Saturday, March 07, 2009


Shooting day, finally! Yes, friends, it is possible to get off work early enough on a Saturday to actually make it to the range. Plan A was for my chain man to join me but we were just too late for him to make the range and get in his bike ride. He's doing a triathlon later this spring and is in training mode.

A few weeks back I mentioned that I had once again added an item to the wall o' Mosin down in the reloading room. I got to shoot that one today.

Just damn.

There is a definite issue with the extractor. It doesn't like to engage over the rim of the cartridge unless you slap the bolt with authority. Being that we are talking a Mosin here, "slap" is or should already be understood to be SOP, but the sad truth is is that I face planted right through the door way of our connex box plan/ break office this morning. The first part of my anatomy to kiss the linoleum was my right hand, which hyper extended backwards as the rest of my body tried to push it through the floor. I got through the rest of the work day with my right hand shoved in my vest and my motivated assistant performing the bulk of the tasks.

So I arrived at Lee Kay and signed in. Check in with the RO and get the last open bench on the line. There are about fifty positions. Full house and then some, today. The timing works out so that I can get my first target out and begin shooting immediately. I post at fifty yards, walk back with the rest of the crowd, and then begin shooting left handed off the bench. Even shooting weak side, I admire the solid, if heavier than preferred by most Westerners, trigger pull. The bolt operates well except for the tendency for the extractor to resist engaging the rim unless I shout "URRRAHH STALINO!!" as I slam the damned thing home with my wounded hand... and my three different flavors of stripper clips function well, too. So I merrily bang away fifteen well aimed rounds and put things aside to cool while I wait for the break to go forward and check targets. My spotting scope was still in the truck and since my glasses prescription is frankly more good intentions, now, than therapeutic I had no idea where things were down on the paper. Old age is creeping up on me at a dead run.

Dad/daughter was shooting on my left, dad/son on my right. I love seeing preteens hitting their targets with an AR. It's just... right. Son on right peeked down range with his binos and asked where I was aiming. I told him six o'clock on the bullseye and he said "You missed, here, look".

Fifteen rounds (Soviet ammo head stamped 1947, light ball, steel case) shot out of a Tula 1944 production 91/30, at fifty yards, shot weak side because of a sprained wrist, from a bench sitting position, not off a bag.

They all landed inside a three inch circle including four rounds in the X ring (NRA small bore 100 yard target).

I fired a satisfying string from the right side, in agony, and then went ahead and tried another of my 91/30's. That was a wasted effort since by then my thumb and wrist were ballooned too tight in my glove to continue shooting. So I came home.

The '44 Tula is going to get a reproduction PU scope - right after the blue job and the stock bedding and refinishing project. I will finally buy a cheap and simple digital camera to document the process, and will post the results here.

Hope your Saturday is going well. I'm off to clean some shooting irons.

(Okay, not all in a three inch circle:

... but that will do for me! The first five shots are the "L" shaped group at five o'clock. Breathing with a wee bit of flinch, I think.)

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