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Posts Tagged ‘9mm’

Taurus 709 Slim CCW Perfection

Posted by Gunner on January 27, 2011

   I was looking for a small CCW 9MM at a local gunshop. Like I need another one:-) After some looking at various pistols I decided to take a closer look at the Taurus 709 Slim and I’m glad I did!
   Taurus has been very active in the last few years creating some interesting designs for just about any purpose. This little pistol is very light and points naturally when brought up to eye level. The grips are aggressive enough to provide a good grip without being abrasive in the least. All edges of the gun have been mildly rounded to prevent any snags or those annoying cuts to your hands.
   The sights are adjustable and have a very low profile. They use the standard three dot system. The trigger is very good especially for a stryker fired pistol. The slack is reasonably short with a crisp break. It also has the double strike feature should a round fail to fire on the first trigger pull. The center of the trigger has the usual plastic piece as a safety as well as a manual safety located in the same area as a 1911. The ejection port is completly open on the top of the slide which helps with positive ejection. The extractor is located on the outside of the slide. When a round is chambered the extractor protrudes a bit so that you can feel a round is chambered. It also has a red line on the top of the extractor.

Model: 709B   Finish: Blue   Status: Available  
Caliber: 9 mm   Grips: Checkered Polymer   UPC: 7-25327-60562-1  
Capacity: 7 +1   Weight: 19 oz   Barrel Length: 3″  
Construction: Steel   Frame: Compact   Action: SA/DA  
Front Sight: Fixed   Length: 6″   Order #: 1-709031  
MSRP: $483.00  


   This shop has an indoor range and fortunately for me they had a rental Taurus 709. I loaded up with 100 rounds of 9MM and headed into the range. I shot groups from 7, 10 and 15 yards. The little pistol performed very well with no malfunctions of any type. The group at 7 yards averaged just inder 2 inches with those at the 10 yard line ran 2 1/3 inches. From 15 yards the groups opened up to 3 inches. This is good combat accuracy and would be very suitable for concealed carry defensive situations.

     The grip feels good with a size that is not to small for normal size hands but not to large for small hands.Taurus did their homework on this design. I dropped this pistol in my front jeans pocket and it disappeared and would never be noticed if you choose to carry that way. I would counsel using a holster however.
      Takedown is simple in fact very much like a Glock. There are two plastic pieces just above the trigger guard that are pulled down at the same time. You simply pull the slide off. Note that the pistol must not be cocked to do this. That’s all there is to it.
      I can recommend this Taurus for CCW and would feel well armed carrying it with a spare magazine. If you have any questions or comments feel free to send them in and I will answer them as soon as I can.

Happy Shooting!

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Posted in Taurus | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Springfield Armory XDm

Posted by Gunner on January 25, 2010

The XDm with case and included accessories

   I recently traded for this Springfield XDm in 9mm. This is a real value considering the quality of the pistol as well as the nice case with the included accessories of a holster, mag pouch, loading tool, extra magazine and extra backstraps. One interesting thing about this setup is that many of the items have a Picatinny rail built in so that accessories can be attached to other accessories. For instance the loader can be attached to the mag pouch to reduce the space taken up on your belt. You just push a button and the loader releases for use. The side of the main case has a rail also so that any other accessory can be carried on the outside of the case.

   The pistol itself is a definate upgrade to the standard XD. It’s not only about the “M” or Match build but the change in the grip ergonomics as well as the ability to change backstraps to fit your hand. The M also has a 4.5 inch barrel which I look at as a perfect size for this pistol. The 4 inch just seemed to give the pistol a look I wasn’t that fond of. The changes made as well as the two tone finish make for a handsome pistol. The longer sight radius is also a plus. The frame cuts allow for good indexing as well for your trigger finger whether shooting left or right handed. Of course it also has what has become standard on most pistols and that’s the light/laser rail. The mag release is also ambidextrious. The one problem I saw with the magazine release is that when you have a full 19 rounds in the mag it’s almost impossible to release the mag. It’s just to tight to push the button and release the mag. You have to load 18 rounds for the mag release to work properly. I don’t really look at this as a big problem but it should be noted. I doubt this is an isolated case rather a problem with all of these. I can certainly live with 18 plus one rounds:-) The loader is also a handy item since getting to about round 15 it gets pretty hard to add rounds to the mag. As mentioned the barrel and fitting of the barrel to the slide is match grade. The barrel is marked match and can be seen in the photo above. Believe me it shoots match quality groups! Another issue to mention is with the grip recontoured it’s much easier to conceal even though the size accomodates the large magazine. I’ve not had a chance to measure this grip width againest a standard XD but I believe it’s a bit narrower. The slide has also been recountoured so that the base of the slide is the wider portion with the top of the slide narrower.

