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BOONE LIFE: Good hits, big smiles accompany grandfather, grandson at shooting range

Sunday, October 28, 2007 | 8:45 p.m. CDT; updated 9:49 p.m. CST, Monday, February 9, 2009
Jack Bradley checks the Ruger 10/22 rifle that he and his grandson Zach Bradley are shooting. Zach discusses with his grandfather how to hit the penny on the target during the next round.

After chatting with his brother at RJ’s Mini-Mart on East Prathersville Road, Jack Bradley and his grandson Zach Bradley go to the shooting range at Finger Lakes State Park to shoot at a penny taped to a target.

They had not been shooting in a year, but this time they both almost hit the penny.

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“Oh! You got close buddy. You almost hit it,” Jack said.

Jack offers advice, and after each round of 10 .22 hollow point bullets were fired, Zach reloaded the Ruger 10/22 rifle that his grandfather bought in about 1984.

“Eight ... nine ... 10” he counts as he forces them into the chamber. “I did it.”

Zach switches off shooting with “Pa-pa,” which is the name he uses for his grandfather. After a while, Zach asks Pa-pa, “Can I try to shoot at the can?”

He hits the soda can sitting halfway between himself and the target.

Jack takes a turn.

“Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!” Jack shoots four in a row at an object in the dirt on the range.

“That got dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt in my eye, eye, eye, eye,” Zach jokes as some dust blows back toward them.

Zach talks about BB guns with his grandfather, and Jack tells him, “We didn’t have BB guns when I was young. My dad started me on a .22.”

Then, the conversation moves to the pink nail polish marking at the end of the rifle.

“I stole your sister’s nail polish,” Jack said. Otherwise, the end of the rifle would be harder to see because it would reflect light, Jack said.

Zach observes the other shooters at the range.

“Is that a .22 over there, Pa-pa?” he said.

When the range is clear, Zach runs up to the target to see if he hit the penny. Close, but he missed it again. He runs back, yelling, “I know where I need to aim!”

Later, after Jack misses the penny again, he tells Zach, “You don’t have to feel too bad about not hitting that penny.”

They conclude, as they leave the range, that if they buy a scope for the rifle, they will be able to hit the penny next time.


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