Sunday, January 2, 2011

Gun Blogger Conspiracy Christmas

This year I participated in the GBC Secret Santa.

I got John the Texaner some parts for his AR build, and one of my 'training mags', basically guaranteed to cause at least one good jam per range trip, providing the user a training opportunity.

Wai got me an awesome vacuum mug. Shown in its natural habitat keeping my coffee warm during our southern Virginia winter.

I'll be keeping that present close at hand until we get around to summer weather again.

Thanks to Wai for a great Christmas present, and PDB for putting it together for us.


1911s vs the World

I've been agonizing over this for a bit, because I think Lady Tam has a valid point about gear arguments on the internet, but Phlegmy's first soliloquy during the VC new years show convinced me to share.

GunNutmegger wrote a bit on why the 1911 sucks, and on the whole missed the point. He's got a couple things right on technical issues with the platform: many of them ship with shitty magazines, and there are boatloads of the same for sale in the after market; on the gun-smithing issue I'm unconvinced that most 1911s are less reliable or require more worth to get right than other auto-loaders. That said, the cheaply made guns, and the very top end highly tuned guns are exactly as reliable as you'd expect. My experience running a couple thousand shooters through IDPA stages is that Wheel guns are the most reliable (only ever have ammo or speed loader related issues) followed by the Glock or XD (rare mechanical issues, but average for ammo and magazine related issues) followed by all other auto-loaders.

Far and away the most common failure is Magazine related, usually either they break into multiple parts or just jam up from dirt and filth. No auto-loader is immune from this. Maintenance is the only solution here.

Those are the averages, some people just had either bad luck, or too much time to monkey with their guns. Every club has that guy, and no matter what gun he has it doesn't work, and design doesn't seem to matter.

One clear advantage of the Glock or XD design is the lack of cleaning required, but a 1911 with proper tolerances (see highly tuned or cheap above) is probably good enough for the casual gun owner who cleans the peace after shooting. Personally, the Kimber I carry every day gets cleaned every month, or every 1000 rounds.

And yes, it feeds hollow point or any other ammo you can find, with out issue, after more then 1000 rounds of my reloads (230gr at 950 FPS).

Now for the area's where I disagree with GunNutmegger:

Single action is no more or less safe then any other. NDs happen when people pull the trigger and heavy trigger pulls don't seem to make that much difference. I've yet to see any study done but from all the stories I've seen its across all designs. The 1911 itself doesn't seem any more or less safe, and if 95% of owners were unsafe we'd see it on CNN.

As for the thumb safety being too hard to operate: the folks who get confused by the thumb safety also get confused by the slide locking back on an empty gun. Practice with the platform corrects this issue fairly quickly. The amount of practice needed to properly operate the 1911 is the same as the amount needed to operate any other semi-auto.

The bottom line, and why the 1911 pattern still sells, is that it fits allot of shooters. The combination of a big steel frame, and the slow .45 bullet make for very manageable recoil. The single stack grip and the short trigger make it easy to hold for normal sized hands. The grip angle works for a lot of people. These are not universal statements, I've had several students who said all the same things about the glock and hated them about the 1911.

It seems more about what works for you then about there being a single right answer. To paraphrase Lady Tam: "The best gun is one you'll practice with and carry". And thats where I'll leave it: the right gun is the one that works for you.