Tag Archive: TOZ-78


Gun-a-Day 334: Snapped Shots

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A long, long work day left me out in the chilly dark of night with time only for a few quick shots racked and sent for rush delivery to the target on this tissue box from earlier in the week.

Even the lone high stringer is not enough to dampen my enthusiasm for this Aguila sub-sonic ammo. The TOZ-78 eats it like candy, and the potential for repeatable accuracy is impressive.

It might seem like I’m making a snap judgment, but after only 10 or 12 rounds, I’m already a big fan.

Gun-a-Day 333: Making New Friends

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So when life gives a fella moldy rye bread, what can be done? Make lemonade? Uh … no.

I made a target for making friends with what may turn out to be my new, best, sub-sonic bullet friend.

It’s made by Aguila, and it makes pretty holes in rotting bread.

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There were bullets left in the magazine when I checked my three-shot results. When I saw that nearly perfect equilateral triangle– all on the mini target ring, my mind was made up: this is my new sub-sonic ammo of choice.

Gun-a-Day 331: Back to the Empty Nest

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After my shift as amateur baggage handler, shipping supervisir, and airport shuttle driver (Wow, it was great to have family visit for the Thanksgiving holiday!), I rolled home in the dark, tired and grateful all at once.

I was even glad for the after-dark excuse to grab the TOZ rifle. Love to fire that weapon!

Another unsuspecting milk jug’s center circle ended up about 25 yards away, under the security lamp, and in the Simmons scope crosshairs. After the first shot ran low, the next two found the sweet spot.

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Shot three knocked the jug face-forward. Happenstance can be a blessing. Rather than walk out and set it right, I took the challenge of making the cap my new target.

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And, boy, am I glad I did. Love this rifle … the daughters are heading back to their college rooms. The other loved ones are back to their routines, and we’re back to work in the morning, and it’s all good. Even “empty,” the old homeplace feels pretty warm and happy.

Gun-a-Day 30: TO3-78, .22LR, Bolt Action, Simmons 4×32 scope, prone at 50 yards

Today’s Mission? Prone shooting, part II (just when I thought it was safe to enjoy another perfectly mild, breezy, and sunny day).

The potential for redundant self-indulgence was pretty serious, since the plan for iron-sight shooting turned, at the last minute, into another practice round with the scope. But it turns out that I learned some very good things that I might not have otherwise. I also found from the pictures that I had some very tight shot pairs in the process (interested parties may refer to shots 12 & 13 and 14 & 15 in the time-lapse– the first two touch over another hole, and the second pair are almost single-holers at 3 o’clock on the target edge).  No doubt there’s a bit of good fortune involved in those shots, but they did happen, and this gun is taking on legendary and heroic proportions in my mind …

Today’s Documentation? The “gallery “picture” is the time-lapse video (in part ’cause I just found out that my Flickr account is getting overloaded … I’m running out of free storage space) which includes the rifle on the shooting mat at the end.

Today’s Recognition? Did I say shooting mat? Actually, in classic, Gun-a-Day cheapskate style, that black throw is a barbecue grill pad that I got on clearance. It works great, with its plasticized pad, as both a ground cloth and as an indoor gun-cleaning catch-all-base. No stains on carpets or tables …

But enough about a stupid piece of black synthetic fabric! What a hoot today’s shoot was! The rimfires were poppin’ and flyin’ with wild, blustery, ballistic abandon. How great is it to be able to post another 50 for 50 round? Pretty great.

Today’s Lesson? I do much better with smaller targets! Counter-intuitive but true. This is the tightest total group I’ve ever shot at 50 yards (or any other distance to the best of my knowledge), and I’m pretty sure I owe most of the credit to the pizza-box cardboard insert and the 2-inch Shoot-n-C target for helping me concentrate and center better than ever.

I may only use the 6-inchers for 100 yard-plus shooting from now on. This is definitely my new strategy for 50-yard targeting.

Shot o’the Day is the “one that almost got away” out where the target was held in place. I’m really happy with how compact this total group is, and the “flier” is the exception that proves the point.

Today’s Observation? Not so significant, but genuinely interesting to me: these cheapo, bent-aluminum/steel (?) yard sign holders are tough. The shot that turned the target and tore a big chunk out of it actually hit the pressure-pinch circle, and the wiry, stubborn, little widget didn’t do much more than turn in place.

