In celebration of what would have been my grandfather’s 92nd birthday, we made it out to the range a few days ago. That’s the same day Wonderful Wife unloaded her logic bomb on me (link). We had a chance to do a couple of really cool things; shoot my grandfather’s Webley MKII and help my mom test a few revolvers. One of those was significantly more successful than the other.
My mom hasn’t been to the range in a while and was very nervous, hanging back and not getting too close to the firing line. She turned down the opportunity to shoot her father’s Webley. She even had to step out to the lobby for a bit to regain her calm. Definitely not a good sign.
It took her a while but eventually she decided she was ready to try her hand at shooting a revolver. I was a little concerned about what her reaction woud be and how she would handle it and started her out with a Ruger LCR in .22 Long Rifle. I showed her how to operate the button to release the cylinder, eject the rounds and reload it. The results were mixed. She was able to load and unload it easily and her accuracy was terrible.
The big problem, as I suspected it would be, was working the cylinder release. Ruger revolvers have a small button that must be depressed in order to release the cylinder. She had a lot of trouble with the small button. After about forty rounds of .22 LR I had her try and work the cylinder release on the Taurus 85. Although it takes more pressure to slide the release forward on the Taurus the release is much bigger and it was easier for her to operate.
Unfortunately, she was still very nervous and refused to try the .38 Special. I left it alone and she burned through another forty rounds or so of .22 Long Rifle. We had plans to meet the rest of the family for lunch so time was running short and I made one last attempt to see if she would try a center fire revolver. She reluctantly agreed.
I started her with a single shot in the Ruger SP101. I chose the SP101 because it is the heaviest revolver I have, other than the Webley, so it should have the lightest recoil. It took her a few minutes to work up the courage but she finally took the shot…
…and she was fine with it.
Next I loaded a single round in the Taurus 85 and let her have a go. No problem there either. She had time to burn through a few cylinders of .38 Special before we had to leave for lunch.
The bottom line?
She has no problem working the cylinder release mechanism and has no issue with the recoil. She loves the Taurus. She is not a very good shot anyway and a snubbie doesn’t improve that situation. Now that we know that this will be her new firearm of choice I’ll have to stock up on even more .38 Special so she can practice.
The primary purpose of this trip to the range was for my mom and my son to have a chance to shoot my grandfather’s Webley in celebration of his birthday. That didn’t go all that well.
The Webley is a Mark II that has been cut down to shoot .45 ACP. The issue is thet the pressure of the .45 ACP cartridge exceeds what this old gun was designed to handle. Continuing to shoot full power .45 ACP in this revolver will eventually result in a catastrophic failure. To avoid the destruction of the Webley (not to mention the hand of whoever might be holding it at the time) I have developed a light load to protect both. Unfortunately, I either made a mistake in my loading or the recipe was a little too light. In either case the result was a squib load…
Now I get to remove the failed round from the barrel. I will also be pulling all the other rounds that I made apart and testing them to see if I made a mistake or if the recipe is wrong.