Saturday, October 25, 2008

Evening News


Up at 0500, showered and shiny by 0645, warmly garbed, accoutered, armed, coffee-ed and out the door by 0730: it was Bowling Pin Shooting Day at Marion County Fish and Game with Tam and her shooty pal from a semi-distant school district. He drove, as he helms a Suburban Assault Vehickey of unusual size and carboniferousness and this meant I rode in back-seat comfort in fine leather[1] while the hired help host and faithful companion were up front -- just me, a gawrsharooty lot of firearms and a few jillion pounds of ammunition in the back where the elite -- sorry, 1337 -- loiter.

The pin-shooting was fun, though I had in a moment of weakness driven by the quantity of magazines in hand and the loud-kewl-go-boom of it selected my 1911 in .38 SA. Bad plan. I'm a little vision-impaired but that poor device is sight-impaired. I knew it and yet I failed to so much as take white-out to it. Even that might not have helped. Last time, I shot fairishly well using my very first handgun, an old Star BM. Let us compare:[2]The student (count me in that group) will note the ever so much longer sight radius of the 1911 on the right vs. the affordable Spanish import on the left. Way better, no?

No. That's not the view that tells the story. The bowling pins are seven yards away, I could throw rocks and make minor. It's this angle that counts: You can see the front sight of the Star BM, even in my out of focus snapshot (h'mm, kind of a nice kitchen-table white dot job there, if I do say), while the same unknown genius that halved the value of my .38 Super 1911 compounded his crime by taking the same buffing wheel to the front sight. It wasn't much to start with but it had square corners and the nice people at Colt had checkered it. All gone now, or as close as makes no difference.

A poor worker blames her tools: had I any mother-wit left, I'd've dealt with the situation by squaring up the slide on the target: when you don't see anything but the tail-end of the gun laid over the target, neither side or top, you're aimed. This trick can be a little counterintuitive but it works perfectly well (it's how I set the rear right of the Star seen above when it fell out on its first post-buy trip to the firing line). Or rather, it works when you remember it. I did not and as a result, I scared several bowling pins very badly, tipped over a few more, and shot a couple off the table in the process of expending about a hundred rounds. Hey, smoke, noise and lead going down-range: I had fun!

...But it's a lesson, too. The rear sights of those two guns are nearly twins. The front sight makes all the difference. They ain't a-kiddin'.

Tam and her buddy, on the other hand... Each was irked to have shot less than their best their first time to the line. From then on, it was pretty much just hand 'em a broom! (Tam says different of her performance. All I know are the times I saw -- and in a second-chance tournament, she shot a lot more often than I did, meanin' not so darned badly). Poor ol' bowlin' pins took quite a beating.

...And so did the range: on a chilly, dampish October morning, there were 24 contestants!

So, where do you go from there? What does one do for an encore? Stay tuned for our next episode...!
1. You would not believe the number of Corinthians they must have skinned to upholster this thing.
2. Let us also learn that the otherwise admirable Safari browser is not so much at letting me shove pix around. So, I can sip a little IE Kool-Aid.


Home on the Range said...

Sounds wonderful. I hope to make the next one. The castle cake for the six year olds, however, was a success, though I think it was noted that apparently some alcohol had been consumed prior to "Auntie Brigid" making the drawbridge out of sugar wafers.

A good time was had, but not apparently as good as your day. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need a Merit Optical Attachment.


Somerled said...

Roberta, there should be a smith around there who could stake or silver solder a replacement front sight on the Colt so it would stay put. One can also put a higher-profile rear sight in the existing dovetail.

Brownells has the staking tools if you want to do it yourself. As my eyes get worse, the King-Tappan fixed sights (King's Gun Works) would be my choice.

Turk Turon said...

Sorry I missed it. Shooting at bowling pins is unsurpassed fun.

Captcha: shillyz

Roberta X said...

You'd've enjoyed the day, Turk!

Somerled, there has been much discussion of this and I'll probably be doing something along those lines. Tam's been urging me to try the style that's go a shallow V for the rear sight, said to be fast-acquiring; I am hesitant only because everything else I shot has a version of the more standard square sights, some with white dots.

Somerled said...

I had a set of the XS Sight Systems 24/7 Express sights with the standard front sight dot for my Browning. Some people like them. The dot flew off the front sight base of the first set. I finally yanked them and put on a set of Trijicons.

They're fairly popular. Try some out before you buy, if possible. For work within 15 yards, the Big Dot set would probably work better.