Friday, January 15, 2016

That Can-Do Spirit...

2016 may very well be the year I join the NFA club and add a few suppressors to the family.

Sig's new line of cans are very, very interesting - and their DNA is undeniable. I'm particularly interested in their quick-detach 7.62 suppressor as a one-can-to-rule-them-all for my bolt gun and AR platforms. Specifically, the SRD762Ti-QD.

I am hoping to add a 9mm pistol can, as well. As much of a good idea as it would be for the home defense gun, it's a bit of a challenge finding pistol safes big enough for a full-size duty gun with a light, RDS, and a can. Tactical Walls may hold the solution to this one, though.

And what does everyone need to complete their 22/45 Lite??? A lightweight rimfire can, of course!!

With the recent changes coming to the NFA background check process, things are going to get a bit interesting. I'm thinking its time to make hay while the sun is still up.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Recap - yo ho, yo ho, it's a shooter's life for me

Ever been so busy doing stuff that you haven't had time to do other stuff??

The second half of 2015 flew by in one big blur - raising a toddler, taking 5,000 miles of road trips, holding down 2 jobs, and working on my little piece of home front didn't leave a ton of time for match shooting but it did provide me with the chance to become a range rat and gun store guy again.

2015 was an interesting year in guns, both for me and for the industry. My current project guns were shelved, new handguns took center stage, and I somehow managed to find the time and resources to build up a "budget" long-range gun and earn my 1,000 yard cred.

Glock, having sorted out the bugs with the Gen4 pistols, won me back into their camp. Initially, I wanted a "work" gun that matched the majority of the rest of the crew at the range but what I wound up with is a new go-to everyday carry (EDC) gun. The initial mods to my Gen 4 19 (GlockTriggers Hackathorn trigger system and 10-8 sights) turned it into a real shooter. Removing the finger grooves as well and mild contouring of the trigger guard fit the gun perfectly to my hand. The last combat match I shot with it felt nearly telepathic and I can't wait to bring it out to a 2-day class in March. Rarely do I leave the house without it - it has been absolutely reliable.

My Sig "summer fling" got a little serious, too. The P320 I picked up has been probably the best-performing polymer gun out of the box I've ever purchased. Beyond coloring in the rear sight dots, I haven't made any changes to it, nor do I plan to. It quickly became my new work pistol with the custom Longs Shadow Holsters retention rig Josh built for me. I have no plans to mod the gun any further - it doesn't need it and I have other projects demanding time and money. The trigger - straight out of the box - is money, and the square range accuracy and quick shootability is outstanding. Besides, it doesn't hurt to carry a Sig when I work for a Sig Master Dealer.

My new infatuation with CZ produced a well-timed impulse purchase last year, too. I found myself the new owner of an SP-01 which will eventually get tuned up as a new USPSA Production Division gun as I move toward earning my A Classification in Production. Right now it's just wearing a new set of VZ Grips panels and patiently waiting to get sent to Mesa for the loving touch of the CZ Custom crew.

This year I focused my training not on shooting but on practical basic trauma response and first aid from Dark Angel Medical and outfitted my EDC pack and my range gear with the appropriate med kits. They delivered absolutely fantastic real-world training I wish more people would add to their training schedule (because you might have to patch ME up some day!) and I strongly recommend their course and kits to everyone who carries a gun for fun, work, or protection.

Finally, I capped off 2015 by building a bolt-action rifle and learning the basic fundamentals of long-range shooting. One of our instructors is a former Marine Scout Sniper, and did a phenomenal job of taking me from a know-nothing pile of shooter to hitting steel from 200 to 1,000 yards on my first range session. I still have a long way to go, but I've tickled the surface of an entirely new shooting discipline and... daddy like. A lot.

I can't wait to see what 2016 brings. I'm already enrolled for a two-day "level 2" pistol class which will introduce vehicle dynamics, low light shooting, and other non-traditional skills we don't get to work on a square range. I'm focused on completing a number of gun projects including my 1911 field gun, finishing up my "budget bolt gun," reworking my shotgun into a true modern defensive tool, and updating my AR with new furniture and optics. I'm starting down the NFA road soon - rimfire and rifle cans are on the '16 wish list - and it's time to start working on the 10/22 clone of my bolt-action rifle which will become Lil' Normal's first .22.

