Archive for the ‘SR22’ Category

After deciding to add a scope to my AR, I had to get it zeroed in and see how it worked.  With the local ranges being closed until May and living in an urban area, I had to find another place to go shooting.  My dad’s was the only logical choice.  His backyard is where I did all my shooting when I started this blog and its the place that inspired the name as well.

20140315_170805I took my AR, my SKS, and my SR22, as well as enough ammo to last all evening.  The weather stayed decent most of the time and the only time it caused a problem was when the wind blew the target around.  We ended up shooting for an hour or two and managed to get the AR zeroed in as I had hoped.

I set up my AR using the CMMG 22lr conversion kit so that I could get the scope sighted in relatively close before making more adjustments with the more expensive .223 ammo.  It worked pretty well and everything was going pretty good for a while.  Unfortunately at some point my Millet Tactical scope mount came loose and we spent several minutes and a dozen or so rounds before realizing it.  We then had to undo all the changes we made and it was a mess.  It took about 40 rounds to get it set up because of that mount not being tight.

When we finally got it close I switched over to the .223 and zeroed it in a little closer.  I had assumed that at 50 yards 22lr and .223 would have hit the target closer together but they were about 1.5″ apart.  The .223 was hitting that much higher.  I spent about half an hour going back and forth between 22lr and .223 to find a decent middle ground so the scope will be close for both of them.  I’ve got it set up now so that at 50 yards the 22lr is about 1/2″ low and the .223 is about 1″ high.  For now that’s good enough but once the other ranges open up and I can shoot out to 100 yards or more I’ll probably focus more on just the .223 zero.  I’ll probably zero the iron sights for the 22lr at a range of like 40-50 yards or so.

SKS TargetThe highlight of the day though was shooting the SKS.  It always is.  For a gun with no attachments and few tactical applications, the “peasant rifle” is always a blast to shoot.  Everything about the gun is perfect to me.  While I would love to have a scope on it, its incredibly accurate using just the iron sights.  My dad, his friend, and myself, all shot the rifle from a resting position and we were hitting pretty close to center.  My first two shots were just a hair below the bullseye and all our following shots were equally spaced along the outside of the center area.  If it had been a 6″ plate we would have hit all around the edges and everywhere in between.  I took a picture after the first few shots but after that we let loose with it.  I think with a good bit of practice I could be deadly with it even out to 100 yards.

Overall we had a good time.  My guns are still shooting good and my skills have only deteriorated slightly.  I look forward to many more trips to the range like this.

Today I participated in the “Staunton Shoot n’ Greet” at the Hite Hollow shooting range in Augusta Springs, VA.  I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and I wasn’t disappointed.  I got to meet a lot of people and saw a bunch of different firearms.  It was also my first time at the Hite Hollow range so I was able to get a look around.

I didn’t do a whole lot of shooting during the several hours I was there, but it was enough.  I shot 80 rounds through my Ruger SR22 and 40 rounds through my AR15.  There were about 10-15 people with the group and I didn’t want to take time away from others who shoot there frequently.  I just hung back and talked to everyone, shooting whenever I got the chance.

The wind was pretty bad and most of the targets everyone was setting up just kept falling down.  Eventually Dale (the event coordinator) brought out some plastic colored balls and tossed them across the range.  Everyone had a blast trying to hit them while the wind blew them back and forth.  I managed to hit the balls 22 out of 32 times with my AR and 31 out of 65 with my SR22.  Not bad at all for me.

Safety is a big deal for the group and Dale lead the entire group in a sort of briefing at the beginning to make sure everyone was on the same page.  Even people who weren’t in the group took notice when he blew his whistle and called “range cold” or “range hot”.  It was nice to see everything so organized.  I’m used to several groups of people trying to work together but never really being on the same page.  Dale’s method kept everybody safe and ensured everyone had a good time.

