Sunday, May 30, 2010
We got a late start on Friday; Lindsay had to work until 4:45pm. Once her shift was up, we were off to the land of Utah. First off, we had to get gasoline, check the air in the tires, and stop by the local 7-11 to get some snacks for the long road ahead. The goal was to drive all through the night and get to UT by 6 am on Saturday. We knew there would be some delays due to the holiday traffic, but some delays on a trip this long are inevitable.
We didn't expect that traffic would be so good on I-5 and most of Hwy 18. We ran into about 5 miles of stop-and-go traffic at the end of Hwy 18, just before the I-90 junction. That is where the trip started to get interesting.
Of course, Rory started to get mad. We weren't moving at all and she likes to use the constant sound and vibration of the road to sleep. Without anywhere to stop, Lindsay started doing damage control by reaching back and attempting to bottle-feed her, with so-so success. Then out of nowhere, Michael blew chunks all over himself, his car seat, the back seat, the side window, and even on Rory. He didn't quite understand what had just happened (because he's never thrown up like that before), so he started to cry hysterically as Lindsay did her best to clean him up without exiting the vehicle. There was no place to pull off, so we soldiered on.
Finally, we made it to I-90 and started to really move. It was about 6:30 pm at this point. We had been on the road for an hour, and lost 1/2 hour due to the congestion on Hwy 18. No bother. If I could drive about 7 mph over the speed limit all through Washington, we could make up the lost time when we crossed over into Hell (I mean Oregon).
Of course, the traffic gods smote us with a huge 7 mile backup on I-90 just before the Snoqualmie Summit. Going less than 1mph, and losing time fast, we decided to stop and get some dinner (we had already planned on stopping at 7pm no matter where we were to feed the kids and get them ready to go to sleep). We stopped at the Family Pancake House at the West Summit. I guess everyone stuck in the same traffic had the same idea. The place was packed. It took 15 minutes just to get seated and then we waited for another 15 minutes for someone to acknowledge our presence and at least get our order going. With the kids getting anxious, patrons walking around trying to find waiters, people complaining about the lousy service, we decided that instead of wasting time in the restaurant, we should waste time on the freeway and at least do some moving. On our way out, we stopped at a gas station for some overpriced Pringles chips and some sort of soggy sandwich for Michael to nibble on. It wasn't ideal, but at least we could get moving. We had lost an hour and a half at this point.
The congestion did not relent. It kept up all the way to Easton, where after getting through a construction bottleneck, we finally started going 60mph+ again. Unfortunately, we had to stop again at Cle Elum so Lindsay could get some emergency formula for Rory. After waiting again, and realizing we were getting really crappy fuel economy, We started driving again.
Unfortunately, my nerves were completely shot. The combination of bad traffic, bad (non-existent) restaurant service, crying children, and a stressed out wife had blown my cool to hell. I decided to just focus on driving and that's what I did. We hauled butt to Oregon, stopping once only for gas near Sunnyside, WA.
Unfortunately, I was completely spent. It was just after midnight when we got to Oregon. All told, we lost 3 hours of time and instead of being out past La Grande and on our way to Caldwell (where Lindsay and I were going to switch driving positions), I pulled off the highway just after getting to Oregon. I told Lindsay I needed a couple hours to get myself refreshed. So, she took the wheel and I told her to drive as far as she could and I'd take over. Unfortunately, the night before, I had only gotten about 6 hours of sleep and didn't get a good nap during the day on Friday. I was completely wasted.
The next thing I knew, Lindsay woke me up and said she couldn't go any further and she was stopping in at La Grande to get us a motel room for the night. Normally, I'd just tell her to switch with me, but it was already 2am and it made no sense to continue. We were supposed to be at Twin Falls, ID by then, but were only in La Grande (not even close to half-way).
At the motel, Michael put on a show. He was tired, and scared, He had no idea where he was and the motel room was completely unfamiliar - not a good combination. I had to spend about 10 minutes calming him down by rubbing his back and whispering "It's okay" into Michael's ear. Lindsay turned on the t.v. and searched feverishly for some cartoons for Michael to watch. Unfortunately, the only cartoons on at 1:30 am are on Adult Swim and it was some video that damn near gave me a seizure and showed some rather questionable images. Still, it had Michael locked in and calmed down. I was too tired to care anymore. I just wanted to get to sleep.
