Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gun Break List

We talk and debate and argue and kid about it all the time. 1911 vs. EverythingELSE. So for 2011 - the 100th anniversary of the Model 1911 - I suggested we keep track of issues we have with our various guns and see just which ones do run better. No it's not scientific. And it won't tell us which pistols DON'T have problems but it seemed like fun. So I've posted what I heard/observed at the first Rivanna match this year.

If you have other instances or observations (first-hand only please) email them to me at RivannaAP(a)gmail.com and I'll add them to the list.
  

Saturday, November 21, 2009

2009 IDPA Charity Side Match Results

First a big thanks to all who came out for the final IDPA match of 2009 at Rivanna and shot the charity side match. We raised over $200 to donate to the Women's Program at Rivanna. It was a beautiful day and I heard everyone had a good time.


$5 bought you three runs at the 5 round stage. Best of the three was your score for the match.


Congratulations to Meg for not only qualifying for the Rivanna Top 10 match but also taking home the Women's trophy in the charity match. Congratulations to Phong for taking home the Men's trophy.



Women's Results


Place
Name
Gun
Caliber
String Time
Points Down
Total
1
Meg R
S & W
.38
6.16
1
6.66

Meg R
S & W
.38
6.27
3
7.77
2
Jenn S
SA XDM
9mm
8.58
0
8.58

Jenn S
SA XDM
9mm
8.85
0
8.85

Meg R
S & W
.38
7.02
5
9.52

Jenn S
SA XDM
9mm
9.19
1
9.69

Jenn S
SA XDM
9mm
8.92
2
9.92

Jenn S
SA XDM
9mm
8.65
4
10.65

Jenn S
SA XDM
9mm
9.31
6
12.31
3
Christine E
Ruger SR9
9mm
8.11
9
12.61

Christine E
Ruger SR9
9mm
8.63
8
12.63
4
Karen H
Sig Sauer P232
.380
11.69
2
12.69
5
Hope W
S&W
.357 mag
9.02
8
13.02

Hope W
S&W
.357 mag
8.55
10
13.55

Karen H
Sig Sauer P232
.380
9.68
9
14.18

Hope W
S & W
.357 mag
8.72
11
14.22

Christine E
Ruger SR9
9mm
8.90
11
14.40

Karen H
Sig Sauer P232
.380
10.45
10
15.45
6
Sue M
Glock
9mm
14.72
2
15.72

Karen H
Sig Sauer P232
.380
9.71
14
16.71

Sue M
Glock
9mm
15.24
6
18.24

Karen H
Sig Sauer P232
.380
8.01
21
18.51

Karen H
Sig Sauer P232
.380
13.54
13
20.04

Sue M
Glock
9mm
16.26
8
20.26
7
J S
Glock
9mm
20.20
2
21.20
8
Connie S
Taurus
.25
20.25
3
21.75

J S
Glock
9mm
18.62
7
22.12

J S
Glock
9mm
18.66
9
23.16

J S
Glock
9mm
22.45
3
23.95

Connie S
Taurus
.25
21.10
8
25.10

J S
Glock
9mm
22.64
5
25.14

J S
Glock
9mm
23.76
4
25.76

Connie S
Taurus
.25
47.30
6
50.30















Men's Results

1
Phong N
Glock 35
.40
4.43
0
4.43
2
Ravin P
SA XDM
9mm
4.05
2
5.05

Phong N
Glock 35
.40
5.16
0
5.16
3
Chris D
Khar PM 9
9mm
5.37
0
5.37

Ravin P
SA XDM
9mm
4.42
2
5.42

Chris D
XD 45 Compact
.45
4.44
2
5.44

Phong N
Glock 35
.40
4.45
2
5.45
4
Tony R
S&W 60
.357
5.56
0
5.56

Chris D
XD 45 Compact
.45
4.22
3
5.72
5
Carlos G
Glock 23
40mm
5.85
0
5.85

Phong N
Glock 35
.40
4.39
3
5.89

Tony R
Wilson Combat
.45
5.39
1
5.89
6
Kevin S
Glock
9mm
5.57
1
6.07

Tony R
S&W 60
.357
5.63
1
6.13
7
Dave W
Glock 17
9mm
6.14
0
6.14
8
David B
Kimber Comm.
.45
5.64
1
6.14

