Range Report: The Remodeled AK

Back in August, I decided I wanted to make some changes to my AK (link). It is a WASR-10 from Century. I hand selected it to make sure it was a straight and true as possible; rivets looked decent and the sights were not visibly canted.

Nyet! AK is fine!

I like the rifle and kept is as basic as possible for several years but as I said I wanted to make some changes to make it a little better for defensive use. I wanted to be able to mount a red dot, a white light and change out the hand grip. To accomplish this I started out by changing the front hand guard for a MidWest Industries Gen2 AK47/74 Universal Handguard. That gave me the white light mount and a red dot mount via picatinny rails. It also lightened up the front end a bit which is a good thing in an AK.

Since I run Magpul on all my ARs I went with the same hand guard on the AK. It gives me better control of the rifle and I like the way it feels over the standard AK grip. Since I was changing the grip and hand guard I went ahead and switched to the Magpul stock as well. Although I don’t need it with this red dot configuration, the cheek rest it is adjustable for height so if I want to

While researching the changes I was making I came across the Fighter Brake for the AK. From the reviews I read and watched it did a really good job of reducing recoil and muzzle flash. I decided to go ahead and give it a shot as well.

I like to have a sling on any rifle I will be carrying or using for defensive use. Again I defaulted to what I have used on my ARs and other rifles. The Magpul RLS sling is a nice two point sling that can be adjusted quickly for different carrying needs or for use “Rhodesian” style to help brace the rifle while shooting.

Da, AK is better

All these changes are all fine and good but how does it shoot?

I was able to get out to the range recently and sight in the red dot and get a feel for how the changes affected the rifle and I was pretty darned impressed. The new brake, combined with the new furniture, resulted in a rifle with little felt recoil (it actually seemed lighter than my 5.56 AR pistol I was shooting the same day. Between the brake and the longer barrel it was a good bit quieter than either the 10.5 inch AR pistol or the 16 inch AR carbine.

I was able to get the red dot zeroed quickly and could keep all 25 yard shots within a fist sized group. Out at 50 and 100 the groups opened up a bit but were still pretty consistent. It is a better shooter than I am. Out past 100 hits on man sized targets were still doable but that’s where the the limitations of the red dot vs. a low powered variable optic would really help the AK (in my hands) reach out a bit further.

Bottom line?

This was a good rifle and the changes made have resulted in an even better and more usable rifle…

…for my purposes.

Take care and God bless.

Range Report: New Rifle Choices

Back in July, I started rethinking my optics choices for a self-defense rifle (Rethinking My (Rifle) Optic Choices). The concern, was that a Low Powered Variable Optic (LPVO) while an exceptionally good choice for a combat weapon may not be the best choice for a home defense rifle. By nature a rifle used for home defense would be, almost without exception, used for close quarters encounters. and the optic should be optimized for that role.

By September I made the decision to not only change the optic but to change the rifle underneath it as well (Rifle Optic Choices – Rethought). For home defense, a short barreled rifle (actually a pistol by US law) would be better than a full length carbine (10.5″ barrel vs. 16″). I decided to stay with 5.56/.233 as the primary caliber. Reduced penetration through barriers and effectiveness at the ranges involved contributed to that decision. The optic is an open reflex sight with a large “dot in donut” reticle.

This thinking was all well and good but pretty worthless until tested out. So, off to the range I went.

The first step was to zero the new optic. I zeroed the optic at 25 yards which would be the longest shot possible on my suburban property. The zeroing process was smooth and trouble free (other than the tiny little holes this caliber makes. I needed a spotting scope even at that distance to get the job done. The range I went to was not equipped to allow me to test the zero at shorter distances than 25 yards but I was able to push it out to 50 and 100 yards. In both cases (and surprisingly) it hit a little high at both distances. Not enough to require me to compensate on center mass shots but for head shots I would have to adjust point of aim a bit.

The next step was function testing the new upper receiver (actually these happened simultaneously). I was initially surprised because although it was functional the bolt didn’t seem to be moving as it should. I pulled it apart and took a look and realized it was user error. The upper was not lubricated at the factory and I had not oiled it either. A few drops of oil from out of the range bag and everything was working perfectly. Several hundred rounds later, there were still no issues. I would always like to send more rounds downrange but I think we can call this one good to go.

