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Archive for January, 2008

The Universal Gun—The AK-47

Posted by Gunner on January 27, 2008


Romanian WASR AK-47

   The AK-47 is the most prolific gun on the planet. It’s used by good guys and bad alike. Most people are familiar with the history of this gun but here’s a short history. Back in the later years of WWII a Soviet army sergeant named Mikhail Kalashnikov designed this weapon which was adopted by the soviet army in 1947 thus the designation Avtomat Kalashnikova Obrazets 1947. To date there are over 30 million of these weapons in service with many countries; allies and foes alike. Some believe the AK-47 was the product of borrowing design features of the German STG44. The STG44 does have a striking resemblance to the AK. This is an issue that will be long debated. My personal opinion is that Mikhail Kalashnikov designed this weapon on his own and is a bonafied genius in firearms design. Over the years this design has spawned many variations in both caliber and use. Most any Russian rifle/squad automatic now in use has it’s basis on the AK-47 design. The original guns were forged models soon after were stamped when that technology was perfected. This reduced cost as well as allowing for greater production numbers. Some countries are so enamored with this weapon they have it on the nations flag. Mozambique being the most well known. While many liberal types look at the AK-47 as the poster child for the evil of guns. Those of us who’s main hobby is shooting know better. There’s no such thing as an evil gun the person or persons that use it determines whether it’s a tool for freedom from oppression or used to oppress.

   There are more types of AK’s made than I have room to name. This particular AK-47 is from Romania and is the most common in the USA. Prices are very reasonable. This rifle was $379 at Cott Firearms in Marshall, Mo. Ammunition is increasing in price as we all know but the 7.62×39 round at Midway Usa is priced at $109 for a case of 500 rounds. Not to bad at all for a rifle round. Certainly the least expensive large caliber rifle to shoot. Whether for just a fun time at the range, hunting or home defense the AK-47 fills the need nicely. This Romanian model has a chrome lined barrel for longevity. As AK’s go I found this one well made. The rifle also comes with a magazine pouch, a cleaning kit that fits in the butt of the rifle. It also comes with two 30 round magazines and a bayonet.
   When I brought this AK home the first thing I did was take it down to remove all the cosmoline that’s used to pack guns for long term storage. You certainly should do this as well before firing yours. After cleaning and lubing I loaded up and headed for the range. Of course I always use Militec to lube all my guns and I highly recommend it.
   I setup a standard police silhouette target up and decided to fire from the 25, 50 and 100 yard line. Firing from the 25 yard line was what I expected. I was able to maintain groups of 1 inch kneeling. From the 50 yard line I fired from a kneeling position and achieved the below group firing three rounds.

   From the 100 yard line the group opened up. The AK-47 is not known for great accuracy at distance. I do believe it is more accurate than many people give it credit for. This is the 100 yard group.

   The black area of the target is a 5 inch circle. For an AK-47 or any rifle with iron sights I consider this pretty darn good and much better than I expected considering what I have heard about poor accuracy. I completely enjoyed shooting this rifle! It’s just plain fun and handles well. If you’re used to an AR15 you do have some getting used to with the different manual of arms. I shot a total of 160 rounds with no malfunctions of any type. I expected no less considering the reputation the AK-47 has for reliability. I also emptied a 30 round mag as fast as I could pull the trigger and still no malfunctions. It was a blast to, literally:-)
   To disassemble the rifle is simplicity itself. At the rear of the receiver cover is a button that is pushed in then lift off the cover. Then grasp the recoil spring at the rear, lift it up and pull it out. After that just pull the bolt and one piece gas piston to the rear where there is a notch at the rear of the receiver allowing the assembly to be pulled up and out. That’s all there is to it. From this point just clean as usual and assemble in reverse of the take down procedure. It takes about 3 minutes to disassemble!
   I’ve also been in contact with some soldiers in Iraq who in addition to the issue M16/M4 they carry an AK-47 especially when riding in a vehicle. They refer to the fact that many of the hiding places for insurgents is behind a very common building material over there which are cinder blocks(commonly referred to as concrete blocks). From what they tell me the AK-47 round will go right through a cinder block wall providing more effective fire than the issue AR15 5.56 round.
  If you want an inexpensive gun that’s a load of fun to shoot I can certainly recommend the AK-47!


