Saturday, May 07, 2011

Is Bullseye Shooting or Shooting From a Rest Meaningless?

More and more often, I get the impression that there's a notion growing within the shooting community that the discipline of precise bullseye shooting is a useless discipline and that using a rest is even worse.

I remember when it was just exactly the opposite and the struggle was to get away from slow-fire shooting, adding power, speed, and much-reduced time-frames into the competition mix.

For what it is worth, I do continue to shoot pure, non-timed, slow-fire bullseye shooting at both the beginning and conclusion of each range session. The reason is that for me, it forces me to go by the basics of sight-picture and trigger-control better than anything else I've tried. I find that if I work solely on the fast and furious "practical" style shooting, I inevitably wind up "slapping" or "jerking" the trigger in order to get shots off quicker with sufficient (coarse) accuracy for the more-generously scored targets associated with this type shooting. Only by getting back on the boring and merciless bullseye work am I able to maintain being able to shoot a bit more precisely as well.

Speaking only for myself, I prefer to do both and see a purpose for both disciplines.

I shoot from a rest when seeking to eliminate as much human error as possible from the resulting group.  In other words, when trying to determine a particular firearm’s built-in potential accuracy, a rest serves better than free-hand, at least for me.  It is also part of the protocol when I’m trying to adjust sights, be they adjustable and especially if fixed.

We must not confuse what might be achieved from a rest in slow-fire to the results from shooting without a rest or in “practical” style exercises, but to simply assume or even proclaim that precision-shooting disciplines as worthless is a flawed view in my experience.


Friday, April 22, 2011

First Shots: FNX9 Pistol

Hello. I recently tried out two different FNX9 9mm pistols. FNX is the successor to Fabrique National's FNP-handgun series. This polymer-framed, double-action semiautomatic sports frame-mounted, ambidextrous thumb safety levers, which double as decockers, and the pistol does permit Condition One ("cocked-and-locked") Carry for those preferring that option. Unlike the Hi Power, the FNX-line is manufactured in the USA.

The FNX9 has a stainless-steel slide-and-barrel assembly. On one pistol both were left "in the white" for a two-tone appearance. The slide/barrel assembly had been somehow coated black on the pistol. (Other than "looks", these pistols performed equivalently.)

Here is the dark version of the FNX9 semiautomatic pistol. The thumb safety ("on safe" in this picture) can be applied whether the hammer is at full-cock, in the "hammer drop position" (as shown in the photo) or fully foward. The hammer can also be cocked with the thumb safety applied and the slide can be hand-cycled as well. The only time that the pistol must be off-safety is to fire it! Certainly, it can be carried with the hammer down for a DA first-shot and the safety off, but for those preferring to do so, the safety can be applied and disengaged during presentation as is done by practicioners of the single-action autoloader. Barrel length is 4".

FN advises that these pistols are sighted-in for a dead-on hold at 20 yards.

Primer strikes were positive and reasonably well-centered. There were no failures to fire whatsoever in over 1000 shots fired in 5 separate range visits, including this one.

Previous to todays shooting session, this particular FNX9 had digested roughly 700 shots of various commercial ammuntion. With today's 320 shots, that count is now over a thousand with no failures of any sort.

In my opinion, the pistol has the potential as a viable choice for those desiring a reliable and lightweight polymer-framed autoloader for either home defense, concealed carry or both. (The pistol is larger than some expressly intended for clandestine carrying, but this pistol can be concealed with little effort and appropriate clothes selection.)

There are features I really like with the FNX9, but it has some I find distasteful as well. For those interested in a more detail and lengthy report, follow the link below:

Best to all and good shooting.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Which Standard Pressure 9mm Loads for Self-Defense?

On nearly a daily basis, I receive at least one or two emails requesting recommendations on the "best" standard pressure 9mm factory load(s) for defensive use against human predators.

The truth of the matter is that I do not "know" which standard pressure load is best.  I am not sure that anyone truly can know...other than in very general terms.

I can relate what I've seen in my own informal "tests" as well as "anecdotal" reports I've received over the years from folks using various loads.

With respect to 115-gr. 9mm JHP's, Federal's "Classic" JHP garnered nice comments from two people contacting me in the two years or so.  Both were using service type 9mm handguns and both were able to hit their opponents in the "upper chest" and the shots were unobstructed by arms or other intermediate targets.  One required two shots; the other, one.  I was not able to get more specific locations on the hits.  None of the three shots exited on either adult male felon.  If memory serves, this load usually penetrates 10 to 11" of 10% ballistic gelatin and despite its not penetrating the 12" FBI protocol depth in 10% ballistic gelatin, it continues to enjoy a positive reputation as a defense load. 

A newer standard pressure load that I've gotten a couple of positive "user reports" on is Speer's 124-gr. Gold Dot Hollow Point.  I believe that it is used by the NYC Transit Police while NYPD uses the +P version. In my own informal expansion/penetration testing using super-saturated newsprint soaked for 24 hours and then drained 30 minutes before shooting, expansion has been consistent with penetration that should translate to between 12 and 13 inches in gelatin.

How well these loads would perform in shorter barreled 9mm's, I cannot say for sure simply because I do not shoot really small 9mm's very much.  I can say that the Federal 115-gr. JHP averages just over 1100 ft/sec from a Glock 26.  The Speer 124-gr. GDHP averaged 1061 ft/sec from the same pistol.  Both fed and functioned reliably with more than acceptable accuracy.  I have received one report from a fellow using the 124-gr. standard pressure Gold Dot in his Kahr P9. He hit his opponent in the "stomach area" at which time the bad guy ceased approaching with a knife and surrendered and sat (not "fell") down.  (I have no further information on this one.)

At this point, some will be considering 147-gr. loads and I think that newer designs such as Speer's Gold Dot, Remington's Golden Saber or Winchester's Ranger or premium defensive loads such as "Supreme Elite Bonded" would probably perform just fine, though I have not personally "tested" the latter one. Gold Dots and Golden Sabers have consistently been accurate and reliable expanders for me in not only 9x19mm, but .44 Special, .45 Colt and .45 ACP.

Were I considering any load, I would check the general consensus at various sites and perform my own "unscientific tests", but would place all considerations very secondary to reliability in my individual handgun(s).  After that would come individual expansion/penetration performance followed by accuracy.  If reliability, expansion/penetration and accuracy appeared equivalent in one or more loads, I would more than likely opt for the less costly, but if I was not "sure" or if I just had that "nagging feeling" that the most expensive truly was best, I'd buy it.  There are enough unknowns and uncertainty in the fear-filled time in the "dark place" without worrying about the quality of one's chosen ammunition.

Though standard pressure 9mm loads are not my usual first-choices for defensive 9mm ammo, I do have quite a bit of the Federal 115-gr. JHP on hand as well as the other mentioned loads in 124 and 147-gr. weights.  It really doesn't matter to me which wound up in my defensive 9mm pistol.

Our ability to place our shots well under pressure is at least as much of a deciding factor in a deadly force situation's outcome as our ammo choice and probably more.

Best to all and good shooting.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Providing Information or Just Needing to Win?

It appears to me that there is a growing number of forum participants refusing to accept any viewpoint other than their own. In some instances, problems arise when opinions are presented as facts and the players cannot (or will not) see the difference. Sometimes rude and boorish behavior begins when a poster uses an isolated incident to make an all-encompassing generalization about a particular brand of firearm, ammunition or other related product and is called on it, particularly if he then adds yet more opinions (presented as facts) to the increasingly volatile and vocal mix.

Then come the trolls, posters whose words are pre-calculated to stir the proverbial pot, but proclaimed merely to be in the interest of "spirited debate", which in my opinion, is a lie. I believe that the intent is to generate havoc and promote hard feelings to the degree that emotion overrides manners, logic and just being able to pass along the information asked by the original poster! Those poor souls frequently appear to be forgotten as their thread is hijacked into the netherworld of eternal "pissing matches".

"Thread drift" is to be expected when a topic runs to considerable length; it just seems to happen. However, when the focus of a thread is shifted to a "Can-to/Can-not" shouting match between two or more people, the person originating the thread just gives up, abandons his thread and is not heard from again in the very thread he or she started! I find this sad, needless and frankly rude in the extreme. I just see overbloated egos battling for some sort of supremacy.

My approach has been to present what I believe to be an objective telling of what I have personally witnessed or done with respect to firearms and shooting. That which is subjective or opinion is labeled as such; at least I have tried to do so, but perhaps some subjective prose has slipped out without me noticing. If so, I apologize.

