Spring is sprunging and soon a young man's fancy will turn to thoughts of the upcoming shooting season!
March has the just-finished Georgia Steel Challenge at Griffin Gun Club, plus the upcoming Alabama Sectional at Talladega and Area VI Match at Volusia, FL. April will feature the Battle in the Bluegrass and the South Carolina Sectional. Then we'll kick right into the USPSA Classic Nationals for Single Stack and Revolver and the Steel Challenge World Championships, both at Talladega in May.
Before we get cranked up good, please let me address the elephant in the room: COVID-19. I am not staying home. I am not cancelling travel plans. I have an entirely appropriate amount on toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, bread, and milk in our home. I really think that we're panicking more than necessary over this. This is nothing more than SARS, Part II. If you use normal precautions and have a functional immune system, you should be good. Sure, handwashing and not hugging everyone that you come into contact with are great ideas. "Only eating at Chick-Fil-A because they have a good employee sick leave policy and their employees are less likely to show up when ill" is probably over-kill.... (This actually was said to me a couple hours ago by a friend.)
I have seen where some matches are being cancelled, so I am maintaining a watch on that, but I think that it's totally un-necessary. I have yet to engage in a hug-fest at one of these, despite seeing "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat".... As part of our effort to be sensitive to the emerging needs of our customers, I promise not to hug you when you pick up a gun and I'll wipe down all high-touch surfaces of the gun before I give it to you.
There have only been a few events so far this year, but I have seen some interesting "lessons learned" already.
At the Georgia Steel match, we had a great time despite the weather. For example, on "Speed Option", we had to stand in two-inch deep water to shoot and trudge through six-inch deep water to re-paint the plates. It dried up on Friday and Saturday, but my need to purchase some water resistant footwear was obvious. Additionally, we had one DQ. The shooter was experienced but had a discharge during the reload between strings with a Pistol-Caliber Carbine. We don't know if the shooter had his finger on the trigger or if he seated the new magazine pretty hard and bumped it off the sear. Either way, it sucked that it happened.
At an indoor match the other night, I was running a shooter on a quick eight-round Speed Shoot. When the shooter attempted to fire shot #8, it didn't fire. He did a quick "tap, rack, bang", but the slide stayed about a quarter-inch out of battery. He kept working the jam for a few seconds, then gave up. Before going on to the second stage, I sent him over to the Safe Area and told him to check for a chunk of brass that might be stuck in the chamber. He re-joined our squad for that next stage and attempted to load the gun. It still wouldn't go into battery. Both of us retired to the Safe Area to check it out. On dis-assembly, we quickly found the issue. A bullet was stuck in the barrel just forward of the chamber. It was obviously the product of a "squib round", where the primer discharge was enough to push the bullet a short ways down the barrel, but there was no gunpowder to finish the job.
Experienced Range Officers and Shooters are now looking down their noses at me.... I can feel it. A "pop with no recoil" is a danger sign that nobody should miss. In my defense, I will say that the shooter, the timekeeper RO, and I were all wearing electronic earmuffs and none of us heard anything suspicious.
The lesson that I learned is that perhaps some of these squib loads are too quiet to hear, especially on an indoor range where echoes rolling around may have masked the sound. If I see another scenario where the gun seems to want to stay out-of-battery, I'll take the risk and stop the shooter. I'd rather have to give the shooter a re-shoot for stopping them unnecessarily than risk blowing a gun up or injuring someone.
"Dahling, you look MAH-velous!!"
Brian Conley with Hunter's HD Gold shooting glasses was at the Georgia Steel Match and brought out some new items.
First up (and the reason for the headline) is the fact that HHDG can now can make custom lenses for frames that you like. If all of the girls are telling you that you look good in Costa glasses, they can install the superior HHDG lenses in those. About the only frames that they can't do are the one-piece lenses like Oakley M-frames, etc.
Next up is a new frame style called the Velocity. Its big feature is an adjustable nosepiece and infinitely adjustable temples. This will allow you to compensate for the head positions that you'll use in different shooting sports. For example, when shooting USPSA or Steel Challenge pistols, we generally keep our heads relatively upright. Therefore, we'd want the lenses to be lower on our face to ensure that we're looking out of the center of the lens and nothing in the target area is obscured by the eyewear frames. You can spread the nosepiece a little wider, allowing it to move lower on the nose.
If we're shooting rifles or shotguns, our head is usually tilted forward. With the eyewear worn low like illustrated above, the browpiece may obstruct our view of the target. To solve this, the nosepiece can be pinched in and the temples adjusted. This moves the frame upwards and re-centers our vision in the lens. This adjustment literally takes seconds.
