Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mushroom Hunting With the CZ-82

I got 75 rounds through my CZ-82 today while I was mushroom hunting and all was pretty well. My wife managed to get it to fail to feed twice, with the round making it about halfway into the chamber both times. I'm thinking it was probably due to the "Liberace hold" which slowed the slide enough to just barely dump the empty case. It never went wrong in my hands, so I have to think it was just a difference in grip.

The double action trigger is long and light, which is always nice. The single action pull is....long and light, but shorter than the DA and also a bit lighter. I was expecting pretty good accuracy, and I was not disappointed. The P64 in 9x18 is very accurate but its small stature make it a little hard to get all of its potential out. The CZ-82 is big enough to be tame and not take chunks out of your hand if your grip is high and firm like mine. It is big enough to be pleasant to shoot, but small enough to be carried all day pretty comfortably. All in all, it is fantastic value for money, and is really a generally very good firearm.

Being a commie-era gun, the CZ-82 isn't without its quirks. The generous plastic grips fit my hand perfectly and feel great with a one-handed stance. But they totally block the mag release, which is annoying. I can get around that problem by slightly cocking the gun to the left in my hand when I go to change mags, but I think I'll just swap out grip panels at some point. I believe they are generally compatible with CZ-83 grips, and the CZ-83 is still in production, and can be special ordered in 9x18 (it's normally a .380ACP).
Above: the oversize thumb rest that blocks the mag release.

A guy might be able to carry a CZ-82 tucked inside the waistband, but it is a bit of a stretch for me since I'm skinny, but even I could get it done if I had a cover shirt or a jacket. The thing is that if I'm going to wear a cover shirt, I'll carry my M&P9C which holds the same number of rounds, is smaller, lighter, has less felt-recoil, and is more powerful. The P64 is considerably smaller and nicer to carry.

But back on the positive, the sights are big and easy to find at speed. Also, the feed ramp is nicely polished, and it was very reliable when my wife wasn't shooting. It even fed a Silver Bear 94gr hollow point, but to be fair, I only tried the one, so I can't say for sure that it will always feed them. And to brag a bit, I was able to launch that hollow point into a 6"x8" steel....thing at the range from about 25 yards.

Over all, I'm impressed and will try to get a whole lot more rounds out of this thing and do any necessary updates. Might want to pick one of these up if you would like a sort of "my first centerfire" training pistol. Ammo is affordable right now and the pistol is damn near cheap.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

.....with extreme prejudice...

I finally got a 911 call that required me to use my issued firearm. Yes, I had to shoot a sick raccoon that was stuck in some dude's trash can. Well, to be perfectly honest, another officer showed up and used his .22LR revolver so I wouldn't have to uncork my "Glock Foddy"so close to occupied homes. The thing that struck me was that the raccoon required TWO shots to the head before it quit squirming. I called my boss and asked if I could carry something for dispatching rodents and he said that most guys do, I just have to conform to manner of conveyance laws. No problem. I then started thinking about something other than a .22 that wouldn't be much louder. Because I know way too much useless crap about guns, I immediately thought of a Makarov (the real one--the Russian or Bulgarian Pistolet Makarova). J&G surplus had some Bulgarian PMs, but they were at the very top of my price range of $300 (J&G wants $269 +S&H, which isn't bad at all). Then I cruised by AIM Surplus and found CZ-82s:

AIM has CZ-82s, chambered in 9x18 Makarov, with two 12rd mags (where legal) and a holster for $219.95 with shipping included! I got on the phone to see if AIM had my local FFL's information, and they didn't. A couple of short phone calls later, my FFL had sent in his info and I placed my order. Hopefully the gun will be in later today. I'm just waiting on the brown truck of happiness.

The CZ 82 was probably the first eastern bloc pistol to have ambidextrous controls and sights big enough for even human eyes to see them. The '82 is a little smaller than a Glock 19, but is big enough to soak up pretty much all the recoil from the middling 9x18mm round. Recoil from my PPK-sized P64 is pretty brisk and more than a couple of mags will leave you with "railroad tracks" down the back of your thumb if you have a high grip like me. The CZ 82 (and 83) have pinned barrels and are blowback operated. This makes them very accurate, and most owners report great triggers and fantastic reliability.

Oddly, I've read a lot of reviews online that say the CZ-82 is "too big" for concealed carry, but the CZ-83, which is exactly the same size, is great for carry. I will report on this as soon as I get mine. I have a couple of days off, so I should be able to get a range report done by the weekend. Once I get the '82 cleaned up and test fired, I'll be ready to terminate sickly rodents with extreme prejudice. It also may accompany me on a mushroom hunting expedition planned for this week. I loves me some morels! Nothing like fried morels and a new gun!

