A Change In Perspective

On a recent range trip I finished what I wanted to accomplish pretty quickly and so I was just basically hanging out with a buddy. It was a good time and I got to shoot some cool guns I haven’t shot before including a Smith & Wesson target .22 from between the wars, a 1980’s era Colt 1911 and a surplus Beretta 92FS. I was also helping him dial in the red dot he had mounted on his new .44 Magnum Ruger. As I was hanging out I noticed a number of folks that needed a little assistance.

Some folks were obviously struggling with making accurate hits that some simple advice on stance, grip or technique could addressed.  Others were struggling with manipulating their firearms and could could also have benefited from a few helpful hints. Still others were having issues with their weapons; some that could have been fixed easily on the spot with something I had on hand and others for whom a recommendation on a good, honest gunsmith would have been a big help.

I see this all the time and in the past I would have been helping any of them who were willing to accept it. This time I was in no hurry to help and thinking back on it, I haven’t been overly eager to assist others at the range for a quite a while now.

I pondered this for a bit and I realized something that really disturbed me. I was subconsciously categorizing those around me at the range. Not as 1911 people or revolver people like I have all along. No, I was categorizing them as friend, foe or undetermined. To say it another way, I was weighing which would be most likely to be shooting at me or alongside of me when things turn ugly (uglier).

As the US heads further down the slope towards a violent split between the Left and Right I have already started thinking in terms of friend or foe. On the drive home I also realized I have started thinking of my neighbors in the same way. I have started to think of those who had Beto signs in their front yard as a possible source of risk to me and my family.

I doubt that many of them would attack me directly but I suspect (hopefully incorrectly) that they would be more than happy to point out the local conservatives to those might be willing to do so. I don’t know if this is founded in reality or in the propaganda spewed by partisan news media. Regardless, the fact that I have started looking at people this way is disturbing. I talked this over with a few folks and, apparently, I am not the only one thinking this way.

One buddy strongly suggested ignoring the feeling and remaining open to assist those anyone at the range. In his mind even if this was an Antifa soldier in training it would show him the better side of conservatives and gun people. I get that. I really do but I can’t help wondering how many Germans knew a Jew who had been kindly and helpful but turned on them anyway. I am sure there were some Hutus in Rwanda with positive experiences dealing with Tutsis but that didn’t stop the slaughter. I read an article by a survivor of the siege of Sarajevo who was close to people on both sides of the conflict but within days of the first minor skirmishes his friends had turned on him and he was on his own.

It is a scary time we live in and and increasingly tough time to love your neighbor as yourself…

God, I pray You would help heal the divisiveness in our nation. Help us to overcome our differences and join together as one nation, one people, under God.

Take care and God bless.

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Ruger Single Seven: Merry Christmas To Me

Ruger Single Seven

I have a crazy fascination with the .327 Federal Magnum cartridge and, to be honest, with .32 caliber revolver cartridges in general. The .327 Magnum was designed specifically to provide similar ballistics as a .357 Magnum and do so with less recoil and out of short barreled revolvers (snubbies). Another advantage of the .327 Magnum is that, out of the same sized cylinder, you can get extra round. For example, my .327 Ruger LCR is a six shot revolver that is the same size and weight as a five shot .357 Magnum LCR. The five shot .38 Special LCR also the same size although a few ounces lighter.

I also love single action (cowboy) guns so when Ruger released the Single Seven chambered in .327 Federal Magnum it immediately rocketed to the top of my wish list…and stayed there.

A single action revolver is not terribly practical in the modern world. As a result, although this little revolver was at the top of the wish list other, more practical firearms were purchased instead of the Single Seven. Then last week something happened to change all that. I was passing time between meetings but browsing a local gun shop and asked about .32 caliber revolvers. They just happened to have received this one the day before. As soon as I held it the die was cast and it was just a matter of how much it would cost me…

I didn’t get a great deal on it but I didn’t get a horrible one either but in any case, Merry Christmas to me!

Needless to say I couldn’t wait to get it to the range.

Unfortunately, all is not roses and unicorns with the little Single Seven. The base pin that the cylinder rides on backs itself out under recoil binding up the gun. It started exhibiting this behavior after a few rounds of .327 Magnum but by the end of the range session it was even doing it with light .32 Smith & Wesson long rounds as well.

A quick call to Ruger an a replacement base pin is on the way. If that doesn’t resolve the issue it will have to be sent back to them for repairs. To say that I am a little disappointed would be bit of an understatement.

Take care and God bless.

Range Report: P365 Five Hundred Round Update

This will be a fairly short update because there is very little to report. The little SIG P365 ran through another 200 rounds (199 actually) without only one hiccup and that was an ammunition issue. One round failed to fire. There was a good indentation on the primer and the other firearms I had with me failed to fire that round either so I am chalking that up to a defective round. I should have brought it hope and opened it up but I didn’t think about it.

That’s 500 rounds of mixed ammunition, including Hornady, Speer, CCI, Magtech, Fiocchi, my own reloads, and S&B, and both FMJ and HP with no firearm related failures or malfunctions. It went through the entire testing without being cleaned or oiled.

There were no changes to accuracy or point of impact during the testing.

One note, it does appear that there is a little striker drag happening. I don’t know what this will mean for long term reliability and I will continue to watch it. I will also check my Glock 43 and see if I see any indications of this with rounds fired from it.

