Sunday, October 29, 2006

Deliberate Carry Purchase

This pistol is my first purchase since being issued a concealed-carry license. Since then, I am a thorough 1911 convert, formerly being a firm Glock believer. Kevin has made arguments against the safety of Condition 1 and Chris has posted the opposite.

I don't think anyone would carry a 1911 except in Condition 1. When you bring it to half-cock, one eliminates a safety.

In any case, my father's opinion is that a carry weapon should be stock without modification. Even Southpaw mods would draw legal attention that would not have been necessary, in the event that actions are discussed legally.

As such, I tried to choose this pistol on its out of the box state. For awhile I was considering a Sig 1911 or a S&W 1911. After speaking with an ex-Marine, I decided on a Colt. The man advised that untested models (like they haven't been around for 25 years) he would consider unreliable. Therefor, look at a Springfield or a Colt.

To be frank, I have come to hate Springfield after trying to remove their Internal Locking System. I spent two weeks trying to figure this shit out while my father's GI was in pieces in a plastic bucket.

In any case, I decided to go with Colt, even though they really pissed me off with AR shit, because I own 2 and have never been disappointed.

It should make it to the range this week and a full report on the pistol will follow.

If you want to see Colt's shitty website, here's the closest thing I could find.

Colt XSE Posted by Picasa

Obviously, ambidextrous safety is ultimately necessary out of the box. My GI would take drilling the frame in order to install an ambi. I'm not willing to drill the frame on a stock gun so the ambi was welcome. Posted by Picasa

Sights are ideal for carry. I think they are Bo-Mar low rise, but I probably stand to be corrected. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ambidextrous Magazine Release

I received it last week. It's interesting that the LH market is so goddamn small. I think a lot of southpaws say, "Fuck it, let's get a Glock."

As the picture displays, the actual motion is drawing the magazine release out of the other side, as is it's normal path of travel. What Cylinder and Slide did, was come up with a way to utilize that motion.

Now that I look at it, it's obvious. You use the spring tension to create a levered pull instead of a straight push.

Posted by Picasa

INSTALLED. It might not look like much to right handers but this is a dream if you want to shoot 1911 in any capacity. Posted by Picasa

This is what came out of the box. A diagram and some irrational shit. It took me several minutes to even understand what the fuck good this would do me.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

LH 1911

I was a bit bummed about my inability to adapt to the 1911 just because of my handedness. My father always argues that you either shoot like Uncle Sam wanted you to, or you're a gimp.

Phil over at RNS had a very helpful comment (as if Phil ever makes unhelpful comments.) Money quote:

A 1911 in Condition 1 IS the safest way to carry the pistol and it is also
probably one of the safest pistols on the planet when carried in that way.
Scares the hell out of the locals though. None of the local pansy PDs will let
their officers carry 1911s precisely because it has that mental effect on

For what its worth, I have a tip about mag changes from the son of a
southpaw; my dad was a 'finger across the front of the trigger guard' shooter
and he used the middle finger on his right hand, pushed below the trigger
finger, to hit the release button.

Well the resurgence in popularity of this gun has also given an incentive to certain companies to cater to the southpaws.

I found an ambidextrous magazine release for a 1911 from Cylinder and Slide. Don't bother trying to order one from Midway, as I bought the last two.

We'll see how she works.

Condition Black

My Old Man sent me a link to a blogger who actually attended Gunsite. He has a very pithy, but not overly long post on being there.

This got me to thinking about the awareness levels that Gunsite employs. If I remember correctly: white, you are an unthinking jackass; yellow, you are aware of your surroundings; orange, you suspect or notice a potential threat; and red, you are tuned into a specific threat/target.

My instructor added another one that was dropped from the list a long time ago: Condition Black.

From what I understood, this means your shit is fucked. There is slender hope of surviving the situation and the human response is much like a Berserker. Interesting to think that this was dropped, as a lot of situations might end up like this.

Anyway, add it to your vocabulary, because it describes a real and somewhat probable scenario that most people are not mentally prepared for.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

AAR Pisol Course

I was beat to hell this weekend. I've never put that many rounds through a handgun in a 48 hour period.

The entire course was brilliant. The instructor is ex-Marine, Scout-Sniper, Pistol coach for the Marine team in the early eighties and generally had forgotten more about this shit than I ever hope to learn. The class consisted of only four people. Targets were IPSC and steel at ranges from 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards.

