Monday, August 25, 2008

Kimber Custom II

Well, what can you say about a nice 1911 style gun? It is, of course, great. Accurate, feels good in the hand, and everyone says "Ooo, those are a nice". Now I know there are plenty of people that think a 1911 is only good if its a Colt or Springfield or whatever. Around here, Kimbers are very well liked.

Story time.

I had no desire to own a 1911 or a .45acp in any format. I thought the former was old, washed up, clunky, and heavy, and the latter was just huge. However, I was scheduled to go on a hiking trip in possible "bear country" and thought I would like to bring something a little stronger than 9mm. I decided to get a .45acp, and since I was stupid and wasn't thinking about the fact that they come in all sorts of polymer based pistols which are quite affordable and light- I set out to buy me a 1911. Price was everything so I settlted on no other but....


I had been to 3 different stores, everyone recommended a kimber, but I thought, nah, too much. I headed to a store and had them cracking open a Taurus for me. While they were, I saw a gun I hadn't noticed before. It was another Kimber, the Kimber Custom II. And it wasn't so darned expensive!

The Kimber was $699, the Taurus was $549. There were two things I wanted in my 1911- beaver tail and nightsites. It had a beavertail. No other decent brands that I stumbled across did. Sure, the Taurus had all the bells and whistles- including nightsites- and I'm sure its a fine gun- but I didn't need every option.

I'm thinking at this point...$150 to upgrade from Taurus to Kimber. If a good gun lasts a lifetime......$150 isn't a big deal. And I'd say the Kimber has a better chance at longevity. Though nightsites would be another chunk of money, I decided to go for it. Kimber it was. The salesmen were happy to upgrade me I'm sure.

And thus I discovered 1911s! Or should I say, I discovered what a trigger pull can be? The 1911 is an old design, but man does it make for a good platform. The Kimber shoots well, and I love the trigger on it (of course).

Suddenly falling in love with the look of an ol' 1911, I immediately ordered rosewood grips for it. Though they have the Kimber logo on, it seemed to give it more of a classic look than the black rubber. I also added Trijicon nightsites since I planned on using it as a defensive type gun.

The darn thing shoots amazing. My friend who is a police officer took me out shooting. He shot a Glock 22, and I shot my Kimber. Now, of course he is at a natural disadvantage against me with a totally different trigger. And I don't think the average policeman would want to carry a 1911. But the long story short is I shot quite a bit better than the policeman. My groups were really quite great.

The only drawback- hollowpoints. I've only tried one type of HP, but I get at least one failure to feed in every mag. That's right, every mag. I need to try some other types though, and intend to. For now, there are FMJs in it.

Ironically, I never took it hiking, as I determined bears were not the primary worry, mountain lions were. Since weight was a huge deal, I ended up taking my G17 with DPX rounds.

Since that was the case, I debated selling, and even had a proposed buyer. Everyone was saying, "don't sell that gun", and I knew it might be a mistake. I intended to sell, fully knowing that someday down the road, I'd get another 45. Well, decided making a buck now and spending 2 later didn't make much sense. Even my non-shooting girlfriend hi-fived me when I decided to keep it.

The only bummer- have you seen the cost of ammo lately? .45acp especially is just crazy. That was another driving factor to sell (really the main one). But, I'm young, and hopefully my income will increase. However, the cost of ammo has me seriously considering reloading, so I am keeping an eye out for used stuff for sale.

All in all though, really can't go wrong with this one!

Glock 17

Say what you will, I'm just a huge 9mm fan. I love it. 9mm, 9X19, 9mm Parabellum, 9mm Luger...a rose by any other name is just as sweet. 9mm is by far my favorite caliber to shoot. I think its fun, has very manageable recoil and muzzle flip while still being an effective round (yes many would argue that.) I don't remember who, but someone on the internet once mentioned that he was being heckled by a .45 shooter about his "weak 9mm". His reply is that if the 9mm is so ineffective, perhaps the gentleman would stand back and allow him to double tap two rounds into his chest. This ended the discussion.

I have a friend in police reserves who frequently teases me about my "wussy" little 9mm. She loves her tough 40 S&W. But when I asked her and her deputy husband if they were interested in joining competition shooting, she said "No, 40 ammo is getting way to expensive". Guess what? Mine's cheaper!

