Thursday, December 31, 2009

Aussie rocker Steve Lee sings "I Like Guns!" and I do too

I have no clue who Steve Lee is, presumably an Aussie musician, but he's got a serious case of gun-nut fever. I do too, of course, so sit back and enjoy the music and the boom, boom, boom...

Wish I could get me a few of his serious goodies, like those RPGs, grenade launchers, machine guns, and he's even got a 105mm recoil-less cannon. (H/T to my gun-nut buddy Steve Sheffield)

Amazing but true discoverery: I'm a .45 and .44 kinda guy

A funny/strange not funny ha-ha thing happened while I was in Pittsburgh for Christmas.

I went to an indoor range with some shooting buddies up there and the range rules forbid shooting at targets any closer than 25 yards, which meant running the targets all the way to the backstop.

I normally vary my distances, but mostly shoot from 7 to about 15 yards, only occasionally shooting longer distances with handguns.

So anyway, I took the Para Ord P12-45 along to show off to my Pittsburgh buddies and after they tried it out, I shot a magazine of 12 at a full-size-man silhouette target at 25 yards. All were in the black, but a few strayed out of center mass. Even though I was trying to slow down and shoot a good group to show off to my buddies, I still hurried a few shots.

That P12 trigger is so sweet it's hard to shoot slow.

Then I loaded up my Charter Bulldog Pug with 5 .44 Special Cowboy loads and shot them double-action at the same target.

You couldn't tell the .45 holes from the .44 holes, but lo and behold, there were no new holes out of center mass. Obviously, I shot all five in the "kill zone" even shooting double-action.

It certainly increased my confidence in carrying the Bulldog .44, which I did in a shoulder harness for the trip up and back, as well as my usual Kel-Tec PF-9 in my pants pocket.

And though I still love my other carry handguns, 9mm, .357 Sig and 10mm pistols and .327 Magnum, .357 Magnum/.38 Special and .44 Magnum revolvers, I got a sneaking suspicion I'm gonna be carrying the P12-45 and the Bulldog .44 as the two leaders of the pack.

I guess I knew all along I'm a .45 and .44 kinda guy, but to find I shoot those two favorite calibers as well and perhaps even better than the others certainly supports my preferences.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gun Trivia Question: World's first polymer DAO striker pistol?

Working at home today listing guns on gunbroker so the sweet wife and I can leave as planned next week on our Christmas trip to Pittsburgh.

Gun Trivia Question of the Day: What is the world's first 9mm production pistol that is striker-fired, double-action-only with a plastic frame?

Glock 17? Steyr GB? Nope to both.

It's the HK VP 70Z, also IMHO the world's ugliest pistol.

I have also heard it has the world's worst DAO trigger. I haven't tried every DAO trigger on the planet, but I tried this one and it's pretty bad. Matter of fact, it's pretty awful. It might be that "first" also.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Combat Handguns accepts my article about armed robbery attempt

It's my blog, so I can repost an earlier post if I want to. And I do. I just found out my submission to Combat Handguns magazine's first-person feature series It Happened To Me has been accepted and will appear in the March 2010 issue.

After 30-some years of having my news and feature stories and photos being published in newspapers during my journalism career, you'd think I wouldn't get excited about getting published any more. But I still do. Here's the article I submitted to Combat Handguns.

The incident didn't really happen to me, but it did happen to Billy and Dorothy, second and third from left in the photo above, along with the rest of the gun shop crew. At left is Wes, Jennifer and Jonathan are in the center and that's me at the far right (both politically and geographically).
Sticking up a cop bar or a gun store has got to be two of the worst armed-robbery selection choices any hoodlums could make because it's certain both places will have armed people who will not be willing victims. But believe it or else, there are at least two hoodlums dumb enough to try to rob a gun store.

It happened recently at the gun store where I work when the senior two of the family of shop owners, Billy and Dorothy, were there alone one Saturday night about 9 p.m.

Billy learned the hard way several years ago the important lesson about always being aware of what's going on around you. An armed robber got the drop on him and held him and Dorothy at gunpoint, at one point forcing them into the trunk of a car. Billy and Dorothy survived that event and Billy has said since that no one will ever "get the drop" on him with a gun again. He said he used to think a .38 in his back pocket was sufficient but has since upgraded to a Glock .40S&W.

