Please make THIS:
Work with THIS:
That is all, thank you.
I was hanging out at a certain gun store the last couple days, and they have a .223 caliber pistol in stock. I had to examine this thing closely. I’ve avoided liking these because I fee the ATF will reverse it’s decision on these things and they well be deemed to be SBR’s at the flick of a Bic pen and then the ATF will ask for all the records of all those that bought these things. I felt like they were a potential trap.
I made the mistake of handling the bloody thing again and thinking “why not?” It might legally be a pistol, but it’s a little rifle in all reality. The fact that you can take this “pistol” and shoulder it and fire it as easily as any SBR, but without dealing with all the SBR red tape is very attractive to me. Now I’m wanting one. DANG IT.
I’ve a rather short list of handguns that are of interest to me, at the moment. Perhaps the fascination will pass on these, but the Want Factor has been quite high all year so far.
1. The Walther PPQ M2 5″.
The P99 I reviewed for Concealed Carry Magazine really impressed me, overall. But a couple things that irritated me to one degree or another on the P99 was removed or fixed in the PPQ. Namely the mag release and the decocker button on the top of the slide. The PPQ retains everything good about the P99, just cleaned up. Like a Subaru WRX without the Spoiler and Hood Nostril. Talking to some other guys about the PPQ, such as Jon Hodoway from Nighthawk Custom Training… it’s quietly becoming a favorite in the class of Polyframed Striker Fired pistols.
2. The SIG M11-A1.
This is basically a reintroduction of the very excellent SIG P228… Which is what SIG is now calling the 229… but the 229 has rails. Don’t try to figure it out – it’s SIG and they just do things like that. But it takes nothing away from the M11A1… Which is an excellent pistol and one that’s been on my mind more and more lately. Slightly shorter than the full sized 226, the M11A1 comes home to that “Just Right” size for me. For EDC work both Open or Concealed, this gun can get it done. And has been getting it done under the 228 tag for a long time. I had a 228 that I used as a backup gun for some time and it was quiet excellent. I did have some problems with the trigger return spring, but that was an easy fix and it never troubled me again. I miss that gun. This is it’s resurrection.
3. The Ruger Super Blackhawk, 4 5/8″, .44 Magnum.
Nothing quite says “You’re Doomed” like thumbcocking back the hammer on an accurate and powerful single action revolver. I’m more fond of the western style revolvers than I am the more “modern” double action types. There’s something about the classic heritage of the breed that is both fascinating and just… I don’t know how to say it… “The way it should be”. Especially when dealing with full potency magnum loads. The only thing I’d do to this gun would be to get a Gold Bead front sight put in. That’s it. The reason I picked this over the Vaquero… the sights… the magnum frame… and a grip that fits my hand better. The Vaquero felt too small to me. Nice, but too small. That and with the Blackhawks I can really place my shots. For me, that’s a requirement with a gun with only a few rounds in it. The shorter barrel looks properly handsome as well. If I was in a rural area again where Open Carry didn’t even cause folks to look twice – That’s what I’d be packing most of the time I think. (Along with a Truck Gun in the same caliber… Such as a Rossi 92 20″)
I am quite tempted to get an AR-15 Pistol and but a “Arm Brace” on it. Because I love SBR’s but hate the red tape that goes will them. Here’s the thing though, and the reason I am hesitant about this… The ATF has changed it’s mind in the past about things and there is no reason that they couldn’t change their mind on this. This “Brace” thing looks too much like a stock, even if it isn’t. For some reason.
Because I look at these things… and the first thing that comes to mind is “Stock”. It just does. It has the profile of a stock and you can shoulder it like a stock, so realistically, what’s the difference? I’m afraid at some point in the future, the ATF is going to change their mind on these and all the sudden you are going have an illegal SBR on your hands. Or even worse, you can be well within the guide lines and yet some local Officer Captain America is going to see it and declare it to be an SBR and arrest you and confiscate the “pistol”. Because Cops in general, do not have the best track record of knowing all the ins and outs of Gun Laws. We would think that they do, and a lot of them really do… but some don’t. MAC talks about being That Guy, well, there is always That Cop. And you don’t want to be that guy that meets That Cop. Especially considering that these things could be legally reversed overnight.
