Today we finally got a chance to do some rifle shooting. We have an excellent place to shoot pistol in PDHSC but finding a rifle range near Johnston County has been problematic.
The Wake County range is well constructed but run by the government with all the senselessness that only a government operation can entail. WT's in Goldsboro is a very nice range with very nice automatic target stands but the range is limited and it's very small. They are also closed on Sunday which is the only day me and Mrs. Knitebane both have off.
Range 37 in Bunn Level is pretty good but last weekend we got stiffed. They posted on their Facebook page last Sunday morning, "It's a nice day. Come shoot with us. Open until 7pm." So we loaded up the car and got there at 5pm only to see a big sign that says, "Closed early." Oh, and a gun buster sign on the front door.
Note that sign carefully. Does it say, "No loaded weapons"? No. Does it say, "Concealed carry okay. Please keep it holstered"? No.
It says no concealed weapons. Per that sign I can't even unload my carry piece and put it back in my holster.
So, not a big fan.
But we found a new place. It's a bit of a hike and it's rather primitive (They just got indoor plumbing. No kidding.) but they have pistol stalls with retractable targets, a reactive target area, several 25 yard short range rifle stalls, several 100 yard long range rifle stalls and 2 dual-purpose 25/100 yard stalls. Each of the rifle stalls has a bench rest cradle and a spotting scope. All the stalls are covered and on a concrete pad.
It also wasn't very crowded on a bright, pretty Sunday afternoon so I'm not sure I want to advertise it. If you're really interested in using it drop me a line privately and we'll talk.
I had a number of things on my to-do list:
1. I removed the spacer from the red dot on my WASR and needed to sight it back in.
2. I needed to test out ammo from Georgia Arms in my FAL.
3. Mrs. Knitebane's WASR underfolder got a recoil pad and needed testing.
4. The Mosin got a recoil pad and it needed testing too.
We managed to get all of that done without issue. If we had time I wanted to run some targets out to the 100 yard line and see what my WASR could do at that range but we simply ran out of time.
I zeroed my WASR to the limit of the 1 MOA red dot. After a few bounces around with the bench rest I started punching one big hole in the X. The Primary Arms red dot feels less ungainly now that I've lowered it down by removing the spacer. The Texas Weapons Systems rail I have planned for it should lower it enough to do a 1/3 co-witness.
The FAL feeds the Georgia Arms 150 gr. "Canned Heat" rounds flawlessly. Any issues with the Tula remain strictly with the Tula. Oddly, the Tula runs fine in Mark of a Free Man's DSArms SA-58 FAL clone even if my FAL hates it. So I sold all of my Tula .308 to him. His only problem is cheap mags that fall apart under recoil but he's ordered some Thermold mags which run just fine.
The recoil pad on Mrs. Knitebane's WASR makes it shoot as nice as my MagPul CTR stock on my WASR. It still folds up quite small even with the pad still attached and I've also added a Draco-type sling mount under the pistol grip. It still needs a cheek rest though.
The recoil pad on the Mosin tames the recoil considerably. It feels about as heavy as the FAL now instead of the shoulder-wrecker it used to be. I really wanted to see how it shoots at 100 yards but we ran out of time.
Sadly we forgot to take the camera so no pictures this time.
All I have left on my longer term to-do list is to take the Saiga 12 out and get the TAC-47 gas system adjusted so I can shoot both low brass birdshot and slugs. It does slugs okay but birdshot requires manually racking the bolt. I thought I had it fixed and then partially unscrewed the gas plug by accident and it wouldn't cycle anything at all. Now that I've fixed that it *should* work fine but it still needs a testing.
Next week is the Dixie Fun Show at the NC State Fairgrounds so probably no more rifle range trips for a couple of weeks.
The Mrs. and I spent the afternoon at the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center validating a few firearms.
I've been building my AK for the past couple of months (actually a WASR 10/63 which is a Romanian AKM semi-auto clone) and with the addition of the TAPCO Razr muzzle brake and the Primary Arms GEN 2 red dot (a US-made Aimpoint M4 clone) I was finally ready to run a few rounds through it.
After the outing to the Sooper Seekrit Gun Blog shoot, I've had some worries about my FAL. It had some issues with the Remington UMC ammo and I decided to try some Tula steel case to see if it ran okay. The Tula comes at a good price and would make nice plinking ammo if it cycled okay. Since the FAL is really hard on brass I'm not particularly worried about reloading it so the steel cases don't bother me.
And finally we've been readying the Remington 597 for the upcoming Appleseed shoot in Ramseur, NC. I've put a 4x scope on it and switched to a more reliable ammo so it needed a zeroing.
Other than running the blowers at full blast and trying to freeze us to death, and having one of the largest crowds I've ever seen at the Wake county range, it went pretty well.
We started with the Remington 597. This little rifle is fantastic. It's just a bit picky about ammo but .22LR is cheap enough that having to move up to a more expensive brand wouldn't be too bad. Strangely, it doesn't care a whole lot for the Federal. Or the Remington. Or even the CCI. It likes Armscor green dot, the high(er) velocity Filipino import stuff. Go figure. The scope is nothing to write home about either, a Barska 4x32 Plinker-22 all set up for the built-in 3/8" rail on the Remington.
I had bench zeroed the scope using a laser and it got the rifle close. A few clicks later and I was making one ragged hole at 25 meters in the bullseye. The Mrs. took a turn and put 10 rounds into a thumb-size area. Not bad for someone with no formal rifle training. I think that after Appleseed she's going to be tough to keep up with. The Armscor ammo did great. Consistent, pretty clean and I had ONE failure to fire out of 95 rounds. Not bad. I've got sling swivels and a GI sling on order. When they arrive this thing is done. The Mrs. likes mine enough now that we're going to start shopping for a Remington 597 for her too.
The Mrs. on the left. My final target on the right.
Next was the AK. Because of the new muzzle brake doing a bench zero with the laser was not all that good but the gun made a nice grouping if very high and to the left. A few clicks and I was again making one ragged hole. The Mrs. took a turn and also had a nice grouping. This is only the second time I've fired this gun and while it may not be a top-end item, the TAPCO Razr made a world of difference. There is almost zero muzzle lift now. The gun pushes straight back and the red-dot barely moves. Follow-up shots are quick and accurate. I'm a fan.
The above image shows what the Razr does. That's in full recoil.
The Primary Arms red dot is another winner. The glass is clear and gathers light rather well. The dot isn't blurred and even on the lowest settings it's easily visible against the target. On the higher settings it's VERY bright and kind of hard to look through indoors. An outdoor test is in order but so far I'm impressed.
The FAL was next and there was mixed news. The Tula ammo seems to shoot just fine and had none of the sticky chamber issues that the Remington UMC ammo had. It has a significant difference in power though and out of each 20-round magazine I'd get four or five light primer strikes. This is likely a gas regulation issue with the bolt not slamming all the way forward or perhaps just a dirty gun (I honestly can't remember the last time I oiled it, much less cleaned it) but I've ordered a spare firing pin just in case. Other than the few that didn't fire at all, once I got the gas system to cycle at all the ammo was VERY accurate and consistent. It's clean and non-corrosive so for plinking ammo it should be fine.
All in all a very good day at the range.
Dear Feral Trade Commision, I paid for all of the items reviewed here out of my own pocket. GFY.