Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Range report: Borepatch edition

Posted by Lissa on September 8, 2009

Per Borepatch‘s kind invite, I took advantage of the three-day weekend to go up to the Manchester Firing Line and meet the Borepatches for some recoil therapy.  (Note:  Jay, you’re next!  Really!  But I can’t help it if Mrs. Borepatch is prettier than you are. 😉  )  Please note that the Borepatches and myself are all from MA, but we’re forced to drive to NH for our therapy because we can’t rent guns or even buy bullets down here without a license.  “Massachusetts:  Propping up the New Hampshire businessman since ____.”

As the Borepatches have related in their range reports linked above, I chose a SigSauer P239 (9 mm compact with a single-stack 10-round magazine) for my shooty fun.  (My good friend Shoothouse Barbie is a huge fan of Sigs and their smooth, buttery action.  That would be her phrase, not mine!)

No more teacup grip!

We debated whether to get one lane or two lanes, but since we only rented two guns (and at my request) we only got one.  I’m still uncomfortable shooting guns without a babysitter; I’m not confident that I know how to clear a jammed gun.  I suppose the only cure for that is more practice?

Speaking of jammed guns, I was confused/perturbed the first time I loaded up the Sig.  It actually looked like there was a gap of a few millimeters between the bottom of the grip and the lip of the mag.  I wasn’t sure I’d gotten the magazine all the way in; on Borepatch’s recommendation I very carefully and gently pulled the slide back about two millimeters until I could see a round in the chamber.  After a few times doing this I shrugged and accepted that the magazine looked loose but was fully locked in.  Then I just got on with my shooting.

Folks, I *LOVED* this gun.  If I was able to I would have taken it home to pet it and stroke it and shoot it and call it Sigmund.  (Sig-Sauer.  Sigmund.  [Recoil] Therapy.  Get it?)  The action was very smooth, the recoil very reasonable, it was loud but without too much kick.  The sights were a little screwy, however.  (Either that, or I’m jerking the trigger.  Yeah, it’s probably the latter.)  So I didn’t stop my goblin’s heart, but I’m fairly sure he’s not going to enjoy his food any time soon . . .

First grouping

More holes!

Once I started compensating for the sights, or my bad form, my groupings got better:

Dead target!

To sum up:

1) SigSauers rock my range

2) Mrs. Borepatch was every bit as friendly, lovely and charming as I thought she’d be

3) Mr. Borepatch is a fabulous range babysitter, self-effacing, courteous and gentlemanly

4) When Big Bore Bill (see Borepatch’s post) is at the range, a crowd will gather to watch him shoot the Smith & Wesson 500.  He’s good, too; he was putting multiple bullets through the same hole in the paper plate.  That’s a gun that I have no desire to try; I know damn well it would put me on my ass.  As Borepatch said, “Kills on one end, maims on the other.”  I suppose the good thing would be that it wouldn’t matter whether or not you hit the goblin with the first round; the BOOM is so loud that no perp would stick around for a second round.

5) I’m posting a smorgasbord of pix so the rest of y’all get a feeling what this range was like.  You could rent frickin’ machine guns, for heaven’s sake.  I saw a six-year-old boy (with eye and ear protection, of course!) calmly sitting a few feet behind his dad while the man ran through some pistol practice.  There were a few teenagers there with their parents.  And with all this dangerous hardware, the damage for the day was . . . . some dead paper targets.


Thank you, Borepatches!

P.S.  I have a lovely pic of the three of us, but I’m not 100% sure you two allow photos of your faces to be posted.  If that’s okay, I’ll update and put it here; if not, I suppose I’ll finally have to update Facebook!

P.P.S.  Is the Sig 239 really MA-compliant?  It didn’t have an external safety and you couldn’t see into the chamber without pulling back the slide; I thought those were both serious no-no’s in MA.


16 Responses to “Range report: Borepatch edition”

  1. Jay G. said


    I know I can’t compete with the lovely Mrs. Borepatch, but my range comes with the full com[plement of the G. armory that you’d care to try.

    Including a Sig 226 in 9mm…

    And yes, the 239 is MA compliant. On my short list is a 239 in .40 S&W…

  2. Yay!!!!!!

  3. Borepatch said

    Sig-Sauer. Sigmund. [Recoil] Therapy.


    Lissa, it was simply delightful. Let me know any time you want to go shooting.

    As to posting the pix, I’m afraid that a pic of me would break Al Gore’s Intarwebz. Facebook’s fine.

    And as to the “self-effacing, courteous and gentlemanly” part, you’re making me blush. Actually, you should have seen me before the lovely and determined Mrs. Borepatch roped and tied me. There’s a lot of credit that goes to her on this score.