The gun store had been closed this recent Saturday as the crew was working at a gun show. Billy and Dorothy returned to the shop after the gun show closed to load up some extra guns to take back to the gun show for the next day. Billy was unlocking and locking the door as he loaded boxes of guns in the back of his truck. The store was obviously closed at 9 p.m., but two hoodlums tried to barge in anyway.

As he went in and out of the door, locking it each time, Billy said he had noticed two males sitting on the hood of a car in a parking lot on the other side of the highway from the shop, watching him. Then as he put some more guns in the truck, he spotted them sprinting across the highway, circling behind his truck where they thought he wouldn't see them, heading for the door. He quickly went back inside but decided he didn't want to be caught fumbling with the keys as they arrived, so he left the door unlocked and retreated inside while drawing his Glock and turning to face the door. The two hoodlums opened the door and came in with the one in front not showing a gun, his hands raised in the air as he saw Billy with his Glock.

Our video surveillance system, which we played back the next day, showed the hoodlum behind the one in front started pulling his shirt front up and starting to draw a pistol from his waistband while hidden behind the one who came in first with empty hands raised. But the second hoodlum suddenly froze in mid-draw when Billy greeted the two with his Glock .40 and a few choice words. They suddenly decided they had urgent business elsewhere. They turned around quickly and left even faster than they arrived.

We told law enforcement about the incident the next day and provided them with a video recording of the attempted robbery. Law enforcement identified the pair as two local hoodlums, 18 and 19, who were out on bail after being charged with a home-invasion robbery in a nearby community. When we got a copy of the local newspaper with the pair's mug shots, Billy identified the two also. As I write this, the two have yet to come to trial for the home-invasion robbery and are still free.

Since that incident, Billy has upgraded his Glock .40 with a Crimson Trace Lasergrip and all of us who work at the gun store never work without being armed, some of us wearing a backup handgun as well as a main carry. Even Dorothy, who hasn't been armed before, has been practicing with a Crimson Trace .38. And we're all a lot more vigilant than we were before.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

.44 Special Hollow-Point Testing: Speer Gold Dots the clear winner

There's a big problem with carry handguns with fixed sights. If you can't adjust the sights, you have to find an ammo combination that fits the sights.

It helps if you know what the manufacturer had in mind when the fixed sights were set up at the factory and in the case of common cartridge/pistol combinations, it's easy. For instance, Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolvers, particularly the older ones like the Model 10, are set up at the factory for 158-grain lead roundnose bullets.

I had that point illustrated quite well at a recent N.C. Concealed Handgun Permit class. One of my students was using a S&W 10 .38 Special, the original Military & Police model, and when he started firing the first set at 3 yards, I told the students to aim for a head shot, right between the bad-guy-target's hairy eyeballs.

I figure if they can't make a head shot at 3 yards, there's not much point in asking them to do it at the increasing distances for the qualification firing, 5, 7 and 10 yards.

So this guy starts firing away at the target and I hear this loud clanging noise and sparks start flying. We stop the shooting and take a look and his rounds are hitting the target clamp a few inches above the BG's head.

Thank God the clamp was heavy duty at the local National Guard Armory range because no damage was done.

But I dug into my range bag and came up with a box of .38 Special 158-grain LRNs to give the guy and immediately he started drilling holes right between the BG's hairy eyeballs.

In the first outing with my new-to-me Charter 2000 Bulldog Pug .44 Special snubby, (top photo and at top in 2nd photo) I discovered the good folks at Charter set up the iron sights for full-house-load 240-grain bullets.

I had a box of Cowboy Load 240-gr. ammo which is certainly no wimp at 760 FPS, classic numbers for .45 ACP .230-gr. FMJs.

But the Charter's iron sights placed the Cowboy Loads about 2-3" low on the target. Then I tried some full-house-load 240 gr. SWCs and they were exactly what the iron sights liked, right on the bull.

So the next step in using the Bulldog for a carry pistol is to find a jacketed hollowpoint load that will line up with the iron sights.

I never did find a JHP load that lined up with the iron sights of my Charter Patriot .327 Magnum (bottom pistol in 2nd photo), so I had to get a set of Crimson Trace Laser Grips to enable it to hit where I'm aiming.

I suspected that might be the case with JHPs for the Bulldog Pug. I had four JHP loads to test. Top left on the target board, standing two-handed at 25 feet, are some 200-grain Georgia Arms Gold-Dot JHPs. Printing low and with a lot of muzzle blast and recoil. Not pleasant. The three clustered at 6 o'clock about 3" low are mine, the other holes are by the sergeant at the Armory, whose rounds drifted even lower and to the left. All the rest of the holes in the other targets are mine. Three of the GA Gold Dots were all the sergeant wanted to try. Can't imagine why.

