Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Budischowsky TP-70 .22 LR

The Budischowsky TP-70 was the brainchild of German designer Edgar Budischowsky and chambered in .22 Long Rifle and .25 ACP.  It was a recoil operated, double action pistol in which the action is locked by the weight and inertia of the slide and pressure exerted by the recoil spring.  Production began in 1973 and from there the dates and facts get a little fuzzy.  In 1977 the production was taken over by Norton Arms and reports of reliability and quality issues with the Norton versions began to surface. A few years after that Norton arms faded into history and doesn't even rate an entry in the Blue Book of Gun Values.

In evaluating this pistol one needs to remember that in 1973 we did not have the plethora of micro .380 pistols that we enjoy today.  In '73 if you wanted a pocket pistol you were relegated to a .22 or a .25 which was exactly the chamberings which Budischowsky offered.  There were several choices of pocket guns back in the '70's but quality differed.  They were usually ammo sensitive in both chamberings and the powder in the .22 rimfire cartridges did not consistently ignite.  However, the pistols made by Budischowsky had a favorable reputation and when they hit the market they were a novelty being an all stainless steel traditional double action handgun.

Here are the full specs for the little TP-70:

Overall Length
4.65 inches
3.31 inches
.92 inches
2.6 inches
12.3 ounces
7 + 1 (.22 LR)

Originally the Budischowsky came with black checkered plastic grips but the previous owner of this specimen upgraded to either ivory or giraffe bone; I am not exactly sure which there are and have not taken the grip panes off to see if there are any inside markings.  Whatever the grips are they caught my eye as they make this TP-70 a handsome package.  The original owner also applied some skateboard tape to the front strap to get a better hold on the pistol since the grips are very smooth.

And the skateboard tape was applied to the back strap as well.  The sights are fixed and in my research I did not find any mention of there being any dots however, this pistol has had an indentation drilled in the front sight with is filled with a red polymer substance.

The sale of this TP-70 also came with an outside-the-waistband holster.  This pistol was a part of an estate so the broker handling the sale did not have any information on the previous owner but whoever it was certainly took strides to upgrade the little gun and must have carried it as there would otherwise be no reason to put the skateboard tape on the front and back straps.

Let's look at the targets!

I did not have any of my regular favorite .22 LR ammo available so I had to use the three loads that I had on hand.

First up was some 40 grain lead Blazer ammo:

Here's 14 rounds at 15 feet

And 14 rounds at 35 feet

Then I tried some Winchester 36 grain jacketed hollow point

Here's 21 rounds at 21 feet:

And 21 rounds at 35 feet

Lastly, I used some Winchester M-22 40 grain black copper plated round nose ammo

Here's 21 rounds at 21 feet

And five rounds at 35 feet

After five rounds I could tell that the TP-70 did not find this to be an accurate round so I did not waste any more precious .22 ammo at 35 feet.

During the day I shot a little over 200 rounds and experienced 4 light primer shots (all of which fired on the second pull of the trigger) and one failure to extract with the Winchester M-22 ammo.

I also had quite a few pocket holsters in my "holster cabinet" which fit the Budischowsky just fine.


I originally purchased this one from North American Arms back when I had one of their .32 caliber Guardian pistols.

And the one that worked out the best was from Remora.

After disassembling, cleaning and reassembling the TP-70
It became apparent how much time and effort Edgar Budischowsky put into the design and fitting of the TP-70.  All parts move smoothly and fit precisely something I did not see in the Raven .25 and Sterling .22 that I owned back in the '70's.

I need to spend some more time with this pistol to find a round that offers more consistent ignition and good accuracy and then this classy little pistol will be riding in my pocket all summer long.

Monday, April 14, 2014

CZ P-09 9mm

So, I got the email asking if I would like to test the CZ P-09 and I thought surely the person sending me the email was not a regular reader of my blog or they would know that I am a CZ fanatic.  In my opinion the pistols coming from the Czech Republic are "World Class".  They are well designed, reliable, very accurate and still one of the best values in the firearms market.

The CZ P-09 also gives the shooter options.  The pistol has a traditional double action with a decocker lever to safely lower the hammer on a loaded chamber but, with a few easily performed steps, you can remove the decocking mechanism and replace it with a manufacturer supplied manual safety turning your P-09 into a single action pistol.  The double action pull is a smooth 10.5 pounds and the single action pull is steady at an even 5 pounds.
The P-09 also includes small, medium and large interchangeable backstraps to give the shooter the option of finding the best fit between their hand and the pistol.

Here are the pistols standard specifications:

1.85 pounds
Overall Length
8.1 inches
Barrel Length
4.53 inches
5.79 inches
1.46 inches

As you can tell from the photos the P-09 has a polymer frame which is nicely textured to help maintain your grip from shot to shot.  The pistol also employs CZ's Omega trigger system which uses fewer parts than their original CZ 75 trigger system.  The CZ 75 already had one of the best double action pulls available on any handgun but the Omega system provides a smoother trigger pull and, due to the fewer parts, is less likely to suffer any breakage. 

The P-09 also has very flat controls as evidenced by the slide stop release and the decocting lever shown above.