In the meantime, every other weekend will find me slinging lead, preaching the gospel of John Moses Browning, and leading by example a true and virtuous Pew Pew Life. Swing by the range and say hi!

Stay safe, have fun, and have a great new year.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sig P320 Review - First Trip to the Range, and it is Good

Summer is officially here, and my Sig Fling has begun... I finally was able to get to the range and put 150 rounds of various range ammo through my new P320 Compact.

And... the verdict...

All other things being equal, Sig Sauer's new P320 isn't going to replace my dolled-up G19 as my Hell-And-Back pistol, but if I had it all to do all over again starting back in the late 2000's and this blaster were on the market, I would probably have turned into a Sig guy on the spot. Now that my weekend range gig has upped their game and become a Sig Master Dealer, the P320 will be on my hip at work. While I was never that into their classic line of pistols (nothing against them, just never bought that particular purple drink), this new striker-fired Sig is definitely my stein of bock.

First, that trigger. It's cleaner and more consistent, out of the box, than my professionally-polished Glock internals which I love and shoot well. A solid trigger is, well, a SOLID TRIGGER, and that's a good thing. It's a Sig trigger, and deserving of the name. This isn't a dumbed-down price point gun that suffers from penny pinching. It's not as glass smooth and Kettle Chip crispy as the SRT in their classic line, but it's close. It is light years better than the 2022 and the P250. Many are calling it the best striker-fired trigger out of the box. Ever. They might be right.

I'm not a Tupperware trigger snob... dumping $300 into the fire control system on a $600 gun is like throwing a turbo on a Hyundai Elantra. Sure... plenty of folks are going to do it and brag to their friends, but the first time they get treed by a proper V8 on the corner of Main and Shouldn'tHaveDoneThat Boulevard, the light bulb goes on. That being said, though, for the first time ever, I finally feel like I have a plastic fantastic pistol in the P320 which doesn't NEED to go out to a 'smith to get polished, cleaned up, or have a magical trigger installed in to perform to the standards I know I can shoot to.

I know, I know... enough of the fluffy mumbo jumbo about who's plastic trigger is awesomer. Shoot the f***ing thing already!

After 165 rounds, I'm pleased to say this thing is a beast. Anytime I get a new pistol I will toss a bullseye target out at 20' and lob 5 or 10 rounds at it, just to see if I'm gonna wind up fighting or dancing with my new partner.

The shot to 12:00 was my first round out of the gun. the bottom two (touching) were my last. I held the top of the front post centered in the bullseye. I can't complain... 5/5 in the red (yeah, liners count!)

Next, punch the rest of the mag into the target at 20' and start walking it back. First to 35', then to 50', then to the back of the range at 75.' I've noticed I appear to have a tendency to drive the gun slightly left at longer distances. However, I certainly won't complain about cutting most of the bullseye completely out of the target by the end of the first box of ammo -- GECO 115gr 9mm FMJ, if you were wondering. For the record, the center of the bull to the edge of the 9 ring on this target is 4."

Crunching the numbers, all 50 rounds went through the black. 38/50 punched the 10-ring. Most rounds were fired from 35' and 50' -- this is all standing freestyle (two-hand) shooting, no bench rests or support. I'd definitely call this well beyond "combat accurate." *THUNK* APPROVED.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes of this test... take it out of first gear and see if she hits on all cylinders. Using a standard IPSC / USPSA practice target set at 15 feet, I proceeded to beat on that trigger like it owed me money. Hammers, triples, and failure drills... what amazed me the most was just how fast the sights returned. Short frame and slide guns love to run fast, and the P320 Compact is no exception. Next to no "dive" you see from long-slide competition pistols you have to overcome with recoil spring swaps... the front post just dropped right back into the notch and stayed there. Every one of these shots were sighted... as soon as the sights came home, hit it again. These first 30 or so rounds speak for themselves. I have never fired this gun in 9mm before today.

