Saturday, September 19, 2015

High Round Counts And Reliability

  The links posted below are from a Nevada shooting range that does a lot of business. The anecdotes regarding reliability are interesting since they're about preferred weapons from a business standpoint. The owner wants weapons that will run well in the long term without being constantly down for maintenance (and not making money).

Long Gun Endurance
Handgun Endurance

Thursday, August 13, 2015

In The News

Firearm Malfunction Guide
FBI Adopts The 9mm
Ex CNN Anchor And Husband In Shootout With Robber - Her Story
11 Times That A Good Guy With A Gun Saved Lives
Marines Leaders Finally Embrace The M4 Carbine
Marines Corps Looks At Army Sniper Rifles
Marines Not Satisfied With .308 Sniper Rifles
M1911 Mags And Critiques
13 Concealed Carry Methods
IRS Deleted Even More Learner E-Mails
NOAA Fiddles With Data About Global Warming
The IRS Scandal Just Got Even Worse
The Ten Questions That Hillary Should Have Been Asked On CNN
The Women Who Secretly Keep ISIS Running
1107 Cases Of Obama Lying, Lawbreaking, etc.
Donald Trump Raises Uncomfortable Truths
More Knockout Game Attacks
Donald Trump, Illegal Alien Rapes, And Media Coverups
Is A Mini Ice Age On The Way?
Obama Gives $29 Million To Black Shooting Victims, Whites Get A Pittance
Yet Another Mob Attack That the MSM Ignores
Iran-More Lies From Obama
16 Reasons Why The Iranian Nuke Deal Is A Victory For Iran
The Major Hurricane Drought Continues
An Alternate Look At Handgun Stopping Power
Handgun Stopping Power- Science vs 40 Years Of Experience
Concealed Carry Stats
Venezuelan Farmers Ordered To Turn Over Crops To The State
Illegal Alien Crime Wave In Texas
Lady Jihad Lures Her Family Into Terror
IRS Used Donor Lists To Target Conservatives For Audits
The Curious Case Of Lois Lerner's "Crashed" Hard Drive
How Accurate Is Wolf Gold?
Which Is Better: The Isosceles Or Weaver Stance?
A Hillary Scandal Primer From Whitewater To Benghazi
States With Duty To Inform About Carrying When Stopped
Answers To Questions When Objecting About Islam
Why Dylan Roof's Background Check Didn't Work
27 Maxims For Serving With Arabs - Lawrence Of Arabia
How To Properly Grip A Pistol

Friday, May 29, 2015

Barack's Bar

  I haven't been posting much lately in spite of having a new Ruger LC9s that I'm dying to review. Like many of you, I've had a lot of projects going on around the house. The biggest one is shown below. This was formerly a playhouse built for my daughter many years ago. It was torn almost all of the way down, and part of the structure was salvaged for this bar.

  After a lot of hard work, it's finally finished.

  I've decided to call it "Barack's Bar."

  No, it's not because "I didn't build this." Actually almost all of the sweat and hard work that went into it was mine. I don't owe lazy masses of people, sitting around creating nothing but methane and CO2 anything at all.

  It's named after our 44th President because the foundation is a bit rotten, it leans to the Left, and it looks much better from a distance. I can't think of a more fitting name for my backyard bar.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

List Of Gun Reviews On This Blog

Other gun reviews on this blog can be found here.

In The News

1911 Malfunctions
Service Pistol Maintenance Considerations
1911 Magazines
The Best Gun For Concealed Carry
The .22 Magnum For Self Defense
The Ruger LC9s Striker Fired Pistols
Perjuryfest 2014 And The Brown/Wilson Fiasco
Ferguson Fakeout: Justice Dept's Bogus Report
Taurus PT 24/7 G2 Review
The Sun Has Gone Quiet
Global Warming Slowdown
Weakest Solar Cycle In More Than A Century
Marines To Upgrade Rifles, Investigate Hollowpoint Use
22lr Accuracy Comparison
Infographic On Guns In America
Times Reporting On More Non-Existent Iraqi WMDs
CIA Buys And Destroys Iraqi Chemical Weapons
Beginners Guide To CCW: Buying Your First Pistol
A Summary Of Military Calibers Discussions And Wound Ballistics
USMC Adopts New 5.56mm MK318 Ammo
US Army Issues New 'Green' M855A1 Ammo
Woman Accidently Killed While Adjusting Bra Holster
The Best Five 9mm Loads
Top 21 Survival Pickup Lines
Student Wants ROTC "Criminals" Removed From Campus
How To Make Alcohol At Home
Warren Buffet To The FSA Commander In Chief
What The Typical American Made Last Year
Judge Slams EPA For Discriminating Against Conservatives
Evidence Of Pre Columbus Trade Found In Alaska
3 MSNBC Hosts Have A Hard Time Paying Taxes
Yet Another Mob Beating
Police Kill More Whites Than Blacks
Few People Lost Jobs In VA Scandal
Iraqi Weirdness (NSFW)
How To Deal With Cross Eye Dominance With Handguns
Voter Fraud In MO
200 Businesses Destroyed In Baltimore Riots
11 Explosive Clinton Cash Facts

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ruger LCR Review

  I've had this Ruger LCR for a few years now, and have put about 1,000 rnds through it. While that may not be a huge amount of ammunition over the last couple of years, it is enough to create a very informed opinion of the weapon.
  That opinion is almost 100% positive.
  Actually most of my reviews are similar in this regard. I generally do a lot of research before buying a firearm, and try to buy what I'm looking for the first time. There's a lot of pros with this handgun, but I do have a few cons worth mentioning.

Let's start off with the specs.

Caliber:    .38Spl +P
Capacity:  5 Rnds
Weight:    13.50oz
Height:     4.5"                                          
Sights:     Notch Type Rear Sight
                Pinned Front Sight
Grips:      Hogue Tamer (Rubber)
Trigger:   DAO
Price:      $400-$440
Barrel Length:    1.875"

  This little revolver is intended for concealed carry, and it shows. The LCR is very lightweight, and easily concealable. The edges are all smooth, and there's little or nothing to snag on your clothing. The materials are corrosion resistant.