In terms of performance for its intended purpose, yes, it is much faster for target acquisition at close quarters. Yes, it is easier to run the gun at those distances with both eyes open. So, for this specific use case, home defense, this is definitely a superior solution.

I did bring my 16″ carbine topped with a LPVO out to the range with me as well so I could run them side by side.

Guess what?

At longer distances the LPVO was definitely the superior choice. If I were in need of a “battle rifle” for use in “the field” I believe this would be my preferred configuration. The longer barrel of the carbine gives better performance. The LPVO would allow me to make reliable hits on chest sized targets out to 200 yards and minute of man hits out to 300 yards.

Fortunately, (current) US gun laws are such that I can keep both and grab the one that would be most useful depending on the situation.

Take care and God bless.


Range Report: Glock 44, Glock 19 MOS and Charter Arms Professional – Update

I wanted to provide a few quick updates based on a range trip I was able to sneak in…

The Glock 19 topped with a Vortex Venom Red Dot optic and TRUGLO Tritium Pro Night Sights has bene very reliable so far. Based on this range trip the sights and the optic are dead on.

Five rounds, 10 yards with iron sights

The groupings with both the irons (as seen above) and the red dot were very good (for me). With the reliability question out of the way (really? it’s a Glock, was that ever really a question?) and the backup irons in place and dead on the new G19 will now go into my bedside safe and pick up primary home defense duties.

The Glock 44 was every bit as accurate as I expected it to be based on my trip out to the country with it. You can see the evidence below in that all ten shots are in a two inch circle at 10 yards (ignore the one 9mm flyer from a previous string and the gaping hole from putting the target sticker over the previous one that was pretty shot out).

Ignore the 9mm flyer, that’s 10 .22 LR holes in a two inch circle

In my review earlier in the week (Range Report: Glock 44) I noted that this was pretty snappy for a hand gun chambered in .22 Long Rifle. For whatever reason, maybe because I shot the G19 first, it did not seem nearly as snappy as it did previously. Nevertheless, I am still impressed with this little blaster. On a diet of cheap Federal ammo it had no issues.

Another odd thing is that I was unable to replicate the “load 11 in the magazine and have a failure to feed” that I experienced out in the woods. I am wondering if the heat and direct sun (this is Texas, after all) cause some sort of expansion or loosening in the magazines that allowed this. The magazines were in the direct sun all day and it was a warm one with temperatures in the mid-90’s later in the day.

I finally got a chance to do some accuracy testing on the Charter Arms Professional (Range Report: Charter Arms Professional)…


It is OK for a defensive handgun. It does seem to shoot a little low but once I was able to get a feel for the correct sight alignment I was able to do OK. For whatever reason, and I find this to be true on my .327 Magnum Ruger LCR as well, it seems to be a good bit more accurate shooting .32 S&W Long than full bore magnum loads. I might blame it on the flinch factor but there is really very little recoil with this gun. Not that the groups with the .32 H&R magnums were all that big but the .32 Long’s were all just about touching. Sorry, no pictures.

I did try and shoot .32 ACP out of the Professional. In my LCR these become stuck and have to be popped out with a pencil or rod. The start doesn’t seem to get enough grip to eject them properly. This is not the case with the Charter Arms Professional. They all ejected just fine. Unfortunately, about half of them didn’t go bang when pulling the trigger. They did ignite on the second trip around the cylinder (a nice advantage of wheel guns) with one exception. When I get around to cleaning it I will take a look at the firing pin and see if there is anything obviously off there. This little guy won’t become a regular carry gun anytime soon so I am not too worried about it.

That’s all for this update.

Take care and God bless.

Red Dot On A Handgun: Range Report

I had a chance to test out a buddy’s Masada with a red dot optic mounted on it back in September (Link). The red dot was not properly set up and we were out in a field shooting a steel gong. That was fine to collect some initial observations and determine that I wanted to look further into this type of configuration and test it out a bit more thoroughly.

Instead of the Masada I used my standard bedside gun, the Glock 19. Instead of spending a couple hundred dollars on a slide machined to mount a red dot or $500-600 on a G19 MOS that comes with a slide machined for a red dot from the factory I used some Christmas money and found a slightly cheaper option.