Despite feeling like the break was fairly north of 5 pounds, I get the impression this one wants to run fast. Feed it, fire it, wipe off the silly grin, and repeat as necessary. None of that "fabled Sig height-over-bore" became an issue. This is one of the softest-shooting compact 9mm handguns I have ever fired, hands-down. By comparison, the Glock 19 (arguably the benchmark for all compact 9mm polymer pistols) feels like it shoots a little flatter, but there is next to no "flip" like you might expect when you first pic up the Sig. Their engineers got this gun very, very right. Once a few of the Grays-tuned full-size P320s in 9mm make the rounds in USPSA Production and NRA Action Pistol, heads are going to start turning toward New Hampshire. Mark my words on that one.

Now... off to 50' for some head shots. Then out to 75' for more COM work. Then back in close for some T-Box fun. Yep. I'm driving this one left just a tiny bit. I wonder if the Small grip frame would help me stay on the face of the trigger. Clearly this isn't a problem with all of my shots, but I'm definitely drifting. My guess is that I should be able to train this out, just like I had to do with my Glocks, and remember to drive the trigger straight back with the pad of my shooting finger. Regardless, MOST of the rounds are finding the center of the target, and I'm not just converting money into baby-fart-in-the-tub grinning.

With a little more practice, a little more love, and a little more trigger time I have a feeling this could quickly become my new favorite pistol or, at the very least, tie my chance-pickup CZ-75 SP-01 which I have yet to tell you about.

Now that we've talked about the good, let's discuss the bad and the ugly. I encountered two stoppages - both failures to extract - with this gun tonight. The first was a classic stovepipe somewhere around round 22-25 of GECO 115gr ammunition. I cleared the malfunction, got the gun back up, and encountered no further issues until I switched to my third box of 9mm ball, Federal "white box" 115gr FMJ. All "test" ammunition is ammo I've fired hundreds, if not thousands, of times with little or no issue. Two hangups in the first 150 rounds with a new pistol generally won't worry me, but I will certainly keep an eye on the issue. As Hickock45 recently mentioned in his review of the full-size P320, polymer-framed duty guns have become so good that ANY hiccup is cause for concern. Until I rule out the magazine, I'll be keeping an eye on this one, just to be sure. Since our Sig rep was kind enough to supply me with two boxes of their new V-Crown JHP ammunition I punched a mag of it through the P320 with zero issues.

As for this whole business of driving the gun to the left, I'm not exactly sure what was going on there. You can clearly see the pattern drifted slightly off toward the left side of the target, but on the whole I shot the P320 pretty much to point-of-aim both in slow fire and with the throttle wide-F-open.

Like I mentioned before, many writers are calling this the best factory-provided polymer gun trigger on the market, which is likely to upset those Walther fanboys over in the corner. Yes, the trigger on the PPQ is excellent, but those new Walthers are all butterfaces - I know they FEEL good, but they look like a soup sandwich on steak day. After spending a TON of time on Glocks, M&Ps, XDs, Kahrs, and a host of other pistols, the Sig is predictably fantastic - the P320 is understated and just freaking excellent. I will not be sending my P320 in to get tuned up in any way. I've blacked out the night sights, and that's about it. I may (MAY) see if the forthcoming flat P320 trigger from Apex helps address what I think is a reach issue If that doesn't do it, I may just snag a small grip frame and see if that helps me push those stragglers back to the right. But I'm otherwise keeping this one factory-stock and expect I should be able to shoot the bejesus out of this thing and have a ton of fun doing it.

Let me repeat myself. Again. This gun absolutely rocks.

If you're platform-agnostic or on the fence between Springer, Glock, and Smith and Wesson, run (unless you're carrying scissors, then run REALLY fast) to your nearest Sig Sauer dealer and check out the P320. If the sales of our in-stock guns on Sig Sauer Day was any indication, this one's going to be big. I've said that before, but I really do think Sig's surge is going to hinge on the upcoming success of the P320 as a pistol for everyone.