I would highly recommend that anyone in the Staunton or Augusta County area come to one of the meets and have some fun.  Its free and they meet once every two months.  You can find more information over on their website.  Their rules, FAQ’s, and lots of other information is right there and easy to find.  You can also sign up to receive email reminders whenever the group is going to meet.

Thats me off to the left in the brown coat

**  Updated on 3/18/13 to include an image from the shoot  **

I’ve been wanting to go shoot for weeks now, but I didn’t get a chance until this weekend.  I took the opportunity and braved the cold and wind.  I put on my coat and gloves, loaded up my car, and drove to the West Side shooting range in West Virginia.

When I showed up there were two groups of people shooting.  I was surprised to see anyone there considering the weather conditions.  But by the time I got everything out of my car and over to one of the benches, one group was leaving.  So for about 45 minutes it was just me and two other guys.

They had a whole arsenal of weapons with them.  From pistols to high powered rifles and everything in between.  The most impressive was their gigantic 50 caliber bolt-action rifle.  They only shot it four times while I was there (at more than $5 a shot I can certainly understand that) but it was impressive all the same.  The shock wave from each shot could be felt all the way at the other end of the range, and even with my ear protection, it was really loud.  I can’t imagine being on a battlefield where fully automatic guns this size were going off in rapid succession.

After those guys left I was alone for about 45 minutes before another group came in.  These were younger kids, probably just over 18.  There were five of them all sharing one rifle.  When I told them I was leaving they went back to their car and got the shotguns and skeet.  I was very glad they waited until I left for that since it’s against the posted rules.

How I Did:

During the two hours or so that I was there, I only shot about 150 times.  And that was all spread between my AR15, SKS, and SR22.  I spent most of the time working on being more accurate.  Training better, not excessively.  I can’t afford to just blow through ammo like I used to.

With my Ruger SR22 pistol, I worked on double-tapping the trigger.  I would stand with the pistol lowered toward the ground with the safety on.  From that position I would raise the gun, take it off safety, and quickly fire twice (the first shot double action and the second single action) at the target.  More of a self defense exercise.  For the first time trying that I think I did really good.  All my shots hit the target and most were in the center 6″ of the target.  My closest two were 2.5″ apart and my farthest were 5.5″ apart.  As I get better with that I’ll start with the pistol in it’s holster and repeat the other steps like before.

With my AR15, I used the practice time to zero in my iron sights at 25 yards.  Because my red-dot scope is my primary sight, I keep it zeroed between 75 and 100 yards.  My irons are on the side of the rifle at a 45 degree offset.  With this set up I can quickly switch from mid/long range shooting to short range.  In the event my red-dot scope fails (battery dies, gets knocked off zero, etc) I can also immediately switch to another sight with little to no effort.  With my red-dot scope, my AR’s 100 yard 5-shot groups were 4.5″ each.  Not too bad for the guy pulling the trigger.

Saturday was also the first I spent much time with my SKS.  It’s simply a fantastic rifle.  At 50 yards, my first three shots were all in the exact center of the target horizontally.  Once I got used to how it was shooting, I was tearing up the center of the target.  I even pushed it out to 100 yards which is something I don’t usually do with only iron sights.  Every shot hit the target and I was actually really impressed with how I did.  My three 10-shot groups were about 6″ each.  Four shots were in the center 2″ bullseye and the rest were all right around it.  I was supporting the rifle with only my arms resting on the bench.  This thing is really accurate.  Thanks again to Aaron for parting with it.  I love this thing.

All in all it was great to get back to the range.  I forgot what it was like to smell the powder.  To feel the rifle kick my shoulder.  Heck, even pulling the trigger again felt good.  And since my ammo updates are indicating more ammo is becoming available, I think I’ll be hitting the range more often.  At least I hope to . . .

This post is in response to a post by my fellow blogger, rmactsc, in which he lists his top 3 “go to weapons“.  He then goes on to post about each individual weapon in more detail.  It was a good idea and pretty informative, so I thought I should do the same.

Since I only own 5 guns, my selections are pretty limited.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have my favorites though.  So below are my TWO picks for go to weapons.  If I owned a shotgun (I hope to get one for my next purchase) I would include one of those as well.