  Let's start with the trigger. It's definitely the best that I've seen on a snub nosed revolver.
  The LCR's trigger is very smooth, and has a lighter pull than it's competitors. IMO, the trigger is MUCH better than those on the guns that I compared it to. It is, however, still a double action only trigger and will seem obscenely heavy to those used to shooting M1911s or even Glocks. It is what it is.
  I was considering a S&W Airweight (Model 638), S&W Bodyguard, and LCR when looking for another CCW gun. All of them seemed like good choices, and I was very impressed with the Airweight. It came in second. I was unimpressed with the Bodyguard, and it took third place.
  Even though it wasn't a contender, I also compared a Taurus Model 85 to the Ruger. The Taurus is a heavier steel framed revolver.  It's also $100 cheaper, has the same 5 round capacity, and the same overall size. I think that a lot of people will check out the Taurus when it's sitting in the case next to the Rugers, and S&W's, (even if it's not in the running).
  The trigger was clearly better on the LCR when doing a side by side comparison with the other models listed above. The S&W Airweight was close, followed by the Bodyguard and Taurus Model 85.
  I own an older S&W Airweight (Model 38-2), and a family member has a Taurus Model 85. A new LCR still has a better trigger pull than these broken in handguns.  I'll eventually do a head to head comparison of all 3 guns.

 This is a double action only (DAO) handgun. If you like to shoot your double action revolvers as a single action, then this is not the weapon for you. Ruger makes the LCRx for that crowd.
  I like the DAO set up. The lack of an external hammer makes this gun a lot less likely to snag when drawing it under pressure.
  Buying a DOA revolver simplifies training. I see a lot of revolver owners shooting their guns only as a single action. This is usually more accurate, and they get better groups on the range. The problem is that they aren't really shooting as they would during a defensive encounter. It's hard to make everything realistic, but neglecting to practice with the double action trigger is a poor habit to get into.

  (I decided to come back, and edit this in after the initial Ruger review.
I had the opportunity to check out the polymer framed Taurus at a local gun store. It's obviously intended as competition for the Ruger LCR.
  I prefer the sights on the Taurus over those on the LCR. Other than that, I cannot find much to like about the gun. It seemed a bit "Clunky," and while I didn't get to do a side by side comparision, it felt  a bit bigger than the Ruger.
 I didn't like the grips on the Taurus. They felt uncomfortable under the trigger guard. Of course this quick evalutation of the Taurus is based on handling the gun (and not shooting it). It may be a great gun, but after fondling one in Bass Pro Shops, I doubt that I'll ever buy one. I walked away from the counter even happier with my choice of the LCR).

  The weight was slightly better with the Ruger than the two S&W's that I was looking at. Naturally, it's much lighter than the steel framed Taurus's. For most of us, our carry guns have got to be lightweight. If they're not then the guns will be left at home once the novelty of carrying concealed wears off. There are a few people that don't mind carrying full sized service pistols, or heavy handguns. The vast majority of us don't fall into that catagory.

  The Ruger LCR is a VERY lightweight gun. The fire control housing is polymer, and reasonably attractive for what it is. I think that it has a very functional, businesslike look.
  The frame is aluminum, and the heavily fluted cylinder is stainless steel. The shape of the cylinder was a little odd looking at first, but it kind of grows on you. BTW, you can easily tell the difference between the .38spl version and the other models by the cylinder fluting.
  Despite being so lightweight, this gun does not have a cheap feel to it. Often we equate  lightness to appearing cheap or toy like. This gun just "Feels" like a well made quality firearm. "Feel" is a hard term to describe. Anyone that has picked up a quality made tool and compared it to a cheaply made Chinese copy will know what I mean.

  Lockup is tight. The cylinder release and ejector rod work easily. Spent cases drop out without any problems, and I have yet to get an empty case under the ejector. Everything works. I have never had any issues with this weapon.
  Nuff said.

  The sights are what you would expect on a snub nosed revolver. There is a serrated ramp type front sight, and a U shaped notch at the rear. The front sight, however, is pinned and changeable. Ruger offers a few night sights or fiber optic replacement sights on their webpage. 
  The factory sights are OK. I wouldn't say that they're anything to brag about. They are definitely on par with the competition. As usual, the black on black sights are hard to pick up when shooting at dark targets.
  Ruger recommends a 6 o'clock hold with this gun, and I found that to be necessary. I still shoot high with this handgun however.

  The target on the left is from the 10 yard line, and while the grouping is nothing to be that proud of, it's still OK for defensive accuracy. As I stated earlier the sights are very hard to see against a black background.

  Excuse time:
  I generally carry my Kahr, and this gun is brought out when I'm in the mood for something different. It's not my regular shooter at the range, and only gets out every few months.
  The target pictured above is from one of my first range trips with this revolver. I thought about not including it, but reviews without targets are largely BS. So there it is.
  The LCR was shot at the end of a long day of shooting M1911's and blah, blah, blah, middle aged eyes, excuses, excuses.

2" Orange Center
  This target was shot a few months later. It's a good representation of what I usually do with this weapon now. 
  You've probably noticed that the front sight blade is different in some of the pictures. It was replaced several months ago with a night sight. I highly recommend the upgrade, and the new sight makes a huge difference for these middle aged eyes. I'll edit in a current target or two over the next month.

  The rubber grips work well for what they are. They're better than the normal boot grips that I've used on some J frames. Hogue did a very good job with these.
  Only two fingers will fit on the grips. Recoil is a little heavy, as is the case with most snub nosed revolvers.
  If I had to describe the rubber grips, I would say that they are a medium softness. They're soft enough to dampen the recoil somewhat without being so soft and gummy that they cling and snag on clothing.
  Hogue offers some slightly larger (and more attractive) grips for the LCR. The G10 grips are making me think long and hard about an upgrade. If I was sure that pocket carry wouldn't be an issue, then those grips would already be on order.

