Tag Archives: ccw

Of My Time with the GX4

Taurus announced the new micro-compact semi-auto pistol, the GX4, in May, billed as an 11+1 shot 9mm that was roughly the size of a traditional .380 pocket gun that had half the capacity. The specs of the polymer-framed striker-fired handgun– 5.8-inches long with the small backstrap installed, about an inch wide, and 4.4-inches high with the flush-fit magazine inserted– put it in the same boat as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat line.
I’ve been kicking around the new Taurus GX4 over the past couple of months, having run some 500 rounds through it, and have some things to say about it.

The 11+1 shot Taurus GX4 is definitely compact. Micro compact, you could say.

Have $400 and Want a Micro 9 with Change Leftover?

Taurus is looking to take on the big boys with its new micro pistol, which is designed to deliver maximum concealment without sacrificing capacity or ergonomics – the GX4.

Getting the specs out of the way, the 11+1 shot 9mm is the size of popular .380 “pocket guns,” using a 3.06-inch barrel to tape out to a maximum 6.05-inch overall length. The gun is slender, at just over an inch wide, and it is 4.4 inches high at its tallest. The unloaded weight is 18.6 ounces. Fully loaded with 12 rounds of 147-grain JHPs, I found my test gun to hit the scales at 23.9 ounces.

Compared to other recently introduced micro 9s, such as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat, the GX4 is a dead ringer as far as size goes. Plus, its flush-fit mags hold one extra round over the Sig or S&W’s comparable magazine while being on par with the Springer and one less than the Ruger.

However, where the GX4 cleans house is the price: $392. That’s the MSRP, meaning that “actual” prices at your local gun store will probably hover closer to “Three Fiddy.” 

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Micro 9 Race is Heating Up

Every 25 years or so, handguns catch a big developmental wave. For instance, the last one prior to modern times occurred with the “Baby” Glocks of 1994, when the company debuted subcompact 10+1 shot pistols to make the most of the federal assault weapon ban. Those guns proved so successful that Glock now makes a subcompact model in all of their calibers– including the only company that makes a 10mm Auto pocket gun– while others have increasingly tried to imitate, duplicate or one-up the concept.

This brings us to 2018 when Sig Sauer brought their new “micro-compact” P365 to SHOT Show. Even smaller than the Glock G26 but with the same magazine capacity, it was a smash. Since then, Springfield Armory has brought their Hellcat to the market, with much the same concept, as had Taurus with the G3C.

Well, on the same day this week, both Ruger and Smith & Wesson announced their own separate P365/Hellcat/G3C competitors, the MAX-9 and the Shield Plus, respectively.

Ruger’s new MAX-9 Pistol, which, importantly, is optics-ready for under $500.

S&W M&P Shield Plus

Here is a snapshot of who they stack up when it comes to specs:

As for how they compare against each other in real life, the jury is still out on that one.

The old loaded chamber arguement

Ever since the first repeating handguns hit the market, the debate has ensued on carrying said hog leg on a loaded chamber

Most will say that carrying with an empty chamber is like saying you will have enough time to put on a seat belt in the second before you get in a car crash.

But in some cases, it may be a good idea…

The subject from both sides of the argument in my column at Tac44.com.

Speed loaders: A vintage concept that never goes out of style

Going all the way back to the days of Rollin White’s revolutionary cylinder design of 1857, immortalized by two guys by the name of Smith and Wesson, the cartridge revolver that could be quickly reloaded has been a hit. Even though the detachable magazine semi-auto pistol was introduced just a few decades later, the wheel gun has endured and is still popular today.

The two largest publicly traded firearms companies in the U.S.– S&W, and Ruger– still have almost as many if not more revolver designs in production as they do semi-auto handguns. This is because the revolver is inherently simple, has few moving parts to master, can be very compact in snub nosed varieties, can bring the heat in large framed magnums, and a lot of people just plain old like ‘em.

With that being said, there is nothing that bars the average wheel gun user from stepping up their game when it comes to being able to rapidly reload an empty cylinder. This can be for fast and positive use on the range, competition, or in trimming the time needed to get back in the fight during a self-defense scenario.

Enter: The Speedloader

I do love a good old Colt

More in my column at Tac44.com

Glock holster basics

dsc_0738-000

Fundamental in the carry and use of a modern handgun is an effective holster and we are here to cut through the gimmicks to bring you a few tips on what will work best.

Why a holster?

In the days of the first effective pistols, the single-shot handguns were still too large for practical carry, being relegated to saddle-mounted leather holders on the horses of the cavilers of the day. Bulky and slow to reload, the gunfighter of yesteryear would carry a brace of such guns to ensure a rapid follow-up shot against multiple adversaries. By the 19th Century and the introduction of the revolver, the first recognizable holsters became widespread and the leather-sheathed wheel gun replaced the sword of yesteryear on the belts of gentlemen.

Today, the holster remains a solid standby for the armed citizen and the use of one separates the professional and responsible gun owner from the Hollywood thug. One of the most unsafe things a handgun user can do is carry their pistol or revolver sans holster. Simple carry methods such as stuffing a smaller gun– such as a Glock 43– in a pants pocket, or a larger framed pistol such as a Glock 17 in a waistband, allows the handgun to rotate as the carrier walks and moves.