For my go to pistol, it would be the Ruger SR22.  I’m forced to pick a .22 caliber pistol since that’s the only caliber I own.  But there are several reason I would choose the Ruger over my Sig 1911-22.

1) Portability:  The Ruger is smaller and more compact, allowing convenient concealed carry, but large enough to feel comfortable in my hand.
2) Accessories:  The Sig has more appearence-based accessories out there but the SR22 has a rail under the barrel.  Great for adding a laser of flashlight.
3) Ease of use:  The Ruger SR22 features easy to use controls which are all easy to reach as well.  Swapping out the 10 round mags is a breeze.
4) Maintenance:  The SR22 is far easier to breakdown and clean than my Sig.
5) Ammo: Not only is the .22 one of the most popular (and therefor available) calibers on the planet, the SR22 is not picky.  Very few brands of ammo have caused malfunctions.  The SR22 functions flawlessly 99% of the time.  My Sig is way too picky to rely on.

For my go to rifle its a hands down win for my AR15.  Even being a custom build this thing is extremely reliable and has yet to let me down.

image

1) Reliability:  I have yet to have a serious malfunction with this rifle.  I’m very comfortable knowing that when I pick up this rifle, its good to go.
2) Ammo:  Because I have a conversion kit, this rifle is capable of firing both .223/5.56 ammunition as well as .22lr.  Switching calibers takes less than 60 seconds.  This essentially doubles the ammunition I have available.
3) Accessories:  My AR15 has a “flat top” upper which means there is no carry handle.  Instead there is a long rail for adding scopes or sights.  The handgurd also has a bottom rail for things like lasers, flashlights, and bipods.
4) Accuracy:  This rifle has proven itself to be far more accurate than my personal skill can show.  My other rifles are great, but definitely not as accurate.
5) Weight:  I built this rifle with weight in mind and as a result it has a lightweight 18″ barrel and polymer handguards.  Without accessories it weighs just under 7 pounds.
6) Ease of Use:  Swapping mags is a breeze, as is working the safety.  Even the stock and sights are easy to adjust.

So those are the reasons I chose these two guns as my go to weapons.  I’m sure there are other reasons that I haven’t even considered but the biggest reasons are mentioned.  What are your go to weapons?  We’ve all got our favorites, so which guns would you grab in a crisis situation?  And what shotgun(s) should I consider for my next purchase?  Let me know what you think!

Yesterday reminded me of how important constant practice is to one’s shooting skill.  Shooting a gun is like riding a bike; once you figure it out, its easy to come back and shoot again after a long break.  But just like riding a bike, if you don’t practice, you can only get so good.

There’s the calm, neighborhood bike rider.  Then there’s the X-Games stunt performer.

According to my spreadsheets, I last shot my pistols at the end of November.  When I shot yesterday it was painfully obvious.  My skill (the little I had) had begun withering away already.

My goal was to use my laser boresight to adjust the factory sights on my Ruger SR22 pistol.  Then, I was going to adjust the Berska laser that I got for Christmas as well.  Unfortunately, even with the boresight, it took several magazines to get things right.  And even once zeroed in, my groups were spread wider than ever.  Didn’t even attempt to use the laser.

My smallest group of 10 shots was just over 2.25″ across.  The largest group was over 5.25″ across.  The average, out of 19 10 shot groups, was 3.5″.  Prior to yesterday’s trip to the range I was averaging just under 3″ groups.

Half an inch isn’t a significant amount for one trip to the range, but the worst part was my inconsistency.  In two of my groups, half the rounds (5) were dead center.  One group had 6 rounds, more than half, in the center.  But on average, less than 3 shots hit the center mark in each group.

Very sad numbers.  In a time when ammunition is so hard to come by, I feel awful having pretty much wasted 190 rounds.  I gained nothing from this session except more disappointment in myself.  I just need to practice more and work on consistency.  That’s all there is to it.

