Monday, July 25, 2016

Beretta A400 Excel Piston Ring

I ran onto a shooter that had a piece broken off his Piston Ring (part of the piston assembly) . 

He said his gun was still working. 

I did some reading on the subject, as always interested in what spare parts to carry.

First off.  The piston assembly on the A400 needs to be inserted into the barrel cylinder before inserting the barrel into the receiver.  If not, you can bend the ring. 

Will something else cause it to deform?  Have no idea. 

I've read some have a habit of sliding the barrel cylinder on the part where the forearm cap attaches and not into the barrel cylinder.  They marry up once the barrel is installed, but I guess not always 100%.  If I hadn't read this could be a problem I wouldn't have never given it a second thought.

The piston ring bending (deformed) is not common.  If your at a shoot you can try to bend it back into shape and you should be able to finish.

My readings didn't come across a broken ring, but seeing is believing.

You can remove the old ring and install the new one yourself.

The serrated ring needs to be squeezed to reduce the diameter before inserting back into the gas cylinder.

A replacement ring at Cole Guns is $18.05.  Shop around you may save a few bucks.  If you have an A400 Xtreme it's a different part number.  Make sure you purchase the part for your model.

Speaking of Barrel Cylinder.  Next time you clean your A400 take a light (I took mine outdoors) and shine it on the area of the gas port.  I found a good bit of buildup.  After given it a good cleaning I made sure the gas port was clear.  Nothing fancy in regard to the gas port, used a large toothpick.  You may feel safer using a thin drill bit.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

D/U Sporting Clays Shoot @ Guan Ho Ha Fish & Game Club

Guan Ho Ha Fish and Game Club, Scotia (Schenectady), New York.  The website is lacking in regard to Sporting Clays, but trust me they do have a course.

A 2hr 20min drive and we didn't have to leave at some ungodly hour in the AM to attend.

Registration at noon, shooting started at 1pm. Shotgun start. 50 target event.

An old club that just this March opened an eight station sporting clays course.  I suspect the most clay targets thrown this year then in the last five years combined.  The club threw its 50,000 sporting clays target in this first season in mid July. Several told me the game plan is to expand the course to 12-14 stations.

A hot day, but thank goodness for the wind, as it made the course bearable.   Part of the course built along the skeet/trap fields, but skeet and trap machines not used.  The remaining of the course is in the woods.

I talked to a couple of new shooters and they were having a blast.  They didn't hit many but when they did you could hear the roar two stations over.

Got lucky with the Lewis and won a trophy.


A meal was included in the price of the shoot, to include soda.  Ducks Unlimited had the raffles that you see at such an event.  My arm length of tickets ended up being a donation to the cause.

Good shoot.  Everyone friendly and we had one good time.

We use a Rugged Gear cart at most shoots and used it today. I think that if I had a truck load I could of sold more then a few.

We hit two rain storms (one minor and one major) on the drive home and saw a deer standing in the right lane on I-87 a couple 100 yards ahead.  Well, north of Lake George and little traffic. When you see a deer in the distance you learn to go from 70 to 25 really fast : )

SHOOT VIDEO/PHOTOS











Saturday, July 16, 2016

T&S Shell Catcher for Beretta A400 Excel Blue and Multitarget

I shoot trap singles with my A400 Excel Sporting (30 inch barrel / No KO) and use the T&S Shell Catcher in order to not bounce shells off the shooter (or gun) to my right. 

Works perfectly, much better then the one I use on my 1100's.  Snaps in place and doesn't slide.

I've been wanting to change out the bolt button release on the A400 for a Beretta EZ Bolt release lever, but had been holding off as I was going to have to cut the tab off the T&S A400 Shell Catcher so it would fit with the EZ installed.

Long story short.  The wife shot my A400 a few times and at first had problems with the bolt button release.  She got better with it, but I knew it was time for the upgrade.

I saw mention on a talk board that someone was using a T&S that he cut down on a Multitarget and asked him if he was having any problems.  No problems and he brought to my attention that T&S had come out with a shell catcher specifically for the Multitarget (that comes with an EZ Bolt release installed).


Without the tab,$18.95.  With the tap, $13.95. 

The T&S Multitarget works with the A400 Excel and saved me the work of cutting off the tab.  If you don't have a gun with the EX Bolt, you want the one with the tab.

$5 more without the tab (shorter production run I assume).  Paying for the convenience.  Purchased two (2) as I know I'll misplace at some point. 

I visited several sites, but not in stock.  In stock at Gamaliel Shooting Supply.

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Today was the first time using the Beretta EZ Bolt release lever.  Wished I had installed it sooner. 

Did I say my wife shot my Beretta previously.   Her gun stayed in the cart after the second sporting station and she shot mine all day.  Seems to fit her well.  Never worried about how man shells we both put through it in one outing, as it seems you can shoot it almost forever before needing a cleaning.