Monday, June 15, 2015

I Finally Joined the Sig Sauer Family

After that unabashedly gun-dork piece on dipping my big toe into the Sig Sauer lifestyle, and after working a solid 11 hours at a Sig Days event talking and selling Sigs with their reps, displays, and demo guns on-hand, I took the plunge.

While I had hoped to go Mall Team Six and come home with the P320 in Flat Dork Earth, the day ended with me taking the last black P320C on the shelf home. Channeling my inner Garth, oh yes, she would be mine. And she is.

I'll have to wait to "un-band" my first Sig - I took our display gun home with me as, by the end of the day, we had literally sold every P320 on the shelf with the exception of our one Subcompact model. Oh well... we'll save that day for when I pick up a solid, reliable Single Stack games gun or get all nostalgic and add a P220 to the family. For now, I'm very happy about getting my hands on one of these - these are gonna be big. For home defense, law enforcement, competition, range shooting. You name it.

I'm looking forward to carving out a little time after work this week to take that little honey back up to the range and putting her through a proper maiden cruise.

As an added bonus, I just ordered up a couple of Blue Force Gear's new belt-mounted pouches to carry spare mags, flashlight, and multi-tool for work. These are soft pouches with no do-dads to snag and return flat when empty. Kinda stoked about these - they look as useful for EDC as they do for carrying my work gear around.

Click Here to Check Them Out

And, an added bonus, they've already shipped. Woo!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Sig Sauer Summer Fling?

Although I will swear up and down to Mrs. Normal that I have only heard stories of such things in myth and rumor, the best part of a summer fling was knowing it wasn't serious, wasn't going to mess up any long-term plans, and doesn't have to make any sort of sense.

This weekend I get to be part of a Sig Sauer Days event our club is hosting, and I've been boning up on my Sig knowledge (good to do since we ARE a Master Dealer now!). After a couple weeks of handling almost every Sig in the display case, getting to know their rifles, and poring over the marketing materials for their new suppressors, sub-gun, and carbine, I think I'm ready.

I've never felt compelled to sink hard-earned money into Sig Sauer hardware. Yes, they're combat-proven, reliable, and wickedly accurate. I get that. They're comfortable and fun to shoot. I just never felt like dropping almost a grand on a "classic" pistol which adds weight, bulk, cost, and a double/single action when my "cheap and cheerful" carry guns are working well.

...until I got my mitts on their new P320. Sig's first striker gun looks like an out-of-the-box winner. Everyone I know who has bought one has raved about the fit, the trigger, and the accuracy right out of the box.

Last weekend, a friend let me run a couple mags though his P320 Compact in .40 S&W. I knew it would be good... it's a Sig. I didn't expect it to be "this gun is going to be BIG, watch-out-Glock-and-Smith" good.

That new striker-fired pistol's trigger is no joke. Clean and crisp in slow fire, it kept up with me when I dropped the hammer and dumped half a mag of hot .40 ammo. It's almost like having an SRT system without the annoying DA first shot.

I was channeling my inner Will Smith (when he flew a space ship for the first time in Independence Day) when the gun locked open after the second mag, thinking "I have GOT to get me one of THESE!"

Which brings me back to summer, things that don't have to make any sense, and the chance to snap up a P320 of my own at our Sig Sauer event this weekend.

Every practical, sensical, and frugal strand of my being - there are seven of those left, I started with nine - is saying "dude... yeah, she's hot, but you're committed to your Glock and your race guns right now, and those Czech twins you brought home will probably murder you in your sleep"

...and they're right.

I've recently beefed up the pistol fleet with a G19 - my work, carry, and go-to "oh, poop!" blaster if I need to grab a gun and bail. Admittedly, it's the most difficult pistol I own to shoot really well, (after all I am an M&P guy) but I've gotten my Glock groove back.

I hopped into the DA/SA world - just for fun - by picking up a CZ P09 and, a couple weeks ago, snapped up a can't-miss deal on an SP-01 (finally, YES!). As the nameless man in Fight Club would attest, I've got that CZ problem taken care of.

