Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Night Range Report

This afternoon I went over to Surplus City in Feasterville, PA and sold my PSL and Norinco Type 84 AK. Both are nice rifles but have been gathering dust and taking up space. With some of the money from the rifles I picked up a Ruger 22/45 Lite.

The Lite version of the 22/45 has a thin 4.4” steel barrel surrounded by an aluminum shroud. Combined with the Zytel grip frame, it weighs only 22.8 oz. But what’s perhaps most interesting is that the end of the barrel is threaded 1/2”x28, for the express purpose of mounting a sound suppressor (AKA silencer). From the factory, the threads are protected with a knurled aluminum nut with the same diameter as the barrel shroud.

The Ruger came with two 10-round magazines and a optics rail which allows you to mount a scope or a red dot on the gun. It also comes with a padlock so you can lock the bolt open to prevent unauthorized, and a pistol rug. Overall, it’s a nice package.

After getting the Ruger home I ran a couple patches through the bore, and lubricated it with a generous amount of Castrol automatic transmission fluid. (ATF makes a great gun oil and is a decent cleaner in a pinch.)

Along with my dad I took the Ruger to the range tonight. We put 150 rounds through it. The first 100 were CCI Mini-Mag 40 grain solids. In our experience if a .22 autoloader won’t run on Mini-Mags, it has problems. As expected, it ran perfectly with them.

We also put 50 rounds of CCI subsonic hollowpoints through the Ruger. We experienced two failures of the gun to fully go into battery with the subsonic loads. I’m hoping that if I run a couple hundred more high speed rounds through it, it’ll be sufficiently broken in to offer similar reliability with the slower, quieter ammo.

I noticed after about 50 rounds the the front sight blade on the Ruger, which is held on with one screw, came loose. I noticed before it fell off and tightened it back up with the small screwdriver on my Swiss Army Knife, but tomorrow when I clean the gun I’ll put a drop of Loctite on the screw to keep it in place.

The one thing needs attention is the trigger pull. It’s heavy, with some slack and take up. I’m going to look into something like a Volquartsen trigger to reduce the weight and make the pull more crisp. Aside from the trigger, I’m pleased with the Ruger 22/45 Lite.

Of course, the other accessory I am seriously considering is getting a suppressor for it. My first step with be to form an NFA gun trust, then decide which can I want to buy. For more information on such trusts, check out David Goldman’s blog.

Dad mostly shot his Ruger 1911. He’s had it since shortly after they came out but this was my first chance to shoot it. I have to say that if I was looking to buy a 1911 the Ruger would be right near the top of the list. It is very reliable, has a good sights, a great trigger and if you aren’t shooting one-hole groups at 7 yards with it, it’s your fault. The only modification I’d make to it if it was mine would be to add an ambidextrous safety, because I am left handed.

We also put a 50 round box of PMC 9mm 115 grain FMJ through my Radom VIS-35. Dad bought it when a batch came in from Russia several years ago, and last year he gave it to me. What a neat pistol. If spare parts weren’t uncommon and expensive, and original mags over $100 a pop, I’d shoot it a lot more. (Several years ago Dad bought an aftermarket mag at a gun show but it didn’t work. Luckily, when he took it back the next day he was able to get his money back.)

My VIS was made after the Germans conquered Poland but before they started cutting quality in the latter days of WW2. It was probably made around 1943 or so. It has a good trigger pull but the sights are atrocious – typical for the period. Still, it’s really nice to shoot and if I had to go back in time and go behind German lines, it would be my second choice in a sidearm, second only to a Browning High power.

All in all, a fun night.

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