Of the five generations of Glock pistols, the 5th Gen is easily my standout favorite. I remember the almost mythical nature when they first came out. And my first one was a Gen 2 model 17, that at first struck me as very interesting, but I ended up up selling it, and found my way back to a 1911 pretty quickly, and then to an HK USP, SIGs, and the rest. I came back to Glocks later with the Gen 3’s and spent a lot of time with them… Especially the Model 23’s. And pretty much always removed the finger groove thing, because they are awful. The 4th gen guns were, in my mind, gigantic disappointments. They offered nothing anyone actually asked for, and are nother more than a kneejerk reaction to the success of the Walthers and M&P’s swappable back straps. They did change the recoil springs to make the recoil feel a bit softer, but at the same time kinda messed up the formula because all the sudden some guys were experiencing more malfs than normal. So to me the 4ths are like the Windows VISTA of Glocks. That brings us to the 5th Gens. Where Glock finally did what every single person that raised an eyebrow at Glocks suggested – ditch the damn finger grooves. They cleaned up the recoil springs and triggers, and they didn’t futz around with the magazine wells with lips or cut outs or something that has always ruined a good feeling grip. Glock finally got it right. Now, they could have had this right at Gen 2, by simply listening to their customers and just adding in the frame rails for lights. A Gen 2 + if you will. Done. Simple. But I do like the ambi slid stop and reversible mag releases. They’ve come a long way. And the 5’s are wearing a new DLC finish too… Which looks very nice. My Glock Model 45 is easily my favorite Glock ever. And other than the XS sights, it’s completely stock. Because it didn’t need anything else. No aftermarket triggers, no Dremel work to the frame, nothing. This is a first for me. If you’ve not had a Glock in some time or ever… Take a good look at the 5th Gens.
The Snubby article Firearms News Magazine‘s page seems to want to sell SIG 365’s. Which is fine. However, it misses some things. Like the reasons to use a Snubby. So please, allow me to illuminate those dark areas of Reason.They are very safe. I don’t know of any case where a Modern Snub Nose Revolver has fired without the Shooter wanting it to be fired. Firing when dropped went out the window when the gun makers ditched putting the firing pin on the hammer. Rossi I think still makes revolvers like that – and I’m not a fan. The new revolvers from S&W, Ruger, Kimber… They simply can’t fire accidentally. Note I didn’t say negligently – if you pull the trigger it will go bang. And that leads to the next reason. Reliability. The gun isn’t going to care if you have premium ammo, cheap ammo, or even no ammo… The action will cycle as designed since it functions mechanically by the trigger and not by recoil. You can fire very light target loads, bird shot loads, and anything up to the heaviest loads… All of them. A recoil-operated semi auto needs ammunition loaded within a specific spectrum of weights and energy in order to cycle properly. Semi Autos also need a bullet shape that will allow it to fit in the magazine and feed reliably from the magazine. Revolvers will work as long as you can fit the cartridge in the cylinder and close the cylinder. In a semi auto, if that round fails, the gun has a stoppage and has to be cleared. In a revolver just pull the trigger again to cycle to the next round.That being said, revolvers can still fail, but the occurrence is far less likely. Size & Weight. The size and shape of a snubby is generally very small and can be carried very easily. These new Subcompact Autos are great, and can even be slimmer. Now, in the Semi’s… You have options of .380, 9mm in these subcompacts, with an occasional .40 cal if you have a Glock 27. For the same size of that .38 Snubby – you could get a .357 Snubby. About the same size and weight (slight differences that don’t make a difference) and then you have the option for all the .357 Magnum loads AND all the .38 Special Loads. Your snubby doesn’t have to be an Airweight, an Ultra Light, a Featherweight… Whatever you want to call it. You can get it in Titanium, Scandium, Polymer, or good old Steel, Stainless or Not. Depending on what you want to load in it, depending on what you like – You can have it your way. Simplicity. A revolver is the casual and classic Jeans and T-Shirt style of carry… It’s never going to look bad, even if it isn’t the popular thing. Mechanically, the manual of arms is as simple as a handgun can get. There’s a latch to open and close the cylinder and there’s a trigger. There’s no slide to manipulate, no slide release lever. And if you get a Hammerless Snubby, you don’t even have a hammer spur to worry about. This makes drawing from deep concealment very easy. Yeah, the felt recoil is sharper the lighter you go in the gun and the hotter you go in the ammo, but you can find loads that balance in a way you like. Another thing I like, is that it’s not spitting brass across the room when you fire it. You can simply dump the empty brass right here where you want them and you don’t need to go around trying to find them all before the police sho… I mean, before you leave the Range. This article says the sights are superior. And that’s generally the case, but you can get good sights on small revolvers too. With standard sights though, I outshot my entire Police Academy Class and took Top Shot using a Snub Nose .38 that I had put bigger grips on. In a class full of Glocks, Berettas, SIG’s and other such pistols… My little S&W Model 10 Snubby did the job. There is no Right or Wrong in what you want to carry if you can carry it concealed and if you can make your hits with it. Sure, the SIG 365 is a cool pistol, as well as the others like it… Hellcats, and the like. They are great. But so are Revolvers. If you can make your hits with it – that’s all that matters, no matter what you pick to carry… It’s not the Plane, it’s the Pilot. My Snubby? A Ruger SP101 in .357 and I use Speed Strips to hold my reloads. It’s accurate as hell and I can make hits with it like folks that don’t know me wouldn’t believe. I load it with 158 grain Semi-Jacketed Hollow Points that cause trauma on a level by which all other calibers are judged by. Only 5 Rounds? I’m confident I can resolve any realistic self defense scenario with this kit. All I’m saying is don’t turn up your nose at a Snub Nose.
