Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Steven King's "The Mist"

I just saw a clip of "The Mist," an upcoming Steven King movie. It looks lame, and it's pretty much gonna have the same plot as the "The Fog," . . . and the new "The Fog." King should have stopped letting people make movies of his books a long time ago.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Toys from Midway

I just got my latest order from Midway a few days ago. A Lasermax Uni-Max rail mount laser, Scherer slug plugs, some 10 lb. recoil springs for my race gun, an Uncle Mike's Kydex belt holster with thumb snap for my G21, and airsoft G17, and a can of Durabake paint.

Stay tuned for reviews.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lone Wolf 3.5 Pound Glock Connector Review

About a month ago, JR of Lone Wolf Distributors offered to send out free Lone Wolf 3.5 connectors to the first 1000 people to order and use a promotional code. I squeaked in near the end of the last day of the offer.

The raw data:
Stock 5 lb. connector (slightly worn) – 4 lb. 13 oz.
Stock 5 lb. connector with NY-1 leaf spring (no coil spring) – 6 ½ lb.
LW 3.5 connector (brand spankin’ new) – 3.5 lb. Really!
LW connector with NY-1 leaf spring (no coil spring) – 4 lb. 10 oz.
Scherer 3.5 connector (new) – 4 lb.
Scherer with NY-1 leaf spring (no coil spring) – 5 lb.

My trigger pull weights will likely be lighter than what you might get with a new, unaltered pistol. I stoned the rough contact areas on the trigger bar smooth, and then mirror polished everywhere on the bar that may contact something else. IIRC, this stoning and polishing cut about a half pound off the pull weight initially, and it seems to have dropped a few ounces after a few hundred rounds and some dry firing.

Related Link: 25¢ Trigger Job

Trigger feel with LW connector
If you ride the reset, you get a really nice, crisp break. If you release the trigger all the way, there’s a short amount of pre-travel, some mushy creep, and then the break. It’s not too hard to “prep” the trigger, pulling through the creep as you fine tune the sight picture.

The distance to reset feels like at least twice the distance it takes to “break” the trigger, obviously, there’s still some overtravel. The reset may be a little weaker than the OEM 5 lb. connector, but probably not by much.

Compared to the LW connector, the Scherer seems to have a lot more creep, I’ll say 20-30% maybe. The take-up with the Scherer feels noticeably lighter than the creep. With the trigger completely released, the pull feels better to me, compared to the LW connector. When riding the reset however, the LW feels better than the Scherer.

Then, I did some testing with a NY-1 trigger spring with the coil spring removed. Why remove the coil spring? An 8 pound trigger, for me, is too much. But anyway, with the olive NY leaf spring, the difference between the two 3.5 connectors wasn’t as noticeable. The LW connector gave a slightly lighter pull, but both 3.5 connectors pretty much felt the same. The 5 pound Glock connector gave a crisper pull, with about half the creep, but resulted in a fairly heavy six and a half pound trigger pull. I’m putting the NY-1 spring back in it’s bag, and sticking with the stock five pound configuration.

As I have reported before, the LW connector I ordered about a year ago didn’t really function with a NY-1 leaf spring (Click Here For Article). There didn’t seem to be enough trigger travel to release the firing pin instantly. There were no such troubles with the freebie connector. The pistol functioned normally with the new connector and the leaf spring.

Slide Drag?
I tried to detect some of the slide drag that is mentioned by some. If there is any with the connector that I received, in the G17 I tested it in, it’s really not enough for me to notice.

After Live Fire Testing:
I shot about 150 rounds with the LW connector installed. No problems, I just don’t like the mushy creep. To be fair, I never liked the feel of an OEM 3.5 connector or Scherer connector without substantial gunsmithing either, and the trigger feel with the LW connector is still better than the triggers of many DAO and Glock knock-off type pistols. If you shoot from reset all the time, it’s really sweet, but I don’t always do that myself.

Installing the connector
I tried doing it without removing the locking block pin, and trigger pin. It works, but there’s a lot of wrestling required. Maybe it’s easier with a 40 caliber ejector, I dunno.

