Rangemaster September 2009 Newsletter, and more

The Rangemaster September 2009 newsletter is now posted.

This issue of the newsletter stands out with a lot of good information.

  • An article about dealing with semi-auto pistol malfunctions. Interesting to note that one suggestion for dealing with a malfunction is not: draw your back-up gun (BUG). Heh. 🙂
  • A fantastic article about shooting one or two handed. This is a response to an article Mr. Givens read that he felt was flawed in what it was promoting as shooting technique. This article alone is worth the read.
  • A discussion of Tennessee self-defense laws. In addition, some good advice is given for anyone that might be involved in a self-defense incident. One suggestion that was new to me was after speaking with the police, ask to be taken to the hospital. Read the article to find out why this is good advice.
  • A brief write-up about the Ruger LCR.

I found the write-up about the LCR kinda funny. I had emailed Mr. Givens a few months ago when I was doing my snub researching. He told me what he carried, and the feeling I got was that the LCR wasn’t proven enough. It’s cool to now read that he liked the LCR. Furthermore, it seems his carry ammo is Buffalo Bore 150 grain hard-cast wadcutters. Take that for what it’s worth.

One additional point I wanted to comment on was the one vs. two handed shooting article. Foo.c and I tend to go around and around on something a lot, and I think this may provide me an opportunity to clarify my position for him. 🙂  I advocate 9mm over .45 ACP because in the end their terminal abilities are more or less the same. Yes I can see some slight edge to .45 ACP on paper, but real world results show that 9mm vs. .40 S&W vs. .45 ACP all amount to about the same terminal performance from your modern self-defense loads. So if they’re essentially the same in that regard, to choose one over the other comes down to other factors such as capacity, cost, ability to shoot it well, and so on. Now, foo.c seems to think that I advocate that the 9mm round is more accurate than the .45 ACP round. That’s not what I’m saying. What I do say is that I believe people can shoot 9mm’s faster and more accurately: i.e. the ability of the shooter, not the ability of the round. Why do I say this? Recoil, both recoiled produced and ability to manage it. Sure the .45 ACP doesn’t kick like a pissed-off mule, but it does generate more recoil than a 9mm. Then you need to be able to manage that produced recoil, be it through the structure of the gun (e.g. big and heavy) or your shooting technique (e.g. modern isosceles stance, Todd Jarrett kung-fu crush grip) or a combination. With 9mm producing lower recoil, then you have less recoil to counter so in the end you wind up having 9mm being more controllable than .45 ACP (all other things being equal). You’re going to be able to get off more shots, on target, in less time. This bears out in an anecdote from a trainer friend of mine, something to the effect of skilled shooters shot courses with 9mm and .40 S&W and their times were 15% slower with the .40 (the story was something to that effect). It’s just more recoil to manage.

How does that pertain back to the article? The article’s data shows that even highly-skilled shooters cannot shoot as fast one-handed as they can two-handed. Why? Recoil management. You can manage recoil far better with two hands. So, my whole debate with foo.c really comes down to that: recoil management. Suppose you shoot a string of 9mm at your best: fastest you can shoot and get them all in the A-zone… your best Bill Drill ever. Now, can you replicate that same time (or do better), same round count, all good hits, with a .45 ACP (all things equal, like gun size, weight, etc… only the round is different)? I doubt it, only because there’s more recoil to manage. It may only come out to a few hundredths of a second difference, but sometimes that matters.

For me, I can shoot .45 ACP just fine. I can shoot .40 S&W just fine (tho I don’t really care for the snap). But I prefer 9mm because it’s “good enough” for terminal ability, I can carry more rounds (who says there’s such a thing as too much ammo? who wants to walk out the door with less ammo or half a magazine?), it generates less recoil thus is more controllable and I can shoot it faster and still get good hits (fast and accurate). But that’s my preference. And maybe foo.c might understand where I’m coming from now… or he’ll just continue to needle me because he likes to. 😉

6 thoughts on “Rangemaster September 2009 Newsletter, and more

  1. They keep pulling me back in …


    You know, for the record, it’s really silly to argue about personal preference. :)-~ I just felt a couple of your entries relating to caliber and capacity were a little on the pejorative side, so I wanted to present a counter.

    But, I think I have framed my preference argument incorrectly, because caliber is only one factor. It’s really about the combination, or system, if you will.

    I started with the plastic fantastic guns and moved to the 1911 system. A lot of people look at the 1911 and have decided it isn’t up to the task, so why would I carry it?

    The answer is that I just shoot it better. It fits my hand better, I can control it better, and the trigger is the standard by which all other semi-auto pistol triggers are compared.

