Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Help a newbie out

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Monkeyman, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Monkeyman

    Monkeyman Portland, OR Member

    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am very new to firearms, and the forum. Took the 101 class out at Clackamas PSTC with a S&W 638 snubby. I intend to carry this piece once I have my CHL.

    I also plan to follow up the 101 class with other offerings from PSTC and maybe take a trip to OFA or SFA and get proficient with a pistol. I have been renting different models at the ranges and have decided on the Walther P99, or perhaps the S&W 99, one of which is available now for a decent price at a local shop.

    Here's my question: the Walther I have shot with twice now, and really like, has a mag that is very, very hard to fill. That tenth cartridge is almost impossible to squeeze in there, and being rather new (and very cautious) I'm afraid of breaking something, or worse. Is this common to the Walther mags, or is the one I'm renting perhaps needing some reconditioning?

    Thanks for your help, this is a great forum!
     
  2. elcid11

    elcid11 Beaverton New Member

    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    0

    First off,

    Welcome...

    I find that most new mags are very difficult to cram the last couple rounds in, that is why most new handguns come with a mag loader.

    You won't break anything, just make sure you are counting the rounds correctly and double check your mag capacity and you will be fine.

    Any other help,

    Just gimme a call.
     
  3. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,635
    Likes Received:
    1,992
    Hi Monkeyman-

    That 638 is a nice piece. I carry one too, sometimes.

    Elcid's right, the mag loader is there for that last bit of squeeze.

    I just don't load the last round in hi-capacity mags, for a little bit of spring "give" when loading. It's up to your individual preference.

    In my Glock G21, 13-round magazine for example I just load 12 which aught to be plenty if the need arises... 18 rounds in an AR-15's 20-round mag, etc.
     
  4. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

    Messages:
    1,409
    Likes Received:
    24
    Modern magazines don't require give. I've read a story about an old 1911 that had been loaded since ww2 in some sealed container and the spring was fine and loaded properly.
    Myth.

    The old AR magazines had a problem, though, because they were improperly designed and would fail rather quickly.

    I've also read that whether or not you load them to capacity, it's the constant loading and unloading that wears springs out the most.
     
  5. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,635
    Likes Received:
    1,992
    ;) To each their own. A reader might have missed the line "to ease loading", I didn't say anything about brittle springs or spring set.
     
  6. m'kay13

    m'kay13 Boardman, OR Member

    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    2
    I use a magazine loader with all of my handgun magazines, except the Ruger LCP, which is surprisingly easy to load.

    As to the magazine spring "give," memory, and brittleness, it is perfectly acceptable and safe to load to full capacity. That said, if you don't want to load your mags all the way, 1911 and revolver shooters have survived all of these years on 6-7 rounds.
     
  7. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes Received:
    284
    Monkeyman...welcome to the forum and to this discipline! Please feel free to call me personally at OFA if I can support you or be of any assistance. Gabe who teaches and works at PSTC is also on staff at OFA. He is a great resource as well if you're at PSTC. They run great classes and programs. I hope you'll come out to the Academy one day...it would be an honor to train and learn together!
     
  8. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

    Messages:
    4,132
    Likes Received:
    154
    Welcome!
     
  9. Monkeyman

    Monkeyman Portland, OR Member

    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the warm welcome, Dan; I have heard fine things about your facility (Great website, btw) and intend to hit a few dates on your 2009 calendar! See ya in the spring. . .

    I picked up a nice clean S&W SW99 at the show last weekend. Two 10rd factory mags that are not at all hard to load; way different from the Walther I mentioned at the start of this thread.

    It's a great gun, I can make some nice groups with it at 7-10 yards and it fits my hand nicely. Almost counter-intuitively, the hollowed-out part right behind the trigger guard helps me keep my finger off the trigger; I really like that. But once I commit to a target, it's like putting on a glove. I intend to try that dot torture drill this weekend with it!
     
