Trying to get time, energy and the schedule to get to the range has been bothersome. The last time I went was to test out some ammo for my .32 LWS from Reed's Ammo, in which I apparently bought out their supply of GDHP. That and I wanted to cycle some Federal Hydrashock and Hornady rounds through it. The Hydrashock I've had stovepiping problems with: the Seecamp just seems to do that with the round and I have no idea why. Hornady cycles well and came up with one non-firing round which, after contacting them, I sent it to them and wait to see what happened to it.
Mostly that was in the category: can you hit a target with such a small firearm? The answer is: yes, and even keep all but a round or two out of 60 inside the manshaded outline. Good deal! I do have a laser aiming device on order and will revisit actual accuracy at a later time. I wanted to get used to the recoil which is very different from firing larger frame weapons, as the force is only going into a small part of my hand. Basically it was load and shoot to get comfortable with it.
I had taken my two Mosin-Nagants with me, but only got to fire one, an Izhevsk 91/30:
No, I can't take a picture worth a damn and really should not have used the flash. I did what I could with Photoshop so you can get an idea of how they look.
I had only fired a Marlin-60 clone and Mossberg 16ga bolt-action before, so didn't know what to expect. I put a test round through to make sure that it functioned well, and then put a target at 35 feet and figured the Mosin sight was in meters and guesstimated 10 as the offset. Which started getting me rounds inside/outside the upper box area that was center of mass for the man outline and a bit to the left.
Not bad for someone who has never had a lick of rifle training in his life. I don't count the Marlin as it just feels like a big handgun that doesn't aim as well, and the Mossberg is a different beast entirely. Really, I'll need to keep my eyes open on the market for a good semi-auto shotgun.
Sadly a class had to use the range and that was it for the last outing.
So today was the second Mosin-Nagant, a Tula 91/30:
I started right out at 45 feet and guessed 14 on the Mosin which put the shots around the head area. So drew it down to 12 and that pulled shots into the upper chest, and then at 10 I was happily plunking shots in the center of mass box. Just line up the top of the forward sight between the two bars and the 'V' notch and I was good to go. Moving the target to 60 feet and I tried at 12, which got me high into the head/neck area, and dropped down to 10 which moved right back in to the center of mass box.
Again, zero training.
If I had the energy I would sign up for a course from someone who knew what they were doing, but my physical condition makes that a non-viable option. Thus it is practice when I can.
Cleaning a rifle that leaves salts behind is an interesting subject. Unless you know exactly what the salt is and can get the proper chemistry to break it apart and have it form neutral bonds with your cleaner, you can actually do more harm than good. Ammonia, especially, does fun things with metal... yes if you get rid of it immediately you will be ok...and if you don't get rid of it all you won't. What works with most salt? Water. Dissolves the salt and allows you to dump the water. And if you need a hasty-cleaning job to just remove the salts and then you have to wait awhile, you don't want to leave water in your bore, either... thus the cheap and sleazy solution used for black powder comes from various sources of equal parts hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and Murphy's Oil Soap.
First it depends on water. H2O2 at 3% is 97% water, and 70% isopropyl alcohol is 30% water. Murphy's Oil Soap (concentrate) has water in it, too, plus leaves behind an oily residue... that you will want to clean out but is relatively safe to leave for awhile... and you don't leave water or ammonia behind. Smells nice, too. Store in the dark or in brown plastic bottles as you would like the hydrogen peroxide to have a bit of its activity left when you need it.
Come to think of it, hot tea with heavy cream in it would be pretty close to something similar... not as active but hot water dissolves salt like all get out... tannic acid isn't something you would want to leave behind, though... I'm sure there is something as good out there!
For the hard to get at areas and those you can't fill up with water, there is Gunzilla, which I'm trying out with a handy-dandy spray bottle. A water soluble CLP, that is designed to lift corrosive salts from metal and keep them there so you can clean them out. That is not cheap, however, and I'll see about effectiveness if time goes on.... no change to the metal means it works...
Last but not least in the wonder-protection racket of keeping metal away from corrosive material is my favorite for my Ruger Mark III: Militec-1. That stuff is magic. Just a drop or two wipe down and a couple pinhead sized drops in the bolt, and it leaves all the residue in front of the bolt and none between surfaces. It is doing the same for the bolts in the Mosin-Nagants, too. A little goes a long, long way... and considering how dirty .22LR can be from some manufacturers... no, scratch that, ALL of them without exception... that is saying something. Works just as well with corrosive Czech and Bulgarian berdan primed ammo so far. Don't know how they do it, but its worth the cost, and I'm damned cheap.
Beyond that, I'm finding that the old parts-set for my Vz.61 was missing about 2/3 of the necessary parts (beyond those chopped up or tossed due to restrictions) and there is nothing as frustrating as getting a start in on a project and finding that the part you thought went to one area of a gun actually goes to another area (or doesn't actually fit with anything and you are left scratching your head) and you don't have the first part. I'm getting the part and a trigger assembly as something just isn't looking right and I am very suspicious that some parts were tossed into what I got from extras bins as they look brand new fresh for something that should be up to 30 years old. Not that I have a suspicious mind or anything... still I'm running at just about $50-100 under the cost of a new one (can be found here).
In all a good day at the range today. I have found that I do have some basic accuracy with a rifle! And that even after baking the stock for 6 hours at 145 degrees until I couldn't get any cosmoline, that the heat of the barrel will STILL drive cosmoline out of the wood. Thus it will be necessary to carry a rag with them... plus the barrel gets damned hot. So does the adjustable sight. Plus no matter how snugly I hold it, the material from my shirt will chafe, so either I am doing something wrong (would drill instruction manuals from the 1920's do that, I ask you?) or we modern folks are just used to the easy life and need to learn to buck it up. Or I lack formal training in proper stance and technique, etc. (outside of those manuals, of course) Probably just need to shoot more. Ahhh... such enjoyment always has its costs, I suppose. I do have to see how the upper handguard of the Tula got loose today. Possibly the forward retaining band, but that looks to be non-biased, not conforming to the cut of the wood... or the cosmoline just made it so slick on the upper surface that nothing will keep it in place. Just what is it with that stuff, anyway? And how much can wood hold?
The smell of expended powder.
The smell of cosmoline.
And the absolute amazement that I can, indeed, hit the broadside of a barn and even get it into a small area on a plank of it.
For that the time of having to clean the rifle is minor...