  Most of the time, my LCR is carried in an Uncle Mike's or Blackhawk pocket holster.  I have no problems with the factory rubber grips being too clingy in the pocket. The weight is also not an issue, and I don't feel like the gun is constantly dragging my pants down. This handgun is carried IWB when I want to do something a little different. I find myself bringing this pistol out a lot more in the summertime when I'm wearing lighter clothing. It simply an easy gun to conceal.

  Did I mention that this lightweight polymer and aluminum revolver is +P rated?

  There is an internal locking device inside the grip. The standard grip is removed with a single flat head screw at the bottom.  It's not a fast procedure.
  Are you really going to come home, take the grip off of your handgun, lock it and then put it back together the next day when you go out again? Doubtful.
  I believe that it was probably added just to satisfy the laws of some of the more socialistic nanny states in our country. Some states require a built in locking device on new handgun models. I don't like them, and never use them. Others may appreciate having a device that is slow to disengage, and requires partial disassembly of the gun. Stranger things have happened.
  Let's be realistic about firearms with a built in key lock. If you quickly need to access a gun locked with one of these systems, you'll be out of both luck and time.
  It's likely that you're locking the firearm because of a fear that children will find the weapon. That's admirable but...  they'll find the key.  Sorry, kids always know where everything is. I prefer using a safe for a firearm that needs securing, but that's just my opinion. To each his own. You know what your storage/safety needs are better than I do.

    The LCR is not a J frame. The trigger guard (and a few other items) is differently shaped, so make sure the holster you choose will fit before buying it. Ruger's website has some decent examples of what's out there. The TK IWB model in the picture works fine for me. There's plenty of other options available. This gun is popular enough that finding a quality holster will not be a problem.

  The HKS speedloaders that I use in my S&W Airweight will fit this Ruger. But... they just don't work that well in my opinion.
  I use the outstanding speedloaders from 5StarFirearms instead. They're faster and work much better ( Of course they are also more expensive, and not available at every gun store from coast to coast as the HKS models are.
There are other speedloaders on the market. These are the only two types that I've used, and I generally stay with the HKS brand for my revolvers. If I liked the way that they worked with the LCR, I would never had looked at alternatives.

  There is a rattle in this handgun. Some people wonder about that when shopping for LCRs. It's normal.

  There's not much that I don't like about this weapon. I feel that one thing is worth mentioning for non shooters or beginners. The Ruger's recoil is normal for a lightweight snub nosed revolver. If this is your first gun or if you usually shoot full sized handguns, then you'll probably hate how it kicks.
  I'm a regular shooter, and think that the recoil is just heavy enough to make it fun and interesting at the range. It will definitely slow down my follow up shots if I ever use this gun in a defensive encounter.
 The Daywalker hates using this handgun, even though she's been shooting for several years. The DaywalkersMom will only practice with snubbies enough to retain proficiency. She doesn't like them either.
  A good friend of mine shoots regularly, and carries a Glock G23 (.40cal). He couldn't put this gun down fast enough, after firing 5 rounds during our last trip to the range (and also couldn't hit with it).
  Most people will love the size and weight of this gun. They'll be fans of the LCR's concealability, and ease of carry. A lot of them, however, will not enjoy shooting the weapon.
As much as I like the Ruger LCR, it wouldn't be my first pick for a primary home defense handgun. Something with more ammo capacity, better sights, and less recoil would be chosen. I'd much prefer a full sized service pistol, or 4" revolver for that role. If I could only afford one handgun at this time for a combination of home defense and CCW, I would pick my Kahr CW9, or perhaps a Glock 26.
  I'm fortunate enough to own several handguns, so I can pick and choose what gun I want for whatever activity I'm doing. That's the only good thing about aging. You get to build up a few decades worth of goodies.

  In conclusion, it's a good gun. I recommend it, and have absolutely no buyer's remorse about purchasing it.
  It's reliable, and accurate enough for defensive work. The weapon is simple to operate, and easily concealable. This Ruger is not the least expensive snub nosed revolver on the market, but the price is reasonable for what you're getting. The materials offer a lot of corrosion resistance which is extremely important in a carry gun. This is my first pick for a snub nosed revolver  that is intended for CCW.


  The weapon comes with the normal literature, a lock, keys for the internal locking device, and this very mediocre case.
  The handgun isn't perfect. Like with all snub nosed revolvers, you'll have to deal with limited capacity, slow reloads (compared to a semi auto), and stiff recoil.
  It's a very good gun, but's it's not the best choice for everyone. It may, however, be the best choice among other revolvers in it's class.


Too wife was looking at the rug that the LCR is sitting on in the pics, and was on the verge of shampooing our carpet. She thought that the dirty oil stained rugs in the pictures were from our dining room carpet. I should have waited until she finished before telling her that half of these pictures were taken at the range.

Update:   It's Sept 2017, and I still love this gun. I shoot it better now than when this review was posted. I estimate that I probably carry this gun about 50% of the time. I really can't say anything bad about this revolver.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Other Gun And Knife Reviews On This Blog

Other gun and knife reviews on this blog can be found here.

Range Safety And Etiquette

  A friend of mine recently suggested this as a topic. As she's a new relatively new shooter, she picks up on things that I sometimes take for granted.
  Like what should be expected at the range.

  Safety is the most important consideration. That is the issue that everything hinges upon. For the most part however,  this is not a range safety thread. It's more about the little (and not so little) things that shouldn't be done at a shooting range. Some are annoying, and others can be dangerous. Most of these examples have to deal with unsupervised ranges that are open to the general public instead of businesses and private ranges.

1) Make sure that the area forward of the firing line is clear before shooting. You would think that this would be a given for everyone but that's not always the case.
  For example, a few of us were shooting skeet on an unsupervised public range a few years ago and had to call cease fire as we noticed two people headed downrange to pick up unbroken clays. No one ever asked for a cold range, or even gave a warning that they were headed forward of the firing line.  As they appeared to be father and son it's interesting that stupidity can be hereditary.