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Also, today I experimented and shot STS 1 1/8 shells in sporting practice.  I switched between the STS and 1oz RIO that I've been shooting. 

Recoil wise, no difference that I could detect, but I'm sure there had to be. 

When you hit a target good with 1 1/8, it sure looks pretty : ) 

Will be attending a benefit shoot down in the Albany, New York region next weekend and will give them another workout, but 1 1/8 will be what I'm shooting when I attend the New York State Sporting Clays Shoot at the end of the month.

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We were shooting sporting clays at the La Roue du Roy (Quebec) today and was told by staff that machines were being moved about this upcoming week.   Nice to hear that.  A few clubs I visit haven't moved a machine in recent memory (well, maybe a station or two).






Thursday, July 14, 2016

Beretta EZ Bolt release lever Installed A-400

If it wasn't for the YouTube video I wouldn't have been able to install the upgraded release lever as no directions for removal and install comes in the package.  I watched the video several times before I placed an order and had to go back to it a number of times during the install.


Before you start you need a 1/16 pin punch, a large paperclip, and Loctite Threadlocker Blue, and patience.

When you use the punch on the small pin (see video) I recommend you cover the area with a piece of scotch tape to protect the finish.

I went with a black release.

Did I say you need patience....

First time I had the trigger out. Hey, what can I say, it's an A400, not one of my 1100's.  Wiped down the trigger and also the inside of the receiver.   Not much to clean.  Compared to the 1100, re-installing the trigger took little effort.

I don't see any need for an oversized bolt handle. If the guns working properly the only time you need it is when you lock the bolt to the rear when departing your vehicle.

I thought I was going to have to modify the T&S Industries Shell Catcher Beretta A400 (cut off the tab) that I use for trap singles, but they've came out with a shell catcher for the A400 Xcel Multitarget (without the tab) that will fit without modification.

The shell catcher was suppose to arrive today, but the Post Office failed to put it on the truck at one of it's transfer facilities and I won't receive it until tomorrow AM.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

July Sporting Clays Shoot @ Northeast Kingdom

Northeast Kingdom Skeet & Sporting Clays Club - Burke, Vermont

Up at 5am.  Left the house at 5:30 and arrived around 8:30.  Coming in from New York and part of the trip is a 12 minute ferry ride across Lake Champlain.  Stopped at a McDonalds near the club to put on my rain pants, boots and too freshen up.

A wet, cool day.  Down to an on and off drizzle when I arrived and after 5 or 6 stations I took off my rain jacket.  I didn't have any slippage (mud) issues when walking this mountainous course. 

 Photo taken just off the trail between station 13 and 12.

 Peek a boo...

 My squad

Best hamburger I've had this year.

Surprisingly bugs weren't a problem.


* A number of photos displayed until you get to the video portion.  Peek a boo bear does make an appearance.

15 minutes after leaving the club the downpour began.   Rained pretty good on the way home for about 45 minutes. 

I was trying out RIO 1oz., #7.5 shot shells.  I usually shoot #8's.  I hit the edge and got a visible piece on more then a few targets that I thought I missed.  Maybe the larger shot size? 

I'm sitting on several cases of 1 1/8 oz. shells that I won over the years, but never shot.  The $80 a case stuff.  This weeks practice I'm going to give them a try and see if that's the direction I want to go or stay with 1oz. shells in competition.  Recoil issues over a long day or not?  I have the New York State shooting at the end of the month and the next couple of practice outings will decide what ammunition I'll be using.


Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Super Sporting Shoot @ Club L'Acadie

After an absence of sporting clays shoots at the club for several years a handful of shooters got together and put on a 75 target Super Sporting shoot at Club de tir L'Acadie.  




Three (3) courses with twenty-five targets each was the setup.  Targets for every level of shooter. 

Windy and overcast (and a drizzle or two).  Cool temperatures for this time of year.  The sun did make an appearance.

The shoot ran smoothly and finished quicker then anticipated. 

A limited number of shooters allowed due to the format and slots quickly filled.

SHOOT VIDEO / PHOTOS

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Hats off to the crew that put the L'Acadie shoot together and word is a second may be planned this year, but....

Ten years ago in the part of Quebec that I routinely travel there was five clubs that held sporting clay shoots of some sort.  All fun, none NSCA, but a chance to participate at the tournament level.

Outside this Super Sporting shoot all clubs have ceased holding shoots.  The Montreal Skeet Club once hosted the World Police/Fire games. I think they no longer have a course.  Club Roue du Roy held shoots that saw shooters who'd travel for several hours to attend and not uncommon to see the 16 station course sold out for both the AM and PM rotation.

Hoping for a better future...