Just going to let the pictures do the talking:
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.
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.
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.
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)
The Ultimate 1911 for EDC (Every Day Carry) has got to be the classic Light Weight Commander.
To me, this is the just the ideal 1911, period. It’s the most flexible, capable 1911 you can get. When you step away from this pattern, you step into more specialized, more limited areas. You can easily rock an LW Commander in an IDPA match, and win it. You can easily take that same gun and wear it for week concealed. You go to a 5″ Government if you like. And that’s fine. But packing it concealed every day gets to be tedious. Especially if you are getting in and out of vehicles all week. You can go shorter than 4″ if you like… makes packing it much easier, sure. But you sacrifice reliability in a way that I just find to be unacceptable. Maybe you don’t need a reliable sidearm. Huh… Well, someone is buying Kimber Ultras. No… to me, the LW Commander just has it all. The question though is WHICH light weight Commander.
Ruger is all over the place with their new LW Commander. No, it’s not that I’ve been a Ruger Fan Boy lately, it’s just that Ruger is really “Doing It Right” lately. (Granted – their new “Custom” LCP should be an LC9S, but that’s another topic) I really like what Ruger has been doing lately. 5 years ago – I may have had to hurt you should you have suggested that I’d be saying that. But it’s true. Ruger is making some fine products, and their 1911’s are getting better. If anything, they are really worth taking a look at.
Pre-SHOT Show so not a lot of the newest. Mostly it’s Pre-Shot clearing of older products. But there was some new things:
This is SIG’s new BRAVO 4 optic. Much larger field of view than the Leupold HAMR, with brightness and clarity that rivaled ELCAN. SIG has a whole new line up of Optics and looking through them all… It competes square up against the Leupold HAMR and ACOG. It’s a fixed 4 power. HUGE field of view, wider than the ACOG, wider than the HAMR. 4 inches of eye relief – they said – felt more like 3.5 to me… but massive field of view and clarity I’ve only seen in an ELCAN. It’s MAP is about 1299. This is a staggering good optic.
When I asked how they did this – SIG snatched a lot of guys from Leupold. They have a Prismatic as well, called the Bravo 3. And other AR type optics and hunting optics… Binos and such…
SIG is doing them right too. These are good. I want one.
This is the CZ EVO… It’s very smooth, very cool, and I think I like it more than the SIG MPX. Especially since the mags are half the price of SIG’s. There is an adapter for a SIG arm brace – which means it’s a perfect vehicle for an SBR.
Leupold wasn’t just thinking outside the box here. They threw the box away. What you are seeing is a small 6 power optic with an objective lens on the side, and the occular lens were your back up iron sight would be. It’s lower than the mini red dot… so you can use the red dot for fast work and tuck in for a more precisely aimed shot. It’s weird and I’d really have to get used to it – but I like the concept. Optical quality was not that great though – which defeats the purpose. But hey – it’s just a concept. I like where it’s going.
We’ve seen the pictures. They don’t do the Curve justice. It’s a lot stupider than it looked. I like they are trying something new. But they just need to try a better idea.
New handguard on the Mossberg 464 SPX. Thinner, lighter… I love it. I’ll have to order one soon. Seriously. I’m going to have to.
The newest Ruger GP100 Match Champion… Now with an adjustable rear sight. It feels better in the hand than the photos suggest. For a Double Action Revolver – I think Ruger found perfection. I WILL have one.
I had intended to write this list before the Worst list… But had too much fun with the Worsts. Here’s my favorites from all the handguns released in 2014.
#1. The Glock 42. Despite being a .380 Auto, a subcompact .380 is just what some folks wanted, and has resurrected general interest pocket .380’s after the surge crested about 4 years ago. Concealed Carry remains a top reason for new gun purchases, and according to GunBroker.com the Glock 42 is #4 for Semi Auto pistol sales. Yes, this pistol was on my Worst list because of the disappointment factor. But for those wanting a .380 Auto pocket pistol the G42 has been the Go-To option for most people. It offers good sights and a good trigger in a compact package. Other options that offer this are the SIG 238, the Kimber Micro, and Colt Mustang… and all of them costing as much as 200 dollars more.
