View Full Version : A Fine Desert Shooting Session!

03-25-2007, 05:15 PM
Yesterday was a gloriously gorgeous day in the desert east of Indio. Almost 80 degrees, light breezes, and the whole area to ourselves. Marie did a little shooting with her P-228 and Mosquito, but mostly scrambled around in the rocks and mountainsides--shaking out jackrabbits and desert iguanas, and approaching an overhang whose recesses showed a set of yellow eyes deeper within. A mama coyote, methinks. She was badly in need of a day in the backcountry, worlds apart from the ghetto hood rat MS-13 madness that imbues her working world.

I concentrated on shooting while Marie terrorized the local fauna. I ran the last of my J-word loads through the Glock 21 to create more brass, and beat hell out of the portable dinger plate at 35 yards or so. Next was Marie's P-228 some more, with Lyman #358121 and both Bullseye and 231 as fuels. More beating of the dinger plate ensued, the shorty SIG really likes that ancient boolit design. I don't get much chance to run the P-228, I really like it and its larger brothers the P-226 and P-220. All of these just point so naturally for me.

Another "chore" awaited--a chore because I thought bore leading would be a problem. I had some OLD loads in 40 S&W I had assembled prior to getting a mold for the now-departed Beretta 96. These dated from April 2001, and used 175 grain Western Nevada truncated cone castings with the hard blue crayon-looking lube. Bullseye prompted them downbore. In the Beretta, the bore got bushed down some with these loads, so I thought the CZ-75 might get a similar result. I considered pulling all 150 of these, but what a PITA. The first ten rounds left a gray wash in the bore, and shot well accuracy-wise. 10 more.......then 10 more......and all that happened was the gray wash, no build-up or slivering. 150 rounds later, same story. Accuracy remained constant throughout. The CZ is another pistol that just points itself and hits things for me, perhaps the best of all the pistols I've ever fired. The Browning Hi-Power does likewise, but I think the CZ is best of breed--better in this respect than even the SIGs, which says a lot.

Last but certainly not least--the newest ship in the fleet got its shakedown cruise. This is a S&W Model 657 x 6", their N-frame 41 Magnum in stanless steel. I had 150 castings put up in cases--50 each of Lyman #410032 (212 grain SWC) atop 5.5 grains of Bullseye and 15.0 grains of 2400. I also brought along 50 of the Lee 240 SWC atop 16.5 grains of WC-820. Either design would make a good hunting bullet.

The Bullseye load was a duplicator of the lead-bullet police loading of the 41 Magnum. 90% of my 41 Mag shooting involves this load or one like it with medium-burning powders. It did not disappoint--accurate and pleasant, an all-day load for sure. This load seems made for the S&W revolvers, I've run hundreds of these through a buddy's 4" M-57 and they are FUN.

The next step up to 2400 was a noticeable increase in blast and recoil, but still pretty manageable. I beat the daylights out of the dinger plate with this one, and tried 2 cylinders-full on distant rocks just for grins. Accuracy held in the S&W, a thing not present in the Ruger Blackhawk with similar loads using this bullet. Go figure.

The Lee 240 shot well, but might be a bit much in sustained firing. No stress to the gun, cases fell free and lots of radius was left on primer edges--but 50 of these were enough after 500+ rounds of other less vigorous calibers.

Last note--I have a well-aged Winchester Model 290 semi-auto 22 LR that has been recalcitrant with most types of ammo. I sprung for some steak-and-lobster 22 LR fodder to attempt resolution of the moody SIG Mosquito's attitude on feeding and function--CCI Mini-Mags. While The High Priced Spread didn't fix the SIG (they did a little better, though), the Mini-Mags ran like water in a penstock after three or four balky starts. It was almost as if the rifle needed a taste--OK, this IS filet mignon--before it ripped through the remaining 95 without a bobble.

22's are just weird.

03-26-2007, 12:22 AM
...............Al, sounds like you and Marie had a good time. Sounds like a glorious day in the great outdoors. Some of us have to work, ya know? :-)