Sunday, February 19, 2012

Went To The Range

Went to the range yesterday -- Marion County Fish and Game, that is. The place was busy; the pistol end of the main range was just about full and the shotgunners, etc. were busy at the other end (25 yard targets and up, says Tam). In between, there are two-three trap setups, which weren't in use; however, the two "new" pistol bays (three years old now) were fully occupied.

I had three revolvers to check out and I'm pleased to say they all work very well. The lane I was on didn't have a target holder but the berm was well-littered with broken bits of Day-Glo orange clay: free reactive targets!

The H&R High Standard .22 9-shooter was remarkably pleasant to shoot, with little felt recoil. At short range (10 yards), it shot right to point of aim. Nice big sights and comfortable in the hand: it's a keeper! DA trigger pull is long but fine. Tried SA once but that's not what I bought the gun for.

The Colt Police Positive (.38 S&W) had barely more recoil; it's small in the hand and the sights are vestigial. The grip is okay and the sights weren't a problem in bright sunlight -- ka-pow! More broken clay. DA trigger pull is fine, SA is firm. Wish the ammunition was cheaper. A little cold blue (or flat black, unaesthetic though it would be) on the sights would help.

The Colt Official Police (.38 Spl.). Oh, boy! With Tam's old Brass Kings reloads, the recoil is no worse than the other two; the sights are good-sized and the DA pull is smoooooooth. And it's accurate even in my revolver-inexperienced hands. In no time, I was chasing ever-smaller bits of orange around the berm; to line up on a chunk was to break it, nine times out of ten. When they talk about "Colt's legendary DA trigger feel," this is what they're on about.Between times, I shot my Ruger Mark II (on the grab-bag .22 I've ended up with, something of a jammomatic. Seriously, who makes really good .22 LR? 'Cos what I've got, a mix of Remington, Winchester and I Forget, ain't makin' it happy.)

I also shot Tam's loaned-for-review Rimbaud SpaFon Rumspringa Boberg XR9S. It's a pocket 9 that shoots like a pocket .380 -- and uses the nifty engineering (last seen in the Gabbet-Fairfax Mars, a century ago) that yanks cartridges from the magazine backwards, resulting in a lot more barrel length in the slide. DA pull is okay, a little longer than my revolvers but not rough or "stack-y" and I was able to get 'em close to where I was aiming. (Real target for this). It's winter and my fingerprints are about slicked away, so I'd've like more aggressive texturing on the grips and front strap but that's a quibble. I will save up for one of these: it's a good gun and I would have no qualms about replacing the Colt Pony I often carry with a Boberg. While both the Boberg and the Mars use a rotating barrel to lock the breech, I feel obliged to point out that unlike its distant cousin, which tended to eject brass right at the shooter's face, the Boberg throws spent brass politely off to the side.

I also had occasion to try Tam's Remington 51 and Bayard 1908. I didn't shoot well with the Remington, which has a short, hard trigger pull and might do better with a classic one-hand grip and stance. The Bayard 1908, a .380 very nearly the same size as this century's Kel-Tech P3AT (!), was supposed to have nasty recoil: not feelin' it. Oh, it's snappy, and the slide velocity is simply freaky-quick, but recoil is no worse than most pocket .380s, better than many and the gun itself is smaller than all except the 3AT. It was easy to achieve and maintain a good grip, too, which can be a problem with a tiny firearm. Disassembly is somewhat alien (the front sight retains the recoil spring!) but I wouldn't shy away from shooting one of these again.

All in all, a good trip to the range on an unseasonably nice day. --Anyone who thinks the shooting hobby is on the wane is wrong; MCF&G was a small, sleepy club for years and has seen a huge increase in membership. They've put the money right back into facilities, from the two new bays to new windows for the clubhouse and, literally, a new "facility:" a nice new washroom! (Ask around. There are similar happenings most places.)


Tango Juliet said...

Cool! I'm glad you got out for some recoil therapy!

Aaron said...

Nice range report.

As to some good .22LR, CCI Mini-Mags and Eley are the way to go. Both are more than the value pack .22 but both in my experience have been shown to be far more reliable, and tend to feed in even finicky .22s. The Eley's accuracy and consistency is pretty awesome.