Then it happened. I suppose it was 3:30 am. I heard this "THUMP!!!" and immediately jumped out of bed and turned on the light. Michael fell off the bed and was pissed off. Lindsay checked him out told me to turn off the light. Fortunately, Lindsay left an extra set of ear plugs out so I put them in and went back to sleep.
What an adventure so far. Everything that could have gone wrong went completely wrong. This whole trip had gone completely sideways and now that we were 380 miles from home, there would be no turning back.
I woke up refreshed and ready to drive. Michael was doing surprisingly well for only a few hours of real sleep, and Rory was chipper as always. Even Lindsay was doing good for only 2 hours of sleep.
We got moving around 8:30 am and started off to Caldwell, ID. Finally, after and hour or so we crossed out of Hell into Idaho. Ah, speed limit 75. After a quick fuel stop at the Flying J, we made tracks for Utah. The intention was to blast through ID as quickly as possible, stopping at the I-84 weigh station to let Michael and Rory out of their seats. Michael loved the big rigs. Every time one came into the stop, he'd said "vroom VROOM" and laugh and run around. He then discovered the garbage cans and had to touch each one.
Continuing on, we stopped in for fuel just after getting to Utah and drove the last 100 or so miles uneventful. All told, our kids did really well on the second day.
Michael's car seat still smells like puke.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
After a lot of thought, and a lot more research, I have decided to hand it to the Ruger SR9c. Believe it or not, my decision was not based on the automatic verses revolver debate, .357 magnum verses 9mm, or even 5 round capacity verses 10+1. My decision was based on my wife.
You read that right. For this buy, I'm taking my wife into consideration in a big way. At 5' tall, and a sliver over 100 lbs, my wife isn't exactly a big woman. I can wrap my thumb and forefinger around her wrists. When she stands next to me, she only reaches my shoulders. When we walk together, she takes 2 1/2 steps to cover the distance of only 1 of my steps. Needless to say, a 17 ounces .357 magnum would not be an ideal self defense weapon for her.
Wait! For HER?!!!
Cool your jets. This gun isn't for her - not specifically. However, when I look at the arsenal before me, I have noticed that none of my pistols is really ideal for her. My Beretta and full size Ruger SR9, while only 9mm, are too large for her diminutive hands. My .357 magnum Ruger SP101 is out of the question, and my Ruger LCP, being only a .380 still packs a wallop in the recoil department; I guess weighing in at only 9 ounces has something to do with that. The only guns she owns, that she knows she can handle are .22 LR pistols. They aren't exactly powerhouses.
Since I spend a good deal of time away from my wife when I'm at work, I sometimes lament the fact that all of my ideal self-defense pistols are not ideal for her. I'm sure that she could operate a couple of them in a pinch, but what good is a self-defense pistol if you can't get a good grip on it? That being said, the tie-breaker in this decision boils down to whether or not she can handle the weapon.
I had previously taken the opportunity to go to the local gun shop and feel a LCR in my hand. I liked it. It pointed naturally for me, and helped me develop a taste for the design. It seemed only fair to get a SR9c into my hands before pulling the trigger on my decision (pun intended).
The SR9c comes with two magazines: a 10 rounds concealed carry mag and a 17 round reload magazine. The gun also comes with a standard flat magazine plate or an extended plate for those with larger hands. The 17 round reload magazine comes with a grip adapter that slides in place to give a bigger grip area and provide more comfort. Of course, for ideal concealed carry, the flat plate is preferred, but in the case of comfort, I really liked the extended finger groove. The 17 round magazine with the grip adapter gave me the familiar SR9 grip.
I've also decided that for the purposes of concealed carry, I'm going to go with the brushed stainless model - not the blackened alloy steel. The reason is that any finished material will eventually wear off from holster use. I also like stainless guns for concealed carry because sweat and other moisture on the body take their toll on a weapon. As for stealth, as long as the stainless gun is under a garment, who's gonna know?
I liked the feel of the stubby little SR9c in my hand. The shortened slide, featuring forward serrations for better grip, is the same in other dimensions as the full size SR9. The SR9c isn't some midget version of it's full size counterpart. It's just been bobbed in two places to make concealed carry viable. As such, Ruger didn't have to reinvent the wheel to produce this weapon.