I’d rather remove all the pins, lift the locking block a quarter inch or so, and remove the trigger and trigger housing as a unit. The trigger spring is a weak point in the Glock design, and I’d rather not mangle it any more than absolutely necessary. It takes me maybe a couple minutes to change out a connector this way, and I don’t see how there’s much room to mess it up. There’s only two springs to deal with. The trigger spring is hooked to the trigger bar at one end, and the trigger housing at the other end, and you don’t have to unhook it to change the connector. Just insert the pins and slide release lever in the order specified in the twenty-five cent trigger job instructions, and all should be well.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Why All The Fuss About Plastic Pistols?

I'm sure some of you don't understand my obsession with these plastic pistols.

I've just stumbled upon this article from Guns & Ammo's Handguns magazine. It is a polymer pistol shootout article. It may explain a bit.

Some notes on Glocks from myself:
It's not hard to get hold of a barely used Glock for about $400. Magazines can be had for under $20. Pretty much every company that makes holsters and mag pouches makes some for Glocks. My Glock 17s and even my 26 will do better than 3" groups at 25 yards; my 17 with KKM barrel will do 1.5". The M&P got a better score than the Glock for trigger control? I'd like to know how they drew that conclusion. All the sights offered by Glock are quite horrible, and this is probably some of the reason for the average accuracy. Reloading speed can be increased quite a bit by installing a $5 Scherer slug plug, as it keeps the top-rear of the magazine from getting caught on the web at the rear of the magazine well.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Some Random Concealment Holster Reviews

IWB carry in general
With a good holster [for you] IWB carry is quite comfortable with a size larger pants, or maybe with the button undone, and just the belt holding your pants on. With any significant pistol, a belt is pretty much necessary for comfort, and to keep both sides of your waistline at the same height. Without a belt, a pistol with any heft to it will sag the waistband.

Uncle Mike's Nylon Clip-On IWB

Little to no retention. I stopped carrying with it before any of my pistols hit the floor/ground, but I think it would have happened eventually. I also caught the clip bent out beyond where it would catch the belt. If the gun doesn't come out of the holster, the holster+pistol may squirt out of your pants. There are variations on these holsters, some from other companies.
I would steer clear of this type of holster. Some people carry with clip-on holsters all the time, but I'm using belt loops from now on.

Uncle Mike’s Kydex Paddle Holster

Click Here For Review

Fobus Roto-paddle (GL2 Model)

Click Here For Review

It held onto my Glock real tight, to the point that I could rip the holster out with the gun, despite a tight belt. I found the holster to be uncomfortable, and nearly impossible to conceal with because it sticks out quite far. I haven't used it in years. I can see how the rivets might fail to hold it together.
I think I'm going to cut it apart and use the Roto bit for a DIY competition holster.

Sidearmor IWB

I think mine is a Generation II. It's a very fast holster, but quite uncomfortable. It seems to pinch me if I don't have a shirt tucked in behind it. The shirt tucker adapter adds two thicknesses of 0.09" Kydex between the pistol and belt, which makes it hard to conceal. I tried sticking felt to the holster, but it's still uncomfortable. Some people love them. Someday I will get around to selling it.

Fist leather IWB #19A

More comfortable than the Sidearmor, but it's thicker, so it's still not very comfortable. Really holds onto the gun tight, but would likely loosen up if I really worked at it. It really rides too high to conceal even the small Kahr I bought it for. It wasn't cheap.
I’m going to fix this holster as soon as I get the Kydex and hardware in.
UPDATE 8/1/2010: 
I did fix it, but haven't really used the holster.  If I'm going to IWB carry, I carry the Glock 26.

Gould and Goodrich Leather Belt Holster

It looks very nice, resembling a duty holster, and doesn't conceal well. Like the Fobus, I'm constantly hitting it with my forearm, and smacking it into things. Might make a decent range/IPSC holster, but an open-front Kydex holster would be faster.

Glock "Sport/Combat" Holster

Basically it's like a pancake holster made of a plastic that feels a bit like vinyl. Conceals well, but the material is rubbery and holds onto the gun a bit too much to be fast. I like the holster, but have not used it since I bought the next one on the list. I still use the matching Glock-made mag pouches all the time.

