Posts Tagged With: Smith & Wesson

Range Report!

Over the past month, because of being gone for a conference and being gone visiting family (various iterations), I’ve developed a backlog of New Guns (ok, Guns New to Me) that needed to be taken to the range.

Today was the day.

The S&W 52 has been waiting the longest for its range trial, mainly due to the difficulty of finding .38 full wadcutters. They had to be ordered online, as none of the local gun stores carry them. But they had arrived and been stashed aside, in preparation for today. I’m still searching for a full instruction manual on the disassembly/reassembly of the gun, but I had been able to do at least some cleaning and oiling of it in the meantime.

It shoots a dream. The trigger exactly what you’d expect in a gun that was made for bullseye shooting, and it is indeed that accurate. My first 10 rounds, followed by a later 25 rounds.

S&W 52 (First 10)

S&W 52 (25 rounds)

Each magazine is limited to 5 rounds, so it’s easy to keep a round count. A box of 50 still goes way too fast. I’m going to need to quit caffeine on the days I want to shoot this one to its full potential!

Next up was the Colt Python…my first revolver. The grip is very different, speaking as someone who is used to only shooting semi-automatics, but I got the hang of it quickly. Sorry, OldNFO…I’m keeping this one! This is a shot of the first 20 rounds through that one.

Python (First 20)

I must say…it shoots amazingly well!

And here’s a shot of the Python sitting with the BF’s Trooper. Sort of a family outing for the revolvers today.

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The last new-to-me gun was the Colt Woodsman. Having only one magazine for it makes it a little cumbersome to put too many rounds through it, and it still needs a thorough cleaning, but it is a lot of fun. Finding the point of aim was a little more challenging on this one, because the sights are so tiny, but I got it nailed down fairly quickly. This is the first 10 shots through it.

Woodsman (First 10)

All in all, a great day at the range!

Categories: Firearms, Vacation | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Driving Home From My Parents’…

I apparently made one too many stops. It’s not a long trip, just over 200 miles, but there are a few tempting places to stop along the way.

At the Big Box Outdoor Store, there were several very tempting guns, but they were seriously overpriced (probably by at least 1/3, from what I could figure), even if old Colts and S&Ws do make me drool. I kept my hands (and my wallet) in my pocket and kept on driving.

Then I made the “mistake” of stopping at the main branch of our Local Gun Store. Their used gun case is a toss-up. Some days, it’s nothing but Glocks; other days, a real gem is hiding with its snout poking out just far enough to be seen between all of the others.

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This one was hiding almost all the way back on the bottom shelf, but it stuck out just far enough to be noticed. A little beat-up; a little dirty; a lot old…but what a beauty to find tucked under there!

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photo 1

It’s a first series Colt Woodsman, with a SN that dates it to around 1921, from the best I can figure. Definitely needs a good cleaning, but I’ve found instructions for how to dismantle it and get it back together successfully. I’ll also need to start hunting for more magazines (yes, I know…might as well wish for unicorn farts!). But I’m really looking forward to seeing this in action!

Categories: Firearms, Vacation | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

How Did I Get Here?

The past days have given me an embarrassment of time to think. How did I get where I am? What led me to this point? Why am I one of those who is willing to ferociously defend as sacred the text “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

I was in the military, but as a physician, you are not expected (nor allowed under most circumstances) to be one of those who actively participates in using guns of any sort. However, during the summer after my first year of medical school, the required 6 weeks of active duty time was spent with the military trying to show all of us just how much fun being a GMO (general medical officer) could be. We got wilderness survival training, aircraft safety training, and a training flight in a T-37. And we were taken to the range one time to fire M-9s. It was the first time most of us had ever even held a gun, much less fired one.

I found I was good at it. Really good. And I enjoyed it.

It was probably another 7 or 8 years before I fired a gun again. I was back on active duty and managed to talk my way into a range qualification day despite being a physician and theoretically not needing it. I enjoyed it just as much as I had the first time. And I was still good at it.

