Range Report #1: A Sobering, but Not Quite Humiliating Experience

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First time to the range in over 10 years! Okay, the headline is: The Rough Rider is looking pretty good! A few keyholes early on, but hey-- hanging paper target, and I know at least two of the keyholes and probably the third happened when the target was still moving back and forth a bit... it was like a pendulum, took MINUTES to stop. No failure to fire whatsoever. My skills are too rusty to be sure, but it doesn't seem less accurate than the Mark II... not that I fired the Mark II much.

And with the .22 mag? Well. Let's just say that all the pumpkins or large soda bottles that come within about 30 feet of me are TREMBLING with terror.

A bunch of observations in no particular order that don't fit neatly into any topic:

* The Ruger Mark II was pretty much unusable, at least today. I didn't make it through a full clip. The empty shell casing that lives in it was very difficult to eject, which has never happened before, which resulted-- I thought-- in a failure to feed. Cleared that, failure to feed again. Got off a few rounds-- fun to shoot, as I remembered-- and then a casing failed to eject. Called over the Range Officer, who just racked the slide more violently than I had to clear it. I had a fourth failure to feed, which I cleared myself, shot out the last few rounds, but time was short, and I figured: This Gun is Done (for today.)

--The action on the clip felt sticky as hell.
--I do keep this particular mag with four rounds in it, and have for over a decade, so the spring could have lost some of it's zip. I'll have to try the other one.
--The ammo was 'middle aged' (probably about five or six years)
--I did clean the gun lightly before going out-- sent a wire brush down the barrel, then a patch with oil, very little buildup in there, then ran a dry patch through to get rid of the excess.
--The clip does sometimes do this thing where it doesn't latch in properly! It looks right, it's definitely pushed in all the way, but you can just pull it out without hitting the magazine release. I had forgotten about that. It used to do that before, too, but now it's worse-- more subtle, harder to tell. I'll have to assess for that more thoroughly, but that just SUCKS.

I never had anything like this level of problem with Aguila before-- maybe a couple of jams here and there. The Range Officer said, "That's just how .22s are," but I don't think so. But a bunch of things I'm gonna try before we go to the gunsmith. (Oh, and one round keyholed from the Mark as well, again, I believe, while the target was moving slightly.)

* I probably shot as well, or slightly better, with the Rough Rider than I ever have with the Mark II. A few wild shots outside the circle, I think I was a little over 10 yards-- maybe 32 feet, 35? And four dead center. I mean, we're not talking about 'clusters' yet, but this was short of embarrassing, not bad for my first range day in so long!
* I had forgotten how tiring shooting is! But I remembered that's always how it is-- the first 20 rounds are so are decent or pretty good, I start bonking after about a half hour, then I force myself to focus and think and I get off another 20 or 30 decent shots. Then, whoa-- an hour has gone by, I'm totally worked, more shots are going wide, and it's time to go home. About 70 minutes is all I can do.
* The .22 mag is just as they say-- even with my poor skills, it did seem more accurate. The increase in volume and recoil is marginal, but the increase in fun factor is really significant. And from a revolver, whoa-- fireworks! Not used to that Roman Candle thing, very cool.
* The range is loud. It's always a shock. I need better ear protection.
* I'm SO glad I did this! It ain't like riding a bicycle. Concentration is surprisingly difficult with unfamiliarity, all kinds of weird little mental issues. I could NOT count the number of shots I'd fired, even though I can count laps when I'm swimming with no problem. Was that five or six? Whoa-- why is my finger inside the trigger guard right now? Yo-- stop pulling the trigger, the safety is still on! (I stopped in time, dry firing never happened.) Why is all your weight on one leg? When was the last time you breathed? A lot of little stuff to think about.

What was most sobering: I've been using the Mark II as a hotel/camping gun for years-- throw it in the case, lock it up, put it in the safe at the hotel, etc. Thank God I never had to use it-- I would have been screwed. We'll see what happens with the Mark II-- I'll try the other clip.

