Saturday, October 11, 2008


After breakfast off to my friends at our usual spot at the range. I brought just the P220 today, but had a chance to play with some other toys including a Ruger Mark II 22/45. A very nice shooting 22. There was revolver action and we pretty much shot until our happy fingers had blisters on them.

I tried some tactical practice. Shooting with just one hand, and the left one to boot (I'm right handed). Harder than it seems with a .45 acp, even at about 7 yards.

First shot was spot on, the next two were a bit high. These target backs are Andre the Giant sized, so the center was set right where the heart would be on about a 6 foot male. As my arm got tired (which was surprisingly quickly) the rest were lower and to the right. But assuming I'm shooting one handed and off handed because I was winged in the good arm, it would work. The first shot should have put him down anyway with that load.
Then off to Rick's Cafe for lunch. Everyone was eating outside and we quickly saw why.

I had this giant wedge of ultra crisp lettuce covered with blue cheese dressing. And to round out the meal, a Blue Moon Pale Ale. My friends had togorashi seared sashimi tuna, and somehow some peppered deep fried onion rings with ranch and mango-jalapeno glaze for dipping found their way on the table and ended up to my right.

Then time to say goodbye to Ricks and head out. What's this? Some tractor beam has latched onto the truck, and it was PULLED into several gun stores. (I gave up fighting it after the first one). Where I bought a brand spanking new version of what I was treated to a shoot with this morning. A Ruger Mark III 512KM .22 LR with the 5 1/2 inch barrel and adjustable rear sight. Perfect for some inexpensive target shooting on the weekends. I'll play with it and do a range post next weekend.
It's sunning itself on my deck right now while I finish this post.
Then, home alone, time to sit on the deck and just relax, build a fire in my little fire pit and be thankful for my friends and for the life I have, one of freedom and comfort, hard earned perhaps, but still a gift. I left a life of mountains and large coastal cities for a life in the heart of the land. Sitting here on the deck with Barkley I can look far away to corn fields coming down, the harvest upon us, full of promise and perhaps a bit of danger. It is not the mountains, the hills of stone and wood and ice that were my life for so long, but here is hope and abundance, the fluid need of love and the laughter of shared communion with friends strong and true. I am very grateful to be here.


  1. A day like yours today is a treasure.
    Good friends, good food, good fun.... and a new firearm to boot!

    Now, time to kick back and savor....
    Well done.

  2. I've been pondering most assiduously getting one of those 22/45s. I'd want the 4" with adjustables to "go with" my 4" Kimber. But for a little more money (not much more either) I can get the Kimber .22 conversion unit. Decision, decisions. Your range report will be perused with interest.

  3. A delightful day, Brigid. The Ruger will be perfect to keep around if centerfire ammo gets more expensive or starts to dry up. I remember how primers were almost impossible to find during the last Democratic administration.

    You need to eat some meat for dinner. Winter's coming on. You don't want to get loopy or puny.

  4. Sounds like an excellent day to be sure. I might be jealous but the GBR in Reno has been a blast (literally and figuratively.) Of course you probably have better weather than we do!

    Love the 22/45, but I will warn you to take your time when you detail strip it. The first time I stripped the whole thing it took me a good 30 minutes to get it all back together properly. Now I usually just field strip it and give it a good spray down with CLP and save the detail stripping for some time when I'm feeling just a little masochistic.

  5. Shooting off-hand with both hands was mentioned in Quentin Reynolds (I think) "The Story of the FBI", a book I read in 5th grade. Or maybe I picked it up later, doesn't matter.

    The exact thougt is if you are right-handed and get hit, you need to use the left, so you have to practice with the left.

    I try to practice (time permitting, and I envy your ease at finding a range, Brigid) with both hands, one-handed and two handed. It might be useful to keep my center mass behind something but still put lead downrange with some accuracy.

    And I second the plinking with .22's. Great practice.

    Long ago, eyes were better, but my riflery was limited to .22's. What I learned there helped me shoot High Expert with an M14, Camp Devens, MA, 1971. I don't have a need for it now, but I do lust for an M1A. Sometime...

  6. I hae had one of those 22/45's for years and it is one of my favorite plinkers, enjoy yours! Whatever you do, don't go look at the Tactical Solutions website....(

  7. What a nice day. Glad you're back home.

    william the coroner

  8. I'm an old guy and remember when the 22/45 came out. It was to be for 1911 shooters for cheaper practice and a low cost 22 way into bullseye. Same grip angle as the 1911.Allways wanted one but I allways want one of everything. It should do just fine on squirrels and rabbits too.I'm betting you have some great recipes for those too! the mushroom

  9. Our local range has a Friday night is date night special (1 range fee for regular price the other for 1/2 off). So, my wife and I went there with a friend. Since my wife had just gotten a S&W M&P Compact 9mm, she went through about 250 rounds (no blisters). I went through the about the same on my 1911. The cost of last night has convinced me I need a Ruger 22/45.

