Sig Sauer SP2022-FDE 9mm

We have all known about the SIG Pro (SP) SP2022’s for several years but for some unexplained reason it is always forgotten.  I have always looked at getting one, because of their reputation, quality and very low price point. In the early 2000’s I owned the older SP2340 in .357sig, so I had some experience with the SIG Pro polymer framed guns. Recently the SP2022 has become even more competitively priced with added features. I could no longer pass the SP2022 up and when I ran across a deal on a SP2022 in Flat Dark Earth (FDE) I jumped on it, to get back into SIG SAUER’s. I have always liked the look , feel, and performance of the Classic Line of SIG SAUER handguns.

SP2022 FDE
SP2022 FDE 9mm

Continue reading Sig Sauer SP2022-FDE 9mm

The end of the Rifleman?

Colt AR15A4

A couple of weekends ago I was firing my AR15A4 at the range.  During a cease fire I was thinking about all the comments I’ve heard since the USMC switched to the M4 and High Power allowing optics up to 4.5 power.

Invariably there were the assorted comments about marksmanship coming to an end with people just spraying and praying, so it got me thinking. . .
Didn’t marksman ship end when we moved away from real steel and wood rifles to these plastic & aluminum toys?
Or wasn’t supposed to end when we moved to those newfangled repeating rifles allowing people to waste rounds with rapid fire?
I mean, that magazine feed bolt action allowed a lousy shot to quickly waste another round, didn’t that spell the end of marksmanship?
Switching to those small caliber high velocity rounds meant people would shoot more to less effect, pumping all those wimpy .30 cals rounds out. SOURCE
That breach loading rifle let cowards hide behind cover and shoot faster instead of standing tall to fight the enemy with better aim and marksmanship.
Clearly marksmanship has been going downhill ever since conscripts were handed long arm firearms instead of being forced to practice with the bow.

Perhaps it is not the equipment, but the skill, mentality, and tactics of the individual that would make someone a rifleman.

New Colt LWT Commander

Got some pictures of the new Colt lightweight commander.   This will be the model that has replaced the XSE line.   The gun has the new dual recoil spring like the M45A1 MARSOC pistol and some grips I would love to be able to buy alone.

Sorry to say I do not have one on my hands currently for further testing yet but do hope to get a T&E model soon.

As you can see there are some obviously changes in aesthetics from the XSE line.  The  slide serration were the first thing to stick out at me.  I am liking the change over to the flat black trigger over the SS triggers from the past. Not a major issue but I like the look of the black trigger.   The scallop under the trigger seems to thankfully still be standard as well as the beaver tail S&A grip safety.  I do note that the XSE  ambi safety is not on this model. Personally I prefer an Ambi safety on all handguns and rifles that I intend for use other than plinking  goofing around with.   Of course that is easily changed and most swap even the ambis out with ambi models made more to their liking.

The commander hammer is  the same as the original. A lot of people prefer this hammer and its look.  I like it either way.   I do like the Novak sights though they are not in style anymore.

Mystery CHICOM Pistol Dug Up In Vietnam

The firearm pictures was dug up in Vietnam recently at the famous scene of one of France’s biggest  disasters.  A local Vietnamese man found it at Dien Bien Phu.  Anyone  who is familiar with a variety of older foreign pistols will see what appears to be examples from several all  jungle workshoped together.  Better examples of this ..model?..   can be found online else where.  Forgotten weapons being the first and best place to look.  Though it is rare to see one with known combat experience.

Pictures of pistol provided to me by a Vietnamese friend who got them from the owner. Obviously firearms are illegal in Vietnam so I can provide no further details.

The SSM Review: A System for Shooters

Six Second Mount

I have had the Six Second Mount for a few months now. I have put several hundred rounds down range on a otherwise stock Glock to try my hand at the latest and greatest of pistol enhancements.

The mount has worked well. It introduces a few notable upgrades for the shooters who are willing to sacrifice portability for performance. Not quite a race gun, but not a clean slide melt RDS system… it fits somewhere in between. So what’s the point?