Top right target are some CCI steel-case JHPs, probably 200-grain but they were some loose rounds we had at the gun shop with no box, so that's just a guess. Even hotter and more unpleasant to shoot than the GA Gold Dots and though still low, closer to the bull by a bit.

Then bottom left are five holes with Winchester Silvertip 200-gr. JHPs, much more pleasant to shoot and getting pretty close to the bull.

Finally, bottom right is the clear winner, five rounds with Speer Gold Dot 200-gr. JHPs, right on the money and also fairly pleasant to shoot. I am delighted to find a carry load so easily and not to have to add CT Lasergrips for the Bulldog. I may still add some grips later, but not right now when I've got other pistols to buy hopefully in my near future.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sarah Palin also 'Going Rogue' as comic-book Superhero

The so-called mainstream media is so scared of Sarah Palin they've all got wet panties, and with good cause. She's gonna be the best man for the job of leading this nation back to sanity in 2012.

How do I know this? Because Sarah's new biography is selling like hot cakes, continuing as Numero Uno on the Noo Yawk Times book list for the past two weeks, and now she's even being featured in a comic book.
SARAH PALIN is sparkling big-time sales of not only her memoir, "Going Rogue." The former Alaska guv has also meant serious business for the comic-book company Bluewater Productions.

Bluewater says its releasing its fourth printing of its Palin bio comic this month. The new "Female Force: Sarah Palin, Going Rogue Edition" updates adds artwork and features a new cover, by Vinnie Tartamella.

"People just can't get enough of Sarah Palin," says Bluewater's prez, Darren Davis, who notes that his company has never issued four printings for a single bio.

I bet if Sarah would pull her blouse open a bit, you'd see her Superwoman suit underneath.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

America's Christian heritage, a vision lost that must be retold

America: The Untold Story. Take a 2-minute break and relearn some forgotten history.
Winner of the coveted Angel Award, America: The Untold Story is now available as a DVD presentation. The talented video team at American Vision has transformed this best-selling audio drama into a visually-stunning video for the whole family. Based on documented historical facts, this fully-dramatized video is designed to open the eyes of American citizens so that they can see the miraculous and providential hand of God in our nation's history.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

.38 Special vs. .44 Special vs. .327 Magnum: Look at the numbers

Decided to see what .44 Special , .38 Special, .45 ACP, .327 Magnum and .357 Magnum numbers compare in terms of ballistics. From the Federal and Speer ammo pages, here's a comparison.
Caliber Grains Type Mfg. FPS Muzzle Ft.Lbs. Muzzle
.44 Special 200 SWCHP Federal Champion 870 336
.38 Special 110 JHP Federal Hydra-Shok
980 235
.38 Special +P 129 JHP Federal Hydra-Shok 950 258
.327 Magnum
100 JSP American Eagle 1500 500
.327 Magnum 85 JHP Federal Hydra-Shok 1400 370
.327 Magnum 115 JHP Speer Gold Dot 1380 486
.357 Magnum
125 JHP Speer Gold Dot 1450 584
.45 ACP 230 JHP Federal Hydra-Shok 900 414

Any questions? After testing all three of the available .327 Magnum loads I settled on Speer Gold Dot for my carry load in the Charter Patriot revolver, which is very close to Speer .357 Magnum in both fps and ft./lbs. of energy delivered on target.

And comparing Federal Hydra-Shok .45 ACP to Federal Champion .44 Special Semi-Wadcutter Hollow Points also shows speed and energy delivered in the same ballpark ballistically.

And of course, neither .38 Special or +P is anywhere near any of the others in energy on target.

When it comes to carrying a revolver, for backup or sole carry, I feel a lot more comfortable with my .327 Magnum or .44 Special Charter pair than with any .38 Special or +P. With the Bulldog .44, it's like having a .45 and with the Patriot .327 Magnum, it's like having a .357 Magnum.

I've always been a strong believer in more is better. And .44 is definitely more better than .38.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, here's a couple of graphs on ballistics of pistol ammo.

The first is a comparison by Winchester of their Ranger JHP ammo, which is IMHO the class of the industry. I carry Winchester Ranger or their new PDX Bonded, the replacement for Ranger, in 9mm, .45 ACP and .357 Sig with total confidence that it's quite simply the best.