Which brings mention of the benefit that can't be ignored: it is a more affordable caliber to shoot these days.

I would love to have several weapons chambered in 9mm. Right now I have one. I had a Springfield XD, but I sold that as I wasn't a huge fan of the trigger.

While not a complete Glock guy at heart, I stumbled across a good deal on one so ended it up getting it. Used but absolutely flawless, with nightsites and 3 mags for $500. I had my eyes on Berettas and Sigs, which I probably still prefer, but like I said, it was a deal and I just ended up getting it.

So I joined all the little lemmings with my full size, 9mm Glock: G17. It everything you hear. Its chunky but actually fits my hand pretty well. My XD, M&P, Beretta, Sigs all feel better, but the G17 still feels fine. Shoots where I point it/where my terrible trigger pull aims it. It eats any ammo. Its impossible to get the thing to rust.

At first I was not really impressed with the stock trigger pull. It felt heavy and it just seemed hard to shoot well with it. However, after buying and shooting my S&W 642 with its very long hard DA pull, the G17 feels like an absolute hair trigger. Its changed my perspective quite a bit, and now I enjoy shooting it more. I think I will probably get the famous Glock trigger job with a 3.5# connector. I can get pretty decent groupings with it now that I've shot it a bit.

After mentioning that, I feel inclined to clarify the purpose I have for this gun. I bought it with the idea of getting into USPSA and (hopefully someday) IDPA in the stock/production divisions. If I was carrying for defense, I'd leave the trigger as is, but it is going to be a range/competition gun. For self defense I use the above mentioned .38spl, and in my nightstand at home is my Kimber Custom II.

Overall, this is a good gun. But due to my love for the 9mm round, I'm sure I will end up with a different (or additional) gun in that caliber. If I'm shooting a caliber I love, then I want a gun I love. Beretta, Sig, CZ, and HiPower are the main contenders. Recently, I had a chance to look over and dry fire a Ruger SR9, and that seems like it has real potential.

Smith and Wesson 642

As promised, I picked up an S&W arlite revolver in .38spl today. I actually got a 642 instead of a 637. Check out that story (and accompanying fiasco) here. This a review of the gun I purchased. I got it for $450. They sell the 637 (exposed hammer) for a constant "sale" price of $399. Bummer.

So, I bought my my 642, an assortment of ammo, and hit the range. I've only ever shot a .22lr revolver at this point. I was kind of in for a surprise.

The gun, at first glance and inspection, is quality like you'd expect from S&W. The trigger is a very heavy double action as would be expected on this kind of gun. Sights are nominal but, we're talking close range self defense. Everything is kosher as far as fit and finish. I suit up, head into the range, and load up.

Somehow, I expected the recoil to be just like my 9mm. It wasn't. This thing is defiantly for self defense....5 rounds, maybe one reload, and done. Any more than that, and a guy's hand starts to hurt! This light little aluminum frame doesn't stop much recoil. The guys at the shop recommended some Glaser 100 grain Pow'r Ball and I'll just say it.....Holy Crap! You could feel those in your chest even behind the gun. Those suckers kicked compared to what I was used to. Even my Kimber 45 has less recoil than this sucker! Guess that's what all steel will do for you. After 50 rounds, I needed a break! I found myself anticipating and jerking the gun like I haven't done since the first time I shot. I was almost afraid of the shot because of the pain it was causing, and my shots were flying everywhere. They all hit the body, but they hit every single part.

I put it down and switched to my Glock 17. Up to this point, I thought the stock Glock trigger was a heavy pull and wasn't a huge fan. Suddenly, this thing felt like a hair trigger. My first round went off almost on accident as it seemed like nothing to pull. It took me a couple clips to get things back together. Soon I was shooting fine again and getting good groups.

Back to the S&W. I collected myself, got back in long DA mode, stopped being a baby about recoil that was more than I expected and got back to work. Very soon I was shooting decent groups with fairly rapid fire at what I consider to be appropriate self defense range (10-15 feet). I shot some American Federal in 130 grain, Federal Hydrashocks in 129 grain, Black Hills Ammunition in 158 grain, and Glaser Pow'rball in 100 grain (kicks like a mule). After about 130 rounds of .38spl (plus 100 rounds of 9mm), I was getting a blister, my hand was sore, and it was time to be done.