  On another occasion a few of us were changing targets on a rifle range. There were windows to shoot through at each station. Shooters would close off all of the firing ports, before moving forward of the firing line. As I was  checking my targets I heard the firing ports opening, and quickly began yelling that I was down range. No one ever checked down range, before preparing to shoot.
  Ah, then there were the people riding ATVs across one of the rifle ranges that I sometimes use. If you're a regular shooter you've seen similar things.
  Pay attention to what's going on around you, and down range.

2) Watch where you point your weapon. Don't muzzle or sweep your fellow shooters. If it does happen, then you should apologize and make sure that it doesn't happen again. You just made a first impression on your peers, and it wasn't a good one. Don't say, "It wasn't loaded." That doesn't excuse sweeping other shooters. It only makes it more irritating.

3) Let the range go cold occasionally so that others can put up or change targets.

4) Don't ask for a cold range every 5 minutes so that you can check your targets, or paste them up. If you can't see your target with the naked eye then bring binoculars, or a spotting scope. Put up enough targets to ensure that you don't need to change them every few minutes.

5) Don't touch another shooter's gun, or gear without permission. I think that this should apply to RSOs as well.

6) Supervise your children. If they are too loud, too young or too immature to be on a range then do not bring them.
  Keep an eye on your guests, non shooting friends, or family members.

7) Don't hover over other shooters.

8) Don't constantly offer unsolicited advice.

9) Keep the profanity to a minimum. Shooting is often a family activity.

10) Keep the BSing to a minimum unless another shooter actually expresses an interest in your stories. Sometimes people have time constraints, and really cannot listen to you talk about guns, politics or current events.

11) Stop annoying the female shooters. If they're behaving safely then leave them alone. Generally if they are there alone, they'll be the most safety conscious shooters on the range. They will ask if they need some help.

12) Bring the gear that you need. The public range where I sometimes shoot skeet is basically just an open field ringed by trees. You bring all of your own gear. It's not unusual to see people show up without earplugs, or other gear.

13) If possible try not to set up next to another shooter. If there's space available, then give people a little room.

14) If you're shooting a semi auto then be wary of where your brass is landing. If possible, you don't want to pepper the shooter next to with spent casings.

15) Shoot what is allowed on the range. Keep the handguns off of the rifle range, and the long guns off of the pistol range. This seems to mainly be a problem on the unsupervised public ranges.

16) Shoot at approved targets.

17) Shoot at the speed that is allowed on the range that you're using. Not every range allows rapid fire.

18) Pick up after yourself. It's unlikely that your mother will be there later to clean up after you.
  Don't constantly get underfoot when picking up brass, if you reload ammo. 

19) Don't tie up more than one shooting station. Spreading your gear across 2 or more stations is unnecessary, and rude.

20) Don't trash other people's guns and gear. Just because your Glock was forged in the fires of Mordor and quenched in unicorn tears doesn't mean that it's the perfect choice for everyone else. You may have picked a great gun, but it may not fit another person's needs.
  It also worth mentioning that some people have more of a Hi Point budget than a HK lifestyle.
Don't ruin someones day and shooting experience by belittling what they bring to the range.

21) Leave the firearms unloaded, and with the action open when going downrange.

22) Don't expect total strangers to let you shoot their firearms, or loan you gear.

This post will probably be edited repeatedly, as I hear about other's pet peeves.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Biden's Butt Buddy

Slow Joe just gets better every day. Why couldn't this guy have won the White House instead of Zero? Yes, his politics are just as screwed up but I don't think that Biden actually hates America.
As a bonus, consider how good SNL would be with "President Biden" in charge.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"So God Made A Liberal"

  I don't know what to say. There's so much right with this video that I'm speechless. They should show this in public schools... quarterly.

  Clearly the creator of this video was forced to spend endless hours with the Liberal community. There's no other way that he could have had so much information about their beliefs, failures, and FSA ways.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In The News

20 Tips For Newbies To Concealed Carry
Another Bias In Temperature Measurements Discovered
More Fraud And Fiddling With Climate Temperatures
Skeptics Question Revisions To Climate Data
3 Muslims Killed By Militant Atheist Liberal
Jim Crow Lynchings More Common Than Previously Thought
When FDR Made Owning Gold Illegal - At The Point Of A Gun
Differences Between The Canadian C7 And The US M16
Weaver vs Isosceles Stance
Benefits Of Using A Handgun Laser
Rangerettes And Female Marine Infantry Officers
The Naval War In The Falklands
Psychology: Why Islam Creates Monsters
Females In Combat Arms
Islam And Rape
How Islam Managed To Stay Medieval For 1400 Years
Thanksgiving In Afghanistan
A French Soldier's View Of US Soldiers In Afghanistan
The Devastating Impact Of Vaccine Deniers In One Chart
US Knife Laws
State Knife Laws
FBI Stats - Crime In The US
Is Expired Food Safe To Eat (Prepping)?
3 Million Preppers In the US
How To Grip A Handgun
Slide Lock Reload Methods
Afghan War Hero Stripped Of Silver Star Due To Politics
Chris Kyle Went On, "Killing Sprees?"
The Big Lie - 5.6% Unemployment
The Facts On Budget Deficits And How Presidents Truly Rank
More On Al Sharpton Not Paying Taxes
14 Of Al Sharpton's Biggests Gaffes, Goofs, and Controversies
Bloomberg Wants To Disarm Minorities
Minority Cops Used Black Male Pics As Targets
What Does The Grievance Industry Want?
Crime Stats For The USA
Crime Stats For Age, Sex, Race, Etc.
DIY Kydex Pt 1
DIY Kydex Pt II
DIY- The Ins And Outs Of Working With Kydex
S&W Shield Magazine Basepad Upgrade
Recon Battalion 101
Marine Recon And MARSOC
The Big Lie About Wanat
Almost A Triple Tamir Rice In Texas
780,000 Cops In The USA
More Guns And Less Murders
Barrel Length Studies In NATO Weapons
Cost And The 1911
The Truth About MIM
The Art Of The Rifle
Making An M4 Run Like A Gazelle

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Smart Gun Foolishness

  I doubt if there are many Americans today that have not heard about "Smart Guns." They're one of the fads that the anti-gun movement loves, and believe will stop everything from criminals using stolen firearms to childhood gun accidents. "Smart Guns" are the future, and 2nd Amendment supporters are just standing in the way.
  So we are told.