I think that considerably more useful, first-hand information could and would be shared on-line if we could all collectively take a step back and not place "winning" arguments above all else. More than once, I've posted my opinion or observation on a topic only to have the next post offer exactly the opposite viewpoint, but I did not try to decimate that post's author. In most instances, I did nothing. I did not respond, retort or most of all, call names. I posted my opinion or related what I actually saw or did and the next person didn't agree with it. Ok, no big deal. Unless it was obvious that some sort of misinterpretation had taken place, I just leave it alone. The reason is that I believe that if I've written the truth (or at least what I believed to be correct at the time), sooner or later it will be recognized as such. I do not "fight" because my ego is not dependent upon "winning" any verbal fencing matches. I simply post what I've seen once, twice or repeatedly over the years and let the reader(s) decide its merit. In reality, I wonder if "shouting matches" between those who've diverted a thread from information to confrontation accomplish more or less? Do you think that these antics encourage the sharing of facts and experiences or just degenerate into useless blather?

It is my observation and long-held opinion that shooters are usually the "salt of the earth" in many situations, but it appears that some associate differing viewpoints or experiences as personal assaults and "winning" becomes everything.

I fear that we may be losing more than we realize and I find that sad.

How about you?

Just something to think about (or not) and the best to you and yours...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

FEG Hi Power Information Site

I am frequently asked about FEG-manufactured Hi Power "clones". My experience with these pistols is limited. I have seen a couple that were sold under the Mauser name, but they were actually manufactured by FEG, just as Browning Hi Powers are manufactured by FN. These pistols sported a polished bright blue finish and were as nice as any FN-manufactured Hi Power I've ever seen. I have seen some FEG Hi Powers that appeared finished with more utilitarian military/police type finishes. The few that I have shot over the years have been satisfactory with the exception of one of the so-called "Counterfeit Hi Powers" allegedly manufactured by FEG, but with FN-markings. Supposedly, these were sold in the Mid-East. The one I shot found its way into the US from S. Africa. It was a typical classic style fixed-sight "Vigilante" model. It was reliable, but groups were much larger than the 3" averages at 25 yards from most other Hi Powers. Other FEG Hi Powers I've shot (had FEG markings) shot as nicely has the FN-made Hi Powers.

For people interested in FEG's, I recommend this site:

It is the best I've seen in providing detailed FEG Hi Power information.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Hi Power Book is Out...

" The Shooter's Guide to the Browning Hi Power - REVISED EDITION" is now available. This book is expanded and covers much more than the original book. Total cost, including S&H inside the Continental US, is $30.95.

For those interested, ordering information and more details about the book are here:


Monday, December 06, 2010

Stainless Steel Hi Powers... not exist if you are speaking of those made by Fabrique Nationale, the original manufacturer of the design. This holds true whether the pistols are sold under either the FN or Browning logo. None of them are stainless...not a single one.

That does not mean that some may not have appeared to have been of stainless-steel construction. Some Hi Powers imported by Browning Arms have sported both electroless-nickle or hard chrome finishes, either of which may be confused with stainless. Electroless-nickle tends to have a slightly yellowish hue to it while hard-chrome does not. It is either white-colored or sometimes appears a very pale light blue.

Several years ago, a company called Baford Arms did produce stainless steel Hi Power style pistols but they have long since gone out of business and there is currently a company in Florida producing both slides and frames of stainless construction. Some aftermarket Hi Power parts have been manufactured in stainless but FN has not manufactured any stainless-steel Hi Powers.

On some auction sites, FN and/or Browning-marked Hi Powers are being advertised as being of stainless steel construction when they simply are not.

Such Hi Powers can indeed be very fine handguns and either electroless-nickle or hard chrome does enhance corrosion-resistance but the pistols are not stainless steel.

(The picture to the right of this article shows a customized Browning Hi Power. It has a hard chrome finish. The S&W N-Frame revolver next to it is of stainless steel construction.)


Sunday, November 07, 2010

What is Best: 7 or 8-Shot 1911 .45 ACP Magazines?

For years there was much effort in increasing the tradtional 7 + 1 ammunition capacity of the 45-calbier 1911-type pistol and not surprisingly, there was a proliferation of 8-shot single-stack magazines that extend little if any below the butt of the pistol. Whether competition oriented or focused purely on self-preservation, most shooters would welcome the extra shot in their single-stack pistols. I know that I did.

The single-stack .45 1911-pattern pistol has long been a favorite with many shooters not only for its handling qualities but also for its perceived "stopping power". Compared to double-stack "high-capacity" 9mm's and .40's, its ammo capacity may seem lacking to some. Here we see a 1911-based forty-five and its tradtional 7 + 1 payload.

With an 8 + 1 capacity, the old "forty-five automatic" would indeed gain an extra round before the old war horse ran dry but at what cost?

In my experience, that tariff has been reliability...not with every single 8-shot magazine and not in every single pistol, but in general, I observed decreased reliability which usually manifested itself in the form of either the slide not locking back after the last shot was fired or stovepiping rather than feeding the last round, which could be embarrassing in a match or the kiss of death in "the dark place".

Over the years I've owned different 8-shot magazines that would work all of the time in a few of my pistols, but only some of the time in others regardless of the ammunition being used, but take the same ammo and load it into a 7-shot magazine and it ran fine in the gun that balked with the 8-round magazine. I preferred magazines more likely to run all of the time in all of my 1911's and for me those turned out to be the seven-rounders.

I believe that shortened followers combined with springs repeatedly compressed more than would be the case with seven rounds in the standard magazine are the culprits but this is only my opinion as I am not an engineer. This idea does however "fit" with what I've observed so many times over the years: Initially, my brand-spankin' new 8-shot magazine works fine but gradually begins to have problems. I did not see these issues when using practically any quality 7-shot magazines.

I have accumulated more than a few 8-round magazines but found myself leaving them behind because I didn't trust them; 7 reliable shots were preferable to 8 "maybe's" in my view.

Eventually I tried Virgil Tripp's "Super 7" magazine spring and follower. Whether going into a 7 or 8-shot magazine, capacity is 7 round in forty-five caliber. The polymer follower has a steel insert where it contacts the hold-open lever so premature wear to the follower is eliminated which usually stops failures of the slide to lock open after the last shot. I tried a couple of these upgrade kits and was most pleasently surprised. I then bought enough for all of my 8-shot 1911 magazines and have never regretted it. "Sometimes" magazines became reliable as homemade sin in all of my 1911's.

Should you be interested, both the upgrade kits as well as complete magazines can be found here:

(I am in no way associated with this company other than as a paying customer.)

Speaking only for myself, I'll stick with 7-shot magazines (either from the factory or resulting from using Mr. Tripp's parts) in my 45-caliber 1911 style automatics. They've just worked best for me over the long term.


Saturday, October 02, 2010

What About .380 ACP +P Ammunition?

Questions concerning using +P ammunition in one's defensive .380 ACP pistols turn up now and again on Internet firearm forums which is fine except that .380 ACP in a +P version does not exist.

It never has.

SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute) set the rating guidelines by which a specific load's operating pressure is rated as standard or +P. They have been around since 1926. One of their responsibilities has been to publish information on firearm and ammunition-related standards. Several popular handgun calibers definitely do have SAAMI +P ratings, but the 380 just is not one of them.

Several years ago an ammunition manufacturer known for handgun ammunition having higher-than-usual velocities ordered thousands of new .380 ACP cases. Since previous brass orders from this company had always included "+P" on the headstamp along with the caliber designation, the .380 ACP cases were mistakenly marked the same way and sent to the ammunition maker. The cases were used but subsequent orders for unfired brass made sure that the mistake was not repeated. Today the same load does not bear a +P designation but chronographs the same as the old mis-marked load.

Several popular handgun cartridges can be had in +P versions including .38 Special and 9mm but not .380 ACP. The reason is that the vast majority of semiautomatic pistols chambered for it are straight blowback designs and the standard-pressure loadings are toward the top of the pressure envelope that this design can safely handle and some loads do generate higher velocities than others and possibly higher accompanying pressures but they are not necessarily operating within SAAMI specs.

Some using this cartridge favor expanding loads while others recommend FMJ to insure adequate penetration but regardless of where you might stand on this issue, understand that currently-produced .380 ACP bearing a +P designation is simply incorrect information.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Met Up with an Old Friend...

...from the 1980's and my early years in the tactical unit!

This lightly personalized Mk II was the first Hi Power I was "officially authorized" to carry for both regular duty and tactical call-outs when the police department I worked for allowed autoloaders. (Prior to that, I had sometimes carried a Hi Power under my uniform jacket but that was not much in Texas weather.)