In fact, it seems to have dropped the bullet dead in its path. I think I found it after the session (seen on the right in the target close-up). Sure does fit like a glove in the cardboard indentation and tear. The major deformation leaves it as a kind of “smear” of lead. It got the worst end of that confrontation.

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to find that my collarbone was still tender from a couple of days ago. Now it’s even more so, but I just look at the target grouping, and the pain fades into the background … The wooden butt-plate may get a small recoil-reducing slip-cover sometime this year, though. Just for extra length of pull, of course!

Today’s Resolution? The scope issue is completely settled in my mind. This rifle deserves the best glass I can put it. It won’t be the best there is (can’t afford that, I’m sure), but I do intend to upgrade the optics on this pretty-doggone-near-to-a-tack-driving firearm. I feel like I’m obliged to ol’Tozzy …

Tomorrow: iron sights … no, really!

Gun-a-Day 29: TO3-78, .22LR, knee-rested seated position, Simmons 4×32 scope with Butler Creek flip-up lens covers

Well, if this wasn’t the first time I’ve ever tried elbow-to-knee, seated shooting, I’d be more disappointed with my results, but I’m going to have to accept 47 out of 50 on target and just be happy that my 3rd or 4th shot (according to the time-lapse below) was centered, and there were a couple of nice key-holed pairs in the session as well.

In addition to this, the position experiment also led to a significant discovery. That is, I do NOT like seated shooting. Yes, okay. I need to lose at least 25 pounds, and maybe I’d be much more comfortable. I’m working on it. Promise. In the meantime, I had a hard time holding on target, and I had a hard time avoiding a recurring problem with the oxygen-debt shakes.

Knee-rested shooting is not for me. My days as a little league baseball catcher caught up with me long ago, and my congenitally-twisted vertebrae don’t take too kindly to long stretches of sitting as still as possible in one position. Those issues and the weight concern all add up to my not planning to try that set-up again any time soon. The results weren’t bad-bad, but they weren’t that good, and it wasn’t very comfortable. All good stuff to know. 

The shots went downrange much more quickly today. The action is either loosening up a bit, or I’m getting more familiar with it, or both. Both is probably right. I had to keep reminding myself to take an extra second for the sake of the time-lapse effect.

Then again, it appears that 3 shots didn’t even make the cardboard at all, so I must have been rushing a bit too much. Also good to try and good to learn. The pictures tell the story. Here they are …

So what are the positives today? At least two things stand out: Ammo & Accessories.

Well, I finished off the last of the Federal Round Nose .22LR’s yesterday, so I was curious to see how my buddy TOZ would like the coppered hollow-points. Also Federals, but I recalled as I was cleaning guns last night that I’d had a feed ramp problem with this rifle when I first tried it out. The owner of my favorite gunshop in the area stood by our trade deal and smithed it up a bit to make it more like a ramp and less like a brick wall. I haven’t had any serious feed issues since, and I was glad to see that the hollow-points chambered just fine. That’s a very, very good thing, ’cause I’ve got about six boxes of hollow-points left which I’ve stockpiled on and off during the “Great Ammo Shortage of ’09 & ’10. They’re great in the Brownings, and they work just as well in this Russki-rifle.

Also: I do not like the sling currently on this gun. It’s a Remington with .410 and/or large caliber holders, so it’s not meant for a .22, and I only have it on as a “short-term, temporary” thing, but it’s funny how that kind of stop-gap can end up lasting for years? Not this time, though. Once summer hits, I’ll definitely be looking through my spare parts bins for a good, “permanent” replacement.

The accessory on this rifle that I do like very much is the pair of Butler Creek flip-up lens covers I installed last year. Wal*Mart and a couple of shops I stop in once in a while all had a number of sizes on clearance, so I just grabbed up anything that looked close to my optics and put them on whatever fit. I wouldn’t have worried about this scope at all, but the covers were exactly right for them, so on they went. I’ve tried “bikini” covers elastic band-connected slip-overs and a number of other things, but these flip-ups are the only thing I ever want to use on anything I currently own. They work, and they are so convenient– completely no-hassle– and efficient. Being a person who might tend to be able to lose just about anything at any time from a pocket or range bag, I’m completely sold on these “always attached” gizmos. They get Gun-a-Day’s highest recommendation.

