Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 62 - Remedial Shooting

Last month, I attended my agency's quarterly firearm's qualifications. I shot my issued Sig 229, my agency authorized personally owned Glock 26 and my issued Remington 870. I shot a 241 with one of the pistols, I think with the Sig, and a 249 with the Glock. Those score are out of a possible 250. I shot a perfect score with the shotgun. As you may realize, from reading my blog or knowing me in person, I can be one picky son of a gun! I bitch and moan about this and that and complain about almost everything that other people do. Well truth be told, I often hold myself to those same standards grumblings. I figured that a 241 was abysmal and I also figured that a 249 was not as good as it gets either because not all that long ago I was hooting scores like 249 and 250 at each qualification. Of course, age and eyesight have probably played a role in my scores going down on average by a few points at quals over the past couple of years but I figured if I tried I could do better.

So what to do to try harder? I attended a couple of remedial shoots that our firearms instructors held in conjunction with this quarter's quals. During both of them I shot pretty darned good. Now as my office's Primary Firearm's Instructor will tell you, I probably shoot better than 95% of the agents in my office, even when I get scores like 241 but I wanted to hold myself to a higher standard so I went to do some extra practice of the self remediating sort. It was not like anyone was telling me how to shoot at these remedial shoots although others were getting some instruction. I was left to my own druthers and my own corrections. One of the other agents, one whom I used to instruct, who saw me at one of the current quarter's remedial shoots raised an eyebrow and asked me, in a sort of surprised tone, what was I doing there. I don't think she ever expected to see me at a remedial shoot since I used to be an instructor and since I used to help her to shoot better. I just told her that practice is how I keep my edge and since I am getting on in age and going down in score I could use it. Heck, truth be told, since I carry for work and for self defense I could use it regardless of my scores - we all could.

In addition to the time spent at my agency's remedial shoots, I also have gone to the local range near my home a couple of times in the last month. The result of all that extra shooting was that at the first remedial shoot I shot a 246, a 249 and a 250. At the second one, when I only shot one qualification round, I shot another 250. THOSE SCORES WERE AN IMPROVEMENT OVER MY SCORES OF THE LAST YEAR OR TWO WHICH HAVE BEEN A FEW POINTS LOWER ON AVERAGE, scores more like 243 or 241, even scores in the high 230s. While at my local range, I shot some pretty tight groups during slow fire and some pretty decent groups while shooting rapid fire - so much so on my last visit to have impressed a guy, who was in the lane next to me and who was shooting some really expensive pieces of target shooting type hardware, start talking to me and he also offered me one of his pistols to shoot. I declined but only because my index finger was getting a blister on it from the Glock 26 trigger after having fired a few hundred shots in less than an hour. As a matter of fact, he recommended a trigger replacement to a smooth combat trigger from the combat trigger that came with the 26. Nice guy, I hope to see him there again and maybe he will offer me a shot or two with one of those target shooting beauties next time.

Why do I mention this. Well, not to brag, that is for sure. I am not good enough a shot to brag - believe me you! I know there are many faster and more accurate shooters out there than me. I mention it though for a couple of reasons. First of all, I guess because that other agent asked me why I was at remedials? I was there because I was not satisfied with how I have been shooting just as all the other agents who were there probably felt about their own shooting. I was also there to practice regardless of whether or not I was shooting well enough. And I was there because the ammo is not being handed out like it once was for us to practice on our own at private or public ranges. So I take advantage of the fact they still will give me practice ammo albeit if only while at a remedial shoot run by my agency's instructors. Of course, the few extra hours I spent at the range over the course of a couple of days were better than the regular grind in the office or out in the field. I also mention it because if you own a firearm and intend to ever possibly depend upon it for defense or for hunting or just for target shooting fun - well then - once you are adept with it you ought to keep yourself at least at that level with it. If you are not yet satisfied with how well you shoot, well then don't only practice but get some help at it with the goal of improving yourself (a professional instructor is probably best but another shooter and one who is a good shot and used to helping other shoot safely is often okay). Once you reach a level at which you are satisfied that you can usually remain there with practice. You may also be able to even regain that level if you lose your edge a bit, often all on your own once you have held a level of proficiency for awhile. Practice and training are good things when it comes to firearms, it is virtually a given that you cannot get enough of either - unless of course you do it enough to get a blister on your trigger finger.

Let me tell you something about blisters and shooting skills. Both blisters and good shooting skills are temporary. One of those conditions you get from over use and one will be lost because of not enough use. Try to find a balance and you will be better off for it. If you don't find the balance, then when you need your skills to be at their best, such as if you are ever called upon to actually defend yourself in a life or death situation, well then you may wind up with something more permanent than a blister. You may wind up with another guy's bullet as a sort of souvenir as the loser in a gunfight. That would not be a good thing. So I highly recommend that you enjoy yourself at the range as often as you can, at least quarterly if a good shot, although monthly would better, and weekly or more often would be better yet especially if you think your shooting skills could use improvement.

