Friday, December 14, 2007

Short guns I have known 6

This is my competition piece, when I used to compete. It's a S&W 686 with a six inch barrel, in .357. The Packmyer grips soften the recoil and give a nice, soft, consistent grip.

I used to shoot a S&W 66 Combat Masterpiece with a four inch barrel. We (the ex and I) had fired tens of thousand rounds of .38 through it and were capable of shooting a perfect score on her qualification course. Her security company had started shooting competition against the two other plants on her system. In the course of practicing for the matches, their supervision decided to sponsor some friendly competition against any challengers.

I organised a team and set up a match or several. Life being what it is, we were constantly changing people to make up our five shooters. Eventually it turned into a free for all.
One of the people who showed up with gun and holster in hand to show his ability was my friend and shooting buddy from the sheriffs office. He shot on the sheriffs team in their state competition. He failed to excel because he shot a group tight enough to be one ragged hole and the judge wouldn't count anything but a cut hole on the paper. He carried a 686. I fired it one round and decided to get one for the ex to shoot.

The action was good and the solid heavy feel was very comfortable. The under barrel lug makes it nose heavy and helps it point well. It was one of those weapons that you know on the first shot, it will do well.

Being in a competitive frame of mind can get expensive. The first add on was a Safari Land clam shell holster, spring loaded speed loaders came next. The final tune up was a trip down to Fast Freddie Floyd for an action job. Fred is quite the unique character. He put in competition trigger springs for a lighter trigger pull, polished the inner surfaces for smoothness and retimed the action. Retimeing is more tedious and less technical than it sounds. Some parts are a few thousandths different than the next, if you change them out with other pieces, you eventually get a revolver that has locked up the cylinder before the hammer falls.

We shot the contents of a small lead mining operation thorough this piece with complete satisfaction. When I was in practice, I could put twelve rounds in the "X" ring in thirteen seconds.

OK, that was from the seven yard line. Go out and beat that with a revolver and tell me how easy it is.

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