   On to shooting:-) I set a target up and shot from 10, 15 and 25 yards. I used a combination of Remington flat point as well as Winchester white box and PMC “Brass” 9mm. The grip feel is better than the older standard XD. I changed the grip backstrap and found the medium strap to be the best for me. The trigger pul is also refined from the standard XD. Trigger pull is 5.4 pounds with a travel length of what I would compare with a 1911 and is crisp compared to the mushy trigger of many polymer pistols. Groups at 10 yards using a 5 inch Birchwood Casey target made one hole of 1 1/4 inch with all brands of ammo firing one magazine of 18 rounds. Moving back to 15 yards the groups opened up a bit with the Remington ammo achieving the best group at 2 1/8th inches standing unsupported. At 25 yards the Remington ammo again gave the best results with groups of just a hair under 3 inches kneeling resting with my elbow on my leg and taking my time. This pistol certainly shoots better than most and better than any other polymer pistol. I’m sure the match setup contributes to the level of accuracy I experienced. Is it a tuned match 1911 well no but this is a combat pistol not a true match pistol. In this role it excels.
  The pistol is a good natural pointer and comes on target fast. The sights are good with enough light on both sides of the front sight to help accuracy and speed. To be honest I’ve never been a big fan of polymer pistols especially Glocks. Ok don’t beat me up that’s just my take on them not a universal condemnation. This polymer I like very much because it feels and shoots more like a standard all steel pistol. Another feature I like is the ambi mag release. I prefer to release the mag with my index finger of my shooting hand because I don’t have to adjust my grip as much or at all. When all is said and done this is a good buy and a worthy contender for a daily carry pistol as well as local competition.
  Any comments or questions? Feel free and I’ll get back to you pretty fast usually. Be safe and enjoy our sport!

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Posted in Springfield Armory | Tagged: , | 15 Comments »

Smith & Wesson Military & Police

Posted by Gunner on May 21, 2009


My son is leaving for Iraq again and left his S&W M&P 9mm for safekeeping and to let me enjoy it. This polymer pistol is full of useful features uncommon to most pistols of this type. The obligatory lawyer proofing feature on this one is a lever inside the mag well that is pushed down to disconnect the sear when disassembly is done.
Note the small lever lowered into place in this photo.

The color doesn’t show in the photo but the lever is yellow in color and is very easy to spot and can be lowered by using a pen, handcuff key or any small object. Once the lever is lowered into place with the slide locked back the lever at the front of the frame is rotated clockwise pointing down much like a Sig. The ambi slide release can be depressed and the slide comes off the frame rails very easily. Take down is standard from this point on by removing the recoil spring and barrel. Cleaning is then done as normal. Once the barrel is cleaned inside and out and the slide is lubed it can be reassembled at this time. The frame is cleaned very easily because of the polymer construction. A small drop of MiliTec is placed on the four point slide guides built into the modular frame. A small drop is also used on the trigger spring as well as the area around the striker at the rear of the frame. At this point push the lever previously discussed(sear lock lever-yellow) upwards then move the slide on the four frame guides. When the slide is held all the way back lock it in place with the slide lock then rotate the take down lever counter clockwise. The slide release can then be activated allowing the slide to move all the way forward. The pistol is now cocked so before pulling the trigger make sure the chamber is empty before placing a fresh mag in the pistol. Since it is striker fired you won’t damage the pistol by dry firing.
This photo shows the sear lock lever in the up position.

The pistol also has a feature becoming more common in pistol designs and that is the interchangeable grip inserts. The S&W comes with three inserts. The medium is the one that comes installed from the factory and the small and large are in the box. This is a very handy feature especially for police departments that have smaller female and male officers officers. They can customize the pistol to fit their smaller grip size. Changing the grip inserts is very simple. At the base of the grip behind the magazine is a small half moon piece that rotates in either direction. Turn it halfway in either direction and pull it straight down removing it from the grip frame. At this point it’s very easy to simply pull the insert out and replace it with the desired one. There are two notches that fit into the frame with very little force. Once in place simply push the long pin you just removed all the way back into the grip frame and turn it back to the original position even with the grip. It’s now locked into place and ready for use.
The three grip sizes

A very handsome pistol!

