Sunday, March 25, 2007

Range Report

Yesterday I hit the range at Langhorne Rod & Gun Club with a few of the staff members from The Rally Point. I shot my Colt AR15-A3 Tactical Carbine and my Rock Ola M1 Carbine.

I shot the M1 first, zeroing the Bushnell Trophy red dot sight at 50 yards. Ammo was GI surplus RA 52 Ball (110 grain FMJ made by Remington in 1952). I bought a sealed can of this ammo several years ago and have a few bandoleers left. Anyway, the Carbine functioned perfectly, as expected. Once zeroed at 50 yards, I was able to blow out the 10 ring on an SR-1 target, shooting pretty quickly.

The red dot is mounted on an Ultimak rail which replaces the original handguard. I also have a Surefire G2 flashlight attached to the rail with a Viking Tactics mount. It's as slick a setup as I'd hoped for. IMHO it's the best way to mount optics on an M1 Carbine.

Later, I shot the M1 at 100 yards. The group opened up a good bit and point of impact was a few inches lower. However, my plan is to make it a home defense gun so a 50 yard zero is appropriate.

Next up was the Colt. As with the M1, I shot it first at 50 yards because I had to zero its scope, a Hakko 4x21mm illuminated reticle AR-15 carry handle mount scope. I'd previously tried that setup but it places the scope too high for comfort. So, awhile ago I bought a flat top adapter which allows you to attach an AR-15 carry handle mount scope right to the Picatinny rail on an AR-15A3 or -A4 upper.

The rifle wasn't too far off at 50, so I moved to 100 yards and fine tuned the zero. I was able to keep most shots in the 10 ring. At a cease fire, I walked down to the 200 yard target frames, past the "BEWARE OF COPPERHEADS" sign, and hung another SR-1 target. The scope's reticle is an approximately 4 MOA dot in the center, with tapered cross hairs at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. At 100 yards it's slightly smaller than the SR-1's bull. At 200, it's slightly larger than the bull.

Because the dot occluded the bull at 200 yards and I was using a center hold, I was happy to keep most of them in the black. There were a few flyers out into the 7 ring, but I'm not complaining. I would probably be able to get a tighter group at that range with a 6 o'clock hold.

After zeroing the rifle at 200 yards I checked point of impact at 100. The trajectory of the .223 Remington is so flat out to 200 that I'll leave it there as the difference in POI wasn't significant.

I put around 160 rounds or so through the Colt, all of it Federal American Eagle 55 grain FMJ-BT. The rifle functioned 100%, using a couple of black Teflon coated D&H 30 round mags from DSG Arms, along with a couple of late-'60s/early-'70s GI surplus 20s.

I'm quite pleased with yesterday's results. My home defense M1 Carbine is now ready to go, as-is my primary SHTF rifle, the AR-15.

Although I did a quicky cleaning on each rifle before leaving the range, I field stripped both of them and thoroughly cleaned them this morning.

After I finished cleaning the two rifles, I tackled a gunsmithing task I've watned to do for a long time: removing the magazine disconnect from my Browning High Power.

The magazine disconnect or "safety" on the BHP functions to prevent the gun from firing if there's not magazine in the gun, even if a round is chambered. I prefer not to have that "feature" on a defensive gun. But my main reason for removing it is that it makes the trigger pull heavier with lots of creep, making it harder to shoot accurately.

I followed instructions that I found on the 1911 Forum. Tools required were a couple of punches, a nail used as a punch, forceps, and a hammer. The trigger pin came out pretty easily but the pin fastening the disconnector to the trigger was much more stubborn. I eventually got it out by wailing on it with the aforementioned nail, held in the forceps, until it finally budged.

Before reassembling the BHP, I cleaned and lubricated it. I dry fired it after it was back together. What a difference! The trigger is still a bit heavier than I'd like but much better than before. More importantly, virtually all of the creep is gone.

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