What we need to do is just get rid of the Barrel Length restrictions on rifles and shotguns. Just do away with those line items in the NFA. And well, if we are doing away with those, let’s just toss out the NFA altogether because it’s a package of regulations that only serve to create infringements and stumbling blocks for things you can still get if you are willing to jump through the hoops. So they effectively do nothing but piss us off.
So I’m going to avoid a potential ATF trap with these Braces.
Pick a Gun Company. Any existing Gun Company, big or small. You are now the CEO, Chairman of the Board, and Majority Shareholder. It’s your company. You can do anything you want with it. What are the TOP FIVE things you would do with your Gun Company?
I’d take SIG SAUER.
1. First thing I’d do, right off the bat… End the relationship with iTAC Defense. iTAC is SIG’s goiter. It’s the unwanted, unloved tumor that people tend to get rid of as soon as possible. You have well engineered and made firearms, and then you have this cheap plastic crap that devalues the weapon system that the iTAC item is bundled with. It’s AOL installed on your new computer. The holster is a terrible knock off of the SERPA… it actually makes the SERPA look good. The Red Dots are okay on the outside, but the field of view is too small and the Dot is too big and the optical quality is much like trying to see through a Vegas Fremont Street dive bar… DANK. Dark and murky. Do not get me started on the SIG Lights.
If SIG is going to Bundle holsters and lights and Red Dots… SIG has got to realize it’s intended market position and select accessories that are in that same position. SIG wants to be the Mercedes Benz of the Firearms World – Who’s the Mercedes of those accessories? Red Dots? Trijicon. Lights? Surefire. Make some deals with those guys and make it happen.
2. Kill the P250. The P250 is SIG’s SIGMA. You might think it’s just fine or you may have thought the SIGMA is fine. You are wrong, and all your taste is in your mouth. You are a Philistine, and your opinion is invalid. The new 320 may be an improvement on the P250, but that’s a low hurdle. I’d kill the 320 as well. Because a Modular Handgun is a good idea, being able to fit a handgun to the hand of the shooter is idea thats time has come. But the P250 is a really bad execution of that idea. Everyone else has done this the right way, simply and effectively with swappable panels. This started with the Walther P99 and now most everyone has done this – HK has done it the best. SIG goes and does something completely different, which is fine… but they did it completely wrong. Changing grip frames to go up and down in sizes of the gun it’s self… We’ve see that before in the Dan Wesson revolvers. Nice execution there… but not exactly a success in the market. Why is that? Because no one really wants that. Why have 1 gun that changes when you can have 2? I’d rather sell someone two guns. They would rather own two guns. How do I know? Because I’d rather have two guns. Changing calibers is different. That’s cool. Look at the TC Contender and Encore pistols. That works. But if the Contender or Encore was all the same caliber and only let you change barrel lengths – I don’t think it would have been the success that we see today. The other thing the Contenders and Encores have going for them are that they are well crafted. The P250 may be well crafted – but it doesn’t feel that way to me. It feels as solid as a 68 VW Beetle that every time you shut the door you leave a line of powdered rust under the door sills. It feels tinny and hollow. Exactly in the same way a Glock or XDM or M&P doesn’t. SIG needs a serious polymer framed Stryker fired pistol. Not a 250 with a conversion kit stuck in it.
3. This. And This. What are you making guns in Turkey now? Sarsilmaz your contractor now? Come on. What the hell is this? This is SIG’s version of the DONK. This has got to stop. Along with it, all the different color variations that are separating the SIG Brand from the SIG core foundation. I counted 26 different versions of the P226. Twenty Six. I’m sorry, but that is just pants on the head retarded. That needs to be trimmed down. You make 20 different pistol types and each one has a couple dozen versions. And that’s not even counting the pistol versions of the rifles… If I did, that’s 26 again. That just… It gives me that sharp stabbing pain right behind my eyes… that headache… SIG – you give me THAT headache.