But, in a life filled with day job, weekend work, homeowner chores, a lovely wife and a rambunctious toddler, and serious guns, I'm thinking a summer fling with that shapely little German may just put a grin over my chin and keep shooting fun. I'm a sucker for interesting guns, segment-defining guns and upstart game-changers alike.

Now... for the really important question... do I get it in Operator As F*** Brown (Flat Dark Earth Cerakote) or Sig's classic Nitron finish?

I may just have to go for Flat Dork Earth. Because beard. And America. And summer. And gun.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wish List... The Long Guns

I've been thinking lately my handgun collection is getting to a point where I have everything I "need" from a practical perspective and I'm starting to branch into the "it'd be cool to have..." realm with CZs and my 1911 project gun. Technically speaking, I'm still pining over a 10" AR pistol build that may one day happen because "yeah... pistol... *snork*"

I have also realized there are a handful of rifles which are starting to sending siren notes across the sea and into my helpless ears. Particularly, a magnum-caliber bolt rifle, a .308 Win AR, an AK (why not??), and to rework my existing AR into something a little different than it sits today.

Right now, the Remington 700 Long Range in .300 Win Mag topped with a Vortex PST 5-20x scope is a front-runner for a "budget" magnum-caliber thousand-yarder with the punch one could need to take big game at distance. I love running and gunning with pistols but I recently realized how much I really do miss sending one bullet at a time down range. Yeah, I know the .308 is perfectly capable of ringing steel at a grand and had dropped plenty of deer, coyote, elk, and angry bipeds, but there's a bit more allure to the "Win Mag" and jumping straight to .338 Lapua is almost obscene.

Which leads me back to the .308. I have nothing against this venerable and proven cartridge at all. Given the quality of rifles and parts suitable for a quality custom build being readily available, I'm thinking that a relatively lightweight .308 AR with an 18" barrel and good mid-range optic would be an absolute hoot to shoot and satisfy that "gotta have a .308" itch I think most shooters will go through at some point.

And yes, I would look into having the Win Mag barrel threaded for a brake and adding a big-bore suppressor at some point. I would also look into a system which would let me mount it to the .308 platform gun as well. Because... well... sometimes it's polite to not raise your voice.

And an AK?? Why?? Well... I ain't gonna lie... Magpul's new AK furniture makes that craptastic stamped commieblaster something I'd actually consider shouldering. That there are also a few American companies building AK receivers that don't look like they were milled out of the head covers off Great-Uncle Vanya's tractor and engraved with a rock by a guy who probably wears a football helmet to bed is a plus.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

First Few Hours with Raven's New Eidolon Holster

My first first reactions to the new Eidolon from Raven Concealment Systems... it's:

Beautifully constructed.
Ridiculously fast.
Infinitely customizable.

And shipped with more nuts than you'll find in the Whole Foods booth the DNC.

I spent the better part of 3 hours playing "tactical Lego" with the mounting kit options that ship with the new Eidolon system. I set the holster up at least 4 or 5 different ways with the various extensions, angles, mounting components, and gadgets that ship with the Eidolon.

I wound up setting the rig up to wear at the 3:30-4:00 position - a basic strong-side configuration. I ordered the soft loops and struts, and set just a hint of forward angle.

First impressions are very good indeed... now for some gratuitous Raven gear pr0n:

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Magpul Drops More Win in 9mm and .22

I got a couple emails this week that set my gun-loving heart all aflutter...

Magpul pistol magazines for the Glock 19 and an inexpensive drop-in stock for the Ruger 10/22.

As Clarkson would put it, SWEEEEEEEEEET!!!

Check the deets:

New 15-round Glock PMAGs

Hunter X-22 Stock for the Ruger 10/22

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Raven Has Landed (Updated)

>>2nd UPDATE<<
Mrs. Normal just confirmed the Raven has landed and I will in fact, have the chance to get my gun gear nerd on after my 12-hour day in the orifice comes to a close.

Thankfully, customer service folks at RCS are on the ball and quickly confirmed the package did ship as requested and has been delivered. Once I'm done with my 2nd of 3 12-hour work days I will hopefully be monkeying around in the workshop with some new kit tonight!

