A Little Range Time

Sometimes it’s nice to go shooting just to go shooting, and I did that today. I only took a single gun for a purpose other than fun, and it turned out to be fun too so it was a great day on the range.

Ruger SR9

If you saw the video on this gun you saw it was keyholing. I contacted Ruger, got an RMA from them to send it in and… didn’t. It occurred to me that I should check with more types of ammo. See, the 9mm I shot through it most was the Aardvark 124gr bullets, which further testing revealed key-holed out of every 9mm I tried them in. I honestly couldn’t remember what other ammo I had tried in the Ruger, so I decided to try it with my standard 9mm target loads.

Rapid-fire at 7 yards… no keyholing.

I shot all over a target so I could see every hit. Seventeen rounds, not a single key-hole. I shot another seventeen rounds. No Key-holes. I’ll be dipped. I took another fifty-sixty rounds just to appreciate how much I like this gun and never found a single key-hole. Hot damn, need to call Ruger with the good news. I’m pretty jazzed.

Custom S&W M&P .38 Special

I do love my revolvers, but we haven’t had much quality time together lately so I took my M&P out for a spin. Trigger is still excellent and the Wonder Sight works pretty well. I shot 100 rounds of 158gr. Xtreme copper-plated SWCs out of it and remembered why I like these guns so much.

A few cylinders of rapid-fire at 7 yards

I wasn’t running a shot timer, just firing as fast as I could re-acquire the sights, which caused my neighbor to comment. He was surprised when he realized I was shooting a revolver and not a semi-auto. Probably a fairly quick pace then.

1 shot/second at 7 yards. Bottom half of the target was with a different gun. Point of Aim was the black box.

A couple of groups at one shot/second at 7 yards were not too shabby either. I did some precision shooting at various ranges, and we will draw the curtains of charity over those results. Suffice to say I know what to work on next time.


Of course I had to shoot my latest darling as well. The gun is running just as it should and likes my 115gr. loads very well indeed. Slowing down just a hair has yielded dividends as well-

7 yards, 1 shot/second
7 yards rapid-fire.

OK, I can shoot accurately enough at speed. I need to start working on precision at longer ranges. No one ever got worse at action shooting by being able to produce good groups at longer ranges.

In General…

I need to shoot more precisely at longer ranges. I need to focus on firing at 20-25 yards. I still would like a narrower front sight on the S.O.S.9, and given that it’s a dedicated range gun I will likely opt for a black sight rather than an orange one. When I was shooting IPSC back when dinosaurs walked the Earth my preference was for a narrow, black front sight and I think returning to that will be good.

My grip has changed to a thumbs-forward grip, but Weaver is giving me better results than Isosceles. You can teach an old dog new tricks, but perhaps only so many at once. I’ll keep working on it and see how it shakes out.

The most important thing is a gun I thought broken isn’t, and I had a great time at the range. Given the current state of the supply of reloading components I’m not going to be able to burn a few hundred rounds every time I go to the range, but it’s really, really nice when I can.

Stay safe and take care,

Michael Tinker Pearce, 7 March 2022

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