What gun for women?

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I was watching a video the other night on the topic of what gun a woman should buy. The suggestions were almost all dinky little pistols in .380, and .38 Special.

The main reason for their suggestions was that women don't have the strength to work the slide.

My response to that is so what?

I would rather have a big gun that is a bear to work but is easy to shoot and has a better chance of ending the fight than a little dinky gun that is easy to work but that is difficult to shoot and of a marginal caliber.

If this is a gun for your wife to use while you are at work, load it for her. Keep it safe, but keep it loaded. All she has to do at that point is retrieve it and put it on target. (Of course even better is if she can keep it on her person.)

There are gadgets and techniques to overcome the difficulty of racking the slide and I've found that most guns will run just fine, or sometimes even better, with a lighter recoil spring.

Also, a good full sized revolver is not a bad choice if you can deal with the double action trigger. Much better than a little snub for sure.

Of course, practice practice practice. I bet that many women that are steered to the dinky guns could learn the proper technique to overcome any strength differences and work a full-sized pistol just fine.

Review: Walther PPQ M2 Longslide

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This gun went right from the box to an IDPA match where I shot the classifier with it. (I smoked the close part, did ok on the second part, and fell apart after that.) I had to use an Uncle Mike's nylon holster for it because I didn't have one and you can forget trying to find one at the local gun store.

For the most part everything that I liked about the regular PPQ transfered over to the longslide version except that somehow the extra inch in slide length was screwing up how well it pointed for me. The front sight was constantly low and the length made it harder to get a good sight picture with the wide rear sight that Walther puts on these.

So honestly I was a little ambivalent about the longslide after that match. That changed after I got a chance to experiment with loadings. When I got the right load it was almost like cheating, it was that easy to shoot fast and accurately.

When you have a load that doesn't recoil as much as a standard loading the extra length keeps the longslide running flatter than its standard counterpart. So it's quicker back on target and it still has that incredible PPQ trigger reset. I was doing some drills back to back with my Glock 19 and I was just smoking the 19. The 19 has a few mods including a 3.5 lb connector and the PPQ longslide is still factory stock, yet I was whole seconds faster with the PPQ and more accurate too.

The lack of aftermarket support is still a bummer and even worse than the standard PPQ. I still haven't found a good gaming holster for it. I am running a knock off the popular Raven Concealment Phantom holster, but it sits too high on the belt for gaming purposes. (It would be excellent for conceal carry if you prefer OWB though.)

So in summary, as great as this gun is, it's still held back some. It's kind of frustrating because I can sense the potential of this gun.


Interesting slide cuts to save weight
IMG_0890.jpgIt seems wider when you are making 20 yard shots against the timer.

Review: Glock 20SF long term

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My first review of this gun was just a quickie right after I bought it. It's been about a 18 months since then and I have a lot more trigger time on this gun and more importantly carry time.


KKM Barrel
Ghost Inc. Evo Elite connector
Warren Tactical sights (tritium front, plain rear)
Lone Wolf stainless steel guide rod
ISMI 22lb recoil spring



So, first things first. Take your stock barrel out and throw it in the trash. That might be an unpopular statement but I feel it's a true one. The stock barrel has poor case support, is not recommended for lead bullets, and has trouble stabilizing long bullets. I will admit that if all you ever shoot is factory 180 grain ammo you don't absolutely need a new barrel but you are losing a lot of capability.

I still think it's a little fat, but I've learned to live with it.


This gun is very accurate. I take it out to the 50 yard line at my range frequently, and do pretty well with it. I take a 100 yard rifle target used for sighting in and can manage to keep most of my shots on it. I have considered using it for hunting.

I don't know exactly how many rounds I've put through it, admittedly not a huge amount due to the cost of 10mm ammo, but in roughly 500 rounds it has not had a malfunction. I've run XM10, Silvertips, Blazer Aluminum, and Buffalo Bore ammo through it without a hiccup.

It carries surprisingly well for such a chunky gun. I carry it in a Comp-Tac MTAC holster and it's very comfortable. It's my "vacation gun" and it's common for me to carry this big old beast all day while driving, hiking, camping, etc. I only take it off to sleep, swim, bathe, etc.

The versatility of this gun is amazing. With only an ammo change I can have a gun suitable for concealed carry in an urban evironment, or hiking in Alaska. That's pretty impressive, and I take advantage of this a lot. For urban use I load Winchester Silvertips which are really just a little step up from .40S&W, and when out in the boonies I load Buffalo Bore 220 grain hardcast bullets.


If for some reason I could only have one gun, it would be this gun. I can't think of any higher praise I could give it. (Luckily I don't have to make that choice.)