My AK with a Troy single point sling

http://www.ak-47.us/ A great website with tons of AK info.

The AK-47 and US Soldiers

Middle East – AP
>U.S. Troops Use Confiscated Iraqi AK-47s
>Sun Aug 24, 2:15 PM ET
>
>By ANDREW ENGLAND, Associated Press Writer
>
>BAQOUBA, Iraq – An American soldier stands at the side of an Iraqi highway,
>puts his AK-47 on fully automatic and pulls the trigger.
>
>Within seconds the assault rifle has blasted out 30 rounds. Puffs of dust
>dance in the air as the bullets smack into the scrubland dirt. Test fire
>complete.
>
>U.S. troops in Iraq (news – web sites) may not have found weapons of mass
>destruction, but they’re certainly getting their hands on the country’s
>stock of Kalashnikovs – and, they say, they need them.
>
>”We just do not have enough rifles to equip all of our soldiers. So in
>certain circumstances we allow soldiers to have an AK-47. They have to
>demonstrate some proficiency with the weapon … demonstrate an ability to
>use it,” said Lt. Col. Mark Young, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 67th
>Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.
>
>In Humvees, on tanks – but never openly on base – U.S. soldiers are
>carrying the Cold War-era weapon, first developed in the Soviet Union but
>now mass produced around the world.
>
>The AK is favored by many of the world’s fighters, from child soldiers in
>Africa to rebel movements around the world, because it is light, durable
>and known to jam less frequently.
>
>Now U.S. troops who have picked up AKs on raids or confiscated them at
>checkpoints are putting the rifles to use – and they like what they see.
>
>Some complain that standard U.S. military M16 and M4 rifles jam too easily
>in Iraq’s dusty environment. Many say the AK has better “knockdown” power
>and can kill with fewer shots.
>
>”The kind of war we are in now … you want to be able to stop the enemy
>quick,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tracy S. McCarson of Newport News, Va., an army
>scout, who carries an AK in his Humvee.
>
>Some troops say the AK is easier to maintain and a better close-quarters
>weapon. Also, it has “some psychological affect on the enemy when you fire
>back on them with their own weapons,” McCarson said.
>
>Most U.S. soldiers agree the M16 and the M4 – a newer, shorter version of
>the M16 that has been used by American troops since the 1960s – is better
>for long distance, precision shooting.
>
>Two weeks ago, Sgt. Sam Bailey of Cedar Falls, Iowa, was in a Humvee when a
>patrol came under rocket-propelled grenade and heavy machine gun fire. It
>was dark, the road narrow. On one side, there was a mud wall and palms
>trees, on the other a canal surrounded by tall grass.
>
>Bailey, who couldn’t see who was firing, had an AK-47 on his lap and his M4
>up front. The choice was simple.
>
>”I put the AK on auto and started spraying,” Bailey said.
>
>Some soldiers also say it’s easier to get ammo for the AK – they can pick
>it up on any raid or from any confiscated weapon.
>
>”It’s plentiful,” said Sgt. Eric Harmon, a tanker who has a full 75-round
>drum, five 30-round magazines, plus 200-300 rounds in boxes for his AK. He
>has about 120 rounds for his M16.
>
>Young doesn’t carry an AK but has fired one. He’s considered banning his
troops from carrying AKs, but hasn’t yet because “if I take the AK away
from some of the soldiers, then they will not have a rifle to carry with
them.”

Staff Sgt. Michael Perez, a tanker, said he would take anything over his
standard issue 9mm pistol when he’s out of his tank.

And the AK’s durability has impressed him.

