Delayed Range Report

I finally got to the outdoor rifle range in Creeds the weekend before last. On the way I made a couple of stops. I wanted to work a little more with my Mosin Nagant M44 but the few times I’ve fired it the recoil was…um…uncomfortable. Actually, I was only able to fire about 10 rounds or so before it started getting downright painful and causing a flinch.

So, my first stop was Dick’s Sporting Goods where I picked up a “Limbsaver” slip on recoil pad. The smallest they had is still just slightly large, but it fit well enough to use.

Then I stopped by A&P Arms to look for FFFg Black Powder substitute. They had FFg but no triple F so I ended up without any. While I was there, I noticed that they had a good supply of Wolf 7.62×39 for a “reasonable” price so I picked up a case of that. I also happened to mention the rifle range in creeds. I mentioned that the last time I had been out there there had been a “closed today” sign out and asked them if it was going to be open today.

The answer was “we don’t own a rifle range”. They let me stew over that for a minute or two before they informed me that A&P had sold it over a month ago. I had no idea that it was even up for sale. Anyway, I decided to go ahead and take a chance on it being open and head down there anyway.

It was open.

The store part didn’t have much available yet as they were still remodeling and putting in carpet in there, but the range itself was open. The bottom line is that I never did find any black powder substitute to use to shoot this month’s e-postal match with my black powder revolver.

I did, however, get a chance to exhaustively check out the SKS and play with the Mosin some more.

I must say that I like what the new owner (whom I met while I was there) is doing with the place. The price has gone up but he is making some much needed improvements and is much more strict about the operation and running of the facility itself. The previous ownership was a bit too nonchalant about caring for facilities if you ask me. Safety has always been good, but the new owner seems a bit more diligent about making sure all announcements are clearly understood before anything happens. Also, he has cleaned up and improved the shorter pistol ranges immensely.

Now, on to the report. I started out with the SKS. I wanted to burn through some rounds with my “repaired” gas system to make sure it was going to cycle consistently, wanted to verify my zeros on both the open sights and scope and also just get a better feel for the T-6 stock configuration.

My immediate response to the new stock is “I LIKE…I LIKE ALOT…” It is MUCH more ergonomic than the old wooden stock, as well as being lighter, and the ability to adjust the pull with the telecoping stock makes a huge difference.

The only thing that I don’t like is that, when using the scope, I have a little trouble maintaining a consistent and solid cheek weld. Some sort of removable or adjustable cheek pad may be in order. I’ll let you know what I come up with in that regard.

Basically, this is my “homeland defense” rifle. Being that I live in an urban environment, it is intended for more urban style warfare which means relatively close ranges. I have the iron sights zeroed at 25 yards and the scope zeroed at 100. I was thinking about zeroing the scope to 200 and I may change it yet, My thought was that urban style fighting generally occurs at relatively short ranges and I can use “holdover” (known in the target shooting community as “Kentucky windage”) to adjust for longer shots. However, if I zero at 200, I can still expect to be in the kill zone at 100 and can “hold under” to adjust for shorter shots if necessary.

Any thoughts out there on the subject? I’m no expert on this stuff.

As far as operation goes, she performed flawlessly. No short cycles, no stovepipes, no malfunctions of any kind. I think the gas system can officially be considered “fixed” after taking the action described in my last post on the subject.

Now on to the Mosin-Nagant. The recoil pad made all the difference in the world. I burned through all the remaining ammo I had with no discomfort whatsoever. What a relief. I was beginning to think that this rifle was just going to have to be a wall hanger.

I had a comment from someone when I posted about my purchase of this rifle that they were designed to be fired with the bayonet extended. For that reason, I started out shooting that way. I was pretty happy with the groups, I was getting about 3″ groups at 100 yards a few inches low and right. The sights on the Mosin are not readily adustable for windage so I did play with the range adjustment with varying results.

After playing around for a while, I decided to fold the bayonet and see what happened. WOW. I wasn’t even on the paper. I finally got it on the paper by aiming at the lower right corner and even then the groups were huge and inconsistent. I don’t know if this is a quirk of my particular rifle, to the M44 carbine as a model or to all Mosin Nagant rifles, but I’ve never seen a rifle that simply extending a bayonet that is already attached makes that much difference. There must be some serious barrel harmonics going on when firing this rifle. Suffice it to say that the bayonet will be extended any time this baby is fired in the future.

That’s it. No pics this time because I was by myself and just didn’t bother. Maybe next time. I still need to make the trek back out there sometime this month to try my black powder revolver in the e-Postal Match.


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