I wound up selling this Mk II and others (mistake) when the Mk III made its debute. Recently I got an opportunity to revisit and photograph this old thing for a project I'm involved in and thought I'd share a picture or two and a tiny bit of this pistol's "history".

This one has not kept good company. It "visited" with two armed robbers, one bank robber and more meth and crack dealers than I can honestly remember, but it never had a "conversation" with any of them; it never needed to; they complied with police orders and never threatened me.

If interested, a little more about the gun can be had here:


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Learning to Use What You Have...

Hello. While I am no fan of the communist nations, I do appreciate the manner in which this female Chinese police officer dealt with a hostage-taker who had already stabbed his female victim repeatedly with what appears to be a pair of scissors. Here is the video:

I have read (but not researched to verify) that the officer was a designated "marksman" but have no idea what all that might or might not entail. The handgun she uses appears to be a Makarov 9x18mm as best I can tell. These pistols are more powerful than .380 ACP but considerably below 9x19mm Parabellum in power. They are traditional DA/SA, straight blowback design and usually reliable as death. Their sights leave much to be desired. Still, at the appropriate moment the officer makes her move and as Jeff Cooper noted in his commentaries on hunting, "If you can get close, get closer". She did just that, rapidly advancing before making her first shot. I couldn't tell for sure where her bullet impacted her target (I think the head), but he went down and she didn't stop until she was sure that this problem was "solved".

While some might argue that her use of an "underpowered" caliber in a handgun having two separate trigger-pulls (DA and then SA) with tiny fixed sights would have had a different outcome had the hostage-taker had a firearm, I don't think so. It appears that he was taken totally by surprise and the shots went into vital areas, insuring his permanent "rehabilitation".

I am in no way suggesting that more potent calibers from handguns having more refined qualities are unimportant in surviving life-and-death scenarios, only that competence and being "willing" are more so.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Chicago Plans if Their Handgun Ban Falls & Opposing Kagan

Here’s the link:

It is people like these that make it necessary to continue fighting for what is supposed to be a Right. Frankly, I see those like Richard Daley as a personal enemy, not just “someone with a different point of view.” He and the trash like him are intent upon destroying the Second Amendment, but you can bet the farm that he will never be deprived of arms or his entourage of armed bodyguards. Daley, Bloomberg, et al, are demonstrated “elitists”. In other words, what applies to us is not necessary for them. They see themselves as being better able to make the important decisions for us all, but the hell of it is that “We the People” made a pretty clear “decision” with the drafting of the Second Amendment. Actions like these show that they intend to “interpret” any judicial ruling as best serves their arrogant elitist attitudes regardless of that ruling’s obvious intent.

Likewise, The Kenyan’s choice for supreme court justice, Elana Kagan is no friend to the Second Amendment, either. She has stated in the past that she does not believe owning firearms is an individual right.

Please contact your senators, asking them to oppose Kagan as a supreme court justice. Next week, the US Senate’s Judiciary Committee begins talks on it. We do not want this anti-gunner on the high court.

Here’s an easy way to locate them:

Do not lose faith and never, ever give up.

If we don't oppose them, who will?


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Poll That Will Not Die...Dammit!

Though a little less frequent, I see this poll coming around with the request to vote to protect our Second Amendment Rights. I fully believe in the Second Amendment being an individual right and one that we should not have to constantly be trying to defend, but in some instances, we are just "spinning our wheels" the old saying goes.

The link provided is this one:

Folks, if you get any emails (usually with about ten-thousand names on top where it's been forwarded again and again without reading), take a look at the date.

This was a USA Today poll from 2007.

It asks, "Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to keep and bear arms?" In its latest incantation, it looks like this:

"It is better to be Safe 100 times than to be Dead once - Twain
USA Today Poll on Gun ownership
Do this if you don't do anything else! Takes 10 seconds....thats all!

Obama's new Attorney General, Eric Holder, has already said this is one of his major issues. He does not believe the 2ndAmendment gives individuals the right to bear arms. This takes literally 2 clicks to complete. Please vote on this gun issue question with USA Today. It will only take a few seconds of your time. Then pass the link on to all the pro gun folks you know. Hopefully these results will be published later this month. This upcoming year will become critical for gun owners with the Supreme Court's accepting the District of Columbia case against the right for individuals to bear arms.

Here's what you need to do:
First - vote on this one.
Second - launch it to other folks and have THEM vote - then we will see if the results get published.
The Question is: "Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms?"
Click on the link below and PLEASE vote Yes!"

It is 97% "YES" and we won. We should have; we've been voting in it ever since...even though that poll expired 3 years ago. Bush was still in office so how was Holder the Attorney General?

Despite the impassioned pleas otherwise, do NOT forward it. Our "votes" there are a dead issue and only make us look stupid. The thing that bothers me more than continually receiving this same damned, dead poll is that someone is making up the accompanying text.

I fear that we will never be able to quit fighting the bastards who would deprive us of our Constitutional Guarantees, but perpetuating useless, long-expired and useless polls is not going to help.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Biennial Meeting Of States, And The Arms Trade Treaty

Here is the copied and pasted text from NRA ILA:

“Friday, June 11, 2010

Two major meetings, possibly affecting American gun owners’ rights, will occur at the United Nations (UN) in New York over the next several weeks. They are the Fourth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms in all its Aspects, (“BMS4”) June 14-18, and the Arms Trade Treaty Preparatory Committee (“ATT Prep. Com.”) July 12-23. The NRA will be fully and actively involved in these meetings.

The BMS4 is a continuation of the so-called “Programme of Action” (POA) adopted by the UN at a conference in 2001. Anti-gun groups saw the original POA as a vehicle for UN gun bans, registration schemes and other radical proposals. The U.S., through the efforts of Ambassador John Bolton, forced the removal of provisions targeting privately-owned firearms from the POA. It was not able to stop the POA itself, and the UN holds “Biennial” meetings every two years to keep the POA alive. Heavily-funded anti-gun groups will again attempt to get the UN and its member states to target the right to arms at the BMS4. A Mexican diplomat will chair the meeting and Mexico, which blames its crime problems on the U.S., is now pushing for more gun control in America. Anti-gun, anti-U.S. measures could well be on the table.

The ATT Prep. Com. is the continuation of a process started years ago and scheduled to end in a four-week international conference in 2012. There is no draft treaty at this time. However, anti-gun groups see the ATT as a means to impose worldwide gun control through the treaty process. If ratified, a treaty has the force of law in the U.S., so anti-gun groups could score major victories without going through the usual domestic political process. Treaties do not trump the Constitution, but interpretation of the Constitution is in the hands of federal judges and justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Second Amendment had only a one-vote margin of safety in the 2008 Heller decision.

No pro-gun organization in the world has been more active at the UN in defending gun owners’ rights than the NRA, which was a major force in stopping anti-gun proposals at the 2001 and 2006 BMS Conferences. The NRA is an official UN Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and is consistently present at every important UN small arms and ATT meeting. NRA members can rest assured that their rights are being defended in all venues -- both national and international -- where they are threatened. For more information on NRA's efforts in this area, please visit “

Here’s the link:

Should a treaty ever by signed, it is essential that it not be ratified by the US Senate. That means that each and every one of us should be prepared and willing to contact our senators and let them know that voting for such an action will definitely result in our not only never voting for them again, but doing all that we can to see them defeated. I have no doubt that NRA will be standing guard and watching for any proposed treaty drafts.

Many reading this will have already taken part in turning the anti-gun tide in past fights, but there are probably a few who have never gotten off of their asses to help carry the load. IF you happen to be one of these, why not change? If push comes to hard shove over this, every single one of us will be needed. I am hoping that such a day doesn’t come, but with the current occupant of the White House and (Secretery) of StateHillary Clinton’s past-demonstrated willingness to attack Second Amendment Liberty, who can say?

We all must do our parts not only in this (possible) fight, but any and all that threaten Second Amendment Rights. Despite a Supreme Court guarantee, do not look for the anti’s to ever give up.

Never give and will never give in.


Friday, May 28, 2010

The UN Gun Grabber

Here is the link:

The UN gun grabber

American gun owners might not feel besieged, but they should. This week, the Obama administration announced its support for the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. This international agreement poses real risks for freedom both in the United States and around the world by making it more difficult if not outright illegal for law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

Read About It:

Posted: 5/28/2010 9:42:04 AM

In my opinion, this makes the mid-term elections even more important since such a treaty cannot take effect without being ratified by the Senate. (Ratification requires a 2/3 majority voting for it.) The gun grabbers might would go for it, but this flies completely in the face of the US Supreme Court’s ruling that ownership of firearms is an individual American Right. Keep in mind that this treaty does not yet even exist and its final form remains unknown.

