Tag Archives: .45 Auto

Ruger’s Light Weight Commander

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I stopped into a joint called “Nichole’s Store” in Rockhill, SC and found this little guy sitting there, all alone in a display full of other Ruger 1911’s.  This little one was all alone, because he’s a Davidson’s Exclusive.  Ruger is the Master of Distributor Exclusives.  I didn’t even know this guy existed.

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This finish on the slide looks blued, not coated.  If it is coated – I don’t know what it is.  But it has some color tinge to it, it’s not just black.  Depending on how the light hits it, it can look purplish, bluish, or brown – ish.   It’s pretty unique and the photo does kinda capture it, but then it really doesn’t.  It looks very nice in person.

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Like all Ruger 1911’s, the gun feels pretty solid and well made – and smooth.  But without feeling tight like a custom.   You can tell this is a Working Class Production Gun.  With tolerances generous enough for Reliability over Bank Vault Pleasures.  One one is going to mistake this for a Nighthawk or a CAG… But no one is going to mistake it for a Rock Island or ATI either.

It has two warts.  One you can see… the Novak Rear Sight.  Which is The Devil on a gun for this purpose.  The purpose being, this is a Defensive Gun.   Which means it’s a Fighting Gun.  And Novak Sights should not be on any Fighting Gun.  Ever.   The sights need to be replaced anyway, as they are just white 3 Dot sights… and any defensive pistol NEEDS Tritium.  That’s not a point I’ll argue about.  That’s God’s Own Truth.  This is why He created Tritium.  So it can be used on His Saint, John Moses Browning’s handguns.  While I’d be getting Tritium sights – I’d just make sure the Rear wasn’t Novak, and that it was a Straight 8 instead of 3 Dot.

The other wart is the Manual Safety… it flicks on with a nice snap.  The way it should.  But it flicks off, with no click, no snap, no tactile sign, and no audible tell.  It just… slides off.  Way too easily.  Like it was loose or broken.   That is a huge turn off to me.  Going Off Safe should be Tactile and Deliberate.  This feels like it could slide off if you had it in the holster and jumped up and down more than once.  This is of course, an easy fix.  But it’s a fix that would have to be made before you loaded it.

Overall.  I love this gun.   Well done, Ruger.

SIG P220 Combat

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The P220 Combat is designed to meet, and exceed, rigorous military standards. The P220 Combat performs like no other .45ACP available. Each pistol features the military’s Flat Dark Earth finish on its alloy frame and SIG’s Nitron® over a stainless slide. Internal parts and controls are phosphated for extreme corrosion resistance and reduced friction while the threaded barrel is hard chromed and finished in Nitron® which easily passes the military’s accuracy requirements – even after 20,000 rounds. The P220 Combat also passes the military’s 240-hour salt spray corrosion test. Outfitted with a true M1913 Picatinny rail, vertical front strap serrations and SIGLITE® night sights.

Continue reading SIG P220 Combat

I’m going to have to swing back to SIG after today.

I don’t know why I left SIG in the first place.  Pretty much I left SIG for Glock because sometimes I go into Retard Mode or something.   I should never have left.  I love SIG’s and I love .45’s and flirting with smaller guns that don’t even have hammers – a mistake I shall never make again.

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We’ve had this lightly used SIG 227 sitting in the gun counter for about 6 months now… I had 15 rounds of .45 Auto PMC Bronze on my desk for about that same period of time.
Well, today I put them to work.  HOLY CRAP!  The 227 is absolutely one of the nicest shooting .45’s I’ve ever fired.   It’s smooth, super soft recoil, and dang is it accurate.   That is 15 rounds at 25 feet.  No… seriously… 15 rounds.  I put 10 rounds in the mag, ran the target to 25 feet, fired 10 rounds, reloaded with the last 5, fired them and brought the target back in.  HOLE-LEE-CRAP.
I’m an okay shot – but not this good!  That’s the GUN.  The only other gun that’s on par with this is the CZ 97B… or $1800+ 1911’s.

This made me just fall in love with SIG’s all over again.  So much…  There’s a used SIG 220 Carry that I’ve been very tempted about.  This might be pushing me over the edge.

Carolina Arms Group

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The new 1911 Maker in North Carolina is Carolina Arms Group.    These guns are legit.  I’d put them right up there with Les Baer and Ed Brown.