That and a buck-fifty won’t get anyone a latte-mocha-vente-whatever, but it is my endorsement nonetheless, worthless or otherwise. Good on ya, Butler Creek!

Now, the time has come for shot o’the day, and it’s a sad little fella. In the interests of full-disclosure integrity, I need to point out that I don’t know for sure that this is one of the three that missed today’s board, but I offer it as a representative example of shots that string low (at least 4 or 5 shots have missed the target backboard altogether in the last 2 or 3 days. This is, I guess, one of ’em. The little copperhead ended up in the short railroad tie section that I have been using to “guard” my iPhone 4 while getting the time-lapse shots. Sure glad that old chunk of wood was sitting there!

I found it while looking for slugs and fragments in the backstop, and now it’s safely stored away in the bullet-bucket with all kinds of company in all kinds of sizes and, now, shapes.

We had gorgeous, pre-Spring weather, and I felt very blessed to have this excuse (along with the deadfall clearing, tree-felling, and trail-building I did) to be out in it, having fun with my time, my tools, and my little tract of land. God grace is great (and amazing).

Gun-a-Day 28: TO3-78, .22LR, 4×32 Simmons scope, prone position at 50 yards

Lay-flat shooting is new for me, and it gave the perfect excuse for another session spent with this little Russian beauty. I’m not sure exactly why I haven’t done much of it (other than the need to think through what I might use for a ground mat and how to avoid getting myself and my gear all grungy, but I was happy to realize that this rifle and this breezy-cool, sunny-sky-warm day was the perfect combination for a Gun-a-Day exercise. At first, I found some unexpected challenges with “shouldering” the rifle from flat out on my stomach. I must have very pronounced collarbones or something, because I couldn’t find a spot for the wooden butt-plate to stabilize without it bothering me. I probably didn’t have a quality hold on the gun, but that is another good reason for continued practice. Maybe an elbows-to-knees seated position would be a good mission for tomorrow. Just about any excuse will do to keep me operating this piece of equipment.

That relatively small discomfort in no way minimized my enjoyment of another opportunity to test this gun and to be tested by it. I was getting tired and a bit stiff by the end. My admiration is deep and wide for battlefield soldiers who have had to ignore such aches and pains while fighting for their lives and my/our freedom. Respect.

My fascination and infatuation with this rifle continue to deepen with every multi-magazine target session. The time-lapse video shows that my first three shots were a nice little group, and the rest of the shots were spread a bit, but the overall results were very encouraging for a first-time, ground-pounding lead-toss. Today’s session was also about learning more about doing time-lapse photography. I positioned my iPhone closer than ever on the Owle Bubo rig, and the results are much more satisfying than the previous attempts. So far, there has been no problem of any kind with debris or bullet deflection. I don’t yet have the confidence to put it this close with anything but .22-caliber rounds in play.

I need to take a moment in the middle of all this to express my gratitude to God for His blessing in my life and on my family. We are so, so grateful for the privilege of owning this property. We’ve worked very hard, and some people have much more to show after 25+ years, but we love our little wedge of acreage, and we feel God’s mercy, favor, and kindness every day we are here.

Like no other place we’ve ever been, our home and woods and meadow and pond and gardens provide such a sense of peace and satisfaction that we have an almost unlimited source of inspiration each day for living out the wisdom of Psalm 92:2, which advocates the practicality and propriety of “declaring His love in the morning and His faithfulness at night.” What a humbling, exciting, fulfilling thing it is to be the undeserving recipients of God’s overflowing generosity.

Shot o’the day is, once again, the one that got away. Down below the 5 o’clock spot, a single, small hole is left from the shot which went downrange just as my throat caught in mid-swallow and caused me to shift my position to head off a cough. I’d let a bit too much creep into the trigger, and I said, “Oh, that’s not good,” as soon as the firing pin did its duty. It’s disappointing to not reach my goal of three straight “50 out of 50” days, but I should just be glad it’s on the board at all. All of this has me in a bit of a dilemma– caught between two ideas which both make good sense to me. The first is that I should never do anything to mess this system up by messing with the optics or anything else. If it is this accurate, I should leave well enough alone. The second idea is very compelling, though. I’m really wondering what 3-9×40 glass would make possible on this rifle. I’m beginning to think that similar accuracy at 100 yards is very possible, and my eyes just aren’t clear enough to see the center ring from that distance on just 4x magnification. I’m not going to rush into anything, but there’s a chance that a few days of Gun-a-Day work, later in the year, may be spent sighting in a different scope. It already sounds like great gun-fun.

