Monday, June 25, 2012

A Day at the Range

I haven't been to the range since I qualified for my Ohio CCW permit, which I'll write about later on.  So when Big Mike told me he'd be in town over the weekend and asked me if I'd like to go shooting, I naturally answered in the affirmative.

One way or another we got into a game of 9mm eight ball.

I started by warming up a little with my Ruger Mark II Government .22.  I'm not unhappy with the results.

Warm Up With the Ruger .22
Big Mike accused me of practicing, which I didn't bother denying.  How am I supposed to prove I haven't been practicing?  I haven't, though.  Today's tight group is the result of an extra morning snort to steady my nerves, combined with better lighting than usual at The Bullet Stop.

Ruger .22 Government

The Ruger is overdue to be stripped down a thoroughly cleaned, but since it isn't jamming or having any other problems I'm loathe to take it apart.  I've only had it apart once or twice before, and getting it back together was a real pain.  The first time I had it apart was at Cleland's.  I didn't know how to take it apart and so asked the young man behind the counter, who couldn't admit that he didn't know how either.  He took it into the back room and the gun smith (presumably the gun smith, but it might have been a Troll from under the High-Level Bridge for all I know) got it apart.  He then handed me the pieces with an air of finality.  Not so fast, wise guy.  Let's see you put it back together.  He explained the process, then failed to get it back together.  Again, he tried handing me the pieces but I wasn't having any.  You got it apart, you get it back together.  So it's run (literally) back into the back room to emerge five minutes later with a red face and a reassembled .22 pistol.  Maybe I'll hold off on taking it apart.

I switched to my Smith and Wesson M59 in 9mm.  I've never been able to shoot this pistol very well.  The grip is fat, which provides for a high capacity magazine but does nothing to help my small hand.  Additionally the 9mm produces a nasty, snappy recoil which is hard on the wrist.  I don't know if it's the way the gun is built or the way I'm holding it or something else, but the muzzle ends up pointed at the ceiling after each shot.  I'm not very happy with the group, but Big Mike put this into perspective for me one day by holding my target against his chest and asking me, "How does it look now?"
Practice With My Smith and Wesson Model 59 in 9mm

Smith and Wesson Model 59
I got bored of the usual paper targets and so printed a couple of these off.  This is a game of 8 ball which I would guess you could play different ways.  We played an 8 ball variant.

Big Mike shot first and took stripes, sticking me with the solids.  I didn't mind.  The thing is that I was using my S and W M59, and what I didn't tell Big Mike was that the stupid thing shoots low and to the left.  Take a look at the 13 ball and you'll note I drilled it smartly, very close to the center.  I was shooting at the 9 ball at the time.  Nice, huh?

First Game
We got right down to the 8 ball with Big Mike shooting at it first and just clipping the edge; his shot is at two o'clock.  I took the next shot and just barely clipped it at seven o'clock.  Big Mike tried again and hit it almost dead center, very close to the printed numeral 8.  Ever the gracious sportsman and knowing I was unlikely to beat his last shot, Mike offered me another chance at victory stating that if I could better his last shot he'd grant me the win.  What did I have to lose?  Pride?  (Stop laughing, you bums).  I came close, clipping the white bull's eye at seven o'clock.  Mike won, but I demanded a rematch using .22.

8 Ball Victory for Big Mike
Since Mike failed to bring his fiendishly expensive, top of the line, shoots only really expensive ammo Browning Buck Mark I willingly offered the loan of my Ruger.  Cutting right to the chase, I won this one.  I had the stripes and Mike took the solids.  Big Mike gave himself credit for sinking the 2 ball, which I thought looked a little shaky.  Well, it's all relative.  Note that there are fewer misses here and that 8 ball is drilled very solidly through the center.  That's me that drilled that 8 ball.

Second Game

The Winning Shot

Smith vs. Glock
Big Mike was shooting his 9m Glock, which I like a little better in some was than my Smith.  Mainly because it's easier on the hands while torching off the last few rounds of the day.  By the time we finished I was really feeling the need to relax and wrap my hands around something that had a different sort of kick than my M59.

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