Friday, March 27, 2009

Playing favorites.

Last Sunday I took the new (well, '55-vintage) K-22 Combat Masterpiece to the range. I have no idea how much .22 I fired through it, but it was a volume best measured in "handfuls", not numbers.

When I was done, it was getting hard to force individual shells into the fouled chambers, the level of .22 ammo in the G.I. ammo can had dropped by a noticeable amount, I had an incipient blister on my trigger finger from all that double-action work, and there was a heaping mound of spent brass next to my shooting position.

No doubt about it, there are few pistols I enjoy shooting more than a 4" K-frame in .22LR. I like the way the four-inch Combat Masterpiece sits in the hand better than its longer-barreled Target Masterpiece brother. Recoil of the little .22 rounds is negligible in the medium frame. It doesn't hurt that I also have its K-38 and Combat Magnum siblings, for which the K-22 makes the ideal low-budget trainer, giving me added incentive to spend range time with it.

How about you? Is there a favorite pistol that comes to the range with you every time? One that you like shooting more than the others?


Anonymous said...

Yep. Ruger Anniversary Flattop Blackhawk in .357.

It was the gun that actually got me back into guns.

(And now Ruger, through Lipsey's, is offfering the same gun in .44 Special, built on the .357 frame. Oooh, I want...)

--Wes S.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Since I only have the one pistol (Beretta 96 Vertec) I guess it qualifies as my "favorite"...

wv = prumblet, unfortunately I can't think of anything wise or snappy this morning....

Jay G said...

Choose my favorite? That's like asking which of my children I love more... ;)

Actually, I've already done the heavy lifting and listed all my favorites a few weeks back...

Tam said...

I didn't say it was my favorite gun, just my favorite gun to shoot at the range. :)

Anonymous said...

My Desert Eagle .44 magnum.

That gun is so fun to shoot, I just wish I could afford to shoot it more.

Second is my Colt 1991A1.

TheAxe said...

S&W model 15-2 by far.

Tango Juliet said...

Usually I've got a .22 conversion kit along for the 1911's.

A Ruger MKII 22/45 gets the nod quite often as does an early 30's S&W K-22 Outdoorsman.

However, the gun that comes with me EVERY time is my CQB.

Anonymous said...

Hard to choose, Tam.

I really like my S&W1911, but it's getting expensive to feed. Need to get my reloading bench set up...

I have a Kahr K9 - a compact 9mm - that's just plain fun, soo. And believe it or not, my Ruger MarkII gets a big nod, as well. Cheap, accurate and fun.

Anonymous said...

My 5" 625, which is now getting bumped out of rotation by my 4" 617 because of ammo cost.

Anonymous said...

Well, being that I have testicles, my favorite gun to shoot is my Glock 29 in 10mm because it's a manly gun. You women wouldn't understand that.


Nah, I love my Ruger Mark III 22/45. Like you, I measure my shootings by "handfulls" and not individual rounds. Because it's a target pistol and there's a red dot on it, I enjoy literally taking out the center of the bullseye at 10 yards.

I can meditate easier with the Ruger. I don't have to worry about collecting the brass or if I'm going to need a second mortgage to feed it (although $20 for 525 rounds is steep compared to only a year ago when I was buying 550 for $11). The recoil is so small that you tire of holding your arms up before you tire of pushing against the firearm.

There's also something very, very satisfying knowing the putz down a few stalls over with his 45 holes all over the target is being put to shame by a tiny pistol ;)

Weer'd Beard said...

I probably shoot my S&W1911 Stainless Govenment more than any other gun I own, with my S&W 617 10-shot a close second

Anonymous said...

I have a K-22 with a 6" barrel that I shot every thursday inaddition to my SIG 22's. All of these guns match up to there big brothers. It allows lots of practice with little cash out lay.

Tam said...


" favorite gun to shoot is my Glock 29 in 10mm because it's a manly gun."

When I bought my G29, I was actually a little skeered to shoot it with Cor-Bons the first time.

Which is funny looking back, because even with the hottest ammo, that thing's a pussycat compared to, say, my 3" .44 Magnum 629... :D

Anonymous said...

My 5.5" SS Single Six goes to the range with me every single time. It's a perfect gun for relaxing with after a long work week I find that the ideal accessory for these guns is an eight year old kid...

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy shooting my Plain Jane 4" stainless GP100. It's the gun that keeps me thinking about getting into reloading.

It's not sexy or rare, but I shoot it well and it's just fun.

Anonymous said...

S&W pre-18.

Dump the 50-round boxes into a belt pouch. When it's empty and all the alum cans and water bottles are really dead, dead, I'm done.