One of the more strange arms out there on the market is the Vector series of firearms by an outfit called Kriss USA. The claim to fame is the unique action which does not reciprocate laterally like normal. No, the Vector does things different. The bolt cycles down at a curving angle with the idea that it reduces the felt recoil. Originally available in .45 Auto and now with the option of 9mm. As odd as it is, I have to admit, it does seem to work. Shooting the .45 auto version is a riot. The recoil is light. And the gun is rather accurate.
You can get the Vector as a Pistol, as shown. Or as a Carbine with a 16″ Barrel and a stock. Then if you like, there is the SBR versions you can also get if you have the jingle.
The Vector has a distinctive look to it. What I like best about it, is that it uses common Glock magazines. I love that fact. What I don’t like about it though… Is the company Kriss USA themselves. See, let me explain why. When I was the Retail Manager for Blackstone Shooting Sports, I had a few of these Vectors in inventory. One of them was Folding Stock version, and the other was a Fixed Stock version. The problem lies in the fact that they look very very similar. So when a Customer picked up the Fixed stock version and tried to fold it. Oh, it folded. But it wouldn’t lock in the unfolded position again. Because the stock was now broken. Kriss offered no help in fixing this problem and I had to pay $80 for the part to fix it. This was highly irritating to me. See, I watched the customer do this. He didn’t put any effort into folding it. The busted part just snapped like over-crisp bacon. This shouldn’t have happened. The part was faulty to begin with.
I like the fact that you can put whatever sights and optics on top. And the fact that the gun seems to function with just about everything that says “.45Auto” on the ammo box. And with a gun like this, coming with a threaded barrel is nice too. You can go with a Suppressor or other Muzzle Device as you see fit.
From the above photo, you can see that the ejection port is big enough you can eject soda cans out of it. That’s a plus for reliability.
The downside to it is that the Vector is one overly complicated piece of hardware. Inside the external housing, everything ties into a thin sub-frame that seems a bit too delicate, and there are far too many little pins that connect everything. The bolt mechanism is also complicated. Very complicated. And it doesn’t benefit from normal bolt momentum as the action is designed to reduce that inertial energy. The other downside is the price. The above pistol was about $1500 USD. Now they come with Arm Braces, which is an improvement but raises the price by at least 100 bucks.
So being Overly Priced and Overly Complicated… I’m not a fan of the Vector. Honestly, I’d rather buy a Ruger Police Carbine, and save that $1000 price difference on ammo, optics, magazines, or a suppressor for that.
FN’s Five-seveN pistol is one strange handgun. The exterior of the pistol is all polymer, including the slide. The gun is very light with a balance that makes it feel like some sort of toy. The safety strange too, like an AR-15’s safety, but reversed. The 5.7x28mm cartridge it fires is also odd, like a little bottle-necked rifle cartridge.
But as strange as it is, the gun works very well. It’s accurate and reliable. And it hits like a .22 Magnum from a rifle. Which is impressive from a handgun. And with a full 20 rounds in the magazine, that’s a good amount of firepower on tap. And with the proper ammo selection, it’s armor piercing.