I already had a spare Glock 19 in the safe and to mount the sight I bought the TRUGLO Red-Dot Sight Mount. This mount presses into the rear sight dovetail and replaces the rear sight. Since this will be for testing purposes only I am OK running without a backup iron sight option. If needs change I still have the rear sight and can replace the optic mount in a matter of minutes. I topped it with the same Vortex Venom that was mounted on the IWI Masada I played with. This is probably not the optic I would run with if this was to be my self-defense weapon but for testing it is fine.

Glock 19 with TRUGLO Sight Mount and Vortex Venom

Finding the dot…

I don’t recall having any issue “finding the dot” on the Masada. It could be that I did and don’t recall. It could be that I was unused to the platform and so didn’t have any habits to unlearn. It could be that the sights helped me locate the dot more quickly on the Masada. It could also be that the optic sits much higher due to the different mounting system. Or, it could be a combination of all the above. The bottom line is that it can be pretty tough to locate that pesky little dot. This is something that can be trained for though.

Range Time

I spent a few rounds getting the optic zeroed but it was actually pretty quick and easy. Once it was zeroed I shot another couple of dozen rounds getting used to it and trying it at different distances. Then came the two real tests I wanted to perform:

1. Shooting a dot drill at fairly close range (7-10 yards).

I didn’t have my timer with me but based on gut feel (we know how accurate that is) I didn’t notice any significant difference in either speed or accuracy. With that said, although I am no speed demon I am faster than most folks on this type of drill. So, being on par out of the box (so to speak) is definitely not a negative thing. I think for a new shooter they would reach my level of competence much more quickly using a red dot optic.

Next time out I would like to try the same drill at a longer distance.

2. Shooting a six inch target at 35 yards.

Now this was where the red dot came into its own.

Six Inch Target At 35 Yards

With iron sights I can hit torso of a B-27 target pretty reliably at this distance with iron sights. I call my performance at this distance minute of bad guy. That’s better than most people but no Jack Wilson.

Now switch to the the optic and the game changes. I was able to put all five shots within the six inch target (mostly) on my first try. Not only was I able to dramatically improve my accuracy at this distance but was able to do so in significantly less time than it would have taken with iron sights. I will be very curious to stretch this out a bit and see how far I can make shots like this. Could I hit a man sized target at 100 yards? Maybe.

This was just a quick range session to test out the equipment. I can’t wait to get a little more trigger time with this setup and put a timer on things.

Take care and God bless.

Initial Range Report: Bond Arms Rowdy

I have appreciated the Bond Arms line of derringers for some time. They are built like tanks (they are also heavy). The barrels are interchangeable so you can change calibers or length with just an allen wrench and they are actually really pretty guns (to me). The problem has always been the cost. For something that I would see as, at worst, a range toy or, at best, a limited use weapon the price tag was just too high. I typically see them around $600 to $650 which could buy any number of much practical firearms.

A few weeks back I was talking to my favorite Son in Law, Moose and he mentioned that he really wanted one too but that they were just too pricey. That’s when it hit me. I had seen an email offering one for well under $300 so I mentioned it to him. He was super excited but when he mentioned it to my daughter she put the kibosh on it pretty quickly.

I felt bad for him and mentioned it to Wonderful Wife on the way home. She promptly responded by reminding me that we had not bought him a birthday present yet and that he does an awful lot for us so we could spend more than we typically do on birthday gifts. We also decided I could pick one up for myself as well. There is a reason I refer to her as Wonderful Wife!

Bond Arms Rowdy

The specific model being advertised for this price is the newly introduced “Rowdy.” Bond Arms heard from folks like me and developed this reduced price model. It is not as highly finished or polished making more use of matte finishes. This particular model comes chambered in .45 Colt/.410 with a three inch barrel. It can handle 2.5 inch shot shells which, in theory, should be a really good option for snakes encountered while out in the woods or wherever. Which is how we both envisioned using this little (but not light at 20 ounces) gun.

I took it out to the deer lease a few days ago and did a little testing after filling the feeders. Here are my initial thoughts and impressions…

The recoil, with shot shells, is fairly mild to me. Now keep in mind I regularly shoot lightweight .44 Magnum and ultralight .357 Magnum revolvers. It is a bit more stout with slugs but still not unpleasant. The weight of the handgun does a lot to mitigate the recoil.

