Every day is a great day to go shooting but Memorial Day is somehow even more so.
My goals were to try out the 1100, get in some M&P time, and sight in the repaired BUIS on my AR while checking out how well the new springs in the trigger group worked.
Katie and I went to Rog’s private range, which wasn’t blazing hot but it was non-trivially warm. Late May in Texas is generally warm so this is not entirely unexpected, but throw in the mandatory rattlesnake gaitors on your lower legs and the requisite hats for range work, and warmth is not in short supply.
Before heading to the property we stopped at THE store in McMahon/Whizzerville to get some food. Somehow they had even less available than I remembered. We did load up on Gatorade, water, and some locally made chimichangas and sausage wraps. While I’m glad I ate, the cramps that I got in my gut around midnight were nothing short of epic.
Once at the property, Katie and Rog set up the badly battered (and no longer) easy-up shelter, checking for snakes all the while. I don’t think any of us saw one snake, for which I am grateful.
The repaired BUIS held. I’m not crazy about the aperture but it does work… once I deciphered the instructions on the front post.
Does that mean the post goes up if I turn it clockwise, or that the point of impact goes up? It was the latter… at least the sight-in target was useful in that regard. Once we got it dialed in, I could pop the 12 inch gong more or less at will at 200 yards.
I tried Monarch (Prvi) brass cased ammo, the Prvi SS 109, Remington UMC, WWB, and PMC Bronze. All shot great without a hitch – so either this lighter hammer spring is still up to the task of popping all kinds of primers, or all these brands have softish primers and I need to find something harder to test. I hear Wolf primers are hard – I’ll have to try that.
Katie enjoyed the AR after some initial trepidation, and shot well with it. Unfortunately her first rifle work was with a .308 rifle (it was all I had on hand at the time) and it was a bit of a negative impression that led her to believe all rifles were like that. I’m glad that impression is correctable, but I wish it had never been formed.
The M&P was up next. Between the break-in I performed last week (1000 dry fires) and an increased focus on grip-fu, I managed to shoot somewhat straighter than usual. I’d been kicking off left before pretty badly – not so much this time. Also, I put the jumbo grip on the pistol and that helped. The large grip on the M&P is substantially bigger than the medium, that’s for sure. I worked on my draw from the “startled” position, getting off the X, firing 2 and reholstering. Then I worked on a series of double-taps, and finally some slow-fire with a focus on grip – shooting at the IPSC head area only. All good hits, so I’m happy with that.
Katie shot the M&P too, and after some basic familiarization she shot it great out of the box. I think she likes pistol anyway, and the M&P 9 is a great pistol for her. I even had her doing my “get off the X” drill at the end and she was still on target.
The 20ga 1100 shotgun is an odd bird. If I load it with a 2.75 inch shell in the chamber, then three 4 inchers and finished with a 2.75 shell, it almost always worked. All 3 inchers worked, but all 2.75 inch shells was always a fail. Too bad because the 2.75 shells were MUCH softer shooting than the 3 inchers, by a surprising amount. The loading gate was a bit balky too. I’m not 100% confident in this thing, I’m afraid.
I think the lessons here might be pretty direct – I think I have a good bird gun and I should leave it alone and just buy a 20ga that happily eats 2.75 shells. I’d love a domestic autoloader that will do that, that takes all kinds of fun accessories. I really enjoyed shooting the 2.75 20ga shells from an autoloader tremendously… I’ll have to get a shotgun that works better in that configuration, is all.
Katie liked the 2.75 shells too, and didn’t much care for the 3s. The full choke held a pretty tight pattern as far out as I could reasonably want – and with a (perhaps) 30 inch barrel, I’d hope so!
I hope you noted the pattern here – I brought out and fired my “lesser” caliber firearms (9mm, .223, 20ga as opposed to .45, .308 and 12ga) with an eye on maximum suitability for people less familiar with firearms, and fast accurate follow ups for experienced shooters. As much as I appreciate the certain effectiveness of the larger calibers, there is a lot to be said for having firearms that are still quite effective, and also easier for all kinds of people to use.
I’ll be researching shotguns to see what makes sense here. Any suggestions?