The pistol also has cocking serrations at the front of the slide.  I don't use them but if you need them CZ has accommodated your preference.

It is evident that the design team of the P-09 was focused on ergonomics and function.  The photos above show a excellently stippled surface on the sides of the grip frame, molded serrations on the front strap, a generously undercut trigger guard, a trigger guard large enough to accommodate a shooter wearing gloves, a smooth and contoured trigger that helps mitigate trigger finger fatigue during long shooting sessions and the front of the trigger guard is hooked and serrated if you still place the index finger of your non-dominate hand on the trigger guard.

The sights on the pistol as of the fixed, three dot variety with one dot up front
and two dots on the rear sight.
CZ states that the sights are fixed but the rear sight can be drift adjusted for windage correction although you will probably find that it shoots to point of aim right out of the box.  

All in all this is an extremely fine defensive weapon combining intuitive ergonomics, reliability, accuracy and a very comforting 19 +1 rounds of 9mm.  The P-09 is also chambered in a .40 caliber offering, if that is your preference, holding 15 + 1 rounds of ammunition.   

So let's review how she shot:

All rounds used in the evaluation were Magtech 115 grain full-metal jacketed ammunition.

At 21 feet all 10 rounds were nicely centered and stayed inside of the 3 inch Birchwood Casey target with eight of those ten rounds touching.

At 30 feet all 20 rounds fired stayed inside the 3 inch target.

At 50 feet all 32 rounds fired stayed inside an 8 inch Birchwood Casey target.

You might look at the CZ P-09 and like what you see but still be concerned about how easily an 8 inch long and almost 5 and 3/4 inch tall handgun would be to carry.  I understand your concern but with the right holster and cover garment the light weight and flat controls will make this pistol easier to conceal than you might imagine and with a 20 round capacity you can go about your day confident that you prepared for any eventuality that the day may bring.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Gemini Customs Ruger SP101

These are the photos that go with the review I will be doing tomorrow night on the Gun Nation Podcast (

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dan Wesson Pointman Nine


The Dan Wesson Pointman Nine is one graceful, smooth, reliable and accurate 1911 holding 9 + 1 rounds of 9mm.  This is a full-sized 1911 loaded with features such as a five inch hand-fit match barrel, lowered and flared ejection port, beveled magazine well, carry bevel treatment and hand polished flats. For those to which these things matter, the pistol contains no MIM parts.   The pistol features a hand fit series 70 frame and slide and I can attest to the fact the slide to frame fit is incredibly smooth, tight and that the process of racking the slide is the easiest of any 1911 I have ever handled.  I could not find any information on the grips but they are probably rosewood with well executed checkering.  

Let's count off the official stat's:

  1. The overall length is 8.75 inches
  2. The barrel length, as already mentioned is 5 inches
  3. The overall height is 5.5 inches
  4. The pistol is 1.43 inches wide
  5. The PM-9 weighs in at 2.42 pounds
  6. The trigger pull on mine came in at 2.5 pounds
  7. The pistol is pretty pricey an MSRP of about $1600.00.  I have not seen any retailers discounting this pistol due to it's rarity.  With the amount of hand fitting on this pistol the factory just can't crank them out like production guns.
But let's take a look at what else you get with the Pointman Nine: 

The Pointman also has front cocking serrations and a very nice dovetailed red fiber optic front sight.

The rear sight is all black and fully adjustable with a fairly low profile which gives a great sight picture.

One of the things I like about the cosmetic appearance of the Dan Wesson pistols is that they are humble and the company doesn't turn the sides of the slides in billboards.

(Above photo posted at the demand of Grant Cunningham)

The PM-9 designation and Dan Wesson name are tastefully small.

The trigger guard is slightly undercut, the pistol sports an extended magazine release and you can decide how much trigger over-travel you desire via the adjustable hex screw at the bottom of the trigger.

Finding the PM-9's place in this world is interesting to ponder.  CZ/Dan Wesson state in their catalogue that this pistol is designed for carry.  However in today's 4 inch barreled, polymer framed world the pistol is large, heavy and holds fewer rounds.  For instance, in comparison with a Glock model 17 we see that the Pointman-9 is 3/4 of an inch longer in overall length, the barrel is a half inch longer, it is a quarter inch wider, half a pound heavier, and hold 8 fewer rounds than the G17.  But there is a large market of people who eschew Glocks for 1911s and a substantial sub-market of those who only want the best 1911 they can find.  I have owned and handled a variety of 1911s that a go between $2K to almost $4K and none of them have anything on the Dan Wesson Pointman Nine.  The action all the way around this pistol is ultra smooth.  Oh, and for the 1911 detractors, there were no failures to feed or extract.

So let's see the targets!

Here are a few targets at 21 feet:
 The first target below was shot at 21 feet and the one next to it was shot at 31 feet.  The two under them were also shot at 31 feet.
The next two targets were shot at 50 feet.
And the final two targets were fired at 75 feet.

At about $1600.00 the Dan Wesson Pointman Nine is not really an Average Joe pistol but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see what it offered.  My Doctor has asked for my opinion of shotguns in the past and if he asks about a 1911 pistol my recommendation will be for the PM-9.