Tag Archive: 25×25

Gun-a-Day 119: Bellying Down to the MLR’s Chamber-Charging Bar


Time to face hard facts and cold reality.

I have to stop taking extra rounds with me to my shooting sessions.

If I take “extra” rounds out to the range (just in case of misfires or duds), they do not come back to the house. Once I get started firing, I can rarely stop until the last cartridge is spent. I’m not going to take time to try counting how many 3- or 5-shot groups have been turned into 10s or even 20s or 30s.


There’s still an easterly fade to the shots, but these groups are among the best I’ve ever managed.

I may finally have a legitimate reason to learn how to chart minute-of-angle measurements. That’s been one of the more or less unspoken goals of the project, too.


Gun-a-Day 88: On the (Buck) Mark; Set Sights; GO!


Today’s report begins with a very sincere “Thank You, Lord!” for safety and success today as I chainsawed the 50-foot tree that fell during the heavy, heavy storm earlier in the month a20110330-110145.jpgnd burned off a big, weedy, fungalized, mouldering, overgrown brush pile that’s been an eyesore and bug-hatchery by the pond20110330-110238.jpg20110330-110213.jpg for who knows how long (way before we bought the place). Both projects went off without a hitch, and they made a big, positive difference on the grounds. When the tree was uprooted (weakened by a huge ant colony), it landed across my 25-yard shooting station, and I just simply haven’t had time to get to it before today. Anyway, dozens of cuts and much heavy timber moving is now in the past, and there were no injuries or troubles of any kind. I don’t claim to deserve any extra grace or favor or protection, so I’m extra-grateful when these blessing shower down from “the Father of Heavenly Lights.”

The kicker was that the canopy turns out to be one tough son-of-a-gun. I pressed the bent support bar back into place, and it’s up and holding steady. Wow! Way to go Sportsman’s Guide. That’s an impressively sturdy deer stand canopy you sold me (and it was cheap, too)!

Target practice was fun, too, so it’s been quite a day. I was back to testing the sight settings, and I really do think I’ve got ’em sorted out now. I used a paster dot to try the first five shots, and four of them were just about an inch directly above the black circle, so I moved to the actual target and fixed the Hi-Viz mid-way between the center and 6 o’clock.

The 5-, 15-, and 25-shot pictures bear out the idea that this sight setting can work if I’m steady. Not only was it a very tight, 7s or Better, 25×25 group, at least 22 of the shots were in 8s or Better. That’s progress to build on.

After that s20110330-110306.jpget was done, I tried some small-target shooting. Shot o’the Day honors go to the pine cone in the target picture. I “skinned” the sides with two consecutive shots from 25+ feet away. I was hoping for a three-shot set, but #3 was off. I’ll be happy with two today and work for more tomorrow. I’m working on gallon jug caps, too.I can hit them alright, but I haven’t put a consecutive three-shot group together yet, and that’s the goal.

I was out very late with the bonfire. It’s very relaxing to watch the flames turn to embers, orange to red to gray. I stayed to make sure that it was safe and knew I could come in when the sprinkling rain started.

Showers of blessing …

Shot o’the Day honors are awarded to the remains of this pine cone. Two consecutive shots from 25+ feet caught it at the bottom edge. In the interests of full disclosure, I was going for a 3-shot group, but the third bullet went into the backstop instead of this found object target. I’ll take the 2-shot set as a start, though!

It’s true that my days include long stretches of time in an office managing paperwork and taking meetings and following policies and protocols, but this project has also given me great opportunity to fill chunks of life observing, enjoying and interacting with nature in general and our property in particular.

Monsoons of blessing!

Gun-a-Day 86: Marking the Site; Sighting the Buck Mark


Valuable lessons can be learned when things don’t go (or work) as planned. Take today for example …

I’m having fits trying to keep “camera+” working on my iPhone since the most recent update of the operating system. Kind of a bummer, ’cause I’ve really come to rely on it as my go-to camera app– especially for the Gun-a-Day project. I particularly like the stock “frames” provided. Wouldn’t it be just my tough luck to have photo problems with that feature in particular?

Why, yes. Yes, it would.

So, I’m learning to not become overly dependent on one production process …

I keep forgetting to give another Federal ammunition shout-out. I’ve had one extraction failure out of about 200-300 rounds fired so far. That’s it.

Not a single misfire on the range, and these rounds have been stored in an old cell phone belt bag (like the Winchester shells, though probably not as long). I’ve got two or three more “550” boxes in my 2008 stockpile, but, if the Wal-Mart locations in my general vicinity are any indication, that value-sized packaging may be or may soon be a thing of the past.

So far this year, I’ve only had to buy .22MAG rounds (and that was justified as a birthday expense). Everything else has been from stock on hand. We’re on a pretty tight budget here at Gun-a-Day Inn!

