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View Full Version : Shooting your real carry gun?


Glenn E. Meyer
January 14, 2008, 03:15 PM
Interesting little test for moi. Been meaning to do this. Like a lot of folks, the gun that gets carried quite a bit is the SW 642 as compared to my bigger ones. Sometimes dress, just means that the pocket gun gets carried. I read recent bits by Clint Smith and Duane Thomas about J frames and small semis.

I recently ditched my PM9 for a Glock 26 (BTW - check out Kahr LH stuff for sale). I also have a 642. So this weekend, at two IDPA matches I used first the 26 and the next day, the 642.

What did I find out:

1. The 26 is easy as pie to shoot, I shot it equally as well (or badly as my usual G19). I like my 1911 best for matches but that wasn't the issue. The gun ran smoothly right out of the box.

2. The 642 - it was a hoot to shoot a match with it. Here's my take - for the first five shots at close and intermediate distances, I can shoot it quite well. Reloading is slow with speed loaders - that's par for the course. Some reloads I did well, some I fumbled as it is a tight gun to reload. Long shots - some I screwed it. On others - quite well - I managed to nail some small plates with one shot each - a miracle. Others took two.

I'm going to train more with the snubbie in a class in April.

Thus, I feel reasonable comfortable shooting each. The 642 is really set for the archetypal one mugger scenario. Modern ammo with it makes it reasonably powerful.

The G26 is a reasonable and shootable IWB gun with more rounds and quick reloads - if dress allows.

It was instructive to practice with the 642. I really did like my PM9 as a pocket gun and felt bad to ditch it. But it wasn't that reliable and I found it a hard draw from the pocket. Thus, I went back to the 642 as my main pocket gun.

It is shootable - I need a little more practice on the longer shots. I would also opine that IDPA should have another category (haha) - LGP - Little Guns in Pocket.

Thus, the Kel-tecs, Seecamps, J frames, etc. could have an official niche. Heck, even let in the Lorcins.

The typical IDPA scenario with 2 rounds per target made for a lot of reloading but that was good practice.

I had a blast - except for a damn charley horse in my hamstring on a kneeling stage so I had to shoot one handed while clutching my thigh and howling. :eek:

James K
January 14, 2008, 03:31 PM
Golly, you don't want to shoot your carry gun with your carry ammo. That way when you need it and it doesn't work, it will be a real nice surprise.

Jim

Glenn E. Meyer
January 14, 2008, 03:33 PM
Well, if it's a 1911 - you might already know it won't work when you need it - sly aside to a friend whose neat one bellied up. Mine was quite cranky a couple of weeks ago, too!

We were talking about that and found that a number of folks prefer Glocks for carry due to their higher probability of working. :D

Derius_T
January 14, 2008, 03:45 PM
Interesting & informative. But, you seem to be saying that your 1911 or 1911's in general, seem to be less reliable than glocks? Are you talking about specific clones, or true 1911's? Of all the firearms I have owned, I've never had any problems with a 1911. (And no, I'm not trying to turn this into an infamous glock vs. 1911 battle, just curious if there is any data on reliability of glock vs. 1911)

shooter1
January 14, 2008, 03:51 PM
Guess a lot of us shoot guns in IDPA that we don't actually carry. I shoot a Glock 17 or 22 when I shoot SSP and a fullsize 1911 when I shoot CDP. My real carry consists of a Glock 36 or an Ultra carry. The Ultra is not really much of a handicap in IDPA, it shoots as well as a lot of fullsize pistols, just one round less. I also carry a P3AT and a PF-9 from time to time, don't think I want to shoot a match with those. We occasionally have a BUG match where I shoot the little guns but that's about it. We really need to do that more often, it's good pratice!
str1

Glenn E. Meyer
January 14, 2008, 03:52 PM
Just anecdotal. One friend of mine had his 1911 go belly up and a championship level shooter opined how his bedside gun is a Glock as even with his tuned 1911, he had a touch of doubt if the SHTF.

Don't mean to start a war on that issue. My SW 1911Sc is a great gun but I think I had dirty mags last time and it was very grumpy.

Now I did see a modified G35 had a fit but that's why you shoot them out of the box. :D

Derius_T
January 14, 2008, 04:02 PM
Understood Glen. Wasn't trying to get any hackles raised either, just curious if there really was any type of data on failure rates between the two. :D

David Armstrong
January 17, 2008, 09:24 PM
Understood Glen. Wasn't trying to get any hackles raised either, just curious if there really was any type of data on failure rates between the two.
While still anecdotal, there has been an ongoing thread at another forum on reliability, and the general feeling from all the instructors and range officers was that the 1911 had the highest failure rate of any of the usual handguns. Lots of reasons behind that, some pretty legitimate IMO, but I think perhaps the most telling number that came up was a military RFP that had listed the failure rate for the 1911 at 1 round per 500.

Derius_T
January 17, 2008, 11:54 PM
While still anecdotal, there has been an ongoing thread at another forum on reliability, and the general feeling from all the instructors and range officers was that the 1911 had the highest failure rate of any of the usual handguns. Lots of reasons behind that, some pretty legitimate IMO, but I think perhaps the most telling number that came up was a military RFP that had listed the failure rate for the 1911 at 1 round per 500.

