Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday Range Trip Report And A Return Towards The M&P

On Monday morning I met up with Scott of the Providentia blog at the range to get some shooting time in.

Having been focused on karate the last few months, and otherwise being really busy, I hadn't been to the range in a while.

The range was also an opportunity to try out my newest firearm:

Yes, it's an M&P40c. After semi-giving up on the M&P after problems with my M&P9, I decided to try the M&P line again. It's all Kead's and Tam's fault.

The M&P came having been clearly test-fired at the factory, as the copper was still visible in the bore:

Aside from field stripping it to make sure there was no obstructions, I decided to take it right to the range and wring it out.

The M&P 40c came nicely packaged in a blue plastic carry case with two ten round mags, one with the pinky finger rest and one flat.

The first rapid 10 rounds of Winchester White Box 180gr 40 from unsupported standing at 25 yards looked like this:

The gun then boringly and most satisfyingly continued to function without a hiccup throughout the range session.

When shooting rapidly, as in a FAST drill, I find the small grip of the 40c makes the gun torque a bit in your hand, so a firm grip is a must in rapid strings.

The first FAST drill with the M&P40c wasn't very impressive, I blame both a lack of practice and unfamiliarity with the small grip and magazines - I completely boggled the reload and ended up with a 9.26 time, with 4 seconds of that being the reload. Must practice more. A later FAST drill, with a different holster than will be the subject of my next post, was better with a time of 8.36 seconds.

I ran 150 rounds of WWB through the 40c, including using some used 15 round magazines I had picked up, with no malfunctions whatsoever. I then pulled out a box of fifty 135 grain Federal hollow points for testing.

Even with the large cavity of the hollow point, all 50 fed fine.

The 135 grainers were appreciably snappier than the 180 grain, but that didn't affect recoil management, control-ability, nor good, solid hits. I'm liking this M&P.

The gun handled great right out of the box with no malfunctions. The stock trigger was smooth, sights were excellent and it's a real winner for 40 cal concealed carry.

After the 40c, I then pulled out my M&P9. I've been leery of the gun since the malfunctions it gave me during a match, even though it has functioned fine since its return from Smith and Wesson for warranty repair. I think I'm finally over that leeriness. The gun fit my hand like an old friend and devoured 50 rounds of Tul ammo steel-cased 9mm rapidly with accuracy and without a hiccup. If it can handle TUL Ammo, it's ready to return to regular service.

FAST drills with the M&P9 were appreciably better than the 40c, with an 8 second exact time, due to both the range time and because its a larger pistol with more grip area. Still, that's not the best I can do if I practice, and its sure sign I need to get out and practice more.

In short, I'm back to appreciating the fine design of the M&P series of pistols.

After the M&Ps, it was time to turn to the East Bloc Makarov classics.

The CZ-82 came out. Perhaps the finest of the pistols in 9x18mm, the Czech designed CZ-82 wins out for a smooth trigger, great sights and a perfect fit to the hand. A FAST drill with the C-82 netted me a 7.60 second time. The 9x18 in a CZ is a no-recoil, smooth shooting pistol. Still unbeatable for a defensive pistol on a budget, in my opinion, with a 12 round magazine and a cartridge with a tad more power than a .380. On top of that, it's a great relic of Cold War days.

Joining the CZ on this trip was the esteemed P-83 Wanad.

The Polish designed and manufactured P83, thinner than the CZ82, with an eight round magazine, tends to smack your hand a bit harder in recoil in comparison to the CZ-82. The trigger is quite smooth and the sights, while small, are very functional and the pistol is rock-solid reliable. Again, you won't give up anything having this as a carry piece on a budget and it's easy to carry and conceal and shoot well.

Having a plentiful supply of 9x18 on hand, it was quite fun to shoot these pistols. As usual for these pistols, neither pistol had the slightest malfunction and kept on delivering 9x18 Makarov rounds onto the targets.

Here's Scott at the moment of firing the P83:

For giggles, I had the CZ-82 in the M&P OWB holster (yes, it fits but loosely) and the P83 in a pocket and then did a very spiffy Eastern New York reload - 22 rounds of 9x18 all hitting the target in quick succession. Fun pistols, inexpensive ammo, and Cold War history in your hand, what could be better on a fine July day?

After we finished our pistol-craft, we headed to the rifle range where Scott showed me his new Sig 556R in 7.62x39, which he will hopefully blog about for your enjoyment. In short, it's an AK rifle designed by the Swiss - wow. I shot my 300 AAC Blackout AR15, and the installed anti-walk pins kept it functioning and no further rifle-caused issues occurred. I did have a few ammo feeding problems with some ammo I had bought that didn't want to chamber, which was annoying. I then shot my M&P15-22 and had a nice enjoyable time plinking away at 100 yards.

After that we cleaned up our targets and headed off for lunch after having had a great range day indeed. Not a bad way to spend a Monday morning.


Keads said...

Very nice Aaron! Great report and any day at the range is always good.

Scott said...

He'll probably post more about the "Blackout", but I'm sure we made quite a sight trying to stomp the charging handle to clear a partially-chambered round.

We finally used a screwdriver to pry the bolt back. It didn't take much to move it when we did it that way - a little bit of good leverage goes a long way, I guess.

It's too bad we had to put that rifle away - he was starting to lay the rounds into the A zone on his silhouette target quite nicely.

BTW - thanks for the tip on the shot timer app. I downloaded it to my iTouch as soon as I got home!

Aaron said...

Keads: Yep, any day at the range is indeed a good day.

Scott: Apparently the rounds mic out fine, I just have a very tight match chamber and need to run the gun wetter. I'm going to relube it and take it out again soon. You're right, The shot timer app is great for practice.

Scott said...

Finally got my post up. Only a couple of weeks delayed.

Wetter? "Nurse, we need some IV gun oil for this rifle, stat!" You hadn't shot but 10 rounds before the jams started.

Maybe another small fraction of a thousandth off the chamber? Or a little stronger spring?