  Let's talk about what "Smart Guns" are. They're firearms with computer operated safety mechanisms built into the weapon. There is some type of individual identification reader that only allows the firearm's owner to operate the weapon. It could be a built in fingerprint reader, or something like a ring/pendant that sends out a signal and unlocks the gun. In theory, only the weapon's owner would be able to use the firearm. It would be inoperable to others.

  That sounds great!


   "Smart Gun" devices are not going to work very well in the long term. Hell, no one has invented one that is suitable for self defense in the short term. If a working "Smart Gun" system is produced, then it will most likely have a limited lifespan as a useful safety device. The rambling paragraphs below will detail why that is.

  The most important thing to most gun owners is whether or not a handgun will work when it's needed. Everything else is secondary in a self defense weapon. Will the computerized locking mechanism still work after being exposed to oils, solvents, water, perspiration, heat, cold, recoil, or hitting the pavement from several feet in the air?
  Now ask yourself if this technology will take that abuse for months, years, or decades?
  Reliability is the biggest question in my mind. Lack of faith in the reliability of this technology is the reason why we will never see Obama's, Bloomberg's, or Feinstein's protectors using "Smart Guns." It's also unlikely that we'll see the average cop on a beat carrying them any time in the foreseeable future.

  Moving on to cost. If you can't build a 3,000lb automobile that is theft proof, then how do you think it's possible to produce a 3lb handgun that thieves cannot use? I cannot even imagine the expenses involved in making this actually work.
  My question is, how much will this technology add to the price of a firearm? Will it force the average gun owner out of the market, and keep them from being able to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights? Will the cost be so prohibitive that it keeps the poor and/or middle class from being able to afford self protection?
  Is this perhaps the end goal?

  Do you remember the Commodore 64's from the 1980s? Some of you will, but the younger readers are probably scratching their heads. It was one of the first reasonably affordable computer that an average person could own. Of course this computer has been obsolete for decades, even though it was once considered state of the art. Try getting replacement parts today for one of these 30 year old desktops.
  I'm sure that you see where I'm headed.
  Firearms last for generations. Computer technology changes yearly. Will the "Smart Gun" technology change so much over the years that a 10, 20, or 30 year old firearm becomes unfixable?  Will I be able to get a replacement part if the module inside of my "Smart Gun" malfunctions in 2025, or is the gun now a paperweight?
  I have guns that are older than I am. They work great, but I doubt that I can say the same about a lot of computerized equipment of the same age.

  Will batteries even be available 20 years from now for the "Smart Gun" that you buy today. Bear in mind that technology is always advancing, and computers are getting smaller and more powerful. It's likely that battery technology will change with the "Smart Guns."

  Part of the appeal of personalized weapons is the ability to keep children from operating your firearms. My safe (and good parenting) took care of that problem when my daughter was growing up.  We didn't require guns that relied upon computers, rings, pendants, research, or government grants. Neither did my parents.
  Let's pretend, however, that this is why you bought your new "Smart Gun." How long do you think it will be before there's twenty "How To Hack Your Glock" videos on YouTube? Do you doubt this will happen? I suggest that you do a search about how to hack electronic gun safes, and then tell me that it's impossible.
  The older your "Smart Gun" is the easier it will be for someone to hack, or find some form of work around. This holds true for both children and any criminal that gets a hold of your firearm. The older the weapon is, the more obsolete the lock will be.
  Is anyone really going to keep the rings or pendants hidden from their kids? Children know where everything in the house is. It's ridiculous to believe otherwise.

  How many states will require all new firearms to be personalized weapons when these "Smart Guns" (in a suitable self defense caliber) hit the market? I can think of at least a half dozen nanny states that will attempt to ban everything but "Smart Guns" after they become available.

  Here's something for the SHTF crowd. Would an EMP knock out a "Smart Gun?"

  If the weapon is using a fingerprint reader, then how will it work if you're wearing gloves?

  Will someone eventually be able to remotely disable your firearm? With a simple online purchase, I can buy equipment to jam your cell phone. It's even possible to have someone remotely turn off your car. Can you say with assurance that it will be impossible for someone to block the signal sent from your ring/pendant to your "Smart Gun?" Will a mugger 5 years from now be able to disable the concealed carry "Smart Gun" that I bought today?
 What about in 10, 20 or 30 years?

  Everything sounds good in theory. I'm not interested in being the one that puts the theory to the test. Call me old fashioned, but my firearms work fine without any computer devices installed. Do the beta test with the President's Secret Service Agents first. Maybe I'll give it a look when they're done.

  I am far from an expert on this topic. I'm just the average gun guy playing on the internet. I do, however, have a lot of questions about "Smart Gun" durability, long term use and practicality. It's hard to imagine how adding unnecessary technology and equipment to a firearm will increase it's reliability. Will this equipment be reliable enough to use inside the weapon that keeps me safe?
  Somehow, I doubt it.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Other Gun And Knife Reviews On This Blog

Some of my prior gun and knife reviews on this blog can be found here.

SCCY CPX-2 Review

  The 20-30yr old version of me was more likely to own a Sigma instead of a M&P, or a Bersa in place of a Kahr. This younger (and lighter) me had a lot less disposable income, but still loved his handguns.
  Fast forward to 2015. I can afford more expensive firearms today than I could in the 80s and 90s. Life is pretty good. However, like most of you I still enjoy a bargain.
  I think that the SCCY CPX-2 is a helluva good deal for the money. This weapon averages about $275 in my area. There's not a lot of quality budget guns out there that can beat it at that price point.
  I like this gun, but I don't love it. There's several reasons for that.
  Let's get the specifications out of the way.

