Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's Been A While

I've been absent from The GunDivas for a while due to selling our house and the resulting move. Now that life has slowed down from warp speed to something more or less sane, I've had some time and opportunity to play again.

First, guess who has a ticket to the First Annual Texas International Firearms Festival? Yep. This guy. My best friend turned me onto it via FaceBook. He and I will both be there Sunday, November 9. Look for a report and photos to follow. Holler if you see me.

Second, Groupon appears to have quietly reinstated deals for firearms as I landed claws on a gun range outing including lane rental, unlimited use of rental guns and one box of ammo for $35. I took the free time afforded by being semi-homeless to indulge my curiosity on the shooting qualities of certain guns.

First up, the Gen 4 Glock 21.

Glock G21 Gen 4
Prior to this range outing, I have not spent any time looking closely at the Gen 4 Glocks. I have handled a few at gun stores and have come away generally ambivalent about the changes between the Gen 3s and the Gen 4s. I have read many opinions about the Gen 4 grip texture. My brief handlings at stores left me with the impression that I could see how others would hate it while not giving me passionate feelings one way or the other. I will say that my preference is still for the smoother Gen 3 texture on a purely aesthetic level; however, having handled and shot one on the range now, I can see the benefits of the Gen 4 grip texture. I had no troubles with the grip texture being too rough for my hands as has been reported by others. I see this as one of those "too each their own" issues. Try them both side by side. Pick the one that works best for you.

The recoil on the G21 shooting pretty standard 230 gr. Federal FMJ ammunition was very manageable. There is more muzzle flip than with a G19 or G17 in 9mm, but it's neither horrendous nor hazardous. Ditto for felt recoil. My biggest gripe is that my thumb likes to ride the slide release which resulted in the slide failing to lock back on the last shot unless I made a conscious effort to keep my thumb off or below it.

Accuracy was decent for a combat handgun considering I was out of practice and not used to the gun.

G21 at 7 Yards 10 rounds (I think) Left Eye Closed

G21 at 7 Yards 5 rounds Both Eyes Open
The lone round in the 6 ring on the first target was a flyer. No excuse. Probably was just not paying attention to what I was doing. I mention the left eye closed vs. both eyes open because my eyesight has turned to pure fertilizer over the last few years (I'm farsighted, and my near vision is to the point that I have to concentrate real hard on anything inside arms length with no guarantee that I can see it then) and focusing on the front sight is a challenge. I thought it might be useful to see if a second eye would help my results. Inconclusive.

G21 15 Yards 5 Rounds

G21 15 Yards 10 Rounds
Not much to say about the 15 yard targets. I think I could get that grouping a little tighter with more practice and standard three dot sights, but I'm not unhappy with that result even with the Glock "dot in a bucket" sight system.

Bottom line: I'd carry it.

Next up: Sig P226 9mm.

I didn't spend very long with the Sig. Long enough to remember why I don't like the SA/DA triggers. The Sig is well made and smooth. I just can't get the hang of the trigger on it for the life of me.

So, the Sig got swapped out for a Glock 17 Gen 4 in 9mm. I've shot a G19 several times and thought I'd see if the extra barrel length did anything for me.

G17 7 Yards 10 Rounds
Again, I may be out of practice, but I won't complain about that group even though I'm pretty sure I should be able to put all 10 inside the small, scoring chart silhouette at 7 yards (and have done so with both G22s and G19s).

In conclusion, I had a good time. 50 rounds of .45 ACP and 50 rounds of 9mm through three different guns made for an enjoyable evening after work. Groupon is cool to be offering these deals again. The P226 is a good gun...just not for me. A Glock is a Glock is a Glock.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review: Australian Outback Ammunition

During SHOT Show 2014 I came across a new brand of ammunition, at least new to me.  This brand is Australian Outback. (Australian Outback Ammunition)  This is the commercial line for Australian Defense Industries.  Currently they are importing .308 Winchester, .223 Remington and .300 AAC Blackout ammunition.

I purchased several boxes of their .308 and .223 ammunition for testing.  I chose the 168 grain .308 and the 69 grain .223 ammunition.  Both calibers are using Sierra MatchKing bullets.  This is very good for you the shooter.  Sierra is known for manufacturing high quality bullets for the commercial manufacturers and the reloading community.  (Sierra Bullets) 

So far I am amazed with the results of this ammunition.  The accuracy and repeatability are amazing.  First I will start with the .223.  First shots I was able to obtain sub-inch groups with 3 holes overlapping.  This compares favorably with BlackHills ammunition, (BlackHills Ammunition) which has a reputation for high quality and accuracy. BlackHills also uses the 69 grain Sierra MatchKing bullet. 
Both brands were fired out of an AR15, 16 inch barrel with a 1:8 twist. 

The .308 also gave me favorable results.  First 3 shots out of the box was a sub-inch group of .6 inches.  The groups later opened up to .8 as the barrel heated up

All groups were fired from a Remington 700 SPS with a standard hunting weight barrel.

Now the .308 results get even better.  After I took these initial shots, I took a long range class using Australian Outback ammunition and I achieved even smaller groups at 100 yards.  (No pictures available as of this posting)  Overlapping holes were routine.  (These results are from a Remington 700 LTR with heavy target barrel)  And as part of the class we needed to chronograph our ammunition to perform the calculations.  The results are as follows:

  • 1.    2663
  • 2.    2672
  • 3.    2669
  • 4.    2668
  • 5.    2666

Average = 2667

These are numbers that most hand loaders would be envious of.  It is only a sample of 5 shots, but I have never seen factory ammunition this consistent ever.  Even my instructors were impressed with Australian Outback ammunition. 

Now for the bad news.  This is match grade ammunition and it comes with match grade pricing. 

Prices I paid are:  
.223 Remington - $19.95 per box of 20
.308 Winchester - $29.95 per box of 20.

The other bad news is I have not found a local store that carries it.  I have to order online.  This makes buying onesie-twosie boxes very expensive when you include shipping.  Luckily for me, I knew I was taking the longrange class and needed 200 rounds of .308.  I was able to offset shipping with a large order.

One place online I can buy this brand is www.ammotogo.com.

In conclusion, do not overlook Australian Outback ammunition.  I have achieved excellent results so far.  I will continue to buy this brand.  It is expensive but I think the results justify the cost.  

By: Mez

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tips & Tactics - Situation Dry Fire Practice

Tips & Tactics Sponsored by Cabela's Outdoor Fund
Tatiana Whitlock on Personal Protection: Situational Dry Fire Practice

We are so excited to introduce our newest Tips & Tactics instructor: Tatiana Whitlock! Tatiana is a Refuse to Be a Victim® and NRA-certified basic pistol instructor, trained range safety officer, Krav Maga student and self-defense expert. In her first Tips &Tactics episode, Tatiana explains the importance of dry fire practice in preparing for self-defense situations. Remember: always check to make sure your gun is unloaded before dry firing!