A long-awaited range day today was, uh, interesting. Got some decent shooting in with the ‘new’ Detective Special, but even that got odd. Let me tell ya about it…
Our First Contestant is…
…the celebrated Detonics Mk.1 Combat Master .45. I’d picked up some random cast 200gr. LSWCs and loaded them over 6.3gr. of Universal with a Winchester WLP primer. Good medium-power load. Let the weirdness begin…
Insert a magazine, rack the slide… and the gun doesn’t go into battery. Huh. The Detonics doesn’t normally do that. I press the back of the slide lightly and it goes into battery. Aim fire, jam. Not in battery and this time it’s not going to be. OK, drop the mag, rack the slide and an empty case pops out spraying unburned powder everywhere. Looking into the chamber I see… the bullet. I dislodged it with a cleaning rod and looked it over. Yeah, that’s not right…
It almost looks like a heel-base bullet. The part inside the case is .451, the nose, which was outside the case, is .458. Its a .458 bullet, as might be loaded in a .45-70. Weird. I mean, who loads a .45-70 with a 200gr. bullet? OK, there are other .458 guns, but they’re even more unlikely. The bullets aren’t too big for the reloading dies, but they jam at the lip in the chamber. I checked and yes, they are all like that. OK, I need to pull the bullets from the remaining 48 rounds. Oh joy. In the meantime no shooting the Combat Master. Bugger.
I’d always loved the sleek, elegant look of the Remington Model 51, and I finally got one. It’s reliable, thin, compact and a great shooter. But, as I mentioned in my review, it chews a hole in my hand with the slide. So I smoothed where I could to try and alleviate this. Hoping my discreet efforts would yield good results, I loaded it up and started shooting. Light recoil, accuracy that belies the awful sights… and it still chews a hole in my hand. Bugger.
Looks like my beloved and much admired Remington will be seeking a new home soon. Did I mention Bugger?
…and of Course Nothing Can Go Totally right.
On to the new-to-me Detective Special. This went well, though the new Birdseye Maple grip isn’t quite perfect for me. Not a problem, it was made to sell not for me personally.
Finally I ran a target out to 25 yards and squeezed off five shots double action. Uh, make that four shots. On the final shot the gun jammed. Yes, a revolver jammed. It does happen. The culprit turned out to be that the last shot had walked forward under recoil, and the tip of the bullet stuck out just far enough to prevent the cylinder from turning.
This is particularly weird because I’m not exactly known for under-crimping when I load .38 Special. Yet this particular case does not appear to be crimped at all. This shouldn’t be able to happen, yet there it is. Close examination showed that the perfectly normal-looking case was .015″ shorter than the other cases, just barely enough to cause it to miss the crimping shoulder in the die when seating the bullet. It’s a perfectly normal looking Remington case, and shows no evidence that someone shortened it. Weird.
Having determined the cause of the issue I reeled in the target. Tried to, actually; the target-trolley had jumped the track. I had to get an RO to go downrange and un-bugger it. When I did get to reel it in the results weren’t bad at all; it’s the target at the top of the page.
I finished off the box of ammo without further incident, doing double-taps at different ranges and shooting strong and weak-hand, but my heart just wasn’t in it anymore, and I packed up and headed home.
No, nothing bad happened on the way, or really since.
So, a mix of good, bad and weird at the range today.
On a Good Note…
…an unexpected package arrived in the mail the other day from Sapper Gentleman, a very nice fellow with a Youtube channel that I support on Patreon. It seems I won a couple prizes in last month’s drawing! A VISM emergency tourniquet and a magazine-loader for AR15 magazines that was 3D printed by another of his viewers!
I had no idea I’d won, because I never watch the give-away videos, so it was a little surreal until the light dawned. I suppose now I need to get an AR15 in 5.56mm…
So, shout out to Sapper gentleman, and thank you!
Michael Tinker Pearce, 8 September 2021
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