The whole revolver concept is seeming way more appealing for a guy like me, particularly since I favor rimfire. I hope I never go this long between range sessions again, but I was shocked the Ruger was so unreliable. Much troubleshooting ahead!
“Freedom is something that dies unless it's used.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

Re: Range Report #1: A Sobering, but Not Quite Humiliating Experience

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Congrats on going out! Agree there’s something else going on. I have one .22LR semi-automatic that suffers from some occasional stove pipes. I have thought of looking for a new recoil spring, more likely the culprit than a magazine spring. Alternatively my semi-automatic .22LR tend to be sensitive to limp wristing. A firm grip usually helps.

Side note, no matter how fun a .22LR is, just don’t see one as a choice for self defense unless it’s the only gun you have. I recommend something concealable and with a slightly larger caliber. A .357 revolver is a lot better than a jamb prone .22LR semiautomatic.

To admins, please relocate in range report section. To OP pictures make a thread more fun! Good report and keep it up!
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Range Report #1: A Sobering, but Not Quite Humiliating Experience

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Ten years! Goodness. I'd better get out there. ;-)

Nice report. Yeah, those swinging targets are a challenge. I many times will bring it back, stop the swing, and send it out again.

I have an old MKII also. There may be fungoo and schumtz along the slide and frame inside--having to rack it hella hard might indicate crud. The extractor may be scuffed, worn, or even broken. The extractor spring might be too tough for that old ammo. I love mine for target practice and competition. It is true that revolvers are more reliable and that the .38/.357 is more effective than the .22 for keeping in the hotel safe, as it were. Yep: we loves pics.

CDFingers
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While the firelight's aglow strange shadows from the flames will grow
'Til things we've never seen will seem familiar

Re: Range Report #1: A Sobering, but Not Quite Humiliating Experience

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I have an Sig P227 in 45 ACP that I can shoot 50 rounds with no issue then it would start with the stovepipe and fill to eject. Couldn't figure it out till I was on and gun board and somebody was having issues very similar. The advice given as stuck with me and did work. If it slides grease it, If it rotates oil it. I had been just using lubricating oil on the slide when I started using Lubriplate high temp grease the problem went away.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: Range Report #1: A Sobering, but Not Quite Humiliating Experience

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We've all had less than stellar days at the range, we're dependent on our guns performance. I agree with Invictus it could just be ammo sensitivity, I have a few Ruger 22lrs and CCI works well with all of them but they don't like all Remington ammo. A good cleaning and different ammo might be all you need before you start replacing parts.
Last edited by highdesert on Tue Nov 29, 2022 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Range Report #1: A Sobering, but Not Quite Humiliating Experience

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Great thoughts, guys, thanks! On my way to work, but will post a few photos later. I should label them while I remember! I know the left targets are the RR w/ 22LR, the upper right at first is just five or six rounds from the MK II, and then center and bottom right are .22 mag.

One strange thing is that the empty shell that wouldn't eject today has been in the gun for many years, but always ejected flawlessly when I checked the action, which I would do every year or two. Before today's trip, I just cleaned out the barrel a little (with a few drops of oil on a patch, then a dry patch) then a couple of drops of oil on the front of the bolt/slide and a couple on the back, and racked a few times to work them in.

I take the point about .22 for home defense, but my wrists are really not strong. I can't write more than six sentences in my journal or sign my name more than four or five times, or pick up a flatpick off a wooden floor. I can barely play live shows-- my right hand has still got the meter and the power, but on bad days, the left is cheating like crazy. There's a real art to it-- muting strings instead of playing the wrong note when you can't fret them properly; I have three levels of cheating for mild, moderate, or severe stiffness/pain.

And I'm doing much better with the .22 mag than I ever did with, say, the .380. Or when I shot my buddy's .38 S&W Revolver, which was worse. I couldn't hit a tree with it-- mostly because of recoil, but also the weight of the trigger. (Well, it wasn't a very big tree, but still.)