The story from ALG defense is that a certain counter terrorism unit liked the performance of a RDS on their Glock, but they encountered frequent failures of the RDS, so they approached Geisselle for a solution. The solution was introduced from their sister company ALG defense as the SSM. I don’t know what G forces are produced on a red dot as it slams to the rear of slide travel and then is suddenly slammed forward back into battery, but suffice to say I think that battering a small electronic optic like that, no matter how hardened it may be, will likely lead to failure sooner than how the SSM mount isolates its RDS from movement.

six second mount 3
Fully Loaded SSM

 

Our RDS for the SSM is mounted as low as possible over the slide and the only movement the RDS will see is the movement of wrist flexion and whatever amount of travel the grip and frame of the G17 see in your hand. It’s isolated and free and clear of the damaging G forces that slide mounted systems will experience.

The SSM’s lattice work frame extends down to the plastic Glock rail where it clamps in place over it to offer a picatinny rail mounting solution for all manner of lights and lasers, etc. The two points of hard contact for the mount are the trigger pin, which is replaced by the ALG system, and the front rail which is another pin that clamps over the aforementioned Glock rail.

So it’s cool looking, and offers a bulky way to attach a light and a laser, so how is that better than a svelt slide mounted setup other than red dot durability?

Well, looking past that very important point of RDS durability, it does offer unique shooter advantages. The weight of the system, especially with a light or laser mounted up front, mutes the muzzle flip significantly. With the muting of recoil, we have much less visual deviation with the red dot. It dances up and down, but it is very easy to track. The foreward weight bias keeps in securely in the window of the RDS. Having the RDS in a fixed spot helps you to keep track of that dot better than if it was driving back and forth on a reciprocating slide. A muzzle device would further reduce flip, and this mount could run in Open USPSA just fine, I think.

six second mount 5
10 yards out as fast as possible. I’m not proud as 10 yards isn’t impressive, but I’m not ashamed either. I would be happy to examine my groupings like these on a dead assailant. Critique my performance even while I wait for the authorities.

 

Having a RDS mounted up top gave me a great deal of precision at all distances and allowed 100 yard shots to be, well, too easy. I had a fifteen yard zero and at 100 yards I aimed at the head to drop 9mm squarely into the torso. My shooting buddy called out the shots to ensure I was getting hits and… I was, over and over. At this point several onlookers put down their equipment to watch my fancy ray gun, and they watched and commented as hit after hit was called out at 100. The precision made hitting the human silhouette child’s play.

So what else does it do?

The rail and light mount being permanently attached also allows you to zero a light and a laser together for you high speed types with night vision. Apparently the Glock rail is prone to losing zero with fancy IR lasers… according to the customers who approached Geisselle.

The biggest hurdle is the size and the weight. With G17, rail, TLR-1 light, and PA red dot, it weighs in at 32.9 oz or 2.06 lbs unloaded without a magazine. Rock in a fully loaded G17 magazine and we are at 42.8 oz or 2.68 lbs.

How do we carry the weight of the SSM widget system? We need a good holster. I approached Vigilance Tactical in Elizabethtown PA for a custom solution, and they delivered two holsters which do a fantastic job of carrying the G17 with and without light attached. After a brief jog in the mail to Recoil magazine, my light bearing holster, dubbed the Nocturnal Sentry 6, was sent back to me and added to Vigiliance Tactical’s model listings.  Yes, that is my Glock pictured on their website. Thanks, I’m a proud parent.

six second mount 2

The Vigilance Tactical holster was the last piece of the puzzle missing to make the SSM more than just a nite stand gun. The Vigilance Tactical kydex gives me a great holster for the SSM and offers some portability / concealability under a coat in winter. Having both the slimmer model  Sentry 6 for sport, and the full on tactical model with thum-break for the full SSM Kit, I have options. Vigilance Tactical did fantastic work and retention is strong. Aesthetically, it looks great. Some of the other holsters I have seen for the SSM look, well… awkward and crappy.

six second mount 4
The Vigilance Kydex tied this project together. Special thanks to Vigilance Tactical.

 

Wrapping up, the SSM is a full-on kit for someone who is looking for every advantage in a fighting pistol. It mutes recoil very well, minimizes dot loss from slide reciprocation, and increased red dot longevity / lifespan by isolating it from harsh recoil. The costs are increase weight, bulk, cost, and complexity over slide mounted setups, but if you want to carry something that will last you out in the wasteland, go with the SSM and eat the weight. If you need a slimmer gun, then it’s not suitable for your goals. I can see this as a perfect firearm for a recoil sensitive shooter in a home defense environment as well.

The SSM offers lot’s of dirty firepower on tap for the more recoil sensitive shooting soul.

