Small handguns

A bucket for anything that does not fit the above forum categories, both longgun and handgun.

Re: Small handguns

Postby Arroyoshark » 28 Feb 2020 13

I would believe the felt recoil might be less than a longer barreled .44 mag because so much of the powder consumption is taking place our front of the barrel. I think there is a place for a snubby .44 mag in the outdoor scheme of things, and I also believe there are better tools for the job.

... Like this

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Re: Small handguns

Postby Archer » 28 Feb 2020 14

I tend to agree that I expect a lot of the recoil you'd expect from a .44 Mag would go out the barrel in muzzle flash instead. That's why I said there'd be no reason to use anything but .44 Sp in the gun.

I have a few snubbies. I may eventually get a lightweight.
I don't think I'd want a SA snubbie unless I was engaged in some sort of sport where I wasn't allowed either a swing out cylinder, a top break action or a longer barrel.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Arroyoshark » 28 Feb 2020 22

Archer wrote:I tend to agree that I expect a lot of the recoil you'd expect from a .44 Mag would go out the barrel in muzzle flash instead. That's why I said there'd be no reason to use anything but .44 Sp in the gun.


When it comes to a companion piece in the Rocky Mountains, I believe a compact S&W 696 revolver, with hand loaded .44 SPL fits the bill for compactness and power, short of the blast of a .44 mag. One has accompanied me outdoors since around 1996. Certainly potent enough for protection from badgers to bears. A 240 gr. SWC at 1070 fps will go clean through a 12" aspen at 8 yards. I think Rossi and Taurus marketed similar models around that time as well.

(not mine)
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Re: Small handguns

Postby If1Hitu » 29 Feb 2020 23

69946631_2424811994264195_8887530887369981952_n (1).jpg
I own a S&W M&P .380
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Archer » 07 Mar 2020 04

Arroyoshark, that's a nice handgun.

If1Hitu, I have a friend in 'Bama who has one of those.

I promised some pictures...please forgive the quality or lack thereof with regards to the pics.
I am also probably going to repeat some of the things I said earlier in this post.
Slide3.JPG


The Colts are both new production. Note the enlarged trigger guards and the 'brushed' SS finish. I am not certain what versions the Smiths are without looking except for the 49 which is a no-dash. The 36 wears a Tyler T grip which I understand have become somewhat hard to get. I absolutely loath the stock J frame grip shape the 49 exhibits. It is almost as if Smith forgot anyone actually had to hold the gun who was older than six. The Rock Island ships with a wooden grip installed. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of putting the plastic grips on the gun but they fit my rather large hands much better than the wooden ones. It moves my hand a tiny bit back on the gun and for some people that avoids the rather long hammer coming back into the web of their hand as well. It does mean that the gun is slightly harder to conceal if that was your goal. The top row was purchased new, the bottom were purchased used.

Slide2.JPG


I was somewhat excited about the Springfield EMP when they came out in the gunrags. When they hit the shelves witha $1400 MSRP I curbed my enthusiasm VERY quick. Over the years the price dropped, but not enough. Eventually I started to get a little interested again. One of the local big box stores was having a sale on them at a gunshow and I bit on it. At the other end of the hall the local pawn shop was selling a used one for about $250 off the sale price I just paid for the new one and I got over enthusiastic. The first one came with 3 magazines. The second one came with 3 magazines and the idiotic plastic holster and Clip Pouch Springfield calls a GEAR Pack. Both came with hard shipping cases. A friend of mine who had closed his shop had given me 5 brand new magazines when he closed his doors. Most of the holster manufacturers lump these guns in with the 3" 1911s but they are slightly smaller since they are shrunken to 9mm and are thinner.
I do need to get these to the range with a variety of hollow points. The guns have shot ball perfect but the EMPs are sometimes known to need some fluffing for HPs.

I picked up the Shield 9mm Shield at a good price. It came with the standard two mags you can see in the photo above the other guns. I picked up 5 extras at $15 a pop shipping included. The gun functions very well. The safety is probably a bit small. WHATEVER CALIFORNIA ANTI-GUN POLITICIAN/LAWYER CAME UP WITH THE IDIOTIC LOADED CHAMBER INDICATOR deserves to be at the other end of a range full of CA gun owners.

The Para Ord P12-45 has the same action as the Colt Officers as near as I can tell. It has the reverse plug with the small tang on it that slots into the slide. It has a cone busshing/barrel arrangement and other than being a wide body and the roll stamps it mimics the Colt. The barrel is 3.5" and the frame is alloy. It holds 12 in a factory mag 10 in a Kaliban mag (Thank Freedom Week for imports into CA.) So far the gun has worked well. I need to get out to the range with about 200 to 400 rounds at a time and see if it tolerates a couple hundred rounds or more at a time between cleanings. If it proves up I might want to swap the safety to an ambi.

I shot a Kimber CDP Ultra II at one of the gunshops in town. I was leery of an alloy framed gun that small in .45 ACP. It shot very well. I ended up buying a new one rather than give the guy selling it MSRP minus $100. It has been excellent. SEVERAL years later the big box store e-mailed me they were putting it on a one day sale and I ended up with a second one. The one on the bottom has the standard flush mag in it that holds 7 rounds. The one on the top has a 8 round Wilson mag with the steel floor plate that comes up the front of the mag to prevent over insertion. This floorplate also prevents these mags from working in a full sized 1911 grip found on the 5" and Commander sized guns.