4. The P210 is literally more than twice the actual price it should be. I’ll give you 1200 bucks MSRP on them. No more. I’d make the P210 pistol something that every enthusiast can obtain… and by doing that I’d burst open the flood gates and take the single stack 9mm market by storm. And don’t tell me that it’s so bloody complicated to machine. This is the age of 5 axis CNC milling when you are talking about a pistol made in the age of hand machining. You can make it faster and cheaper without sacrificing quality. By limiting the production you inflate to value. Look at it this way – everyone competing with an X5 – should be competing with a P210. Make that your flagship line. Don’t call it a “Legend” Others will call it that for you.
4. Your State Compliant guns. GONE. Screw those states. I’m not going to make a special gun that compromises my product to capitulate with Anti-Gun bullshit legislation. I wouldn’t sell a single item in those states. Not only that… I’d move out of New Hampshire and move to a state that is unquestioned in regards to the Second Amendment. I’d move to Arizona. The right to keep and bear arms in AZ is not up for debate. That’s where a premier gun maker needs to be based. Not in New England. New England had the industrial roots at the turn of the century, which is why the great gun companies grew there – but that time has passed. It’s time to go to where your supporters are. The tax dollars you generate for a state that doesn’t support your industry – is folly. Move. Close every office, move ever person and asset, liquidate what’s left. Restart anew. That’s what needs to happen.
5. Where’s my Shotgun? Specifically, where is my semi-automatic, tactical shotgun?
I’ve talked about the best choices for Concealed Carry, but what about for the guys who have to carry openly? Law Enforcement, PMC, Security Contractor, or general Open Carry use, these are going to require a different type of handgun. Basically as much gun on your hip as you can get. Full sized, full capacity, none of the compromises required for Concealment.
SIG 226/220. This full sized SIG is a classic and the choice of a great many gunslinging professionals. A big capacity and rugged construction combined with reliability and accuracy. It’s everything you could want in a Side Arm. Unless you want a larger caliber. The 220 everything you like about the 226, but in .45 Auto. This big bore auto is known as “The Thinking Man’s .45” and that does indeed make sense when you’ve spent time with the gun. Same capacity as a 1911, but offers a decocking DA/SA fire control profile. This is probably the safest autoloading handgun I know of. (226 included) They are also very accurate.
Glock 17/22. Depending on your choice of 9mm or .40 cal, these guns are probably the first choice of more police departments than anything else. Very low bore axis, and a simple striker fired trigger mechanism makes these guns very easy to shoot well with once you get used to the triggers. 17 rounds of 9mm was an improvement over the typical 15 rounds others guns had, and 15 rounds of .40 cal is nothing to sneeze at these days.
Glock 20/21. 10mm or .45, these full sized beasts give you everything you need to pull duty on a dark and storm night. A lot of Law Enforcement Officers are running the 21 and I know a few that are running the 10mm. 15 rounds of 10mm is a lot of firepower. With good accuracy and legendary reliability – A Glock is never a wrong choice.
Beretta 90 Series. The 92FS, 92F, M9, M9A1, 92A1, 90-TWO, 96, 96A1. Shooting the big Beretta is like driving a Cadillac. Big, comfortable, comforting, reliable and accurate all with Hollywood good looks. Beretta has a lot of visual style, but what I like best is the almost straight line feeding. Mine can feed empty casing. Super smooth action as well, thanks to it’s unique locking block. The Beretta won the US Army contract for a good reason. Like it or not – and I know I’m going to open a can of worms here – it kicked SIG’s ass in the Trials. It kicked everyone’s asses in the Trials. So much so that the Army actually had to “dumb down” the test just so the SIG could stay in the race and the Beretta wouldn’t be a lone competitor. The 90 Series is battle proven around the world.
