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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Shooting Jams

My youngest son told me a few weeks ago that he didn't remember ever shooting a gun. He had come with a few years ago once or twice when I took his older brother, but he hadn't wanted to go since then. As it had been about a month since I had been to a range, we made plans to go to a local public range this past weekend.

My Dad came with and brought his .22 revolvers with as they were a good size for a new shooter. I brought my guns with as well since I wanted to shoot the long guns as well as get some trigger practice with my 9mm pistol.

The weather was a perfect Arizona winter. Not cold enough for anything more than a t-shirt and not hot enough to get dehydrated. After showing my son how to load, cock, aim and fire one of the .22 revolvers and supervising him for awhile, my Dad took over supervising duty and I loaded up the .308 and got started on my targets.

My target was about 40 yards away and I was shooting from a bench and leaning on a cement shooting table without blocks. I took my time lining up my shots and did not rush. Three of my first 4 were in the black circle that I was aiming for. Oddly, that was better aim than when I used the .22 rifle a few minutes later. I thought the kick of the .308 would throw my aim off more. Maybe it was the better scope that helped.

After a couple magazines of .308 kicking me around, I was ready to give my Taurus 9mm pistol a workout. The last time I was at the range, I had some jamming trouble. I thought I had narrowed it down to a specific clip not feeding correctly and so I was not using that clip anymore. Sadly, almost every clip I shot had at least one problem. This happened with both types of ammunition I had with me as well as both clips that I was using.

Last time I was at the range about a month ago, another shooter suggested that my problems were lack of lubrication, so when I it that night, I made sure to be more generous with the oil when re-lubricating.

What do you do when you have a problem? You search for the answer online. Who knows, that may even be how you ended up here. Well, one of the first hits I found was from North Carolina Sportsman with an article titled "Why your semi-auto pistol jams." I found this article very informative and useful.

First of all, it appears that my problem is properly defined as "failure to extract" and happens when the empty shell does not get extracted properly after the shot is fired. Furthermore, it seems that the most likely cause of this is what is called "limp-wristing" or not having a tight enough grip on the gun.

It looks as though I have something to practice next time I go shooting. In the meantime, I was able to take advantage of the problems to practice clearing malfunctions.

All-in-all, it was a fun day shooting and we all had fun. I need to plan on doing this again real soon.

1 comments:

Frankie said...

Next time you know ahead of time that you are heading to the range, shoot me ( no pun intended ) a txt. It would be a drive for me but its been a couple of years since I shot my jamming 40 cal and Ive never shot the shotgun I bought from my FIL.