For right or wrong, I typically test snake shot on used pizza boxes. I didn’t have any handy so I had to make due with what was on hand, soda bottles and empty feed sacks.

First up, the feed sacks at three yards. The problem with these as targets is they they are a loose weave and it is easy for small pellets to pass through without leaving any indications of having passed through. So the test was very inconclusive. Next up, a one liter plastic soda bottle. Unfortunately, this was still somewhat inconclusive. There was obviously penetration because I found sever pellets inside the bottle but couldn’t really see any holes to indicate how they got in there and I don’t think it was magic. I also could not tell where the bottle was in relation to the majority of the pattern. Was it on the edge? Right in the middle? No idea.

Which leads to my biggest criticism, the sights. At least for me and on that day, the sights were essentially unusable. I am used to the crappy sights on most snub-nosed revolvers but these were even worse. I couldn’t hit the bottle even once using slugs from only a few yards away. I got close enough to crease it once.

Bottom line is that this is a fun gun to shoot but I don’t know if it would be useful for anything beyond being a range toy. Still more testing needs to be done before I can tell that.

One thing that I can say, based on what I saw with the two different targets I used, is that loaded with #7 target shot this would not be a good choice for self-defense. These tiny, light pellets could only penetrate one side of the plastic soda bottle and left entry wounds so tiny that I couldn’t even find them. A thick sweatshirt would probably stop most, if not all of these pellets even at close ranges. Buckshot or the specialized .420 self-defense loads might do a better job as they made impressive holes in the berm I was shooting into but only time and testing could tell that.

That’s it for now. I hope to get it back out onto the range and do a more thorough test of the Rowdy and the various loads I have purchased for it soon. I would also like to compare the it with .38 caliber and .44 caliber shot shells as well.

Take care and God bless.

Yep, I Did It Again…

All this talk and effort towards saving money I go and do something stupid…


I went into one of the big sporting good stores with a buddy who was looking for a heavy barreled .308 for long distance shooting and walked out with a digital night vision scope and an AR-10 to mount it on. In fact we both ended up walking out with digital night vision scopes and AR-10s.

We really shouldn’t be allowed out together unsupervised.

We have been hunting hogs with green lights for several years and if you are careful and the hogs are not too skittish it works pretty well. I am hoping to get out into the fields soon so I can test it out and see how much better the DNV works (if it does).

I went with a Sightmark Photon RT 4.5 power scope.

Sightmark Photon RT

The AR is an SRC-308 from Windham Weaponry.

Windham Weaponry SRC-308 with Scope

I have been wanting to give night vision a try for a quite a while. Actually, I tried a low end monocular some time back but it was so bad it was almost useless. I have also been wanting and AR-10 for almost as long. I ordered a quick detach mount for the scope so I can swap it out with a standard optic if I want to hunt under a green light or during the day. If the AR-10 proves reliable and accurate enough it will become my new primary hunting rifle and I will use it for both day and night hunts of both hogs and deer.

WW SRC-308 with 1×6 scope

It is a pound and a half heavier than the Ruger American Predator I have been hunting with so it will get a little heavy for a full day of stalking through the East Texas brush and briars but maybe the exercise and weight loss over the last month or so will pay off and it won’t be too bad.

I was able to do a quick range session the other day. The recoil is not bad and it is actually a pretty pleasant gun to shoot. The scope has a flexible eye piece which helps hide the glow of the digital screen. Which is cool but I just can’t shake the feeling that I am about to get punched in the eye because my eye is too close to the scope.  The scope has a feature called one shot zero feature that is awesome. Simply take a shot with the reticle centered on the target and then go into the one menu and move the reticle over the spot where the bullet hit on the target and it is zeroed.

One shot zero (until it wasn’t)

It works great but after about four rounds my shots began walking to the right. I was pretty upset until I realized that the problem was my own fault. I had been adjusting the position of the scope on the rail and had not properly tightened the scope to the rail and it had worked loose.

I am hoping to get back out to the range one evening this week and zero it with the new scope base. I should be able todial in the optical scope as well. If I can get that done and the weather cooperates we should be able to get a good field test in the following weekend hunting hogs on a property a few hours north of here.