Another 9mm WST load

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COL: as long as possible
Bullet: 147 grain JHP (Zero)
Primer: WSP
Powder: 3.6 grains WST

Test #1, Glock 19:
Avg FPS: 910.8
Std Dev: 21.92
Power Factor: 133.89

Test #2, Walther PPQ M2 longslide: (review on this gun to come)
Avg FPS: 931.0
Std Dev: 0.71
Power Factor: 136.86

Funny what a difference the gun makes. When I was running these through the G19 I was thinking these are ok, nothing spectacular. Then in the PPQ it was incredibly consistent from shot to shot. I don't think I've ever seen a sample that close together in a low power pistol load.

They do shoot a little high though due to the slow 147 grain bullet. I tend to shoot a little low at speed anyways, so we might cancel each other out. I don't think it's enough to matter.

Temp was about 70 degrees. Just a beautiful day. WST is inversely temperature sensitive so the hotter it gets, the slower it gets. I wanted to have a little bit of a cushion because of that and it appears that I do (8.8% over minimum for minor power factor).

Review: Glock 41

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This should be a quick review. If you like Glocks, and you like the .45ACP cartridge, you should buy this gun.

My first thought of the Glock 41 was that this gun was truly something different. I own both a Glock 21 and a Glock 20, which are the "big boys" of the Glock family. They're anything but sleek, but manage to rise above that and be very good guns in their own right. The 41 is everything those guns are but slimmer. I even think it's a better carry gun than the 21 even though it's longer.

But when you think about it, it's really not that different. The 30S was kind of the trailblazer for Glock here, but also the 34. You could kind of morph those two guns together and get a 41.

Ok, enough talk. I won't bore you with specs you can read on Glock's website. Let's get to the shooting.

I took my Glock 41 straight from the box to an IDPA match. No lube, inspection, prep, etc. Nothing. (Try that with a 1911 and see what you get.) My first 10 shots were are all 0's. Nice. To me I felt like it handled pretty much like a 20/21. I didn't have any issues finding the front sight. The trigger is pretty decent, lighter than I expected, but otherwise typical Glock. Competitors will want an aftermarket connector but it's not absolutely required.

I did have a jam on my second stage. You had to draw to retention and fire on two targets. After my first shot the gun didn't go off. I looked down and there was a brass casing wedged in the ejection port. I cleared it and racked it and finished the match without another issue. I believe it was limp wristing to blame. I was shooting reloads and the gun was very new, so it will be interesting to see if this continues to be an issue as it breaks in, or if it does it with factory ammo.

One negative that should go away is that there isn't a lot of aftermarket stuff out there yet. I called a couple of barrel makers about a threaded barrel and we're pretty much out of luck until the summer.

In summary, I think the Glock 41 will be a winner for Glock. As far as I know this gun could shoot in all the IDPA classes and be competitive, which is kind of cool. I'm also really curious to see if there will be a 10mm based off the 41. (Note to Glock, I will buy that in a heartbeat.)

Time for some pics.


This slide has been on a diet.

I never thought I would see a Glock chambered in 45 fit in a holster for 9mm Glock.

Finally I have a Glock which has a longer barrel than the light attachment.

Match 1/19/14

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My first match in a while. Seems like every match in the last quarter of 2013 got rained out, and of course I had my usual number of things come up and get in the way, so I think it was about 3-4 months since my last match.

It was also the first match I have shot with my Walther PPQ.

Normally I just try to get a "good enough" sight picture on the target and move on to the next one, but with all the rust and running a new gun I was being really deliberate. Turns out that doing this translated into my best match in a long time. In the four field courses I had two 0's, a -1 and a -2. I never shoot that clean. Never. The drill wasn't as good, I shot a -11 on that but it was still good enough for the top 1/3rd overall.

Anyways, I ended up in 3rd place in ESP. Granted it's just a friendly club match, but that's my best placement in a long time.

This match just reinforced for me that I love the PPQ. The trigger and accuracy of the PPQ are incredibly good for a stock production gun.

I did have one bobble with the gun. The slide locked back and I still had bullets in the mag. My first thought was a double feed because I could tell the slide was back. I pulled the mag and didn't see anything hung up in there so I slammed the mag back in and racked it and finished the stage. On this particular stage you transfer from a one-handed retention shot to a two-handed shot. I think what happened was that as I added my support hand I ended up putting upward pressure on the slide lock so that when I pulled the trigger the slide locked back.

Review: Walther PPQ M2

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I love this gun.

The trigger is excellent. I have not measured it personally, but a trigger pull gauge will show about 5 lbs of force is required to pull the trigger. That feels about right, but it's a somewhat misleading fact. I have guns with 2 lb triggers that are not as nice as the PPQ's stock trigger. The take up is smooth, but just firm enough that it still feels deliberate. Once you've reach the end of the travel it will break with very little additional effort. The reset besides being short is very tactile. They even get the trigger safety right. It's there, but you will not notice it. With Glock's I sometimes feel that all the recoil is being sent into my finger through the safety tab, and with M&P's I sometimes can get blocked by the safety if I don't deliberately get on the lower half of the trigger.