On another note: if there is a person out in the big wide world who is more of a cheapskate shooter than I am, I would definitely like to meet him or her, because I’d like to learn a few tricks from them that I could put to use. Until then, though, there is no one in my circle of life who even comes close to operating on the shoe-string budget and scrap-management target-design “plan” that I follow, and I’d be glad to know if there are ways to cut the budget even more to the bone. I don’t even have the decency to be embarrassed by my fun-with-stickers target for the day.

As an example, I’m glad I finally realized that I don’t have to just throw away the target borders from the Shoot-n-C sheets. Not only can the unused pasters become target pieces on their own, it’s nice when they’re  surrounded by the yellow sheet-edge on a target sheet. I’m out of the 6-inch targets now, but I think these leftovers will do just fine for a while. After that, I might just start pulling out those plastic Pepsi bottles I’ve been saving up. The logo make a great little center ring …

There’s no risk of my work being mistaken for a professional endeavor, though, that’s for sure, but I am just as surely enjoying it all as great educational fun …

Gun-a-Day 27: TO3-78, .22LR, Simmons 4×32 scope

Just in case my official, Gun-a-Day position has not been made clear, this declaration is announced:
My little Russian-born, almost-balsa-woody, small-bolt-y rifle is fanTOZtic!

Before getting home, I was planning to shoot with iron sights, but I had so much fun yesterday that I started developing new mission scenarios just to make sure I could string the practice sessions out for a few more days. So, today’s “job” (“Please, Sir, may I have some more?”) was to hit the 50-yard firing station again, employ the scope, and take a seated position, using an elbow-to-knee rest and support arrangement.

The scope doesn’t quite give me enough magnification to see target hits clearly, but I saw just enough yellow on the Shoot-n-C target to know that the first five rounds went alright. From there, I not only managed what I think is a decent group (all on the target once again) but also  shot the whole set at least twice as fast as I did yesterday.

I aimed faster and triggered quicker than my usual tendency to over-think, under-breathe, and over-wait on shooting (too often to the point of beginning to shake for lack of oxygen), and the results are very “acceptable.” For me, they’re downright fulfilling.

I picked out all Federal round-nosed cartridges (“lead-heads” in my book, ’cause they have no copper coloration– nothing but smooth, gray metal.

As I type, it occurs to me that I have rarely (if ever?) done a session of prone shooting. Perhaps tomorrow! Also, this rig is just begging for a time-lapse photography work-up, too.

Before getting too far ahead of myself, I’ll make the call on shot o’the day. It’s another cumulative pattern on a target affixed to an otherwise un-holed piece of cardboard which was “painted” with lead “markers” as the red-orange sun sunk into the gray-green fields under cloudless, ice-blue skies full of chilling, puffing breezes which were being scraped clean of farm smells by abrasive, lively pine needles and dead-dry (and yet stubbornly still branch-bound) oak leaves. A faint trace of bonfire-spiced ash and coal was floating as one of the thermal layers of near-earth atmosphere– nothing is better as a stress-relieving aroma on a deep-darkening, shadow-lengthening, temperature-plummeting mid-winter’s night.

All that and the smell of rimfired gunpowder residue and the sight of thoroughly-plugged target paper? What a great way to let go of daylight and start soaking up moonlight.

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What It TOZ?

It was designed practically. It was produced economically. It was made sturdily. It was priced reasonably.
It was fitted capably. It was finished unpretentiously. It was distributed effectively.
It was marketed straightforwardly. It was reviewed favorably.

It was purchased confidently.

It functions reliably. It handles comfortably. It rests steadily. It aims easily. It presents handsomely.
It performs notably. It triggers consistently. It fires satisfyingly. It kicks almost-imperceptibly.
It reports pleasantly. It prints impressively. It travels lightly.
It cleans quickly. It stores conveniently.

It is valued affectionately.

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