Monday, April 16, 2018

Ruger PC Carbine in 9mm

At the beginning of 2018 manufacturers introduced many new models and created quite a stir of excitement within the shooting community.  One such introduction was the Ruger PC carbine in 9mm.  Pistol caliber carbines have a lot to offer in defense of hearth and home.  Please allow me to rattle off the advantages of the PC9:

1. Low cost of ammunition.  It runs the 9mm which has the lowest price of any centerfire ammunition.

2. Easier to shoot than a handgun.  Carbines (which are just shorter rifles) are easier to steady being anchored into your shoulder and supported by both hands.

3. They have less recoil than a standard rifle caliber.

4. Being shortened rifles, they are easier to maneuver and weigh less.  The Ruger PC measures 34.37 inches in total length and weighs 6.8 pounds.

5. They offer a higher magazine capacity than most rifles.

6. They use the same magazines as your pistol; in this case your Glock or your Ruger American.

7. Their longer barrels provide increased performance over a handgun.

And lastly, the Ruger PC does not look like the AR or AK platform that strikes fear into the hearts of so many in the anti-gun crowd.  

Let's take a closer look at the bullet performance of the carbine versus the handgun. The Federal 124 grain Hydra-Shok hollow point bullet moves at 1,061 feet per second out of a 4 inch barreled handgun and provides 300 foot pounds of energy (which is the amount of energy required to move 300 pounds one foot).  Out of the 16 inches Ruger PC barrel the same round travels at 1,243 feet per second and delivers 420 foot pounds of energy. 1,243 feet per second will certainly provide enough velocity to allow the hollow point bullet to expand and release all of it's energy into the mass of the attacker.

The Ruger PC barrel is also fluted to help reduce weight and threaded in the event that you want to add a suppressor.

One of the interesting features of the PC is that it has an adjustable length of pull going from 12.62 inches to 14.12 inches.  This is accomplished by three half inches spacers that can be placed between the soft rubber butt pad and the stock.  This helps adjust the length of the stock, and thus the length of pull, to the individual shooter.

The PC has an adjustable ghost ring aperture rear sight that sits just forward of the receiver.

The front sight is protected by two blades sprouting up on each side of the sight post.

Amazingly to me, my old eyes were able to pick up a sharp sight picture using this arrangement.  I could, however, use some sort of a contrasting color on the front sight when shooting a black target.

The stock is a black colored, glass filled nylon synthetic composite that is rugged and features a nice stippling on all of the parts with which your hands will come in contact.

The font of the fore stock also features an accessory rail for any light or laser attachments you may which to apply.  Swivel sling mounts are also featured on the fore and butt stock.

The top of the receiver also features a rail so that you can add the optic of your choice.  While the sights worked fine for me I tend to think that the addition of a red dot might help me dial in my groups a little bit tighter.

In the above image you will also note the knurled ring just forward of the receiver and the slight space between the receiver stock and the fore end.  This carbine breaks down into two pieces in the same manner as the Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifles and carbines.  This makes storage and portability even easier.  As of this writing Ruger is not providing a nylon backpack for the PC carbine but I can't help but think that it is only a matter of time before they are available.

The bolt knob and magazine release are also switchable making the PC an ambidextrous platform.

The Ruger PC is extremely shootable.  It is great fun and the ability for it to accept Glock magazines is certainly a plus.  I give kudos to Ruger for realizing that Glock magazines are plentiful in the marketplace and that shooters would desire to use them.

Let's see how it shot!
Starting out at a scant 7 yards the PC rewarded me with a nice 4 round group once I got the beginning flyer out of my system.

 At 10 yards I still shot the carbine very well.

At 15 yards my group began to open up but, let's remember that this is a 3 inch bullseye target.

At 25 yards my shooting began to get inconsistent.  I attribute the shots in the red to be just as much luck as they are skill.  This is where and optic on top of the carbine would pay great dividends.  

Overall I like this carbine a lot.  Now, to be frank, a pistol caliber carbine will never take the place of a rifle caliber weapon in it's ability to take game or defend against attackers.  However, it offers a great advantage over a handgun in the same chambering.

Currently I have one PC carbine in our rental portion of the shop.  I am sure that more will be released soon but right now they a little hard to come by.

