Thursday, April 27, 2017

Beretta PX4 - Stealth Levers Installed!

Last night, I installed the stealth decocker levers I got from Brignoliarmi.com.  The package also came with one slide lever.  I've opted to not change that...not sure what such a change entails but it has to be easier to install than the decocking levers were.  As well, I do believe Brownells sells a plug for the right side of the gun that will have a hole where the lever would've been (after I swap out the old part for the new).  I'm thinking on ordering that part.  Anything to slim down the the profile of the PX4.

Some pics:

Before the lever swap

Before the lever swap

After the lever swap

After the lever swap

After the lever swap

After the lever swap
The packaging

Backside of the packaging

They were somewhat difficult to install.  I've not done such a thing before.  Well, let me restate that.  I've never removed roll pins from guns that didn't involve changing out backstraps.  This wasn't a simple backstrap change.  It wasn't super complicated, either.  I used Mrgunsngear's video to assist me in changing the parts.  (Note:  you do not have to remove the extractor to change out the safety levers.) The most difficult part was in getting the roll pin out.  Getting it back in was easy.  Another thing that stumped me was the spring...I didn't reinstall it correctly and had to remove the roll pin again, then reinstall the spring correctly, and THEN reinstall the roll pin AGAIN.

I also might need a new punch, as the punch that I bought from Lowes was beat the hell up after the swap (bent at the tip).

Note that this does change the mode of operation for this particular gun.  It was sold to me as an F Type.  It is now a G Type (the new parts are labeled as G Type and the gun now functions a a G Type).  Prior to the parts change, the gun's levers functioned as both a safety and decocker (they were not dedicated to either function).  The levers now function solely to decock.  They will NOT safety the trigger, and spring back into place after the gun has been decocked.  For me, it is easier to train with DA as a first shot than it is to train to carry cocked and locked (meaning that I've to ensure the safety is off before I pull the trigger, then always ensure the safety is engaged when it's holstered.

The gun does look cleaner, profile-wise.  It also carries somewhat better, as the new levers are no longer pushing on the material of the N82 Professional holster.  Still, the gun is thick.

No amount of parts replacement will change the fact that the slide is over an inch thick.  This is the ONLY negative of this firearm.  I'll have to grow used to it.

The gun is definitely easier to rack with the new levers.  But the gun is also difficult to decock because the new levers have less traction...it almost makes me miss the old levers.

UPDATE:  The stealth slide lever is in.  I installed it a few hours after I posted the above.  Not sure if I like the hole that was left after removing the right side old lever.  Also not sure why Beretta didn't make replacements for both sides.  (There's only one replacement...the left side...the old right-sided lever has to come out to get the left-sided stealth one installed.)




UPDATE #2:  I ordered the slide catch plug at Midwest Gunworks.  The part arrived quicker than I'd anticipated.  I had issues understanding how to install it.  I went to a Beretta forum (berettaforum.net) to ask how PX4 owners have been installing the part.  Apparently you've to push down and turn so that the plug locks in, only this is difficult to do.  A forum user stated he'd used rubber from some gun grips to get traction on the plug without damaging it...I had a some Hogue grips and used them to turn the plug and it worked.  Here's a picture of how the gun now looks with the plug installed --


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Progress Report - Bersa Thunder 380 Plus

A few weeks ago, I had bought some .380 ammo locally (from Cabela's).  I'd bought Herter's Select and some PMC Bronze.  My intention was to shoot both boxes (50 rounds per box) but I ended up quitting after shooting the Herter's.

Why?

The Plus was biting the webbing of my hand.  The part between forefinger and thumb.  It wasn't slide bite but the gun's beaver tail edges were cutting into the webbing.  This was the first time I'd experienced this and I'd shot maybe 250ish out of the gun by that time...without any sharp recoil (that's what I'm going to call it).  I'd not changed how I was shooting.  I was holding the gun the same way I always had.

The only thing that had changed was the ammo.

My first thought was that the ammo was hot but when I conducted some quick research on the ammo, I saw that the muzzle velocity wasn't anything special, so maybe it wasn't that it was hot.

Today, I took it to the range and shot the PMC out of it.  This time, there was no sharp recoil.  It had to have been the Herter's ammo.  I'm pretty sure that ammo was hotter than normal.  The whole box.  I believe it's made in Europe and I know Europeans usually make their ammo NATO-spec.  I'm just glad I now know to avoid Herter's.