Compared to most very blocky unattractive pistols S&W placed some thought into making this one a nice looking 9mm. It has the slide cuts that are very aggressive but not uncomfortable in the least. It also has a blended rail for attaching various lights, lasers etc. The rail doesn’t add bulk to the pistol or hang down below the frame. In fact some standard holsters work with this pistol. The sights are the low mount Novak type which are my preferred sight pattern. They are easy to align and don’t catch on clothing when drawing. They have three dots as standard but night sights are available as an option.
Rear Novak Sight

Another feature is the loaded chamber indicator. At the top of the slide there is a small circle which allows a clear view of the loaded round in the chamber. This small circle is beveled to make it much easier to see if the chamber is loaded. The slide release as mentioned before is ambidextrous. The mag release is also reverseable. I prefer to have my mag release on the right side and release it with my index finger of my right hand. That way I don’t have to change grip to drop the mag. Changing it to the opposite side is simple and take a couple of minutes. Again you look into the magwell and you’ll see a spring vertically mounted holding the mag release in place by being on the right side of a small block. To change simply use a small screwdriver and pull the spring back to free the mag release. Once released remove it by slight rotation and pulling it free to the left side. The mag release button is then placed into the frame from the right side. As it contacts the previously mentioned spring use the screwdriver to pull it back so the release block will clear then drop the spring to the left side of the release block. That’s all there is to it your ready to go.
Shooting the M&P is straightforward and has a nice trigger that breaks at just below 6 pounds. That sounds like a lot but with the trigger design it feels less. The trigger is hinged at the halfway point and also uses a center piece that must also be depressed to fire the weapon. The magazine holds 17 rounds of 9mm. At the time my son bought this one S&W had the rebate program on the M&P. He chose to get two extra magazines for a total of “5”!!! He purchased the police package that had three mags. That is a very good deal considering the magazine prices these days. That’s also a heck of a lot of ammo on hand before having to reload! Also the magazines are made by MecGar which are becoming the standard magazine for many gun makers. They are very reliable and long lasting even when kept loaded over a long period of time.
This group was fired from 10 yards

The group above was for sighting the pistol in for my old eyes:-) It was already very close and only needed a light tape to get it right on the money. This is a group of 9 shots. One at the top and the two on either side was before adjusting the sights. After that the remaining 6 rounds went almost into the same hole. Plenty accurate to say the least. I fired ammo from Winchester (white box) as well as various duty loads. All total 6 brands of 9mm. The pistol seemed to prefer the Hornady TAP ammo as far as accuracy is concerned. I shot from ten yards, 15 yards and 25 yards. Instinctive shooting (no sights used) was very good. I used the large grip insert and found it pointed very naturally and all rounds fired at 7 and 10 yards at single and dual targets went right where I wanted them again without using sights just bringing the pistol up to about chin level and firing from one target to the next. Head shots were easy as were center mass shots. The grip angle is always a great help with this type of shooting. The grip angle is much less than the Glock especially with the large grip insert. I have never been fond of the extreme grip angle of the Glock and instinctive shooting for me is not easy with any Glock.
To sum it up this is a well thought out and designed pistol which would serve a police officer well as a duty arm as well as an off duty or civilian CCW pistol. Many holsters are available for it from IWB’s to duty gear as well as belt holsters of many kinds. My choice of holsters is and will always be Erik Littles beautiful holsters and gear. You can find his holsters, mag pouches, belts and many other items at You’ll find an extensive review of his gear on the blog in a couple of places. One is listed with a hi power and the other is a seperate review concerning his gear only. He has been featured in Handgunner magazine as well as others and has a perfect reputation.
If your looking for a reliable well designed defensive pistol in 9mm you really would be hard pressed to beat this S&W. S&W took on a tall order when they gave the Military and Police moniker from the old wheel gun we’ve all used for so many years and bestowed it on this new line.
I hope you found this review interesting and informative and as always feel free to write whenever you have any comments or questions:-)

Posted in S&W Semi Auto's | Tagged: , | 12 Comments »

