Range Trip 24-Jun-2003

Kel-Tec P-32 Sights

My first project was trying to figure out how to use the sights on my Kel-Tec P-32. The last two times I’d had it at the range, I had never once managed to so much as hit the paper of the target using the sights (though it shot well enough using point-shooting).

The P-32 has rather unusual sights. They make sense when you consider the P-32 as a concealment and backup gun, to be used at short ranges, and with any risk of catching on clothing on the draw being very serious. There’s nothing in the instruction book on what the sight picture is supposed to be. I thought I had it figured out right, but since I wasn’t hitting what I aimed at, I figured maybe not. I knew that, at an indoor range where I could easily shoot at any distance from the target, I could quickly find out.

Well, I still don’t know what was going wrong before, but this time when I used the obvious sight picture (roughly as shown in the last two shots above) I hit what I wanted, close enough. Out to 20 feet, anyway, which is all I ask of a little “mouse gun” like this.

Still shot well for me with point-shooting, too.

I shot about 50 rounds through it, which brings the total up to somewhere around 100.

Had one failure to extract (shooting S&B 73gr FMJ this time). The shot felt and sounded weird to me, thought it might be a squib load or something, so I put the gun down and let it sit a while (paranoid protection against hangfires). When I picked it up and worked the slide the case ejected with no trouble. I then checked the barrel for obstructions, and found none. Unfortunately I wasn’t smart enough to check the target carefully to see if the bullet hit. So I don’t know if it was a squib load strong enough for the bullet to clear the barrel but not strong enough to fully operate the slide, or something else.

Glock 22

I’m considering picking up a Glock 22, the full-size .40 S&W one. I like my Glock 17 very well, and having a house gun, or a gun I could carry under a bulky jacket if necessary, in that caliber, is attractive. A friend has one for sale, so I was checking it out.

I ran 100 rounds of the Wolf 180 grain FMJ through it without a bobble or a problem. I hit mostly what I was aiming at. (When cleaning the gun afterwards I did find that the front sight had worked loose, however.) Although I didn’t have my Kahr K-40 at the range to compare head-to-head, I don’t think I found the full-size Glock any easier to shoot than the tiny Kahr. In particular, even in the Chapman stance, holding very firmly and with my off-hand index finger solidly planted on the front of the trigger guard to help control the recoil, I got enough flip on every single shot that my finger slipped off the trigger guard. I probably got back on target quicker by using a rather loose isoceles, letting the gun climb a bit, and then bringing it back down.

I shot single-handed with both hands, and got a nearly identical grouping with either hand. Since I’ve hardly ever in my life fired a pistol left-handed, this must mean that I’m not very good with my right hand either.

Taurus 445 vs. Blazer

The big issue was supposed to be running rounds through the Taurus 445. I’d just had the hammer spur removed (“bobbed”), and while there was no special reason to suspect the hammer wouldn’t be heavy enough, a lot of testing is necessary to establish the reliability of a firearm after even relatively minor surgery. I’d figured an absolute minimum of 100 rounds (which, conveniently, would give me some practice with the new gun).

The first problem was that I’d only been able to find one box of ammo locally. Well, I could start, anyway, 50 rounds would tell me something.

The second problem was that the one box I’d found were CCI Blazer (44 S&W SPL 200 GR. GDHP). Blazers are famous, I guess, for many things, but one of them is for using aluminum cases.

I hadn’t thought of this journal yet, or there’d be pictures. I loaded 5 cartridges into the cylinder. I fired 5 times. I put all 5 through the general part of the target I had in mind (at a reasonable self-defense distance of about 20 feet). I didn’t mind the recoil much at all (those Taurus “Ribber” grips, of ribbed rubber, are really very nice).

So I swung open the cylinder, and pressed on the ejector rod. Nothing moved. I pressed a little harder. The cases slid out about a quarter inch, and then stopped moving. I pressed a lot harder. Nothing moved.

So I cased the weapon and went out and talked to Roger (who runs Burnsville Pistol Range) for a second opinion. Roger told me it’s probably just that the aluminum doesn’t slide out of whatever metal that cylinder is made of (it’s an ultra-lite, but not titanium) very well after being press-fit when the powder went off.


Problem one was relatively easy. When I got home, I pushed the empty casings out with a pencil. Didn’t even need a mallet.

Problem two is uglier. I had the Blazers in the first place because it was the only box of .44 Special ammo I had been able to find. Even online it’s fairly rare, and a lot of the ammo I’d seen listed online were Blazers too. The 445 is supposed to be a carry weapon, but that’s not going to work out if I can’t find anything to feed it. Maybe when the reloading setup I have part ownership of gets set up again, I’ll solve the problem that way.

Me vs. My Eyes

Did anybody ever tell you the warranty on your body expired at 25? Well, it does. I’m a bit past that now (slightly short of twice that), and have been wearing reading glasses for the last 4 years. So I’m working a bit harder at distance shooting (which I was never any good at anyway). It’s a challenge, and I’m sure it builds character. Or something. One of the problems with the shooting sports is that they’re so damned objective.

I ran 100 rounds of .22 through my Ruger Mk II, quite a few of them all the way out at 25 yards. It was really quite satisfactory; I so rarely shoot that far out that I was pleased to be getting recognizable groups at all, instead of a random pattern of about half the number of shots I’d fired all over the paper.

I do shoot it considerably better two-handed than one-handed, which probably means I’d benefit from some arm and hand exercises and more practice. Still, defensive shooting is almost always two-handed, and at much shorter ranges. I’m never going to be a good shot, I don’t have the patience for it.

Then I actually cleaned all the ones I’d fired. I didn’t take the Ruger Mk II down — I forget how, and anyway I’ve been told that it shouldn’t be taken down more often than necessary. No idea if there’s anything to that. Must remind friend to get me that quart of Ed’s Red; the Hoppe’s #9 bottle is about empty.

Leave a Reply