Other People’s Lives

During our semi-regular phone call yesterday, the fiend Mr. Free Market breezily informed me that this coming weekend he will be blasting birds out of the sky at this address:

Even worse, the weather forecast is for “sunny with mild temperatures”, so I can’t even wish that he’ll freeze his nuts off.


Another Take On The New High Power

Some time back I looked at the new replacements for the John Moses Browning/Dieudonné Saive P35 High Power from Springfield and EAA Girsan.

At the time, I was unaware that FN Herstal had made plans for their own replacement for the older P35, which, as Ian McCollum pointed out in his latest video on the topic, makes all sorts of sense for FN, in that it makes manufacturing less costly and more modern, and gives FN a platform for future generations of their 9mm handgun.  (It would help if you watched Ian’s as-always immensely knowledgeable analysis of the new High Power compared to the older P35.)

Here’s my take after watching Ian’s video:  I hate the new gun with a passion.  Here’s why.  (To avoid confusion, I’m going to refer to the new FN gun as the High Power, and the older version as the P35.)

The new High Power is big and blocky, with an oversized grip and all sorts of changes to the P35’s disassembly process.  Myself, I have never had a problem in taking the P35 apart, mostly because the process is a lot less fiddly than the (also-Browning-designed) Colt 1911.  The P35’s appeal to me has always been its sexiness — that slim profile is gorgeous, it prints less in a carry holster, and mine works very well — admittedly, after a fair amount of improvement by a master gunsmith (and a reworked hammer to avoid the infamous P35 hammer bite).

I don’t care that the High Power now has a larger ammo capacity (18 vs. 13/15 rounds), because 13 rounds has always served me just fine;  I’m not some SpecOps or SWAT guy, just a civilian who has always loved the P35 for all the reasons stated above.

And by the way:  the High Power now has a longer (plastic ???!!!) guide rod, which means that the once-closed front end of the slide now has an ugly great hole to accommodate the longer guide rod (and did I mention it’s made of plastic?).

My knock on the old P35 has always been that it should been built to handle the .45 ACP cartridge.  My suspicion is that the bigger High Power will easily do so — and mark my words, I bet that FN will soon release a .45 ACP version of the High Power.

Anyway, Ian takes the new gun for a spin, and it feeds all sorts of ammo flawlessly — although I note that he didn’t shoot any +P loads.  My guess is that the High Power should handle them with ease — not always the case with the P35, or at least my P35.

Now I want you all to know that my dislike for the new FN is not rooted in my well-documented dislike of modern stuff.  I just don’t think the new High Power is a proper Browning High Power, but rather a “re-imagining” (their word)  of JMB/DS’s 1935 design.  Which is fine, but they should have called it something else.  And did I already say that the new gun is fugly?


If I were to replace my P35 with a new-model 9mm pistol, I’d rather get a SIG 210-9:


…or else a new-manufacture CZ 75 B:

…or I’d just get a new Springfield SA-35 clone, and be satisfied:

I don’t just buy guns because they can shoot well.  If I did, I’d just buy a frigging fugly Glock.  No, a gun has to be beautiful, and sexy, and fit my hand, and… and… well, you should know the rest by now.

Your opinions, of course, may vary.  (I should point out that Ian, even though he likes the new HP, is quite sympathetic towards people of my ilk, as you can see in the first video.)

French Friday III: Random Objects Of Interest

(go here for Part I and Part II)

…in which I look at some things that the Frogs have done well.

One would think that French gun manufacturing would be as quirky and silly as the Frogs are themselves, but that is not the case.  Othias and Mae have expounded on early French guns at length, and while the French have had their missteps, they’re no worse and often better than the Brits, Germans and Americans, to name but some.

The question, as is so often the case, is But what have they done for us recently?”

Let’s look at longtime gun manufacturer Chapuis Armes as an example.  I won’t go into much historical detail about them (see here instead), but let me draw your attention to this little thing:

It’s the Chapuis Chasseur Classique side-by-side shotgun, in either 12-, 20- or 28 gauge.  (They also make O/U shotguns, if you’re that way inclined.)

“But Kim,” you wail, “such beautiful guns cost way too much and anyway, we can’t get them Over Here.”

