Saturday, May 28, 2016

Automotif CXXVI...

Seen in the parking lot at the NRAAM, a 1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

1977 was nearing the nadir (what a fortunate homonym!) of American automotive performance.

The base Monte Carlo of Jimmy Carter's inaugural year shipped with a 2-bbl 305 cubic inch V8 that wheezed out an underwhelming 140 net horsepower. This gasping iron-block lungfish was plopped in a "midsize" car so big that the average NFL team would probably need two running plays to get from the hood ornament to the trunk latch.

But it sure looked good, and any Cletus with a wrench and a SuperShop in the neighborhood strip mall could unlock a lot more power out of that motor...

Math is hard...

Pause

There'll be a pause in the Glock 32 firing until some more ammo shows up. The last box of the .357SIG care package from Lucky Gunner, some American Eagle 125gr FMJ, went downrange yesterday. Since fifty rounds of centerfire just doesn't do it for a range trip, I brought along the Glock 17 with the ZEV Fulcrum to get some more live-fire time in with it.

So, I dumped the .357SIG, thirty-nine rounds of which I'd already had loaded into mags, into the lower A-zone at a "Let's just get this done" pace before switching to the G17.

The ZEV trigger still confounds me. It is light (for a Glock trigger) and smooth, but there is no "wall" before the break in live fire. In firing multiple-shot strings, I get off the trigger during recoil and start prepping it again so that I'm ready to shoot as the sights settle on the target. The holes scattered out around the periphery of the shot group in the middle show what happens when there's so little distinction between "prepping the trigger" and the actual firing of the gun itself. I wonder what a NY1 spring would do to this pull?

There were no problems of any kind with the Glock 32, BTW. This marks a hundred rounds with the 20# replacement recoil spring.

This makes it 950 total rounds fired since the firearm was last cleaned or lubricated, with four failures to go completely into battery (#63, #78, #126, #748) and four failures to feed (#221, #224, #282, #734). 1,050 rounds left to go.
.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Disappointed...

I saw that a member at a forum on which I post had the handle "Woo Pig".

I chuckled, thinking that was a clever riff on "War Pig". Like maybe the dude's into both firearms and aromatherapy and moxibustion or something?

I clicked on his profile to discover he was an Arkansas Razorbacks fan.

*sigh*

I like the world in my head better...
.

Under Pressure

Clifford the Big Red Watch having been replaced with an Apple Watch, I no longer have a handy barometer-at-a-glance strapped to my wrist. I mean, I'm sure there's a watch face setup with the Apple Watch that would put a barometer readout there for me but I haven't been arsed to find it since it's really not necessary.

You see, as it turns out, the only time I glanced at Clifford's barometer reading was to confirm that yes, indeed, my right shin was hurting like a sumbitch. Like it is right now.
.

Almost halfway done...

Range day yesterday morning: Fifty rounds of Winchester 125gr FMJ and fifty of American Eagle 125gr FMJ from Lucky Gunner.

I had...or rather, Jeff at Indy Arms Company had already replaced the magazine springs with 11-coil units from full-size Glock mags, which should eliminate the problem of the slide outrunning the magazine spring's ability to get the next round into position in time. I will note that with the eleven-coil springs, you will definitely be wanting a Maglula UpLULA to assist in getting the last round or two into the magazine.

In the little ziploc baggie is a 20# ISMI flat-wire recoil spring, two pounds heavier than the stock unit, with the intention of keeping the slide from bottoming out so viciously against the frame and exacerbating the gun's muzzle flip.

The first box of fifty, the Winchester stuff, was fired into the lower cluster of shots. Everything fed fine and there were no malfunctions. I then switched out the recoil assembly and loaded up the American Eagle and fired it at the head area of the B-21E target.

Again, the weapon went through the complete cycle of operation with all fifty rounds. Further, gone was the feeling that I could induce a "failure to go into battery" malfunction at will by not gripping the gun firmly enough. Lastly, the heavier spring seemed to have the gun shooting much flatter, as though the slide were no longer slamming violently to a stop at the end of its travel. I'd love to look at this with some high-speed video.

At any rate, that makes 900 total rounds fired since the firearm was last cleaned or lubricated, with four failures to go completely into battery (#63, #78, #126, #748) and four failures to feed (#221, #224, #282, #734). 1,100 rounds left to go.
.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

#PeaceInOurTime #Reset

EDIT: #TMWYR that people have no clue who Neville Chamberlain is, nor do they recognize one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th Century. Which, when you think about it, handily explains the mess in which we find ourselves...

Tab Clearing...

Spring Thing

On the advice from a friend who has experience with Glock 32s, I've swapped the magazine springs in the Glock 32 mags for the eleven-coil ones from full-size Glock mags. This is to cure this problem here:

I also picked up a 20# ISMI recoil spring. The factory unit is the same 18# recoil spring assembly used in the Glock 19, and you can feel the slide bottoming hard against the frame. I'm going to at least experiment with the heavier spring and see what it does. You'll notice that with the Gen4 guns, Glock introduced a dedicated recoil spring assembly for the .357/.40 guns, rather than just using the 9mm one. I'm filing that under the "clue" column.
.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Note to self:

Does size really matter?

Thus far I've been shooting a bunch of Lucky Gunner's .357SIG ammo through my Glock 32, which has a 4" barrel. Since .357SIG's stock in trade is blazing speed, would a little more barrel help?

