I’ve been carrying everyday for the last 16 years, and frequently for ten before that. Open carry, concealed carry, in the car, walking around. I’ve lived primarily in the Southwest — Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California — during that time, so being able to carry something that can easily drop in a pocket of shorts or pants without printing or dragging the waistband down is a must, especially when having to hang around the park with my kid and other people’s wee squibs.
In the ’90s, there really wasn’t much you could do in the way of really deep concealment. I carried a Star PD .45 for a long time. It was small enough, light enough, and had six rounds of .45…the be-all, end-all of self-defense calibers for some people. Anything less isn’t “enough gun.” For a while, I carried a little .22 magnum Derringer. It was what I call an “Oh, shit!” gun.
Then I moved to the Kel-Tec P-32 sometime about 2005. I also carried the FN FiveSeven starting about this time and it was my main sidearm for ten years. But on the motorcycle, or when wearing shorts, having a full-size (but very light!) handgun was just a touch much. That’s where the Kel-Tec came in. That thing sat in my motorcycle jacket pocket for a decade, and saw semi-regular practice.
For a short time, I succumbed to the “not enough gun” mantra and went up to a Ruger LCP .380. Lovely looking thing; an absolutely beast to shoot because of the light weight. First chance, I did a straight trade back to the Kel-Tec P-32. “Wee Jock” (named for the Westie Terrier in Hamish MacBeth) now goes with me most places.
That’s not enough gun! cries the manly-man shooter. Wrong. Just about every damned pistol cartridge needs an average of 2.25 round to incapacitate. There are plenty of police and military anecdotes about how their 1911 .45, their Webley .455, their M1 Garand, their M4 didn’t stop someone who was ready, angry, juiced, up. The fact is, for most folks, at that first bang, no one wants to play anymore. The .32ACP caliber was adequate enough for European police for decades. It was the first chambering for the Walther PPK, and the Kel-Tec P-32 holds seven rounds of it, just like the old PPK.
Which brings us to the review portion. It’s a small gun. If you have big hands, it might not suit you. I don’t have huge meathooks, but even I hang a pinky on this pistol. It doesn’t especially bother me, but you can get a mag floorplate with a pinkie extension. you can get a belt clip that hooks right onto the pin near the back oft he gun, if you don’t want to buy a holster. I find carrying it in a little holster/wallet thing by Uncle Mike’s hides it well, and keeps my wee daughter from accidentally firing it when she’s pawing at me. (There’s no safety, keep in mind.)
It’s very light: a touch under 10 ounces fully loaded. If fits in the palm of my hand, and it drops in a pocket unobtrusively. I’ve had two; my ex-wife had one. Of the three, we’d never experienced a failure to feed, fire, nor have they every exploded or done anything other than what i wanted. Accuracy on them, with minimal sights (and that’s generous) is surprisingly good. Out to 10 yards, the 2.5″ barrel gives you groups that are more than adequate to defend yourself. I can, if I really concentrate, do a two inch group, but I tend to practice like I’d use it — quick draw and rapid fire. Doing that, I still can put all seven in the 9 ring.
I’ve found it’s a good pistol for people with small hands, but the arthritic might find the long trigger pull and the recoil from the straight blowback operation hard to manage.
Recoil is much more manageable than its bigger brother, the P3AT and the higher quality clone, the Ruger LCP. (If you’re going to do the .380 — go Ruger. The finish and quality is higher for about the same price.) Seven rounds of .32ACP is, admittedly, not going to last you long in a protracted firefight, but that’s not what the Kel-Tec is for; the P-32 is for those times when carrying openly, or carrying a larger gun just isn’t practical for whatever reason. The Kel-Tec is much more likely to get thrown in your pocket for a quick milk run than shoving your Glock 42 in your waistband…and the gun you don’t have with you is pretty bloody worthless.