Another benefit of going the SR9c route is the interchangeability of critical parts. Additionally, any 17 round SR9 magazine should fit the SR9c. This means that, aside from a few compact 10 round magazines, I won't have to buy a whole new set of magazines for the gun.
So, that's the decision, in a nutshell. My holster of choice for this is going to be a Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe, and hopefully, I'll be carrying this sucker by next fall!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Ruger has had the SR9c out since the beginning of this year. I really didn't pay much attention to it at first since I was still a hater on the full size SR9. But ever since shooting my big SR9, I have fallen in love with the platform.
I still wasn't paying much attention to the SR9c because I was focusing on the option of buying a compact wheelgun for concealed carry applications. However, I'm on the fence now because for some reason, I decided to do a little reading on the SR9c and see what all the hype was about. Fueled by my own experiences with Ruger's fullsize wonder weapon, I read review after positive review about the SR9c's concealability, reliability, and firepower.
I didn't know this until last night, but the SR9c can accept a fullsize 17 round magazine, included with the weapon! In fact, Ruger also sends the fullsize magazine with a built-in grip extension so you have fullsize control after a reload. I guess the idea is that if you need to reload, you probably need to have some more control because of a target-rich environment; I don't know. But I do know that the option of going 17 rounds in a compact weapon is cool! You get the best of both worlds. You get the concealability that a smaller grip with 10 rounds give you, and the firepower of a fullsize reload, without affecting concealability! You can hide a 17 round magazine easily. Having that much firepower at your fingertips is certainly a tempting thing. Already, I can see the advantage that 10+1, plus a fast 17 round reload in the SR9c would have over the 5 rounds of the LCR with a more difficult 5 round reload. Having mastered both styles, I do prefer a quicker magazine change over a more dexterity-driven wheelgun reload.
Oh the conundrum!
Okay, so here are the specs of the SR9c, so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.
Slide Material: Stainless Steel
Slide Finish: Brushed Stainless
Grip Frame: Black, High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
Sights: Adjustable 3-Dot
Barrel Length: 3.50"
Overall Length: 6.85"
Weight: 23.40 oz.
Twist: 1:10" RH
Suggested Retail: $525.00
$525 seems a bit steep, but lets remember that realworld prices will be in the $450 range, which is about how much I imagine a LCR .357 magnum will cost.
The dimensions are similar to my SP101, and the weight is familiar too. The small grip makes concealability simple. When it comes to concealing a handgun, you want simplicity - not complexity. This isn't rocket science here. The SR9c weighs about 5 ounces more than the LCR .357, but also offers 6 extra shots, which can be the deciding factor in the outcome of a potential crime being committed or whether or not you become a victim.
So, why not talk about the differences between .357 magnum and 9mm? Okay, we shall.
.357 magnum packs a punch, but out of a short barrel, as is the case with any snubnose revolver, you will see dramatic power losses as well as the speed in which the bullet travels. Out of a 2" barrel, though, the .357 magnum still has devastating firepower and 5 shots on your side is a formidable ally. The weight of the gun plays into this as well. A lightweight gun, such as the LCR, chambered in .357 magnum will probably hurt the shooter as much as the person being shot. Firing full load .357 loads through my SP101 is thrilling. The LCR could be downright scary. But c'mon. That's half the fun! Without having had the opportunity to shoot the LCR .357 magnum, I don't know what it would do. I can control my SP101 with accuracy, but it also weighs 5 ounces more. Will the 5 ounce loss in weight really affect the LCR that much? I doubt it.
9mm is a much weaker round than the .357 magnum, but there are loads, such as +P and +P+ that can bring that value up considerably. To some, the 9mm is underpowered. To me, however, all pistol loads are underpowered! Please, the pistol isn't a medium bore rifle. We carry pistols because they are handier than rifles and shotguns. We also understand that in a desperate situation, pistol on the hip beats a rifle in the safe. Additionally, my mentality is this: a pistol is used to fight your way to a rifle. If you have a rifle in one hand and a pistol in the other, chances are the pistol will be holstered in favor of the more powerful and more accurate rifle. Only when the rifle runs out of ammo or malfunctions does a pistol come back into play... unless you don't have a rifle to begin with. How many people do you see at the grocery store with rifles on their shoulders? None, I would imagine. But how many people do you see with concealed handguns? Well, if you see me, assume that I'm armed with one. Now with that said, I personally feel that 10 rounds of 9mm in the gun is more advantageous than 5 rounds of .357 magnum.
