Fun Day at the Range

Part 1:

Went to an outdoor range with some friends today. My main objective was to try out my new AR-15 pistol I just assembled from a kit. My buddies brought an AR-15 carbine, an AR-10 carbine, and a Ruger Precision in .308, so we headed to the 200 yard range. It has berms at 25, 50 100, and 200 yards. Since I’ve not fired my new gun yet, I stapled 4 letter size targets I’d printed at home and set it up at the 25 yard berm.

We were told we had about 5 minutes of live fire time to get us in step with the adjacent range pre-recorded hot and cold announcements. I followed my mental game plan loading 1 round and verified it didn’t blow up when I pulled the trigger. Next I loaded 2 rounds to confirm the disconnector was working and didn’t go full auto – it didn’t.

The range went cold and I mentally prepared to see if I could hit paper at 25 yards. One of the reasons I chose an AR pistol build is because I have some shoulder problems and did not want to shoulder a rifle. I had used a “speargun” grip as well as a cheek weld for the first three shots. The RO told me I had to shoulder it if I wanted to continue firing. I had a civil discussion with him about how an AR pistol should be handled, but to no avail. So, I shouldered it when the range went Hot again and shot 10 rounds at the top left target from a standing position as the RO and I had discussed. I used a scope to verify not one round landed on the top left target! Every round had made a nice grouping on the bottom left target!

That is when I realized I was so focused on assembling my first AR that I had not thought about “zeroing” the iron sights – “Who’s the Dummy Now?” I started seriously looking at the sights for the first time on the firing line! I quickly figured out the rear sight is easily adjusted for horizontal, and the front sight for vertical. Cool, except depressing the spring loaded pin with the tip of a cartridge and spinning it with my finger nail wasn’t cutting it. In fact, just like @Dawn, I broke a finger nail on day one with my first AR. I went to the car and got my smallest allen wrench and struggled to depress and screw the front sight down 3/4 turn down. Shot again, moving the right way. Repeated over and over and was finally getting close to closing the 18” vertical misalignment when the RO came over and asked me if I had an AR sight adjustment tool. I felt like saying “Yes, I just prefer struggling with stuff”, but I just said “No, this is a new venture for me and didn’t know about such a tool”. He loaned me his and it became a lot easier.

After an hour or so of messing around, I managed to hit about a dozen 2” bull’s eyes from a free standing position at 25 yards before my shoulder had enough!

As a side note I did try my buddy’s AR-10 on a target at 100 yards. I had never shot an AR-10 before and my impression is his is freeking dialed in perfect! He is the only guy I know that talks about MOA all the time, so was not completely surprised.

3 Likes

Part 2:

Lessons learned:

• Sights need to be torqued a lot tighter on the rail than I thought
• Shockwave Blade Pistol Stabilizer needs to be torqued a lot tighter on the buffer tube than I thought – will counter sink some detents in the tube for the future
• The AR pistol is just a boat load of fun to shoot
• Need to go to a range that will allow me to shoot it with whatever grip style I prefer

2 Likes

Part 3:

We moved from the “Unlimited Rifle Range” to the “Pistol Gallery” that has the usual pistol shooting steel targets set up from 11 to 25 yards,

I started with my Springfield 9mm 1911 and luckily knocked down 6 of the steel plates set up at 11 yards with 6 shots with both eyes open. I moved to the (I think) 20 yard similar setup and it took 7 shots to knock 6 plates down.

I changed to my Sig P938 sort-of 1911 subcompact with similar results. One of my buddy’s that usually shoots a Sig 226, really accurately, was shooting his M9 that he rarely pulls out. I had some fun messing with him watching if he missed a steel and knocking it down before he could follow up.

We had been shooting for about 4 hours and getting tired, so everyone in my group had packed up and waiting on me. There was a Father and I am guessing a 13 -14 year old Daughter shooting next to me. They were taking a break, so I looked over and asked the Father if that was a Rock Island they were shooting. He confirmed it was and maybe it was a little too much for his young daughter. I pointed out the 1911 (Springfield EMP) I was shooting was a 9mm and the recoil was “different” from the 45 they were shooting if they would like to try it.

The look on the little girl’s face was priceless! I loaded a magazine and handed my gun to them. His daughter took the magazine, held her trigger finger straight as an arrow beside the slide and inserted the magazine. I looked at the Father as said “You Sir Have Trained Her Well”. With the most precious precision she unloaded my gun on those steel targets. That was the best part of my day. :+1:

3 Likes

Part 4:

I don’t own a revolver and therefore do not shoot revolvers very often. My AR-10 buddy brought his wife’s snub-nose .357 with some .38 loads I suspect he hand-loaded himself. Anyway, he thought I should try it at the steel Pistol Gallery.

As I said, I don’t shoot revolvers much, and I know they need a different grip from a pistol, but my brain was not with me, so I picked it up, closed the cylinder, aimed and fired. I hit the target, but I had a large chunk of my right thumb taken out by the recoil. Still not sure if the cylinder or the cylinder release hit my thumb, but can confirm: it hurts!

2 Likes

I’ve done that with revolvers too @Gary_H

sounds like a Truly Awesome Day :smiley: :heart_eyes:

I love your observations… lots here to pay attention to, thank you!

1 Like