Monday, November 7, 2011


I was at my parent's house on Saturday to drop off my wife's new laptop for repair (who would have known that the device didn't want a glass of juice?), and I had about a fifteen minute window to shoot my pistol with my brother. The day before, I handed over my Glock 26 to my sister, who has struck a notion to start carrying something because of all the attempted abductions going on in the area (another one in my town yesterday), and also because some creepy scumbag tried to take one of her kids not quite a year ago, so I committed to leaving the Glock 17 in the house for the wife, and took up my beloved 1911.

The only holster that I own for my 1911 that works for AIWB is a crappy leather Bianchi that I had cut the thumb break off of some time ago. It's concealable, but was way too tight for a railed gun, so I had left it in the gun safe for a couple of weeks with the pistol wrapped in a plastic baggie to loosen it up. That worked out alright, but the huge metal clip had a tendency to let the holster come out during the draw still attached to the gun, which was happening on Saturday. It was all laughs though, as I had intentions of getting a suitable holster anyway -- I just needed an internet connection and one would be on its way.

That's when it happened.

I was doing one-shot draws from concealment against my PACT shot timer when I got a click instead of a bang. I had this happen to me a few times with this gun with the first rounds I ever put through it, but it never happened again since then. I found out only in recent weeks that Kimber 1911s are equipped with the Swartz firing pin safety system.

I hold a pistol with a ludicrously high grip; so high that I usually get slide bite from Glocks and whatnot, but I don't mind because the gun is really controllable with the bore closer to my hand. I would hold higher if it wouldn't bind the gun up -- I could even have slide rails built into my hand flesh to allow the slide something slick to run against. Where I run into trouble with 1911s is that my hand is sometimes up so high on the beavertail that I don't disengage the grip safety, so the hammer doesn't fall; and specifically with the above malfunction, I have enough pressure on the grip safety to allow the hammer to fall, but not enough to disengage the Swartz safety. And now I know why I sometimes get clicks instead of bangs.

I've never liked the grip safety on a 1911, but I have learned to deal with them well enough so far. At this point though I don't want to take the chance at having that happen at an inopportune time. And so after some thinking, and discussion with my brother who's advice has a great deal of weight with me, I've decided to sell off my 1911 and try my hand at something different. The main reason I shoot a 1911 so much is because of the grip angle, and thus my ability to naturally point it where I need it to go. I'm shooting my Glock 17 great, but I still hate the grip, and it's just a scootch larger than I would like to conceal, and I also wouldn't mind some extra safety available when holstering a loaded weapon that's pointed at my groin and femoral artery, so I want a gun with a hammer.

I need the capitol from my 1911 to expedite my next buy - a H&K P30. There's nothing wrong with my 1911, it's just that it doesn't suit my needs, and I intend to pick up another one day in the near future -- one that doesn't have a rail, but does have crappy sights, a spur hammer, no beavertail, in blued steel. The H&Ks latest offerings have a grip angle along the lines of the 1911, and I hear their triggers and sights are simply awful, so I'll be upgrading along the way. Fun times ahead. . .


Broken Andy said...

Have you considered a Beretta PX4 Compact. That gives you the hammer and a safety/decocker with no grip safety to worry about? And the price is considerably lower than anything H&K sells.

Unknown said...

I most definitely have. The reason I decided on the H&K is the grip -- I held one this weekend, and it's the best feeling handgun I have ever held by far, despite being the most ugly. The grip is hideous to look at, but about a year ago a close friend told me it was the best feeling handgun to him, so I had to give it a try, and it sold me. Also, I need a 4-ish" slide with a grip a touch shorter than the G17 -- the G19 would fit the bill perfectly if it had a hammer and a grip that doesn't suck. The P30's price is the down side, especially considering that the sights are unusable in stock form; I'll have to pick up some real night sights for it. Mags are expensive, too, but I have to have one. They feel too damn good to pass up.

Depending on how well I shoot it, I may go for an H&K45C in the future. I hear good things about it as well.

mike's spot said...

I held a P30 once- never fired it but it does feel good in the hand. Pains me to admit as I always wanted a reason to slam H&K. However- they got that one, and the P7 right.

to play devils advocate, did you ever hold a CZ p-01? almost the same size, and it has super comfy controls (for my hands anyway).

Drew said...

what about siggy?

Unknown said...

I've looked at Sigs too. I like the new E2 grip; it shows that they're paying attention to the market. My brother has a Sig that points awesome and shoots well.

I'm really hung up on the idea of new platforms. The P30 is a whole new gun, based on what H&K has learned so far. They hit it out of the park with that one. Beretta's PX4 lineup is the same way, and quite a few years ago I noticed how they had started from scratch and built an entirely new pistol -

Others like Kimber's Solo, S&Ws M&P lineup, and Springfield's EMP are new platforms, and I dig that they're going in a new direction. I'm jumping on this bandwagon to see where it takes me. If I fall off. . . .well, let's just say I've fallen off the wagon enough to know how to land!

Drew said...

i might be too young to understand the philosophy of the double / single action guns out there.

Unknown said...

I've shot DA/SA guns a few times, even being issued an M9 before; they're functional, and someone can get really good with them, too - like my brother. For me, I'm going with the LEM trigger, which is similar in concept to Sig's DAK trigger -- it's a long trigger pull like a revolver, but not quite as heavy, and it doesn't change. The hammer never stays back, so it never goes into single action mode. That way, I only have to get used to one trigger pull.