Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, March 24, 2006

Range Report

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I jumped the gun a bit and bought my BAG day purchase a month early - a Winchester 94 chambered in .45 Colt. I didn't get a chance to shoot it the Sunday after I bought it, and I ended up working all weekend the following week, so I took a vacation day today. My wife and I just got back from the range.

Now, I don't get to the range anywhere near as often as I'd like, and my wife only wants to go two or three times a year, tops. But this time she wanted to go since it had been (in her words) too long since she'd shot anything. It being a Friday, I figured we'd have the Tucson Rifle Club's pistol silhouette range all to ourselves.

When I was a match director for the TRC's pistol silhouette matches, I had keys to everything and could set up the 25-yard silhouette chickens for her. She really enjoyed knocking those down with my Contender. Once I introduced her to my Aimpoint-equipped Ruger Mark II Target, she was hooked. Well, I don't have those keys anymore so I can't stand the targets up, but when I was in Sportsman's Warehouse picking up a couple of boxes of .45 Colt loads (reloading bench is still in the garage), I found this:
I figured she'd have as much fun shooting that as the chickens, and I wouldn't have to go stand the targets back up. I also picked up a box of 525 rounds of Federal .22's.

So, off to the range we went. Today's arsenal consisted of the aforementioned Mk II Target, my brand-spanking new Winchester 94, my S&W M25 Mountain Gun, my Kimber Classic Stainless 1911, my 3" S&W M60 .357, my Single-six, her father's 2" M60 .38, and at least a hundred rounds each for everything.

First off, the Winchester is more accurate than my eyes are. Off the bench, at 100 yards I was able to shoot about a 3" group - which is literally better than I'm able to see (and quite possibly a fluke). I was able to knock down the 50 yard chickens and the 100 yard pigs with ease, but the rear sight won't elevate enough to go much beyond that - at least not shooting Cowboy Action (read: "slow") loads. When I get back to reloading, however... The rifle was absolutely flawless in action. No failures of any kind, though in the interests of full disclosure I only fully loaded the magazine (12 rounds) once. It's quick and light - even with the 24" barrel - and fits me perfectly. I just need better sights. Or better eyes.

My wife got in about 75 rounds of practice with the .38 and did pretty well. She has a flinch, and knows it, so one of the things she worked on was that. By loading only two or three of the five chambers, she never was certain whether the next round would be a live one or an empty, so it forces her to concentrate on the trigger and sight picture, and ignore the upcoming "BANG!" Her groups were nothing to write home about, but any mutant entering our home and confronting her would not be leaving vertically.

After a break, I set up the Birchwood Casey target and checked the sight setting on the Mk II. It was zeroed for that Federal ammo at the range I put up the swinger (about 15 yards).

A couple of hours later, she'd gone through about two-thirds of that 525 rounds! There was .22 brass all over the place, and she'd enjoyed herself thoroughly. That little swinger stand is kind of addicting. I ran through five or six magazines myself, plus a few cylinder-fulls from the Single-six.

Damn, I'm glad I took the day off! And I'm supposed to meet up with fellow-blogger Engineer Poet during his Tucson stopover, and take him shooting on Sunday. Twice in one weekend! What a deal!

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that when we got home my order of 500 Mt. Baldy .45 calibler (calibler?) caliber 270 grain "SAA" cast bullets was waiting for me on the front porch! Now I HAVE to get the loading bench set up!

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