I'm now at 323 rounds through the Plus.  That's more than my XD 9 Mod 2.  The Plus is my 4th most fired gun, between the aforementioned XD and the Sig Sauer SP2022.

It is now much easier to fire than when I first bought it.  I used to hate how difficult it was for me to operate the gun.  I hated the DA trigger, hated the manual safety, hated the decocker's placement, and hated the safety's non-intuitive nature (the manual safety operates the opposite of how a 1911 manual safety is operated).  What's different now?  The DA trigger must've wore in because it's not so difficult to actuate now (but it is long and pinches the side of my trigger finger...I'd have to wear a bandaid to negate the effect).  I don't use the manual safety at all...I use DA in place of the safety.  I do use the decocker (to get into DA mode) but I only use it after racking the slide back and chambering a round.  I usually don't drill when doing this...this isn't something I need to practice, but I do need to remember to always place the gun in DA mode.

I also published a video update on the Plus here:


I've only one holster for the gun, the N82 Tactical Original holster.  It is a great holster.  The gun will carry well no matter the holster but it carries extremely well with this particular holster.  The holster is easy to put on the hip and is easy to remove.  It's a simple holster...simple is good enough for what I need at this time.  I needed a holster that removes quickly.

Oh, I'm carrying Inceptor Polycase ammo with this particular firearm, too.  I know that .380 JHP is known to have issues penetrating, so I wanted something that I know for a fact will always penetrate.  This ammo will not have an issue penetrating, but it shouldn't over-penetrate either.  I've tested the ammo at the range to ensure the gun will eat it without issue...it did.

I wouldn't mind finding different sights for this gun but I'll wait until I've more rounds through the gun first.  I wouldn't mind Big Dot sights for the gun.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Ammo, Mags, and Holster Received!


I didn't have a good picture of the gun...I only had the pictures I took the day I picked up the gun from the gun shop.

I now have three extra mags for it (five total).  That arrived yesterday, along with 1000 rounds of Wolf 9mm 115-grain FMJ ammo.

The N82 Tactical Professional holster also arrived.  I'm not in love with it.  It doesn't fit like the one for my Bersa.  The hard shell is large and bulky, because the gun is large and bulky, I guess, but my Alien Gear feels more comfortable.  Because of the large shell, it is difficult to put on my hip...it's very difficult to fit it in the gap between my body and waistband of my pants, and I've a good 1"+ of space.  I'm trying to give it time to grow on me...it's not really going to break in enough for me to begin to like it.  It's a shame because it's a nice holster.  I like the retention system.  I like the professional look and feel of the holster.  I like the way you can adjust cant.  It's just larger than I thought.

I suppose since the ammo and magazines have arrived, I've no excuse to not visit the range tomorrow.

My P320 subcompact grip assembly arrive today.  I can already tell that it's the better size just by gripping it in my hand.  I'll swap out the gun's slide and  FCU tomorrow and maybe use a tape measure to get measurements (I've no calipers).

Oh, I'm still awaiting my stealth controls to arrive.  I've no idea when they'll show or how they'll show.  It'll arrive via USPS, almost certainly...I don't know when, though.  I'm thinking I might keep the PX4 as an F-type.  F-type isn't bothering me like I thought it would, since I just keep it off of safe.

New Gun-friendly Social Media Hangouts

If you haven't heard yet, YouTube has pulled advertisement revenue from YouTube channels that have a focus on firearms.  That means that if those channels have any type of dependence on that type of revenue, that method of attaining funds will stop.

Once again, social media companies are trying to stick it to those that believe in 2A.

Alternatives are:

Full30 - https://www.full30.com/
MeWe - https://mewe.com/
United Gun Group - https://www.unitedgungroup.com/
Gun District - https://gundistrict.com/
WeaponsFeed (I've not tried this one yet) - https://www.weaponsfeed.com/

I suggest you mention these to your friends.  These alternatives are struggling. 

There has not been much turn-out, but these were generated when Facebook began to shut down 2A-affiliated groups shortly after the Orlando shootings.  People complained about it, which spawned gun-friendly social media sites such as the above, but people aren't using them. 

Come on, guys and gals...these places can be much better than Facebook or YouTube, but only if we use them.