Tag Archives: .45

Still Love 1911’s

Still love the 1911.  In fact, this one particular handgun is probably my favorite pistol in the world. I brings joy and comfort to me when I just look at it… Warm fuzzies when I hold it… Bliss when I shoot it. As is… no modifications.  Just Use and Care and a bit of some Slipstream.  It runs very well when I use good magazines and shoot Ball ammo.

As much as I am fond of this gun… I do not consider it to be one of my Fighting Guns.  One of the guns that would be used should there be an unwanted/unexpected bump in the night.  I was issued a gun exactly like this one… it said Colt on it though.  But the feel, the weight, the wear marks… Fond memories of a time when I was lighter, faster, and younger.    But I’m wiser, and better looking now.  I still respect the 1911 and it’s History.  It still has a place in my heart, and it always will.  When I was on the ground and someone was aiming a weapon at me… it was a 1911 in my hand that stopped what could have come next.

While the 1911 was an epoch moment in handgunning, my chosen handgun is the second epoch… The Glock.  It’s an evolutionary leap, as was the 1911 when it was adopted by the US Army.  I very much look forward to the next leap forward.

Kimber Sucks

I’m going to throw down some hate on a gun company favored by many.  Kimber.  They freaking suck.  Kimber is backlogged so deep, ordering anything from them is freaking useless.  The little Solo pistol they put out is virtually vaporware as we’ve had some on order since last summer and still haven’t seen any.  We could have sold a hundred of them if we had them.  The institutionalized corporate arrogance is astonishing.  Last year we ordered a simple 9mm 1911 at the beginning of the year.  It was a Christmas Present from a mother to her son and she knew Kimber was slow.  We had estimated dates from Kimber and it looked to be fine.  He didn’t get the gun till late January.

Kimber’s attitude is worse than their guns.
1400 dollar pistol and they put in plastic mainspring housings?  Really?  Come on.
We had some pistols that had waves inside the barrels.  Kimber’s response was flippant.  “Oh, that wont effect accuracy.”  The hell it doesn’t.
Brand new Tac Custom II’s… With Slide Release and Safety Levers that look like they went through a Rock Chipper.  They didn’t want to send us new parts so we just sent the guns back to them and we had to pay for the shipping.  Nice.  And to top it all off – they only include 1 magazine.  WTF?  How useless can these people be?  Come on.  But people put up with all that BS because Kimbers have one thing going for them… They are Pretty.  People will happily pay for arrogant, tacky, high maintenance shit if they are pretty.

Yes, I just compared Kimber to Paris Hilton. My apologies to Paris Hilton Fans.

What people are going for when they ask to look at a Kimber is a good quality 1911… If that is what you want – Get a SIG 1911.  Seriously.  In many cases, you will even pay less money for the SIG which is a much better built gun. Feature for feature you are about 200 bucks less for a better made SIG than for the similar gun made by Kimber.  And you are going to get a more accurate gun as well.  My SIG C3 spanked the hell out of my Kimber Tac Custom II and Custom II, and Warrior, and Raptor, and CDP Pro II.  Look, if you have a Kimber that you like, that’s fine.  Enjoy it and be happy.  If you are looking to buy a Kimber… Buy a SIG.  You will get a much better gun and it even comes with a spare magazine. How novel is that?

Love for the .40

The Gun Community is starting to drift away from the .40.  A lot of Trainers that I respect are moving away from the .40 to the 9mm.  They can shoot faster with it.  They have their reasons… Cost of ammo is higher than 9mm, it has more recoil than 9mm, and you can get more rounds in the same size magazine in 9mm.  That’s all true.  Sure.  But I think some of them just like to wow students with Buzz Gun firing rates.  Sure, you can shoot a 9mm really fast and look like Chris Costa doing it… but you are doing it with a smaller and weaker cartridge.  The .40 has more recoil because you are putting out more punch.

