Page 1

>> PRO TIPS FOR POCKET CARRY <<

FIRING LINE REPORTS CZ 75 OMEGA RUGER LCRx SIG MOSQUITO

MIGHTY MICRO KIMBER’S TINY .380 AUTO

IS JUST RIGHT FOR CARRY

+

• SOLUTIONS FOR AGING EYESIGHT • CUSTOMIZING THE POLYMER PISTOL

WALTHER CCP

EMPEROR SCORPION

AN AFFORDABLE, CONCEALABLE PISTOL WITH 9MM POWER

SIG’S FEATURE-PACKED 1911 GETS A COOL NEW UPGRADE


Suggested Retail: $392 First-ever LED light and laser built into frame Smooth lines ensure no visible “printing” Snag-free design Bore-axis sighting system for instinctual shooting Built-in holster-free belt clip .380 ACP, 6+1 capacity

TheGunYouWear.com

Lightweight 10.2 ounce subcompact pistol Includes two magazines

Taurus Unlimited Lifetime Repair Policy™


L

I F

E

L

I B E R

T

Y

H

O

R N

D Y®

A

AMERICAN GUNNER™ Featuring legendary XTP ® hollow point bullets, these loads are designed for target shooting, hunting and self-defense applications. Made in the USA with premium components, American Gunner™ ammunition combines generations of ballistics know-how with modern technology. • XTP ® hollow point bullets • High quality cases, primers and propellants • Versatile, consistent and accurate Uphold the tradition of liberty and freedom – American Gunner ™

AVAILABLE IN THESE POPULAR CALIBERS 380 Auto | 9mm Luger | 9mm Luger +P | 38 SPC | 357 Mag | 40 S&W | 45 Auto

800.338.3220

|

HORNADY.COM


CONTENTS

JUNE/JULY 2015 | VOLUME 29, NUMBER 3 | PUBLISHED BIMONTHLY | www.handguns.com

FEATURES 38 POINTING THE WAY By JOSEPH VON BENEDIKT

Kimber’s Micro in Raptor dress proves a capable and sharp-looking single-action .380 pistol you’ll hardly know you’re carrying.

46 WALTHER HITS THE MARK By JAMES TARR

With the CCP you get an affordable concealed carry pistol that’s easy to operate and easy to shoot.

58

52 POCKET ROCKET By RICHARD NANCE

While strong-side waist carry is a popular and effective way to carry a concealed handgun, pocket carry has its advantages as well.

58 BOW DOWN

By PATRICK SWEENEY

SIG Sauer has upgraded its Scorpion 1911, and the result—the Emperor Scorpion—is one fne pistol.

ON THE

28

COVER

46

38

KIMBER MICRO RAPTOR

52

Michael Anschuetz Photo

DEPARTMENTS 8 LETTERS 10 SPEEDLOADS

• Cool Colt stories • Head-shot drill • .38 Long and Short

16 AMMO SHELF

PATRICK SWEENEY Catching up with the legendary Super Vel ammo.

20 ESSENTIALS

JAMES TARR Easy ways to upgrade your polymer pistol.

2 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

24 ON PATROL

DAVE SPAULDING Rethinking one-handed shooting technique.

28 DEFENSIVE TACTICS WALT RAUCH Ways to deal with your aging eyesight.

32 GUNS & GEAR J. SCOTT RUPP

72 GUN SENSE

RICHARD NANCE The self-defense landscape.

FIRING LINE REPORTS

64 SIG SAUER MOSQUITO

By STAN TRZONIEC

68 CZ 75 B OMEGA By NORMAN GRAY

70 RUGER LCRx By STAN TRZONIEC


THE LASER CONFIRMS MY OVERPROTECTIVE NATURE.

www.crimsontrace.com Your maternal instincts are just that: Instincts. A laser sight says you’re prepared to act on them. With your handgun and the training to back it up, it’s the most common-sense path to protection in a time of crisis—no matter how dire. This is Condition Crimson. AND IN CONDITION CRIMSON™, WE STAND. Being prepared means making Laser Sights standard equipment on your personal protection firearm. Contact Crimson Trace at 1-800-442-2406 or crimsontrace.com for your FREE catalog and training DVD.


| TV / ONLINE

Airing on the Sportsman Channel Mondays @ 8 p.m. ET and Tuesdays @ 5 p.m. ET

4TH WEEK OF APRIL From modern day frearms to historically signifcant models, we kick off this week’s show with SIG’s cutting edge Model 320 Conversion kit. It is an extra special package in terms of a striker-fred modular pistol platform, and we give it a run thru at the range. A recognized name from the past—from the World War II era—is back with a gun from the past as Inland Manufacturing reintroduces the M1 carbine it produced in the 1940s. It’s almost an exact reproduction of the original, and better yet, they’re found a way to improve the accuracy of the little carbine, which is also available with a folding stock. Finally, we close out the show by accessing a sound meter to measure noise in this suppressed/unsuppressed segment. Your eyes (and ears) may be surprised by the results we uncover. And Craig Boddington and and Kyle Lamb talks about transitioning from the Model 1911 to the M9 in our Banking On Beretta segment.

1ST WEEK OF MAY Ruger’s ever-popular GunSite/Scout rife is chambered in a new caliber--.223—and even better news is that it is being offered with a threaded barrel so you can screw on a suppressor of your choice and fre away with considerably less report. Signifcant advancements in optics is Leupold’s long-standing reputation, and 2015 will be no different as it introduces its LCO. Curious what this optic has to offer? Tune in for this exclusive report. “Option overload” may be a term you’ve come to use when trying to decide which suppressor is best for you and a specifc frearm. We jump right into the mix and sort out some of what’s available and potentially what some of the best options are for you, whether target shooting or hunting. You won’t want to miss this report.

2ND WEEK OF MAY “Subsonic” is often one of the more misunderstood terms in the shooting lexicon, so we offer a basic explanation of standard versus subsonic loads by highlighting two of Black Hills’ 9mm factory loads. We address the often-overlooked—but extremely important—topic of magazines and improvements made. We also offer reviews on a couple more products, highlighting a suppressed .22 semiauto rife with carbon-fber barrel and some new gear from Blackhawk that goes under the banner of “Under The Radar.” In today’s world, you will fnd these items will come in handy and prevent loss of personal information.

3RD WEEK OF MAY Ever seen a fame “lick” the end of a suppressor due to high-volume shooting? Few have, but we have it captured in high defnition as Patrick Sweeney runs an AR til it glows, steams, and smokes….basically, until it gets “as hot as fre…” (more) What happens to gun and suppressor? Tune in….you’ll be surprised as .223 mags fy and hundreds of rounds go downrange in a matter of seconds. That’s just the start of a great show….we highlight two new guns to the market—S&W’s new compact M&P .22 pistol and SIG’s 556 in 7.62x39, a cartridge that is gaining considerable momentum. We fnish up this week’s show with a couple of compact personal defense guns and the best way to carry and draw when you’ve got to protect yourself or family. Find out about this pair of reliable pistols and gain some excellent advice on how to carry and draw in pressure situations.

4TH WEEK OF MAY Suppressors are the current rage in the shooting sports, with at least 40 states allowing ownership, and manufacturers are responding with multiple product options for rifes, pistols—and even shotguns! Learn everything you need to know about suppressors by watching this new segment, “Suppressors: Silence Is Golden.” Craig Boddington and Kyle Lamb team up to pass along their frearms knowledge—based on decades of experience in the feld and at the range—in “Rife Revolution.” Craig handles the bolt-action rife category while Kyle addresses features on his favorite platform—the AR. 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Beretta winning the M9 contract (and 100th anniversary of building semiauto pistols), and in this new segment (“Banking On Beretta’s M9/M92”), we call on a number of our and Beretta’s resident experts—ranging from military veterans to law enforcement to people involved in the rigorous testing of the M9—to fle these special reports.

GREAT NEW CARRY GUNS FOR

2015

Check out a host of great new carry guns introduced in 2015 handgunsmag.com/carry-guns-2015 4 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

RECOIL COMPARISON: PISTOL COMPETITION CARTRIDGES What’s the difference in recoil between different pistol cartridges commonly used in shooting competitions? Find out at: handgunsmag.com/pistol-recoil WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


ENGINEERED TO

DEFEND

NEW FOR 2015

THE FNS™ COMPACT AVAILABLE IN 9MM & .40 CAL

SNAG-FREE CONTROLS AND FRONT SIGHT ALLOW FOR EASY CONCEALMENT AND QUICK DRAW

FITS ALL HAND SIZES AND IS TRULY AMBIDEXTROUS

COLD HAMMER-FORGED, STAINLESS STEEL BARREL ENSURES EXCEPTIONAL LIFE, ACCURACY AND DURABILITY

FEEL THE DIFFERENCE OF THE FNS™ COMPACT. GET ONE AT YOUR LOCAL DEALER TODAY.

MADE IN THE U.S.A.

FNHUSA.COM/FNS-SERIES

DISTINCT ADVANTAGE™


CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Jeff Paro EVP, GROUP PUBLISHER, HUNTING & SHOOTING Mike Carney SENIOR VP, TV OPERATIONS GROUP PUBLISHER, FISHING Steve Hoffman VP, FINANCE & OPERATIONS Derek Sevcik VP, STRATEGIC SALES & MARKETING Ted Gramkow VP, CONSUMER MARKETING Peter Watt VP, MANUFACTURING Deb Daniels VP, CONTENT DEVELOPMENT Todd Smith

AN INTERMEDIA OUTDOORS PUBLICATION WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

PUBLISHER Chris AGNES

EDITORIAL STAFF EDITOR IN CHIEF ART DIRECTOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER GROUP ART DIRECTOR CHIEF COPY EDITOR

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Brad FITZPATRICK, Rick HACKER, Richard NANCE, Walt RAUCH, Bob SHELL, Paul SCARLATA, Dave SPAULDING, Patrick SWEENEY, James TARR, Stan TRZONIEC, Joseph VON BENEDIKT PRODUCTION MANAGER Kathryn MAY

DIRECTOR, MARKETING & SALES DEVELOPMENT John White

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Al ZIEGLER

SENIOR DIRECTOR, PUBLISHING TECHNOLOGIES Willis Caster SENIOR DIRECTOR, PRODUCTION Connie Mendoza

INTERMEDIA OUTDOORS DIGITAL VP, DIGITAL SALES David Grant DIRECTOR, DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT Berry Blanton DIRECTOR, DIGITAL AD OPS Reggie Hudson MANAGER, DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT Brock Norman

ENDEMIC AD SALES NATIONAL ENDEMIC SALES Jim McCONVILLE (440) 327-3610 WESTERN REGION Hutch LOONEY (818) 990-9000 MIDWEST/SOUTHEAST REGION Rob WALKER (309) 679-5069 EAST COAST REGION Pat BENTZEL (717) 695-8095 WESTERN REGION Pat BARTEE (402) 463-4589

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, FISHING Jeff Simpson ONLINE EDITOR, HUNTING Eric Conn ONLINE EDITOR, SHOOTING Dusty Gibson FOR QUESTIONS REGARDING DIGITAL EDITIONS, PLEASE CONTACT DIGITALSUPPORT@IMOUTDOORS.COM

MEDIA

IMOUTDOORSMEDIA.COM

FISHING BASSFAN.COM FLORIDASPORTSMAN.COM FLYFISHERMAN.COM GAMEANDFISHMAG.COM IN-FISHERMAN.COM

HUNTING

BOWHUNTER.COM BOWHUNTINGMAG.COM GUNDOGMAG.COM PETERSENSHUNTING.COM NORTHAMERICANWHITETAIL.COM WILDFOWLMAG.COM

SHOOTING

GUNSANDAMMO.COM HANDGUNS.COM RIFLESHOOTERMAG.COM SHOOTINGTIMES.COM SHOTGUNNEWS.COM

TELEVISION

THESPORTSMANCHANNEL.COM COPYRIGHT 2015 BY INTERMEDIA OUTDOORS, INC. HANDGUNS ® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF INTERMEDIA OUTDOORS, INC. IN THE UNITED STATES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS BOOK MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.

6 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

J. Scott RUPP Heather FERRO Michael ANSCHUETZ David KLECKNER Michael BRECKLIN

MIDWEST REGION Michael GARRISON (309) 679-5054

CORPORATE AD SALES EAST COAST STRATEGIC ACCOUNT MANAGER Kathy HUGHETT (646) 225-6559 MIDWEST & DETROIT STRATEGIC ACCOUNT MANAGER Kevin DONLEY (248) 798-4458 WEST COAST STRATEGIC ACCOUNT MANAGER Mark HERMANSON (714) 306-9900 DIRECT RESPONSE ADVERTISING/NON-ENDEMIC Anthony SMYTH (914) 693-8700 HANDGUNS (ISSN # 1068-2635), June/July 2015, VOLUME 29 NUMBER 3. Published bimonthly by INTERMEDIA OUTDOORS, INC., 1040 6th Ave., 12th Floor, New York, NY 10018-3703. Periodical postage paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing offces. POSTMASTER: Send address change (Form 3579) to Handguns, P.O. Box 37539, Boone, IA 50037-0539. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: 500 R. 46 East, Clifton, NJ 07011. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 41405030. SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES Should you wish to change your address, order new subscriptions, or report a problem with your current subscription, you can do so by writing Handguns, P.O. Box 37539, Boone, IA 50037-0539, or e-mail us at handguns@emailcustomerservice.com., or call TOLL FREE 1-800-800-4486. BE AWARE THAT HANDGUNS ONLY ACCEPTS SUBSCRIPTION REQUESTS FROM AUTHORIZED AGENTS! WE MAY NOT HONOR REQUESTS FROM UNAUTHORIZED AGENTS, AND YOU THEREFORE MAY LOSE YOUR MONEY IF YOU BUY FROM AN UNAUTHORIZED AGENT. If you are offered a subscription to Handguns, please call 1-800-800-4486 to determine if the agent is authorized. For more information on subscription scams, please visit www.ftc.gov. Subscription rate for one year is $19.94 (U.S., APO, FPO, and U.S. possessions). Canada add $13.00 (U.S. funds) per year, includes sales tax and GST. Foreign add $15.00 (U.S. funds) per year. Occasionally, our subscriber list is made available to reputable frms offering goods and services that we believe would be of interest to our readers. If you prefer to be excluded, please send your current address label and a note requesting to be excluded from these promotions to:

The Publisher and authors make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of the information contained in this publication. Any reliance or use of the information is solely at your own risk, and the authors and Publisher disclaim any and all liability relating thereto. Any prices given in this issue were the suggested prices at the press time and are subject to change.

InterMedia Outdoors, Inc. 1040 6th Ave., 12th Floor New York, NY 10018-3703 Attn: Privacy Coordinator

Some advertisements in this magazine may concern products that are not legally for sale to California residents or residents in other jurisdictions.

BOOKS, DVD’S, & BACK ISSUES: TOLL FREE 1 (800) 260-6397 or visit our on-line store at www.imoutdoors.com/store.

FOR REPRINTS: For Reprints/Eprints or Licensing/Permissions, please contact: Wright’s Media -- TOLL FREE 1 (877) 652-5295.

Printed in the U.S.A.


INTRODUCING THE

RRA 1911 POLY RRA delivers the 1911 iconic style pistol into a lightweight, single-stack polymer frame.

1911 POLY PRE-PRODUCTION MODEL SHOWN. SPECIFICATIONS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

ROCKRIVERARMS.COM


| LETTERS Info, Not Wit

Rimfres Rule Enjoyed the feature on .22 handguns in the April/May issue. I own a SIG Sauer Mosquito, and I totally love it. As to the problem with ejection with low-power ammo, SIG supplies two recoil springs with the pistol: a white one for standard ammo and a black one for higher-powered ammo. I don’t know which one Brad Fitzpatrick used, but I use the white one and have had no problems. The Mosquito is one of the best buys on the market. It just feels right in your hand and is very accurate. Christian Boegle LINDENHURST, NY

I enjoyed your article on rimfre pistols. I wish you had included the new Ruger Charger takedown model. I one and it is a great shooting pistol. I also have the Kel-Tec PLR 16 in 5.56 it is a blast to shoot. Bill tally PECULIAR, MO

The Charger wasn’t available at the time the article was written, but Brad Fitzpatrick has one now and is fnishing up a piece for a future issue.

