I previously wrote a two part “primer” (posts of 12/29/2012 and 1/14/2013) on the use of deadly force, which included a brief explanation of Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws. As I write this, a criminal jury is being chosen in a well-known Florida case. (A Neighborhood Watch volunteer shot and killed a teenage guest in the residential community he was patrolling). Although almost all of the prospective jurors interviewed so far in the jury selection process have denied knowledge of the case, I suspect readers of MSW who carry a handgun daily, whether LE or private citizen, are rather familiar with the case and the widespread press coverage of it. Continue reading
I recently started back up with some of my testing and training with the Trijicon RMR. In my previous installment, I discussed my regimen for regaining my skills on the RMR. After working on my core skills, I feel like I am back to about 90%, and the layoff actually gave me some insights to ponder. It has been generally agreed upon by new users of mini red dot systems that it shines at intermediate distance (15-25 yards) and on the move, but is somewhat slower at close range. Let’s take a little more critical look at what all this means.
As previously noted, I have long preferred having a manual safety on my pistol, as I have twice seen officers’ lives potentially saved when another person gained control of an officer’s pistol, but the engaged manual safety prevented the weapon from firing –I don’t like to think about the outcome if the pistols involved had been a Glock, Sig, XD, revolver, etc…. In the incidents I have witnessed the officers had NO way to mitigate the threat prior to losing the pistol, despite adequate training and good quality Safariland retention holsters. All the DT/retention techniques in the world do not help when an officer is on the ground unconscious/semi-conscious. A manual safety can give officers a brief respite to neutralize the suspect using disarming techniques, access back-up weapons, and allow cover officers the opportunity to react and engage. Continue reading
During some recent cleaning of the shop, I blundered into a few boxes of these archaic 9mm frangible rounds from the 90′s. Longbow was one of very few manufacturers offering frangible ammunition back in the 90′s, and this ammo looks quite primitive by modern standards. I shot the other boxes I found, and the totally square bullet profile actually fed 100% in my M&P. The primers did not all light off, typical for lead free primers and actually not bad for 20 year old ammo. In unearthing these ghosts of ammo past, it brought up a few important thoughts that readers should consider if using frangible ammunition. Continue reading
Tuning one 1911 is not too bad. Now get in line….
Our recent posts on 1911 function, especially Tim’s articles on the Colt M45 CQBP: Shooting The Gun (Does It Work?), and The Real Truth About 1911s, attracted a lot of dismayed posts and comments from 1911 fans who perhaps weren’t picking up what he was putting down. Our message has not really changed over the years, and it is important for readers to really try to get past their ego investment in their 1911 to hear it. For those with short attention spans: getting one or two 1911s running and keeping them reliable is a very reasonable and attainable task. Doing the same with 20, 50, or more of them for use in a service pistol role, is more work than most realize.
GunUp Magazine represents the new generation of sophisticated gun owners and is run by those who truly care about the people who read their membership and the content they provide.
As with all technology, the good always comes with the bad. With modern advances in communication technology, we are more connected to each other than ever before in human history. Information exchange can take place with fewer barriers and we are not at the mercy of publishing companies to get the word out when we want to say something important (or not-so-important.) But with this comes a downside. Now, anyone with an Internet connection and beyond 3rd grade writing capability can start their own website or start posting on an online forum as if they are an authority on any particular subject. Unfortunately, firearms topics seem to draw out some of the worst the Internet has to offer.
My last piece I wrote was about service pistols going back 20 years, the Smith and Wesson 10mm series of pistols. The 10mm was created as an ideal police cartridge to bridge the gap between the 9mm and the .45 ACP. This time we’re going back another 20 years (closer to 30, actually) to a rarely remembered Smith and Wesson M&P.
Today, when we mention the Military and Police in many circles, it conjures the image of a sleek auto pistol chambered in 9mm, 357 SIG, .40 and .45. But the term Military and Police goes back to around the year 1900 when Smith and Wesson set the world on it’s ear with a hand ejector revolver that would be marketed to law enforcement. And it would go on in one shape or fashion to rule what was in police holsters for the better part of that Century. The .38 Military and Police had many variants from from about the year 1899 and later became a modeled number of the Model 10. Modeled numbers were introduced in the late 1950′s. There were different versions of the Military and Police. One was chambered in .357 Magnum as the Model 13. Continue reading
This photo was taken from a 1911 course we taught in Bellevue, WA. Three quarters of the 1911s experienced failures during the test firing phase of this class, which is about average for our courses. We make it a point to get all these guns working reliably by the end of the class, and barring a dimensional issue that requires machine work (which is beyond our the scope of our mobile class format), we are usually successful in reaching this goal.
