Sunday, May 28, 2017

Press Checks

So, what are press checks?

You press check by pulling a handgun's slide back just enough to see if a round is chambered.  You check so that you know your handgun is prepared.  The last thing you want to occur is to be attacked but find that your gun doesn't have a round chambered.

Some handguns have a device called a loaded chamber indicator.  It's a small tab that rises when there's a round in the chamber.  This can be used in lieu of a press check, but not all handguns have LCIs.  Some handguns have external extractors that pop out when a round is chambered, but not all handguns have external extractors.  As well, not all extractors pop out enough for the wielder of the gun to know that a round is chambered.  And lastly, not everyone is willing to trust an LCI when a visual verification works better.  I'm one of those people.

Here's what happens if you don't press check (watch the video):

The video is captioned:

People like give me shit because I press check my guns (I.e. Partially pull the slide back to see if there is actually a round in the chamber. Well, This is why I press check. I get that it's all the rage now the make fun of things that look high speed low drag but sometimes there is purpose. #IPressCheckedButDidYouDie

The above is a training exercise but highlights the fact that if someone is defending themselves but don't know the condition of their gun, they can die.  No one wants to hear "click" when pulling the trigger in a dire situation.

Another reason to press check is that sometimes magazines might not be properly seated, so that when a slide is racked, a round is not stripped from the magazine and pushed into the chamber.  In that case, you'd think that a round was chambered, only it never did.  An LCI would indicate that the chamber is empty, but a press check would do the same and not rely on another gun part (that could possibly fail).

Another good source of information is The Firearms Blog.  They published an article about their thoughts on it today, and they pretty much mimic Colion.

There's nothing really wrong with press checking.  If you're doing it every 60 seconds on a firing line at the local range, you're doing it wrong, though.  The practical applications outweigh the tacticool-ness of press checking.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Range Visit

I went to the range today and brought the Grand Power P11, the RIA 22TCM, and of course I bought my current carry gun, the Bersa Thunder Plus (I'm carrying the PX4 less now, since it is so's lumpier and I don't like that it feels so large on my hip).  I couldn't use my RIA, though, because I forgot to bring it's magazine.

I brought 200 rounds of Wolf 115-grain FMJ for the P11.  I fired 150 rounds of it.  I bought 50 rounds of Speer Lawman 95-grain FMJ at the range for the Bersa.  I fired all of that.

I started out with the P11.  I ensured it was lubed properly (using synthetic motor oil - 5w20 Motul) beforehand.  It failed to return to battery once in that first magazine.  It did it again on the 6th magazine (12-round mags).  Then I did twice more through the last two mags.  It probably was pretty dirty with firing Wolf ammo after 138 rounds, so that's probably why it was failing.  Wolf is REALLY dirty and covered in some type of semi-sticky coating...not exactly conducive to the inner workings of a gun with tight tolerances.

12 yards out with the P11 - not used to shooting that far out...I shot 12 rounds but 3 rounds missed the paper, and the group was not tight.

12 yards out, next 12 round mag with the P11.  The first shots were landing at the top of the target.  I had to 6 o'clock hold the sights to get the rounds to hit around the red.

Went back to 7 yards out.  Notice how the rounds are very vertically oriented.  Need to ensure the front site is lined with the rear dots, but for self defense purposes, this is superb, IMO.

7 yards with the P11...two mags worth.  Still hitting a bit up high but they're again pretty vertical.

7 yards with the P11 - two mags...this is tight as hell, but I'd still like to work on the 1-2" left drift of the grouping.  That's trigger slap or me not using my support hand enough (for stabilization).  Was also shooting a bit fast.

54 rounds @ 7 yards with the P11.  Worked a bit on DA trigger pull (also did quite a bit of dry fire to try to get a feel for the DA on this's different than the DA on the PX4, with the PX4 having the better DA trigger, IMO).  So, two mags to the head and two mags to the torso with this target, with several doube-taps using the last 10 or so rounds.
50 rounds of Speer Lawman FMJ 95-grain ammo.  I hated this caused the Bersa's beavertail to sting the webbing of my hand.  After one round of sting, I immediately grabbed my gloves, but shooting with gloves is difficult for me.  The rounds have a vertical pattern, though.

That Speer Lawman ammo for the was stinging my hand.  I'll have to avoid that ammo in the future.  It seems I'm going to need to develop a listing of "to avoid" ammo for this particular handgun.

So, I'm now at a round count of 1269 for the P11 and 373 for the Bersa.  I'm not sure if I'll ever get rid of the fails to return to battery with the P11.  I wanted to give the gun a fair shake by trying a thicker lube, but maybe using Wolf negated the usage of thicker oil (oil that'll stay put instead of migrating).  There's always something with the P11...too many excuses being used to explain these issues.  :/  The Bersa is still cool to shoot.  The trigger is smoothing out.  I'm still not as accurate with it as with the P11 or PX4, though...and it's trigger isn't all that spectacular when compared to those aforementioned handguns, too.  But it's definitely utilitarian.  The only thing about this gun that I really hate is it's recoil sting with certain ammo.

I'll continue to shoot both guns, although I probably need to put more rounds through the PX4.

Friday, May 5, 2017

EFK Fire Dragon - Dual Action Recoil Spring - Failure!

The spring is supposed to be one unit, not three separate pieces.  This is what I found when field stripped the G22 this evening.

Yeah, look at that shit.

This is NOT good.  That spring was $70.

The last I saw, the spring was one piece and I'd installed it in the gun as soon as I received it.  The end screw apparently came off, probably during the last range visit back in January.

I'm glad I didn't depend on this gun with my life.

I've sent EFK the following notification:

This is regarding Order ID 00000.
I bought a dual action recoil spring from you for me Glock 22 back in January.
The last time I had fired it was on 1/31.  Today, I did a field strip of my gun.  I found that the dual action spring came out in 3 pieces.  That's funny but concerning because last I remember handling it was when I put it in the was one piece and it hasn't been out of the gun until today.  There's a piece missing...the screw that goes on the end.  I'm assuming it went flying off at the range the last time I shot it.
Yeah, this needs to be fixed ASAP.  Spending almost $70 for a spring for it to fail like this...that's horrible.
I'm looking for some feedback from you.  I'm either looking for a replacement with a guarantee that the replacement won't fail or a refund.

I'm not sure what their response will be.  I imagine they'll want me to ship it back to them.  I also imagine they'll send me another.  I'm not even sure I want another one, as I've no confidence that the  the replacement will not also fail.

We'll see how this plays out.