Please make the titles of your articles informative instead of witty. When I am considering whether to renew my subscription I review recent issues, usually the table of contents, to refresh my memory on how interesting the magazine is. When I review the April/May 2015 issue I will fnd articles with these titles: “Mod Squad,” “Curve Ball,” “Balance of Power.” I realize those articles are related to handguns, but I do not like that you make me dig. Dan egner

shooting drills and dry-fre drills from often awkward shooting positions can be mastered quickly if you have a laser-equipped handgun. Whether fat on your back after being knocked down or trying to fre from a car, this is where the instant guidance of a laser really pays off. And as long as we’re talking realism, laser training can help avoid injuries to bystanders as you defend yourself in a fast-moving, adrenaline-driven situation. terry elliott

HOUSTON, TX

CALABASH, NC

Nice Upgrade Patrick Sweeney did an excellent job on covering the SP101’s concealed-carry capabilities. It’s one of my two concealed-carry guns. What he didn’t cover is what a fne trail and working gun it is—small and light enough not to be in the way as I go about my hunting camp chores but strong and heavy enough for any protection I might need. And I don’t see the fve round capacity to be a handicap. In fact, I can’t think of a more versatile handgun than the 38 Special/357 Magnum, and the Novak is a nice upgrade for a great gun P hil Witte PHOENIX, AZ

One-Handed Shooting As usual, Walt Rauch is exactly right—this time in emphasizing one-handed shooting in real-life defense situations (“Defensive Tactics,” April/May). I would only add that his initial one-handed

CONTACT US For letters to the editor or feedback on our content, email us at Handguns@IMoutdoors.com or write to us at Handguns, P.O. Box 13786, Torrance, CA 90503. Please include your town and state of residence. Letters to the editor may be edited for brevity and clarity. ADDRESS CHANGE OR QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR SUBSCRIPTION? Please email Handguns@ EmailCustomerService.com, call us toll-free at 800-800-4486 or write to Handguns, P.O. Box 37539, Boone, IA 50037-0539. If changing address, please send both old and new addresses. 8 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

Walt Rauch’s article does not take into account that a lot of us old fogeys originally learned to fre our weapons with one hand, occasionally from the hip. I am proud to say I can still walk a soda can across the prairie one handed, from the hip, at 80 years young. By all means every person who carries should take time at the range to learn to shoot one handed, left and right. Joe BlaCk COPPERAS COVE, TX

For a different take on one-handed shooting, see Dave Spaulding’ “On Patrol” column in this issue.

In the Dark “Fully Loaded” by Richard Nance in the December/January issue was a great article. Keeping your revolver or semi full of ammo is important, and it’s something I practice is loading in the dark by feel, and also by loading and fring primarily with my weak hand and as much as possible loading singlehanded as with an wound. r. leWis PALM DESERT, CA

Internet Gunfghters Dave Spaulding wrote an excellent, “Training or Trendy,” in the April/ May issue. As a frearms instructor WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


JUMP HEAD HERE

for 30 years and coach of a team of handgun instructors, the trend of Internet gun fghters renaming proven handgun techniques and pretending to invent something new makes me shake my head. Mr. Spaulding was on target with his comment, “Humans learn a new skill best if it is explained to them, demonstrated, and practiced under the watchful eye of a skilled instructor.” The trendy term for this proven technique is the EDOC method: educate, demonstrate, observe, coach. Shawn h arper ST. JOSEPH, MO

One More Nambu Thank you so much for more discussion on the Nambu Type 14 pistol. I own several of these pistols, two

Type 14s and one Type 94. They came into my possession thanks to a relative’s service in the South Pacifc theater of operation during World War II. A gunsmith in the Seattle area told me several years ago to have the original recoil springs changed out due to their age and replace them with Wolff spring kits, which also include the fring pin spring. I followed his advice and was very glad I did. All of them operate well. DeniS Cleaver PHOENIX, AZ

.44-40 ID The photo caption in the “Old School” article on the .44-40 is incorrect. The Schofeld is a single action, not a double action; obviously the trigger position alone belies

that fact. I had a Uberti Schofeld, and it was single action just like the Colt in the same photo. william m auganS MESA, AZ

You’re correct. We apologize for the error.

Tattoo You Just fnished reading Richard Nance’s excellent “Fashion Sense” article (February/March). He might want to add that one should wear a shirt with sleeves long enough to cover a giant “Molon Labe” tattoo. Talk about something that screams “Shoot me frst!” I dress to be the one unnoticed on the street—nothing camo, tactical or showing a frearms-related logo. monte m anning LAWRENCEVILLE, GA


| SPEEDLOADS | Compiled by J. SCOTT RUPP

BACKSTORIES

THESE AUCTIONED COLTS ARE INTERESTING IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE.

By J. Scott Rupp SOMETIMES IT’S NICE TO HAVE AN excuse simply to look at guns as works of art and learn about their backstories. I’m not a collector or a historian, but when I saw examples of a few Colts that went on Bonham’s auction block ( bonhams.com) several months ago, I couldn’t resist sharing them with our readers—plenty of whom will know more about these models and the principals involved than I ever will. The revolvers are a pair of Model 1861 Navy percussion guns presented to Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson. The inset photo shows the walnut case they came in, complete with powder fask, bullet molds, tools and unopened tins of caps. When the gavel fell, the presentation set went for a cool $425,000. 10 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

The 1861 Navy is a six-shot .36 caliber revolver. A refnement of the 1851 Navy, it shares the same frame size with the 1860 Army, which was chambered to .44 caliber, but at 7.5 inches the 1861 Navy’s round barrel is a half-inch shorter than the 1860 Army and not an octagon like the 1851 Navy’s was. Other refnements include a rounded trigger guard and creeping-style loading lever. Interestingly, according to R.L. Wilson’s Colt, An American Legend, Samuel Colt invented the term “Navy Model” because he envisioned the earlier, heavier Dragoon revolver would become the choice of the Army and the smaller, more streamlined Model 1851 would be preferred by naval forces. It didn’t work out that way as most of the 1851

Navys sold were used by ground forces and not aboard ships. Back to the 1861 Navy. About 38,800 of them were made from 1861 to 1873. Because it was lighter and shorter than the 1860 Army, the 1861 Navy was apparently favored by Civil War cavalrymen and offcers on horseback. Which brings us to the man of the hour: Maj. Gen. McPherson. Born in Ohio, McPherson was a West Point grad, and after graduating frst in his class he was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers in 1853. Following a stint on the West Coast, he transferred to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Civil War command—serving as Grant’s chief engineer during the capture of forts Henry and Donelson. After the Battle of Shiloh WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


(Opp. page) A gorgeous pair of Colt 1861 Navy revolvers went for $425,000 and also included a presentation case (inset) with tools and molds. A special Colt Model 1902 went for $81,900.

he was promoted to bridadier general—rising to major general after the Battle of Corinth and taking command of the Army of Tennessee in 1864. According to the Civil War Trust website, McPherson’s troops comprised the right wing of William T. Sherman’s push to Atlanta. He met his end during an attack by troops under the command of his former West Point classmate Gen. John Bell Hood. During the attack, McPherson tried to evade capture on horseback and was shot by Confederate skirmishers. The guns presented to him by his friends O.N. Cutler and W.C. Wagley are fnely engraved with foral scrollwork on a beaded ground. The cylinders are hand-engraved while the case-hardened frames are scroll-engraved. Embellishments include depictions of wolves, eagles and dogs. The grips are ivory; the trigger guards and grip straps are silverplated. The set also sold with a framed vignette featuring an autograph, image of the general and a short holographic note in the general’s hand dated November 1864. So you get a lot for your $425,000. WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

An original, regular production 1861 Navy will set you back anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 depending on condition, according to the 30th edition Blue Book of Gun Values. The rarer futed-cylinder version fetches two to three times as much. The other Bonham gun that caught my eye was a Colt 1902. Designed by the man himself, John Moses Browning, it is chambered to the Browning-designed .38 ACP. This obsolete round, according to Cartridges of the World, was developed for self-defense and military uses but—like the .38 Short and Long Colts you can read about on page 14—it was underpowered. Cartridges lists loads churning up energy levels less than 340 ft.-lbs. for bullets of 115 to 130 grains. However, the book notes the cartridge did catch on with recreational shooters due to its speed—1,040 to 1,150 fps depending on bullet weight—although by 1928 no one was still chambering guns for it. The 1902 was an upgrade of the Model 1900, the frst U.S. semiautomatic pistol to go into production and Colt’s frst gun designed solely for smokeless powder, according

to Wilson’s book. The Model 1902’s improvements included a more rounded hammer, slide serrations and a rear sight change. There were two versions: the Sporting and the Military. The latter featured an eight-shot magazine, longer grip, square butt, slide stop and a lanyard loop. Based on the presence of the lanyard loop, the model sold at auction was a Military; about 18,000 of these were manufactured. The pistol is inscribed “General Victoriano Huerta,” and if ever there was an unsavory character, it was him. The website for the PBS documentary on the Mexican revolution, “The Storm that Swept Mexico,” calls Huerta “a drunkard, a liar, a thief and a traitor…the worst villain of the Mexican revolution.” Well, well, well. Huerta fought for—and later betrayed and assassinated—revolution leader-turned-president Francisco Madero. But Huerta’s subsequent reign as president didn’t last long. He was exiled to Europe following the defeat of his federal forces by Constitutionalist troops under the command of Francisco “Pancho” Villa and others. The pistol features a six-inch barrel and was factory engraved by noted Colt engraver William H. Gough. The slide has standard 1902 markings with Huerta’s name engraved in a panel on top of the slide. The mother-of-pearl grips have checkered panels and brass rampant Colt logo. The gun sold for $81,900. Original 1902s—either Sporting or Military—go for $900 to $5,750 depending on condition, according to Blue Book 30th. But if you can fnd a U.S. Army-marked version, of which only 200 were made, expect prices in the $6,000 to $18,000 range.

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 11


| SPEEDLOADS SKILLS DRILLS | BY DAVE SPAULDING

3-SECOND HEAD SHOTS

12 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

By Chris Cheng hardcover, $25 SkyHorSePubliSHing.com Between the book’s title and subtitle (“Tips, Tactics and Techniques to Help You Shoot Like a Pro”) I expected an intermediate-level book on competition shooting. The author—a former champion on television’s “Top Shots” program who brings a lot of enthusiasm to this project— does cover the subject, but overall the book is more entry-level than I anticipated. Fortunately, his handguns chapters are the most in-depth, with good info on shooting technique and diagnosing common problems. I think lots of shooters will discover plenty of useful nuggets in these and other chapters to improve their shooting. Perhaps one day Cheng will pen a book expanding on the “Setting Yourself Up for Success” and “Putting It All Together” chapters, delving more deeply into topics such as training and mindset.

Shooter’s Guide To Concealed Carry

Alfredo Rico illustration

THIS DRILL WAS DESIGNED BY MASter instructor Ken Hackathorn to refne essential skills such as deployment of the pistol from ready and holster positions, trigger control, sight alignment/sight picture and moving from target to target quickly and effciently. GEAR Standard equipment, shot timer, nine rounds of ammo DRILL Place three IPSC or IPDA targets side by side, two-foot spacing, fve yards downrange. Set your timer’s par time to three seconds. String One: One shot at the head of each target, going from left to right. Two: One shot at the head of each target, going from right to left. Three: One shot at the head of each

Shoot to Win

target, beginning with the middle target and then fnishing with the two outside targets in any order. SCORING Total round count is nine. A round anywhere in the scoring zone for the head (both A and B zones for the IPSC target) counts as a hit. Shots fred after three seconds are misses. Hackathorn considers a passing score to be seven hits. TIPS This is a great drill to help prevent over or under travel when moving from target to target and reduce trigger “slap.” Try the drill frst from the Ready position of your choice, and if you can get all your hits, try it from the holster. Once the open holster is mastered, move to a concealed holster.

By Jorge Amselle softcover, $20 gunDigeStbookS.com Amselle does a nice job of tackling concealed carry for beginners. It’s well organized and well written with all the basics: how guns and ammo work; how to choose and buy a gun; holster construction and types; legal considerations and more. Then he breaks down styles of carry, getting to the nitty gritty for each style. He was smart enough to enlist his wife (who wrote about Glock shooters in our April/May issue) to handle the sections on how women can dress around a concealed gun as well as a chapter on non-lethal options. He also wisely chose a frearms law attorney to pen the always-important “Lethal Force and the Law” chapter.—JSR WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


We stop at nothing to build the world’s fnest tactical gear. BLACKHAWK! started in 1990 by a Navy SEAL whose pack failed in a minefeld and nearly cost him his life. He vowed to build equipment the right way. We are honoring that vow with every piece of gear that bears our name. For you. For our way of life.

SERPA® LEVEL 2 TACTICAL HOLSTER Confgures to any mission and features a fast, intuitive ultra-secure Auto Lock™ that also reinforces proper weapon grip.

© 2015


| SPEEDLOADS OLD SCHOOL | BY BOB SHELL

.38 SHORT AND LONG COLT

This .38 Short Colt (grips not original) was made in 1934, long after it and its successor—the .38 Long Colt—were obsolete due to their anemic power.

<

IN 1887 THE .38 SHORT COLT ROUND WAS introduced in the Colt Army and Navy swing-out cylinder revolvers. That was several years after the .38 Long Colt’s introduction in 1875 of its New Line, New House and New Police revolvers. The Long was used by the U.S. military from 1892 to 1909 using a six-inch barrel. It replaced the .45 Colt and Schofeld rounds. During the Spanish American War the .38 Long proved to be underpowered for use against the Moro tribes in the Philippines. There were many reports of American soldiers emptying their .38s into an enemy but still being hacked to death with a machete. Not everyone disliked the .38 Long Colt, though. Black Jack Pershing issued guns so-chambered to his men in the 1916 Mexican war and World War I—despite the fact the U.S. had adopted the Colt New Service .45 Colt in 1909 by then, and the Model 1911 .45 ACP was also available. Both the Short and Long are anemic rounds generally considered

underpowered for military and selfdefense use. The Short’s original loading was a 130-grain heeled bullet pushed by blackpowder at 770 fps, generating 165 ft.-lbs. of energy. There isn’t much published info on the Short today, but I worked with some loads. With blackpowder I got 564 fps with a 115-grain cast bullet. With a light charge of smokeless, a 122-grain bullet achieved 637 fps.

As you can see the velocities are pretty anemic, and I don’t advise trying to get more velocity in old guns. The Long achieved a little more than 700 fps with a 158-grain giving slightly less than 200 ft.-lbs. of energy. In spite of their lack of power, the Long and Short Colt are an interesting part of history well worth owning.

HOGUE ARS STAGE-1 CARRY

Hogue’s retention device works simply and easily by hitting it with the thumb. <

14 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

The ARS Stage-1 Carry—formerly known as the PowerSpeed—from Hogue ($50, GetGrip. com) is a light, strong polymer holster featuring an automatic retention lock. It’s a lever easily accessed by your shooting-hand thumb as you acquire a fring grip. I found the device to be instinctive to operate from the start, and within 100 or so draws I had it down pat (for me, using the lever as a sort of springboard to start the draw worked best). The ARS is nicely contoured for all-day wear, comes with hardware to confgure it as a belt or paddle holster and is adjustable for cant via multiple attachment-screw positions. It also includes an easily installed “wedge” for female shooters that keeps the gun properly oriented and not canted inward on the hip. My wife tried the holster with and without the wedge and said it really made a difference for her. Black or carbon-fber weave (tested). Fits include 1911s and pistols from Beretta, CZ-USA, Glock, HK, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson and Springfeld Armory. —JSR

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


P320

WE DROPPED THE HAMMER ON THE COMPETITION.

THE NEW P320. We asked leading law enforcement professionals what they required in a pistol. They told us they needed safe, tool-free disassembly. A smooth, consistent trigger pull. A proper fit for any hand size—not just a back strap. We listened. And carefully followed orders. The result is the P320. A superior pistol in every way. Learn more at SIGSAUER.COM/P320


| AMMO SHELF | By PATRICK SWEENEY

THE LEGEND OF SUPER VEL ONCE UPON A TIME, THIS AMMO WAS THE HOTTEST IN THE LAND.

16 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

Super Vel ammo was a game-changer when it came out in the early 1970s—light, fast bullets that would both expand and penetrate. It spurred a wave of innovation in the industry.

<

MODERN BULLETS WORK SO MARVELously well that, in an earlier age, they’d be considered magic. Until the early 1970s you had two choices: plain lead bullets, which didn’t so much expand as mangle, and jacketed, which would not expand even if driven sideways through a railroad tie. That changed in the early 1970s, when Lee Jurras and J.D. Jones approached Sierra for expanding handgun bullets to load into their Super Vel ammunition, which was produced in Shelbyville, Indiana. The lineup covered all the typical chamberings: .380, .38 Special and .357 Magnum, 9mm, .45 ACP and .44 Magnum. Some used normal-weight bullets, but the real performers were the .38/.357, the 9mm and the .45, all of which used bullets lighter than customary. The .38 and .357 loads, for example, both employed 110-grain bullets. And the speeds the company achieved were way beyond any other ammo being produced at the time by other makers. (Super Vel allegedly also manufactured slower ammo from a facility in Greensburg, Indiana.) Why do we care about now-defunct ammunition? Until the early 1970s the big ammunition companies were happy to provide ammo shooters were happy with. All that changed when Super Vel unveiled its products. It spurred the big frms to begin designing, testing and selling improved ammunition. Unfortunately, Super Vel had done such a good job of innovating that it put itself out of business, closing the doors in 1974. People will pay for innovation, but once economies of scale become part of

the equation, customers will opt for lower prices. And the tiny output of Super Vel could not compete with mass production from the big guys. Back then, we wondered how Super Vel got the velocity it did while staying within pressure specs. And did it actually stay within limits? And did the bullets actually expand? No one knew because by the time Dr. Martin Fackler had developed the ballistic gelatin testing procedure later adopted by the FBI, the supply of Super Vel had dried up. There was none to test. And who cared about that old stuff anyway? A friend of mine recently bid on the inventory of a now-defunct gun shop, and buried in the pallet of ammo was a pair of pristine boxes of Super Vel—one .38 and one .357, both from the Shelbyville plant.

