10pm: Phone rings. It’s Boyfriend. He asks if I want to come to New Orleans and see him while he is working on the movie down there? “Sure,” I say. I have never been to Louisiana and it would be nice to see him for once in the last like, three months. “Wanna come tomorrow?” Um…. why not? We bloggers have flexible schedules. Let’s do this. Crawfish and beignets, here I come!
Next day 10am: I am now on the flight planning fun things to do while I am in Louisiana. “I don’t know a soul in that state – oh, wait! Yes I do! I wonder how far Baton Rouge is from New Orleans. Hmm… maybe I can go and finally meet Stephanie from Sons of Guns. I have talked to her several times by phone. I feel like I already know the girl. Sure would be fun to surprise her…”
A day or two later the movie Boyfriend is working on happens to be shooting near Baton Rouge. I figure, what the heck, why not drop by and say hello? Who knows if she will even be there? Might as well try my luck. There was no way to know that a few hours later I would be shooting guns in their private firing lane and that the producers would end up taping a segment of our little get together. Turns out I was just as surprised as Stephanie!
As any gun girl will tell you, when they meet another of our kind there is an instant kinship between the two of them. A sidearm sisterhood, if you will. I knew Steph and I would be fast friends, but I could NOT believe Stephanie offered to let me shoot some of the Red Jacket guns. That was the last thing I expected. In case you missed the episode, I shot the Red Jacket 1911 (handgun), Steph’s own personal AK-74 Tantal (blue rifle), and Will’s suppressed fully automatic 9mm (black rifle).
Behind the scenes facts:
- That 1911 that I shot was the first one the guys at Red Jacket ever made. The prototype officially belonged to one very famous guitar playing, rope swinging hunter who will remain nameless but may or may not have Cat Scratch Fever, ifyaknowwhatImsayin. The gun was packaged and ready to ship out to Mr. Fever when I showed up. Joe and Vince generously unpacked it and let me try it out.
- I swear it was about 1000 degrees on that range. I felt like I was going to melt that day. Steph and the crew took it like champs, but this Cali girl was about to pass out. We will call that excuse #1 for my poor aim.
- All those costumes on the walls of the foyer/office have some serious meaning to Will. He has used them in historical war reenactments. Steph has said in the past that she learned more history from those reenactments than they ever taught in school. Steph and I *might* have kind of sort of played around with those items just to get a rise out of Will. What can I say? Red Jacket shenanigans.
- I got some time at lunch to visit with Steph and the rest of the staff. They are the friendliest, most warm-hearted group of people you could meet. They made sure I was well taken care of the whole time I was there.
- I shot TERRIBLY with the full auto. It was not a difficult gun to control at all, but the fumes from the burning lubricant gave me a little trouble. What can you do? Will likes his guns souped-up. Can you blame him?
- The whole cast signed my (somewhat pitiful) target, which I fully plan on framing anyway. Kris and Vince joked that I would have killed the hostage with the full auto rounds that ended up on the top left side of the target. A little practice might be in order.
- They are super rigorous about safety at Red Jacket. With all those camera and sound guys around, it is very important to do things exactly the way they tell you to do them so they can get the shots they need without injury or hearing loss to the crew. This is not your typical safety routine. It made me a little nervous shooting there at first because I was a tad bit thrown off and I didn’t want to break any of their safety rules. Let’s just go ahead and use that as excuse #2 for my less than stellar shooting that day, shall we?
- Funny thing- that visit occurred just 3 days before my birthday. It was quite literally the best birthday (and now New Years) present EVER. Thank you, Red Jacket!!
I absolutely meant what I said about my time at Red Jacket being a dream come true. I think we in the gun community owe a lot to shows like Sons of Guns, Top Shot, MythBusters and others for bringing firearm education back to the forefront of American and Canadian pop culture. It was a thrilling experience to be a small part of a show that has introduced so many would-be gun skeptics to the fun and historic side of firearms. I look forward to connecting with all of those guys again at SHOT show in January.
So what did you think of the episode? Got any questions? Leave them in the comments box and I will answer as soon as I can.