Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ruger .45 ACP Redhawk

Ruger has just announced a new .45 Redhawk revolver.  It's chambered for .45 ACP and .45 Long Colt cartridges.  The Redhawk is equivalent to a Smith & Wesson "N" frame, and in this case a direct competitor of the S&W 625.  

Photo from Ruger

The cylinder is cut for moonclips when shooting .45 ACP which gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. If IDPA still had an ESR division this would be a great choice.  It would still be a fine choice for shooting USPSA revolver at major power factor and still be competitive.  I don't have any use for the .45 LC feature, but to each their own, and it's always nice to have options.  I have created a frankengun with my 625, so this would be ideal if I needed a stock gun rather than bring mine back to a factory form.

I'm disappointed at the listed MSRP (in fact I'm still recovering from sticker shock), but I suspect street price will be much lower.  A .45 moonclip gun isn't what I need at the moment, but if this is a sign of things to come, an 8-shot .357 may be on the horizon.  If so, Ruger can go ahead and take my money!  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

627 Moonclips

I was in need of new moonclips for my Smith & Wesson 627.  There are several companies that make them, and equally as many prices.  My search led me to the Revolver Supply website.  They sell lots of interesting things, including LPA sights (awesome), but moonclips were all that was in the budget for now.  Not only do they have clips for all sorts of S&W frames/calibers, but different thicknesses, and finishes.

I ordered 20 of the .022 thick blued clips.  The above picture is all of what I received.  Beyond my order were five samples of their other 627 moonclips in the other thicknesses (.020 and .025) and the same in their nickel plated versions.  They included my receipt with a hand written message thanking me for the order, a sheet describing the other moonclips, and several business cards, which I will happily hand out.  It was easy to order from their site and took only a few days to be at my door.  In short, these folks have made a loyal customer out of me from one order!  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Adding Weight to a Shotgun Stock

I want to get away from using my old Ithaca XL900 shotgun for sporting clays.  I have a Mossberg 930 that I want to use for the time being, but the one time I used it, I shot horribly.  It wasn't until last night that I really compared the two guns to see why one seemed so easy to use (the Ithaca) and the other felt like a brick (the Mossberg).  Suddenly it was like a light bulb went off in my head when I compared the balance of the two guns.  Both weigh about the same, but the barrel of the Ithaca is a much more thin contour and feels more "lively".  

I realize the Mossberg is far less attractive than the Ithaca, but I want something I can beat up a little and not feel bad about, but I digress.  After doing some research, the consensus is that if you add some extra weight to the stock, it will make the barrel feel like it moves faster.  The most popular way to add weight to shotgun stocks seems to be adding lead shot in whatever quantity you want.  I didn't have any of that on hand, but I do have a mercury filled recoil reducer from a failed experiment with my Stoeger shotgun.

Photo of Benelli's website

The recoil reducer I have is discontinued (8 oz, and was much cheaper!), but similar to the one pictured above.  Unfortunately it didn't install the same way, but weight is weight and I found a way for it to work.

It's a perfect length to wedge in there and have the recoil pad still fit.  I stuffed the styrofoam peanuts in to keep it from moving side to side and it seems to work fine.  Overall it had the desired effect.  The balance has been moved back and the muzzle seems easier to swing.  Ideally the weight would be closer to the grip, but in this case it couldn't be helped.  Gun balance is very subjective from shooter to shooter.  Luckily it's easy to change so I can play around with it.  

I only recently joined the NSCA so I started in E class.  I earned the requisite 4 punches and now will shoot in D for the time being.  It will be interesting to see if I can get the Mossberg to carry me into C.  Have you adjusted weight in your stock?  Let me know how it went in the comments. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Polishing MIM Parts

The title of this post comes from an identical Google search that I did wondering if it is possible to polish MIM parts.  To be fair, that's not really my question.  I have polished a whole mess of MIM parts in various semi-autos, but this is about a hammer and trigger from a Smith & Wesson 627 Pro.