Au contraire, mes petis choux, you can find them at Bass Pro and Cabelas.  And yes, they cost over six grand apiece, but then again, these are fine sporting guns (not your Mossberg/Winchester pump guns), and I think they compare very favorably to others of their ilk, such as the Beretta Iubileo.

But it doesn’t stop with shotguns.  Chapuis also makes rifles, especially of the “dangerous game” type.  Here’s the Elan double rifle:

…and the Rols straight-pull bolt-action:

Both rifle types come in extremely manly and commonsense chamberings:  none of that “8mm Lebel” or “7.5x54mm” nonsense.

Feel free to visit their USA website (which is in English, even) to get the details.  Warning:  there may be extreme drooling.

Dept. Of Righteous Shootings

Chalk this little episode up to a “nick of time” coincidence:

According to authorities, the woman in question had just picked up her pistol the day before, after waiting the 10 days required under California law between the time of purchase and when gun owners can actually take possession of their newly-bought firearm. Little did she realize that she would soon end up using the gun to fend off an attack on her husband in their own home.

And here’s the good part (with my emphasis):

In a 911 call at 10:20 p.m., a resident of the Wilding Ranch subdivision on the city’s east edge reported that a neighbor had called and said she had just shot an intruder at her house.

When deputies arrived, they found a dead man near the home’s front entry. The residents — a 50-year-old woman and her 45-year-old husband — said that the apparently intoxicated stranger had tried to force his way into their home.

According to the sheriff’s report, as the husband fought with the intruder near the front door, his wife ran to the bedroom to get a revolver, which she said she had brought home on Friday. Returning to the entry, she fired all its rounds into the intruder.

None of this one-shot or double-tap stuff for Our Heroine:  ALL SIX bullets pumped into the choirboy’s worthless ass.

Sing it from the rooftops, brothers and sisters.

Same Old Lesson

Unwittingly following on from yesterday’s post about handguns, there’s this article which compares the 9mmP Europellet with the .45 ACP Murkin [sigh]  which basically tells us nothing new about the merits or otherwise of shooting one cartridge or the other.

What it did reiterate, however, was not the desired purpose of the piece.  What all those stats and indeed the opinions of the shooter showed us is that if you’re going to be shooting a “hot” (e.g. 9mm+P or .45 ACP+P), you shouldn’t be using a lightweight pistol as its platform, either way.  That shows up in both the slower “transition” time (to switch between targets) and “reacquisition” time (to get the next shot off into the same target), which was almost as crappy when comparing the regular 9mm to the 9mm+P to the .45 ACP to the beefier .45 ACP+P, never mind the comparison between 9mm anything to the .45 anything.

Well, color me unsurprised.  We’ve all known about this for ages — see any of the myriad comments or posts I’ve ever written about the inadvisability of shooting .357 Mag loads in a lightweight revolver — and in my opinion, the author’s selection for his test of a lightweight carry piece, even a 1911 clone, proves the same.

I understand why he did it, if the trend is towards ever-smaller and -lighter carry pieces;  but as I said earlier, that trend is not something that should be followed.

Newton will not be denied, folks.  Greater energy requires greater mass to provide acceptable recoil.

Remember, I have nothing against lightweight carry pieces — I carry a .38 S&W 637 Lady Smith myself — provided that it is, as it is for me, a backup gun and not a primary carry weapon.  And my load is a standard .38 Special and not a +P, because I find the recoil of the hotter load unpleasant in that lightweight piece.

If you are going to carry a Europellet gun [sigh, again]  as your primary, that gun should be sufficient to support the projectile you’re going to be using, and shooting it should not be a painful experience.  When I do occasionally carry a 9mm piece (because I haven’t yet cleaned the 1911, or just for kicks), it’s a full-size Browning P35 High Power and not some little 2oz 1″-barreled thing, because not only can the P35 handle any 9mm load I put into it, it is also (in my age-befuddled hands) as accurate if not more so than the 1911.

If I had the funds, I’d undoubtedly retire the S&W 637 and get a 1911 Combat Commander as both a backup- or even primary carry gun, then give the P35 to Daughter to replace her gawd-awful little Taurus .380 ACP.  (It is her late mother’s gun, after all.)

So there you have it:  carry a gun sufficient for the load / chambering if you want good results and wrists that don’t ache for days, and Baby Vulcan will be much pleased.

Here endeth the lesson.