“They say you can probably drop this in the water and leave it overnight,
pull it out in the morning, put in a magazine and it will work,” Perez
said.

Update 1/31/08

I’ve wanted to attach a single point sling to this AK like the type I use on my AR15’s. The trouble was in searching the internet I found very little information or hardware to attach this type of sling to the buttstock of an AK. I came up with a simple and inexpensive solution for those who would also like to put a single point sling on their AK.

AK Sling Attachment

I found some parts I had to attach a sling to my Savage 10FP. You start with an eyelet screw. Depending on the size of the screw you drill an undersize hole then place the eyelet screw in the location shown in the picture. After that you just attach the sling attachment and your done. I used a Troy Industries single point sling I have never used. It has the H&K type single snap hook. Just snap the hook in and pull the elastic part to cover the parts of the hook to prevent accidental release which is unlikely even without it.

Troy Sling

This setup is sturdy and holds the rifle in the vertical high ready position allowing you to bring it to your shoulder very fast. It also allows you to let the rifle hang on either side to use your handgun or just rest awhile. I hope you find this inexpensive solution helpful!

Update 4/3/2008

I’ve made some changes to my AK that I have found to be very useful. I changed the wood furniture out with polymer type rear stock and front handguard.

Polymer Stock Set

As it looks now


After Refinishing in AK Black


Troy Sling On Polymer Stock

You’ll notice the rubber butt pad I also added. I have since removed this item finding it somewhat cumbersome to use. It’s just to large and catches on your clothing which loosens it. This is one add on I would not advise adding unless it is the same size as the original butt stock and is attached with screws. Another item I put on was the replacement receiver cover that has the optic riser attached. You can use the iron sights with this model. With a red dot scope it’s rather fast getting on target. The only difficulty with this arrangement is every time you remove it to clean your rifle the sight must be adjusted. It will not hold zero. Since I’m an old guy and have used iron sights for many many years I also removed this because I simply don’t want to have to re-zero the rifle after each cleaning. I have to face facts that with the natural pointing attributes of the AK you don’t really need an optic unless you just really enjoy them. They do look kinda cool:-)

mount

The above mount works much better. It’s very solid and in spite of how far forward it is the red dot view is very good making a fast sight picture a snap. This mount is from Ultimak at http://www.ultimak.com/m1-b.htm. I prefer the Aimpoint type red dot on an AK. Rather than spending the money on a real Aimpoint I have chosen to purchase an Aimpoint clone from http://www.1337tactical.com. The prices vary from $75 to $105. The difference is the $105 variety comes with a lever throw mount rather than the hex mount. For $30 I decided that the type that attached by hex screws would work just fine.


The above is the type which attaches with hex screws

This is the one with the throw lever. Both come with mounts rather than having to purchase them separately as you do with the higher priced Aimpoint.

This pretty much covers the additions I’ve made or am in the process of making. One last thing is the attachment of the single point sling on a polymer stock. The process I wrote above for wooden stocks works better on polymer than wood. It holds the sling very securely. I hope this saves you some time and money by revealing those parts which don’t work very well.

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The Ultimate Defense Handgun by Lt. Eric Windmoller

Posted by Gunner on January 19, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

 

The Ultimate Defense Handgun…

Not very often does a week go by that somebody doesn’t ask me a gun question at work. Normally, it’s a kid asking about the gun we carry or the type of caliber used but occasionally it’s an adult who wants to know a little bit more about owning a gun for home defense or wanting to get some opinions on a gun that he’s seen in a gun shop.

 Now, of course, I’m going out on a limb here writing about the “best” defense handgun someone can buy, but this is my considered opinion.