New, the P-32 runs about $250, and used you can get them for $150ish, which makes them highly economical for self-defense. And you can replace it much easier than your $500 Glock or $800 Springfield 1911 if you have to lose it to an evidence room.
i haven’t said much about the socially-retarded backbirth who shot up the community college in Oregon because I refuse to give him attention. Again, this was not an issue of “the gun”, but of a spoiled, narcissistic product of modern life who thinks his anger and frustration give him a right to attention.
By the way, kids — it doesn’t.
I’d rather talk about this guy: Chris Mintz, US Army veteran, who charged this pathetic backbirth. HOOAH!
However, one of the best quotes generated by this incident follows:
[W]e shouldn’t play the shooters’ game. These acts are dramatic because they are unusual (not as unusual as we’d prefer), extraordinary because they are unrepresentative of the contemporary experience rather than representative of it. Those of us who were around for the Clinton years do not recall them as a time of bloodthirsty savagery, but in terms of being shot to death, Americans are about twice as safe today as they were in the early 1990s. We are not, in fact, a polity dissolving into chaos. Our streets aren’t filled with blood — they’re filled with mediocrity. Politicians sell you emergency when they want to take something away from you. Terrorists are not the only people who know that a scared population is a compliant population.
Kevin D Williamson, “Don’t Play the Shooters’ Game“, National Review, 4 OCT 2015
Anyone remember the crack “epidemic” (otherwise known as loads of people making shitty decisions..?) 2200 or so people got shot in 1990 New York in the crack period. Last year, NYC saw 328 murders last year. That’s, if I did my basic algebra right, a hair under 15% of the violence of a quarter century ago. However, the 24 hour news cycle and the breathless, panicked approach to reporting these rare incidents makes them seem — as with terrorism — ever-present, just like serial killers and child molesters were not waiting around every bush in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Could we reduce gun injuries due to idiocy with mandatory training, as we (supposedly) do with motorcycles? Maybe…but a quick perusal of YouTube makes me think Darwin Award nominees will find a way, no matter what. Could we reduce the rate of suicide by restricting guns..? Maybe, or maybe they’ll turn to pills, razors in the tub, or “accidents” on the freeway. Will it lower violent crime and murder? Unlikely, as a quick trip to the crime stats for Britain will suggest. Hell, in 1996 a guy went after the Scottish parliament with a claymore (the sword, not the anti-personnel mine.) You know how heavy a f’ing claymore is? Someone comes for you with one of those things…you did something.
I think it is unlikely that after seven years of race baiting, high unemployment, high consumer debt, reduced business opportunities due to taxes and regulations, bailouts, endless war, and militarized policing that people are lashing out.
You want to lower murder rates by gun in the United States? Less welfare programs that incentivize broken homes, less laws for victimless crimes (like selling loose cigarettes, or smoking weed), cut into the gangs by decriminalizing or legalizing most drugs and take away the profit margin. Stop pissing people off by regulating every aspect of their lives and business, so they don’t feel boxed in or can strike out and try to improve themselves. Leave people alone and most of these folks will behave themselves.
But there will always be that whinging self-promoted that wants you feel his pain… (and you’ll note, I never mentioned his name, because he is beneath notice.)
I have already done a review of the CZ-85 Combat, but here’s another in the CZ stable that I finally got a change to shoot a few times in the last week: the CZ-75B SA (single action).
I had fired a few different types of CZ over the years — the original CZ-75B, the new CZ-75 P-01 compact, and the CZ-75 P-07 polymer frame, in addition to my own CZ-85 Combat, which I bought for duo-tone finish and the full ambi controls. (Being a leftie is a pain in the ass, sometimes…) Spurred on by his delight with my CZ-85, a colleague of mine bought himself the CZ-75B SA for a pretty reasonable price ($550 or so.)
Like the other pistols from this manufacturer, the fit and finish are tops. CZ uses an all-steel frame and slide, with the slide fit inside the frame to give a lower bore to grip axis. This makes recoil absorption a breeze, and the CZs are all very easy shooting weapons. It has the standard 16 round magazines, a safety only lever — no decocking mechanism, and is otherwise indistinguishable from the normal -75s. The difference is the single-action only trigger, which is probably the nicest of all the CZs I’ve shot. There’s a lot of takeup, as with all of its cousins, but the release is light (guessing 4-5 lbs or so) and sharp, and reset is quick and audible.