At this point the little SIG will get a good cleaning, a touch of oil and then after a function test will start to work its way into my carry rotation.

I really can’t say enough good things about this little pistol. It shoots well. It has proven itself reliable so far and it offers a significant improvement in capacity over similar sized pistols including the Glock 43 that I have carried for several years now. I really like it a lot.

Take care and God bless.

Range Report: P365 The Next 200 Rounds

After another quick range session this week the round count on the little SIG P365 is now up over 350 and no issues so far. I brought five different types of ammo along this time out including some of my reloads that are pretty lightly loaded and some Speer 124 Grain Gold Dots and, as I already stated, there were no issues feeding or extracting any of the rounds. The little SIG has not been cleaned yet and I notice the slide doesn’t cycle quite as smoothly as it did a few hundred rounds ago but, again, no malfunctions so far.

I always worry about the reliability of pocket-sized semi-autos. Lint, dust sweat, heat all tend to conspire to generate failures. The Glock 42 and 43 were exceptions to this rule and, so far, so is the P365. That gives me a good bit of confidence in the gun. The Kahr seemed to want to be cleaned and oiled nightly to be 100% reliable.

I plan to put another 150 rounds through it to see if it can maintain that level of reliability. The I will give it a much needed cleaning and check for any signs of wear that would be out of the ordinary after 500 rounds. If it still proves reliable it will probably make its way into my regular carry rotation.

I picked up an additional magazine for  the P365 and it ran just fine while at the range. It did highlight one down of the SIG vs. the Glocks, $50 dollar magazines instead of sub-$20 magazines. I have been able to find them on sale so one I bought was $40 and the other one was $30.

Still very impressed…

Thanks and God bless.

Range Report: P365 The Next 50 Rounds

I spent a few hours at the range this weekend sighting in several rifles that had received new optics over the last year or so (time has been short). I added red dot optic to a Winchester 94 trapper and a Marlin 336 (the old eyes are not what they used to be). I built out a 300 Blackout pistol quite a while back and added a red dot to it too but never had a chance to sight it in. I also changed the optics on my self-defense AR quite a while back and never got around to sighting it in (stupid flood). I also hoped to spend a little more time with the SIG P365. Unfortunately, doing the things I needed to do (sighting in the rifles) took pretty much all the time I had.

I barely had time to swing over to the pistol range for just a few minutes before heading out and didn’t have time to wait for a cease fire. The only targets available were a set of six inch steel gongs at 25 yards and an IDPA sized steel target out at 50 yards. Well, I had 50 rounds to kill so I started with the gongs.

I won’t claim that I hit the gongs on every shot but to my surprise I was hitting about three out of five or so. On a lark I went for the IDPA target at 50 yards. Much to my surprise I hit it on the first shot. Again, I won’t claim that I was 100% but I was hitting pretty regularly, at least three out of five. I can’t believe how easy it is to be accurate with this little pistol. If anyone told me I would be hitting such a target at that distance with a pocket pistol just a few weeks back I would have laughed.

All fifty rounds functioned flawlessly.

Take care and God bless.

Range Report: SIG P365

Work typically conspires to keep me away from the range but the other day it did the opposite. I knew I would be working through lunch and would have about an hour or so break later in the day and my meetings were located near an indoor pistol range so just in case I grabbed my range bag and toted it across town with me (locked safely in the trunk).

I packed in all the semi-auto pocket pistols I could find including my Glock 42, Glock 43, Kahr CM9 and the new little SIG P365. I remembered all the appropriate magazines I would need but I did forget to grab as much .380 ACP as I would have liked but I did have enough for a quick comparison.

Glocks 42 and 43, SIG P365 and Kahr CM9

For a first test I shot one magazine from each of the four pistols at a target four yards downrange:

Wow, despite my complaints about the sights in my previous post they sure seem to work for me. The grip still feels a bit odd in my hands (of course, I have been shooting the Glocks for years) but, again, the results tell the tale here. This is an easy pistol (for me) to shoot well. Out of the box with now practice time and I am already shooting more accurately that with pistols I have practiced with for years. Prepper365 commented that the P365 “shoots like a laser” and now that I have shot it I couldn’t agree more.

Pushing the target back to seven yards the results were pretty similar.

SIG P365 – 7 Yards – 12 rounds
Glock 43 – 7 Yards – 12 rounds
Kahr CM9 – 7 Yards – 6 rounds

I decided to push the envelope a little and try the little SIG on a silhouette target at 25 yards:

Seven out of ten hits within the 8 ring. Not too bad at all for a pocket pistol and my old eyes.

Recoil is very manageable and very comparable to the Glock 43 while the Kahr CM is a bit snappier than both.

Glock 43 and SIG P365 with 12 rounds magazines

I had no feeding issues with either the 115 Grain Blazer Brass ammunition and the handful of Hornady Critical Defense rounds I brought with me. The little SIG was 100% reliable through a little over 100 rounds.

The magazines are NOT easy to load especially the 12 rounder. Those springs are pretty stout. They did work flawlessly, as I mentioned, but the followers seem to stick a bit. I plan on taking them apart and making sure they are properly cleaned and lubricated. However, I don’t plan on cleaning the gun for a bit. I want to run it until it starts to have issues just to see how much it can take before it starts to malfunction.

All in all, this is a fantastic little pistol and I am impressed despite myself. It may well work its way into my carry rotation as soon.

Take care and God bless.

 

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.