Ravin P
SA XDM
9mm
4.16
4
6.16
9
Tim C
EAA Witness Elite
9mm
5.69
1
6.19
10
Andy S
S&W 642
.38 Special
6.29
0
6.29

Dave W
Glock 17
9mm
5.81
1
6.31

Ricky C
STI 1911
.45
5.85
1
6.35

Tim C
EAA Witness Elite
9mm
5.06
3
6.56

Sonny M
Kimber CDP
.45
5.08
3
6.58

Jim D
S&W 6906
9mm
5.08
3
6.58

Carlos G
Glock 23
40mm
6.12
1
6.62

Sam E
Kahr PM9
9mm
6.12
1
6.62

Ricky C
STI 1911
.45
6.16
1
6.66

Ravin P
SA XDM
9mm
3.68
6
6.68

Tony R
Wilson Combat
.45
5.72
2
6.72

V S
Sig 226
9mm
6.30
1
6.80

Dave P
Glock 26
9mm
6.82
0
6.82

David R
Glock
9mm
5.32
3
6.82

Andy S
S & W 642
.38 Special
6.38
1
6.88

Tony R
S&W 60
.357
4.88
4
6.88

David R
Glock
9mm
5.39
3
6.89

Dave P
Glock 26
9mm
6.92
0
6.92

T W
S & W
.32 HR Mag
5.45
3
6.95

Dave P
Glock 26
9mm
6.51
1
7.01

Kevin S
Glock
9mm
6.05
2
7.05

Carlos G
Glock 23
40mm
6.10
2
7.10

Sonny M
Kimber CDP
.45
4.22
6
7.22

Ravin P
SA XDM
9mm
4.25
6
7.25

Dave W
Colt D.E.
10mm
7.27
0
7.27

Ravin P
SA XDM
9mm
4.29
6
7.29

Sam E
Kahr PM9
9mm
6.92
1
7.42

Tak O
Sig 229

4.99
5
7.49

Sonny M
Kimber CDP
.45
4.56
6
7.56

Nevitt M
Kimber Ultra CDP
.45
6.07
3
7.57

Chris P
SA XDM

5.10
5
7.60

John E
S&W 6904

5.77
4
7.77

V S
Sig 226
9mm
6.78
2
7.78

David B
Kimber Comm.
.45
6.29
3
7.79

Jorge
Ruger SR9
9mm
7.83
0
7.83

Dave W
Glock 17
9mm
5.83
4
7.83

David R
Glock
9mm
5.36
5
7.86

Kevin S
Glock
9mm
5.89
4
7.89

Phong N
Glock 35
.40
4.94
6
7.94

Bill D
S&W MSP
9mm
6.96
2
7.96

Bill D
S&W MSP
9mm
5.01
6
8.01

Bill D
S&W MSP
9mm
5.05
6
8.05

Sam E
Kahr PM9
9mm
6.14
4
8.14

Chris D
Khar PM 9
9mm
5.14
6
8.14

T W
S & W
.32 HR Mag
5.66
5
8.16

David B
Kimber Comm.
.45
4.69
7
8.19

Nevitt M
Kimber Ultra CDP
.45
5.69
5
8.19

Brady V
Glock
9mm
7.22
2
8.22

David B
Kimber Comm.
.45
5.93
5
8.43

Chip B
Ruger P100
.357
6.96
3
8.46

Jim D
S&W 6906
9mm
5.47
6
8.47

Richard B
Taurus
.44 Spec
8.50
0
8.50

David B
Kimber Comm.
.45
5.70
6
8.70

Dave W
Colt D.E.
10mm
8.78
0
8.78

Ricky C
STI 1911
.45
6.82
4
8.82

Tim C
EAA Witness Elite
9mm
5.32
7
8.82

Nevitt M
Kimber Ultra CDP
.45
5.88
6
8.88

Chip B
Ruger P100
.357
7.94
2
8.94

Dave W
Colt D.E.
10mm
7.95
2
8.95

Chris D
Kahr PM9
9mm
5.50
7
9.00

Tak O
Sig 229
.357
5.00
8
9.00

Jim D
S&W 6906
9mm
5.02
8
9.02

Phong N
Glock 35
.40
4.55
9
9.05

T W
S & W
.32 HR Mag
7.79
3
9.29

Chris P
SA XDM

7.31
4
9.31

V S
Sig 226
9mm
8.31
2
9.31

Jorge
Ruger SR9
9mm
9.31
0
9.31

Tak O
Sig 229
