Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Is the Glock the new 1911?

Several years back on one of the various gun forums, while debating / discussing the pros & cons of the 1911 and making a comparison to of course, Glock; someone said some such thing about Brownells being the worse enemy of the 1911, that might have actually been me. In yet another discussion one of the same detractors of the 1911 had the following regarding Glock

There isn't a cottage industry of aftermarket parts for Glocks (and others) because there is no NEED for one - the parts that these guns come with work, and don't need to be replaced...

No cottage industry of parts? S3F, Ghost, TangoDown to show a few of the names in the Glock parts arena

 Fast forward a few years to the present and one can't throw a rock in any direction without hitting a customized Glock with a veritable slew of aftermarket parts.

Custom slides, extractors, ejectors, barrels, mag catches, slide stops, mag wells, base pads sights, guide rods and at last half a doze different trigger upgrades from Apex, SSVi, Agency Arms etc.

Right now there is a thread on titled "LL's "Almost Guaranteed to Work fixes for Gen4 Glock 9mm issues"

And of course most of use remember the Gen 4 Glock 19 recoil spring issue....

All that being said, it is plain to see that the Glock is closely catching the 1911 in terms of capability for the end user to really get the most out of their gun, OR screw it up so bad that a Glock won't work and also that the reputation for rock solid reliability out of the box is no longer a sure thing. 

Glock 1911 Photoshop from Shot Show Past

 Back near the end of the winter my wife was sending a new Gen 4 Glock 19 off to Boresight Soloutions that I decided that for ease of logistics I'd blow the dust off of my Bowie Tactical Glock 17 with Short Grip mod. It just makes life easier to be able to grab a box of Glock 19 mags and a batch of 9mm and go to the range without having to get my mags, her mags etc. 

This pistol had also been equipped with an RMR and I was wanting to get a regular slide to replace it.

I was soon looking at the cottage industry of aftermarket parts for Glocks and was looking for a Lone Wolf Distributors slide with no such luck. Rumor has it that they are in between slide vendors at the moment and supply is limited if not flat out gone.  I ended up hitting gun broker and purchased a "new" OEM take-off nickel-boron 3rd Gen upper (complete) for a pretty good price. 

Along this time I was also wanting to remove the gunsmithed bits from the pistol as to have a COTS (Commercial, Off the Shelf) handgun that I could better self maintain without the need of a gunsmith. That's where the all might Glock really shines, right? The ability to just drop in parts and go? Yeah, maybe Glock is getting a little too close to the 1911.

Right off the bat I had some issues. I had removed the gunsmithed parts and installed a Tyr trigger/trigger bar from SSVi, a Lone Wolf 3.5lbs connector, and went ahead and replaced the trigger spring while I was in there. Initial dry-fire told me I had the makings for a very serious problem. Approximately three out of every ten cycles the striker would lose tension during trigger reset. If you are not familiar with how a Glock works, I'll really quick and simple just state that the cycling of the slide partially cocks the striker mechanism, as the trigger was getting let back out, that partially cocked striker was becoming a not-cocked striker. Using my original slide as control group I determined that the problem was IN the slide, everything in the frame was working as it should. I eventually narrowed down the issue to a defective striker assembly. I have kept the assembly, but have not trouble shot it further. I just replaced the whole assembly. Nothing appears visually out of sorts with the bad unit. Finally my gun seemed to be working again. Range trips were few and far between as it wasn't yet spring but I had the opportunity to send the gun out with the Mrs and had her and a friend run a few rounds though it to check function and sight alignment of the Tru-Glo TFX Pro sights I had also installed.

So the good news was that the sights we on, the bad news was that the gun wouldn't run. When cycling the slide, you could hear it just sounded different, I had attributed this to the nickel boron coating of the slide and barrel but it turns out that not only did my slide have a bum striker assembly, it also had a bogus recoil spring. Again, nothing visually "wrong" with the unit and it had the appropriate markings, but again using a known good spring from my original slide and the gun cycled regularly at the next range trip. Some more springs from Glockmeister and I was good to go.

Glocks are fine pistols, and there surely is a need to perfect Glock perfection. For me this comes pretty close.

Gen 2 Glock 17 with Bowie Tactical grip chop and

texture with a NiB slide and TFX Pro sights and SSVi Tyr Trigger

The gun carriers very well, with the changes in Glock's slide coating over the years, they don't have quite the same corrosion resistance they once did and my body's chemistry can eat some guns. The Tyr trigger is a nice touch and combined with the parts from LWD makes for a nice shooting pistol without the "trigger bounce" common with Glocks. It has a little different feel than an Apex and so far I like it it a lot.

More info regarding this pistol and the previous MRDS equipped slide will be forth coming.

This is just one story of a funky Glock that was fixed up in part thanks to the aftermarket industry. While I used a OEM recoil spring and striker assembly, I didn't have to and if Glock continues to have some of the issues they are, we might be better off with aftermarket parts. Will Glock eclipse the 1911 in terms of aftermarket support? Maybe. Will factory Glocks continue to exhibit some quirky behavior, I surely hope not. All I know is that there will never be the grip options for a Glock that a 1911 has....

Or will that change as well?

Boresight Solutions Signature package Gen4 Glock 19

Friday, May 13, 2016

Competition Shooting for the Tactical / Concealed Carry Practioner.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people will throw out the proverbial baby with the bath water when it comes to the world of competitive shooting because of some minuscule nuance with how competition reflects on "Da Streetz."