Stay tuned!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicks Dig SCARS

I got back from drill and was cruising the interwebs when I saw that J&G Sales has "blemished" FN SCAR-Ls for $2399. If you recall, that's the same price as the "base model" Bushmaster ACR 5.56x45, which was very graciously being sold UNDER MSRP by AIM Surplus. Since the neutered ACR is essentially a SCAR that costs $1000 extra, you might as well get the SCAR. Oh, and the $2399 SCAR does have a folding and telescoping stock, which the $2399 "base model" ACR does not. If I were about to sink $2400 into a rifle, guess which one I'd have.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Obsession : S&W

As I was going in to the office tonight, I mentioned that I collect older S&W revolvers to my boss. He then said that he had a "Colt Highway Patrolman" .357 Magnum that he would like to sell or trade. I'm hoping he meant a S&W Highway Patrolman (Colt made the Trooper, which was sort of similar in its 1970s incarnations). Below is a picture of the S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman. It's a 4" barrel on an N-frame. With these facts swirling through my Gun Nut brain, I am now trying to put together a trade on my Ruger Blackhawk and some AR-15 magazines. Hopefully by the end of the week, I'll have another S&W badge in the gun case.

I'm not sure why I'm drawn to older S&Ws, but I am. Smith never really made a *great* semi-auto until the M&P series, but S&W has been making some sweet wheelguns for some time. I think the ones from the 1950s to the 1970s were probably the best, and those are the ones I like the most, but I'll take whatever S&W I can get. I love the 64-4 I got as surplus from J&G Sales for the pittance of $250.

From a practical stance, here in the middle west, a .357 mag goes a long way. We don't have particularly large predators. Sure, there's the occasional mountain lion, but a .357 mag hollow point or soft point of most any weight would make short work of such a critter. The Model 28 was made as a working man's gun that was to be quick from the holster, balanced, and powerful. It's a natural choice as a trail gun (maybe a tad heavy...) or camping companion. Or it could just be another S&W for your collection.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thinking Positive

After my rage about Bushmaster ruining the ACR subsided, I found something that gave me hope regarding the shooting world:

Yes, the Kel-Tec PMR-30. It's a .22 Magnum that holds 30 rounds in a gun that weighs about as much as a single atom of hydrogen. It uses an odd "hybrid" blowback/locked breech recoil system that doesn't make any sense to me, and it is obviously shaped like the FiveseveN from FN, and may in fact be a mechanical work of art meant to satirize the FiveseveN. Stay tuned because I'm going to go all Harry Plinkett on the 5.7x28mm some time next week.

Anyway, rumor is that KT will have this gun in .22LR by the end of the year. I saw the PMR-30 in CDNN's latest catalog marked $299. Consider that the lowest end Walther P22, Ruger MK.III, and Browning Buckmark all start around that figure, and the Kel Tec becomes the bargain of the decade. It is prettier, lighter, and holds THREE TIMES as much ammo, so you won't get stuck buying a bunch of expensive and finicky 10rd magazines.

Kel Tec does have some quality control skeletons in their closet. That's a problem when you carry one for defense, but the PMR-30 was clearly (or at least clear to me) meant to be a hiking pistol or range toy. I'm very excited about this pistol, and plan to pick one up either just before I ship out or after I get back. The $300 price tag is certainly competitive. Kel Tec seemed to have gun nuts in mind with this one. Lots of ammo on deck, relatively cheap, lightweight, has a rather rare single-action trigger, more rails than the Santa Fe line, and makes fun of FN. Perfect.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Piling on the ACR one last time

I was cruising the internet this morning trying to decide between an M&P9L and M&P40, and looked at ammo at AIM surplus to help me figure it out. On the front page I saw that they had ACR basic models in stock and were selling them for $2399, which is about 300 under MSRP. Props to AIM for being an awesome distributor and cutting us some slack, but I have to twist the knife in Shrubmaster one last time.

The $2399 version has no telescoping/folding stock. For about $2200, you could get an LWRC M6A2, which does have a telescoping stock. Or TWO M4LEPs from CMMG. I have a feeling that hardcore Modern Warfare 2 fans will probably be the only ones who buy the ACR, especially this version which offers literally no advantage over a piston-op AR, and one could make the case that the lack of a telescoping stock actually makes it worse.

I'm only infuriated because I had been counting on the ACR being faithful to the Masada design, and sticking to the $1500 price tag that Magpul had promised. I really wanted one, but it ain't gonna happen for one quarter of what my 4x4 truck cost. However, I'm looking closer and closer at an MSAR.

My condolences to fellow Masada fans. Maybe next time....