Today I headed out to the range. This time, it was Big Bore day. (Or "obsolete cartridge day").
I started off with an old favorite, and by "old", I mean my Model 1887 Trapdoor Springfield in 45/70 Government.
Because you never know when the Indians may decide to attack...or those pesky Spanish.
I was trying out some newly-minted smokeless powder loads, carefully, of course, since this rifle was made for black powder cartridges. (Hence the cartridge name: .45/70, for .45 caliber, 70gr. black powder.)
The new rounds shot well but gave my shoulder a walloping. Unfortunately it took ten of these downrange before I finally figured out that I wasn't hitting at 200 yards because the sights are calibrated for the old black powder cartridge and mine aren't a ballistic match.
So I just dropped the old Buffington sight and just fired using the fixed battle sight. The rest of my test rounds hit my pistol silhouette bad guy in the torso at 200 yards nicely. Who knows, but maybe someday, some jackbooted type out collecting ARs might just earn the distinction of being the last guy in history to be taken out by a 405gr. lead bullet fired from Trapdoor.
"Feed me, Seymour!"
Not bad for a century and a quarter old.
Then it was pistol time, so I hit the steel plate range with my favorite revolver: my .41 Magnum Smith and Wesson Model 58.
What a great cartridge and a great pistol. Damned shame that it never really caught on despite the best efforts of shooting legends Elmer Keith and Bill Jordan, but I'm a devotee and I'll keep this one in action.
For the most part, I was shooting some positively anemic "cowboy" loads (made for cowboy action shooting) that I bought not realizing that they were, in fact, wimpy cowboy loads. The upside is that they're loaded using Starline brass, which is most excellent brass indeed, and soon I'll have 50 more rounds of my preferred load: a 215gr. cast last semi-wadcutter over 15.5 gr. of Accurate #9 powder.
While the cowboy loads had a bit of trouble actually knocking down one of the largest plates, the few rounds of my stuff that I brought out for comparison flattened them with considerable authority indeed.
Now I'm home, with guns to clean, brass to polish, and beer to drink while taking care of the first two agenda items. I'm happy.