The gun is
If there is any downside to the Five-seveN, its that it’s $1,435.00 MSRP makes it an expensive novelty with a proprietary cartridge that needs to be chambered in a small light bolt action rifle that would then equal a .22 Hornet. Instead of a nice little bolty, the option is the FN P90 series of carbines which is even stranger than this pistol. Which is pretty dang good. The options for holsters and ammo is limited, but they’re out there. Overall, I like these weird little pistols and shooting them is a blast.
At my core, I’m a 1911 Guy. Though I have a great fondness for SIG, CZ, and Beretta DA/SA type pistols, and a love of Revolvers… my heart belongs to the 1911. I get asked about them from time to time, though not as often as I used to. Because everyone’s talking about polymer framed, striker fired pistols these days. People are generally forgetting about the amazingly wonderful 1911. When asked, I’m most often asked about what my top choices are in a 1911. And usually, I’m asked about this after the person buys their 1911 pistol and then gets their Feels bruised because their pistol isn’t on my list.
Now, as far as lists go, I’m not going to a top 5 Brands. Because that’s not just boring, but obvious. So I’m going to pick the Top 5 Pistols. The individual model version… This is a much more challenging list. Made far more difficult by limiting it to only 5 pistols when this list could easily – very easily – go to a Top 20. So if you’re baby isn’t in the top 5, it’s probably really close… so your knee-jerk reaction of “What about this?” is going to be answered with, “There Can Be Only Five.”
Also, this list is just for Production pistols… Wilson Combat, Nighthawk Custom, Carolina Arms Group, Ed Brown, Les Baer and the like, I classify as “Custom” 1911’s.
Anyways, without any more preamble, here’s my Top 5 Production 1911 Pistols: Continue reading Top 5 Production 1911 Pistols.
Common Practice is that Semi-Autos and Single Shots are referred to as Pistols on the Form 4473, and Revolvers have their own check box. However, this is quite stupid. The term Pistol can be used for all handguns, and in the past it was quite common for Pistol to be used referring to revolvers.
Arguing that one is not the other and vice versa is like splitting hairs between a Riding Crop and a Driving Whip. The differences do not matter, don‘t even try to make the argument and being a pedantic jackwagon. Because no one should even care. Pistol is as generic a term as “Handgun” and can correctly be used interchangeably.
The 4473 is rife with retrograde thinking. Defining pistol or revolver is just one. Rifle or Shotgun also doesn’t matter. If there has to be any split in type, it should be along the Handgun or Long Gun line. And even there, the line is blurry now with Braced Handguns and SBR’s. I could show you different photos of AR-15’s and it would take the Owner of the gun to tell you which is which. So that’s another thing that needs to be deleted. All the SBS/SBR jackassery that is a part of the National Firearms Act… Which was terrible law making back in 1936 and it’s even worse now.
We have laws and ordinances requiring mufflers on a great many things… but on a firearm it’s illegal, unless you pay 200 Dollars for a TAX STAMP. Something you used to be able to buy from a hardware store for 5 bucks now costs you a Grand, plus 200 bucks, and then you have the asinine wait until His Majesty’s Service deems it’s ready to process your paperwork… average is what, 9 months now? This is beyond retarded. The process for doing a background check to buy a Tactical Shotgun is done pretty much instantly, and if you have a CCW Permit, it’s not even required… and if you don’t pass instantly, the background by law has to be done within 7 days or you can by law go ahead and buy the gun.
But to purchase a bloody muffler – you could have a Baby and start a Family before you get approved for a metal tube with some baffles in it. Never mind you could make a suppressor with stuff most guys have in their garages…. but to buy one requires the Federal Government to deem you worthy and you get to pay 200 dollars for the privilege. Thank you, Sir, may I have another!?!
These laws are utterly useless. They prevent no crime, they serve no purpose. They don’t even make the Feds any money as it requires a whole bunch of people to process everything and at the speed in which they get the job done… if it was a private business doing these transactions, they would be out of business. Well, maybe not – they are selling a product that they don’t have to either buy or produce… selling you a Right. Much like the old Catholics selling Indulgences.
Here’s the deal. We either delete the NFA… Or we make the NFA a Checkbox on the 4473 and they get processed like everything else, all at the same time.
For YEARS I’ve advocated the Remington 870 as the Defensive Shotgun of Choice. I’ve always loved the 870, and I still do.
When you take a Mossberg and add the Magpul stock to it… Something magical happens. You have something greater than the sum of it’s parts.
To explain this… let me explain the pros and cons.