One of the boxes still had a price tag, showing the 50-round box had sold for the magnifcent sum of $5.51. Adjusted for infation, from a baseline of the bicentennial, that is $22.25 today. This was an unparalleled opportunity to compare those nowdefunct loads because I also have access to the pressure-testing lab at Black Hills ammunition. I sacrifced a handful of rounds to test for velocity and expansion at my range and then sent the remainder off to Black Hills for pressure-testing and ballistic gel testing as a cross-test against my own. (Ed. note: Black Hills does not perform these services for the general public. The company was kind enough to do it for the purposes of this article, and we thank Black Hills President Jeff Hoffman and his crew.) This didn’t leave enough for accuracy testing, WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


WIDE ALUMINUM TRIGGER

PHOTOLUMINESCENT SIGHT

Wide, Red-Anodized, W Skeletonized Aluminum Trigger Skele

STAINLESS GUIDE ROD

Photoluminescent Front Sight, Drift Adjustable Rear Sight

Polished, Stainless Steel Guide Rod

The Ruger ® LCP ® Custom is a compact .380 Auto pistol designed with the shooter in mind. Affordable and comfortable, the Ruger ® LCP ® Custom is perfect for licensed carry for personal protection, or as a backup frearm for law enforcement. The Ruger ® LCP ® Custom features a polished, stainless steel guide rod; a wide red-anodized, skeletonized aluminum trigger for a lighter felt trigger pull; a photoluminescent front sight for low light conditions; and a square edge, drift adjustable rear sight that facilitates slide manipulation.

RUGER.COM/LCP

©2015 Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.

011815


| AMMO SHELF but I never had any complaints in the past about the accuracy of Super Vel. I frst tested velocity on my range through a four-inch Smith & Wesson Model 19, which would have been a typical handgun for either load back in the day when Barry Manilow was making buckets of

money with his hit “Mandy.” It was not at all uncommon for someone to buy a .357 and then feed it only .38 Special ammo. The .38 Special Super Vel posted 1,095 fps, and the .357 ripped over the screens at 1,303 fps. These are speeds few current loads meet. Expansion was gratifying by today’s

SUPER VEL PERFORMANCE Cartridge

Bullet Weight (gr.)

Muzzle Velocity (fps)

Standard Deviation

Pressure (psi)

110 110

1,095 1,303

32.7 30.4

N/A N/A

110 110

1,429 1,748

N/A N/A

21,730 37,850

S&W MODEL 19, 4 IN. BARREL

Super Vel .38 Special Super Vel .357 Magnum BLACK HILLS PRESSURE BARREL*

Super Vel .38 Special Super Vel .357 Magnum

Notes: (*7.75 inches for .38, 10 inches for .357) Velocities from the S&W are averages of 10 shots measured on a PACT MKIV chronograph set 15 feet rom the muzzle. Velocities and pressures for the Black Hills tests are averages of 10 rounds on factory equipment.

# HANDGUNS MONTH/MONTH 2011

standards, but for ammo designed and used when Gerald Ford was president it was amazing. After this, I couldn’t wait to see what data the Black Hills testing would show. It was impressive. The .38 Special pressure test recorded a low pressure of 18,000 psi and a maximum of 24,500 psi—with an average of 21,730 psi. This is past the limit for a .38 Special +P load, which is 20,000 psi. Keep in mind, though, it is not at all unusual for ammunition pressure to creep over time as the powder dries out. In the four decades or more since this ammo was loaded, it could easily have crept up 1,000 or even 2,000 psi. It’s a phenomenon also refected in the somewhat larger than normal standard deviation in velocities.

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


What was amazing was the velocity recorded in the Black Hills pressure barrel. Unlike the four-inch barrel in my Model 19, the Black Hills SAAMI-spec pressure barrel is vented and 7.75 inches long. Still, the resulting 1,429 fps the load churned up in the test barrel far surpasses even the SAAMI spec for the same bullet in a +P load, which is 1,150 fps. How did the .357 Magnum do? The pressure test barrel for the .357 is 10 inches long, and the Super Vel’s average velocity in it was a staggering 1,748 fps. The lowest recorded pressure was 34,400 psi, with the highest reading being 40,700. The average was 37,850 psi, which is also over the line for the .357’s SAAMI pressure of 35,000. This pressure also can be

explained by time on the shelf. (It would be worth a moment here to point out there’s a small increase in pressures with perfect storage conditions. Store your ammo properly, and you’ll have good ammo decades in the future. Store it poorly, and you’re tempting fate.)

Terminal Performance What about terminal performance? My gelatin tests indicated penetration of just about a foot, with a very nice expansion of the .38 Special and expansion to the point of fragmentation from the .357. The Black Hills gelatin test—conducted under laboratory conditions—essentially confrmed my fndings. The .38 Special out of a four-inch barrel penetrated 11.5 inches and

retained 88 percent of its weight. It went the same distance out of a six-inch barrel Black Hills used but retained only 80 percent of its weight. The .357 from a four-inch barrel went the same 11.5 inches but retained only 70 percent of its original weight. From a six-inch barrel it went 13 inches and retained 72 percent of its weight. Basically, both .38 and .357 fail the FBI tests, but remember, this ammo was designed and loaded almost two decades before the FBI tests came about. And if you think a fraction short of a foot of penetration is a complete and utter failure, then you and I do not use the same language. In fact, the performance of this ammo is so good that even today it would not be a bad load for home defense or concealed carry.

Forget everything you’ve seen, heard or thought you knew about bullpups. Just pull the trigger on our new RDB. In a fraction of a second, you’ll knock bullpup performance on its can. Innovation. Performance. Kel-Tec®. See more at YouTube.com/user/KelTecWeapons. WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

MONTH/MONTH 2011 HANDGUNS #


| ESSENTIALS | By JAMES TARR

POLY WANT AN UPGRADE?

HOW TO ACCESSORIZE SOMETIMES-PROBLEMATIC POLYMER PISTOLS.

20 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

Hogue just recently introduced a HandAll rubber grip sleeve with integral plastic tabs designed to replace the replaceable backstrap on the M&P—a feature that presented an obstacle to traditional grip sleeves.

<

POLYMER FRAMES ARE EASY AND inexpensive for gun companies to produce, which is why they’re so prevalent in the marketplace. But if you’re an aftermarket accessory company, well, you have to come up with some innovative products to sell because polymer frames are harder to customize. For instance, on just about every handgun with a metal frame, the grips or grip panels are a separate entity and can be replaced. If you’re in the business of making, say, replacement grips for guns, knocking out a set of 1911 grip panels is easy. But if the owner of a polymerframed pistol doesn’t like the angle, size or texture of the grip and wants to make a change? That’s a totally different situation. A permanent solution is stippling. This is a relatively easy process where a soldering iron is used to texture the polymer grip frame to give it a more aggressive gripping surface (see “Speedloads” in the December 2014/January 2015 issue for do-it-yourself advice). But many people are hesitant to permanently alter the frames of their frearms. The most common fx has been rubber grip sleeves, and I think the most popular brand is the HandAll by Hogue (GetGrip.com). Traditionally, grip sleeves like the HandAll are simple one-piece rubber tubes contoured to ft the frame of a frearm, and they usually feature fnger grooves and some sort of texturing. They not only increase the girth of the frame but also can really improve your ability to hold onto the gun if you’ve got sweaty or dirty hands. However, guns such as the Smith & Wesson M&P with interchange-

able backstraps are problematic for grip sleeves. (You might ask why would you even need a HandAll with interchangeable backstraps? Well, you could be like me. The medium backstrap for the M&P is a little too small for my hand, and the large is way too big—and neither adds any material to the front of the frame.) Hogue recently introduced a HandAll for the Smith & Wesson M&P. It is a three fnger-groove rubber grip sleeve designed to replace the factory backstrap. The HandAll features plastic tabs designed to mate with the frame in the same manner in which the factory backstrap does. It provides approximately the same backstrap size as the S&W medium backstrap, while also offering extra rubber and fnger grooves on the front of the frame. Small pistols with polymer frames offer their own set of challenges— namely less room to work with and generally increased recoil over

full-size pistols. Hogue offers a HandAll for the Ruger LCP, but it is not a simple grip sleeve. The grip is so short, and recoil so signifcant on the small pocket gun, that slip-on grip sleeves can twist or slip right off while shooting. The Ruger LCP has a “hammer spring seat.” This is a small plastic block in the bottom of the frame behind the magazine well. To prevent the grip from twisting and to keep it from protruding from the bottom of the frame so much that seating the magazine becomes diffcult, the LCP HandAll features an integral hammer spring seat. The Hogue HandAll for the Ruger LCP is black pebbled rubber, but the section covering the top rear of the pistol is plastic and has a cross pin. To install the grips remove the “frame insert pin” at the top rear of the LCP (a simple punch is all you need to drive it out), install the HandAll and push in the slightly WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


P

CERTAIN

OM MM U I M RE

MOMENTS

: # ENT 11 K NOWING YOU’RE P R EP AR ED

ARE WORTH A

PREMIUM

EVERY SHOT COUNTS®


| ESSENTIALS longer frame insert pin supplied with the grip. The LCP HandAll doesn’t make the grip longer, but it does add to the circumference, and the rubber is a lot easier to hold onto. Just be aware rubber grabs onto the lining of pockets a lot more than plastic does. When it comes to equipping polymer-framed pistols with lasers, you generally have four distinct mounting options: frame rail, sights, recoil spring guide rod and grip. All have advantages and disadvantages. I think every company that makes lasers offers a version designed to mount on the frame rail of a handgun. These units can be bigger, and thus more powerful, but if you go this route, your pistol won’t ft into its standard holster. LaserLyte (L aserLyte.com) makes replacement rear sights featuring a

22 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

small laser for a number of different pistols. They’re so small you’ll hardly believe it can be a real laser. Yet you’ll get fve hours of battery life out of the small units, which retail for about $150. However, because the rear sight laser unit is hardly larger than the rear sight, the button is small as well and not quick or easy to hit while keeping a fring grip on the weapon. Plus, some people don’t like the cluttered look of the rear sight with the battery compartment on one side of the sight and the laser body on the other. LaserMax (L aserm ax.com) specializes in laser units made to replace factory recoil spring guide rods for many pistol makes. The lasers themselves take up no more space, and prices start at $350. This type of laser shouldn’t affect holster ft, but that can depend on the holster and

gun type. The model for the Glock requires installation of LaserMax’s takedown lever, which extends out from the frame farther than the factory part. If you’re running a tight holster, you may get some rubbing or binding. This type of laser activation also requires the user to fnd the activation button and push it with a fnger. Some laser advocates recommend this type of activation because the user can’t turn the laser on accidentally, but others recommend some form of instinctual activation. Mounting a laser on the grip of a polymer frame pistol without requiring a holster change can be diffcult because of replaceable backstraps or grip safeties. Crimson Trace (crim sontrace .com) makes a LaserGuard model for Glocks that mounts to the rear of the frame and is held in place

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


©2015 Olin Corporation WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

There are several ways to add lasers to a polymerframed pistol, including replacing the rear sight with LaserLyte’s rear sight laser. The only downside is the small activation button and the obscured view around the rear sight. <

by an extended-length trigger housing pin. Unload the pistol, lock back the slide and push out the factory trigger housing pin. The Crimson Trace grip is contoured to match the rear of the frame, and the laser unit is on the right side of the gun at the height of the bottom of the slide. The Crimson Trace laser unit is activated by a button or “activation pad” at the rear of the grip. Squeeze the gun and the web of your hand will activate the laser. This is the quickest kind of laser activation there is, and it’s rather instinctual. However, you will need to practice with a loaded gun to make sure you’re not activating the laser unintentionally or pulling the trigger when you only mean to turn on the laser. The Crimson Trace laser grip won’t affect holster wear or concealability, but it does change the shape

of the grip quite a bit. Crimson Trace recently came out with green laser variants of its grip lasers for many new pistols, including compact Glocks. Prices of its red laser grips start at $200 and go up from there, with green lasers always being more expensive.

MONTH/MONTH 2011 HANDGUNS #


| ON PATROL | By DAVE SPAULDING

BE THE ONE

CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT ONE-HANDED SHOOTING.

24 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

Traditionally taught methods of one-handed shooting could lead to unintended consequences, such as ending up on the ground during an attack.

<

ANYONE WHO HAS SHOT A HANDGUN knows it is twice—maybe three times—as stable when using two hands. Recoil control, shot-to-shot recovery, presentation to the target, weapon stability and a host of other skills are better performed with two hands wrapped around the grip. The problem is the likelihood of a law enforcement offcer needing to shoot with one hand remains quite high. An offcer’s support hand may be injured or disabled, may need to open a door, hold on to a non-hostile or other citizen or fend off an attack. It is also possible an attack could come so close and quick the offcer can’t bring his or her support hand into the fght or is knocked to the ground where one hand is used to cushion the impact and keep stable. In addition, the offcer may need to fre anywhere from just above the holster to full arm extension. This requirement is one of the differences between marksmanship training, competition shooting and a gunfght, and for many years, frearms instructors commonly taught one-hand shooting with an exaggerated forward lean with the strong-side foot forward, somewhat like a fencer’s lunge. While this method does allow the shooter to hold the gun solidly with one hand, as well as get the body well forward for solid recoil control, I can’t help but be critical about how well it would work in a close-quarter fght. It works great during a competition involving paper targets and no one shooting back at you, but how benefcial is it to step into an amped-up opponent with the strong foot forward? If this is the only one-handed

shooting method you have been taught, and you suddenly, for whatever reason, need to shoot with one hand, what do you think you would do? We default to the level of training we have anchored, and if this is the only way an offcer has shot with one hand, this is what he or she will attempt to do in confict, regardless of circumstances. Let’s take a look at a situation that happened to an offcer in a midsize city in the upper Midwest. A female offcer responded to a suspicious-persons call at a convenience store, and as she pulled into the parking lot, she noticed two males loitering near a dumpster at the side of the store. She radioed in and decided to approach the two suspects to get a feel for the situation before her backup arrived. As she approached, the two

became verbally abusive, and one approached her in an aggressive manner. Being a defensive tactics instructor but not a frearms instructor (the importance of melding the two disciplines was not yet understood), she immediately went into a low, aggressive stance, and when one of the suspects tried to grab her, she struck him with a forearm to the brachial plexus region, which caused him to immediately “do-the-chicken” to the pavement. So far so good. At the same time, she thought she heard the snapping sound of a knife opening (it turned out to be a stick breaking under the other suspect’s foot), so she struck out with her support hand and drew her frearm. Using the one-hand technique she had been taught at the range, she stepped into the WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


| ON PATROL suspect, extended her arm and revolver only to have the suspect try to grab her gun. She immediately pulled the gun back into her torso only to discover her feet were in the wrong position to maintain balance and fght back. The suspect pushed her, she fell on her back due to her unbalanced position, and he ran off. Fortunately, he didn’t try to attack her while she was on the ground as the ground is a real bad place to be in a fght. The offcer told me this story during one of my Handgun Combatives courses. It was still vivid in her mind even though the event occurred decades ago. I talk about the potential in-combat pitfalls of the fencer’s lunge shooting position in my courses because I have seen this stance used improperly many times before.

Do It the Same Way Her story reinforced my belief that we should teach shooting with one hand the same way as shooting with two hands: feet frmly planted on the ground with the shooting side foot slightly behind the support side foot, what is commonly called a fghter’s stance. I know some instructors disagree with my viewpoint, and I understand that, but I think they’re wrong. If we can shoot with the strongside foot slightly back while using two hands, we can do it with one. In the event we are attacked and need to pull the pistol back into a closeretention shooting position, we can do it without taking ourselves off balance, keeping ourselves better prepared to fght or move. Try this the next time you re practicing at the range. Get into a solid shooting position with your shoulders above your toes. Extend your arms in your favorite shooting platform—Weaver, Isosceles, it doesn’t matter. Pull your support

arm away and make sure you lock it back against your torso in some fashion because this will help lock the extended arm as well. Truth be told, it really doesn’t feel all that different to shoot with one hand. If you need a bit more recoil control, put a little more upper-body lean into the gun. If the gun seems to waver and move in front of the target, don’t try to cant it inward. Rotate the shootingarm elbow down toward the ground and straighten the shooting-hand thumb. You’ll fnd this locks the arm all the way from the shoulder through the wrist. It will also put the “support structure” of the arm directly behind the gun to help control recoil, something that does not take place when the gun is canted inward. If you need to bring the gun back to the torso for a close-retention shot, all you’ll need to do is bend the elbow and draw the gun back. This is simple to execute, so don’t overcomplicate the process. With this method, you can fre the gun anywhere from just above the holster pouch to a full extension away from the body. When shooting from a closeretention position, many advocate rolling the gun outboard to keep the slide from making contact with clothing and stopping its action. I have found this diffcult for many small shooters to execute because it can unlock the wrist. I have had great success merely having shooters “fag” their shooting hand thumb, which helps hold clothing down while keeping the gun upright, allowing the slide to work back and forth unencumbered. Remember, the best shooting positions are the ones that don’t require a lot of motion or thought to accomplish and master. If you feel as if you’re hardly moving, you’re probably doing it right. WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


| DEFENSIVE TACTICS | By WALT RAUCH

SIGHT RIGHT HOW TO COMPENSATE FOR AGING EYES.

