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.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Range report: Part Two

Dr. Guns evaluation
As I related in my last post, I was not very satisfied with the performance of my 3" Model 629, and discovered the source of the problem after I got home and began cleaning the firearm. The grips are not as perfect a fit as they might be and there is just a wee bit of movement between the grips and the gun during recoil. This movement is just enough to effect group size at 25 yards.

Bowling Pins(A second opinion)
I also used the gun in a bowling pin shoot this past Sunday. I shot relatively well with it, but discovered another malady that needed addressing. The action on this Smith is very smooth and the trigger pull light. Several times when attempting double action fire I experienced a light hit on the primer and no kablooey, a situation that possibly cost me a round or two. I even had two light hits in single action mode using Winchester 240gr JHP Magnum loads.

Open side plate exploritory surgery
Monday I essentially tore the gun down looking for excessive wear and or other faults. Not finding anything I turned the hammer spring adjustment screw in tighter. This increased the amount of pondage on the trigger pull but makes for a positive ignition when the hammer falls.

While I had them removed I lined the contact surfaces of the grips with three layers of duct tape. These short strips of tape cut to the width of the wood surface filled in the areas that was allowing the movement. Re-assembling the grips to the frame and tightening the grip screw gave me the fit I was looking for. This is for me a temporary fix that will last indefinately, but I will be glass bedding the grips in the very near future. For the time being I wanted to make sure that was the problem and the tape is a very inexpensive way of finding out.

Physical Therapy
I took the gun back to the range today and shot it both double and single action at 25 yards. It was a pleasureable session with nary a miss-fire. I also began to see the group sizes I was expecting and hoping for. I would also note that to this point I have only fired two boxes of ammunition through this gun.

I was shooting only two shots for group today and all groups measured two inches or less. Not bad for a 44 Magnum with a 3" barrel.

In the gratuitous pic provided the shots are as follows;

1st group - the top hole and the center one of the three touching,

2nd group - the bottom hole and the left one of the three touching.

3rg group - the next to the bottom hole and the right one of the three touching.

Note: I have it sighted to point of aim (for hunting purposes)using a six o'clock hold on the black.

Ammunition was Winchester 240gr JSP Magnum loads

To sum it up the more I shoot it, and it is not that unpleasant to shoot with full magnum loads either, the more I like it. I just need to to wring it out and taylor it to me.

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