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The actions, triggers, overall fitment – flawless.  Very smooth.  Great triggers… These are everything you want in a 1911.

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Now, CAG is a new company so they don’t have that name and reputation.   But if you know 1911’s and how they should be built – and not just Name Dropping and Marketing Buzzwords… and you examine a CAG 1911… You’ll know these are exquisite 1911’s.20150829_095841I took the opportunity to test fire their new Commander Length pistol.   It was flawless.   Cycled perfectly, and it didn’t just shoot point of aim – point of impact…. It was like it shot to “Point of Will”.  It was telekinetic… Exactly like a fine 1911 should be.   I wanted to put a round “THERE” and the round went there.  You are not just hitting your target… you are placing your shots on the target where you want them to go.

These guns are built with all premium level parts… Everything is forged billet.  Nothing even remotely MIM or Cast like how some high level 1911 makers are sneaking into their production… These are true custom built 1911’s.
The Price does reflect that… Around 3 Large.  But you really do get what you pay for here.   These guns are right up there with the very best.

 

Which one?

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The FNH FNX 45 is one of the top contenders in the debate about what the new military pistol should be.   20150708_133345 It’s big, accurate, has a high capacity, and as reliable as the sunrise.   It would be a great sidearm for any of our nation’s warriors.20150708_133404

Unless that warrior had small hands.  Even with the replaceable backstraps… it’s still a large pistol to hold on to for a lot of people. 20150708_133522  Many would not be able to operate it as efficiently as would be ideal.   20150708_133537

The HK HK45 on the other hand, is far more ergonomic and doesn’t feel as large.  It’s as accurate and reliable as the FNX, but it doesn’t have the capacity.  12 instead of 15.   So it’s a trade of.  A few less rounds, but more comfortable and more people can shoot it easier.  And… it’s a sexier looking pistol.  Given the pros and cons… it’s a touch choice.  What do you guys think?  Pick one.
(My normal response of “Both” is of course already noted.  But if you had to pick just one… pick one.)  20150708_133623

The Kriss Vector

I have an irrational hatred of this gun.

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Yes, I hate this gun, and I know it’s irrational.  It’s a fine gun… shoots well enough and from my experience is reliable and easy to make accurate hits with.   But I still hate it.  Let me tell you why.

First time I really examined one was at Crusader Weaponry’s old Utah facility.  Gundoc had one in for some custom work.  He had it broken down to the smallest of pins, every single piece was disassembled from every other piece.   In this state, I concluded from my observation that the Vector is a complicated firearm.  I didn’t really favor it for that reason… I’m an Ogre and I prefer more robust, simpler designs.  It’s not that it befuddles me or that I don’t understand the function of all the tiny bits… It’s just too complicated for my comfort.

20150708_133931Some time later, while I was still at Basin Sports, a customer ordered one in.   On the day he came to pick it up and take it home, this proud Vector Papa asked me my opinion of it.   I said basically what I just said here.  “They seem to be fine guns, but they are too complicated for my personal tastes.”

Well, the sad customer actually went and cried about that to my Boss.  Said he was so angry he wanted to jump over the counter and physically assault me. Which would have been very entertaining for about the 1.5 seconds before I broke his face and one of his arms.   Trust me, that would have happened.  You know how a Lion looks all tired and slow, yet can totally fuck up a whole pack of hyenas all the sudden when the situation requires?   Still…  this man’s Pee-Pee was so deep into that Vector that his feelings were ravaged by my comment that the gun was “Complicated“.

rip-taylor-6I was actually reprimanded about this.  Me giving my opinions to customers… Even when directly asked… My opinion was a Basin Sports Hot Topic while I was there. Even though EVERYONE ELSE behind the Gun Counter always toss out their opinions like Rip Taylor tosses Confetti… and Salads, I was to keep my opinion in check. I actually had to apologize to the customer – for giving him the opinion that he asked for.  Unreal. “I’m sorry I said your gun was complicated.  I should have used smaller words.”  Evidently my opinion causes violent reactions in those who have never lived outside of Vernal, Utah.   This was also the moment when I realized that I needed to live outside of Vernal, Utah.  Hence my response to people who asked why I moved.  “It’s complicated.”

20150708_134052I’ve just never really cared for the Vector since that time.  I’ve shot them several times since then.   Never had a problem.  But for the life of me – I still just can’t get over my irrationally hard feelings against the Vector.

