I noticed the NRA Instructor Discounts are starting to populate at remat457, but for some reason he has not yet included the Ruger Program I sent him. Ruger has two full pages this year, but sadly no Precision Rifle in the list. Anyway, if you are an instructor, also check the NRA portal, there are a few others there including Beretta, Daniel Defense, FNH, and Crimson Trace.
Recently it became clear the links to many of our photos are broken. It is a cumbersome process to go back through all the posts over the past three years to fix the issues. In some cases it may not be possible, but many of the photos are mine and I just need to revise each post. If you find a broken photo link, feel free to post a comment and I will get to it. I’ve gotten about half way through both 2014 and 2012 and will continue to work on it with the goal to have the photo links restored where possible in the next two months.
If you feel so inclined, please like our Facebook page. The button is at the bottom right of the cover photo which is the same photo as on the blog.
I feel like I need to post something firearm related today and just cannot come up with a suitable topic. There are a myriad of ideas at any given moment running around in my brain, but if I forget to start a post in draft they will be gone in an instant. So since I cannot come up with anything miraculous this morning, lets discuss something which happened this week and it’s really a pet peeve.
This week I was out-of-town and so I went with a friend to a very nice range in Richmond, VA. They have a smorgasbord of rental guns so I typically rent what they offer when there. The last time I was there we rented a Springfield XD and I got a light strike on the primer. Well this time we rented a Walther PPQ. The magazine held 12 rounds of .40S&W and the first round off the magazine chambered correctly all but a single time and it lodged on the feed ramp. That was irritating, but the real irritation was every time we shot the gun the second round off the top lodged on the feed ramp. So out of eight full magazines, one jammed on the feed ramp with the first cartridge and all eight jammed with the second cartridge. The interesting thing was after the magazine was down to 10 rounds we never had an issue. The magazine release sucks on a PPQ, but that is a topic for another post.
So off to rent another firearm and get rid of the Walther jammaster. We selected a Glock 22 in .40S&W to eat up the rest of the rounds we had purchased. I shot first and my group was nonexistent. Now I am the first to admit I am not the best shot on the planet, but with the Walther PPQ I made a group less than half a fist at seven yards with the very first magazine even with the jam issue. With the Glock my shots were to the left and scattered. To me the trigger felt “gritty” and by the end of our shooting session I had rubbed a spot on the skin on the side of my trigger finger. My shooting partner was heading left as well and he agreed the trigger sucked. Everyone should know I am a Glock fan and my position has always been you can bury them in the backyard, dig them up years later and the gun will fire. Well this POS had some trigger issue and on top of that the sights were off. I’m not even sure how the sights can be off on that far at seven yards with a Glock, but they were. By the end of the session we had both tightened up our groups and figured out where to aim, but if this was my first exposure to a Glock I would just say no.
So I can see you are thinking my pet peeve is rental firearms. Bzzz, wrong answer! My pet peeve is the snotty guy at the counter. When I took back the Walther the person at the counter was very nice and said they would have the gunsmith look at it. I think the nose was slightly flattened on the range ammo and the angle made with the magazine on the 2nd round off the top was just enough to catch. A little polishing of the feed ramp would probably fix the issue or use ammo with a round/smooth bullet. The next guy was just a joy. Some snotty mid-20’s puke whose comment when I returned the Glock and told him the trigger was gritty went over to the side, pulled the trigger and said, “That’s just a Glock trigger.” I left without telling Captain Know-It-All that two experienced shooters found the trigger to be crap and the sights to be off significantly left. My pet peeve is people like our young friend who shrug off what others are telling them and do not listen or act on what they are saying. Maybe I should have flashed my NRA credentials, but this guy was so apathetic it would not have mattered. I hope this gentleman is offered the chance to find new employment soon if this is his normal attitude. He could have been having an off day, but that was not the vibe I was feeling. I think he probably goes through life in this manner and I wish him well in the future when I will no doubt encounter him at jobs which mandate his level of expertise, knowledge, and customer service. When I do I will gladly tell him, “Yes, I would like fries with that!”*
*Note: Most fast food employees exhibit better customer service than this gentleman. I’m not sure he would find long-term employment in that industry.
I noticed a post today on Shooting Illustrated about the right gun for a woman. I covered this back in September 2012 and pointed out any firearm purchase is a personal decision. I think the SI article solidifies you should not guess what someone else will like and use, and the decision can only be made by the individual. My wife loves here Bersa Thunder, however I’m not sure she is quite as enamored with her Walther PPK. I know she would swipe my Ruger SR9C in an instant and the jury is still out on whether or not she will eventually lover her S&W LadySmith. I’m hopeful she will, it is a beautiful gun, but it came from the factory with the action a little gritty and not polished and smooth. Maybe after a good cleaning it will be smooth and silky, I sure hope so, the price of admission was steep.