Follow-up shots are just as important as the first shot. If you can't get your second shot on target, then you can subtract 1 more round from your gun. The SR9c weighs more and shoots a much less recoil-exhibiting round; and there are 11 of them in the first volley (10 in the mag, one in the pipe). The LCR weighs less and fires are round that will sting the hand and may jump. You may need to readjust your grip to fire the follow-up shot.
I will say that I can put 5 rounds of 9mm down faster and more accurately than 5 rounds of .357 magnum. Hey, I'm only human, right?
But then there is the respect of a powerful wheelgun. Nobody messes with a revolver, especially a powerful one. There are just some things in this world you don't do, and one of those things is to mess with a man pointing a wheelgun at you. You know, just as well as he does, that he only has 5-6 shots. Don't think for a second that if you find yourself drawn down upon by a guy holding a revolver that he doesn't know what he is doing. He has likely mastered that gun and knows all its quirks and knows just how it ticks. He practices shot placement because in the revolver world, shot placement is key. Don't get me wrong, shot placement is vital with any gun, but the man wielding a revolver is intimately aware of this issue.
There is also the reliability of a wheelgun. I won't say a revolver will always go BANG when fired, but there is a 99.99999999999999% chance that it will. And if it doesn't, the shooter just squeezes the trigger again and puts the next round in line down the hole. Automatic don't have that luxury, but don't let that fool you. Any competent auto shooter knows the tap, rack, bang drill. But that takes time, and in a critical situation, time is not on your side. It's much faster just to pull the trigger again, get the cylinder rotating to bring a new round to battery and BANG!
So, we see the dilemma here. Do I go SR9c or do I go LCR?
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The subject of concealed carry is obviously controversial, and I'm not going to get into the gun/anti-gun debate. By now, you know where I stand on that. What I want to discuss is a dilemma for those who have concealed pistol licenses (cpl).
Having a cpl is like kind of like having a driver's license. It's pretty useless if you don't use it. For the concealed carry licensee, the inconvenience of getting licensed, and the expense, makes using your cpl even more important. CPL's aren't like driver's licenses though. Any idiot with a few bucks can get a driver's license. To qualify for a cpl, you must subject yourself to an extensive background check, fingerprinting, a 30 day wait, and not to mention a much higher cost - $60 every 5 years for a cpl compared to just $25 every 5 years for a WA State driver's license.
Also, imagine the implication of a cpl versus other licenses. Carrying a concealed firearm is serious business. I don't take the responsibility of concealed carry lightly at all. I'm serious about concealed carry. That means I take the time to make sure my gun, my rig, and my clothing work together to keep my gun concealed. I also take time, at great expense, to practice with my various guns. I keep my skills sharp. I make the effort to research and always increase my knowledge on the subject and the psychology of concealed carry and killing. Do I want to kill? Absolutely not! But am I ready to kill? Well, I certainly hope I am ready to do whatever is needed to stop a threat to myself, my family, or innocent people.
Exactly what do I carry for? I don't carry to appear macho or to compensate for something. No, if I wanted to do that, I'd carry out in the open and have a big hand cannon to do it with. I don't carry to make a statement. I carry because of all the people I meet, and potentially will meet, there might be some dude who is ready to go off and do something that will make national headlines. The question is, should I find myself in a situation like Virginia Tech, or a Colorado church, or a mall in Utah, (notice the pattern?), I want to ensure that I have a choice between being a victim or a survivor. With a gun, I have the ability to save my life, and the lives of others around me. But if I am unarmed, I only have the option to run away or die. And I'd hope I can run fast enough, but that's unlikely because bullets run faster than anyone.
So, now the question is this: What do I carry? Well, some people know what I carry. But a lot of people have this mentality that if you carry anything with a caliber less than .45, you are an idiot for doing so. But I've always clung to the philosophy that a .380 in the waistband is better than a .45 in the truck. Face it, carrying guns large enough to be chambered in .45 can become uncomfortable most days of the year. In the summer, I wear nothing more than cargo shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt. Ever try hiding a 1911 .45 under a t-shirt? It's difficult to do and oftentimes mandates the use of an outer shell or jacket. But then you are either uncomfortable in the heat or look obvious.
