Some Practice




I can’t keep my weapons in the District of Columbia just yet, so I was out in 19 degree Fahrenheit (-7.2 C) weather today at a range. I got to shoot my .38 and a friend’s .454. The latter was remarkably smooth and had virtually no kick at all, since it has “porting” vents along the top that shoot the gas upwards as the bullet is sent out, thus substantially counterbalancing the upward kick.

(For the curious: At 100 feet with the .38, I hit the target once out of five shots. At 21 feet I hit the kill zone consistently with the .38. At 100 feet with the scope-mounted .454 I hit the kill zone consistently.)

6 Responses to “Some Practice”

  1. “Hit the kill zone consistently with a .38”??? With a .38, there isn’t a kill zone.

    I confess, this is one of those smartypants know-it-all comments I shouldn’t make. But why a .38 for defense when the same revolver frame size will handle .357, and auto pistols in .40 and .45 are even more compact? Any of these are substantially superior to .38 special.

    OTOH, a day at the range with a .38 is loads of fun; so shoot lots of .38s in practice, and then keep the cylinder full of .357 for dangerous wild beasts.

  2. Tom,

    Looking at those pictures, the hearing protection you are using appears to be the same as ones that I own that I’ve found to be not too effective.

    A really good pair are the Bilsom Leightning L3 headband earmuffs. They offer significantly more protection and are more comfortable. These are now my primary pair.

    Also, I shoot wearing both earmuffs and earplugs simultaneously, but even with both, after several hundred shots my hearing has still been numbed.


  3. I always use earplugs with muffs together. The best earplug I’ve found is to take a piece of Kleenex, chew it (or dip in water and squeeze it out) and make an earplug out of this. It makes an earplug that is far superior to any manufactured one I’ve tried — fits the ear canal perfectly and blocks much more sound. I’ve fired hundreds of rounds at a time, including .44mag from a 3 inch barrel (horrendous muzzle blast!), with no noticeable effects on hearing.

  4. Tom G. Palmer

    Thanks for the suggestions! (And Charles, I think that my hits with the .38 would have been seriously fatal. A .38 through the center chest would sure hurt — unless the other guy had body armor, of course. Then the shot to the head would have done it. But the point is well taken. Unfortunately, I can’t buy another pistol until we win our case, as I’m a district resident, so I can’t buy one in DC and I can’t buy one outside, either. My guns are currently outside of the district.)

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