Monday, June 11, 2012

The Katy Perry Of Carry

Yes, I'm the Katy Perry of concealed carry. I go back and forth between a revolver and a bottom-feeder...I mean semi-auto. After an untimely hand injury induced by hardwood grips and high pressure 158 grain bullets, I'm back to an auto. In fact, I have ordered a N82 (NateSquared) holster for my M&P9C so I can work it back into rotation. The other auto in the rotation is my old P64.

I use a Bulldog bellyband for my P64 and Ruger SP101. They're small and light enough (if you can call the pig-iron Ruger "light") that the bellyband will work. I also don't worry about the bellyband's relative lack of trigger protection since the revolver and the commie relic have very stiff DA triggers. I do worry about it with the relatively light and short pull of the M&P, so I ordered a kydex N82. 

Like The Yankee Marshal, I am too lazy to "dress around the gun". The M&P, while fairly easy to hide, isn't always the easiest to hide. But when I can get away with it, I carry it because it holds 13 rounds of ammunition, is wildly accurate, and has never failed through over 1000 rounds of various types of ammo. Recoil is light, sight radius is good, mag changes are nearly as fast as a service-sized pistol. I really, really like this gun, and it's as close to a perfect all-arounder as I've ever seen. 

The P64, being a PPK clone, is pretty easy to hide, but I feel its ammo is fairly crude. I only feed it steel-cased 90-something grain ball ammo because that's what the gun was designed around. It has been very accurate and also 100% reliable so far. The problems are the relatively weak ammo, the DA pull is horrible, and it isn't really all that small. Ruger's excellent LCP is far smaller while shooting the comparable 380ACP. I've played with a few LC9s, and I'd bet an LC9 is easier to carry. I've thought long and hard about an LC9, and would probably get one over S&W's Shield if I were to replace the P64. 

Then the revolver, my extremely manly SP101. A stainless .357 with hardwood grips just looks right. Buffalo Bore makes some very stout .357 loads that make well over 600ft/lbs in a 3" gun. That's a lot. I trust five big, fast, well-designed hollowpoints to protect me from just about anything. That said, I don't shoot the SP101 as well as I shoot the other two when using carry ammo. When fed my handloaded .38spl target loads, I'm extremely good with the SP101. When fed fire-breathing 158gr bullets at 1400fps, I can keep the cylinder on a sheet of paper at 7 yards firing quickly, but that's about it. Granted, that will cover 99.999999% of self-defense situations. It still isn't a bullseye gun. The trigger is pretty standard Ruger, meaning it is heavy and not perfectly smooth. S&W makes a slicker revolver, and one day I'd like to add a 686 Plus with a 3" barrel and hardwood grips to my stable, but that will probably be quite some time. 

All three guns posing at a jaunty angle.

My heart lies with big, shiny revolvers, but my head knows a plastic bottom-feeder is probably more practical, and in most cases, easier to employ. So I go back and forth a lot. I change my guns like a girl changes clothes. 


James said...

No reason to keep using steel-cased ammo:

Mine actually started to corrode last summer, so I made the switch to the Hornady Critical Defense. I put a couple boxes through my P64 and it fed perfectly. I'm sure the Hornady XTP would be a good choice as well, it's cheaper but it wasn't available when I ordered.

Side note, shoot some plinking ammo out of your carry mags for the P64 every once in a while just to make sure that they're holding up to being loaded 24/7. One of mine jammed up pretty good. The follower is still stuck at the bottom of the mag and it's been several months since that happened.

The Flatland Gun Nut said...

As soon as I get a big-boy job again I'll probably sell the P64 and buy an LCP. In fact, this has given me an idea for a new article.