Give Brian a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org
As announced in our last issue, I plan to start shooting some CMP Service Pistol this summer. My new Les Baer custom gun hasn't arrived yet, but I have started developing some ammo for it. I am using the chronograph to learn what combinations have the lowest Extreme Spreads and Standard Deviations.
So far, I've done work with the Nosler 185 grain Jacketed Hollow Point bullet. Its higher velocity and flatter trajectory should be advantageous, but I am keeping an open mind. I'm currently using VihtaVouri N-310 powder and aiming for an 800-850 feet per second velocity.
My next step will be to repeat the same experiments with 230 grain Full Metal Jacket bullets. I have a bunch of Hornadys that I've been saving for such an occasion.
Hopefully, this pre-work will pay off when the gun actually arrives next month....
FREE: Dillon Precision was giving away coupons at the SHOW Show. I picked up a few in the many rounds I made by there. They were "scratch-offs" and were worth 10% off of Dillon-branded merchandise. If you want one, just let me know. They're only good for a limited time, so let me know. (I still have a few codes left. I am not selling them like some schmuck did on one of the shooting "Forums" boards. These are for my wonderful readers!)
My PDW experiment is your gain!!! I currently have a Maxim Defense PDX in 5.56 NATO for sale. MSRP is $2295, plus shipping and tax. How about ”$1995 and I eat the shipping and tax”? It’s definitely low-mileage, with maybe 100 rounds on it. It comes with a 20-round OEM mag; I’ll throw in a 30-round Magpul on-the-house.
Gun Cleaning Special: Get the full-house, world-renowned CCGW cleaning job on your match guns, carry pieces, and hunting guns. Most every gun will be only $25 each; complicated guns slightly higher. (Glocks, M&Ps, 1911s/2011s, and the like are simple. Benelli M-4s, piston-driven ARs, etc. are NOT. I recently learned that Browning Auto-5's definitely are not....) Turn-around time is typically less than a week.
Chronographing Services: Got some ammo that you've been producing and you want to make sure that it's living up to what the reloading manual promised? Going way out in left field, using non-standard powders to do things that books say can't be done (like 9mm Major)? I will chronograph that ammo, using your pistol and give you a detailed report with each shot recorded, average velocities, extreme spreads, Standard Deviation, and Power Factor. Doppler radar will be used, so accuracy isn't dependent on light. Competition loads will be checked "hot", "cold", and "room temperature" to ensure that you don't go "sub-Minor" at your next big match. Fees are "a la carte", but would normally be around $35 per hour. Five or six different loads could be tested in that time, allowing time for the barrel to cool between strings.
We are offering complete basic guns built on our Camp Creek Gunworks-branded Lower Receivers, in addition to the full-house competition guns that we've always offered. We're calling these mil-spec guns the "Basic Defense" series. They feature a 16-inch barrel with A2 flash hider, a flat-top upper receiver, free-float handguard, collapsible stock, mil-spec trigger, mil-spec pistol grip, and the Magpul MOE trigger guard. Add a soft case and 30-round MagPul magazine. Of course, like all CCGW products, they're backed by our "We'll make it right" warranty. The price is only $749 plus tax.
Our latest thing has been PDWs (Personal Defense Weapons). These are built off of our CR-15 lowers and feature short barrels (length depends on caliber and your desired features). A pistol-stabilizing brace is added for greater accuracy potential. 5.56mm and .300 Blackout guns get the Noveske KX-5 suppressor. 9mm's don't need it. An upgrade to a folding stock model is available for $300 more. Prices start at $1500 for a basic model and go up to $3750 for the top-of-the-line model with EOTech HoloSight, TLR-2G light/laser combo, backup sights, premium SB Tactical brace, upgraded trigger, and custom fit case.
We have a 6-inch 2011 in-stock in .40 S&W. It is built light, so it swings well from target to target. The extra sight radius makes mid- and long-range shots EASY. Only $2700
CCGW PCC's suitable for USPSA or 3-Gun competition are available. Got one ready-to-go now for $950!
Glock 22C: These are Blue Label Glocks (3 mags & night sights). Brand new in the box for $499 plus tax.
Used Glock 23. LNIB with night sights and three mags. $425
Brand-new Glock 26 with three mags. $440
Lightly used SCCY CPX-2 in 9mm; stainless slide on black frame. $200
Until next time, See you on the Range!!