Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gone shooting - One last time for 2014

I went to the shooting range this morning, one last time for 2014. Every New Year I make a resolution to go shooting at least once a month but I never seem to make it. Typically it's the weather that stops me but other things, like life, come up too. In the last six weeks I had plans to go shooting three different times and we had rain or snow every one of them. This morning it was cold (32) with some minor drizzle. I went anyway.

I have several rifles and pistols that need to be test fired but this morning I only took my HK USP 45. It is my "House" gun and it has been several months since I shot it. I needed the practice. The pistol light stays on it most of the time now so that's how I wanted to shoot today. It has a different balance with the light on. The USP is monotonous in its reliability, which is what you want from a self-defense gun. I have owned this pistol for several years now with over two thousand rounds thru it - not one malfunction - ever. The only drawback to the HK is parts (like magazines) are costly. When I bought this in 2009 12 round factory mags were about $50 unless you could find them on sale. Now they're about $75.

Checking back in my records I see that I did not fire one round of 22 Long Rifle in 2014. I have plenty stocked up but I just couldn't bring myself to shoot any. Not when you couldn't say if you could replace it. Remember when you used to buy 22LR for cheap and regular practice - or even fun? Fortunately, availability is getting better and prices are coming down. I guess all the hoarders are finally getting their fill.

Hopefully I will shoot a lot more in 2015 than this one. But of course I say that every year!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

People with guns collection # 77

TWO OF THE OLD SCHOOL -- An old timer in the game himself, Bill Pickett, who has made almost 400,000 barrels since he went to work at Winchester in 1886, fingers his deer gun, a lever-action Model 94 that will be 50 years old this year. The carbine was the first gun built to fire cartridges loaded with smokeless powder. 12/12/44

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Goodbye Ol' Remus

I discovered Ol' Remus in 2008 and checked in for his unique and fascinating weekly outlook on life, past and present, ever since. Thank you sir for the time and effort you put in to entertain us, and maybe even get us to think some too. You will be missed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tribes Redo

Today I have released a revised edition of my third novel TRIBES. The book has been re-edited and has some storyline changes too. If you already own it on Kindle you can get a copy of the new version free. Just log on to your Amazon account, look under "Digital Downloads" and you should be able to update your copy to the new version. Thanks!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

People with guns collection # 76

AMERICAN KIDS AND GUNS - Jillian Szymonifka, age 12, and her dad Mike. She is a member of the Island Lake Junior Rifle Club. - Carteret, New Jersey U.S.A DECEMBER 1999

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gone shooting

I went to the range first thing this morning, but only stayed a short while. Last month I bought a 1965 vintage Colt Lightweight Commander (45 ACP) and I wanted to give it a quick test drive.

I didn't bring much ammo with me. As I said, I didn't want to stay very long, just long enough to see if this old Colt had any major issues.

I put a 50 round box of Winchester ball (230gr) ammunition thru it without a problem. I then tried some Federal "Hi-Shok" 230gr hollowpoints in it and experienced 2 FTF malfunctions (out of 20). The Federal stopped about halfway in but with a gentle push on the slide it fed the rest of the way. The recoil spring seemed strong enough so it's probably the feed ramp that is at issue. I've had older Colts like this before with the same problem. Since this was made before hollowpoint bullets became popular I really can't blame the gun.

I've had several old Colts that acted the same way, including a 1953 Government Model that I have carried for years. If the profile of the bullet is too flat they just won't feed without modifying the feed ramp. My '53 will load hollowpoints with a more rounded bullet design like the Remington Golden Saber. I expect this Commander will act the same.

Accuracy seemed average for what it is. The stock Colt sights aren't the easiest to hit with. This Commander recoiled more than I anticipated though. I been using steel frame 1911s for years. I wasn't used to this much snap.

This is a nice little Colt but I haven't decided if I'm going to carry it or not. If I was going to carry it regularly I would have to put better sights on it and correct the feeding issue, modifications that would destroy the collector's value of this pistol.