05 October 2008

Range Report!

So we got back from visiting Debra's parents and spending a few nights down in Stover, Missouri. The weather was great, as we managed to visit during the brief fortnight of not-hot-but-also-not-cold weather Missouri enjoys in the autumn. Didn't do much except spend time with family, cook some food, and of course, perforate some paper. Here's the cabin we stayed at, my father-in-law built this one as a guest house on newly acquired property fairly recently:

I think he did a bangup job. Here's the kitchen:

So, I promised a range report, so we'll get on with that. Debra's dad had a few targets we set up on his informal range and unfortunately I didn't have the camera handy until later. Here is what remained of the target after putting the handguns through their paces. Some of those shots out to the sides aren't wildly off aim; we were trying to sight in on areas off the main target.

On to the individual firearms in question. First the Tanfoglio Witness Compact in 10mm Auto:

The Witness, back from the factory, did decently but had a number of easily resolved failures to feed. I think further shooting will help break it in in this regard, and I used a bit of grease on the rails and feed ramp when I cleaned and reassembled it. Nothing that couldn't be quickly rectified with a "sling shot" of the slide, though. The trigger pull is nice in single action, but the gun is still shooting low. The adjustable sight that was installed by the factory when it was in for service came loose, no doubt from the substantive recoil produced by the full-power 10mm loads I fed it. Still, the gun is ergonomically designed and has enough weight that the recoil is not uncomfortable. I'll have to contact the importer about the issue with the sight coming loose.

Next up, the Kel-Tec PF-9, in 9mm Parabellum.

The PF-9 ran quite well, chewing through 50 or so rounds. No ejection/extraction issues, indicating that the new extractor and extractor spring that I installed are doing the job. This is a light weight gun, barely clearing 12 ounces unloaded, and the +P ammunition, well, you feel it, like lighting off a firecracker in your hand. Even standard pressure 9mm, the majority of what I fed the gun, is somewhat sharp into the webbing of your hand. Still, it did well.

Next, the Bersa Thunder in .380 ACP:

As always this is an enormously fun gun to shoot. Great ergonomics for a small gun, reliable (at least now, after being broken in), and low recoil, with nice sights and a great trigger. Outside of my Ruger MkII, which I didn't bother to uncase to shoot this time, I shoot most accurately with this out of all my pistols. This by the way being officially Debra's gun, but hey, she lets me tinker with it.

Lastly, the mousegun, a Kel-Tec P-3AT in .380 ACP:

The micro Kel-Tec is not designed for ergonomics or for comfortable range duty...its sole purpose is to cram as much .380 ACP into as small and light a package as possible. I shared a bit over a box of .380 between this and the Bersa, and while the Bersa was easier to shoot, this one didn't jam and put lead on target. The miles-long trigger pull and non-existant sights take getting used to, but it is actually capable of decent accuracy despite its diminutive size.

So you guys are of course saying, "all very nice, but bring on the long guns!". I know my blog-audience like the intricate workings of a Kalashnikov action (meaning, I look at them somewhat mystified, spray them with a bit of CLR cleaner/lubricant, and hope for the best). Here are two lovely long arms that my father-in-law lent me to dirty up with some cheap Wolf ammunition:

On top is his Winchester 1300 Defender, a nice 18" pump 12-gauge. I ran a half box of target shells through this, simply because I've not used anything but autoloaders before and wanted to practice with a pump gun. Me likey!

Below that is a US M1 Carbine. More on that beauty later!

So let's crack out the Saiga 12!

This is one of my favorites, converted with US-made internal parts to comply with the ATF's 922(r) regulations to allow the use of my US-made 10-shell stick magazine.

I decided to check the pattern at (I think) somewhere around 10 yards, with a full magazine of 9-pellet 00 buckshot:

It was a serviceable pattern with some flyers over to the left near the outside of the 7 ring. It should be noted that the large holes in the paper up at the top and down at the bottom are not lead pellets but from the felt wad that flies out of the barrel with the shot. It flies at enough speed that even felt has no problem slicing through paper, at least.

Getting back to that carbine...

After putting around 75 shells through both shotguns, my shoulder was starting to dread the recoil from another rifle. But hey, I really wanted to shoot that carbine. I loaded it up with a 15-round mag and fired some rounds off from about 25 yards. Surprise! No recoil. Nothing like a full size, full power rifle round like .30-06, 7.92mmx57, 7.62mmx54R, .303 British, etc.

I didn't have a good rest, so the grouping wasn't great, but it was informal, anyway.

I was aiming for the line right above "7", and the holes above are buckshot leftovers, but the group from the carbine is to the right...the sight adjustment would have been simple and easy with the adjustable aperture on the carbine, but I left that for another day when I had more ammo to run through the gun.

Last but not least, the inevitable and long, drawn out process of post-shooting cleaning. Rather nice to be able to do that in perfect 70 degree weather on a screened-in porch outside, it prevents the permeating smell of Hoppe's No. 9 Solvent from filling the living quarters.


Percussivity said...

When the revolution starts, can my family come stay with you?

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Ha ha! Bring the RPGs and the weather radio! :D

The Unabashed Blogger said...

Ahhh! You got to shoot the M1!! Lucky!!

So, how many pills are you popping to ease the shoulder soreness? Sounds like you had a great time with the perfect weather to boot. Thanks for the visual update. Maybe you should invest in a rest for sighting purposes; shouldn't be too expensive.

Let me know when you wanna chop into your enfield.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

I shot the M1 for you, sir. And yes, a proper rest and decent lighting would've given much better groups and I could've sighted it in properly, but I was happy with "minute-of-Wehrmacht-soldier" accuracy. The sight is brilliant, all of my surplus rifles have genuinely remedial sights in comparison. The American designs, starting from the Mauser-derived 1903 Springfield, all seemed to outpace the Brits/Germans/Russians/etc. on sight design.

And yes we need to chop that Enfield! I need to measure and mark it first...don't want to inadvertently create an NFA-regulated SBR (short barrelled rifle). But that shouldn't be a worry as the jungle carbines were at least a couple inches beyond the 16" barrel limit.

Lisa said...

...no pictures of Gretchen holding a gun?


The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Not yet, but yes, they do make pink .22 rifles... muahahahahahaha...