Saturday, May 22, 2004

.357 Magnum

On Wednesday I visited my favorite range, The Bullet Hole. I had already purchased a box of fifty .38 Special rounds and a box of .357 Magnum rounds, both manufactured by Winchester at Wal-Mart. I rented a Ruger Security Six for five dollars and proceeded to the range. I was about to shoot a .357 magnum for the first time. I loaded up a cylinder full of .38's to begin. I alternated between the two, one cylinder of each, except for one cylinder where I alternated rounds.

The Ruger was a dream to shoot. The trigger was very smooth and worn in. The Hogue grips did an excellent job of absorbing the recoil. After a hundred rounds, mostly shot two-handed, my hands were tired from keeping a tight grip, but not from the recoil. I thought the gun did a fine job.

I also did not have any problems with the ammo. There were no misfires, and the performance was quite consistent.

The first difficulty I had was in not rapping the extractor hard enough to extract all the shells each time. I need to remember that I am practicing for real life, not trying to keep the brass in neat piles. The second difficulty was blinding flash .357 ammo produces. I was able to handle the percussion, since I wear both the earplug and the earphone style hearing protectors. The flash was another matter. I don't think I was developing a flinch (because my shooting didn't get worse), but I kept wanting to close my eyes. My third difficulty was focusing on the front sight. I found that when I bore down, however, I was able to keep the front sight in focus and shoot better. In general I was satisfied with my shooting, but I need more work on keeping the gun steady.

I'd like to get a .357 for a bedside gun, but I'm not sure how well I'd do with that flash in low light situations.

On the way out, I noticed a sign on the door. The Smith and Wesson sales rep will be at The Bullet Hole Friday and Saturday, June 11th and 12th. Special prices galore, and right before my birthday! Plus, if you buy a gun you are entered in a drawing for another free one. Mmmmmmm. Free guns.