Sunday, March 05, 2006

Good Day

AFlickr Photos Judge mentioned below, he and I made time to go to the range on Friday to knock off the rust. All in all, it was very productive and constructive. I got to shoot everything I wanted to shoot, there were no mechanical malfunctions that weren't caused by the dumbass holding the gun (seat the mag Jose). The first thing we shot are the cowboy pistols and did some drills for accuracy, smoothness, draws and then worked into a two pistol string. Next the rifles, It gave me the first opportunity to try out the "Gigante" sight on my Marlin. Well, that baby is just tits! There is no way that you should loose that sight. The other thing that occured to both Judge and myself is that the Marlin is much easier to get into shape for SASS than a '66. Currently, my marlin Cowboy will smoke Judge's '66, part of that is due to me being a guy who works on his guns and the other part is due to the Marlin being a more modern firearm. Coil springs and the advancement in engineering make the Marlin a much more simple gun to work on and therefore tune for Cowboy work. I have no illusions though, with a short-stroke kit, whisper springs and lightning of the hammer and trigger springs, that '66 will eventually be the cat's meow.

We moved from rifles to shotguns and I tested my two for function and we did some times on each shotgun, I got to try out the work I did on my TTN 1878 SXS Mule Ear and try out my '97 after replacing the slide spring and lightning the hammer spring. Everything was in order and all our shotguns performed flawlessly. My '97 is getting to the point right now that with the exception of some of the professionally worked on '97s, mine is the slickest '97 I've handled.

We wrapped up the day at the range by shooting tactical pistols (or defense pistols if you like). Judge had his Glock 17 that he carries for the department and I had my trusty Kimber Eclipse CLE II. I got to workout the new Mitch Rosen holster for the 1911 and it is truly a joy to wear and draw from. The early tightness of the holster had me concerned, but that has worked itself out. I also tried out the 200g semi-wadcutters that I'd loaded up and feared that I'd screwed the pooch on them because I'd misread the info on the reloading manual and put in a half grain less than I wanted. My fears were proved unfounded as the Kimber ate them flawlessly and was as accurate as I am (read mediocre at best). Sorry there aren't more pictures from the range, but Judge and I like to shoot and forget to take pictures.

During the tactical portion of the day Judge ran me through several drills that required one handed shooting, movement and use of cover (or a reprFlickr Photoesentation of cover). We also did some drills for speed draw and due to the nature of my holster, I was faster than Judge, my fastest draw was .87s out of the holster, the problem is that it came as a total suprise when the gun went off, even though I hit the target, so I don't really count that. I was typically in the 1.15 range. I know it isn't terribly fast, but I don't plan on doing any "High Noon" gunfights soon.

On the way back, we stopped at one of the toy stores on our way back and Judge picked up a shotgun bead to use on his sight, seems he fell in love with the "Gigante" sight and had to have one. We wound up at my house cleaning guns in the garage, this picture of my garage should tell you that I need more room. We knocked out the cleaning pretty quick and then I got to working on Judge's '66 putting the sight together.

Flickr PhotoFirst, you gotta take the sight off the gun, I clamped it in my bench vice (with non-marring inserts from Sears). I then drifted it out with a nylon punch and brass hammer. Notice the use of the task chair to support the rest of the gun while in the vice, talk about redneck gunsmithing!

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Picture of me struggling with that (to me) tiny bead.

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A picture of the problem, somewhere in there is a shotgun bead, honest!
Turns out, during the process I made a mistake and cut the post I soldered on too short and in trying to crimp the Marbles sight, I broke it. Undetoured, I broke out the grinding wheel on my dremel and ground off all the bad metal, drilled the post hole deeper, polished everything up, cold blued it and then inserted the sight and crimped. Funny thing is that the way its shaped now, the sight actually protects the bead from being banged around, so it might be an improvement. At least that's what I told Judge! Heck, he can't complain, he got a sight for the price of a Monster Burger from Hardees.

Anyway, from 9am to 7pm on Friday, it was all guns all day and you can't get much better than that!

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