Then I found some friends who enjoyed shooting for fun. They owned guns, though none of them carried. They went to the range on a regular basis, and guns were not scary or frightening to them. They lived out of state, but we’d go shooting every time I visited, and they helped me to purchase my first gun, an H&K .40. That was about 13 years ago. I still have that gun, and I’m still far more accurate with that than I am with any other.

That was it for quite a few years. I had a gun. It came with 2 magazines. It had a box to keep it in. I knew how to clean it. Once in a while, I would go to the range and shoot. I didn’t know what to do other than just shoot at targets, so that’s what I did. I’d get one box of ammunition, maybe two, from the range when I got there, and I’d shoot it all. I didn’t keep any in the house other than the self-defense rounds that were kept loaded between range trips.

I didn’t know there was so much more out there.

After I moved into this house, I found a little neighborhood range up the street. I started shooting much more regularly, and I started looking at the guns that they had in their glass cases. I wasn’t planning on buying anything; after all, what would I do with TWO guns?

Then one day, they had a S&W 952. I’d been vaguely playing with the idea of “what if” and possibly getting into some sort of competitive shooting. I had no idea what was involved, but after looking into what the 952 was, it was definitely a gun that could get me started. So then I had two guns.

But surely, two was enough…right?

Well, no. Because the 952 showed me that there were more calibers out there than just .40. After all, it’s a 9mm. I also realized that there were more manufacturers out there than just the one or two that I had seen. Then I found 2 M&Ps, one in 9mm and one in .40. And a Beretta and a Sig, both in 9mm.

I started trying to figure out why I liked shooting some of my acquisitions better than others. The 952 was easily my favorite, for a lot of reasons. As I shot more, sometimes with range guns, sometimes with guns that were loaned to me by others who were shooting on any given day, I came to realize that it was the 1911 platform that was my favorite. Of course, that meant moving up to .45s. I did a lot of research before I bought my first, but my second was a gun show find, one that literally caught my eye from several aisles away.

Somewhere in there, I also realized how absolutely FUN .22s are to shoot. Fun, and cheap! Once I picked up one, it was almost like potato chips…I couldn’t get just one. Of course, I tried to “justify” two of them by telling myself that they are .22 trainers for full-size handguns that I already had. (But they’re just plain FUN.)

But still, in 20+ years of shooting, I’d only ever fired handguns. No revolvers, even.

Then this spring, I met THOT. He taught me how to shoot a rifle, first with his 10/22 and then with his .308 Enfield. He also likes revolvers, so I’ve now shot a few of those (not just his, but he’s also introduced me to so many other gunnies…and gunnies SHARE). I’ve even shot the shotgun that my dad used to hunt with as a kid.

I’ve discovered that I like shooting rifles at least as much as I do handguns. And if I like shooting something, it’s not fair if I have to keep borrowing that something to shoot it, so I had to get one of my own. I started with an M&P 15-22 (yes, the first rifle I bought -was- an Evil Black Rifle of sorts). My first centerfire rifle was a left-handed bolt-action Savage in .308. I picked up my first AR last month (a -real- Evil Black Rifle). I even have an antique Lebel that fits the bayonet passed down from my dad.

So I’ve come to this slowly and mostly along a solo path, but now I’ve found friends who share similar interests. I’ve spent time talking with them and listening to them. We don’t always agree about everything, but at the core, we do hold some things sacred.

I know that guns can kill; given my background and the work I do, there is no way I could avoid knowing that.

I also know that guns can protect and save. I’m not small, and I’ve had some training in martial arts, but if someone wants to rape me or kill me, my ability to carry and use a gun may be all that stands between me and him. Or them. I’m also not as young as I used to be; I can’t run as fast or hit as hard, and I have one bad knee. Plus right now, I’ve got one shoulder that is just a couple of weeks post-repair. If I am not allowed the ability to defend myself with a gun, I’m incredibly vulnerable should someone desire to take what is mine. Or to take me.

Why should someone have the right to take what is mine or to hurt me because he is bigger than I am, younger than I am, or faster than I am? If guns are made illegal, then only criminals will have guns. Will that make it any more right for him to take what is mine because he then has a gun and I no longer do?

