Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Another Rimfire Day at the Range

I was able to put some more .22 LR downrange today, from both my Ruger 10/22 and my Remington 550-1. Most of my shooting was done from the bench at some NRA 50 yard small bore targets that I printed up this morning. The 50 yard target has a 4" diameter bullseye. At 50 yards, the bullseye appears to be the same diameter as bead front sight on the Remington. IOW, it looks like a black dot at that range. The rear sight on the rifle is an open rear notch.

The top left target was shot with Federal Automatch 40 grain solids, the top right with Winchester Super-X 37 grain HPs, and the lower left with CCI Mini Mag 36 grain solids. (The holes in between the top two bulls were leftover from someone else.) I figure that with a scope I should be able to get the rifle grouping in about an inch or less at 50 yards with the right ammo. It definitely likes the Mini Mags.

I also put 20 rounds into an AQT-type target at 25 yards, offhand. This target is a 100 yard target scaled for shooting at 25 yards. The lower edge of the black is about 6.5" wide.

The front sight needs to be drifted a little left to move the POI to the right, but I'm pleased with the group. The Remington has a nice balance for offhand shooting.

I wrapped up the afternoon by doing some plinking at some 50 yard gongs. The largest of these are about 8" in diameter and I was able to hit them most of the time.

The Remington has a Williams floating chamber designed to allow it to function with .22 Short, Long, or Long Rifle, so I tried some CCI .22 Short CBs in the Remington and was happy to see that the rifle functioned most of the time with them.  I did get a number of stovepipes with the CBs, though. I suspect it would function better with regular .22 Shorts, either standard or high velocity loads. The tubular magazine will hold 20 .22 Shorts, which is fun for plinking. Shooting the CBs, the Remington sounds like an air rifle and no hearing protection is needed. The CBs dropped about a foot more at 50 yards than the HV .22 LR loads I shot earlier.

Today I Met a Real GI Joe

This afternoon I was at my club to send some .22 LR downrange. While I was there an older gentleman was also on the line and I saw that he needed to be reminded of our current cease fire procedures. After he packed up his stuff I walked up to him and introduced myself, and politely went over some range rules with him.

We got to talking and I saw that he was wearing a 75th Infantry Division cap, so I asked Joe where he was sent during World War 2. He told me Europe and that he went through the Battle of the Bulge.

Joe told me that during the Bulge, his company of 182 men got down to 16 men, before they got replacements. He said that a lot of the casualties were from trench foot.

One of the things Joe recounted to me how if you qualified as Expert with one of the small arms issued to the Army, you would get a three-day pass. He was issued an M1 Garand, but he qualified Expert with an M1 Carbine.

Joe's still pretty spry at 92 years old, but it's hard to imagine this old man who is maybe five feet tall slogging his way across Europe carrying an M1 Garand and fighting the Wehrmacht. God bless him and all those who served.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rimfire Range Day

I had a very therapeutic day at the range shooting two of my .22 rifles: a Ruger 10/22 and a Norinco ATD.

The Ruger is one that I bought in the early '00s, largely out of nostalgia. My father had a 10/22 that my brother and I shot quite a bit when we were kids in the late '70s/early '80s. I bought mine with the intention of leaving it mostly stock, sans a Power Custom hammer to improve the awful factory trigger. However, over the years it's picked up several mods:

  • The Power Custom Hammer,
  • A Volquartsen oversized left handed safety,
  • "Slingshot" mod for the bolt release,
  • An extended mag catch,
  • A Butler Creek folding stock, which has now been replaced by
  • A Choate Machine and Tool M4-style telescoping stock, and
  • Tech Sights.
So much for leaving the rifle mostly stock.

I installed the Choate stock and Tech Sights last week so that my almost-11 year old daughter could shoot it. She's been wanting to move up from her Savage Rascal single shot, but most .22 rifles have a  stock that's too long for her. She should be able to shoot the Ruger from a rest with the stock in the fully collapsed position.

I really like the Choate M4-type stock. Stylistically, it looks like a cross between an M1 Carbine stock and an M4 stock. It feels solid and the shape of the buttstock gives a good cheek weld. The stock has two storage tubes for batteries or whatever. The texture of the stock gives a good grip. It installed easily, although I did need to relieve an area inside the stock to accommodate the oversized lefty safety.

I installed Tech Sights because my daughter didn't want to use a scope or red dot. She likes peep sights. Shooting with iron sights is a valuable skill so far be it from me to discourage her. I got the TSR200 which is fully adjustable.

I bought the stock and Tech Sights from E. Arthur Brown Co. They were great to deal with and I'll probably order more gun stuff from them in the future.

One mod I did to the Tech Sights was to replace the front post with a Hi Viz fiber optic unit. At 47, it's not as easy to see iron sights as it used to be, especially in low lighting. The Hi Viz fiber optic from post is an improvement over a plain black post.

I got the Tech Sights zeroed at 25 yards with Remington Golden Bullets. I figured that if the rifle shoots the cheap Golden Bullets well, my daughter can use them for plinking. I also tried Federal Automatch and Aguila Super Extra subsonics in the Ruger. They also shot well.

Along with zeroing the Ruger I was able to run plenty of rounds through my three Ruger BX-25 magazines to wring them out. The BX-25s are the mags to get if you want high capacity magazines for the 10/22. Last year I found this Rothco pouch at Amazon, which hold three BX-25 magazines and has a small pocket to hold accessories like a sight adjustment tool or basic cleaning kit. It has a belt loop on the back.

The Rothco 2-pocket ammo pouch is inexpensive but fairly well made from canvas. It's a good choice for long .22 magazines.

After I got the Ruger's sights zeroed I switch to my Norinco ATD, which is a copy of the Browning SA-22 that's been in production since 1914 or so. (I previously posted about the ATD here and here.) I wanted to try the Federal Automatch and Aguila Super Extra in the Norinco. It shoots very well with both rounds, although I had a couple failures to eject with the Automatch. Accuracy with both loads was good. Each target is 20 shots.

The sights on the Norinco consist of a bead front with a buckhorn rear. Frankly, they suck. I am very pleased with this accuracy.

Since I'm on vacation this week I'm hoping to get to the range at least one more time.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lathe Cross Slide Digital Readout

Over on Dave Markowitz's Machine Shop, I posted a short piece on how I added a digital readout (DRO) to my mini lathe.

This should make it a lot easier to turn stock down the desired diameter.


Sunday, June 07, 2015

PA to MO on 5 Watts

Yesterday I spent some time out back with my Yaesu FT-817ND and laptop, playing with digital modes. I got a new Easy Digi interface from KF5INZ for connecting the FT-817ND to laptops and wanted to get it setup before taking it to Tioga County next weekend. I wound up having a nice rag chew with another ham who is located in Missouri, using the Olivia 16/500 mode.

I did a write up over on Survival Preps, here:

Backyard Digital Radio Practice

I also did a separate post on configuring a Mac to use the Easy Digi, FT-817ND, and Fldigi:

Configuring Fldigi on a Mac for use with an Easy Digi Radio Interface