Sunday, April 03, 2011

Gone Shooting - Back to basics

Decided to go shooting this morning as the weather was nearly perfect for it, sunny and 64 degrees by the time I got there. Today I took my two main carry guns. It's been months since I shot either and was getting rusty. All shooting was done using a Weaver stance at seven or ten yards (21 and 30 feet). Targets were Shoot-N-C 5-Inch stick ons over a standard USPSA/IPSC target. Since this was concealed carry practice I tried to keep the shooting speed up.

First up was my Smith & Wesson model 342PD. This is the gun that I grab when heading out for a short trip like to the gas station. Just slip it in my Kramer pocket holster and I'm out the door and on my way. I also use it most of July and August when the hot and humid weather makes carrying a larger gun much more uncomfortable. Today I was shooting Remington 130 grain jacketed target ammunition. It's the same weight as my normal carry load, so same point of impact and recoil but at a third of the price of hollowpoints. Shooting was done with the S&W at 21 and 30 feet. At 21 I was easily able to keep all my shots on the 5-Inch targets usually producing 2 ½ inch groups. At 30 feet my groups started to open up some with about 70% of my hits still in the "A" zone of a USPSA/IPSC target and about 30% landing in the "C" area.

Next up was my main carry gun, my Colt Government Model .45 that was made in 1953. All shooting today was with 230gr ball at 10 yards. Except when it's super hot I carry this pistol (usually IWB) most of the year, anytime I know I'll be out a while. I've been carrying this gun since 2003 and it has served me well. Look at the photo; it was my best group of the day, that's seven rounds through two holes at 30 feet. This gun makes me look like a superstar. That's why I love it, that's why I've been carrying it so long. Longer than any other gun I have ever carried. The Colt is basically stock. Someone did trigger work on it and polished the feed ramp, but it is essentially like every other one being churned out by the factory 60 years ago. The only "issue" this pistol has is feeding hollowpoints bullets. Since this gun was produced before hollowpoints were actually invented it's hard to blame the gun. Even with the gunsmith work it will only fire bullets with a more rounded profile. Brands like Winchester Silvertip and Remington Golden Saber are fine. Although I typically like a heavier bullet in .45 ACP for the last couple of years I've been using Cor-bon Pow'R Ball because this gun swallows it up like Pac-Man at an all you can eat power pellet bar. Unfortunately all is not glitter-covered unicorns dancing on rainbows over a field of cotton candy. This pistol still has the original sights, and while they were fine when I bought it now middle age has hit me right in my peepers and those old sights seem to be getting smaller every time I shoot it. So I'm thinking that I might replace this gun with another, my Yost Commander a possible candidate. Or I might send this one off for a rebuild, better sights and correcting the hollowpoint problem are two much needed improvements. I'm going to have to make a decision sometime soon as those sights will probably disappear completely before I know it. I'm torn between retiring this veteran as is or rebuilding it into something new and keeping it a "working" gun. I guess the decision will have to be made this year, but for now I'll just appreciate moments like this morning when this old soldier could still do no wrong...


Guffaw in AZ said...

Good shootin' Tex ! (insert other moniker her, if desired)

Wilson said...

Only wish I could shoot that well with every handgun I own. Like I said in the post that old Colt makes me look good!