 

Defensive Glock Upgrades

So you have bought a Glock for personal defense and you now want to make some upgrades. This is a question I get every week from a Glock owner. Lets tackle this issue from a personal defense firearm perspective. There are a lot of aftermarket upgrades and parts for Glocks. In fact, there are probably more aftermarket parts and upgrades available for Glocks than any other handgun out there. First I would say, you need to be very familiar with your stock Glock before you start to add new/upgraded parts to it. If you have less than 2000 rounds (a good multi-day training course) through it, you probably won’t know what feels like an enhancement to your firearm.

Let’s explore the low cost factory (OEM) options, before you spend large amounts of money, that in my opinion do not give you a real advantage over your stock Glock.  The real issue is, what upgrades actually give you a measurable defensive advantage vs. what is a waste of money. A stock Glock, that is carried by an estimated 65% of law enforcement officers in the nation, is about as reliable as you are going to get. Now a Salient Arms or ZEV upgraded Glock is a very nice firearm (I would love to have one myself) but is it worth the 1000 to 2000 dollars of work, and does it give you a huge advantage (defensive firearm) over a bone stock Glock with some minor/low cost upgrades?

IMG_5899
Field Stripped Glock

I have been exposed to several viable upgrades to your Glock pistol vs. what is throwing large amounts of money at an extremely reliable 400 dollar firearm, to make it an extremely reliable 2500 dollar firearm. That kind of money, does not make the firearm function any better/more reliable for the expenditure of that money. There are a few relatively inexpensive things you can do to slightly enhance your Glock’s function and feel from its bone stock configuration. Anything beyond and including these few minor upgrades, is your personal preference and/or expensive, internal or cosmetic want.  When braking in a new Glock defensive firearm or going through a good defensive handgun course, you will shoot 1500 to 2000 rounds. This smoothes out the trigger and other parts in your Glock.  It also lets you know how the firearm is performing (reliability). If you do not have a minimum of 2k rounds through your Glock, I would wait to modify any internal parts until that round mark.  Keep in mind, these are my suggestions for inexpensive improvements for defensive carry.

Various Glock's
Various Glock’s

Sights:

The absolute first and arguably best upgrade you can make to your Glock is a quality set of sights.  The stock Glock sights are 100% recognized as crap across any industry professional. There are a lot of sights out there to choose from but as long as you replace the stock sights with a quality iron or night sight set, you have made a huge improvement. Quality aftermarket sights will give you improved sight picture, accuracy, speed and follow up shots, on your target.

Standard 3 Dot Night Sights
Standard 3 Dot Night Sights
IMG_5920 (2)
Ameriglo Claw EMS Sights

The best bang for the buck, I have found, are Ameriglo sights.  Ameriglo sights are very affordable and come in many configurations and options. Remember most aftermarket (night sights) use Trijicon lamps as they have the U.S patent on night sight Tritium tubes. If you have the money, I recommend Trijicon HD sights.

Trijicon HD Night Sights
Trijicon HD Night Sights

Magazine Release & Slide Stop:

There are several aftermarket magazine releases available.  I have found the Vickers magazine release, whether in the Gen2/3 or Gen4 configuration to be just right. It has the right length to function extremely well, but not be too long, avoiding accidentally/inadvertently hitting the release. For me, this is the second upgrade/accessory I usually add on all my Glocks.

Vickers Gen2/3 Mag Release & OEM Extended Slide Stop
Vickers Gen2/3 Mag Release & OEM Extended Slide Stop

There are only two slide stops that I would recommend.  The Glock OEM extended slide stop or the Vickers slide stop. These upgrades are under 20 dollars and may give you a slight advantage in ease of uses over the stock slide stop. Having used several slide stops, it really does not make much of a difference for me. The Glock is not a 1911, so running the slide stop as a slide release is not the preferred method of operating a Glock.

Vickers Gen4 Mag Release & Slide Stop
Vickers Gen4 Mag Release & Slide Stop

On Gen3 Glocks, you can get the OEM extended mag release and dremal it down and round the edges, for half the price of the Vickers magazine release. This will look nice if you take your time and do it right.

Glock OEM Extended Mag Release
Glock OEM Extended Mag Release

Grip Plug:

A lot of people don’t see the reason to put in a grip plug, other than for cosmetic looks to plug the gap.  I usually add one on my Glocks. There is a slight advantage to using a grip plug. I find that it makes speed/emergency reloads easier/smoother and faster. It makes a slight feed ramp for the magazine and gets rid of the curved ridge between the magwell and backstrap of the Glock. Sometimes you can get the lip of the shell casing hung up in this area. With a grip plug, you completely avoid those hang up issues. It provides smooth, snag free insertion of a magazine into your firearm. It’s easy, cheep and worth the expense.