Really!? Interesting. Is there any data that includes the manufacturer of specific 1911 models that have higher failure rates than others?

I understand this is all very preliminary, but it's the kind of research I'm interested in. It would be nice to be funded to take several brands of 1911's, along with several glocks, all of differing calibers, and shoot ALOT of rounds, (also from varying manufacturers) and actually come up with some hard data.

NOW....anyone wanna fund the experiment? :D I'm sure Swat Mag would be interested in the results.....:D

Curtis(USAF)
January 18, 2008, 02:04 AM
My 1911 is my carry weapon, at least until I get my P-11 fixed. I shoot it as much as possible. I've never had a failure on it that wasn't a direct result of either bad ammo (Cheapy range FMJ losing its headspace) or bad magazines, (Fixed with some good mccormick magazines.) It takes a licking, and keeps on ticking.

I can't speak much on Glocks, seeing as I don't own one, and won't get one until atleast after I get my AR-15, my 357 snub, and possibly a remington 20guage pump shotgun. But I will say that I've seen plenty of other plastic pistols that fascinate me more. Specifically the XD series.

threegun
January 18, 2008, 10:17 AM
I have for the longest time refused to shoot in competition a gun other than what I carry. I will shoot a different model of Glock simply because all the controls are the same. This has made me more confident with my carry gun as well as better shooting it. It has caused me to miss out on shooting (during competition) some really nice guns. It has also caused me not to place as high as possible. Still the benefits outweight the drawback IMO.

Now Mamma bought me a PPC smith performance center 9mm pistol for x-mas. I had to shoot it in a match.....just had to. After 30 rounds or so to see were it was printing the day before, I won first place A division with it. I shot my highest score ever. In the decade plus of shooting this event every month I only took 1 A division first place win with my Glocks. In my first match with the smith I won it. Still if the poop hits the fan my Glock will get the nod without question. Oh and I'm not shooting the smith in competition anymore....back to boredom for me.

As a range officer the gun with the highest malfunction rate is the 1911 platform (at our range). I'm talking about guns in the 400 plus class.

Edward429451
January 18, 2008, 10:19 AM
was any type of data on failure rates between the two.

I shoot very little factory ammo so this may not mean much but My stock G21 has never failed with any factory rounds. I don't recall any failures with my 1911 & factory fodder either.

BUT! I can tell you this, when considering reloaded ammo, the Glock is persnickity and took me awhile to get reloads to work in it. At the range I would save the Glock rounds that jammed to the side, and fill up a mag with them to shoot them in my 1911 and it would fire them just fine, all the time.

So if you don't reload mebbee the Glock is for you. If you do reload or think you may have to shoot reloads someday for lack of any factory or whatever, then a 1911 makes more sense.;)

For that reason I consider the 1911 more reliable than a glock.

T. O'Heir
January 19, 2008, 11:42 PM
It is absolutely essential to practice with the firearm and ammo you intend using for self-defense. Shooting target velocity ammo for practice then using hotter loads for carry is like Jeff Gordon doing NASCAR practice runs in a Yugo.

threegun
January 20, 2008, 07:21 PM
T O'heir, I believe that ammo choice is of lesser importance. Platform familiarity and handling are most important IMO. I have shot matches with the rotated ammo saved up from rotating my carry ammo with no change in score despite the slight increase in recoil impulse. The times I have suffered were with unfamiliar weapons (although they were long guns under match conditions).

tcdrennen
January 20, 2008, 07:51 PM
Just realized I haven't been around here in awhile... Hi again!

I shoot all action matches (IDPA, USPSA, etc.) with either my primary (Kimber ProCarry) or secondary (Kimber Custom II TLE) carry pistols, for exactly the reasons stated. I don't "win" but I have every confidence that if/when needed for defense, either will go bang when I want it to, and won't when I don't.

i've tried a SIG P220, an SA XD40, my ol' Ruger Security Six, even my partner's 342 in a BUG match, but I keep coming back to the familiar feel and absolute confidence I have in the Ol' Slabsides.

YMMV.

Tara

Manedwolf
January 20, 2008, 07:55 PM
I certainly shoot my carry gun, but I can't shoot it too much without a break, or it'll burn my fingers.

HK P7. :D

SAWBONES
January 20, 2008, 09:48 PM
Find what gun works best for you.
Get two or more identical examples of that gun.
Carry one, shoot the other a lot for sake of practice.
Shoot the carried one at least occasionally to ensure reliability.

Sigma 40 Blaster
January 21, 2008, 12:08 AM
I have a rather modest weapons cache...I shoot all my guns and I carry them all except my Mark III.

Since my favorite carry is my PX4 that's the one I shoot the most with (target and IDPA). The XD 45 is finding it's way onto my hip and to the range with me more frequently (will be doing more range and competition duty after I test out my first batch of .45 reloads).