Recently, another blogger has apparently taken offense to the statement I made in a previous article. I wrote something to the effect that those who have been around 1911s know that they are finicky and requires a dedicated end user and strict maintenance. Before I go into a few technical details, I’d like to point out a few facts. Despite my comment, believe it or not, I am a 1911 fan. It is safe to say that I love 1911s and there are more of them in my safe than any other pistol I own. It was a revolutionary design that was way ahead of its time. The 1911 has influenced nearly all modern service pistols subsequent to its development. That being said, the gun is over 100 years old, and believe it or not, we have learned one or two things about building reliable, affordable pistols for duty use in the last century.
The men (and Stanley the wonder dog) of Rogue Corps on the final day of instructor training.
On any given day at the academy I have the distinct pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life and with greatly varying levels of firearms experience. Every once in a while I am taken off guard by one or two of them. This past week, knowing fully what I was getting into, I was still taken aback and once again honored and humbled by the men from Rogue Corps. Continue reading
When you look around today in police holsters, we see a lot of plastic. Polymer pistols are the new norm. They offer a lot. Durability, weight reduction, increased mag capacities in some cases. This always has not been the case. The metal pistol ruled the scene for a while, before Gaston set the world afire. Continue reading
Just digging through the archives and found this old build from 2007 or so. It was put together from the spare/unused top end of a Colt XSE and an STI 2011 frame kit to experiment with the merits of the 2011 as a .45 caliber service platform. In case you were wondering, the conclusion was the same as every unit which has tried using a 2011 or double stack 1911 format as a service pistol – DON’T. I purposely used magazines right out of the wrapper – like one might if they were issued or authorized to use such a pistol – and got a failure rate of 6 out of 9 mags. This is why there is a cottage industry for tuned mags, and why the successful competitors are so attentive to their 2011 mags. This flies counter to how a service pistol needs to be run. If you need a double stack .45 service pistol, get an HK45/45c, Glock 21, or M&P45 instead, you’ll be glad you did. If are are discussing 1911s with someone and they suggest that a double stack .45 1911 format is a great idea, then save your time and take a walk.
After my series of articles detailing the inner workings of the Colt M45 had recently come to a close, I was contacted by Brent Turchi, the director of the Colt Custom Shop, who offered some additional tech data that we wanted to share with you. We would like to thank Brent as well as Colt Armorer Instructors Frank Moody and Dean Caputo (ret.) for providing the following additional information for our readers. Continue reading
The Colt M45 is fitted with a National Match Barrel which yields very good accuracy. I shot this group at 20 yards, standing, freestyle. I was fighting a nasty flinch from all the function testing earlier.
Earlier this week, Hilton published a series of articles that gave us a detailed look at the Marine Corps’ new M45. This begs the question, how does it shoot? Those of us who’ve been around the 1911 platform know it is a finicky gun that requires a dedicated end user and strict maintenance schedule if it is to be relied upon. Many 1911 style guns on the market won’t even work well out of the box. So how does the Marines’ new 45-caliber pistol fare? Continue reading
Finally getting ready to do some accuracy testing on the S&W M&P 10.
Not long ago, I purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P10 .308 rifle and my initial impressions of the gun were extremely positive. It features quite a few nice features, and the aggressive price point makes it an attractive addition to the market. Most importantly, the gun actually works well. I’ve been meaning to get to the range and do some accuracy testing, but other commitments got in the way (and I really hate zeroing optics.) Hornady was generous enough to send out a few boxes of their excellent 308 for the test, so look forward to an accuracy report here.
The geometry of the M45 guide rod head is quite similar to the GI version. The protrusions are the same diameter according to my digital calipers.
Recently, there has been a bit of interest regarding the dual recoil spring system included with the Colt M45 CQBP. The spring system is designed to improve the service life between replacement cycles, though the Marine Corps still specifies that the springs be replaced at 5000 rounds. This spring setup is not completely new, as a similar setup is used in the Delta Elite, albeit the guide rod in that system is polymer. So the question remains, can we expect the system to work if put into a standard 1911? Continue reading