SCCY CPX-2 Specs:
Barrel Length     3.1"
Length      5.7"
Height       4"
Weight      15oz
Width        1"
Trigger      Double Action (9lb)
Sights       3 Dot (Adjustable)
Capacity   10+1
  Of course you could have looked up the specs here instead. 
  Alright, let's get down to business. I stated that this is a budget gun, and I stand by that statement. It's doubtful that many Glock owners or M&P fans are gong to put aside their current self defense picks in order to carry a SCCY. I would suspect that this pistol is intended for novice gun buyers, those on a tight budget, or people looking for a "Truck" gun. That's fine. There's a lot of those guys and gals out there. Not everyone can afford a $550 Glock, or $650 Springfield. Americans should be able to exercise their Right To Bear Arms without having to live on Ramen noodles for six months (the Liberal elite might think differently).
  This model SCCY has a satin finished stainless steel slide. It's attractive looking, and I don't expect any corrosion issues (I'll keep you posted as I carry this through the spring and summer).
  It's a good looking gun overall, and unlike some of it's competitors there is nothing "Cheap" feeling about this weapon.
 The slide serrations are well done, and are very easy to grip. I had The Daywalker and The Daywalker's Mom rack the slide, and neither woman had any issues. Both women have average hand and upper body strength for females. This pistol's ease of operation will be appreciated by those looking for an affordable self defense gun for the family.
  The weapon has a dual recoil spring system that is fixed to the all steel guide rod. That will be a plus for those that dislike plastic guide rods, and cheap looking two piece recoil springs.

  The sights are the normal 3 dot fare that we see on so many handguns. The rear can be easily adjusted by loosening a set screw.
 The front sight is plastic while the rear is metal.
  The Zytel grip has a little bit of texturing on the sides. The cutouts on the back strap have an interesting purpose. They supposedly serve as a "Re-Coil Cushion," and I'd love to see some stats on how much recoil they actually reduce. I have my doubts about how effective they really are. Personally, I think that they're the only unattractive feature on this gun, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 You've no doubt noticed that there are finger grooves along the front of the frame, and the trigger guard is slightly undercut (I wish everyone did that).
  The frame is one of the things that I'd change about this firearm. While I don't usually care one way or the other in regards to finger grooves, I don't like them on this pistol. My medium sized hands feel a little cramped when holding this gun. It feels like the grooves are too close together, and too close to the trigger guard.  Perhaps if the undercutting on the trigger guard was a little higher the grip would feel better.
   As things currently stand, I don't think the grip fits me very well, and I'd give it a "Meh" for comfort. The grip isn't horrible, and I wouldn't have bought the gun if I couldn't work with it. It could, however, be improved by taking away the finger grooves.
  I'd also like some kind of texturing on the front of the frame.  Some Talon Grips  are definitely in the future for this little gun.
  The slide lock and magazine release are easy to reach and operate. No unusual contortions or obscenely high amount of hand strength are required. As I said earlier, my wife and daughter could easily cycle the slide (worth noting since not self defense guns are purchased for big hairy guys).
  Magazines drop free easily. A firm slap is sometimes needed to fully seat a topped off 10 round magazine. That's nothing unusual.
  While I've only had this weapon for a couple of months, I've tried to carry it as much as possible. It's carried IWB, and there have been no issues with accidentally releasing the mag. The magazine release has never been accidentally pressed while shooting, or reholstering
  I know that it's probably at least 50% holster, but this handgun carries really well. The weight is very good. I don't usually carry a double stack semi auto IWB, but there's no problem with this weapon being too thick.

  Recoil, while not punishing, is heavy enough that many beginners won't like this handgun. Actually a lot of long time shooters won't like the recoil. My wife and daughter weren't fans of this pistol, and they shoot (full sized service pistols) more in a year than most people do in a lifetime. If you're buying this as your single home defense gun then it's worth considering how your spouse handles recoil. Unfortunately, unless you go down in caliber or up in the physical size of the gun it's hard to beat physics. Smaller guns are always going to kick more.
 I have to note that the SCCY has less felt recoil than J frame revolvers (which a lot of new shooters seem to end up with).

  We're told that the trigger pull is 9lbs, but I'd guess that it was heavier. There's about 1/8" of slack in the trigger before the long heavy double action pull begins. The trigger pull is very consistent throughout it's entire range. It's actually pretty smooth. 
  It's just too damn heavy.
  I love my Kahr CW9 (DAO). I really like my Ruger LCR (DAO), and don't have a problem dealing with double action only triggers on carry guns. I'm not a Glock fanboy bitching because everything isn't exactly like a G19. Anyone looking through my prior reviews will note that there is a nice mix of handguns in there, and firearms with DAO triggers are well represented.
  I just don't like this trigger. It sucks a lot of the fun out of shooting this weapon.
  The trigger reset is very long. You'll need to let it fully out after each shot. Yes, this slows down your follow up shots.
Of course this DAO hammer fired weapon has a second strike capability.
  A few hours ago, I was sitting around dry firing the SCCY and my LCR. The trigger pulls aren't that different, but I noticed that the trigger is much more rounded on the Ruger. It "Feels" better than the squared off trigger on the CPX-2. I know that the two firearms are apples and oranges. That's just my two cents.
Edit:    I had the chance to shoot a Ruger LC9 this week. It also has a ridiculously heavy trigger pull. The LC9 trigger is rounded instead of the flat trigger on the CPX-2. I think that the more rounded shaped trigger feels better, but to each his own).
  Nuff said about the trigger.

  The magazines are produced by Mec-Gar, and as expected, are very well made. The CPX-2 comes with two mags. Each one has a flush fitting baseplate for better concealed carry and an extended finger groove baseplate. That's a nice feature, especially since many manufacturers can't be bothered to even include a second magazine with their pistols.
  It's reasonably easy to top off the 10 round mags, and I doubt that many people will need a magazine loading tool.
  There are witness holes at the 5 and 10 round mark on the side of the magazines.
  Good luck finding someone that has magazines in stock (as of 2/20/15). It's been a lost cause for me.
  Edit:  I finally found one vendor with mags. It took several weeks of checking two to three times per week to find one company with magazines in stock. The vendor was Tombstone Tactical if you're interested.

