Saturday, May 27, 2006

Range report, plus

Last night I went over to Surplus City and snagged a Ruger factory 30 round Mini-14 magazine for an obscenely low price. The factory 20s are pretty easy to come by now but the 30s were discontinued several years ago, so this was a find. It's very lightly used with just a few wear spots on the bluing.

Today's my birthday (yay), so as usual, I went shooting. I brought my Underwood M1 Carbine and Mini-14. I tested the four Ruger 20s which I got shortly after the Assault Weapons Ban sunset and they worked fine. (I did not bring the new 30 rounder.) The ammo I brought was some of the new Wolf Gold M-193 made by Prvi Partizan in Serbia. Compared with Federal/LC XM-193 it seemed a little downloaded, judging by the softer ejection. I had one failure to extract, on the next-to-last round of the 3rd magazine. This rifle has previously digested about 400 rounds of Wolf steel cased .223 without a hitch, so I was a bit surprised by this. The ammo was dated 2004 so more recent production may work better; as I understand it Wolf is working with Prvi Partizan to optimize their M-193 for the American market.

The M1 digested 50 rounds of Remington .30 Carbine 110 grain jacketed soft points and 50 rounds of Magtech JSPs without a bobble. I got two boxes of the Magtech JSPs from MidwayUSA a couple years ago. When I shot the first box I got a couple of malfs so I was pleasantly surprised that it worked fine today. I plan to pick up a few more boxes of the Remington JSPs, though, since they are supposed to perform well and will enhance the social utility of the Carbine.

On the way home from the range I stopped in at Clayton's on PA-611, just South of the Willow Grove Joint Reserve Base. I was in the market for a companion for my Underwood, which I found in the form of a Rock Ola M1 that followed me home. A couple of pictures:

Like most M1 Carbines, it's a mix of WW2 and postwar parts. The barrel appears to be original to the gun, being marked Rock Ola. It has a flat M1 bolt rather than the more common later round type. The rear sight is the middle-period milled unit, it has the flip-type safety, bayonet lug barrel band, and M2 wood. I'm not sure if the wood is GI or aftermarket, since it has no markings. I looked but couldn't find any importer markings, so it's possible this was one of the Carbines released for sale to NRA members back in the 1960s.

Before I cleaned it today I think the last time it was cleaned was sometime around the Korean Armistace, but it cleaned up nicely. The bore looked grungy and I even saw green fouling in the lands just inside the muzzle, but after a good cleaning with Hoppe's No.9 and Sweet's 7.62 it came out looking like a mirror.

I'm thinking about dropping it into one of the repro M1A1 folding stocks, since the wood isn't anything special. I got to shoot another guy's Auto Ordnance Carbine so-equipped today and I liked it a lot.


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to wish you a belated Happy Birthday, and there is never anything as satisfying as spending one's birthday at the range :)

Steve Swickard

Dave Markowitz said...

Thanks, Steve!