Photo by Smith & Wesson

I forgot to take a before picture, but the S&W website shows exactly what the hammer and trigger looked like in their factory "color case hardened" appearance.  That finish looks good on a blued gun, but it's a personal thing for me that stainless revolvers need stainless hammers and triggers.  So the bottom line is that I wanted to polish off the case hardened finish to something more stainless'ish.

Now that's better!  I had the Dremel out sharpening my lawnmower blade, and even more surprising I had extra time to kill.  The polishing pad, polish, and 30 minutes made a significant difference.  My 627 is now pleasing to look at and all is basically right with the world.  Apparently you can really go crazy and get a mirror-like shine, but this is exactly what I was looking for.  Beyond aesthetics, the face of the trigger is much smoother, which I have a preference for.  And although it can't be seen, I polished the engagement surfaces which improved the feel of the action.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

1911 Single Stack

After being invited to shoot a team match with a friend who regularly shoots his 1911, I had to drag mine from the back of the safe and blow the dust off.  A few minutes passed refreshing myself on its controls and peculiarities and it came back to me how awesome it is.  I don't mean just mine, but the entire platform.

The history of the 1911 is undeniable.  Entire careers have been dedicated to it and better people have said better things about it than I ever could.  The weight of it is significant compared to its modern counterparts.  To some that may be a detractor, but I find it to be reassuring.  It feels sturdy and significantly helps with felt recoil.  With 1911's the devil is in the details.  They all operate the same way, that's what makes it a 1911, but the variations are so plentiful you can have a $400 gun or a $5,000+ gun....and anything in between.  The quantity of available accessories is mind numbing.

In one package you have the feel of old world craftsmanship, like a revolver, with greater capacity and the easier reloading of all autos.  The single action trigger pull typically hovers near four pounds and honestly feels like cheating compared with nearly any other trigger mechanism.  The trigger pull length is comically short and the reset feels even shorter.  Out of the box most 1911's can out-shoot most 1911 shooters.  For those that want more, ole "slab sides" can be made crazy accurate and have been winning bulls-eye matches longer than anyone reading this blog has been alive.  They are, or can be, made in just about any handgun cartridge you can think of, with the all American .45 ACP leading the way.

Ownership of a 1911 hasn't caused me to throw out all of my other handguns, some are legitimately better at certain tasks.  On the other hand a 1911 can do pretty much anything, and if you have never taken the opportunity to get to know one you owe it to yourself!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

.45 ACP Reloads

After shooting my favorite S&W 625 in a steel match this weekend, I finally got motivated to setup my reloader for .45 ACP.  I've had the dies and components for a while now, but I haven't been shooting enough to need more ammo.  The rounds I'm finally using up were made years ago by a friend of mine with a notoriously heavy hand on the powder measure.  Making 165 power factor was never a concern, having feeling left in my hands to drive home after the match was.  Shooting local matches that don't care about power factor I decided to make some wiffle ball loads.

I'm actually the most excited to have dummy rounds with nickel cases.  My brass versions tarnish overnight it seems.  Anyhow, the load is assorted brass, Federal large pistol primers, 4.0 gr of Titegroup, topped with 230 gr FMJ RN Zero brand bullets.  They should be in the neighborhood of 650 feet/sec, which will be very low recoil and plenty of knock down for steel plates. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sig Parts

Ignore the bulk of this flyer from Sig.  The dimensional differences are interesting, as Sig's are considered to only fit those with large hands.  Mine came with E2 grips, but I purchased a short trigger and the all important single action slide catch.

Setup as I'm currently running it.

Top is the SAO slide catch.  Keeps the thumb from riding it, preventing lock back after the last shot.

Only downside is that it doesn't work with grips other than the E2 because of the cut-out.

The OEM grips above are nice for several reasons.  Fit my hand better, though they are larger, extend below the frame to make a slightly bigger magwell, and I think look better.  E2 grips have a more aggressive texture, slimmer, don't have the "hump" which interferes with a thumbs-forward grip....and the don't have a slide catch cutout and are therefore able to take the SAO slide catch.  That is the defining point for me.  It should be a standard item on all Sig P226's!

I'm using a 9mm recoil spring instead of the standard .40/.357.  Both work with my light reloads, but the recoil impulse is better.  Sig is smart to paint their springs for easy ID!