BobG said...

I've been shooting Ruger autos (Mark I, II, and III)for over fifty years, and I've found that they will work with just about anything as long as it has a jacket; exposed lead seems to lead to stovepipes, no matter what brand you use.

Al T. said...

I'm working on a case (5K) of CCI Blazer. I don't get the best accuracy, but I've gotten excellent reliability in all my .22s. My MKII really likes the CCI SGB for accuracy. I've also had good performance from the Federal 550 round Value Packs from Wal-Mart.

Al T.

Hat Trick said...

I've found Remington's quality control on .22 LR to be lacking in recent years. Specifically they have problems with getting their priming mixture into the rim. I've found this on their bulk and their target grade 100 round boxes.
I've had greater than 5% duds that would fire even when you reloaded the case rotated so it would strike a new section of the rim. Went all the way around on several without finding any active priming mixture.

Hat Trick said...

that should have read "would not fire"

I'll add that I have had good luck with the federal bulk pack in my Mk III. No feeding issues and they all fire on the first strike.

Mad Saint Jack said...

I'll put in another vote for CCI, although most of what I shoot is the Wal-mart bulk Federal.

Dunham's Sports is offering a coupon on CCI Blazer 2 boxs (525 rds) for $30. There is a store in Anderson IN.

Knitebane said...

I'll have to chime in on Hat Trick's comment about Remington's QC issues. Their .22LR is jam city. I've got some Remingtion UMC .308 that isn't much better. THAT was an eye opener. When you toss a bad .22 you aren't out much but a half a dozen .308s is like leaving a 5 dollar bill on the range floor.

We have 2 of the little plastic Beretta Neos's, a Browning Buckmark and Beretta 21A, 2x 10/22s, 2x Remington 597s and a Remington Model 34.

After trying just about every .22LR that Cheaper Than Dirt and Midway will sell me, I've settled on Armscor 36gr. The 40gr works ok in everything but the 21A.

We get between 4 and 10 failures to fires out of a box of 500. The only other brand that does as good is CCI.

It's plated ammo, reasonably clean and seems rather consistent.

It's cheap too. Midway sells a box of 50 for $2.39.

Tam said...

Remington bulk .22 blows goats. I've also been less than impressed with this latest batch of Winchester "M-22" I just bought...

Keads said...

Glad you got to the range and an excellent review of the handguns!

I agree completely with your assessment of traffic on the ranges increasing. My home range today was on a wait for shooters. That has never happened on a Sunday and they have 12 indoor lanes. My new shooter class yesterday and Concealed Carry Class today were at class room capacity (24 students).

Anonymous said...

I and most or all of the Mark I/II/III shooters I shoot with use Federal in the purple box, or Federal Auto-Match, with excellent reliability. CCI's great but pricier. I have so few malfs with cheap Federal, CCI doesn't seem worth it.

Remington loads a little pinch of pure fail in every case. The hell with 'em.

Scott M said...

Ditto on the Federal Wally world bulk pack for the Ruger if you are after cheap range ammo. CCI Blazers and Mini Mags work well too.

ZerCool said...

I've had consistently good reliability from the Federal 550 (red box) bulk packs. Not match-grade accuracy, but consistently minute-of-tin-can.

Dave H said...

I just got back from the range with a new-to-me Ruger Mark I from 1976. The results:

1) The magazine that came with it was the source of all my feed problems with both Remington bulk and CCI Mini-Mag ammo. The retaining lips at the top of the mag are just exactly the wrong spacing in spite of my coaxing with various blunt and sharp implements. This allowed cartridges to be presented at the wrong angle to be chambered. Most times I'd get a bullet impaled on the feed ramp. That mag will be given an honorable discharge and put out to pasture.

2) The two brand new magazines I bought from Ruger fed both Remington and CCI flawlessly.

3) Tam's assessment of Remington bulk ammo is accurate. I had about a half dozen duds (good strike, no bang).

4) CCI from the new magazines performed flawlessly for the 97 rounds attempted. (The other three out of the box of 100 went in the dud can because the old mag caused their noses to be bashed in.)

Mad Saint Jack said...

Bobbie did you find some ammo?