Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My First LCP Range Experience

I was finally able to get some time off in the evening to take my latest acquisition to the range and fire a few rounds.

I initially bought some Magtech 95 gr FMJ practice ammo and a box of Cor-Bon 70 gr PowR'Ball. Total of 70 rounds.

I started with the Magtech ammo to get the gun warmed up and possibly break it in. Fired all 50 rounds with only one Failure to feed from the second magazine. Didn't have any such problem again with said ammo. My first couple groupings were a little a little larger than I was used to, but considering I was getting a handle on the gun, I didn't worry too much. After the third magazine, I was able to get them to about 1-2 inch groups at 7 yards, which is pretty decent considering the long-winded trigger and the small size of the grip area. So far I was happy with the results.

It got interesting when I started feeding it the Powr'Ball ammo. Suddenly, at least one round in every magazine would fail to fire. I inspected each round and noticed that there was the primer had been struck by the firing pin. I'd load it back up and it would fire on the second try. I couldn't put my finger on it. So, after firing all 20 of the PB ammo, I decided to go back out to the storefront and buy another box of the magtechs and see if the gun was experiencing light primer strike issues after being broken in a little.

I dumped 50 more rounds of the magtech FMJ ammo downrange without a single light primer strike. I compared primers from the two brands and they were identical. I even compared the primer strikes on the [failed to fire] rounds before I reshot them. Same depth as far as I could tell. I figured, though, that 120 rounds was enough for one evening because my wife would kill me if I bought another box for "test purposes".

I asked the employee working the storefront if he has had any complaints about the PowR’Ball ammunition. He said the stuff has been flying off the shelves and people keep coming back for more. I’m starting to wonder if I got a bad batch.

I then wondered if the gun just needed to be broken a little bit. By the time I shot my second box of Magtechs, I had a total of 70 rounds down range. Perhaps any mechanical issues may have worked themselves out?

I did experience a couple of hang-ups when the slide was inserting a fresh round, but this too shall work itself out with time and more ammo. My wife’s Beretta was the same way until we got a few hundred rounds through it. Now it shoots just fine. The LCP never jammed during ejection of a spent round. It didn’t have a problem ejecting the spent cartridges one bit. As I said, the only problems I experienced were [failed to fire] with the PowR’Balls.

As far as shooting the gun goes, I’m surprised so many people talk about the LCP’s recoil as if it were like shooting a howitzer. I found the gun extremely pleasant to shoot; even more so with the factory extended floorplate. That helped out a lot, especially during rapid-fire.

One gentleman asked me what I was shooting because he said it sounded like a cannon. I’m not sure if he was referring to the LCP or my SP101, but when he saw the 5 round groups I was putting on the paper, he was impressed that a pocket gun could shoot so accurately.

I warmed up to the LCP quickly. I was able to put round after round just about where my point of aim was. It shot just a touch low, but that is probably my fault more than anything. The little ridge on the slide, just behind the front ramp, made it seem like I was aiming really high. The low light of the range made looking through the sights just a little difficult, but I compensated by pulling the gun a little closer to my body and had no problem. Actually, bringing the gun closer helped my accuracy because it made those tiny sights easier to see and it really helped with recoil. Compared with my wife’s Beretta 21 (.22LR), it felt very similar. My wife’s gun has a quick “snap” of recoil, whereas the LCP was more of a “thud” type of recoil. The gun was extremely controllable during rapid-fire and I still put all rounds within a 5-6” group just point-shooting.

Overall, I’m happy with this little pocket rocket. I’m going to experiment with different types and brands of carry ammunition and see which one this gun likes the best. The winner will have the opportunity to stay in those easy-to-load factory Ruger magazines until the time they are called upon to save my life – which I hope never has to happen.

-James

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