We’ve seen some interesting developments in defensive pistols this year. And by Development, I mean product enhancements, changes, tweaks… that may or may not be Earth Shaking, but are nice none the less. Here’s my favorite one for 2015. The Ruger’s LC9S Pro.
Ruger finally made the LC9 right. This is finally what the gun should have been right out of the gate. In fact, it’s so good, that not only does it top this list… but it’s so good that if you already have an other version of the LC9 – just sell it and go buy this one.
It’s not what Ruger put into it, it’s what they deleted. Ruger deleted the manual safety. Thank You. The unnecessary and redundant safety on this gun is like a pretty girl with a festering boil between her eyes. The poor dear… It’ll be alright…
The other thing Ruger deleted was the magazine disconnect safety. A Magazine Disconnect Safety is to guns what Double Clutching is to Cars. It’s outdated and unnecessary, and pisses you off when you come across it. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put that in there in the first place, needs to explain that to Jerry Miculek.
Here’s the great things about the LC9S Pro:
1. It’s affordable. MSRP is 450 with Retail around about 400 bucks. One place I know had them for 389. That’s crazy.
2. It’s light. The thing weighs nothing.
3. It has a good trigger pull. Some have said it’s a bit long, but come on. This is an EDC CCW pistol, not a Match Blaster. The trigger is excellent for the purpose of this pistol – and I’m a Trigger Snob and I’m saying this.
4. It has good sights. And by good I mean they are usable and you have a bunch of Aftermarket options that you can swap them out for.
5. It’s skinny. Going hand in hand with the light weight, this gun being so skinny means it can disappear on you when packing… it just evaporates. Gone. Stealthed Out. And since Concealed means Concealed, this is a good thing.
6. Ruger has a 9 round magazine for it. So if you have to go Fangs Out and Loud you can reload with a higher capacity magazine. I’d suggest buying 3 of those and one extra spare at the normal flush fit size. So you can rotate your magazines to keep the springs in order. I do that with all my guns, and I’d do that with these too. Carry with the short mag in for EDC Concealment… and my Reloads will be with the Niners. Done.
I’m going to say this now – and it’s going to be shocking. I like the Ruger LC9S Pro better than the S&W Shield. There. I said it. It’s out there. I like it better than the Glock 43 as well. That grip is too small for me to hold onto well, the LC9’s grip fits much better. And its much easier to conceal than the Shield’s grip.
Here’s my top 3 compact single stack 9mm’s:
1. Ruger LC9S Pro
2. Springer XDS 4.0
3. Walther PPS
The Ruger SP101, .357 Magnum, 3″ Barrel. Equal parts sophistication and malice. Astute and Brutal.
This one isn’t mine. Mine, is just like it, but it’s loaded and on my hip while I took the photos of this one. Those are my rounds though.
I love Speed Strips. So much easier to carry than Speed Loaders.
We discussed revolvers on ArmedAmericanRadio.com Daily Defense Hour. Packing a .357 Magnum is a luxury… an obscene display of power and glory, in a subtle little package of satin stainless malice.
This is one of the very best firearms purchases I’ve ever made in my entire life. As far as revolvers go, the Match Champion is the pinnacle of the wheelgun genre. Designed to be a competitor to S&W’s SSR revolver… it is… but it’s more than that.
The sights, the chamfered cylinder, the trigger work… This is beyond something for mere gun games. Ruger just made the most serious production fighting revolver they have ever put out. The only thing that could make this better as a combat weapon, would be to subdue the stainless. And really for most purposes and situations, that’s not an issue.
In making this gun, Ruger certainly put a shot over S&W’s bow… or actually… a full Broadsides. This is beyond Smith’s SSR. I’d even say it’s going head to head against Smith’s R8/TRR8. Advantage to the Smith with 8 rounds in the cylinder… But the Smith can’t handle the loads that the GP100 can load. In the long run, the MC will still be shooting full throttle loads while the Smith is laid up, crippled, and begging for a merciful end.
