Thursday, December 4, 2008

Range Days- 3 and 4 Dec.

Blasting my way to the poorhouse

...Because .45 ACP isn't cheap. I haven't been to the range in a couple of months, so the last two days I have been playing a bit of catch-up and trying to improve my speed and accuracy a bit. Normally, I take my time between rounds, slowing down, setting the safety, taking a few breaths, realigning the sights and firming up the sight picture, and shooting again. The groupings are usually great this way, even out to 25 or more yards.

But 25-yard slow fire has no bearing on any shooting I may do if the fit hits the proverbial shan. There may be only seconds to get well-aimed rounds downrange. That's why I spent the last two days rehashing some rapid fire exercises I used to do on USMC pistol ranges. There was a lot of ammo involved. In fact, I negated my National Ammo Day (Nov. 19) ammunition purchases in a 200-round orgy of burning powder and recoil.

I had cause to jump for joy yesterday: For the first time in nearly four years, there's an outdoor rifle range within a half-hour drive of my house. This one just opened on Highway 98, about a mile over the Mississippi state line:

Happy Days Are Here Again

The three berms on the rifle line are set at 50, 100, and 250 yards. For these little excursions, here's the piece:

A Springfield Armory GI .45, bought in 2006 after I came back from Okinawa. I have put more than 1500 rounds through this pistol and can only remember 3 stoppages or misfeeds. This is a simple, no-frills, bare-bones weapon, perfect for me. Spare me the lights, laser sights, the bells and whistles. Except for some minor gunsmithing work (lighter trigger pull, tighter barrel bushing and better sights,) I am happy with it. How did we do?

Today I went to an indoor range ten minutes from my house. I set up shop and and fired 5 rounds of slow-fire at 10 yards to warm up: The two strays out of the x-ring were shots 3 and 4. God knows why. After I had warmed up a bit, I began some speed drills. Two Magazines, total of five rounds in 10 seconds, with a magazine change (3 rounds, mag change, 2 rounds). This made my shot groups a wee bit ragged,
but that's why I'm doing drills like this. I'm improving my firing speed; the more I practice the tighter the groups will become.

Here are a few more pictures. The first is a 3 round group I shot about 40 rounds into the 100 I shot today:
Note: When firing a GI .45 indoors on a dimly-lit range, you can't see the shitty mil-spec sights for anything. It's a great way to train for shooting in the dark and to learn to instinctively line up he weapon on target. For anything more precise than punching paper, though, it absolutely blows. All I want for Christmas is a set of Novak Sights. I also got a line on a receiver and Barrel from an M1 Garand. If I snap it up, I just need to scrounge parts and home-build myself a new M1 to replace the one I was stupid enough to sell years ago.

Still, it's been a great way to spend a pair of afternoons. Finals are here, and shooting is a perfect break from the monotony of studying. Especially since circumstances have kept me out of the kayak this week.


Bellaforte said...

SOSOSOSO jealous.
Damn that looks like fun.

Anonymous said...

Nice Springfield, planning on getting one next year if possible, but in a 4-inch version.