This “floating” firearm can twist and move away from its original position, making quick deployment harder. Worse, with the trigger exposed, a potentially deadly negligent discharge can result if a foreign object as simple as a shirt tail or jacket pull string works its way into the trigger well. Finally, an unsecured handgun is prone to skitter away at the worst of times, causing embarrassment at the least, and potential criminal charges in some jurisdictions.

More on carry options in my column at Tac-44.com

Thinking about EDC with your Glock

My current "winter" EDC: Gen 3 Glock 19 in Galco Royal Guard inside the waistband holster, cheapo Cree LED light (they work well, are adjustable and are inexpensive if you lose them), Skallywag Gladium knife, extra mag.

My current “winter” EDC: Gen 3 Glock 19 in Galco Royal Guard inside the waistband holster, cheapo Cree LED light (they work well, are adjustable and are inexpensive if you lose them), Skallywag Gladium knife, extra mag.

With a dozen states now codifying the right to possess a concealed handgun without a permit and over 15 million license holders from coast to coast, there has never been a better time to practice every day carry.

A true EDC is one you are 110 percent comfortable with keeping 366 days per year. It is your “get out of trouble” escape plan translated into mechanical format. By pairing that one sidearm with its dedicated holster and accessories, you are making a statement in reliability. You trust that device in any situation, without reserve.

However, if you have a Glock, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The rest in  my column at Tac.44.com

Crossdraw holsters: 19th century carry that still has its place

So put yourself in a time machine and let us go back to the 1850s. Revolvers were new-fangled items but those sold in a caliber large enough to do damage were huge. For instance, the 1851 Colt Navy, a .36-caliber cap and ball six-shooter, weighed 42-ounces and was 13-inches overall– and it was not the longest revolver on the market by any means. For comparison, a full-sized K-frame Smith and Wesson 38 of today comes in at 30 ounces and 9 inches overall.

With such beefy and out-sized revolvers, if you wanted to carry one of these so called new ‘belt pistols’ on your person the best way was in a cross draw fashion in which the holster was mounted on the offhand side (e.g. left side if right handed) with the butt forward so that it could be drawn across the midsection with the strong hand. These guns were simply too long to pull out of a holster located on the belt directly under the strong hand, especially if mounted on a horse.

The cross draw was standard until shorter cartridge revolvers like the Colt Peacemaker came on the scene in the 1870s. Still, for huge long barreled revolvers such as the S&W Model 29 and the Colt Python, the cross draw remained in use with law enforcement officers as late as the early 1980s for the same reasons as in the Civil War– it was just more practical.

Policewoman Florence Coberly preparing for undercover work luring rapists in Los Angeles. Note her 38 carried in a crossdraw holster.

Policewoman Florence Coberly preparing for undercover work luring rapists in Los Angeles. Note her 38 carried in a cross draw holster.

Female officers for generations were instructed to carry in this method as it assisted in retention since it forces the butt of the gun into the body and it was thought the female body shape (hips) worked against drawing from the strong side. Street officers of the time often wore a “Santa Claus belt” with just a 38, cuffs, and wooden baton– often still in a cross draw position.

The method still has its use today.

crossdraw lcp

 

Some of my personal carry choices

I had a message asking for what I personally carry, so far as for self-defense. Remember to abide all of your local laws etc for your own choices. Well, here we go:

minimalist edc– My minimalist EDC set up includes a Smith and Wesson Airweight .38SPL in a Bianchi IWB holster with 5 rounds loaded, 5 in a HKS style speedloader, and 12 in Bianchi Speedstrips for a total of 22 rounds of Federal Premium LE +P. Knife is an old school Case folder and the penlight is a Steamlight Stylus. -It all compacts nicely and I can wear this with slacks at the office or out to the movies with no one noticing anything.

sig edc-A more comprehensive EDC that I often use is my SIG P229R DAK with a Galco Royal Guard IWB holster and a benchmade folder with pocket clip. For illumination, a Steamlight ProTac with aftermarket paracord lanyard if needed. Spare mags are shown in three different variants of carry. At the top a MOLLE style mag holder that can be reversed to wear IWB. Below that is a traditional open top kydex holder for two mags OWB (to be concealed by an over shirt or jacket) or, along the slide of the SIG, rests a hybrid pocket carry mag holder that looks like a pocketknife from the outside. I can carry the SIG alone, or one extra mag, or two extra mags, or heck, even all four extra mags should I chose.  This is my general teaching rig when I am conducting CCW or LE classes.

backup guns-Among my rotation of backup guns include from top to bottom: A Beretta 950 in .22LR, A North American Arms 22WMR, a Ruger LCP .380ACP and a little Davis .25ACP Derringer. They also work great for carry each and of their own.

Boys in blue and bathroom Glock mishaps

In recent weeks, a number of security and law enforcement officers have had problems making business in the water closet that ended with an embarrassing situation with their Glocks. This brings to mind, just what is your plan for when ‘code brown’ comes about while carrying?

srt glock
Read the rest in my column at Glock Forum

 

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