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9mm Beretta compact decocker Grand Power holster N82 Tactical P11 PX4 Storm

Beretta PX4 Storm Compact 9mm

It arrived yesterday.
I do have a tabletop video here:

I took it and the Grand Power P11 to the range this evening.  All I can say is, wow…

Pluses for the gun:

  1. It shoots almost as well as the P11.
  2. DA trigger is better.
  3. Shot 105 round of Magtech 115-gr FMJ and Browing BPT 147-grain ammo with only one round having an issue (light strike).  It loves 147-grain.
  4. It’s sights are easier to work with than the P11’s.

Minuses for the gun:

  1. Backstraps are extremely difficult to work with…well, not the backstraps themselves but the backstrap retention mechanism.  I struggled with it when swapping backstraps.
  2. Large backstrap is slightly warped (out of the box).
  3. The red paint that’s on the extractor (acting like a loaded chamber indicator) looks to have come off.
  4. Plastic guide rod.

How does the PX4 compare to the P11?

  1. The gun is only slightly larger than the P11.
  2. The P11’s mag holds 12 rounds.  The PX4’s mag holds 15.  This isn’t a huge deal, though…the P11 is sold as a sub-compact.
  3. The takedown of the PX4 is easy.  The takedown of the P11, while not exactly orthodox, is easy enough once you’ve done it a few times.
  4. The P11 is extremely finnicky about ammo.  The PX4 doesn’t appear to be as finnicky.
  5. The P11 needs to be run wet.  I’m assuming the PX4 needs to be run wet as well…they both have rotating barrels.
  6. The P11 won’t tolerate being dirty (lots of carbon will accumulate where the barrel rotates on the frame).  I believe it is more of a competition gun that just so happens to carry well.  The PX4 doesn’t appear to be as fussy when it comes to being dirty.
  7. The PX4’s controls are not conducive to carry duty, in my opinion…both the safety/decocker levers and the slide catch levers are too big and stick out well beyond the sides of the handgun.  Luckily, there are OEM “stealth” levers that make the gun feel a tad bit slimmer (and less “snaggy”).
  8. While the PX4’s sights are better than the P11’s the P11’s sights are purposely small.  This means that while they’re more difficult to use, they’re more accurate when used properly.  Still, I wouldn’t mind getting some night sights on the PX4.
Once I get “stealth” levers for the gun, I’ll begin to start carrying it around the house.  I plan to get the N82 Tactical Professional holster to use with the PX4.
The particular gun is the F-type.  I plan to convert it to the G-type.  I will never use the safety and I’m used to decock-only guns (my P11 didn’t come with a decocker and I manually decock it…it comes with a safety but I never use it because it’s always in DA mode).
So, 105 rounds were shot through the gun tonight.  Here’s the targets (shot from 7 yards with two types of ammo in two different weights and with two different noses).
These are the first 15 shots out of the gun.  The one in the red is the first shot (DA).  This is tighter than what I’m used to shooting from a new gun.  The shots are more vertically-aligned than that I’ve shot with my other new guns.
I started from left top to right top, left bottom to right bottom, then focused on the center target.  The first two targets’ DA shots were very close to the red.  The lower left, not so much.  The lower right group was extremely tight (there are 3 holes).  the center shot was a bit wide.
All of these shots were DA mode.  I’d shoot, then decock back to DA mode, then shoot, then decock, and so on.  This is 15 rounds.  All but 3 are in the red.  Two of those are close.  One is a flyer.
The first grouping of 15 is at the red.  The second grouping is at the head.  At first, I was slowly shooting the red.  At the head, I tried some double-taps (slow double-taps).  Again, I’m vertically aligned but spread out…IMO, not bad for double-taps.  Also, note that the second group would all be in the blue if I were aiming for the body.
Similar to the target above this one, I shot two different magazines, one at the body and one at the head.  I also did double-taps.  The first shots of the magazines were DA shots and each landed center mass.  The first grouping is vertically aligned.  The second group is spread out…not sure if this was due to the ammo (was using the 147-grain BPT target ammo).
This is the P11’s target.  These were rushed (45 rounds, combination of the BPT ammo and the Magtech).  I thought I’d be able to eat out the red from the target…nope.  But that’s probably 35 shots that are very much center mass.  I was shooting relatively fast and some are double-taps.  This gun rewards the wielder when basic fundamentals are applied but punishes the wielder if those fundamentals aren’t applied.  I’ve mixed results here…while the group is tight, I wanted them tighter.  Because I rushed, the gun punished me.  Remember what I said earlier about those small sights?  It applies to my aiming and shooting at this target.

