Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Range Time!

Today was another of those "we've run out of work so don't bother coming in today" days (2 this year now), so I took advantage of it and went to the range. This time I went to Bullet Hole. I didn't use the rifle range so I won't comment on it, but the pistol range is nice and simple. There are three distances available at 7, 15, and 25 yards (rimfire rifles also allowed at the 25 yard mark). I got there right at opening time, and I think I enjoyed it especially because there was almost no one there (on a weekday). The reason I tried out Bullet Hole was because of their range fees, which are the best around, as far as I know. First-timers pay a $3 "membership fee" for which you get a photo ID card for the range. Otherwise, it's $7.50 plus .50 cents for each extra target, if desired. Number of guns is irrelevant. Take a dozen guns and shoot a single target to shreds, and it's still only $7.50. I did get one extra target.

I started at 7 yards with the NAA Mini-Revolver in .22LR. This is not a good range gun. That little trigger is very hard on my trigger finger for extended shooting. I'm the kind of person who can take my Single-Six out and shoot 100 rounds without thinking about it, but just putting 25 rounds through this little gun is a chore. The trigger is more like trying to click a button switch than like squeezing a trigger. It isn't a sharp-shooter's gun, either, but I did keep all the shots on a smaller-than-torso-sized target at 7 yards. A couple actually went into the center black. I was mostly shooting standard Remington 22LR ammo, but I also tried some of Aguila's subsonic ammo. The Aguila (it appears to me), uses a .22 short-sized case, but it has a very long, 60-grain bullet so the overall size is the same as a Long Rifle. I was wearing muffs, but it seemed to me that the report was about the same as the regular Long Rifle. Recoil wasn't much different, either. (The report would probably be noticeably different in a rifle). I did notice that the smell was different. I don't know what the Aguila folks are putting in those shells, but it doesn't smell the same as all the other ammo I have become accustomed to. I didn't notice any keyholing with the Aguila ammo, either. They all appeared to still be in stable flight when they hit the target. This was something I had been curious about since the bullet is somewhat elongated and the barrel is so short.

Next, I spent some time at 7 yards with the SP-101, starting out with full-blown .357 Magnum loads. Recoil was brisk and refreshing. After a few cylinders of this, I stepped down to some tamer .38 Special +P loads. They were much more pleasant to shoot, and I switched from hand to hand with every cylinder for about 50 rounds. Every now and then I'd load up with .357 again just to refresh myself.

Then I put up a new target and 15 yards and kept going with the SP-101, same as before. I guess in all I shot about 80-90 rounds through it. More practice is needed.

Finally, using the same 15-yard target, I broke out the CZ-52 (or vZ-52, some say) and let loose with several magazines-worth of 7.26x25mm Tokarev. I had taken this gun along because it had been so long since I shot it last, and I can't always shoot it at a range. I have to make sure I am either farthest to the right on the line, or that I have a decent wall or partition to catch the empties, which can easily fly 30 feet before they hit the ground (yeah, I've measured before). It was much more comfortable to shoot this time, possibly because I was "stepping down" from the .357. I think I'm going to look into replacing the grips. This pistol is in great condition, but the grips don't look so hot. They are still fully functional, I just don't like their appearance. My accuracy was even better with this gun than with the SP-101. An easier trigger pull and a longer sight radius are probably why. Again, everything was in the kill zone, and I even got a couple of shots into the black when going for accuracy one-handed.

I usually don't worry too much about pin-point accuracy during my pistol range time. I am more concerned with getting off relatively rapid shots all into the zone, rather than chewing out a raggedy hole in the exact center of the black.

I will be going back to this range again, even though it's a fairly long trip from home. The prices can't be beat. The one guy who was working there told me, "Bring all your guns and shoot all day for one price if you want." I replied, "That would be quite a load."

I sort of resolved a couple of months ago to make it to the range a minimum of once per month, which is really not nearly often enough, to me, but is about all I can manage. So far I've kept to that resolution. A range that will let me shoot 4 or 5 guns for less than $10 is worth the trip.


  1. I’ve always thought the CZ52 was a cool gun. I keep kicking around the idea of getting one, but some other gun always jumps in front of it.

    If you haven’t seen it, there’s a pretty good website here with information and accessories for the CZ52.

  2. Here's a tip for your NAA mini- use your strong hand to hold it and your weak hand around your strong hand. Use your weak thumb to cock, weak index to fire.

    Practice one handed too. But if you have time, this makes for better and easier hits.