Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday Firearm Follies

Time to load up. Yes folks, that's a truck that actually gets used as a truck, and has seen been "off road" a time or two this week. Washing it can wait, for I have an invite to a shoot out at the conservation club.

It's up northeast the city, an easy 45 minute drive for me. Look a billboard!

click to enlarge photo
I love this part of the country!

Soon I had arrived.

It was a quiet afteroon at the Atlanta Conservation Club. Several of the IND blog group are members and were supposed to meet me there but I don't see much sign of life.

Friday at an outdoor range in late Fall normally isn't bustling, but a request was made to help move match equipment to a new building. I bet that's where everyone is.

Looks like a work party was in session, the men volunteering to move match equipment into a beautiful new pole barn that was built. So they had a half dozen strong guys to move the stuff. The stuff was a bit heavy for me but I wanted to help so I volunteered to walk a fine four legged friend who had come along with his master and had been patiently waiting in the truck. He and I had a nice jaunt around the whole place, peeing on all the appropriate places (the dog!, the dog!).

When the men were done, it was time to set up.

It was getting late in the afternoon, and most of the folks left. Probably resting up for the State match tomorrow, but you could almost hear the crickets. On the plus side, I had my favorite spot to myself.
Fine, more room for my stuff on the table.

For warm up, I was going to shoot the Sig .45 with some new home loads to try out.

And then one of the groups XDM in 40.

And of course a favorite wheel gun.

We set the barrel up to shoot from 50 feet to do some qualifying type shots. I've been shooting only twice for just fun since Spring; with a death in the family there was little time. I went once with Miles for a ZAP match (Zombie Apocolypse Proficiency) and once with my Atlanta friends. It's probably not going to be pretty, but I warmed up with a few rounds from the P220 .45 using a sticky target on the much used backdrop, while someone got the paper targets stapled to the rest of them.

Not my best, but at distance not cringeworthy.

But I think that backdrop needs to be replaced or covered with a real target. Looks like an army of .22 attacked it before someone with a large caliber placed the killing shots to the head at some point.

Next I'll try two magazines, .45 acp, rapid fire, timed on the 50 foot target. Still getting some shots low. I'm either breaking wrist down, pulling forward or drooping my head. I'd ask RB what he observed but he was probably NOT looking at my hands (that guy thing). AT 50 feet, it's OK but I need to get out here more.

Next summer, hopefully things will be back on schedule. I miss going every week or so.

This is going to be fun; RB showed up with his IPDA XD in 9 mm to practice for a match and offered to let me try it.

As they say in the ads "I have an app for that!"

I love the XDM in 40 which I have reviewed before. But what about its " little brother".

From a distance you might think Glock like - polymer framed high capacity, autoloading, the little trigger safety flange thing Glock is known for, but that is where any similarity ends. The forged and milled slides reminds me more of one of my Sig's, as do the takedown lever and slide release. The grip angle reminds me of a 1911 while the grip shape hints at days with a Browning hi-Power. It also has a grip safety, like the 1911.

The XD may look like a double action but it's not, and it doesn't quite shoot like one. When the slide cycles, the striker is fully cocked, not partially as you would find in a Glock. First time long shots can be as good as a 1911, with the 5 pound trigger. It's a trigger clean enough to make good shots, for fun or in competition without being so wimpy that that the lawyer standing next to you is getting nervous it doesn't have more external safeties. Theh trigger is not going to break like a glass rod but it's really clean compared to other 9 mm weapons I've tried, about a quarter inch of take up, a hint of creep and then it breaks boom. (the creep part is where the trigger is lifting the striker block which serves to prevent the pistol from being fired in the event that it is dropped.

It feels good in my hand, it's accurate and it's fun.

In short, - I WANT ONE !!

The sun's getting pretty low in the sky, a few rounds with the Vaquero and it will be time to drive home.

The sun's fading and the mosquitoes are making an end run against the Deep Woods Off so it's time to go. First picking up brass.

I hope this person figured out it shoots better if the primer isn't in backwards.

Time to go, the place was quiet, the night almost upon us. A setting sun bidding adieu to a fun afternoon.

Rangebuddy waves goodbye as he drives off into the West. He's teaching a friends two college age daughters how to shoot for the first time tomorrow (avoid any grip it 20% tighter jokes) and is off to get things ready.

Soon, home to see Barkley. I think he's still a little miffed he didn't get to go shooting with me.


  1. That looks like a LOT of fun - and having the range to yourself: how cool is that?

  2. Yep, looks like a grand day at the range.

    The XD is hard to fault, regardless of caliber.