28 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

In addition to glasses, you might consider a change to a different sight system. (From l.) Heinie Straight Eight two-dot with titanium inserts, Glock white-dot front and U-outline rear (darkened by author), same Glock setup with rear outline as stock, Kimber 1911 with domed gold bead front sight and widened rear notch, and a Smith & Wesson 642 with XS Big Dot front sight with tritium insert.

<

MANY PEOPLE WILL BE SURPRISED TO learn that the effects of aging begin rather early in life, as early as the beginning of our 30s. And these changes can defnitely affect our ability to defend ourselves. One change in particular is being able to see your sights clearly. We need to recognize that we may well need changes or modifcations to our sights to accommodate vision changes. Admitting we need glasses— particularly bifocals—is diffcult, and people will fnd ways to rationalize a fuzzy sight picture. I spent altogether too much time squinting and fnding sunny days to practice. I fnally gave up and had my eyes examined, and the result was the dreaded mark of middle age: bifocals. I saw sights clearly, but at the cost of tilting my head back to do so. Full-frame prescription lenses followed. The remaining problem here, aside from the physical contortions necessary to use the bifocals, is that in a confrontation you may well not be wearing your full-fame corrective glasses with bifocals. And you certainly won’t have time to get them out and put them on. If the attack is physical, your glasses are almost guaranteed to be knocked off, which means you’re back to square one. But there is an alterative that may help you see the sights more clearly even without corrective lenses. You can make changes to the sights, beginning with the white three-dot setup, which is quite common on modern defensive handguns except on subcompacts. Most readers are already familiar with them: a white dot in the face of the front sight with white dots on both sides of the rear sight notch. Variations include using a white “U” to outline the sight

notch, and others have a white bar beneath it. The three-dot system works for quickly acquiring the sights—but not for good shooting. This is due in large part to all three dots being equally luminous, and because they’re closer to your eyes, the rear sight dots will appear brighter than the front sight dot. This pulls your eyes to the rear sight, which then makes it harder to focus on the front sight and line up the two sights. (Unlike older eyes, younger eyes have little to no diffculty doing this.) Also, the more you shoot your handgun, the more the front sight grows dim due to muzzle blast residue constantly being deposited on the dot. A two-dot system, with one in the front sight and the other beneath the rear sight notch, helps somewhat, but unless the rear dot is dimmed, you still have the same problem. My answer is blacking out the rear “eye catchers” with a marking pen or not having them at all. If you still think you need the rear dots, black them out, let the ink settle and then wipe it off. This darkens the dots a little. Another approach is to widen the rear sight notch. Factory sight

widths vary, but generally both front and rear sights measure 0.125 inch on a full-size pistol. After butchering a few notches, I now have a gunsmith do the work. I have notch openings from 0.140 to 0.160 inch on various handguns. The downside to opening the sight is that you give up more refned sighting because there’s a lot of white space on either side of your front sight. That said, many top action shooters swear by a narrow front sight and a wide rear notch because they have found this to be the fastest method of sighting on multiple targets. Changes in the width of the front sight can help, as can inserts such as brass, gold or fber optic. With fber optics, the more light, the brighter the insert. Extra tubes are provided and are user-changeable. The downside is they can break from a bad bump, and they do get dimmer in lower light. If you can afford a gold insert, make sure it’s domed because the dome shape continues refecting light longer than a fush one, although even a fush gold insert will be more visible than brass. Brass WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


PPQ

®

PROTECT YOURSELF • Smooth 5.6 pound trigger with short reset for quick, responsive shots • Button rifled, precision barrel delivers the greatest accuracy • Unique Hi-GripTM surface creates unparalleled retention in your hand ®

WALTHERARMS.COM BUILT IN GERMANY


| DEFENSIVE TACTICS also tarnishes, and gold—as one of the least reactive elemental metals—will not. You’ll want a good gunsmith to install it because gold is expensive, and you sure don’t want to have to replace it. The wider a front sight is the quicker you pick it up, but a wide sight also blocks more of the target than a thin one. For me, this has been of no import within 15 yards. The only realistic damage might be to your ego because you might not get the super-tight, fve-shot “bragging rights” group. The foregoing discussion doesn’t help much when it comes to subcompacts and “mouse guns,” including fxed-sighted, small-frame revolvers. I miked the sights on my 40-year-old Smith & Wesson Airweight Model 42. The front sight is 0.068 inch,

and the rear is 0.078. My newer S&W Model 940 in 9mm is not much better, with the front sight at 0.115 and the rear sight at 0.120. Only on a very, very good day with bright light while wearing my reading glasses can I see them clearly. With these restrictions, I can maybe shoot one or two “keeper” groups at 15 yards. Otherwise, I’m satisfed to get all my shots in the head box of an IDPA or USPSA target. I did fnd one solution: an XS Big Dot sight with tritium insert. I had one installed by Bo Wallace at XS Sights on an S&W Airweight Model 642. Now I defnitely have no problem fnding the front sight. Keep in mind these suggestions are patches and not cures. I suggest you also include shooting without correction in your practice ses-

sions if you are confdent (and your shooting partners are as well ) that you can safely do this, if only for a few rounds. You might be surprised to fnd your close-range hits—sighting by only looking over the slide or aligning the rear outline of your handgun with a man-size target— are good enough. They probably will not be as good as you might like, but they will be good enough. It’s up to you to keep in mind that the most important fx you can have is in your head. Make up your mind that regardless of your limitations, you are not now and never will be a victim. One plus to advanced years is that a predator may well see you as an easy mark and be dismissive, if not contemptuous, of an “old” guy or gal. Surprise him and do not go gently into that good night.

Mec-Gar USA, INC.

www.mec-gar.com

30 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


M&P PC PorteD. AN exPerieNCe you hAve to feel to believe. ®

PoRtEd slIdE aNd baRREl foR REduCEd RECoIl, muzzlE flIP aNd ImPRovEd sECoNd shot taRgEt aCquIsItIoN. adjustablE tRIggER stoP foR moRE fEEl.

#EXPERIENCE #MANDP at smIth-wEssoN.Com/mPPIstols

m&P®9 PERfoRmaNCE CENtER® PoRtEd. *oPtICs Not INCludEd


| GUNS & GEAR | By J. SCOTT RUPP <

ROCK ISLAND ARMORY SINGLE-STACK .22 TCM

Say hello to four new 1911s chambered for the speedy .22 TCM. The new pistols include midsize and full-size 1911 Tac II and midsize and full-size 2011 Tactical. They all feature a 10-round capacity, and all ship with a conversion kit that turns them into 9mms. If you’re not familiar with the .22 TCM, it pushes a 40-grain jacketed hollowpoint at 2,000 fps. {$830, us.armscor.com}

SUREFIRE X300 ULTRA

<

Offering 1.5 times as much output as the original X300, the Ultra’s tight 500-lumen beam has plenty of oomph. The body is built of aerospace aluminum with a hardcoat-anodized mil-spec fnish, and it operates via an integral one-fnger ambidextrous switch. Attaches to Universal and Picatinny accessory rails. And it’s now available in tan (in addition to black) to match with today’s handgun fnish colors. {$299, sureFire.com}

FEDERAL PERSONAL DEFENSE HST .380

<

The newest addition to the HST lineup is perfectly suited to one of today’s most popular CCW pistol chamberings. The .380 employs a 99-grain hollowpoint specially designed so it won’t plug, and the jacket and core hold together for nearly 100 percent weight retention while providing excellent expansion. The bullet nose profle, nickel case and Federal primer ensure reliable feeding. {$26, FederalPremium.com}

<

GALCO CORVUS

This new Kydex holster gives you two rigs for the price of one. The Corvus quickly and easily converts from a belt holster to an inside-the-waistband holster. It features an open top and is adjustable for ride height and cant. Accommodates both 1.5- and 1.75-inch belts. Comes set up for belt carry and includes the straps to convert to IWB. {$80, GalcoGunleather.com}

<

HORNADY LOCK-N-LOAD 1911 AUTO PRIMER TUBE FILLER

This novel fller will get 100 primers into a tube in 10 to 15 seconds. It was designed with user safety in mind, and it takes advantage of power from two AAA batteries and a 13,000-rpm vibration motor to make quick (and fun) work of a chore that can be a pain in the butt. {$72, hornady.com} 32 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Finest 1911 Handguns Engineered for performance. Precision machined in America. Hand-crafted to perfection.

Signature Edition

Featuring Exclusive Skip-Line checkering

573-565-3261 â&#x20AC;˘ www.edbrown.com


POINTING THE WAY BY JOSEPH VON BENEDIKT

THE MICRO .380 IS A SINGLE ACTION THAT FEELS LIKE IT WAS BORN IN YOUR HAND.

38 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


K

imber’s new Micro is an honest pocket pistol, a .380 that shares a lot of DNA with the Colt Mustang and SIG Sauer P238. It’s somewhat like a tiny 1911 in appearance and handling but different in engineering, and it feels like it was born in your hand. First announced in 2013, Kimber began shipping Micros last year in black, stainless and CDP confgurations. For 2015 six souped-up models were added, including the Raptor tested for this article. When people consider a new carry gun, the frst things they usually want to know are caliber, size and capacity. I’ve long considered the .380 Auto cartridge to be the bottom of the barrel in terms of adequate personal protection, but at least it’s in the barrel. To give it its due, I’ve seen modern .380 ammo produce some pretty impressive results when put through the FBI’s performance protocol. In terms of size, the Micro is just about right for a pocket pistol. There are smaller .380s, but few are comfortable to shoot, and accurate rapid-fre is pretty much unachievable. I can drop the Micro into a back or a hip pocket or in the pocket of a jacket, and while I know it’s there, it’s not easy to see and it’s not particularly uncomfortable. Width is more important to me than length or height. The full width of the Micro—measured across the ambidextrous safeties—is 1.1 inches, and functional width is less. Across the grip it’s just a shade over one inch, and the widest point on the slide is only three-quarters of an inch. Stuck into a Galco Stow-N-Go holster in the appendix position, it just disappears. As for capacity, the Micro is a 6+1. I love Smith & Wesson’s Airweight compact revolvers, which are similar in size and weight, but I’ve got to admit I’d rather have WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

seven rounds of .380 Auto onboard than the fve rounds of .38 Special the revolver holds. Of single-action design, the Micro must be carried cocked and locked. Unlike many tiny guns, it feels good in the hand. It also points naturally, which is high on the list of characteristics I look for in a tiny pocket gun. Even the abbreviated grip doesn’t bother me; the little fnger on my shooting hand naturally rests beneath the grip, against the bottom of the magazine, and the scale-like texture on the frontstrap of the satin-fnished aluminum frame offers a secure grip. Robust, low-profle, three-dot tritium night sights come standard and are dovetailed into the top of the stainless-steel slide. Between the front and rear sights the top of the slide is scalloped, in keeping with the Raptor theme. The scallops perform the dual duty of lending aesthetics and serving to reduce top-side glare. The combat-style hammer has a half-cock notch, but the included manual cautions against using it as a safety. The ambidextrous safety itself will be intuitive to 1911 shooters, but it has some idiosyncrasies. Flipping it up engages the safety, which activates, the company says, “an internal cam surface that prevents the hammer from moving forward.” Unlike on a 1911, the safety does not lock the slide into battery. That’s arguably good and bad. You can work the slide to empty the chamber with the gun on Safe, but on the fip side, the engaged safety doesn’t keep the slide from moving rearward when the gun is holstered. And the light recoil spring doesn’t provide much support, either. I found I had to holster the Micro with my thumb frmly on the rear of the slide to prevent it from going out of battery. The safety also can be engaged with the hammer lowered. Positioned this way, the slide is

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 39


POINTING THE WAY

<

locked and the hammer can’t be cocked. Frankly, this is my leastfavorite design aspect of the Micro. If you inadvertently engaged the safety with the hammer down on an empty chamber and then

take the time to become intimately familiar with their chosen sidearm, many don’t. A panicked victim might fght the slide—without fguring out the safety had it locked up—until it was too late. A disconnector prevents the hammer from falling unless the slide and barrel are fully into battery. Additionally, there’s a fring pin block that prevents the pin from contacting the primer in a chambered cartridge until the hammer falls. The well-knurled slide lock is easily accessed, and dropping the locked-back slide on a fresh magazine of cartridges is intuitive. The magazine release button is checkered and protrudes just enough to be easily activated, yet not so much it’s likely to be accidentally depressed—allowing the magazine to disengage—while holstered or while shooting.

The scale pattern on the zebrawood grips, frontstrap and rear of the slide provide an excellent non-slip surface, and the magazine well has a small bevel for sure reloads.

The Raptor Stainless version of the Micro comes standard with tritium three-dot night sights. The pistol features an ambi thumb safety, but unlike its 1911 ancestor, there’s no grip safety.

needed the gun in a hurry, you’d likely fumble your way through an attempt to function the locked slide before realizing you had to disengage the safety. And while we hope all folks who carry concealed

The slide lock is knurled and easy to access, and the checkered magazine release button protrudes enough to be easily activated but not so much you’d hit it accidentally.

<

<

40 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


Shown with optional accessories.

Introducing the all-new DB FS Nine. Full-size, lightweight 21.5-ounce pistol. Glass fiber reinforced polymer frame and grip. Ultra-durable Chromemoly barrel and stainless steel slide ine is an exceptionally versatile choice with elonite® finish. The DB F for everyday carry, home defense, target shooting and tactical training. Double-action, striker-fire designed platform il-spec picatinny rail enables seamless accessory integration Chambered in 9mm with 15+1 magazine capacity Proudly made in the USA—80% of components manufactured in-house

/Diamondback.Firearms @DBFirearms

DiamondbackFirearms.com 877. 997. 6774


POINTING THE WAY A small bevel around the bottom of the magazine well facilitates inserting a fresh magazine. Even when full with six cartridges, magazines are not diffcult to press

into position, and once inserted, they’re held securely and quietly in place. Four broad scallops are cut into the backstrap and contribute to

<

As you replace the slide on the frame, you’ll need to depress the ejector with a fngertip. Also, be sure the recoil spring is correctly installed so it doesn’t scar any internals.

<

With its small size and manual safety, the Micro is perfect for appendix carry. And with a 6+1 capacity, you have plenty of .380 ammo at your disposal.

42 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

a secure grip on the little pistol. Zebrawood stocks have a full pattern of feathers or scales except for an oval with the company’s name in the center. I’ve never been a fan of Kimber’s Raptor treatment on its full-size 1911s. To my conservative eye it makes them gaudy. However, when judiciously applied to this sleek little pistol, it makes a particularly good-looking piece. Plus, the scale pattern on the grips, frontstrap and rear of the slide provide an outstanding nonslip surface. When you consider the little gun is in fact designed for use when things have really, really gone south and blood, sweat and adrenaline will potentially compromise your ability to hold your sidearm securely and control it well, that’s important. Disassembly is simple. Remove the magazine and make sure the Micro is unloaded, then cock the hammer. Press the slide rearward until the half-round cutout in the bottom left of the slide lines up with the tab at the top of the slide lock and start the slide lock out by pressing on its opposite end. Pull it out and allow the slide to move forward. Then just draw the slide the rest of the way off the frame. Lift the recoil spring guide and recoil spring out, and then lift the barrel out of the slide. It’s as simple as that. Don’t fick the safety into the engaged position with the slide off. Apparently, it can rotate past where it’s supposed to, allowing the detent plunger held captive beneath it to spring out. Not only is that a recipe for lost-detent disaster, it allegedly comes out with enough force to damage an eye (which is why we really should wear safety glasses whenever we’re working on anything containing a spring). The manual also notes pulling the trigger and dropping the hammer without the slide installed can damage the aluminum frame. WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


When reassembling, reverse the order and return the barrel, recoil guide and recoil spring. Be sure to put the spring’s “closed” end on the guide. Kimber says installing the spring backward could cause scarring of other internal parts while fring. Place the assembled barrel/guide/spring back into the slide, align it with the rails on the frame and push it rearward. The ejector—a little black arm protruding upward from the guts of the frame—must be depressed with a fngertip to allow the slide to come far enough rearward to replace the slide lock. I packed the Micro Raptor Stainless around for a weekend before I managed to get to the range with it. Because my back gripes a lot, I like to carry in the appendix position, but most guns are just a bit too big to be comfortable there when you spend as much time writing at a desk as I do. Plus, I’m uncomfortable sticking anything without a safety on it into a place where it regularly threatens my femoral artery and, well, other vitals. Kimber’s Micro is perfect, since it’s not too large and it has a safety. However, for appendix carry I do wish it had its 1911 ancestor’s grip safety in addition to the thumb safety. When I fnally made it to the range, I felt like the Micro and

KIMBER

STAY IN CONTROL.