The point of carrying something small and light is that a .380, or .38 is better than nothing. Yep, carrying a pocket-size handgun, ideal for concealed carry, 90% of the time, is much better than carrying a full-size .40 or .45 only 50% of the time. So, the question is: Are you carrying, and how much are you carrying? If you have a cpl and you aren't carrying your gun, then you are not using your responsibility wisely, if at all. You paid for that cpl, you subjected yourself to a background check, and you got yourself fingerprinted in the process. USE IT!
I would urge anyone who doesn't carry their firearm 90% of the time to get a pocket-sized handgun. In my opinion, a person carrying a pocket .380 is a person who is using their cpl. The person who leaves their gun in their truck is a sheep who is choosing to be subject the whims of a bad person even though they have a cpl.
You never know when you will need a gun. Some people don't carry because they think that they are just going to the mall, or the grocery store, or to church, or to the video store, or to the park, or the movie theater. There can't be any dangerous people there. Tell that to the students at Virginia Tech. Tell that to the churchgoers in CO who were shot. Tell that the the shoppers in SLC who became victims. Tell that to the average woman who winds up getting raped in the back parking lot of some store. And then, tell that to the millions of armed people a year who use their guns to protect their lives and the lives of others. 2 million people a year use their guns to protect life and property without even firing a shot! That is why I carry a gun. Even if there is only a 1 in 2 million chance that I will ever need it, I'm going to put my money on my weapon, my cpl, my training, and the fact that when seconds count, the police are minutes away.
Carry often, train often, and keep yourself smart.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Ruger has done it again. They took a solid gun platform and have made it too tempting to pass up. They have just introduced the Ruger LCR (Lightweight Compact Revolver) in .357 magnum. I cannot begin to describe how excited I am over this. I have been holding off on the purchase of a LCR because they were only offered in .38 +P. I don't care for .38 revolvers. I like having the option of running .357 magnum through them.
Ruger's LCR has been a breakthrough in revolver technology. They have mixed the old classic wheelgun concept with modern space age composites and lightweight materials/finishes to create something that is very compact and lightweight, yet provides a lot of punch.
The original LCR weighs in at about 13 ounces. That's just under a lb. Firing .38 +P in a package that light is a thrill to begin with. Ruger's new .357 LCR weighs a little more - 17.1 ounces. The heavier weight is due to the materials used to construct the weapon. The .38 LCR has an aluminum frame with steel cylinder and barrel. The new .357 version has a stainless steel frame, which has been blackened for stealth and ease of concealment. That accounts for the extra 5 or so ounces of weight. However, that weight increase can be offset by using lighter .357 magnum bullets. If you can shave 1 ounce off each bullet through use of lighter 125 gr or 115 gr bullets vs 158 gr, then the increased weight is null. However, I'm not going to worry much about 5 ounces of increased weight. The gun still weighs half a pound less than my Ruger SP101! Impressive.
Okay, so what are the specs then? Well, here you go:
Finish: Blackened Stainless
Grips: Hogue® Tamer™
Front Sight: Replaceable, Pinned Ramp
Rear Sight: U-Notch Integral
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Barrel Length: 1.88"
Overall Length: 6.50"
Weight: 17.10 oz.
Twist: 1:16" RH
Ruger has priced this weapon at a $575 MSRP, which means it will probably be more like $450-$475 in the real world. You can get a lighter .357 magnum from other makers, but you'll pay twice as much as this.
The 1.8" barrel takes snub to the extreme. I thought the 2.25" barrel on my SP101 was short. The LCR barrel will make this gun very easy to conceal. At 6.5" long, the LCR is 1/2" shorter than the SP101 and at 4.5" high, the LCR is shorter than the SP101 as well. The shorter grip of the LCR will help to hide the obvious grip printing issue that plagues those who carry concealed. This isn't to say that the SP101 is difficult to conceal. No, that is far from the case. The LCR will just do a better job of it. The LCR compares to the LCP fairly well too. The LCR is less than an inch taller than the LCP and is an inch and a half longer. It doesn't conceal nearly as well as the LCP, but it fires the venerable .357 magnum, which out powers the LCP any day of the week.
