stickmaker: (Default)
Got out to the range today for the first time since the flood. Took three handguns with several types of ammo for each. Most of the shooting was mediocre; some was good, some bad, some very good. My last group was the only one at fifty yards. Five shots of .32 H&R Magnum, from a rest on a bench. At that range the black circle on the target looked narrower than my front sight. The five shots were strung vertically, but just about dead on horizontally. One was just outside the black. The other four were in the black, with on in the red square in the center.

Folks, that's better than I can *see* at that range!
stickmaker: (Runner Bluegrass Elf)
I finally gave up and bought a die set for .32 S&W.

Why? Because not only are the factory rounds very accurate, but my second reload formula is even more accurate than the factory rounds. I'm getting five shots out of five in the black at fifty yards from adjustable iron sights.

And that was *before* I got the new die set, kludging things with a set for .327 Federal.

Given that current prices for factory .32 S&W (when you can find it) are upwards of $0.40 each, spending a bit over $30 (including S&H) to load my own, using powders, primers and bullets I already have for other uses, makes good sense.

Given that shooting fifty rounds in an hour of target practice is far from uncommon, and that dies last for decades, this is a good investment.
stickmaker: (Default)
My Charter Arms Patriot came back in the Saturday mail. They recrowned the barrel and replaced the front sight. I had already planned to go out today to shoot my Mini-14 in order to sight in the new scope. This made it a two-gun mission.

The Patriot continues to shoot low, both with .32 S&W Long and .327 Federal Magnum. The former shoots much lower, not surprisingly. At 25 meters with both factory Federal 100 grain .327 rounds and my first set of 85 grain .327 reloads the short-barreled revolver shot about ten cm low, but with fair groups. This is actually acceptable. This is not a target pistol. Now that I know how much to hold over I can hit close to the bullseye with most shots. At a more typical combat range of ten meters I casually put all five shots in the black, with one almost a bullseye.

The Mini-14 was another matter. I could shoot very well using the iron sights, but the scope was vastly low at just twenty-five meters. Even after I got it on paper, hit location was erratic. I eventually noticed that the four screws holding the scope to the mount were loose, one of them having actually fallen out! I replaced that one and tightened the other three, and the rifle shot much better. I was actually having to check the screws after every shot. Doing that, I got a five shot group on paper at fifty meters. I was running late by then, and frustrated by the constant retightening, so I packed and went home.

I have already put Lok-Tite (SP?) on all four screws. If the weather isn't too bad, I'll try again tomorrow.

I really like this scope. It's only a four-power and has a small field of view, but it allows use of the iron sights with the scope in place. It has a return-to-zero, quick detach/reattach mount. With those screws hopefully staying tight, now, I should be able to zero it for fifty and probably a hundred meters next range session.


Jan. 22nd, 2009 05:55 pm
stickmaker: (Default)
Shot the USP 45 again today, about 120 rounds. This gun is very accurate, and with some ammunition has 100% function. Unfortunately, with other ammunition it's more like 80%. It shoots to the same place - a bit above point of aim - with every load I've tried.

I am having problems with the backstrap. It is so aggressively stippled that after a hundred rounds without gloves my palm is getting abraded. May have to take some sandpaper to the plastic.

I am also still having problems with the new .45 Colt load I worked up for my New Vaquero. I get the feeling that only the primer is firing, since there's a muffled Pop and lots of unburned powder left over. I wonder if the powder in the can has gone bad.


Nov. 25th, 2008 04:40 pm
stickmaker: (Default)
Went out shooting again today, and was reminded once again why I love my Series 80. (That's a Colt M-1911 Series 80 in .45 ACP.)

It was accurate with everything I tried, from top-quality defense loads to some junk handloads with which I worried about case separation.

From a rest at twenty-five meters, five-shot groups averaged a bit over ten centimeters. Freehand they opened to about half again that. At fifty meters from a rest the groups were over fifteen centimeters.

I also shot my .30 M1 Carbine. Naturally, with the longer sight radius, it was inherently more accurate, but it was also much less fun to shoot. I had problems with two different magazines. Both seem to have weak springs. Aside from fussing with failures to feed and/or eject, though, it was very accurate.

Now I need to clean guns and recovered brass.

Gun Stuff

Oct. 9th, 2008 04:21 pm
stickmaker: (Default)
Okay, after 440 rounds the SIG P250 is going back. It did okay this afternoon with some Magtech 180 grain FMC, but when I switched to Fiocchi 170 grain FMJTC it was horrible. Nearly half the rounds would not feed and even manual coaxing often failed, requiring me to drop the magazine and hand-feed the round.

On the other hand, I got my Ruger New Vaquero back Tuesday and also shot it today. That was a wonderful experience. Shooting Black Hills 250 grain RNFP (bare lead) I consistently shot groups under 6" across at 25 meters, from a rest. Often better than that, with several bullseyes. The cylinder pin stayed firmly in place the whole time. This gun is so good I'm actually tempted to put a scope on it. If I can shoot that well with the crude iron sights...
stickmaker: (Default)
Thought at first I'd found a round it liked, shooting the .40 S&W Winchester White Box I bought Wednesday. The first few shots were to roughly point of aim and close together, considering barrel length and sight radius. However, as I continued shooting the group opened, and began moving right and down. After forty rounds I gave up. Even holding a bit high and to the left, I was chewing into the bottom horizontal support beam. I also had another jam.

I had also brought my trusty old Mark IV Series 80 M-1911 in .45 ACP. Can that thing shoot... After a few practice groups at 25 meters I put a target on the 50 meter board. Five shots, four on the paper, three in the black.

Pushing my luck, I put another target at 75 meters. Five shots, three on the paper, two in the black. These are B-17C targets with a 20cm black circle. I was using a bench rest, but that's still good shooting for a nearly stock .45 with combat sights. If the weather hadn't been really hot I might have gone to 100 meters.

I have, in the past, put five out of seven shots in the torso region of a silhouette target at 150 meters, freehand, standing in front of the shooting benches. Don't know if my hands and eyes are still good enough to do that, but might just try next time I'm at the range.
stickmaker: (Default)
Finished reloading a bunch of .45ACP yesterday, and went out to the range this morning.

This was the first batch of .45 I'd reloaded in years, and I forgot on important check: put a finished round into the gun to see of it's crimped enough to chamber.

Most of these, unfortunately, weren't. Simple to fix... back home.

I was also testing some new 9mm factory reloads I recently purchased. They're a bit short on oomph. The HP-35 kept failing to eject, about one round in five. The P7, as always, just ate them up.
stickmaker: (Default)
Had loads of fun shooting this morning. Nice and cool at first, and even at 11:45 tolerable. Ran out of .45ACP and almost ran out of .40S&W. Had some 9mm, but after shooting those two major calibers for an hour that would have seemed like an anticlimax. :-)

Wish I'd taken more .45, though. I was having some problems with jams at first; think the new Shok-Buff had to wear in a bit. After about 30 rounds it was 100% for the rest of the morning, about another 50+ rounds.

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