Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Meanwhile, back at the range

(Sorry I've been so long with this, but it's being a busy week.)

As both of my readers know, few weekend trips to Camp Freehold are complete without a trip to the range. This weekend was no exception.

Daughter was unable to attend, as she had an impromptu trip to the doctor with a nicely infected toe. That'll teach her to A) watch out for spiders and B) tell your parents when you have a problem. Our group included Son, Old Friend's Older Brother and his Lady Friend. Outside of his Ugly Gun collection (Hi Points in 3 calibers), we had his Walther P22, his Marlin Glenfield 60, my Remington 512 Sportsmaster and my SAR-8 (HK-91 clone).

Son has taken to the Remington, which is understandable, since it's such a great gun. .22 caliber with that long barrel, it's amazingly accurate with iron sights and cheap ammo. He's working on 100 yards using a bag on a bench. He's keeping everything on paper, the majority within the rings and most of that in the 8 ring or better. I know it's not terrific shooting, but it's pretty good for a young kid.

I, on the other hand, took only a few shots with it, preferring to work on my wayward HK clone. I've been fighting failure to eject (FTE) problems for some time, and wanted to experiment. This time, I took multiple magazines and some Portuguese surplus 7.62 rather than the South African I've been using. The results were interesting.

First, I loaded a 20 round mag and shot that at a moderately slow pace. No problems in terms of FTE, and it grouped well. About 18" low and 12" right, but a nice group.

I adjusted windage and loaded 10 rounds. No problems with FTEs, windage was getting there. Shot 5 more rounds and got the windage where I wanted it. Still not FTEs.

Well, at this point we're done adjusting the sights. I need an HK sight tool to work on elevation, and I don't have one. (Got to do something about that. I've tried the hemostat trick and it doesn't seem to work for me.) Let's change magazines and see what happens.

I load 5 rounds in another mag and start shooting. Round 1, good, Round 2...there is no Round 2. We've had an FTE and a nasty jam to follow it up. Cleared the jam and restarted. Rounds 3, 4 and 5 are OK. Maybe it was a fluke.

I loaded 5 more round in the same magazine. Round 1 is fine, Round 2 FTEs. Repeated the clearing drill and fired 3, 4 and 5 with no problems.

This is too weird. If the magazine's bad, shouldn't it be bad all the time? Switched back to the other mag, loaded 10 rounds and fired. No problems.

At this point, I'm leaning toward magazine issues. Except for the one that came new with the gun, they're all used. I've marked each mag, and I'm going back this weekend with more/different mags and both kinds of ammo. I will get this sorted out. With luck, I may even get the sights adjusted, assuming I can find one of those tools and get it in here in time.

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