So, with all that said, does this mean I'll be trading in my SP and LCP for Ruger's compact wonder weapon? Heck no! There are different guns for different days and different wardrobes. The LCP is great for going fast and light. The SP101 does well as a backup when the day calls for a light jacket or even something heavy. In IWB carry, I can conceal my SP101 under a t-shirt without a problem (though I prefer to wear a light vest when carrying the SP). The LCR would theoretically fall into everything else. If the LCR conceals well enough, it could go in place of the LCP. The LCP could then act as a backup to the LCR. Heck, the LCR could be a backup for the SP101! They share the same ammo! Well, at least the far superior .357 version of the LCR shares ammo with my SP101, which shoots only .357 magnum for self defense.
I've been looking for my next gun purchase and I think I have found it.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Under the slide hood, you can see where the barrel is making contact.
At first, I thought this could be normal wear and tear. I decided to go online and do a little research, however, to be sure. What I found basically indicated that this condition is called "barrel peening", which is where the metal of the barrel begins to deform due to repeated blows to it. Normally, I'd just knock off the area of the barrel block that has flanged upward, but I decided to call Ruger Customer Service (RCS) and seek some advice. The only reason I did that is due to another "issue" that I've noticed which is where the primer strikes occur on the back of each cartridge fired. They aren't dead center. They are close, but not completely centered.
When I called up RCS, I described the evidence of barrel peening. I asked if it was normal, and he responded that it was not normal wear and tear. He immediately said afterward that he was going to send me a free shipping label so I could send the gun to Ruger for inspection. He asked about any other issues, and I related to him the alignment of the firing pin on the spent cartridges, and that I had experienced a couple failure to fire issues in the 300 rounds I've shot downrange. He instructed me to include a note with the issues, identifying the peening issue, the firing pin alignment issue and even the light strikes and what ammo I've shot.
Now, I'm not surprised that Ruger is taking the initiative on this. I didn't ask to send the gun back for inspection or repair. The thought never even occurred to me. But I am happy that Ruger immediately did the right thing and did what any good company would do: stand behind their product.
Now, the gun hasn't gone off for inspection yet. I'm going to wait on the shipping label to be mailed to me. However, I have read in many places that Ruger customer service and support is top notch. With this barrel peening issue, it is most definitely something that the factory needs to inspect because there could be an issue with the hardness of the metal or some other manufacturing problem that may have caused bad alignment. I have faith that whatever issue this is will be resolved.
In the meantime, it looks like I will carry the Ruger SP101 again. And I mean, c'mon. Is that really a bad thing?
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Mom spent 18 years putting up with me in her house. From birth until now, she has always been there for me and has loved me unconditionally. Despite my many faults, I have no doubt there would be a lot more if Mom hadn't been there to teach me to do what's right. She taught me the value of being an honorable person and to treat women with respect. If I had the words to describe how fortunate I am to have my mother, I would express them without hesitation. But there are no words to convey that would come close to describing the positive impact she has had on me in my life. She is a wonderful person. I love you Mom.
Lindsay came into my life about 7 years ago. Since then, we have been married and have had two children. Our first child, Michael, arrived almost two years ago, and our second, Rory, arrived just a few months ago. Lindsay is a great mother. She continually demonstrates a motherly instinct that I can't begin to comprehend, nor would I try. Lindsay prepared me for fatherhood by being an example to follow. She loves our babies without question and would do anything for them. Lindsay has shown me the true meaning of through her actions and her words. She cares deeply for this family and exhibits a lot of patience when dealing with me. I can't ask for anything more because my wife has done so much to be the fantastic wife, mother, and person that she is. I love you Lindsay.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
5. Allowing yourself to be overwhelmed.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Ruger has really stepped it up in recent years. They have come out with some really great products and I feel they are responding better to consumer demands. With the addition of the LCP, LCR, and the SR9/SR9c series, they have really taken the concealed carry market by storm. Additionally, Ruger ventured into the AR 15 world with the SR556 carbine. This to me was a risky venture, but recently has born good fruit as far as Ruger goes. The SR556 appears to be a success, and leaves me wanting one badly. No longer are the consumers stuck to revolvers and non-tactical style rifles with Ruger. Ruger's recent additions are fantastic.
So the question I have is: Will Ruger produce a 1911 pistol? Good question. I've read in a few places that Ruger definitely has one on the table. In other places, I read that Ruger is focused on introducing a SR40 style weapon, which is basically a Ruger SR9, chambered for .40 S&W. That isn't a bad thing. I think Ruger has the wherewithal to do both. If Ruger introduced a 1911, I'd buy it in a hot minute, even if it was lawyerized with warning labels and loaded chamber indicators. They don't bother me. What bothers me is a lack of options to begin with.
