Monday, September 17, 2012

Catching up

First, the latest on Commander: He's thriving in the boots. He gets six or so hours of turnout every day, and is handling it well. I do need to maintain him on a gram of bute at midday and two in the evening; I tried cutting back somewhat and it didn't work. Oh, he wasn't in frank pain, but his bright-eyed vigor was dulled a bit, and what the hell -- as a friend put it: "The founder will get him long before the ulcers." Blunt but true. So I went back to what I had been doing and Commander went back to the paddock-sound-enough baseline of the boots.

The left boot does look toed-in a bit. I've tried resetting it square and within a few hours it's back to slightly canted. Oh, well, as long as he's comfortable in it, that's all that matters.

What else has occupied me? Well, there's this:

I’ve added a third gun to my little collection, a Colt Officer’s Target .38 Special. It was made in 1950, so it’s one year younger than me. Here’s a picture of the revolver I found online – my own isn’t as bright and shiny as this like-new one, but it’s in very good shooting condition.


I haven’t had time and/or favorable weather to get to the range much over the last few months, and it shows in my shooting. Not that I'd ever give Annie Oakley a run for her money, but I was doing better when I was doing it more often. I got out today for the first time in a several weeks, and only the second time shooting the .38.

I started today (as is my regular habit of rotation) with the Colt Woodsman, at 30 feet:


Yep, I do need to get out and practice more. But my shot pattern formerly tended to fall high and left. Now it appears I’ve gotten better at locking onto the center of the target, at least horizontally; I just need to narrow down the vertical dispersion. That’ll be apparent in the other two targets as well.

Second target: shooting the .38. I’m still getting used to it being louder and having a bigger kick than the Woodsman. Also, by then I had gun oil on my right hand, since I make it a habit to do a quick clean-and-oil on each weapon after shooting and before putting it back into its carrier – not a breakdown, but a Q-tip scrub at every surface I can reach, then running the snake through the barrel, followed by a drop of oil Q-tipped all over on the sliding surfaces and then a rub of the outside with a lightly oil-impregnated cloth. Got a few drops on my hand and there it was, all slick and impossible to get completely dry.

So, anyway, with my excuses all in line, here’s how I did with the .38 at 25 feet, standing, modified Weaver (my left hand cupping the butt rather than wrapped around the grip and my right hand, as I do with the Woodsman):


Yes, I shot 12; one shot went wild when the thing let loose while I was still lining up the sights after cocking the hammer. This is a double-action revolver and I always cock before firing; the one time I tried shooting single-action, the stroke was so hard I wound up going way off target. I'm finding I have to be careful between the cocking and the shooting because the cocked trigger has a very light pull.

So, still sorting out how to shoot the .38 most effectively; still working out what's right for me for this gun, as I've done with the other two. I need to practice more, of course. The cool dry fall weather should help to encourage that.

All right, then; after cleaning and putting away the .38, I finished today's range session, as I always do, with the CZ Lux, today at 45 to 50 feet. The results? Looks a lot like the Woodsman, but even tighter on the horizontal spread, about the same on vertical dispersion, and with more hits in the sweet spot:


Okay, well, so I had one wildish stray with the Lux. Wouldn’t want to offend the gods by being too excellent, right?

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