Monday, March 21, 2011

Gone Shooting - DA Four-Five Day

Yesterday I went shooting for the first time in over two months. Despite yet another prediction of weekend rain I decided to go no matter what. We got off easy this winter and had very little snow, most of the time it went north of us to Indiana. But even with the snow scarce we still had enough bad weather to keep me from going. Usually I can only find time for shooting on the weekends or the occasional Monday. I last went shooting in January and since then every Saturday or Sunday I've either had things to do or the weather was wet and cold. Enough was enough.

I took the only two traditional double action .45 pistols that I own, my Heckler & Koch USP and my Smith & Wesson 4566.

The HK is my home defense gun and I have also carried it occasionally this winter. I bought Sparks and Bianchi holsters for it and even though it's a large gun carrying it in the colder months wasn't too much a chore with a coat for concealment. Actually with its polymer frame the HK is slightly lighter than the Colt Government that I've been toting around for years now, it's the size (especially the slide) that makes the USP hard to hide. I purchased two holsters for the HK, a Sparks Versa Max 2 and a Bianchi model 6 and have used them a few times so far. Although a big fan of the VM2 I actually prefer the inexpensive Bianchi for this pistol. The Bianchi 6, if you don't know, is a cheap leather pouch that you wear IWB and attaches with a metal clip to the outside of your belt. I find it works very well with this handgun, it is light weight and has almost no bulk, which is good because the HK has enough of its own. I doubt that I ever carry this big HK around on a regular basis but it's nice to have the option.

I also took my S&W model 4566. I have had this gun since 2006 and it is a gem. I've always been a sucker for the third generation S&W auto pistols especially in .45 Auto (my very first S&W was a 4506). A few years back I sent this pistol to Novak and they worked their magic on it. It was always reliable, afterwards it was reliable and smooooth.

All shooting was done at 30 feet (10 yards) firing from a Weaver stance. Ammunition used was mostly Winchester and S&B 230gr ball, I did have one box of Winchester 185gr jacketed target loads I got from my brother. These target loads have a flat profile and any pistol that could feed these shouldn't have a problem with hollow points. I also shot a box of Remington 230gr hollow points through the HK. I was using Shoot-N-C 5-Inch targets, which are quickly becoming my favorite when practicing for self-defense shooting.

Both pistols performed flawlessly, 120 rounds through the HK and 100 down the 4566, not one hiccup between them. I could keep every shot in the black firing as fast as I could and with slow fire both guns would produce 2 ½ inch groups at that distance. Traditional DA/SA semi auto pistols are the hardest type of handgun for me to shoot and I suspect it's the same for most gun owners. My first shot (DA) every time was low and to the right (but still on the target) typically landing between 3 and 5 O'clock. I wasn't shooting that bad last time I had the HK out, definitely shows that I need to keep in practice with these pistols.

Had a great day shooting two great guns. In case you're wondering it never did rain, the bad weather went north of us again, just like it has most of the year so far.

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