Range Time!

Haven’t been shooting since I injured my left hand, but I did spend some time reloading so I had a decent amount of 9mm and .45 ACP waiting for an opportunity. With the hand feeling much better today i loaded up a few guns and trundled off to the range.

Top-left- Beretta Model 1951, lower left- Maadi Helwan, Top right- S&W Model 1917, Bottom right- 1911a1 ‘Street Racer.’

S&W Model 1917

Model 17, 6-round clips and loading/unloading tool for the clips.

The previously described M1917 has a new set of Goncalo Alves grips made to suit my hand. Being a .45 ACP revolver it uses spring-steel clips to hold the rounds. I have removed the Wonder Sight; it did not fit properly and tended to shift when the gun was fired. I was eager to try the gun out with the stock sights and new handle.

One shot per second at 7 yards,

It all works well enough; it shoots to point-of-aim at seven yards at least, and the new grips are comfortable and manage recoil well. I had a bit of trouble getting used to the gun; my first shots went all over but the group tightened up nicely as I got into the gun’s rhythm. I think I will smooth the trigger; the grooves really aren’t ideal for double-action shooting.

1911a1 Street Racer

This gun was completed recently, and I’ve really been looking forward to giving it a good wringing out. It’s pretty much what I was hoping for; a gun specialized for rapid, accurate fire.

My first target of the day, 7 yards at 1 shot per second. I got dialed in pretty quickly.
Double-taps at 7 yards. This gun loves ’em.

I’m really pleased with how this gun is working out. Super-reliable and fast on target. I love it when a plan comes together!

The Beretta Model 1951 and Maadi Helwan

These two are together because they are effectively the same gun, one made by Beretta and one made under license in Egypt by Maadi. It’s a descendant of the Walther P-38, using the same sort of under-barrel locking-block. Unlike the Walther it locates the recoil-spring under the barrel instead of in the sides of the slide, allowing the Italian gun to be much more svelte. The Beretta is also a single-action semi-auto. They’re quite a trim, flat, good-handling gun, and while the sights aren’t particularly good they are quite accurate.

The Beretta is better-finished and may have used better metallurgy, but they start out otherwise identical. Importantly they use the same magazine, and I had just procured two new Beretta-manufactured magazines that needed to be tested. I tested all four of my magazines in both guns, and they worked flawlessly.

7-yard targets, 1 shot/second. rather than any difference in quality between these two guns, I attribute the sloppier target with the Maadi to the fact that the Beretta’s front sight is painted orange and the Egyptian gun’s isn’t. Harder to see the sights when firing quickly.
7-yard double-taps with the Beretta. Not at all shabby!

These guns double-tap very nicely; while neither has what you would call a great trigger, the break is reasonably crisp and the reset is nicely tactile. Not bothering to show the Maadi’s double-tap picture; it pretty much looks like the Beretta’s.

These are really, genuinely pleasant guns to shoot, and while the cross-bolt safety takes some getting used to it’s surprisingly easy to use and works well. Shooting these guns side-by-side there’s a not a nickel’s worth of difference between them, but there is a difference. Neither of these guns should be used with +P ammunition, but for the Maadi it’s likely to cause problems with as little as one round; the metallurgy of the Egyptian’s gun’s locking-block is inferior and it will peen immediately. Best policy for these guns is to restrict them to a diet of 115gr commercial target ammo or it’s equivalent.

Fun day at the range; I put a couple hundred rounds or 9mm downrange. been quite a while since I’ve been able to do that!

Stay safe and take care.

Michael Tinker Pearce, 22 October 2021.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *