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1911 2011 AF1911-S15 Alpha Foxtrot ammo Bul Armory defensive ammo SAS II Ultralight training

Another 1911 Range Visit / Upcoming Training

Once again, I took the Alpha Foxtrot S15 to the range, as it exhibited some failures during my last range visit, which I believe I documented on this blog.

I also forced myself to shoot the SAS II UL this go-around, since I’ve been neglecting the gun (and I’m also carrying it).

I brought some of my open boxed SD ammo to test the S15, as I initially thought it was having issues due to bad ammo. Another culprit could have been the mag (there was one magazine in particular that was having issues). Another culprit could have been me – I’d shot the gun toward the end of the visit and I was probably getting tired (hand/wrist/arm fatigue).

Right off the bat, I got two fails to feed, with the suspect mag (I’ve marked it). I ended up stopping everything, emptying the mag of ammo, and putting the ammo in a different magazine. The failures stopped.

I’m thinking I might ask Shield Arms to replace this mag. The mag is new and should be covered by manufacturer’s warranty. It’s odd that the failures don’t always occur, though. The ammo it was choking on was Sig Sauer V-Crown 147-gr JHP.

It also failed once when shooting Remington Golden Saber 147-gr JHP. It ate 21 other Golden Sabers without issue, though.

Those were the only failures, so it wasn’t really all that bad this time around.

I’m at 623 rounds through the S15 now. The gun is uncannily accurate. It doesn’t seen to be as snappy as the SAS II UL, but it has better grip surfaces (by far). Now that I know that it’ll eat JHP without issue, and now that I’ve tested the mags, I can actually consider carrying this gun now, although I’ll keep testing it (I’m still wanting to carry the SAS II UL, too).

I’m at 661 rounds through the SAS II now. I shot 38 rounds tonight, all Herters Target 115-gr FMJ. There were no hiccups or failures. I shot all the ammo at 10 yards, quickly (since I’ve the optic installed).

I’ll be working on posting range video footage this weekend, of both guns. I have footage from the last visit but the settings were out of whack and the field of view wasn’t the best (the framing was off-center, as well).

Next week, I’ll be attending my first handgun course. The plan is to use my current carry gun (SAS II UL). I’ll be bringing my Glock 19 as a backup gun, in case they state my SAS II is too small and in case the SAS II has a breakage. I’ve other guns I can consider as backup guns but most of my guns are DA/SA and I’m more used to SAO nowadays. I’ve several striker fired duty- and compact-sized guns but I’ve no holsters for them (nor extra mags). At this point in time, the Glock 19 is my best option (I’ve extra mags and several holsters for it).

I plan to shoot Blazer 124-gr FMJ for the course (was told that I’d need 200 rounds, so I’ll buy 4 boxes of 50). Blazer is reliable for me, but so is the Herters Target, so I may buy that brand instead, although the Blazer is just a few dollars more.

I was planning on a rifle course too, but I need the time to purchase mags and magazine pouches that’ll fit my carry belt. I may have to wait until next year for that, although I can also take a rifle course by XCal. We’ll see.

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Alpha Foxtrot ammo defensive ammo SAS II Ultralight

This is how $90 of SD ammo appears…

I went to Cabela’s to get some SD ammo and was actually looking to buy Sig 365 SD ammo to test with my Bul Armory SAS II. They only had the Sig 365 in FMJ, though. I’ll keep looking for it or order it online.

Since I was there, I bought what they had, and focused on types that I haven’t shot before. I bought (from top to bottom, left to right) all 9mm, Sierra Outdoor Master in 124-gr, Hornady Custom 124-gr XTP, Federal Punch 124-gr, and Barnes Vor-TX 115-gr. Those are boxes of 25 rounds each.

I also have an unspent box of Koenig Defense 110-gr JHP (from the last time I visited Cabela’s).

I’ll be shooting these 125 rounds of ammo from the Alpha Foxtrot S15, since I’ve not tried shooting good ammo from that handgun yet. Maybe I can shoot half from the AF-S15 and half from the SAS II, since I’d prefer to be practicing shooting my current carry gun.

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ammo defensive ammo pistol training

I Enrolled in Handgun Training!

So, I’ve enrolled in handgun training. I enrolled in a Pistol II course at my range. (Pistol I was too basic and Pistol III was too advanced — we all have to start somewhere, right?) It’s a 2-day course that is held in the evening. I thinking on using my Bul Armory SAS II UL. They recommend either a duty gun or a compact. The SAS II UL isn’t a little gun. It’s not big by any means, but it’s far from small, so may use it during the course.

I’ll be brining a back-up gun, but I’m not sure which to bring. I can either bring my Glock 19 (it’s similarly sized) or my Alpha Foxtrot S15. The Glock 19 seems to be the better option. I’ve several DA/SA guns, too, but I don’t want to have to deal with DA.

I also need to buy ammo for the course, but I think I’ll just buy ammo at that range, right before the start of the course. I don’t need anything special – it just has to be dependable. I’ve been using their Blazer 124-gr brass FMJ and it’s been good, so I think I’ll jsut buy more of that.

I mentioned SD and training ammo in the title. I’ve always wanted to be able to shoot training ammo that was very similar to the SD ammo that I’d be carrying (I’ve no favorite SD ammo at this moment in time). I did quite a bit of research and found that Federal’s AD9SJ4 (124-gr 9mm) matches the Federal Practice and Defend P9HST1TM100 (124-gr 9mm SD ammo), ballistics-wise. The only thing is, I can’t find any place that has the P9HST1TM100 in stock.

They’ve 147-gr pairing as well: AD9SJ3 (Practice ammo) and P9HST2TM100 (147-gr 9mm SD ammo). The P9HST2TM100 is more easily found, by far, than it’s 124-gr counterpart.

Here’s an example of the cost of the AD9SJ3: Just under $17 for a box of 50.

Here’s an example of the cost of the P9HST2TM100: Just under $48 for a box of 100 – this is legit HST JHP Syntech SD ammo.

Bul Armory doesn’t recommend shooting 147-gr from the SAS II UL, but I’ve had no issues shooting various SD ammo in that grainage, so I think I’ll spend some money on a decent sum of this pair of ammo. I’ll probably buy 500 rounds of the AD9SJ3 and maybe 1 to 2 boxes (100-200 rounds) of the P9HST2TM100.

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ammo Bul Armory defensive ammo range report range visit SAS II Ultralight

Summary of the SAS II UL’s 2nd Range Visit

I went to the range yesterday and shot approximately 160 rounds of ammo. Half of it was FMJ and the other half was straight-up SD ammo (none of the cheap stuff).

Some quick observations:

  • I cleaned the firearm for the first time today (a day after the 2nd range visit). It was filthy. I could see preservative oil in the upper reaches of the slide (looked like rust but I know it wasn’t – tell-tale sign of preservative oil). I didn’t deep-clean the gun – I only field-stripped the gun, but I did remove the firing pin and clean it (I didn’t have any pipe cleaners, so I didn’t clean inside the channel). I also cleaned the extractor claw (did not remove the extractor, though). The claw was nasty. The barrel was nasty and had some crud in the chamber that took some time cleaning.
  • I took the opportunity to also take apart the two mags that came with the gun. I cleaned and oiled them (light coat of oil).
  • I noticed that the rear sight was loose. I’ll need to remove the rear sight, clean the threads, and then use blue thread locker to secure it, but for now, I just tightened the rear sight screws – I’ve an optic on the way here, and I’ll be removing the rear sight anyways.
  • I received two more OEM mags today, as well as a flat trigger shoe. I thought I could quickly install the new trigger shoe – nope…I need a 1.3mm allen wrench to remove the trigger shoe. That’s going to be a bitch to get off, too – it will take time, IF it’s not secured with threadlocker. If it is, it’ll take even more time.
  • I also received two optic shims (I only needed one but I wanted redundancy). The HS507K will require the shim, otherwise I won’t be able to adjust it properly (this is a known issue with the 507K and the SAS II UL).
  • The gun fired OK during the range visit. I shot the following ammo: Herter’s Defense in 115-gr JHP, Sig V-Crown Elite Defense 124-gr JHP, Koenig Competition 110-gr JHP, Remington Golden Saber 124-gr BJHP and 147-gr BJHP, and Hevi Duty 100-gr frangible flat-nosed ammo. I also brought some Fiocchi 115-gr FMJ ammo.
  • I had two fails to feed (FTF) with the Sig ammo, one of the FTFs being a double-feed. This ammo shot a tad bit high.
  • I had two FTFs with the Koenig ammo – same deal, one of the FTFs being a double-feed. As well, this ammo shot 2-3″ high! To hit the bullseye, I had to aim 2+ inches low.
  • I had no failures with the rest of the ammo, although the Hevi Duty frangible ammo shot high.