Day one was a short safety course in a classroom. We were on range by 11 AM doing dry fire drills. From there, everything was hot. No range in this town allows a hot range, so I'm not sure how he pulled it, but we were cocked and locked in holster while eating lunch.

First bit was standard Gunsite draw type stuff. I've never done that kind of thing before so it took me a lot of time to get even the general routine. Now I have time to practice and refine. The instructor departed from the modern technique to a certain degree, in that he did not really buy the guard position at all (45 degree angle at the ground when no threat is present.) Instead, he pulled the pistol back to the chest and maintained a ready, full threat level position.

As with most courses, events, etc. I've experience, there was an old guy who knew just enough to be dangerous. He was a former environmental engineer and had some obscure H&K that is no longer produced. I don't know why he even took the course as he wouldn't even adopt the right stance and completely disregarded any training. He just stood and shot bullseye. During breaks he would tell endless boring stories and during verbal training would ask questions like "Why don't they put apperture sights on pistols?" Who gives a shit and quit wasting time I paid for you old fuck.

Out of the four, I was the only one carrying a 1911. I ended up using the Commander because it had an ambidextrous thumb safety. There was the old codger with the 60's H&K, a normal dude with a Glock, and some guy with a limited edition Sig. He claimed the magazines cost $180 a piece. He was also a retired psychologist from Los Alamos; a profession and town, both of which I despise. During breaks he would talk about the trip he took in 64' down to Guatemala in a VW or the recent studies him and his anthropologist (bleahhhh) wife had taken on the indigenous population of this or that shithole. I'll give the psychologist this; he shoots IDPA and is pretty fucking good. Just don't waste my time talking about completely unrelated shit, you washed up motherfucker.

Needless to say, I was the youngest person there and in the lowest tax bracket.

First day, my accuracy was marginally good. I smoke, and this was the kind of class where you don't really get breaks. I find I can shoot pretty well for about 45 minutes and then I need a smoke or I get a little shaky. My draw improved immensely by the end of the day.

Day 2 was completely different. We started with dry practice on the basic draw, which was good because I had slept and was a blank slate. We moved on to double-tap practice at the sound of a whistle. The instructor was so hardcore he even did drills where he shouted at you while you were shooting.

After lunch, we did dry magazine change drills. Tactical and speed reloads, both of which were taught.

Something that doesn't occur to a lot of people is the fact that if you shoot a 1911 left-handed, you have to use your trigger finger for the magazine release. As the old booger hook is not as strong as a thumb, I ended up ripping the shit out of my trigger finger during these drills. Additonally, I got a big honking blister on my left hand thumb as well. During the course, this vexed the shit out of me. After cleaning the Commander, though, it makes perfect sense.

With an ambidextrous safety, the latch on the right side of the gun (the one southpaws use) is a lot closer to the slide than the normal 1911 safety. This instructor insisted that the safety be used as a thumb-rest while shooting. As such, the serrations on the slide were ripping the shit out of my strong-hand thumb.

By 2 PM the second day, I had blisters on my trigger finger (from the mag-release) and thumb (from the slide serrations). I became flinchy as a bitch shooting a 9mm for the first time. I couldn't hit shit.

In toto, it was one of the best gun experiences I've ever had. I've got enough shit to practice dry firing throughout the winter, most likely. Additionally, the instructor is also kind of my 1911 gunsmith, so there are some things he wants to do to the Commander in the coming months.

In summation, being a lefty sucks. It sucks with rifles, but you can compensate. With a 1911 there is no compensation; you either shoot it the way Mr. Browning and Uncle Sam wanted you to, or you get some good calluses in the needed locations.

As to Kevin's question about 1911 carry, I am now convince that a condition 1 1911 is the absolute best carry option available. It is safe, comfortable and, if you know what the fuck you are doing, the most deployable firearm. That last comment is contingent on you being right-handed, though.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Combat Pistol

Below is a picture of the shit I will be packing. I'm taking the Old Man's Gold Cup, my Springfield GI, and a Colt Commander along with the new gun leather I've been trying to break in. I've also got about 18 magazines.

Starts at 9:00 in morning and I have been instructed to bring 800 rounds of ammo for the first day. The class did not fill up, so it appears it will only be 5 students and the instructor. I've never been in a group that small, but I think the advantages will be immediately apparent.