For example:

"In real life there is no timer"

"On the street you don't get a walk through"

"On the street you may have to shoot more than twice"

What's worse is the disdain for those that treat those more interested in the sporting aspect, that works both ways as the sporting enthusiasts like to poke fun at the Tactical Timmys.

As I am more interested in the practical application of competition skills in a concealed carry environment I'm squarely in the middle and can poke fun at both sides, but I'm going to make the focus of this article on those that pretty much adamantly refuse to go to a pistol competition despite the many benefits they have to offer.

The first point that I'd like to make is that with a few exceptions, you can play the game however you want. You can tactical the shit out of a stage if that's what you want to do. If you want to go all slow is smooth, smooth is fast on a field course, YOU CAN!

If you want to rock a stock gun at a match, YOU CAN!

If you want to do a Tactical Reload or Reload w/ Retention at a USPSA match...yeah, you guessed it, YOU CAN!

Gabriel White is killing it in USPSA using a rig that closely mirrors his concealed carry set up and has the distinction of being one of the only shooters to crush the Rogers Shooting School Courses from a concealed holster.

But what are some of the benefits of competition that we don't get in a typical training environment?
For starters we get pushed out of our comfort zone, in a training class, there is a rhythm, you know what's going on, people are telling you what to do and how to do it. At least up until you get into more advanced training the drills are pretty basic and not very....pardon the use of the word, dynamic. 

Pistol matches provide a variety of different drills / stages with a lot of possible ways to have to navigate such and bring a higher level of thinking with a gun in your hand and can also provide a means for you to better practice the things you have learned in training.

It saddens me how many ranges do not allow working from the holster, shooting in a competition environment will give you that ability in spades. As well as a lot of other methods of accessing your gun. Table starts, box starts, shooting in vehicles and awkward positions are all good things that come from shooting in matches.

I know a lot of guys that when they go to a class they wear their Tactical Costume however they never wear that stuff outside of training. When you go shoot a match you can opt (within the rules) to use your gear how you carry it. This does mean that you need a belt holster of some sort, but it doesn't matter if you carry AIWB, IWB, or OWB, there is a spot some place for you to be able to shoot within the pistol sports. Oddly enough, it is USPSA that you need to attend if you want to shoot your carry gun from an appendix holster but you can do it.

Another good thing about competition is that is that it can provide a metric of your skill. I know this intimidates some as you don't want to go out and show your ass but if there's one thing that can drive you to want to improve it's coming in at the bottom of the pack when the scores come out.

Now not everything in competition is is roses. There are some very non-tactical things that are allowed, but here's the great thing, you don't have to do it that way. Sure some gamer with a race gun is going to shoot from the middle of a doorway or stick his gun out through a porthole simulating a window, YOU in all your tactical glory DO NOT HAVE TO SHOOT THE SAME WAY. Use cover and shoot it in a tactical manner it that's how you want to do it.

Even IDPA has some poor practices when it comes to tactical know-how, the IDPA standard of using cover allows for 50% of your body and your entire head to be visible to a threat target, but both your feet are out of view so it's all good. I'm sure your loved ones will be happy to know that after having your brain pan removed, your feet were pristine.

Again, you can use cover how you want to use it. I try to stick with as little leading my muzzle around cover as I can, but if you want to start competing for the sake of competition, you may find yourself changing your approach to shooting a match.

Another added benefit is location and cost. A good two day class is going to run you a minimum of around $300+ ammo and any other associated costs. On average I want to go to two classes a year. It adds up. I can shoot a match and have an all new shooting experience for a $20 entry fee and 100-200 rounds of ammo. I can do this within an hour of my house pretty much every weekend of the month if I really wanted to. 

I took my first defensive pistol class in 2007, I started competing in late 2009. All of the things I've learned in that class and every class after I have been able to apply and practice in a match environment to better ingrain and internalize the skills learned in training.

Sure, when I shoot IDPA I can't use my preferred method of carry, but the benefits I get from attending matches outweighs that. I can work a concealed draw-stroke from my appendix holster at home during my dry-fire work. 

If you're getting into a rut with your regular practice at the range and want to change it up a bit, check out competitions in your area.

If you want an experts opinion on it, Paul Sharp of Sharp Defense has this to say.

 I had the opportunity to to train with Paul in December at one of the Unthinkable classes featuring William April and Paul is a legit dude. I'd been trying to get in on his classes for a while and I'm glad I was finally able to attend some of his training. Listen to the man.

In closing, better shooting is better shooting and competition provides not only a venue to improve your shooting but to improve your thinking and shooting which rarely gets worked at your average range practice.

Get to it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Small Bore Project

It's around two years since my last blog post...

There was a lot going on then and things were getting crazy with not a lot of time for blogging( not that I was the most active blogger to begin with) but my self imposed time in purgatory is almost up...

I've got a nifty little small bore project in the work in the form of a Ruger 10/22 take down. Some upgrades in the form of a Volquarsten extended charging handle and auto bolt release as well as the Ruger BX-25 trigger module are in order along with a Magpul Hunter stock that's been converted to work with the Take-Down model from

Also seen in the pic is a Vortex SPARC II 2 MOA red dot sight (RDS) and some Ruger BX-25 magazines.

A LCR .22LR may also find it's way into the bag at a later date. For now I've got a 4" SP101 in .22LCR that will be riding shotgun? with the rifle.