THE X300 ULTRA ®

The SureFire X300 Ultra’s 500 lumens—focused by a beam-intensifying TIR lens—provides significant illumination to positively identify threats at greater distances than ever. This overwhelming show of force gives you superior visual information and more options. The world’s ultimate pistol (and long gun) light just got better.

www.surefire.com/X300Ultra

MICRO RAPTOR STAINLESS TYPE: single-action semiauto CALIBER: .380 ACP CAPACITY: 6+1 BARREL: 2.75 in., stainless OAL/WIDTH/HEIGHT (IN.): 5.6/1.1/4.1

ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT, DURABLE AND VERSATILE

WEIGHT: 13.4 oz. CONSTRUCTION: stainless steel slide,

brushed aluminum frame GRIPS: zebrawood with scale pattern SIGHTS: three-dot tritium SAFETY: ambi thumb

5 LENGTHS AVAILABLE —

TRIGGER: single action, 7 lb., 5 oz. pull

CARBINE, MID, RIFLE, XLONG AND XXLONG

(measured) PRICE: $960 MANUFACTURER: Kimber, K imber AmericA.com

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

• The lightest handguard with integral mounting points • Versatile design — mount rail sections anywhere • Free floating/ventilated G10 construction will not conduct heat • High impact resistance and damage tolerance • Inserts are 10/32 threaded for rail sections or sling attachments • Barrel nut matches the strength of the receiver 7075-T651

WWW.ALEXANDERARMS.COM

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 43


POINTING THE WAY I were already old friends. Fifteen-yard groups averaged in the neighborhood of two inches with a variety of ammunition, which is pretty good considering the handgun’s tiny size and the fact my middle-aged eyes don’t resolve iron sights the way they used to. All ammo impacted a couple of inches to the right, but that’s an issue easily resolved by drifting one of the sights in its dovetail, and I was impressed at the way all the loads seemed to have the same point of impact. Of course, all were loaded with

90-grain bullets, which surely contributed to point-of-impact consistency. On the subject of bullets, shooters sometimes refer to the .380 Auto as a short 9mm. In terms of diameter and size, that’s accurate, but in terms of authority, the .380 gives up a lot of performance. Out of the Micro’s short barrel, those 90-grain bullets averaged about 900 fps, which translates to about 160 ft.-lbs. of energy. Compare that to a common 124-grain 9mm bullet traveling at 1,110 fps and impacting with more than 330 ft.-lbs.—literally double the perfor-

ACCURACY RESULTS | KIMBER MICRO RAPTOR STAINLESS .380 ACP

Hornady Critical Defense Hornady XTP Winchester PDX1 Winchester Silvertip

Bullet Weight (gr.)

Muzzle Velocity (fps)

Standard Deviation

Avg. Group (in.)

90 90 90 90

873 916 913 879

15 30 33 19

1.53 2.26 1.73 2.00

Notes: Accuracy results are the averages of five five-shot groups at 15 yards from a sandbag rest. Velocities are the averages of 25 rounds measured with a Shooting Chrony chronograph 10 feet from the muzzle.

mance on the business end. In terms of reliability, the Micro had a couple of failures to chamber when dropping the slide on a full magazine. In both cases it appeared the gaping maw of a large hollowpoint bullet was the culprit. Still, this is the type of ammo one should be shooting through a .380 designed for personal protection. Since the feed ramp appears to have a decent polish, I’d like to try a new recoil spring, which I believe would eliminate the problem. With accuracy testing completed, I did some point shooting and ran a few informal drills on a steel plate. To my delight, I found it easy to achieve fast, accurate double-taps with the Micro, even at 10 yards and farther. The trigger is clean and crisp but a little heavy at seven pounds, fve ounces. While I had to concentrate to get a good clean trigger release while accuracy testing, the weight

THE VALUE OF

Substantial Security A midsize masterpiece, TriStar’s new P-100 delivers the kind of toughness and reduced recoil that can only be found with all-steel construction. With its smaller dimensions, the P-100 provides agility and balance for fast, accurate shots. This new offering is chambered in both 9mm and .40 S&W – making it ideal for defending your home or enjoying a day at the range.

TriStar P-100 9mm and .40 S&W 44 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

1816 Linn Street, North Kansas City, MO 64116 • 816.421.1400

TriSTararmS.com WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


target perfectly when I pointed quickly; with the thumb lower my sights tended to fall lower on the target. At only 13.4 ounces empty, the Micro is the lightest handgun I’ve ever carried. It’s also the smallest. I typically carry a bobtailed 1911

The .380 may not be a frst choice for personal defense, but today’s ammo makes it a lot more capable than it used to be.

TM

A new money-saving program that gives Brownells customers a serious advantage. For a very low annual membership fee, your EDGE benefts include:    

Commander .45 Auto with an aluminum frame or a small, single-stack 9mm. The Micro is a full fve ounces lighter than the 9mm and literally less than half the weight of the 1911. It carries comfortably, points well, shoots accurately and recoils politely. What more could you ask?

<

of the trigger didn’t bother me at all while running drills, and for a carry gun that will be stuck loaded in one’s pants and potentially fred by nervous hands, it’s just about perfect. With a full magazine in its allmetal frame, the Micro balances and points superbly, and recoil is far milder than I expected. Gaining a clean, solid grip is easier than I anticipated as well. I never had to pause and shift my grip before fring. As a 1911 shooter, I struggled a bit with whether to keep my fringhand thumb atop the safety while shooting or to clench the grip with my thumb down by the magazine release. The safety isn’t large, and keeping the thumb atop it isn’t as comfortable as with an extended safety on a full-size 1911. In the end I decided it doesn’t really matter, but I did fnd that with my thumb atop the safety my sights came on

SERIOUS SAVINGS

FREE Standard Shipping on all orders Discounted 2-Day & Overnight shipping FREE shipping on returns Special members-only ofers & discounts

Only $49.95 a year! Sign up now at Brownells.com/EDGE or call 800-741-0015 and order #080-001-199 WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

Join the EDGE before May 1st for a chance to win an STI Edge pistol!

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 45


WALTHER HITS THE MARK BY JAMES TARR

WITH THE CCP YOU GET A GREAT CONCEALED CARRY PISTOL THATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EASY TO OPERATE AND EASY TO SHOOT. 46 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


T

here is no doubt the CCP (Concealed Carry Pistol) is a Walther. Current Walther handguns have a distinct look to them, and the CCP is obviously related to the PPQ. In fact, although it is a completely new design, as far as appearances go, think of the CCP as a miniaturized PPQ. Walther, however, did not just shrink the PPQ. Most pistols, including the PPQ, use a variation of the delayed blowback recoil system. Upon ignition, the pressure from the cartridge locks up the gun, but as soon as the pressure starts to let off, the barrel can tilt down. Even as the barrel is moving down it is still absorbing a lot of the energy of the igniting cartridge. Once the barrel has completed its travel, the slide then begins to move freely backward under recoil. The CCP, on the other hand, uses a gas-delayed blowback system. Walther calls it the Soft-Coil recoil system, and it bleeds off gases from the igniting cartridge through a port in the underside of the barrel just in front of the chamber. Gas pushes against a piston underneath and parallel to the fxed barrel; the piston opposes the rearward motion of the slide until the gas pressure has declined. This is not the frst pistol ever made with a gas-delayed blowback system, but it’s not a common design.

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

Walther is promoting the recoil-taming advantages of this gas system, saying it reduces muzzle rise by one-third, but to be honest, it didn’t feel noticeably softer than other 9mm handguns of the same size and weight I’ve fred. However—and this is important— the end result of using a gas-delayed blowback recoil system is that the CCP doesn’t require a recoil spring as strong as a traditional tiltingbarrel system. As a result, less force is required to work the slide of the CCP. If you don’t have good hand strength, this could be an important selling point. I found it took about twice as much force to work the slide of a comparably sized Ruger LC9 I had on hand. As it is specifcally designed for concealed carry, the CCP exists in the Goldilocks range for carry guns: small enough to conceal yet large enough to handle full-power cartridges (in this case the 9mm). The pistol uses a single-column, eight-round stainless steel magazine that allows for a narrow frame, which feels comfortable in the hand. The grip will be long enough for most people to get their entire hand on the gun. While the CCP is easily concealed at 6.4x5.1x1.2 inches and 22.3 ounces with an empty magazine in place, it is too big and heavy for anything but a roomy cargo pocket. This is a purse or holster gun. The slide is actually narrower than the grip, and the fatness of the gun will make it easy to conceal with the right holster choice and covering garment. Above the 3.54-inch barrel are three-dot polymer sights. I’m not a fan of polymer sights, but manufacturers keep putting them on guns because they are less expensive, and part of the impetus behind the CCP was designing not just an easily concealable handgun but also an affordable one. I was sent a two-tone model with a stainless steel slide, which has a suggested retail of $489. The allblack model with a Cerakoted slide

is selling for a mere $469, quite inexpensive for a Walther. The rear sight is adjustable for windage via a small recessed Torx screw on the right side. The front sight is a simple post. Walther provides two spare front sights of different heights, so you can tailor the gun to your preferred carry ammo; not every brand or bullet weight will hit to point of impact even on a gun with perfectly regulated sights. To adjust or swap out the sights, Walther provides the appropriate wrenches. At the left rear of the frame, in a position familiar to 1911 owners, the CCP has a manual safety—up for Safe, down for Fire. The safety can be engaged whether or not the striker is cocked, and the slide can be worked with the safety up. The CCP has an internal striker safety as well. Except for the thumb safety and the rather subdued slide and magazine releases, the CCP is free of any other controls or corners that might snag on clothing during a draw. The magazine release is reversible for you southpaws. The undercut trigger guard allows the shooter to really choke up on the gun to reduce recoil, and it’s a big reason why most people won’t have fngers hanging off the end of the frame on a gun barely larger than the Ruger LC9.

WALTHER

CCP

TYPE: gas-delayed blowback, striker-fired semiauto CALIBER: 9mm Luger CAPACITY: 8+1 BARREL: 3.54 in. OAL/HEIGHT/WIDTH (IN.): 6.4/5.1/1.2 WEIGHT: 22.3 oz. CONSTRUCTION: polymer frame, matte stainless slide (as tested) SIGHTS: adjustable polymer 3-dot TRIGGER: 5.5 lb. pull (measured) SAFETY: thumb, firing pin block PRICE: $489 (as tested) MANUFACTURER: Carl Walther, Waltherarms.com

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 47


WALTHER HITS THE MARK In fact, I had a Ruger LC9 and S&W M&P Shield on hand for comparison. There are smaller 9mms on the market, but the LC9 and Shield are the smallest ones from big-name frearms manufacturers. The CCP is larger than both of them, but it’s a mere third of an inch longer than the Shield. A Ruger LC9 wearing an extended base pad magazine (required if you want to get all your fngers on that gun) is only marginally smaller than the CCP.

Going back and forth between the three guns, I came to the realization that the LC9 looks and feels like an upsized pocket gun. The S&W M&P Shield shoots nearly as soft as its full-size big brother, but it looks and feels slightly awkward and improperly proportioned. The Walther CCP feels like a downsized duty gun. What does that mean? It means I can get my whole hand on the Walther even with the magazine removed. I can do a reload without

<

As a gas-delayed blowback gun, the CCP’s barrel is fxed. Gas is bled off via a barrel port and impacts a piston that resists slide movement until pressure drops. One result of this is a slide that’s super easy to operate.

<

The CCP has only a few controls: slide stop, manual safety and reversible magazine release button. The trigger lever has a wide, serrated face, and the pull is light and smooth.

48 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

my hand on the gun getting in the way of the magazines going in and out. It has a trigger pull that isn’t horrendously long or heavy, which allows for fast and accurate fre beyond seven yards. It has normal proportions, and an accessory rail on the frame for mounting lights and lasers. The frame has a single fnger groove, with texturing that is much more aggressive than it looks. As I mentioned, there are two versions of the CCP: one with a matte stainless slide and one with a black Cerakoted stainless slide. I was provided a sample of the former. Aesthetically, I don’t like the color combination, but I can’t deny stainless steel over polymer is pretty much the perfect combination if you’re looking for a corrosion-resistant carry gun. Coatings can wear off, but stainless is bone deep. The frst two 1911s I carried on a daily basis were both blued steel, and in the summer they would rust up in just a few days due to sweat. I prefer all-black guns, but there is a school of thought that small carry guns should be as visible as possible so bad guys can see you have a gun in your hand (also a prime selling point for handgun lasers, as far as I’m concerned). The slide of the CCP is narrower at the top, and the sides of the slide have a curve to them. Between the slide’s matte fnish and the aggressive serrations front and back, what could have been slippery is easy to grasp and work. Because the CCP has a fxed barrel, there’s no takedown lever. At frst, basic disassembly for cleaning seems a bit more complicated than with most handguns, but it is simple. First, remove the magazine and make sure the chamber is empty. In a way similar to other striker-fred pistols, you have to pull the trigger on the CCP to take it apart. If this seems unsafe to you, you probably have been spending too much time around lawyers and not enough time practicing the four basic rules of gun safety. WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


HOME OF THE WORLDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S FINEST 1911 PISTOLS


WALTHER HITS THE MARK Once the pistol is empty and the striker down, push up the silver tab at the rear of the slide, using either a screwdriver or the small cylindrical polymer tool provided. This looks like it might be the back of the striker, but it’s actually the

<

The slide is actually narrower than the frame and tapers toward the top, making it easy to conceal. Of course, the front of the frame is designed to accommodate lights and lasers.

48 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

locking catch. Then push the tool or screwdriver into the slide (it will move maybe a quarter of an inch and then stop). At that point all you have to do is pull the slide far enough back for the extractor to clear the groove in the notch in the chamber, and the

rear of the slide can be lifted free. It then pulls off the front of the frame/ barrel. On a fxed-barrel pistol the recoil spring is usually around the barrel, and the CCP is no different. If this sounds weird or complicated or time-consuming, it is not. In practice, it is just as fast as using a frame-mounted disassembly lever, once you have the disassembly tool/ screwdriver in hand. The gas piston is attached to the front of the slide, so you can’t lose it even if you try. Reassembly is a little trickier because you have to get the piston going in at the right angle to ft in the port underneath the barrel—and then push in the catch before dropping the slide wholly onto the frame—but once I’d done it three times I was an old pro. < The grip is nicely undercut below the trigger guard, which should allow just about everyone to get their entire hand on the grip. The texturing is more aggressive than it appears and offers good control.

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


The CCP comes with two eightround magazines. The frst time I loaded them I found one was having a problem. The top round would nosedive instead of feed into the chamber. This happens when the magazine grips the rim of the case too hard, so when the slide pushes on the top of the round, it pivots downward instead of sliding forward along the feed lips. It’s a rather common problem with some types of new magazines with fresh, strong springs. I unloaded and reloaded the magazine several times to capacity, then tried it in the gun—and then it (and

its twin) worked fawlessly. The Walther PPQ has one of the best trigger pulls of any striker-fred handgun on the market. The CCP follows this example with a smooth, light trigger pull that stacks slightly right at the end. I liked the length and weight of the trigger pull, but I didn’t like how the break was almost imperceptible unless I was pulling the trigger slowly and carefully. This is a minor complaint and something no one will notice if they’re fghting for their lives. The trigger itself is polymer, wide, fat and serrated, and it has a

ACCURACY RESULTS | WALTHER CCP 9mm Luger

Hornady XTP Black Hills JHP Wilson XTP Hornady TAP/FPD

Bullet Weight (gr.)

Muzzle Velocity (fps)

Standard Deviation

Avg. Group (in.)

147 124 115 124

940 1,151 1,177 1,078

18 12 14 11

2.4 2.2 2.9 2.0

Notes: Accuracy results are the averages of four five-shot groups at 25 yards from a sandbag rest. Velocities are averages of 10 shots measured with an Oehler Model 35 12 feet from the muzzle. Abbreviation: JHP, jacketed hollowpoint

medium-long reset. Walther advertises a trigger pull of 5.5 pounds for the CCP, which is exactly what mine measured. A trip to the range brought no surprises. The production CCP performed fawlessly, as had a prototype I’d fred nine months earlier at the Walther factory. (It’s always a good sign when a frst-run production gun runs as well as a more or less handbuilt prototype.) Any 9mm pistol with a frame big enough to ft your entire hand, and which has aggressive texturing and a fnger groove, is not going to be hard for anyone to shoot. Walther is calling the CCP the “ultimate concealed carry pistol.” Sorry, but in my opinion any pistol deserving the appellation “ultimate” has steel sights. However, the CCP is a solid performer and is as close to a “one size fts all,” full-powered concealed-carry pistol for the majority of people as you’re likely to fnd.

DAVE SEVIGNY | PROFESSIONAL SHOOTER WINNER OF 200+ HANDGUN CHAMPIONSHIPS 40+ NATIONAL AND WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN USPSA, IPSC, NRA ACTION PISTOL, STEEL CHALLENGE AND IDPA

AS GIV P TITIV PRO TAC GOLD

A DVANTAG -DA S VIGN

PROEARS.COM an Altus Brands, LLC company

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 51


POCKET ROCKET BY RICHARD NANCE | PHOTOS BY ALFREDO RICO

POCKET CARRY IS A GOOD CARRY METHOD, PROVIDED YOU DO IT CORRECTLY. HERE’S HOW.

