Tag Archives: 9mm



A Rep from Arex came by to show us their new REX Zero 1 pistol.
At first glance it looks like just another SIG knock off, like we’ve seen before.  But there’s something different about this one, and it warrants a closer look.   First thing you’ll notice is the Ambi Safety where the classic SIG slidelock lever is.  So it does have a manual safety.  The Magazine release is Ambi as well, and works and feels exactly the same from either side.  Deliberate push but not too much effort… damn near perfect actually.  And the magazine (comes with two 17 rounders – they have no desire to sell to California or other restrictive states) drops freely and cleanly.  20160511_112416

The gun is very SIG-Like.  With full length rails and much of the architecture is classic SIG.   Remember when I said the Slide Lock is a Safety?  Well, these guys made the Decocker the Slide Lock Lever as well as the Decocker.  So it works like a SIG, and it works like every other gun on the planet, all in one Lever.  It’s really very clever.  Kudos to the engineer on that.   What surprised me is the nation of origin.  Slovenia.  Slovenia is a nice little country surrounded by Croatia, Italy, Austria, and Hungary…. a region that is very beautiful, but not know for Technical Exports into the USA, but evidently they do well exporting to the rest of Europe especially in the more technical aspects of the automotive industry… So they do have the technical chops.
Miss Slovenia kinda looks like a Discount Kristen Stewart.  But I wont hold that against them.

The gun breaks down just like SIG, the Barrels look like they could be interchangeable as well.  The internal machining is very clean, like a SIG.  The only real departure is the normal coiled spring instead of the multiple coils.20160511_112429

The Magazine locks at the front-center which makes it naturally Ambi.  The Mags look to be very well made, smooth, and seem to be of high quality.  20160511_112440

The test example had very even wear marks, with the wear only finish deep… very normal looking.  And all the parts, fitment, and finish seem to be of very high quality.20160511_112525

Typical SIG take down.  No surprises, no warts found.  It’s an impressive gun.  I did put some rounds through it… and it functioned reliably.  The trigger was smooth, no grit, no stacking… it was very SIG-like.  But it was a bit heavier than my SIG P220’s trigger.  Not much, but I noticed it.  This did not hamper the gun’s accuracy.  It shot VERY accurately.  I’m not going to show the target, because after I shot it, other shooters followed on the same target.   But trust me – the accuracy was very good.20160511_112540
The only downside to the pistol that I found was that the dovetails looked strange… and when I asked the Rep, he informed me that they are proprietary and nothing on the After Market will fit.  (Same with the Grips) He then told me that they are working on other Sight options for the gun.  The standard 3-Dot sights are fine for most shooters… but Defensive Shooters will want Tritium sights and Competitors will want Fiber Optics.  I did not ask how easy it would be for a Gunsmith to cut the dovetails to fit a more common type… but I imagine it could be done rather easily.

Talking pricing, this is where it’s Un-SIG-Like.  You’ll be able to find these retailing anywhere from 200 to 400 dollars less than a SIG 226.    And that makes this gun a very viable option – but remember this was just my initial impressions from a brief (But careful) examination and a brief range session…. I would love to test one through a 2,000 trial.

My take away is that if I want a Discount SIG, I’d find a good used SIG and buy that, instead of this one that has different sights and different magazines and will need different holsters, I’m sure.   But if I wanted a brand new gun that is unique and operates more like a normal gun but still has that SIG look and feel… well… this is that gun. It has a lot going for it and buyers will most likely be very pleased with the purchase.

For more Information on the REX Zero 1, check out the factory website.

Ruger’s new American Pistol

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There’s a lot to be said about the new Ruger American Pistol.   But let me start out by saying that it’s a great shooter.  It’s a great looking gun too.  Out of the box, it’s been 100% reliable.  First shots with it – were exactly where I wanted the bullets to go.  The trigger is great, and easily one of the best in the business.  It’s up there with Walther PPQ and HK VP9.

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The internal machining of the new Ruger shows that’s up there with SIG and FNH in terms of quality.  That says a lot.    Every part is done exceptionally well.

