Monday, June 28, 2010

Guns that don't make sense...

I have long been absent from my blog. A brief update as to why, in Mid-Feb, I left my job at the BBOD and started working for Major State School as an Undergrad Research Assistant. In early March, I was accepted to Major State School as a Graduate student, so in August I get a promotion with a new title, Graduate Student Teaching Assistant. This means that I have spent a considerable amount of my time, preparing for my new graduate school adventure, finishing required undergraduate work, and finishing required graduate school pre-requisites in course work. I have missed my time at the BBOD only slightly, admittedly, and I currently view the chapter of my life as a gun salesman, closed.

That doesn't mean we can't still blog about guns as time permits. So let's do some of that gun blogging stuff!

The title of this post should probably more properly read, "Concealed Carry Guns that don't make sense..."...The following is a list of recently produced guns for the market of concealed carry that...just don't make any sense:

The new Airweight Smith and Wesson J-Frames with 2.5" barrels. These guns don't make any sense. On the surface they seem like a good thing, longer sight radius, longer barrel, pinned front sights. But when you start to think about the role of the J-Frame, they don't make sense. The added length of the barrel, kills the compact J-Frame's ability to be neatly concealed inside a pocket. That's the real power of the Airweight snub, it's pocket concealability. If you're going to carry a belt gun, or an ankle gun, or a shoulder gun, you should pick something at least, heavier, than an Airweight J. The airweight guns are painful and difficult to shoot well. Opting for a heavier all steel J-Frame results in much better accuracy and control for nearly all shooters. And that's why the new guns make no sense, you carry a J-Frame, because you can pocket carry it easily. If you can belt carry a gun, you should belt carry a bigger gun. There are already better belt gun options than a 2.5" Airweight J-Frame. The 3" all steel J-Frame comes to mind, the all steel 3" Ruger SP101, the 3" GP100, the 3" K-Frame, the 2.5" or 3" L-Frame. All of these guns hold more rounds, are easier to shoot, and are chambered in a more powerful caliber (.357 Magnum or in the L-Frame's case at least a couple of 5-shot .44 special versions).

The Taurus Public Defender, the new snub nosed, bobbed, cut down, and rounded Taurus Judge revolver. I want to get the combination right, you take a hard to shoot gun, make it smaller and shorter, and sell it as the gun you need for concealed carry. Frankly, I would think the Public Defender was a good idea, if it were chambered in .45 Long Colt, because the gun would be only marginally bigger than a J-Frame, but it would be chambered in a heft cartridge. Unfortunately, the Defender comes in the .410/,45 chambered, you can have your .45 long colt if you want, but at the added price of an extra inch of cylinder. All the better to clean extra carbon from if you shoot it much? I suppose. The .410 loads as a defensive load are questionable at best, even with the new 000 Federal Buckshot load, you're getting 5, .36 caliber pellets at 70-grains each. You can get 5, .36 caliber bullets from a J-Frame, but at 158-grains each, or if loaded with .45 Long Colt, you can have 5, 250-grain bullets, to hurl out the end of your gun. In my opinion the Public Defender would be best, if it were shortened and chambered in .45 Long Colt only. Of course, Taurus already made that gun and it never sold well (it would be the Taurus 445). Then again in those does Taurus didn't have the marketing they used to have.

Finally, let's pick on auto pistols for a minute, I want to pick on specific class of semi-autos, the sub-compact, double stack, polymer framed gun. The gun that makes absolutely NO sense when it comes to concealed carry. I am picking on your Glock 26s and 27s, your Springfield XD Sub-Compacts, etc. Why am I picking on these guns? Because they don't make any sense. They commit all the same sins as the guns above. They create a gun that is hard to shoot well, doesn't conceal much (if any) better than its full size counter part, and are often less reliable than a full size gun. These guns have everything working against them, they often allow only a two-finger hold, which allows for only reduced control of the gun. Some people off set this, but adding a finger extension to the bottom of their magazine. This has always struck me as a moronic thing to do, you add a finger extension to the bottom of the gun, making it as long as a full size gun, thereby negating the concealment benefit of the shorter grip on the gun. Then there is the trade off, you have a shorter barrel, easier to conceal, right? Sort of. You do have to conceal the barrel of your gun, but for the most part your cover garment and or holster takes care of that for you. You aren't gaining much by shortening the barrel, to be honest, but you're losing a lot. A lot of control, you add recoil, reduce your sight radius (thereby amplifying any trigger control mistakes you make), and abbreviate the grip. All in the name of concealment, only you are still trying to conceal something that feels, looks, and has the weight of a brick. These guns just don't make sense from a concealed carry point of view, you have to wear a good belt, buy a good holster, etc. Your trade off then, less control, harder to shoot, less reliable, and still takes the same effort to hide a small gun than a big one. It would seem that this category then, falls heavily into the makes no sense category.

So, let us draw conclusions from this discussion, small and light guns have a place, they are typically for use in unique situations or for a unique carry option. If you're going to belt carry any of the above guns, there are better, larger, more powerful, and easier to shoot guns that will require the same level of work to conceal. But the payoff results in you being able to carry a bigger gun that you can have more confidence in.

More results to ponder and think about.