.357
5.39
8
9.39

Brady V
Glock
9mm
6.94
5
9.44

Richard B
Taurus
.44 Spec
9.01
1
9.51

Tony R
Wilson Combat
.45
5.08
9
9.58

Chip B
Ruger P100
.357
6.63
6
9.63

Brady V
Glock
9mm
6.70
6
9.70

Andy S
S & W 642
.38 Special
8.74
2
9.74

Chris D
XD 45 Compact
.45
4.80
10
9.80

JP M
Kahr PM9
9mm
7.87
4
9.87

Chris M
Glock 19
9mm
9.41
1
9.91

C L
H&K USPc
.45
5.00
10
10.00

JP M
Kahr PM9
9mm
9.12
2
10.12

Richard B
Taurus
.44 Spec
9.70
1
10.20

Richard B
Kel-Tec-P

9.25
2
10.25

Jim D
S&W 6906
9mm
5.03
11
10.53

JP M
Kahr PM9
9mm
9.11
3
10.61

John E
S&W 6904

4.14
13
10.64

Jim D
S&W 6906
9mm
5.18
11
10.68

Richard B
Kel-Tec-P

9.71
2
10.71

C L
H&K USPc
.45
5.30
11
10.80

Jim D
S&W 6906
9mm
4.83
12
10.83

C L
H&K USPc
.45
5.37
11
10.87

David B
Kimber Comm.
.45
4.84
13
11.34

Richard B
Kel-Tec-P

9.98
3
11.48

Jorge
Ruger SR9
9mm
5.70
12
11.70

Chris M
Glock 19
9mm
11.28
2
12.28

Evan M
S&W Mod 60
.38 Special
10.09
7
13.59

Chris P
SA XDM

5.12
17
13.62

John E
S&W 6904

4.74
18
13.74

Chris M
Glock 19
9mm
13.60
3
15.10

Evan M
S&W Mod 60
.38 Special
10.35
10
15.35

Evan M
S&W Mod 60
.38 Special
10.74
14
17.74

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lessons from Blackwater/US Training Center Match

Jim and the gang added some twists to the IDPA Shootout at Blackwater this year that included opening and closing doors on a frequent basis. For safety they mandated a "high ready" position for most starts.  Gun out and muzzle touching the door or frame at about eye level with support hand on the door knob.

They were then very careful to emphasis that crossing your support hand with the muzzle of your gun at any point was a very bad thing. So I got to thinking... how often does your dry "fire" practice involve something as simple as moving about the house with a handgun and opening and closing doors while remaining conscious of where your muzzle is at all times?

[Note: one of my all time favorite training tools is this 5.11 barrel, swap it in for practice and you can't mess up and do something stupid while dry firing http://www.lapolicegear.com/511-tactical-training-barrel.html]

And when you get to where you think you've got that down, add a flashlight and try moving through the house with gun, light and door knobs to contend with. Think about it, this is the most likely scenario you will ever face - have you practiced it?