Here's one last look at the nicely engineered lines of the new Ruger PC carbine.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

SIG Sauer P365

Probably the most frequently asked question in the club since January has been "Do you have the SIG P365 yet?"  Well, finally I can answer that we do.  It is currently sitting in the rental case so people can shoot it and decide if they want to buy one from the next shipment that comes in.

Concealed permit holders couldn't wait to get their hands on this pistol due to it's reported size and it's 10 round magazine which gave the P365 the highest capacity of any of the current micro 9mm offerings.

This is one of the second run of pistols.  The first run of pistols quickly gained a bad reputation for being unreliable.  I can happily report that this is not the case with the second run of P365s.  I have fired a customer's pistol last week and this one today.  Neither of them had any problems with feeding, extraction or ejection.  

You can tell it is the second run of pistols because it sports SIG's proprietary X-Ray night sights.
The green front illuminating sight is a welcome addition over the plain white dots sights on the first run of 365s; it offers superior visibility in both normal and low light shooting scenarios.  

A couple of other notable features you can see in the first image is the nicely undercut trigger guard and the accessory rail.  I'm sure there are itty-bitty flashlights that fill fit under the tiny frame. This is a nice segue into the fact that this pistol is very small.  Small, but surprisingly useable.

Here the SIG is pictured with SIG's original Micro 9 millimeter pistol, the P938.  The sizes are very comparable with the P365 being just slightly shorter in length.

In the above image the P365 sits in-between the P938 and the Glock Model G43.  Again the SIG 365 is shorter in length and surprisingly just slightly slimmer with it's double stack 10 round magazine.

Here's how the specifications of the three pistols stack up:

SIG P365
Glock Model 43
SIG P938
Barrel Length
3.1 inches
3.39 inches
3 inches
Overall Length
5.8 inches
6.26 inches
5.9 inches
Overall Height
4.3 inches
4.25 inches
3.9 inches
Overall Width
1 inch
1.02 inches
1.1 inches
17.8 ounces
17.95 ounces
16 ounces

The differences in size are minuscule to say the least.  The big difference is the magazine capacity.  How in the world did SIG make the thinnest micro 9mm with a double stack 10 round magazine?

The small size of the pistol did not pose any shooting problems for me.  The length of the grip is about as short as I would ever want on a pistol and the front of the slight magazine extension allowed me to get about half my pinkie finger on it.  Supposedly there will eventually be a 12 round magazine which may be a better fit for my hand.  The slight increase in thickness in the double stack P365 frame with its stippling that runs all the way down the front and back straps made it easier for me to hold onto than when I shoot a Glock 43.  

Recoil is a very subjective matter but the recoil I encountered was much less than I expected.  

SIG also did a nice job scaling down from the P320 model (seen on the left).  Looking at earlier photos of the of the P365 I thought the pistol looked pretty top heavy as there were no other objects in the images with which you could compare the size of the new SIG.  When I actually handled the pistol that concern faded away pretty quickly.

I shot the P365 at 5, 7 and 10 yards with no problem.  This is not a long range target pistol; this is a close quarter tool to save your bacon when it's in the fire.
The ammunition used in my two outings with the new SIG was Sellier & Beloit 115 grain FMJ ammo and Federal RTP with the same weight and bullet configuration.

This three inch target was shot with 15 rounds at 5 yards using our member's pistol.

The 6 inch target above was shot with 30 rounds at 7 yards with our new rental pistol.

I used the member's pistol on this target, shot at 30 feet with 25 rounds of ammo.

SIG Sauer looks to have hit a home run with the P365.  I have always felt that their P938 was the gold standard of 9mm pocket pistols but a lot of people just didn't want to carry a cocked and locked hammer fired pistol and a there is a whole generation of shooters who have never fired anything other than striker-fired handguns.  SIG now has a micro pistol for everyone!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Springfield 911 .380 ACP

The 911 is Springfield's foray into the micro .380 market providing direct competition to SIG's P238.  I have owned two of the SIG models; they are excellent pistols and set the bar for the micro 1911 after Colt dropped them from their line-up many years back.  As much as I like the SIG pistol, the Springfield 911 has a lot going for it.

Before I showcase what I like about the Springfield, let me go over what I do not like about it...the atrocious model moniker.  Really Springfield, the "911"?  The marketing approach was undoubtedly intended as "This is what you reach for in an emergency" as in the nation-wide emergency phone number.  However 911 is also a common reference to one of the worst tragedies in American history, which has caused jokesters to posit that Springfield's next model might be named the Titanic!

