Monday, December 07, 2009

Range Trip Report

Yesterday, I was assigned to be the Range Safety Officer for my local club. Heading out I overheard my 6 year old daughter ask my wife why I was heading out the door -

"Where is Daddy going"
"To the range to make sure everyone behaves safely"
"Why, are all the people there goofballs?"

Yes Abby, there are some goofballs, but luckily not too many showed up last night.

The range on Sunday nights is open to the public and you occasionally get some types for whom firearm safety is not just on their priority list, its often a completely foreign concept.

Of course, the second RSO scheduled to be there didn't show up so I had to run things on my own, and of course, clean up and shut down the range on my own as well.

So I get there early to setup and of course the keys are missing from the clubhouse. They don't trust the range officers with keys, we have to go sign them out from the staff at the clubhouse. Grand. Luckily the Chief RO is hanging out at the bar and gives me his keys - note the status differential - Chief RO keys, everyone else, no keys.

So I open up, get the lights on and the blower going and get the range ready to go. A few group of three people show up just to look around as I'm setting up and when I tell them its open to the public and they can shoot they're quite happy. They turn out to be IDPA shooters so I'm happy - excellent understanding of safety and good gun handling skills equal no holes in the walls, roof, floor or most importantly any person.

A few members show up and shoot, a few more non-members show up and the night goes on, a few tips on safety are distributed by yours truly as the hours go by. An RO not on duty comes in to shoot and he spells me and lets me shoot a bit.

I put 100 rounds through my CZ-82. It was just as reliable and accurate as before. I had gone in on a purchase with two friends of 1000 rounds of the Silver Bear 9x18mm Makarov hollow points and wanted to see how they did. With a Muzzle velocity of 1,000 F.P.S. and Muzzle energy of 255 ft.-lbs I expected them to be pretty zippy (a technical shooting term), considering a .38 special+P has a 945 velocity and 248ft.-lbs.

They were a bit sharper than the Wolf 9x18 Makarov FMJ I had brought along for comparison, but no hurdle to shooting accurately and quickly. However, they had another interesting feature.

The Silver Bears had a huge muzzle flash. From the sight picture it looked like massive sparks erupting from the gun with every shot. The other RO certainly noticed the huge flash from them.

Part of Russian secret defense technique - if hollow point doesn't stop them, set them on fire comrades!

The Wolf FMJ by comparison had very little if any flash, at least from the shooter's point of view.

However the 100 rounds (50 Silver Bear and 50 Wolf) all hit the target nice and accurately and with the almost imperceptible recoil of the CZ-82, very fast strings of accurate shots are possible:

Basically, while the 9x18 may not be the end-all be-all defensive cartridge, considering you can accurately empty 13 rounds from a CZ-82 very accurately and rapidly, I'd think it would be quite adequate to stop an attacker, but I'd recommend sticking to the Hornady 9x18 hollow points for self defense, unless you like flame throwers as a carry item.

1 comment:

Scott said...

If you are lost in the woods, you could use the muzzle flash to light your campfire.