To find out, I took the Glock 35 I had converted to 9mm, and converted it back to its .40 configuration, and then dropped in a 5.32" Lone Wolf .357SIG conversion barrel.

I was dreading doing the re-converting, because I had even changed the extractor and trigger housing (which contains the ejector) to the appropriate 9mm parts, but I needn't have worried. Even my ten-thumbed self had the frame and slide stripped down, the parts swapped, and the gun reassembled in fifteen minutes.

So it was off to the range with a chronograph and some ammo...
American Eagle 125gr FMJ
LO: 1386
HI: 1410
AV: 1397
ES: 23.58
SD: 9.16
Federal HST Tactical 125gr JHP
LO: 1358
HI: 1416
AV: 1392
ES: 58.36
SD: 15.96
Hornady XTP 147gr JHP
LO: 1228
HI: 1259
AV: 1243
ES: 31.32
SD: 9.64
Those averages are, respectively, 53fps, 36fps, and 55fps more than the shorter-barreled gun. It's not a ton of improvement, but it's there. The long-slide gun also shot a whole bunch flatter than the compact 32. The small gun borders on being a handful, while the bigger one is almost docile. Without having yet tried them on the clock, I'm betting splits on harder targets, such as steel plates at 20+ yards, will be noticeably quicker.
.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Well, that wasn't the problem...

So, if you'll recall my misadventures with the Steyr C9-A1 and the Wolf Polyformance 115gr FMJ ammo...

I stopped by the Steyr booth at the show. I mentioned to the guys in the booth that I'd been shooting one and asked if there was an updated extractor available for the gun. He allowed as there was, and I said that was a good thing, because mine's been a complete dumpster fire so far.

He also told me about the Steyr's tight European tolerances and how I should avoid weak ammunition because a finely crafted piece like the C9 would be a fussier eater than...other guns. I think I did a good job of keeping a straight face, but you'll have to ask Kevin if I really did or not.

Canis lupus lupus, the Steyr's bĂȘte noire
So, anyway, from the wild ejection pattern of the Wolf and the number of malfs, I had surmised on that previous range session that the Wolf was extremely variable in velocity, with weak rounds failing to run the gun and hot ones functioning it fine. I saved ten rounds to take to the range and test over the chrono...

Here are the results:
Wolf Polyformance 115gr FMJ
LO: 1150
HI: 1178
AV: 1159
ES: 28.56
SD: 9.74
That's...well, pretty much the opposite of inconsistent. As a matter of fact, it borders on freakishly consistent for cheap FMJ ammo. I think it's safe to say that the problems are with the Steyr, hopefully they can be solved by an upgraded extractor, because otherwise this thing is just way too annoyingly fussy for me to bother with. If I take a pistol to the range, I want to be able to buy whatever cheap range fodder they have there without worrying whether my gun will run it or not.

At least the ten-round chrono string went off without a malfunction.

This makes 630 rounds fired through the Steyr C9-A1 without cleaning or lubing, with five failures-to-fire (#8, #472, #535, #555, #558), seven failures to extract (#234, #266, #276, #531, #535, #543, #558), and one failure to go completely into battery (#116). 1,370 rounds left to go.
.

Oh, please, no...

Drifted to sleep on the futon in the living room last night with earbuds in, listening to the dulcet tones of Ballistic Radio. Now I'll have to re-download that episode.

Woke up still fully clothed and...oh, no...with my soft palate all tender and bruised feeling, the usual forerunner of a sore throat. And then my nose started running. Oh, please don't let this be "con crud"; I've had more than enough sick days this year.
.

Monday, May 23, 2016

I guess it was inevitable.

Instead of a SHOT Show unveiling, Smith & Wesson waited until mid-May and the NRAAM to drop their newest offering, a .45ACP addition to the M&P Shield line of single-stack subcompacts:

Shown here with the flush-fit six-round magazine in the paw of your faithful correspondent, the .45 Shield is practically indistinguishable, size-wise, from the 9mm/.40 version unless the two are side-by-side. Smith has pictures. It's distinctly slender-er than its most obvious rival, the Glock 36. I'd have to see it next to a Kahr P45 to be certain, but I'd say they're roughly comparable in size.

SayUncle hand-models for you here, with the seven-round extendo. Smith claims a weight only a few ounces more than a classic Model 36 Chief's Special J-frame. I have not verified this.
.
.

I'm not gonna take it anymore.

If the purpose of advertising is to make you stop and look, this worked.

I was indeed stopped in my tracks, temporarily bereft of the ability to even.

So, I'm supposed to be taking my 1911-buying advice from underemployed Eighties hair metal singers now? Also, if Dee Snyder's so into 1911s, how come we can only get country friggin' music at our annual NRA soirees?
.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig...

I am back home again in Indiana.

Blogging should resume shortly, after I hydrate. Beer has water in it, right?
.

Can't I just phone this one in?

Sunday morning and my head is emptier than an Ethiopian pantry.

I've got to get out on the floor here soon and sweep up the corners I missed the first two days. Something like normal blogging should resume tomorrow.

Also, I would have been uploading all kinds of pictures of stuff, but I forgot my laptop power supply at home, so that's going to have to wait 'till I get home, too. If you have the Instagramming, there are photos there.