Q: Why do I think there's a commie behind every tree?

Utilize the language with the same manipulation the Commies do, using the phrase "VACCINE FREE" instead of "UNVACCINATED" or "NON-VACCINATED"

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Range Report 2-26-21

While it is certainly still winter here in the northeast, those of us lifelong cold weather dwellers don't go into hibernation. Yesterday was one of those fantastic late winter days that we don't mind being outside and doing stuff. Bight sunshine, blue skies, dwindling snow pack, no wind, and temps around 40. The sun is making its trek higher in the sky, and even though the air is chilly, those rays are warm. Friday is my normal day off, so I decided it would be a good day for my long overdue trip to the range at my new club a few miles from the house.

First up, was the brand new Smith & Wesson M&P 45 Shield.

Since premium (actually any) ammunition is not available, I was using my handloads. Speer brass, Winchester Magnum Large Primers, Bullseye powder, and Berry's 200 grain flat point copper plated bullets. First thing I noticed, was this pistol is LOUD and my assumption is that it has to do with only having a 3" barrel. I was wearing my hearing protection of course, but the report was noticeable. I hope I never have to fire it in self-defense without hearing protection, because I already have hearing loss and this would cause further permanent damage. I was told by my FFL that Shields tend to shoot low and to the right, and every one he has dealt with required sight adjustment. Not this one. At 7 yards they all dropped in the center black of the NRA 25 yard pistol target I was using. I ran through a couple of more mags, then moved out to 25 yards and the steel. Aimed dead center of the 12 inch plates was a hit every time. I shot a total of about 70 rounds and was satisfied that at close personal defense range, I would have no problem delivering effective center-mass hits. My personal defense ammo for this pistol is SIG Elite V-Crown 230 grain JHP.


The only issue I had, I guess could have been classified as a FTF; was twice when the pistol failed to go all the way into battery. The first time I racked the slide and loaded a fresh round. The second time, I used the butt of my left hand against the rear of the slide and then fired. I assume it is a combination of a tight new pistol and possibly slightly under powered handloads. It only happened twice early on and never again. There was not one FTE. All the brass went to my right and was easily recovered. A review complaint on-line is about the aggressive grip stippling. "Waah... it hurts my delicate hands!" Not mine, because I have working man hands. I like it because there is no movement of the grip when I hold it. I mostly fired it with the 7-round magazine with finger extension, but even with the 6-round magazine, hold and control were just as good. I am not one of those shooters that is picky about triggers. If I squeeze it and the gun goes "BANG" every time reliably, then it is a winner. I have many handguns of different type and manufacturer, so I don't expect them to have the same trigger. I think a shooter should be familiar enough with all their EDC firearms enough to be able to pick up any one of them and be effective.

Next up for function testing was my formerly drowned but now cleaned and lubed Ruger LCP. First, 5 rounds of Federal .380 ACP round nose FMJ for function testing, and those went out the muzzle flawlessly. When the pistol went for its swim, it was loaded with 8 rounds of .380 Hornady Critical Defense. The rounds looked fine, but because they were my personal self defense rounds, I did not trust them any longer. I took 2 random rounds out of the 8 for testing. I pulled the bullets with my kinetic puller, they were perfect, and everything inside was dry. I placed the powder in a small pile in a metal pan, lit it with a match and it burned up as expected. I then placed the .380 shells in a vise and struck the primers one at a time with a punch. They popped off just fine. I saved the other six rounds for testing at the range. So yesterday I put those six rounds in a magazine and fired them. Every one went off just fine. I ran a couple of more mags of the Federal target ammo and then put it away.

The next needed firearm to test was my 1 year old Marlin 1894CB in .357 Magnum/.38 Special. Months ago, I had purchased a Skinner peep sight and blank to go where the factory buckhorn sight was on the barrel. I had the peep sight sitting and waiting for installation just before the trip to the range. The reason was, the rifle was sighted in with the factory sight. If I put the peep sight on too soon, I have rendered my rifle useless. Then where would I be in case of an Indian attack or band of marauders? So Thursday night, the factory sight was removed and the blank installed, and the Skinner sight was installed as well.

A closeup of the winged Skinner Peep Sight

The blank installed where the factory buckhorn sight was. Filing and fitting of the blank was necessary.



Apparently, I hit the mark perfectly as far as windage goes when I installed the peep sight. Windage adjustment is a pain in the ass, requiring you to loosen the mounting screws and slide the whole thing left or right. Elevation only required a couple of turns of the peep assembly to get it dialed in. Zeroing was done with my .357 Magnum handloads consisting of Berry's 158 grain .357 diameter bullets, Remington brass, Winchester small magnum pistol primers, and Hogdgon HS-6 powder. I zeroed at a target at 50 yards then whacked the 50 yard plate a few times. I then struck the 75 and then 100 yard plates repeatedly and easily. Switching to .38 Special ammo only requires holding slightly higher, but is just as effective. Lots of fun and I am ready for Injuns or comancheros!

I ended the day with some plinking with my Ruger GP-161 in both .38 Special and .357 Magnum. Banging plates at 25 yards was effortless, 50 yards a little more challenging, and I could even hit the one at 75 yards. 50 and 75 were hit firing single action. I still have a quantity of ammo left in .38 and .357. Last up was an EDC I haven't fired in a while, my Ruger SR9c in 9mm. I burned up some 9mm handloads from a few years ago and at the seven yard stand, placed all my rounds exactly where I wanted them. I used the last 10 rounds on the 25 yard plates.

The club I belong to is small, only 90 total members. This means that if I keep planning my range outings for Fridays during the day, I will always have the place to myself. After 3 PM, guys may start showing up after work like they did yesterday (I could hear them from my house). The rules say no shooting before 10 A.M. or after sunset and during the summer, the range is active just about every week day in the evening.

1 comment:

  1. hey Mysterious Blogger ;)

    I also have a shield, but I have it in 40, I do like your Lever action, I have a Henry Golden Boy in .38/357 but I do want to get another lever action that ain't so "shiny". Can I offer a "suggestion", if you don't mind. Get a Hi point carbine in .45 ACP, you will have commonality of caliber and it does handle 1911 magazines from what I was told. Just a thought.


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