"Train hard or don't train at all."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

And now for something different - Revolvers and ICORE

It was a gorgeous fall day in western Virginia today and what better way to spend it than at a friendly pistol match with friends?! Although some participants couldn't believe I owned a revolver I decided to come see what this ICORE was all about. So out came my 5" S&W (a birthday present from my Dad on my 40th) and with a borrowed holster and moon clip carrier I was ready to go.

Here Adam shows how to go at it and make some smoke.

I'm pretty sure I provided plenty of entertainment to the regular crowd but what I discovered was that for whatever reason I really concentrated on sight picture and trigger control. It showed when you didn't and trying to get A's or B's and not C's or "Mikes" proved to focus the mind wonderfully. Think of it as therapy for the average guy.

As you can tell from the photos, everyone had a good time. By all means come give it a try when we resume in 2010. And start practicing those reloads now.

Dave gets that Open gun ready to roll while Lewis enjoys the peanut gallery.


Just about any revolver will do.


People come from near and far.


As usual there are plenty of tips, tricks and critiques shared by all. Come see what the wheelgun crowd is up to on the 1st Saturday of each month (except December). You'll be glad you did.

Rivanna Top Gun & Charity Carry Match

On Nov 21, 2009 we'll be holding our annual Top "10" Gun match. Throughout the year at our IDPA matches on the 3rd Saturday of the month we also track the top 10 shooters regardless of Division or Classification. Then our scorekeeper does some deep dark calculations based on the shooters placement in the Top 10 and the number of times they have placed. So the more you shoot and the higher you place the better your standing in the yearly totals. This years rankings look like this:

 

RRPC TOP TEN FOR 2009
Place
Name
#10s
10 Place
1
Tony R
9
42
2
Dave P
8
57
3
Dave W
7
27
6
T W
6
34
4
John H
5
6
5
Chris D
5
13
7
Tim R
5
16
8
Carlos G
5
22
9
Meg R
5
39
10
Sonny M
4
11

At the November match we'll follow our usual format of registration starting at 8:15 with the shooter briefing and match at 9:00. Registration will close promptly at 11:00. At 10:30 we'll interrupt the usual proceedings and shoot the Top 10 squad through. Scores will be tallied and then the Top Gun trophy and bragging rights for the following year will be awarded.

The Shoot What You Carry Side Match
In honor of Meg our faithful and entertaining scorekeeper who is the first female shooter to qualify for the Top 10 there will be a charity side match on the PPC range. Although we have no way of knowing we'll go with Scouts honor that what you shoot is what you carry more than 50% of the time when you exercise your 2nd Amendment rights on the street. For a $5 donation, that will be given to the RRPC Woman's Program to help promote women in shooting http://www.rrpcwomen.org/, you can enjoy a couple of 5 shot runs from low-ready. Best string of the day will also be recognized at the trophy presentation. So bring what you pack (please unload in a safe area upon arrival) and show us how well you'll deal with the goblins when it's up close and personal. All calibers of concealed carry welcome... carry ammo encouraged.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Little Carry Lessons

"Beware the man that has only one gun, he probably knows how to use it."

But seriously how many of us have only one??? So the debate is whether or not to shoot IDPA matches with what we actually carry on the street. If your primary carry gun is a j-frame in a pocket holster then the safety rules keep you from that carry method although you could shoot the gun from a regular holster. But round capacity and caliber also enter the picture for a lot of people and so many shooters carry street guns and shoot match guns that are radically different.

I've gone the route of carrying the same "family" for both purposes. Over the years I've settled on 4" 1911's for primary carry and often for matches. But I also shoot a 5" 1911 in many matches. I usually save the 3" gun for the BUG match but I also rarely carry it. If I can carry the Officer model then I can carry the Commander and more gun is usually better.

