Sunday, May 15, 2016
SHOOTING GALLERY ONLINE
It was a pretty "gunny' week last week even though Marshal and I worked out butts off laying the ground work for SHOOTING GALLERY ONLINE, a long-time dream of ours that will be available on the upcoming OC app — anytime, anywhere, any platform.
Much, much more on that later, but I will be filming for SGO at the NRA Convention. BTW, on the broadcast side, we're wrapping up GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA and will start filming Season 17 of SHOOTING GALLERY in June. SG is now the most successful shooting show ever, based on all criteria — ratings, sponsorship and longevity.
My 2.75-inch Redhawk .44 Magnum came back from Hamilton Bowen last week…and it is PERFECT! Hamilton did his usual masterful tune-up and added the longer Redhawk firing pin we've discussed here before. The little Redhawk also sports Bowen sights and is regulated for Garrett "Defender" 310-gr bullets at 25 yards.
It immediately goes into service as my EDC here at the Bunker, what with all the hungry bears waking up.
Secondly, I have happily finally finished debugging my Wilson Combat .458 SOCOM problem child. Of course, it wasn't a "for real" Wilson Combat complete gun…even though, yes, I wrote the book on Wilson Combat…LOL! I got the upper from Wilson years ago, just in time for the ammo crisis. So I had an upper and could not get either loaded ammo or components, so I just sat it aside for a time.
When I was able to buy loaded ammo (Wilson and SBR) and Starline finally did a run of brass, I put the project on the front bought a lower from Wilson (hey…standardization of logos) and a single stage Timney trigger and put the thing together. Whereupon it flatly refused to run…multiple feed problems from standard aluminum mags. Bill recommended Lancers, and that was better, but I still had some hiccups. As I mentioned before, I found an article that suggested 2 modifications to the mags — a half-moon cut in the front of the mag to make it easier for that big bullet to exit and slightly bending the front of the magazine lips to let the nose of the .458 sit higher than a 5.56. I gave it a try, and the problems seemed to vanish.
About that time Wilson started offering Lancers marked as .458 SOCOM…I got a couple and they work perfectly.
Verdict? The little carbine is a PERFECT hog gun, which is its intended role! I'll be doing load development while I'm laid up from Knee #2 replacement in June. Right now it's fitted with a Burris AR-1X sight, but there might be a Nightforce NXS 1-4x with my name on it in the future.
We also did a demo showing the difference in recoil in Ruger LCRs in .9mm (my personal choice), .38 Special +P and .327 Magnum. The 9mm and .38 were Corbon DPXs; the .327 Federal Hydra-shocks. Then had some fun with my JP 9mm carbine, ringing the 120 yard head plate from the bench and doing 60 yard off-hand head shots…this is with ARMSCOR ball, no less.
Finally, we found the Gunwriters' Conundrum. I had a bunch of multicolor guns from SCCY Firearms. The are all-American made polymer-framed DAO 9mms.
Truthfully, I hadn't given them much thought. But my FFL dealer, which is owned by 2 very knowledgeable, very savvy trainers (in fact, it's mostly a training facility) told me the only guns they actually stock are the SCCYs, that they've sold a ton of them and that the owners were extremely happy.
When I saw them at SHOT I realized the company was owned by a couple of friends of mine and available in the entire Martha Steward palette of colors…okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but they do have a very festive line. I looked up a number of reviews; some were very positive; some were very negative. So SCCY sent me a selection of colors, and we're going to do a long term test for SGO. But I did want to do a quick into of the guns.
Here's where the Gunwriters Conundrum comes in. The first SCCY I shot (ARMSCOR ball again…ARMSCOR is, thankfully, a sponsor), in teal, which is very fashionable, had 2 light strikes in the first 10 round mag. I had maybe one light strike per mag afterwards.
This is not a big deal to me until AFTER break-in (100-200 rounds), then it is a VERY big deal. The trigger was long, but not any heavier than a Ruger revolver. I did notice I wasn't getting the hits on my 20 and 25-yard head plates that I expected. Marshal said we needed to change colors for video, went in and came back with a purple SCCY (probably an homage to Prince). I loaded it up and it ran like a champ…same trigger, but no light strikes, no problems whatsoever. So I decided to pay attention to the trigger pull and went 5 for 5 on the 25-yard head plate and 4 for 5 on the 60 yard Action Targets torso. In fact, even with the heavy trigger, it was fun to shoot. Yes, it's snappy…all lightweight 9mms (including the Ruger LCR, the Shield, the Sig 928, fill-in-the-blank) are snappy. It's physics…get over it. All DAO trigger pulls will be harder to deal with than the striker-fired or single-action semiautos, but someone, back in the days when the DA revolver ruled the roost, we all learned to deal with it. Ed McGivern's records weren't set with super-tuned triggers! Guns are made of plastic and steel and don't adapt very well, but we primates are whizzes at adaptability.
We used up the rest of the 9mm we had with us on the purple SKKY no problemo.
Here's the conundrum…extrapolating from a set size of "1" doesn't necessarily tell us anything, yet that's what gunwriters do routinely. We're going to do more extensive tests for SGO, and I'm going to rotate through the guns I have on hand. I will also talk to the company owners on the light strikes in the teal gun. And yes, because the company is run by friends of mine (not sponsors, but friends), I'd love to see them succeed even more than they're doing now. Further, I think there is a very real need for an inexpensive, effective EDC gun, and the SCCYs are available at an MSRP of $340, typically less than $300 in a shop.
LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NRA SHOW! TWO SIGNINGS — THE KAHR BOOK FROM 2-3PM ON FRIDAY AND THE OC BOOTH 11-11:30AM ON SATURDAY. Please come by and see me or I'll be sad and lonely!!!