Monday, July 6, 2015

Range Review S&W 640-1 with Federal .357 magnum 110-grain Semi-Jacketed Hollow Points

In the comment section of my previous post, Jon T asked which load I prefer for the 640-1 (magnums or +P .38 special), and about the often-mentioned pain in my arthritic shooting hand.

Please CLICK HERE for my first blog entry regarding this S&W 640-1 magnum revolver.

Please CLICK HERE for my blog entry about a similar magnum revolver, the Ruger SP101.

My current load preference for this revolver is the old commodity grade (almost every major brand sold them at one time or another) 110-grain .357 magnum semi-jacketed hollow points.  IMHO, they are decent enough for personal defense use and the load is light enough (when used with steel revolvers) to allow me range sessions of between thirty and fifty rounds before the pain (and swelling) in my hand becomes too distracting for me to continue.  It is my belief (I could be wrong) that this load has a bit more stopping power than the +P .38 Special loads.  NOTE: Many allege that prolonged use of this load on any given revolver causes flame-cutting of the top strap and / or forcing cone erosion; I cannot say one way or the other.

Below are some targets and comments from a 11/29/2014 range session.

As a baseline for my range sessions, I use the Illinois Concealed Carry qualification criteria of using NRA B27 target(s) and firing thirty rounds total; ten rounds each at distances of five, seven, and ten yards (fifteen, twenty-one, and thirty feet); of the thirty rounds fired, twenty-one of the thirty rounds fired must be on paper AND inside the scoring area.

The first target, set at fifteen feet (five yards), went okay.  Eight rounds went into the "good zone" and I plunked two rounds low.   All in all, the first two cylinders (ten rounds) of .357 Magnum 110-Grain Semi-Jacketed Hollow Points did not turn out to be too bad of a start.

On the second target, set at twenty-one feet (seven yards), instead shooting two-strings of five-rounds each as intended, my mental focus sailed full speed off the rails during a "senior moment" and I fired thee cylinders (fifteen rounds total).  Anyhoo, six-rounds were in or on the line of the "good zone" and I splattered the other nine-rounds into the lower numbers.

The final target had only four-rounds in the "good zone" and I sprayed six-rounds high on the target into less impressive numbers.

Obviously, I have plenty of room for improvement using this revolver with this load.  The best that I can say about this range session is that all thirty-five rounds fired were "in the numbers" and no rounds were "off paper."  IMHO, the cumulative pain from recoil (and anticipating the pain) is a major distraction for me.  Centennial J-Frame revolvers have nice, long, rolling trigger pull and the effects of cumulative pain mess with my mental focus and trigger technique.  It only takes a hint of a flinch or a bit of a wigwag for me to alter a J-Frame's point of aim.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ken Null Cross Draw XDR Holster for my S&W 640-1 J-Frame .357 Magnum

I have found that there are times in my life when the only concealed carry holster that will do is an OWB cross draw.  Until now, the only ones I managed to find were second rate or far worse.

Ken Null does beautiful, top quality work.  Old-school artisans like Ken are scarce.

This holster does not use one-size-fits-all puny sissy squishy oversized belt loops, it comes with a full belt tunnel (properly sized to my belt width) to maintain the proper holster cant.

This holster is horsehide tough.  That stitching is beyond awesome.  

I love it when my money is well spent.  I've done business with Ken before and I'll likely be doing more business with Ken again soon.  Please CLICK HERE to visit Ken Null's website.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Another Colt LE6920 M4 Carbine finds a home

Owning modern sporting rifles and modern sporting carbines is far more fun for me now that there is a shooting range nearby that is equipped to handle them.  I picked up the LE6920 on Saturday (after the Illinois requisite one-day waiting period for long guns) and it is now snuggled safely away with its brethren.  It did come with a standard capacity 30-round magazine, but I prefer the looks (and handling) of an AR15 sporting a lower capacity 20-round mag.  Do I maintain a goodly supply of standard capacity magazines?  Oh, you betcha.  Doesn't everybody?  

These markings carry a lot of sentiment and a lot of collectable clout.  I'm not alone in hoping that Colt will begin selling partial and complete lower assemblies.