#2 Ruger’s GP100 Match Champion. This classic revolver has the features that I want on a general purpose carry revolver. Big visible front sight, fixed rear that isn’t just part of the frame, good grips, target crown, and a good trigger. I was mulling over the idea of getting another revolver… and the Match Champion is the one that pushed that desire over the edge as it’s everything I wanted to do with a GP100. The half lug is a give or take sort of feature, but I find it visually appealing on this gun.
#3 Walther PPQ 5″. This gun was probably the most interesting new pistol I handled at 2014 SHOT. It’s simply a long slide version of the PPQ, which already had a ton of great attributes. Now, you get a good sight radius and barrel length to go with that great trigger the Walther has. Walther is Germany’s 3rd great Gun Maker… behind HK and SIG (You guys can argue which is first and second) and it’s been the one with the most ups and downs. 10 years ago I said that Walther was struggling to maintain its significance. In 2014 it has certainly found it. This is one of the very best handguns on the market. Period.
#4 The HK VP9. This is the pistol that HK needed to build years ago. Not because it’s just a Striker version of the P30… but because it’s priced where HK pistols should be priced. It’s about 200 bucks less then others, and that’s were they should have all been. It also has something rather new to HK since the P7… a damn good trigger. Not just a good trigger for HK, but it’s just a damn good trigger. Not as good as Walther’s PPQ trigger – but then again nothing is. But this trigger in an HK pistol was unexpected. Really, I think this makes it the best pistol HK has ever made.
#5 S&W Model 69 Combat Magnum. What makes this model 69 so sweet, other than the innuendo of the name, is that this .44 magnum is built on the smaller and lighter L frame instead of Smith’s normal N frame from .44 mags. The L Frame is Smith’s frame for the delicious 686 series of revolvers. So now you have that, but with full .44 Mag power. That is just a fantastic balance of size and weight and power. I had a 3″ 696 in .44 Special and loved it. But it was incomplete due to the lack of horsepower. When you say “.44″ you are not looking for a mild and pleasant plinker… you are wanting a ferocious monster slayer. Here you go.
There are a couple Honorable Mentions: Springfield’s XDS 4.0, Ruger LCRX, Ruger LC9S.
I hate to say it, but I’m becoming a Ruger fan. This is something that 5 years ago I would never have said. In fact, 5 years ago I was busting Ruger’s chops regularly.
But Ruger has been trudging along, improving what they do, and making new things that I am liking… as a result my overall opinion of Ruger has been turned 180 degrees. While other gun manufacturers are slipping on quality control, Ruger is improving. While other manufacturers are making guns cheaper and acting like they are making improvements – Ruger is actually making improvements without cutting corners.
Ruger’s Revolvers are now setting the standard. Their SR series pistols are just flat out damn good. And their economically minded “E” series is probably the best Bang for the Budget Buck next to a Surplus Makarov… if you can find Surplus Maks anymore.
I could see myself buying one of their new LC9S pistols, or an SR9C, or an SR45…. or… or… I gotta say, Ruger is making some fine firearms.
Oh – don’t be so shocked.
We live the world now where KEL-TEC completely ROCKED a SHOT SHOW – no one saw that happening. So something like Ruger deciding to take making weapons seriously shouldn’t be a stunning event. But there it is.
Don’t get me started on the two 4″ GP100 revolvers we have at Blackstone. The Want is too high to tolerate for much longer.
Two new guns came in that in not handled before. The Ruger 9E and the Beretta Pico.
The Ruger is an impressive pistol for the money. Its so close to the SR9 that In wondering why one would opt for SR9, with it’s hundred dollar premium. The 9E has all the same features and the same trigger. Great gun for the money. This isn’t like a Smith and Wesson SD9, which is a tangibly lesser gun to the M&P. This is just what it looks like… an SR “light” model.