I find myself wondering if there are any smaller .22 WMR revolvers out there that I might use for travel. The RR is really kind of huge compared to my other two guns, but that's part of it's charm. The RR gives me the illusion of shooting a .357 mag, like a terrier who thinks he's a pit bull. But I just had such a positive reaction to shooting the mags. Like, "Heh-heh-heh, yeah, that's my caliber! I finally found it!" And while I'm still getting used to SA, I feel like it's really not going to slow me down when I get the hang of it.

There's not much on the roster in .22 WMR revolvers. I actually like the RR so much I was thinking about a Barkeep, but that's talking crazy. I need to practice more, and get to know the guns I already have better before I consider anything else. And make sure the Makarov is okay-- I'm sure it will be, and if it's not, it's way easier to clean up-- and use that as a hotel gun. I'm not terrible with the Mak for the first few clips, and that's all that matters for home or personal defense anyway-- it wouldn't be like being at the range, I'm not going to be in a damn gunfight for over an hour.

My can of Ballistol arrived today. I wonder if I can put that to any good use. I hear it smells terrible. Wife and dogs are gonna love it, I'm sure.
“Freedom is something that dies unless it's used.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

Re: Range Report #1: A Sobering, but Not Quite Humiliating Experience

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SunRiseWest wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 11:43 am I find myself wondering if there are any smaller .22 WMR revolvers out there that I might use for travel.
Ruger LCRx and Taurus 942 both fit the bill, with the Taurus being considerably cheaper. You might also try to find and shoot something in 32 H&R magnum. Centerfire reliability, but a soft shooter somewhere below 38 spl. A revolver in 327 federal magnum will shoot 327, which sounds a bit much for you, but also 32 H&R and 32 S&W long. The latter is akin to 22 wmr, and would be a good range round, with the H&R as your actual defensive round. Taurus 327 and, again, Ruger LCRx along with the LCR and SP101 with the 3" barrel maybe. Also, anything that shoots 32 H&R will also shoot 32 S&W long.

Re: Range Report #1: A Sobering, but Not Quite Humiliating Experience

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Good on you, on getting back out! Glad the RR is treating you well.

One thing to remember with those convertible revolvers - the shorter cartridges have a longer jump to the forcing cone, so they travel a little further through an unrifled chamber. They have a reputation for being slightly less accurate. That and the lower velocity means more time for crosswinds to play merry hell.

When's the last time you stripped down the Mark II for a good cleaning? :lol: They have a reputation for not being easy. Rimfire is dirty. Marks seem to get less reliable after 100+ rounds without cleaning. Sounds like you need to give it a thorough cleaning before you send it off to the mothership - but Ruger customer service is pretty solid if you need to do that. Maybe your extractor is gummed up, maybe you have some buildup around the chamber, but I like the magazine spring theory.

I've been shooting a lot of Minimags this fall, since I can find them at pre-panic prices again if I'm judicious. They aren't as reliable as they used to be. I have at least one FTF in every hundred. I've tried to post a few threads about my experience with different .22LR offerings over in the ammunition forum.

Re: Range Report #1: A Sobering, but Not Quite Humiliating Experience

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wooglin wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 1:22 pm
SunRiseWest wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 11:43 am I find myself wondering if there are any smaller .22 WMR revolvers out there that I might use for travel.
Ruger LCRx and Taurus 942 both fit the bill, with the Taurus being considerably cheaper. You might also try to find and shoot something in 32 H&R magnum. Centerfire reliability, but a soft shooter somewhere below 38 spl. A revolver in 327 federal magnum will shoot 327, which sounds a bit much for you, but also 32 H&R and 32 S&W long. The latter is akin to 22 wmr, and would be a good range round, with the H&R as your actual defensive round. Taurus 327 and, again, Ruger LCRx along with the LCR and SP101 with the 3" barrel maybe. Also, anything that shoots 32 H&R will also shoot 32 S&W long.
Fantastic ideas, and you totally get where I am coming from-- I am having a hard look at the 942, though unfortunately, there is only one option for revolver on the CA Roster in 32 H&R, though it's an appealing one: The Charter 2000 / 73220.

