Helping Hand

Well that doesn’t quite fit The Narrative, does it?

A man with a concealed-carry license was commended for coming to the aid of Cicero police who were engaged in a shootout with a man who shot and wounded an officer near the Stevenson Expressway Thursday, authorities said.
Cicero Police Officer Luis Duarte, 31, was shot four times during the encounter near the 4200 block of South Cicero Avenue during the evening rush hour, but it might have been worse if the armed citizen hadn’t stepped in, officials said.
“We were lucky enough to have a citizen on the street there who’s a concealed-carry holder, and he also engaged in gunfire,” Cicero Police Supt. Jerry Chlada Jr. said outside Mount Sinai Hospital, where Duarte was undergoing surgery Thursday night.

And in Chicago, even.  No cries yet about “vigilante justice” from The Usual Suspects, but no doubt they’ll be coming soon.

Shooting Party

Reader Brad sent me this link about bird-hunting in Britishland, with the result that I immediately emailed Mr. Free Market and told him to book me a spot in his hunting party for next year.  I don’t care where the shooting takes place;  I just want to be there.  In fact, as I told Mr. FM, I’ll even schedule Kim’s European Vacation 2019 around those dates.

Here’s Dave Carrie on the topic.

Reader Brad is a total bastard.


Springer Mods

In an email from Reader Ranger:

“You mentioned your ‘modified’ Mil-Spec Springfield 1911A1. Are you referring to the stock changes Springfield makes, such as the lowered and flared ejection port, etc or did you have aftermarket work done? It does look like you have custom grips.
“BTW, I find Springfield 1911A1’s great unless you’re willing to pay nose bleed prices for a Les Bauer or equivalent. I’ve used the Springfield lifetime warranty twice with my 1911A1’s (visualize the low brow pickup truck bumper sticker of Calvin but instead of some NASCAR idiot think Kimber). Springfield’s don’t have the ridiculous firing pin safeties and instead uses a stronger firing pin spring coupled with a lighter titanium firing pin.
“Also it looks like you’re using Wilson Combat magazines. Kudo’s on that!
IMHO, from the side view, you have the GI sights and I would suggest at some point swapping them out for Novak style tritium night sights. Just saying more than 50% of shooting occur after dark, and as I get older a bright green front sight dot is comforting.”

Here are the pre- and post-modified pics:

My modifications to the stock Springfield G.I. 1911 were as follows:

  • lowered ejection port (the G.I. ejection port is too small to accommodate the many different types of .45 ACP ammo I use)
  • beavertail grip safety and bobbed hammer (because I had become heartily sick of the standard 1911 “hammer-bite”)
  • the wood grips are made from some endangered tree found in Hawaii (no idea what species;  I bought them at a gun show on looks alone)

…and that’s about it.  I use Chip McCormick PowerMags exclusively, not the Wilson Combat type because the tolerances of the Wilson are a little tight for my Springfield’s mag well.

I’ve toyed with putting Novak sights (or similar) on the thing, but frankly, the gunsmithing cost is prohibitive.  I’d rather just keep anointing the little white dots on the existing sights with florescent paint as it wears off.

When I bought my 1911, Springfield hadn’t yet made the “Loaded” model, which is basically what mine is (except for the sights).

Other considerations:

I don’t care for the rough feel of stippled or ribbed grips and frontstraps because after I’ve shot more than a hundred rounds, my skin gets chafed and irritated.  My hands don’t perspire — never have — so smooth grips never feel slippery in my hands when I’m shooting.  I also don’t care for the “extruded” grip safeties that seem to be all the rage nowadays because if you grip the gun firmly — as God and John Moses Browning decreed — the grip safety will always disengage.  The extrusion, when practicing quick draws, can catch on the web of my thumb and forefinger and once again, that gets irritating after a few hundred rounds’ practice.

The G.I.’s issue trigger is outstanding — it wasn’t at first, but after a few hundred rounds it settled into its current state of perfection.  Nobody, after firing my 1911, has ever had anything other than praise for the trigger, so I feel no need to change it.

There it is:  Kim’s 1911.  My idea of a perfect self-defense pistol.

Lessons Learned

So a couple days back I went off to DFW Gun Range to get a little practice / exercise my Second Amendment rights / piss off the anti-gunners / all the above.

It was Handgun Day (not a holiday, although it damn well should be), because it was time I reminded myself which part of my handguns I need to press to make the boolet emerge from the naughty end.  Here’s what I learned, from the three I took for an outing.

1) If I’m going to use the S&W 637 snubbie for self-defense, the distance between me and the thing I’m defending against should be no more than six inches further than arm’s length.  Seriously:  the combination of that lightweight frame, lengthy DA trigger pull, .38 Spec+P hollowpoints and teeny lil’ barrel  does not lend itself to 1″ or even palm-sized groups in the target — at least, not if I’m trying to get off more than one shot per 5 seconds.  That, or I need to start practicing weekly with the damn thing.  I love the little gun:  it’s light, compact and behaves like a fork — you pick it up, and it works — but it really is a backup gun.

