Thursday, November 11, 2010

Range Report November

As I mentioned, I went to the Range last week. I hadn't been shooting since the blogshoot. Yuck. A month.

I took the carry guns. The Snubbie and the Sig P229

About the thickness of the Sig's grip.... Maybe replacement grips? The ones I have are SO pretty, but they ARE plywood... And the rubber ones might be slimmer. Easier on the hand too. More utilitarian. And less thumpy when I sit in a wooden chair. The other side of that coin, and, I think, the reason this gun (marketed to CCW types) has wooden grips vis rubberized ones is that the wood won't catch as much on your cover garment. If they are significantly slimmer, it's a case of damned if I do, damned if I don't. The replacements only cost $22 with $8 for screws so it is worth investigation.

I love that improvement that kicks in once you warmed up and shots start landing more where you are looking...

Here is the first target, .40 on the left, .38 and .38+P on the right. The holes furthest from the center are from initial shots. NONE landed on the shoot-n-see initially. Then I warmed up. Stuff still lands outside the target area, but not ALL of them:

And the second. 7 yards, by the way:

And I've been noticing that I assume the grip and stance without thinking about it. It's just becoming automatic and natural. That's one good thing, I guess.

Here is the final magazine of the .40:

Now if the holes would just fit inside a 3x5 card closer to the center...

I do shoot better when I can easily see where the holes hit.

I'm not getting any better. I've been at this a while, and it certainly looks like I'll never have a chance to win any target matches with anything but maybe my revolvers when I have time to cock the hammer. Even then.

It's frustrating.

Update: Look at that second target, left hand side. Sorta centered, just low with a few 'on.' The third target I am fading. The first target I am cold. I need to have 50 rounds look like #2 or better. A little low but tighter and still centered would be a start, THEN I could think about lifting the group. The 'low' part may be an artifact of DA trigger. Those were all .40, btw, but the better snubbie shots are in the same place.


JB Miller said...

The next time Jamie is visiting Joe she wants to go to the range. Wanna go when we do?

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...


JB Miller said...


Bubblehead Les. said...

T-Bolt, I think it's the .40 Cal load. I'm getting similar groups with my 3rd.Gen Smith in .40, yet my 38/357 shooting is much tighter. Remember, most .40 cal pistols were just modified 9 mm's. Think of a 115 grain 9mm moving at 1200 fps vs a 180 grain at, what 950-1000 fps? Slides moving slower, barrel ain't coming back into battery quicker, yet the recoil impulse is much stronger. And if you shoot a 1911, yeah, it kicks more, but you can get back on target easier when it finally settles down because there is more mass to the pistol.

I'll see if I can borrow my buddy's 9mm and do a compare/contrast at my range. Have fun hunting this weekend.

Tam said...

Bubblehead Les,

There's no mechanical reason on God's green earth why any .40 caliber service pistol from a name brand maker shouldn't put every bullet through the same hole at seven yards.

Roberta X said...

If you're wanting to shoot better, I'd advise sending a lot of .22 downrange and concentrating on the basics of grip, stance and follow-through.

Typical self-defense calibers are flinch-inducing, recoil-ride inducing, etc., especially if you shoot alone. I find .40 to be especially that way, a sharp, hard push.

You (or me, anyway) can stand there all primed and ready to shoot right, but that part of our mind where the lizards still dance wants convincing the sound, flash and mechanical shock of a gun going off isn't Gonna Getcha and for that, .22 is the cure. A lot of .22.

The more I shoot my Ruger -- and it's not even a 22/45, just a plain Mk. II -- the better I shoot my 1911s.

Arthur said...

I've suggested the 22 thing before but if I remember correctly JT said his 22 practice didn't carry over to his other calibers.

What sort of hearing protection are you using? When I hit the range I use good foam plugs in addition to a good set of muffs. Maybe you're just noise sensitive?

Have any friends with suppressed pistols you could try?

Bubblehead Les. said...

Tam, you're right about the mechanical accuracy of a quality pistol at 7 yards. But as my Daily Carry Gun, My 3rd.Gen Smith in .40 S+W is not as inherently accurate as others I have or used in the past in other calibers. I'm siding with Farmer Frank's posts on the .40 S+W. His post on 19 Nov. 2009 regarding Internal Ballistics is what I was trying to say regarding the caliber. Also, check out what he wrote concerning his custom Browning High Power in .40 S+W on May 1st 2010.

Heck, you and I were around when the whole FBI 9mm Subsonic/10mm Auto/.40 S+W/Medium Velocity BrouHaHa erupted in the 80's. There may have been a rush to put it on the market so the manufacturers could get LEO contracts. I believe that there is still much room for improvement to be seen in the round, and I wish that I had the time, money, facilities and engineers to tweak it.

Having said that, I also wish that my wife liked the .40 S+W. But she feels much more comfortable using a 9mm, so when the money situation allows it, I'll be downsizing. Duplication of everything regarding firearms is a goal in our household, so my beloved Smith 4043 will be used as trade goods in the future. Her complaint is that the slide comes back too fast, and it throws off her aim. Funny thing is, Wiley Clapp said the same thing in the past.
"Any .40 S+W pistol cycles very abruptly; it's inherent in the nature of the ammunition." (page 28, Handgunning Magazine, Sept/Oct. 1994). I think that's what's happening when T-Bolt shoots his Sig. I've shoot with him this summer, and he's not as bad as he think he is. Of course, he and I could both do with more range time, but in today's economy...time to move on to other pressing matters.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Id my centerfire hit the places my matching .22 hit, I'd not be complaining about accuracy.

I double down on hearing protection, too. Plugs and ears.

I do notice that my 1911 work get's better after a lot of the DA work.

Tam said...

Bubblehead Les,

Yes, .40 S&W is less inherently accurate than 9x19 or .45ACP.

By "less inherently accurate" I mean that, all other things being equal, the .40 pistol will shoot a 3" group at 25 yard where the same pistol in 9x19 or .45 will shoot a 2" group.

If you're shooting a 6" pattern at 7 yards, it ain't the gun.

Bring that 3rd Gen Smith out to Iggle Crick and let me have a whack at it. I'll bet you lunch I can keep a mag on a 3x5 card at 7 yards. :)

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

And my .40 is plenty accurate when put on a rest of when someone that is a better shot shoots it. THEN it can all go through a ring in the center the size of a tuna can or better.

JB Miller said...

My Pa always said, "It's a poor workman that blames his tools."

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I told your Pa that. And I told you.

Anonymous said...

If you are interested in slimmer grips, I'm fairly sure you can get the E2 grips for the 229 now.

The PD where I work just hooked me up with the E2 grips and short trigger reset for my 226 last week. Loving it so far.