Monday, May 2, 2011

Speaking of ammunition testing ...

.... Reminds me of this anecdote from many years ago.

When I got home from the Army in 1979 I got a KSP surplus M65 S&W from my Dad for a carry/home gun, then when I could I got a box of the hot-shit .357 125gr loads from Federal that were supposed to be the end-all of defensive ammunition and were KSP issue at the time. It was popularly referred to as the KSP 'death ray' for the stopping stats they were racking up with it.
Brought 'em home to the farm we lived on, loaded up the revolver and in the waning twilight touched off the first one.
WHAM! and a fireball six feet in diameter and I was looking around for the 155mm howitzer that someone had towed onto the farm and fired at the same time I did the .357. Not finding it, I proceeded to commence again and WHAM! Holy Crap! It was my revolver!!!
I fired the remaining four rounds, observed that accuracy with the gun was pretty dismal, that every cow on the farm was running somewhere - anywhere! - in the fields below and was pondering the utility of that round for personal carry when the air was turned blue around me by the stream of imprecations in French being hurled at me by the petite dame in the doorway of the farmhouse. I wasn't able to pick out much of the high-velocity Gallic content but the tone and volume of it, the words of English and German interspersed into it and the tearful enraged delivery made it plain that she was most unhappy with my taking artillery practice with that damned gun and that damned ungodly ammunition without warning her goddammit!
Since the consensus opinion of the household was that that gun with that ammo (apparently loaded before the advent of flash suppressants in the stuff) was far too unpleasant to shoot and still be able to concentrate on the task at hand, it was forthwith traded for a GI-stye 1911 built by my Dad on an Essex frame and stoked with hardball. Nothing sexy about it, but it worked, was easy to shoot and didn't require EPA certification or sunscreen.
Kinda missed those fireballs at night, though. Kept the cows on their toes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, I remember a few such rounds from my youth. I liked the fireball from black powder even more, especially from rifles or shotguns. More dragon-like and less stunning acoustics.