About Bob Henckel

Bob Henckel is a full time Police Officer with a municipal department in Maine. He has 35 years combined military and law enforcement experience. Bob has experience in Patrol, Training, Emergency Service Team Member and is the Senior Firearms Instructor and Armorer for the department. Bob also has over 20 years experience as a Firearms Instructor. He holds numerous Instructor Certifications in Pistol, Carbine and Shotgun. He is also a Certified Instructor in Concealed Carry, Force On Force, Active Shooter, NRA Advanced Pistol Instructor, ASP Baton and OC Spray. He is the Chief Instructor/Co Owner of Maine Defensive Firearms Academy, and MDFA Holsters.

Robar/10-8/MSW/Glock 17 Revisited

Robar/10-8/MSW Glock with TLR-1

With the recent attention and series of articles on modified polymer pistols, I thought revisiting my Robar/10-8/MSW/Glock was in order. As the recent series of evaluations have highlighted, extensive modifications to polymer pistols are usually a want to do, rather than a have to do, decision. Having said that, as I stated in my previous evaluations modifying your pistol to best suit you and to ensure it’s 100% reliability falls squarely into the have to do category. Continue reading

Colt 1911 Dual Recoil Spring Test – Part 2

Some time ago Hilton contacted me to conduct an evaluation on Colt’s new Dual Recoil Spring Assembly for the 1911 pistol. For those of you who haven’t kept up with the various articles on this, Colt developed the dual recoil spring assembly at the request of the Marine Corps for the new M45 1911 Pistol. The reasoning behind the new spring is to extend service life to 8000 rounds between changes.

Springfield 1911/Colt M45 Dual Recoil Spring Assembly

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COLT M45 1911 Dual Recoil Spring Test Part 1

Springfield 1911/Colt M45 Dual Recoil Spring Assembly

A short time ago Hilton contacted me about evaluating the Colt M45 1911 Dual Recoil Spring Assembly. As you may know from earlier articles, Colt developed the Dual Recoil Spring assembly for use in the M45 at the request of the Marine Corps. The system is designed to prolong spring life between changes and increase the round count between them.

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Springfield Black Stainless 1911 Rebuild

Springfield Black Stainless After Rebuilding and Beadblasting.

This build started life as a Springfield Armory Black Stainless. While it was a unique finish and a striking pistol, it was a bit too flashy for my tastes. I prefer a more subdued pistol and utilitarian finish. The build list consists of the following parts. Continue reading

The 72 Drill

After upgrading my Springfield Black Stainless 1911, I decided to conduct the 10-8 Extractor Test while turning the test session into a drill. With the ammo situation being what it is, making every shot count is important. To get more out of the test as a drill I shot 2 – 8 round magazines 1 handed and 2 – 8 round magazines 2 handed. This totaled 32 rounds rather than the 16 of the standard test procedure. Each round was loaded and the magazine removed and the pistol holstered. The pistol was drawn and fired in the required manner to test extractor function, which it passed.

Springfield Black Stainless 1911- Alessi DOJ Open Port Holster- Mitch Rosen 5DM

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ROBAR/10-8/MSW GLOCK17-PART 4

Robar/10-8/MSW Glock 17 After 2000 + Rounds

This 4th and final installment of the Robar Glock review will focus on the overall modifications and how they effect the performance of the pistol. For those who are looking for a “I ran it over with my 4×4 and then tossed it out of a helicopter review” you will be disappointed. However the pistol is a working gun and is not a “Safe Queen”.

Since receiving my Robar modified Glock almost three months ago, I have carried it everyday, taught 6 classes with it, which included demonstration drills, shot 2 IDPA matches and shot it during several training sessions and allowed several students to fire it as well. During that time the pistol has fired over 2000 rounds, of which over 1500 have been reloaded ammunition.

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ROBAR/10-8/MSW GLOCK17-PART 3

Robar/10-8/MSW/Glock 17 External Modifications.