But the interesting thing about their graph is how similar all the loads are, with the exception of .380 ACP, which just ain't got enough zip to get the job done. That's why I don't carry .380.

And last is a handgun gel penetration and expansion chart, which shows that as long as you pick a serious caliber, you'll get serious results, assuming you can hit what you shoot at. And that's a very big assumption. In pistol shooting, the most important three things are the same three things that any realtor will tell you is the key to success in real estate: Location, location, location.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Charter Bulldog .44 blows away Colt Cobra .38 at the range

Does a Bulldog beat a Cobra? A funny thing happened to my plans to buy a new-to-me Colt Cobra .38 Special snubby at the gun shop.

I almost had the Cobra paid off when what should come from the last gun show? A stainless Charter Bulldog Pug 2.5" barrel .44 Special snubby.

The first snubby I ever bought is a Charter Patriot .327 Magnum, shown at right at bottom with Crimson Trace Laser Grips, so adding a Bulldog, at right top, is pretty much a no-brainer.

They're built on the same stainless-steel frame, the only difference being caliber and round count, six .327 Magnums vs. five .44 Specials in the cylinder.

I can even swap the CT grips to either of the two Charters should I want to.

But after shooting the Bulldog on Saturday at the range, I doubt it will ever wear CT grips, unless I buy a second set for it.

I started out shooting 240-gr. Cowboy Loads, rated at 761 feet per second at the muzzle. You can call that a Cowboy Load, but it sure ain't light ballistically speaking.

Those numbers are classic 230-gr. .45 ACP ballistics, which is generally about the same speed and nobody ever calls .45 ACP a "Cowboy Load."
Anything hit with a 240-grain chunk of .44 lead moving at 761 FPS is going to be in a serious load of hurt.

The Cowboy Loads were mild recoil and easy to shoot, but patterned about 3" low of the bullseye. After putting three in the same hole, I pretty well established the point-of-impact for that load.

Then I switched to some 240-gr. Semi Wad Cutter full-house loads, not marked for velocity but I'll assume about 100 fps faster, say 861. And those patterned right on the bull for the iron sights.

So that's what this Bulldog likes best, 240-gr. full-house loads. I've got both SWCs and Plated Flat-Nose 240-gr. loads so either should work just fine for carry.

I've also got some 200-gr. Gold Dot Jacketed Hollow Points but I haven't tried those yet to see where they hit. We've also got some Winchester Silvertip JHPs at the shop, so I'll probably pick up a box of those to see what the Bulldog does with them too.

But it's definitely a keeper, so I'll keep the Bulldog and let the shop have the Colt Cobra back to sell.

When it comes to whether I want a .38 or a .44 for a backup, my math skills ain't too good but not only is .44 bigger than .38, 240 grains is also heavier than 158 grains.

And I don't have to go look up the ballistic tables to know that comparing the two in foot-pounds of energy delivered is no comparison whatsoever. And IMHO, ft./lbs. is the real payoff when it comes to ballistic matchups, the closest statistic we have to the fabled "knockdown power."

If you've got speed but low grain weight, you gotta have a lotta speed to make up for that handicap to build up ft./lbs. That's how .327 Magnum is such an impressive revolver round, not much weight, 100 grains for the American Eagle load we shot Saturday, but a smoking hot speed of 1500 fps. That delivers ft./lbs. just shy of classic .357 Magnum stats.

And if you've got good weight but low speed, you come up short again. With classic .38 Special ballistics, you've got 158 grains but slow speed, so you don't get much in the way of ft./lbs. or penetration either.

But like 230-gr. .45 ACP loads, a big ol' hunk of 240-gr. .44 lead at slow speed, 761 fps, adds up to impressive ft./lbs. of energy and penetration.

So it don't take a rocket surgeon to figure out a Bulldog .44 beats a Cobra .38 every time.

I spent the rest of the day at the range playing with my Para Ordnance P12-45 with my friend Jerry and his son Austin. Nothing's more fun that shooting with friends.

I'm the old guy who needs a haircut. Jerry's the younger guy who don't need a haircut. And Austin is the kid who had enough sense to wear a knit cap on a cold, rainy day.

The rain stopped long enough to let us shoot in relative comfort, but with a high in the low 40s, it was a bit brisk, as least for this thin-blooded ol' Southern redneck.
Austin also has a cool phone with a multi-exposure photo function and he took a series of photos of me working on my shoulder-holster draw and double-tap shooting. Thanks Austin.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Humility Day: Double-Tap 2 Bad Guys Drill at range with carry pair

Got a couple of hours of range time Saturday and started off with some forgotten fun, shooting a .22LR rifle.