Safe shooting,
Glenn B

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 61 - My Glock 26 & My New Glock Armorer Skills

Well, despite not having any extra parts for it, I decided I would chance losing a spring or breaking something and take my Glock 26 apart down to the bare bones by doing a detail strip of it this morning (golly is it really almost 3 AM), that is all except for removing the sights.

I did it the smart way and did not depend on my muddled middle aged memory but used the armorer's manual to go step by step for disassembly and reassembly. I have to say it was a good thing I took it down, it needed a detailed cleaning badly. I have been shooting it a lot lately and even though I field strip it to give it regular maintenance type cleaning after each shooting session, it truly needed more than that because it was filthy inside the works. It isn't dirty anymore though, it almost sparkles now. Besides knowing it is clean, I now also know that all internal parts are in good working condition. I imagine I will strip it down like that for another cleaning in about 6 months or so.

I have to point out again, it is absolutely amazing at how easily this gun can be detail stripped using only a single tool, a steel punch at that!

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 60 - Yugo M24/47

The Yugo M24/47, that I ordered from Classic Arms, arrived today. I am beginning to think that either I do not understand the NRA Firearms Grading standards or that this dealer does not. First I ordered an Enfield that arrived in what I thought was less than specified condition or possibly just at the extreme low end of the condition in which they claimed it to be, in addition to which it was damaged. Now I receive a rifle that was supposed to be in Excellent condition, in addition to which it was supposed to be 'hand select' which was to guarantee 100% blue and...well let me just quote their C&R web page:

"AND SELECT WILL GUARENTEE (their spelling)100 % BLUE AND A REALLY NICE TOP END STOCK AS WELL AS A PRISTINE BORE AND CROWN."

Sorry but they seem to have been wrong again. While the bore looks to be excellent, I would say this rifle is in about 98% blue, and that is not the guaranteed 100% by a long shot! The stock is dinged slightly and has scrapes but all have been covered up whenever it was that the stock was obviously refinished. That is another thing, the metal has also been refinished and there is evidence of prior pitting - though minor it is definitely there - this immediately takes it out of the class of excellent condition let alone hand select. This is apparently an arsenal refinish job. That would have been okay if that is what they claimed it to have been. That would have been okay had I not paid extra for 'hand select' which guaranteed the above. That would have been okay if it had not been advertised as excellent. It would also be okay if I could call them and tell them I am dissatisfied and they should refund me me my money for the 'hand select' BS, but chances are I will notbe able to do that because I may be forced to send this rifle back because it seems there is a possible serial number error.

The original serial number of the rifle (as taken from the receiver) was B7733. That number was stamped into the receiver. Now even though the B is faint it was obviously stamped into the receiver and it is not a V. The same number was also stamped into the barrel and it too begins with B. The same number was also stamped onto the bolt and it too begins with B. A new serial number, almost the same as the old, was electro penciled (etched) onto the receiver either when this rifle was arsenal refinished or when imported. The new number is V7733. To me it seems someone read the letter B and someone else heard it as V instead of B and then etched it onto the receiver. The serial number beginning with the letter V is the one they put on the invoice and therefore it has been noted as the official serial number for purposes of this sale with ATF. I have to wonder if this will cause a problem with ATF, or other authorities, if I ever am called upon to document my ownership of this rifle. Maybe it is something they do with imported mil-surp rifles but I have not seen it on others I have purchased. Note that the B7733 serial number is only on three parts, all other serialized parts do not match that serial number which is further evidence of this being an arsenal rebuild.

The rifle really does appear in very good shape but certainly not the guaranteed 100% blue and definitely not a top end stock though a fairly to very nice one at that and probably not actually excellent condition overall since it seems to be an arsenal rebuild with mismatched parts and evidenc eo old pitting on some parts. Still, I will gladly keep it if they refund my money for hand select and if the serial number difference is not a problem. I imagine they can fix the paperwork for the serial number but also imagine that will take some doing on whatever forms they had to submit to ATF. Not my problem though, I will give them a call about it on Monday and let them figure it out. If it sounds as if they give me a run around on the serial number, I will call ATF to inquire about it but I am pretty confident they will be straight shooters when they explain why they used the serial number beginning with V on the paperwork. I hope so, I do not want to go through the pain in the butt of having to rewrap a rifle and then bring it to UPS again.

There is one problem with this rifle, the barrel band was almost impossible to remove. I think the wood may have swelled on the handguard sometime while in storage or maybe when refinished. I got it off though and cleaned the cosmoline out of the rifle. Luckily there is not much reason to ever take the rifle down that far again except maybe once or twice a year at most so long as it does not get a mud bath or something similar while out afield. I will be shooting it tomorrow with Brendan. I hope that will not void their return policy, I do not see it stated anywhere that it would do so. As I said though, I'd like to keep it, it is in very good condition despite all I said above and if it shoots well, then it is definitely a keeper.


I may seem really picky, or full of complaints, but I have to say I like getting what I pay for and I paid for a rifle advertised to be one way and it arrived in another condition than as advertised. As I said though, I am willing to keep it if certain things work out. Hopefully they will. Wish me luck with that please.

All the best,
Glenn B