Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Certain Amount Of Uneasiness... through me each time I have the high bid on a firearm at an auction. I always wonder if I got a good deal or ripped myself off by bidding to high. There is also the unsettling feeling of uncertainty as to whether or not I got that for which I paid. In other words - did I bid on a gun sure to go bang each time I squeeze the trigger, or did I buy a clunker that is going to fall apart once I fire a shot or three, or maybe I got a gun not capable of firing a shot that will hit the broad side of a barn. Buying anything at an auction is never a sure thing and when they say a gun is "As New In The Box" it does not mean it is new but means it is "as good as new". It's kind of the same thing with the term "Unfired In The Box" which is supposed to mean it is new. Okay so it was supposedly never fired but that does not necessarily mean it was not somehow damaged by the previous owner who may have tried to disassemble and clean it before firing it only to screw it up.

Those holes were made with federal 30-30
WIN, 170 grain Soft Point RN, ammunition.
So, today, when I got to the range (for the first time in too long a time) and stepped up on the firing line and placed the buttstock of my recently acquired Marlin 1936 to my shoulder and sighted in on target, there was that split second of uneasy worry that it may not go bang or that worse yet it might go KABOOM instead of bang when I fired it. There is always that chance that pieces of an exploded barrel or receiver might rip my face apart. Regardless, I squeezed the trigger making sure to have eye and ear protection in place.

It went bang, then bang again and again for my first three shots. In all, I fired it only 9 times but that was more than enough for me to assure it was working flawlessly as far as I could tell and that it was right on target. In fact, there was no doubt left in my mind that an equally competent or better shooter with somewhat better eyesight than mine would have done better. Yet, don't let my saying that fool you into thinking I was not satisfied with how well I shot it. All in all, the Marlin 1936 operated smoothly throughout. I am certain it will make a decent to very good deer gun here in the woods of NY State. The 30-30 cartridge will never replace the 35 REM as my favorite northeast woods caliber but still will be more than acceptable on a deer hunt if I opt for the Marlin 1936 as opposed to my Marlin 336.

The Ruger was firing PMC X-TAC 5.56
NATO 62 grain, green tip, LAP ammunition.

After the Marlin came the "as new" Ruger Mini 14. I fired one magazine's worth of 5 rounds at the same target I had used for the Marlin. Being the Marlin is in 30-30 WIN caliber and the Ruger in 5.56x45mm, it would be easy to differentiate which bullet holes came from which rifle. Then I fired another 10 rounds for a total of 15 with the Mini. Not bad at all was the verdict I reached. The first 5 shots were fired with me wearing the weakest reading glasses available over the counter. I actually wear them for distance vision. It leaves the front and rear sights a bit blurry but I still can focus sufficiently to hit the target pretty well. All shots were fired standing, leaning over  on the bench (it is set at an odd level for anyone but pistol shooters), left elbow supported.

The next 10 shots were fired with me wearing strong over the counter readers, 2.75 strength. The rear sight was a blur and so too the target but the front sight as sharp as a tack (as it should be). The thing is though that the rear sight and target were maybe a bit too much of a blur. So, that second pair of lenses had me seeing things quite differently and the first pair and had the group open up but still it was not bad at all kind of shooting as far as I am concerned. The one flyer was caused by me and as I shot that particular round I knew it was not going to strike within the ring. Now, I'll have to see how me and my old eyes do at 50 and 100 yards the next time I hit up an outdoor range. The range I was at today was indoors and limited to 30 yards. As did the Marlin, the Ruger Mini 14 operated and fired flawlessly from what I could tell and both of them put a smile on my face.

All in all I am a very satisfired shootist. I got decent deals on both rifles at the Hessney Auction and thus am also a happy bidder. I, like anyone, likes to get good deals at an auction but I strive not to over pay by always remembering that they add a buyer's premium and sales tax to the total. Still though, I had been a bit concerned I may have paid near or right at near the top end of the value of the Marlin 1936. Both before bidding and after the auction I saw several of them for sale on on which virtually of the case color was gone and they sold for near or just above or below what I paid for mine. Considering the amount of case color that remains intact on ,mine, I got it at a decent to good price. As far as the Ruger goes, from what I could see of it, it should not have been listed "as new" but as unfired in the box (or in others words NEW). There was no evidence of it having been fired after it left the factory and the Ruger is in pristine condition and came in the box with all papers and accessories. I think both at least were very good if not excellent deals. Now to get some NYS legal 10 round magazines and also have some AR legal 30 round mags sent to my son in AR for use while I am down there.

You may think it foolish to go to the range to fire only 9 rounds from one rifle and 15 from another and my guess is you would be right if that is all the ammo I fired. I spent the remainder of my remaining range time shooting my Glock 26. I am guessing I fired about 150 rounds or more through it and as usual I was more than merely satisfied with my shooting of it. I am happy I remembered to bring ammo for it and thus was able to get in some handgun practice because soon I will be qualifying for  both my armed guard license and for LEOSA. It is never a bad idea to get in a bit of practice before attending qualification courses. Then again, any time you responsibly practice your marksmanship you are doing a good thing.

All the best,
Glenn B

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