  10. mmhere123456

    mmhere123456 PacNW New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Please tell me more about OFA. But first let me say the following about PSTC:

    I had the opportunity to visit PSTC for the first time this past Sunday. I happened to arrive when the range was completely empty except for me, and Gabe [RSO at the time] was very generous with his time and tips. I was able to spend nearly 20 minutes with him before a few other people occupied lanes, and Gabe was obliged to watch us all.

    Why is this important to me? As a long time firearm-knowledgeable person I have pretty much fired only rifles and other long barrels. I had just received my first semi-auto pistol on the weekend, and while i had studied its manual for several days ahead of time and practiced on it for many hours [with dummy rounds] once I finally received it, I had never fired it nor any other hand-held firearm [other than a compressed-gas BB pistol when younger].

    As recommended by a friend who has been to this range many times before, upon entry, sign-in, testing etc., I specifically sought out the RSO [again, Gabe on this occasion], and presented my situation: I am a firearm-safety knowledgeable person since child-hood, but first time pistol user, with operational knowledge of his own particular firearm, and some practice on it with dummies.

    Gabe is good. He stated all the basics, then went into handling of this particular piece, demonstrating in a very easily learned way. Then he observed me as I began to soak up his imparted knowledge. Whenever he saw something a little off that I did more than once [or even once] such as swinging the barrel a little bit off range to the left, or not keeping my trigger finger up higher than the trigger guard itself, he would pause me and point out this potentially-developing bad habit.

    Now, when I heft this firearm [new Ruger P95PR], my trigger finger always goes up on the frame above the trigger guard and below the moving slide. I now have muscle memory for this position.

    Similarly, he was very helpful by showing me a good supporting hand position with the "thumb to thumb dovetail" and pressing as much palm from both hands onto the grip as possible. I shoot right, and so need to remember not to turn the firearm leftish with respect to down range angle when checking grip. more and more though, the hands fit together and muscle memory begins to take over to form a decent grip.

    Having already fired some rounds prior to gladly received grip advice, my grouping accuracy began to improve pretty rapidly. We also discussed sighting options and other topics, before his duties pulled him away to keep an eye on the recent arrivals to the range.

    I cannot recommend PSTC highly enough. I think I may call ahead to inquire about how busy they are at the moment, as they have ten lanes. I imagine they could be fullish depending on what's going on.

    Also, a friend told me that there have been brief occasions where they've had ammo supply issues [mostly for the more obscure types of rounds], so if you're shooting something a little less mainstream, you might want to call ahead.

    I was totally happy with 115gr Federal TMJ they had for my 9mm, because it is target practice after all. I feel, no real need for higher density propellant loads at these distances.

    It was a satisfying experience.
     
  11. mmhere123456

    mmhere123456 PacNW New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    i agree with what elcid11 said, the magazines get pretty stiff as your load fills it to the bottom. and you won't break it.

    i did discover with my 15-round Ruger P95 mag, that even after putting merely 100 rounds thru the firearm [with 10 at a time in the magazine i had with me], that the magazine was already softening up slightly.

    what's that phrase, "get it in the groove." I.e., break it in.

    I am able to comfortably put about 8 rounds in the mag, and then use the mechanical assist tool for the last ones going up to a 10 count. And I do count them as they go in. I can push to 12 total with the tool, but I'll wait to get to 15 until it softens a little more later on. Plus, ten rounds per mag is a nice round number when targeting one of those targets with 5X ovals on them -- the one where the individual targets are intended to represent core body mass.

    Goal: i'll put a box of 50 into four magazines. One of the PSTC classes I intend to take requires you to have four magazines with you. Four mags could give me up to 60 live in total, but i figure four boxes could live nicely in there: 13+12+13+12 or similar distribution. or maybe go with a dozen each so as to have a consistent count in any crisis, and spare the other two for later. it's all about consistency
     
  12. quaintance

    quaintance beaverton New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Get a Butler Creek Lula/Uplula/Maglula Universal pistol magazine reloader for $20-30. Works very fast once you get used to it. Lots of places online sell them.

    uplula.jpg

    uplula.jpg