Monday, April 4, 2016

The News That Made Me Happy But Feeling Old.. finally no longer Top Secret and as of today I am at liberty to share it with you. Come September, I will be a grandpa, or Grandpa Klump as some around here will no doubt call me. 

My daughter is well into her first pregnancy and all is going well. Both Celina and her hubby, Phil, are ecstatic. Really, they are very happy about it regardless of the hormone swings. Phil is also very happy that it is going to be a boy, Celina wanted a girl - maybe next time. Anyway, she is quite happy regardless.

Of course my wife, son, Phil's family and all all our other relations are as joyous as am I. That stands for me even if it means being called gramps or Grandpa Klump or whatever. Yes, I am very happy indeed but suddenly feeling older than I have ever felt - almost old enough to grow up. Note, I only said almost. Life with a grandson would be no fun if I decided to grow up now.

All the best, 
Glenn B

Finally Shot My Mossberg 44 U.S. (a)

After months of owning it (I am The Great Procrastinator), I finally brought my Mossberg 44 U.S. (a) to the range for a test drive shoot. To get right down to it, I am happy with the results or in other words I LIKE IT! Along with it, I also took my older (for my collection) Mossberg 44 .S., also marked U.S. Property and my Henry U.S. Survival rifle to the range for some shooty goodness this afternoon.

Now, for some photos, bearing in mind I was firing at an indoor range, longest distance 30 yards, standing bent over and supporting my elbows on the bench (weird height bench, to high for the chairs they have or for kneeling and just low enough to be a pain in the neck, back or both if you bend over to use it for support). Here are the pics of my targets:

I fired the first seven shots from 50 feet,
not so great but not so bad either.

After seeing what it could do at 50 ft., I moved the target to 30 yards.
I was not very impressed but certainly not disappointed by the group.

Somewhat better than the first one shown at 30 yards but
the group is spread left to right too much. Was it me or was
it the rifle or was it the ammo or a combination of any of that?

I fired only one magazine full, seven rounds, from my
Mossberg 44 U.S., U.S. Property marked, also at 30 yards.
Without that flyer, I almost would have been impressed.

While shooting both the new Mossberg 44 (a) U.S. and the Mossberg 44 U.S. - U.S. Property marked rifles, I was using the same ammunition in each. That was Federal Value Pack 22LR, high velocity, copper plated, 36 grain, hollow point ammo. It is 1993 vintage, I got two boxes of that last year in an excellent deal. I did not fire fouling shots, just started shooting. As for the ammo, it shot just fine even though it is 23 years old. I am sure had I tried different brands of ammo, I would have gotten different results across the brands.

When I fired the newer of my two Mossbergs, the 44 (a), I fired four 7 round volleys from 30 yards and had to adjust the sights twice, since it had been shooting high and to the right at that distance. The result of the adjustments was getting it to shoot where it did on its two 30 yard targets shown in the pics above.

There was one disappointment, maybe a major one or maybe a minor one. The trigger guard came loose at the rear screw and it would not hold well when screwed in again. Examination of it later showed the wood in the screw hole is stripped away (maybe even a good sized chip missing), probably from someone screwing and unscrewing the screw way too many times. I think I can fix that with a fairly easy fix but time will tell and it may be a long time before I get it done. Did I mention that I am 'The Great Procrastinator'?

Anyhow, I like how it shoots. I certainly fired well enough out of the newer (newer in my collection) of my two Mossbergs to convince me it is good enough for plinking and or small game hunting, at least with the Federal ammo I used on this range trip. When I have more time than the hour I spent at the range with it today, I will try various other brands and types of 22LR ammo through it to see if I can better what it did today.

Oh, as for my shooting with the Henry U.S. Survival Rifle, it did not like the Federal ammo; it shot it pretty widely dispersed. You need to realize it does not have the inherent accuracy of either of the Mossbergs but all I will say is that I know I have shot much, much, better groups with it using different ammo. In fact, after firing some of the Federal 22LR through it, I fired  some CCI Mini Mags down range with it. It did much better with the CCI ammo, probably good enough to think of it as a survival gun for rabbit sized game within 15 to 25 yards and certainly good enough to put down a whitetail deer within that distance (in an emergency survival situation as 22LR is usually if not always illegal for deer hunting).

All in all, it was a short but fun range trip.

