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.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone