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Range Report

2301 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  FlaChef
Alright, I've lurked long enough.

Range report here is really two in one, but I wanted to wait for conceal carry training and combine two days and a little lurk and learn time before embarrassing myself fully here. ;)

I got my M9 at a gunshow after seeing it online. I literally came home and found resources to check it out and went back to get it after seeing nothing but good reviews at and here. A week later I finally got to try it out.

The local country range is run by an ex-cop, a man of phenomenal patience for a first-time shooter. After a quick lesson on grip and sight picture and a range safety review and a quick look around wondering for a second or two where's the damn foxhole I hit the firing line. 200 rounds later and not a failure-to-fire or a failure-to-clear to be seen I'm confident my weapon fires, clears, reloads and hits accurately. I'm not so confident about my grip, my slapping trigger finger (down and to the left) or my stance, but that came later. Winchester FMJ 124gr shot clean and recoil was manageable. With nothing but the giddy breakdown and lube the night I bought it, the M9 came out pretty clean after my first day on the range, though I did find the brass flecks I'd seen detailed in a thread here.

Range OIC was impressed when he saw it. "When you said you'd bought a gun and had never fired it and never had one before and I saw you pulling it out of the box I though, Aw hell, it's a damn Glock,'" he said. He'd heard of Steyr, never seen one, and itched to get it in his grips. When he did, under the auspices of graciously checking my factory zero for me, He put two shots in the target and missed two beats and barked 'DAMN!' before he could get the third off. He let off a low whistle as he cleared and checked it and handed it back. "If you miss with that one," he said, "It's nobody's fault but your own."

I went home happy with my purchase.

Conceal training backed up a lot of what the Army and a lifetime among backwoods Germans instills in you naturally about people who want to kill you. Technically, on the other hand, I've got a long way to go. Another 250 rounds later I'm still manhandling the trigger, though not as often, and I'm anticipating recoil more often when I take aim, usually on the second shot. On rapid fire or on a seondary target, provided I move from the hips and not the shoulders, or in any instance where I'm thinking less and shooting more, I'm better. I'm trained enough in the state I live in to carry, but not trained enough, in my opinion, to feel good about putting my skills into action.

The Steyr series, IMHO, has got to be one of the top handgun lines in the world today. I'm a new shooter, so it don't count for much, but I like to think I'm fair good at research, and it ain't the first time I've smelled gunsmoke and Hoppes -- Could someone get on that one with the cologne industry! ;) -- so I can at least say it fires reliably, accurately and easily. Trigger pull is balanced and uniform, action is smooth and recoil is totally within the bounds of a trained shooter no matter the size. The construction is robust and the safety features are numerous, and the dimensions make it a concealable full-sized friend. Sorry bout that. I fall into PR-speak when I get excited (Take note, Austria! Hit me up!)

Now for the good part, the questions:

Any dry-firers out there? Techniques, drills, equipment (dum-dum rounds?) availibility or fabrication techniques, opinions, thoughts, gripes and warnings wanted!

Another old shooter and armorer/gunsmith at the range took one look at the M9, ejected a shell from the magazine and pointed to the scratch along the side of the brass. Other than the trigger pin drag mark on the edge of the brass the gun-range owner had pointed out the first time I fired the pistol it was the first time I'd seen evidence of the pistol needing more 'breaking in.' My new friend told me to get a Dremmel and some polishing compound and hit the inside edges of the feeding slot on my brand-new full-cap mags (Can't thank you enough for that timely heads-up Maj. D!) Seemed suspiciously reminiscent of the thread on brass shavings, tons of which I found in the post-range cleaning. Any thoughts? I'm curious to see what other capable folk have done along that line of modification with these pistols.

Reloading: What's the start-up cost and how long to recoup? What's the bare minimum equipment-wise, and what should a newbie avoid? Resources and horror-stories welcome!

Florida residents (Otherwise known as new natives)! Any thougths on gun laws, gun issues, carry issues in our great state. Resources in the Panhandle?

Finally, FlaChief, Mr. A, Maj. D, everyone else with mountians of knowlege to generously share, A million thanks for that resource. Sorry this ran so long. I'll try to keep it short on the appropriate threads from here on out, really, I will, and I hope I can contribute somewhere down the line like y'all are now.

Selah :lol:
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Nice report, and when you said you do your research I believe it. You speak very knowledgably for a first time shooter and gun owner. Don't discount yourself, your report as a first timer probably weighs in more for other first timers than all the expert opinions.

There is a great article in the "Articles and Information" section with all the drills you need to become a superstar, just like the author.

