People with guns

On one weekend each month, Marine reservists gather in Tampa to take on a staged military mission. They are part of the 4th Amphibian Assault Battalion of the 4th Marine Division. The Tampa unit draws its people from the southeastern United States, although most of its crew comes from the bay area. The vehicles reservists use are called LTVP-7A1 Assault Amphibian Vehicles. They are lightly armed and protected so they can carry Marine forces from ship to shore. The vehicles have a crew of three, and while they can carry up to 25, the preferred combat load is 18.

SHOWN: Lance Cpl. J.R. Bartolus in camouflage. MAR 9 ’88

Gone Shooting

I went shooting Wednesday, sorry, no pictures again. The weather was cold but sunny. This time I took my two AR-15 carbines. Both have 16 inch barrels and were built with a mishmash of parts on S&W lowers. Until recently both had Aimpoint red dot sights. I decided to put scopes on them because I really wasn’t using the rifles to their full potential. The scope I went with for both was the Primary Arms 2.5X prism. They are well made, rugged, and a lot of scope for the money. I have also become a big fan of Primary Arms ACSS CQB-M reticle. I find it well thought out and easy to use. After sighting in I have effectively doubled the usable range of these rifles, compared with the red dots they replaced.

I also took my HK USP 45 again. Last time I took it to test an extended capacity magazine I bought. I already tested it with my home defense “House” gun and it functioned fine. The two HKs are the same model so I didn’t think there would be a problem – WRONG! Even though the two pistols are identical the other gun wouldn’t function with the mag. It would jam on the second round every time. I replaced the large recoil spring, thinking that might be the problem, it obviously wasn’t. I can find no logical reason why this second USP won’t work with this particular magazine. More experimentation will be necessary.

Gone Shooting

I went shooting yesterday, the first time since March. Sorry, no pictures. I have several guns that needed to be shot and finally got to a few. It was overcast and cool, and threatening to rain the whole time.

The most important guns I took were two AR-15 pistol uppers that had to be function checked and sighted in. Both were made by Palmetto State Armory and have 11.5 inch barrels with regular front sights. I have a Ruger lower (PSA parts) that I’ve built into a pistol and used it to test both. I’ve been trying to get another Ruger AR lower but with the recent gun buying unpleasantness that has been impossible. The first upper uses a stock detachable carry handle and it was sighted in easily enough. The second upper has an Aimpoint Micro (T-1) on a Larue mount with a Magpul backup rear sight. The Magpul sight was dead on right out of the box, but it took a while to get the Aimpoint to where it needed to be, mostly because of user error. Okay, full disclosure, I don’t know left from right. It took more time (and ammo) but finally I did get it zeroed and ready to go. Both uppers functioned flawlessly right from the start so that wasn’t any issue at all.

Next up (in importance) was an extended magazine for my USP 45. I tested this the last time I went shooting and put 100 rounds through it without any issue. I wanted to test it again, though, thinking this time would only be a formality. I was wrong. Out of 17 rounds I had 3 FTF malfunctions. I was going to use this on my home defense gun, but will now have to wait until this issue is resolved.

I also took a used Remington 870 TAC-14 (12 gauge) that I recently bought after months of looking. It took a while for me to find one at a price I was willing to pay, as the current going price has gone up substantially with the recent panic gun buying and Remington’s financial woes. It was shipped to me dry and dirty and that’s exactly how I shot it. As expected (and hoped) the Remington functioned perfectly. This was my first time hip shooting a shotgun and “accuracy” was so-so. I’m already thinking of buying a laser for it.

The biggest disappointment for the day was a little Budischowsky TP-70 semi-auto pistol that I bought this summer. I’ve owned a few of these cute little pistols over the years and consider them one of the best “Mouse gun” designs ever made. The 25 Auto chambered ones I’ve owned were great but they also made them (much rarer) in 22LR and it appears that those have problems. This is the second one I’ve owned in 22 and the second one that wouldn’t run right. Yesterday I had several misfires that might have been ammunition issues, but even when the pistol did shoot it wouldn’t go three rounds in a row without some malfunction. I’ll give it a good cleaning and try again later, but I already suspect this one is on borrowed time like the last one.