Saturday, May 5, 2007

Fun With Toys

Made it out to the range for our monthly meeting on Thursday, which I happened to have off. Having a little time between the ongoing struggle to finish the bathroom remodel and the meeting, I grabbed some rifles I haven't shot in a while. First thing to come to hand was my L1A1 with Imbel receiver. FNs are a joy to shoot; their weight is reasonable for a full size rifle, the furniture fits me well, and recoil with the 7.62 is only moderate.

Lots of history associated with the FALs too. The picture above was taken during the Falklands War in the early '80s, when both sides (British and Argentine, for those too young to remember) used them. Looking at some of the photos from that conflict, having a 7.62 semi auto looks like the way to go. Lots of large open areas. I'd rather have a rifle with a cartridge that still has some impressive thumping power at over 300+ meters, and put up with the extra weight in close quarters, than have a light-weight small caliber that does have impressive an hydrostatic effect, IF you hit tissue with high fluid content, AND within 300 meters. It's also nice to have something that will penetrate hard barriers. I've punched through railroad tie plates with 5.56 at a hundred yards, so I know what all that velocity can do, but for bricks, lumber, and concrete, I'd rather have 7.62 x 51.

Also took out a Spanish FR8 that I picked up years ago, and have only taken out once. I find 7.62 in Mauser actions to be also comfortable to shoot, compared to the usual 7.9 mm Mauser loads. One thing that is not comfortable is when I forget to alter my bolt handling for this rifle. While most Mausers have their sights in front of the receiver ring, the Spanish came up with a rear sight containing a rotating disk with apertures and v-notch sight. Conveniently located right about where ring and little fingers will pass through the same space during a speedy operation of the bolt:

Pain is a great teacher, so that only happened once. FR8s will also get you some second looks on the firing line, with the flash hider and bayonet housing mimicking a gas operated rifle while the operator cycles the bolt.

Playing with the old rifles like these gives me thoughts of vintage rifle matches. Maybe a vintage carbine match. I'll have to give it some thought after the pistol match next weekend.

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