All in all, this was a fun outing.  I plan to take the gun out again tomorrow and maybe spend more than an hour with both of them this time.  I may even take the Sig Pro to muddy up the comparison (since it is also a DA/SA polymer gun that I think I may carry).

Stay tuned!

UPDATE:  I got impatient in waiting for Beretta to stock up.  I did some research and found that there’s a store in Italy that sells both the stealth slide catch and stealth safety.  The site is here.  The part is here.  I know I have the right part because I compared the part numbers between it and Beretta’s USA site…they are the same (part no. E00348).  It costs 54,92 EU and 18 EU for shipping, for a total of 72,92 EU.  It’s a few dollars less than if I ordered from Beretta USA, but as far as I know, this site has them in stock.

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base plates Beretta Bersa compact Grand Power N82 Tactical P11 Plus PX4 Storm Sig SP2022 Thunder

Beretta On the Way!

This was the most agonizing decision I’ve made in quite awhile.

My birthday is approaching and I wanted to buy something nice but not too expensive.  I’d considered a Sig 1911 as my next nice gun, but my wife isn’t going to sign off on a $800 purchase…maybe on my 50th birthday next year.

My choices were the Grand Power P1 or the Beretta PX4 Storm Compact.

I chose the Storm and bought it through Whittaker Guns for $429.

Why was this a difficult decision?  I’d need to talk about the Grand Power and why I was considering it (as well as the thing that I don’t like about the company).

The pros:

  • As you well know, I currently conceal-carry a Grand Power P11 Mk12.  This particular gun did not come with a decocker.  New guns from Grand Power come with decockers and that includes the P1.
  • I currently use a P1 kydex holster when I carry my P11, so if I bought a P1, I’d already have a holster.
  • I currently use three P1 15-round mags with my P11 when I visit the range.  If I bought a P1, which includes two magazines, I’d have five mags for this gun.

I basically already have all the gear to immediately start carrying a P1.

The con:

Grand Power stated in their forums that they will not sell the decocker parts to owners because they might be held liable if an owner did not install the part correctly and had an accidental (not negligent if there was an issue with the gun’s internals) discharge where someone was injured or killed.

Why do I have a problem with that?  I’ll list the reasons:

  • They sell 99% of the internals for all their guns on the Eagle Imports web site.  Most of those parts could cause an accidental discharge if installed incorrectly, and those have nothing to do with the safety/decocker.  Yet they’ve no problem selling those parts and letting owners install them on their own.
  • Their competition sells such parts and let owners install those parts.
  • The mentality that they’re going to save us from ourselves is very much a liberal thought.  This is also what drives such “technology” as loaded chamber indicators and magazine disconnects and both of those are training band-aids.
  • I don’t believe in any firearm being black-box-like (ie, don’t allow consumers to open the product).  If they’re selling internal parts, how else do you get them into the firearm?
  • In lieu of them providing you the decocker parts, they suggest you spend $500+ to get a new GP pistol that would already have a decocker.  Nope.  Not going to happen.

Some resources:

I was a stout advocate of the P11 and it’s manufacturer up until this point.  In fact, a large part of my Youtube content relates to the P11 and my experiences with it.  I think it’s time to move on.

The depressing part of this is that I’ve spend a large amount of my time and training with the P11, so I’ll have to get familiar with another one of my handguns to replace my P11 as my EDC gun.  An option is to continue to carry it but I just can’t swallow Grand Power’s attitude that they’ll allow us to replace any part but a safety/decocker (hell, they sell replacement safeties on their parts site!).

Currently, my options to replace the P11, if I want to stay with DA/SA, is with my Sig SP2022 or this new Beretta that will be shipped to me sometime this week.  I’m more ready to carry the SP2022 than I am the PX4 at this point in time.  I’m just waiting for some replacement mag base plates and a SP2022 shell form my Alien Gear holster.  I have 4 mags for the SP2022.  I have not a damned thing for the Storm, although I can easily get a N82 Tactical holster from a local gun shop (those are nice).

I can also carry the Bersa Thunder Plus that I have, but I HATE it’s decocker!  With a passion.  I can carry that with the safety off, if need be, and it’s a smaller gun to carry.  Although it’s a .380, it is double-stack and holds 15+1.  I have four mags for it and just got an N82 Tactical IWB holster for it.  I just need to test some carry ammo and begin practicing with it.

Either way, I’ll be testing the carrying of the SP2022 and PX4 Storm.

