Monday, February 23, 2015

1911 & XD Range Visit

I went to the range yesterday to start the break-in process of the 1911s and the XD Mod.2 I recently acquired. This is just a general sharing of information and experience.

I was supposed to take the P320 and the Glock. I decided to take the 1911s instead, since I've no experience with them. The XD was taken because I'd never fired a subcompact.

I started off with the Metro Arms 45ACP 1911 Commander. I shot from 21 feet using Remington UMC and Perfecta FMJ. I was all over the place at first -- excited and not knowing finger placement on it's trigger -- but was able to walk my bullets into the bulls-eye within 7 rounds (last round didn't feed due to an FTE). This gun is super-tight when compared to what I've previously shot and compared to my current collection of guns. It doesn't wiggle or rattle. It has a great trigger. A lot of the recoil didn't make it to my firing hand...it manages recoil a lot better than my P220. I shot maybe 70 rounds and didn't want to put this gun down, but I had to shoot all three within the hour's session.

The RIA Tactical 9mm Commander wasn't as fun to shoot as the Metro Arms, mainly because the trigger has some irritating slop, which affected my trigger pull. It wags from side to side a good bit, which I do NOT like. I'm going to have to get that fixed. It was extremely noticeable after experiencing the 45's tight trigger.  Although the trigger was a pain point, part of it was probably because of a shift from one gun to another.  Eventually, I was able to nail the bulls-eye.  Recoil wasn't an issue, but the gun weighs 40oz and is chambered in 9mm, so I wasn't expecting recoil to be an issue. I've the original mag and bought 3 WC mags (all four are 10-rounders). I noticed that the gun would fail to extract near the end of the mags maybe half the time. I fired 50 rounds before moving to the subcompact.

The XD Mod.2 9mm I have is the first subcompact I've ever fired. It's also the smallest of the two subs that I have. There wasn't as much recoil as I thought there would be, which is a great reflection on the design of this gun. It comes with two mags, one having a mag sleeve, which felt better since it's maybe an inch longer and enabled me to get a better grip. The trigger is sloppy, IMO. There's lots of take-up and I've to let out the trigger a large amount before it resets. This wouldn't be a problem if I hadn't grown used to my Canik TP9SA's trigger. There were no malfunctions with this gun. It shot decently (no bulls-eye but all the hits certainly could be considered center mass). It feels like an average gun, but maybe that how any non-1911 gun would seem after shooting 1911s first...I don't know. I also only shot 30 rounds before I ran out of range time. That's not a lot of time to get a feel for a gun. I never got comfortable with this gun...that's not a bad thing...it just means I didn't have enough time to get properly acquainted with it.

I'm positively in love with the Metro Arms. I love the big bang with the negated recoil. I'm shocked at how well it feels when firing and cycling...very smooth. It feels "rich" when it isn't. It's going with me on my next range visit, for sure. It is now the favorite of my guns.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Almost done!

I just deviated from my wish list and ordered the following handguns from Gun Genie:

Springfield XD mod 2 9mm in two tone - two mags (1 Flush Fit and 1 with Sleeve)

Glock 19 Gen 4

Grand Power P11 Mk12




Gun Genie ships FAST and when linked with a FFL that's fast, it makes for a great purchasing experience (I bought the non-railed RIA 1911 via Gun Genie).

These are likely the last three guns I buy for a long while.

I'd nixed the Grand Power then reversed my decision and put it back on the list.  Why?  Because the backup for this choice was the Beretta PX4 Storm Compact, which is already sold in CA (meaning it's on the CA DOJ list of approved guns...I want to bring off-list guns, which is OK for incoming residents).  It is also, in my opinion, a beautiful gun...I kept looking at it and lusting after it, so I decided to go for it, even if I've hangups about the mags.  I can wait until I get to CA to get the PX4.  Yes, I still have to figure out a way to block the GP mags from 12 rounds to 10...I can epoxy one or a few of my son's Lego pieces onto the mag base plate or under the follower.  That should work...if not, I'll figure something out.  UPDATE:  I asked Eagle Imports (on their Facebook page) if they sold 10 round mags for the GP P11 and they said they did...the caveat is that the mags are just as expensive as the full capacity mags.  At least they have 10-rounders, though.  So, if you have this gun and are looking for extra mags and live in a state that limits capacity, go to Eagle Imports (or Bersa) and purchase them.

