Friday, September 27, 2019

Damn Near Free Friday - P-85 Edition

So, continuing with the theme from this week of cheap guns; we'll take a look at something I bought out the back of Shotgun Firearm News a couple of weeks ago. We'll discuss price here in just a minute.

Why yes dear reader; that is a Ruger P-85. The few Ruger auto aficionados among you may recognize that as a pre-Mk II P-85, meaning it is a super early gun. Like first production guns in 1985 old.

So, the P-85 is a Browning style action modified to be DA/SA. Pretty straight forward.
Well designed, over built, blocky to the point of what some would call ugly, the gun just works. Ruger originally designed the gun, or at least began the process for the 1984 Joint Service Pistol Trial. Just think, we could have been carry that lovely piece of American made hardware.

So, Jackie buys my Old Man a subscription to Shotgun Firearm News every year for Father's Day. And after Pop reads them; he gives to me. And in the back each month there are generally cheap surplus pistols for sell.

Over the last six, eight months I've been looking at an ad for P-85 pistols, and have seen the price steadly decrease. When it hit $165; I said screw it and called in his my credit card and file copy of the store's FFL handy.

The gun didn't come with a magazine nor did it come with a case. And it was sticky. Yeah, ewwwww.

As a funny aside; the weapon has an import mark stamped on the under side of the frame. So, Ruger sold this particular gun somewhere aboard and then some Yankee surplus warehouse brought it back home. But being headquartered out of New Jersey, they couldn't bring in the 15 round standard magazines.

So, when it showed up at work, I field stripped it, put it back together and then did a 4473. And shot a box of Remington overrun 115 grn  FMJ through it. No issues. Other than it being legit sticky to the touch. Ewww.

And I took it down to Florida last week. Where Pudge provided some ammo for further testing.

Yeah, it ate a whole box of Tul Ammo and didn't seem to care. Other than still being sticky to the touch.

All the Ruger 9mm P- series guns feed from the same mag. So I use my stash of AWB compliant ten rounders for general range use and run Mec-Gar 15 and 17 rounders for self defense or competition.

So, in summation, a cheap, well built American pistol function just like it ought to. And gives me a fun knock around gun to wave about proving I'm not a raving Glock fan boi all the time.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Weapons Wednesday - Guns for the Space Force

 The following post is a pretty good write up over a couple of different topics. As we all know I'm a fan of "ghost guns" because Molon Labe; and I also think pistol mounted micro red dots are the wave of the future. Pudge did pretty good on this one.  And we'll begin this with a meme that hit's a little close to home to an old O-3 with a DD-214 body.

Space Force Assemble!!!!

 Not too long ago I shared with all of you my experience and thoughts of building my NAG 19 (Not-A-Glock). Well, Oops, I did it again. But this time I decided it was time to go full Space Cadet and I added a red dot sight and compensator. This is going to be my first impressions and thoughts on both pistol mounted red dots and compensators on handguns.

Better than what we posted yesterday

We’ll start with my thoughts on a pistol mounted red dot. I am guilty of being one of those guys that said, “insert some new technology here doesn’t belong or causes more issues than it solves;” (Pudge can't help that he is a Troglodyte whom thinks handgun perfection was attained in 1911 - Editor) but, I can definitely see benefits here. Not too long ago people were saying the same thing about red dots on rifles and now most of us can’t hardly imagine our rifles without them. I figured if this is the way of the future I better at least check it out and decide for myself.

 Since I run an Eotech on both my personal rifle and one of my work guns and am new to red dots on handguns I decided to go with a Holosun 507c. Now what does that have to do with Eotech? The 507c has an Eotech style reticle which I thought would be perfect to learn on. I am used to it and it gives me more error when I’m inevitably searching for the dot. It’s absolutely easier to find this reticle in a small window than just a dot. However, if you want just a dot or even just the circle you can do it with this sight. I also chose it due to the price and the reviews of many satisfied users. It fits on any standard RMR cut slide so no special slide cut is needed and there are many places you can find RMR ready slides of all styles. (For those wondering I went with one of Brownell’s RMR cut with window G19 slide.) [Hear that Pete? We'll take some sweet sweet ad money now. -Editor]

 So what can I tell you so far? I’m a fan. Not a running off to put red dots on all my handguns type fan, but a fan none the less. I can see the benefits of running a red dot. It can allow for very precise shooting at distance, does not cover up your target, and allows you to only have a single focal plane vs trying to transition between three different focal planes (rear sight, front sight, and target).