On the other hand, I tend to believe what is written on concerning this matter.
I would copy and paste the text but their site does not appear to allow this. In any event, they state, "...the Constitution supersedes international treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate", and cite the 1957 Supreme Court case concerning this: Reid v. Covert . Though this case involved a murder trial and not the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court's finding was:

"The Constitution supersedes all treaties ratified by the United States Senate."

For those wanting more documentation from other sources, here is what I could find that might assist:

354 U.S. 1 (more)
77 S. Ct. 1222; 1 L. Ed. 2d 1148; 1957 U.S. LEXIS 729

What is being said is that the only way around an Amendment which either alters or repeals it. Even if the treaty in question passes, it cannot be used to bypass the Bill of least not legally.

In Reid v. Covert, the Supreme Court found that "no agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or on any other branch of Government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution."

Does this mean that we should just trust those politicians who would gut the Second Amendment? Sadly, the answer appears to be a resounding "NO", but it does appear that we may have less to fear than some are currently claiming. If and when the time comes, I would make my U.S. senator very aware of my support for the Second Amendment and that any anti-Second action on their part OR lack of action altogether would cost them your vote and as many as you could legally influence.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Do Some Hi Powers Have Serial Numbers in Multiple Places?

As most know, Fabrique Nationale manufactures the Hi Power pistol. Commonly known in the United States as the "Browning Hi Power", it is imported by Browning and while it bears the their logo, it is manufactured by FN.

FN is a large manufacturer of firearms from handguns to heavy machineguns and has customers worldwide.

There is no universal law decreeing where a firearm's serial number must be. In the US, the frame is the firearm and must be serial numbered. In South Africa, it is the barrel. You get the idea: FN must produce firearms meeting legal requirements of their individual customers all over the world.. There may be countries in which it is required that all three major components of the Hi Power have serial numbers, but I do not know that for a fact. I suspect also that having the barrels, slides and frames of individual Hi Powers numbered make it easier for military units maintaining multiple Hi Powers keep the pistols assembled as they came from the factory after routine field-stripping, cleaning, etc.

Some of my Browning-marked Hi Powers came with the serial numbers only on the frame while others bear them on both the frame and barrel. I have seen them marked on the slide, barrel and frame as well. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to why unless from possible military overruns or pistols initially intended for purchase in countries other than the US.

The major difference in serial number locations I've seen in more recent times involves the frame. On Browning-marked pistols, it remains on the front grip strap while FN-marked Hi Powers are serial numbered on the side of the frame.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Initial Shots: 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm...

Hello. For roughly 4 decades now, my autoloader of choice has been a single-action such as the Browning Hi Power or 1911. In the '80's I coughed up the then high tariff for a CZ-75 since it appeared interesting, had gained the blessing of Col. Cooper and allowed for Condition One Carry (cocked-and-locked) if desired.

During roughly this same time-frame, I became a police firearm instructor, which necessitated my being very familiar and competent with other than single-action autoloaders or double-action revolvers.

So, I began rigorously working to improve my skills with SIG-Sauers' P220 and P226 DA/SA pistols as they were very well-represented within the law enforcement community as well as Glock's line of handguns. I found that at least with some of the DA/SA automatics, the transition from DA to SA just was not the "monster" described by some scribes, which prompted me to try other than single-action automatics; with the money spent over the years, I'm not sure if that was a blessing or a curse...

The most recent of this seemingly never-ending line of pistols to shoot is the 9mm PX Storm from Beretta. Mine is the "Type F", IE: conventional DA/SA with the slide-mounted thumb safety. The pistol is locked breech, but uses a rotating barrel system to accomplish this. It seems to work well at least in my initial range session. The gun functioned flawlessly with the 435 rounds fired.

Here is a picture of it next to the very common Glock 17. Hopefully, this gives folks at least an approximate idea of its size.

I tried this pistol with a six different loads. From left to right: DAG 124-gr. FMJ, Winchester Ranger 127-gr. +P+, handload using Speer 124-gr. Gold Dot, a discontinued Corbon +P load using the Hornady 124-gr. XTP, Speer 147-gr. Gold Dot, and Remington 147-gr. Golden Saber. These all fed smoothly and flawlessly.

I fired no further than 15 yards in the initial range session. It was windy and the 25-yard pistol range was occupied. I fired this group while seated and with wrists braced on sandbags. I was trying to gauge the pistol's inherent mechanical accuracy...and was very pleasantly surprised.

In short, I found the pistol to be extremely comfortable, 100% least so far, and surprisingly accurate.

If interested in a considerably more detailed review, look here:


Thursday, April 01, 2010

"9mm Hi Powers Won't Feed JHP's"...

...without special work being done.

This statement was sometimes true enough with the classic style Hi Powers predating the Mk II, which debuted in 1982. At that time, FN "throated" the old "humped" feed ramp. This change took the Hi Power pistol from being potentially "picky" about which JHP's it would feed to one that has proven not to be particular at all. In other words, Hi Powers in the Mk II or current Mk III designs are very reliable with expanding ammunition having blunt bullet shapes.

Can there be the individual Hi Power that fails to feed? Probaby so; individual specimens that are not up to snuff occassionally seem to slip past the QC personnel of more than one manufacturer. I have shot more than a few Hi Powers over the past 4 decades. From my very first Mk II to my current Mk III's, I have yet to see a single one that wouldn't feed FMJ or JHP's in bullet weights of about 90 grains to 158 grains (heavy Israeli subsonic loads).

Current 9mm Hi Powers feed reliably and the old saying that they are "jamamatics" with other than FMJ ammunition just is no longer true...and and hasn't been for 28 years!

The Hi Power may or may not be a 9mm pistol that curries your favor, but if weighing factors in making that decision, don't buy into to the outdated "facts" that Hi Powers won't feed other than ball rounds. 9mm Hi Powers made from '82 onward will...and those made before 1982 can be made to without much difficulty! (Having said that, I fully understand that some shooters will simply prefer other designs to the Hi Power; there are many quality 9mm autoloaders to choose from; go with what works for you in my view.)


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Federal 230-gr. Hydrashok: Failure to Expand

Hello. A friend of mine recently popped a fair-sized feral hog using a 230-gr. Federal Hydrashok fired from his Glock 21. He and another fellow had tracked the animal after a different man had wounded it with a rifle.

Tracking it into thick brush, my friend shot the animal from approximately 20', striking it behind the right shoulder. It was down but not "out" and still kicked a bit and moved it jaws. A shot to the head ended that.

The Hydrashok JHP didn't expand.

If striking bone, a JHP can clog and fail to expand. This one did not. My friend advised that only tissue was removed from this Hydrashok's hollow cavity. (Photo by Ken Wengert)

For anyone interested, a more detailed account is here:


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Updated Version: Tuff Products' "Pocket-Roo" Snub Holster

Hello. For several months now, I have been using a Tuff Products' pocket holster exclusively. This has not been difficult in the least as the holster "works" extremely well for me. I especially appreciate the design's "pouch" for their "QuickStrip". It consistently holds a reloading strip in the same position, which allows for a relatively quick reload with practice. If interested, here's more-detailed information on the "Pocket-Roo" holster:

Since that was written, this design has been altered slightly so that it fits Ruger's new LCR snub as well as the ever popular J-Frame line from Smith & Wesson.

If you happen to be interested in this change or in another possible choice for pocket carry, here are some personal observations on this newest version of Tuff Products' Pocket-Roo snub revolver holster:

(I am not associated with this company financially whatsoever. I do think that the Pocket-Roo is a very useable and practical pocket holster and one that might be of interest to others within the shooting community.)


Monday, February 08, 2010

My Hi Power's Hammer Nips My Hand. Am I Gripping it Incorrectly?

I get frequent emails and PM's concerning Hi Powers and hammer bite, but of late more and more mention the problem and seem to immediately assume that they are holding the pistol too high or in some incorrect manner...which is just not necessarily true. I asked two of the people posing this very question how they held the pistol (one sent pictures of his hold, both one and two-hand) and in each case, neither was holding the pistol too high so that the web of the hand was atop the Hi Power's relatively short tang or so low that the tang wasn't touching their shooting hand. I learned that they'd been informed via the Internet that people who are bitten by the Hi Power "must be holding the pistol wrong".

