The distance between the go-pedal and the backstrap on a 92 series handgun is approximately three inches. For some people it might as well be a mile. Small-handed shooters have always had a problem effectively grasping the Beretta 92′s trigger (as well as Big Gulps, footballs, etc.). Most can only shoot the gun effectively in single action (SA) mode. My medium-sized paws could handle the 92′s trigger reach, but it never felt comfortable per se. It was more of an inconvenience I accommodated to get to the SA pull. With the help of Wilson Combat’s Short Reach Steel Trigger, I aimed to fix this ergonomic malady . . .
I grew up watching John McClane and Martin Riggs with wide-eyed adoration. So I’ve always known that a Beretta 92 and I were meant to be. But close encounters of the ergonomic and ballistic kind proved a let down; I really didn’t dig the pistol in its stock form. Back in March, 1911-makers Wilson Combat announced they were producing aftermarket parts for the Beretta 92/96 series of pistols. Both the gun and my childhood fascination were born again. Slowly but surely, I’ll be bringing you reviews of all of these parts as my Beretta 92A1 transforms. First up: the Wilson Combat Reduced Power Hammer Spring 16# or as most people simply call it, a “D” spring . . .
The Ruger LC380 for this review was provided by The Kentucky Gun Company.
I’ve never had much use for small framed pistols. I like large frames that shoot things with a minimum case length of 19mm. James Bond and his PPK weren’t favorites of mine. I much preferred Detective John McClane and his full sized Beretta 92. No one seems to care much what I like, though, because despite my feelings about small bore pistols in small packages, they get more popular with each passing day. Even Mother Teresa once said, “Be faithful in small things, because it is in them your strength lies.” So is there strength to be found in Ruger’s LC380? I honestly didn’t think so when I started this little adventure, but it turns out the little .380 had some surprises in store for me . . .
The Ruger LC380 for this review was provide by The Kentucky Gun Co.
Have you ever owned something that seems really cool, that gradually starts to lose its appeal due to what initially seemed like a minor flaw? That’s how I’m starting to feel about the Ruger LC380. At first blush, the sleek ‘n sexy gun’s got what it takes: low recoil and perfect concealability (it hides underneath the tightest of Ed Hardy muscle tees). As the march of time has progressed, I’m starting to lose patience with . . . I don’t want to give away the full review. So I’ll just say this: the LC9 is a classic pistol. Chambering it in .380 ACP makes perfect sense; small is beautiful when it come to pocket pistols. But there is a point of diminishing returns. Has the Ruger LC380 reached that vanishing point, or is the point and shoot pistol a viable option for deep concealment and/or BUG status? Watch this space.
“The .380 was a cute fad,” Springfield Armory’s print ads proclaim. “Now, let’s get back to business.” Back to business indeed. Forty-five caliber single-stack striker fired pistols aren’t exactly a new thing. Kahr and Glock have been making them since the naughties. Truth be told neither model has been flying off the shelves. But no one has made a pocket .45 this small. Our small-handed man Dan got to grips with the XD-S at this year’s SHOT Show and loved it. But is the new XD-S really all that and a pocketful of protection . . .
I received a surprise email from our friends at Springfield Armory last week. Their girl Friday (a.k.a., Deb) was sending an .45 caliber single-stack XD-S pistol to my FFL. Following its debut at the SHOT show, the compact XD-S is hotter than Candice Boucher. Astute members of the AI will notice that the grip on this particular XD-S seems a bit long. It’s one of the first extended mags for this gun that’s been seen in the wild. We were hoping to run the gun before it hit the shelves (and disappeared), but we won’t let editorial petulance interfere with an honest and thorough review. After that, it’s off to RF/Ralph for a shoot-out with the Glock 36. Watch this space.
As a resident of Big Sky Country I am constantly running into native companies that are making some very nice firearms products. Recently I came across one of these firms while chatting up a professional varmint hunter who was taking one of the courses I teach. At the end of the day he pulled out his custom AR-15 complete with a very nice looking silencer threaded on the muzzle. Having chronic and severe silencer envy (I blame Nick), I immediately started drooling. However, what really fascinated me was underneath the silencer. It was threaded on a beautiful looking flash hider that also came with a separate flash hider/muzzle brake combo which threaded on the same way as the silencer. I was in the market for a new muzzle device so I called up Elite Iron in Potomac, MT to get the low down on their products . . .
A while ago I decided to get out of the .45 game. Why, you ask? The short answer is it was getting too expensive to shoot. The long answer lies in modern ammunition technology, but that’s a different article. One morning my lovely wife got tired of my bitching and said, “Why don’t you get that 9mm you’ve been talking about?” The gun in question was the CZ 75 P-07 Duty, a polymer version of the ergonomically delicious CZ-75. With the .45s on the chopping block and the 9mm stepping up to the plate, I was hoping for czechmate.
I tend to be something of a miser when it comes to cleaning my guns. Break Free, a Bore Snake, cut up t-shirt and some el cheapo cleaning rods have always been good enough for me. My EDC and home defense AR may never be spotless enough to pass a USMC Gunnery Sergeant’s inspection, but they are always clean, gunk free and well lubricated. On top of being cheap, I’m ridiculously busy, so the idea of spending a chunk of change on high quality rods and cleaning doohickeys that will only require more of my time has always elicited a solid “meh.” So when Dan asked if I wanted to review J. Dewey Rod’s Complete AR Cleaning Kit, I wasn’t excited, because I don’t find cleaning guns or any gear associated with cleaning my guns as thrilling per se. It turns out there’s a little gun nerd inside me who has been waiting for a kit like this to get him excited about cleaning guns . . .
A photo of Smith and Wesson’s new M&P Shield that’s set to be announced on April 12th was leaked to the Internet on the 5th of April. I found this particular example on Reddit. It appears to be smaller than the M&P9c and has an extended magazine as well as an external safety. I’m willing to bet that S&W is jumping on the plastic fantastic single stack 9mm train along with Ruger, Beretta and Kel Tec. With the concealed carry masses flocking to these types of pistols and the reputation the M&P has, this is no doubt a smart move for the Massachusetts gunmaker.
There are a lot of strong opinions out there when it comes to home defense firearms. Nick’s Self Defense Tip; Don’t Use a Rifle caused some of the best discussion I’ve seen on the subject in a while, and it got me thinking on the subject as well. It seems to me that the biggest hang-up for any person, no matter what their view point is, is the issue of penetration. If I shoot someone in my house and miss, how many walls is it going to go through? Will it hit my neighbor’s house or go into the adjacent apartment? Is a rifle or shotgun round going to penetrate more walls than my pistol? These are valid concerns and ones that any responsible gun owner should consider. So I decided to get some supplies and see what would happen if I shot at and missed an intruder with the firearms I have in my household.
I once read somewhere that no one finds their perfect gun right away. Inevitably we end up trying new ones and finding features or ergonomics that we prefer over our current set up. I thought I was done with this disease; I thought the days of my wife rolling her eyes over my long-winded explanations of why gun A should be traded for gun B were a thing of the past. If you can’t tell by now, I was wrong. The catalyst happened a few weeks ago when I taught a concealed weapons class where one of the students was utilizing a new SIG-Sauer P220. Upon taking the weapon from him to explain how the decocker worked, something clicked in my mind. At the range he let me shoot a magazine through it and I knew I was in serious trouble. Two weeks later I became a first-time SIG owner . . .