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The micro-carry offerings keep getting more interesting

Firearm evolution has always interested me.

When I was a kid in the 1980s, when it came to compact (“pocket-sized”) handguns that weren’t derringers, the king of the hill for the past half-century was the Walther PP/PPK. Lower down on the same hill was the even older Colt Pocket/FN1910/Browning Model 1955 blowbacks and Beretta’s seriously tiny .22/.25-caliber “cat guns” (Minx. Bobcat, etc).

Then came George Kellgren’s Keltec P32 in 1999, followed by his P3AT (which was a .380 version of the former), followed by the Ruger LCP (which was a Ruger P3AT with a slide stop added). Then, three years ago, came the Glock 43– which was just barely bigger than the LCP but in 9mm– followed last year by the Sig P365, which was a Walther PPK-sized 9mm with a larger magazine capacity than the G43.

Now, there is the Naroh Arms N1. At 6.1-inches long overall, the hammer-fired N1 is slightly shorter than Glock’s G43 while offering a 7+1 round capacity against the Glock’s 6+1. Best yet, it is supposed to be just $399.

I ran across this it NRAAM in Indy:

Naroh Arms Intros New N1 Compact Pistol (VIDEO) (2)

I plan to check out their factory in Florida in the next few weeks. Until then, check out my piece on the N1 over at Guns.com

Beretta shrinks APX

Beretta is ramping up the info dump on their new line of subcompact single-stack 9mm pistols– the APX Carry. The legendary Italian gun maker announced the new 19.8-ounce handgun earlier this week and seems to be Beretta’s answer to the very popular Glock G43, beating that polymer-framed wonder in just about every dimension while sporting either a 6+1 round flush fit or pinky extension magazine or an 8+1 capacity extended mag.

Available in four frame colors, the APX Carry’s serialized chassis can be swapped out by the user.

MSRP is set at $425, which is more than a $100 drop from the standard-sized APX model, which would put over the counter price in the $350-arena, which also poses a challenge to the G43s more common $450~ ish price point.

I will be sure to check these out in Indy next week. Until then, if you want more info, check out my column at Guns.com

Ruger brings (hammer-fired) budget subcompact to market

When it comes to subcompact 9mm carry guns, the “baby Glock” G26 has been king of the block for nearly three decades. I mean what’s not to like in a 21.5-ounce, 10+1 capacity handgun with a 3.42-inch barrel. Sig’s P365 has the same capacity while going just slightly smaller and has been a hit since it was introduced two years ago, giving the G26 a good fight. However, there now seems a bit of a red hawk flying on the horizon.

Two years ago, Ruger introduced a hammer-fired (both the G26 and P365 are striker-fired with one having a noteworthy issue with striker drag) polymer-framed pistol based on the LCPII’s fire control system. The Security-9, with a 4-inch barrel and 15+1 capacity, was/is pitched as a budget home defense gun and has been well received. I have a friend who has used one extensively and she loves it.

Now, Ruger has shrunk the Security-9 to a compact version which is a 21.9-ounce, 10+1 capacity handgun with a 3.42-inch barrel (seem like a familiar dimension neighborhood?) that debuted this month.

Ruger Security 9 compact

Unlike the G26, though, the Compact Security-9 is hammer fired, has front slide serrations, adjustable sights and an accessory rail. Plus, it is likely to run about $100 to $150 cheaper than its Austrian competitor, which should be interesting.

I’ll be sure to check them out in Indianapolis later in the month.

Check out more in my column at Guns.com.

Sig is getting really close to marking 6th gen pistol territory

So in my mind, there have been at least five solid generations of semi-auto pistols.

The 1st gen was the experimental guns such as the Roth–Theodorovic, Mars, and Borchardt C-93.

The 2nd Gen were guns like the Luger, FN 1900 et. al that worked great on the drawing board and sold well but would prove lackluster under field conditions.

The 3rd Gen was the follow-on guns of the 1910s-1950s such as the Colt M1911, Walther P-38, Sig P210, S&W 39, etc. that were much better than their predecessors and are still often in circulation as new construction clones today.

Then came the 4th Gen double-stacks like the Browning Hi-Power, CZ 75, S&W 59, Beretta 92 and the like. These are now classic “old school” designs that are much-loved and will likely still be produced by someone, somewhere, for the next 50 years.

The 5th Gen guns are the plastic “Combat Tupperware” from the innovative HK VP70 through the Glocks of today and so forth. These are now standard.