The first few times I shot a handgun with a red dot I couldn’t decide whether I absolutely hated it or just didn’t like it. After delving into what the ‘experts’ on youtube had to say I decided maybe it could turn into something I might want to have. I would like to thank/recommend Aaron Cowan from Sage Dynamics and all his videos available to help if a red dot is something you might want to try. He has lots of reviews as well as lots of instructional videos and information.

After a few outings with mine I think that I’m really going to like it. Both for the ability to shoot more accurately at distance as well as the ability to better focus on the target. You just focus on the target and bring the dot to your eye and you’re ready for business. For accuracy you now have a 2 MOA dot (depending on red dot) vs a thick front sight post and rear sights covering your target.  I’m currently slightly slower shooting with a dot than without but what do you expect after spending so long shooting handguns with irons alone. I am very confident that after a few more outings with this red dot that I will not only be more accurate but faster as well.

 Now on to compensators on a 9mm handgun. Why do I need a compensator on such a wimpy caliber? I don’t. But, if I can shoot a handgun with less recoil why wouldn’t I? It allows me to get back on target faster and in turn have faster follow-up shots. This especially comes into play as I learn to use a pistol mounted red dot. This compensator keeps the dot in the window the entire recoil cycle so I don’t have to continually search for it and never lose focus on target. After a lot of research I decide to go with the Agency Arms 417 compensator for both performance and because well, I personally think it looks pretty awesome on the front of my Space NAG. The 417 has very good reviews due to its performance and light weight construction. I am super happy with this compensator. It allows me to run this pistol very fast and accurately which is good in all aspects of shooting.

Originally, I was having issues and thought I was going to have to try a lighter recoil spring due to the decreased power to cycle the slide but after a couple of outings I am getting very comfortable with the reliability of this Space NAG. Being a custom build with everything but Glock OEM parts I think it just needed some good ol’ shooting to get broken in. A few more rounds and this very well may become my holy shnikes gun. Though I still need to add a set of backup sights before that time comes. I like the red dot, but just like on my rifle, I’m not so trustworthy I don’t need backup sights.

[Editor aside: I was really surprised with the difference in shooting a non comped Glock platform compared Pudge's comped NAG when shooting some 124 grn +P stuff.]

So far I’m extremely happy with my Space NAG. Now I just need to get recruited into the Space Force since I have a handgun befitting a member of such a unit! -Pudge

I would like to interject that while shooting the Space NAG I felt like I was "chasing the dot" a whole lot. But once you find it, figure out how to quickly reacquire it; and utilize it right; the system is a game changer. I'm a fan

Tune in tomorrow; where hangover permitting we are gonna talk about the ultimate bargain basement blaster. Thanks for stopping buy.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Tactical Tuesday - Battle of the Tauri

A special post from everyone's favorite co-blogger Pudge today. After months of vicious campaigning; I acquiesced to his desire to review Taurus pistols here. If anyone needs me I'll be taking a scalding hot shower to try and rinse off some the shame.

Battle of the Tauri-

As Mack knows, and I like to remind him every chance I get, I am a connoisseur of all firearm types both fine and fancy and crappy and crappier. Today I wanted to discuss two different Taurus pistols: the PT111G2/G2c and the TH9c. I acquired both of these pistols for different reasons. I will start off by saying that neither of these pistols would necessarily have been my first choice and I’m trying to figure out what exactly to use each of them for but I also would not over-look either if budget was a huge constraint or needed a handgun I wasn’t emotional about. I purchased the PT111 for roughly $200 brand new with a $50 dollar gift card (so $150 total) and the TH9C was purchased from Academy Sports for a little under $300 and it came with a free Rossi RS22. (In the intelligence community; this is called an indicator. -Editor)

The blog's first Taurus guns! What a momentous day!

I want to first start off by saying that there are slight changes between the PT111 and G2c. They are mostly cosmetic and are essentially the exact same pistol so I am referring to both when I discuss it vs the TH9c. The PT111 is a 12 round striker fired handgun with a thumb safety and is restrike capable. The TH9c is a 13 round (flush fit) or 17 round (extended) DA/SA, hammer fired handgun with thumb safety/decocker. We’ll try to begin understanding these handguns with the boring specs as compared to the ‘perfectly’ imperfect G19.

Barrel Length
Overall Length
13/17 extended

With that out of the way, let's discuss the good, the bad, and the eh…

The PT111 is not a terrible shooter but the trigger is not very smooth and not the cleanest breaking.(It sucks balls. -Editor) You aren’t going to win any accuracy shoots but it is more than enough minute of bad guy accurate. Interestingly enough it comes with an adjustable rear sight that is definitely usable. I think my favorite feature of this gun is the restrike capability. With good ammo you should never need this but it is a nice feature when Murphy tries to attack or you are like me and love some steel case (I can hear Mack groaning right now). 