A

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

never been in question. For those who may be considering pocket carry, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the pros and cons of this carry method. First, let’s consider some of the advantages to carrying a handgun in your pocket. Pocket-carried guns are lightweight, easy to conceal and convenient to bear. Pocket carry doesn’t require the use of an over-garment, nor will you have to endure the discomfort sometimes associated with waistline carry, particularly with extended periods of sitting. A small handgun can be easily slipped into a pocket regardless of weather conditions and takes virtually no time to don. The convenience of pocket carry means you’ll probably carry your gun more often. Even with pocket carry, however, there are a few clothing-related issues to consider. First, you’ll want to wear pants substantial enough both to accommodate the weight of your gun and to mask the outline of your holstered gun to some degree. Jeans are ideal, dress pants might work, and fortunately, yoga pants don’t have pockets. Wear pants with a pocket opening wide enough to allow you to access your handgun easily. Even though you won’t need a belt to attach your holster to, wearing a belt with pocket carry is still a good idea because it helps prevent the weight of your holstered handgun from causing your pants to sag, which could garner unwanted attention. You can also tote a small pistol or

revolver in a cargo pocket of your pants or shorts. Cargo pockets are larger, and therefore it is easier to get to your gun. But it’s also more likely your holster will move in your pocket in such a way that your gun is not properly oriented. Also, since cargo pockets tend to be so much bigger than a front pants pocket, having the holster adhere to the pocket during your draw stroke is more problematic. In cold weather, coat pocket carry may be a viable option. This is certainly a specialized carry method, often incorporating a double-action snubnose revolver. If you’re using a snubnose revolver, you can get away without using a holster because of the heavy, long double-action trigger and because there’s no slide to get bound up inside the pocket. The idea

If you’re going to carry in a pocket, get a holster designed for the purpose, such as this DeSantis Nemesis. It’s a safe way to carry, and the holster will stay in the pocket when you draw.

<

ny gun is better than no gun. Such is the premise of pocket carry. After all, if you knew you would need a gun on a given day, you’d certainly opt for one bigger than would ft in your pocket. Personally, I’d choose one with a stock and a sling, but since there’s no way of knowing if today will be the day you desperately need a frearm and rifes don’t exactly make for discreet or practical daily carry, we’re pretty much relegated to carrying handguns. Traditionally, handguns have been worn along the waist, on the dominant-side hip, and to this day this mode of carry is by far the most popular. Waistline carry is relatively comfortable, easily conceals a full-size handgun with a suitable over-garment and, just as importantly, keeps your gun readily accessible. But waistline carry isn’t for everyone. For the last several years, the prevalence of concealed carry— coupled with technological advances in frearms and ammunition—has contributed to a surge in popularity of diminutive pistols like the Ruger LCP and a resurgence of tried-and-true revolvers like the Smith & Wesson J frame. Smaller calibers like the .380 ACP, once considered impractical for self-defense, are now getting a second look thanks to today’s dramatically improved hollowpoint ammunition. The .380 ACP round is more effective than ever, and subcompact pistols have never been more reliable. Of course, the reliability of snubnose revolvers has

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 53


POCKET ROCKET here is you could actually shoot through your coat pocket without drawing because you can orient the gun parallel to the ground while in the coat pocket. If you’re carrying a semiauto in that coat pocket, you’re going to have to use a holster, and of course, you won’t be shooting without frst

drawing the pistol out of the holster and out of the pocket. Despite its advantages, pocket carry is not without shortcomings. While smaller guns are easier to conceal, they are proportionately more diffcult to shoot. The shorter barrel and reduced sight radius can impede accuracy, and the reduced

<

Snubnose revolvers have long been popular for pocket carry because of their reliability. Hammerless models like this Smith & Wesson Model 442 are preferred by many because there’s less to snag on the draw.

<

Small semiautos are great as well because they’re so fat and compact. The addition of a laser is a good idea for either revolver or auto, and some guns like this Ruger come from the factory with one.

54 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

weight and smaller grip can make a pocket gun more diffcult to control during recoil. The latter translates to slower shot-to-shot recovery, which is a real problem considering one handgun round is seldom suffcient to incapacitate an assailant immediately. Pocket guns not only are more diffcult to shoot than full-size guns, but they also tend to have a lower ammunition capacity, especially when compared to a fullsize, double-stack pistol. And even though smaller caliber bullets are more effective than ever, they are still less effective in comparison to larger rounds. A pocket-carried handgun is much more diffcult to get to in a hurry than a gun carried along your waist. Therefore, when faced with an unexpected threat, acquiring a proper shooting grip and drawing your pocket carry gun is easier said than done. However, if you have some indication that trouble is afoot, pocket carry allows you to nonchalantly grip your handgun while it’s still in your pocket. Establishing a shooting grip preemptively, while your gun is still in your pocket, helps you maintain the ever-critical element of surprise. With your grip already in place, you’re able to bring your gun into play in the blink of an eye. And if you determine the potential assailant doesn’t actually pose a threat, your gun can remain tucked away in your pocket with no one the wiser. If you decide to carry a gun in your pants pocket, you need to use a holster specifcally designed for pocket carry. A good pocket holster helps break up the outline of your gun so it doesn’t print through the fabric of your pants, and it keeps the gun oriented so that when you reach into your pocket, it is the grip and not the barrel or the slide that you grab ahold of. There are many types of holsters available for pocket carry. Some WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


rely on a rubberized texture to adhere to the lining of your pocket during your draw stroke, while others are shaped specifcally to snag on your pocket as you draw your gun. Be sure to practice drawing your unloaded gun from your holster with whatever pants you plan to use for pocket carry. You may have to modify your draw stroke slightly. For instance, if the back of the holster is designed to snag on your pocket, you might have to pull the gun back before drawing it from your pocket. The last thing you need when drawing your pocket gun is for the holster to come out of your pocket with it. Another important point is to avoid carrying anything else in the pocket containing your gun and holster. Keys or other objects in the pocket can make it more diffcult to get to your gun and could potentially enter the trigger guard, resulting in an unintended discharge. Your gun fring unintentionally is never a good thing, but it’s particularly bad when it’s in your pocket. After evaluating the pros and cons of pocket carry, if you decide to give it a go, you’ll need to select an appropriate handgun. The frst question you’ll have to answer is: “Pistol or revolver?” Pistols tend to be slimmer than revolvers because there’s no cylinder. And pistols usually have lighter, smoother triggers than revolvers, which enables most people to shoot them more accurately. A pocket pistol is typically chambered in .380 ACP (although 9mm versions are becoming more prevalent) while pocket-carried revolvers are commonly chambered in .38 Special. The weight of a snubnose revolver chambered in .357 Magnum renders it a less popular choice than a .38 Special such as the Smith & Wesson Model 442, which weighs a mere 15 ounces empty. The Ruger LCP on the other hand, weighs just 9.65 ounces, and its 6+1 magaWWW.HANDGUNS.COM

www.craigboddington.com

OONN THE HUNT Buffalo Horn

For a great gift?

Visit craigboddington.com for one-of-a-kind knives and the best in hunting journalism.

Elk Antler

LIMITED EDITIONN

Boddington trophy bladess

Books & DVDs


POCKET ROCKET zine capacity gives you two more rounds with a standard fve-shot snubnose revolver. Revolvers are legendary for their reliability. While pocket pistols can be fnicky when it comes to chambering hollowpoint ammunition, a revolver will fre all types of ammunition without missing a beat. Also, revolvers are all but impervious to the dust and lint inherent with pocket carry. A buildup of such debris can wreak havoc on a semiautomatic pistol. Pistols are faster to reload, but the manual of arms for a revolver couldn’t be any simpler. The only malfunction clearance you need to know should your loaded revolver fail to fre is to pull the trigger again. Pistols designed for pocket carry usually have rounded edges to facilitate a smooth draw from your pocket. Similarly, many snubnose revolvers intended for pocket carry are hammerless or have a shrouded

hammer so there’s nothing to snag on the lining of your pocket and foul your draw stroke. Of course, the main advantage of having a revolver with an external hammer is the ability to fre in single action, where the trigger press is signifcantly shorter and lighter

only does this prevent the hammer from hanging up on your pocket lining, but also it reduces the width of your grip, which makes reaching into and drawing from your pocket that much easier. Although few would argue pocket guns are designed for long-range

Pistols are faster to reload, but the manual of arms for a revolver couldn’t be any simpler. for enhanced accuracy. An external hammer on your snubnose revolver isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker when it comes to pocket carry. In fact, frearms instructor and author Massad Ayoob offers a simple solution for snag-free draws from the pocket with a revolver equipped with an external hammer. As you reach into your pocket, place your thumb on top of the hammer. Not

8 CIGARS $

ONLY 10

*

accuracy, with practice they can be surprisingly accurate. Of course, what you’re capable of doing under ideal conditions at the range and what you are capable of doing during a gunfght are not necessarily the same. Adding a laser to your pocket gun can greatly increase your effective range. In addition, a laser enables you to fre from behind cover with

$

52

VALUE

First-Class Premium Cigar Sampler

Swim to the sunny shores of Cigars International. The biggest, bestest cigar retailer on the planet. Whether you’re new to cigars, a grizzled old vet, or a certified cigar lunatic, sleep peacefully knowing you’ve found your ultimate one-stop-shop for all things cigars. The world’s largest selection of premium handmade cigars at the planet’s lowest prices, delivered fast and fresh. That’s our guarantee.* Includes 1 each of: Toraño ● Felipe Gregorio ● Nestor Miranda Cuba Libre ● Rocky Patel ● J. Fuego ● Alec Bradley ● 5 Vegas

1-888-244-2790 mention code SA528

www.CigarsIntl.com/SA528 You must enter complete web address for special offer

Perfect for:

5

$ y l n

ADD A TRAVEL HUMIDOR

o

• Golf – fits in or attaches to your golf bag • Fishing – airtight and it floats

56 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015and durable – lightweight • Hunting

more

* Plus $5.99 s/h. Limited time offer. Expires 7-15-15. PA residents add 6% tax –taxes on orders shipped outside of PA are the responsibility of the purchaser. Offer available to first-time purchasers. One per customer. From time to time substitutions may occur. Cigars International only sells products to adults who meet legal age requirements to purchase tobacco products. For more information please see www.cigarsinternational.com/ageverify.

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


self-defense-minded citizen, this is a win-win scenario for you. Pocket carry is not my primary mode of concealed carry. I prefer waistline carry because it affords me easier access to my gun. I’m usually willing to dress in such a way that I can conceal a compact semi-

automatic pistol with an inside-thewaistband holster. However, when the uniform of the day is a T-shirt, shorts and fip-fops, I’m quite content slipping a holstered subcompact pistol or snubnosed revolver in my pocket. After all, any gun is better than no gun.

One of the downsides to pocket carry is gun size. Tiny pistols and revolvers don’t provide a lot of grip to hang onto, reducing your ability to control the gun for follow-up shots. So it’s even more important to practice.

<

little of your head exposed. A properly zeroed laser combined with a smooth and steady trigger press can result in pinpoint accuracy. But accuracy isn’t the only beneft derived from the use of the laser. With practice, a laser can dramatically increase the speed at which you can deliver accurate fre because of a simplifed aiming process. Rather than having to focus on the front sight, the rear sight and the threat, a laser enables you to simply get the dot on the target and press the trigger. Since we know that when faced with a deadly threat we will focus on that threat, not having to take our eyes off the threat to align the sights is a tremendous advantage. A laser can also give you a psychological edge. When a would-be assailant sees the telltale green or red dot on a portion of his anatomy he doesn’t want shot, there’s a chance he’ll reconsider his actions and either comply or fee. Of course, as a

570GC

Your CAREER. Your TERMS. Take your future into your own hands and learn the skills you need to become a professional gunsmith with Penn Foster — on your own time and at a pace that works for you. Gunsmith plus other related programs:

Auto Repair Technician

Small Engine Repair

Diesel Mechanics

HVACR Technician

Motorcycle Repair Technician

Wildlife & Forestry Conservation

We’re Diferent. Regionally and nationally accredited Affordable...0% interest, low monthly payments Built-in Career Services Expert instructor support Online Community

Call Today: 1.800.572.1685 ext. 7653 or visit us at pennfoster.edu Enter ID# AGNS45V to enroll online

twitter.com/pennfoster • facebook.com/pennfostereducation 925 OAK STREET, SCRANTON, PA 18515

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 55


BOW DOWN BY PATRICK SWEENEY

SIG’S NEW EMPEROR SCORPION IS A SUPERACCURATE, FEATURE-PACKED 1911.

T

here are a lot of things you don’t mess with in nature. One is the scorpion, and ranking among the biggest of them all is the emperor scorpion, which grows to be a whopping eight inches long. So when SIG Sauer decided to upgrade its existing Scorpion 1911, I suppose it makes sense the company would choose this intimidating arthropod as the pistol’s namesake. The Emperor Scorpion is a rocksolid, Government-size 1911 in .45 ACP. The big change from the Scorpion is the fnish. It’s a polymer fnish applied via physical vapor deposition. Parts are bathed in a fog of polymer, which attaches itself to the steel like a trial attorney to a check. The resulting fnish, in fat dark earth, is tough enough to stand up to pretty much

58 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

anything but a belt sander. It also offers increased lubricity, making the Emperor Scorpion easier to clean. The Emperor Scorpion’s slide features the SIG 1911 contour, which I have to admit is growing on me. The sidewalls come up a bit higher, and the radius of the top deck curve is wider, making for a profle that echoes the iconic SIG P226. The slide fats forward of the ejection port each have a raised rail, with the forward cocking serrations machined in the rail only, which aids in this design echo. I’m not usually a fan of forward cocking serrations, but on SIGs they are low profle and not sharpedged, so I can live with them. Behind the ejection port, which has been scalloped to prevent brass from hitting the slide, is an

external extractor. In response to complaints from shooters who didn’t like the hassle of keeping the 1911’s internal extractor properly tensioned, companies began to use an external extractor— with varying degrees of success. Fortunately, SIG has a long history of building guns with external extractors, and its designers got it right on its 1911s—and the Emperor Scorpion is no exception. On top, the Emperor Scorpion has a set of low-profle night sights set into transverse dovetails for maximum durability. The barrel is pure John M. Browning: a normally ramped frame-and-barrel design, with a standard bushing and bushing ft. No coned barrel here, and the bushing fts both the barrel and slide snugly but without binding. A bonus, the recoil spring system is your basic “it WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


SIG SAUER

EMPEROR SCORPION TYPE: 1911

CALIBER: .45 ACP CAPACITY: 8+1 BARREL: 5 in. OAL/WIDTH/HEIGHT (IN.): 8.7/1.4/5.5 WEIGHT: 41.5 oz. CONSTRUCTION: steel frame and slide FINISH: PVD polymer,

flat dark earth and black GRIPS: Hogue Magwell Grip set w/integral mag well; black G10 SIGHTS: three-dot night sights TRIGGER: 4.5 lb. pull (measured) PRICE: $1,213 MANUFACTURER: SIG Sauer, SigSauer.com

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 59


BOW DOWN has worked since forever” design. In other words, no full-length guide rod. The trigger, hammer, thumb safety, grip safety, retainer tunnel and the grips are all done in black, contrasting with the fat dark earth

fnish. And the fre control parts are not just black but have been shaped in a manner I fnd useful and comfortable. The trigger is relieved to lighten it, and it’s long, so I fnd the trigger fnger position to be quite comfortable. The ham-

mer is in the Commander style—if you think of a Commander hammer updated to the 21st century. It is rounded, serrated, low profle and lightened. The grip safety is a beavertail, which ensures it stays on top of the web of your hand and protects your hand from any hammer incursions during recoil. But it is also relieved on the sides, and I fnd that the web of my hand appreciates this design because the web now has room to accommodate the frame and grip safety. Last but not least, it has a speed bump on the bottom end of it, so your highand-tight grip won’t leave the grip safety drifting in space. The slide stop has a small projection on the rear. I have a very thumb-forward grip, and every other extended slide-stop lever I’ve shot has been a no-go for me. This projection extends it just enough to make it easier to hit to drop the slide, but it’s not so much longer it

<

The slide lock lever has a small projection at the rear that makes it super-easy to operate but isn’t in the way. The trigger is lightened and long, and Sweeney found it to be quite comfortable.

<

The G10 grips are quite aggressive, perhaps too much so for some shooters, but the 25-lpi checkering strikes just the right balance between hand-ripping and passive.

<

Sweeney is a huge fan of the Emperor Scorpion’s ambidextrous thumb safety. Its right-side lever doesn’t interfere with his shooting hand grip.

60 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


rubs on my thumb. The magazine button is absolutely standard—no proprietary “improvements” on a bomb-proof design. The thumb safety is the real winner for my hands. I shoot with a peculiar grip, and most ambidextrous safeties are useless to me. Well, SIG changed that. The Emperor Scorpion has an ambidextrous safety, but both levers are low profle. And the right-hand side one is so low profle it does not bind against the knuckle of my fring hand when I have a solid, proper grip on the pistol. At last I’ve found an ambisafety-equipped 1911 where I won’t have to take the safety lever to a bench grinder. The pistol features Hogue’s innovative Magwell Grip Set, which combines extended grip panels and mainspring housing to create an integral, durable magazine well. The G10 grips have Hogue’s aggressive Piranha texture, and it’s so aggressive you may have to toughen up your hands to use it. If you don’t want to toughen your hands, you can knock off the more aggressive edges. Over the years I’ve experimented with a variety of mainspring shapes, from fat to arched, and in the end I discovered it really doesn’t matter. The mainspring housing on the Emperor Scorpion is fat. It’s made of G10 and has

<

The grip panels and mainspring housing are extended. The design not only gives you a lot to hold on to but also creates a durable, integral magazine well funnel.