And the Ruger is hands down a better looking gun. It’s lines are gorgeous. That Grip is just sexy. It feels good in a way S&W will never understand. Power and Glory. The MC has it. The MC is made of it. If you have been thinking about getting a Revolver. This is the one to get.
It’s been fun packing the SP101. Having a .357 Magnum on you is… what’s the right word? Liberating. There’s a certain feeling of confidence I’m getting with this SP101 that I’ve not felt since… Since I first starting packing.
As you can see from the above image, I’ve changed the grips from the factory squared grips – which honestly I didn’t really care for – to these nice Hogue Monogrips. The difference in feel is night and day. This is almost a completely different gun now. Not only does it feel so much better, but it actually carries better because the butt of the gun is not squared off, but tapers down nicely. It hides better too. It’s just – better. In firing, it dampens the recoil a bit better than stock too. Not a whole lot, but it’s there.
If you are still running factory – I seriously recommend the change. Unless of course, these just don’t fit your evidently Sasquatch-Like Paws.
Typically I’m packing the gun with 10 rounds standing by for reloading. I do not feel like I’m at any disadvantage. 15 rounds of .357 Magnum is plenty for normal concealed carry. If I need more, I’ll get my backup gun… which is an 870 Street Howitzer. If I need more than that – I’m calling the Cavalry.
The load I’m carrying remains the Federal 158 grain SJHP. With which I am satisfied. For the time being. Until I am convinced something else is tangibly better in this application. Normally I’m a Hornady fan or a PDX1… but .357 Magnum is a different animal altogether. The bullets do not need to be so fancy. Just heavy and fast.
When I get my holsters from Adams Holsters, I’ll be packing the GP100 Match Champion as my main gun, and the SP101 will become the secondary. As intended. But for now… This little Magnum is serving admirably.
The Ruger SP101 just impresses the hell out of me. I love it. A friend of mine let me borrow one a long time ago for an article in Concealed Carry Magazine. (Read That Here) Ever since I shot Norse’s little Magnum, I’ve wanted one.
And finally, after all these years I finally have one of my own. I’m quite happy with it. Probably the most satisfying of gun purchases I’ve ever made. Should have got one Eons ago.
Some things I want to do with it. Gold Bead front sight post. Nice wood grips. Trigger job. Deep target crown. All in due time. I’m in no rush. Like a few other guns – this one is going to be with me forever. It’s going to be my main concealment gun.
Now, the platform is one thing. The carry ammo is another. .357 magnum has a lot of great options out there. Everyone that makes ammo, makes .357. And I do like heavy for caliber… so I’m thinking at least 158 grains, and it’s gotta be loaded hot.
Brought home a set of Ruger twins. Two guns I’ve wanted for years and today I just said “Screw it… I’m getting them.” So I did. Full power .357 Magnum Goodness Gracious.
I’ve not shot them yet. First, I have some work to do on them. They need some smoothing. Out of the box Rugers are not the slickest of actions or triggers.
The SP101 needs a new set of grips, or inserts. Not digging them. The Match Champion is awesome. Still needs to be slicked up, but I love it.
I will also need a couple good holsters. And when I say I need holsters, I only look to one source. My exclusive holster maker. I will not carry them in anything less.
There’s something just… Honest about revolvers. With Autos there is so much BS when it comes to “Reliability” and chest pounding when it comes to what Elite Unit uses your gun. Revolvers just ARE. They are inherently accurate and as reliable as any gun can possibly be. They are easy to shoot well with. And dang if they don’t look good.
This gun has been on my mind lately. Packing a full sized 1911 and a full sized 92FS poses difficulty when entering areas where you really don’t want your concealed gun to be made.
At some undisclosed point in the past, at some undisclosed location, I was carrying concealed in a place that had it surfaced that I was packing concealed… would have been bad. Not technically illegal, but it would not have been a happy situation.
While I knew my gun was lawfully concealed, I felt distracted and self conscience because this was a less tolerant place.
Normally I operate and a Total ZFG situation when it comes to this sort of thing. I just don’t care what others think… But when others could take actions that, while wrong, would… how should I say… hinder my calm. I’ve not decided, but am thinking about getting something that is a bit more concealable. I don’t want to go IWB, but I’d consider it.
