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Old February 27, 2000, 11:38 PM   #1
Oleg Volk
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Had a nice long leisurely range session. Went in to get back to handgunning and to test new (used) guns.

Figured out why my Taurus 85 UL would bind: badly crimped ammo which let bullets back out of the cases. Oops, better not use those handloads for real! I also found that I now shoot all of my guns to the right, not sure how to deal with it.

Beretta 92fs Stainless worked well, with decent accuracy and mild recoil. Two of the three 15rd magazines wouldn't lock the slide back occasionally, and one time slapping in a full mag close the slide on its own! Freaky.

Glock 21 problem with slide locking back diagnosed: my thumb hitting the lever. G21 feeds any ammo given to it, semiwadcutters included. Ejection all over the place, very inconsistent. Need to get parts updated. USP45 also fed everything, ejects more uniformly.

Lots of people were at the range, with maybe 60% being student/teacher groups. Race, age, social groups all over the place ($3000+ 1911s next to $100 Hi-Point). Only one woman in the entire day (I was there for almost six hours).

My SW617 got lended to many newbies whose teachers did not bring .22s and I even gave out abbout a 100 rounds for it. Let folks shoot the 92fs and had a chance to fire a few myself.

Hi-Point .380 was a major surprise. It cost $100 and is quite big for a .380, though not heavy. It has good sights, decent no-creep trigger and comfortable grip. Feeding was reliable but it needed more lubrication than the sample had to go into battery reliably. Accuracy was surprisingly good, with groups only slightly larger than 92fs (I got targets with me, will scan them later). I shot about twenty rounds of Russian .380 which was crap (two misfired which seems to be about normal for the lot). Recoil was very mild. A fairlt large part of the cartridge is unsupported which to me was a bit unnerving. Still, it was not a junk gun and I'd take it over impact/edged weapons.

Tried a 1943 Walther P38. The owner said it belonged to his father and that it couldn't even hit an 8x10 target at 21ft. I tried it. Was decent if not THAt accurate with 115 FMJ, 124 Blazer JHP and 147 FMJ. At 21ft it keyholed with 124 LRN reloads with most bullets hitting sideways! Nice sights and heavy but crisp trigger. I suspect it was not all that well made.

Tried a Chinese Tokarev in 7.62x25. Retrofitted safety from it "fell off and was lost". FOund out the owner paid $300 ata gun show for it and thought it a good deal. I pointed him to http://www.makarov.com because one of the two lots of ammo he had produced huge shower of sparks (and did turn out to be too hot for TT33 upon checking). The thin trigger was not comfortable but broke crisply, sights were OK, Feeding was reliable, accuracy not great but better than the Hi-Point. Whole SA mode with half-cock was strange to me...still, I'd feel well-armed with it. Nice aesthetics.

Had a lot of bad ammo. One Fiocchi 45acp FMJ, one .38 reload, one UNC 124gr 9mm had light strikes. All fired on second try. Need to practice malfunction clearing.

Was please with the day. Need to figure out why I now shoot to the right...

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Oleg "cornered rat" Volk (JPFO,NRA)

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Old February 28, 2000, 03:32 AM   #2
George Hill
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You metioned the Tokarev and Makarov pistols...
For cheap guns - meaning less expensive guns, these two cant be beat. They are build to be durable and reliable in harsh conditions... kinda like the AK-47 was. If you can find one chambered for a western caliber - then you got a good gun. I am not sure about the Toks native chambering... but the Maks is a good round - more energy than the .380 ACP. I know people how favor these Russian guns, for good reasons. My father actually favors the Makarov pistol... Of course he still cant talk about anything yet... in about another 20 years he'll be cleared to share his war stories.
Anyways - I digress...
Those Beretta mags... unless you have some wear on those, or need a new spring or something - then they should be locking that slide back with no problems... unless there is some interferance - like from a thumb. Are you sure your thumb isnt riding that lever or hitting it during recoil?
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Old March 2, 2000, 01:41 PM   #3
Oleg Volk
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I forgot to mention: I tired freebie Triton 125 +P 9mm and found it to be no more or less accurate than other brands. What was pleasantly surprising is the lack of muzzle flash. I have expected a fireball...wrong! Seems like good ammo (fed fine in a Beretta 92) though I have no way to test terminal ballistics.
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Old March 3, 2000, 08:49 AM   #4
Jeff Thomas
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Oleg, I've considered a SW617 for use in instruction. What style do you have - barrel length, capacity, etc.? What do you like and what don't you like - that is, what would you recommend I look for in the purchase?

I've also considered the SW317, which would be more adaptable to defensive carry in a pinch. Do you think that short barrel (1 7/8") would make it unacceptable for instruction?

I'd like to buy one used, but just don't see them around. Any suggestions?

Thanks. When are you coming to AZ?

[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited March 03, 2000).]
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Old March 3, 2000, 09:38 AM   #5
Oleg Volk
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617 is not very good for teaching. It is very heavy and finger groove grip makes it impossible to hold for folks with smaller hands. I have it because it mirrors my 686+.

I used a 317 with 3" barrel and, while it is usable, DA trigger pull is so heavy many had trouble with it. IMO, the perfect training .22 is S&W17 (which is what I gifted my mother) and I prefer older version w/o heavy barrel. Accuracy is on par with 617 and the sahpe is much better. Taurus 9-shot .22 is also good for training but I am not convinced it is all that durable. That said, 317 would work, just not witht he snubbies barrel (again, better than nothing but muzzle blast and aiming difficultes would be considerable).
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Old March 7, 2000, 03:24 PM   #6
Jeff Thomas
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Oleg, thanks for the comments. Not sure how I'll round up a S&W 17, but I'll keep an eye out for one at the gun shows. Maybe we'll take a harder look at the 317 as well.

Thought of a Ruger MkII as well, but they seem to have a reputation for being finicky. I appreciate accuracy, but I dislike firearms that are overly picky - tends to make for more irritation than pleasure and learning at the range. Besides, any firearm might someday need to serve in a defensive role, so reliability is always an issue from my perspective.

Regards from AZ
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Old March 7, 2000, 06:52 PM   #7
Mouse Gun
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I purchased a Chi-Com Tokarev in 9mm at a gun show a few years ago and I don't mind saying it was the most accurate pistol I've ever owned. That pistol would beat the crap out of the ten ring no matter what ammo I fed her, the best $130 I've ever spent.


I would agree with you on the Glock 21, it seems weak when ejecting, doesn't toss them more than a couple of feet but I've not had any FTE. What update do you speak of?


Brian
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Old March 8, 2000, 05:19 AM   #8
Hal
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I don't know, and maybe I'm way off, but the few new shooters I've taken out wanted something more than a .22 after the first few shots. With the exception of my wife, all of the others felt as comfortable with a .38 using target loads as they did the .22. I've been looking far a Smith Model 17 for the last few years, and all of them have been either shot out, worn out or way overpriced. The local dealer has one, in about 95% condition, for $495.00! The other one I have found locally is priced at $295.00, and so loose it rattles. On the other hand, I bought a never fired Smith Model 19 last year for $259.00 w/blueing to die for. What are your thoughts on just skipping the .22, and going right for a Model 19 or a Model 10? New Smith .22 revolvers are going locally for well above the $400.00 mark. For the same $400.00, I can get a .38 or even a .357 Mag AND reloading equipment. Like I say, maybe my thinking is off, and I do admit I don't get to shoot with new shooters that often. All I know, is I started with a Model 19 using .38's, and never felt uncomfortable with it. Most of the less experienced people I have shot with felt comfortable with recoil levels of the .38 also. I took my two nephews ( both were around 13 at the time) shooting a few years back. One went from the .22 to a .38 w/zero problems, and I kinda felt he could have started at the .38. The other went from .22 (10 shots) to .38 (6 shots) to .44 Mag (100 shots) to .45 LC (100 shots) and did extrememly well w/ all of them.
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Old March 10, 2000, 01:35 AM   #9
blades67
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I started my girlfriend off with a Colt Mustang PocketLite .380acp. She was more comfortable with the size of the gun. I felt she would be better off with Glock 19, but she insisted. Turns out we were both right. She shoots the G19 better than PocketLite because the little .380 jumps pretty good, but she shoots more often now because I let her make the choice. Within reason, I don't think the caliber makes the biggest difference, I think addressing the individual's comfort levels makes the biggest difference in the begining. JMHO, YMMV.