Now, I really think we are in the 6th Generation.

We are now looking at modular framed guns that use swappable (serialized) fire control units to move from size to size to size. Formerly, the “gun” was the frame. Now, the frame is like Legos. Add to this the factory standard feature of an RMR cut and plate system on the slide for optics and it really is unlike past generations. Like it or not, optics on handguns are the way of the future.

Sig Sauer has really been pushing this with their P250 and follow-on P320 series guns, which have been adopted by the Pentagon as the M17/M18 Modular Handgun System.

Now, they have turned out a very nice compact gun in the line that has tons of high-end features– front and rear serrations, flat-faced trigger, optics plate with standard night sight rear, modular frame systems, double-stack 15+1 flush fit mags– you know, all the cool stuff that is often done after the fact.

Best yet, this gun, the XCompact P320, sports an overall length of 7-inches and weighs in at 25.3-ounces, which is the same territory as the Glock 19, the benchmark for a carry gun.

I dig it.

Have my name on “the list” to T&E one to see if they live up to my expectations.

More in my column at Guns.com

You failed to maintain your weapon, son

Public Service Announcement: This unidentifiable semi-auto handgun came into a shop in Michigan recently, unable to fire.

I wonder why?

After an overnight soak and full disassembly, it was returned to service. The baggie of debris is what had to be scraped away.

A little regular maintenance can work wonders. Also, be sure not to get too crazy with the lube, as it drags lint, dandruff, cat hair, et. al down from the surface into the inner regions of a gun’s action, and can leave you after a while with an unsat condition.

 

The nice thing about 3-inchers

When I teach concealed carry courses, I see a lot of people packing the Roscoe, the old 1.75- to 2-inch snub. They have a bit of a bite, a lot of muzzle flip, are tough on the hands, and fairly inaccurate at range. Further, until you get the use of a speedloader down pat, are very slow on the reload. Fact is, they can be great as a backup gun or for someone experienced in their use and aware of their limitations. For many who haven’t already bought one, I typically recommend against them and push more towards a subcompact 9mm such as a Glock 43, S&W Shield, or Ruger LC9/EC9, which are the same size with a larger capacity, better handling, and ergonomics– not to mention a faster reload.

With that being said, I also see a lot of people carrying 3-inch wheelguns, which are an interesting blend of concepts. They provide a nice balance between accuracy and concealability since they are much smaller than a full-sized 4-inch K frame while having less muzzle flip than a snub. Back in the 1960s and 70s, 3-inchers were popular as their really weren’t any concealable small frame pistols then that were chambered larger than jam-prone .380. Heck, I have an old Carter-era Rossi (don’t laugh, it works) full-lug stainless M720 in .44 Special with a 3-inch barrel that I take hog hunting with me in the swamps of the Pearl River as a backup gun.

And 3-inchers are coming back, especially in decent calibers that offer a bit more spice than a 9mm. For example, Colt’s return to the .357 Magnum wheelhouse neighborhood this year, the new King Cobra, is a three.

Now, Ruger has responded by announcing a new version of the LCRx wheel gun chambered in .357 Magnum. While the LCRx small-frame revolver series has been around for several years in both a 3-inch format and in .357, the combination of the two features is new for the company. Previously, the popular magnum caliber was just offered in the LCRx line in a 1.87-inch barrel length model.

And it looks good.

More in my column at Guns.com

It’s like a TQ fanny pack…for your holster

So Gray Fighter/Condition Gray is marketing these elastic velcro straps which they bill as” just another neat way to enjoy accessible necessities like this CAT TQ, doesn’t require hardware and fits a variety of uses.”

What do you think about the concept of strapping a TQ to your holster?

Seems like a good idea but I am kinda on the fence as I currently carry (as a minimum) a folding multitool (SAK Alox Pioneer), a short fixed blade knife, a mini-LED (Streamlite Micro), a G19/InForce APL or S&W M2.0 Compact/TLR-3, and a TQ, so this would kind of make it easier to pack the windlass/strap.

Seems simple. But I can’t get over the fact that you have to take the holster off/out to get to it. It’s conceivable that you would need to use your TQ without having your blaster out awkwardly such as in a mass casualty incident. That whole concept is why I carry a separate flashlight rather than rely solely on a weapon-mounted light as you wouldn’t use your WML to brighten up a dark doorway at your buddy’s house when dropping by to visit.

Am I overthinking this?

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