  3. Reminds me I should go shoot my XD this afternoon

  4. Looks like a good day at the range. That Vaquero is a nice very piece. Mine was a total impulse buy. I went to the shop looking for something else when I saw it. Still the prettiest gun I've ever seen. I tried to resist, really I did but it was speaking to me. You know, that voice that says "You want me, you know you do. You can't resist so why not just give up now and save yourself some angst?" With a wife who's an unrepentant enabler I bought it in 44-40 on the spot.
    I shouldn't be allowed free access to gun shops. Ever.
    I've been looking at and thinking about an XD for a while now. From your description I'm thinking that's next.

  5. I been thinking of getting the XD .45 as part of Ignatius Piazza's Front Sight free gun deal. I can always use more gun training.

  6. Glad you finally got some quality time on the range :-) Get rid of a few frustrations? Feel better? I always do!

  7. Back when I had need of a small firearm my choice was the Walther PPK 380 in stainless (and still is) loaded with silvertips. The reason was the frame attached barrel. It always seemed to hit what you pointed at. Now retired I just wear baggy clothes and carry a 1911 (only slightly modified).

  8. Great pic of no-shooty dog!
    Where does "They have app for that" come from? I`ve noticed it in friday`s Bones also..
    Looking forward to MY day at outdoor range:

    (not perfect translation, ccw was translated as health insurance.. but at least y`all have an idea what`s it about :) )

  9. All I can say is... I wish I had been there!

  10. Pretty Vaquero. What caliber? My old model Vaquero is in .357 to match my Winchester, but after hearing about the improvements in the New Vaquero, I thought trying one out would be a dandy excuse to get into .45 Colt. Maybe with a .45 ACP extra cylinder.
    **sigh**, so many toys to play with.

    That range looks nice, and congratulations on basically getting it to yourself. I'm small-group social, but basically solitary, and shooting is something I like to internalize to enjoy. Having said that, if I make a great shot, I look around to see if any of my buddies saw me do it.

    As to time for shooting, I sympathize. Mother was spiraling down all throughout 2009, so every spare moment was spent with her. When we finally lost her in January, that started a whole new set of issues and priorities. A day at the range either hasn't been possible, or I just haven't felt like it. Getting there, though.

    Glad you had a good time.
    All my best,

  11. That looks like a pretty good 50ft group you shot.At my age (66) I limit my range to 45ft or less.I guess that comes with age. I also had to quit the compact guns and use a Glock 17 or 5" 1911 for alonger site radius.

  12. Have you tried one of the S&W M&Ps?

  13. Love my XD .45. Wish I had the compact version.

  14. I went to my fav gun shop today. The kind of shop where you might find some Nazi marked 8mm (don't ask me how the wermark got through), some "Wallace for President" buttons, East German Engineer uniforms, volumes of how to survive to finacial collapse (circa 1983), 1976 House Investigation on Assassination Volumes, Europian maps that still have the East-West Line, etc, you get the idea.

    I was seriously tempted by a Beretta 92 in .40. With Crimson Trace grips. With a .22lr conversion upper. *shake* The price was decent at $800. I just couldn't.

    First the Beretta is not a supported handgun platform here (Colt, Glock), second I own NOTHING in .40 (but I guess I could work those 10mm dies down) and third... I'd have to trade something to get an unsupported firearm in a calibur I don't use.

    It was pretty, it had three dot sights, it was nice, it had never been shot (.40 or .22) and the CT grips were on at 20 ft.

    I miss range days. 1k rds of .45 looking at me like the aliens in Toy Story (oooOOOOOOOoooooo The MAGAZINE! The Magazine knows all!) My Glock coughing lint balls when I strap her on in the morning. She remembers summers past where I'd give her a good 200rd workout followed by a nice oil down every weekend.


  15. It's been too long since I've been to a shooting range. I did manage to use my rifle cleaning rod, as a mandrel for a long turks head knot, when tying a lanyard yesterday. The faint scent of gun oil can induce a trigger happy mood. :)

  16. I found one of those inverted primer rounds once. The hard way. I was shooting an NRA Bullseye match and had a no-fire round. Fortunately, it was in the slow-fire portion of the match, so I just swapped it out and kept shooting.

    It does look like you had a good time. But what is that old saying? "The worst day shooting is better than the best day working." Something like that.

  17. Awww, you're making me nostalgic for my old home range, Brigid. I miss ACC, that was a great facility with great people!


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