See, this is the problem.  I want to like this gun.  I like the fact that it’s a new design that came from not just thinking outside of the box… but inventing a whole new box to think in.  That makes it cool.

Beretta Px4 Storm .45

I like this gun.  It felt very good in my hands, shot very accurately… Much closer to point of aim, point of impact for me… just ran “Good“.

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Good isn’t really the right word… Freaking Awesome is about right.  It felt freaking awesome.   I know the Storm isn’t a SIG or a 1911… But it’s a wonderful shooting gun.  10 rounds in the mag isn’t all that impressive, but the mag is smooth and easy to load and feels like its a higher quality piece than most other mags.
I don’t mind the Beretta Safety.  I even like it.  I don’t mind the DA/SA trigger.  I even like it.  I don’t mind the funky action – I really like it.  I’m weird that way.  But when you have a .45 that shoots like it’s launching Nerfs instead of 230 grain slugs… that’s something.  When you have a gun that puts the first 5 rounds into the same bloody hole, right where you wanted it to go – That’s awesome.  I know this group doesn’t look like its really all that much better than the Glock 30s’s group.  But the gun felt like I had much more control, and that I was placing my shots better…. It felt like that.  I knew where the bullet was going to go before I looked at the target.  I could call the shots with it.  Normally I can only really do that with a 220 or 1911… but I could with the Storm.
Now, the Storm is not up there like a SIG P220 is, or a nice 1911 is… But it’s right up there, real close.  I like this gun.  A lot.
The trigger pull could use some work.  It’s not all that smooth on the example I fired.  Which was a Range Rental Gun, that I think I was the first guy to try it out.

Five Stars, Beretta.  Five bloody Stars!

 

The SIG GSR 1911 C3:

The SIG GSR 1911 C3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can I say? I had to have it when I first saw it and I’ve been working on getting one for a long time… today was the day it came home with me. Sexy little minx, the C3. The C3 is SIG’s answer to the CCW question. Colt used to make a pistol called the CCO, a gun that I have always wanted since I first saw it. Then Colt dropped it because Colt is run by a pack of useless idiots with balls slightly smaller than your average sun-dried raisins. Well, SIG, being smarter than the average bear, is making their own flavor of the CCO concept. Commander length barrel on top of an Officers sized frame. This is, and I am not saying this lightly – the PERFECT concealed carry combination.

You know how I’ve said that Kimber makes “one of the best” production 1911’s out there? Yeah, well SIG is the other part of that equation and they do make The Best production 1911 out there. I’d like to see some top gunsmiths make some top end customs based on the SIG GSR’s. In the photos, take a close look at the frame to slide fit. No, scratch that… Go to a stocking SIG dealer and look for yourself with your own eyes. To get better than that, you are going to have to buy a full house custom built gun for at least double the money… and even then I really don’t think you can get better than that. Not when you are talking Stainless and Aluminum… now if you were doing a solid steel gun with the same steel on the frame and the slide – maybe it might look tighter, but you can’t actually make it any tighter. There is ZERO play in this C3’s frame to slide fit. There is no play in the barrel.

Kimber still makes some great handguns, don’t get me wrong. I’m still a huge fan of Kimber’s Tactical series. But SIG’s GSR’s? They’ve taken it up a notch. The reason I got the C3 was that I wanted a good compact 1911, but I wasn’t quite sold on the Ultras… It’s the Bushingless Bull Barrel that turned me off. The C3 has a Bushing. It has a GI type follower… no full length guide rods… no paper clips required to take it down… no gimicks or bullshit… just a solid 1911 the way John Moses Browning would have approved of. Say hello to my new daily carry gun. To get better than this – I’d have to buy a Wilson Combat or a Nighthawk Custom.

Shooting the C3, I couldn’t be happier. It’s A+ on the Accuracy Score. Even out to 50 yards, it was precise. Reliability is exactly what you come to expect with SIG, meaning it was flawless. Yeah, you can say I’m a hard core SIG fanboy now. So what do I think is better, the SIG or the Kimber? Read this post again. The SIG’s don’t use plastic mainspring houses, let’s just leave it at that.


Glock 36

Monday I picked up a Glock 36.  And after spending some time with it, I have some mixed feelings.

The gun it’s self is great.  A tight little compact .45 that is both accurate and reliable, with several spare mags and a Galco holster.  A good package.  It has tritium night sights too, which to me is a requirement for a defensive pistol.  There is nothing wrong with the gun.

