Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Rambling Gun Stuff Discussion

In my recent discussion of the J frame Chris of Arma Borealis mentioned the reload advantage of automatic's vs J frame .38 or .357mag revolvers. For the sake of convenience I am going to break subcompact type automatics into 3 categories: subcompact double stack, subcompact single stack and tiny.

Subcompact double stack: Examples of this are the Glock 26/27 and the M&P/ XD equivalents. These guns offer a lot of firepower in a small package. A 9mm Glock 26 holds 11 and the grip extension (a must) buys you another round. I think the Glock .40 is 10. Unsure about the M&P/XD but they are probably similar. They are also pretty shootable if you have enough grip to get the pinky on it. Also these guns can take larger magazines like a Glock 15 rd or 17 rd mag which is handy. Power is good too as these guns are generally chambered in 9mm/.40S&W/.45acp.

 I notice little difference transitioning between subcompact and compact's of the same flavor. Being shorter in terms of length and grip makes these guns easier to conceal than their compact and full sized siblings. Also if the gun is of the polymer flavor (vs a tiny steel 1911 or whatever) they are pretty light. Reliability is comparable to their siblings, a Glock will of course fare better than a Kel Tech. However nothing is free.

The downside of these guns is that they are the same width as the bigger guns. As we saw before a J frame revolver is much thinner throughout (obviously not the cylinder).  This means while their height/ length and weight are minimal the width is a consideration. Depending on your method of carry it could be an issue.

As compared to the J frame these guns shoot better, hold a lot more bullets and reload faster but are thicker and this a but harder to conceal.

Sub Compact single stack: Old school examples are the Walther PP/PPK/S/PPK and the Bersa .380. Newer examples would be the Ruger LC9 and S&W Shield. These guns often hold 7-8 rounds. I think some of the .45 models hold 6. These guns offer moderate, at the high end of 8 to a J with 5, to negligible, the mini .45's with 6 to a J with 5, capacity advantages.

The reliability varies. Walther's have been made by so many people over the years with some better than others. In general they are well, German. A precision machine that functions perfectly however it demands good fuel (bullets it likes) and some maintenance to do so. If you cannot do this, or the concept of use does not allow it, then choose another gun. If you can meet the fairly modest requirements these guns will do their job well. Bersa's by every account I have heard will run all day long. The downside is they are a fairly big and heavy .380. The new Ruger and S&W offerings are by every account I have seen built to a professional standard and will perform as such. If you get a Kel Tech or Taurus that is a roll of the dice, some run all day long but many do not.

Power varies between adequate with 9mm to marginally adequate with .380 or weak with .32 (the only .32's I am aware of in this size are the Walther's like Brigid's). IMO as we compare to the .38 the only round that is equal in terms of power is the 9mm.

Accuracy is pretty good. The quality guns in this category are capable of excellent accuracy. The Walther's particular are very accurate. A buddy of mine had a little j frame .38 but at some point realized he couldn't hit squat with it and bought a beautiful Walther PPK/S that shot wonderfully. A HIT with a .380 is indisputably more effective than a miss with a .38/.357mag.

Measured up to the J frame. These auto's are thin and thus easy to conceal. The J is thinner in spots but not by a whole lot. Capacity varies but the reload goes decisively to the semi auto. Power varies from a wash (.38 to 9mm) to decisively favoring the J.

Tiny pistols: Examples of old school ones are the Beretta .22lr/.25/.32. Newer examples are the Kel Tech P3, Ruger LC380. These guns are IMO really in a different class than the J frame. Power sucks to varying degrees, they do not hold many bullets and are often difficult guns to shoot well. Some can be shot accurately and other's not so much. Realistically effective ranges vary from across the room to 'belly gun's. Some manufacturers do not bother putting sights on these guns. The J beats them in every category except concealability.

The real advantage of these guns is that they beat the hell out of knives, fists or harsh words. Short of a speedo/ bikini or nekid they can be carried any time.

Between a small semi automatic or a J frame .38/.357mag both are servicable weapons. Both type of weapons have pluses and minuses. In the last few years a lot of really viable options by professional grade manufacturers have come out on the semi automatic side. On the other hand I can see why there is still a market for the J framed revolver.

I recently handled a Glock with two common modifications; an extended mag release and an extended slide stop. The extended mag release was terrible. It stuck out too far and rubbed like crazy on my side when carrying the gun. Personally I have never had an issue hitting the mag release on a Glock, the extended one is not wider (which might let you hit it instead of missing it if you were off a bit) but just stuck out further, like not needing to push my thumb another 1/8th of an inch really matters. I see no reason for this modification. Maybe it would buy 1/32 of a second which matters to gamers. To me for a practical use CCW/ tactical pistol the trade off is not worth it.

The extended slide stop I was ambivalent about. The part looked similar except a tiny nubbin towards the back that stuck out a small fraction of an inch. Unlike the terrible extended mag release it did not bother me par se but it did not do anything for me either. I've never had an issue hitting the slide stop to bring the slide forward. My thumb sweeps down in light contact with the frame and there is so much surface area covered I can't see how the stop could be missed.

Personally I will stick with a 3.5lb connector and a steel guide rod as my choice Glock mod's.

For my Remington 12 gauge 870P I've done some thinking and plan to stick with a 1 point sling indefinitely. Between cycling the action and (once I get one) using the light there is enough going on toward the end of a shotgun that I do not need a sling up there.

Got a Blade Tech IWB holster as part of a trade. It is pretty nice. An undershirt is important as the edges can be a touch abrasive but otherwise it's comfortable and being able to reholster 1 handed with an IWB holster is nice. A good piece of kit.

Well that is all I can think of to talk about right now. Hope you all have a great Friday. As always input is welcome.



3 comments:

Ben C said...

I believe my m&p9 compact held 12 in the mag.

I got rid of that gun because the grip was too short for my hands, even with the pinky-extension mags; and the grip was very fat in relation to the length, and created a narrow but large lump when carried on the waist that didn't conceal well. The fullsize does much better. The compact didn't work well for pocket carry for me due to the overall thickness and the difficulty getting back out of my pocket. You could time those draws with a calender!

One flavor of guns you seem to leave out here are the mid-small single stacks. Kahr (I've got a CW45 with a night sight and it is pretty nice), Walther PPS, XDS, and the like. These give you the same, or a little more capacity than the revolvers, quicker reloads, and a flatter carry package. My CW45 has a much slimmer profile in my pocket than my LCR.

Nice ramble, keep em coming!

Ryan said...

Ben, I personally group those as single stack subcompact's. Sort of with the Walther PPK, S&W Shield, etc.

Anonymous said...

The Bersa was well described - runs great but a little hefty. The CZ 82 is even more so on both counts made above. Great gun though and could be found for bargain prices besides.

Star made a great little 9mm para, the BK. The PD came in .45acp - THAT is an awesome little gun.

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