Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bulgarian Makarov Range Report

I was going to enter Mr Completely's recent e-Postal match with my new Bulgarian Makarov. Unfortunately, I mis-read the rules and took too many shots at the target. Heh, I couldn't have scored it anyway.

This was my first time to shoot a semi-auto. We plinked at soda cans to warm up. I shot at 25 feet and had a poor showing. All shooting was at twenty five feet and offhand standing, as we were shooting in the desert. Thanks to Chris Byrne for having me shoot at that distance. I also learned a lesson about two handed shooting. I started out wrapping both hands around the grip with my thumbs overlapping each other. Wrong position! The hammer found the top thumb very quickly. Luckily for me it didn't really rip away any skin, just drew some blood. I changed my grip and had my weaker hand cupping from the bottom of the magazine.

I cleaned the gun prior to shooting with Outers Tricare. I ran a lightly oiled patch through after cleaning. It was surprisingly easy to field strip. Just pull back the slide and lift and it came off. The barrel is fixed and the spring is easily accessible. I don't have a complete manual so I just squirted the trigger and spring mechanism with Breakfree and wiped with clean patches.

We began shooting with Norinco round nose. That is without a doubt the worst ammo on the market. Considering they are probably the suppliers to the Red Army I feel we have no reason to fear a communist takeover. Every, and I do mean every, magazine had one or two failures to fire. Even after multiple trigger pulls. I believe out of the 100 cartridges I bought, at least 25 ftf. Of course, if Norinco is supplying our troops, then we're in big trouble!

Wolf ammo was much better, although there were a few ftf's. But at least with the Wolf another trigger pull or two and most of those fired. We examined the failed bullets and did notice that some of the firing pin indents were light. Perhaps I need a new spring? We next shot Silver Bear hollowpoints. No failures to fire with those, but we only put two magazine's worth. I did notice that the Norinco was the hardest to put in the magazine, with the Wolf and Silver Bear much easier. Could the springs be worn out or perhaps not lubricated enough?

The recoil was sharp but not unbearable, and it didn't keep me from shooting relatively quickly. I think that slower shooting is the ticket to better aim. The gun shoots low and to the left. The sights are only adjustable on the rear for left to right. I also tried firing with the gun at my side and my arm at a 45 degree angle and actually did better at shooting the cans. I didn't try it shooting at the target.

I purchased this gun to have as a home defense weapon and because I want to familiarize myself with all types of actions. I believe it might be a good idea to have a gunsmith take a look at it and perhaps change out the springs. I'm not confident at this point in my ability to do something like this myself. Maybe later. The Mak is easier to control than my S&W .357 shooting double action and I would like to get my wife to learn to use it, but I doubt that'll happen. She's not afraid of guns, her father was ex-Philippine army and had guns around the house, she's just bought into the "911 will take care of it" mantra. Anyway, I like the way this gun handles and I'm satisfied with my ability to use it, especially when I've had more practice. No one can complain about more shooting can they? Now all I need is more ammo!