Friday, August 8, 2014

Old Ammo - Like Old Faithful

Old Faithful is a geyser within the confines of Yellowstone national park. It erupts, send a plume of water skyward, about every 60 to 90 minutes dependent of the length of the previous eruption. The intervals between eruptions lasting less than 2.5 minutes is about 60 minutes; however, if an eruption goes for more than 2.5 minutes then the next one should take place in about 90 minutes (source). The thing is that Old Faithful has been faithful respective to its eruptions at least for hundreds of years, maybe thousands of years, because it always goes bang (so to speak).

I can happily say, I recently bought some ammo that is akin to Old Faithful in that regard - it always goes bang - at least so far anyway and I think we fired about 150 rounds of it this past weekend. Now my ammo is nowhere nearly as old as that geyser and not even old as my oldest ammo but it is kind of old. In fact, it was dated, I imagine by its previous owner, 12-30-93. So it is 20 years, 7 months and 9 days old as I type. Consider though that it is value pack ammunition (in other words inexpensive or cheapo ammo) and it still has gone bang for every round we have taken out of the box. That is a good thing. Besides being good that it still booms, it means I did not waste my money when I bought two 550 round boxes of it at auction without realizing it was already 20 plus years old. Not wasting money on old misfiring ammo definitely is a good thing.

Bang-bang, shoot-shoot.
The ammo in question is Federal .22 LR, high velocity, 36 grain, copper plated, hollow point, value pack ammunition. I have to hand it to Federal, they made some good ammo back then. Besides being viable after all those years, it also is pretty accurate. I am not saying it is target grade ammo but it is certainly suited for plinking or hunting. At 5 yards, while at the recent bloggershoot I attended, I was able to put in in nickel to quarter sized groups just about every time from a certain pistol. I said just about because, at least once, I put 10 rounds of it into a single hole smaller than a dime. Sometimes I amaze myself. Yes, I know, that may not be great shooting for an expert target shooter but it sure as hell was for me and yes, I am easily amazed.

Now that I have opened the box, I guess I will use it up as my go to 22 ammo whenever I shoot 22s. It fed, fired, extracted and ejected in three different pistols without any failures - a Beretta 70S, a Ruger MKII, and S&W Model 22A-1. Luckily, I purchased two boxes of it. I can keep one closed and maybe try it out in another 10 or so years; although, I doubt I will be able to hold off that long. I will probably fire it long before I fire off any of my newer 22LR ammo.

All the best,
Glenn B

Having To Do Ammo Transfers Sucks But With Volko Supply...

...I can say without a doubt it is easy and pleasant. Yeah, I know, if you don't live in NY you may be wondering what the hell is he talking about - ammo transfers. The state of NY and our communist socialist tyrannical governor mandated, by passage of the so called NY SAFE ACT, that we serfs (they certainly think of citizens as serfs or so it seems) must purchase ammunition only in face to face dealings with FFL dealers or registered ammunition dealers in NY. So, when one orders ammunition from an online dealer, it must be shipped to either one of those. I don't like it and when and if I travel out of state and get a chance to visit a sizeable ammo dealer with good prices, I will stock up but for now, when I buy ammo online, I comply with that law even though it sucks - FUAC.

Yes the law sucks but as they say: Every cloud has a silver lining. In this case, the silver lining are dealers like the folks at Volko Supply. They make the process about as easy as it can be and charge a reasonable rate to do the transfer $10.00. That is for whatever amount of ammo they receive on behalf of the buyer in one shipment. Just as you probably would not buy a single box of 50 rounds online because it is cost prohibitive with shipping, you would not transfer only 50 rounds through them either. A case of ammo, on the other hand, makes that $10 fee a decent deal. Besides a fair deal, they are always professional, efficient, courteous and pleasant to deal with. They have, in advance, notified many online ammo dealers that they are legally able to accept ammo shipments here in NY. If a dealer does not have them listed all it takes is a phone call to them to get it arranged. That is if the out of state dealer will ship to NY. Many will not thinking it illegal. Some out of state dealers know it is legal but simply will not ship here for whatever screwball reasons they have in mind. Screw them as far as I am concerned.

I digress, this is supposed to be about Volko. So, as I was saying, the folks at Volko Supply make the process easy, almost enjoyable. It certainly is nice dealing with them, I just wish it was for something else instead of mandated ammo transfers which I despise. They also do FFL transfers for rifles. As I recall they charged me $25 for that service. I imagine they would do transfers for pistols too but that requires a separate NY  State license as I understand - which is probably a huge pain in the neck to acquire or to deal with. In addition to the FFL and ammo transfers, Volko Supply Co. Inc., located in Garden City Park, NY, is a building supply business. If you uphold the RKBA and live in the area and are in need of their firearms services (or building supplies) I recommend them highly.

All the best,
Glenn B

PS: This, as are all of my endorsements, is made freely and without me receiving any compensation.

