Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Range Report

This is the first bona fide range session I've had since Andy and I went shooting this past summer. All the shooting I've done in between then has been ad hoc, and generally rushed. Today was kinda rushed, but I still clicked off over 500 rounds from the P30, did some more accuracy testing, and tested out the Safariland #27 that I got in the mail yesterday and modified last night.

As always, click on the pictures to make bigger and more beautiful, and also check to see if there's any more pics in my Photobucket account that I didn't post.

The Safariland #27 has been around for a long long time. Rumor has it that Moses used one to CCW his heater past the Pharaoh's guards, and we all know that was a long time ago. It's an inexpensive holster, which means that you can order one and it'll be at your door way before the more expensive holsters arrive. The robust J-hook is very thick and adds to the mass tucked in your waistband, and also isn't the most secure way of retaining the holster. It swivels a bit even if you tighten the allen bolt, so to remedy that I stippled the J-hook with a soldering iron behind where the bolt goes through and it didn't slip at all within the several hours I walked about the house cleaning up after the kids. The #27 doesn't help to tuck the grip in for AIWB carry so I set about adding a wedge to do just that.

My initial design failed, as the wedge I made was not that secure.

My intent was to mount it where the retention screw is, but it moved around too much. I used the plastic from an old muzzle loading stock that I had sitting around by cutting it off with a sawzall, and finishing it using a file and sand paper:

It took some time for me to figure out how to securely place a wedge on the holster without using an adhesive, and my solution was to build a bracket that went from the retention screw to the J-hook screw:

It was cut out of a piece of sheet metal that I had - I don't know the gauge, but I was able to shear it out with incredible difficulty using tin snips in order to keep from waking the rugrats. I had to bend it to match the contour of the holster, and for that I clamped it in a vice to get the initial shape along my contour lines, and put the finishing touches on it with Klein's and channel lock pliers:

I cleaned it up on the belt grinder with a 600 grit belt, and then drilled holes where the plastic gunstock wedge goes:

I truncated the first wedge I made and matched the holes for the bracket; a forster bit counter-sank the holes where the screws ran through:

The bracket was tapped and the screws were run through the wedge into it. The ends of the screws were ground off with a file, and finished on the belt grinder, making sure I kept the whole thing cool by dunking it in water to keep the plastic wedge from melting:

Here's the final product. I added a Bladetech strap instead of the J-hook to make room for the wedge, and also because I find it to be a more secure way to keep the holster on my belt:

My savvy readers will notice that the screws I used look an awful lot like green self-tapping ground screws that have had the outer edge of the head ground off. The whole thing is a little sloppy, and fugly as hell, but I did all this in between diaper changes, sippy cup refills, bathtime, bedtime, and bourbon time, so cut me some slack. Time is not a luxury I have right now, so I measure once and cut once, hoping it all works out in the end.

The holster now keeps the grip tucked into my sucked-in gut quite well:

This is all well and great, CTone, but didn't you mention a range report in here somewhere?

Sure 'nuff, I took all my gear out for a couple of hours to get some rounds on steel:

Any guesses as to where the shrubbery between those steel targets went to? My brothers and their significant others put a metric ton of 9 mil through there every month. Today was my start into some serious shooting using the P30. I started out doing some bench testing for accuracy with the 124 grain+P Speer Gold Dots and the 147 grain +P Federal HSTs. After further review, I'm going to go with the Gold Dots; they shot right to point of aim at 25 yards, and gave me a 1.865" five shot group:

I got great groups from the HSTs as well, but they were not consistent. I shot two groups with them today off sandbags: one measured 1.929" and the other 2.159". Where it was inconsistent was that the point of aim would shift by an inch; this isn't surprising if you pay careful attention to your group average, and not just the tightest one. Each of the HST groups from today and from my earlier shoot would have four rounds almost touching, and one flyer an inch out. If I shot a whole box for accuracy, I bet my group would grow to around 3" to 4".

I ran 500 rounds of 115 grain Federal POS through it for practice drawing from the #27, and I did OK. I draw from concealment, and in today's cold, windy temps, that meant drawing from under my favorite Dickies hoody, which is many years old and stretched out. Sometimes my sleeves would get trapped in between my grip and my hand, slowing my first shot. I also found out that keeping my Leatherman Wave on my belt at 9 o'clock means that it will snag the bottom of my shirt while lifting it during the draw, thus slowing me down. This is why you practice with your gear exactly like you would be wearing it so you know what works and what doesn't.

The LEM trigger is superb if you practice good trigger control, and horrific if you do it wrong. I'm a big fan of that, as it means that if I learn to not half ass any of my shots at any time, I will be rewarded with consistent hits. The P30's grip lends itself to excellent control and follow up shots. I can't say enough good about it. I haven't had a malfunction of any kind, though if I don't get a proper grip, sometimes my strong hand thumb will prevent the slide from locking back on the last round.

Soon I will be back out for some more shooting, and I'll have more pictures and stuff to post then.


Broken Andy said...

Your wife let you mount a vise in the bathroom? She's pretty cool if she let you do that.

Unknown said...

That would make her pretty cool! I have a set of kitchen cabinets with a counter top in my man-cave in the basement; it was once a ghetto bar from the previous owners that I converted into my main workspace. That reminds me that I'm due for a mancave post.

mike's spot said...

I stole old kitchen counters for my bench too. Put some lumber up top for a level work space and bam! hides a significant amount of my mess. Nice shooting!

Anonymous said...

Very impressive C Tone.

Nice work!

Do you feel that the inconsistency in the POI of the HSTs really matters for defensive shooting?

Unknown said...

Anon - Not so much for defensive shooting, but I just prefer to have as much accuracy as I can get. Of the loads I tested, any of them I would trust as a carry load, and all of them made DocGKR's list of good self defense rounds. I figured I'd pick the most accurate one and then put a few hundred of them through the gun to test for reliability. I've now got 200 more Gold Dots on the way.

Old NFO said...

Nice work in more ways than one... and good shooting too!