Over the holiday I got a chance to get to the range with my lady, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend, and it was packed on that Saturday morning! We were able to snag a couple of lanes for the four of us and put some of our recent acquisitions through their paces, which was all to the good. Of course not everything worked flawlessly as these things go...
First the Good:
My sister-in-law had picked up a Walther P22 for getting used to handguns and it had on the optional laser pointer. I did without the pointer and used the sights and did a fairly decent job of walking up a magazine, less one, of shots an inch and half above each other in a neat line as I got used to the sights. It is a comfortable fit for my hand and the recoil is very easy to manage. A good pick-up for her to get used to pistols and look for a self-defense gun next.
Her boyfriend had picked up a Ruger P95 (if memory serves) which is a good and serviceable 9mm. Accurate and relatively user friendly.
They had brought my niece's DE 50AE in Titanium Nitride which fired very well, save for the fact that someone had removed the iron sights and forgot to put on the red dot sight. It wasn't exactly 'firing blind' but without a sight picture I did put shots all over the place on the paper. I actually didn't notice the sound of it firing using sound dampening earmuffs, but everyone else did from what I was told. One casing bounced off the lane partition and hit me on the nose, leaving a smudge. It was a great gun to shoot and since I picked it up for about $1K as a gift for her two years ago, I was glad to get a chance to shoot it. Next time sights must be on it, though.
This was just a familiarization session, nothing fancy, left the sights as they were. I ran through some reloaded ammo and some Precision Cartridge Ammo, which got me reminded of the concept of 'gunsmoke'. All of it ran through well and the only thing I noticed is that I am habitually pulling shots down and to the left of the sight picture when aiming.
I need more range time, obviously.
Still shifting my aim up and a bit to the right did help out some.
Second the bad:
I have a C&R Browning 1910/22 that I got as part of a rig and while it functions well, when it functions, it has a Failure To Feed problem starting with the top of the stack in a 9 round magazine. I was using Prvi Partizan 32ACP FMJ going on the adage of using a European made cartridge for a European made gun. No dice. If it was just off the top of the stack, I could see it being just a tight bunch of cartridges, but it was also at different points in the stack of multiple magazines. Plus there were two stove-pipes across 4 loaded magazines and each of those caused a jam for the next cartridge. I spent time after the first magazine unloading and reloading each to see if it was a spring tension problem. That changed nothing.
There are two things about the gun that are of interest. First it wasn't used much before it was put into cosmoline storage in post-war France. It was a police gun and it was stored properly and only lightly used at the time. Second one magazine had a short spring in it. And by short, I mean just barely the length of the magazine so it was barely compressed. That may or may not be telling. Basically the feed ramp barely had some of the bluing worn off it so this may also be a 'less than 1,000 rounds through the pistol' break-in problem... for a C&R police gun from post-war France. That fits, actually.
And since I have some American Eagle laying around, plus some other 32ACP, I can do a 7-round load of other ammo and see if something functions smoothly.
The target went walkabout, but I also was pulling down and to the left with the sight picture (what there is of it with this gun).
Third is the Ugly:
It actually looks pretty good on its face -
This is from my Vz.61 Skorpion made of new lower receiver, trigger system, safety, barrel and barrel pin, and bits and pieces off of a kit for the upper, bolt, handle, etc.
The first magazine got a jam on it, right from the top of the stack using the Am. Eagle 32ACP FMJ ammo. Here is the cartridge in question -
I checked spent casings and they all had similar marks on them. This one flipped up on its nose and jammed the gun. Mind you this was just one of many cartridges, the rest fed but had similar marks on them after ejecting.
After the 10 round magazine I went to a 20 rounder, and on #19 (and I was just pulling the trigger as fast as possible at that point and the majority of those shots come from that) I got this -
Again, flipped on its nose and jammed.
The 17 shots between them went smoothly, no real complaints.
Now the contours of other cartridges may get me different results here, so the next thing to try is other 32ACP rounds. I have some Winchester Q4255, the aforementioned Prvi Partizan, some Fiocchi, Federal Hydra-Shocks (which have problems in my Seecamp), and Speer Gold Dots (the ammo my Seecamp adores).
A gunsmith did the barrel work on this gun, so it is aligned properly from all I can see and he ran it with Prvi Partizans I gave him, so that is next up on the trial list. Again, European made ammo for a European made (or parted together) gun.
So there you have it, lots of good guns and only two that need a bit of trial and error work on them. For the two that had problems, the fact that they are smooth when they get a good feed means that they are probably looking at an ammo type problem rather than a massive mechanical problem. Overall cartridge profile may mean more to cure these problems than anything done to the hardware can cure. And since the two with the feeding problems have unused (in the case of the Vz. 61) and little used feed ramps, getting 30-50 boxes of ammo through them might just do the trick.
That's it for now!