Indeed, buying such a weapon would add yet another cartridge type to the pile of already growing cartridge styles, but a Ruger 1911 would be worth it.
I will continue to watch closely, and if Ruger introduces it, I'll be ready.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Today, I had some free time after the children went to sleep for their afternoon naps, so I took my new Ruger SR9 to the range to run 100 rounds of 9mm through it. The purpose of this was to give it a shakedown and see if there were any issues with it. Every good gun owner knows to first fire their weapon in a controlled setting before ever relying on it for self-defense. Plus, I wanted to make sure the sights were aligned for my eyes and shooting technique. I have no doubt they were mechanically zeroed at the factory.
Before actually shooting the gun, I loaded both factory 17 round magazines that the gun came with. Ruger also provided a magazine loader to assist loading the magazines. It came in handy. It made loading the magazines fast and saved me from having a sore thumb afterward. After loading, I inserted a magazine into the gun and held it for a bit. I wanted to see how the gun balanced with a fully loaded magazine. It does well. I took aim. The gun aims naturally and effortlessly.
Finally, I took aim at the first target and fired. I fired 5 shots downrange at 7 yards (21 feet). I checked the shot placement on the paper. They were about 5 inches high. I cranked down on the elevation adjustment screw, loaded on top of the gun just in front of the rear sights. There is a positive "click" between settings and that is welcomed! After an adjustment, I fired another 5 shots. The point of impact was still about 3 inches high, so I cranked down on the adjustment screw about 4 clicks down. After firing again, I noted all rounds were landing just above the little black target ring. After a few more clicks, I was sighted in. The gun now shot dead nutz center of the little targets. No windage adjustment was necessary because my groups were spread along the center of the targets. My best group was a cool 2" - not bad for a gun I've never fired before and a safe trigger I was not yet used to.
Now, let's sit back a second here and let me explain something about shot groups. This gun isn't a range queen. It's not the kind of gun with a super crisp, lightweight, single action trigger pull. This is a defensive gun with a heavy, deliberate, double action style trigger pull. If I was interested in putting 1/2" groups onto the paper, I would buy a 1911 style pistol and really work the trigger, and accurize the heck out of it. But honestly, I couldn't carry a gun like that in the real world. There are too many variables that come into play and a super accurized gun with a super light, super short, super crisp (and very VERY delicate) trigger pull has no business in a concealed carry or combat application. Sure, it's one thing to impress your friends with sub 1" groups, but it's a whole other ball of wax to carry a gun with a combat trigger and still shoot it like a professional.
The Ruger SR9, like any other self-defense pistol, is meant to be durable and dependable. This comes with a sacrifice. When you make a trigger safe and reliable, sometimes supreme accuracy suffers. But how much does it suffer? Well, in my instance not that much. I still put down a small enough group to get all the bullets either on the chest of a bad guy or in the head. That's pretty good. As my experience with this gun increases, so will my accuracy with this gun. My SP101 is dialed in, so to speak. I can shoot all 5 shots inside the 10-ring and have all of the holes touch one another. It's just a matter of getting to know your weapon.
I watched my group sizes shrink as I went. Each 5 round group got smaller and smaller. I have no doubt that if I had 100 more rounds of ammo to burn up, I could have been shooting them all in the 10 ring. But I'll take the next ring out this trip.
Overall, I'm happy with the design and function of this gun. The safety style trigger was easy to get over and the feel of the gun made it easy to shoot and very manageable. I'm a satisfied Ruger customer... again.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
On April 26, I stopped in at Bulls Eye in Tacoma to place an order for the Ruger SR9 pistol. I had been there the Saturday prior to take a look at one. I would have actually bought it that weekend, but the gun had an olive drab green frame. I personally wanted black.
These two trips to Bulls Eye were the culmination of months of research, which were sparked from an associate of mine telling me to "keep an open mind" about the Ruger SR9. I'm on record here talking about how I think about the Ruger's looks, so I won't be rehashing old topics.
This entry is dedicated to my first impressions of this gun. I was actually fortunate to have had to order this gun from the factory instead of buying what was under the glass cabinet at the shop. This gun hasn't been handled by every Tom, Dick, and Harry ogling (yes, I meant to say ogling) at every semi-automatic at the store. With that said, this gun arrived with not a scratch or flaw on it.