Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Striker Test

A friend recommended an interesting way to test the relative power of strikers.  Unload your gun, of course.  No live ammo around.  Cock your unloaded pistol, point the pistol straight up, and insert a pencil in the barrel with the eraser side down.  Pull the trigger and watch the pencil move.

I did this with both of my M&Ps and the pencil only moved about an inch.  The pencil never even came close to leaving the barrel.

When I tried this with my STI Sentry (45) the pencil launched from the barrel and almost stuck in the drop ceiling in my basement.

No wonder I get light primer strikes in my M&P when I use hard primers like Remingtons, CCIs, or Magtechs.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Match Review - Sparta USPSA

This is a Tuesday afternoon match review of the USPSA club match in Sparta, IL, on Saturday, March 15th.  Honestly, I'd really like to forget this match.  I didn't shoot well at all.  But I suppose it would be helpful for me to analyze it just a bit.

I had issues with my reloads all day.  Come to think of it, I've had issues with reloads during dry fire and live fire practice all winter.  One of the issues has been the failure of the magazines to drop with any kind of consistency.  I've had problems pushing the mag release consistently.  As I have thought about this for the past few days, I've come up with what may be a partial answer.  At the end of the shooting season last year I switched out my grips on my M&P.  The M&P comes with 3 sizes of grip inserts.  For 3 years I've been using the medium-sized grip.  In the Fall last year I decided to change to the large grip.  I thought it might give me more surface area to grasp the gun and help with my accuracy.  I think that experiment failed.  The grip may have felt better with more of my support hand in contact with the left side of the gun, but I can't see that it did anything at all for my accuracy.  What it did do is cause me to have to stretch my thumb farther in order to depress the magazine release button.  That's caused problems which I should have identified earlier as a problem.  Instead, I just tried to work through it.  But I've not been able to work through it.  I switched back to the medium size grip on Sunday and dry fired the gun for the past three days with almost no reload issues.  Dang. How come I didn't notice this earlier?

My accuracy problem has nothing to do with the grips.  The M&P contributes to the problem a little. It's just not a terribly accurate pistol.   My 1911 is so much more accurate.  Even so, that's not the real problem.  My trigger control is the issue. I just need to work on that.  Hard.  I took multiple shots on poppers and steel targets that were 10 yards away and easily hittable.  That's not the gun. That's me.  I've been sloppy in my IDPA matches as well, with way too many points down at the end of the match.  Sometimes I am tempted to change to a CZ, but I don't think that will really solve the problem.  I don't think the problem is my gun, but my gun control and technique.  Anyone that knows my shooting style, knows that I am a "hoser" and not a "turtle."  Slinging shots at targets as fast as I can is my besetting shooting sin.  Perhaps Lent is a time for me to give that up and work hard on accuracy.  Sigh.

This was the first USPSA match of the season.  And by the end of the match I had settled down some.  The final two stages were much better, if not entirely satisfactory.

Here's a video of Stage #6, I think.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Morning Match Review - March ARPC IDPA Club Match

Last month the match wasn't worth talking about.  Our monthly match on February 8th was very cold.  I think it was 15-20 degrees in the morning when we were shooting.  And we were standing on a couple of inches of ice and snow, so there wasn't a lot of movement.  Every time I took my hands out of my pockets to load or shoot, my fingers were hurting bad.  It's really no fun shooting in conditions like that.  And it's probably not really very productive for practice.

This Saturday (March 8th) we had better weather.  It was still cold, hovering around freezing.  But it wasn't as bad as February.  We had 6 really good, challenging stages so the match was fun.  Lessons learned?  First, I pulled a mike on the only swinger in the match.  I continue to be frustrated by stupid swingers.  I need to work on them a lot more before the real competition begins with major matches.

Second, I think all my dry-fire practice over the winter paid off, mainly with draw times and transition times.

Third, as for stupid mistakes, I dropped a partially full magazine on one stage while moving from one position to another.  I had to stop and retrieve it.  I don't think I lost 3 seconds doing so.  Sometimes I go into USPSA mode in IDPA matches.  I'm not sure there's a great deal I can do to fix that.  It's unconscious.  I'd be more concerned if I accidentally went in the IDPA mode at USPSA matches.

The results of the match can be found here.  No pictures or videos this time.

And here's Ken's USPSA-style analysis of the match.

I don't like 94.5% accuracy at all.

This coming Saturday is the first USPSA match for me in Sparta, IL.  I'm looking forward to the USPSA season!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

1000 .223 rounds loaded!

My first batch of .223 rounds are now loaded.  There are just under 1000 rounds here.  It's the kind of thing you just have to take a picture of before they are all gone.  I need more stripper clips!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Krebs Extended Safety

The stock safety on the Sig 556 is just too small.  My hands aren't huge, so I had a hard time engaging and disengaging it with a normal grip.  The Krebs extended safety is great.  I installed it last night and it's perfect.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

.223 Update

So I went to the range today. Yeah, I'm a fool.  It was 22 degrees and windy.  It was crazy cold.  My hands were hurting after about ten minutes of exposure.  Fortunately, it didn't take too much longer than that for me to chrono and group my new test .223 rounds in my SIG 556.  

I only shot about 25 test rounds.  They all cycled and went bang, even the 5 or so that had questionable case gauge results.  Cool.  I'll take that.  Groups were okay.  About 1/2 inch at 25 yards. I didn't have access to anything longer than that today.

They chrono-ed at about 2700 fps.  I think that's about right for a 16 inch barrel.  All my reloading manuals say 26grs of W748 should yield about 2900 for a 55gr bullet at an OAL of 2.215.  But they are all using a 24-inch barrel for the tests.  So I think I'm just about right. Besides my factory 55gr ammo crono-ed at about 2800 the other day.  I'm not too far from that.  My load is 25.8gr of W748 under a Hornady 55gr FMJBT bullet with an OAL = 2.215.  I my up the powder load a grain or two.

The next batch of bullets I buy, however, will be 62gr.  My rifling has a 1-7 twist. That's a bit fast for a smaller 55gr bullet.  I notice that the 62gr factory ammo groups a little better for me.