Saturday, October 27, 2018

Did A Bit Of Shooting Tonight

It was a wet and windy night, the mid-fall rain coming down not too heavily but wind-whipped sideways at times. I had the thought it would be a good night to go out drinking but figured it was still early enough to go out shooting. Decisions - decisions - I opted for shooting first and maybe drinking later - that is if it does not get windier and wetter outside when I want to walk o the local gin mill.

I had been planning on going shooting on this day or night - or that day or that night - for quite the while now. I either wound up with something else that needed doing, was too darned lazy on a given day or just put off going as part of my role as The Great Procrastinator. Last night, I had the brain child of an idea that maybe, just maybe mind you, if I laid out he ammo I would need, put a range bag near the ammo, grabbed some guns and cased them, then just maybe as I just said, I'd get around to going to the range today. It worked.

Tonight I grabbed hold of my, as of then unfired, Browning BLR Lightweight '81, lever action rifle,  in 30-06 and cased it up.  I also searched through the mess of my basement and came upon & took hold of my other recently purchased (earlier this month) long guns: a Browning BL-22 Classic lever-action in 22 LR, a Henry Lever in 22 WMR and a Marlin 15 YN youth model single shot bolt action rifle. They all followed me to the range tonight.

Being that this was happening on a Saturday, it did not matter that I arrived at the range before 6PM - I was not getting the senior discount (only $2.00 per hour for shooting time) that I would have received on a weekday. Damn, finally old enough old enough but there on the wrong day! Didn't matter, I paid the $12.00 per hour fee and headed to my point.

First on the bench was the Browning BL-22 Classic with a rinky-dink Tasco scope of yesteryear. I have to check but I am guessing the scope is at best 2 or maybe 3 power. I cranked the target out to 15 yards and blasted away with 10 rounds from the tubular magazine. Holds 15 I think but I only loaded 10. I was pleased, it shot pretty darned good considering I was firing from standing unsupported position. Nothing impressive but good enough to hit Bullwinkle if not Rocky and I would bet if I had rested my elbows on the bench it might have been a much smaller group than the one I actually shot, one good enough to put Rocky and his cousins in the pot. Had a couple of failures to fire, cocked the hammer manually on each and tried again and it went bang. Will check that out but figure it could be a lot of things with the number one culprit being fouling. Could be there is fouling in the chamber and rounds not seating properly causing firing pin to seat the rounds, thus requiring a second hit; or could be fouling in the firing pin channel and firing pin making weak hits. Will give it an excellent cleaning and see what comes of that. Then look further only if that does not fix it.

Next was the Marlin 15 YN youth gun. Damn, I almost could not see the front sight or the rear, they were that fuzzy with either my distance glasses or my strong readers. In addition, it was too small for me. I really had to press my cheek into the stock and twist my neck to be able to get my eye low enough to try to get a sight picture. It shot okay though, functioned flawlessly. A very probable future gift for my grandson is this one. Got all these guns at auction and this one while not new was either used very lightly or not fired at all, it is that nice. Wish it had a box mag, prefer them much over a single shot as a first rifle for a child (since you can fire it single shot or as a repeater) but it will do.

Then I brought the Henry Lever to the bench. It took me all of about a minute or more to be able to twist the end of the magazine plunger to be ale to pull it out of the mag tube. Got it out and when I put it back I could not get it to seat. Saw there was an O-ring at the muzzle end and took that off and it seated okay. Hope I remembered to put it back on but I kind of think not. I may have to get a replacement O-ring if the plunger loosens in the tube in the future but that would be no big deal. Other than that, the Henry functioned flawlessly. Yet again though, I had a really difficult time focusing on the sights. It wasn't that this gun was too small for me like that Marlin youth model, just that my eyes are too senior.

Me thinks maybe it's time to get some glass for all of my rifles. I much prefer open sights but now that my eyes are not what they used to be (I had 20/15 vision in both eyes until my 50s) - I must say - what a difference scope makes. Even that Tasco scope on the BL-22 made everything look clear and crisp compared to not having glass on the gun.

Last and certainly not the least was the Browning BLR Lightweight '81 in 30-06. I was anticipating shoulder shock  really, really kick like a mule recoil but I wound up very pleasantly surprised. There was relatively little kick. I expected a lightweight version of the BLR to kick viciously with 30-06 ammo. I think it was not until the 12th round I fired that the kick to my shoulder was very hard and that was only because I had crouched down to fire with my elbows supported on the bench and had the butt resting at a somewhat different point on my shoulder. Fired another 4 rounds after readjusting how I held it against my shoulder and it was back to a surprisingly small amount of felt recoil. Even though I had the same difficulty trying to focus on the front sight, I did fairly well at about 30 yards (the far length of this indoor range). Had I been aiming at a deer or a bear - I would have hit my mark and brought down my target - likely with one shot each time. I must add that follow-up shots were quick and decently close enough to the preceding shot(s) so they would have hit the mark more than just well enough. I can see I am going to like the BLR very much. it is my first rifle in 30-06; maybe it won't be my last but if it winds up being the only one - I  think it will last.

Now that  have shot them, I think I am down to three rifles I have gotten at different times within the last year and a half that remain unfired by me. One is a Norinco SKS, another is a CZ 527 Thumbhole Varmint in 223. I have nice Warne rings that will fit CZ's proprietary base but need decent glass for it. The last (I think it's the last) is a Savage 111 Long Range Hunter in 300 WIN MAG. I have ammo for it but need glass on it but first have to get a scope base that fits it. Of course, there are the pistols I have not shot yet too but they are another story.

All the best,
Glenn B