I bought a Marlin-Redfield Model 75 carbine a while back because I had one just like it several years ago and really loved shooting it. I gave it to my son after he got grown and gone.

We had one like it marked down for clearance at the shop so I bought it because it was cheap.

Alas, I discovered my fuzzy eyes could no longer get the iron sights focused and aligned, the latter due to the Monte Carlo stock.

I bought the earlier Marlin carbine with a scope already on it so it never occurred to me I'd have a lefty alignment problem.

But Saturday morning I finally got around to mounting a Simmons 4X scope on it that had been gathering dust on my shelf for more than a year. So I started off the range trip with zeroing the scope.

The scope was so far out of zero I had to break out one of my few Blue Man full-size target to get the shots where I could find them.

Then since I already had the Blue Man out, I decided to invent a new drill to simulate two idiots who might try to rob the gun store.

Believe it or else, this actually happened a while back but they changed their minds about it quickly when confronted with a Glock .40.

So I set up a smaller black bull offset to the left of the Blue Man target, which simulates a second BG some distance behind the first BG.

I had already planned to do some draw and shoot practice drills with two shoulder rigs for my two favorite carry pistols, my Sig P229 SAS Gen2 .357 Sig and my Para Ord P12-45.

I drew and fired double-taps at each target as quickly as I could get the sights aligned, sorta practicing "panic mode" as in a genuine armed robbery attempt.

I wore the Bianchi rig for the P229 so I started off with it. I knew the long double-action pull of the first shot would likely adversely affect the first shot.

What I wasn't prepared for was the single-action shots at the second target also missing an equal amount of time. Shazzaam! as Gomer Pyle would say.

After the first round of 3 mags of 12, I had 12 holes in the blue man, 12 holes in the black bull and 12 holes off either target.

As the King James says, that sucketh. Can't blame that on the DA pull for the first shot.

So I put up a fresh set of targets and strapped on my Para 12-45 with its Galco leather shoulder harness rig.

After four mags of .45 ACP, one 12, one 14 and two 15s, I had only a very few holes out of the blue or black.

Conclusion: nothing beats a great single-action trigger in a 1911 pistol, not even the great DA/SA SRT Short-Reset Trigger in P229 SAS Gen2.

I think I'll be practicing more with my pair of Sig P229 .357 Sig pistols and carrying my Para P12-45 a lot more until I can improve my P229 shooting.

Nothing like a little simulated "panic mode" pistol shooting to remind me I ain't near as good as I think I am. More range time needed.

Then I finished off the day with a little double-action revolver shooting with my two backups, Charter .327 Magnum and S&W 65-3 .357 Magnum. The Charter with Crimson Trace Lasergrips is definitely a hand cannon as it's nearly the equal of the .357 Magnum in ballistics.

It's at least a slight insult to call either of these powerful wheel guns a backup, but until I get the Colt Cobra .38 in the layaway safe paid off, they'll have to assume that lesser role. When the Cobra is ready for action, I'll work out some other combo with the two magnums in lead roles.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Para P12-45, Colt Cobra .38 and S&W 65-3 .357 Mag. showoff time

In the spirit of "It's my blog and I can show off if I want to" I finally got around to taking some new photos of my latest carry pieces yesterday, so here they are.

My new-to-me Para Ordnance P12-45 is first up, along with the Galco shoulder harness with double-mag holder which was purchased along with the pistol from the former owner, a retired Navy chief corpsman.

The P12 has several custom features, including ambi thumb safeties and a 3-hole adjustable trigger, which I presume was done by Cylinder & Slide since that shop also customized the chief's former P14-45, which I'm in the process of purchasing also.

I didn't appreciate the customization fully until I tried to order a set of wood grips and discovered that stock P12 grips are not fitted for ambi safeties, like mine. So either I find somebody who can custom fit some grips or just stick with the black Para grips that have already been custom fitted to the pistol. Probably the latter.

Then there's my new-to-me Colt Cobra .38 Special snubby, which is almost paid off. I took the liberty of finding some new grips for it after discovering the painful truth that the original grips fit too high and the back of the trigger guard raps your knuckle when you shoot it.

I have test-fired it with a new set of wood grips, shown installed, and they work fine. Also got a set of rubber grips which I haven't tested yet, but I suspect I'll stick with the new wood grips. I'll be carrying it with my small-of-back Galco holster, belt holsters or a new Bianchi shoulder rig, shown with the Colt.

