Shooting the 686+ and XR9-L

I went shooting yesterday, and had a good couple of hours with the handguns.  I learned a couple of things, some of which I don't yet understand: Ammo does make a difference in accuracy, and it can be significant. 115 grain FMJ steel case by WPA is less accurate than 115 grain FMJ brass case by Winchester.  Dunno if it was the casing, or what, but I put 50 rounds of the WPA and around 50 rounds of the Winchester downrange (alternating), and I was consistently more accurate with the Winchester.38 Special 130 grain FMJ Ammo by Aguila does not fire about 75% of the time in the S&W 686+ when fired double-action, but fire 100% of the time single-action.  Of the three brands of ammunition I've shot in the 686, this is the only brand with which I've had this problem..357 kicks hella more than 38 special.  No surprise there, but I found loading 3x 38spl and 3x .357 really interesting for the comparison.My hand actually starts to hurt after a couple of clips of +P 9mm in the Boberg XR9-L.  I don't have this problem with non-+P 9mm.  So, yeah, for self-defense the +P may be great stuff, but it's no fun for target practice (for me, at least).Despite the Boberg XR9-L having a barrel actually 0.2" longer than my 686+ (4.2" vs 4"), I am far more accurate with 38spl ammo in the 686, fired single action.  Again, I don't know why, but my money is on the trigger pull.  I'll need to try the 686 in double action for comparison, but all I had was that Aguila ammo.My biggest take-away was that I enjoy shooting the 686 more than the Boberg.  Don't get me wrong; the XR9 is fun, accurate, reliable, and it's far easier to clean, load, etc...

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Cleaning firearms

Back in the Army we had what I recall as being supremely annoying cleaning kits.  They looked like this:To use it, you had to screw several metal tubes together and then, by attaching one of several tips, proceed with a bore cleaning ritual alternately scrubbing and swabbing with what I now assume was some form of CLP.  The annoying part of this was having to alternate between heads; it never occurred to me to steal a second kit and scavenge the rod from that kit, but it would have helped.  The tooth brush was the best part of the kit, although the cleaning were also valuable.

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Firearm countdown

One down! I bought a Boberg XR9-L.  I did manage to avoid paying the extra $300 for the Platinum; while I think the Platinum looks better, Monika thinks it looks like Jay Leno -- don't ask me, I don't know where she got that from.  In any case, I have it now, and I can't wait to shoot it this weekend. Here are some pictures. It isn't as thin or small as I expected it to be.

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