Monday, July 6, 2015

I Took One New Gun & One Old One To The Range Today...

...and had some first time fun shooting both of them. While that may seem like it's a contradiction in terms, it's not at all since I never before shot the new one or the old one.

The new one was the Savage Axis, in .308 WIN, that I picked up at the Hessney Auction last month. In brief, the trigger was absolutely horrendous, my bet would be that it broke at about 12-15 pounds and it had a terribly long creep and crunch until it went click and allowed the firing pin to fly forward. Other than that it felt good in the hand, rested nicely on my shoulder and the bolt operated pretty smoothly regardless of the fact that this is a bargain basement rifle. Something I thought would be a problem, that turned out to be one, were the cheap magazines that Savage chose for this rifle. They are steel but with a polymer sleeve the front of which acts as the magazine catch and release (by bending it). The mags, I have three of them (the gun came with only one and I bought two extras last week) are sometimes difficult to snap into place, it takes some getting used to. They can also be a bit difficult to remove. They hold four (4) rounds each but when loaded to capacity, I could not get the rifle to feed a round out of them and into the chamber reliably every time on the first round. I will have to work on that. With three rounds in each, they worked fine.

As for whether or not it is a shooter, I have to say that I only fired it at about 30 yards. I was at an indoor range and that was only 30 yards maximum (or 28 yards as a range officer claimed as opposed to what the website for the range says). Anyway, I decided to try a few shots using the scope that came pre-attached to the gun and fired two shots, then two more. They were all fairly close to one another and then I started fiddling with the adjustments for windage and elevation took a few more shots and was in the black but high. Did it a bit more and was in there good enough to head to the outdoor range with it next time out and sight it in at 50 and then probably at 100 yards. If it shoots as well at the 50 and 100 yard points, resting on sandbags, as it shot today with me holding it in a two hand hold, in a bent over standing position with my elbows resting on the bench, I will be quite happy with it's accuracy. That's because after shooting the earlier shots at the bullseye, I turned a target around and fired at what I thought was the center of the target. The first shot was pretty much in the center and the second shot went through the first. Even if only at 30 yards (or 28), I was impressed.

I was shooting 180 grain Remington Premier Core-Lokt Ultra Bonded PSP rounds (they sure make it sound groovy, don't they baby). I have a wide selection of different brands of .308WIN ammo split between bullet weights of 150 and 180 grains. I want to see how I do with each and am figuring that if the 180 grain bullets all perform well in the accuracy departments, I am going to stock up mostly on them since I'll be using the Savage Axis for hunting in pretty thick cover. Of course, I'll keep some 150 grain stuff on hand too.

I don't plan on doing anything to customize the Axis although, I am certain many would recommend a trigger job if they have ever felt the one in this gun. I don't like to fiddle with manufacturer specs. I will check those though, the specs, and then may have the trigger weight checked because I find it hard to believe it is going to match whatever they claim in the specs - it is that bad. If it is way off from what the say it should be set at, it may need a trip to their factory for a bit of work.  I truly find it hard to fathom that a firearms manufacturer as big as Savage would set the trigger weight as high as I believe it must have been when I fired it this evening. Then again, I am a wuss, so who knows.

Regardless of the trigger and the mags, I was otherwise almost impressed with it. Next time I bid at the auction though, I think it will no be on bargain basement stuff like what I bid on this time. I'd much prefer a Remington 700 or even a different Savage model, one with an Accu-Trigger. I hear they are excellent triggers ad that Savage puts them on very good to excellent shooting rifles. As for the Remington 700s, nothing needs to b said about their legendary inherent accuracy.

Before I forget, I guess I should make mention of the other gun I shot. That was my Polish WZ-48 Trainer in 22LR. It's a single shot, military training rifle. It has the weirdest extractor I have ever seen and in order to load it I found it easiest to push the extractor forward a bit so it was close to the chamber face so it wouldn't get in the way as I tried to load each round. You have to see it and how it operates to understand. So, it was a bit tedious reloading this thing but I had fun shooting it regardless. I shot it at 50 feet first, then moved the target out to 25 yards and did the rest of my shooting with it at that distance. The bolt operated smooth enough for a single shot although it needed a bit more push near the end of its forward travel to seat the round. The sights were pretty skimpy, at least for my older eyes. The rear notch is a bit small for my liking height and width wise as is the front sight but I was able to maintain good focus on the front sight post keeping both the rear sight and target just a bit blurry (which is what you want). I held at a lollypop position on the bullseye at 25 yards and was satisfied wit how I shot using the Remington Target standard velocity 22LR ammo I had along. When I switched to Federal Value Pack high velocity ammo, the groups were off to the right and somewhat bigger than with the Remington standard velocity stuff. As with any ammo/gun combination, for a firearm chambered in 22LR, I'll need to soot a bunch of different brands and loads of ammo through this rifle to see which rounds it likes best. In all, I figure if I had to hit a squirrel at 25 yards, with it just as is, I could make fur fly on at least 4 out of 5 shots. That's it for now, for the range report, maybe I'll post a couple of pics of my targets in this post, or in another tomorrow.

As a closing note, I said that it was the first time I fired each of these guns and that is correct. As I have mentioned before, I am The Great Procrastinator. While I just bought the Savage Axis (and fired it in near record time for me), I bought the Polish WZ-48 in October 1911 during utter misery my cancer treatments. It arrived at my house on Halloween 2011. It was sort of a belated birthday present for myself that even though at the time I truly believed I may never get the chance to shoot, I wanted to get because it was manufactured in the same year I was born. I figured even if I did not make it through my treatments to fire it, my son would have something from me that was as old as me. Anyway, here I am and I have had it since then and only fired it for the first time today - 4 years, 8 months and 7 days (bearing in mind I am counting day one and today)  - since it arrived at my house. Did I mention that I am The Great Procrastinator.

All the best,
Glenn B

New Blog Added to The Blog Roll...'s over there on the right, under OTHER NOTABLE BLOGGERS. I guess I should tell you the blog name and address too: Pundit From Another Planet at:

Quite the outlook on newsworthy events and such.

All the best,

If Only We Could Assure The Death Penalty...

...would be carried out on dirtbags who commit offenses like the alleged ones linked to below, at least we could rest assured that those found guilty of such offenses could never again commit another similar crime or, in fact, any other one. 
Boy Beaten Until In Critical Condition For Eating Cake

Boy Placed in Swing By Mother Dies of Cold and Dehydration

Wetback Admits killing Woman in San Fransicko Francisco

What in hell is wrong with America when things like this have become excusable? There is no excuse and there should only be one outcome if the accused are found guilty - a swift execution.

All the best,
Glenn B