So I’m thinking a gun that’s shorter and as reasonably narrow and still be comfortable. Now, I’m not wanting to go Single Stack… Because while I am not all that concerned with a high capacity, I like even more the idea of my reload giving me a boost… because if I Go Loud, I probably need a lot more ammo. Especially if I’m using something as anemic as 9mm. Which I consider Fine, but I’d like Finer. I love my Beretta and shoot it quite well… and carry it often… but it has a lot of rounds. Going down to a single digit round count for concealed carry – I’d rather have my reload give me as much as it can.
The Ruger SR9C gives me all of the above wants.
Of course, a Ruger SP101 would serve just as well.
I am conflicted. Maybe we can chalk this up to New Gun Itch. (The GP100 is still happening – eventually)
The Ultimate 1911 for EDC (Every Day Carry) has got to be the classic Light Weight Commander.
To me, this is the just the ideal 1911, period. It’s the most flexible, capable 1911 you can get. When you step away from this pattern, you step into more specialized, more limited areas. You can easily rock an LW Commander in an IDPA match, and win it. You can easily take that same gun and wear it for week concealed. You go to a 5″ Government if you like. And that’s fine. But packing it concealed every day gets to be tedious. Especially if you are getting in and out of vehicles all week. You can go shorter than 4″ if you like… makes packing it much easier, sure. But you sacrifice reliability in a way that I just find to be unacceptable. Maybe you don’t need a reliable sidearm. Huh… Well, someone is buying Kimber Ultras. No… to me, the LW Commander just has it all. The question though is WHICH light weight Commander.
Ruger is all over the place with their new LW Commander. No, it’s not that I’ve been a Ruger Fan Boy lately, it’s just that Ruger is really “Doing It Right” lately. (Granted – their new “Custom” LCP should be an LC9S, but that’s another topic) I really like what Ruger has been doing lately. 5 years ago – I may have had to hurt you should you have suggested that I’d be saying that. But it’s true. Ruger is making some fine products, and their 1911’s are getting better. If anything, they are really worth taking a look at.
Pre-SHOT Show so not a lot of the newest. Mostly it’s Pre-Shot clearing of older products. But there was some new things:
This is SIG’s new BRAVO 4 optic. Much larger field of view than the Leupold HAMR, with brightness and clarity that rivaled ELCAN. SIG has a whole new line up of Optics and looking through them all… It competes square up against the Leupold HAMR and ACOG. It’s a fixed 4 power. HUGE field of view, wider than the ACOG, wider than the HAMR. 4 inches of eye relief – they said – felt more like 3.5 to me… but massive field of view and clarity I’ve only seen in an ELCAN. It’s MAP is about 1299. This is a staggering good optic. When I asked how they did this – SIG snatched a lot of guys from Leupold. They have a Prismatic as well, called the Bravo 3. And other AR type optics and hunting optics… Binos and such… SIG is doing them right too. These are good. I want one.
This is the CZ EVO… It’s very smooth, very cool, and I think I like it more than the SIG MPX. Especially since the mags are half the price of SIG’s. There is an adapter for a SIG arm brace – which means it’s a perfect vehicle for an SBR.
Leupold wasn’t just thinking outside the box here. They threw the box away. What you are seeing is a small 6 power optic with an objective lens on the side, and the occular lens were your back up iron sight would be. It’s lower than the mini red dot… so you can use the red dot for fast work and tuck in for a more precisely aimed shot. It’s weird and I’d really have to get used to it – but I like the concept. Optical quality was not that great though – which defeats the purpose. But hey – it’s just a concept. I like where it’s going.
We’ve seen the pictures. They don’t do the Curve justice. It’s a lot stupider than it looked. I like they are trying something new. But they just need to try a better idea.
New handguard on the Mossberg 464 SPX. Thinner, lighter… I love it. I’ll have to order one soon. Seriously. I’m going to have to.
The newest Ruger GP100 Match Champion… Now with an adjustable rear sight. It feels better in the hand than the photos suggest. For a Double Action Revolver – I think Ruger found perfection. I WILL have one.