From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Finally!! The range report

The weather wasn't exactly as I had hoped it would be but we made it to the range Saturday afternoon and got a lot accomplished.

Starting with Juniors Glock 23 it didn't take us long to get his glock 23 "patterned" with both the 155 grain Remingtons and the 135 grain Corbons. At 25 yards the Corbons printed right at the line of sight, while the Remingtons impacted a couple of inches higher.

This is not unusual as heavier and/or slower bullets exist the barrel farther into the recoil cycle than faster/lighter bullets, thus causing the heavier slugs to print higher on paper.

He has also decided to go with the 155 grain Remington load for the hunt. It is a bit slower than the 135 grain Corbon, but the heavier bullet will give better penetration. The Remington load proved twice as accurate than the Corbon as well. The Remington ammunition consistantly fired two inch groups to the Corbon's four inch performance.

Hauling out the Winchester 32spl it took about 6 rounds to put the finishing touches on sighting it in. As I had previously reported this old gun will still hold two inch groups at 100 yards, so it only took a few rounds to get it dialed in at that range. The rest of a half a box of ammo were expended into a dirt clod that was a third the way up the backstop about 10 yards beyond the 100 yard mark.

Sighting in the 629 proved to be a very trying experience. After about 15 rounds I was begining to get very frustrated. Firing three shots at a time it seemed that I could not get that gun to shoot a group smaller than six inches.
I just couldn't get a group small enough to indicate what adjustments I should make on the rear sight.

Now I know it is was not me. Under the wacthful eye of a loving son and a buddy who would both heckle me to no end if they caught me flinching or jerking the trigger I fired the gun several times not knowing if there was a live round under the hammer or not. Nary once did I flinch, a dime would have stayed laid flat on the front sight,held in my hands that gun was set in concrete.

No it was not me, I have fired a box car full of handgun ammunition in my time and except for an occassional off day "I ain't too shabby with a pistol".

Deciding that giving things a rest was the better part of valor, my buddy who as I have noted before is rather shy about having his name and picture on the internet, and who shall, here ever after on this Blog, be referred to by his favorite brand of powder (Hodgdon or Hodg for short), sat down at the bench and unleashed his fire power.

Hodg started out with his blued 3" S&W 29 and was not shooting the groups he is capable of either. It didn't take long before he was able to get his Smith dialed in though and he soon moved on to the Marlin 45-70 that he also brought along.

It didn't take more than a couple of rounds to check the zero on that field artillary piece and a few more rounds were expended by Junior, who had never shot the Marlin in that caliber before.

Taking my place at the bench again I decided to shoot the 629 at 50 yards just to see if I could even keep the rounds on paper at that distance. We were totally shcoked when I shot not one but three 3-4 inch groups right to the point of aim.

Now I was thoroughly confused, I could barely hold a 6" group with that gun at 25 yards and here I was shooting groups half that size at twice the distance with the same gun.

The photo illustrates one of the 3-4 inch groups I shot at 50 yards. The firearm with its three inch barrel is included for those that enjoy gratutitous gun pics and to give perspective to the group size.

Just to note I was using a six o'clock hold on paper and have it sighted in to point of aim for hunting purposes, so the rounds impacted on paper at the elevation I wanted them to.

Not until I got home and was in the process of cleaning the gun did I find the probable cause of the erratic performace. It seems that the grips are not as perfect a fit as they could be, nor was the grip screw as tight as it could be. This allowed for aproximately an 1/8" of movement between the grips and the gun. This small amount of play was enough to cause the problem I was experiencing. I have taken the proper steps to correct that problem and will be shooting the gun again this weekend to verify that, prior to and during a bowling pin match on Sunday.

Also as a side note; I had previously written that I intended to take the gun to Ohio this fall for a Whitetail deer hunt. I have since found out that with its three inch barrel it does not meet the minimum length barrel requirement imposed by the state for handguns. So I guess I will be getting out the scoped 870 16 gauge with the 18 1/2 barrel and using it.

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