I'd also nixed my original choice of the Springfield XD mod 2 from my list, in favor of a Sig P320 subcompact.  Then I changed my mind, as I can always buy convertible parts and convert my P320C to whichever model I feel I want...without having to register another gun (the fire control unit is what makes it a firearm...I only need one of those when switching from one configuration to another).  I also bought the silver/black dual tone version, to be a bit different (there's no other dual tone guns in my possession or wish list).  UPDATE:  I ended up getting the P320C in addition to the XD.

The Glock 19 Gen 4 was something that's not really been a serious need or want.  The reason why I wanted a Glock (any Glock would do) was because I know Gen 4s are not on the CA DOJ roster, which means I will not be able to get it after I move to CA.  If need be, I can sell this gun in CA for close to double the price, as off-roster guns are usually desirable, especially Glock Gen 4s (and Sig P320s).

I may have room for one more ($500 or less) gun.  I'm not sure what it would be...I can only think of another Sig P320 (any model would do).  I don't want the FNS-9 that I initially had on my list.  I can still get another Canik TP9SA, in FDE, too, or I can wait until it's almost time for me to leave and check to see if something new is being offered that isn't for retail sale in CA.  UPDATE:  I ended up getting another Canik TP9SA in FDE, as well as a RIA Tactical 1911 (railed and shooting 2 different calibers).

I'm still waiting on Buds Gun Shop to send the Sig P320C and Metro Arms 1911 I ordered.  They say they'll ship out guns within 5-7 business days and to wait until then before calling.  It's been five (5) business days so far.  This bugs me, but I did get a great price on the P320C, so I'm trying to keep my mouth shut about the shipping wait.  I just don't like $1000 in merchandise being in limbo without a status on processing/shipping.

I still have to convert every magazine I have to 10-round before I move.

The below is a mental breakdown of things to do over the next few months regarding getting the firearms ready for the move to California.  UPDATE:  This list is now unneeded...I'm no longer moving to CA, as of May 2015):
  • The P220's mags are all at or under 10 rounds.
  • The SP2022 has mag blocks here.  I'll need five (5) of them.
  • The Canik TP9SA has mag blocks here.  I'll need at least two (2) of them, unless I order more magazines (which I should, in case I develop some bad mags)
  • The Metro Arms American Classic 1911 45ACP Commander's mag should be ten (10) rounds or under (it's not here yet so I don't know what it'll come with...I'm just assuming).  I should be able to order more mags in CA without issue, since mags of ten (10) rounds or less are legal.  I also ordered two Wilson Combat 8-round mags.
  • The Sig P320C (Compact version, not Carry version) 9mm has mag blocks here.  I'll need at least 2 of them, I think (it's not here yet, but I do believe Sig provides two of them).  I may order two more mags just to have extras (4+), which means I'll need four (4) mag blocks.
  • The RIA 1911 Tactical MS 9mm mag I have is a 10 round mag, and the other three mags I ordered are 10 round Wilson Combat mags.
  • The Glock 19 I ordered will come with 3 x 10-round mags...I will not order more at this time, and I should be able to find 10-round mags in CA for this gun.
  • The Springfield XD mod 2 9mm I ordered will come with 2 x 10-round mags.  I'm not sure if I should order more.  Two will suffice for now.
  • The Grand Power P11 Mk12 should come with 2 x 12-round mags.  I will need to find some way to block them.  I've scoured the internet and could not find a vendor that had 10-round mags for this gun in stock...every single one showed them as out-of-stock.  As I said above, I may have to think outside of the box to limit these mags...that's a big deal because I'm not really good at hacking such things, but I'll try to use Lego pieces (my son has TONS of them), find the correct length, and epoxy them in place, either under the mag follower or at the base plate.  I've also asked Grand Power (and Eagle Imports, who imports them, I believe) if they have them available...I've seen no reply to my query. 

