Saturday, August 29, 2015

Another Contender...

Picked up the $310 Contender. Got the Weaver 92A base, Z-rings, Weaver 1.5-4X scope and mounted same after removing Aimpoint Mark III and base. I don't know why the previous owner felt the need on a .22 LR barrel, but he drilled and tapped it for the forward screws on the base even though he had the rear 4 on the Contender barrel. Anyway, I put in some filler screws. Shot some Aguila Colibri in it. Quiet enough that the wife and dog didn't pay any attention to it 20 feet away from them on the other side of the closed basement door. I now have an understudy barrel for the BR/Varmint pistol AND another frame for Contender carbines.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Range day...

Color me green, with envy.

Today I drove out to the range for the Thursday follies and stopped along the way, about 3 miles from the range, at a friend/co-workers house to drop off some bullets he'd been looking for but couldn't find. I pulled up and he stuck his head out of his "shop" to welcome me.

Now "shop" to describe this place of nirvana is totally inadequate but I am sure it meets the need of maintaining operational security. It is a typical old (about 1940-1950 vintage) outbuilding/garage measuring about 14x18 feet. It now has a period built standard 36" door. Stepping inside is a trip to a shooter's man cave dream world. Just inside to the right is a small wood stove. Behind that is a flat screen TV. Directly in front of the door facing the TV is a nice comfortable looking green easy chair. To the left is some shelving with the first of various shooting paraphernalia. Between the rafters, pasted to the bottom of the "attic" floor are targets and between some of the rafters shelves have been placed on which boxes of bullets have been carefully stacked. A HUGE Ft Knox gun safe takes pride of place along the left wall while on the right is a work bench with a neat little drill press, vices, tool boxes and so forth. Along the back wall is the loading bench with a double hung window just above it. To the right between the work bench and the loading bench are shelves filled with powder, loaded ammo and dies, on the left wall between the safe and loading bench are hung hunting clothes, and other stuff we all seem to accumulate.

I've always wanted such a place and have a very poor facsimile in my basement. My friend doesn't think he's rich but it seems to me that he is very well off indeed.

Time at the range was pretty good. There were already 2 others there shooting varmint rifles. I shot my M1 rifle at 100 yards. I was principally interested in the different points of impact for various loads out of various sorted cases. A clip of ball ammo drifted across the middle of the target roughly centered on the point of aim. The 8-rounds 155 gr. Sierra HPBT Match bullet over 46 gr. of H4895 cut a ragged just left of the point of aim with a group of about 1½-inches total. The rest of the ammo, loaded in Lake City, RP and Winchester brass using the Sierra 150 gr. HPBT Match over 47 gr. of H4895 made a pattern of about 5-inches total diameter centered about 4-inches above point of aim. Since the goal is to use the same point of aim for both factory ball and my reloads I think I'll be reducing the powder charge to 46 gr. of 4895 for my test. However, I've been really going through the H4895 and have about 9 lbs of IMR-4895 to use so may also switch to that. I have lots of brass to load and will likely need at least one more .30-cal ammo can in which to put up clipped reloads.

Shooting the 10" .223 Contender is improving. The load is 20 gr. H4198 under the 52 gr. Hornady HPFB Match (2250). This flat base bullet has been discontinued but it seems to be a good one. I have improved to the point that I can consistently shoot 5-shot groups of about 3" with some half that. I find it difficult to use the long eye relief scope and am still learning how to hold the gun on the bags for maximum steadiness.

I did make a Gunbroker purchase of a used Contender with a 10" .22 LR barrel and intend to use the rimfire barrel to practice more but I haven't received the barrel yet despite having delivered the MO and FFL last Thursday. THAT is a bit of a bummer.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Range day...

Had a good afternoon at the range. Met Frank P________ there and we shot on and off (while waiting for barrels to cool) and sat out a short lived downpour.

I tried some loads through the M1 Rifle and they did ok at 100 but I feel that they are bit too much and so will back off for the next test. I also shot a comparison between the Hornady 53 gr. HPBT and the 53 gr. HP Match bullet both loaded over 20.0 gr. of H4198 in the .223 Contender. It was a bit difficult to see much difference but I think that the flat base match bullet shoots a bit higher than the boat tail bullet. I am getting better with the gun though and think I've finally hit on a comfortable and repeatable benchrest grip for the gun. I did manage to put 5 of the BT bullets into a group about the size of a quarter albeit this out of 20 shots which would have fit on a playing card. Just getting more consistent with the gun and that takes practice. Next week I should be getting a 10" .22 LR barrel which should make practice with this gun and trigger a bit less expensive.