On a related note, I shot 190 rounds of 36 grain Remington Gold hollow points with not a single problem.  I believe that puts me at over 500 rounds (in my SR22) with no problems.  I can’t get through a single magazine (10 rounds) of Federal ammunition without a jam of some sort.

But if I can’t hit what I’m aiming at consistently, it doesn’t really matter if the rounds fire or not . . .

In keeping with my decision to post every day I thought I would put up a little bit about what went on this afternoon.  My friend Aaron came back home for Thanksgiving and we decided to do some shooting.  He was given a few guns when his dad passed away earlier this year and he brought those along to shoot.

I brought all my guns.  My Mini-14, AR15, SR22, and Sig Sauer 1911-22.  He came with an M1 Carbine, and SKS, a Mini-14, a 357 revolver, and a 380 compact pistol.  We looked over all the guns he brought to make sure they were safe before shooting them but the SKS didn’t pass my inspection.  There was a considerable amount of rust on both the inside and outside of the barrel.  In addition there seemed to be a large chunk broken from the inside of the barrel.  I was disappointed because I was really wanting to shoot that thing.  It was a very cool looking rifle.  All the other guns checked out fine.

The pistols were all fun aside from his 380 compact.  The trigger pull was horrible and after firing the 5 round magazine it made our fingers extremely sore.  The revolver was fun but kicked way too hard for me.  It was a “hand cannon” according to Aaron.  It was still fun to shoot and I would gladly have spent some more time with it.

Very shortly into shooting his Mini-14 we noticed a problem.  One that I was very familiar with.  In the gas block on these rifles there is a “gas bushing” that is pretty much required if you want to rifle to function as a semi-auto.  If it isn’t secured in place the gas from each shot is not properly channeled back to the bolt.  Mine was missing from the day I bought my rifle until I fixed it.  Aaron’s at least was rattling around inside the gas chamber.  We were forced to shoot it as a single shot.  I’m going to fix it for him in the next few days.

The M1 carbine was pretty neat.  I watched him shoot it a bunch and even posted a few videos of it over on YouTube at the bottom of this post.  The only problem it seemed to have was feeding the rounds into the chamber.  After the first 4 shots or so it would start working fine however.  Toward the end Aaron decided to run a few magazines through my Mini-14 since he had plenty of ammo and his wasn’t working well enough.  A video of him rapid firing it is also posted on Youtube at the bottom of this page.


 

All in all we had a great time.  We both got to shoot some guns that we’d never shot before.  And as always it was just good to hang out again since we don’t get many chances anymore.  I might post a few more detailed reviews related to the individual guns we shot but for now this is all.  Check back later!

I am now the happy owner of two very different pistols.  Both are chambered in 22lr, but both are designed in very unique ways.  These two pistols probably aren’t reviewed side by side anywhere else, just because both are from very different categories   If you’re curious about either of these two weapons however, please read on.  I hope to have judged them as objectively as possible.

image

My SR22 is Ruger’s attempt at a more mainstream rimfire pistol compared to their Mark series of pistols.  Some people who are familiar with the name Ruger were turned off from the unusual style of the Mark pistols.  The new SR pistol maintains the look of a “normal” pistol and I’m sure they hoped that would draw in those customers who wanted a “pretty” Ruger pistol.

The Sig 1911-22 is a rimfire version of the traditional 1911 style pistol.  Its very different internally compared to 1911’s chambered in standard calipers, but it is 100% the size and weight of a 1911 pistol.  Most rimfire 1911’s are typically about 80% the size and weght so I was happy that this one is full scale.

The Sig is a lot larger and heavier than my Ruger, but I expected that when I went to buy it.  1911’s aren’t known for being “small” pistols so I won’t count that.  However, the Sig is almost too big for my tiny hands.  Reaching the mag release with my thumb is impossible without re-positioning my hand.  With the Ruger I can easily access all of the parts even with the larger of the two grips installed.  +1 Ruger.