I had hoped to give a first impression of Raven Concealment's new Eidolon holster system but - as with other orders - it seems like there's a shipping issue.

A full week after receiving shipping notice for my order it is still showing as not having been picked up. Hmm... I wish I could say this is the first time I've run into issues with their fulfillment but it's actually my third order and my third wonky delivery notice.

Their gear is excellent. Getting it into your hands can be a bit of a pain...

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I Didn't Choose the Glock Life...

The Glock life chose me.

Yes, I'm an unapologetic M&P fan (who's proven a shooter can clear the Triple Nickel with a bone-stock duty gun).

Yes, I'm developing a potentially-unhealthy attraction to a handful of CZs.

And oh HELL YES I will forever love John Browning's masterpiece of small arms design, the 1911.

But if the feces should ever meet the fan blade, the first gun I'm grabbing will probably be my Glock 19. It isn't the best at any one thing, but it does just about everything well.

After shooting darn near every major pistol platform in the marketplace, it's not the pistol I'll use to make it to the USPSA Nationals one day, but it'll be the one I'll put on when I start the drive home.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Continuing Adventures of the WoobieGun - 10-8 Edition

The more time I spend with my brand-new Glock 19, the more I'm realizing just what a good little gun it is.

Glock, Inc. built a real winner with this one, and the enhancements of the Gen4 models continue to impress. However, it's still a Glock and, as such, it's high time for me to address the areas any serious shooter needs to look at with a new piece of tactical Tupperware.

First, those damned plastic sights. As I mentioned before, Larry Vickers is quick to deride them as "slot fillers" and I couldn't agree more. Second, adding improved base pads to the magazines which is TOTALLY not necessary but can't hurt, either.

First... the sights. There are as many sighting systems available for Glocks as there are stars in the sky. Many of them are even worth installing on a "fighting" gun. The LAV's sights from Wilson Combat, the ubiquitous Trijicon and Meprolight night sights, Warren, Dawson Precision, and Ameriglo are all viable. But I went with something a little less mainstream but fully proven from a shop called 10-8 Performance.

I'll leave you to look into why 10-8 has built a reputation as the go-to source for hard-use duty gun components and sight systems for law enforcement and responsible armed citizens, but I can't speak highly enough about their quality, features, and customer service.

One of those features is the use of a U-shaped rear notch, which is supposed to help speed focus to the front sight while maintaining sight alignment. (Pro-Tip - THAT is one of the only things the rear sight should do!). The other is the choice of rear aperture width, which is important for setting up a pistol with the sight picture that works best for the individual shooter.

As for the front sight, 10-8'a fiber optic unit has earned the praise of some high-profile trainers as well as a legion of competition, tactical, and law enforcement shooters. They provide similar rod length (hence brightness of the "dot") to what you see in Dawson's f/o fronts (the undisputed king of the competition sight universe) but add a central post to protect the rod from impact.

I chose their .140" rear sight and the .115" front sight. Given the shorter sight distance of the Glock 19, this provides a "fuller" sight picture that is still intuitive and quick, but still enables precision at distance.

Installation was a breeze. I had never installed a set of sights on my own prior to this and, with a full gunsmith lab and a custom-built sight pusher at my disposal, it went without incident. Replacing Glock front sights (when you have the right tool) is ridiculously simple.

Alignment of the rear was confirmed first with the Mk1 eyeball and then on the range. Yep, having an indoor range at my disposal under the same roof was the other HUGE benefit.

The photo above isn't a perfect representation of what I see, but this gives a good idea of the front and rear sights. It's a quick picture.

As it turned out, dead-nuts centered didn't provide the perfect alignment. It was damn close, but not "Perfection." A couple nudges of that bombproof rear sight eventually allowed me to produce this off a sandbag at 5 yards...

I'll take it.

Now, this is with the top of the front sight even with the bottom edge of the colored block. Yep - I'm getting a slight 6:00 hold with this setup. Normally, that would bug the ever-loving crap out of me, but the deviation is 1/2" at 5 yards and about 3" at 25 yards. I could easily replace the front sight with a taller unit and bring that down to POA/POI but I'm going to shoot this rig and deal with it.