So, that's nine (9) guns.  In three (3) months.  With maybe one more to round it out to ten (10) guns. Yes, all are CA-legal.  Yes, I'm in compliance of CA law.  Yes, I'm on a mission.  Yes, I need a bigger safe!

UPDATE:

All three arrived today.  All three are in immaculate condition (they're new, after all).  I was quite surprised with all three.  The P11 is smaller than I'd thought.  It feels good in the hand and the slide looks exotic.  It is fully ambidextrous.  The Glock 19 is also new (the test rounds were fired last month, in fact).  It not only comes with two extra backstraps, but beavertailed backstraps as well.  The 19's three mags are very high quality.  The Springfield Armory is a looker.  The two-tone looks very appealing on this gun, as the metal is dark silver.  The fiber optic front sight is bright, too.  I like the mag with the sleeve, as it gives me a place to put my pinky when gripping the gun.

Monday, February 2, 2015

You Get What You Pay For?

Let's talk about the saying, "You get what you pay for".

What does it really mean?  Is it something people use to justify the high cost of a product?  Is there any truth to that statement?  Does it pertain to product quality or overall pricing of the product?

I think that statement is HIGHLY subjective.  I've heard the saying mentioned about many things:  computers, cars, firearms, vacuum cleaners...  In my opinion the statement can be true, but that totally depends on what you're looking for in a product.

Let's focus on that statement as it pertains to cars.  Do I have to buy the halo (top tier model) model of a brand to have a car that is needed as a daily commuter?  No.  As long as the car runs as advertised and is dependable, it can be used as a daily commuter without having to be expensive.  A $12,000 car used as a daily driver will probably be just as dependable as a $40,000 car used in a like fashion.  Do you need a Cadillac-like ride quality just to get to work?  Maybe...maybe not.  It totally depends on driver preference.

Now, lets use the same statement but apply it to laptops.  In my opinion, buying a good computer outright trumps buying a $300 computer to do things that might need a powerful CPU or lots of RAM.  Budget computers cost less because they've less capacity to perform complicated tasks.  Most modern games with high-quality visuals (think FPS type games such as Battlefield 4) need top-line CPUs, benefit greatly from having access to more than 8GB of RAM, and gives you and advantage when using SSD hard drives.  No $300 computers have that type of equipment.  If you require a computer with those parts, expect to pay at LEAST $1,000...maybe more if you need a good graphics card and a large hard disk to hold your large software packages.  Do I need a loaded Alienware system to play top tier video games?  No.

If people buy products that give them an edge in competition, yes, the mantra "you get what you pay for" might apply.  They actually NEED to buy the best.  But how does this apply to firearms as they relate to 'regular' gun owners?  I'm asking this because I'm seeing people talk about 1911s like it's required that you spend at least $1,000 for a good example.  Why is that?  If I'm to use a 1911 as a duty gun or as a concealed carry weapon, do I actually NEED a $1,000 1911 to be able to shoot a bullet?  In my opinion, all a gun needs to do is fire bullets dependably...nothing else.  I don't participate in competition shooting.  I don't have to have the most expensive gun to keep up with the Jones' or to feel adequate.  I just need it to work without failures...that's it.  My view is, why spend $1,000 on a gun when a $500 example of that model will do the task just as well?  Some brands have issues, but I don't believe any brand is issue-proof.  The brands I'm relating are the Sig 1911s, Metro Arms 1911s, and Rock Island Armory 1911s.  I'd be a fool to think that a RIA 1911 will feel better in my hand than a Sig 1911, but I'm not saying that it would.  All I'm saying is, for shooting, an RIA will be just as dependable as a Sig, even though the tolerances on the Sig might be tighter (most 1911s tend to be tighter than non-1911s in tolerance, so I'm not really concerned in that regard).  Branding/trademarks aside, they're all 1911s.  Unless I see a particular brand that has many broken slides or guide rods or cracked frames, I'm giving my attention to every brand available, unless I've a very specific need that the average gun can't meet.