Grip Plug G22
Grip Plug G22
Grip Plug G17 RTF2
Grip Plug G17 RTF2

Trigger Upgrades:

Trigger upgrades are a complex issue with Glocks and can become very expensive.  There are so many aftermarket triggers and parts out there, it is hard to know where to start. So let me start by saying, Glock has arguably one of the best overall triggers in the striker fired market. A lot of companies really try to duplicate the forceful and audible reset of the Glock triggers.  I feel the stock Glock Trigger is one of the last things you should mess with.  I cannot stand the serrated triggers that come in the compact and sub-compact Glocks. The first trigger part I replace in those firearms is a full size smooth OEM trigger with trigger bar. Just doing this in a compact or sub-compact Glock will make a huge difference in trigger feel. Especially when training and when firing a lot of rounds.

OEM Compact/Sub Compact Serrated Trigger.
OEM Compact/Sub Compact Serrated Trigger.
(Top) G23 Smooth Trigger, (Bottom) G19 Serrated Trigger
(Top) G23 Smooth Trigger, (Bottom) G19 Serrated Trigger

When you start thinking about putting in aftermarket, non-OEM parts, you need to rethink that in a personal defense firearm. If you want to mess with the Stock 5.5 lbs. trigger, stick to a few OEM Glock parts that can significantly change the trigger dynamics.

For close to 20 dollars you can buy a Glock New York One (NY1) trigger spring (OD in color) and a Glock  OEM – Connector.   The NY1 and OEM – Connector combination, will clean up a little trigger travel and give you a more pronounced positive trigger reset.

(Left) - OEM Connector, (Right) NY1 Trigger Spring
(Left) – OEM Connector, (Right) NY1 Trigger Spring

All around, this slightly improves the stock trigger and this combination keeps the trigger in the 5 to 5.5 lbs. range, for those who are restricted to these lbs. by duty carry policy. I have this combination on some of my Glocks. Other Glocks I have left alone, because their triggers just happen to be very good and you should not mess with one that is good to go.

(Left) NY1 Trigger Spring, (Right) Stock 5.5 lbs Trigger Spring
(Left) NY1 Trigger Spring, (Right) Stock 5.5 lbs Trigger Spring

For a personal defense firearm, I would not suggest after market, reduced lbs. firing pin springs, connectors or trigger springs. The reduced lbs. firing pin spring can produce light primer strikes on defensive ammunition and this is the last thing you want.

Frame Stippling:

The last thing I would consider for upgrading your Glock is professional frame stippling or modification. This usually does not affect the mechanical function or reliability of your firearm, but may improve your grip and handling of the firearm.  If you want to do it yourself that’s fine, but I would warn against doing it yourself. The reason I warn against doing it yourself is for two reasons: First, unless you are very experienced, it’s only going to look good to you and you could screw it up badly. Second: You significantly devalue the firearm and make it almost un-resalable.

There are numerous business’s that do very nice frame stippling and modifications. This is going to cost you,(100 to 300 dollars), but it will probably add some resale value to your Glock.

Tactical Texture & Triggers LLC frame work
Tactical Texture & Triggers LLC frame work

Final Thoughts:

Hopefully this has given you some things to think about. Don’t go crazy on a personal defense firearm.  It does not get much better than a stock Glock. Some of these suggestions will really make a difference for some of you and some won’t. Several of these suggestions are my personal preferences on what I have learned over the years. Nothing I have suggested is something you must have, except for replacing the stock sights. Now, if you are throwing money at a competition/race Glock, the sky is the limit if you think the upgrade will help your score/points. For a personal defense Glock, don’t mess to much with arguably one of the most reliable stock firearms ever made. All of the parts/upgrades I have talked about here range from 1.00 dollar to 20.00 dollars each, (except for sights and frame modifications of course). You can tweak and test them out for a relatively low price, to see if some of these upgrades might improve you defensive Glock. Think wisely about parts to enhance your firearm. Wasted money on upgrades and parts, that don’t really enhance your defensive firearm beyond the stock configuration, just take away from you’re ammunition and training budget.

Duncan.