Before I carry the Storm, though, I’m looking to replace the safeties with the stealth versions.  As well, I’ll convert it to decocker-only.

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Alien Gear compact grip assembly grip module holster P320 rail Sig Sauer slide sub-compact

Converting my P320 Compact

I ordered a sub-compact grip module for my Sig Sauer P320 Compact handgun.

I couldn’t find ANY place that had the medium sub-compact grip modules in stock, though, so I settled for the small module. The main difference between the two is that the grip is a tad smaller (in girth and thickness) on the small grip module assembly, and the medium has an accessory rail while the small does not.

 I also ordered 2 sub-compact magazines (12 round capacity). I can use the mags that came with my Compact but they’d stick out a bit and be more difficult to conceal. Sig Sauer also sells mag sleeves for the Compact mags so that they can more easily be used with the sub-compact frame, but that wouldn’t help with the length of the mags and kind of defeats the purpose of going down a size (if the grip will print easily, it’s counter-productive).

 I also will have to contact Alien Gear to see if I can swap my SP2022 holster shell for a P320 Sub-compact shell. The P320 Compact shell I have will not fit the P320 Sub-compact.

The grip module is plain black. I’d thought of getting OD green or FDE but I couldn’t find any in stock. I can always paint the grip module if I desire a different color.

I’ll be using the Compact slide on the small Sub-compact grip module. It’s been verified that this type of modification will work without issue. I don’t want to have to buy the Sub-compact slide when the Compact will work fine.

I’ve been itching to buy a new gun but this is the next best thing…can’t beat converting a gun!

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compact P320C range report Sig Sauer

P320 Compact – Range Report

I finally took my P320 Compact to the range today (I ended up taking 3 guns, plus the one I was carrying).  Man, the P320 shoots pretty damned tight.  I was shooting Winchester White Box 115-grain FMJ.  The first picture is the first mag, while the second picture is the other mag, shooting the same target with both mags.

Sig Sauer P320 Compact 9mm – 6 yards out, 15 rounds
6 yards out, second magazine (shooting at same target as first mag above).  I’m all around the bulls-eye and hit it once, but the shot group isn’t as tight as the first 15 rounds.

This gun has great ergonomics and the trigger is really nice!  Some people complain about trigger pinch with this gun…it didn’t bother me, but I only shot 30 rounds.  Some people also have to reiterate that this gun has a high bore axis…it didn’t bother me at all and I’d shot my Glock 19 Gen 4 for the first time right before shooting the P320.  It didn’t have any issues eating 30 rounds without issue…there were no FTEs or FTFs.  It was easy to aim (it has contrast sights) and the grip texture wasn’t aggressive nor slick…it was “just right”.

This was the last gun (of 4) that I shot.  I was expecting to experience a bit of fatigue or an adjustment period before I began to shoot this gun well…those were the wrong expectations!  This gun is a keeper (I knew it would be before I bought it).

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.45 9mm compact firearms handgun magazines P220 safe Sauer Sig SP2022 Stack-On sub-compact

Introductions

I tend to segment my life experiences into silos.  I do not have a one-size-fits-all blog.  There’s a reason why I do that.  I’ve blogs about Unix, PDAs, Apple products, Subarus, and others.  A reader that cares about Unix might not care about Subarus.  I believe a blog has to have a general theme…how do you mesh all of those blogs into one without looking like a skitzo?  You can’t.

Anyways,  I’ve a new hobby.  Last month, my wife bought me a handgun.  What make?  Sig Sauer.  What model?  A P220, but not just any P220…she got me an Equinox.  That’s a gun created by Sig Sauer’s custom gun shop.  It’s full size and calibered in .45 ACP.

It was supposed to be a surprise Christmas present but she ended up telling me because the sales people she was talking with told her to inform me so that I could give her a good idea of what I wanted…for all they knew, I’d not like the gift.  A few weeks before she bought it, she’d been asking me gun questions but I thought she was asking idle questions (she does that from time to time and knows a bit about weapons — 20 years of Army service that she accrued).  She asked me my preference of caliber and make.  I told her .40 and Sig Sauer.  Well, she took that information and went back to the sales people and told them.  They recommended a .45 instead, as .40s are known for being a bit snappy in recoil.  So, we were Christmas shopping and she told me that she wanted to show me something and that she wanted me to close my eyes…she then led me to the gun shop in the store (the Ft. Belvoir Exchange).  When I opened my eyes, I was shocked.  She showed me the gun she wanted to buy me.  It was the Equinox…it’s all shadow and light, with dark wooden grips.  We went to look at other guns at other shops over the next few days but we settled on the Equinox and bought it the day before Thanksgiving.