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The feel of just the polymer frame is excellent.  It doesn’t feel chinsy and hollow like say, a SIG 320 does.  It feels like it’s quality.  Because it really is.    20151228_122108 (2)

The American Pistol departs from the normal “Like a Glock” pattern. This is a whole new mechanical system here, and the proof is in the feel of the trigger… Which is excellent.  20151228_122144

I like how they beveled the leading edges of the frame rails.  Which makes assembly easier than most autos.   The rails are also much longer than normal Poly-Strikers, and they are polished.  Thus giving the Ruger American Pistol a very smooth action.20151228_122206 (1)

Another nice thing about the Ruger American Pistol is that the steel sub-frame is machined out of one solid piece of steel.   Giving the whole pistol a much more solid feel than other gun of this type.20151228_122215 (1)

And dare I say it?  It’s one hell of a good looking pistol too.    The lines, the proportions… it looks “right” and it feels just as good too.  20151228_122223 (1)

The sights are standard Novaks, so finding and installing aftermarket sights should not be a problem.  It you like Novak 3 Dot sights – you are in luck.  If you like something different – the options are vast.  20151228_122230 (1)

Take down and such is just like a S&W M&P or a SIG P320… Lock it back, push the lever down, pull the slide off the front.
Ruger has said that these pistols will not replace the SR series of pistols.  But let’s be real – it will.  Because to buy an SR pistol, you will have to look at this gun and say “No, I don’t want that”.  Which is a statement you will not hear very often or ever.

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Interchangeable backstraps are included with the gun.  It comes with the Medium size installed, and you can opt for the Small or Large as you wish.  The Medium size though, feels small as it is.  20151228_122244 (1)

Ambi Slide lock lever and Mag Release.  Works perfectly from either side.  I love the angles on the gun.  It looks fantastic.  This is the best looking new gun to come out since the HK VP9 and M&P…. Both of those are sexy looking pistols too.  But I really like the looks of this new Ruger.20151228_122250 (2)

Ruger has said that they have no interest in a Military Contract. And have in the past refused to even participate. Ruger looks to have changed their minds on that.  In fact, they have mentioned the military requirements in the development of this pistol.    And having shot this gun and the other possible contenders – Ruger actually has a dang good shot at a Military Contract for this gun.  As well as contracts for LE Agencies across the globe.

Well done, Ruger.  Well done indeed.  I’ll be buying one soon enough.  Speaking of buying them.  They should be available for ordering as of Jan 1st from your local dealers.  Initial supply is very limited, so patience will be required for some time.  MSRP is 575, which means this should hit the streets at about 500.  It’s easily on par with everything else on the market at that price – and better than most.
Ruger, you’ve come a long way, Baby.  You have arrived.
Now make a Compact version for me.

Beretta 92FS change?


I love shooting my Beretta.  I just do.   But I’ve had a “Wake up” moment about it.   Let me explain…
I’ve never had a problem with the safety.  In fact, I rather like the safety mechanism as I consider it to be one of the safest safeties in the industry.  Now, when I carry my Beretta, my routine is to safe the gun, holster, and then flick it off safe.   This allows the first trigger pull to be unhindered.  More like a SIG.  I like that.

Friday the 30th, I participated in PointBlankRange.com’s Zombie Shoot.  It was a blast!   However in one stage, at two different points, I ran into some thorns.   From the first position of 3, you fire your string and safe your weapon and move to the second position to engage.   So I hit the safety, scooted to pos-2, and tried to engage.  Trigger was nothing but slack.  Two pulls, “Oh”, *flick*, bang bang bang… And then it happened again, exactly the same going into pos-3.

This was all me.  I recognize and own this.   It was not the gun – it was me.  Normally, the safety never “gets me” because I almost never keep it engaged.  I just don’t.  But because I did – broke from my routine – it got me.  twice in a row.   And I really really don’t like that.

Also, I’d normally have run my 1911… I just don’t run the Beretta enough.  Again – this is all me and my Ogreish habits.  How I do things.  And I was tasked to do things outside of my operating procedures – and evidently I don’t do that well.   I’m not making excuses here, I’m recognizing my malfunctions.

I think it’s time to look at doing “The G-Mod” on my Beretta.  Converting my 92 FS to a 92 G.   This changes the safety mechanism to a De-Cock Only.  So the lever will automatically spring back to the Fire Position.  This is evidently something that is so much of an issue for enough folks that Beretta even HAS a G model.

So now the question that I must ask myself… and only I can answer this for me.  Is do I get the G-Mod done, or do I train on this safety more so I don’t have those stumbles again?

Ruger SR9C

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.

It’s a good looking gun. Short, small, and I can reload with a full sized mag.

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.

Unlike past Ruger center-fire autos, the SR series is well sculpted and suitable for concealed carry.

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.

The only double stacked gun I can remember that is narrow like the SR series, is the Browning BDM.