The grip is very sandpaper like and really helps keep the gun from moving during rapid fire. On the downside this same grippiness is very rough against bare skin when being carried concealed. I like the thumb safety on this handgun. It is easy to reach with my stubby thumb and manipulate. The magazine release is reversible. Of note here though is that the thumb safety is only set up for right-handed shooters and is not reversible. The handgun takes down and reassembles like all the other plastic fantastic. There is a loaded chamber indicator on top of the slide. I want to note that Sig P226 magazines are verified to work very well in the PT111 if you want to have some larger capacity magazines. (As an aside, just the other day at work a customer was complaining that Mec-Gar -226 mags do not always work though. -Editor)

The TH9c definitely has some good things going for it. The double action trigger is long and heavy but the trigger in single action is slightly better than the PT111. I think the trigger being not quite as heavy in single action allowed for slightly better accuracy. (Accuracy was tested based on my abilities off-hand from between 5 and 15 yards.) This handgun also has restrike capabilities due to it being DA/SA. Unlike the PT111 the magazine release is already ambidextrous because it uses a cutout on the front face of the magazine. (I think Taurus made a huge mistake here by not making these magazines compatible. They are the same magazine tube but the cutouts are different. Keeping them the same would have been great due to the ability of the PT111 to use Sig P226 magazines and some of the original 24/7 magazines.) The TH9c does come with a 13 round flush fit and a 17 round extended magazine. The 17 rounder has a sleeve to provide some extra grip but can be removed allowing you to use it in the full-size TH9. One feature I do not understand at all is the decocker/thumb safety. It can be flipped up to carry the handgun cocked and locked or use it to decock the handgun and carry it hammer down on fire giving you a DA first shot. Again, similar to the PT111, the magazine release is ambidextrous but the decocker/safety is only set up for right-handed shooters and not reversible. The full size TH9 however comes with an ambidextrous decocker/safety already installed. (Not sure why they would do this on the full size and not the compact.) The grip is plenty grippy without being overly aggressive like the PT111 can be. The extra grip available with the 17 rounder inserted is definitely nice but not necessary. I think given the chance I would prefer the full size TH9 due to the extra grip and barrel length.

If I had to choose one after firing both side by side I would choose the TH9c. Even with very similar dimensions and feel in the hand, the recoil felt smoother and lighter and the trigger pull was slightly better with the TH9c. I will however continue to keep the PT111 in my carry rotation in certain circumstances because I have verified its reliability and it is an easy handgun to grab and stow. There are, without doubt, better options out there for a concealed or fighting handgun but if this is all you can afford and need something now or are looking for something to tuck away in a bag or vehicle and not have to worry about then don’t overlook the venerable Taurus models PT111G2/G2c or the TH9c. - Pudge

There you have folks a review of some bargain basement bullet throwers. I'm gonna go see how many beers I can drink before I black out tonight. I can't believe Pudge convinced me to shoot the damn things.

We also kept going into our bargain basement and did some more shooting which we'll talk about here soon. Thanks for stopping buy. -Counter Jockey.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Weapons Wednesday - Service Smiths

Most of my long time readers (all five of you) know that I have a special affection for the venerable 3rd Gen S&W bottom feeders. I don't know why. They don't anything particularly better than a Glock other than soak up recoil. They're heavy. And expensive. And some of them, like the 4586 have the ergonomics of a box car. But, for a lot of American cops they got them through twenty years on the street. And for those cops, who didn't make it until they put in their papers, they served along side them until the end of the line.

Including a bunch of tough NYPD dudes who woke up one morning and fought the opening battle of the GWOT.

That 59** DAO and J-Frame were recovered from the rubble of the WTC. Serial numbers were able to place their cops. Both tough guys in the ESU who were last seen headed up. And that is following duty hard.

Ask anyone who ever wore a uniform and swore an oath: Why did you do what you did? Duty. All stop.

Just like the guys on Ladder 118. They rode out on their last call and died on the bounce.

And if anyone asks why I swore that oath and signed on the dotted line; I'll tell them because there was a war on and a bunch of guys who I would probably be friends with, who Dad would probably be friends with, who Danny would probably be friends with, and who Pudge would probably be friends with, died doing their duty. And I wanted to make sure those goat fuckers never did it again.

And ten years later, the squids really did shove a boot up that bastard's ass to paraphrase Toby Keith.

Rest easy guys, we won. And when the dudes from 2nd Brigade showed up, I gave my counterpart my NYPD patch.

Somber Sunday

 So, been wearing a badge for seven months now. I enjoy it. Have had good days, fun days, bad days, and even dare I say it, boring days. Tod...