I cannot say that an improperly high grasp of the Hi Power won't result in hammer bite for it certainly will and if enough hand is above the short tang, maybe more damage from the slide, but somehow I just don't see this as a chronic issue; I believe that one such incident would result in a lasting impression not to repeat that again...ever. I do readily concede that if grasping the pistol at speed, it is possible for some folks to inadvertently get the web of skin between the thumb and trigger-finger over the tang and probably get hammer bite or pinch because of it, but I do not believe that any and all incidents of hammer bite are due to an improper grasp of the pistol.

It has been my observation as a user of this design for approximately 4 decades now that Hi Power hammer bite is more dependent upon the size of the individual shooter's hand and/or how "fleshy" it is.

The particular type of Hi Power hammer can play a major role in this as well. I am chewed up severely with the FN factory ring hammer. The spur hammer nips me as well but not as severely and is easily correctable. The Cylinder & Slide abbreviated ring hammer (Type I) also alleviates the problem for me.

A friend of mine has rather "skinny" hands and the unaltered factory spur hammer works fine for him and he barely gets bitten by the FN/Browning ring hammer that so chews my hand up! I happen to have fairly large "meaty" hands. For 11 years I was a police firearm instructor and was fortunate to work for an agency allowing single-action automatics for duty. The 1911-pattern pistol and the Browning Hi Power were the main contenders. I estimate that the officers who were nipped by the Hi Power vs. those who were not would be about evenly divided. (Sometimes merely going to a thinner pair of stocks (grips) did the trick for those barely suffering from Hi Power hammer bite.)

For those interested in some further observations and suggestions on eliminating this problem, here's a link that might be of service:

Hi Power hammer bite is not unusual and people suffering it should not automatically be assumed to be using an improper hold in my opinion and observation.


PS: Don't necessarily just "believe" what I've written. Look it over and see if it sounds reasonable and make up your own mind. I think you will find that when answers are given as "absolutes", they frequently are just (incorrect) opinions stated as facts or overlook the proverbial exceptions to the rule.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Will Dropping the Slide with the Slide Stop Lever Hurt My Glock?

It is not unusual for this question to be found on general firearm forums, but those dedicated primarily to Glock handguns as well.

Some express concerns whether or not the stamped steel slide stop lever will eventually round off and no longer retain the slide after the last shot is fired if they use it to release the slide after inserting a loaded magazine. Others worry that the thin slide stop lever might round the rear vertical edge of the notch cut in the slide for hold-open after the last round is fired.

In some of these threads, the original question may actually be answered but in many instances it becomes very secondary to generally boorish behavior such as crude remarks, personal attacks and name-calling.

I thought it might be novel to attempt a sensible approach and check with the manufacturer. Looking on page 23 of Glock’s “Instructions for Use” (REV.11/08) manual under “Loading and Firing”, we see that Instruction 4 states: “After the last round has been fired, the slide remains open. Remove the empty magazine from the weapon by pushing the magazine catch (19). Insert and new magazine and then either push the slide stop lever (27) downward (see photo 2), or pull the slide slightly backward and allow it to spring forward. The weapon is now again ready to fire.” (Bold added for emphasis.)

My goodness gracious alive! Either method can be used. It seems that the shooter has a choice and will not be struck blind and dumb if he or she chooses either least not according the pistol's actual manufacturer.

Someone frequently brings up the concept of fine motor skill loss under stress and suggests that retracting and releasing the much-larger slide is more easily accomplished than depressing the smallish slide stop lever. On one site this suggestion was countered with the claim that a very well-known competition shooter uses the slide stop exclusively to drop his Glocks’ slides, and reports no damage.

My opinion (and that’s all it is; feel free to disagree) is that anytime a steel part rubs against another steel part a tiny amount of wear occurs. For something to never wear out, it must never be used. It strikes me that despite the company’s claim of “perfection”, there will also be miniscule wear on the Glock slide stop lever if it is used to release the slide. The keyword here is miniscule. For those shooting their Glocks but moderately, it will probably never be an issue. Based on my own observations and conversations with “heavy duty” Glock users, it is quite unlikely that the practice will damage the lever (or slide for that matter). If it does, the part is quite inexpensive and very simple to install yourself.

Pick the method that works best for you. One requires but a single hand to accomplish but might induce a tiny bit of inconsequential wear to an inexpensive part that will not cause the pistol to “jam” or otherwise suffer a stoppage. The other requires the use of two hands, but both hands are already in close proximity if a fresh magazine has just been inserted and it is unlikely to be injured in the time taken after seating the new magazine to pulling the slide rearward and letting go.

That’s as honest, accurate and civil an answer as I can provide.


Monday, December 07, 2009

9mm Glock Case Support: Adequate or Not?

Whether a fan of Glock handguns or not, most agree that the Glock “KB” (“Ka Boom”) is a topic that is both enduring and widely-discussed on many firearm boards. Glock detractors frequent speak of inadequate chamber support, flawed gun design allowing the pistol to be fired with the barrel slightly out of battery to skyrocketing pressures from shooting non-jacketed lead bullets through the factory barrel’s polygonal bore (which Glock does advise against). Glock enthusiasts blame these KB’s on improperly loaded ammunition, defective factory cartridge cases if factory ammo was being used, and worn-out cases reloaded too many times if handloads were being fired. Improper reloads mistakenly stoked with too much powder is frequently cited as a possible cause, too. Who is right?

Though not as much in 9mm, the widely-used Glock pistol does suffer from the stigma of blown cases in what is called Glock “KABOOM’s” or “KB’s”. Is this something just inherent in the Glock design or might it be the product of other factors?

The first Glock KB’s that I personally witnessed were with a state-issued Glock 22. Texas’ Department of Wildlife had recently issued them to the state’s game wardens, one of whom was a friend of mine. He fired a few shots using brand new factory .40 S&W 180-gr. JHP’s before he got a KB. He was not hurt but the extractor left the gun as did the magazine. The case was still in the chamber and had blown along the extractor groove ahead of the rim. His pistol was repaired in short order and within few days he took it back to the range with the same issue-ammunition…and with the same result, another KABOOM! Damage was about the same but he was losing his enthusiasm to fire his Glock 22, and I admit declining his invitation to shoot it as well!) About this same time, a friend of mine bought one of the first 40-caliber Hi Powers to arrive at the local gun shop. He had not fired it but with a few days received a call from the gun shop owner advising him to call a specific number at Browning. He did so and was asked to return the pistol for a free “upgrade” which had mistakenly not been performed on his brand-new Hi Power. Though it was like pulling teeth, he eventually learned that the Hi Power barrel was to be replaced with one that had been given a little bit more barrel support in the chamber due to possible KB’s with but one brand of factory ammunition: Federal. This was the same brand being used by the game warden in his Glock 22. (It should be noted here that I am both a fan and user of Federal ammunition and that the problem with their earliest initial runs of the then-new .40 S&W appears corrected long ago. I have personally shot lots of it through many 40’s (Glocks and others) over the years with exactly zero problems. I do not know if Glock has increased chamber support in their 40-caliber barrels or not.

Though I didn’t witness it, a friend of mine reported a KB in his Glock 21. Neither he or nor I can blame it on the pistol. Seems he mistakenly left a cleaning swab in the barrel. Though a “low-pressure” cartridge compared to the .40, 9mm or .457 SIG, escaping gases around the trigger-area nearly severed his trigger finger. (He checks barrels before firing now for some reason!)

I saw a minor Glock KB in 9mm while a police firearm instructor. The department was using “remanufactured ammunition” (commercially reloaded) from an obscure company because of the price. I saw this 115-gr. ammunition blow and expel magazines from both a Glock 19 and a Beretta 92. I had no problems with it in a Browning Hi Power but still refused to personally shoot or issue it for practice after that. It could be that the Browning just took the ammunition in stride or more likely, I happened not to get one of the company’s inadvertent overloads by pure luck or chance! It is possible for brand new factory ammunition as well as factory reloaded rounds to be out of spec.

I thought that it might be worth the time and effort to compare the Glock 9mm barrel with other factory barrels and see if anything can be deduced. (I understand that 9mm is not the primary caliber in which Glock KB’s are being reported, but 9mm is the only caliber in which my Glocks are chambered, so it will have to do, at least for this initial report.)

If interested, details are here:


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Anti-Freedom Lautenberg at it Again...

This is essentially federal registration of new firearms though by the FBI and not BATFe, though a separate amendment later own could certainly allow them a copy. Another amendment and the ten-year time-limit disappears and we have firearm registration and eventually confiscation with the “wrong” administration.

Note anti-gunner Attorney General Holder’s comments and recall that he has wanted firearm registration:

“ Last week, Attorney General (AG) Holder announced his support for a separate Lautenberg bill, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Criminal Act of 2009, which would give the Department of Justice discretion to deny a gun purchase to someone on the terrorist watch list.”

