Saturday, January 16, 2010

Keyholing kontraption

A few years ago, I found a website called MCA Sports that makes inserts to convert a shotgun, for instance, into a rifle. I decided to order a shotgun insert chambered in .38 Spl. for one of my shotguns, and I'm glad I did. The insert's outer chamber dimensions mimic a shotgun shell and it has a ten-inch barrel attached to that. All you do is drop in the insert (this works best in a break-action shotgun), push a .38 Spl. round into the insert's chamber, close the action, aim and fire. Cool! It's actually pretty accurate, and I found that the .38 Spl. insert will also chamber and shoot .357 Mag. rounds, although I noticed a good amount of primer flow after firing, so I doubt I'll do that again, unless in a pinch.

How practical is the device? In today's gun world, where nearly every conceivable niche has been addressed by one type of gun or another, not very practical at all. But it is fun.

That was the good product from MCA Sports. Now, let me get to the product for which this post was named.

MCA Sports also sells an adaptor that drops into a rifle of a given caliber, in my case .30-06, that allows the user to shoot .22 LR cartridges. Again, the shape of the adaptor mimics the dimensions of the round it's replacing. In addition, since the .22 LR is a rimfire round and the firing pin of a centerfire rifle would miss the rim of a .22 LR and result in nothing happening, a plug, or offset, is provided to to work around this problem, which it does quite handily. So far, so good. At the range, however, I couldn't hit the broad side of the proverbial barn with it.

It took me a while to figure out what was going on with the little contraption, but I finally saw that even minimal accuracy at 7 yards was too much to ask for, as evidenced by the undamaged target after several shots using various aiming points. Finally, after moving to within 8 feet of the target, I was on paper. The bullet keyholed through the target and hit 3-4 inches low--repeatedly. Although it's touted as being able to be used on small game while out big-game hunting, I believe you'd have better results with a slingshot.

Bottomline: The adaptor is useless. The concept is neat, but reality has proven this product to be stillborn. The inserts, however, do work, and I can recommend them unreservedly.

Take care.

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