Frank was shooting a 6.5x55 Swedish M94 that had been sporterized with a Fajen stock, Williams FP receiver sight and Williams shorty ramp with gold faced post sight. The trigger doesn't feel like a military trigger but I haven't gotten to look at it to see what might have been done to it. It shot pretty well today and Frank thinks it is good enough to take a deer. It should do that. It is a neat gun and Frank was good enough to buy it before I did.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Range day...

A couple of weeks back I shot in a benchrest pistol/varmint pistol match. In the week prior I traded for a 10" .223 Rem barrel for the Contender, bought a 3-12X scope sight, mounted the sight and set up the pistol, bought some Federal factory ammo to shoot in the match and ordered brass and bullets for further ammo. However, I didn't have time to zero the gun or load any ammo. During the match my scope mount shot loose (the base screws weren't torqued tight enough) and I couldn't get zero with the amount of ammo I had to use. I STILL wasn't the lowest scoring shooter. Since then I've been working diligently to remedy that for next year's matches.

First thing though is to get the thing zeroed. I must be a dang poor shot. It has taken forever to get it right. Today, with help from Frank P________, I was able to get it zeroed. I do believe that as it is now I could be much more competitive than I was at the last shoot.

Also, while waiting for the Contender's barrel to cool, I shot the Webley MKIV a couple of cylinders full. It proved to be much less accurate from the bench than I expected. However I did empty some cases of those 146 gr. bullets.

The weather was absolutely beautiful. Calm to light breeze,75°F,and you couldn't have asked for better.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Range day...

Range day was interesting. Got reminded of something I knew (that loads worked up on one Contender frame MIGHT need to be shot on that frame or maybe the headspace will be wrong and they won't fire), saw my new Fowler target cratered by a .243 Ackley (70 gr. HP at almost 4000 fps), and remembered that my old 7mm TCU 10" was probably last shot at 50, not 100 yards... I did take a couple of photos of the cratered plate. I have to download the photos and the other computer where I do that is giving me fits. That 7mm TCU was shooting about 4" high. The .30 Herrett really shot well once I moved it to the correct frame which also required moving the butt stock since one frame was set up for the 10". Neat that you can do all that at the bench with no more tools than the one TC tool. The 7mm TCU didn't kick too much but I bet this .223 barrel kicks some less. The new scope should be here by Monday (might already be at the store) and we'll see where we stand.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Thoughts on Islamic attacks on military facilities...

Yesterday, there was an "lone wolf" shooting attack at a recruiting station and then a Navy Reserve station in Chattanooga, TN. 4 Marines were killed and a Marine and Sailor were wounded. The shooter was killed by local police responding to the scene. He was a Kuwaiti immigrant who had attended high school and college here in the U.S. He used a firearm (purportedly some form of semi-automatic rifle) in his attack.

It appears that the feds need some sort of security arrangements at these military facilities that include armed people. It would be relatively inexpensive for some military units to assign this duty on a rotating basis to personnel assigned to a particular facility just as they have done in the past. It was called guard duty.

I remember that I stood guard duty, armed with an M16 and ammunition, at a small arms repair facility at Fort Jackson before I had completed basic training. Certainly combat veterans can do the same at recruiting stations (the Chattanooga facility was NOT the first recruiting station that had been attacked). However, this will not be a fail-safe solution. Don't expect the military (for many reasons) to reverse the "gun free zone" approach.

The military leadership really doesn't trust the enlisted folks to be armed unless they have officers present to "control" them. This mindset is intrinsic in military thought to the point that for centuries NCOs and junior enlisted have been awarded high level medals for taking charge and leading men in combat without an officer present. This attitude precludes arming of service people all over a base. There is also the unstated thought that a certain level of loss is acceptable. Further, the President does not want to undermine his agenda of civilian disarmament by obviously arming the military in their day-to-day domestic operations.

We know that these attacks will continue and can only hope that something is done, even if on the "down low", so that the Jihadists are stopped in their attacks.