Beretta Px4 STORM. This is Beretta’s newest service auto. It uses a unique rotating barrel action with a traditionally Beretta like DA/SA trigger mechanism. This action makes the Storm a soft shooting pistol as it takes more energy out of the recoil. Like the 90 Series, the sights and the barrel maintain their relationship, they are very accurate shot to shot. With good triggers and comfortable recoil – it’s easy to be a good shot with the Px4 STORM. Even the Mid sized version… But the full sized is seriously just a pussycat. You can get it in 9, .40, and .45 auto. It’s one of my favorite new autos.
S&W M&P. S&W decided to get serious with the Poly Striker platform and forced Glock to rush the Gen 4 to market. Smith took a lot of LEO sales away from Glock. The Swampy as some call it, is a good pistol and a huge step up from Smith’s prior Glock Attack, the SIGMA. *shudder*. I bought one for my eldest Son, who upon getting the pistol, loading it, and having never fired it before – drilled the X in the target as perfectly as an Olympic Marksman from 20 yards. They are accurate guns. Like my Glocks, his Swampy has never failed.
Walther PPQ. This gun surprised me. The prior P99 was a gun that surprised me too. 500 rounds of mixed ammunition, it never failed. But it had a couple characteristics that made it an oddity. Such as the push down mag release and the top of the slide decocker button. The PPQ does away with the decocker on top and gives the gun a normal and familiar mag release. Honestly I didn’t mind the P99’s mag release and I found that I would use my trigger finger to drop the mags, just like I did with my HK. The PPQ is now available in either 4 or 5 inch barrel lengths and in 9mm or .40 caliber. The PPQ feels good in the hand and is probably one of the best and most under-rated service autos on the market. Let me put it this way – I really want a PPQ and will be buying one this year. Or Trading for it. A few years ago I had said that Walther was struggling to maintain it’s validity. The PPQ anchors it.
Springfield Armory XDM. Good trigger, good sights, and huge capacities make the XDM a solid choice. If you can get passed it’s “only a mother could love it” looks. While I’m not the biggest fan, I have to respect it. They are super accurate and easy to shoot well with. I know owners who have dumped a lot of rounds with astounding accuracy through their M’s.
HK P30 and HK45. The Germans really do engineer some fine hardware. But the P30 and the HK45 are both over priced and in my opinion over rated. With a standard trigger package, I find their triggers to be lacking in the quality of trigger pull that I would expect from such expensive guns. And I don’t like glow in the dark toy like sights that come on them stock. Again, for such an expensive gun, I want Tritiums on it right out of the box. Don’t get me started on the price of spare mags. For what you pay for an HK, it should come with Tritiums and 4 spares. All that aside – these guns deserve consideration. They are sharp looking, and they feel good in the hand. You can not go wrong with an HK, you really can’t. They are very well made. And after you dump enough rounds through it… Cost wise, would be enough to put a kid through a 12 credit semester of college, the trigger does feel pretty decent. They do look good… Like new BMW or Mercedes good looking. Pistol-Training.com’s Todd Green did a long term test on the P30 and it ran some 93,000 rounds before forced retirement. You could buy a new car for that much… Or you could afford to get sick or even have a (small) accident under Obamacare for that much money. I believe that none of his other tests have run that distance… Which ultimately makes the HK’s probably the best choice out of the lot.
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.
What really bugs me about the Gun Industry is how they change one or two small details and act as if it’s something completely new.
Take a look at SIG Sauer. They have the TACOPS 1911, which is a great gun. They Cerakote it tan, change the grips, and all the sudden it’s a “Scorpion” and thus a completely different gun. Some rifle makers will change the stock, and now it’s a completely different model. For the most part, the gun is only cosmetically different. Yet the gun companies wave flags of originality and claim innovation. Look, if you are using off the shelf parts that have been on the market for over a year, you should not be allowed to use the word “Innovation” or anything in a thesaurus that is similar. Worse yet, the Gun Writers out there who have to review these things. Never mind that its the same damn gun with different cosmetics… these guys have to write another 2,000 words with photos on how this is something new and fresh. And they publish those articles and people buy those magazines and it’s all just rehashed shit from 20 years ago. I’m not naming names but I swear to the All Holy that I read the same rifle article 20 years as I just read in a new magazine 20 minutes ago, with the only difference being the freaking handguards. Its the same thing.