The Mossy has the superior shell lifter for tactical reloading and more efficient and safer unloading. The Mossy also has that tang mounted safety that allows for efficient left or right hand shooting. The Remington system is certainly right hand biased, and shelf lifter makes tactical reloading a bit more tricky as you are fighting against the lifter’s spring while trying to shove in a fresh shell. And you have to finesse the gun and roll it to get it unloaded and cleared. It’s less than ideal.
Where the 870 wins is it’s steel construction verses aluminum, and the fact that you can easier run a pistol grip… if you are Right Handed, and you don’t have prehensile thumbs. But really, we make space ships, fighter jets, baseball bats, and armored fighting vehicles out of aluminum… so I don’t think the Steel of the 870 is really that big of an advantage anymore. It does make the gun a bit heavier, and that’s not too bad in a shotgun… but… now this is more personal taste than any actual advantage.
Now enter in the Magpul stock to the equation. The stock has these spacers that you can put in, or pull out, that let’s you set the length of pull to be just right for you and how you want your gun set up. It also allows a perfect positioning of your shooting hand’s thumb to work the safety as needed – Left or Right handed. The stock’s shape also manages the Gauge’s Recoil very well… making it handle very well while firing. It might be different in the way it feels when holding the gun and walking around… but when you shoulder it and raise that gun up onto target – it all comes together. This is the way a shotgun should be.
So… Yes… I am a Mossberg fan. Specifically, the 590 series. A 590 with a Magpul Stock is my Shotgun of Choice now.
I’m the guy that wrote the “Why I Hate the AR” article a couple decades ago. But I’ve come around to them now… after 50 years of continual development, AR’s are pretty much all decent enough now. They all work pretty well. But… I’m really picky when it comes to AR’s now. I’ll dismiss most AR’s in any gunshop. Being jaded as I am… having seen everything on the market with little that actually impresses me… People ask me all the time what I look for. What I look for in an AR first and foremost is Accuracy. It’s all about that Barrel. I want it Cold Hammer Forged. If it’s not – I’m just not going to spend my money on it. Period. So I am going to look for those markings on the barrel to ID where it came from, so I can know how it’s made. CHF barrels are no guarantee of it being super accurate – just consistent. And that’s where accuracy starts. With traditionally made barrels – some can be very accurate. Others, less so. You don’t know what you are getting until after you bought it.
CHF Barrels, takes away that variation.
I’m also going to look for a free-floating barrel. Traditional A1 and A2 and other similar handguards that are connected at the front, are things I am going to always avoid. You can have an accurate rifle with those… But simply gripping them differently will apply different pressures to the barrel and effect the Harmonics. Variations in Barrel Harmonics will effect accuracy.
You know how some rifles prefer loads of different bullet weights and velocities? Reloaders will play with powder loads to find that perfect load for max accuracy – what they are really playing with is Harmonics.
Allow me to explain. When a shot is fired from the barrel, that barrel starts to move. A lot more than you would think. An accurate rifle has a very consistent movement and the bullet exits the muzzle the same place in the barrel’s movement every time. Things that change the way the barrel moves effects this – and thus effects accuracy most often in a negative way.
I want the Upper and Lower receivers to be tight. With as little movement as possible. In some builds, designed for close quarters, or in AR Pistols, this isn’t so big of a deal. A little movement isn’t going to effect anything. But for a rifle configuration for longer range work – I want this to be a bank vault fit. Or if this is a build that is supposedly a super high quality build… or anything north of 900 dollars… I want this to be a bank vault fit.
The other thing I look for in an AR is a good trigger pull. I don’t care about the weight in most AR triggers. But I want that break to be crisp and clean. I want it to break like a hard thought.
These are the main things I look for in an AR. Everything else can be altered and changed out easily. So they don’t matter so much. But what I described – that’s the foundation to build your Configuration on.
One thing I’ve come to expect from Walther – Excellent Triggers. The PPQ, P99, PPX, and the original PPS all have triggers that go from Excellent to Fantastic. The PPQ is well known for being The Best out of the box trigger of any Striker – even better than the VP9.
Now the this gun here… the PPS M2… I was really looking forward to getting my hands on one. Because I am one of those weird guys that actually liked the original PPS. So I was hoping that this would be the same gun as the original, but with some ergonomic enhancements. This is not the case. This is a completely different gun. The new PPS looks great. This is a good looking gun. And for a Sub-Compact Single Stack – it even feels good. If you like a Shield, you’ll probably love the PPS M2.
And then I tried the trigger.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.