The question is, “Who or what constitutes being on the ‘terrorism watch list’? Does being a conservative, NRA member, current gun owner, military veteran (You already know of course that DHS has suggested that veterans are potential terrorists.”) The idea is to use fear instilled by the “terrorism” camouflage to do what they have so far been unable to: register firearms.

Here is the press release from Lautenberg:

“Press Release of Senator Lautenberg

Lautenberg Introduces Bill to Preserve Gun Records Critical to Law Enforcement, Terrorism Prevention

Contact: Lautenberg Press Office (202) 224-3224

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today introduced the PROTECT Act, legislation to preserve records of gun sales for longer periods of time to aid law enforcement officials in preventing gun crimes and terrorist acts. Under current law, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) must destroy these records in most cases within 24 hours of allowing a gun sale to proceed.

“It makes no sense to immediately destroy information linking a gun purchase to its buyer and seller,” said Sen. Lautenberg. “We are too often asking law enforcement to protect our communities with one hand tied behind their back. Preserving background check information would help law enforcement do its job and keep our families safe from criminals and terrorists. We must overturn the ill-conceived 24-hour destruction policy so we can successfully combat gun violence and terrorism in America.”

The Brady Law requires federally-licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) before they sell guns. The NICS system creates an audit log of the purchase during the course of the search. A rider that has been attached to appropriations bills each year since 2004 mandates that the FBI destroy this audit log within 24 hours of allowing the gun sale to proceed.

The 24-hour destruction requirement hinders the FBI’s ability to verify that gun dealers are conducting background checks properly and to retrieve guns from those who are prohibited from having them. In 2002 - prior to the 24-hour rule - the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that over a six-month period the FBI used retained records to initiate 235 actions to retrieve illegally possessed guns, 228 (97 percent) of which would not have been possible under a 24-hour destruction policy.

Records are also destroyed when known and suspected terrorists purchase firearms, since nothing in current federal law prohibits them from purchasing guns. The FBI’s current practice is to keep background check records for these purchases for 90 days. If, at the end of the 90-day period, the FBI still has not found any other disqualifying reason to prohibit the purchase under current federal law, all records related to the purchase are destroyed.

At the request of Sen. Lautenberg, the GAO released a report earlier this year finding that from February 2004 through February 2009 there were 963 cases in which a known or suspected terrorist identified in federal terrorist watch list records attempted to buy a gun or explosives. In 90 percent of these cases -- a total of 865 different times -- the known or suspected terrorist was cleared to buy a firearm or explosive. Last week, Attorney General (AG) Holder announced his support for a separate Lautenberg bill, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Criminal Act of 2009, which would give the Department of Justice discretion to deny a gun purchase to someone on the terrorist watch list.

Sen. Lautenberg’s legislation, the Preserving Records of Terrorist & Criminal Transactions (PROTECT) Act of 2009, would:

• require the FBI to retain for 10 years all records related to a NICS transaction involving a valid match to federal terrorist watch list records; and

• repeal the requirement that other background check records be destroyed after 24 hours, and instead require that the records of all non-terrorist transactions be maintained for 180 days.

When asked about the 24-hour destruction rule at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in April 2007, FBI Director Robert Mueller said, “[T]here is a substantial argument in my mind for retaining records for a substantial period of time.” Video of Director Mueller’s remarks can be found here.

Last week, Tom Kean, former Republican governor of New Jersey and Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and Mayor Bloomberg of New York City wrote an op-ed opposing the 24-hour destruction of gun records and the inability of law enforcement to block gun sales to terror suspects.

The measure is cosponsored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Carl Levin (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Sen. Lautenberg is a long-time advocate for responsible gun safety measures. He has also introduced legislation to close a loophole that allows guns to be sold at gun shows without a background check. And Sen. Lautenberg is the author of the domestic violence gun ban, which has successfully kept more than 170,000 guns away from domestic abusers.”

Note the usual anti-freedom co-sponsors.

Folks, it is time to contact our elected officials again and oppose this.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Replying to Posts on Firearm Forums: What's the Real Motivation?

Hello. I doubt that I am alone in noticing that it is not unusual to see some poor soul, new to shooting or not, ask a legitimate question on a firearm forum only to be pummelled with worthless responses, be ridiculed or made the butt of jokes. Thankfully, some people genuinely attempt to provide a relevant answer or at least something tangentially-related to the original poster's topic. I truly appreciate those who provide meaningful responses. On the other hand, my contempt for the seemingly-increasing number of smart alecks is growing exponentially.

"Smart aleck" seems appropriate when we look at the definition as provided by the "Merriam Webster Dictionary":

"an obnoxiously conceited and self-assertive person with pretensions to smartness or cleverness"

Some reading these words are folks who have made long-term efforts to help others within the shooting community, provide information believed to be of interest and therefore enhance the quality of that firearm site (or sites). Kudos to these fine folks.

Sadly, others have selfish motivations such as:

1. trying to make themselves appear clever with some snide remark of exactly zero value to the original post, or

2. inserting their own opinion or belief regardless of the OP's original parameters.

Example: "I only own a XYZ caliber handgun and cannot afford another at the present time. It is my sole option for self-protection. What would be the best ammunition or load?" Some will offer different answers pertaining to specific loads in that caliber that they believe to be best in XYZ caliber and answers will probably be differ; in my view, that is fine. Hopefully, with the information presented, the original poster can read and maybe make a better decision than before. However, there will be some "genius" posting tripe like, "XYZ sucks. Get ABC caliber. 'nuff said.", or

3. trying to stimulate "spirited debate" which is actually an easily-spotted lie. It is clear that they are really only trying to ignite an "e-fight" and they usually succeed when rather than ignoring these trolls, people engage them in a "battle" that quickly becomes little more than "verbal masturbation". Intended or not, they help the troll hijack the OP's thread. In the vernacular of younger folks, "That sucks." I reckon that means people doing it suck as well, doesn't it? "Spirited debate" usually turns out to be nothing more than an infantile fight in which correct answers are no longer relevant, only winning. We see the carcasses of such threads bearing the little padlock symbol indicating that the thread has been locked. Think about it for a minute; supposedly mature men (and women) with a common love of firearms posting in such an infantile manner that they caused someone else's thread to be locked...if not their own?

I have pretty much given up on trying to communicate with the smart alecks, as are previously defined, but hope that maybe I might encourage others to:

1. not "feed" the trolls. (How can I put this? Hmmmmm? Ignore the arrogant, tasteless bastards.) I suggest that engaging in this behavior not only lowers the quality of the site, but possibly plays into the hands of the anti-gun tripe browsing gun forums not from any interest in firearms...other than to separate honest Americans from them,

2. and keep trying to provide helpful information and encouragement for folks legitmately asking a question, sharing a new prized firearm or revealing their latest "epiphany"...even if it is "old news" or has been known for decades.

There will always be differences of opinion and legitimate mistakes of fact but we should be able to consider the merits of differing opinions and either accept or reject them after doing so. Factual mistakes can be courteously corrected and the right information provided in my opinion.

If we can ignore the trolls and individually try to be helpful instead of hateful in answering firearm/ammunition-related queries, I bet we would see the gun forums become more interesting and useful than cess pools for "spirited debate" in which the participants too frequently appear to be finalists in a hydrophobia contest.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Hanging Together...

At the signing of this country's Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin asserted, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

That was true advice then and I believe that it still applies to gun owners and firearms enthusiasts today.

"Gun control" efforts are at their lowest approval levels in decades, something that has got to irritate those who would gut the Second Amendment and eventually the entire Bill of Rights. It is a time when gun enthusiasts from quail hunters to IPSC competitors, benchrest rifle shooters and black powder fans should be united but in my opinion, we simply are not.

If the shooting/gun-owning community in general would understand that if any one section or type of firearm ownership and use is threatened, all are.

But, no. We do not. If a gun control proponent begins a jihad against handgun ownership, magazine capacity, etc, some shooters not interested in handgun disciplines are frequently not too quick to join in the opposition. It appears that far too many of us refuse to react, much less be proactive unless we see our own particular "ox being gored".

That is sad.

It is also stupid and in my opinion, inexcusable. What happens is that a minority of shooters have to carry the complete burden and wage the entire fight that the lazy take no part in ... but gladly reap the rewards of.

How often do we hear things like (insert whiney voice here), "But the NRA (or whatever group) doesn't do everything the way I think it should be" or "They're always wanting money" and so forth?

I agree that some groups do push limits it seems on begging money but how many use this as their excuse to never financially help those who do fight the fight?