[Note: If you don't remember... The Government model 1911 is your normal 5 inch barrel 1911 with the full frame; The Commander model is a 4.25 or 4 inch barrel 1911 on a government sized frame; The Officer model is a 4 inch or less barrel on a reduced frame.]

A few years ago when I shot and carried Glocks for a season I did the same thing with the 9mm family of G17, G19 and G26. It seems very useful to me to shoot in matches something very similar to what you carry. That is if carrying is important to you and I recognize it's not to everyone.

Which brings me back to the point of this ramble. If you're not vying for the top spot at every match like most of us aren't (someone has to make up the "middle 20" and "bottom 10"!) then you can feel a little more free to shoot what you carry and make sure it's up to snuff. I like to make use of the Classifier to shoot my primary carry gun and make sure it's running as it should. Because the Classifier is the same each time you can also tell if a particular gun makes a difference in your times or accuracy.

At our latest Classifier I had a new two-piece magwell installed that I hadn't put a lot of rounds through the gun with. And sure enough the screw holding the magwell to the backstrap came loose and proved to be a real inconvenience. The good news is the gun didn't stop functioning. The bad news is it was enough of a distraction to hinder my performance a little (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). So I learned either (1) take the magwell off or (2) get a drop of loctite on that screw when you put the piece on. I like the ability to take off that extra 1/4" when it makes sense for carry but when it goes on it should stay on.

Make sure you're taking advantage of the opportunity IDPA matches offer to wring out your carry gear. Some day your life could depend on it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Come Join Us

Why Shoot Action Pistol?
Assuming you've found this site because you have some interest in guns that involves something more than standing at a static firing line and shooting at targets with little round circles (not that there's anything wrong with that), what are the action pistol sports all about and how do you get started?

Most people start shooting IDPA (or ICORE or IPSC) because they have some interest in shooting a handgun in a way that more closely simulates the real world - drawing from a holster, shooting while moving, shooting from behind cover and at multiple targets. While ICORE and IPSC concentrate more on the sport aspect of shooting a pistol as described at their respective sites, IDPA seeks to add an element of practical application for those who have an interest in self-defense.


"The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. "
-- IDPA Homepage Statement of Purpose

As with any simulation or sport there are concessions to safety as well as manageability, practicality, and participant skill levels. IDPA is perfect for those who have little or no experience and want a place to start.


"One of the unique facets of this sport is that it is geared toward the new or average shooter, yet is fun, challenging and rewarding for the experienced shooter. The founders developed the sport so that practical gear and practical guns may be used competitively. An interested person can spend a minimal amount on equipment and still be competitive. The main goal is to test the skill and ability of the individual, not equipment or gamesmanship. “Competition only” equipment is not permitted in this sport."


All of us started somewhere and being a novice isn't something to be ashamed of. So gather your gear and come join us. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll advance and get hooked on a sport that is not only fun but practical.

What to Expect
A typical match at Rivanna involves 3-4 stages that you will shoot one at a time. You can see one described and video in several of the earlier entries here. Our range is run as a "cold" range, which means your gun should be unloaded and holstered at all times unless you're at the firing line of a stage and following the directions of a Safety Officer (SO for short). If you arrived carrying concealed there will be a designated place and person who will help you go cold.

Registration begins around 8:30 and goes to 11:00. Shooters are run through first come, first serve as much as possible. You can plan on spending a half a day with us at least. When you aren't shooting you should be watching and asking questions. You'll find lots of opinions and advice at every match, just remember it's worth what you paid for it!

New shooters usually get some special attention and instruction. Make sure you understand what you're being asked to do. Watch the people ahead of you. Ask questions! We've probably heard them all but you haven't heard the answers and that's why many of us are there and volunteer our time. We like to help people be successful at shooting.

What to Bring
The basics include: a gun (just about any modern pistol or revolver will do), a quality belt holster that firmly holds your gun and covers the trigger guard,  a couple of spare magazines or speedloaders, 50-75 rounds of ammo, a cover garment (a shirt or coat works fine), and some eye and ear protection.