My parents are also getting older. Why should they not have the choice to defend themselves should someone look at them as easy prey? Why should I not have the right and ability to defend them as I would myself?

While I might carry a handgun when outside the house, I am at least as accurate with a rifle as I am with a handgun. Many people like a shotgun for home defense; I think a rifle can serve that purpose very well. If what mine looks like adds to the scare factor, so much the better, but honestly, if I have it out and pointed at someone, it’s not going to be for the scare factor. My home is my castle; I have worked long and hard to get to the point where I could build exactly what I wanted, where I wanted, when I wanted to. I will not give it up to any person who tries to take it from me. I am willing to defend my position in it as I am my life, because to me, that which I have earned is part and parcel of me.

I believe in the ideals this country was founded on. And that includes the Second Amendment.

Categories: Firearms, Wonderings | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

NE Bloggershoot/Gun Show

Wow… That’s about all I can say. Well, no. I really can say more, but that about sums it all up. So much fun packed into a long weekend! Driving 24 hours total to spend 48 hours on-site up in New England might seem crazy to some, but to spend it with like-minded people doing the sort of things we all love so much (talking, sharing, and shooting) was worth every minute of it.

This was the first chance I’ve had to meet anyone other than THOT from the gunblogger/gunnie community. And what a list of people to meet… JayG, who organized it all, Doubletrouble and MrsDoubletrouble, who were kind enough to allow us to descend like locusts upon them, and Wally, who gave the ok to shoot my dad’s Winchester (which got me to “squeeeeee!” so loudly that almost everyone started laughing and someone commented that they didn’t usually hear joy like that until after the shooting had been done).

I met Bubblehead Les and Zercool, Cher and Mopar, Marko, The Senator, TOTWTYTR, ChristinaLMT, and so many more whose names I can’t remember but whose faces I’ll never forget!

I also met Sci-Fi, mrsSciFi, and littleSciFi. That day was littleSciFi’s first day to shoot, and she was having the time of her life! She went from her first shots with a small .22 to multiple 25-round magazines through my S&W 15-22 fearlessly. And to see the joy on her face as she bent over that Big Black Gun brought an answering smile to my face. I cheerfully played magazine monkey for her, filling those 25-round magazines for her over and over, each time she came to ask, “Could I please shoot the big black gun again?”

This is why we win. Because it’s fun, and we teach our young to do it safely and to do it well.

Two more pics… These are the “junk on the bunk” pics of what THOT and I dragged with us. Between us, 5 long guns and 11 hand guns. I wish I’d taken more pics of what everyone else at the shoot had spread out on tables, but I was having so much fun that I tended to forget about taking pictures half the time because I was talking to people or shooting or just looking around with wide eyes like a kid on Christmas morning.

Of all of the guns I had a chance to shoot, I’m torn over what was my favorite. In some ways, I do think it was my dad’s (now my) shotgun, a Winchester 21 Tournament Grade Skeet 20g. I shot it. THOT shot it. ZerCool shot it. JayG shot it. I believe a few others may’ve shot it, as well. It’s truly a beautiful gun, and I’m so glad that it’s finally back in use after 60+ years in a safe. But I also got to fire TWO full auto rifles! One in .223 and one in 9mm. They were both so much fun!!! (Thank you, Wally!) And I also got to fire JayG’s handgonne. That was awesome, just because of what it is…so simple, so elegant.

But the weekend is over for another year. I’m already counting the days!

Categories: Firearms, Vacation | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Summer Lazy

It’s been a few days since I wrote anything, but summer is settling in to a pattern.

Work is somewhat miserable right now. It’s July, so there’s a whole new crop of residents. You know the joke that says don’t get sick in July? Yeah, no joke. But we also have a new computer system as of a month ago. It seemed to work fine at first, but the deeper into it we get, the more small things there are to trip over, and everyone is on everyone else’s last nerve because nothing meshes quite right.

The weather hasn’t helped, either. A string of days with highs well over 90, some approaching 100…to the point that low-80s is considered a cold snap just isn’t much fun. Luckily, the big storms mostly missed this part of the state, so no big power outages.