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Old March 10, 2000, 11:28 AM   #10
Jeff Thomas
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RAE, I know what you mean. I suppose I'm missing something here, but I don't understand the high prices on these .22 revolvers. (Low volume re: sales, therefore high price?) I don't take out that many new shooters, but I want to take out more, since I feel I owe that to this cause.

I want to start them out on as positive a note as possible, and then help them adjust to more capable calibers. Thus, the .22 focus. blades67 makes a good point about comfort levels - even though a new shooter may move pretty quickly to a .38, that may not have changed the positive, perhaps critical benefits of starting them out on the .22.

But, it makes me swallow a little hard when I look at these prices.

Still thinking about it. Maybe I can just hang around at one of those anti-self defense gun buyback programs, and pick up a deal ...
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Old March 10, 2000, 08:55 PM   #11
Guy B. Meredith
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Jeff Thomas,

The Ruger MKII is great for anyone and not all that finicky--at least no more so than top line autos. I have trained new shooters with it and they went away being able to put a couple or three dozen rounds through a 1" hole at 7 yds. with inexpensive ammo after an hour of shooting.

Some people need to study the take-down and reassembly more than others--maybe just mechanically challenged--but if you read the directions very carefully that bump is soon passed.

Other than that, a small blob of white lithium grease (Lubriplate) on the rod inside the spring on top of the bolt and a dry wipe of the magazines are all that is required to avoid jams or misfeeds. When I first got the Ruger I cleaned it every time it went to the range, but now typically shoot a brick or so before even considering cleaning. Just keeps right on working like that idiot pink bunny.

CCI Mini Mags seem to be fine fodder for accuracy and reliability. I use the cheap 550 round bricks of Federal ammo for everyday stuff and CCI Mini Mags for more accurate, but still relatively inexpensive shooting.

I am not interested in autos, but am glad I made the purchase of the Ruger.
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Old March 11, 2000, 10:24 AM   #12
Jeff Thomas
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Thanks, Guy. I appreciate the feedback.

Regards from AZ
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Old March 11, 2000, 10:57 AM   #13
Hal
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jeff Thomas:
&lt;SNIP&gt;, but I want to take out more, since I feel I owe that to this cause.[/quote]

I hear you there! Sometimes it makes you wonder what side the mfg's are on! A good accurate D/A revolver, at half the going price of the current models is badly needed.

Ditto to what Guy says about the Rugers. Actually there are several very good .22 semi's in the under $300.00 range. I have my eye on a Browning Buckmark Camper due to the very positive experience I had with the Buckmark Micro b4 my wife took a fancy to it. Rugers are good, both the Mark II and the 22/45. Accurate and reliable, and built for several lifetimes. Smith and Wesson, with the 22s (not the 22a), has an inexpensive and accurate semi. Browning with the Buckmark line is also a fine shooter. This tends to fly in the face of most traditional teach on a D/A revolver for safety reasons thought though. I can somewhat agree with that, but think safety should be more than action dependent. I have an old H&R convertible that is a good beginner when shot S/A. For me it works out well most of the time. It is a bit hinckey to unload through the gate, as the muzzle tends to wander about in the process.
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