Saturday, February 05, 2005

Saturday Night's Alright For Shooting

I'm back home enjoying a Newcastle Brown Ale after spending a couple of hours with my dad at the range. I ran 150 rounds of Winchester-USA .38 Special 150 grain LRN through my 4" S&W Model 15. This was the first time in quite awhile I shot the Model 15, which was the first decent handgun I ever bought, back in 1996.

My shooting tonight was ok, though not as good as I can do. I was having problems focusing on the front sight, which is attributable either towards fatigue, having been sick for almost a week, or being closer to 40 than 30. Anyway, I was still keeping all my shots on a paper plate from 7 yards, firing double action only, shooting rapidly.

I think I'm going to change the grips on it. It currently wears a set of Pachymar Gripper Pros. They leave the backstrap exposed and don't fit quite flush. This leaves an area with a bit of a protruding ridge which digs into my palm, which bothered me even with the mild loads I was shooting tonight. I think I'll get a set of Butler Creek rubber grips which cover the backstrap. They should make shooting the Model 15 more comfortable.

After 150 rounds, the S&W was filthy. That's ok, I don't mind a little cleaning. Lately when shooting one of my pistols I've taken to a quick wipedown and a couple passes through the bore and chambers with a BoreSnake, but I felt that the Model 15 needed a more thorough cleaning. So, I broke out the cleaning kit while Dad was still banging away and used a rod, bronze bore brush, and patches. I swabbed out the bore and chambers several times and left them wet with Hoppe's No.9. I'm going to let the gun soak overnight and run dry patches through tomorrow, then leave it with a coat of FP-10 to prevent any rust.

I also got to shoot one of Dad's Russian Nagant revolvers (he has more than one, they're cheap). This one was made in 1919 at the Tula Arsenal, then later rebuilt. To sum up my opinion of the Nagant as a military service weapon: It's a good gun for the other guy to have. While an interesting historical curiousity, it's fires an anemic round and the trigger, even in single action, sucks. With serious concentration a Nagant can actually be quite accurate, but it's not what I'd regard as being easily shootable. Honestly, I'd rather be armed with a .36 caliber Colt Navy percussion black powder revolver if I had to defend myself. I might even take a .31 Colt Baby Dragoon or Wells Fargo model. The ballistics would be aboutt as good and I'd be more confident I'd actually hit what I was aiming at.

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