Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shooting the Kahr CW 4543

New hotness. Kahr's CW4543. Big bullets, small, light, thin frame.

I took the Kahr to the Bullet Hole for some much needed practice.

I had with me 100 rounds of CCI Blazer Aluminum Full Metal Jacket ammo. The stuff is cheap, about $16 a box, and you pay for it later. I never usually shoot more than 100 rounds at a time, but I don't know if I COULD shoot more than 100 rounds of this stuff at a single time. It is DIRTY!! I spent almost an hour after the range cleaning. The sick part is that I can take a little grime, but, holy crap, this stuff seemed to permeate all the important nooks and crevices. Yuck. Anyway, I bought 2 new boxes of Remington UMC Full Metal Jackets to use next time. That should give me better results.

Anyway, I wanted to work on grouping and precision at distances of 25 yards. That may not seem like much, but with a 3.6" barrel it can be challenging. The longer the barrel the more accurate the pistol, rifle, whatever shoots a projectile.
Most typical full size pistols have a 4" or better barrel (the standard US Government issue Sig Sauer 229 has a 3.9" barrel and the most beloved 1911 has a 5" barrel.

I have two magazines, one a 6 round (7 total, one in the pipe), the other a 7 round(8 round total). In keeping with its very thin design Kahr uses a single stack magazine. Great for keeping things thin and light, but not so good for spray and pray. After a few mags it makes me wish for my Smith 5906 and its awesome 15 round double stack high capacity magazine. That thing weighed almost 3 lbs fully loaded, so really out of the question for CCW.

The good old days. Smith and Wesson's 5906 in 9mm

My first 8 shots were right on the money. I was pleased with a very tight grouping right around the center mass X on my target. My next 7 were on target as well just above the X on the 9 exactly where I placed them.
Then a funny thing started to happen. My shots started to drift left. I couldn't understand it. I was in a standard Weaver combat stance :

Thanks Sheriff Weaver! You rock.

So I was stable, but my shots continued to drift left. I shot to the right to compensate, but I was having a hard time telling just where I was putting my shots. It was then I discovered an interesting fluke to the CW 4543 that let me know several things about what was going on.

First, a little on how to shoot... You stand in your stance and focus on the front sight. Very important. The rear sight and the target should be a little out of focus, but that front sight should be very clear. You match up the rear sight and the front sight so that there is and equal amount of space on either side of the front sight and match the top of the rear sight and the front sight so that it appears that they are flush straight across. Most pistol manufactures make this easy for you by adding colored dots on either side of the rear sight and right in the middle of the front sight. Line up the dots and you are on target.
After you have your sights lined up on target you squeeze the trigger with steady pressure until the gun fires. It is important to squeeze, and not pull. Squeezing with steady pressure will keep the sights lined up on target, pulling will jar the gun downward and put the shot off target. The actual firing of the gun should surprise you.

Anyway, the Kahr has a little ideosincracy that I discovered by accident. After the gun has fired you must return the trigger to the starting position OR leave it in the fire position before the rechambering process ends. If you don't it leaves the trigger in some kind of limbo position and the gun will not fire again until you cycle the trigger fully, all the way back and all the way forward.
I had left the trigger in the half pulled position and when I went to fire again, the pistol did not shoot, because of said procedure. What I did find out at the same time was that I was tightening up my left hand just as the gun fired throwing the shot left. Idiot. I was anticipating the shot and flinching, throwing my shot off.
Of course as soon as I realized I was doing it I concentrated so much on the flinch that I lost the sight picture and the shots went off. Of course as soon as I put my sight picture back together I was flinching even worse.
By now I was done with my first box of 50 rounds and I walked back to my pile of stuff to get a new target and a fresh box of bullets. I used the time to clear my head and go over how to shoot.
When I got back I used my first four magazines (30 shots) to clear my head and shoot slowly and properly. I had nice groupings each time. I cured my self of my flinching issue.
My last 20 rounds I just decided to have some fun and try to put my best double taps in to the paper.

A double tap or an "Accelerated Pair", if you are using the new P.C. lingo, is when you put two shots on a target as quickly as possible. Using the mantra, "Anything worth shooting once is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap, life is expensive.", you try to put your two shots right next to each other on the target. It should look like a double O (OO) or a figure eight (8). I need more practice, because mine looked like... well two unrelated shots. I learned that I need to work on getting back on target after the first firing.

Guns are fun.

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