Friday, November 27, 2015

Range Time

I hope my readers had a good Thanksgiving. 

Since I was not working yesterday or today, I decided to set up my equipment to do some reloading and test out the loads at the range. Many years ago, I started loading light, fast loads for the 9 mm for plinking and target shooting. The specific load is a 90 grain hollow-points over 6.3 grains of Unique powder. When I last did this load, as you may remember, I had seated the bullets too deep, with the result that some were catching as they entered the chamber, causing a misfeed. I corrected this, seating the bullets so I had a cartridge overall length of 1.075 inches. 

I went shooting with my son at a nearby public range to test the loads. I also took out some of my hand loads for .38 Special. It was cold--about 25 degrees F--but sunny and clear, with no appreciable wind. A perfect day for shooting. Others felt so, too, because the range was busy. This particular range has no range master: everyone is responsible for themselves. It is split up into various lanes, with high dirt berms between, but it generally necessary to share lanes with other shooters.

We took the end of one of the wider lanes. At the other side was a group practicing with handguns and shotguns. There was what appeared to be a firearms class down further from us, and, otherwise, people either shooting individually or in small groups. Someone would occasionally fire bursts from a fully automatic weapon, but I wasn't able to see what it was. 

After a while, an older gentlemen took the space in the middle of the lane we were using. After setting up a target and shooting for a bit, he approached us. "Do you shoot much?" he asked. "I have a problem, and I don't want to blow my hand off." He held out an obviously new semi-auto with a slide out of battery and a cartridge partially stuck into the chamber. I removed the magazine and cleared the weapon for him. Embarrassed, he admitted he apparently hadn't pulled on the magazine hard enough. He was shooting for about another half hour, so apparently his handgun ran fine after that.

A bad day at the range beats a good day at work; but this was a good day at the range. And my hand loads all worked fine.

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