Basically, it seems that any light-for-caliber ammo that is shot from this gun will land high. That was my experience with Inceptor ARX (65-gr fluted tip) too.

So, we’ve shot a total of 336 rounds of ammo from the SAS II UL, thus far.

I still need to master the trigger of this gun. It’s a bit more difficult to shoot (and be precise) than my other 1911 9mm handguns, part of the issue being recoil management. I’ll get better as I spend time with the gun.

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ammo Bul Armory defensive ammo fail to feed range report range visit SAS II Ultralight

Bul Armory SAS II – First Range Visit

I want to focus on two things in this after action report: 1) ammo and reliability; 2) shooting – accuracy and recoil management

About shooting reliability —

So, I took the SAS II to the range today. I took maybe 200 rounds of various types of ammo. Much of it was JHP. Some was actual defensive ammo. Some was light for caliber. Some was heavy for caliber. Some was FMJ.

I shot Inceptor ARX (65 gr), Winchester Silvertip (115 and 147 JHP), Federal Hi-shok (115 gr JHP), and Fiocchi (115 gr FMJ).

2 of the ARX failed to feed, but I expected as much with this ammo…not the fault of the gun.

There were two failures to feed with the Federal Hi-shok (of 100). Hi-shok is considered to be personal defense ammo, but it’s bottom-feeder ammo – I wouldn’t carry it but it’s good enough for the range. And again, the SAS II ate 98 of 100 of it.

I shot a total of 175 rounds. The actual defensive JHPs fed without issue. Of note, the 147-gr ammo also fed without issue, which was great (Bul Armory recommends using no higher than 124-gr).

Excluding the ARX failures, the failure percentage of this range visit is 1.14%.

I know 175 isn’t much, but JHP ammo isn’t cheap, especially legit defensive ammo.

IMO, the gun is reilable enough. I know some folks have been complaining of FTFs, extraction issues, and even some fails to return to battery. I’m not seeing any of that, but my gunnery has improved quite a bit in the last few years. There were many times where I thought a few of my guns had issues and they all turned out to be issues with me. Folks who’ve been shooting for far longer than I have can sometimes experience limp wristing, for example. The SAS II is light – it needs a firm grip, IMO.

Speaking of limp wristing, we’ll now speak on accuracy and recoil management —

I don’t consider this gun to be generally snappy, although I was shooting some loads from it today that made it snappy as hell (defense ammo). Even so, I was able to manage recoil quite a bit, which is saying a lot, because I’m not the strongest guy in the world. I did come home with fatigued forearms and wrists, but that means I’m going things correctly (from my undstanding, if you’re going home with tired arms/hands/wrists, you’re executing properly).

I keep hearing folks say that the SAS II is snappy. Recoil impulse is a subjective thing, but for such a light gun, I’d have thought the recoil would’ve been much worse than it is. I remember first shooting my Glock 22 – that was an eye-opener, as I’ve shot 40 S&W without issue in the past, but not from a Glock. The G22 is light and the 40 S&W is not known for light recoil. I’d previously shot 40 S&W from metal-framed guns without issue. The G22 took me for a ride and I was very disappointed, because the recoil was harsh. The SAS II is on par with my Springfield Armory XD9 subcompact (which I shoot very well), as far as recoil is concerned, in my opinion, at least.

Accuracy-wise, it’s extremely easy to hit where you want, at realistic distances. This is not a long distance gun, but some folks can easily hit steel at 25 and even 50 yards. The trigger is crisp, as is the sight picture of the sights, which helps.

I also was able to fit the SAS II into my Tenicor Certum holster without issue (had to loosen the retention since the SAS II is thicker than my current carry gun). I then put it inside my waistband and was quite surprised – it carries far better than my single stacked Commander! The grip is much shorter and tucks in better.

Overall, I had a great time tonight. I need to continue to test ammo with this gun. Once I find a good reliable batch of ammo and I’ve shot the gun a while, I’ll start carrying it.

Range target photos are below:

First two mags; first mag was center-mass and second mag was the lower left group.
First five mags, 7 yards, various types of ammo.
Four mags (one per target). I didn’t write down at what distance I was shooting, but I keep thinking its 9 yards.
15 yards out; me being tired and not be able to see where to aim; 2 mags
Range Footage – not pretty but not meant to be; I film my shooting for training purposes and focus on my hands and the gun so that I know when I’m limp-wristing, when I’m slapping the trigger, when I’m letting the gun control me, or other things. Sometimes it’s worth showing though.