If those things happen I’ll be sure and type up a quick post.

Take care and God bless.

CZ Scorpion And Self-Defense Ammo

The little CZ passed my 500 round test with flying colors. It never hiccuped through 500 rounds of mixed range ammo. I didn’t even clean this thing in any during the test. The next step, for me, before I am willing to bet my life on a gun (and more importantly bet the lives of those I love) is to test it with self-defense ammo. Sure, this thing eats full metal jacket ball ammo like candy but how well will it do with the (sometimes) off shaped hollow point ammunition used for personal defense?

I brought five different brands of ammunition with me:

– Hornady Critical Duty (grain weight unknown)

– Federal 147 Grain Hydrashok

– Remington 147 Grain HTP (Subsonic)

– Speer 124 Grain Gold-Dot (My standard carry ammunition)

– Another hollow point ammo that, to be honest, I don’t know what manufacturer or grain weight. It was loose in my cabinet.

The bullets in the Hornady ammunition have an odd shape to them, very angular and with a very thin wall between the hollow point and the outside of the bullet. I was expecting a malfunction with these as I have see multiple handguns have trouble feeding them. The Hydra Shocks are also very thin at the tips and I have heard that they are problematic in some pistol caliber carbines. The Speer Gold-Dots are my primary carry rounds. I was interesting the Remington subsonics to see if they were a bit quieter even without a suppressor.

Not a stuck casing…

To be honest, I was a bit paranoid about how well the CZ would do in this test. So much so that when when the bolt locked back at the end of the first mag I was sure it was a misfeed. Even though I have seen the guide rod in the open action dozens of time but I mentally saw it as a stuck casing like the Ruger would do.

It wasn’t.

Long story short, the little CZ cycled everything I fed it without a hiccup. Accuracy testing was a little tough as the battery on the Vortex red dot sight died within a few rounds of the start of the session but even with irons all the rounds were within the torso of the silhouette target I was using and most were grouped around the x-ring.

I would feel perfectly comfortable at this point in betting my life (and the lives of those I love) on this little carbine. My Speer Gold-Dots would be more than adequate for the job but I am thinking about going with the Remington 147 Grain HTP (Subsonic) rounds. There were indeed a good bit quieter but should still be plenty potent enough out of a carbine length barrel. Might save my life and some hearing damage that way.

The next step is a new red dot. The little Vortex was fine but I want one of the new red dots with 50,000+ hours of battery life. That way I can leave it on all the time and won’t have to worry about switching it on if and when the need arises. I’ll just swap the battery once a year.

Take care and God bless.


A Tale Of Two PC Carbines (Part 2)

The basic requirements I had for a Pistol Caliber (PC) Carbine were pretty simple:

1) Chambered in 9mm to match the primary caliber I use in my semi-automatic pistols.

2) Reasonably lightweight

3) Able to take Glock magazines

4) Able to mount an optic.

That is it. Pretty simple and straightforward. Oh, except one other thing:

5) It needs to be reliable enough that I would be comfortable betting my life and (more importantly) the lives of my loved ones on it.

There are a lot of options out there. Many AR manufacturers have a PCC version of their wares out there. SIG has a whole line up of different models to choose from. High Point, KelTec, the list goes on an one.

I initially decided just to go with the Ruger PC carbine as it met all my requirements and I had a high trust level in Ruger LCR revolvers. For a variety of reasons I added the CZ Scorpion to my inventory and so decided to test them out head to head.

Ruger PC Carbine

My first impression of the Ruger PC Carbine was that, like me, it needed to go on a diet. It feels chunky in the hand and feels heavier than I would have expected (it is 6.8 lbs). The adjustable peep sights work very well for me at self defense ranges (out to 25 yards). The fact that this little carbine is a take down model that can easily slip into a back pack nice bonus.

At the range, that heft translated into an incredibly soft shooting carbine. Seriously shooting this thing is like shooting a 10/22 with an oversized stock on it. With an optic the range is extended and the speed to engage and hit targets out to 25 yards is amazing. I absolutely love shooting this rifle, except for one thing…

…it seems to jam about every thirty rounds. Very disappointing, to say the least.