99% of the time when I’m asked about handguns for defense, I’ll recommend a revolver. Specifically, a Smith and Wesson .357 revolver. Yes, many people think a revolver is outdated…they’ll talk about lack of ammunition capacity compared to all the super “wondernines” that hold 20 rounds of 9mm. They’ll talk about how hard it is to shoot in double action compared to the single action triggers of 1911s and they may even gripe about the weight of an all steel revolver compared to the polymer semi-autos out on the market today. They’re all valid points and I never try to sway anyone one way or the other, but if they ask me what type of gun I would carry and depend on with trouble on the line, it will always be this…

 This is an older NYSP police trade in I picked up from a gun show about a year ago. It is my constant companion. It’s a 3 inch K frame S&W model 65 .357 magnum. I have since replaced the hammer with one that can be thumb cocked and replaced the ground down cylinder release because I thought the one pictured was just plain ugly. It holds 6 rounds of .357 and weighs about 32 ounces. On the reverse side I have installed a Clip Draw so the gun can be worn without a holster inside the waistband without the risk of it dropping down below the belt line.

 I recommend the Clip Draw to anyone interested in carrying a concealed handgun to eliminate the need of bulky holsters ,etc. CLIPDRAW  They are fairly inexpensive and make carrying a handgun much more comfortable. They are available for many guns including semi autos.

 When I first started in Law Enforcement, the majority of departments here in Georgia still carried revolvers. I qualified in the Police Academy with an old S&W Model 10 (pretty much exactly the same as the 65 except it’s chambered in .38 Special only and was blued instead of stainless) and the first department I worked with issued us Model 65’s with a 4 inch barrel and square butt. I enjoyed the gun so much that I bought my own and when I changed departments, I continued to carry the 65 until the Chief made us all go to Glock semi-autos. When I found the 3 inch 65 above, I knew I had to have it for an off duty gun and am glad I bought it. The shorter barrel and round butt grip makes it a touch easier to conceal and you still have all the benefits of the full size 65 such as fixed sights that won’t chip or break and the quality of Smith and Wesson parts, most notably the trigger pull which is unrivaled in my opinion in the revolver world.

 For practice, the gun can fire .38 Special ammunition, which is much easier to shoot and less expensive than full power .357 Magnums and is ideal for a new gun owner to learn with. The simplicity of a revolver is also a good selling point. There’s no safety’s to worry about…you pull the trigger and the gun fires. In all my years of shooting, for work and for fun, I have never had a revolver malfunction. Obviously, things can happen and one can break but I can say that a revolver is much more reliable than any semi-auto I have had experience with. For the person that wants a gun for protection with no desire to ever take it out from under their mattress until they need it, a revolver is ideal for that scenario. While I discourage that idea, it’s pretty common knowledge that the majority of gun owners do something very similar. It’s very easy to find near new guns for sale in the used gun display case because they’ve never been shot by the previous owner who for whatever reason decided to pawn or sell the gun back to the gun store.

 Smith and Wesson has discontinued the model 65 along with many other of their K frame sized guns and replaced them with L frame guns…guns that make the frame a bit heavier and are able to stand up to a steady diet of powerful .357 ammunition. There is a picture of an L frame gun in my photo section labeled S&W 586 if you’re interested in seeing the difference between frame sizes.

 So, when my life might be on the line and I need something I can trust that will work 100% of the time, a revolver is the way to go for me. I also carry speed strips of extra ammunition that can be easily reloaded and with practice are very fast. Speed strips are also very flat and are easily carried in a pocket for easy access. Practically speaking If the first 6 rounds don’t do the job your in trouble!

  My two cents worth: I agree with Eric on choosing a revolver not only for a new shooter but for the experienced police officer. Many people do in fact believe the revolver to be a relic from a past age but the revolver in the configuration of Eric’s with the rounds butt and three inch barrel you would be hard pressed to find a gun faster to get into action. If you think a revolver is outdated talk to Jerry Miculek who has won competitions going against semi auto shooters! Jerry shoots for Team S&W. Jerry shoots an N frame S&W with a 5 inch barrel using moon clips to fire 45 acp.

