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Went to the range yesterday – the last day of “freedom” before the Alabama shelter-in-place order took effect. It’s a private range, so just me and my son. We were shooting steel gongs, and had a can of white spray paint to refresh them when needed.


For WALTHER fans, this afternoon was a test of some new high-tech defensive ammo in my Interarms stainless PPK/S. I’ve proven in previous range visits (at least to my satisfaction) that 105gr Golden Sabre is reliable in my PPK/S, but I wanted to see if the Inceptor 56gr ARX (fluted polymer) rounds and the Underwood/Lehigh 65gr Xtreme Defender (1400 fps) and 90gr Underwood/Lehigh Xtreme Penetrator (1200 fps) would function reliably in my PPK/S. This stuff is NOT cheap, so it was an expensive test. I’m sad to report that NONE of those three (ARX and the two Underwood/Lehigh) functioned reliably. The ARX rounds work perfectly in my Glock 42, so they’ll have to stay there. I may end up testing the Underwood in the Glock later. My final note is that the superhot 1400 fps Underwood was VERY uncomfortable to shoot.

For BERETTA fans, I ran two guns. First, 150 rounds through my M9 22LR – same size and feel as a 92, but lighter and more fun (and cheaper!). This thing has almost no recoil and is so easy to shoot accurately. I added standard 92 wood grips to mine. The other Beretta I ran was my 84FS Cheetah in nickel…it’s such a comfortable 380, and so accurate. To me, the nickel Cheetah is among the “prettiest” guns in Beretta’s lineup. However, after a few mags the fouling really shows and it’s really hard to get the nickel finish clean…I guess that’s why I rarely shoot it.

For the SIG fans, my son exercised his West German P226 (which he shoots exceptionally well), along with his Sig MPX-K (the really short one) with the collapsible brace. It’s staggering how accurate that thing is at a distance with that little barrel. And it’s such a good-looking piece of equipment, too.

Finally, for the H&K fans there were three items to exercise. I let my son shoot the USP 9mm compact and VP9 (midnight bronze), and he preferred the USP (he’s a Sig fan and prefers the feel of hammer-fired pistols). I love both of them, although I don’t shoot the VP9 as well…I’d rather admire it than shoot it, actually. My last item to test was a function-test of my SP5K, but with a bare buffer tube installed in place of the normal folding brace. I did this only to prepare for the day when (not “if” in my opinion) braces become regulated. As expected, it performed flawlessly with a cheek weld through two standard mags and my first run of a new 2nd generation KCI 20-round mag.

Hope y’all can get to your local range soon. We'll all get through this one way or the other.
 

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Range report

Gilly,

Happy you were able to get out. Your attempts to get your IA PPK/S going with hotter defense ammo is not surprising. As I have said before stick to quality .380 ammo. When you start to push the upper limits of .380 ammo these pistols are not tuned to the fire them reliability. Slide speed, wear and tear on parts and general unpleasantness in shooting are all a result of hotter ammo. From the remainder of your range day you have other handguns to fill higher power ammo requirements. The PPK/S can be fun and effective with normal ammo, so use that ammo.

Now that your state is in lockdown, you will have plenty of time to clean your weapons and then look for other activities to keep busy. I have pulled out all my freshwater fishing gear and changed the line and cleaned and lubed the reels. When fishing areas open up I will be ready. Also reloaded a couple hundred .357 mag. to replenish the stock.

Duncan
 

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Hardball. It's what they were designed to shoot. All my .380 and .32 pistols shoot it well. I gave up on making these small autos into one shot man stoppers some time ago. I believe, perhaps wrongly, that penetration rules in a self defense situation. Expansion is great in a more powerful round, but expansion limits penetration in a "modest" power round. Plus they're cheaper.
 

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I am very skeptical of ‘gimmick’ ammo which has become quite prevalent in the last 2-3 years. Super-light bullets traveling at the speed of light, bullets shaped like corkscrews, all sorts of things.

No thanks.

Give me a quality hollow point, of intermediate weight for caliber (meaning 90-100 grain for 380 ACP) which has been tested and proven to work in my specific gun, and I’m confident of the outcome of any social situation I might encounter, and similarly confident in the likelihood that my gun will function properly, with utmost reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am very skeptical of ‘gimmick’ ammo which has become quite prevalent in the last 2-3 years. Super-light bullets traveling at the speed of light, bullets shaped like corkscrews, all sorts of things.

No thanks.

Give me a quality hollow point, of intermediate weight for caliber (meaning 90-100 grain for 380 ACP) which has been tested and proven to work in my specific gun, and I’m confident of the outcome of any social situation I might encounter, and similarly confident in the likelihood that my gun will function properly, with utmost reliability.

Looks like my test the other day adds credence to your point, Mike. I'll stick with the Golden Sabres that function reliably in my PPK/S.
 

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Gilly,

Common sense leads to results. Gene and Mike are 100% on their comments. You have come to the same conclusion through your testing. It's like fishing, a freshwater rig can bring in large ocean fish, but your saltwater rig does it better and with less equipment damage. While it's fun to try to make a PP series pistol superior manstopper, a true large bore pistol does the job without associated problems.

Don't get me wrong, the PP series are effective or they wouldn't be hanging around for close to 90 years. With proper ammo they will do the job they were intended to do with 100% reliability and function. Now go find a .32 or .22 PP pistol and really start having fun.

Duncan
 

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Went to the range yesterday — the last day of “freedom” before the Alabama shelter-in-place order took effect.
I'm not seeing much change. Every business I checked with is essential and open. Plenty of mowers and backpack blowers going today....guess lawn maintenance is essential also. Hiked down at Oak Mtn State park yesterday. State Gov't sanctioned.....hike, bike, golf....just gather in crowds of 10 people or less and stay 6' apart. Well, that's not working so well. People need to take this a bit more seriously in my book. If I get it....goodbye all. 1917

 

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1917', that's ironic. Went down to our camp near a bike trail; crowds on the trail, boaters on the river. More folks than I see in my own neighborhood.

As regards out of standard spec ammo, you guys have it figured out, especially with the Walther.
Moon
 
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