I’m learning to be conservative with my ammo and to try getting as much useful intel as possible from every shot fired.

Speaking of appropriate shout-outs, I should also drop a word now and then about how much I like Shoot-n-C targets. Sometimes I still need to walk up closer to get a clear picture of my results, but nothing beats the black-on-yellow system Birchwood Casey has set up. Cheers, guys.

Anyway, I splurged a bit today to do some on-range sight adjustment, and I think it paid off. The target pictures are for five, 11 and 25 (26?) shots. In the first two I managed only three hits in the 9-ring, but after adjustments to draw fire to the right and up a click or two, I ended up with at least seven of the last 15 in “9s or Better.”

That’s definite progress, and I’m eager to see if it’s repeatable tomorrow.




I also made time to “make” something for a buddy who wanted me to send him “something I’ve shot up.” Yo, Brooklyn!

I learned, though, that plastic bottle caps tend to shatter– not much of a target keepsake (but acceptable as Shot o’the Day since I hit it with my second shot from 30+ feet away.

The empty plastic storage case I tried next worked much better.

“Live and shoot and learn.”

That’s what I “always” say …



Gun-a-Day 82: Hey, Bucky: Ring dem Bells!

I moved the rear sight on this pistol for the first time. Yesterday’s shots were trending high and left, so I went three clicks down and two clicks right and went out again with a will (and a spring in my step).  Now that I’ve got a home property shooting range established, I’m getting a whole new appreciation for this gun that I knew I liked and now I very much respect and keenly enjoy.

When shooting it before, I wasn’t aware– maybe due to the “hassle” of travel and set-up at public ranges or friend’s properties– of how easy it was to get right to business with this little marvel. There is no hassle anywhere within a 10-mile radius of this previously-underappreciated weapon.

The video below peals out the tidings far and wide: my Browning Buck Mark Micro Nickel has been formally entered into the Gun-a-Day Hall of Firearms Fame with the official designation of a “cold dead hands” keeper.

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I have pictures of the time lapse of the target shots, too, but for some reason the iPhone app is glitching during the save process. Don’t know if those images will make it to the inter-web or not …

I’m going to call Shot o’the Day on the regular target image I always try to include. The sights still need some adjustment, I think (and won’t it just break my heart to “have to” try it out again for a day or two or three?), but the grouping is very satisfying already.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to dial it in a bit more. I’m going to make a goal of “9s or Better” for 25 shots at 10 yards. Can’t wait to get to it.

I’m also going to ring some more “bells” as I go along, too.

Gun-a-Day 81: The Buck Marks Here


So. Much. Fun.

I limited myself to 50 rounds and no back-ups in case of dud rounds, and i ended up with SIX of ’em (clickers instead of bangers) out of about 40 cartridges. They’ve been stored loose but cool, dry and dark, so I’m stumped as to why these particular Winchester Super X rounds are so faulty. I haven’t personally had much trouble with them before.

Anyone out there have any ideas? Opinions? Experiences with Winchester Super X ammo?

If I’d taken out the whole carry case full of cartridges, I might have just kept loading and reloading and filling the target with holes. It’s just such a smooth, easy, pointable shooter and performs well in balance, function and accuracy. It’s a good thing I rationed myself … today, anyway …

The pic of these defective rounds is Shot o’the Day. Each of them was hit twice. Nothin’! Kinda weird.


There really is something special about this pistol, though. Even my dialed-in Sporter rifle had a flier or two now and then, but this one just plain has blinders on. The bullets run through a tunnel to the target.

All the misfires got me off count, but I have at least 37 hits on target and all are 7s or better. I’d forgotten how comfortable this gun is for me. And now I remember clearly why this one is a serious keeper, even though I’ve got two other Buck Mark variants. The doggone thing only has eyes for the target, and that’s all there is to it.

I picked it out from 10 or 15 different models for size (compact, shortest barrel length) and weight (one of if not the lightest variation) and dimension (the synthetic grips are trim, and the modified bull barrel has squared-off sides), and all of that combines for an ideal utility pistol on and around the property.

The sights are slightly off– up and to the left, but it sure does lock in when I’m aiming well. The target pictures show first five, second five, 20+ and 30+ results.

Looking forward to going again tomorrow.





Day 58: MLR-1722 (.17Mach2)

Magnum Research MLR-1722. That was the implement selected.

One click down on the holographic sight. That was the adjustment made.

25 shots at 50 yards. That was the scenario arranged.

25×25 at 7s or Better. That was the mission result.

And, yes, the problem of stovepipe-inducing low-load short charges and/or case failures continues. I don’t think there’s any reasonable explanation (certainly no excuse) for an average of 3-5 cartridge fails (of some sort or other) for every (every!) 25 rounds struck.