  The potency of the .357 magnum is also above and beyond any other caliber for the handgun. My old favorite the 1911 with the best ammo achieves a one stop shot rating of approximately 90% whereas the .357 125 grn JHP earns the highest rating at 97%! Mastering the double action trigger pull of a quality revolver such as this S&W is fairly easy to master with practice. In the real world the civilian licensed to carry a weapon or the off duty officer is very unlikely to be confronted by multiple attackers so the revolver is very much a viable choice. In addition carry at least two speed strips or speed loaders and you are well protected. No matter what you choose to carry practice, practice, practice. No matter which gun you choose if you buy a gun and never fire it or fire it once a year you are not protected! The S&W K frame like the model 64 or 65 as well as the former issue US Customs model 686 3 inch revolver is an extremely practical carry gun and outside of the 1911 my very favorite!

Gunner

Craig Spegel grips

Read Eric’s blog

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H&K USP Compact

Posted by Gunner on January 12, 2008


H&K USP Compact 40 caliber

   This is an H&K USP compact with the #1 trigger/safety group. The gun came with three mags. Two mags had the extended floor plate with one having a flat floor plate for CCW use. For those not familiar with the #1 trigger/safety group it allows you several options for carry. The safety is located on the frame much like a 1911 and allows for condition one or cocked and locked carry like the 1911. Another option is for the standard double action first shot. The safety lever also allows you to go from cocked and locked to pushing the safety all the way down to act as a decocker. The safety can be placed on the left or right side for southpaw shooters. The magazine release is ambidextrous. Unlike most pistols that have a button to press in to release the magazine the H&K mag release is placed low at the rear of the trigger guard. To release the magazine you simply push down on the lever button on the left as you normally would or you can use your trigger or index finger to release the magazine from the right side. I actually prefer to use my index finger to release the magazine from the right side since this allows me to drop a magazine without shifting my grip. This is a definite plus and much faster than the traditional method. This is especially true since you can release the magazine and reach for another magazine without shifting your grip and having to use both hands as many shooters do. The magazine capacity in 40 cal is 12 rounds. The weight is 24 ounces empty which is of course considerably lighter than a compact 1911. This version has a stainless slide while a blue slide is also available. The pistol is designed with a modified Browning lock system with the recoil buffer. I do like the two tone look:-)
   One thing that separates this gun from the full size version besides having a shorter barrel ( 3.5 inches) is the grip is smaller in circumference than the full size gun. For me it is more comfortable to shoot and carry. The width is also just a little thinner. It’s still a wide gun much like a Glock in width but is by no means uncomfortable to carry IWB. One thing that helps is the slide is angled at the top so the look is not as blocky as a Glock. Most polymer guns are truthfully not very aesthetically pleasing but I find this H&K to be a very eye pleasing gun.  This H&K also is a good natural pointer from the draw. I’ve found the Glock and a couple of other polymer frame guns to have an extreme  grip angle which doesn’t lend itself to pointing very well.
   Disassembly is simple and is pretty normal. You retract the slide about one half inch and push the slide release out from right to left. After removing the slide release the slide is simply pulled forward off the rails. As with most polymer guns this one has four points of contact with the slide which are steel inserts placed into the polymer frame. That’s all there is to it. Reassemble in reverse. The frame also has accommodation for a light mounted on the front light rail. A compact version such as the Insight Technology M3 or M6 light with or without a laser. These lights put out 125 lumens of a bright well focused beam. This is a very handy accessory for a home protection gun.
   As far as 40 cal ammo is concerned I use a couple of different types. One is the Cor Bon Powr’Ball. This is a 135 grn bullet at 1395 fps and 526 fp of energy. This is one smokin round! This Cor Bon load is the one that uses a polymer plug to fill the hollowpoint. This serves two purposes. The first is for more reliable feeding while the second is that when the bullet strikes a target the plug is driven back which ensures the bullet expands rapidly while giving you 12 to 14 inches of penetration which is optimal for self defense use. The other load I have used is the Winchester Ranger “T” LEO only load that is the updated Black Talon round which of course is no longer evil black since the original black coated bullet upset so many liberals. This is a 165 grn load at a little over 1100 fps and 476 fp of energy. This round expands very well and shows the usual petal type leaf edges after expansion. A very effective load that is a very popular round with law enforcement.