Ruger is doing it right,
The Pico is an interesting little unit. Its not for everyone. It’s a very tiny little pistol. Small in a “Wow” this is small kind of way. Even though it’s unusually small, You can feel that its quality. Its probably the best made little pocket sized 380 out there. The trigger is very good for a DAO type trigger I like it, I could see myself packing one. Deep Concealment use…
with the new . 380 ammunition out there now, my hesitations about the cartridge has lessened.
My only hang up about the Pico is the magazine release. It’s too tiny. Not easily used, But then again, this isn’t one to be doing tactical reloads with. How it stands the test of time will be interesting.
The disappointment was the HK VP9 pistol. I liked everything about it, but one small detail. Imagine a new BMW M5… with a razor blade in the steering wheel. See, in the HK, the trigger guard has a channel on the inside bottom. I’ve not seen or heard anyone else mention that. But it’s there. On the pistols I’ve looked at, these channels have rather sharp edges that my trigger finger seems to find. This causes irritation and distraction when there should be none. HK Acolytes will of course say “I’m doing it wrong.” BMW M5 with Razor wheel – “Oh, your holding the steering wheel wrong.” No… Because it shouldn’t matter how I hold it. It shouldn’t be there. In the HK that channel shouldn’t be there to begin with. So a pistol that could be a 10 out of 10, is only a 8. There are other small things that detract as well… but that’s for another time.
More on these pistols in due time.
The Ruger LC9S: I’ve mentioned this pistol before. Said I’d like to take a look at one. Well, i’ve done that now. I’ve looked. Held. Fired. And my opinion on it is now complete.
I like it.
The trigger is not a great trigger as far as the world of triggers go… But compared to other guns in the LC9’s class, it’s a fantastic trigger. Compared to the old regular LC9’s trigger, this is a godsend. This new trigger changes the gun dramatically. All the sudden this gun is now a very serious weapon. You can hit with it. You can actually aim at your target and have a reasonable expectation of connecting bullet to bullseye. That was not something you could really expect with the old LC9. This new LC9S is what the Glock 42 should have been. This gun is now on THE LIST. I could by this one. And I just might.
The DB FS Nine: I’m not going to say that I don’t like it because it’s terribly ugly. I think it’s disgusting looking… But so is an XDM, but I can live with an XDM. It looks like a kid drew a pistol and Diamondback milled it out of plastic and regret. But I know some of you guys out there are thinking “I like the looks”. That’s good. Good for you. Honey Boo Boo’s Mom has a Boyfriend because of guys like you… Where was I? No… The reason I don’t like DBFSNINE(!&@$T!(@$Y Okay, I hate the name too. For the LOVE of all that is holy – can people please use a shred of creativity when it comes to naming a main product line? You forgot that it’s not just Full Sized – as compared to the DB9, but also Double Stacked… So according to your naming ritual, you should have called it the DB FSDS NINE 9mm… Or add a threaded barrel and it would be the DBFSDSTBNINEOMGIHATEYOUPEOPLE. Come on. It’s like DB went out of their way to make me not like this gun. Okay… The top reason I hate the gun is the trigger pull. And that it makes me go all Louis Black over here. You have a pistol that looks like it could be a good shooter here. Six and a Quarter inches of Sight Radius here. Four and three quarters worth of barrel. And then you give it a trigger like CZ 100 with a sneezing fit. Come on!
Diamondback, clean the gun up, give it a good trigger, and give it better name. Like “F9″. The DB F9. Done. Simple. Clean. I’ll give you credit… At least you didn’t do what FN did with the “Five-seveN”. Gah! That still makes my left eyelid twitch. And don’t even get me started on Beretta’s 90-TWO! I actually had words with the guys at the Beretta booth at SHOT over that wretched mistake. This gun has POTENTIAL…. I’d love to see that potential realized.
Ruger is rolling out a new version of the LC9, the “LC9s”.
The “S” of course, means “Striker”. It is said that this has a very good trigger pull. If that’s the case, and it really does have a good trigger pull… well then. That changes things in regards to my opinion of the LC9. The S model would then be a pistol well worth considering. Let me tell you why.