Tag Archives: 9mm

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*

S&W M&P Shield


Smith’s new Shield pistol is going to be a rare find this year… but if you stumble on one – SNAG IT.

It’s very compact, but because of the magazine extension, you can actually get a good solid grip on the weapon.

It’s narrow, but not too skinny as to be awkward.  M&P Lines, so it looks like an M&P, not an upsized Bodyguard… Being a Striker fired gun, it’s all M&P genetics here.  The safety lever is the only wart, but it’s a very unobtrusive one… which means actually using the safety lever is more difficult and of course completely useless.  This is a Bodyguard trait that should have been erased.

Right now, they are out in 9mm.  But they have already gone out to the allotted dealers.  If you see one and pass on it… good luck finding another one in 2012…

It’s kind of like an M&P Compact’s anorexic little sister.

The magazine holds 8, so you are not giving up much on the M&P Compact.  They said they improved the trigger of the standard M&P’s trigger… and that’s true.  They did.  But there are already people out there working on an Improved Improved trigger for it.

It’s not a straight up Single Stack… it does have a slight stagger to it.  This is why it gets as many rounds as it has, and feeds well, and gives you a bit of a funnel for a quicker reload when you need it.

Overall, I’m impressed.  S&W’s M&P line up is all excellent stuff and this gun is no different.  Let’s see, there is the new SIG 938 and the new Beretta Nano, the newest of the Sub Compact Slim Nines… The SIG is a mini 1911 and thus in a class by its self… the Nano is a Double Action.  So while not a real Apples to Apples gun, the Shield smokes it.  The only thing really like the Shield is the Walther PPS and I think the Shield is a much better pistol.  It feels better in the hand, better trigger, and feels like a more solid built gun.   And, I believe, the Shield is less money  These are about 400 bucks and the PPS is, if I remember, about 500.  That’s enough left over for a very nice holster.

Less is More?

There are two pistols in 9mm that I actually want.  As of right now, everything on the market on most gun store shelves… I don’t want.  I just don’t… they don’t do anything for me.  I’ve no interest in them.  But coming soon, we’ve got a couple that have made me raise my Ogrish Eyebrow in interest.

First is the Strike One pistol from Arsenal Arms.

The second is the Caracal pistol.

 
The Strike One, to me, just seems really interesting and I really dig the super low bore axis and full 5 inch barrel. I’d like to see some accuracy tests. I’d like to do some accuracy tests. The new action and some innovations in this gun make it most interesting.
The Caracal has been tested by our friend Rob Pincus and he is all over this handgun… If Rob really likes something like this, it’s worth taking a look at. I’ve read what’s out there, seen the pics and vids…. But I want to get one and shoot it.
Now, none of these handguns are any revolution in hand held weaponry… both are firing the same 9mm rounds that everything else is, and as a result, we’re going to have the same terminal ballistics, effective ranges, and ammunition supply as everything else. So why do I want these guns? Because I’m looking for something other than the same routine. For the last several years I’ve become painfully jaded about the handguns on the market… there are no perfect handguns out there. Maybe there is something here that is getting us closer to that. Both of these pistols have something in common, other than in caliber… Simplicity. They are both very simple pistols in design and mechanics and that’s something I truly appreciate… when Less can be More.
Take my new Motorcycle for instance… the Superhawk really is a very simple bike. It’s a simple V-Twin with very little technology going on in there… other bikes of it’s type are using computers and electronic fuel injection… The Superhawk has a pair oversized carburetors and a choke lever. But everyone how has ridden one as almost universally agreed its one of the best rides – in the world. It gets there not just by being simple, but by doing simple very well. So simple, it smacks of elegance.
The Glock Pistol illustrated this beautifully when it took the world by storm. Yet the Glock is not perfect at all. Rob Pincus has pointed out his distaste for the requirement of Dry Firing the weapon to disassemble it. Springfield has corrected this from the XD series in the XDM series. The M guns don’t require it and the mechanism is about as complicated as a Slingshot. Maybe that’s what I am looking for… the simplicity of design, distilled down the it’s most basic form that interfaces with the shooter like it was coded in the very DNA.
Until we achieve a completely Matter-Energy Conversion power source that can feed the energy requirements of hand-held Directed Energy weapons or Electro-Magnetic Mass Drivers… we are going to be forced to continue to use cartridges as we know them today… and Simple Elegance is the best we can aspire to.

CZ vs The High Power

Don’t get me wrong here… I love the CZ 75, and clones.  The P-01 and SP-01′s are fantastic.   CZ does indeed deserve much love.