After final sight-in, locking down the rear, and addition of the fiber rod, I ran 75 rounds through the gun. No POI shift. No movement of the front sight. Very good stuff, and rock solid to boot. I shot one of my accuracy "standards" and was more than pleased with the results. I shoot 3-round groups at a defined target at 9, 21, 35, 50, and 75 feet, shooting as quickly as I can develop a good sight picture. Last night I chose the head of a human silhouette and scored 14/15 hits. The flier was a trigger control issue and I accurately called the miss. All other hits scored - no "earrings" or "haircuts." I'll be keeping this setup, and updating other carry guns as time and money allow.

As for the magazine base pads, 10-8 makes a rock-solid molded replacement unit for Glock mags that add strength, a little bulk, and strategically placed grooves and cutouts that will aid a shooter in clearing any malfunctions involving a stuck mag. Since I had ordered the sights, adding these was a bit of a no-brainer at 12 bucks to outfit 3 mags. Like everything else from 10-8, they're solid kit, and once you learn the "trick" to popping Glock base pads, installation is easy.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Whoa... Heavy, Man...

During my first weekend back at the club, I learned firsthand just how much of a pain in the - uh - lower lumbar spine hauling around a monster-sized duty pistol can be.

I decided my CZ P-09 would provide unmatched firepower as a "work" gun and the fact it was a CZ would satisfy the need for a "cool guy" gun.

Just one thing... I'm not wearing a 2" double belt duty rig like I did when I patrolled as a civilian volunteer with the local PD.

I hadn't figured on carrying a 40 ounce pistol for eight hours a day. And two days of it were all I needed to decide I needed something MUCH lighter that didn't sacrifice too much capacity.

Here's why...

Loaded, my new G19 weighs in at a shade under 30 ounces. By comparison, my UNLOADED P-09 weighs less than an ounce under the loaded Glock.

The result, my P-09 is going to be set up for range work and gun games. I absolutely love that pistol - I just don't want to be toting the damn thing around on my hip in anything less than full civvy battle rattle or competition gear.

I'm not saying there's such a thing as "too much gun" but I can tell you, as I turned the corner on 40, there IS such a thing as too little spine.

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Another (Good) Glock Week

Week 3 of getting back into the Glock platform has passed quietly without incident.

It hasn't "gone off" all on its lonesome like one club member insists they are prone to do, so there's that. For the past two weeks now I've been silently nodding and smiling at the older vet who insists Glocks aren't safe in the hands of the untrained public. I'm glad I'm apparently seen as being "trained." :-)

I've made a few (permanent) alterations to the grip to better fit my hand but refrained from going "full potato" on it. The results are visually mild but vastly improve the grip for my dominant hand.

I was fortunate to find a Longs Shadow Holsters OWB rig for it over the week. I wasn't too thrilled about the 15-degree angle but plunked down for it anyway (I'm impatient, they're local, and I didn't want to wait for a custom order). I found that turning the front belt loop upside down provides just enough cant at the 4:00 position to be comfortable. Longs Shadow builds some tough-as-nails gear here in Colorado, and the fit / finish are excellent.

Next up is the addition of a set of steel sights to replace the plastic "gap fillers" (as Larry Vickers calls them) they crossed the Atlantic with. There are few things in the gun world I hate more than Glock plastic sights... I can use them well if I really have to but they suck out loud.

The new set is coming straight from the folks at 10-8 Performance, and they'll be set up similar to my competition guns - black rear, fiber optic front. No need for tritium here... if it's dark, it's imperative I illuminate my target. I like my rear sights simple, they are there to direct me TO my front post, not distract me from it. And with one exception, the 10-8 front blade protects its fiber optic rod better than just about anything else out there. I can't wait to get them installed after they show up this week.

The final upgrade will be to drop in a new trigger system from Most likely their Haley Skimmer trigger system.

At that point, I plan on shooting the bejesus out of the thing and keeping it close-by. After all, it's quickly become my WoobieGun.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

You CAN Come Home Again...