  10. Bought my wife a 22/45 for her birthday last year [and a 101 in .38/.357 this year for her concealed carry classes]. Careful with ammunition for the 22/45 - her's wouldn't feed lead-heads, even after Ruger supplied parts and paid for the gunsmithing to correct the problem. She/we can only use the copper-heads. And, no, don't do a full take-down unless you have a lot of time to put the 22/45 back together! OldeForce

  11. Brigid, Im looking forward to your assessment of the Ruger. I have a Mk 1
    and it put me off Ruger. I picked it up from a buddy in Puerto Rico back in the 80's as he had to sell for some quick cash so I can't complain about the expense, but I have only ever put about 500 rounds through it before deciding to buy my Colt and have not used the Ruger since. (Some people would have sold it by now but I just can't bring my self to sell a gun :) )

  12. If you are using the .22 for practice where drawing from a holster is required I recommend the conversion kits. Otherwise it works just fine. When I was competing in the summers here in Minnesota I would run 2000 rounds through the Ruger in the spring before I picked up the 1911.

    As to reassembly, practice makes perfect. I had a fellow shooter who's 22/45 was acting up so I offered to do a quick clean up. Appart in 30 seconds, back together in the same. I thought his jaw was going to hit the floor.

  13. "Some tracker beam has latched onto the truck, and it was PULLED into several gun stores."

    PSST! You mean a "tractor beam".


    Actually, I am starting to think it may be a "tracker beam" that finds the gun store when you weren't looking for one and then the "tractor beam" takes over and pulls you in and "forces" you to pay for something you hadn't intended to. I hate it when that happens. :)

    Most would think it would result in PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) like an "alien abduction" would (including the unexplained loss of time but without the "probe"). However, it actually results in PESD (Post-Ecstatic Stress Disorder) and is usually cured by taking the new toy and going to a therapy session called "range time".

    Sounds like you will need a therapy session at the range with the new toy. hehe. - R

  14. Perfect! Can't beat a day like that with a stick.

    A fine way to celebrate your return home.

  15. I use a MK III for inexpensive training also. With the magazine release on the side, mag changes are similar to my defensive pistols. I shortened the barrel on mine to 3 inches and reinstalled the sight so it fits in my holsters. I also shoot informal bulleye with mine during the winter at the local national guard range. Bulleye shooting is a great way to improve trigger control, and I need all the help I can get!

  16. By "tracker beam", I thought Brigid was referring to the eerie ability of the Celts to steer towards good merchandise at bargain prices.

    As for .45 ACP, it's tougher to save money by reloading it right now. If one has a good source of commercially cast or plated bullets nearby, she or he can amortize the cost of a Dillon 550B fairly quickly, though. At .45 ACP velocities, cast bullets don't lead up barrels to the point it's going to take hours to clean them. However, bulk 230-grain FMJ can be bought here from $7 to $8.50 per 50.

    No doubt you'll still worry about getting in enough practice with your .45s, Brigid. Reloading is yet another way to ease the pain. And it's fun!

  17. Mushroom: I was teasing Brigid and she has my full permission to punch me if I ever start correcting her spelling for real (stated in writing now). This is turning out to be a fun thread. With the fantastic caliber of her writing (pun intended) and cooking she certainly does not need any "help" from me.

    Using a 22 will save money and still does a great job with trigger pull and sight picture practice.

    If you ever want to start reloading just let me know. I have been at it for more than 26 years...doesn't seem that long but it is.

  18. you're going to love that Mark II - I'm awfully fond of mine and always have a great time shooting it. Sounds like a terrific day.

  19. Breda - it's the Mark III, some slight differences I think, I'll let you try it out when you and Mike are here, let me know what you think.

  20. I have been reading your blog for a while now and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts. This post triggered (yes....a pun was intended) me to post a reply.
    Two quick items, if you don't mind.
    First, my first handgun was the Ruger Mark II, 5.5" bull barrel. I still have it and take it out often. It's fantastic, operates flawlessly, and is deadly accurate. I've taught more than one person to shoot with it, including my daughter and a very liberal friend that was willing to expand her boundaries and actually try shooting. BTW, she did GREAT for a first timer.
    Second, I recently forwarded the link to your blog to her. I don't expect her to change her political position. Her passionate beliefs are something I greatly admire, even if I don't agree with all of them. But, I wanted her to see another woman's perspective that may not share quite the same political ground. Diversity of opinions is a good thing. It helps keep us grounded.
    Nice posting Brigid. Thank you.


  21. *nudging* brigids bad shootin' arm...You missed woman!

    By a country mile....Hehehe.

    Um for your weak arm try hefting a two pound weight then progress to three.

    Do curls and it should help with arm the fatigue portion.

    An LAPD SWAT guy I knew used to carry around a tennis ball.

    Everytime I saw him, he was squeezing down on it.

    Dunno, If I'm ever wounded in my good arm, I have no idea what I'd do except change up hands and shoot back

    Tossing a hand grenade or calling in close artillery support comes to mind but that's me, not you....

    If I may ask? Why the heavy mitt? Your hand weak or something?

  22. streetsweeper - The glove has a hole worn into it on the left thumb, so it's time for another glove. When I load my 45 magazines for whatever reason, it rubs that thumb really hard, sometimes to the point of blister - so the glove is for loading, I can do it very fast and painless with the glove. In time perhaps the skin will get tougher but I have pretty delicate redheaded skin.

  23. Yeah Joe - the salad didn't photograph really well, but it was REALLY good blue cheese dressing.there's really no way to make it look good. :-)

  24. That sounds like a pretty good day. I also got a .22 to make shooting more economical. Went with the Browning Buckmark because I had heard mixed reviews about the Rugers (this model is great if it is not from XXX ages,etc). Interested in hearing how yours turns out though.


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