Yesterday began like no other. My cats were anxiously waiting for me to wake, my morning brew smelled divine and the flavor was just the way I liked it. The day was shaping up to be one of those you wish you could bottle and save for a rainy day. And it was only going to get better.
The day was a long time coming. With the maintenance completed to the NRA range, I took both of my U.N.C.L.E. Specials to work—along with the parts I got back from Joe—to put the pistols through their paces. With all but one carbine part in my possession and a lot of correspondence requesting range reports, I cased up everything, tossed my range bag in my scooter and headed for the firing ling during lunch.
I started with my "S" variant with the pistol barrel. My target was one of the T.H.R.U.S.H. logo targets I made courtesy of the office Xerox. At 7 yards I managed to fire a palm-sized group hitting the "evil birdie" 8 out of 9 times with 1 flyer (not bad for a pistol with no front sight.) The second magazine wasn't as good, but still managed to stay inside the 7 ½-inch diameter of the T.H.R.U.S.H logo.
I put up a grid target, and transitioned to my "K" variant, attaching the carbine barrel—with dummy suppressor—Phantom scope and hi-cap magazine. My primary concern was to function-test the barrel and magazine. Both did extremely well. (The magazine displayed best reliability with 12 rounds as opposed to more—although the 15-round mag will hold up to 18 rounds.) Although, I was extremely impressed with how well the Phantom scope performed. For an optic as old as I am, it did extremely well. At 7 yards, the group ranged 3-4 inches. Ammunition ranged from military surplus hard ball to Hornady Critical Defense 115-grain FTX and Cor-Bon/Glaser Pow'RBall, due to the FMJ characteristics of their bullet designs (without +P performance). I purposely opted to shoot slow while using the Phantom for two reasons: First, I didn't want to subject the scope base and mount to a lot of recoil-related wear-and-tear until the grips and scope mount had the extra benefit of being hard-coat anodized. Second, I wanted keep an eye on the scope mount's tension screw to see how it held up under recoil. Recoil would loosen the screw approximately 1/4 turn after only a few rounds, suggesting the base may need to be drilled and tapped or have a threaded bushing inset in order to successfully anchor the scope-mount screw.
It happened somewhere in the second magazine. I felt something drop into my lap and I knew before glancing down for confirmation that whatever the source of the sensation—despite the old adage—was far from luck related. Suddenly I could sense a big, black cloud settling over the NRA test range preparing to unleash some major bad ju-ju, transforming my kick-ass day into one of pure Great Dane-sized doo-doo. Steeling myself for the worst, I glanced down only to discover the pistol's firing pin/indicator cover in my lap—a dual-purpose part that also retains the pistol's rear sight. The sight was nowhere to be found. Following a string of profanity that would make a sailor blush, I cleared and cased my broken beauty and proceeded to scour every square inch of the one-lane test facility without success. The miniscule part vanished. (Perhaps it was collected on a wing of a swooping T.H.R.U.S.H.) Nothing would surprise me at this stage. With head hung low, I left the range, searching the skies for the foulest of fowl from beneath my mental umbrella during on my return trip around the building.
Arriving at the loading dock I met a delivery man leaning on the intercom switch trying to get in the building. It seems the world's premiere feathered vermin knew my return route and had decided to set a booby trap. I knew better than to get a cup of coffee.