apple pie (the food).
We also took a tour of the workshop where Dennis actually makes all the holsters. He gave us a brief run down on how he makes them, and some things that he’s got in the works for the future. Beyond that, it was the usual chatting and card games that happen when you get a bunch of us together.
Sunday was breakfast, and back on the road back home.
I have to thank Dennis and his wife (who did a lot of the prep work to make this happen) for a great weekend. They’ve already stated that they want to do it again next year, and I hope to be there and see more folks there.
By the way, if you haven’t already checked out their website, Dragon Leatherworks makes some great holsters. I have one that I love, and I need to order a couple more. Great thing about them is that you can drop $300 on a BBQ holster for your BBQ gun, but the basic holsters start around $65. There’s a number of assembly line holsters that will cost you more than that. Instead, you can get a handmade holster that’s well made, built in the USA, and made by a small business. What’s not to like?