As far as concealment, I'll have to say I find that it doesn't quite disappear into a pocket like you hear about. I bought a Galco IWB holster (clip style) and an Uncle Mike's #3 pocket holster recommended by Xavier. With a thin T-shirt the IWB holster provided okay coverage. Very often it was apparent there was something under my shirt, but not a gun. Honestly, the clip showed through the shirt more than anything else. I think I might look into a different IWB. I shopped for groceries with the IWB, and I could help but feeling a I was adjusting my shirt constantly, only helping to draw attention.

The pocket holster in my shorts was quite bulky. It was very obvious there was a large something in my pocket, but again, not necessarily a gun. (spaaaare the puns and jokes) I've only tried this with one outfit combo (thin T-shirt and shorts) so we'll see how it goes. Unfortunately, no one in town seems to sell any leather pocket holsters.

Overall, I'm fairly pleased. Thus far, its just not as concealable as I'd hoped. I will have to work on that. Fall is around the corner, so all the shirts will help. But, it beats carrying my .45 or G17

Gun Shop Battle

Recently, I picked up my first concealable gun. For the review on the actual gun, click here. This post, is the story behind choosing it......

I headed down to the gun shop I frequent today, where they were holding a 637 for me. Bought it, along with ammo and a holster. I head back toward the range and stop at a table to get everything together. Who walks up but their shooting instructor who I had recently met and was planning on taking instruction from. I had discussed getting the 637 earlier with him.

So he strolls by and I say "Hey ____, I picked up my concealed gun finally".
He looks for two seconds, looks straight and me and says "Why'd you get the one with the hammer?"
"I thought you said it would be fine."
"If you're not going to pocket carry"
"I'm going to pocket carry a lot"
"Well you do whatever you want"

....well what is a guy supposed to do. I bring it back to the counter, say I might want to exchange for a 642. And so the battle began.
"Why?" The guy who sold it to me said slowly and obviously annoyed. I explained my conversation with the instructor, which I thought made sense. The salesmen proceeds to tell me how much I'll hate the trigger on the 642 and there's no point.
Okay, so......"You're telling me its a bad idea?" I say. "Yeah", he says.

About this time instructor walks up, they exhange glances at each other, and its obvious we are now engaged in a small battle with me in the middle. The solution is simple, just get what I want, and they both agree. Except, I don't know what I want. I have two different people telling me two different things, and I don't know who to listen to. It should be mentioned that the salesmen was actually rooting for a gun that was $50 cheaper. I'm standing there, angel on one shoulder, devil on the other, pulling triggers over and over, slipping guns in my pocket,pulling them out at varying speeds and angles, trying to make a decision. I'm going crazy.

As they both battle for who is right, they keep telling me to just pick what I want, while they both stare at me. Now I'm picking sides?

In the end I side with the instructor, and ask to exchange for the 642. Though cordial, the salesmen is obviously not happy, as his hands are shaking the entire time he is working the exchange.

Now, what right does he have to be mad at me, other than I picked the other guy's advice? It should be mentioned that both of these guys have been my patient in the PACU recently and they both remember it. I think, they should be extra nice to me! I gave them pain medicine in their time of need!

All I know is, I started a fight in a gun shop. That's the last place I want to be in the middle of a fight, especially when I can't shoot my weapon because I'm returning it.......

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Meet the Parents

Ever seen that movie "Meet the Parents"? Its always been relative to me because of the male nurse jokes. I've even had a 70-some patient call me Gaylord once. Nice.

Now its relative to me for a new reason: the parents! I've never had very good luck with parents of girl's I've dated, particularly the father. In fact, I dated a girl in college who, despite a year and a half relationship, never gave me the time of day. Oh well.

For the past 16 months I've been dating a great girl named Nicole. I met Nicole's parents a year ago or more, and they are great people. Very welcoming, very nice, over all a good experience. With one exception....they are exercise freaks.

I am not.

A great portion of their life seems focused around exercise, health, and sports.

Much less of mine is.

I'm terrible at sports. Terrible. Horrendous. Its just not in me. I watch a track meet and get winded. I see a basketball game and sweat. Get the picture?

I do enjoy some of them though. Recently, my girlfriend bought me a tennis racket. I've never touched one, but we went out to the court and tried. After an initial hour of rage, I began to enjoy myself.

And that brings us to today's story.