And there are definitely some good things to this summer. Lots of range time. Just about every week, if not more than once in some weeks! Yesterday, for example. I was just running through my head trying to figure out how many rounds I’d gone through (and figure at least as much again for my shooting buddy).
— 100 rounds through the HK.40 (I really had forgotten how much fun that thing is to shoot)
— 60 rounds through the M&P.22
— 200 rounds through the Walther.22 (first time with enough magazines to make shooting this one worthwhile, and it’s awesome! Definitely worth having waited for the 5″ barrel, too.)
— 100 rounds through the M&P 15-22

And yesterday was just Monday. After tonight, I’m off the rest of this week, so I can’t imagine not getting to the range at least once more.

I’m enjoying summer this year.

Categories: Firearms, Work | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Watch Them Fall

Last night, the little range up the street had a bowling pin match. What fun! I think somewhere upwards of 20 people participated; I met a few of them, had a lot of laughs, and really had a good time. I took my S&W 952 because it’s so much fun to shoot.

My first round did not go well. Lesson learned…do not take a gun to a match that I haven’t shot recently. Little things like…oh…how that specific gun works fly right out memory under pressure. So, off to the losers’ bracket I went.

I did a bit better there. One round, it took only 8 shots before my 5 pins fell. I got better at changing mags quickly and efficiently. But I lost a second time when my gun had its first ever failure-to-eject. I’m still marveling at that one, but I’ve had it 5 years and shoot it a fair amount, so once in a very long time…I can’t complain. (Except that it will always happen at the worst possible time.)

The laughs came when one person took the half of the front edge off of one of the tables, followed not too long thereafter by another person taking the other half of it off of the same table. To do that, you had to hit a zip-tie just right and sever it, so those shots were damn good…but you couldn’t have done it if you tried.

Categories: Firearms | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Buy a Gun Day…

seems to have become a month-long celebration for me this year.

It all started when I decided that I wanted a .22 for target practice. Cheaper ammo is not, after all, to be sneezed at, and with the variety of .22s that are currently being produced, I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to find something that I’d enjoy shooting.

I started at my local range where I most often go to shoot. It’s close; it’s convenient; it’s a small, local, second-generation family-owned business, and I believe in supporting local whenever possible. Unfortunately, they have been stocking fewer and fewer handguns lately, and their response to a query about a specific type or model is usually to shrug and say, “Sorry, we don’t have that,” rather than, “Let’s see what we might do about finding one for you.” But they did have an Smith & Wesson M&P .22. It felt just about like the two other M&Ps that I already have (9mm and .40). And I really do like both of my other M&Ps…so I got the baby of the family! It is fun to shoot, too. Very nice groups out to 50ft (which is as far as that range is long).

A few days later, I was at one of my favore stores in the world. It’s a large all-around outdoor store, but also a local business. While I was there, I was looking at their stock of Ruger .22s. I had been looking into those before I had found the M&P, but hadn’t seen one until that afternoon. After spending some time talking with a few of the guys behind the counter and handling several of the Rugers, I ended up with a second .22…the Mk III Hunter. I was delighted with this one on the first trip to the range! At 50ft, I ended up with about a 2″ hole in the target after 100 rounds with only a few fliers outside of it.

When I really think about it, though, BAG Day (errr…Month) didn’t just start with the search for a .22. I’ve also been searching for quite a while for my first .45. I finally made my choice and went in search of. But things being as they are, Small Fav Store didn’t have it, nor did Large Fav Store. But the guy at LFS called their smaller outlet and, lo and behold, they did! Or, well, they didn’t quite. But I didn’t find that out until I drove an hour to get there, only to realize that it wasn’t exactly the right model. However unlike SFS, the guy here didn’t just say, “Sorry, we don’t have it.” He spent well over an hour with me going through the manufacturer’s catalog to be sure we had the right model, finding the price, and getting it ordered for me. So I still have one more coming to complete BAG Month.

Categories: Firearms | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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