   Shooting the H&K is a lot of fun. The recoil is less than other polymer frame guns I’ve shot in 40 cal. H&K uses a hard plastic ring that goes around the recoil spring and freely moves back and forth under recoil thereby reducing felt recoil. It sounds simple and somewhat unlikely but it works! I went to our police department range and set a standard IPSC target up. I brought several rounds to test. The usual Winchester white box practice ammo as well as the Remington ammo which uses a flat nosed fully jacketed round. The Winchester uses a 180 grn bullet and the Remington a 165 grn bullet. I also brought along some of the Cor Bon and Winchester duty ammo mentioned above. Just out of curiosity I also brought some original Black Talons. Rare bullets and very expensive to get so I only fired a few of these. 

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Recoil Spring and Nylon Buffer

   I normally fire from ten yards when testing a gun and this was what I did this time. I also fire one mag to get a feel for sight alignment and get used to the trigger pull then step up the speed for a more realistic test simulating an armed confrontation. I loaded up with the Remington ammo first. I slow fired from ten yards using the traditional double action for the first round. The first round went dead center of the Birchwood Casey 5 inch bullseye stick on target I placed on this IPSC target. I was somewhat surprised since it’s been some time since I have fired anything but a 1911. It wasn’t a fluke though since the rest of the mag placed the rounds right on top of the first one. Of course I had to decock between rounds to fire double action. The next magazine I fired was double action first round and single action for the remainder. The way I fire the single action rounds is to release the trigger just enough to reset the mechanism. Results were great with all rounds starting to make one hole for the rounds I had fired so far. I put another sticky target up to cover the first one to continue testing. This time I decided to start with cocked and locked carry. Since I’m so used to firing a gun this way with the 1911 I found it to be very comfortable. I stepped up the speed this time and fired the first magazine firing one round then putting the safety back on and drawing from the holster for each round. This worked very well and proved accurate and a comfortable as well as a very familiar method of shooting. After this I placed the safety on and went for firing a full magazine as fast as possible. All rounds stayed very close together on this 5 inch target with no rounds outside the 5 inch circle. I switched to the Winchester ammo and repeated my first firing sequence with basically the same results. The recoil was slightly less noticeable with this lighter bullet.
   I loaded all three mags with the Remington ammo. At ten yards I wanted to go through all three mags as fast as possible using the first round from each mag fired double action. Again all 36 rounds stayed within the 5 inch target although with 36 rounds it certainly chewed the target up:-) I replaced the target and loaded the mags to capacity. From ten yards I set this sequence up to fire from cocked and locked carry. This was more familiar and comfortable for me and produced slightly tighter groups through all three mags.

   From the above picture with the pistol in the cocked and locked configuration the trigger has about the same distance to travel as a 1911. I moved back to the twenty yard line for some accuracy testing. I loaded one mag with the Winchester Ranger ammo, the next mag with original Black Talons and the third mag with the Cor Bon loads. Slow firing each mag produced some very tight groups averaging right at 2 inches for all loads. The Winchester rounds produced the tightest groups at 13/4 inches from a rest position. These are high quality loads so I expected them to be very close in results during the accuracy testing. I wanted to see how accurate the gun would be shooting from the twenty yard line standing without a rest. Of course the groups opened up to about 3 inches but from a compact gun such as this I consider the results to be very good. I’ve always found H&K guns to be very accurate whether it is a pistol or rifle. They are quiet simply some of the best made modern guns available. During all the testing I had no malfunctions of any type and honestly I would have been shocked if there had been. I fired a total of 200 rounds combined of all types of ammo available for this session.
   To sum things up I really like this pistol. I’ll find a Milt Sparks or HBE holster IWB carry and use it for my CCW weapon. You’ll usually not find me carrying anything but a 1911 but in this case being able to carry cocked and locked I feel very well protected with this H&K! Being able to carry 37 rounds in three mags is also a plus. I have a little trouble with my right hip so weight is a consideration for me at times. As I mentioned it is much lighter than my carry 1911’s so all day carry is very easy to live with. With the increasing popularity of 1911’s the polymer guns like this one have become more affordable. This pistol used a year ago was priced right at $675. I got this one last week for $525. So, these days I can buy two of this type of gun for the price of one Kimber 1911. Something to think about certainly.
  As always please feel free to contact me with your comments or questions. I hope you find this review informative and helpful!