2nd Place: a USFA Storekeeper .45 Colt. A regular little brick of a thumper, that only misses when it's my fault.

J t R

"appeni" whot .22lr usta cost when I wuz a kid.

Anonymous said...

Old red-eagle Ruger Mark I.

Anonymous said...


My G29 is the most uncomfortable handgun I own to shoot. My 6" Dan Wesson .357 Magnum feels like a delicate flower when you shoot it because it is such a BFG.

The Para is heavy and while brisk in its recoil, John Moses Browning's design makes the grip comfortable especially compared to the Tupperware's short and oddly angled one.

My mother owns a cheap-ass Rossi 38 Special with a 127 lb trigger pull and a 1/4" length, snub nosed barrel and I can barely get 3 rounds off before I'm ready to whack at my wrists with a deadblow mallet since that's relaxing in comparison. 38 specials out of my DW actually feel like misfires.

So, caliber matters somewhat, but I've also found that you can introduce people to larger calibers by giving them a firearm that will eat them up and absorb some of the recoil.

Or, have a heavier gun with a .22 and ask yourself "What recoil?"

ajdshootist said...

My favorite pistol to shoot "when we were allowered to" was my 455 S&W Triple Lock followed very closly by my K38 and short barrelled Model 19 but my all time favorite was any 1911
i owned at the time.

dave said...

Colt Combat Commander, blued, with a Jim Clark (Sr.) trigger and action job. Yeah, it's as nice as it sounds.

I may not shoot it every trip, but it's always in the bag.

Kevin said...

My Beretta NEOS is a lot of fun to shoot. I can go through a brick of 22 in no time and its accuracy makes even me look good... well OK at least...
Word verify - unwably. Yeah, kinda like that.

Anonymous said...

colt police positive, 6" in .22lr

recoil? whats recoil?


wv:fatler;herman goring in his dreams.

Loose Gravel said...

Colt Official Police in .22. It was my grandfather's gun, and the one I learned to shoot a pistol with. Blue is gone from the sides of the barrel, frame is splotchy, but the cylinder locks up tight and the action is smooth. It, multiple boxes of .22, and a sunny day on the farm are just about as good as it gets.

BobG said...

Super Blackhawk with 7.5" barrel. 44 mags or 44 specials, they're both fun.

Word Verification: ganisma
Sounds a bit obscene.

Anonymous said...

I have a 4" K-22 that I inherited from my father-in-law and it is a lot of fun to shoot. But my fav is still my pre-B CZ75. It just feels *right* in my hands.

Assrot said...

I never go to the range without my Desert Eagle .50AE. I know most folks think it's a big, heavy piece of shit but I'm a big guy and have learned through repeated practice to handle it well.

At 50 yards I can put every round inside the 9 ring. At 100 yards I can put every round on the black.

This is with a 10" barrel of course and off a bench rest.

Even with my big hands and being used to the gun, I usually get tired of shooting it somewhere between 50 and 100 rounds.


P.S. - I've always got a Ruger Single Six in .32 H&R Magnum and a couple hundred rounds with me just to relax after shooting the big boomer.

Anonymous said...

Used to be my S&W model 10-6. The thousands of rounds fired through it is what got me into handloading in the first place.

I started reloading for the .45acp a few months back and now my plain jane mil-spec 1911 clone has been edging it out.

When it comes to rifles, one of the .22 single shots, usually the Remington 510 or the Romainian UMC 1955, always comes along with the others.

Anonymous said...

Of course my answer is going to be complicated.

My favorite gun to shoot at the range is my S&W 25-5, hands down. Tam, you know all about the feel of short-barrel 45 cal N-frames, so no further justification is needed, I'm sure.

But I don't shoot it much because I don't want to beat on it. (I'm clumsy, and all my guns end up with scratches and nicks.)

The gun I most often take to the range is my 4506. This is odd, because I hate the trigger. Yet I feel compelled to conquer it, and so I keep loading 45 ACP and hauling the gun to the range. I guess I'm into pain.

Anonymous said...

Most of the time if not all of the time I bring out my 1939 Outdoorsman and some 38 specials. Usually I will bring out my DW 722 or my K22 Masterpiece from 56 if I remember correctly.

Those old S&W's are just fun to shoot!

Anonymous said...

My favorite range gun is a Colt semiauto .22 (now a Beretta, same tooling). It's specifically a range gun because it has the magazine release in a place that makes holster carry impossible with a magazine in. Specific qualifiers here.

I wasn't on the design team, I was on the engineering team, meaning I had no input anent design. I just had to get the design I was handed into production.

There were several things, admittedly minor, that I wanted to change. I was told to find a beach and pound sand, and, while you're here Ed, I wanted to let you know the first sales date has been moved up, and you only have two weeks to get the molds finished.