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)

Apple iPhone’s iOS7 Review

The reason for this video was really just to give me an excuse to test out the Beretta 92FS after installing a new D-Spring in it which dramatically effected the trigger pull.  In fact, it cut the weight in half, or so it feels.   This one shot was the first live round I fired through it after I changed it.    To say the least, I am satisfied.  The Double Action pull, which I fired later, was also just as impressive.  Much lower weight than previous, with an overall better feel.  If you have a 92 series pistol, the D-Spring swap is a must.  It just is.
The truth about the iPhone – yeah, it’s a real iPhone, and it was mine, and I really shot it.  However it died the day I bought it because it got a little damp riding in the same pocket as my Droid phone in a water proof jacket, in a water proof pocket… but what moisture got in evidently killed it.  None of the “fixes” actually fixed it.  It was just DOA.  So I kept it.  Always with the intent to shoot it… because Apple.

SIG’s Latest

I’m thinking George Lucas must have joined SIG’s board of directors.  Check this out.

That my friends, is a SIG P228.  I used to have one.  I liked it.  So did other guys.  But not enough to keep SIG making it.  SIG discontinued it for many years.  Then they brought it back, briefly, with the addition of a rail.  Then they discontinued it again.

Now they are bringing it back with the Military Designation M11-A1.  To the Milspec Guys, the A1 designation means it’s all revamped to the newest standards.   And now some gun dudes (Not THE Gun Dudes) are getting all mushy about it.  “It’s a completely different pistol!” They say.  Oh for the love… No, it isn’t.  It’s a bloody P228!  If I take my wife’s Ford Explorer, scoot the seat back, and spray A1 on the back with Krylon, this doesn’t make it a completely different vehicle, it’s still a Ford Explorer.  And this M11A1 is still a P228… The same gun everyone ignored for the last 20 years.  But now all the sudden because it’s being sold under it’s Military Designation, it’s somehow better.  It’s just a 228.  And that’s a good thing.  The P228 is one my favorite handguns… It handles better than a 229, lighter too.  It’s a great gun.  But the way some guys are jizzing their pants about this is just crazy.  Where were you guys 20 years ago when SIG dropped the 228?  Because the M-11 has been around since 1989, used by the Military since then… and SIG still had to discontinue it because you guys were not buying it.

Hey SIG, just go ahead and Drop the “P” Designation of your pistols and make it “M”.

SIG’s P938

Last Saturday Headshot Willy brought out one of the new SIG P938 pistols.  I’ve posted about it before… how cool I thought they were.

Well, at the Range, I was finally able to try my hand with it.  The gun shoots as good as it looks.  It was accurate and the recoil was plenty mild enough in 9mm.  Very controllable.

My target was a small melon sized rock on a berm.  6 out of 6 hits.  Plenty good enough for defensive use, and to convince me that one of these days I’ll have to own one of these pistols now.

Beretta Nano or SIG P290?

We finally got in a couple of the little Beretta Nano’s.  A very slim single stack 9mm.  It’s a striker fired gun, much like the S&W Shield.  For the same price, between the two, the Shield is easily the better gun.

A Beretta Nano 9mm... finally.
Looks like it's missing a part.

The Nano looks nifty at first.  Cool looking lines.  Unfortunately it feels kind of awkward in the hand. The trigger pull isn’t bad… it’s no Sigma, but it’s not good.  I’ll call it average.  But the way the gun points and feels… it’s just… not there.  It’s like the Italians designed it for looks to fit within a very small box, not to be an actual firearm for a human to use.  Italians are great at designing for looks first and foremost.  The only Italians that design for actual performance is Ducati… unfortunately they don’t make guns.

The Germans on the other hand...

So the gun closest to the Nano, the Shield… Shield wins.  Another Striker Fired single stack is the Walther PPS.  Unfortunately Walther continues to struggle for relevance in the market, and I am no fan of the PPS.  Like the Nano, just because you can make it that small – doesn’t mean you should.  Yet it can be done right.  SIG is very close to the same size as the Nano.   And for the love of all that is good and holy in the world… I think the Germans made a better looking machine than the Italians.  Cleaner lines, and it looks like there are no forgotten parts on the gun.