Dry firing is not an issue for the Steyrs, so fire away, of course making sure ALL ammo is in a completely different room.
for conceal laws and when-to-shoot scenarios see my link i posted in Carry Issues about the new changes Jeb will be signing soon for FL (don't know if your carry class covered any of the new changes or not).

also check the link I posted in T&T about the link to the page of drills.

I fired my M40 and wifes revolver from a rest today for the first time. I ususally tell preople to cover their target w/ the sights, but on benchrest testing the tip of the triangle is the proper POA. I anticipate. I've suspected this but have confirmation tonight as my wife noticed when I put two fired casings in her revolver and "dipped down" on pulling the hammer on the empty cases.

This is why she outshoots me w/ my S9! But she blinks and I don't, so I rapid fire better as long as I aim high to compensate.

Bench shooting REALY helps you understand your sight picture!

I too have been shooting less than a year, the M40 was my first firearm.
if you are legal to carry and want to build confidence I suggest getting a decent holster and practice drawing and point shooting from the hip AFAP!! into a silhouette at 10-15 ft. After about 50-60 rounds of doing this you will notice a signifigant improvement!
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Oh and WELCOME and CONGRATS :oops:

what part of FL are you in?
Much thanks on the encouragement folks... I'm on tap for dry firing tonight as soon as my hands can grip again after mowing the front yard! I'll try firing from a rest and check those links asap, and let you know if it improves my anticipation and trigger pull. I'm still in a frustrated place on holsters, tho, since I unwisely bought a Don Hume that doesn't fit and a Galati shoulder holster from a guy in Ga. that has worn-out elastic, but the Codura no-name Yaqui-style I got online immediately after the gun purchase has turned out to be a comfortable round-the-house carrier and IWB it's tight to the body for conceal (Since I'm not yet permitted I'm wearing to the truck, leaving it in the glove box and wearing it at the house). I'm interested in something kydex but now leary of sight-unseen purchases that might not fit. I just saw a Fobus IWB I haven't seen before, though I'm still at a loss to find a seller here in the Fla. Panhandle, FlaChief, and the jury's still out on Fobus in general, though I've read some good reviews from folk who use it for the S9. Thanks again for the responses...
Constantly learning, if I'm lucky...
Selah :D
P.S. Sorry 'bout stealing your handle, GunTotinLiberal...I had no idea I'd have any competation for it! :oops:
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Alabama said:
Reloading: What's the start-up cost and how long to recoup? What's the bare minimum equipment-wise, and what should a newbie avoid? Resources and horror-stories welcome!
Congratulations and welcome!

I'm new to Steyrs myself and back into shooting after a long hiatus. I used to shoot competitively and reloaded extensively to make it both afforable and competitive in action shooting. I'm also looking to get back into reloading equipment soon.

My suggestions for reloading equipment is to get a Dillon Square Deal press. They make other, more expensive loaders, but if you're mainly shooting pistols this is the best choice. The Square Deal is $289 with 1 set of dies for 1 caliber.

You will also need the following essential tools:

Scale for measuring powders (digital is best - around $100-$150)
Vernier Calipers for measing cases (again digital is best - around $50)
Bullet Puller (for periodic checking of rounds and mistake loads - around $10)
Case cleaner (optional but makes cleaning fired cases a snap - around $50-$100)

Many powder companies have websites with loading information, so use them and do as they recommend and start 10% below their information (usually the maximum load) when working up a load.

The main thing is to be patient in the process. The Square Deal automatically indexes each case through the different reloading steps, helping to prevent a double charge or squib (no powder) load. However, mistakes can always be made so start slow until you develop a good system.

Once I settled on a competition load for the .45s I was competing with, I didn't change anything for over 2 years and shot about 150,000 rounds with no problems. You'll find you can load 9mm for around $3 per 50 rounds, depending upon what you're loading, and you can easily load about 300-500 rounds in an hour or so once you get everything settled. It's great that the Steyr has conventional rifling to allow you to shoot really inexpensive lead rounds. Supposedly, this is what the Steyr's chief designer intended.

Reloading is really very simple with the above tools and some patience in the beginning. It will save you a lot of money and also allow you to tailor a round for the best perfomance of your intended use, whether a powerful small game hunting round or light-shooting target round that meets competition specs and shoots accurately/reliably in your specific gun.

Good luck and have fun!

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I forgot one more potentially critical tool for reloading. You should invest in a chronograph to test your rounds in. You can and should examine cases and primers for evidence of overpressure, but knowing how your loads are actually performing is the only way to know how to adjust your loads up or down.

Lots of chronos here:***

I grew up in Pensacola for my first 21 yrs. (gawd have i been down south 6 years now?)

There is an IDPA club in NW florida, I'll find you the link later. They shoot off of quintet road out on the escambia river muzleloaders range.
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