Tag Archives: FAIL


Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.

Another good reason to always test your equipment, never trust anything until it has proven itself.

Today, while working as a Range Safety Officer, late in the day, a couple arrived to test their guns.  Both had identical guns, a small five shot revolver, double action only, with a laser.  Note that this laser was never used during shooting, only the traditional ‘iron’ sights.  As I watched them to assess if they could safely handle their guns and not doing anything stupid, I noticed that the woman seemed to have a failure to fire but perhaps she had not fully loaded the gun, I didn’t know.  She mentioned that the gun did not seem to shoot to point of aim and asked me to try it, I did.  I fired two shots at twelve yards, one was right on, the other hit far to the left.  I thought that the shot off to the left was perhaps me, my inconsistency.  She then shot at a paper target which was placed at perhaps five yards distant.

Her group, that is, her cluster of shots, was satisfactory but far to the left of where the gun was aimed.  The man seemed to be having problems also, I fired his gun and all my shots hit in the same place, far left, as had happened for the woman.  I then shot the womans gun on the paper target and my hits were right on top of hers.  I asked one of the other Range Officers to test fire both guns, he had exactly the same results.  In addition to that, both guns occasionally failed to fire, that was with new factory ammunition by Winchester.

This model gun has the sleeved two piece barrel.  When this design first came on the market, Massad Ayoob compared several of them to their older versions which used the traditional method of barrel construction.  In his test, all the newer versions fired groups which were three to four times larger than the older gun, in other words, they were really bad.  Supposedly this problem has been corrected, apparently not.

Consider this, one gun might have a ‘fluke’, a manufacturing defect, perhaps an oversight in the making, or someone got careless in construction but…two identical guns, each with the same two identical problems.  One of the problems being that this is a gun designed specifically for last ditch self defense, to keep you alive and it doesn’t always go bang when you need it to.  Add to that, not being able to put its’ shots where they need to go.  Shame on you Smith & Wesson.  Someone there needs to be taken out and beaten, or sued.

Home gunsmithing

It is said that people who own Harley Davidson tend to think ownership means qualified to work on them.

Same thing for gun owners.  Not I am not saying that you can’t work on your own guns, but you really need to know what you are doing.

All the time at the range I see failures in AR15s from not installing the stock correctly, fire control group springs in the wrong places.  Firearms unable to be zeroed due to improper sights and sight installation.  1911 and revolver triggers get tuned to the point of unreliability.

I have to be honest, I have done this my self.  Had the buffer retaining detent pop up and cause the hammer to not hit the firing pin.  Had a connector sold to me as “glock brand” cause reliability issues.  Broken screws and bolts using improper torque values.  The list goes on.

Many modern firearms are simple to work on.  However simple to work on does not equal fool proof.  Make sure you know what you are doing when you work on your firearms, and if you are not sure, get an experts help.

Optics report from the range.

Saw a Nikon elevation turret break off today.  There was no visible abuse to the scope, and the adjustments appeared to be working previously.   I have never seen a failure like that before, but it reminds me why paying more for some brands is well worth it.

I got to try a Sightron 6-20 power scope today.  The Sightrons are gaining popularity here as a cheaper alternative to Nightforce and Leupold.  I am not sure which model it was I was given the chance to use, but the clarity was great from 6-about 14-16 power.  As the power was brought up to 20x, the picture clarity and crispness declined.  At this point I do not think I would recommend a Sightron for a fighting rifle.  However for a range gun or target/competition rifle, it may be an excellent economical choice.


I also got to look through an IOR 2-12 power scope.  I believe the model was the Spartan.  What I thought was most interesting was how compact this scope is.  Many tactical scopes end up being large.  A 3-15 or 5-20 tactical scope can be rather large and heavy on a smaller rifle like an AR15.  This smaller scope would be right at home on a smaller lighter rifle.  The power range is also good for closer range work.  I have found that shooters(including my self) are slower at finding close target with 5x and up.  The top end of 12x along with the scopes clarity allowed me to easily find and see 8 and 10 inch steel targets at 1000 yards.  This compact scope appears to be one of the ideal choices for the compact lightweight 5.56 or 7.62 sniper system.