And depending on the weather: water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, umbrella, bug spray, etc.

What to Do
Show up early to get registered and have time to watch and get a feel for the match. Feel free to help set up. It's a good way to see what's ahead and hear the Match Director (MD) explain the intent of the stages to his chief SO's. Listen to the stage briefs and think about what you'll be required to do. Watch others shoot the stage and ask questions. Be comfortable that you understand what you're being asked to do. Help paste the targets. Be safe. Enjoy yourself!

Be familiar with the rules. You might not understand them all at first but they will make more sense as you attend the matches. It is a sport and we keep score. You can find out how here.


What Not to Do
Don't violate any range safety rules. Don't take your gun out of your holster unless you're shooting a stage or at a safe area. Don't try to go fast (be smooth, fast will come). Don't be overwhelmed by the match or the crowd.

And Remember...
We all started someplace. Everyone has been a Novice. Come join us and see how much fun you can have while learning some life-enhancing skills.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Focused Practice

Having not been happy with my shooting consistency or lack thereof in a couple of recent matches I thought I'd go back to the fundamentals (another post coming soon) and work on them in practice. Having lots of books, DVD's and training courses is good but actually working with the tools we use is what matters. And while this certainly isn't original with me I was reminded this week that one way to make practice more beneficial is to concentrate on one particular thing and not try to do so many things that you don't do anything well.

So when you grab the range bag and head out ask yourself - what am I going to work on today? You might even take a notepad, write your goal and track your progress.

Today I worked on my draw and initial shot. Seems I'm very slow and sometimes inaccurate. If I'm going to be slow I should at least hit what I'm aiming at. So I stole a target idea from one of Todd Green's drills in order to force myself to be accurate while working on being smooth. The target is just an IDPA silhouette with a 3x5 head shot area and just the down zero counting.

I fired one shot strings, five to a series, of draw, fire and analyze. If at any point before the shot I didn't do it right, I'd stop and start again. No point in rewarding bad behavior with a bang. By working back and forth between the smaller head shot and the larger circle on each series I was forced to adjust speed to meet the accuracy requirements. At the same time you can push a little more each shot until you exceed your limit. By the end of 50 rounds I'd seen a consistent improvement in my shot placement and times.

Now a lot of the top shooters we see at our matches don't think much about burning through 50 rounds but some of you may be more restricted with your budgets. Today's practice lent itself to using a .22 conversion kit. Taking away much of the noise and recoil lets you focus on what you're working on. And in the case of single shot draw drills (say that 3 times fast) the break of the first shot should be the same whether you're letting loose with a .22 or .44 magnum. I use a Kimber kit on my 1911's but most major brands have a conversion available either from the factory or third party for whatever you shoot. Or you can always buy a dedicated .22 that mimics the feel of your full-size gun.

I've found that starting without a timer and concentrating on the point of your session, then progressing to using the timer to measure your performance and progress seems to work best for me. After a while you can feel whether a particular sequence was good or not, but it's amazing how the timer keeps you honest.

And one more thing... the first string I shoot in a practice session is usually a "street drill" with my gun as carried. Factory ammo and something typical of a self-defense situation. I've been using the F.A.S.T. drill lately. It's a check that your equipment functions as carried and what your likely response times will look like when you're not all warmed up and tuned in. Talk about a dose of reality!

Make your practice count, enjoy the time spent burning powder and see you on the range.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

They All Break

Although always enjoying the friendly banter between the metal and plastic gun crowds as well as the 9mm vs. 45 gangs, I've observed through the years that any mechanical device can fail for a variety of reasons. Over my time attending and participating in matches this has been confirmed by observation. There also seems to be a direct inverse relationship between malfunctions and home gunsmith tinkering but that's more anecdotal than quantitative on my part.

For those of you that remember Todd Green when he worked at the NRA and shot locally (and those that don't) - here's a good article he's written with his own observations from inside the industry. Enjoy.