Now let's get to what I like about the 911.
It is noticeably thinner than the SIG which I did not think of as particularly thick pistol until the Springfield arrived.  As the micro .380 is frequently carried in a pocket, the slimmer design of the 911 is a welcome attribute. After all, Spring and Summer are just around the corner and the warmer weather means fewer cover garments to help conceal a larger pistol.

The next thing I like about the Springfield are the sights.
They are Pro-Glo™ Tritium/Luminescent Front & White Outlined Tritium Night Sight Rear.  The front sight is actually yellow and I find the yellow contrast easier and faster to pick up than the white dot SIG Night Lite sights on the P238.  As my eyes (and the rest of me) continues to age I need all of the help I can get and the yellow luminescent dot provided a crisper sight picture than standard white night sights.  

The last attribute about the Springfield that I appreciate is the price.  We have these at Stock & Barrel for $577.00 which is $50 to $100 less than the average SIG P238 price.  

In terms of other specifications; the 911 weighs in at a scant 12.6 ounces, has a length of 5.5 inches and a height of 3.9 inches. 

The 911 also shot very well.  This is a close quarter defensive pistol so most of my shooting was done at 15 feet although I did run one target out to 30 feet to see how it would perform.  

The above targets were shot with Federal RTP 95 grain Full Metal Jacketed rounds at 15 feet.  Most attacks occur at very close distances and as you can see on these 3 inch targets, the 911 grouped very well.  

The same ammunition was used on a 10 inch target at 30 feet.

These would all have been good center mass torso hits at the 10 yard distance.

I rolled the target back in to 15 feet to finish up with some SIG V-Crown 90 grain Jacketed Hollow Point ammo on another 3 inch target.

The SIG defensive ammo performed very well.  

One caveat to mention.  On the first 43 rounds, the pistol experienced a failure to eject on the 5th round in each magazine.  After that break-in period the next 26 rounds performed flawlessly.  My final verdict: I intend to add one of these pistols to my battery very soon.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Photos for the October Gun Nations Podcast

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Stock and Barrel Has a Heart Part II

In the last post you saw that we were trying to find homes for some abandoned firearms.  These are the ones I rescued:

The first one is this small Smith & Wesson I frame revolver.

 As befitting this diminutive handgun it is chambered in .32 Smith & Wesson Long.

While the finish and the patina are wearing off the markings are still clear.

Next up is a Colt Commander.  Today this would be called a Lightweight Commander but back in the day the standard Commander was produced with an aluminum alloy frame.

The full steel version was dubbed the "Combat Commander".

 The next one is a Colt Police Positive in .38 Special manufactured in 1911 on Colt's "D" frame which was the same frame Colt used on the Detective Special, Cobra and others.

What intrigued me about this revolver was engraved and inscribed to "A.A. Ayres, Deputy Sheriff, Hennipen County".  Hennipen County is the most populated in Minnesota and is the home the Minneapolis.  The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul had a storied past during the gangster era.  This revolver undoubtedly saw  deputy Ayres through those tumultuous times.

I was really intrigued by this Mauser Model 1934.  Although I have seen these before I have never seen one in this good of condition.

This one came with a story.  It was a WWII bring-back by a soldier who was tasked with disarming the German population during the American occupation.

As such there are no importation marks.  There is only a small bit of wear and the walnut grips are in great shape.

This one is chambered in 7.65mm or .32 ACP in U.S. nomenclature.

 The markings on the rear of the frame and back of the slide show this to be a commercial pistol rather than a military model.

I'll bet DeSantis didn't even know that they made a holster for it.  Fit's pretty well!

And the little Mauser is a shooter.  This is 25 rounds fired at 5 yards.  Certainly not a long range but this is not a long distance target pistol.  
The Model 34 also fed all 25 rounds of PMC 90 grain jacketed hollow points without a hiccup!

The final rescue is a Colt Police Positive in .32 Colt Police.  This caliber is the same as the .32 Smith & Wesson Long but Colt had ammunition produced with the "Colt Police" moniker as they had no intention of putting "S &W" on their barrel

 This model and caliber was chosen by NYPD Police Commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, to be the first handgun put into standardized service with NYC's police department.  It was a fine, if underpowered, choice as I have always found this revolver in the .32 caliber chambering to be very accurate.