This part of my review will feature the external modifications preformed by Robar on the project Glock 17. The modifications include refinishing the slide in PolyT2 Gunmetal Gray. Forward cocking serrations to match the factory rear serrations. Tri-Fit Backstrap System with 3 interchangeable backstraps. Rounded and textured triggerguard. High Grip Modification. Small Beavertail. Full Grip Texturing. Fitting a 10-8 Front Tritium Sight and a 10-8 .156 Rear Sight.

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ROBAR/10-8/MSW GLOCK17-PART 2

NP3 Treated Internal Parts

Internal Parts before firing.

The first part of this series highlighted the overall modifications the ROBAR Company made to the project Glock 17. This installment will focus on the internal modifications and NP3 and PolyT2 treatments.

NP3 is an electroless nickel-based finish that co deposits teflon with the electroless nickel. NP3 treated parts require no lubrication, which gives dirt and carbon nothing wet or oily to stick too. Cleaning is less frequent, function is enhanced and the treated parts are virtually rustproof. When you do clean the firearm, you can basically wipe it clean with a dry paper towel. NP3 is a satin gray color similar to a matte stainless finish. Continue reading

ROBAR/10-8/MSW GLOCK 17- PART 1

My exposure to Glock Pistols began at a Vehicle Assault Tactics Course in 1992. The local Sheriffs Department had adopted the Glock 17 with +2 extensions, giving a total ammunition load of 20 rounds. During the “Let me try your gun and you can try mine” part of the class, I loaned my S&W 4506 (9 rounds in the gun) to a Deputy while I tried his Glock. While he suffered from “Caliber Envy” I was wondering if his Glock would ever run dry. At the time I was still in Blued Steel and Walnut mode. (Or at least Stainless Steel). And thought like many that “These things will never catch on.”

Fast forward to 1995 and I was responsible for selecting the Glock 22 .40 S&W for my Department. Six Glock Armorers Courses later, and it’s safe to say I’m firmly in the Glock side of the ledger. That being said, any reader of this site knows that I’m a fan of the 1911 as well as the S&W M&P.  As a Police Firearms Instructor and Head Instructor/Co Owner of a Firearms Training Business, I need to be more than familiar with a variety of weapons systems. Each one has its pro’s and con’s, and none of them is “perfect.”  As shooters, we all strive for “perfection” in our firearms. Perfection for one is not necessarily perfection for another. That being said, I believe I’ve found “Glock Perfection” for myself. While your preferences may differ from mine, I think the place to find “Glock Perfection” for yourself exists at ROBAR. Continue reading

New Life For An Old Warrior

While perusing the inventory at my local gun store, I discovered a used 1911. It consisted of a Caspian frame and a vintage Ithaca slide. The gun was completed with an assortment of vintage and modern small parts. The slide is a WWII era production with “P” Proof and Ordinance Marks. The Ithaca rollmarks were shallow and the slide had a few dings and had been arsenal refinished over the years.

Being that the slide and frame were mismatched, I decided to use it as the canvas for my first build. I had worked on 1911′s over the years, and I am a certified 1911 armorer, however this was going to be a first and would be done completely by hand. Files, Emery Cloth and the occasional Dremel tool would be the only tools used. I decided to make the pistol a Retro Build, keeping the classic lines while incorporating modern features into the pistol. My inspiration was actually Hilton’s Delta Build. (And I DO NOT compare my work to Hilton’s). Continue reading

Photo Of The Day: Smith & Wesson Model 15-2

During a recent Women’s Only Handgun Selection Seminar, I allowed the students to shoot my S&W Model 15-2. I decided to shoot it after the class, as I don’t often get the chance since I usually shoot and teach with semi auto pistols. It was a walk down memory lane so to speak, and also good to see that I could still run a wheel gun pretty well.

My introduction to the Model 15 was in 1977 upon entering the USAF Security Police. As it was the policy to issue a different weapon at each duty assignment, I had eight different Model 15′s over the years.  I was again issued a Model 15 when I joined my current department in 1988, carrying it until 1989 when we converted to semi auto pistols.

My fiance bought this one as a Christmas gift after I talked about having one as my first duty weapon. (She’s A Keeper).