My Colt Cobra, according to Bluebook, was made sometime prior to 1972.

COBRA (FIRST ISSUE)- .22 LR, .32 Colt NP, .38 Colt NP, or .38 Spl. cal., first issue, 2, 3, or 4 (square butt on early model, later models had round butt) in. barrel, blue or nickel finish, similar to Detective Special, only alloy frame and available in .22 LR, very early guns had plastic grips with silver medallions, changed to plastic w/o medallions, and finally changed to wood grips. Mfg. 1950-72.

It has a square-butt frame, which makes it an early model, but it came with wood grips, which makes it a later model? Go figure. It's old, that I know for sure, and it has a great trigger so it will be a fine backup carry piece. Plus it's a D-Frame Colt, same size as a K-Frame S&W, so it's a 6-shooter, not a 5-shooter, like the Smith J-Frames. I'm math challenged, but I am pretty sure 6 shots in a snubby beats 5 shots.

And last but certainly not least is my new-to-me Smith and Wesson 65-3 with 3" barrel, a great set of grips and a custom trigger job from the S&W Performance Center.

Bluebook says this about it: MODEL 65- .357 Mag. cal., stainless version of Model 13, K-frame, has 3 (round butt, disc. 2000) or 4 (square butt) in. heavy barrels, satin stainless steel, current production uses Uncle Mike's grips, fixed sights, 35 oz. Disc. 2004.

The grips may be the "smooth Dymondwood combat grips" which Bluebook says came on the Model 65 Ladysmith. Whatever they are, they fit my hand perfect and shoot great. I love the 3" barrel, which carries great and shoots great too. I have learned that shooting really hot .357 Magnum loads, like 180-grain Cor-Bon, is not a good idea with a K-Frame. Save those for your N-Frame Smiths. It shoots just fine with 110-grain .357 Magnum loads, which are more than adequate to stop anything short of a charging rhinoceros.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A pair of Para 45s; subcompact P12 and P14 CST-1 Custom

My new-to-me Para Ordnance P12-45, top right, has a big brother Para P14-45 that we got at the gun shop where I work from the same former owner, a retired U.S. Navy Chief Corpsman who was downsizing his collection of handguns.

I just got the Para 12 paid off and since the Para 14-45 was still unsold, I just had to add it to the layaway safe so I could start paying on it.

The Para 12 may well have some custom features, I don't know because it's no longer in production and I can't compare it to a stock Para. It does have ambi thumb safeties and an adjustable 3-hole skeletonized trigger, which I'm about 100% positive is not stock Para. And I also strongly suspect it's had a trigger job as the trigger is very light and crisp.

And the custom work, I also strongly suspect, was done by the famed custom shop of Cylinder & Slide, which as the name says, specializes in cylinder guns (revolvers) and slide guns (semi-auto pistols).

The reason I suspect C&S is because I know that the other Para the retired chief sold us, the P12-45, has been heavily customized by C&S with their CST-1 package. It says so right on the right side of the slide along with the famous C&S mustache logo.

The C&S website says that package includes the following features:
Cylinder & Slide CST-I Custom Features:
# C&S Tactical Match trigger pull set 5 piece
# C&S Long Aluminum Trigger with Overtravel Stop
# Deburr breech face, radius & polish center rail
# throat barrel and frame for reliable feeding
# Hand lapped slide to frame
# Round all external corners and edges
# Bullet nose relief on front ejection port
# Trigger Job 4.5 lbs.
# Radius and Tension Extractor
# C&S Tactical High Grip Ambidextrous Thumb Safety
# Brown High Grip Beavertail Grip Safe with Memory Groove
# C&S One Piece Recoil Spring Guide Rod
# Wolff Extra Power Recoil Spring
# C&S front sight
# Matte Reblue Pistol.

As you can see from the photos, the retired chief also had C&S install a huge magwell on the grip, which I've heard called a "flowerpot magwell."

It's certainly big enough to plant daisies in and more than big enough to facilitate fast mag changes with the handful of 15-rd. mags with big slam pads that the former owner supplied along with the pistol.

And how, you might ask, does it shoot? I got my first chance to try it out yesterday at the indoor range where my concealed-carry class shot. My only complaint is it shoots up those 15-rd. mags way too fast. Just when you're starting to really get in a rhythm punching .45 holes in a small group, the slide locks back. Was that 15 already? This pistol is gonna blow my ammo-hoarding plans right out the window. It's probably gonna take at least 100 rds. a week just to keep it fed and happy.