Crossbreed Super-Tuck IWB

Man, I love this thing! Comfort is similar to the Glock-made "Sport/Combat" holster, and it's a bit faster. It will conceal my Glock 26 under a t-shirt, as long as the shirt is long and big enough. I've had one of the belt loops break, but didn't notice until I went to take it off. The holster is pretty ugly, expecially if you trim the leather away from the grip. I can reholster with one hand, which is pretty essential to me. If I had bought the regular Crossbreed IWB, I would probably have not broken the belt loop, and I've never tucked it in anyway.
Crossbreed Super-Tuck, Part 2

Crossbreed Super-Tuck, Part 3

Uncle Mike's Nylon Pocket Holster

I carry my Kahr PM9 in this most of the summer, and occasionally for family outings. It was pretty floppy, so I epoxied a plastic card to the bottom. Like the Crossbreed, it ain't pretty, but it works. It's the only thing I feel really comfortable carrying during the summer. . . all the time.
UPDATE 8/1/2010:
  The old Blue Cross card on the UM holster broke into several pieces eventually.  I made my own custom Kydex pocket holster for the Kahr.

Galco Ultimate Second Amendment Holster

This is a tuckable IWB made of horsehide. I inherited this one. It rides low, which makes concealment easier, but trying to get the stubby G26 out of it is a bit difficult, requiring scooping it out of your waistband a bit before you can really get a grip on it. The belt hook would seem to be made for 1.25” belts, but works with 1.5” belts, and holds onto the 1.5” belt really well. This may be the trick to getting J-clips to work; order for a belt the next smallest size. There are a couple strips of leather sewn into the holster to serve as a sight track, but nothing to hold the holster open after the pistol is drawn. Reholstering requires two hands and some delicacy when the pistol is loaded. I use this holster sometimes when I want to slip on something more comforting than my PM9 at home.

Uncle Mike's Kydex Paddle Holster Review

I would never buy another paddle holster, unless I needed it for some special situation, but I got this one as a freebie.

I don’t like paddle holsters, because they usually fall into one of two categories:
- The paddle doesn’t hold on well enough. Sooner or later, and probably at the worst possible moment, you’ll go to draw the pistol, and the holster will come out with it.
- The paddle holds on so well, that you practically need to take your pants off to remove the holster. This defeats the purpose of a clip-on holster.
The Uncle Mike’s kydex paddle holster falls into the latter category.

First Impressions:

- The holster is rather bulky. I’m told that the Uncle Mike’s Kydex paddle holsters usually pass IDPA tech inspection, but the holster still hangs out a bit from the waistband. As they come out of the box, I would not say that they are particularly well suited as a concealment holster.
- With the tension screws set a bit loose, the pistol will still be fairly secure, and will practically jump out on the draw. This is a fast holster.
- This is a seriously sturdy holster. I have a Sidearmor holster made from 0.09” kydex stock. I have a Fobus injection molded holster that is about 0.1” thick. The Uncle Mike’s molded holster is 0.11” thick or more, depending on where you measure.
- The box said the holster was made for a G26, but the holster also fits my model 17 just fine.
- I've heard that they don't have enough of a sight channel for tall sights, but my G17 had Heinie sights with a tall front sight, and I haven't noticed the front sight dragging on the holster. (EDIT: after some more use, I can see scratches in the sight channel)

At first, I really wasn’t sure what to do with it. I’ve got a good IWB holster for concealed carry, and therefore IDPA. It didn’t seem to be a good USPSA holster, until I had a EUREKA moment. Holsters that ride low, like a western quick-draw rig, are all the rage in IPSC/USPSA. However, usually when you are drawing from a holster in that discipline, you’re starting with your hands over your head, as if in surrender. With a holster up higher, like this holster, you don’t have to reach down as far, or come back up as far to engage the target. Although a belt slot attachment would make it easier to get on and off, the Uncle Mike’s holster works really damn well for this type of competition. If you are shooting IDPA as a “gamer,” the paddle holster is a great for that too, if you can get it by the inspector(s), and most of the time you probably will.