Mine has the narrow grooved trigger and hammer spur. As I recall my Air Force issues had the wide target trigger and hammer spur. They had seen a lot of ammunition and some hard usage, but they always shot and were accurate, despite the appearance.

I installed a Wolff spring kit and polished the internals, as well as adding the Ahrends Cocobolo Retro Combat Stocks. I wish my duty guns had those modifications back in the day. It has some holster wear, but other than the spring kit and stocks, it’s original and in great shape.

I would compare the S&W Model 15 to the Glock 19 of today. Both fit the niche of a very effective fighting handgun without unnecessary weight or complication, and will get the job done as long as the user does his or her part. There was something about being armed with a revolver named “Combat Masterpiece”.

 

 

 

AAR SIG Academy-Close Quarter Pistol Operator

 

I recently attended the SIG Sauer Academy – Close Quarter Pistol Operator Course. This one day class was taught by Todd Rassa. Todd is a Sig Instructor and also has his own training company Tactical Defense Readiness Concepts. He also works for a large municipal Police Dept. I had been to SIG twice in the past for armorer classes and had been impressed with the facilities and staff. In the two years since my last visit, they have been busy. It’s almost worth the trip there just to see the Pro Shop. (Leave Your Credit Card At Home).

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Smith & Wesson M&P 45c Testing and Modifications

S&W M&P .45c 36 Rounds Corbon DPX

After the recent purchase of 2 S&W M&P Shields in 9mm for back up and as student loaner guns, my descent into the world of the M&P began. Being a long time fan of the .45 ACP cartridge, there was only one choice, an M&P in .45. I decided on the M&P 45c SKU 109108. This is a 4in. barrel, 8 shot magazine M&P with ambidextrous thumb safety. The pistol is supplied with 2 eight round magazines, one flush fit and one with an extension. The pistol has the standard 3 dot sights and interchangeable backstraps of the M&P line. I’m currently using the small backstrap insert as that gives me the best fit to my hands. As Hilton Yam has noted before, the M&P with the thumb safety is very natural for a 1911 shooter who uses a high thumb grip to shoot. The pistol is available with or without the safety. Continue reading

Photo Of The Day: S&W M&P Shields

We recently acquired two 9mm M&P Shields for carry/backup and as student loaner guns. (For when a student shows up at class with what a Gunshop Commando told them they needed, rather than what is the best gun for them.)

These were my first foray into the world of the M&P and so far I’m impressed. While I’ve seen M&P’s in class and competition and shot a few rounds through them, I had not owned/carried one until now.

The pistols come with flush fit 7 round and extended 8 round magazines. The extended magazine actually extends the grip in a useable manner, rather than the pinky hook found on the front of many magazines.

While larger that some other pocket pistols, I have found they work very well in a pocket holster or an ankle holster. I’ve also carried AIWB with the holster in the photo.

So far each pistol has shot 100 rounds in testing and proved completely reliable. While certainly not a complete break in, it is encouraging. The group in the photo was 15 rounds at 7 yards.

More testing and student evaluations to follow.

Mossberg 930 SPX Review And Modifications

The Mossberg 930 SPX Shotgun has several factory features which make it a formidable combat shotgun out of the box, but as with most weapons some modifications will better suit it to the user.

The 930 SPX is a semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun with 18 1/2 inch barrel, and is fitted with an LPA Fiber Optic front sight with Ghost Ring rear sight. The red fiber optic front sight is adjustable for elevation and shows up well in daylight and glows like a night sight when a mounted light is used. There are tritium front sights available for the LPA Sights. Having been in the situation of not being able to see a brass bead, trust me you want a visible front sight. The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation and the click adjustments are well defined, and are clearly marked in white. The rear sight is mounted to the receiver on a Picatinny rail, which allows mounting a red dot sight if so desired. Both front and rear sights are protected by metal ears and are very rugged. The 930 SPX has a Choate extended magazine tube. Synthetic stocks with recoil pad and sling studs front and rear round out the package.

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