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.