Cor-Bon DPX

Posted by Gunner on November 3, 2008

   I’ve always liked innovative  people and the companies they run. Cor-Bon certainly is one of those companies. I’ve used a lot of Cor-Bon ammo over the years and now there is even more reason to with the companies DPX ammo. One thing is sure they make a type of ammo for just about anyone and fits every nitch there is whether it’s hunting or self defense.
   A couple of weeks ago I bought one of the German police Sig P6 pistols. While they were running the paperwork through I started looking at the ammo that was available in 9mm. My eyes caught the DPX box so I started reading the velocity of this 115 grn round. At 1295 fps it’s a screamer as are most Cor-Bon loads. What piqued my interest when I opened the box was the huge cavity hollowpoint. I’ve never seen a hollowpoint that large or deep. Combine that speed with the solid copper Barnes bullet and the large cavity and you have potential for a very effective defense or duty round.
   I did read an article on this round where they took two layers of shirt material one being a heavy wool and the other a standard cotton type. This was layered under a heavy piece of jacket leather with ballistic gelatin backing. The goal has been to achieve 12 inches of penetration in 10% ballistic gelatin. In this test they penetration was right at 12 inches with 100% weight retention and full expansion.
  My test was with water. I placed four 2 liter bottles of water back to back with a backing of old leather behind the first two bottles and behind the last two bottles just in case it penetrated that far. Gelatin is more realistic but water is a valid medium to use and yields similar results as far as expansion. With some calibers the round expands into four petals with the 9mm there are six.
  I setup with a Hi Power and the Sig P6. I proned out and fired first with the P6 which has a 3.9 inch barrel while the Hi Power has a slightly longer barrel. The results were pretty equal in spite of the barrel length. The bullet expanded very well and stopped after penetrating two of the bottles, the leather and stopped in the third bottle after making a small dent in the back of the third. I set everything up again and fired the Hi Power. This round went through two of the bottles, the leather and the third bottle then dropped to the ground after the third bottle. Certainly very similar results. I repeated this four times with the same results which indicates to me quality consistent loading. In other test I’ve had more deviations in velocity and penetration. All rounds fully expanded and retained 100% bullet weight. Expansion was .60! Being a one piece bullet it also has greater potential for penetrating glass, car bodies etc for those in law enforcement. The petals all folded out just a bit more than 90 degrees to the bullet body. The edges of the petals are sharp and are far enough apart to not clog when passing through most any material. Kinda like a little buzz saw:-) In fact I cut my finger a little handling one. There are also small serrations inside the bullet cavity to ensure expansion. I have a feeling that in a more robust material the petals would most likely open further curling back towards the body of the bullet.
   On to particulars. The DPX stands for “Deep Penetrating X” referring to the Barnes homogeneous copper bullet. The original round had four petals as I mentioned earlier looking like an”X” hence the name. I guess you could call this 9mm a hex bullet 🙂 Overall length of this 9mm is 1.12″ which is somewhat longer than most but due to the bullet shape it feeds like a charm in everything I fired it in. Standard deviation was 16 from the Sig which is pretty darn good in my view. This Cor-Bon is more accurate then I am capable of shooting and is more than accurate enough for any defensive situation. Recoil is not bad considering the velocity.

The cost of Cor-Bon ammo has always been a bit higher than other popular brands but then how much is your life worth! To sum things up it’s my belief this is the best round to come around in a long time. Time and study of actual shootings with this Cor-Bon offering will prove it to be effective enough that police departments will adopt it. Velocity, reliable expansion and penetration are the criteria by which ammo is judged. The DPX passes the test and then some. I believe in it enough after doing these test that it’s now my carry round of choice.

An Opinion on DPX ammo by John Farnham

Pistol Bullet Performance:

The last time we did a bullet performance test was during a course in PA early last year. At that time, friend and colleague, Mike Shovelfrom Cor- Bon brought out huge blocks of ballistic gelatin, and we shot them with a variety of commercially-available, high-performance pistol ammunition. We required each bullet to first penetrate four layers of denim before entering the gelatin. At that time, we discovered that denim retarded and frustrated the expansion of a number of conventional, hollow-point bullets. In bare gelatin, most expanded just fine, but the denim barrier presented a problem for all but a few.
Last weekend, again in PA, Mike joined us once more for an Advanced Defensive Pistol Course, The gelatin tests continued:Many commented last time that they wondered what effect a heavy,leather jacket would have on pistol-bullet performance and penetration.So, this time we required each bullet to penetrate a leather jacket AND four layers of denim before entering the gelatin. Each student subjected his own, carry ammunition to the test. Here is what we found:The combination of leather and denim frustrated most conventional,hollow-points. Most traversed the gelatin with badly-compromised expansion . Some did not expand at all. Even Cor-Bon’s vaunted PowerBall (45ACP, out of my Detonics) did not do well in this test. I was surprised, as few rounds will out-expand PowerBall, but the layers of clothing, combined with the Detonics’ short barrel, conspired to thwart performance.The one round that expanded consistently and completely, despite the leather and denim barrier, in all calibers, was Cor-Bon’s DPX! DPX, in 40S &W, 45ACP, 357SIG, 38Super, and 45AutoRim, were all unimpressed by the leather and denim. Even 380Auto DPX, out of my little Kel-Tec,was immune. It expanded symmetrically and completely, penetrating nine inches of gelatin, after penetrating the clothing.I am more persuaded than ever that DPX provides superior performance in the widest spectrum of circumstances, consistently outperforming any other bullet of which I am aware.



