Quick Range Report: The Hammer And Lesser Beasts

Range sessions have been few and far between of late and most of those have been dedicated to testing this that or they other and no real time for dedicated practice with my primary weapons of choice. Last week I was able to make it out and do a little of both.

First off, a buddy who went with me brought his .44 Magnum Desert Eagle and let me punch some (really big) holes in paper with it:

This thing is a monster.

It is huge and it is heavy. The recoil is really not that bad its just hard to get a good grip on this beast with pudgy little fingers like mine. I would never buy one but I am very thankful for a chance to shoot it. It was a blast!

Next up was The Hammer.

My own .44 Magnum but in a proper and much smaller, lighter revolver format:

I have an ultralight, titanium framed .357 magnum (Smith & Wesson M&P 340) and most people who shoot it won’t ever choose to do so again. Which is how I picked it up for a good price. Shooting that little monster is kind of like catching a fastball with no glove. It stings a bit. OK, it stings a lot. Compared to The Hammer though, that little 340 is a sweetie. Pulling the trigger on a full bore .44 Magnum round is like catching a hard swung baseball bat with your bare hand; there is some stinging but mostly a lot of hurt. In fact several days later I could still feel pain in the web of my hand, my wrist and my elbow.

(Note: I do not wear a shooting glove of any sort which would help dampen the felt recoil.)

Slip down to lightly loaded Magnums or .44 Specials and The Hammer becomes much more manageable. In fact it is a downright pleasant shooter at that point. The sights are very good and with lighter loads I was punching a single ragged hole in the target at seven to ten yards. Thre trigger is a little rough and a bit “squishy” in single action mode but it will probably get better over time. Most Smith’s seem to.

This is a big gun with a lot of recoil but when faced with an angry or wounded pig or a rampant dinosaur (alligator) I have a feeling I won’t notice the recoil. Shot shells (for snakes) probably wont have much of any recoil at all and will reduce the need for accuracy the next time one decides to violate our mutual avoidance agreement.

I bought (another) Ruger LCR in .38 Special. I like to have a backup of my primary carry gun and although I have other Ruger LCRs and other J-Frame revolvers in .38 Special I did not have a second LCR in .38 Special. I happened to come across a great deal on a lightly used one locally so I picked it up. It is an older model with a plain black sight blade but after a quick trip to shopruger.com the proper replacement is on the way. Other than the hard to see front sight, the little revolver performed flawlessly.

I spent the remainder of the session practicing drills and marksmanship. I am having a hard time adjusting to shooting with bifocals. I have spent the last decade and a half with perfect vision (courtesy of lasik surgery) but now that I have reached “a certain age” I am back in glasses. Did I mention they are bifocals? And as a result I am having to relearn some basic skills in order to accommodate my eye-wear.

For most of my practice time I used my 9mm Ruger LCR. The recoil was very light with 115 grain practice ammo (much appreciated after spending time with The Hammer) and the reloads are quick and easy due to the moon-clips. I have always been warned away from carrying a 9mm revolver due to the fragility of the moon-clips but I have not had an issue related to them yet. The other benefit of practicing with 9mm is the price of ammunition. 9mm, for the most part, runs 30-40% cheaper than .38 Special ammunition.

All in all it was a good trip to the range and I was able to work on some much needed skills.

Take care and God bless.


Random Thoughts: Hypocrisy

When you say you hate capitalism and you want America to become a socialist country but you have made millions here and even moved here to get away from the high taxes in one of the socialists countries you hold up as a model for what America should be….

shut up.

Hunting Season!

A few weeks ago we made a trip up to Oklahoma for a little deer hunting.The primary reason for the trip was for my oldest grandson to bag his first deer. Which he did:

Have I posted this before? I know I have…

I was able to get one morning hunt in that weekend as well and passed on a little year old (about) buck that hung out in front of my blind for fifteen minutes or so. I pretty much figured that was going to be it for my hunting season until we do our guys weekend/hog hunt in January.

Boy was I surprised when I got a text from my most favored son in law telling us that a coworker of his had some property that he wasn’t hunting and that Moose could hunt it all he wanted this season! We quickly set up some feeders, game cams and a blind. We cleared a few shooting lanes and made a path to get to the blind. We were out before dark on opening day. While gunshots were heard all around us we saw exactly nothing, except one really annoying squirrel.

To be honest I was a bit relieved as I had not had any time to verify that my rifle was still sighted in or to see where it would hit at the shorter distances that the thick brush on this place would allow for. We won’t have any shots over 50 yards at this place with 20 to 40 yards being the most likely distances we will be shooting.