In .40 I have a bullet that has a 27% increase in Diameter, heavier bullet weights.  It performs more like a .45 than it does a 9mm, yet I get roughly double the capacity of a .45 in a pistol with the size and comfort in the hand of a 9mm grip frame.  A .40 caliber will typically give up only 1 or 2 rounds from a 9mm.  Yet we have about double the capacity from your typical .45 pistol.  Considering that you are not really giving up any actual power from a .45, that’s a good trade.
The .40 is the cartridge of choice for a majority of Law Enforcement for a reason.  Police, both Federal and Local tend to be picky about what they choose to carry and usually do a lot of testing.  This is why they usually end up picking a .40.  They don’t just adopt a cartridge because it’s popular.  Let’s not forget that reason we have the .40 is from the unfortunate event with the 86 Miami Massacre.  During that event, the 9mm failed to do it’s job.  So did the .38 Special.  The result was the FBI’s search for a better cartridge.  This gave us the 10mm, which was fantastic, but too much for the Lawyers and Accountants of the FBI to handle.  S&W then developed the .40… which is where we are now.
So I do like the .40 S&W cartridge, and will continue to use it.  I don’t need to follow the typical path of going backwards.  .45 to 9, back to .45, then back to 9mm… See this goes back to the Old West days… we all had .45’s.  Then the Army went to the .38’s.  After we fought the Moros, we had the Trials of 1905 where we decided we needed a .45 again… this the 1907 trials that lead to the 1911 adaptation which served just fine until the 80’s when we went with a 9mm again.  I’m done with all that, and so is Law Enforcement… I’ll stick with .40 caliber.

Springfield’s XD .45 Tactical

The other day I was shooting with The Fellas, and my buddy gave me a loaded magazine and an empty pistol.  The XD Tactical in .45.  He had stippled the gun the same way I did my Glock… and I have to say that it really improved the feel.  I also have to say that the pistol shot extremely well and was uncannily accurate.  This was the old XD model, not a newer M class.  But in the .45 guns, there’s not a lot of difference.  Same Mags, same cold hammer forged barrels… the M triggers are nicer, and of course, the outside cosmetics.  But I don’t like the way the M’s feel slippery in my hands.  Some texturing work fixes that real easy.
Now, I respect the XD’s and know they are all very good guns… but I’m not particularly fond of them.  This one though… I like it.  The XDM’s I think are a bit better and I like them more.  If anyone out there are thinking of getting an M model… it is a good buy.  Especially the long barreled versions if you are looking for an accurate, easy gun to shoot, with a lot of capacity.
While I’m not going to line up to buy one… if any of The Horde does, it would be a good choice.

Gun Lust of the Day: SIG P220 Compact SAS

Full of Want

The SIG P220 Compact SAS.   It’s all I want for Christmas… just this…

In all seriousness, I’ve always wanted a compact P220 and have never had one.  My respect for the P220 goes so far that I could almost forgo the companionship of 1911’s, in favor of the P220’s.  I’ve had several full sized SIG P220’s.  One was a duty weapon for me in Richmond, VA.  Fantastic gun.  However back then, compacts were just not around.   If you wanted one and were flush with coin, there were a couple top level gunsmiths that could do a chop job and make you one.  It was the stuff of dreams.  Then there was the P245, a factory cut down.  I don’t know the difference between the P245 and the P220 Compact, if there is any.  But it’s still the gun I’ve always wanted and never had.   Looking back at the Custom versions from gunsmiths… they featured melting and trigger work and all that.   One I saw was about 2500 bucks into the work.  And now here is a Compact, Melted/Dehorned, with an even better trigger… from the factory.

Why do I not already have one already?

Getting a 1911 ready for Duty

I had a message about getting a Springfield 1911 ready for duty use.   The fellow was concerned about having to replace parts, which is a common misconception.  You only have to replace a part if it breaks, and you don’t know if a part is going to.  Preemptive replacing of all the small bits when there is no reason to is wasteful.  A Springfield is a great gun for the basis of a solid duty gun.   The gun is pretty dang good out of the box and I wouldn’t say that it needed much.  But it does need some work.