Update on a .454 caliber DPX

This is some additional info on the DPX given to me by Justin Cherington who shoots the DPX with the same opinion I have on this fine round from Cor-Bon.
“Average FPS was 1,580.2. Average expansion came out to .756″ and of course I have always seen 100% weight retention. In blocks of packed wet newspaper the average penetration was 16 inches with full expansion/damage starting at 3″. From what I have seen they penetrate about the same as the heavier 300 grain Hornady XTP if velocity is the same however they only averaged 87% bullet weight retention and expanded to .749 so the barnes has them beat! ”

Posted in Handgun Ammo | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Sig Sauer P6

Posted by Gunner on October 14, 2008

Sig P6 German Polizei Import

Photo Courtesy of Hi Powers and Handguns

As many of you know the German Police or Polizei have switched to the H&K line of handguns. All of the old Sig P6’s, or as we know them here the Sig 225, have been imported by Century International for sale in the USA. Conditions on these guns varies from good to very good. Most have not been shot very much and most wear is from holster carry. Of course this is true whether it’s an American trade in or a German trade in. You can certainly get a fantastic bargain on this particular pistol. The Sig P6 is imported for sale in the standard blue Sig case with two magazines supplied. Most dealers who carry these fine pistols sell out of them as fast as they get them in. It’s no wonder! Where else can you purchase Sig quality for around $300 to $350! This model Sig is essentially a Sig 226 in compact form using a single stack mag configuration with the mag holding eight rounds of 9mm. I owned the American version P225 back in the mid 1980’s and found it to be a very fine pistol with outstanding accuracy. It also is thinner than most compact pistols such as the Glock and conceals very well. I know many shooters feel that you should at least have 13 or more rounds of 9mm to be considered well armed. I take issue with this view. I feel that if the first mag doesn’t get you out of trouble and the situation resolved your are most likely in deep trouble!

Sig With Cor-Bon DPX Ammo

I hadn’t seen any of these pistols in any of the local gunshops until today. Most have been mail order only. I stopped at a gunshop on the way home just to look around for a few minutes and noticed what was obviously a trade in P6. They had about a dozen of these a week or so ago and were down to only three left. I asked to see all three so I could compare condition, trigger pull etc and pick the best of the group. This particular example showed very little holster wear and from the barrel condition had been shot very little. As is common with most Sigs the trigger pull is a bit heavy at first and eases up as the trigger comes back. This one had a bit better than average trigger and was very tight all around again indicating very little use. It was marked “Made in Germany” with “P6” on the opposite side. The price on this one was $350. That is one heck of a deal for any Sig! If you can’t find one at a local dealer the place to mail order one to be sent to your FFL is Centerfire Systems. You do have to keep checking with them often since they sell out as fast as they come in. Here is the link directly to the Sig .
The P6 is a comfortable pistol to carry at a shade over 28oz. with a 3.9 inch barrel. Any holster that fits a Sig 226 will fit this pistol. A great holster would be the Galco Yaqui Slide for a 226. I’m sure if you contact Erik Little at Rafter L Gunleather he can make a holster for you. This man can really make a quality holster in fact the best there is available anywhere!

On the way home is a public range so after a quick stop at Wal-Mart for some white box 9mm I stopped and fired about 50 rounds. It shoots just as well as I remember. Having shot the 1911 so much it will take a bit of time to become accustomed to the Sig trigger again but that’s really no big deal. I used a shooting C target in the 5 inch size. With other shooters on the line I couldn’t move into my usual range evaluation distances so all rounds were from the 25 yard line. Even with my struggling a bit to get used to the trigger again and people shooting AR’s on both sides of me making me dodge brass all rounds went into that 5 inch target no problem at all. In fact three rounds went right through the red bullseye:-) These are just very accurate pistols period and always have been regardless of model or frame size. I’ll shoot some evaluation rounds when I get an opportunity and post the results here. This pistol is a real bargain and worth looking for one especially at these prices.
I did pick some fresh carry ammo that I have heard nothing but good about. It’s the Cor-Bon DPX which uses the Barnes solid copper bullet with a very deep hollowpoint. This is a 115 grn. +P round at 1250 fps and 399 ft/lbs of energy. In testing this round retains 100% of it weight and expands to twice the bullets original size. It also expands every time according to those who have done extensive testing. They have taken this round and fired it into two layers of clothing and a leather jacket with complete penetration and full expansion in the ballistic media behind the clothing materials. They have also tested it against auto glass and doors and had complete penetration on these materials with full expansion coming out the other side and still retained almost 100% bullet weight. That’s pretty amazing but Barnes is known for making very effective bullets and most folks know that Cor-Bon is usually on the cutting edge of ammo design. I did some measuring which is rather revealing. The cavity of the hollowpint is very deep at 3/8th of an inch with the mouth of the cavity at 1/4 inch wide! That is one mean looking round looking at it head on. Several law enforcement agencies have gone to this round with very effective real world one shot stops in 9mm and 40 caliber. This may very well be my carry load in all calibers if the results continue as time goes on and more police shooting results come in. Between the solid copper bullet and high speed of the round I would expect no less. One other note- there have been no recorded instances of over penetration in real world shootings.

