Friday, February 07, 2014


My streak of no-shooting days ended today.

I had reason to head down to my range/FFL dealer (picking up the subject of tomorrow's post) so since I was going there, I decided to bring along a couple of handguns to shoot. Yeah, I'm not really walking or even standing good yet, but screw it--I wanted to shoot more than I wanted to not be sore later.

I brought these two out.
The top one is my Smith and Wesson US Model 1917 .45ACP revolver. I got it a few months ago but due to leg issues, hadn't shot it yet.
I remedied that today with ten moon clips full of .45 rounds.
The trigger was muddy and the cylinder dragged during double-action cocking (probably more due to the moon clips than the pistol itself) but it went "bang" every time and the rounds went where I wanted them to; it hits "point of aim" or close enough thereabouts. I have to say that the ergonomics of that old cavalry-style butt are pretty crummy compared to more modern pistols, but that aside, she still does the job that she was meant to do when she left the Smith and Wesson factory back in 1918, no doubt headed for US Army service in France. It shoots nice for what it is, and even though it's going to be a display piece and safe queen now, I'd still have no problem carrying it or relying on it as a primary defensive arm if it was all I could lay my mitts on. It does reload fast with those moon clips, let me tell ya.

Next pistol out was my Smith and Wesson Model 58 .41 Magnum. This pistol I truly love, especially with the new Pachmayr grips. I brought it out to empty some brass as I'd purchased a box of .41 mag ammo from an old fellow at the airport last fall only to get home and look at the rounds closer and discover that they were reloads. This wasn't a big deal as I got the ammo cheap and bought it mainly for the brass anyway, but it would have been nice to have some full-power factory loads to compare my handloads to. And the reloads shot pretty poorly, making me think that my skills (such as they are) had really atrophied since my last range date in December, but when they were gone, I shot some of my loads and actually started hitting where I was aiming again. This made me feel better and that's good, because I'm fixing to load up a few hundred rounds of .41 as soon as I get this brass prepped and my shoddy performance with those reloads was starting to make me think that I shouldn't bother. But my pet loads mirror those that Elmer Keith used to make and my Model 58 shines with those. Time to make some more!
And while the Model 1917 is a safe queen, this Model 58 gets carried a lot. In fact, it might even come along on a planned road trip in a couple of months. We'll see.

Now I'm home with two more pistols to clean. and I'm sore. But I'm happy in a way that only shooters can truly identify with. Happy.


  1. Anytime you get to shoot a 40 something is good.

  2. I have a Brazilian contract model 1917. Shoots great. My dad had it for several years, and fitted some target grips. (I hate the grips, he saved the originals, and the lanyard loop) But I note they are N frame grips...My model 28 has a set of Pachmayrs, and I am thinking about a set for the 17 ...

  3. What Duke said!

  4. Good news, and recoil therapy is ALWAYS good!!!!

  5. Took out my S&W 28-2 highway patrolman and that N frame, at 10 yards, put all six 158gr PMC factory magnums right about 1/2 inch above the little red dot (about the size of a 25 cent piece) at 10 yards.

    Those old N frames can SHOOT. I have no doubt that 58 would be THE hiking gun for you to take.

    I use my 629-1 4 inch alot with an El Paso 1941 rig I got at a gun show cheap (look up Deaf Smith on The High Road forum and you will see photos of it.)

    Yea, take that 58 on a road trip. That and a good cross draw holster or belt slide if you carry it CCW.