Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bowling Night Report 4/23/09

We're getting a lot of new shooters right now, which is great. Not so great, though, is the wait in between my runs on the stage. I only shot once tonight. One cartridge failed to feed properly, and got a nasty dent in the side of the case. That's how badly it fed. That is one of the things I like about practical shooting: Not only do you have all the factors of speed, accuracy, power and ammunition management, you've also got to be able to diagnose gun problems and fix them on the fly. Usually it's just ejecting a bad cartridge and shooting again, but sometimes you've got to determine the problem quickly and get back to shooting. Fortunately for me all I needed to do was eject the magazine, let the damaged cartridge fall out and reinsert the cartridge and empty the magazine into the targets. My time wasn't great, but the shots were dead-on accurate. That's what I wanted most tonight, accuracy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Nope, no match report this week. My sinuses were acting up something nasty. Maybe if the weather is decent this weekend, I'll get a chance to sight in my new inexpensive .22LR scope that's on an old Revelation 120 (the brand name for Marlin 60 rifles sold by Western Auto). It's one of Burriss' cheaper models, but I'm not looking for Carlos Hathcock-levels of accuracy, either. I just want to be able to hit very small targets, rabbit-sized to be correct, at 100 to 150 yards. Some people prepare for zombie invasions, I prepare for Vorpal Bunny infestations.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The 1911, Finicky Magazines, Finicky Ammo, And You

So, I had a bunch of 10-round magazines for my 1911 from Metalform. They're pretty much the only company who makes them in .40 S&W, even Springfield Armory sells them under their brand name. Well, I originally thought they were all bad, since they constantly misfed the ammo I put into it. To a certain extent it was true, as the feed lips prevented the cartridge from being pushed up easily into the chamber. I stretched the feed lips out just a little with a .410"-diameter steel rod and I noticed that some worked better, and some still did badly. When I took a further look, I noticed what was happening with the ammunition that didn't feed properly. It was actually setting the bullet back into the cartridge. So, I investigated the ammunition further, and compared brands. The Blazer Brass .40 that I was using was constantly being pushed back into the cartridge and jamming, regardless of which 10-round magazine I used. Blazer Brass works fine in all my 8-round magazines, probably due to the slightly different feed lip configuration. The Metalform 10-round magazines don't let the cartridge push up the ramp as quickly as the 8-round magazines do. The feed lip configuration combined with Blazer Brass having a very loose crimp on it is what led to my problems with the 10-round magazines. The Winchester White Box that I got a few weeks ago doesn't have that problem, as it fed well in every magazine but three. I'm going to try again with those three bad magazines just to make sure they're actually bad and it's not just the ammunition.

I won't count on those 10-round magazines as anything but plinkers and the occasional Limited-10 match, but it's nice to know that when I need practice magazines, I've got some that I can use for just that purpose.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bowling Night Report 4/9/09

Since I've purchased my new 1911, steel popper targets have been less of a challenge to me. The steel plates in last night's stage decided to get a little revenge last night for their larger metal brethren. I still have trouble shooting at a downward angle like that at smaller targets. On my first run, I left one of the plates standing due to not wanting to waste more ammunition and time than I already had. Everyone asked me why I left a plate standing and went to the next shooting spot. My second run proved why I left that plate standing. I had to use 10 rounds for five plates, requiring a reload and more careful aim. I did what I could to keep all my shots on the paper targets' A zones to make up for the time lost on the plates. I still wound up not doing so hot due to excessive time on the stage.

My guess is that missing that plate will be less of a score-killer than spending all the extra time on the plates. The steel targets won last night, but the war between man and steel plate is not yet over!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

More bad news for gamers

Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, died earlier this week.

D&D was bigger than either Arneson or Gygax could ever have imagined. Well, maybe not. Blackmoor and Greyhawk were pretty darn big.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Something I just realized about my firearms cleaning regimen

Cleaning the 1911 isn't as easy as cleaning the XD40, but I'm able to break it down pretty quickly these days. Cleaning the Ruger 22/45 is very non-intuitive. You have to insert a magazine at one point to put it together and to take it apart. That's really annoying when the rest of your magazine-fed handguns require that no magazine is in the handgun during the takedown process. It seems like it could make the chance of a negligent discharge far more likely.
My second-favorite phrase in baseball is "Opening Day."

My favorite phrase, of course, is "World Series Champions Saint Louis Cardinals." I'm hopeful.

Of course, now that the Cubs have a century of consistency under their belts of going without a World Series pennant, maybe it really will be their year?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Bowling Night Report, 4/2/09

In the words of Maxwell Smart "Missed it by that much."

My first run through the stage last night wasn't very good at all. I missed the last paper target completely, so it wasn't like I was going to score well. The misses killed my score on that run.

The re-shoot worked to my favor. I shaved a second and a half or so off of my initial time and I picked up the last target very well. With any luck I'll be going up a classification soon.

I may have to go to the range and celebrate. Practice is paying off.