As Tiger is tied up sponsoring Massad Ayoob this week at Shootrite - great instructors both - the feature fell to me. I have a lot of catching up to do and this gave me the chance.
Our club range had the backstops mined. In so doing, the method of posting targets - metal frames going into sleeved holes in the ground - is no longer possible. The earth movers "fixed" the holes. No problem - I'd had a discussion with a vendor who'd put a press release out on a new portable target frame and I'd been promising myself a set of Rob Tackett's TacStrike Arched Frame Target Carriers.
CTK Precision P3 Ultimate Target Stand
Headed out today on a couple of projects, I had a chance to try both. The more complicated - useful and unique -- is the CTK Precision P3 Ultimate Target Stand. The design is interesting and neat for people who take a small car to the range or live in a place where take-down stands that would fit in a duffel - but useful for recreation as well.
The angled legs slide into end caps which are separated by a 1x2" bit of lumber - 2 feet is fine for the larger target backers, 18" works for IPSC/USPSA/IDPA cardboard targets. The legs are long and arch up making the stand stable on uneven ground (is there any other kind?), fairly sharp on the "feet" to allow the legs to sink into soft ground - more stability. The assembly bolts have turning knobs and the 1x2 between end caps and used as uprights are stabilized by clamping plates that even the bolt pressure - the lumber is held securely.
TacStrike Arch Frame Target Carrier.
The height of the main beam gives around 3 ½" of clearance. No tools are needed for quick assembly at the range. CTK will even provide "bottle holders" to secure 2-liter soda bottles on the uprights. Set 2 or three water-filled bottles on each arm and have a competition.
The TacStrike Arch Frame Target Carrier is a welded unit and comes in one piece. A bolt on each upright cup keeps the furring strips secured. An inch-and-a-half of clearance at the center of the carrier makes the unit stable on uneven ground. There's only ground contact at the corners. It doesn't rock or tip.
I had to check zero on an SR1911CMD on a project with John Harrison. Whilst I was about it, I snagged some Brownells 8-round 1911 magazines. These are simply steel tubes with spring follower and floorplate. They are coated with Xylan, a dark, slick substance. The magazines fed up and ejected cleanly. The follower is a metal "anti-tilt" unit and an extra power spring drives it. The removable polymer floorplate gives enough space to allow loading to eight rounds in the nominally 7-round 1911.
Brownells 8-round 1911 Magazine with test ammo.
I used two vastly different loads: ASYM Precision 230 grain FMJ Match and Remington 185 grain Metal Case Semiwadcutter. The "softball" round is notorious for choking in 1911 pistols. Both rounds slid through the Ruger without issue.
I set up the Spaulding 2-Second drill: From ready - Dave has his own (inherently practical) ready position - you have to get a round into the "A" zone within the first second, with four rounds into the threat before two seconds elapsed. The cadence gives you some idea of the "operational speed" or rate of fire. Also, according to Dave, "it shouldn't sound like a monkey on a typewriter," but an even cadence of fire.
Using the 185 grain WC Remington load - and preparing to clear the expected stoppage, I put four rounds on the B-8 repair center I used for a target in 1.59 seconds. A more robust load would have pushed my recovery time up it seems, but the gun seems to function slower with the light load so I figure fair is fair.
I'd done this drill with the double action/single action SIG P239 9mm and with this SR1911CMD as well. Someone - forgive me for forgetting who it was - asked how the 2-Second drill went with a DA revolver. I had no idea.
Two-Second Drill, 5 yards, Cor-Bon .38 Special 147 grain FMJ Performance Match -- with elderly S&W M10-5 and Herretts Shooting Star stocks.
I shot an elderly S&W Model 10-5. A good example of an earlier era, it has a four-inch skinny barrel, round butt - something I've not seen a lot of in four-inch guns - and an aftermarket Parkerizing job. I had fitted the gun with Herrett's Gunstocks' "Shooting Star" with skip-line checkering some years ago. Using Cor-Bon 147 grain FMJ Performance Match ammo and a B-8 Center, I flunked the first try with the first round out in 1.03 with a total time of 1.8 seconds. That's the effort in the picture.
After working with some other gear, I posted a Birchwood Casey 12'x18" Eze-Scorer IPSC Practice Silhouette Paper Target and stepped off about five yards. The A-zone on this target is 6 3/8" x 3 3/8". I tried the drill anew. This time, the first round hit at .96 - close enough - and all four smacked the A-zone in 1.72 seconds. Revolvers will do just fine, thanks.
P3 Ultimate Target Stand
TacStrike Steel Target Systems
Brownells 8-Round 1911 Magazines
Herrett Shooting Star
-- Rich Grassi