Although I am infatuated, if not enamored,  with the civilian version of the M4 Carbine, this old Colt sporting rifle is my favorite shooter.  Practice will never make me perfect, but it may make me a better shooter.  Regardless, target shooting is just plain fun.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blammunition Porn

Yep, there was a sale going on.  Just doing my part to support my local gun store while setting the stage for me to have a bit more range time with an eclectic mix of firearms.  That little pile of boxes set me back some serious money.  It probably won't last very long.

Shooting is fun.  Consider giving it a try if you have never had the chance.  Many shooting ranges have rental guns and decent prices for range ammo.

Blammophobe:  A person possessed with an inordinate fear of guns and ammo.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Prices of AR15 style modern sporting rifles and magazines are darn reasonable lately

So I went and bought a brand new Colt LE6920 carbine; I pick it up tomorrow.  The price was irresistible.  This one likely will just be kept in the safe; I have a couple of others that are my range guns.

In early June I found brand new standard capacity 30-round magazines for $5 each; I scored 20 of them.

The 5.56 NATO cartridge is a lot of fun to shoot.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

David Codrea now at TTAG

Lawsuit seeks ATF compliance.

Good to see David back in action.  To be honest, over time The Examiner became so full of popups and other technical unpleasantries that it became near impossible for me to read much of David's work.  This change is for the better.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Pachmayr Grips for my Colt Agent Revolver

Late last year my foggy braincells rediscovered that the Federal standard pressure 125-grain Nyclads have a surprisingly noticeable amount of recoil in my alloy frame Colt Agent when it is sporting wooden grips.  After firing a mere thirty-rounds during a range session, the pain in my arthritic right hand insisted that it was time for me to make a change.  Early this year, I did just that.

Years ago my Colt Agent wore Pachmayr grips but I butchered them horrifically with a knife in an amateurish attempt to make the grips work with speedloaders.  Ultimately, I tossed those grips in the trash and settled on using the Cobra style panels, often with a Tyler "T" Grip.  Since then I have taken to using speed-strips instead of speedloaders, so there was no real reason (other than nostalgia) for me to stay with the Cobra style grips.

I was surprised to find the Pachmayr grips I needed were still available.  Pachmayr is one of the few outfits that still supports Colt D Frame revolvers.

"Proudly made in the USA" certainly has a nice sound to it.  NOTE:  Not all Colt D Frames are the same; Pachmayr has grips to fit both versions.

Other than the medallions, these Pachmayr grips are identical to the factory grips adorning my Colt Detective Special.  With my bluejeans, pocket carry is a bit more difficult with the Pachmayr grips than it was with the Cobra style grips.

The new grips cause no concealability or comfort issues for IWB carry.

The new grips do not cause any problems for me when I carry the lightweight Colt Agent with Ken Null's lightweight SMZ shoulder holster.  It is a very sweet ride and one of my all-time favorite combinations.

When practicing with my six-round revolvers I commonly shoot two groups of five-rounds each per target (set at fifteen-feet, twenty-one feet, and thirty-feet), which is the same as I do with my five-round J-frames.  Here is the last of the three targets that I shot that day.  Did I shoot any better with the Pachmayr grips than I did with the Cobra grips?  Nope.  The difference is in the COMFORT.  The Pachmayr grips are 100% pain free, which is motivation for me to practice with this airweight snubnose more often.

On a whim, as I was packing up to head on back home at the end of the range session, I put a Post-it note on the target backing panel, ran it out to fifteen-feet, and squeezed off another five quick rounds.  Yeah, those new Pachmayr grips put the fun back into my old Colt Agent.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Handgun negligently discharges in pocket of wedding guest

At the Waldorf no less.  Reporters again miss pertinent details, such as the type of handgun (derringer, revolver, semi-auto), the make and model of the handgun (Sig, Glock, S&W, etc), and if the handgun was in a pocket holster.

EDIT:  CLICK HERE for more coverage, including a photo of what MAY be the pocket pistol.

EDIT:  It was a Ruger 9mm and so far there has been no mention of a pocket holster.  Not to be a nag, but most folks would agree that a bare trigger in a pocket is just not good hygiene.