My buddy bought one at the same time and he hasn’t had a single issue with his and seemed convinced that it was because he had changed out the magwell adapater and was running Glock magazines. So I did the same…

…no improvement.

It does this with several different types of ammunition from different manufacturers. I cleaned the rifle before I started the test and cleaned it again when changing out the magwell. No help.

The problem seems to be with ejection. Rounds don’t eject fully before the action closed. I even had one instance with two spent casings still in the receiver. This was very disappointing although I had heard a few rumors about this being the case from various sources.

I am very disappointed, not only because this is the only one of the two to meet all four of my core criteria but also because this is such a nice and easy gun to shoot and shoot well. I haven’t sent it back to Ruger yet but plan to soon.

CZ Scorpion

The CZ feels like a lightweight compared to the Ruger even though it is only a few ounces lighter (6.38 lbs). I think a lot of this has to do with the slimness of the carbine. It feels good in the hands (very subjective I know). The stock is adjustable for length of pull without the use of spaces like the PC carbine uses. While the CZ is not a take down the stock does fold making it easier to stow away although not as easily as the Ruger.

I was shocked how easy it is to disassemble this rifle. Push one (captured) pin and the trigger group drops out. Then the bolt assembly can be dropped out. 1, 2, 3 bing bang boom all done!

As good as the sights are on the Ruger, the included iron sights on the CZ are even better. You have multiple apertures for varying levels of precision. They are also serrated on the back side to cut down on glare. At home defense distances (25 yards) they were very accurate and I was able to hit man sized targets at 50 yards with ease. With a red dot optic mounted it was even easier and faster to hit targets. I was even able to make shots out to100 yards and get reliable hits on man sized targets. Not too shabby for a 9mm.

25 yard accuracy with a red dot
50 yard accuracy with red dot

From a reliability perspective, the CZ is amazing and had zero issues through over 500 rounds. I did not clean the rifle at all during the testing but I did clean the two included magazines at about the halfway point. They were running reliably but they were getting harder to load and I wanted to see if they would feed as reliably after being disassembled. They were. An additional 20 round magazine and a 30 rounder also proved reliable in the testing. Magazines are pretty cheap with factory magazines running right around $20 each.

Recoil is not a problem but it does recoil noticeably more than the Ruger PC Carbine. To be honest there is little difference between the recoil of the CZ Scorpion and an AR15 firing 5.56 ammunition. I think that’s where the extra bulk of the Ruger comes into play making it an incredibly light  and easy shooter.

The ergonomics of the CZ took a little getting used to and there are areas for improvement. As many have noted the safety lever is in a very bad location on the gun and tends to dig into the hand if you keep a high grip. I will definitely be changing that out. Fortunately there are plenty of options available on the market. There are also plenty of options for upgrading the charging handle, trigger and magazine release. I might change out the magazine release at some point as well but don’t see a reason to change anything else.


Honestly, I really like both of these carbines…a lot.

The Ruger is an incredibly light shooter and easy to handle. It meets all my criteria except for the reliability issue. If it wasn’t for that this would be a 100% recommendation. We will be sending it back to Ruger and see if they can correct the issue. Until then this is just an incredibly fun plinker.

The CZ (in my mind) looks really cool although I wish I had spent the extra few bucks for the one in FDE because after having seen one it looks even better.  The Scoropion handles and shoots very well. I could plink away with it all day. With the reliability it showed I would not have an issue betting my life on it either. It doesn’t meet one of my criteria (Glock mags) but it nails every other one into the dirt. I like this little carbine so much I find myself wanting to purchase the pistol version and add a brace or SBR it.

Still To Come…

One test I haven’t had a chance to do on the CZ Scorpion is to feed it self-defense ammo and see how she runs. Until then she is still a plinker and range toy.

I have a decent red dot optic mounted (Vortex Venom) but would like a little larger one with longer battery life. I will probably buy a Primary Arms SLxZ Advanced Red Dot. I have had incredibly good luck with PA red dots and the SLxZ offers 50,000 hours of battery life. With battery lifer like that I will leave it on all the time and just replace the better once a year or so.

As I mentioned I will be sending the Ruger in to see if they can correct the issues. I’ll post an update here when I do.

I hope you found this informative. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below.

Take care and God bless.

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.

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.