Accuracy is also excellent. Some of that excellence is likely due to the trigger, but the slide to frame fit is definitely above average for a production gun. Despite the tight fit, the slide movement is very smooth. Also, kudos to Walther for including the factory test target. The last gun I bought that included a test target cost almost 4x as much.

The ergonomics get high marks. It includes 3 interchangeable backstraps so that you can tailor the fit to your hand. (I don't care for the bulbous growth on the large backstrap, but I can live with it.) The stippling is good, grippy without being rough. The mag release, which is different from the previous PPQ, is nice and big. It's also protected so that you won't press it accidentally, and is reversible. The slide stop is ambidextrous and hard to miss.

I think the one area that some might object to on the Walther would be the sights. I personally like them, but they are more of a speed sight which I am fairly used to. Some might want night sights or fiber optic for competition which are pretty common things to alter on a stock gun so I wouldn't let it effect my purchase decision.

If I have to find some fault with the gun it would be lack of accessories, and lack of aftermarket support. I think those things will come with market success. Also it seems needlessly thick where the slide release is. Slimmer is always better in my opinion.

This was the result of the first 8 magazines I put through the gun. Distance was 7 yards.

Why I hate fiber optic sights for a carry gun

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For competition, fiber optic sights (FOS) are the choice of many top competitors.

I'm not a top competitor, but I have been to many competitions and they are not held in low light conditions like you might encounter as a CHL holder. (Night matches an obvious exception.) Most importantly they tend to be held outside.

The fiber in your FOS is actually a plastic with a UV fluorescent dye added. UV light is not visible to us humans, but the fluorescent dye in the FOS absorbs UV light and emits visible light. Thanks to the refractive properties of the plastic it comes out at both ends.

Because of this fluorescence FOS work really well outside in the daytime, even if the sun is obscured. You will see the front sight really well. (At times, I think too well.)

But what happens when you take the UV source away from your FOS? As a gun nut, personally, I think they suck. They are harder to see than white/back sights that came on your gun from the factory.

But, foo, I always use a flashlight whenever it gets remotely dark. Well ... I still think they suck. There's no fluorescence so all you have is the reflective properties of some dull plastic. You just can't beat the reflective properties of white paint here.

Here are 11 pics I took in the ambient light of early morning in my office. I had a loose sight that came off my M&P when I replaced the stock sights with some non-FOS from Warren Tactical. The equipped sights are Warren/Sevigny competition sights. There's been no editing or anything done to them. In the last two pics I turned the flash on so that you could get an idea of what the they look like when using a flashlight.

Decide for yourself, but before you say that you can't see any difference on some of the pics, click for the full pic. The thumbnails aren't the best representation, and I think the difference was even larger to the eye. It's hard to represent the true difference with a picture.


M&P Shield Update

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So after 2 months (if that) of carrying my Shield everyday, the mag catch started giving me problems, and eventually became nonfunctional.

I called S&W and they were very nice and sent me an RMA label, and I had every intention of sending it off, but as I was boxing it up I decided to see if I could fix it myself.

As soon as I popped the mag catch out the problem was obvious: RUST.

I hit it with a steel brush and bathed it in CLP, and the mag catch is working perfectly again.

I've carried at least a half dozen different guns inside the waistband over the years, and I've never had a gun that rusted or needed special attention to the mag catch before. The mag catch is not addressed in the field strip and maintenance section of the manual (not that I read the manual beforehand).

It's a modern polymer handgun, rust shouldn't be an issue!

If the rust comes back, I will probably paint it or get it Parkerized or something.

Review: M&P Shield 40 S&W (in 3 words)

Get the 9.

If you'd like to keep reading, I'll go into more detail.

The Shield is a great carry gun for those wanting something as small as possible, while still providing most of the features of a duty sized gun. I'm not going to waste a lot of time glowing about it, because it's already been done.

The trigger is much improved over the standard M&P, but still not terrific. It did seem to smooth out over the 250 rounds that I shot it, but it's gritty and stacks quite a bit. On the plus side, the reset is positive and almost Glockish. Also the break feels more forward with not much over travel.

The sights are standard 3-dots. I found that 165 gr ammo shot a little low, and 180 gr shot a little high at 7 yards. At 20 yards the difference seemed to disappear and both were fairly close to point of aim.

Accuracy is surprisingly good. I had no problem picking off various chunks of debris on the berm at 20 yards. When dealing with head shots, hostage scenarios, etc. the Shield wouldn't be a limitation. It wouldn't be my first choice, but it is accurate enough to do the job if you do yours.

The recoil is a bit much. I did manage a couple of rapid mag dumps while I was still fresh, but after 50 rounds my support hand was wore out and I just gave up trying to fight the recoil. At that point I resorted to reseting my grip after every shot. If you are not a recoil junky, I would pass on this caliber for the Shield. I found myself fighting a flinch after a while, and really had to work on watching the front sight lift.

All in all, it's really a great gun limited by it's recoil.

Recent Comments

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