But not matter how good the CZ is… it’s a mere shadow of the awesomeness that is the High Power.   The High Power is the original design that the CZ apes.  The High Power, even in 9mm, is one of the greatest handguns of all time.  I know that Colonel Jeff Cooper spoke very highly of the CZ, laying on it much accolades… but I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Cooper was mistaken and he should have named the High Power as the advanced handgun that could unseat the 1911 as the next greatest thing ever.

Look at it… Similar single action function to the 1911.  High capacity.  Low recoil.  Attributes that many of the top shooters are advocating.  So many shooters are going for expensive custom 1911′s chambered in 9mm.  Efforts to regain what was there all along… in the High Power.

If I was sitting at a chair around the board table at CZ USA, a company that has listened to my suggestions before… I’d strongly suggest that they take the CZ75 platform, and not just many a single action only version for competition… But make a new High Power of it, suitable for Duty use. No magazine disconnect or brake, night sights, lock and load carry, and a higher capacity than the original.  Make it look like a High Power.  And put it out with those awesome grips that are on the SP-01 and P-01 pistols.

Two Tones

On WeTheArmed, I posted a picture and asked a simple question.  “Which one?”

The Top One, or the Bottom One?

In the thread, several guys liked the one on top, but overwhelmingly, people were digging the one on the bottom better. I like them both… At first I liked the top one as it has that classic “Custom” look that I dig… dark on top.  But the bottom one… it grew on me and I see why everyone liked it.  The lighter weight alloy frame, practical long wearing stainless… It’s certainly the smartest configuration.  It would be awesome… but I still like the top one… just for the looks of it.  See, growing up, all the custom guns (1911′s) were two tones, blued slides on stainless frames.   That’s just the look that’s stuck with me.

The question is, how to I get one like that?  Beretta doesn’t offer it and I don’t want to buy two.  I don’t know why I am jonesing for a 92… but I am.  Really, it’s the only 9mm, other than a Browning High Power that I want.  Er… those and a SIG P210… and a Colt Pocket Nine… and… and… and… I’m kind of an addict, aint I?

I may have been wrong. Maybe.

At SHOT Show took a look at the brand new and shiny Kimber Solo 9mm.  At for some reason that I can’t put my finger on… I disliked it.  No, let me be clear.  I hated it.  I wouldn’t have one.  Even if it was gifted to me, I’d sell to some unfortunate nitwit who would think it was nifty and then I’d go buy something I liked more and could get more use out of… like blister cream or 8 Track tapes.

And now here it is, six months later.  To be honest, it’s grown on me.  I no longer hate it.  For some reason I can’t put my finger on… I kinda like it, and I wouldn’t mind having it.  But I’d still never actually buy it.

It’s… hmm… I’m searching for the right word for it… “Nice”.  It’s a nice little gun.   And perhaps that’s its problem from the start.  You see, a universally accepted good gun like a 1911 Commander .45 is great looking gun… beautiful, in the eyes of fellows like me.   At the same time it feels just gorgeous in the hand.  It fits.   It also looks like what a Weapon should look like… it looks like it’s going to destroy something, it just hasn’t decided who yet.  It has a form that’s based on it’s function and that function is to put large bullets through bad guys.

And this is where the Kimber Solo Nine Millimeter fails.  Even in the name, just say the name a few times out loud… it even just sounds “Nice”.  Like something Julie Andrews might have in her purse… it’s just well mannered and nice.  Or like something you might spread on a piece of toast.  It’s nice… Pleasant, without being fun or too interesting.   Like having a Brunch with your Grandmother… nice…  And that’s what put me off of the Solo.  It is completely lacking in Sex and Violence.

Julie Andrews approves of the Kimber Solo.

Now, if Kimber was to scale the Solo up… to say .45… then all the sudden it would become very interesting.  Or even something slightly different, like .357 SIG.  But just a 9mm?  Sure, it works… perfectly serviceable.  Certainly better than a .380… it’s nice.   But I won’t buy Nice.  Not for the price.  The thing is retailing for about $630 and for that much salad you have a world of other options that are less “nice” with more Sex and Violence.

Can you imagine the Solo in .357 SIG?  Kind of like a young Julie Andrews playing a lead role in a remake of Bound.  Proper, but she’s a dirty dirty girl behind closed doors.

Alternatives would be perhaps a Kahr MK9, or if you can find one, a Colt Pocket 9 – which I am still wanting one day.  A Springfield EMP9 would also be pretty cool.  But the Solo 9?  It just leaves me feeling less than satisfied.

I think I just might be the first gun writer that has compared a handgun to the star of Sound of Music… Well, at least not to Captain Von Trapp.