Grab your flame-retardant parka... Hell just froze over. I'm not talking about Arctic Winter Blast Blizzard Pandora, no... this is something not even I could have predicted (until recently).

I'm back at the gun club on weekends, and I'm back to carrying the Box That Rocks.

The invitation to put the red polo back on was unexpected but welcome. They way they asked was awesome (they checked with Mrs. Normal first). After a month of weekends, I am happy to say that you really can go home again. In many ways, it's like I never left and yes, that's a good thing.

That brings me to the other real surprise, I'm back to carrying a Glock again. As it turns out, I had been a bit TOO specific with my full-size guns. They're either modified for competition or far too heavy to carry for 6, 7, or 8 hours a day in addition to the other range-rat accessories we go out on deck with. As it were, the Glock 19 offers everything I need and nothing I don't.

The Glock 19 could very well be the perfect do-anything pistol - it's just big enough for "duty" carry with a full grip and (Colorado legal) 15-round capacity. It's reliable, consistent, and beyond combat-accurate.

I made a few minor grip/frame modifications to avoid the dreaded Glock Knuckle and plan to add a real set of sights from 10-8 and a GlockTriggers carry trigger setup, but those are stories for another day.

At the end of the day, this is not only my new "work" pistol, but it will become my new EDC gun. Coming full-circle back to Glock isn't an abandonment of my Smith & Wesson collection, nor am I falling out of love with CZs. What I've done is rediscover my "woobie" gun, a warm blanket in the bottom of the box marked "winter."

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Back (to Glock) In Black?

A Long Time Ago...
In a Decade Far Away...

I had owned, shot, and been a bit of a rockstar savant (in my own mind) with every 9mm Glock handgun the company produced.

And now... after having launched myself fully into the M&P world, I am strongly considering adding a Glock 19 back to the stable after abandoning the platform a number of years ago.

Why? Well...

My first Glock was an agency turn-in 17 with just a couple hundred rounds on the clock I picked up for a good price. I tossed on a set of Meprolight sights and it served me well as a range gun, house gun, and as a competition pistol.

Then came a brand-new 19 I wanted as I entered the CCW world. Alas, my love affair with that pistol ended quickly as I didn't feel it was a whole lot smaller than the 17 I was slaying with in league matches, so it got replaced with a 26.

When the chance to talk a friend out of an OD 34 with competition sights came up, I jumped on that and relegated the 17 to the classifieds.

And after the brick-like nature of the 26 became too much for me to bear any longer, I left Glock behind for my carry gun in favor of a slimmer Kahr. Finally, losing a job for many many months led to me selling everything in my collection save for one carry pistol. I shot matches with my wife's (pink-gripped) M&P. When I finally got back on my feet, I was a born-again M&P shooter. Adios, Glock.

Fast-forwarding through a history of M&Ps, a small wheel gun, re-entry into the 1911 universe, and a weird fascination with CZs, I find myself pining again for the almost stupid simplicity of the Glock.

Particularly, a Gen 4 Glock 19. Very particularly, the one I hope is still sitting in the case at the club. I haven't quite shaken the notion that if there's one pistol I would want to throw in a bag and haul around with me if the zombies come, China airdrops paratroopers onto the high school football field, or Yellowstone erupts, it's still a 9mm Glock.

Preferably one with a good set of sights, a Glock Triggers fire control system upgrade, a few Vickers bits, and an add-on beavertail. And if we're going to send the list to Santa, toss in a Silencerco threaded barrel, remove the finger grooves and relieve the undercut at the trigger guard so I stop getting a freaking Glock callous. Yes, I've put a little thought into it.

15 rounds is acceptable for a fighting gun. 9mm Critical Duty or Gold Dot ammunition will get the job more than done. And I'll tell you right now that, while it is cool as hell to carry a CZ P09 for work, 20 rounds in the gun and another 19 on my other hip get freaking heavy without a dedicated duty belt to hold it all up.

And, finally, this is all the fault of my awesome British expat shooting buddy. Payback for "encouraging" him to look into replacing a Bren Ten with a family of tuned M&Ps.

Damn him. :-)

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