out at the range 9.17.16

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Adam Lee
Posts: 642
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:17 am
Location: Alexandria, VA

out at the range 9.17.16

Post by Adam Lee »

Sometimes, all the stars line up just right and weekend plans actually come together. I learned to appreciate the journey - and the process - of getting out to my “local” WMA for a brief yet rewarding bit of trigger time this weekend.

I think the reason it felt like a great day at the range was because I had only very basic goals in mind.

First thing, I have waited for three months to get to the WMA due to various reasons, including that the range had been closed for most of the summer for renovation and repairs.
So a big part of this was just going to check out the improvements to the site, and really find out how this was going to impact the number of weekend shooters. Really, I expected tons of folks and long wait times for shooting benches. I kept my focus on knowing this would be the likely case, and this determined my actual shooting plans. I was heading out alone, no meeting up with gun friends, just kept it simple. (Of course, this being the second week of the school year and living in a two-teacher household, my wife and I both had the weekend completely planned out already - the usual!)

With my expectation of a long wait, as well as calculating the entire amount of travel time to and from the WMA, my “gun fun” plan was pretty basic. I wanted to do some simple function tests with a few guns - my new Rossi 92 16” .357 lever gun, my “new” old 1950’s 620A Stevens 20 ga pump, and the one I figured might give the most bang for the buck, my ’73 Ruger Security Six 4” .357 wheel-gun.
Range was fully occupied, and that’s a good thing - variety of folks with variety of guns going bang. This WMA shooting range is an outdoor, edge-of-the-forest site with two components. There is a shotgun shooting-in and clays area, very primitive, where you might just be using basic clay throwers, unless you bother to bring some entrenching tools with you and prepare a mechanical thrower by digging its support feet into the hard ground.
I watched a group of folks trying to use a brand-new portable thrower that they just couldn’t get anchored into the ground, since it is so hard at the shooting station, so they gave up after a couple tosses and just used their plastic hand-throwers.

The place I was planning to go was the sit-down target range, a 100-yard marked site that is a basic bulldozed site pointed into the deep woods with about 8 columns of vertical railroad ties arranged in about 4 or 5 rows across the width of the site. There are beams at the top of the posts of these railroad ties that span the rows of the ties, from left to right, connecting them together.
Essentially, imagine a grid-like network from above, with the ties at evenly-spaced intervals. Then, there are several wooden-framed portable target stand at each lane with the usual orange plastic mesh backing over which you tape or clothes-pin your paper target.

Way too much detail - I know!

So, with only a 15-minute wait for a lane to open, I arranged my gear and proceeded to tape up a recycled paper target backwards once the range finally went cold for a few minutes.
First off, the Stevens pump. Right away, I realized that it was a sweet shooter and also that it had become a two-shot gun due to my failure to correctly orient the lifter spring when I reassembled the shotgun over the summer. I would open the chamber, drop a shell in the chamber, then lock it up and load a round in the tube - but my error in reassembly did not allow the magazine shell stop to work right. Learning lesson number one - so I set that gun aside, and went to the Rossi 92.
Wouldn’t you know, same thing happened here! I had great fun firing my Rossi with some .38 reloads as a single-shot carbine. However, my reassembly this summer also was a “fail” - somehow, I put the gun back together in such a way as to prevent the lifter from working properly on this gun as well!
Excellent! However, I wasn’t bummed out - I just learned a lesson. So, I fired the Rossi a short bit as a single-shot and finally turned to the Ruger. Let’s have some fun!

Yep, the old Security Six did not disappoint me one bit. It was great and made me have flashbacks to Andy Griffith and Barney Fife - banged away with several cylinders of more .38 reloads without a hitch. I really didn’t think I could go wrong with that gun, and I was right!

So the story ends. The Stevens and the Rossi made me feel like Barney Fife, and with the Ruger I had my Andy Griffith shooting moment. A fun day!
I am a regular joe, consisting of 78% coffee, 12% hot air, 9% organizational abilities, and 1% luck.

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Phyrbird
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Re: out at the range 9.17.16

Post by Phyrbird »

Now do we play the Barney scratch and sniff Game?? Count how many times he does it :lol:

Good to hear you are having fun, good luck with the refit. U know how many times I did that? That's why I always take my Remington box of tools to the range. Live and Learn....
Phyrbird
SOKY

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Adam Lee
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:17 am
Location: Alexandria, VA

Re: out at the range 9.17.16

Post by Adam Lee »

Thanks for the funny note, Carl - hey it was a fun day!
I am a regular joe, consisting of 78% coffee, 12% hot air, 9% organizational abilities, and 1% luck.

User avatar
Adam Lee
Posts: 642
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:17 am
Location: Alexandria, VA

Re: out at the range 9.17.16

Post by Adam Lee »

Time for a long-delayed follow up to this epic story!

First off: the Stevens 20 gauge had been working just fine, it was "user confusion" that caused my troubles. I did not understand that when these Stevens 620's are loaded, the shell rests underneath the lifter instead of remaining completely within the mag tube.

Here's an example of what it is supposed to look like from a website (not my 20 gauge) -
Image

After buying a 9-pack of "B's Snap Caps" which I totally recommend, I cycled around a bunch of times and figured this out. My gun since has worked super. I am very pleased.
Also, I bought a barrel from Numrich so I could shorten it to 19", and here's the result.
Image

Been awhile, hope all is well!

Adam
I am a regular joe, consisting of 78% coffee, 12% hot air, 9% organizational abilities, and 1% luck.

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