Its C&S Custom trigger feels and looks virtually identical to the P12 and with either of these great 1911 .45s the trigger is so good it overcomes my tendency as a lefty to pull my shots down and to the right a bit. With either, I punch holes right where I'm looking, dead on the money.

And the P14 has one other feature not on the CST-1 list, a BoMar adjustable rear sight, so I could adjust the sights to zero it with something other than 230-grain loads if I wanted to. But with the P12 and P14 both shooting dead-on with 230-grain loads, why mess with perfection?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time to start serious prayer for and about President Obama

I've decided to quit complaining about Obama and begin praying for him. My prayer for him henceforth is Psalm 109:8, "Let his days be few; and let another take his office." Amen.

Obama's 'crotch salute' for Old Glory on display at Ft. Hood

President Barack Hussein Obama's got that bowing-to-royalty thing down pat, at least when it comes to Arabs and Asians. Curiously, he had no bow for the Queen of England, leader of the nation we formerly had a "special relationship" with P.O. (Pre Obama).

But our rookie Dither-in-Chief is still having a lot of trouble with what to do with his hands when our National Anthem is played and Old Glory is honored.

You may recall that moment early in the 2008 presidential campaign when Hillary and other Democrats on stage saluted Old Glory with hands over hearts while Obama stood with his hands down, folded. That infamous photo has come to be known as "the crotch salute."

Well, the crotch salute is back. This photo was taken at the memorial service at Ft. Hood army base in Texas during the presentation of our flag. Note the other civilian on stage with hand over heart and the military members saluting the flag while Obama reprises his infamous crotch salute. While I respect the office of the President, this guy is disgracing it. As a veteran I gotta say, "Hey Obama, I got a crotch salute for you!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An American leader who bows: Another Obama First!

Wesley Pruden, as usual, cuts through the fluff to the heart of the news, Obama's infamous full genuflection to the Japanese Emperor.
He established a new precedent for how American presidents should pay obeisance to kings, emperors, monarchs, sovereigns and assorted other authentic man-made masters of the universe. He stopped just this side of the full grovel to the emperor of Japan, risking a painful genuflection if his forehead had hit the floor with a nasty bump, which it almost did. No president before him so abused custom, traditions, protocol (and the country he represents). Several Internet sites published a rogue's gallery showing how other national leaders - the prime ministers of Israel, India, Slovenia, South Korea, Russia and Dick Cheney among them - have greeted Emperor Akihito with a friendly handshake and an ever-so-slight but respectful nod (and sometimes not even that).

Now we know why Mr. Obama stunned everyone with an earlier similar bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, only the bow to the Japanese emperor was far more flamboyant, a sign of a really deep sense of inferiority. He was only practicing his bow in Riyadh. Sometimes rituals are learned with difficulty. It took Bill Clinton months to learn how to return a military salute worthy of a commander in chief; like any draft dodger, he kept poking a thumb in his eye until he finally got it. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, seems right at home now giving a wow of a bow. This is not the way an American president impresses evildoers that he's strong, tough and decisive, that America is not to be trifled with...

Douglas MacArthur, who ranked above mere heads of state in his own mind, once invented his own protocol on greeting Emperor Hirohito. The emperor, the father of Akihito, wanted to meet MacArthur soon after he arrived to become the military regent of Japan in 1945, perhaps to thank him for saving the throne at the end of World War II. When the emperor invited MacArthur to call on him, the general sent word that the emperor should call on him - speaking of breaches of custom - and the two men were photographed together, astonishing the Japanese. The emperor arrived in full formal dress, cutaway coat and all, and MacArthur received him in summer khakis, sans tie, with his hands stuffed casually in his back pockets. Further astonishing the Japanese, he towered over the diminutive emperor.

But Mr. Obama, unlike his predecessors, likely knows no better, and many of those around him, true children of the grungy '60s, are contemptuous of custom. Cutting America down to size is what attracts them to "hope" for "change." It's no fault of the president that he has no natural instinct or blood impulse for what the America of "the 57 states" is about. He was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream.

He no doubt wants to "do the right thing" by his lights, but the lights that illumine the Obama path are not necessarily the lights that illuminate the way for most of the rest of us. This is good news only for Jimmy Carter, who may yet have to give up his distinction as our most ineffective and embarrassing president.