We spent the weekend and my girlfriend's parents, and they wanted to play tennis. I've turned them down on their various offers to join them in the basement for Saturday workouts, so I figured I'd give them a game of tennis. Should be fine. After all, in my family if we say "let's go play some tennis" it really means "let's go leisurely hit a ball around". I can do that.


"let's play tennis" means "lets play tennis". Doubles, all the rules, right into it. Chris can barely swing a racket, and he's playing doubles. With the sports family. I don't even know the rules or how its played!

"Chris, switch sides"

"Chris, switch sides"

"Chris, switch sides"



Is tennis made up by drunk people? You do one thing right and you get 15 points? Where does that come from. And Deuce, Love, Advantage? Aren't all of those heartworm medicines?

So Chris is swinging his racket, looking like a foot. The ball goes 1 of 2 places. Straight into the net, or over the fence and halfway to the car. I served at least 15 times before I knew where I was serving to.



"Where the heck is out???!!!"

At this point, I can't help but feel a bit out of place. We finish, and they are very good about it all. I go down to the room I'm staying, and for the first time really notice the sports themed wall paper boarder, the posters of sports stars, and the designs for basketball shoes sketched by her brothers when they were young.

"One of these things is not like the other, one of things just doesn't belong".......I think it might be me. Suddenly, I truly notice my gut and my scrawny arms. I'm realizing, I hope they are cool with me the way I am, because I'm sure different. I can play the guitar better than average, I sing pretty well, I understand medicine, and I am on okay shot with a gun. But I'll always be a little bit like the guy from "Meet the parents".....not quite sure where I fit in!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Feed the Children

Recently I pulled all my ammo out of my range bag just to see what I had laying around. I'm feeding a .45, a 9mm, .22lr, and Monday I'm picking up my .38spl. In fact, I already bought ammo for it, since ammo at the shop/range is a bit more spendy. So, I picked up some Hydrashocks and some cheaper ammo in the same grain so I can buy it and walk straight back to the range. : )

Not long ago, I was at a church service where they were showing pictures of what an average family ate in a week from several different cultures. It was a lesson in both the type and the quantity of food. Let's just say America eats a lot of....crap.....but we all knew that.

Long story short, I thought it would be fun to put up pictures of what my "family" eats.

I'm guilty of buying a lot of cheap ammo (WWB, American Federal, Blazer) for range time. It let's me shoot a bit more. I have Federal Hydrashocks for all my defense rounds. The gun in my nightstand is a Kimber Custom II, though I have not fed enough HP's through it yet to feel confident that they will feed when it counts, so for now there is roundball.

I also have CorBon DPX (made in my state) as well as some Remmington HPJ for the 9mm. Hydrashocks are recommended by everyone I talk to, but a lot of people here are really getting into DPX. The gunshop I frequent, as well as a former Secret Service agent/self defense instructor I met all dig DPX.

Like so many parents, I struggle to afford to feed my children as much as I want to. I find I must freqently skip meals because the cost of ammo is so high. I'd love to feed them 3 times a day, 7 days a week, but right now we're living off 1-2 times a month. Tragic. All my guns look gaunt, skinny, and malnourished. They lack the signs of serious wear that a yearn to give them. This life is not fair......

Monday, August 18, 2008

Carry Gun

Put some money down for my first carry gun. I'm going to pick it up next week. I'm doing a concert this weekend so I'll make a bit of money I'll put toward it.
Thought I'd just join the band wagon, so I'm getting a S&W 637 airlite (.38spl).

I know, I know. Everyone has one and its not a 45.
Should be a nice little carry gun, though. Eventually, I'll get something a tad larger, but right now I'm confident I can carry this in most circumstances. I don't really want to carry my full size Kimber or Glock 17, and I'm not willing to buy the biggest plaid flannel button-up shirt from walmart just so I can pack a cannon down the sidewalk. A .38spl will do just fine.

Hopefully in a couple weeks I'll be taking some instructions from a former Secret Service agent and personal defense instructor. Looking forward to that!
Taking suggestions on the "best" round to carry. (Xavier, you out there?)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lunch with Big Mike

The other day everyone at work was clammoring about Michael Phelps and his diet. He has to eat 8-10,000 calories a day.

"How does he eat that much?" They say. "He must eat all the time and be so sick of it."