This SIG P290 as pictured does have a higher price tag, but it is coming with Tritium Night Sights and a Laser Module…. two features I rather like on a defensive pistol.  I firmly believe that night sights are not optional on a defensive handguns – they are mandatory.  SIG has great night sights.  The Nano… not so much.  The Laser is a bonus.  The actions of the two guns show a greater disparity of quality.  The SIG is much smoother than the Beretta, it’s like the difference between a night with a Hot Octoberfest Beer Maiden… and the Nano’s Prison Rape by your Cell Mate at San Quentin.  Which one would you want to spend quality time with?

The SIG is much better feeling in the hand, and it has a slide release that is not in the way, obrusive, or awkward in anyway.  It is there, and it works.  Like it should.  You don’t have to think about it.  The Nano’s complete lack of it… What is this?  A Magnum Research Micro Eagle?  Come on.  Kahr hangs a squared off mailbox off the side of their guns – but at least they have them.  The Nano is trying to be slick by leaving the lever off.  I’d rather have the mailbox, thank you.  Beretta needs to look at the SIG to see how it’s done.  Also, the SIG’s texture is superior.  You can grip it and it’s not abrasive… it’s just… grippier.  And it doesn’t snag clothes.  Just like it should. The Nano… not so much.  Oh, it’s snag free.  But it’s also gripless.  Gripless, Pointless… The SIG P290 just makes the Nano seem a cheaper, sadder thing.  It’s a good thing it’s cheaper.  It will appeal to those without the means to appreciate better.  Like a Hi-Point.  In fact, the Nano looks like shrunken an flattened Hi-Point.  The SIG, looks like freaking SIG. A weapon you can trust. It feels like a weapon you can trust.  And they actually shoot very well on top of it all!   I’m sure the Nano shoots just fine… but do you really want to?

SIG smashed out another home run pistol

You guys know I’ve drank the Glock Cool-aide.  I freely admit it.  But I also remain an unabashed fan of the handguns from SIG SAUER.  I just like them.  Especially when SIG is coming out with very good ideas like the new P938.

Not much bigger than the P238, the little .380 automatic… the new P938 is essentially the same thing just scaled up slightly to fire the 9mm cartridge.

One of the guns that I’ve always wanted was a Colt Pocket 9.  Colt gave the American Public the middle finger and my desire to pursue the Pocket 9 was squelched, but not totally killed in action.  This kind of reminds me of that little Colt.

Really the only guns in the SIG’s class are the Kimber Solo, the Springfield EMP and SIG’s own P290.  I’m not talking about the Kahr’s or the Walther or even the Shield… I’m talking about the Higher Class options here.  The 938 just feels like it’s a step above to me.  I think it’s a lot nicer than an EMP… again, that’s just me and I am not going to cut down on the EMP.  I know it’s a great little pistol.  I just like the 938 a lot more for reasons I can’t quantify for you.  Same reason I like “Pralines and Cream” better than “Butter Pecan”.  I can’t explain why… I love me some Butter Pecan.  It’s one of my very favorites, but given the option between the two, I’ll take the Pralines and Cream every time.  I don’t even know what the hell a Praline is.

Back to the SIG, the new 938 trumps the 290 hard.  Lower bore axis, slimmer profile… just nicer.  I know I tend to favor Single Action triggers or triggers that feel and work like Single Actions, so admittedly I am biased to the 938 over the 290.  But taking the trigger out of the equation, the 938 is dimensionally smaller, which gives it an edge in concealment without sacrificing any ability for the gun to be a good shooter.  So really the choice is between the 938 and the Solo.

The P290 just seems too chunky by comparison to the slender newcomer.

At the gun shop I work at, we are a house divided on the new SIG… Some of us prefer the SIG P938.  And by Some I mean just me.  Everyone else like the Solo better. Oh well.  The SOLO is very smooth and sleek.  But it’s too much of a good thing and I don’t feel like I can get a solid hold on it.  It doesn’t point for me either.  The 938 points very well for being so small, and I can get a good grip on it, even with my hamfists.

To me it comes down to that trigger pull.  The SIG’s trigger is a Single Action that kept getting better the more we played with it, with the SOLO is a Double Action Only affair… While the SOLO’s trigger is nice, I find the SIG’s to be superior.  Some will argue that accuracy with a Defensive Weapon such as these is a secondary concern… and they are right.  But this doesn’t mean we have to disregard accuracy altogether.  I am quite sure that in a defensive pistol accuracy remains quite important.  Making that First Round Hit through a Vital is important.  But, that’s just my opinion.

I’d love a SIG P938 and I just might have to get one, one of these days… and by one of these days I mean “as soon as possible.”

UPDATE:  Thanks for the Hat Tip, SIG.  *High Five*