So, it's not a carry gun, but it is really accurate, hangs well, and has a suprisingly decent trigger.

Also, the draft (relief) angle cast into the magazine well to get it out of the mold is from the top, meaning the hole is smaller at the bottom, making it the only plastic reciever'ed handgun out there that doesn't let the magazine pendulum around the mag well, suspended from the latch. The inner reciever is stainless steel, and aligns the top of the mag with the feed ramp, so the entire thing is tight and smooth as glass.

A really professional little pistol. I never could understand why Colt's gave it to the Italians after all that development work. Anyway, it shoots like a dream, and has had many thousands of rounds through it in the last 17 years. It has taught at least a dozen non-shooters how to squeeze a trigger, and was still doing that last weekend.

Also, I have one of the first 50 serial numbers, so it has a bit more cache at the cleaning bench.

Sigivald said...

Rossi 971 2.75" (Compensated) Stainless.

That was money very well spent when I got it.

staghounds said...

What, is this Sophie's choice?

Fosbery, no question. When I still had it, it went every time. Even for just a cylinder full.

And I'm laughing at "fatler".

My word is proodlae, which I think is a typo of the Latin for more than one small, fu22y dog.

Anonymous said...

My favorite range gun... it has to be my Ruger Mark I with 6 7/8" Target barrel. It's the first gun I ever owned, I made some custom wood grips for it with finger reliefs just for my hands sometime in the early 80's. I've carried it on a thousand hunting trips, and who knows how many rounds I shot through it over the years. I've owned a lot of pistols since, but it's still my favorite plinkin' gun.

Zdogk9 said...

3" 629, of course I do load it to .44 special levels. At .44 mag level it's more pain than I enjoy after about 12 rounds.
The one that goes to the range most often is a 22/45 I bought new shortly after they were released.

mIsho said...

S&W Model 15-3. By far.

Anonymous said...

The K-22 is the favorite for me. Have a 6" K-22 thats been in the family since the 70's. I have well over 200k rounds thru it. Still shoots amazingly well. Had a 4" 22 Combat Masterpiece, but the chambers were tight, and it only took a brick or so to make it hard to seat new rounds, and sticky ejecting fired ones. Either would shoot groups of just about an inch @ 25 yards. The old 6" gun seemed to go on forever without needing cleaning, so I traded off the 4".

Got to where I could hit running squirrels and rabbits, and things thrown in the air with that 6" gun. All those saturdays shooting a brick or more at a time paid off in time.

midnight rider said...

Yup. A 6 inch barrel S&W K-22 mfg 1952. Picked it up at a local show Saturday after New Years. In wonderful shape got it for just under $500. Quickly became my 2nd favorite, right behind the 3 inch S&W 36-1 (late 70's early 80's) & just ahead of snub S&W 36 from 1967, original box & papers and NO turn marks on the cylinder.

Daughter #2 is trying to lay claim to the 36-1.

ditto said...

I bring and shoot my High Standard Supermatic every tie I go to the range.
Although I have a 1911 that I carry and try to shoot every time, the HS is by far my fav.

alath said...

Most enjoyable range handgun - I'd have to say my Marvel Precision .22LR 1911 conversion. Take a 1911 frame, shoot .22s off of it, and just for (no) kicks, it's got a compensator.


I'm still not sure I've ever actually shot the thing. It's like dry firing except for the little holes in the target.

That, and then take along something that shoots black powder. You have to have some noise, recoil, and smoke to have a real range trip. Nothing makes a more satisfying deep resonant boom, nor such a nice cloud of smoke, as black powder.

Starik Igolkin said...

CZ75B in .40
Even when I go to the range only intending to shoot rifle or shotgun, this one is in the bag, just in case.

Anonymous said...

my 617 and my 1911 are my most fired at the range but my bisley is my fav in 45 colt.

Brian Dale said...

I recently bought a Colt .22 Automatic made a few years before they were named "The Woodsman." I'd been looking for a K-22, but this appeared unexpectedly and caught my interest. I'd heard that they were good, and a pleasant fellow shooter was offering it at a fair price. It seemed OK when it arrived, but there wasn't the instant A-Ha! that my hands felt when I first started fondling 1911s. Well, I knew that its value probably wouldn't go down in the future, anyway. "Hey," I thought..."at least it was designed by JMB (PBUH)."

Then I took it out and shot it.

Oh. MyGawd...I like this pistol. I shoot better with this pistol. I can learn a lot with this pistol.

Maybe valid "first impressions" only start when you pull the trigger. :)

Oh, and my favorite rifle? PING!