I’m at the point of checking lot numbers for possible recalls, and I may need to contact the company (Eley, I guess). Another case sent a cloud of white smoke and residue grit back in my face again today. This time, I did have eye protection on …

For all that trouble, though, I really am able to say (and show) that aim, accuracy, and focus are all improving. This practice has been very productive, instructive … and fun.

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I must be a little rusty on the time lapse production technique, though. I think the 25th shot was inadvertently deleted from the image-capture sequence, but the picture which follows is evidence of how far this gun has come in the past few weeks.

I’ll really enjoy taking out this rifle every once in a while to see if the progress demonstrated here is consistently repeatable– and to keep testing, learning and, hopefully, improving even more.

I forgot ’til now to note that I’m not using the shooting sticks this time around. These results are notable in my mind because the chair back I’m using as a rest is much less stable than the Stoney Point tripod rig as a fore-end pivot.

Technically, these “Meld-oH’d” pictures were made yesterday, but I’m calling the triptych my Shot o’the Day 58.

Or should I say two shots? This bit of industrial art is the blunt force mash-up of a 9mm slug with a .45ACP bullet which struck in the exact same place and deformed like Great Stuff expanding foam insulation (or something).

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Wasp Sting Rehab update: Day Two’s itching is at least as annoying and uncomfortable as Day One’s swelling. Good grief. As if that weren’t enough, the mosquito population is expanding, and the ones I saw today appeared to be hungry and eager.

Gun-a-Day 47: The MLR-1722 is Finally Ready for its Close-Up

MLR-1722 AND WileyX Eye Protection

The world looked extra crisp and bright with my amber Wiley X eye protection on. These Anzi’s are old but barely used. Usually, I just grab a cheap pair of hardware store safety glasses from the truck dashboard, and these stay in the gun cabinet, but they were handy, and I was not going to risk another cartridge-failure flash in the eyes again.

Of course, it will come as no surprise to anyone that, true to the way normal life works most of the time, there were no blow-back issues of any kind today. In fact, there were no mis-feeds, jams, stove-pipes or chambering glitches of any kind today?

25x25, 8s or Better on Day 47

Coincidence? Surely not. Who knew?

I just found my new lucky charm!

That’d be helpful, maybe, if I actually believed in that kinda stuff.


Anyway, time was at a premium this morning, so I decided to limit the session to 25 shots. I also decided to stick with the 6-inch round Shoot-n-C as target and used only the center-dot targeting image on the reflex sight.

If I measured, the math might show that the shots are all within the dimensions of the 9-ring, and 21 or 22 of the hits are in 9s or better. With the non-magnifying sight.

Yes, this little Browning-branded, loss-leader, battery-powered, reflex optic is kinda like Sunset Boulevard‘s Norma Desmond. If it could talk, it might say today (finally!) in a melodramatic impression of Gloria Swanson’s voice: “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.

Close-up is right. This is a group to be proud of. More importantly, it’s a group to be productive with. This is varmint-management accuracy here. The width of this group is comparable to a squirrel’s torso hunkered down on a tree trunk, so while I want to avoid any premature announcements of “Mission Accomplished,” I am definitely ready to say that this rifle and sight set-up is real-varmint ready.

As a matter of fact, there was a stray dog roaming the edge of the property while I was finishing up. If I’d known for sure that it didn’t belong to someone, there would have been a field test event right then and there. I’ll keep a close lookout. We’ve got coyote problem, and we’ve got a more serious, near-feral dog issue in our neck of the woods, and they are welcome on my land only if they’re ready to stop by long enough to be put down for a permanent stay.

Yes, the 25-round plan was the way to go today. If it turns out that this gun and these cartridges and the sighting system is repeatedly and dependably reliable after all, I may want to conserve as much of this ammo as possible.

Played out right, the 9000+ rounds I have left could potentially be a rest-of-my-lifetime supply.

As far as I know, it already is … Thank You, Lord, for my life this day, and, as Randy Stonehill sings, I “… celebrate this heartbeat / ’cause it just might be my last / every day is a gift from the Lord above / and they all go by so fast …” This one has almost slipped away already, so I’m extra grateful that I got to spend part of it out in the sun and the breeze and the pines and the empty cartridge cases.

Pretty much perfect.

Shot o’the Day is this pic of the MLR-1722’s breech from the magazine attachment opening. Good grief! it’s almost completely fouled, gunked and sludged with accrued smoke stain, gunpowder grit, cleaning solution residue and other unidentifiable ingredients comprising this sludgy mess.

Once again I’m a bit confused. There were no feed malfunctions today, and this pampered little rifle has never been anywhere close to being this dirty. Go figure, huh? I’m taking that under advisement and making a mental note.

Well, it won’t stay sloppy for long. I’ll give it a nice makeover session this week and put it back in its cozy cabinet for a while.

All better. Sleep tight. Good work. I’ll call for you again sometime soon, little buddy.