I was going to say Clark Kent and Superman, but I hate Superman… he’s a Douche. But look at Bruce Wayne. League of Shadows Ninja, and then changes costume to become Batman. Really only cosmetically different. Bruce Wayne could still kick your ass without the Dark Knight costume. He doesn’t need the costume to perform. And just because he is in the costume, doesn’t mean he’s suddenly a better fighter. He’s no tougher, no stronger, or any smarter while in the bat-suit.
Who else does this a lot? Kimber. Freaking hell, they only make like 3 different 1911’s but given them different skin treatments and all the sudden you have guns from 699 all the way to 1400 without any special Custom Shop work… just cosmetics.
Poor Gun Review Writer. This is one of the reasons I stopped writing gun reviews. I got really jaded and sick of rewording the same review for the same gun that’s just had a small detail difference.
Kimber Custom II. Kimber Target II. Same flippin gun, just a different rear sight. But according to Kimber, it’s a whole new model.
Now, I’m not busting Kimber’s nuts on this, or SIG’s… because so many other gun makers do it too… they all do it. Accept for Taurus, who has so much CQ issues, everything they make is totally different.
Imagine if you will, if the Auto Industry worked in the same fashion? This car is the same as that one, but this one has XM built in, so it’s a totally different car! We call this one the Stallion, and this one the Tornado Hunter! See, it has a pin stripe too. (Well, they kind of do… looking at the Subaru and Toyota sports car, but that’s another subject)
No, people would not tolerate this in the auto industry. Yet it’s SOP in the Gun Industry. I like what the Car guys do those… They have Trim Levels. Same car, with a series of steps in upgraded add on features that go from basic to fully loaded.
The Gun Industry should look at that model for awhile and think about it really hard. Because right now it’s just ridiculous.
Now, I understand that a gun company needs to make new stuff to sell more stuff. But I think these guys are going about it all wrong. Let’s look at to examples.
Glock. They make the same damn gun in 3 sizes in common calibers and that’s it. That’s what they do… because they’re Glock. The do what they do and they do it very well. You don’t hear about quality control issues with Glock. You don’t hear about anything other than “It’s a Glock”. And they sell and sell and sell to the point that Glock’s Marketing effort is about like the Maytag Repairman’s schedule. Because you know what you are getting with a Glock… Your getting a Glock. Now look at SIG. The P250 the P2022, the 229, 228 M11 226 MK25 and they are all different and you really don’t know what you are getting anymore with SIG or anything from SIG wearing that badge… I’m saying this because I love SIG and really I’m feeling like they have let me down. Lost their way. Looking more at Cosmetic Themes than keeping a tight ship… because I’ve seen some SIG’s with some serious issues that should not have been there.
Some guys have said they wished Glock was more colorful or fabulous like SIG is. When really I’d like to see SIG act more like Glock. The worst thing Glock stamps their name on is those disposable pens they give away. SIG’s? That could take all day talking about. You don’t know what you are getting with SIG anymore and that’s a shame.
At SHOT Show, I took a look at the new SIG 224. And I’ll be honest. I didn’t like it.
It’s standard SIG, the way we prefer our SIG’s. Alloy frame, DA/SA with a Rebounding Hammer. Add some night sights, and controls that were tweaked to still be used when made tiny… and you have a real SIG and not… well… not a P250.
After playing around with it… it’s grown on me. A lot. The gun is a serious Pinky Dangler, but thanks to the shape, texture, you can still get a solid hold on the pistol.
Which is good, because it’s a .40 cal. I like that. And I like the P224.
But it’s not the gun that I want. I want something different.
This is my Holy SIG Grail. A P220 Compact SAS. If you guys want to chip in and by me a birthday present… this is it. I’ve wanted one of these for 20 years, when I first read of guys spending big bucks chopping down standard P220’s. And we have one now at the Gun Store I work at. 999.99. Oh man… And there is nothing I can do about it thanks to the Bride’s new Expedition.