Monday, June 06, 2005

Shooting the New Gun

This was a pretty manly weekend for me. Saturday I slept in, watched way to much Mythbusters, and then shot my new gun.

For those of you who have never shot a new gun or new-to-you gun, there is a certain level of care that needs to be taken. In this case, my .22 Buck Mark was both new to me and had been detail stripped (hopefully correctly) by me without the use of directions (the manly way!). Because of this I used the standard new semi-automatic pistol testing procedures when I went to the range Saturday.

Don't know what those standard procedures of testing a semi-automatic pistol are, let me explain further:
  1. Go to a shooting range. Otherwise you may put a hole in something important.
  2. Load the magazine with one and only one round. Insert the magazine, chamber the round, and fire it downrange. This will tell you if your gun will feed, fire, and extract properly. If the gun is new and has a few feeding or extraction problems, that isn't uncommon. I do mean "a few" though, if it is jamming enough to be annoying something is probably wrong. If the gun won't fire (oops thats what those parts were for!) then something is wrong. You may need to seek professional help.
  3. Now load two rounds. Point downrange and pull the trigger. You should get no jams and only one bang. If this was the case then fire the other round. If you got two bangs in quick succession with only one pull of the trigger (called a double) then something important is wrong with your gun. It probably needs professional attention. Invoke your warranty or take it to a gunsmith. If the second round jammed then repeat this test.
  4. Work your way up to a full mag adding few rounds more rounds each time. Pay attention to make sure the gun doesn't double and make note of any other problems. If you have frequent problems, make sure it isn't the magazine and check if it repeatable (7 rounds in the mag makes it jam, etc). New guns have a break-in period, but if it is still giving you problems after about 200 rounds then it probably won't be fixing itself.
My buckmark passed with flying colors. I had the occasional misfire, but that is to be expected with rimfires. The range was indoors and hot. I was sweaty and icky. Much like I am now at work because the air conditioning is broken.

UPDATE: A few more thoughts. I really should have bought a .22 earlier. Not only was it fun to shoot, but it was very cheap to shoot. I put 150 rounds through my buckmark yesterday and it cost me about $2.70. I probably spent as much on bullets as I spent on paper targets. For comparison, putting 150 rounds of cheap 9mm downrange costs about $18.

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