There is one last rescue that I picked-up; a Colt Government Model .380 ACP.  This one was not available for photography as it has been pressed into service as my BUG.

The next time you see a case full of rusty or brown-patina colored guns take a closer look, you may be bypassing some real history.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Stock and Barrel Has a Heart

Stock and Barrel Gun Club
18832 Lake Drive E,
Chanhassen, MN 55317

Help us celebrate our 1st Anniversary on Saturday May 20th, 2017 and please rescue an abandoned firearm... 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Chiappa Rhino .357 Magnum 2 Inch Barrel

For quite some time both readers and customers have been asking me what I knew about the Chiappa Rhino.  Quite honestly, I didn't know very much.  I viewed the Rhino, with it's barrel aligned with the bottom chamber of the cylinder, as a gimmick.  I figured that it was going to be a passing fad and would soon fade from memory.  Then the Rhino turned up as the weapon of choice in the film series "Divergent".  I chalked it up to Hollywood just looking for an unusual looking handgun for this futuristic thriller.  I mean after all, in the future no one would really be using a revolver would they?

Anyway, not too long ago a used specimen came into the shop in great condition at a fair price so I took a long look at it.  This was a two inch barreled revolver in brushed electroless nickel with a textured black rubber grips.  The first two thing I noticed were the trigger pull and the ergonomics.  The trigger pull was smooth and perhaps the best pull I had ever encountered on a revolver.  The original owner swore to me that the trigger pull was stock, out-of-the box goodness. "Besides" he said, "Who do you know that does Rhino trigger jobs".  That was a point well taken.  The ergonomics are outstanding.  The un-traditional grip felt good and the grip's shape gives you a high hold that provides you with a very stable grip and, for lack of a better word, the upswept beavertail also helps control muzzle flip. More on that later.

If you are wondering why Chiappa named it the Rhino just look at the side and front barrel profile.

Sure looks like a charging Rhino to me and I love the large fiber optic front sight!

I always wondered if the reduction in recoil promised by the barrel firing from the bottom chamber of the cylinder really lived up to it's hype.  Therefore, my trip to the range was more of function test than it was a test of the Rhino's accuracy.  After firing it with .38 Special, .38 Special +P and .357 Magnum ammunition (all 125 grain rounds produced by SIG) my opinion is that the hype has been understated and the Rhino exceeded my hopes.  Between the bullet exiting from the bottom of the cylinder and the contour of the grip there is almost no muzzle flip and this allows for much faster follow-up shots.  All of the recoil energy comes straight back without your arm's alignment being corrupted by the muzzle flip. The .38 Special recoil was nothing.  If someone is recoil sensitive the Rhino with non-+P ammo would be their ticket to a soft shooting handgun in an effective caliber.  
The above target was fired with the SIG .38 Special ammo at 30 feet.

The +P load was a little stronger but still a creampuff compared to recoil produced by traditionally designed revolvers.
The above target was fired using SIG +P ammo at 30 feet.

The .357 Magnum was noticeably stronger but not unpleasant.  I could easily see an extended range session with .357 Magnum ammo, which is not something I would normally do with a traditional revolver.
The above target was fired with the SIG .357 Magnum 125 grain hollow-point ammunition at 30 feet.  I was very happy with the with this group.  Clearly the Rhino preferred the .357 Magnum load.

The Rhino contains some interesting features.  The hammer is internal and what looks like the hammer is actually a cocking lever and rear sight. This cocking lever does not move when the trigger is pulled.
Right in front of the cocking lever is a hole which contains a red polymer post.  When the post is raised and protruding from the frame you know that the revolver is cocked and in the single action mode of fire.  To the left of the cocking lever is a black lever mounted on the frame which serves as the cylinder release.

The 2 inch Rhino weighs in at 24 ounces which is 7 ounces less than a comparable Smith & Wesson K frame model 19 with a 2.5 inch barrel.

Another interesting feature is the six-sided, non-fluted cylinder.  There is supposedly some weight savings here but I have no specifics so please don't hold me it it.

The Rhino 200DS comes with a leather holster and two speed loaders.  All in all it is a great package and it is my new favorite revolver.  I want the three and four inch models now!