Monday, January 9, 2012

Bye-bye Ruger; hello CZ Lux

I’ve traded in my Ruger Mark III pistol for a .22 rifle, a CZ Lux bolt-action, to be precise.

Why? Because (a) I’d been thinking about getting a target rifle anyway, and (b) the Ruger just wasn’t fun to shoot anymore, not since getting the Colt Woodsman.

It took a few shooting sessions with both pistols to see and understand what was happening, but the essence of it is, I shoot better with the Woodsman: smoother trigger pull leading to tighter clusters closer to the bullseye. Why? The prime cause, I believe, is that the dimensions of the Ruger put the first joint crease of my finger on the trigger rather than the pad, leading to jerking rather than squeezing the trigger unless I consciously readjust with each shot. The Woodsman fills my hand better, places my finger precisely right on the trigger.

So, after my last session at the range, where the differences were too plain to brush off, off I went to Patriot Arms, to offer the Ruger for trade-in and see what they had for .22 rifles. They had several, and after hefting some Papa Bears and Momma Bears, the CZ turned out to be my Baby Bear – it just felt right. It sure doesn’t hurt that both the shop staff and some online research indicate that this is a tack-driver of a target gun.

Looks good, too, don’t you think? And it’s a snap to break down for cleaning. Not to mention, the trade-in value I got on the Ruger was very fair. So I’m quite pleased, and hope to be even more pleased tomorrow or the next day or whenever I can get over to the range and try it out without freezing my butt off.


Update, two days later:

Went down to the range this morning and tried out the CZ Lux.

My first five shots, taken standing on the pistol side of the range (my first shots ever with a rifle), at 50 feet, producd a three-inch spread. Wow! Why, you'd think I actually knew what I was doing. The bolt action, being out-of-the-box new, is still a little stiff but I was working it smoothly by the end of the session. Dropping, filling and reinserting the magazine was a snap. This gun is a sweetheart.

I put 50 rounds through it, with more or less the same results and an encouraging number into the 10 ring, even when I cranked the target out past 20 yards. I was tending to shoot high; dunno if that's the sights needing adjustment or (far more likely) my inexperience and perhaps not holding the rifle quite correctly. I'd do better with a rest for it, too; even propping my left elbow on the shelf in the pistol side where I was shooting, my aim wasn't entirely steady. Doggone shaky old hands!

Then I took out the Colt Woodsman and discovered one should shoot one’s pistol before one’s rifle; my right arm was too tired to keep my hand steady. By the third or fourth reload my hand had steadied enough to get several shots near or into the 10 at 50 feet, but by then it was time to pack it in and go tend the horses.

This is fun.

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