Saturday, March 23, 2013

Meetings - Training with OldNFO . . . .


It had been awhile since OldNFO and I had spoken . . . the phone rings . . . .

OldNFO: So when’s your next Basic Pistol Instructor Training??

Me: End of March - why??

OldNFO: Why don’t you save me a spot, looks like I’ll have some time free – I need a break!!

Me: Remember . . . . I live in Iowa??? You’re just about far East as you can get!! Iowa . . . . East Coast????? Really??

OldNFO: (a bit of a chuckle comes over the cell connection) “Hell, I have more “miles” saved up than I know what to do with . . . . just sign me up!”

And so this weekend arrived and I got to meet, know and enjoy the company of a fellow retired vet who has tromped over some of the same territory I had in years gone by. I gotta say, I had a great time!

This past Friday and Saturday I conducted the NRA Basic Pistol Instructor Course – more on that in a review post in the next day or so. What I was truly looking forward to was meeting this fella I had chatted with on the phone after he first called me when I went off on a riff about how all pilots sounded like Chuck Yeager . . . . and he does, indeed, sound like Chuck Yeager! Smile

I always wonder what the person behind a blog is “really like” – does the blog truly represent their personality or are they simply an internet fabrication? All I can say is “what you read is who OldNFO is”! Talkative, funny, interesting, coolest job ever for a geek like me, broad range of knowledge of firearms, passionate about his shooting skills . . . . just the whole package! Did I mention talkative??? There’s always a risk of putting two vets together and being drowned by a torrent of “I remember the time” stories - we certainly did not disappoint those around us!!

But, murphy being who he is, he was handed a bit of a curve ball. Part of the pre-course qualification was to shoot two qual targets from 50 feet putting 10 rounds within an 8” circle. A simple task for any true shooter – and a must if you want to participate in an NRA Basic Pistol instructor course. Just to make sure there were no surprises – he brought his one handgun . . . . . remember murphy??? First 10-round magazine and he had two hits on the far left edge of the target . . .WTF????? Same result with the second magazine . . . . he’s startin’ to feel a little uncomfortable about now.

Then a quick glance over the weapon showed that the rear sight has slid an 1/8 inch or more within its groove . . . . . not good. But, finally understanding what the problem was, OldNFO simply applied a little “Kentucky Windage” and his rounds easily fell within spec. He proceeded to feel bad about his initial efforts – but the ease with which he made his adjustment showed that there clearly was a “shooter” at the line!

Outside of class over meals in a great local Mexican and Chinese restaurant and a great steak this evening we chatted like old friends sharing stories of time spent in places that tested our metal as well as friends, children, grandchildren, hobbies, our futures and what he thought of the way I taught this weekend’s course (he was more than kind with his comments).

We are all made richer by those around us and the friends we make. Tonight, I am surely richer for our meeting sir . . . . it has been great getting to know you. I look forward to the next time we have the opportunity to get together!


  1. Thanks Bill, I truly enjoyed the course (except for the shoot ing part... sigh) and the food and conversations! And I envy y'alls stability, now if you'd just do something about the temperature!!! :-)

    1. Glad you enjoyed your time sir! I sure did. The weather will come . . . . sometime . . . . I hope . . . .

  2. Great guy, isn't he? There are some folks that are just easy to "click" with. Turns out he's as easy to see x miles away as when you're just up the road, considering how rarely he's home!

    1. Evening JR - yep, was a great weekend becoming acquainted. I'm looking forward to many more meetings!