Given the shorter distances I am tempted to switch to a lever action carbine in either .44 magnum or .30-30 however this whole work and family time thing has kept me from getting either of those rifles sighted in. I did take just enough time off at lunch one day last week to take the two Ruger Americans that I normally hunt with and verify they are still zeroed and test them out at shorter distances. At 50 yards I am dead on but inside 20 yards I will have to aim a bit high as I am hitting just about an inch low at 15 yards. The .308 took a few clicks of elevation added to the scope as it was hitting a bit low at 50 yards.

Ruger American Predator in .308 (50 yards). Hits in the lower left of the 9 ring was before a slight elevation adjustment

At this point I don’t know if I will stick with the .308 or go with the 7.62×39. Both are fine rifles and perfectly adequate calibers but I don’t really need the extra distance the .308 gives my and the 7.52×39 is a bit shorter, a bit lighter and has a good bit less recoil. I think I am slightly more accurate with it as well.

Ruger American Ranch in 7.62×39. Grouping down and to the left was at 2x magnification and the center ring hits were at 4x

I tested two different bullet weights on the .308 (150 and 180) and both impacted in the same spots at this range. For the 7.62 Commie I tested three different ammunition brands (Brown Bear Soft Points, Hornady SSTs and Federal Fusion) all in 123 or 125 grain weights and there was no noticeable difference in impact location. I have seen the effectiveness of the Fusion on a critter before and I was very impressed with how well it did so I am leaning towards that round in the Ruger American Predator.

We plan to be back in the woods tomorrow morning (I am typing this up on Friday) and hope to see a deer. We are already seeing hogs on the cameras so even after deer season ends we can still continue to harvest game from this property. It has been a while since we had a place we could hunt like this and I am super excited.

Take care and God bless.

Post Election Calm – Nevermind

Well, I guess I am actually 0 for 2 now. Because of the tone of most of the leftist speeches I watched on election night and the fact that there were few reports of violence I thought that maybe we had turned a corner and the threat of violence in this nation was reduced.

I was, quite obviously wrong.

Fox network personality Tucker Carlson had protesters show up at his home and according to reports they banged on windows and doors while chanting “We want you to know, we know where you sleep at night,” and “Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!”

And protests are planned in Portland tonight…

Take care and God Bless.

Post-Election Calm

My one prediction for election night, violence in Portland regardless of the results, was apparently my one failed prediction.

Don’t get me wrong I am not disappointed.

In fact I am relieved that there was no mayhem, destruction or violence in the Rose City last night. Nor did I hear of much in they way of election day/night violence anywhere else. This photo from Georgia not withstanding:

Black Panthers “campaigning” for Stacey Abrams who has promised to ban the very same firearms they are posing with

The Leftists seem to be busy congratulating themselves for taking the House of Representatives from the Right. The Right seems to be busy patting themselves on the back for increasing their control over the Senate. With all the congratulating and patting no one seems poised for war in the short term. I am sure the shine will wear off and they will be back at each others throats shortly but for now I will gladly take the short reprieve.

Take care and God bless.

And It All Came Crashing Down

(Not so) cheap, 20 year old IKEA cabinets made of particle board are not really well suited for storing reasonable quantities of ammunition. Ask me how I know.

“How do you know?”

Top shelf removed, it’s still a mess

Because at some point over the weekend it all came crashing down. It seems .38 Special is pretty dense as far as ammunition goes. I tried to keep heavier ammo loads on the bottom shelf. The bottom shelf was pretty sturdy and supported by not only those little pins drilled into the particle board sides of the cabinet but by the base structure. Unfortunately, I started stacking .38 Special on the top shelf when it was a secondary caliber and I didn’t keep a lot of it around and never adjusted as I started keeping more and more on hand. They to add insult to the injury already being done to the poor particle board shelves I started adding a few boxes of .44 Magnum and Special on the same side of the same top shelf.

The weight of the top shelf collapsing also broke the middle shelf and ruined it as well.

It took several hours, some creative restructuring of the remaining shelves in my office, several types of things moved into storage bins and moving some 9mm rounds into a spare surplus ammo cans but the pile of ammo is up off the floor. It ain’t pretty or efficient but it will work for the time being.

The next step is to figure out a more permanent solution.

I will be moving my office to a different room before too long. It seems sort of silly to cram my home office, my reloading setup and workbench all into the smallest room in the house and the room with the least storage space. Why spend most of my day in a jam packed little room when there is a room across the hall with nearly twice the space and storage that is only used a few times a year as a guest room?

But what to do to replace that storage? I don’t want to replace all my furniture and want to keep it a somewhat nice place to work. I would like the new shelves to look nice but be sturdy enough to hold plenty of ammunition.

Well, I will figure it out…eventually.

Take care and God bless.