All the best,
Glenn B

Everyman's Evening Eyeful

All the best,
Glenn B

Know Your Firearms

Look at the pics and tell yourself what is indicated in each of them. There is nothing hidden, the indicators are obvious - I just want you to look at them and tell yourself what condition the gun is in in each photo and yes the lever is fully engaged in each image.

The photo at top shows the rifle is ready to fire. The photo underneath that one shows the rifle is on safe. Is that what you concluded? Not me, I thought it should have been the other way around. I will explain why I thought that way in a bit.

First, let me say: I virtually always do not rely solely on a gun's safety to assure me that it is either in the fire or safe mode, nor to assure that the gun will not go off if actually in the safe mode. In other words, I handle a firearm while regarding all of the rules of firearms safety, like keeping a firearm pointed in a relatively safe direction, keeping my finger off of the trigger until ready to fire (with some exceptions such as disassembly but even then the gun is pointed in a safe direction), not relying on the safety alone, and so forth. Yet, many guns do have safeties so it pays to understand at least the basics about how they work. For instance, on all of my pistols, that have a red safety dot, when the red dot is covered it means the pistol is in safe mode and should not be able to be fired if the trigger is pulled when the pistol is in proper working order. The same holds true for all of the shotguns that I own, if red on or near the safety lever or button is fully exposed it means the gun is in the fire mode. I thought it held true for all of my rifles too and it is true for almost all of them that have a red indicator.

So I was surprised today, to discover, that such is definitely not the case for all of my rifles. I own two Mossberg M44 rimfire rifles. One that I have owned for years is missing both the red and green safety indicator pegs that originally came with the rifle. No big deal, mostly because as already explained, I do not rely on safeties alone. I bought another M44 recently and this one came with both the red and green pegs installed. After getting that gun, I figured it would be nice if I got a pair of pegs for the one I own that did not have them. I got them at the end of February and only decided to install them today because I was finally going to take the newer M44 to he range to shoot it for the first time. Since I had decided to take the new one, I thought why not take both of them. I also decided it would be a good idea to install the pegs, before I lost them, it the one I had that did not have them.

I took out my newer M44, the one with the pegs already installed and took a look at how they were installed. I immediately noticed something odd. When the red peg (the one on the left on this gun) was partially obscured/covered by the safety lever, the rifle was in fire mode. When the red peg was completely exposed and the green peg (on the right on this gun) partially covered, the gun was in safe mode. That went against everything I have ever seen on any gun I have ever fired. On all other guns, with which I have experience and that have a red indicator, when the red indicator is fully exposed - the gun is ready to fire. That is because red showing is universally considered to mean danger. Green showing universally means safety and thus if the green is completely exposed it would seem it means the gun is safe. That is not the case with my M44 that already has the pegs installed, it is just the opposite.

That got me wondering if Mossberg actually set it up the way it is on mine that already has the pegs installed or if someone did it wrong after getting that particular Mossberg M44 with no pegs and then installed after market pegs in the wrong holes. I went online and searched out photographs of the Mossberg M44. I only found three that clearly showed the position of the red and green indicators. All three were set up exactly as is the M44 that I own that has the pegs already installed.



Even though this rifle is missing one peg, the red peg is in the
left hole just like on the other pictured Mossberg M44 rifles.

That I found these three images, that match the way the pegs are positioned on my M44, it does not necessarily mean that is the way they originally came from the Mossberg factory. While it leans in that direction, it could be that Mossberg installed them the other way around so that when red was completely showing it meant the gun was ready to fire. Since most M44s seem to come without the pegs, maybe someone put them into his gun in the wrong and opposite positions and it caught on when other installed the replacement pegs simply because a photo of it went around on the Internet with the pegs in the wrong positions. Mind you, I don't know which it is.

I sent an email to Mossberg about this but as I recall, the last time I contacted them with a question about an M44, they told me they had no information on them. That though was years ago so maybe this time they will come though with some info. I also am checking with someone who is considered a Mossberg M44 expert and am awaiting a reply to an email I sent to him.

Regardless, it just goes to show you can not assume anything about a firearm you own or handle based on other firearms you own or have handled. Some folks might have assumed that the red dot being exposed meant the gun was ready to fire and the green dot being exposed meant the gun was on safe. They would get quite the surprise, at least with my pegged M44 or with those I have seen online where the relative exposure of the dots means exactly the opposite, at least if thy decided to pull the trigger on a loaded one when they thought the gun was on safe.

All the best,
Glenn B