Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gun test day

So yesterday I took a couple of pistols out to the range for some testing. The main one was my old Model 642 with it's new Crimson Trace laser grip; I had to see what it could do.

It was bitingly cold and there was a sharp wind in addition to bright sunlight that made the dot difficult but not impossible to see at 15 yards.

The night before, I'd passed this pistol and it's new sighting tool around at my church group, only to have three different people state without a doubt that it wasn't even close to being lined up with it's sights.

Well I'm happy to announce that the steel dueling tree with the 4" discs says otherwise. If I did my part and kept the dot on the discs through the trigger pull, I was rewarded with a loud, satisfying "CLINK!" nearly every time.

It's going to take some practice and getting used to, and I still want to bench it and fine-tune it, but I came away impressed. It's got real potential and I like it. A lot.
I also took the new (to me) Uberti .45 Long Colt SAA out to test, using factory loads, some smokeless loads I put together with Unique powder and some fffg black powder loads because...well just because, dammit.

It's sights are pretty much point of aim at 25 yards and it knocks over 6" steel plates like nobody's business...five times out of six. This pistol has a problem.

Almost every time I run a cylinder through it, five rounds get nice, heavy primer hits dead center, but one chamber almost always lines up so as to give me an off-center hit right on the edge of the primer that's usually insufficient to fire the cartridge. I tracked it for the session and it's definitely the same chamber every time. So a repair request has been submitted to Uberti and now we'll see how their customer service rates. Are they going to be excellent, like Henry, Glock or Surefire, or are they going to be piss-poor like Colt? Time will tell, and rest assured, so will I.

Other than that though, I'm please to report that my Unique loads hit almost identically to the factory Federal loads--point of aim at 25 yards--and my black powder loads were a bit off but still close enough to ring the bigger steel targets. Sadly I couldn't see if they were impacting the berm over or under because the massive smoke clouds that the rounds were making were being blown right back in my face by the wind so I saw nothing for a couple of seconds after every shot. But those rounds were still a boatload of fun and I'm sure that with a little work at the loading bench and some better test weather I can dial them right in.


  1. Fun! Thanks for the report.

  2. Nice report, and there IS a downside to black powder... LOL

  3. Anonymous4:16 PM

    It sounds like you had a great time

  4. Ouch! Cylinder timing? I've heard of the problem but never seen it yet. I hope Uberti comes through for you. I've been eyeballing one of their short rifles.

    1. They wrote me back yesterday. They won't do jack about this pistol because it's one of their older imports but they gave me the number of a parts distributor who also won't do jack but who did give me the number of a couple of somewhat local gunsmiths with might be able to help. Apparently there is a number of smiths who will work on these. I'm going to see one of them today.