Folks, it is much easier to keep a freedom than to regain it if lost.

Please do not respond with, "Why should I have to fight for what is clearly supposed to be a Right?" Folks, I AGREE. We should NOT have to do this, but it is what it is and if we do not, we will lose this Right.

It really is that simple.

I hope that more and more of us will refuse to lay down to the anti-freedom politicians from federal to local levels and stand up for the Second Amendment. If we do not, it will be gutted and soon after its demise, the antis will be wiping their asses with what's left of the Bill of Rights.

Are you doing your part and at least carrying your end in the apparently neverending fight for what is supposed to be a Second Amendment Guarantee? If not, it is never too late to start. I've been doing this since the late '60's. I'll never quit fighting the elitist bastards who would deprive honest Americans of their Right to keep and bear Arms.

Remember in the '90's before the libtards lost control of both Houses of Congress? Schumer, et al, were smiling for the cameras and grinning about all of the gun prohibitions that they had planned?

I'll never forget these laughing, smiling, treacherous bastards.

We are still fighting them today. The only reason that we are NOT seeing their continuing attempts at gun control (and eventual gun prohibition) is that they fear for their jobs as gun control at this moment is not a popular idea when compared to the past. Further help came with the panic buying of arms and ammunition when The One was elected. Even though, these actions were individual, there were enough to show that these separate buyers would probably be united voters against pro-gun control politicians. Imagine what would happen if we as pistol shooters, or rifle fans, or hunters or trap and skeet shooters would REALLY make an effort at uniting behind each other! Think of what could be done if EACH of us signed up just one new NRA member! (It would at least double in size, wouldn't it?)

I believe that we within the shooting/gun community really do need to unite. If someone begans an assault on shotguns as "area weapons" (happened under Clinton) or begins referring to scoped sporting rifles as "sniper rifles", we should all vigorously oppose them tooth-and-nail. We should contact our elected officials over it and donate to those organizations opposing them. I personally am a "one-issue voter" and Second Amendment freedom is the issue. Rest assured that my elected representatives know that.

Instead of being separate, warring "shooting discipline tribes", let's unite and help guard all areas of firearm freedom. Let's do our legal utmost to protect the Second Amendment.

In short, let's help each other.

Are you doing your part?


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Finding Myself Posting Less and Less ...

...on some boards!

I wasn't sure why, but over the past several months I find that I no longer post to the degree I did a few years ago on shooting/firearm boards. I think that the reason has worked its way out of my subconscious and it's actually quite simple: It appears that a greater number of the shooting forums' posters view confrontational, in-your-face responses as acceptable behavior. More frequent just does not necessarily equate with acceptable or necessarily even intelligent in my opinion.

Initially, there were a few subjects that could almost be guaranteed to degrade into near-threatening cyberspace shouting matches. Threads on self-defense calibers are still very frequent but are now described as "caliber wars" and for good reason. Instead of reasoned responses based on personal belief, observation or studies, name-calling and often thread-hijacking to praise or belittle various "stopping power" researchers occurs.

Why? I have pondered this question quite a bit. Why is it that some people simply refuse or find themselves unable to discuss some firearm-tangential threads without the the rude bluster that's far too common now? Perhaps it is that some egos are tied to choices in caliber or specific firearms? Could it be that a suggestion that something other than heavy caliber (or take your choice) for defensive use threatens some people's egos for choosing precisely that very particular heavy caliber (or take your choice)? I've wondered if they somehow felt that because not all would make the same choices that:

A. Such people are morons or,

B. Those not making the same decisions think that they are morons?

That neither option is universally correct somehow seems to elude them.

But "caliber wars" are not the only hotspots for "spirited debate"...which is just a cop-out or excuse for emotional "cyber-screaming" at each other, at least in my observation. When this sort of thing occurs, temperatures may rise, but not the knowledge level, I bet. How about you? What do you think on it?

Consider merely discussing different handgun brands. How long before someone makes a derogatory statement usually containing the terms "kool aid" or "fan boys" in reference to those choosing a different brand handgun? Sadly, it is not very long. Though I see it often in seemingly endless Glock vs. 1911 threads, it can pop up with about any brand and don't forget that if you happen to prefer a firearm costing more than others believe is prudent, you are labeled a "snob" for that brand. Do they really believe that or is it more likely that they are either jealous or trying to justify their (less-expensive) choice? It is patently ridiculous in my view. The reason is that many people (including myself) have and enjoy firearms pretty much ranging the price spectrum! In my own case, while I own and use some high-end custom Hi Powers and 1911's, I also use, respect and enjoy shooting the inexpensive but great-shooting 9x18mm Makarov pistols. They get the same treatment and cleaning regimine all my handguns receive. I just do not understand the mindset, but sadly see what can breed it when some claim that only the most-costly firearms serve any purpose adequately. An example of this very thing can be found in a recent article relating to what one fellow referred to as a "valid 1911 experience". If interested, it is here:

In any event, over the last decade I have tried to honestly answer as many questions as I could based on either personal observation or experienced shooters whose opinions I trust. If expressing an opinion, I said so and did not try and disguise it as a fact. (Watch for opinion being pushed as fact.)

To me it appears that the general tone on the boards is coarser and such things as thread hijacking, irrelevant answers, and just plain rude comments are more and more common. For example: Let's say that an original poster asks, "I am going to buy a 380 automatic. Which .380 pistol would you choose?" The poster did NOT ask about other calibers only which .380 handgun others would choose. Inevitably, he will be answered with something like, "Get a .45," or "Why get a .380 when you can get a compact 9mm that's the same size?" Understand that I am NOT speaking against the .45 for defense; it's a favorite choice of mine. I am NOT suggesting that a small 9mm wouldn't provide more "ballistic power" than a similar size pistol in .380 ACP. I AM saying that neither answer is what the poster asked for! Personally, I would have no problem with the compact 9mm suggestion IF it also contained something like, "...but if you want to stick with a .380, I've had good luck with Beretta (or Walther, Bersa, SIG-Sauer; take your pick) and explain why. At least the original question has received a relevant response rather than irrelevant responses such as, "Get a .45" or "380 sucks", etc.

In any event, this is why I just don't spend nearly as much time on many of the boards as in the past. I still try and help out folks having problems or asking questions, but frequently it is by either email or PM.

I wonder if others share my observations? I believe so since I've received more than a few emails from folks where the topic came up. Some R&D folks in the ammunition manufacturing sector as well as shooting instructors and 'smiths have advised me that they just won't post much anymore due to rude nature of some posts. As a result, I think that we all lose another source of information. In any event, I do not blame them for their withdrawal from Internet gun forums.

At the same time, I think some of us may attach too much importance to these forums. Maybe I am one? I just don't know yet but while I will continue reviewing, researching and studying various handguns and related tangential topics, I'll probably be less "universal" in posting it. If you happen to enjoy reading my stuff, more and more often it will be only at a few select forums or my own site at or here.

Some will be interested and others won't give a hoot, but I wanted to explain why I have not been posting as much as in the past. My interest in firearms has not diminished even a tiny bit in the 50+ years I've been so facinated with them and I will continue to research, review and report my findings on them and other tangential subjects but in significantly fewer places.

Best to you and yours.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ruger SP101: A Thousand Rounds Later...

Hello. Four years ago I wound up with a NIB Ruger SP101 with the 3 1/16" barrel. Almost exclusively an S&W revolver shooter, I was not sure if I'd keep the thing or not, but do admit that there was sort of an "instant attraction" to the little .357 after handling it.

I shot it during a few range trips and then wound up doing an initial evaluation of the gun. Here's the link should anyone want it read it:

I also used it as one of the "test guns" when trying out Corbon's then-new .357 Magnum 125-gr. DPX ammunition:

Since those reports, I've continued to shoot the little thing off and on, but not with great amounts of ammunition each range session, but over time, my somewhat skimpy notes indicate that it has put at least another thousand rounds of 357 ammunition downrange.

This SP101 has been a reliable performer for not only me but thousands of other shooters since its debut.

If interested, here's report on the same SP101 and a few minor alterations I've had done to it:


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Can the Browning Hi Power Still Make the Cut?

I read and responded to a firearm forum post in which a fellow was concerned about an upcoming IDPA match. It seems that he expected I to be more of a challenge than a previous one and he noted that he would probably be the only Hi Power shooter amongst folks using Glocks, XD’s, S&W’s and other handguns. At one point he wrote, “Hope I’m up to it”. He then expressed concern about the Hi Power being rated at No. 9 in the latest American Rifleman’s article, “Top Ten Handguns of All Time”, in which the 1911 got first billing, Gaston Glock’s creation claimed third place with the Browning/Saive Hi Power way back in 9th place.

