Thursday, October 9, 2008

October Range Report

So I went to the range this week. Mixed results.

Short version: The old 1908 Colt Pocket Hammerless I was thinking of selling? I like it even more, now. The Springfield 1911? I like it less.

First of all, the local range, OnTarget just finished some renovations and now it has that 'new range smell.' I think they need better light on the range itself, but the store is better set up and the light out THERE is great. The range tables are smaller now, but I can get used to that.
Some idiot 3 lanes down did a mag dump and laughed like a hyena. He got yelled at by the range officers.

As for my shooting... The primary reason was to test out the new Jarret Style grip I've been practicing with dry fire. Interesting. The part that worked for me was the shooting hand. I line up the axis of the barrel better with my forearm, and rest the thumb on the safety to keep it pointed straight. It lined up the sights faster and more naturally, in practice AND at the range. THAT is good. But the support hand cranked down and wrapped was a bit unnatural still. I can get used to that. What I will need guidance with is that support hand thumb. I got everything nestled well but the thumb wants to fall off it's position every time the gun fires. THAT was annoying and not conducive to second shots. I don't know how to fix that yet. I hope I don't have to hire Todd Jarrett

How'd it shoot? Meh. The same old problem. Down and right. Wrist break and anticipation and trigger jerk. It DID feel like they were grouping a bit better than I have done historically, but not enough to crow about. The best shots were when I remembered everything. Good grip position, controlled breath, TIGHT grip, and trigger press that is smooth and surprises me on the break. Forget one of these and you get the lousy shots. When I remembered them all I got closest or in the the bull ring. Do those groups look tighter to you?:

Now for the REALLY bad news. I had a jam I couldn't recover from. I've put more than 500 rounds, but a bit less than 1000 through. In that time, 3 or 4 failures to feed happened when the slide hung up and couldn't push the round into battery. A shove on the slide took care of it. I hardly count those as stoppages.

THIS time, the slide was stuck back, and it seemed to be jammed on the barrel. A REAL jam, FTF. The next round hadn't been engaged, and I cleared the half full magazine from the pistol. It was safe, and the slide was STILL jammed back. Grrrr. I tried racking it pretty forcefully, and nothing. So, dammit! I took out the recoil spring plug. The lack of spring tension was enough to free it and it slid into place. I reassembled and it worked fine the rest of the shoot. But that jam is a BAD thing. Makes me want to go crazy and get a Glock.

Ok, because of the failures before, I keep the gun lubed, and when it is it doesn't hang up. What could I do differently to keep a repeat of this so-called barrel stoppage? Lube wouldn't help this case. A MANLY yank on the slide might have cleared it without dissassembly. Help.

The other gun I played with was the 80 year old 1908 Colt Pocket Hammerless. It shot pretty well. I'd forgotten that the slide doesn't rack back on the last shot so at the end of every mag I got that click, firing on an empty chamber. What's a matter? Can't I count to 7? The new grip style helped with this gun and the sights lined up right nice for me. I like that, since they are tiny military style sights. It shot decently and there were no failures to feed or eject. Except one. And it was my fault.

What went wrong with this gun? I slammed one mag in and pinched the skin on me small finger, and it bled like a stuck pig. That wasn't the failure though, that just hurt. Holding the gun one way I felt the magazing rubbing against my finger, and I held it tight. That was enough to release the magazing a tiny bit. So the mag hung out a tiny bit. Slap, rack, bang and I was back in business (and I sorta knew that was the problem so it was a quick fix.) After a 'click' instead of a 'bang' I slapped the magazine back back into place, racked the slide, and fired. No problem.
The Colt .380 shots are the bottom two targets on this one, top two are short mags of .45:

And the middle of the target for my aimpoint, at the cross, on this one. The rest are 1911 .45:

I know, it's hard to tell which is whick. The .45 leaves ragged holes, the .380 is hollow point and leaves neat holes.

One other thing I noticed about my shooting. My feet position seemed wrong, not. I turn too muchto the left, with the strong foot well back. Too far. I think. When I thought about it I tried to fix that, flex my knees, and not lean back. But I I didn't think I fell right back into that postion, naturally. Gonna need to think on that, too.


Anonymous said...

Ask Tam about it, she's the 1911 guru. Xavier knows quite a bit about them too.

Anonymous said...

what is a "mag dump" in regards to range protocol/safety? Do you mean the guy just ejected the empty and let it fall? Curious,

-Jimmy G

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

The guy shot wild, emptying 11 rounds downrange in about a second and a half. Fast as he could pull the trigger.

JB Miller said...

They now allow rapid fire at the indoor range in Chantilly.

However... If you hit the target clamp they charge you $20 per clamp impact.

Too funny.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Well, this guy hit the target clamp. Twice.