That’s the greatest present she’s ever given me and it was also very thoughtful.  It was also pricey, as far as guns retail for.  $1040.

I took it to a local in-door range the week after I got it.  It shoots great.  The trigger is awesome in both DA and SA modes.  It does have recoil, however.  The previous calibers I’ve fired (they were a friend’s guns) were 9mm and .40…both Sigs.  In comparison to that .40, my P220 isn’t offering less recoil.  They both feel about the same.  Now, I don’t remember what .40 Sig my friend had, but I’ve the feeling I’d have been happy with a .40 Sig.  That’s not a huge issue, though…I’m happy with my gift!

The P220 comes with 2 8-round mags.  The mags are stiff as hell out-of-the-box and have to be broken in.  Load rounds into them to exercise the springs.  They loosen up over time and with use.

The P220 also has a very stiff recoil spring that will loosen up over time and use.  As it is now, it is difficult to rack the gun.

I’ve put approximately 100 rounds through the gun so far and the mags and recoil spring have loosened a bit…they’re still a bit stiff, though.

I’ve a gun safe, especially since I’ve three kids.  I’ve the Stack-On Model # PS-508-12.  This safe is small but has enough room for 3-4 handguns (maybe even more if nothing else is in the safe).  BJs has this safe, as well as an assortment of Sentry safes.  I liked this one because it was a bit under $60 and was low in profile.

Also….

I bought another gun.  I sold some car parts to a fellow Subaru owner and used the money to buy a Sig Sauer SP2022 in 9mm.  This will probably be my carry gun.  Yes, it is rather large to carry, but it is sold as a compact gun.  It is about the same size as many compact guns of other makes.  Note that the SP isn’t yet in my possession.  It is currently being delivered to my local gunshop.  I got this gun for $389.  I’ve also ordered two extra magazines (at $22/ea from Cabelas…during a sale).  This is key, because the gun only comes with one magazine and people complain that extra mags are expensive…I’ve heard quotes of $50/ea.

So, I can carry this gun but also practice with it to hone my basic handgun skills…9mm ammo is cheaper than .45 ACP, so there’s a lower cost factor with this gun.

I did not want a sub-compact gun.  I held a Walther PPK in .380 and could barely hold the gun, it was so small.  I’ve big hands, so I need a gun with substantial grip, even if it means it’ll be more difficult to carry…I can’t stand when my hand is hanging off of a gun grip, as it doesn’t feel comfortable to me. I’m a bit passionate about this because there is this thing about carry guns that forum monkeys will try to sell people:  carry guns have to be small.  That’s bullshit, IMO, and seems to be more of an attempt to limit a gun owner.

Lastly, I’ll give you a history of my involvement with firearms.

I’m a 10-year military veteran.  Up until 2014, I’d never owned a firearm, but in my 10 years of active duty, I’ve slept with guns, took a dump with guns, practiced almost monthly with guns, deployed to hostile environment with guns, and performed guard duty with live rounds, with a mag in the gun but no round chambered.  And when I went to the range, I actually coached on basic marksmanship and sight zero adjustments.  I’ve fired M16A2s almost exclusively, but also attended an OPFOR range while assigned to the 2nd ID G2 section…we fired captured Soviet-type weapons and ammunition.  I’ve fired claymores, as well, at an actual claymore range at Fort Bragg.  I’ve also handled both plastic explosives, blasting caps, low yield TNT and high explosives (I had to know how to emergency dispose of classified machinery).  This is just everyday stuff to most veterans (minus the explosives bit, probably), but with all that being said, I’m still new to handguns, but keep in mind that a lot (but not all) of my rifle experience carries over to handguns.  And really, a lot of this is common sense.  I’ve 10 years of extremely valuable firearms experience and have never owned a handgun…why is it that I’m comfortable with my P220?  Because in the basic sense, a gun is a gun.  I already knew how to clear a semi-automatic handgun because it’s basically the same as clearing an M16:  drop the mag, pull and/or lock back the charging handle, look inside the chamber for any rounds, if there are no rounds, release the slide and place on safe (if applicable, because many Sigs don’t have manual safes).  As well, in Virginia (where I’m from), military veterans can apply for their concealed carry license with nothing more than their DD214s as a prerequisite form (with an honorable discharge).

Stay tuned, as I’ll be gradually beefing up this page with my weapons and ownership experiences.