I drive my Subaru STI at autocrosses (I specifically bought it because I wanted to autocross).  That's a niche need, though, but the same might apply to guns.  Some say that STIs ride too harsh for everyday use.  Some say a WRX or other less-focused car would do just as well in autocross.  Some want more of the jack-of-all-trades type of car.  A car that doesn't have tracking as a focus can be used in autocross, too...just don't expect to win any trophies without spending large sums of money in aftermarket parts to address track failings.  The driver matters a good bit in autocross, just as a shooter is an important aspect of shooting, but the tool does matter, somewhat.  If I've a gun that I'm never comfortable with, I'm probably going to be struggling when it's time to shoot it well.  That goes for high end guns, too.  My Equinox is a $1,000 gun and it feels great in my hand...I can't stand the recoil of it, though, to be honest.  Because of that, I've been shooting my $400 guns a LOT more.  So the mantra doesn't apply well in that situation.

I do not want twenty $1,000+ guns.  Not all my guns need to cost that much.  Someone said I could've had a Sig 1911 with the money I spent on the two lower-end 1911s I recently bought.  I disagree.  I bought two different brands of 1911, in two different calibers.  If I don't like one or both, I can sell them and recoup most of my money.  It's quite possible I'll like one better than the other, too.  I also might like both better than I would a Sig 1911.  It's a miracle I even bought a 1911 (much less two of them), since I couldn't stand them in the past.

I guess the bottom line is, I'd rather my first 1911s be cheaper (in price) models than to get another high end gun that I end up not shooting.  Also, cheap (as in price) does not mean bad.  If you're going to compare guns, compare like-priced guns, because comparing a $500 1911 to a $1,000-2,000 gun is just plain dumb.  Additionally, Armscor (the maker of RIA firearms) has been building 1911s since before World War II.  I've not heard of many people saying that they make crap guns...they make good guns, but it has to be noted that they're not trying to compete with Sig's nor any other high end 1911 maker's product lines...those would be apples/oranges comparisons.  I just need whatever I use to work, nothing else.  IMO, the person that typically uses the term "you get what you pay for" are using it as a cop-out unless they can absolutely substantiate such a claim.  (By benchmarking, or showing many examples of sub-par products.)

3 New Guns On The Way!

Just a quick update:

 I just ordered a Sig P320C in 9mm, a Metro Arms American Classic 1911 Commander 45ACP, and a RIA 1911A1 MS Tactical II in 9mm.  The Sig and Metro Arms were ordered through Bud's Gunshop.  The Rock Island Armory 1911 was bought from Gallery of Guns.  They should arrive by the end of the week or early next week at the latest...we'll see.

 I also revised the list again. I'll stick with the Sig P320C...I don't need the P320SC since I can modify the P320C to be an SC model (the P320 is modular and can be converted to any other P320 model). That's going to save some money and is the more logical way to go.

 I'm halfway to my goal and might be able to meet my goal and also lessen the list.  I've nixed one gun so far and also decided against the Grand Power. I'm also thinking of nixing the FNS Compact, but I might keep it on the list since I'm more than likely not going to be able to get the Canik TP9 v2 (I've no idea when it's supposed to be available).

UPDATE:  The 1911 9mm arrived.  Pics are below.

Rock Island Armory MS Ultra 9mm




UPDATE 2:  The American Classic 1911 and Sig P320 Compact arrived today.  I picked them up tonight --

Metro Arms American Classic 1911 Commander

Metro Arms American Classic 1911 Commander

Sig Sauer P320 Compact