First, if the gun has it, I’d get rid of the full length guide rod and put in a regular short GI type guide rod and spring cap.  The FLGR adds in more friction, more spots for binding and more friction while it unnecessarily complicates things for no tangible benefit.  Get rid of it.

The rails need to be smoothed out.  Frame and Slide.  These need to be polished.  You can do this yourself with some polishing compound and some elbow grease.  Under the slide, where the hammer drags across it… that needs to be polished as well.  Don’t get too carried away, just make sure it’s smooth.  Sometimes this area isn’t and that’s adding drag where you don’t want it.   I’ve seen some 1911’s where you could pull the slide back a bit and the hammer would allow the slide to stick there.  Let’s take that sticky spot away.

I’d replace the factory Springs with a Wolff spring that’s 2 pounds heavier.  Duty ammo is a touch hotter, so that extra grunt is going to help buffer slide battering, but more importantly the extra push in the slide is going to help chamber a round that might not otherwise want to feed all the way in.  The most common jam in my pistol classes with 1911’s when they get hot and dirty is a failure to feed.   Usually the slide stops about a quarter inch short of home and a tap with the palm of the hand to the back of the slide usually does the trick.  A spring that is a little stronger reduces that type of jam.  Some guys think that they have to ream out the chamber and throat… when really all they need is a smoother action and a stronger spring.   Now, sometimes you do need to have a chamber and throat job.  But most of the time, you don’t.  And most of the time those guys that think they do are running Handloads and blame the gun.  Sure “Factory” runs fine, but with your absolutely flawless handloads – must be something wrong with the gun… they made the chamber too tight.  Uh huh.

Run Factory Ammunition.

Lubrication is critical.  This is why Crusader made Slipstream Weapon Lubricant.   Clean your 1911 with MPRO-7 Cleaner completely.  Get some Slipstream and soak that 1911 in it… apply it generously to all the moving parts and friction bearing surfaces and work that in.  Cycle it by hand a hundred times.  Then strip it, do it again.   Now, get out to the range and go shoot it.  A lot.  Then clean it and Slipstream it again.   The Nano Lube that makes Slipstream black… those particles… will get into the metal, imbed in the surface and will seriously slick that gun up.  This is beyond what your favorite oil can do.  I’ve a Springer GI – nothing fancy.  But it’s slicker than a Nighthawk Custom and it’s never jammed on me… Since I Slipstreamed it.   500 rounds in a single day?  No problem.  No failures.

Smooth, Simple, Slick, and Strong… that’s what the 1911 needs to run flawlessly.

That and Factory ammo.   Speaking off ammo.  We all know the 1911 was designed to run Ball Ammo.  Modern Hollowpoints sometimes don’t run in 1911 without a little work.  Typically those rounds being 230 grains.  I’ve seen many times, and once even in my own Springfield… where a 230 grain JHP round failed to feed.  But the same load using a 185 grain ran flawlessly.  These were Hydrashocks in my gun, but I’ve seen the same thing with others JHP’s.  Going down to 200 or 185’s generally let finicky 1911’s run perfectly.  I happen to prefer Medium to Light bullets for caliber in handguns.  In my experience most guns seem to shoot better than using that rather than heavy for caliber loads, such as 230’s in .45 or 180’s for .40.   But that’s just me.

My name is Ogre, and I’m an addict.

We had a Kimber Desert Warrior that had come in on trade some time ago.  It’s been riding the shelf almost completely untouched for a couple months.   I remember selling the gun to the fellow years ago.   This was before Kimber took they QC Nose Dive.  I examined the gun carefully.  He carried the gun a lot, then let it ride his gun safe a lot.  But he didn’t shoot it very much.  There is only a little finish wear on the frame rails from cycling, which is nothing because we have new guns on the shelf with more.  The breach face still looks new.

My cost on it was real good.   So it went into the back on Layaway.   I’ll take my time getting it payed off… I’m in no rush to take it home.  It still has those weird yellow waffle-like grips.  I hate those things.   Those are going Bye-Bye as soon as I finish the 4473 on it.