Of course, we don't want to geek out too much on ballistics stats... just kidding, of course we do! And whoa, you are right-- the 32 is delivers far higher muzzle energy than .22 mag particularlyin shorter barrel lengths. Ballistics By The Inch lists the following stats (I had to pull them from several different pages, and I usee the values from the most hard-hitting ammo just for convenience.)

At a 3-inch barrel length:

22 LR — Tops out at 110 fps

22 WMR — Tops out at 140

32 H&R — Tops out at 170

Note that the .22 WMR sits exactly inbetween.

At a 50% longer barrel length, however, the .22 mag comes into it's own more, and closes the gap with 32 H&R.

At 4.5 inches barrel length:

22 LR — Tops out at 125

22 WMR — Tops out at 200

32 HMR — Tops out at 220

I know that these numbers are really fuzzy and I've read that ballistics data often diverges a bit from real world experience, but it sure seems to back up your preference for .32 H&R for personal defense in a shorter barrel length. This also is consistent with the fairly dramatic improvement I felt with the .22 mag for the RR w/ a 4.6 barrel length-- feels like shooting a more powerful gun with the same footprint.
wings wrote: Good on you, on getting back out! Glad the RR is treating you well.

One thing to remember with those convertible revolvers - the shorter cartridges have a longer jump to the forcing cone, so they travel a little further through an unrifled chamber. They have a reputation for being slightly less accurate. That and the lower velocity means more time for crosswinds to play merry hell.

When's the last time you stripped down the Mark II for a good cleaning? :lol: They have a reputation for not being easy. Rimfire is dirty. Marks seem to get less reliable after 100+ rounds without cleaning. Sounds like you need to give it a thorough cleaning before you send it off to the mothership - but Ruger customer service is pretty solid if you need to do that. Maybe your extractor is gummed up, maybe you have some buildup around the chamber, but I like the magazine spring theory.

I've been shooting a lot of Minimags this fall, since I can find them at pre-panic prices again if I'm judicious. They aren't as reliable as they used to be. I have at least one FTF in every hundred. I've tried to post a few threads about my experience with different .22LR offerings over in the ammunition forum.
Thanks for that-- I knew .22 mag had a rep for better accuracy, but didn't really understand why-- and now understand it's not just because they're faster.

And the Mark II has never been deep-cleaned and probably has shot about 200 to 400 rounds total in it's lifetime. I've only quick cleaned it-- it didn't seem that dirty, I will post some pictures-- but that might explain why it wasn't much more accurate than the RR (or just shooter's poor technique). What I'd read on other forums was that you could shoot them forever without cleaning, but maybe there's always someone who will say that! And yes, I am terrified of taking it apart for a full cleaning and have never tried it-- I know it's tricky, that's why they changed the design. There were even folks who said it was senseless to break it down for a full cleaning too often, but maybe it already needs it.

QUESTION--> I wonder, can I test the extractor using an empty casing and get some idea of whether it's working right?

One FTF in 100 sounds like what I've been used to, unfortunately.
“Freedom is something that dies unless it's used.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

Re: Range Report #1: A Sobering, but Not Quite Humiliating Experience

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Rimfire ain't reliable when it comes to primers. Only real reason not to trust it defensively if you believe statistics. Most people don't like being shot, and a grizzly will go down to a well-placed .22 - if you're as good as Bella Twin. Aspirations.

I don't think that low a round count would be a problem - except for how long it sat. I think that's also a factor here. I think you're onto something about testing with a casing. Seating it might be fun.

Lucky Gunner has a lot of ballistics gel testing for "pocket guns" - .22 LR, Magnum, and the various .32s. Check it out.
https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/pocket ... t-results/

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