UPDATE:1/25/08

One gripe I’ve always had with any gun of this type is the hard trigger pull when your fire the first round double action. After doing some research I took a look at the Wolff Gunspring homepage.

http://www.gunsprings.com/SemiAuto/HecklerKochNF.html#USP

I found that Wolff makes a reduced power trigger/mainspring for all H&K USP pistols including of course the USP compact like mine. I wanted to try these springs and see if this would make the double action and single action trigger pull smoother and lighter. I ordered the 12 pound and 10 pound springs to replace the factory 14 pound spring. When they arrived I decided to go straight to the 10 pound spring. I knew that I still had to have enough spring force to ignite the primers on all ammo. It took all of 4 minutes to change out the spring with the Wolff 10 pound spring. I went to the range with several brands of ammo including some old CCI/Speer ammo which is notorious for having hard primers. After firing over 150 of assorted ammo I found that the spring force was plenty to ignite the primers on all brands of ammo.
I was very pleased in that the double action trigger pull dropped by approx. 1/3 and made the single action pull lighter as well. My groups shrank by a considerable amount with this spring change. This is a very inexpensive way to make the trigger pull smoother and lighter on your H&K without spending a good amount of money on a trigger job. The springs cost less than $5.00 each. Others on the H&K Pro forum have tried or are trying this change and have had the same results as I have. As always when you make a change to your gun head to the range to ensure your gun works well and is compatible with this change. If you have another model of H&K check with Wolff or H&K to ensure this spring change will fit your gun. Good luck and happy shooting!

Update–Holsters for the H&K— 2/13/08

These are pictures of a Mitch Rosen IWB holster with a Fist IWB mag pouch. This is an excellent holster for CCW. The cant of the holster is 15 degrees of butt forward which keeps the butt of the gun close to your body so the butt of the gun doesn’t print (show) through the clothing you may be wearing. It also presents the gun in such a way as to make for a fast draw.
Mitch Rosen Holsters

Mitch Rosen USP Holster

Mitch Rosen IWB

Single Tab Snap Attachment

A fine holster for a retail of $85.00. Fist IWB mag pouch $23.00

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H&K USP Compact in action with US Customs Service

Posted in H&K Pistols, Holsters H&K USP Compact, Mitch Rosen Holsters | Tagged: , , , , | 21 Comments »