Hopefully everyone has their shit together, as I was muzzle-swept enough during my concealed-carry class.

Kevin at Cerbral Misfire has done some soul-searching and wrangling with the concept of a 1911 as a carry gun. Read his post carefully, as he brings up some salient points on carry weapons. In comments on the last post, he asked that I inquire about Condition 1 and Condition 2 carry, as that seems to be his main concern with this model firearm. I am only too happy to oblige because I've heard a lot of crap about this from civilians, but this will be my first time spending two days with a Gunsite instructor.

As an aside, I met with the instructor several weeks ago for some advice on kitchen table gunsmithing. The guy showed me his favorite gun, which was a 1911 of course. He'd put 150,000 rounds of ammo through it, changed the barrel once, and had it parkerized twice. Thing looks like it has been sand-blasted and left on the surface of the moon for a couple years. While examining my father's Gold Cup he said, "Haven't got a whole lot of rounds through this thing, have you?" My father responded, "I've got about 5,000 through it, so it's pretty well broken in." Gunsite dude replied, "Yeah, but nothing like 50,000." Gentleman seems to be hardcore.

Guns and Gear Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Competition Pistol Course

I've never really been a pistol shooter. After I got into rifles and Boomershoot, they always seemed like good plinking guns or defense at 3 feet. Lately, my obsession with 1911's and their utility and accuracy have gotten the best of me.

The gentleman I referred to in a recent post is hosting a competition/self-defense class. I would describe it differently, but have gotten into trouble by reinterpreting course names before (it's not "sniper," it's "long range precision target shooting.")

It is a full two days and I will be taking off work Thursday and Friday. I purchased a combat holster along with a magazine carrier and the requisite 1,000 rounds of factory ammo. I'll post pics of the 1911s I'm taking.

This is my first endeavour into any kind of trained pistol shooting. The instructor (adjunct Gunsite instructor) definitely has his shit together; I guess the question is "Do I?"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I Hate Single Action Shooters

Let me qualify a bit before letting loose on these fat, middle-aged pussies. At our club, there are 8 ranges: 1 silhouette, 1 military long range, 1 200 meter range, 3 action pistol ranges, and 2 practice ranges. If you are on one of the action pistol ranges and one of the Village People in chaps wants to use that range, according to the rules, you have to surrender it. Of course, this street doesn't go both ways.

Since our beloved governor, notable Clinton ass-kiss Bill Richardson, took office, he appropriated a lot of money to build a "state-of-the-art" Single Action range, east of town. Take a look.

Everybody from Ruger to Marlin has a booth. Richardson's rationale was that setting this up would import a lot of dumbshit money from California, since those pussies can't shoot out there.

In any case, we had to share a practice range with one of these shitheels last week. There were two target stands on the range and the motherfucker didn't even have the dignity to offer us one, even though his fatass wife wasn't shooting at her targets. This went on for two hours and I found myself thinking. You assholes have your own range where I'd get shot for carrying a 1911. I have to vacate ranges in my club, but you won't reciprocate. On top of all that, this guy's loads were maybe topping 400 fps.

I really do try to be ecumenical about shooting, but these turds piss me off.

With all that recoil, be sure to shoulder it before you fire, champ. Oh, and fuck you.

UPDATE: Phil at RNS has a more reasoned and lengthy dissertation on this matter. The bonus is, he has a picture of a really scary looking "sniper rifle." I'm guessing the "lead" coming out of that gun slightly exceeds 350 fps. I might be wrong. Ask Phil.

Springfield GI Report

Took the Springfield GI out to sight in. The Commander went with and also got sighted. The back sight on the Commander had come loose about a year ago and, given the quality of gunsmiths in this town, had not been attended to.

Recently got a reference to an ex-Marine who does anti-terror training overseas. He's also an adjunct Gunsite instructor. This guy is not a gunsmith, per-se, but has rigged enough stuff to know what works. He re-drifted the rear sight on the Commander.

Total, we got to spend about thirty minutes sighting in. Reasons being that are listed in the next post. The Commander grouped alright, but this was the best I did with the GI. You'll notice I'm no pistol champ, as one was off paper and one was outside the ring. For me, this is stellar pistol shooting.

30 foot group. Posted by Picasa

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