At the time he posted, the match was still several days away and he sought advice on whether or not to trade his Hi Powers for some Glocks and practice with them before the match.

My response was, “The gun will do its part if you do yours, assuming that the Hi Power is in good working order. They've been in tight spots all over the globe for decades. If you think you'd prefer Glocks, get them, but I wouldn't make any decisions based on a magazine article.” I believe my answer, though short is true and to the point, but also thought I might elaborate on why I believe it to be so, even though the original poster later advised his post was “tongue-in-cheek” and that he had no intentions of trading his Hi Power for Glocks or any other pistols.

Here is a Norinco 1911 that was “home-tinkered” and has made comfortable and reliable shooter for not much additional money. The only things done by the gunsmith were to fit the fixed sights and reblue the slide. Though not “match accurate”, this one shoots 3” or so @ 25 yards with most loads. This one is toward the lower end of the 1911 “cost envelope” but provides loads of fun and has proven itself capable of self-protection duties if necessary. I do not expect to see the 1911 fade from the scene for decades.

The 1911 is the longest-serving military pistol to date unless I’m sorely mistaken. Though no longer our military’s standard -issue sidearm, it is still used by some military units having a choice. It has held top billing as a competition gun in both formal bullseye shooting as well as the more practical types of defense-oriented shooting sports. Fans are legion and ‘smiths with the skills of artisans can make this long-lived design a thing of true beauty capable of both extreme reliability and superb accuracy. Some police agencies do allow this design to be carried by both plainclothes and uniformed personnel, though those doing so are (sadly) a distinct minority. In my view, the fault is not the 1911’s; it is bureaucracies of the uninformed caving into baseless complaints based on perceptions of unsafe carry or looking “too aggressive” rather than facts based on decades of carry. Combine an unsafe officer’s handling and the resultant negligent discharge and the first move is usually to no longer allow the cocked-and-locked 1911 for that agency’s use. I believe that it is true that the 1911 doesn’t suffer foolish handling well but the ease with which it can be shot depends on both safeties being disengaged and someone’s finger on the trigger when it shouldn’t have been. (There are plenty of Glock mishaps as well but the Glock remains a very popular duty gun with many law enforcement agencies. It, too, isn’t all that tolerant of safety violations but it has no exposed, cocked hammer to frighten the masses.)

1911’s come in price ranges from but a few hundred bucks to as much as one can afford to spend. We can usually find one that fits our budget and have a myriad of parts from which to choose if personalizing our pistol. With 1911 manufacturers in fierce competition with this high-volume seller, some do get out that don’t run reliably. In my view, this is due primarily to subcontracted parts being out of spec as well as sometimes just missing a lemon due to the sheer numbers being produced as quickly as possible to meet market demand.

This Glock 34 is popular with both competitors and some police tactical teams. If a person favors this design over either the Hi Power or the 1911, I suggest that they learn its manual of arms and do their utmost to excel with it. Learn its strong points but never turn a blind eye to any design’s weaker points. Any handgun design excels in some areas but not in others. That includes them all in my view.

One of the Glock’s major strong points in my view is its reliability. Were I told that I had to use an untested autoloader straight from the box, I’d choose either a Glock or a Hi Power; I’ve had near 100% reliability with both, usually from the first shot on!

Mr. Glock’s line of pistols has proven the precursor to today’s glut of polymer-framed pistols. Lighter weight and lower manufacturing costs go hand-in-hand with the Glock’s design as well as the pistols it spawned. Add in its usual extreme reliability and at least adequate service accuracy, and we have the ingredients for an extremely popular and quick-selling handgun to be sure. The Glock’s appearance on the US police scene when most were transitioning to the “Wonder Nines” of the day couldn’t have been better for the Austrian firm and I am not convinced that the Glock didn’t help hasten it! Many law enforcement agencies as well as military users chose the Glock pistol and the “acceptance barriers” broken by the company paved the way for a myriad of “plastic pistols” to follow.

The Hi Power being either 9mm or .40 (but NOT a .45) simply has not got the following of the 1911 amongst more “traditional” shooters nor the light weight or quite as high of magazine-capacity as many of the newer designs with more “contemporary” pistoleros. Its usually less-than-stellar trigger-pull doesn’t endear it to the 1911 fans and its high price doesn’t attract folks comparing it to that of the Glock, XD, etc. Police administrators not happy with the 1911’s Condition One Carry are less enthralled with the Hi Power since it (“Gasp!”) has no grip safety!

That the Hi Power is usually not accurized to the same levels as some 1911’s does not mean that it is not already more than accurate enough for the vast majority of tasks it will be called upon to perform. Though the FN Competition Model as well as Hi Powers fitted with oversized match-grade barrels can certainly shrink group-size, the average 9mm Hi Power will usually shoot into about 3” or less at 25-yards with ammunition the gun “likes”. To me, this is quite acceptable for a pistol designed and intended as a service arm, not a formal bullseye pistol.

Claims of its being reliable only with ball are outdated to the tune of over two decades; the Mk II, which hit the scene in the ‘80’s, came from the factory without the old “humped” feed ramp that did cause some problems with the older Hi Powers. From the Mk II pistols right on through today’s Mk III Hi Powers, feeding is reliable in the extreme with FMJ and almost any and all JHP’s.

I submit that the Hi Power’s out-of-the-box trigger-pull remains the pistol’s major distraction, especially when considering today’s prices for a new Hi Power…when one can be found! For this kind of money, I think that the buyer should rightfully expect a lighter, crisper trigger-pull than we usually see on this design. For those enchanted with the Hi Power and willing to spend the money, Hi Power specialists can provide very useable triggers in the 4 to 5-lb. range with or without the magazine disconnect in place.

The Hi Power’s 13-round 9mm or 10-round .40 magazines do not hold as many cartridges as do some later autoloaders but for real world use, I hardly think that either is deficient! I continue to believe that if we cannot end the close-in and immediate threat with our first few shots, we will be beyond caring. In other words, I believe that we still run out of time before ammunition. The highest-capacity 9mm magazine for the Hi Power that is reliable and that I am aware of holds twenty rounds. This is over ten rounds shy of the Glock 18’s magazine sometimes used by Glock 17 and 19 fans. This really doesn’t concern me but if it does you, maybe the Glock would be the better choice. Each of us needs to go with what we believe we need and what we have faith in…at least to a degree.

The Hi Power is not going to be the favorite of the majority. At least I’ve not seen it in my near 4-decades of using them. The law enforcement agency I worked for allowed Hi Powers for duty use and as a police firearm instructor, I saw Hi Powers on the firing-lines next to Glocks, SIG-Sauer pistols, S&W’s, Berettas and others. The determining factor on who shot best, passed or failed was never determined by the particular pistol, but rather the shooter.

Can the Hi Power still tow the mark? I think so. It has for decades in both public and private bloodlettings all over the globe, in varied climates by “good” and “bad” guys alike.

This is my old “Duty Hi Power”. After retirement, I had it reblued as much had been worn away. It now sports Novak fixed sights and a C&S hammer and sear. The right-side thumb safety lever has been removed and the shaft rounded off. This pistol’s magazine disconnect has been removed. It has proven reliable in the extreme with both FMJ and expanding rounds. It is heavier than the Glock, but I shoot it better as well. It is the pistol I chose to protect my life should push come to very hard shove in police service. Other, more modern designs were available but I chose what I shot best and had faith in.

The Hi Power’s fans will probably remain with it, at least for the foreseeable future for to us, no other single-action auto has that “special feel” to it. They fit our hands as though extensions of our bodies and many of us find the things works of art. In short, we’re pretty well wed to the design.

But does that mean that everyone has to be?

In my opinion, the answer is a resounding, “No.” align="justify">

If the Hi Power just isn’t your “cup of tea” or you simply trust another design more and shoot it better, go with it, but do so for real reasons and not just what was read in a magazine article. That you just “want” to is good enough in my opinion…not that anyone’s decisions have to meet my OK. I only suggest that we make this decision based on other than what we read in a magazine article on pistol popularity.

Choosing a particular action-type, caliber or firearm make are choices all shooters have to make. None are usually cost-free! I suggest that we try and honestly evaluate what we want and why and be able to articulate it to ourselves. If we cannot be either honest with ourselves or put forth a convincing argument, we’re almost certain to suffer “buyer’s remorse”, a malady suffered by most of us…on a repeated basis!

I know that I’ve had a dose (or ten) of it and always for not thinking my decisions through.

I hope that you do better than I did.