Since I’m on staycation for my birthday, I managed to make it out to the range on Friday. The nice thing about going during the day on a weekday is that the range is not so busy – I actually had it all to myself for a half hour or so, which was a great help in getting my rifle sighted in. It’s a lot easier to do when you can simply walk out to the target every couple of shots to see where you’re hitting rather than having to wait for the range to go cold (I don’t have a good spotting scope, and my rifle scope doesn’t give quite enough magnification to tell from 100 yds). I may want to do a little fine-tuning in the future, but I was hitting consistently within two inches of my point of aim when I quit. I wasn’t entirely sure if the variance was the scope still being slightly off, or just me, so I decided to let it rest and move on to pistols. Considering that when I started I was hitting about 8″ low and 4″ left of point-of-aim, I was satisfied. And unlike last time, I managed to do it using only 8 rounds (which is good, since I only had 10 rounds to start with). Now I need to buy some more .308 Win.
I also seem to have gotten the sights on my Taurus PT-145 figured out. In fact, my first magazine of the day through that had a grouping of about 2.5″, not counting two flyers that were at least still on the paper (I had printed targets on regular 8.5″ x 11″ copier paper). This was shot standing, two-handed, at about 7 yards. Subsequent groups were significantly larger, but still with all shots on the paper, except for a couple of magazines where I experimented with my point of aim a little bit trying to figure out the proper point of aim for the gun (I was hitting about 2-3″ above the bullseye otherwise). My essential tremors started acting up a little towards the end, and while I was still hitting on the paper I had a couple of failures to feed that I think were due to grip issues from trying to minimize the shakes.
I considered doing some live practice drawing and shooting from concealment, but someone else showed up at that point so I decided against it. Since I carry the .45 at about 5 o’clock I worry about accidentally muzzling the line while drawing, so I don’t want to do that with anyone else around.
The P3AT was, as always, a tiny little handful. I managed to keep everything on the target, and I think I did pretty well considering the almost non-existent sights and minimal sight radius. I did have several failures to eject that caused some pretty significant jams. That could be because the gun was getting dirty (but I don’t think so), or due to cheap ammo – I could see the marks on the rim of the cases where the ejector had slipped loose, so either the rim was thicker than it should have been and the claw wasn’t getting a solid grip, or the brass was softer than it should have been and couldn’t take the shearing force being exerted, or the chamber was too dirty and held the case too well. I gave it a good cleaning when I got home, so we’ll see if that helps next time (and I still have a full 50 round box of .380ACP for next time). It wasn’t really that dirty though, so I’m suspecting that brand or batch of ammo may have been the issue.
The Ruger Mk III was, as always, far more accurate than I am, and a joy to shoot. I was getting 4″-5″ groups with standing rapid-fire, and 1″-2″ groups with slow fire, which is pretty good for me. I do need to pick up some fiber-optic sights for it, though. It can be hard to see the stock, black front blade against a dark target.
All in all, got some practice in, got my rifle sighted to an acceptable quality, and above all I had some fun. It was a good day.
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