It’s that time of year again: BAG day.
I actually celebrated this year for the first time in a while. Since it’s been a while, I saw no reason to limit it to one gun, I bought two.
I bought them online and talked about that in a previous post but I didn’t tell you what I got.
First, I am an NRA and 4H certified instructor and I really enjoy sharing the shooting sports with the uninitiated. I regularly teach classes, take newbies to the range, etc. The problem is that I’ve been missing something with regard to my training aids. I’ve got several flavors of semi-auto pistols to use for training, but the only working revolver I’ve got is a replica 1858 Remington cap and ball revolver. While fun to load and shoot, it isn’t really representative of modern revolver technology.
I’ve been looking for a long time for a .22lr revolver and I just couldn’t find anything that I wanted that was also in my price range. I decided that I needed to find something else. Something that fired a light enough caliber with a heavy enough frame that a newbie could handle it without too much trouble.
I had a friend back in the day who had one of these and I always thought it was a great shooter, even with full house loads, so when I found a good deal on one…well…there you go:
The Ruger GP100 in .357 Magnum.
Nice heavy frame, adjustable sights, 4″ full underlug barrel, Hogue monogrips and should be very manageable for a new shooter with light .38 special loads.
And for the second gun…I’ve got a (very) old Springfield 12 gauge Pump shotgun that I bought for a song many years ago. It’s had a good run and has been a good gun for me, but it’s reaching the end of its service life. Starting to get wonky in the action…sometimes shells hang up while entering the chamber requiring one to “jiggle” the pump to get it to slide home. Also the firing pin is worn and it’s beginning to misfire by not striking the primer hard enough to ignite it.
Because it’s a not so popular brand that isn’t made any more, parts are hard to come by and resale value is low. I may try to fix her anyway just as a project, but I decided I needed something new and exciting in the shotgun arena.
I’m not a big shotgun shooter to begin with. I enjoy the occasional round of skeet and I have a thrower that I take out for some informal clay shooting sometimes, but shotgun isn’t my “thing” really…but it’s nice to have a good scatter gun when you need one. I don’t really feel the need to have a collection of shotties, so I wanted one gun that would do pretty much anything I need it to.
I thought about another pump, but I’ve not had good luck with a pump when shooting doubles in skeet. The pump is just too slow and while you’re pumping, it’s too easy to loose track of the 2nd clay. I decided I wanted a semi-auto. I wanted something long enough for shooting clays recreationally, but not so long that it would be useless for home defense or other “tactical” situation.
Other factors were that I wanted something common and popular enough that I’d be able to find accessories and parts for it and so it would carry some resale value if the need arose, but I didn’t want to break the bank on a Benelli or Baretta either.
I thought about getting a “combo” with both a 28″ and an 18″ barrel and swap out depending on what I’m doing. I was looking into the Remington 1187 but short barrels are hard to find, I’d probably have to buy a 28″ barrel and cut it down, plus the magazine capacity isn’t that great.
I started looking into Mossberg semi-autos and stumbled across this:
Mossberg 930 Jerry Miculek Pro series. Honestly, I don’t care about JM lending his name to it…in fact I usually avoid things like that to avoid the extra markup that it usually entails, but this was exactly what I was looking for.
3″ chamber, 10 round magazine (with 2 3/4″ shells), choke tubes, 24″ barrel, fiber optic front sight. Long enough barrel to effectively use it on clays, but short enough to still be useable in relatively close quarters and the best magazine capacity I’d seen on a shotgun. Perfect.
I got them both at Bud’s Gun shop in Kentucky. Their prices were right, they made the procedure easy (already had my transfer gun shop’s FFL on file) and shipping and handling was reasonably speedy. I paid using ACH so there was a delay waiting for that to clear, but you get a cash discount that way so it was worth it.
I was very satisfied with the service and my purchases. The weather here’s been crap on the weekends lately so I haven’t had the opportunity to go to the range yet, but things are looking good for this weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Marry Bag Day to one and all!