Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Shooter vs. Mosquitoes!

So, as mentioned, I finally was able to get Fern out to the range.  Up until today, the biggest thing she'd ever shot was a paintball gun (although she does have an archery background.)

A couple weeks ago we spent some quality time in her kitchen covering the basics.  She quickly picked up on the big four, and after a bit was very comfortable dry firing the little Walther P22.  Since then I'd quiz her on the Mr. Cooper's rules and get her used to handling various types of firearms whenever she was over at my place.

Today I felt a strong need to get out to the range and sling some lead, so after she finished work for the day, we headed out.

Unfortunately I forgot the range is surrounded by swamp on all four sides.

We got to the range, set up the new steel target, and did some more dry firing with the little Walther, swatting mosquitoes the whole time.  After a bit I racked one into the chamber, and we got things properly started.  Before too long, the steel was ringing more often than not.

(Left-eye dominance... not blinking)

I really need to find a better .22lr pistol option though, the sites on the Walther won't hold a zero in a mild breeze.

After a bit she was willing to give a rifle a try, so I brought out the M&P15-22, and Fern went 20 for 25.

Before too long we decided the mosquitoes won, and headed into town for some Benedryl and dinner, but in her own words;
The pain from the 27 mosquito bites is slowly fading away and will most likely be replaced by the realization that the "mythical" range is no longer a myth but a very real, very addictive place. Oh, and the smell of burnt gunpowder is good.

On the upside, the supply of DEET has been restocked in the Mayhemobile, and hopefully we won't get out there so late in the day and there'll still be enough of a breeze to keep the skeeters from swarming.

Hi-Point Carbine Facelift

Years ago I purchased a Hi-Point 995 carbine. This was right when ATI announced they were going to produce an aftermarket stock for the ugliest carbine known to exist.  I forget exactly how much I paid for the thing, but I think it may have been under $200 for the gun.

Now don't get me wrong, the Hi-point product line is known far and wide to be, quite possibly, the ugliest guns in regular production.  I have never even been able to bring myself to handle one of their handguns, let alone fire one, but the carbine was cheap, and I like the idea of a pistol caliber long gun. 

The little carbine is nothing to write home about, parts seem to be taken from the spare parts bin at an agricultural machine repair shop (the cocking handle is an honest-to-God hex-head bolt...) and the operating system is just a simple unlocked blow-back using a ridiculously heavy bolt assembly (for lack of a better word) and a rather stout spring.  Disassembly is a pain in the @$$, and the ergonomics are less than ideal.  You're also limited to 10 round mags (the 995 was a product of the '93 AWB.)  On the up side, they are cheap, easy to shoot, and Hi-point does have a 100% guarantee.  The 995 does make for a decent "truck gun" or budget home defense carbine with the addition of a white light.

The factory stock, at the time that I bought mine, has been described as feeling reminiscent of mashed potatoes, especially on a warm day, and as stated earlier, freakin' ugly.  There is nothing good looking about this gun.  So I ordered an ATI stock as soon as they were available on their site.  This started the concept in my head of the "Hi-Point Facelift Project."  I'd take this ugly chick and turn her into a prom queen yet.

At this time, the owner of a certain gun forum I frequented (eventually it evolved into MilitaryFirearm.com) had gotten a lathe, and was looking to try his hand at threading a barrel.  I figured the little Hi-point could use a not-so-naked barrel sticking out of the stock, so I removed my barrel, and shipped it off to Nevada, along with a spare CETME flash hider I just happened to have laying around.  A couple weeks later, the .308 CETME hider was bored out to clear a 9mm bullet, and the formerly ugly little carbine was starting to look better.

Recently Holescreek, another member over at Military Firearm, started making and selling aftermarket CETME parts, including a few new flash hider designs.  I saw his short 4 prong design, thought it'd look pretty good on the Hi-point, and asked him if he could bore one out for 9mm and hook a brother up.  He was game, and I was able to screw on a new flash hider when I woke up this morning.

I know it doesn't change it much, but I think the 4 prong flows better than the old birdcage did with the stock.

The fit and finish on the hider are fantastic, a good, dark, parkerizing.  The new hider also fits much tighter than the surplus CETME hider did, so no more worries of the hider taking an unscheduled downrange flight (the hider needs to be removed to disassemble the gun...)

The prongs are short enough that it doesn't sing too much (if I didn't use electronic ear pro I'd have never noticed.)

I see that ATI's got a 17" top rail for them now... that may be the next surgury for this little thing, along with a new finish perhaps and better optics.

Oh yeah, the ugly little gun does shoot well though, despite the crap-tastic trigger.