Cor-Bon DPX “Deep Penetrating”

Hopefully I’ll be able to post some additional evaluations in the next week or so and get them posted. Bottom line is if you can acquire one of these Sigs it’s a real bargain you won’t be sorry you purchased!
One other thing. I have to apologize for the poor picture quality this time. I had to use the picture capability of our video camera which doesn’t take the best pictures.

Safe shooting and as always any questions or comments are welcome.

Update 10/19/08

I went to the range today to shoot my 200th round of ammo through this fine little gun. The picture above was fired at 10 yards. I drew and fired and fast as I could realign the sights. Total of eight rounds with some going into the same hole. I mentioned how accurate these pistols are as are all Sigs I’ve ever shot and I’ve shot about everyone they make except for the latest P250. The ammo was the Cor-Bon DPX 115 Grn.+P with the Barnes solid copper bullet mentioned above. You can get a good feel for the group size by comparing it to the magazine size. I have shot Remington 115 grn, Cor-Bon, Winchester, CCI and Remington 124 grain and finally Hornady TAP. All fed without a hitch and honestly I expected nothing else. Since the early 1980’s when I shot my first Sig 220 European I’ve never had a malfunction and that’s saying a lot. It’s the only brand I’ve ever shot that has never malfunctioned!
I do intend to replace the trigger spring with a lighter weight Wolff spring as I did on my H&K USP Compact. It should lighten the double action trigger pull and still provide reliable ignition. I’ll let everyone know how it works when I make the change. Replacement is simple by removing the grips which exposes the spring. Replacement should take maybe 10 minutes if that.

Update 10/20/08

This target is from 10 yards to 25 yards firing as you would practice for a critical situation. In other words pretty fast. There were a total of 50 rounds fired using Winchester white box.It’s unique for me but with the first long double action trigger pull I usually hit where I aim. That just a Sig and the way I shoot I suppose. The rounds that are a little off are single action shots from 25 yards. They are still in the the 8 inch target though so I’m pretty pleased. No malfunctions as usual even when I mixed various brand hollowpoints in one magazine.
Thanks to all for reading the blog!

The Sig P6 Notched Hammer

Many people have been very curious about why these pistols have a notched hammer myself included. I spent a great deal of time searching the internet looking for photos of Police carrying the Sig. I found a grand total of two. Between the two photos it appears there is a piece of material that attaches to the notch in the hammer then to the trigger guard or holster itself. It appears that maybe this is so that if the officer fires his weapon the material breaks. Or if the weapon is drawn the material breaks. I suppose this is one way of keeping track of an officers gun handling. The only problem is if that is indeed the case the material would have to be very flimsy to not interfere with drawing and firing unless it is attached to the holster.. Accidental breakage would seem to me to be very easy but then the holster in one picture has a flap. The flap was open in the picture. I tend to lean toward the weapon being attached to the holster. If anyone has information to the contrary please let me know.

Sig P6 Grips from Marschal Grips at

Posted in Sig Sauer Pistols | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 103 Comments »

Taurus Millennium Pro

Posted by Gunner on June 25, 2008

Taurus Millennium Pro 9MM

   This Taurus is an excellent example of a very useful pocket pistol. It has undergone some changes namely the pistol is slightly larger than it’s predecessor as well as having a double stack magazine as opposed to a single stack. I like this version better since the magazine holds 12+1 rounds of 9mm and has a grip profile that accommodates a full grip without your little finger hanging underneath the magazine. The previous version has been discontinued in favor of this model. The calibers available are 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 acp. Since this is a small pistol I decided on the 9mm for the benefit of less recoil and faster follow up shots as well as the number of rounds it holds.
   Another version of this pistol has a rail for attaching lights etc however on a pocket pistol I prefer a smooth underside so that it doesn’t snag when drawing from a holster on the belt or from an inside the front pocket holster. The grip itself is pure Taurus with the standard lateral cuts on the grip front and back to provide the user with a very secure no slip grip.

This photo will give you an idea of the small size of this pistol

   The PT111 comes standard with Heinie “Straight Eight” sights which have one dot over the other for fast sight alignment. The pistol weighs 20oz which puts it in a category of lighter pistols for deep concealment. It is certainly smaller than the Glock 19. The trigger pull is approx. 3.5 pounds which doesn’t bother me since it has the manual safety. If you look at the above picture you will see the rear most control under the slide as the manual safety which operates the same as the 1911 and is very easy to manipulate(the red dot on the slide indicates the safety is off). The next control forward is the slide release with the final control being the takedown lever which rotates then pulls out allowing you to remove the slide. Another handy feature is the indentation on the frame allowing you to index your thumb when firing. The right side has the same indentation for placing your trigger finger in when not resting on the trigger. Takedown is simple. As mentioned before the forward lever is rotated then removed with the slide back and locked. Then pull the trigger all the way to the rear and the slide comes right off. One reason for the light recoil for this small gun is it has dual recoil springs on the full length guide rod. Another reason is your hand rides high on the grip bringing your hand closer to the bore axis. This gives more of a straight push back instead of the flip experienced on pistols with single spring recoil systems and a lower grip. The trigger is smooth and well rounded making it very comfortable with good feel. The barrel is 3.2 inches in length. Another advantage is the double strike capability. Should you have a misfire you simply pull the trigger again to fire the round. As far as I know this is the only pistol of this type that has this feature.