Friday, July 10, 2015

"The Generals" by Thomas E. Ricks

I just finished reading "The Generals" by Thomas E. Ricks. It was an easy read, i.e. it was easy to read, the narrative moved along well and I didn't feel as if I was being bored. This book isn't for everyone, maybe not many people at all. It concerns American military leadership, generals, from World War II to today. Mr. Ricks describes the WWII generals very well (and, yes, we still "knew" these generals during my lifetime) and goes on to explain how influential George C Marshall was on the management/selection/assignment of generals during the world war and how those management techniques were degraded (I have to agree with his opinion) and how this degradation of management and military professionalism among generals is adversely affecting our military performance today. He has some damning things to say about various generals who were pretty much media darlings during their period of ascendance. I'm glad I read it.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Range day...

Got the new steel targets (armor plate, 12, 8 and 4 inch plates) to the range but I only worked on it with the .17 HMR Contender at 100 yards. All bullets simply vaporized against the plate. I'm going to have to try this with other cartridges. Richard P______, Ed C___________ and his son Curtis were there. Pretty warm day with an intermittent breeze but actually less breezy than at home. The Contender .17 shoots very well, I'm pretty impressed.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Range day...

Went to the range today and learned some lessons, or not... Took the Single-Seven, .327 Federal and both Federal American Eagle factory loads, the 85 gr. and 100 gr. bulleted loads. I am pretty much decided to load the 100 gr. XTP so I was using the 100 gr. load to zero/sight-in. I was also using the opportunity to see how much the 85 gr. load POI would differ from the 100 gr. load and to just get some trigger time. A couple of interesting things...

First, this gun has a couple of screws loose, the ejector rod housing screw and the screw in front of the trigger guard both shot loose. I was having to tighten them after every cylinder full. THAT I can fix.

Second was how well it grouped, or didn't. I realize I am not the best shot in the world, my eyes are starting to fail me (cataracts) and I'm certainly not infallible! While I didn't have time to shoot groups with individual chambers it certainly seems as if certain of the individual chambers shoot very well with many cloverleafs but those groups are separated by at least two calibers from one another. Some chambers don't seem to quite stand up to that. My best group from a cylinder-full (7-shots) was about 3½ in a bit of an oval. This at 25-yards doesn't seem so good.

Third, I feel as if it is spitting a bit but it isn't, it is just a LOT of gas working there. It looks as if there is some top-strap cutting but I never bothered to look or simply can't remember if these things have a relief cut there. One thing for certain, the burn rings one often sees on the front of stainless cylinders (due to the contrast) cover the whole front of the cylinder and extend in a neat little pattern to the side of the cylinder. Since this pattern varies slightly from chamber to chamber it is clear that each chamber's relationship to the barrel is a bit different, one very much so. Discoloring due to heat extends to the base pin where it is exposed between the frame and face of the cylinder.

Had a great time, of course.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Nana takes the first step...

Nana took her Concealed Handgun Permit certification course today. I do believe that she learned a lot!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Range day...

It was a short range day today. Took the FT Ruger .45 with the ACP cylinder installed and shot up a box of 50 rounds of ACP loaded with 7 gr. Unique under the 200 gr. Hornady Combat Match semi-wadcutter bullet. This stuff was loaded many years ago for the Combat Commander. As expected it shot low as the gun was zeroed for the 255 gr at about 1000 fps. However, I was surprised at how low it shot. The load did group well though.

I also shot the adjustable sight Bearcat. It seemed zeroed for 25 yards as well but each chamber seemed to have its own group. 18 shots fired and there were 6 distinct 3-shot groups. Interesting.

Didn't have much time to do more.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Range day...

Had a pretty good range day but...

First, I took the M1 rifle out with some Lake City M2 and she did pretty good. The weight of the rifle makes it pleasant to shoot from the bench. Then I shot the SIG Sauer 938-22 and got it zeroed with the Winchester Dynapoints. She does ok at 25 yards and practice with the trigger helps a lot. I do NOT like the 3-dot sights. I may black them out as the dots give a confusing sight picture, at least for my eyes. I might black out the dots on the rear sight first, just to see what that does.