Todd Louis Green on pistol manufacturing.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

1911 Feed Ramps and Magazines

Knowing there are some 1911 aficionados among us I found these two articles of value. The first is a link to someone doing a magazine comparison as it effected a Para. But the variety of magazines he looked at is interesting. I'm not sure I agree with all his conclusions (I'm a huge Wilson mag fan) but they were interesting to consider.

Then I've also included the link and text of a conversation mentioned in the mag compare article with regard to controlled feeding on a 1911 and why you SHOULDN'T polish your feed ramp. Interesting to say the least.

Hope you find them of use.

Magazine comparison: http://how-i-did-it.org/magazines/index.html

Controlled feeding in a 1911: http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=9178

Controlled Feed Principles by 1911 Tuner in the M1911.org Forums

Guess it's time to do a thread on the Controlled Feed principle. Seems that many don't have a full grasp on exactly what it means and how it works. So...since part of the mission of the forum is to educate...Here ya'll go.

The system is actually pretty simple. It's in understanding how it works that throws so many people off the trail. Simply put...The cartridge must remain under full control of the gun from the time the magazine is locked in until the empty case clears the ejection port.

Much is made of the angled feed causing problems. Much ado about nothing. It's not supposed to feed in a straight line. Or another way...The cartridge is SUPPOSED to dip into the feed ramp. That's part of how it's kept captive as the magazine starts to lose control of it. The feed ramp angle is precise. 31 degrees + 1/2 degree, minus nothing, at a prescribed depth of .400-.420 inch from the top of the frame rail


As the bullet nose dips and strikes the ramp, it's under tension...for lack of a better term...between the slide and the ramp. The magazine still has a grip, but it's gradually relinquishing that grip...and something has to take over. Nose-diving into the ramp keeps linear pressure on the cartridge between the ramp and the slide. Knock the barnacles off your thinkin' caps here.
If the round was supposed to feed in a straight line, the gun wouldn't even need a feed ramp, much less a ramp at such a precise angle and depth. Note that the ramp is also curved. That works to keep the bullet nose contained on the sides, and keeps it tracking straight. The curve and the angle literally aim the round into the chamber.

The bullet ogive is also important. The angles have to work together in order for the controlled feed to function as intended. Bullet length forward of full diameter is also important. If the cartridge is too far forward in the magazine when it hits the ramp, full control is compromised...or lost.

The corner at the top of the feed ramp also must not be altered except when correcting the feed ramp angle. If the cartridge isn't deflected upward into the barrel ramp...often mistakenly referred to as the "Barrel Throat"...at a steep enough angle, it strikes the barrel ramp too low.

When it does that, it pushes the barrel forward...and when the barrel moves forward too early, it also cams UP too early. This increases the angle of cartridge entry and brings about the well-known Three-Point Jam. A too-long link has the same effect, but with different mechanics.

If the round hits the barrel ramp above center, it works to keep the barrel down against the frame bed, keeping the angle correct for the horizontal break-over and chambering. Once the cartridge is horizontal, or neraly so, and deep into the chamber, the barrel is free to cam into
lockup. The noted gap between the lower edge of the barrel ramp and top corner of the frame ramp helps to insure that the cartridge will enter the barrel ramp above centerline and well forward of the corner. This is also an aid to keeping the barrel down in the bed during the initial feeding phase.

The angled approach is also a requirement for the rim to get under the extractor correctly. If the feed angle is reduced...straightened out, as some are fond of saying...the bottom corner of the extractor hook is positioned very close to the rear face of the rim. A small variation in case rim can make contact there, and cause a stoppage. Lightly radiusing the bottom corner of the extractor hook nose is done to provide a little extra clearance there...for the reason of varying case rim diameters...but it won't take care of an incorrect feed angle. The angled ramp insures that the rim approaches the hook from well underneath.

