Cutting right to the chase, Executive Mendicant and I met up at Shooters of Maumee a few minutes before 10:00. As I have mentioned before, Shooters is my first choice for a range in the Toledo area; The Bullet Stop is my second. The range was not nearly as crowded as I expected, and we were able to get two lanes right away. I started off with my S&W 686 using .38 ammunition - why knock myself out with .357 magnum just to perforate some harmless paper?
|Shooter's Welcome Sign|
|Results with .38 Revolver|
The real reason is that the range is hot and my goggles tend to fog up. While it's certainly true my eyesight is failing, I ended up squinting at the target through the fog and doing the best I could to keep a tight group, then I realized what was going on. I was hot, literally, and the condensation was adding another barrier between me and the paper. Nice, huh?
|Smith and Wesson 9mm DA Autoloader|
|Results with 9mm|
Along about this time the guy next to me cut loose with a howitzer, simultaneously deafening me even through my cans and plugs (I wear both) and waking up the range. Eventually he ran out of gas or something, and the reverberating crash from his elephant gun was replaced by the tranquil, civilized sound of small arms fire. I tell you, some people...
Executive Mendicant offered to let me shoot his tiny revolver, the Smith and Wesson Airweight. I accepted his kind offer.
|Smith and Wesson Airweight|
|Smith and Wesson Airweight|
The pistol is small. I have small hands, and I had trouble deciding just how I was going to hold onto it. Using two hands is not possible, but you can grip one hand with the other, which is what I ended up doing for the first shot.
The little gun doesn't really have sights. There's a groove on the top strap and a front sight, but what I ended up doing was pointing the little hand cannon in the direction of the paper and letting fly. I hit the paper with it, and that's good enough for me.
The trigger pull is long and difficult. I don't know what the pull is on the trigger, but the first time I tried pulling it I ended up stopping halfway and resetting my grip. You really have to pull to get the gun to go off, which in my case makes me shoot low and left. The trigger pull is so hard I think it would preclude some people from actually shooting the pistol, as they'd have a huge problem pulling the trigger.
Given that the pistol doesn't weigh anything, when you torch one off you are really going to know it. It kicks like a mule and makes more noise than a .45 on steroids. I was shooting .38 target loads in it and on the first shot the gun shifted in my grip. I tied down a lot tighter and ran out the other four shots without much problem, but it still isn't a fun gun to shoot.
I managed to hit the paper with all five shots, but that's about it. This revolver isn't a target pistol and never will be, but that isn't a bad thing. Here's what the gun has going for it:
- Weight. It's supposed to be a concealed carry pistol or a back up pistol, and in that role lighter is better.
- Design. The hammer is completely shrouded so there's no spur to catch on your clothing or holster, giving you one less thing to worry about should you ever have to draw it in a hurry.
- Caliber. The .38 caliber is certainly adequate for self-defense; police and the military have used it for years.
- Size. It's small, which means it can be easily concealed. You could put this in your jeans pocket and carry it comfortably.
My only real complaint is the trigger pull. The gun needs a class A trigger job so that the pull is more like something you'd find on a Colt Python. Do that, and the Airweight is a great concealed carry pistol.
So ends my review and my time at the range. I think I'm going to wait a week, then try shooting my 9mm again and see if I can somehow get around to really nailing the bull's eye with it.