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These are the 'smaller' ones.
The Remington R51 in 9mm is the issue after Remington recalled all the ones they initially produced and spent a year or four fixing the manufacturing tolerance problems before letting them loose into the wild again. I haven't got a lot of rounds through this gun so far but it seems to work well but the disassembly and reassembly are not exactly easy.

I bought a Ruger LC380ca from my friend who owned the shop as he was closing and he gave me a really good deal. I bought the LC9 Conversion kit online. It was not exactly cheap but it wasn't list price on the conversion. Each came with ONLY one magazine. I picked up something like 4 spares in each caliber. This is a nice little gun IMO but some people find it recoils a bit much for the grip shape especially in 9mm.

The Sig P238 in .380 ACP is a most excellent gun IMO. As you can see I've put Pachmayer grips on it. The factory plastic scales stank on ice. The gun has the flush 6 round magazine in it and the 7 round extended one is above it in the picture. The extra length on the magazine makes the gun fit my hand MUCH better and makes it seem a little more controllable.

The bottom two are likely near 100 years old each and they are larger than many of my 9mms. I bought the Savage to keep the owner from literally throwing it away and I bought the Colt in part because I already had the Savage. These guns are better than nothing but both of them have seen some hard use and a lot of time. I would not wish to rely on either of these if I could have any of the other guns in this post. With a new barrel the Colt might not be too bad but it is still 100 years old and still a .32 ACP. I am a little leery of the age on the Savage mechanism. In it's time it was probably fine but I don't plan to use it anywhere but at the target range and maybe not too often there.
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Last edited by Archer on 07 Mar 2020 04, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Archer » 07 Mar 2020 04

A couple more...

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I think I've got at least two Wilson 8 rounders for each plus four or five Officers length mags from Wilson, Kimber or Ed Brown for each of the Ultras.
One of the gripes about Kimber is that they come with only one magazine.

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Re: Small handguns

Postby Arroyoshark » 08 Mar 2020 12

Archer, that is an amazingly impressive array of small firearms !!

You cover a LOT of bases with your collection, including backups.

Excepting, perhaps, the Rock Island revolver, all are of impeccable quality.

Grips aside that model 49 is a fave. The wood looks classic, but the Hogue boot grip probably would make it more functional.

My experience with Wilson Combat 1911 magazines hasn't matched the hype for them, unfortunately. I started to replace mags with Kimber Pro -TAC magazines, but once I discovered they were made for Kimber by Checkmate, I started acquiring bulk Checkmate magazines from "Joes1911magmania" website. Pretty much flawless feeding.

Anyway, thanks for sharing. Enjoyed viewing.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Archer » 08 Mar 2020 13

Yeah, the Rock sort of slipped in there on a sale day. It has been good at the range but it wouldn't be one of the first five I'd take. I tend to like their 1911s better but I only have the 206 revolver and their 1911 A2 wide body.

I have had pretty good luck out of Wilson but I'm not as sold on Wilson as the market seems to be. So far they have worked well with the Kimber Ultra. I've had good luck with them out of 5" 1911s in .45 but only so so with the 4.25" Springfield Champion. I've also had some issues with the Kimber 10mm Eclipse but that may be just the fact that the gun needs breaking in a bit more (somewhat unusual IME for a Kimber.)

I recently upgraded most of my 'junk' 1911 magazines for the Compacts and the 5"/Commander guns with Ed Brown magazines. I also picked up a couple spares for the 10mm. I think the Brown mags are also made by Checkmate. I have been considering going with a 'white box' or three from Check Mate but it looks like Joe's may have more options than the stainless for 'bulk packs' that Check Mate seems to offer. Thanks for the tip.

Outside of a couple Colt marked and a couple unmarked ones that came with my first 1911 for nostalga my 1911 mags break down to OEM Kimber or Springfield, Ed Brown, Wilson and Mec-Gar. (The Springfield ones were from back when they only offered 7 rounders and are unmarked but they work.) Wide body mags are all OEM Para or Mec-Gar with the exception of 3 ProMags that came with the P12 when I purchased it used.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Arroyoshark » 08 Mar 2020 16

Archer, you may be correct in your speculation the Ed Brown mags are branded for Brown by Checkmate. The Ed Brown mags appear to have Checkmate's patented hybrid follower. They feed everything from hollow points to semi wadcutters.

I noticed that Ed Brown website has a mag exchange option. Trade in your old clunky mags and pay only $10 for a new Ed Brown mag. That's, for example, five new mags with good followers for $50.

New Colt 1911 mags I observe are by Checkmate these days, rather than historically Metalform. Goes a long way in alleviating that last round hiccup in feeding.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Archer » 08 Mar 2020 22

Yeah, I sent them 10 mixed mags that I didn't like including as many as 5 Chip McCormick or Shooting Star mags on the exchange basis at the end of last year and a week or so later I had a mixed bag of 10 new ones.

Sort of made me wish I still had the half dozen I gave a friend in college with the understanding that they were complete crap and not to be trusted. One of those was an expensive Pachmayer that looked great but if you left it loaded tended to jam the follower.
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