2) Next came the old warhorse, the modified Springfield Mil-Spec 1911.

I blasted off over a hundred rounds of the lighter 185-grain .45 ACP (as opposed to the normal 230-grain stuff which has started to beat up my elderly wrists if I shoot more than a box at a time).  Thankfully, the 185s are wonderfully accurate and target reacquisition is really quick.  I practiced with El Cheapo (Monarch) JHP, which worked just fine;  and when I switched to my hotter carry ammo (Hornady XTP, also 185-grain), my groups shrank still more.  Now that, my friends, is a carry piece.

3) Finally, to cool off, I pulled out the newbie, my Ruger Mk IV 22/45 (reviewed here) because I’ve only fired a couple hundred rounds through the thing since I got it over a year ago, and I’m pretty sure that’s against some state law.

And then the problems started.  I fired a couple-three mags without too much regard for bullet placement, just to get used to the Ruger’s trigger again — it’s better than earlier Ruger triggers, but not by much — and finally figured out where the sear would break in the pull.  Fine.  Time to get serious.

I should point out that for familiarization purposes, I was using Browning BPR .22 LR ammo, and when I did get serious, I started to get nervous:  shooting offhand, I couldn’t get all the rounds into a 1″ circle at 7 yards.  Indeed, no matter how hard I tried — and we’re talking five mags’ worth, 50 rounds), I’d get two inside the circle, then one low and left, then one back into the circle, then three low and left again, and so on.

Folks, I will readily admit that I’m not a good pistol shot;  but I’m not that bad.  I was just about to break out the old jeweler’s screwdriver and start screwing up adjusting the back sight, when I had a flash of insight.  I asked the guy in the next lane if he would pop a mag downrange for me, just to see if it was the gun, or me.  (He, by the way, was shooting a CZ 75B and putting all those 9mm Europellets into pretty much a palm-sized group, at 15 yards.)  So he fired away with the Mk IV, and lo and behold, he too couldn’t shoot it for shit:  either on target, or low and left.

Could it be the ammo?  I pulled out my go-to .22 LR ammo (CCI Mini-Mag), loaded up and let two mags’ worth fly.

One-inch groups, dead inside in the circle.  I switched to the Federal “Auto Match” (reviewed here) — a box of which had followed me to the range unnoticed:  same result as the CCI Mini-Mags.  [long sigh of relief followed]

So as far as the Mk IV is concerned, it’s going to be either Federal Auto Match or CCI Mini-Mag from now on.  The Browning stuff will henceforth be relegated to tin-can plinking duties.  (I don’t have much left, maybe 200 rounds, so it will go quickly.)

But:  I’m still not crazy about the Mk IV’s trigger.  Maybe I’m spoilt, having lately been shooting guns with excellent triggers, or maybe I just need a couple thousand rounds’ more practice to get used to it;  but the Mk IV is on notice — which means that if I find a good deal / trade opportunity on a heavy-barrel Browning Buckmark (with its trademark exquisite trigger action) sometime, I may just go back to familiar territory, so to speak.  The Browning is a bigger PITA to clean than the Mk IV, but them’s the breaks.  Priorities, right?

I’ll keep y’all posted.


Over at Insty’s, Stephen Green commented on this little story that he couldn’t imagine going into a Levi Strauss store ever again, and I agree.

Levi Strauss announced on Tuesday it would be creating a new gun-control group with billionaire Michael Bloomberg and donating millions of dollars to a collection of established gun-control groups.

I don’t wear jeans often — in fact, I last wore them about a year ago, so I’m hardly in Levi’s target market anyway.

But that’s not the “temptation” I refer to in the headline;  this is.

A couple weeks back I gave a woman a “lyft” to the airport.  She’d just come out of the Levi Strauss store here in Plano, and as we drove off I asked her what she’d just bought there.  She said “Nothing;  actually, I work for Levi Strauss.”

For a moment I considered — really considered — whether I should act like someone from the Left would act, and terminate the ride then and there, declaring that as a member of the National Rifle Association, I refused to provide a service to an organization which supported gun control.

I didn’t do that, of course, because I’m not some virtue-signaling asshole.  What I could have done was start to talk about how much I loved guns, and shooting, just to piss her off;  but I didn’t do that either because that might have “triggered” the woman into giving me a one-star Uber rating at ride’s end, running the risk that she was a virtue-signaling asshole (she was a San Francisco native, so the odds would have been high).

As it stands, though, I’ll just have to content myself with never again buying anything associated with Levi Strauss (which would be Dockers, Signature and Denizen).