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 61


BOW DOWN

With the extensive line of authentic Umarex action pistols, now you can train without traveling to the range. They are authentic in shape, weight, and feel, like their frearm counterparts, but use readily available, low cost ammunition.

See the selection here: UmarexUSA.com/Handguns 62 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

the same texture as the grip panels and, as I mentioned, is also extended to form the rear of the mag well funnel. The frame is steel and has all the improvements we’ve come to expect on a 21st century 1911. The frontstrap is lifted at the top, behind the trigger bow. The undercut is not extreme or aggressive, but it’s noticeable and does make a difference. The frontstrap is checkered in a sharp 25 lines per inch. Today, 25 lpi is the new normal, replacing the old 20 lpi, which was really sharp when done right and also a real hand-shredder. The other option is 30 lpi, which is delicate and not quite as grabby. But 25 strikes a useful balance—sticky enough to help, still durable and not hand-gashing like 20 lpi. Out front, the frame is reinforced for the accessory rail, and the rail has three cross-slots providing options in positioning a light or laser. I pawed through my box of lights and lasers and tried them all, failing to fnd one that didn’t ft. The extra steel of the rail bumps up the weight of the Emperor Scorpion by a few extra ounces, and the weight is added where it does the most good: forward of your hands, under the bore line. The slide markings are rollmarked, and the frame markings are laser-etched. The frame markings are darker than the surrounding color so they stand out. Overall, the SIG Emperor Scorpion is a

nicely contrasting mix of wet-beach brown and black, and I like it. But as good-looking as the SIG Emperor Scorpion is, the proof is in the performance. The trigger, as I’ve come to expect from a SIG 1911, is crisp and clean. The slideto-frame ft is smooth and tight, and the barrel links up and down without rubbing. It locks up tightly

If your Emperor Scorpion won’t feed reliably with these magazines, you can be pretty sure it’s the ammo. enough, but it isn’t bank-vault tight. This works for me, provided the accuracy is there. Being a full-size Government model, the fve-inch barrel gives you pretty much all that a .45 ACP has to offer. Barrels can be fast or slow, and this particular one is on the fast side. The speed and power high-water mark came with Hornady Critical Duty +P load, with its 220-grain bullet posting 1,015 fps at the muzzle. It did not disappoint in velocity with any other of the loads I tested, either. They were all at or above the median speeds I’ve recorded in other pistols with fveinch barrels. As for accuracy, well, I do

ACCURACY RESULTS | SIG SAUER EMPEROR SCORPION .45 ACP

Asym TAC-XP +P Hornady FTX Hornady Critical Duty+P SIG V-Crown Speer Gold Dot HP HPR JHP Barnes TAC-XPD +P Federal Guard Dog

Bullet Weight (gr.)

Muzzle Velocity (fps)

Standard Deviation

Avg. Group (in.)

185 185 220 230 230 185 185 165

974 998 1,015 926 852 971 918 1054

24.5 12.3 14.6 17.0 22.7 26.6 10.6 8.2

1.25 1.25 1.75 1.50 1.75 1.00 1.25 1.75

Notes: Accuracy results are averages of five five-shot groups at 25 yards off a Sinclair front shooting rest. Velocities are averages of 10 shots measured on a PACT MKIV chronograph set 15 feet from the muzzle. Abbreviations: HP, hollowpoint; JHP, jacketed hollowpoint


declare! If SIG keeps sending me pistols that shoot like this, they are going to bankrupt me because I’m going to have to start buying a lot of guns. I joke from time to time about pistols that shoot like a Bullseye gun, but this one does. Not one of the loads tested disappointed, and some were eye-opening. In particular, the HPR 185-grain jacketed hollowpoint shot like nobody’s business. We may know guys at the gun club who have a tattered, one-hole group they shot some time back and have been carrying around to brag about for years, but this SIG produced groups like that again and again. The Emperor Scorpion ships in a lockable SIG hard case, with a pair of magazines inside. The magazines are stainless steel eightround models with baseplates large enough to work with the extended grips that comprise the magazine funnel. Note the price of extra magazines is entirely reasonable, and using SIG magazines in your SIG pistol is one sure way to cut down on potential problems. If your Emperor Scorpion won’t feed reliably with these magazines, you can be pretty sure it’s the ammo. Which brings me to reliability. The one-word summary is “fawless.” We’ve come to expect that, but it is still gratifying to spend a few days at the range with a pistol and not have to struggle with any aspect of its operation. And the price for the SIG Emperor Scorpion? For all the features you get, I think it’s a real bargain at $1,213. I know I’ve written this many times before, but if you were to build a pistol to be like the Emperor Scorpion back in, say, 1985 (minus the rail, which didn’t exist then), it would’ve cost you something like $1,700 in today’s dollars—and you would’ve had to wait six months to get it back from a gunsmith. So what are you waiting for?

NEMESIS

®

• Sticks almost like fly paper! • Stays put when gun is drawn • Available for most pocket guns • Special polymer insert prevents molding

MSRP

25 99

$

Style N38

STICKS ALMOST LIKE FLY PAPER

Conceived for Men, but Women Love it Too!

MINI SCABBARD ® MSRP

6199

$

Style 019

• Premium cowhide • Detailed molding • Adjustable tension device

We didn’t invent concealment, we just perfected it! 800-GUNHIDE 631-841-6300 Dept #HG65 431 Bayview Avenue Amityville, NY 11701

www.desantisholster.com

ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT, DURABLE AND VERSATILE

5 LENGTHS AVAILABLE — CARBINE, MID, RIFLE, XLONG AND XXLONG

• The lightest handguard with integral mounting points • Versatile design — mount rail sections anywhere • Free floating/ventilated G10 construction will not conduct heat • High impact resistance and damage tolerance • Inserts are 10/32 threaded for rail sections or sling attachments • Barrel nut matches the strength of the receiver 7075-T651

WWW.ALEXANDERARMS.COM WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


| FIRING LINE REPORT | BY STAN TRZONIEC

SIG SAUER MOSQUITO

SIG SAUER

MOSQUITO

TYPE: blowback-operated rimfire semiauto CALIBER: .22 LR CAPACITY: 10 rounds

IT’S NICE TO SEE A SEMIAUTOMATIC THAT mimics its full-size counterpart. Placing the Mosquito alongside a P226, it’s about 10 percent smaller, but in my average-size hand it feels just right. The grip is full—meaning none of the fngers of my shooting hand goes past the magazine foorplate—and the backstrap is curved nicely to ft into the meaty part of my hand. It’s available in variations to please everyone. For the more conservative, SIG offers the Mosquito in black, traditional two-tone and reverse two-tone with either the slide or the frame fnished in natural stainless. But it’s also available in pink, fat dark earth, purple and green, some of which can be had in threaded versions. All models have an integrated Picatinny rail for lights and lasers. The polymer frame’s frontstrap has a 64 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

generous amount of molded-in checkering and combined with the wraparound grip panels offers a good purchase. The trigger guard is squared off yet offers a decent amount of room in its interior whether shooting the gun single or double action. And the front of the guard is serrated, and for those who place a support fnger in that location, it incorporates a modest hook to keep your fnger from sliding off. The trigger face is a wider, target type and nicely curved. In single action it broke at eight pounds with a moderate amount of takeup. Breaking at 14 pounds, double action did not win a prize, either. The magazine release is located in the usual place, and I found it convenient because it protrudes nicely for easy use and is angled for maximum fnger pres-

WEIGHT: 24.5 oz. unloaded BARREL: 3.9 in. OAL/HEIGHT/WIDTH (IN.): 7.2/5.3/1.5 CONSTRUCTION: aluminum-zinc alloy slide,

polymer frame FINISH: black, two-tone, reverse two-tone,

flat dark earth (tested), desert digital camo, OD green, purple, pink GRIPS: black polymer with molded-in stippling SIGHTS: 3-dot; rear adjustable for windage, interchangeable front sight heights TRIGGER: SA/DA; 8 lb, single action; 14 lb., double action (measured) SAFETY: slide-mounted thumb, internal locking, magazine disconnect PRICE: $419 MANUFACTURER: SIG Sauer, SigSauer.com

sure. Magazines jump out of the well at the press of this button, regardless of whether or not the mag was loaded with 10 rounds. WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


CALL 800-260-6397 AND ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

K

now someone interested in the shooting sports? Want to brush up on unfamiliar topics? If so, start off with Shoot 101, the ideal magazine for mastering the basics of safe, responsible shooting. Filled with educational and entertaining articles, Shoot 101 is a wealth of information for novice and expert shooters alike. Learn how to safely handle and fre various frearms. Break down different designs and understand how they work. Know how to select the proper ammunition for each and every task. Pick up your copy of Shoot 101 and become a better shooter.

PREMIER ISSUE NOW ON NEWSSTANDS!


| FIRING LINE REPORT | SIG SAUER MOSQUITO

There’s a manual safety on the slide, and underneath it is a decocker. The rear sight is adjustable for windage, and although they’re not night sights, the yellow dots are highly visible.

The squared-off trigger guard offers plenty of room, and the front is serrated to keep your support fnger in place. Trzoniec was not a big fan of the DA/SA trigger pull, which was on the heavy side.

<

Trzoniec liked the grip, which was comfortable and hand flling, and the wraparound polymer panel’s moldedin texture made for a secure purchase.

<

66 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

semble in reverse order. The instruction manual has additional pointers. I tested this gun while our New England winter was in full dress, so I was forced to move into the indoor range, where my chronograph won’t run. Accuracy results are shown in the accompanying chart. While the Winchester High Velocity averaged 2.25 inches, I also shot a group just over an inch with the same stuff, so I think the gun has great accuracy potential. It’s just a matter of experimenting with ammo. Toward the end of my accuracy testing, one of the last rounds balked on its way to the chamber. I traced that to some lead or wax buildup on the feed ramp, and once cleared off, the gun perked merrily along again. I also felt handicapped by the heavy trigger, although, like everything else, you learn to work around it. Other than that, I have to say the SIG Mosquito is a fne gun, well made and shoots well, and it should be dynamite in the feld or plinking on the range with a variety of ammunition.

<

Directly above the trigger is the takedown lever, and to its rear is the decocking lever. When the gun’s cocked, pushing downward on this lever drops the hammer to what looks like a modifed half-cock position. The gun also has a manual safety at the rear of the slide. It’s ambidextrous, which is nice, but it works backwards from the thumb safety you’d fnd on, say, a 1911: Pushing it down engages the safety; pushing it up allows the gun to fre. The hammer is rounded off and has serrations for sure cocking. In addition to the manual safety and the decocking lever, there’s an additional safety at the bottom of the magazine well. By using the special supplied tool, the gun can be rendered inoperable by preventing the hammer from being cocked. The Mosquito also features a magazine disconnect safety. The slide is an aluminum-zinc alloy. It has serrations at the rear for racking the slide and a 5.5-inch sighting radius. The sights are three dot, with the rear adjustable for windage. It’s a nice, clean sight picture, with enough room in the rear notch to acquire the front sight without much hesitation. All of the dots are bright yellow. They’re not night sights, but they’re highly visible even under subdued lighting. One nice addition to this package is that SIG includes two extra front sight blades of different heights to adjust elevation based on how your ammo shoots. SIG also furnishes two recoil springs with the Mosquito: one for high velocity and one for sporter or standard velocity rimfre rounds. The slide is an aluminum-zinc alloy. It has serrations at the rear for racking the slide and a 5.5-inch sighting radius. Disassembly is simple. First, make sure the gun is unloaded. Close the slide and rotate the takedown lever 180 degrees forward. Pull back on the slide until it clears the frame and lift. Slowly move the slide forward, making sure you catch the recoil spring guide and spring. The barrel is screwed to the frame. Reas-

ACCURACY RESULTS | SIG SAUER MOSQUITO .22 Long Rifle

Remington Viper Winchester High Velocity Winchester Wildcat

Bullet Weight (gr.)

Muzzle Velocity (fps)

Standard Deviation

Avg. Group (in.)

36 40 40

1,410 1,060 1,060

n/a n/a n/a

2.63 2.25 2.50

Notes: Accuracy results are averages of three five-shot groups at 25 yards from a sandbag rest at an indoor range. Indoor range prevented chronographing, so velocities are factory figures.

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


HARBOR FREIGHT QUALITY TOOLS AT RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICES

How Does Harbor Freight Sell GREAT QUALITY Tools at the LOWEST Prices?

SUPER COUPON

FREE 20% OFF 6

We have invested millions of dollars in our own state-of-the-art quality test labs and millions more in our factories, so our tools will go toe-to-toe with the top professional brands. And we can sell them for a fraction of the price because we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to you. It’s just that simple! Come visit one of our 550 Stores Nationwide. R ! PE ON U S UP CO

SAVE $90

$

WITH ANY PURCHASE

3-1/2" SUPER BRIGHT NINE LED ALUMINUM FLASHLIGHT ITEM 69052 69111/62522/62573

LIMIT 1 - Save 20% on any one item purchased at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. *Cannot be used with other discount, coupon, gift cards, Inside Track Club membership, extended service plans or on any of the following: compressors, generators, tool storage or carts, welders, floor jacks, Towable Ride-On Trencher, Saw Mill (Item 61712/62366/67138), Predator Gas Power Items, open box items, in-store event or parking lot sale items. Not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON U S UP CO

79

SUPER COUPON! W O W 44", 13 DRAWER AL QUALITY LOT NO. 68784/69387/622

SAVE 64%

SAVE

$

4

99

$359 99 $

WOW SUPER COUPON!

R ! PE ON U P S U CO

29 PIECE TITANIUM Item NITRIDE COATED 61637 shown HIGH SPEED STEEL DRILL BIT SET NO.

Item 61258 shown

R ! PE ON U S UP CO

SAVE $70

$

99 $1999

unt t be used with other discolast. calling 800-423-2567. Canno supplies or HarborFreight.com or by al receipt. Offer good while LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores after 30 days from original purchase with origin Limit one coupon per customer per day. ases or coupon or prior purch coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Non-transferable. Original

149

REG. 99$219PRICE .99

R ! PE ON U P S U CO

39

SAE

$564$899

REG. PRICE $14.99

GUN SAFE/VAULT LOT NO. 93473/61581

Item 93473 shown

unt t be used with other discolast. calling 800-423-2567. Canno supplies or HarborFreight.com or by al receipt. Offer good while LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores after 30 days from original purchase with origin Limit one coupon per customer per day. ases 15. purch 8/28/ gh prior or throu n Valid or coupo coupon must be presented. Non-transferable. Original

R ! PE ON U P S U CO

HIGH LIFT RIDING LAWN MOWER / ATV LIFT LOT NO. 61523 60395/62325/62493

SAVE $70

Item 69676 shown

$

29999

7999

REG. PRICE $149.99

REG. PRICE $499.99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

• 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed • Over 25 Million Satisfied Customers

METRIC

LOT NO. LOT NO. 44 42304/69043 42305/690

YOUR CHOICE!

LOT NO. 68528/69676/69729 LOT NO. 69675/69728 CALIFORNIA ONLY

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

WRENCH SETS

shown

99

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

4000 PEAK/ 3200 RUNNING WATTS 6.5 HP (212 CC) 70 dB Noise GAS GENERATORS Level

SAVE $200 $

LOT NO. 67847 61454/61693

62%

60%

SUPER QUIET

Item 67847 shown

SUPER COUPON! W O W COMBINATION 9 PIECE FULLY POLISHED

REG. PRICE $69.99

SAVE

REG. PRICE $149.99

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LOT NO. 94555

$

89

2.5 HP, 21 GALLON 125 PSI VERTICAL AIR COMPRESSOR

SAVE

SAVE 42%

$

unt t be used with other discolast. calling 800-423-2567. Canno supplies or HarborFreight.com or by al receipt. Offer good while LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores after 30 days from original purchase with origin Limit one coupon per customer per day. Valid through 8/28/15. or coupon or prior purchases coupon must be presented. Non-transferable. Original

REG. PRICE $699.99

20-60 x 60mm SPOTTING SCOPE WITH TRIPOD

100

LOT NO. 68146 61258/61297/61840

389

unt t be used with other discolast. calling 800-423-2567. Canno supplies or HarborFreight.com or by al receipt. Offer good while LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores after 30 days from original purchase with origin Limit one coupon per customer per day. Valid through 8/28/15. or coupon or prior purchases coupon must be presented. Non-transferable. Original

LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON U P S U CO

340

• Weighs 245 lbs.

REG. $ 99$13PRICE .99

REG. PRICE $24.99

INDUSTRI BINE91T ROLLER CA70/ 625

Item 68784 shown

LOT NO. 61451

$4999 99

SAVE

$

7

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

AMMO BOX

$9

ESS WINCH WITH WIRELRO L NT CO E OT REM

REG. $ 99$19PRICE .99

Item 90714 shown

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LOT 5889 61637 62281

WOW SU25PE00R LBCO. UPELECONTR! IC

SAVE 60%

• Weighs 77 lbs.

VALUE

LIMIT 1 - Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or prior purchase. Coupon good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Offer good while supplies last. Shipping & Handling charges may apply if not picked up in-store. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Limit one FREE GIFT coupon per customer per day.