Then I wanted to shoot up some .45 ACP somebody gave me that was loaded with a light load under some 200 gr. plated RN bullets. I took my Ruger FT .45 Colt/ACP with the ACP cylinder for just this purpose. No go. The cartridges wouldn't go the last 1/4 to 5/16ths of an inch into the chambers. Poorly resized. No, I won't give you the name of the fellow who did this. I am going to try to recover these but we will just have to see if this will be doable without pulling all the bullets and dumping the powder.

Two of the club officers were out there shooting. One shoots only cast bullets and was trying cast in the 6.5-284 Winchester! The other brought his Schultz and Larsen .22, Anschutz Exemplar pistol and XP100. Lots of fun shooting!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Match Shooting

Feel pretty good this evening. Club had a .22 LR 50 @ 50 yard BR shoot today. I placed 3rd in the factory class with a 420 9x. Winner shot a 445 and 2nd shot a 425. Unlimited class was 490, 485 and 465. A new to us woman shooter shot the 485. We had 28 shooters total and... I took home $22 prize money.

My rifle was the Winchester 52C with Weaver T36 (1/8th minute dot) shooting Wolf Match Extra.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Range day...

Got to shoot today so took the nickeled S&W M34. Shot over 75 rounds, maybe as many as 100 rounds being a mix of 20-year old Federal HVHPs and Winchester Dynapoints and new Federal HVHP. I was surprised to find that the Federal, old or new, required a slight push to fully seat in the cylinder and would drag on the recoil shield sometimes very badly. The Dynapoints dropped right into the chamber and didn't drag at all. I guess this will ensure the Dynapoints get designated for this gun.

Also shot the Browning 1911-22. That gun is about the best one I have to shoot up that old Russian Junior ammo. It seems to love that ammo. Doesn't do badly with the Federal or Dynapoints either. For such a little gun it is pretty accurate. I think it will shoot better than I can shoot it right now. The small sights are a real challenge for me.

After having difficulties with the open sights on the 34 and 1911-22 I thought I would go back to my Tactical Solutions conversion on Combat Commander frame. This has a Burris Fastfire mounted. I think that sight is great for seeing a sight but it doesn't seem to easily give me much precision. While I could hit a head sized target at 50 yards I couldn't tell you where I would hit it. The target looked more like it had suffered several strikes from #4 buck than having been shot with a precision firearm.

When I got there a buddy (he's 75) was shooting his Rock Island .22 TCM. He has 2, one with the 5" barrel and one with a 4¼" barrel. John is a very experienced reloader. He says that he is having problems finding a bullet that is accurate in his reloads. He has tried several. The 5" barrel keyholes! If I understood correctly, I don't think it does this with factory ammo though. He was shooting at a measured 27 yards. His groups were in the 2½-3" range.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Notes from the gun shop...

I know it has been some time since I posted any notes from the gun shop but today was somewhat unique. I don't know if there was a connection to the Memorial Day weekend but today seemed to be a day for military type firearms.

First was a byf 41 Luger that came in on consignment. The owner is convinced that she should get $5000.00 for the gun which is about a $2500.00 gun. However, this gun was mentioned to a good customer who got excited and brought in 4 guns as trading material to see what he could get for them. They were a P90, a Steyr AUG, a Colt 1991A1 and a Colt 100th Anniversary 1911, all unfired and NIB, genuinely NIB. During negotiations another good customer was called in search of a lower priced Luger and brought in a 1917 dated DWM (which I personally think is more desirable than the byf 41) which he promptly sold to us. At about the same time we had a retired soldier come in with a US Postal Meter M1 carbine, a 1911A1 (I think it was a Colt but I didn't get to see it) and ANOTHER Luger (which I also had no opportunity to see). Coming into the shop as a transfer was a Valmet M76 with the folding stock. I hadn't seen one of these in a long time and although I have long wanted one of these "AKs with the aperture sight" I was reminded of why I'd never bothered to spend the money on one many years ago.

PS - got to look at the guns I didn't get to see yesterday. The 1911A1 is a nearly mint condition Remington Rand and I was told it was made in 1942. It was issued to the seller's father and then the seller carried it through HIS army career. BEAUTIFUL. In addition, he sold a 1903A3 which is in "darn good" condition, truly. I don't think it was carried or shot much and while the wood is kinda rough as that is the way it was issued the stamps are clear and sharp. NICE gun.