I shoot IDPA for more defensive practice. The SO at the range I shoot at is very defensive oriented, not a lot of run and gun or crazy scenarios. IF I get into IPSC I'd probably have to get a full size 1911/red dot/weighted grips with all the bells and whistles. That'd be my "gaming gun".

threegun
January 21, 2008, 07:27 AM
I shot IPSC and did very well with my carrygun back then a Glock model 20. I always finished middle of the pack or better and beat many racegun equipt fellows. I could have done better in the match with a racegun maybe even compete for the top spot however my "shoot what you carry" mentallity wouldn't allow it.

stephen426
January 21, 2008, 10:13 AM
I shoot most of my guns, but my carry gun gets shot the most. The idea is to develop muscle memory with it and to be utterly familiar with it in case the poop ever hits the fan. Besides, you want to make sure it works BEFORE you need it!

For the longest time, my carry gun was a Glock 26. I still carry it from time to time, but I started carrying a Kahr MK9. The Kahr is smaller but heavier. I am also sacrificing 4 rounds of ammo. I shoot more accurately with the Kahr though and it has been 100% reliable so far. The Glock has pretty much been 100% reliable as well except someone I took shooting (first timer) managed to jam it a few times (limp wristing???). It didn't jam when I shot it.

ragwd
January 21, 2008, 11:16 AM
I shoot my carry with the hp that I carry in it because I like it...:D and also I don't want the ammo to get old. I use regular fmj mostly for practice but I do use up whatever I have been carrying since my last range visit.

Covert Mission
January 21, 2008, 12:01 PM
Find what gun works best for you.
Get two or more identical examples of that gun.
Carry one, shoot the other a lot for sake of practice.
Shoot the carried one at least occasionally to ensure reliability.

What Sawbones said. I chose Glock 19s, identicall set up with Heinie night sights. One for matches, one for carry. I do carry my 1911 5" sometimes too...love it too much not to!

Several ranges I shoot or have shot at routinely have a Backup Gun match, or unofficial class for BU/secondary type guns...G26/26, J-frames, etc, so that all shooters are shooting like guns. Good practice once in a while, for that smaller gun you carry less often than your regular CCW gun.

wyocarp
January 24, 2008, 06:01 PM
T O'heir, your profile says you're in Canada. How much pistol shooting can you do there? Can you even carry a gun?

Para Bellum
February 3, 2008, 01:02 PM
I compete a lot in IPSC and I carry 24/7.
And I would never shoot any other guns than my carry guns. So I compete with Glock 26s and 19s. And I carry these guns.
I don't pracitce a lot with my carry ammo - too expensive, EUR 1,- / U$ 1.3 a shot (Fiocchi EMB). But sometimes I even do that.
There should be no technical suprises in a gunfight...

Mannlicher
February 3, 2008, 01:45 PM
I think one problem with using a 1911 is folks tend to tune them way too much. My carry guns are fairly stock. I shoot them often, and can't recall any untoward incident in years.
A friend carrys what is virtually a race gun. He has problems with FTF.

Lurper
February 3, 2008, 01:48 PM
I compete in single stack division with my carry gun (Taurus PT1911). I carry all of the time. As far as reliability goes, the notion that 1911's are unrealiable is a relatively new notion. 1911's have enjoyed a reputation for reliabilty throughout their history. I can show you a Para .38 super with about 1 million rounds through it that is still reliable. My Taurus (.45) went literally 21000 rounds without a single malfunction. When it did malfunction, it was bad ammo. 3,000 rounds later, the trigger job went to crap and I replaced the sear and hammer. Other than hammer, sear, trigger, mainspring housing and mag release button, the gun is stock. Having shot lots of 1911's over the years, the only ones I ever had trouble with were the ones worked on by gunsmiths who didn't know what they were doing.

DMK
February 3, 2008, 01:56 PM
I'd like to see folks try this with their NAA mini or Keltec P3ATs. :p

When I was shooting USPSA, I shot my Colt CCO quite a bit. I did well with it and it sure reinforced my confidence in the weapon. My other gun was my CZ40B, which gets car duty very often. I never did try my 642, or any other revolver though. I don't know why I never considered it. I only ever saw one guy compete with a revolver, and he had a tricked out full size Performance Center gun. I'll need to set something up for my 642 and SP101 next time I'm the only one at my local range.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 4, 2008, 11:48 AM
The IDPA magazine has a letter about the BUG division being screwed up because some folks shoot short barreled SW 66s, Model 10s, etc. He thinks it should limited to J frames and similar pocket snubbies (Colts, Taurus, Charter Arms).

I think he is correct but IDPA when blah, blah. They should come up with an IDPA realistic pocket like the box for BUGS.

Also, it depends why you shoot IDPA. IPSC is a total fun game and some trigger practice - no reality to most of the guns. Who walks down the street with for 33 round double stack mags in front of their pants with a gun with the Hubble telescope on the top and the Holland tunnel for a mag well?

But it's fun.

I shoot my 1911 in IDPA for FTF and malfunction practice.

Being a FOG is useful because I don't get crazy about shaving a microsecond off my time by preplanning each step. I just lumber over to the next target.