Bottom line, show the person a myriad of firearms and let them make the decision. Not every woman likes a pink gun!
My wife was going through a myriad of firearms magazines before we discarded them and she came across an article on the Walther P22 and one of the variants was a Lime Green Carbon Fiber which is a Talo exclusive. The p22 chambers a .22 LR cartridge and appears to be a nice little shooter. I think this gun speaks to her and what can I say but ‘lime away.’ Hopefully we can locate one in stock somewhere or for order, wish us luck!
I try not to purchase firearms which don’t handle most any ammo you can throw at them, but on occasion you will get one which is finicky about what you feed it. One .380 ACP we have will not handle the Hornady Critical Defense rounds while another seems to dislike the aluminum cased Blazer, but handles S&B without any issue. So what do you do about it?
The best thing if you find you have a firearm which is malfunctioning is to try another brand of ammunition. If that does not alleviate the malfunction then it is probably a problem with the firearm rather than the ammunition. I’ve found most Ruger firearms will eat whatever you want to feed them, but firearms a little off the beaten path tend to be more finicky. The Hornady CD catches on the Bersa feed ramp, so it is a no go in that pistol. In the Walther PPK the Blazer does not feed well while S&B works like a champ. Where this hurts is when you are trying to take advantage of a great price since you may be taking a chance your finicky firearm will not operate properly with the bulk ammunition. My solution? Purchase multiple firearms in the same caliber. 😉
At any rate, if you find you are consistently having feed or ejection issues in a semi-automatic pistol with a particular ammunition, try another brand to determine if the problem can be eliminated just by switching ammunition.
So finally S&W released their Instructor Discount for 2012 and it also includes Thompson/Center Arms and Walther firearms. I must say I’m a little disappointed to be receiving the program information in June when it supposedly runs from January through December. One other quirk I noticed is the M&P40 is a CA compliant 10 round model. I was really hoping for a 15 round M&P40 to be on the list. I’m also not quite convinced the price is all that and a bag of chips. I may lick my wounds with an E-Series 1911 (Scandium not available), but I sure wish more options were on the list for the M&P. I checked the 2011 list and it was the same model so I should not have been surprised. And where’s the M&P Shield? At any rate, cheers to S&W for providing a discount to NRA Certified Instructors!
As I have been adding certifications and reading in preparation for classes something dawned on me about the fairer sex, you’ll never quite figure out what they like. I’ve got my wife pegged so far, she likes Walther and 1911 style firearms, prefers stainless or nickel to blued, likes engraving on firearms, and does not like the pink guns and pink grips. I believe we have only found one single pink firearm she appreciated, and honestly I cannot remember what the gun she saw was, but I remember her saying something to the effect of “I like that gun, but not for me.”
I hope one day to be able to offer a variety of classes to women, but what I have determined is you cannot simply show a pink gun or a gun with a pink grip and say that is the gun she should have. Women like a wide variety of firearms, some prefer military style, some like revolvers, some like the polymer wonders. So what pistol should a woman get, well first the one she likes the looks of and second the one which fits her hand. My wife can barely hold my Ruger GP100 with the 6″ barrel due to the weight, but has no problem with the S&W Model 36 J Frame or a Walther or Bersa. She can shoot the GP100, it just would not be comfortable past a shot or two. She had no problems with my H&R 9-shot 22, but did not like the western style and blued frame.
I’ve realized picking out a pistol is like picking out a beer. You have to determine what a person likes as a baseline before you can suggest something similar but different to try. The issue with guns is the price of admission can make it prohibitive to try too many. My wife never met a Kimber she didn’t like the looks of, but every time I tell her the price she quickly decides it’s not something she is interested in purchasing.
So if you are a woman trying to decide on a pistol, first go to a gun show or a store and look through the case and then put a few in your hand to see how they feel. If they aren’t comfortable then you may want to look at other models. Also, just because they are pink or cute does not mean they are a great firearm. Read some reviews of the model you are eyeing and ask others for their opinion. In retrospect, no trouble at al
As a result of the Walther recall it became necessary to ship a pistol to S&W for them to change the hammer block. As we were packing the box I noticed the list of dos and don’ts with regard to shipping. The package is going FedEx, but it must go Express because it is a handgun and it cannot be placed into a dropbox. When dropping it off you must tell the clerk the package contains a firearm. Long guns can go ground, but there are restrictions on that as well.
This got me thinking about how to legally ship via UPS. The rules are very similar with UPS and are much easier to read since all the rules are in one place. That really only leaves one place to ship and that is the good old US Postal Service.
The USPS does not allow a mere mortal to ship a handgun, but will ship long guns. If you hold a FFL you can ship a pistol using USPS using form 1508. Unfortunately I have seen many stories about how the USPS employee did not know their own rules and denied shipping until the shipper provided a printout of the rules to them for review.
So before you decide to ship that firearm somewhere, be sure you know the rules since it is not as cut and dried as one might think.