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Smith’s game changer

Debuted last October, the S&W M&P M2.0 Compact, a 15-round capacity medium-sized entry to Smith and Wesson’s line, was from the beginning thought to be a direct contender to niche populated by the well-liked Glock 19. The G19 has long been the people’s champ when it comes to a double-stack 9mm handgun that is serious enough to provide solace if needed while compact enough to carry without pulling your pants down every other step.

Over a five-month period, I put 2,000 rounds through the new Smith, give or take a handful, and carried it for approximately 400 hours, and compared it directly to the G19.

In short, Smith got a lot of things right.

Jump to my column at Guns.com to see what I found.

Sig wants you to carry 365 with their micro compact new 9mm

So SIG has a 3.1-inch barreled striker-fired 9mm with night sights right out of the box that weighs 17-ounces but brings a 10+1 capacity to the table, the P365.

For reference, the single-stack 6+1 Glock 43 is slightly heavier is an inch or so longer– and doesn’t have night sights. Interesting.

For those who always wanted a Glock 19…with just a little…more

Sure, 15 pieces of flair are the minimum but don’t you want to go 17, or 18, or even 19 or 20 when it comes to 9mm without giving up your slide length?

That’s where the new Glock 19X (eXtended capacity?) comes in.

It’s been hush-hush for awhile, but the basic concept is that it is a Gen 5 G19 upper with a modified Gen 5 G17 frame and some tweaked internals, which gives you a “1917” (1719?) concept of a Glock 19 with a full-sized grip and bump in mag capacity. It is also in a factory Coyote finish, comes with night sights, and lots of other neat-o add-ons like extended mags.

[Of course, I would prefer a G19 Frame with G26 grip and a G17 slide, which would give more sight radius while allowing better concealability while maintaining the ability to add a laser/light, and you could always use extended mags if you want more capacity, but hey, at least they have something to work on for 2019!]

I’ve been shooting it for the past couple weeks and have to say that I find it kinda groovy in a Colt Commander kind of way. Be sure to check out the first look piece over at Guns.com on it, and stay tuned for an in-depth review after I get a couple thou parabellums through it.

Ruger bringing affordability to the 9mm CCW game

While no one was looking, Ruger slipped two really sweet 9mm’s on the market, a $200-ish single stack compact and a $300 double-stack midsize, both of which I’ve touched on for Guns.com.

The new EC9s, a no-frills version of their LC9s series, is a single-stack 7+1 9mm polymer-framed striker-fired pistol with sights machined integrally with the slide. Billed as about an inch taller and an inch longer than the .380ACP-chambered LCP, the newest 9mm in Ruger’s stable tips the scales at 17.2-ounces with a 3.12-inch barrel and 6-inch overall length.

Best of all, the MSRP is $299, and a quick search shows dealers already taking pre-orders in the $220-$230 range. This puts the new EC9s in the same size envelope as S&W’s new M&P9 Shield 2.0 and the Glock 43, a point Ruger subtly pokes at in their email announcing the new gun.

Then there is the Security 9 in an ode to the classic Ruger Security-Six revolver of the 1970s and 80s, the newest double-stack in the company’s catalog has a 4-inch barrel and 7.24-inch overall length.

Unlike popular striker-fired competitors in the $379 MSRP neighborhood, the Security 9 uses a hammer-fired system evolved from the one found on the LCP and LCP-II line but includes both a bladed trigger safety and a manual frame-mounted safety.

Additional features of the Security 9 include an accessory rail, front and rear cocking serrations and dovetailed sights with various color options available. The alloy steel slide and barrel, aluminum chassis with full-length guide rails, and nylon frame give the pistol a 23.7-ounce overall weight. The gun ships with two 15-round mags

I will be sure to check out both on the range at SHOT.

Yup, those are spider webs inside the barrel

As a caveat, this gun just came into my possession like this:

As shown in the above image, that poor J-frame .38 was stored in the back of a roll-top desk for years and, when inspected, the cylinder contained five greenish Nyclad SWCs which probably dated to the Carter Administration and the barrel had a pretty decent cobweb lacing from the muzzle to the chamber complete with a couple of emaciated visitors who likely checked in sometime during the Reagan-era.

Would the gun have gone boom if needed? Probably. Maybe not. After cleaning and inspecting– as well as switching to some rounds that were a little fresher– the popgun went bang 5/5 times and was ready for more. Thankfully it was apparently put up clean and just got dirty over time through neglect. The worst thing that it came away with was some brass corrosion and a sprinkling of surface rust that showed itself once the dust was cleaned away.

So how often DO you clean your guns?

I talk about that in my column at Tac44.com.

The ticking time bomb that is the recoil spring

It is hard to beat a Glock of any generation when it comes to reliability, but it comes as a shock to many that inside their slide hides a pitfall to the whole program that the savvy polymer pistol user can easily overcome.

Like a 5,000 round failure point…

One of these things are not like the other– but both need to be evaluated at/near the 5K mark! Here we see a Gen 3 Glock 19 factory recoil spring assembly compared to one for a gen 4 Glock 22

The standard Glock factory guide rods are (this should come as no surprise to you) made from polymer. While low-cost and easy to produce, these plastic guide rods can chip, crack or break resulting in feeding or ejection failures. Further, these guide rods flex to a degree when in operation, which many argue will contribute to accuracy problems due to poor consistency. Finally, they have been known to snap, leaving the pistol inoperable. This weak link can be alleviated by putting some heavy metal into the mix.

More in my column at Tac.44.com

RTF2 Gen 3 Glocks are back

Introduced in 2009, Glock came out with an updated version of their Gen 3 models that featured a very aggressive grip pattern dubbed the “Rough Texture Finish, Version 2,” commonly just called RTF2. While some loved it, others panned it as being too coarse on their hands and clothes, and it wasn’t carried over to the new Gen 4 lines.

Which is a shame, because the 2,000 small icepick-like pyramids on the grip really were my favorite Glock texture.

I give you my RTF2 Gen 3 G22:

But now there is a reason to rejoice, as Glock just announced the RTF2 is making a comeback!

More in my column at Guns.com

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