I wonder how many other embarrassments we have in store with our rookie President's first and hopefully brief tenure in office? Each world tour seems to bring at least one new one. As Pruden notes, we may soon be looking back at Jimmy Carter's reign as "the good ol' days."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end"

R. J. Wiedemann Lt Col. USMC Ret.

I see your dither and raise you another bow to royalty

As our Dither-In-Chief continues to extend his Guinness record for the world's longest dither, leaving our troops at war in Afghanistan slowly twisting in the wind, here comes another low point during his current World Apology Tour in Asia.

I liked it so much I stole it whole hog from
This Is Getting Embarrassing...
Posted by: Meredith Jessup at 12:12 PM
First this...
Now this...
Even the LA Times is asking, "How low will the new American president go for the world's royalty?" President Obama first denied he had bowed to the Saudi royalty, but his actions were crystal clear during his visit to Japan this week. In Japanese culture a deep bow like this is a sign of respect and "deference to a superior." Sweet--just the message I want my president sending! This kind of "deference" is pretty unprecedented. I guess this is just some more of that "change" Obama promised us all--indeed another teachable moment. Go ahead and do a Google search to try and find other instances of American presidents bowing to the Emperor of Japan. And while you're at it, see if you can find any other world leader bowing. Go ahead... I'll wait.

Mystery Colt No. 1 solved, how about Mystery Colt No. 2?

Mystery Colt solved by Jim Watson, senior member at
Parts gun in a big way.

Colt sn 13719 was made in 1912 for the US Army. Therefore it is, or was, a true 1911.
The stamp over the magazine catch is WGP for Major Walter G. Penfield, chief inspector for military production at Colt from 1911 til 1914.
It would have had a big bold "United States Property" stamp on the left side in front of the slide stop. That has been removed to sanitize the frame and disguise the fact that it is stolen government property. Don't worry about that, the FBI and BATF don't care about the origin of a gun any more as long as the serial number is still there.

The finger thingie on the frontstrap was welded up, the rear tang ground to take a beavertail grip safety, an aluminum trigger with holes was installed, and Pachmayr grips added, slit to clear the thingie. The arched mainspring housing looks like a Pachmayr but I would need better pictures to be sure. Hammer is a flat type much newer than the frame.

I can't read the slide markings, you say it says .38 Super but has a .45 ACP barrel?
That was a lot of work.

Besides that, the rear sight is a Smith & Wesson revolver sight, which is kind of a gunsmithing chore to install.
Next question, call it Mystery Colt No. 2: What's up with the other .38 Super 1911 in the double auction? It has the 1911 flat mainspring housing, but it has the scallops behind the trigger, which is a 1911-A1 frame change? Serial number is 163679.I'm all ears.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mystery Colt 1911-A1 .38 Super/.45 ACP: What kinda frame izzit?

I need some help with a mystery Colt. The gun shop where I work bought a 1911-A1 with a Colt .38 Super slide, a .45 ACP barrel and an unknown frame.

That's it in the photos. The frame has this spike on the front grip frame that sticks out from the Pachmayr wraparound grip as part of a very aggressive set of fingergrooves.

It's a standard 1911-A1 that seems to be set up for target competition with an adjustable rear sight and a Patridge front sight.

The slide has the expected Colt .38 Super markings and patent dates the most recent of which is 1913 as expected with a 1911-A1.

But the frame is just plain weird. One of the changes from 1911 to 1911-A1 is the arched rear grip frame of the latter, which this frame has.

But another change on the 1911-A1 frame is the half-moon cuts behind the trigger and this one ain't got none of those. The frame is flat behind the trigger like a 1911.

And on the left side of the frame, behind the trigger guard, is a logo that might be a C with an M and a P. That's my best guess of what the logo says.

The fourth photo is a closeup of that logo. I figured it had to be some non-Colt company's logo.

But when a customer asked me to test fire this pistol to check its function, I did this past weekend. It shoots fine.

And then the mystery deepened. One of my buddies who was at the range is retired Air Force who collects military arms and he said he has some old military Colt 1911s that have that same logo.

So, is it a Colt? And if so, is it a 1911 or a 1911-A1? And is it a genuine .38 Super Colt? Serial number on the frame is 13719.

If you want to see more photos and read the description in more detail, this mystery Colt and a genuine 1911 .38 Super Colt are both listed on gunbroker in an auction for my gun shop.

Anybody got any info on the mystery Colt or about the mystery logo?