I honestly have to give a hands down +1 to the safety on the Ruger.  I can leave the safety in the “on” position with my SR22 and still chamber a round, something that’s not possible with the Sig which requires the gun to be cocked before you can use the safety.  This could lead to accidental discharge before you are ready to fire.  Decocking on the Ruger also scores it a +1.  The only thing required to decock the Ruger is moving the safety to the “on” position.  With the Sig you have to hold the hammer back while depressing the trigger and then slowly lower the hammer.  This action requires two hands.  I’m not uncomfortable with this method, its just much easier (and a bit safer) on the Ruger.

Balance-wise, I have to call a tie.  Both pistols feel great in my hand.  Aiming is easy and I have no problem keeping the sights on target.  The sights on both feature 3 dots; the Ruger’s are white and the Sig’s are green.  In low light both do well but the green dots are a bit easier to see in darker areas.  +1 to the Sig.  For adjustment purposes, both rear sights can be moved left or right.  Vertically, the Ruger’s front pin can be adjusted up and down.  Sig only provides 3 pins of various heights, but both seem dead on and I haven’t adjusted either.  So ill call that a tie.

Trigger pull is very different on the two pistols but neither is terrible.  The Sig is a single action pistol only while my Ruger is single or double action.  For personal preference, I’m giving Ruger a +1 for providing the mechanics that allow for both.  I’m always in favor of options, even if I don’t use it both ways.
Single action trigger pull on the Sig is slightly better.  Having 786 rounds through it before I bought it, the trigger was well broke in.  My Ruger is also well broke in with around 1000 rounds through it.  On a few occasions Friday evening at the range, the Sig went off before I was anticipating.  It requires barely any pressure to fire, and that’s great for accuracy.  +1 for Sig.

Speaking of accuracy, the Sig scores another +1.  The longer barrel is likely the main factor, but as I mentioned before, the trigger also plays a part.  My groups of 10 shots at 7 yards averaged 2.5″ with the Sig and 3.1″ with the Ruger.  With the Sig, 26% of the rounds hit the 1″ “bullseye” while only 22% hit the center with the Ruger.  This is even more impressive when adding the fact that I had never shot the 1911 until the comparison; I had more experience with just under 1000 rounds in the Ruger.

Access to accessories, while not important to function, is very important to a potential buyer.  With the Sig being a full size 1911, it is compatible with all (as far as i know) 1911 grips and holsters.  And since the 1911 has been out so long, there is a plethora of options for both.  In addition, the Sig’s barrel is threaded to allow for a suppressor.  The Ruger is not threaded.  Ruger firearms are built toward family fun and hunting so tactical accessories like that are less available.  I find Ruger’s values to be top notch and I’m glad to see a company that doesn’t sacrifice tradition and values for a quick buck.  That said, the Sig gets a +1.

Now that you’ve made your pistols pretty, and shot them a bunch, its time to get down and dirty.  Time to clean them.  The breaking down of these two pistols is only similar in that, in the end, the slide comes off of them both . . .

Before we get to that magical time however there’s a process both go through.  The Ruger takes 3 seconds and involves 3 steps, no tools needed.  The Sig takes about 3 or 4 minutes and involves almost 10 steps and an allen wrench.  That said, the Sig allows you to take more of it apart to clean.  Unfortunately for the Sig, basic cleaning doesn’t require that much breakdown.  All mechanical parts can be cleaned on the Ruger from that quick take-down.  +1 to the Ruger.

So how’d they do?
Ruger SR22: 5
Sig Sauer 1911-22: 4

Please don’t take the scores to mean that either of these pistols are inherently better than the other.  I am not a professional (I’ve only got like 1,500 rounds under my belt), and while I reviewed these weapons as objectively as possible, every shooter is different and what matters to me might not for you.  I enjoy shooting both of these pistols and if I didn’t I wouldn’t own them  It’s also true that I’ve owned the Ruger about 3 months longer than the Sig.  Perhaps in time my gun and shooting preferences will change.