Monday, February 13, 2017

At The Range; At The Little Screen

     Sunday, Tam hauled me off to the range, something I have sadly neglected over the past couple of months.  Holidays, cold weather and illness had done for my free time and available energy, but I am happy to report that my hands and eyes still know what to do.  The Ruger Mk. III .22 with its Millet red-dot sight continues to be one of the most confidence-building firearms I own: at 21', I can make holes appear in the target right where the red dot tells me they will.

     One reason for the range trip was to check out my Ruger LCP, a tiny .380 that I had not yet shot.  It is exactly as jumpy as you might expect from a very lightweight 380, and suffered a few failures-to-feed with underpowered Blazer ammunition.  I'll try something with a little more zip next time -- it's not so bad to begin with a light-shooting round, since it is easy to develop a flinch with something so small. It is best for me to think of these tiny blasters as "flat snubby revolvers" and not precise tack-drivers like the .22; handled that way (finger though the trigger guard to the second joint, hands wrapped around tight as if it might get away), they run well. The sights are lined up,* and I was keeping shots in the ten ring after a few wild ones out in the 8.  --Why would I fiddle with such a thing?  You see, over the time I have carried my little Colt "Pony," a small alloy-framed .380, it has gone from being a reliable (if slightly old-fashioned) choice to a near-$700 collectible.  It's getting too dear to carry!

*  *  *
     In the afternoon -- after a delightful lunch at Twenty Tap and a less than delightful walk to and from in gusty, chilly breezes -- Tam was online and I decided to look at TV.  The BBC historical TV movie Castles In The Sky had been on my watchlist for awhile, so....

     It's delightful.  Oh, all right, the critics were at pains to smirk there's no high drama if you know how WW II came out, and less so if you know why the Battle of Britain went the way it did -- but for my money, the story of how quirky outsider Robert Watson-Watt and an underfunded team of men who could be spared came to create RADAR and bootstrap it from temperamental breadboarded experiments to the Chain Home RADAR system in five years is a fascinating one.  It didn't hurt a bit that Auntie cast Eddie Izzard as Sir Robert.  If you know the tech of the time, there are a few trans-Atlantic anachronisms lurking in the corners -- but one reason they're there is the original RADAR gear was so thoroughly cannibalized to build subsequent generations that there's very little left.  I give them high marks for showing the proper A-scope displays instead of the PPI maps we're used to seeing. The film also gives passing mention of the brilliant system of command, control and communication that put the early warning RADAR provided to devastatingly effective use.  Highly recommended!   
* I mostly own used firearms.  Not only can I not count on sights being properly aligned when I get a gun, sometimes they're missing!  My nicest H&R top-break .22 revolver had an ugly plastic improvisation in place of the rear sight; my friend the Data Viking found the proper item on eBay, a modern repro at least as good as the original, and it made quite a difference.


Merle Morrison said...

Yeah, those A scopes were a real PITA to read.


RandyGC said...

I fully understand "too dear to carry". I've moved from my beloved Browning HP to a Glock 17 for EDC.

If the 17 has to go to the evidence locker or something else happens, meh, is Glock, is gun, can pick up a replacement at just about any gunshop for 1/3 of the price of a new Browning, assuming you can find one in stock.

Anonymous said...

I didn't like the small semi-autos, though I carried a Bersa for a while (copy of the original Walter PPK). I went for the LCR in .38 special +P. Talk about jumpy. Not for everyday carry, but around the yard (my yard includes a small forest) it is a great pocket pistol. And for when the HVAC guys, or the plumber or whoever has to be around. (Don't have to conceal on my own property!)