In this picture the safety is on

   I’ve tried carrying this pistol in my front pocket and found that it does not print at all and is comfortable carrying in this way. Don Hume also makes a holster for front pocket carry that has a small hook on the holster to keep it from being pulled out with the gun when drawing. The Don Hume holster is only $32 at Gunners Alley.

Note the hook at the rear of the holster


The small circle is the key lock safety system. Note also the large extractor common on Taurus pistols
The extractor also serves as a loaded round indicator.

   Shooting the PT111. I fired a total of 200 rounds of assorted 9mm in standard loads as well as +P and had no malfunctions of any type. As I said before the recoil is surprisingly light for a gun of this size and weight. I fired from the 10 yard line as well as at 15 yards. This is really about the maximum distance for a defensive pistol of this type. At ten yards firing slowly I had groups of 2 inches at first until I got used to the trigger. After 100 or so rounds I got the groups at 10 yards to between 1 1/2 inches to just under 2 inches. At 15 yards groups were what you would expect from a defensive pistol of this size ranging from 2 to 2 1/2 inches firing a bit faster. After first using these sights on the Taurus 1911 I’ve come to really like them and the smaller size sights on this pistol work just as well.

Heinie Straight Eight sights

   To sum things up this is a nice summer carry pistol with very good features and well thought out design. Accuracy is good for a small pistol with such a short sight radius. At just under $300 you would be hard pressed to find another pistol of this quality at such a low price. The more I shoot this little jewel the more I enjoy it. I can recommend this pistol without reservation to anyone looking for a well made pocket pistol. Whether you carry it on the belt in a pocket or a purse this Taurus is a fine choice that packs a lot of firepower into a small package using an effective defensive round!


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The Charles Daly Hi Power Compared To The Browning Hi Power

Posted by Gunner on September 30, 2007

Update from Charles Daly 2/13/08:

I’ve learned some sad news directly from Charles Daly this afternoon. The Daly Hi Power has been discontinued. I really hate to hear this news since I think a lot of this gun. There are still some out there at various distributors so if you want a new one now is the time to get it. Of course all warranties are still in effect so that should be of no concern to any potential buyer. After these are gone we’ll just have to locate them on the firearm auctions websites. I did check with some distributors and was able to locate some of these hi powers. The prices are around $330 (includes shipping) to your FFL. Daly has reduced the prices for the remaining inventory.

Information From Charles Daly

For your readers, serial numbers beginning with HP—- were completed by Dan Wesson. Serial numbers beginning with HPM—- were completed by Magnum Research.