The Taurus PT1911 Stainless Has Arrived

Posted by Gunner on January 5, 2008

   After a long wait the Taurus PT 1911 in stainless steel has finally started to arrive in gun shops. I’ve been waiting on this 1911 for many a month and my local gun store got one in a couple of days ago. Yea, I grabbed it even though I thought they had the price to high at $669!. Since I got it by doing some trading it worked out fine.
   It was to late in the day to go shooting so I took my new prize home took it apart down to the last part and examined the entire gun. I found it well made with no tool marks or other anomalies. I have always heard the advertisement from Taurus about it essentially being a custom made factory gun. This sounds like an oxymoron to me since a custom gun to my way of thinking is one made by hand by such renowned makers as Bill Wilson and Ed Brown. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt so here we go. Taurus states that each part is hand fitted and while the gun will accept stock parts from after market suppliers you will have to do additional fitting since they spend so much time fitting in house components. There are a number of MIM parts in this gun without a doubt. Taurus makes them all. In fact the CEO of Taurus stated at the SHOT show that ALL parts are made on site by Taurus to their specs.
 This pistol is well made with a very nice finish.The sides of the frame and slide are nicely polished with the top of the slide a matte gray to prevent glare. The ambi safety moved off and on with a positive click. The trigger Taurus uses is a proprietary part that needs no adjustment even though it does have an adjustment screw. The trigger pull is smooth with no stacking and is consistent throughout the trigger pull. I measured the pull at just a shade under 4 pounds using the trigger pull gauge at the gun shop. I honestly wondered if the trigger spring was moving fast enough to fire the primer. I was proved wrong at the range. The MSH is cut at 30 LPI and provides a good purchase for your hand. Couple that with the factory front grip strap also cut at 30 LPI and the gun doesn’t move at all when fired. Taurus also places a 30 LPI checkering on the bottom of the trigger guard. I’m not sure of the purpose behind that but it doesn’t hurt anything. All of the checkering is well done and evenly cut.


  The magazine release is slightly longer than normal but is well done and does not release the mag when holstering the gun. The magazine well is also beveled nicely. The hammer is of the commander shape with a safety locking system at the top. I’ll never use it but I think I’ll keep the two keys that come with it.

This lock is not as obvious as some others so I see no need to change the hammer. If you did change the hammer you have to also change the hammer strut since it’s not a stock shape and is a part of the key safety system. In the above picture you can also see the slide to frame fit which is very snug viewed from the rear! The beavertail is well fitted with even spaces on each side. The barrel bushing is also air gaged for a proper fit. The pistol has a FLGR which I’ve never been wild about but is really neither a positive or negative feature.

   The rear sight is shown above. These are Heinie Straight Eight sights made under contract by Taurus. The front sight has one dot also. You simply stack the front dot on top of the rear dot and your aligned. Simple to use and very fast. Both front and rear sights are dovetailed into the slide. The rear sight has the usual hex screw for adjustment. More unusual for a 1911 is that the front sight also has a hex screw on top for adjustment. The factory grips are plastic and are very thin but feel good in the hand especially for those with smaller hands. I chose to put a pair of Mil-Tac 1* grips on mine. I love the texture of these grips
  

   I did have a small reservation before I fired the gun because the slide to frame fit was so tight. I was correct to be concerned. My concern melted away after the first 50 rounds fired. During the first 50 rounds the fit was so snug I had several failures to return to battery and chamber a round. After the first box of ball ammo was fired the slide smoothed up greatly and I experienced no further problems. The slide is still snug but very smooth now.

   This target is three seven round magazines fired from 10 yards in fairly rapid fire. The group measures 1 1/4 inches side to side and 1 7/8 vertically. Not to shabby performance from a new gun. This target was fired using Blazer brass 230 grain ball. This is the first gun I’ve owned with these sights and I must say I’m very satisfied with them. In fact even at this early stage I prefer them over any other sights I’ve used because of the ease of use and the speed which you can align them. Even with 56 year old eyes they work very well.
   I fired a total of 250 rounds of various types of ammo after the first 50 rounds of ball ammo. I used Federal Hydra Shoks, Hornady 200 grn +P’s, Hornady 230 grn +P’s, some old Winchester Black Talons and 150 rounds of the Blazer ball ammo and Winchester white box ball ammo. Again, I experienced no malfunctions after firing that first 50 rounds of ball ammo. I mixed magazines using the factory mags which are very close to the ACT mags, Wilson 47D’s, Metalforms as well as some old Colt magazines. The Taurus didn’t have a problem feeding from any of them. I didn’t have access to a chronograph this time but I believe you can determine from my shooting results that this Taurus is a fine addition to the 1911 family. A very well put together accurate pistol that in my opinion you can trust for daily carry after you run some rounds through it to break it in as you would with most 1911’s.

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