Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Afternoon at the Range

It was a fine afternoon in the Osage Cuestas. It must have been near 60 degrees when I drove to the range south of the house. Yesterday I would have lost the target stands to the wind, but today it was gentle. I did have to capture one TQ-19 silhouette that took off toward the north after slipping six staples.

I stapled up some four-inch circles and some TQ-19s at 50 yards. I shot several groups with the new 9mm AR-15 carbine using the edge of the pickup bed as a rest. I then stood a few feet from the end of the bed and took on the TQ-19s. I didn't want to hunt brass in the midst of rotting hedge apples. They also make it difficult to kneel or go prone unless, of course, there's a bunch underfoot and there are people around to laugh when you fall. The Osage Orange trees make some fine shade in July and August, so I can deal with the apples.

The 9mm brass landed in nice cluster on the bed liner just behind the cab. The tightwad Scot in me is disturbed when too much brass is lost.

After 150 rounds of 115-grain JHPs, the bolt carrier started to operate sluggishly and I had a bit too much practice clearing malfunctions. I assumed fouling was the culprit. I opened the carbine up, took out the bolt carrier, wiped it down, reassembled, and still had problems. I put it away and worked at seven and 15 yards with the S&W 642-2 .38 Special I've carried daily since March.

When I took apart the carbine later to clean it, I noticed the large roll pin near the rear of the carrier that secures the counterweight was protruding just enough to drag against the upper receiver channel. I drove it in and lightly staked it so it won't work loose in the future. I'll take it for another spin tomorrow after I finish the morning chores.

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