Monday, June 15, 2009

Gun store recon

Went to
Bud's Gun Shop in Paris, Ky. yesterday to drop off some KC3 newsletters and took a couple of hours to look at everything in the place to see what was available.

I spent some time handling and manipulating one of the Sig 556 Commando carbines. I like the gas-piston system that's in it, but the pistol grip angle is too steep (almost like the original FAL grip), the safety lever is hard to reach if you're gripping the gun, the trigger is very spongy and the overall feel is very clunky, just for starters. I have yet to examine any version of the Sig carbine that felt handy in my hands. Despite my belief that the gas-piston system is the way to go in modern carbines, the Stoner direct-gas-impingement system AR in its present form has evolved into a very user-friendly modular platform and the Sig just doesn't measure up to its ergonomics. I understand that it's reliable as all get out, but it sure is a brick to hold and those itty bitty flip-up backup sights are a bad joke!

Speaking of ARs, I handled one of the new S&W M&P15 MOE types with the Magpul furniture and BUPS on it. The rear sight is really sleek and is made almost entirely of a resin of some sort. It folds down readily but has to be unlocked to be raised. I guess that's good so that if you bash it really hard it'll just flop down rather than break. The sight is well designed and has a small profile. The question now is will it hold up to hard use, being made as it is? The other furniture is very good stuff, being Magpul, natch, and the shape of the Magpul fore end is excellent. It fits my hands very naturally, and it should retrofit to any carbine with the slip ring. You can add Picatinny rails to it if you must have lights and such, but if you DON'T need or want those things you won't have the rails in the way, messing up the gripping surface. Good idea. S&W has a very nice carbine in this one, IMO. It feels good in the hands, a marked contrast to the Sig!!!

ARs are cropping up everywhere in stores and gun shows these days as the supply lines start to fill up and the initial panic buying is subsiding, and ammo is starting to come back into the system. I bought some of the 200gr solid copper Corbon DPX .45 defensive ammo to try out in the XD45, and some basic 9mm Remington JHP stuff to shoot in the long term testing Para LTC. The 9mm is part of the effort to see what will work in this gun since JHPs aren't uniformly feeding well in it, with either the factory mags or the Wilsons on loan. Found the Winchester generic white box 9mm 115gr ball, 100 rounds, $27. All the ammo I saw was at pretty much normal pre-panic prices, no huge markups in the pistol stuff that was available.

They even had primers! Wow. Remember what primers looked like?

Lastly, I handled one of the Mossberg M930 SPX semi-auto 'tactical' shotguns (scroll through the versions on the web page to find the 8-shot with the standard stock). It's very much like my FN SLP, fitted with the LPA iron sights and a fiber optic front inside the protective wings, but the buttstock is very slightly too long and the very soft rubber butt pad snags on clothing. I'd like to have one here to shoot for T&E, but to date the people at Mossberg haven't shown the common courtesy to respond to my emails or phone calls to discuss it. Nonetheless, it looks and feels good.

And that's all for today - Respectfully, Yr obdnt srvnt - Charles "recon wanna-be" Riggs

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