Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day


Memorial Court atop War Memorial Chapel at Virginia Tech.

Cenotaph honoring Virginia Tech Alumni who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Each pillar is engraved with the names and class year of VT alumni who have died while in service. This is the most recent section.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Range Report - The Ruger Mk III, and Reinforcing the Basics

Today was the first day at the range with the new Ruger Mk III. The verdict?

I love it. Just like I thought I would. The trigger is crisp, clean, and surprising (like it's supposed to be). This pistol performs better than I will ever be capable of. Having grown up on my dad's Mk I, I expected the Mk III to be a superb gun, and it actually surpassed my expectations. It was worth every penny - especially when you consider the fact that a brick of 500 rounds of .22LR costs less than a box of 50 rounds of either .45 or .380.

This trip, before I fired the Ruger, I took the opportunity to test the Hornady Critical Defense carry rounds I got for the Kel-Tec. My main concern was that they feed and fire reliably. I don't have enough for real practice with those, and they're expensive ($22 for 25 rounds). With only 25 rounds, I had exactly enough to shoot 2 magazines and have enough left to load 2 magazines and have one in the pipe for carry. So that's all I shot - 12 rounds. I had no problems.

I did, however, notice that I was shooting extrememly low. I had printed targets on regular paper, and while I was aiming at the bullseye, I was only just hitting the bottom of the paper at 10 yards (well, 10 paces really, but close enough). This confused me, because last time I took this pistol out, I was grouping right around my point of aim at 7 yards (it was a big group, but that's just me, and why I need to practice more - thus, the Mk III purchase).

Once I had run a few magazines through the Ruger, I got the Kel-Tec out again, and loaded up with the Winchester white box ammo I picked up last week, and tried to figure out what was going on. The first round surprised me - the recoil was noticably heavier with the Winchester than the Hornady. Then I realized, the FMJ rounds are more massive than the JHP, so recoil would naturally be stronger. Somewhere in the second magazine, I realized something:

I had developed a flinch.

It was a #6, actually. I was dipping the muzzle downward just before the trigger break. I also realized that I had been doing the same thing with the Ruger, but had corrected it without even realizing it at the time.

You should understand something. I have been shooting since my parents decided I was old enough to do so safely - around 6 or 7 years old. So when I realized I had developed a flinch, I saw it as a personal affront. How dare my neuromuscular system do that to me? I was determined to fix the problem, right now!

I spent the rest of the evening - and the rest of the box of .380 - working my way through that. By the time I got towards the end of the box, I was once again clustering my shots around the point of aim. I also learned that 10 yards may be better than 7 for reinforcing the basics - it seems to make me work harder to compensate for my essential tremors, and therefore makes me more successful at doing so. I was actually getting better grouping than at 10 yards than at 7.

On the other hand, the longer I shoot, the worse the tremors get. Towards the end of the box, I had a couple of flyers, one of which was fairly devastating (click to embiggenate):

If you can't tell from the crappy cell phone pic, one of my shots cut the wooden upright I staple the cardboard to (and yes, that's an old pizza box - it was convenient, and, most importantly, free). It wasn't low, though. Here's a close up of the damage. You can see there were actually 3 shots that hit the upright - one clean hole, one graze, and the killer shot:

I took that as a sign that it was time to go home.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Seducers Foiling

Post title courtesy of the Internet Anagram Server.

Other anagrams of my blog title:
A Disclose Gunfire
A Discoursing Feel
A Fluoresced Gin Is (good to drink?)
A Diligences For Us
A Regicide Fun Loss
A Recognised Flu Is
A Coifed Sirens Lug
A Fecund Glossier I
A Focused Rile Sign
A Secluding Foe Sir
(h/t to Robb Allen)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New acquisition and Gun Pr0n

Well, I did it. Like I said in my last post, I was leaning toward the Ruger, and I got it.

Nice, isn't it? I got a brick of 500 rounds of .22LR for less than a box of 50 .45ACP or .380ACP. This should make practicing a lot cheaper, and therefore more frequent. Hopefully, I'll be able to get to the range in the next couple of weeks. A range report will be forthcoming when I do.

Friday, May 08, 2009


I figured I'd join the crowd. We get regular bonuses at work, and since I just got one, I went out to my local gun shop to take a more in depth look at some of the toys I've been eying for a while. Well, the two model 1898 Mausers I'd been eying for the last two months had, of course, been sold (this morning, too, dang it!), but they do have a Lee-Enfield rifle that looked interesting. It looks like a No. 4, Mk. I. I could use a good rifle. I've also been debating between getting either a Rock Island 1911 that they have had for a while, or a Ruger Mark III. I need a .22 pistol for practicing the basics without breaking the bank, but I really want a 1911.

I didn't buy any guns today, but while I was there, i got this:

I like my local gun shop. They have apparently started holding back a few boxes of .380ACP off each shipment for customers who bought .380 pistols from them, and to sell to customers when they buy a new .380 pistol. That last part's just good business sense. It keeps them from losing a sale when somebody might otherwise decide not to buy that Kel-Tec (or whatever), because it's no good without ammo.

This gives me both carry and practice ammunition for the Kel-Tec, and twice as much practice ammunition for my PT145 as I usually get. Of course, this purchase set me back $118.00.

I was leaning towards getting the Ruger anyway - need over desire, and all that - but this helped push me even further in that direction. The Ruger is cheaper than the 1911 (about $345 for the Ruger, $425 for the 1911), and I tend to get frugal after I lay out a bunch of money on something.

And I really do need a .22 to practice with. Sigh.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The "Wal-Mart's out of ammo" meme

Well, to join the others, you see here the selection at my local Wally World.

Most of what you see there is rifle ammo. The rest is .22 and revolver ammunition (.44 Magnum and .38 Special). Nothing for semi-auto pistols at all. (The shelf on the far right, that you can only see a corner of, is shotgun shells.)

And, this seems to be a growing phenomenon, too (click to embiggenate).

I don't normally buy ammo at Wally World. It's actually my fourth choice when I'm looking for ammo. I try to support my local gun shop. Unfortunately, he's been out of .45 and .380 for a while, now. He actually has a waiting list for certain calibers, and when he gets a shipment I don't think he gets all the way through the list before he's out again.

The other local gun shop (that's a little farther away than my usual guy) had some .45 last month, but was completely out of .380, too.* The distance isn't really a problem - it's not really very far, comparatively - but their customer service is not as good as my usual place, so I don't really like to go there. I'm just as likely to go to Dick's. I expect a lower level of customer service there, so I'm not as disappointed.

It'll sure be nice when this shortage is over.

* (This was before I traded the Colt .25 for the Kel-Tec, so I did get to feed both my guns on that trip. I also learned why Wolf ammo is so much cheaper than everything else - and how badly it sucks.)