Thanks to the fantastic trigger, the low bore axis, and the superior ergonomics of the grip angle (John Browning got it right, Glock…), the pistol is an incredible shooter. Sub-2″ groups at 25 yards unsupported were possible, and at normal engagement ranges for a pistol (3-10 yards) with a quick draw and panicked rate of fire, we still could put 3-5 round strings in a 3×5 card out to 10 yards.
We haven’t fed it much outside of the Blazer Brass on the range, but if my CZ-85 Combat is anything to go by, it’ll eat just about anything you throw at it. Mine is particularly found of the steel-cased Russian stuff, Brown Bear, Wolf, and Tula, but has fired everything from the lightweight Pow-R-Ball up to 125 gr. without issue. The only ammo it doesn’t like is the aluminum-cased Blazer.
Finish is the standard CZ black polycoat with black plastic grips. It’s a fine looking piece and the polycoat is durable — mine has slight holster wear from seven years of use and close to 5000 rounds through it. With care in your handling, I suspect it will stay good-looking for some time to come.
I highly recommend this one — the trigger’s even better than the CZ-85, and I may have to look into whether I can get this trigger mod for the -85.
It’s so true — there’s way too many folks online doing videos doing “tactical” crap. “Operators” who do bullshit techniques for shooting and pretending to be faux special forces…
I think the “search and assess” thing is probably my favorite thing I see the guys at the range doing.
Or we can go one step cooler…
My ex-wife swore by Rock Islands for their quality and out of the box accuracy. She had owned a number of their 1911s — mostly Officer Model .45s to replace a Colt 1991A1 Officer’s that someone stole. (You suck, someone!) She also owned a full-size Government Model. We never had issues with function on any of them, and if there was a issue to be had, it was crappy finish on the pistols.
Recently, I traded a Kimber Stainless Pro Carry .45 for an early-build Rock Island TCM — a full-size that shoots 9mm or the .22TCM — mostly because I wanted to consolidate the number of calibers I have to buy.
The TCM works great, is more accurate — by far — than the Kimber was, but when using the .22TCM round, would occasionally have issues ejecting. A quick internet search showed the culprit to be the older extractor. Armscor replaced the part with no questions asked and had it to me in a week. No more issues.
I decided to pick up an extra magazine. I also ordered the wrong magazine. They had me send the mag back and refunded my money…then the proper replacement mag showed up yesterday.
So, I have to say, Rock Island/Armscor is easily one of the easiest, best arms companies I have ever dealt with. Excellent and fast customer service, solidly-built products.
The Firearm Blog had a nice post and video on the “top 5 most historically significant pistols.” They use the very specific term “pistol” to mean semi-automatic pistols, not revolvers — a fairly modern distinction, as most handguns were referred to as pistols for much of history. Even so, some of their choices are intriguing…
The Mauser M1896 Broomhandle is hard to argue with, although you could make a good case that the Borchardt pistol, from which both the Mauser and the Luger draw from, would be a more important pistol for the purposes of innovation, if not longevity.
The Luger 9mm, of course, is an excellent choice. It brought us the most popular cartridge in the world, the action was simple and robust, and it remained popular well past the point when it had been overtaken by better weapons.
The FM M1900 is another excellent choice — it’s the first iteration of the Browning pistols and led to the likes of the 1911A1 and the Browning High Power. Almost every semi-automatic pistol is based on this venerable design. It was the most popular “pocket pistol” in the world until the 1950s. The .32 round was a popular cartridge with police in Europe and is still in use today.
The 1911A1 is, in many ways, a refinement of the M1900. It served the US military for about 75 years as a standard issue sidearm, and still sees use in police and military units worldwide because of its robust and reliable design.
The H&K VP70Z is innovative in that it set the stage for the arrival of Glock and other polymer-framed, striker-fired autos.