  4. totwtytr said

    Sounds like a great day. The important thing with a handgun, or any gun for that matter, is how it feels to you. If it feels comfortable, chances are you will shoot well. If not, then you won’t.

    At some point, you should try some of my Smith and Wesson 9mms.

  5. FYI, Sig is doing a cash for klunker gun program! Trade in any working handgun and get $200 off a Sig:


    Jay – sorry to start a calibur war, but a compact in .40? Why? Just looking at the ballistics, the “greater stopping power” is basically a myth. For an already small gun, I’d think the cheaper ammo and greater mag capacity would be advantageous over the .40 cal. Nespas?

    .40 cal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.40_S&W
    9 mm: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9x19mm_Parabellum

    Even when considering the potential advantages of ballistically superior defense ammo, in the real life adrenaline pumping gunfight situation, the shot-placement was seen to trump all. After seeing this, I came around to the thinking that having extra bullets to make sure I hit my goblin multiple times in the kill zone would be ultimately advantageous over a higher calibur. Ya know, since I’m no Todd Jarrett or anything.


    Then again, with the P239, it’s really more or less my pet gun. My first love. I’m looking into a G19 or P226 for CCW and IPSC, respectively. But the little compact Sig is more of shooty treat that cozies up to my hand and shoots the centers out of targets than it is a tactical firearm. It is a f***ing fantastic firearm.

    • Jay G. said

      Heh. No caliber wars at all. IIRC, the difference in capacity between the 9mm 239 and the .40 S&W 239 is, what, 1 round?

      I have three handguns in 9mm. I have one in .40 S&W.

      Hence why I want a .40…

      No “caliber wars” necessary, I just want another .40!

      • Jay G. said

        Also, I know I can get a .357 Sig barrel for the 239 in .40 S&W and shoot both using the same magazine.

        I *think* with a new barrel and magazine I can shoot 9mm through it as well.

        It’s three, three, three calibers in one!

      • I’ve heard good things about the P250 as well, but I don’t know if they offer your .357 for that model.

        Happy shootin’!

      • Jay G. said

        Sadly, the 250 is not MA-compliant…

        Then again, by the time I’m ready to purchase, it may be!

  6. Sevesteen said

    Sigs are great, but before you decide it is the One True Gun for you, try other single-stack pistols–A lot of people without ham fists find that the extra width of a double stack magazine doesn’t fit right.

  7. Wally said

    I believe that *some* P239s are MA-compliant. Sig made a change to the loaded chamber indicator for the MA ones.
    My 239 is quite cherished, albeit in the much louder .357SIG offering.

  8. Also, I should say, Lissa, that despite your shooting slightly low, you were consistently on. Your groupings were nice. With practice you’ll be able to acquire your sight-picture and call your shots

    The low groupings are probably due to anticipating the shot – if you were jerking the trigger, I think you’d be low and left. I had this issue too at first. Bend your knees a little, tuck your butt under you to correct your back-arch, and think about *pushing* the gun towards the target rather than holding it out in front of you. You should feel your COM shift to the front of your arch, just ever so slightly behind the ball of your foot (like wearing a 3 inch heel, not a 4 inch stilleto). By tucking your pelvis/not sticking your butt out and arching your back, you’re bringing your weight forward to this point. Now, when you raise your arms/the gun up to your line of sight, you should naturally feel like you’re leaning the gun into the target.

  9. Jon said

    My wife owns 2 P239s and just loves them to death. Good choice!

  10. secretlivesofscientists said

    Anyone have experience with the P2022? We’re buying us a Sigs-for-clunkers gun and I’m leaning towards the P226 in 9mm, but Dr. Boyfriend thinks the P2022 looks tastier. Since this would be a mutual gun, I have my doubts about the polymer frame. Then again, I like me a G19 just fine. Comparisons? Thoughts? Bueller?

    • mike w. said

      I’m partial to the classic P-Series Sigs, but the SigPro is a nice gun. The one I shot had a very nice, smooth DA pull. I’d buy a SigPro before I bought a P250.

      There are only 2 reasons I don’t own one. One is the annoying takedown procedure (perhaps I’m spoiled by the classic Sigs in that regard?) The other is the fact that I already own 4 9mm Sigs.

      The major plus of the 2022 is the price. They cost new about what a P226 costs used.

      Also, a G19 is probably more comparable to a P228/P229 than a P226. If I were doing a straight comparison I’d put the P226 up against a full-sized G17.

  11. […] I hate to say it . . . but I did NOT like this gun.  I thought the sights were wretched and the kick was serious enough to screw with my aim.  Shot after shot would go low and/or wide.  After we’d jointly put 50 rounds through it, I said the hell with it.  Why beat up your hand, beat up your wrist and not enjoy yourself?  I walked out and rented the little Sig P239 darlin from my last trip. […]

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