The Ruger shot pretty well. I had trouble seeing the sights on it, though, so I did not shoot very well. The lighting at the range could use a little improvement.
Out of five magazines' worth of shooting, it jammed three times. I think it's just dirty; the expended cartridge would jam up atop the fresh round, preventing it from feeding all the way into the chamber. I'd have to stop, lock the slide back, and then eject the mag to clear the jam. (I'm thinking the expended cart was sticking to the bolt or something and not ejecting properly.)
Interesting bit: when the gun jammed, I'd see an orange spark go flying downrange.
I only put four rounds through the Astra. I had wanted to do more, but the range doesn't accept credit/debit cards, and I hadn't gone to the ATM before going out there, so I couldn't buy more. I kept four bullets in reserve, Just In Case, which left 4 for shooting. Oh well.
I shot the Mossberg the most. I'd load up both magazines, then start shooting at a target, switch mags, and keep shooting at the same one. After doing this with one target, there was a rough > shot through the bullseye: seven rounds of the 14 had overlapped. That's some damn fine shooting for a nearsighted dude on his third trip to the range.
I felt pretty cruddy before I went; I felt wiped out when I left--but although I feel drained, it's kind of like draining a blister or pimple: it's a relief. All the BS went down the barrels of my guns and perforated some paper targets.
Now I've got to clean my guns. But maybe I'll procrastinate on that and do it later, because I really do feel like limp pasta. I didn't really sleep last night; I went to bed around 10-ish and slept until 2 AM, then was up afterwards. I tried to go to sleep around 5-ish but couldn't, and ended up having my farm breakfast as noted in the prior post.
This time there was another guy there, shooting; he was shooting some frickin' howitzers, too: 9mm, .40 and .45. Shit. Sounded like cannon shot in there; of course it's indoors. Anyway he shot his stuff and I shot mine, and when he left he swept up his brass. I swept up mine before I left, of course.
All told, I feel a hell of a lot better, emotionally, than I did earlier. Shooting at stuff really is cathartic.
* * *
Amusing bit: I got that nice > pattern by telling myself, "Okay, dude: you have to make this shot count, because if you don't hit where you're aiming, you don't eat."
It made me realize that--before this--I wasn't taking shooting as seriously as I ought to. I'm not thinking in terms of "you need to hit that target" but "well, it'd be nice to hit the bullseye".
If I take it seriously, I shoot better. Big surprise.
The other thing: I'm trying not to lift my head when I work the bolt, but for some reason I keep doing it regardless. There's no need to lift your head when working the action, and in fact it tends to spoil your aim if you do. At least, you end up having to reacquire the target after the gun's back in battery. So I'm trying to break myself of the habit.
The other thing is, it's tiring. I can shoot brilliantly on one target, and on the next, suck--because I'm fatigued. I have to push harder to make each successive shot count, and after a little while I end up having just to put the gun down and walk way for a bit, because I simply cannot concentrate any longer.
Anyway, at least I got to try out the Ruger, and proved to myself that the decent shooting I did last time wasn't a fluke--and learned something new about myself in the process. I guess that was $20 well spent.