I dig the fact that I’ve got a .45 I can trust to carry again.  And I do.  It actually shoots very well.  And it’s light weight.  I don’t even know it’s there, if you know what I mean.  It just disappears.  In all seriousness, it packs all day long as well as a S&W Bodyguard .380.

But I’m just not sure if I like it.

The grip is very narrow and un-glock-like.  Yet the finger grooves are very Glockish in that they line up in exactly the wrong places for me and I can’t really get a good comfortable grip on it… because it feels like I’m grabbing those peaks and nothing else.   This is an easy remedy with a few minutes of Grinder Time.  And I’ve illustrated clearly in my Glock History that I am not afraid to do that.  And perhaps I will.  But for the sake of Review, I’m keeping it stock.  Perhaps that’s not fare to me or the Glock.  Maybe I should put in some effort and make it as good as it can be and then review that.   I’m considering it.  The grip is almost too narrow for me.  It feels as if I can’t get a good grasp on it, but that could go back to those finger grooves.  I’m not sure.

Here’s the thing though, I like this Glock 36 more than I like the XDS.  The S is a fine pistol.  Springfield really did hit a home run in it.  They shoot very well, and while snappy, they are controllable and not unpleasant to shoot.  We had a range day with an S and no one had a single malfunction with the little guy all day long.  That’s quite an achievement for a little .45.  But the Glock 36 had unlocked that achievement years and years ago.  It’s the S before the S was cool.  And I like the fact that it has a real front sight post on it and not a Fiber Optic sliver.   I really hate those things.  They just don’t hold up over time.  I have people coming in weekly asking about how to fix the fiber tube in their front sight post.   This is something we should never ever have to even think about.  It’s not an item of maintenance   It’s not something that we should be worried about.  I find a Fiber Optic front sight on a Defensive Handgun to be completely unacceptable.  Target pistols, fine.  But on a Defensive gun?  That’s a No-Go right there.  And in ARMY terms, that’s a FAIL.  Don’t pass go, you get to start over.  But that’s another topic.  I like the fact that Glock has the most solid reputation for reliability.  You don’t have to question it.  It’s there.  It says so right on the slide.  “Glock”.  There are only a few other gun makers that I trust based on that name.  SIG, HK, and Beretta.  That’s pretty much it for me.  Other guns I have to spend time with to get to know.  Then once reliability is proven, I can trust them.

In a recent article I wrote, I said that I was done packing mouse guns.  No more tiny guns for me.  Tiny guns in tiny calibers do not fulfill the mission for which we are bothering to carry for in the first place.  This Glock 36, while not tiny, is certainly small.  The smallest gun I have in my carry rotation now.  I find I am very comfortable with a .45 Auto back in the line up.  My Springfield GI really isn’t in the rotation anymore, and more of a special occasion gun for me.  Or when I am feeling overly nostalgic or historical.   But being a full 5 inch Government Model, it makes OWB all day carry just a little less “easy”.  A smaller .45 is a good thing, if done right.  And the 36 is indeed done right.  In a discussion with a Gun Counter Co-Worker, we were talking about calibers and how law enforcement had evolved their carry rounds and has found a sweet spot in the .40 caliber.  He says, and really, this is brilliant, that the .45 Auto never had to evolve.  Much like the Great White, it was perfect for it’s function as it was created so it didn’t need to evolve.   That was good – deserved a fist bump for that.  But we can talk about the 10mm another time.

Velocity is a good thing.  And a big fat heavy .45 slug out of a short tube is even slower than normal.  So I elected to forgo my normal PDX1 / SXT load options and try something new.   Hornady’s new Critical Defense in the 185 grain load.  I used to be a big fan of 200 grain loads, and still am, but you can just never find them anymore.  All the new stuff in .45 Auto is 230’s.  So I was pleased to see a 185 grain option in a modern load.   I’ll report more on these rounds in the future.  But they are going where I want them to go and feed and cycle perfectly, which is the main requirement.  See, I like the lighter bullets in the shorter guns because they give as much speed as you can get.  Reliable expansion of any hollow point is a function of fluid dynamics thanks to velocity.  You don’t have the velocity, you don’t have the fluid pressure that expands the cavity to allow for the bullet to mushroom.  I don’t think this is going to be a problem with the 185 Critical Defense loads.