    So, if you are going to run a 1911, I’m a big believer that the closer you stay to the original design the more inherently reliable it is. That means a 5″ barrel, GI style guide rod, and .45 ACP caliber.

    That’s my preferred system.

    Now, with that said, as you know, I am a big fan of the Springfield EMP in 9mm and carry it daily, and it’s a radical departure from the original 1911 design.

    The reason I even considered it in the first place, and bought it for Mrs. Foo (yes folks, I bought it for my wife and it eventually ended up as mine, but in my defense I would be happy to buy her what ever gun she wanted), is that it was such a change from the original design that they actually scaled down a number of things about the 1911 specifically for 9mm.

    I don’t know if Springfield/IMBEL has some geniuses on par with Mr. Browning on staff, or what, but after it’s first couple of teething issues, the gun has run like a clock. In fact, it has now been more reliable than my XD was. (Hope I don’t jinx it.)

    I carry both 45 and 9 and don’t lose any sleep over one or the other, so I’m really not a caliber bigot. It’s all about the system.

    However, if I knew for sure I was going to need a gun on a specific day, after I grabbed my AR, I would grab my 45. ;)-~

    • Thank you for playing. I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist. 🙂

      I’ll agree with you on the 1911 front… or rather, you should go with the original designs. 1911’s were designed for .45 ACP, so they really run better that way. The Glock tends to run better in 9mm since that’s how it was designed; other models are just the same design scaled up or down. They can work, but Glock 9mm really works best.

      But then when you get something like the EMP, which is 1911-styled but is a ground-up redesign, that’s different. Again, ground-up it’s all intentionally meant to be what it is, not just something else retrofitted.

      I’m not as much of a caliber bigot as this may come across as. Sure everyone ends up having preferences and there’s reasons for that, but in the end you are right: it’s the system of what works best for you. 1911’s work out best for you. Heck, in helping at KR Training Basic Pistol 1 classes, it becomes rather evident that a lot of people with smaller hands should check out 1911’s because they can be so customized to have THE best gun fit (whereas your plastic guns like Glocks, XD’s, M&P’s, etc. are hard to fit because the grip is molded to one size… the XD(m) and M&P’s interchangable backstraps help but only go so far). But still, caliber is part of the system so it shouldn’t be ignored.

  2. I think I’ve carried virtually everything out there a time or two, from a .25acp Baby Browning, to a Government Size 1911. These days, I rotate three carry guns. A Smith 642, a Ruger GP100 4″ (fixed sight, with compact grips, not target gun), and a Smith 3913. The 3913 is my top choice and it mixes the absolute worst of all platforms. It has a short sight radius, light weight means that recoil from a 124-grain +P load is equivalent to a hot .45 in a 1911, and low capacity (8+1). With that said, it’s my absolute favorite, because I can shoot it all day long, the long DA trigger pull is smooth, the transition DA/SA requires no effort and the SA trigger reset is also very smooth and precise.

    What am I getting at here? Everyone has a preference to design, trigger system, and caliber. Frankly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a concealed .22 or .25 if you hit the target. Accuracy is in the hand and eye of the shooter. I’ve had lots of folks ask me what gun is the most “accurate”. Many think the new M-model XD has to be the most accurate handgun, because of the match grade barrel. All I can tell them is, most firearms are mechanically more accurate than we are as humans.

    So, to that I say, pick the one you can SHOOT. And whatever you do, if you find the gun you can SHOOT, don’t ever let it go.


  3. Oh sure…if you want to be practical!

    Maybe it’s just me, but about 70-80% of the people I encounter who carry firearms don’t even regularly practice, let alone train with their gun. So, those who do train and practice are the ones generally argue over all of this stuff anyway.

    I’m not trying to sound biased here, but when I am helping a customer, one of the things I think about is the likelihood that this person will train with the gun. If I think that likelihood is relatively small, then I tend to bias my selections and sales tactics to show them easier to shoot guns. I’m not going to lie, the easiest guns to shoot are the ones with consistent trigger pulls first to last shot and long sight radii. In those regards there maybe something to this mechanical accuracy thing. Perhaps we should coin a new term, “ergonomic accuracy”. In that the ergonomics of a firearm help lesser shooters hit easier and better.

    I dunno…maybe I am rambling on.

    • Actually, from a sales perspective it sounds like you are trying to do a good service to the customer… at least, as best as you can. You want to sell them the best product to suit their situation, and if that includes not practicing much well…..

      Maybe with each sale you should include a business card to a local training school. 🙂

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