Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Day at the Range: Saturday, May 29, 2010

My brother Big Mike and I went out to the Bullet Stop to exercise our Second Amendment rights, followed by civilized drinking at the Maumee Bay Brewing Company, and a good time was had by all. I intended to post this earlier but somehow I got sidetracked.

I took my S&W 9mm, which I've been trying to practice with regularly. I like the Smith for the double action feature and the hi-cap magazine; what I don't like is the nasty snap I get when I torch one off.

S&W 9mm

Although I can barely see the target, I seem to be doing a fairly good job of perforating it. I call this 'instinct shooting' and may write a book detailing just how this happens and how anyone with poor eyesight can accomplish the same or better results. Here's what the target looks like to me:
Target at 1000 Yards

Well, it seemed like a thousand yards. Here are the results:
Perforated Target

The tear at the top is where I flinched and hit the dingus that you clamp the target onto. No, I didn't do that on purpose. The real reason I wrote about this visit at all was the young fellow at the lane next to us; in fact, the only other person on the range. He was shooting an FNH 5-7 handgun (Fabrique Nationale Herstal  Five-seveN handgun).
FN Five-seveN

This beauty has a 20 round magazine and fires the 5.7x28mm cartridge which has a velocity of about 2200 fps when used in the pistol, about 2600 fps in the carbine. This is one hot little round.

.22 Long Rifle, 5.7x28mm, .45 ACP

Here are three common calibers by way of comparison. Note the diameter of the .22 next to the 5.7 bullet. The .45 ACP is about 230 grains, a standard .45 load. The owner was a law enforcement officer who had just been sworn in and was practicing with his carry pistol. He was kind enough to let Mike and I try a few shots, which is significant when you consider that the ammo is around $1 a shot.

The thing about the 5.7 is that there is no recoil to it. I detected less recoil than a .22 auto-loader and Mike had the same experience. If a person learned how to shoot it, anyone could easily hold the pistol right on target and hammer one round after another just as fast as you could pull the trigger.

I told the young officer that I hoped he never got into a gun fight, but if he did my money was on him. He's clearly got the edge.

After that, Mike and I repaired to The Maumee Bay Brewing Company for some much needed beer research.
Beer Menu

I selected the Brewedwitch Barleywine, a choice I'd recommend to all.

Here's How!


Capt. Schmoe said...

I saw the picture of that first generation S&W 9mm and I had to open up the safe and make sure you hadn't been in there.

I have a model #59 that I've had for 10 years or so. It started out as a issue weapon for a local PD, then was re-issued to our arson unit when the P.D. went to #4013s. My arson partner bought it from the district when we went with the #4013s as well. He never shot it so he sold it to me cheap. I'm into cheap.

I shoot it fairly well, though I seen to have a stovepipe issue with it. I have replaced the extractor and spring with little improvement, so I fear it may really be "limpwrist" issue with me, though this is the only auto that I have problems with.

As such, it is relegated to the "second shelf" and is not a go to war gun for me. Fortunately, I have many others to take it's place and I have not given up on it.

I'd like to try one of those 5.7 x 28's though. I'm not sure if the are on the approved list in my state.

Thanks for the post.

Mad Jack said...

Thanks for stopping by, Capt.

When I first shot the 9mm I had a few stove pipe issues as well. A knowledgeable man down at the range suggested I was holding it too loosely and he was right. I tightened down on it and haven't had a problem since.

For some reason, and I don't know why, it tends to jump a lot for me, much more so than, say, my 1911 in .45. Still, if a PD used it as an issue weapon it must be pretty reliable.

Capt. Schmoe said...

I don't know about reliability being a factor with the local PD. The 4013s that replaced the 59s were notoriously unreliable. Our unit had six of them, 2 were horrible. (mine included) I swapped with one of the other investigators for a qualification shoot, the problem followed the gun.

The armorer was a S&W certified gunsmith, he couldn't figure it out either. I bought a Glock 23, that solved the problem for me.

I own a Smith 645, that is a top shelf weapon, though it is too big for most of my needs.

These days, a HK USP40 Compact and a SW Air-Lite TI, #342 I think, take care of the practical component of the collection, the rest is just for fun.

I have only fired a 1911 a few times, it was an enjoyable experience. I know there's a closet somewhere, with a GI bring home on a shelf. Hopefully, it has my name on it.

Take care.