LOT NO. 90714 61733/61501

Item 61253 shown

R ! PE ON U S UP CO

Item 69052 shown

8" HUNTING KNIFE WITH SURVIVAL KIT

20"

REG. 99$169 PRICE .99

$ 99

ANY SINGLE ITEM

RAPID PUMP® 3 TON LOW PROFILE HEAVY DUTY STEEL FLOOR JACK

LOT NO. 61282 68049/61253/62326

SUPER COUPON

• No Hassle Return Policy • Lifetime Warranty On All Hand Tools

Item 61523 shown

$ SAVE $60

• 300 lb. Capacity

8999

REG. PRICE $149.99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 8/28/15. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

• 550 Stores Nationwide • HarborFreight.com 800-423-2567


| FIRING LINE REPORT | BY NORMAN GRAY

CZ 75 B OMEGA THE CZ 75 HAS BEEN AROUND A LONG time—40 years now—and it’s a wellrespected double action/single action pistol that’s seen service as a duty pistol, competition pistol and, of course, self-defense pistol. So what does the new CZ 75 Omega have that the original doesn’t? In short, the Omega trigger—a simpler and more robust design. Take the disconnect for example. “Instead of engaging two surfaces on either side of the hammer, the Omega disconnect only has to overcome one larger surface,” says CZ-USA’s Zach Hein. “This means there won’t be inconsistencies between the two surface faces, improving trigger pull as well as consistency from gun to gun. Additionally, an Omega disconnect is drop-in, whereas the standard 75 disconnects have to be ft to the gun. Changes like 68 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

this occur throughout the trigger system, with drop-in parts that are beefer and simpler.” The Omega trigger easily disassembles and reassembles without tools. Disassembling the original CZ 75 trigger is not for the faint of heart (nor is it recommended by the company)— involving hammers, punches and the know-how to keep springs from fying off your workbench. In other words, for most of us the job belongs in the hands of a gunsmith. Not so with the Omega, and this feature allows easier replacement of worn-out parts, which is particularly benefcial for militaries and law enforcement agencies felding the CZ 75 Omega—guns that will see use, some of it hard, every day. Of course, the ability to clean and service the trigger

CZ-USA

CZ 75 B OMEGA

TYPE: DA/SA hammer-fired semiauto CALIBER: 9mm Luger CAPACITY: 16+1 BARREL: 4.6 in OAL/HEIGHT/WIDTH (IN.): 8.1/5.4/1.4 WEIGHT: 2.2 lb. CONSTRUCTION: matte black-finished steel

frame/slide GRIPS: checkered plastic TRIGGER: single action, 4 lb. (measured); double action, 12 lb. (measured) SIGHTS: fixed 3-dot SAFETY: manual thumb, hammer safety stop, firing pin block PRICE: $544 MANUFACTURER: CZ-USA, cz-usa.com

with ease means it’s less likely parts will wear out in the frst place. In fact, Hein says factory testing has found that the WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


The single-action trigger pull measured close to four pounds. It’s a bit long, but it’s not bad, and I can see it improving with age—and I found shooting groups with the pistol to be a pleasant experience. The company says the double-action pull is smoother with the Omega, but on my sample the DA pull measured 12 pounds, which may be too heavy for some shooters. The weak point for me was factory three-dot sights, which are almost too small for daylight shooting and nearly invisible in lower light shooting. Of course, you could opt for aftermarket sights more to your liking or add a laser via Crimson Trace Lasergrips. Unfortunately, the Omega doesn’t incorporate a frame rail, so you can’t add a light or laser out front. Field stripping is simple. After unloading the Omega, align the two wit-

ness marks on the back of the slide and frame. Push or gently tap out the slide catch release and pull the slide forward, remove the spring guide and spring, followed by the barrel. The Omega ships with two 16-round steel magazines (in states where those capacities are permitted), and they performed perfectly. In fact, if I were searching for another 9mm to add to my collection, or if someone wanted a frst pistol for range or carry, the CZ 75 B Omega would be a welcome addition. Not only is it pleasant to shoot, but also the controls are basic and easy to operate. Everyone who shot it thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think that speaks volumes for any handgun. I found many friends and family eager to give the CZ 75 B Omega a home, and I think I have an extra slot on the safe door that needs flling.

Gray didn’t care for the three-dot sights, objecting to the small dot size that wouldn’t be easy to pick up in darkness.

<

Between its ergonomic grip, low bore axis and well-located controls, the CZ 75 Omega is as easy to shoot as its predecessor. The big change is a new trigger system that promises a longer service life and a smoother pull.

<

new components have a higher service life, durability and reliability. Like its ancestor, the CZ 75 Omega is pleasing to the eye. Controls are prominent yet have a melted appearance to give you a no-snag pistol for concealed carry. The matte black fnish is also frst rate and most desirable for those who want a non-glare carry fnish. I have extra-large hands, and I found the Omega’s ergonomic, hand-flling grip to be comfortable, my pinky fnger resting contentedly on the magazine’s foorplate. When drawing from a holster, I could manipulate the thumb safety without contortion, although I would prefer an extended one. The slide lock and magazine release do require the shooter to cant the pistol inward, but that’s common with most pistols. The gun’s ergonomics, along with its low bore axis, made fast and accurate follow-up shots easy. The CZ 75 B Omega certainly made fans of shooters who had never experienced a CZ before. Even beginners found the gun easy to control and easy to hit with. For break-in I fed the Omega whatever I had on the shelf. Despite shooting a mix of ammo in a brand-new gun, I did not experience any stoppages—which is good because stoppages simply can’t happen on a gun used for duty or personal defense. As far as I’m concerned, the trigger makes or breaks a handgun. Hein says the simpler Omega trigger brings a smoother trigger pull to the party, in both double action and single action.

ACCURACY RESULTS | CZ 75 B OMEGA 9mm Luger

Bullet Weight (gr.)

124 115 115 147 124

Standard Deviation

Avg. Group (in.)

1,056 1,154 1,062 1,084 1,171

12.9 12.0 11.7 10.4 14.2

3.1 3.7 3.2 2.3 2.5

Notes: Accuracy results are averages of five five-shot groups at 25 yards from a Caldwell Matrix rest at 25 yards. Velocities are averages of 10 shots measured on a CED M2 chronograph placed 12 feet from the muzzle. Abbreviations: FMJ, full metal jacket; HP, hollowpoint; JHP, jacketed hollowpoint; TMJ, total metal jacket

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

The CZ 75 design is super-easy to disassemble, and with the new trigger system now easy to access and disassemble, the Omega is supersimple to maintain.

<

American Eagle TMJ Blazer FMJ Barnes Defense TAC-XPD +P Federal Hydra-Shok JHP SIG Elite Performance JHP

Muzzle Velocity (fps)

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 69


| FIRING LINE REPORT | BY STAN TRZONIEC

RUGER LCRx WE HAVE A LOT TO THANK BILL RUGER FOR. He was an innovator, and his products still reign today in the shooting sports with a wide variety of handguns and rifes. Although Mr. Ruger has passed on, his legacy and company have thrived through new inventions, manufacturing techniques and a staff of personnel aiming for the future. One of its new products is the Ruger LCRx revolver. While this particular revolver comes from a lineup of various hammerless models, it is the frst of the series with an exposed hammer, allowing a single-action trigger pull. While the non-hammer LCR is chambered in .22 LR, .22 WMRF, .38 Special +P, 9mm Luger and.357 Magnum—with and without Crimson 70 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

Trace Lasergrips—the LCRx is currently chambered only in .38 Special +P. No Lasergrips option is currently cataloged, although there is a version with an adjustable rear sight. At less than a pound, the gun combines a polymer lower housing containing the fre control mechanism; an aluminum alloy upper frame; and a stainless steel cylinder, fring pin bushing, trigger and barrel liner. Finished in a rich blue-black exterior, it’s amazing how components of differing materials can match so well. Ruger engineers molded the top of the frame with a gradual taper from the muzzle back to the rear gutter sight, which sits so low on the frame it’s hard to use at anything beyond

RUGER

LCRx

TYPE: SA/DA revolver CALIBER: .38 Special +P CAPACITY: 5 BARREL: 1.88 in. OAL/HEIGHT/WIDTH (IN.): 6.5/4.5/1.35 WEIGHT: 13.5 oz. FINISH: blued GRIPS: Hogue Tamer Monogrip SIGHTS: fixed (as tested) TRIGGER: 6 lb., single action (measured); 11 lb., double action (measured) SAFETY: internal transfer bar PRICE: $529 MANUFACTURER: Ruger, ruger.com

point-blank range. Seems the best bet is to place the top of the hammer at WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


The LCRx has an external hammer, which the original didn’t. The gutter rear sight isn’t the greatest for precision, but if you want more, there’s an adjustable-sight version as well.

single action from a rest, I was able to keep groups under three inches, and after I got used to it, I was able to shoot groups as small as 1.25 inches. Shooting double-action proved quite comfortable and fun, thanks to the overall construction and the fnger grooves in the grips. I was highly impressed with this small revolver, and because it offers the option of singleor double-action operation, I’d recommend it to anyone needing a gun for self-protection or feld duty.

The fve-shot stainless steel cylinder is strong but slim, and the barrel lug/ejector shroud is radiused at the front for easy holstering.

<

The Hogue Tamer Monogrips are well cushioned where the web of the shooter’s hand meets the pistol, which makes shooting comfortable even with +P loads.

<

WWW.HANDGUNS.COM

the strength of the entire assembly. To open the cylinder, press in on the cylinder release on the left side of the frame. I shot the gun over the course of a few weeks, and the timing of the cylinder stayed true, with just a hint of a drag mark around the outside of the cylinder. For help with the recoil, the gun is equipped with the innovative Hogue Tamer Monogrip. You’ll notice a bit of cushion at the top of the backstrap where the Ruger/Hogue logo is. It’s a great idea because this is where the grip contacts your hand at its most vulnerable point—where high-powered defensive guns have a tendency to split your hand at this junction of the thumb and forefnger. Considering the gun, weight and the cartridge, I think both Ruger and Hogue hit more than a happy medium, and during my range time with the LCRx, I found the gun actually pleasant to shoot. The balance between the Tamer grips and the .38 Special cartridge kept recoil tolerable. Firing

<

the bottom of the rear sight and go for it. Fortunately, the front sight is pinned and can be replaced, and I’m sure the aftermarket people are going to offer high-visibility replacements. Plus, there’s the adjustable-sight version, which might suit some people better. The front sight is also serrated, which seems out of place but hardly an obstacle to getting the gun into action quickly. Some concealed-carry shooters might have concerns about the exposed hammer, but except for the mild checkering on the top surface, the edges of the hammer are free of any rough surfaces that could hinder the draw. The trigger guard is generous and should present no drawbacks with extralarge fngers or when wearing gloves. The trigger face is smooth, which leads to effortless deliberate double-action shooting. Double-action pull averaged around 11 pounds while single-action pull has almost no creep and registered six pounds on the nose. Pull measurements didn’t change from brand new to after extensive fring and cleaning. The barrel is a stainless insert and measured 1.88 inches from the tip of the muzzle to the face of the cylinder. The barrel shroud itself has a bit of an inward taper as it approaches the cylinder—great for appearance, better concealment and holstering. The ejector rod is spring-loaded but regrettably pushes the spent cases out only halfway through its travel. Fortunately, the cylinder charge holes are fnished smooth, so tipping the gun upward and pushing the rod allows the spent shells to exit the gun unhindered. The fve-shot cylinder keeps the gun compact. It’s machined from highgrade stainless steel. The diameter of the cylinder at the bolt cuts measures a curt 1.28 inches, and cutouts around the periphery reduce weight. The bolt notches are machined offcenter of each charge hole, adding to

ACCURACY RESULTS | RUGER LCRx .38 Special

Hornady Critical Defense FTX +P Winchester USA Lead RN Hornady Custom XTP

Bullet Weight (gr.)

Muzzle Velocity (fps)

Standard Deviation

Avg. Group (in.)

110 150 158

972 732 735

12 20 9

2.50 2.25 3.00

Notes: Accuracy results are averages of five five-shot groups at 15 yards from a sandbag rest. Velocity figures are 10-shot averages recorded on an Oehler Model 35P chronograph. Abbreviation: RN, roundnose

JUNE/JULY 2015 HANDGUNS 71


| GUN SENSE | By RICHARD NANCE

SURVEYING THE LANDSCAPE WHEN IT COMES TO DEFENSE, DON’T MISS THE FOREST FOR THE TREES. THERE ARE TWO ELEMENTS TO USING a gun for self-defense. One is technique—basic physical movements, such as drawing, and details, such as front sight focus. These are the “trees” of the self-defense landscape, if you will. Tactics, on the other had, are planned actions you want to take in an encounter, such as creating distance and moving to cover. They represent the “forest” of our landscape. Unfortunately, as a new shooter, it can be diffcult to see the forest for the trees. As a case in point, I recently trained some of our agency’s new police offcers, who were fresh out of the academy. The goal of such orientation training is twofold: to familiarize the trainees with the agency’s standard operating procedures regarding frearms and use of force and to ensure the trainees are able to meet established profciency standards. The trainees all shot well enough to pass the qualifcation course. However, the fact that some of them didn’t understand how to properly grip their pistol’s magazine concerned me greatly. Granted, there’s more than one way to skin a cat or, in this case, acquire a fresh magazine, but since these offcers clearly had not been taught how to perform this fundamental task, they were inconsistent and ineffcient. Some of the offcers carried their magazines vertically, with the bullets facing away from their centerline, which caused them to grip the magazine awkwardly. The poor grip on the magazine led to all sorts of trouble, from slow reloads to fumbled magazines to magazines that weren’t fully seated, resulting in more than one 72 HANDGUNS JUNE/JULY 2015

“click” instead of a “bang.” For a recreational shooter, the manner in which you acquire a magazine and reload your pistol is of little consequence, because the paper target you’re shooting isn’t going anywhere and isn’t shooting back. But for the self-defense minded shooter, eloads must be as effcient as possible. Here’s how my agency encourages offcers to wear their magazine pouches and grip their magazines.

any contemplation as to how to conduct the reload. If loading your pistol is not second nature, it will require too much of your attention during a deadly force encounter. When the bullets are fying, you need to focus on what your adversary is doing and decide on a course of action to nullify the threat he poses. Tactics, on the other hand, are much more fuid. The right tactic in one scenario could be disastrous in another. As a legally armed citizen

If loading your pistol is not second nature, it will require too much of your attention during a deadly force encounter. For a right-handed shooter, the magazine pouch is worn on the left side of the body. This facilitates a proper grip in which the front of the magazine baseplate rests against the palm of your hand, your thumb is on the left side of the magazine and your middle and ring fngers are on the right side of the magazine. The tip of your index fnger is positioned along the front of the magazine, below the top round. Some offcers prefer to wear their magazine pouches horizontally. While I fnd this to be less than ideal, it can work as long as the magazine is properly indexed. While no technique is foolproof, indexing the magazine properly gives you the best chance of executing a smooth, effcient reload. Reloading your pistol is a technique. It’s predictable. It can and should be practiced to the point it becomes refexive. There shouldn’t be

faced with a potential deadly threat, a reasonable tactic may be to draw your frearm and order the subject in question to get on the ground. The subject’s actions then dictate the appropriate tactic. If he complies, issuing continued verbal commands from a position of cover would be appropriate. If he draws a handgun and points it at you, shooting him would be appropriate. To offer verbal commands rather than shoot at this point could be a fatal error. While all this is going on, you need to be paying attention to details. What type of weapon is he armed with? Is he wearing body armor? Are innocents in the line of fre? Is there available cover? Did your shots incapacitate him? If you’re focused on techniques like reloading your pistol, you just might miss the forest for the trees, and this could carry tragic consequences. WWW.HANDGUNS.COM


Kimber Master Carry Pistols. Unequaled Quality. Unmatched Performance.

The new Master Carry™ Pro .45 ACP weighs just 28 ounces. A Round Heel Frame ensures comfortable carry. Important features include night sights and a stainless steel match grade barrel.

Crimson Trace Master Series Lasergrips project a bright red dot that speeds aiming in any light. Cut from tough G-10, their aggressive surface ensures a positive grip.

The Master Carry™ Ultra .45 ACP has a short grip, 3-inch bull barrel and weighs just 25 ounces. It is ideal for all-dayevery-day concealed carry.

The Master Carry series of .45 ACP pistols combine Kimber® performance and important concealed-carry features into an extraordinary package. Tactical Wedge night sights, Round Heel Frame with serrated mainspring housing and Crimson Trace® Master Series™ Lasergrips™ are standard. Master Carry slides are machined from stainless steel and wear a KimPro® II finish for additional resistance to moisture and salt. Barrels are also machined from stainless steel to critical match grade dimensions for unequaled Kimber accuracy. One of the Master Carry models is certain to meet any need. Visit a Kimber Master Dealer and see for yourself.

The Master Carry™ Custom .45 ACP is a full-size 1911 with a stainless steel slide and frame. Weighing 38 ounces, it is a great choice for carry or home defense.

T H E C H O I C E O F A M E R I C A’ S B E S T

kimberamerica.com (888) 243-4522

Kimber ofers nearly 200 purpose-built pistols and rifes to meet any need. ©2013, Kimber Mfg., Inc. All rights reserved. Information and specifcations are for reference only and subject to change without notice.

Guns & Ammo Handguns Us 0607 15  

Guns & Ammo Handguns Us 0607 15

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you