Apparantly, no one has heard of Big Macs and Ben & Jerry's. 10,000 calories? No problem. Suck down some of that stuff and you've hit the mother load. Seriously. I sat down the other night with a little bit of ice cream.....1200 calories before commercial time.

Heck, a double cheesburger, large fries, and large pop gets you to 1870. Wash that down with a small tub of dairy product and you're at 3,070! Three meals a day = 9,210, and we haven't even snacked yet people!

So, all Mikey has to do is hit McDonald's and he's hit his calories, no big deal.

....of course, there are possible side effects:

1. Horkin' cookies in the pool. 5/10 point deduction.

2. Slower speeds due to drag coefficiancy created by bat-wing underarms.

3. Over lubricated intestinal tract leads to embrassing incidents with razor suit.

4. Occupation of 2 lanes in the pool not encouraged

5. Dead by 30.

Other than that, I think I've solved ol' Mike's dilema.

Colt Single Action .22lr

I decided to take pictures of my oldest gun. I found this just wasting the years away in my grandma's closet. Its a Colt Single Action Frontier Scout .22lr. I think its from the 70's. Its old. Its dirty. Its fun.

When I found it, I had never held a revolver. Ever. I had no idea what to do with it. It took me 5 minutes to figure out how to load it. Then I didn't dare shoot it, who knows what shape it was in. I was sure it would explode, taking with it my youthful face, banishing me to a leper-like existence. You could feel grit when you pulled the hammer back. There was rust and pitting everywhere.

I took it home (dorm room at the time) to clean it up. Except, I had no idea what I was doing. I decided I needed to completely take it apart. I started removing screws and parts at random. Bad idea.

Eventually I found plans for it on the internet, printed them out, and taped parts where they belonged. I cleaned it up.

And now reassembly. Not good. Remember- I know nothing about wheelguns at this point. Long story short, it took me 3 hours and multiple attempts at getting the trigger back together. Sweating, stringing together impolite phrases (think the father vs. the furnace in "The Christmas Story"), and slowly becoming inebriated from cleaning solution in a small room, I battled. Twice I had it all reassembled only to realize the trigger wasn't working.

But eventually I got it. I took it out, shot it nervously, and was happy to find it worked, it did not explode in my face, and it was accurate.

So now I have this old gun. Its not pretty. The blueing is worn everywhere and the cylinder is full of bright silver spots where I took rust off. But dang it, Grandpa's old gun is kind of a fun little thing, and I might just make me a believer in the revolver, even with the smallest of bullets.

If anyone knows where and how I could get grips that would be a little nicer than the old plastic ones on them, let me know at:

Pawn Shops

I really don't like Pawn Shops. They make a living ripping you off. I just walked through one hoping to find some sweet gun deals.

A used Glock w/2 mags and case for $480? Are you kidding me? And it was definately used. I'm not even going to waste my time haggling that.....I can go down the road and they will offer me a new one for $500 if I just glance half seriously at it.

And have you ever tried selling anything at a Pawn Shop? There is virtually no point. As I sift through this mountain of Ipods, nasty guitars, and completely overpriced guns, I realize, people must really be desperate for money.

How all these people on blogs slip into pawn shops and find these amazing gun deals, I'll never know. They aren't here.

Then I realize there is perhaps one good deal there. DVD's.

I still didn't buy any.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Asian Menus

You never know what an asian restaurant will serve.

Note you can get Crap for $3.95......

....Guess that explains the price of gas.....

I just want to know: How many pieces do I get?

First Post

So, after spending viturally 3/4 of my Saturday shift at the hospital thumbing through Xavier Thoughts, and all the other blogs linked to his blog, I decided to start my own.

And so I sit with my laptop in the recovery room waiting for appendectomies and fracture repairs realizing.....what the heck do I talk about?

1. Guns. Yes of course. I love me some guns. My problem: I have 3. The blogs I go to serve as display for a host of guns beyond reckoning. So once I report off on my 3, I'm in trouble.

2. Guitars. My other passion. I have 4. Fine pieces of wood.

3. Nursing/Medicine. Mulitple thoughts here. Will return to that soon I'm sure.

4. Faith and the Church. Have some ideas there too.

5. Random thoughts. Ah, finally, something I have in abundance. Oodles of guns are to gun showrooms as unlimited random thoughts are to my cranium.

My only hope is this blog has more readers than my college radio show had listeners (which would only take about 3). Stay tuned. Peace out.