    The three things that the majority of us care most about are reliability, accuracy, and price. I'll start off with reliability while my last range trip is still fresh in my mind.
  I've made three trips to the range with this weapon. So far it's had 300 rounds of WWB, 50 rounds of Remington 115gr, a few dozen rounds of 115gr Atlantic Arms, 50 rounds of Blazer Brass, and one box of Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P.  The round count is about 450 thus far.
  There was one malfunction during the 200 round break in period, and I'm not quite sure how to characterize it. I'll call it a stovepipe although that's not entirely accurate. At about 170 rounds there was one instance of a bullet sitting vertical in the ejection port instead of chambering. The slide closed on the bullet, and it looked like a stovepipe. I've never had this happen with a live round before. It's always occurred after extraction on other weapons. This malfunction was on the last round of the magazine. It hasn't happened since.
  At 450 rounds there was a failure to go into battery.
  There have been many instances of the slide not locking open on the last round. It's possible (hell, it's probable) that my thumb was resting on the slide lock. I won't ding it for the slide not locking open.
  Bear in mind that this CPX-2 got a very cursory cleaning before the first range trip, and no other maintenance in the first 450 rounds. It was truly filthy when broken down for cleaning tonight.
  I'll continue to update this post as more rounds put through the weapon.
  Edit:    Another 50 rounds of reloads were ran through this gun last night. Other than the slide not locking open on an empty mag about half of the time, the gun ran fine.
  Edit:   Another 50 rounds of 115gr Remington was put through the SCCY. No issues other than the slide not locking open. Two more magazines have arrived, so I'll start tracking whether or not the slide not locking open is a mag issue.

  Take down is pretty simple. I'm not going to go into great detail describing the procedure since it's somewhat similar to most semi autos. A link to the manual is provided below.
  One difference with the CPX-2 is that you don't have to squeeze the trigger when removing the slide. That's a big deal to some, but isn't a plus or minus for me.
  When putting the weapon back together, make sure that it's pointed down and the barrel protrudes from the frame. You may have to rack it a couple of times in order to get the barrel to drop down. You'll lock the slide open at this point and then insert the take down pin.
  Some will fault this gun for not having a take down pin fixed to the frame. I don't really care about that. It's simply one more part to keep an eye on. Those of us with M1911s are used to having a loose take down pin on the table during cleaning.
  If you screw up the reassembly procedure, I suggest you visit the FAQ section on this site. 

  The instruction manual can be found here.

  I stated earlier that I carry IWB. Here's the gear used at this time.
  This magazine pouch is made by The Masters's Holster. I like them a lot, and have several of their mag pouches for my CCW guns.
  The holster is a Bianchi 6D ATB. I like the holster overall, and it gives good retention (as it should since there's a strap). There's a few things that I'm not crazy about, and I'll talk about them in another post.
  Pocket carry doesn't work for me with this gun. I can fit the CPX-2, and a pocket holster, into my jeans pocket but the bulge is too noticeable.

   I'll be honest. I don't know how accurate this 9mm is. It will take another day or two at the range to get used to that trigger. I'm happy enough with being able to get reasonable groups with it, but I know that I can do a lot better.

2" Bullseye
  This is the first 20 rounds that I shot through the SCCY CPX-2. The distance was 7 yards, and approx. one round per second was fired. The rear sight was drifted to the right. Another shooter tried the handgun, and actually shot a bit low. I wasn't very happy with this group.

  The target on the right was shot at 7 yards a little later in the day, most of my groups looked very similar to this. No, I wasn't breathing when shooting. That trigger was just kicking my butt. There were a lot of handguns brought to the range that day, and it was hard to get used to the SCCY as it had the heaviest trigger pull of the lot.

2" Orange Bullseye
  The targets on the left were from a week later. The SCCY was the only thing that I used that day, and I think that I did a little better this time.
  The left target was shot slow fire. Without the flyer, this group would be about 2".
  The right target was shot at a rate of one round per second. The distance was 7 yards.

  This target was from my last trip to the range. The group is 2.75", and 20 rounds were fired at 7 yards. There was approximately 1 second between each shot (with a slight pause for the mag change).

   Soooo... long story short, my shooting with this gun is OK. You have to work a little harder to shoot this weapon accurately than you will with some of the other CCW guns that I've handled over the last year. I know that with a little more practice I'll close up the groups. I think that this is a very accurate gun when I do my part, and concentrate on my trigger squeeze.
  It took a few hundred rounds to tighten up my groups with my Ruger LCR, and I can live with my current level of accuracy (for now).

  Moving on. Let's talk about price, and some of the other choices on the market.
  I've seen the SCCY CPX-2 listed for as $250 - $300 in my area.

  What you see is what you get. The cardboard packaging is not something that concerns me. I have some really nice Springfield gun cases in the top of my closet. The boxes provided by Kimber, Taurus, and S&W are also pretty good. None of them get used... ever. I'd rather save $15 (or get a second mag), and have a simple cardboard box. Kudos to SCCY for not charging extra for needless junk.

   I thought that I would give you a few pictures for a size comparison. The SCCY CPX-2 is slightly smaller than Kahr CW9. Of course being a double stack, it is a little wider.
  I can't pocket carry the Kahr either.

The Kahr is sitting on top of the SCCY

The CPX-2 is sitting on top of the CW9

  As you can see, there's not a lot of length/height difference between these two weapons. The Kahr CW9 sells for $340 to $400 in my area. Of course that's only with one magazine so add another $35 to the price of the weapon. The CW9 is probably out of the ballpark for a lot of SCCY buyers (as is the Shield, XDS, Nano, etc).
  So why even discuss it then? Well... it's priced in between the SCCY and the hugely popular S&W Shield so why not mention it? It seems to be the next step up in semi auto pricing for carry guns.

