The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Range Report

Well, after having to turn back last night, the father in law and myself ditched the womenfolk and headed back out to the range tonight. He picked me up from the metro, drove me home where I threw jeans and a sweater on, and then we headed out to Fairfax and the NRA Headquarters Range. Arrived at 5:40 to find . . . . . the Range Packed Again!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is incredible. While the kids behind the counter where saying its always this crowded, that just isn't the case. I've been an annual member at this range for the last 3 or 4 years and I've never seen it crowded like I have since the New Year. Its annoying, but at least all these people aren't voting for Democrats any time soon. Still, as an annual member (not only that - but a family member too - I pay even more than most other members) I should get some special service. At Blue Ridge Arsenal, if your a range member, you get to go to the front of any wait list. Perhaps thats something the NRA should institute as well.

Anyway, after waiting about 30 minutes (during which time we witnessed the most awesome display of handgun shooting by this petite little women . . . 15 shots in less than 15 seconds in a small 1 inch hole in the middle of the face on an silhouette target) we were called up and I headed to lane 1 while my father in law grabbed a middle lane.

I took along my new Colt 1991A1 as well as my favorite handgun, my Ruger Mk II.

Sadly, I didn't realize I had forgotten to bring my .22lr ammo (except for a sleeve of shotshells) so i was unable to shoot the Ruger. It truly is a pleasure. However, I did have 250 rounds of .45 ACP with me, and that kept a smile on my face.

Generally, I was very pleased with the way the Colt shot. Its much more accurate than my Glock, and except for some problems during the first few magazines where the slide was stuck open (it happened 3 times, I am pretty sure it was caused by a poor grip), I had no problem and it easily ate all the ammo I fed it. All total, I put 150 rounds through it with the targets set at 21 and 30 feet. First box was 50 rounds of Remington UMC 230 grain ball ($12.50 at the NRA Range shop, the same ammo was $18+ for a box of 50 at Blue Ridge Arsenal) followed by Blazer 230 grain brass ($9.00 at Wal-Mart). The Blazer was much more accurate, consistently achieving 1 1/2 inch groups at 30 feet.

After 100 rounds, I field stripped the Colt (almost lost the spring cap thingy down the range) wiped down the slide rails, cleaned the barrel, and put some Rem Oil on it and then shot another box of the Remington. Sadly, the NRA Range has instituted a policy of not allowing Cameras on the the range so I didn't get pictures of the earlier targets. However, I did remember to take home the last target I shot. Here it is . . . after shooting three seven round magazines into it.

All in all, I like it a lot. The trigger isn't too bad (especially for a NIB gun), it feels great, and has much less recoil than my Glock did. Actually, the only complaint that I have is with the sights. They are black on black and against a black target were sort of difficult for me to see. I don't know if I want to buy new ons. i might end up just putting a dab of white paint on them, but we will see.

We are returning with some of my father in laws Army buddies on Saturday. I'll post more then, and hopefully will get some pictures too (I know some of the Range guys real well, I didn't know any of the kids working there tonight at all)


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