Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Gunday: Erin gets irritated and shoots things

Last week, my annoying aunt (old Jewish woman, dad's sister) come visit. How annoying was she?

So annoying that I posted this on Facebook the first day she was here:
Number of people I've killed today: Zero
That the number isn't higher is a testament to my willpower. 
But I could tell I was getting stressed out and I needed an excuse to get out dinner with Old Annoying Jewish Aunt, so I took the ammo I got from Ammunition to Go's "Ammo Ambassadors" program and schlepped down to the range to burn off tension by making things go bang.
Shooting the 9mm Magtech 115gr. FMJ Ammo
First, I need to inform you of two things:
  1. For reasons that were unclear but were probably related to caffeine mixing the various allergy medications I take, I had a terrible case of shaky hands when I got to the range. I decided to shoot anyway, because I figured that in a real-world self defense situation, I would likely be shaking from fear and/or adrenaline, so that this would be a more realistic test of my shooting ability. However, this means that a lot of my shots were all over the place. 
  2. My first few magazines were from some leftover ammo I got on my birthday -- I'm pretty sure they were 115gr aluminum-cased Blazer rounds -- and they all functioned flawlessly. 
So other than shaky hands, everything was fine for the first 50 or so rounds... until I got to the Magtech. 

Now, I've shot Magtech before and not had any problems with it, but that was their Guardian Gold 115gr +P JHP, not regular pressure FMJ. So you can imagine my surprise when over the course of 100 rounds, I had 12 failures to fire due to light strikes/non-igniting primers and somewhere over 20 (honestly, I lost count) failures to feed or failures to properly eject.
Three failures in the first box, NINE in the second. 
Ah, well. As disappointed as I was in the performance of the ammunition, I figured it was good practice for clearing misfeeds.

After I finished the Magtech, I decided I needed to shoot more because I was still uptight, and so I used some Freedom Arms that I'd bought earlier in the year. And because my shots were kind of all over the place (although still on paper, and usually within the 8 ring) and I was finally beginning to settle down, I figured I'd see if I could shoot the white out of the target for fun.

So the good news is that I did, indeed, chew an impressive hole in the target. This is what ~250 rounds of 9mm does to paper:
Quantity has a quality of its own.
However, the more I shot, the more I noticed that my Freedom Ammo was acting up: plenty of failures to feed, failures to fire, stovepipes from failures to eject, a few doublefeeds and about a dozen instances of the slide not properly returning to battery. In all, it was a VERY frustrating experience as my semi-auto Glock 26 essentially became a pump-action pistol. (But hey: it was lots of good malfunction training!)

My initial fear was that the main spring and/or ejector were screwed, but the general consensus among gunnies like Tamara was that both Magtech and Freedom have a reputation for being under-powered at times, and perhaps I got a bad batch. Low-power loads would prevent my slide from going all the way back, and this could account for all the problems I experienced.

Conventional wisdom is to return to the range with known good ammo and see how my pistol cycles after that. If it's fine, then it was indeed the ammo; if I still have problems, then something is broken. I am obviously hoping it's the former.

As a closing shot (pardon the pun), I discovered I had one round of ammo left after I had brought the target back. Since I had always wondered what would happen with a point-blank shot, I capped Mister Target right in the head.

For non-gunnies:  don't be too impressed. Most of that is from the pressure wave and burning powder ripping through fragile paper. It wouldn't look quite so dramatic against something more durable. Still, it made me laugh like a psycho, and that made the range trip a lot better.

As it happened, I timed it just right: I came home in the middle of dinner and everyone looked up when I walked in. By the way, humming SS Deathstar Supergalactik while carrying a shot-to-pieces target makes for a delightfully awkward silence, especially if (like mine) your Old Annoying Jewish Aunt is from New Jersey and therefore anti-gun.

So, y'know, use that knowledge well. Mazel Tov.

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