I’ve been comparing the Browning HiPower with the Charles Daly version and come up with some interesting conclusions. Now some may say there is no decision to make you can’t beat the original Browning. If a shooter comes to this conclusion that’s certainly fine but here’s some food for thought. I was able to find a Browning HiPower at Bass Pro Shop for $595.00 which is a very good price for a blued fixed sight Browning. I also found a Charles Daly HiPower for $399.00. Ok, $200 difference between these two guns. I’m sure I could find a Daly for less money but lets just go with the $200 difference in price.
Lets make some comparisons between these two fine guns. First the Browning Hi Power is assembled in Portugal from Belgian parts. No big deal on that count. Daly Hi Powers are a joint venture between KBI and FEG of Budapest, Hungary. They
manufacture most of the components and Magnum Research (Desert Eagle fame) doing the final machining, finishing, assembly and test firing here in the US. The Daly Hi Powers are very well made. They weren’t always fine guns (the 1911’s) but in the last ten years quality has been greatly improved.
CORRECTION: I’m not one to try and hide my errors. I asked a gunshop owner I know who makes the Daly Hi Power and was given incorrect information for which I apologize to readers and to Mr. Kassnar. Mr. Michael Kassnar of KBI wrote me to correct my error. I submit the following correspondence from Mr. Kassnar by way of correction. “Just to correct the record, KBI, manufacturer, importer and distributor of Charles Daly firearms, is an American company (incorporated in 1989) located in Harrisburg, PA. Our Hi-Power was the result of a joint venture with FEG of Budapest, Hungary, who manufactured most of the components and Magnum Research (Desert Eagle fame) doing the final machining, finishing, assembly and test firing here in the US. There are no Philippine parts at all in our Hi-Power. Our 1911’s are made in the Philippines by Armscor (same manufacturer as the RIA). Perhaps that is where the confusion came from. Other than that, thanks for the great review on this pistol. We feel it is the great Hi-Power value in the market.”
On to the feature comparison. The Browning has the standard ambi-safety which for me could be improved. The contour and surface area leave something to be desired for positive function. It’s a hard safety to manipulate and many Browning owners change this part out with a C&S thumb safety. The Daly has a single thumb safety but is designed much like those tactical safeties for the 1911. It has a wide flat upper surface which the thumb just naturally engages. The safety is also crisp whether flipping it up to safe or down to fire. The tension is perfect and very positive to engage. The trigger on the Browning is as always very heavy with very perceptible stacking as slack is taken up. This is because of the mag safety which is a useless feature and shouldn’t even be called a safety feature. This can be remedied by replacing the factory trigger with a C&S trigger which has no accommodation to reinstall the mag safety. This greatly improves the trigger pull. The Daly uses the same setup but for some reason the trigger is much, much better even with the mag safety in place. Since all parts between these guns are the same you can also replace the Daly trigger with the C&S for an even better trigger pull. My personal feeling is that once you bring the gun home that’s the first thing I would do is change out the trigger. One consideration is the legal ramifications should, heaven forbid, you ever had to use your gun in a violent encounter. Lawyers love to hang anyone who disengages what they term a safety device. This is a big consideration when having any custom work done on a gun. I can live with the Daly mag safety whereas the Browning trigger is just awful with the mag safety. One minor consideration for me is the hammer. The Browning uses a standard hammer which can bite you pretty good. The Daly uses the commander type which is easier on your hand. Next lets compare sights. The Browning has the usual higher profile plain black sights. Not ideal sights but certainly usable. The Daly has the XS sight system pictured above. It uses a large white dot on the front sight with a v notch on the rear with a vertical white post. You just place the dot on target on top of the rear post and fire. These are also available with tritium inserts from the factory. They also have an option of a larger dot in the front if you prefer. I know some don’t like these sights but after speaking with Sheriff Jim Wilson he agrees that these sights are very fast to get on target. If you are approaching 50 years old your older eyes appreciate this setup even more. Sheriff Wilson has these sights on his Walther PPK and several other of his guns. He also owns a Daly Hi Power. After testing it he bought it:-) These are the basic differences between the two guns but they are major differences. As Jeff Cooper said what you need on a fighting gun are sights you can see and a good trigger. Everything else is secondary in my opinion.
Cosmetically the Browning with a blue finish is beautiful as always. The Daly is also blued but doesn’t have that deep blue the Browning has. One thing Daly did was to get rid of the silver highlight stamping on the slide. I always though that was a bit gaudy. The new ones still have the large name on the slide but has no color to it. It looks much better this way. Both guns are attractive but you have to give the nod to Browning on the guns with the deep blue finish.
Now for the question—do you want to pay the extra $200 for the Browning name and beautiful blue finish and the need to do some type of work for a serviceable trigger which of course means spending more money. Will you be satisfied with the Browning sights or would you rather have a sight system that is superior and very fast on target. Can you live with the thumb safety on the Browning or would you rather have a Daly which already has a fine thumb safety? In short the Daly doesn’t really need anything done to it it’s fine as is or would you rather spend the extra money on the Browning? What did I decide to do? I’m going to buy the Daly. I’ve shot both guns a lot. They are both very accurate and reliable. The Daly is a little more accurate but I believe that’s because of the good trigger. The Browning suffers in accuracy because of a heavy trigger. What would I really like to do? Buy both and have the work done on the Browning but for me that’s not an option. Being a retired police officer I’ve had to save and before retiring work all kinds of off duty jobs to get the guns I have. Some great fellow shooters can afford to do what they want and more power to them but for most of us we have to choose between guns and plan ahead and of course save money for our guns.
One last thing. Do I feel comfortable with the 9MM. In short a resounding yes! Over the last ten years or so ammunition companies have made great strides in developing better loads for all calibers. The 9MM has probably benefited more from these improvements than any other round. Give me a Daly Hi Power loaded up with Speer Gold Dot 124 grn +P or the Remington Golden Saber 124 grn +P and I feel very well armed! One last comment. Stephan Camp is an authority on the Hi Power and has his website listed in the blogroll. He also puts out a very nice book on disassembly of the Hi Power and other reference material. Give his site a look it’s very informative.

XS Sights
Cylinder & Slide
Charles Daly
As always if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m always glad to help in any way I can.

Posted in Charles Daly Hi Power, Hi Powers | Tagged: , , , , | 25 Comments »