Okay...the cartridge is deflected up into the chamber. The forward radius of the bullet ogive is in contact with the roof of the chamber...but what it that cartridge is not only too short, but the ogive is also too wide. The short cartridge moves farther out of the magazine when it takes its necessary dive. That makes the dive steeper, and the resulting upward delfection is also steeper. The bullet ogive hits the chamber roof farther back and at a steeper angle...and you have another variation of the Three-Point Jam...except this one is jammed tighter. In extreme cases, this one can almost mimic the Bolt-Over Base failure to feed.

Positive magazine control of the round depends largely on spring tension. This isn't an issue when the magazine is past half-full, but as the magazine loses rounds, the tension degrades. Most important in controlling the last round...when spring loading is at a minimum...it requires a helping hand to prevent the last round from moving too far forward and possibly escaping
under the inertial effects of recoil, which...in a .45 caliber 1911...is a pretty violent, slam-bang affair. That helping hand comes in the form of a tiny little bump on top of the magazine follower. Without it, the cartridge is free to roam...and often does. It may not cause a stoppage if it moves too far forward...even if it doesn't completely escape...but it feeds at a straighter angle, which...as we've already covered...isn't good. It's not good for reliability and it;s not good for the extractor. The extractor wasn't designed to snap over the rim...not even the external extractors. The externals are simply more tolerant of the occurrence, but they'll still suffer damage if forced to do it for very long. At the least, the coil springs that drive them will
weaken much faster because they're being compressed farther than they're supposed to. Some may even compress enough to go into coil bind...which damages a coil spring quickly.

So, in summary...

The round is properly under forced, positive control from at least three points from the instant the slide hits it.
By steps:
1...Slide, magazine lips, and spring tension.
2...Slide, feed ramp, and magazine lips/tension.
3...Slide, extractor, and barrel ramp.
4... Slide, extractor, chamber roof and the top corner of the barrel ramp.
5...Slide, extractor, chamber walls, and chamber shoulder.

If the gun loses partial control of the cartridge from any one point...due to whatever is incorrect... it sacrifices a percentage of the reliability that the gun was built with.

Common wisdom has stated that the 1911 was designed to feed hardball, and any variation of that bullet shape causes problems. That's partly true, but it's not the fact that the bullet doesn't have a round nose that causes the problems. It's incorrect ogive geometry too-short overall length of the cartridge that does it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

2009 March IDPA Video

Although it started a little chilly (20 something) it warmed up nicely and turned in to a beautiful day for a match. Thanks to all who came out and helped and participated.

Stage 1
Strong hand, Freestyle, Support Hand - 6 simple shots! DP leads off.



Stage 2
A 3 string stage with reloads off the clock. String 1: drop the popper, put a couple rounds in the target at the barrel, then get to the barrel for cover and put three rounds downrange. Now do your tac load and be ready to go. String 2: 2 rounds for each target hiding behind the barrels while moving to the next barrel. String 3: Engage the targets with 2 rounds each in tactical sequence and yes that black thing in front is made of steel. DP in action again, can you tell he's warmed up now?



Stage 3
Stopped at a hotel in GA which doesn't honor VA permits. So when things go bad you need to get your empty gun out, load it and get in the fight. TR shows us what he'd do.



Stage 4
Stopped for gas and about to check your oil when three bad people come out shooting and dragging your better half out of the store. JH comes up from Lexington to show us how to deal with this.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fine Leather



Once in a while I'll mention something that you may find useful in your pursuit of excellence with a handgun. Now I like kydex as much as the next guy and especially for my "plastic" pistols. But when it comes to a 1911 I tend to favor nice leather. I'm also a big fan of less is good and so I like Yaqui slide holsters also. If you're in need of a holster, belt, rifle sling, nice sap (uh, I mean book weight), etc. then you need to visit http://www.shottist.com/. Andy is a Gunsite friend and does some really nice custom work at very reasonable prices. Check him out.