Monday, July 11, 2011

Shooting 9mm in a .40

The right way to shoot 9mm in .40 involves making some hardware changes.

The wrong way involves failures by multiple parties. I'm going to keep claiming to be a new shooter as long as people will let me get away with it. When this happened, I think it was my third time shooting pistols, so definitely qualifying as new. The first time shooting pistols was with a friend on his family farm. The second time was the Basic Hand Gun course at Coal Creek Armory. One of the goals of the course is to teach you "how to select proper ammunition." You probably see where this is going now that I've set the stage.

I was feeling good about what I learned in the course, so I convinced a buddy to go with me to CCA to rent some guns and a lane. I don't remember exactly what we were shooting initially - Beretta PX4 Storm, Kahr CW9, and maybe something else - all in 9mm. We finished up the box of ammo and decided to try the Glock 22.

We swapped guns and took our new box of ammo out to the lane. I started loading the magazine and took the first turn with the gun. After a string of failures to fire and feed, our trouble-shooting quickly revealed we were shooting 9mm instead of .40 S&W. I have visions of the bullet tumbling through and bouncing around the barrel.

Shame on the CCA employee who gave us the wrong ammo when we switched guns. I expect them to have some level of expertise and pay attention to details.

Shame on me for not checking the ammo. Ultimately I was the last safety as I loaded the magazine, but since I did not look at the box or closely at the rounds I failed, too. While I didn't have the experience to recognize the ammo by size, shape, or feel; I could have easily seen what was printed on the box.

No one got hurt and they didn't make us pay the rental fee. Lesson learned.

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