More Conclusions From Gun School

Some more not so night-oriented follow ups. For the first part, go here. These are from two separate classes, because I’ve had some busy weekends of late.

Overall, I was really happy with the equipment I had. I had added the Vickers extended mag catch to my Glock 34 and it worked great. I had no problems with mags falling when I didn’t want them to, and it was much quicker to drop the mag. Also, love the Warren fiber optic sights on it. These got some compliments from other students.

I expected that having brought good night gear, and having managed to avoid fondling the IDPA Master Class shooter’s 2011, I would not come home wanting more stuff. As you might have guessed, this was incorrect.

I got some time with some other people’s custom Glocks. One of the instructors had a G19 with the grip professionally reduced and stippled. The finger grooves were removed. I don’t ordinarily find the Glock finger grooves all that objectionable, and I like the standard Gen4 texture, but this customized 19 felt even better. I was really impressed. Guess some Glocks might get sent out. He got his worked on by Fire 4 Effect weapons. This is one of those things that I really had to feel to be convinced of.

The other thing that was around that I wanted to try was a flat-face trigger. The specific trigger in question was the Apex Flat Glock trigger. Again, I never would have thought enough of one to try, even though a bunch of friends like theirs. But getting some time with one makes me want to give one a try. I found it helped with consistent trigger finger placement, and a consistent, correct trigger press.

Last Time at Gun School, I learned firsthand that full size guns shoot easier than subcompacts. The sort of thing that you always knew, but it’s nice to have demonstrated. This time, we had a female student with small hands have trouble getting a good grip around her Glock 19. Her hands were rather small for the gun, and this made shooting from a draw tricky. A good grip reduction, or a pistol with a smaller grip size might have been helpful here. I didn’t get much details on this one, so I can’t comment on what could have helped beyond that.

We had a student change guns on day 2 because he felt like it. Feelings, ugh. Anyway, he changed from an M&P9 without a manual safety to a SiG P226 SAO with a manual safety. Yup, you guessed it, he forgot to disengage it a bunch. I don’t really have much opinion on the manual safety one way or another, but it’s better to be consistent in your training one way or another. If you want to “try” something new, take it to the entire class.

We did some drills with other people’s guns. This was mostly uneventful, except for the one guy who brought an FNX-45. My hands were big enough that I had no problem reaching everything. It’s a double action semiautomatic, so there were two trigger pulls to mess with. I found the double action pull to be long, heavy, and annoying. A strong grip helped me fight through it. The transition to the shorter, lighter single action pull (with much less trigger reach) was the more problematic part, interestingly. Between the lame trigger that I’m not used to and the big .45 rounds through a polymer-framed gun, my times went all to hell with the FNX. Was it usable in “fight with what you find” drills? Sure. Still not my preference, though this is hardly an outstanding example of the type. It might have been a different story with the CZ Shadow that someone brought but didn’t use. In general, one should try to stick with what one knows.

Another student had a PPQ with the longslide and the 5″ barrel. For the drills we were doing with strict, challenging par times and tough accuracy requirements, the PPQ excelled. Coming off of the FNX and going to the PPQ was like a revolution. It made the drills seem easy. The PPQ’s trigger is remarkably tolerant of slackening grip. However, when you bear down on it properly, the “flippiness” that I noticed in my review turns into fast times back into battery.

There were many Glock 17s and an M&P9 with aftermarket triggers. Also very nice. I’m starting to see a pattern here. Jeff Cooper said perhaps the first thing we should ask of a carry gun is that it should be unfair.

My second class had some real crappy weather to it. Day one was about 48 degrees, and rainy, with the temperature dropping and the rain eventually turning to snow around 1430. Day two was about 27 degrees, with light snow all day. The ground didn’t have a chance to freeze overnight, so what was a quagmire on day one turned into the Argonne on day two. I need better water-resistant cold weather gear, better boots, and some shooting gloves. While Grandpa didn’t need no gloves at Bastogne in ’44, I’m sure he would have liked some. One can make do, and I’m proud I did. It is better to be prepared.

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