Sunday, April 02, 2006

Day at the range

Today my brother Josh and I went up to Wicen's Farm Shooting Range. Josh brought the Rock River Arms Entry Tactical Carbine (AR-15) that he got a couple of weeks ago, along with his Glock 22 .40. I brought the H&R 158 .22 Hornet that I got a month or so ago, a Mosin-Nagant M1938 Carbine, and a Smith & Wesson M-640 (no dash) .38 Special snubbie that I picked up yesterday. Unfortunately we ran out of time and didn't get to shoot the pistols.

Josh's RRA functioned 100% with the GI mags and some PMC M-193 Ball and Winchester bulk pack .223. Accuracy was so-so, but the 1:9" twist of his rifle may shoot better with bullets heavier than 55 grains. It was also quite windy which didn't help matters.

The H&R .22 Hornet shot pretty well. It took me awhile to get it dialed in. Whoever had it before me had cranked the elevation on the Weaver K-4 all the way up, or nearly so. To get it shooting about an inch high at 100 yards, I had to bring it down at least 50 clicks. Once it was approximately zeroed, I was able to get about a 2" group. Without the wind and with a better trigger, I wouldn't be surprised to see the gun shoot MOA. My ammo was Winchester 45 grain JSP factory loads.

On the opposite extreme, my M1938 Mosin is quite probably the most inaccurate rifle I have ever shot. At 100 yards I was able to keep 15 shots within the "-1" zone of an IDPA target (similar to the "B" zone of an IPSC target). And this was with a 3" orange dot sticker stuck on the target as an aiming point. I would've been happy if the gun had put them within 6" but this is ridiculous.

The ammo I was using for the Mosin was 7.62x54R Hungarian light ball (147 grain bullet), a case of which I received last week from AIM Surplus. As with other surplus 7.62x54R, this stuff is dirty. We put 20 rounds through the gun today and the bore was filthy. Shooting it probably dislodged some old fouling as well. Since it's corrosively primed, I ran a few patches wet with Windex through it at the range to flush out the potassium chlorate residue, then followed up with Hoppe's No.9. I'm letting the bore soak overnight in Hoppe's, to get rid of more fouling.

It's too bad the rifle is so inaccurate, especially since this has the smoothest action of all of my four Mosins. The only time the extraction was sticky was when one case split vertically on firing.

It'll be interesting to see how the Hungarian ammo does in my Finn m/1891 or m/1939, or my Ishvesk M-1891/30.

Most of my recent rifle shooting has been with semiautos, but I found it very satisfying shooting a single shot and a bolt action. It's past time I took out a muzzleloader.

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