  What is in the SCCY price range?
  The very popular Kel-Tec PF9 comes to mind, but it's a single stack, and only has one magazine. The Kel-Tec P11 is about $260 locally, and also comes with a single mag (so tack on another $20 or so).
  The previously reviewed P11 seems to be the SCCY's closest competitor. While I think the pistol "Feels" a bit cheap, it does have one great selling point. You can get high capacity magazines for the Kel-Tec (um... unless you live in one of the nanny states).
  Other than the P11, I really can't think of any other small double stack 9mm that's in the same price range as the SCCY.
  Alright then, what about a snub nosed revolver? As the Taurus, Rossi, and Charter Arms snubbies run about $310 locally, it's very likely that the SCCY shopper might consider one of them while shopping.
  Since I don't have a Taurus or Charter Arms revolver, I was forced to use my Ruger LCR for a size comparison against the CPX-2.

  Obviously there is a massive amount of difference between a 10+1 semi automatic and a 5 shot J frame revolver (I know that the LCR isn't a J frame). However, a lot of gun buyers are only going to be looking at the price and size of the weapon. Some might consider a revolver to be a better choice. I know people with hand injuries, weak hands, and even one individual that lost an arm. There are those that will never shoot a semi auto enough to be competent in their gun handling. There is no one size fits all choice for self defense guns. A .38 spl Taurus will trump a SCCY CPX-2 for some people.
  Soooo... as Taurus, Rossi, and Charter Arms snubbies are priced at around $300, it's likely that some shoppers will at least look at them when checking out the SCCY.

  The aftermarket for the SCCY isn't too bad. The manufacturer lists a few holsters that will work for the gun, and this forum has a decent list of holsters as well. A lot of them are intended for the Glock 26 or Kel-Tec P11, but work OK with SCCYs.

  And now for the anecdotes:

  I discussed the SCCY pistols with a couple of different salesmen at the local gun stores. I always like to pick their brains while waiting on my background check to come through. I've found that the clerks are much more willing to talk trash about a weapon/manufacturer once they've made a sale. It's interesting to talk to the people that are the first line in hearing complaints.
  I was told that they've seen a few CPX-1 pistols come back in with broken safety levers. SCCY has outstanding customer service, and a great lifetime warranty. I've never heard any problems with them not fixing an issue.
  Some people seem to think that the safety lever makes the grip even more uncomfortable. I'd guess that they have larger hands than I do. I have to admit that my experience with the CPX-1 is very limited.

  In spite of my earlier complaints about the grip and trigger, I really like the SCCY CPX-2. I like it, but I don't love it. I've  tried to judge it as both a budget gun, and a concealed carry weapon. Concealed carry guns are always a compromise, and when one retails for under $300 it's ridiculous to expect perfection in every category. This handgun is affordable, probably more accurate than the shooter, and I expect it to be reliable with a reasonable amount of cleaning.
  I'd recommend the SCCY for those looking for a small, inexpensive (but not cheap) 9mm. As long as they realize going in that the pistol will have a fair amount of recoil, and the trigger is mediocre they shouldn't be disappointed.

  Edit:   A few more months have passed since I did this review. The CPX-2 is starting to grow on me a bit more. I still stand by everything that I wrote earlier about the awful trigger, and the grip not fitting me very well. Regardless of that, I find myself enjoying this gun at the range. As I look to the left and right on the firing line, I notice that my groups are generally a lot better than what I see from other shooters in spite of my using a budget CCW gun instead of a high end service pistol.
  So I'll say it again, the SCCY gets the job done for a reasonable price.

  Edit:   Several more months have passed. It's now mid July. The SCCY has been shot on many more occasions, and I've learned a few more things about the weapon.
  First of all, I finally found some more magazines. It took months, and they weren't cheap. I now have four factory mags for this "Truck gun" (which is what it's used for).  Remember when I said that the slide doesn't consistently lock open on an empty magazine? That holds true with all of my mags.
  After running through a box of ammo while using only two rounds per magazine, I'm certain that it's me and not the gun. I made sure that I didn't touch the slide lock during this test. The slide locked open when the weapon ran dry 24 out of 25 times. While I'm sure that my thumb has been hitting the slide lock all of these months, it's worth stating that if you even look hard at the slide lock on MY pistol then it's not going to lock open after that last round goes downrange. It's also worth stating that due to the design of the weapon and MY hand size/shape , it is very hard to keep my big fat thumb well away from the slide lock. If I was shooting rapidly or under pressure then it's a given that I'm going to be greeted with a "Click" instead of a "Bang" on the 11th trigger squeeze.

  Next up is the gun's reliability. It's a very reliable firearm when clean. Once I reached the 200-250 round mark without a cleaning, I began to experience feedway stoppages. I'll be honest, I shoot a lot and don't clean my pistols until they've been to the range 3 or 4 times. I usually make it a point to wipe down the feed ramp, and put a couple of drops of oil on the rails after shooting. It only takes a few seconds, and goes a long way towards stretching out the time between real cleanings. This practice got me through the first few months of owning this gun without any issues showing. It took a while to discover that THIS pistol needs to be reasonably clean to run. Now I know. It's not that big of deal to me as a little basic cleaning should be done after a day at the range. If I get into a 250 round defensive encounter, then the S has truly HTF.
  While I don't recommend having a dirty self defense weapon, I like knowing what my pistols will do when they're dry/dirty. The SCCY is well out of the testing phase for me. Now that I know it's quirks, the CPX-2 gets more maintenance than some of my other weapons. No biggie.

  Long story short, due to the gun's design, my hand size, bad gripping habits (?), etc. the slide is not going to consistently lock open on an empty mag. The firearm is reliable as long as you at least keep the feedramp clean, and a couple of drops of oil on the rails.
  I'd still recommend the CPX-2. It's hard to beat at the $275 price range. It is still a great budget/truck gun IMO.

  BTW, this is a great video for those that have to leave a firearm in their vehicle (when at work, travelling, etc). I honestly believe that we are fast approaching the time when gun owners are sued or prosecuted for a criminal stealing/using their weapon. Another layer of security on top of a trunk or locked car door is a plus.

Other gun and knife reviews on this blog can be found here.

Update:   It's Sept 2017, and I no longer own this little pistol. It was sold to a friend, and the money used to buy something that I wanted more. I'd still recommend this 9mm for those on a budget, or looking for a "Truck Gun." I still think that most people will have trouble mastering the heavy trigger pull.