Little By Little - The Blog Roll Grows

Got a comment today on one of my posts and clicked on the link for the commenter only to find yet another blog worthy of inclusion on the blog roll. If you have not already become acquainted, why not visit 3boxesofbs (love the blog's name) at

All the best,
Glenn B

Taurus PT145 Millenneum Pro - First Shots

Ok, I finally got around to shooting the Taurus PT145 Millennium Pro that I picked up at the Hessney Auction back in June. Took it with me to the Seventh Annual NE Bloggershoot. Funny thing is, even though it is mine, I was not the first to shoot it. I think that was Haylie, my son's girlfriend (who had a great time at the bloggershoot for sure), or it was my son Brendan. I am pretty sure it was her though as I seem to recall telling her she had the honor of being the first to fire it. I got to shoot it second, I think.

Whoever shot it first honestly does not matter; I suppose how it shot is what is important. I have to say, in purely firearms technical terminology that it was pretty much balls on accurate from what I could tell after having fired maybe 50 rounds through it. Yeah, I know - not enough to mean much of a test was done but I will shoot it a little more seriously at my local range sooner or later. This is just the preliminary report of its first shots fired. At about five yards my shots were in about half dollar to silver dollar sized groups at fairly slow fire. Mind you that was with people firing monster slayer guns right next to me or firing full auto guns that filled the gap between my neck and shirt collar with hot brass. Jay G called me 'Glenn B, the human brass catcher' or something like that during one such volley from a full auto next to me. Anyway, point shooting the PT145 rapid fire at the same distance put my shots where they should have gone in rapid succession and it would have been one dead or stopped threat had I been shooting at a bad guy. Shooting at about 25 yards, I hit a red reflector of about 3" in diameter on my first shot. I hit another one at about 30 yards a few to several shots later. Only two shooters were shooting at that moment - me and Brendan and it was easy to tell I had hit them. Brendan also hit one at about 30 yards with a Beretta 92FS. That's not bad for a guy who hardly ever gets to shoot pistol and his chances to shoot handguns are truly few and far between - I think his most recent prior opportunity was two years ago at the NE Bloggershoot. As a side note, the 9mm round put a clean hole through the red plastic whereas the 45 round exploded the reflector.

I digress, so back to the Taurus. It worked flawlessly though about a hundred or so rounds in total. While I shot about 50 rounds through it, Brendan and Haylie both shot it too, so I am guesstimating 100 to maybe 150 rounds went through it in total. There were no malfunctions. It fed, fired, extracted ejected and went through it again and again flawlessly and the mags dropped freely each time the mag release button was hit. Had I not cleaned out the white protective grease that was in it from the factory, I am betting it would not have functioned nearly as well. One glitch, maybe gun design, maybe shooter error, more likely I think a  combination of both, was that the mag fell out two or three times while Haylie was shooting it. I told her to change her grip a little bit and that ended that, the mag stayed put while she shot after she adjusted her grip. I wish I had more than a mere two magazines for it so I did not have to step off the line to reload after only 20 shots (and thus lose my place and have to wait to shoot again). I am pretty sure that more mags will be a done deal before the next blogger shoot. If anyone is wondering what I can use for my birthday or as a Christmas present - there you go - at least two 10 round mags for this pistol and three or four spares sure would be nicer than I could expect.

The only thing I did not like about the PT145 was the trigger pull. It was okay but felt kind of gritty on single action; for some reason while firing double action, I did not notice the grittiness. If you let the trigger go fully forward after a shot, instead of stopping right when it resets, the trigger pull on the subsequent shot is a long mushy one with grittiness. There is almost no resistance until back at the reset point thus the mushy comment. As opposed to what I thought earlier, the reset is not markedly shorter than on other pistols. I am guessing it is about average. If you shoot again, right from the reset point, this pistol is (or can be) a fast little shooter. I am not very fast from shot to shot but can be when I need to be and I think this gun would not hinder anyone in that department as long as you know to shoot from the reset point. As for the little bit of grittiness, I would bet that will disappear after a few hundred more rounds; some range time and number of shots fired will tell if I am right or not.

One thing that took a little bit of getting used to were the sights. They are different from my other handgun sights in that the rear sight has only a single white dot instead of two or instead of a three sided outline. I thought I would have /immediately gotten used to the single dot on both the front and rear sight but each time I brought up the Taurus I kept expecting to see the two dots on the rear sight. That was at least for the first 20 to 25 rounds and also a few subsequent ones at various shot numbers through the next 25 or so. Despite that, acquisition of a good sight picture and proper sight alignment was pretty fast regardless of what I was expecting to see. My problem was not getting it right but rather was with my expectations.

All in all, I am fairly impressed in a good way. I have heard both good and bad about Taurus and some terrible too. I did not expect my first experience shooting it would be as good as it turned out. While this no Beretta or Glock it seems to be a decently made pistol that I actually might consider as a carry gun. More on it, at some later time, after I have fired at least 500 rounds or more through it.

All the best,
Glenn B