Too Heavy For a Carry Gun?

I gotta say, one thing I see a lot in reviews and comments, “It’s heavy/too heavy for a carry gun.” I always think, ‘what the hell are you talking about?’

This Smith weighs 38 oz. Too heavy?

I made a holster for my S&W M1917 subby yesterday and test-wore it last night and all day today. I kept forgetting it was there. At 38 oz. loaded weight this is definitely not a light-weight gun. Admittedly I am a big person, but I’m also old and broken.

My main EDC is a CZ P-01 Omega; certainly no heavyweight. Fully loaded it weighs about 32 oz., which most people think is OK. Another favorite carry gun- a steel-frame 9mm 1911 with a 3-1/2″ barrel- weighs 36 oz. loaded, which is, I am told, too heavy. I carry both guns (one at a time) in Kydex IWB holsters and seriously, I can’t tell that one is two ounces heavier than the other. Mind you the CZ holds 50% more ammunition, so perhaps the 1911 is heavy for what it delivers? That argument actually makes some sense.

2 oz. loaded weight difference- yet one is ‘too heavy.’

When I started carrying a gun back when dinosaurs roamed the earth most carry guns were steel. A lot of people carried full size 1911s. That was just what was around for the most part, and we learned to adapt. A good quality gun-belt was essential, and a good holster helped a lot. I was a large person (though significantly more svelte in those days,) but even then persons much smaller than I carried steel-frame guns and thought little of it. It’s natural for someone like me to hear these guns are ‘too heavy’ and think, “Jeez, kids these days…”

Is it just a matter of what one is used to? If I grew up in The Glock Age would I think guns like my 1911 and other all-steel guns are too heavy? Probably. Also with all of the lightweight polymer options out there, many of them excellent guns, why wouldn’t one carry something lightweight if it can do the job? Sure, you can carry a heavier gun, but it’s the 21st Century and you don’t have to. Technology moves on, and sometimes this results in a better mousetrap. I’ve often said if due to some catastrophic error of judgement I wound up back on duty I’d have a Glock 17 (preferably with an optic) on my hip. In this day and age it’s a better tool for the job.

Guns like the Sig P365 are small, lightweight, and offered in a potent cartridge with good capacity for their size. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

And it’s certainly not that I don’t appreciate a light-weight gun; I adore my Airweight Chief’s Special because at need I can drop it in a pocket and go if I have to. There are more modern options that would serve as well or better, and I freely acknowledge this. I think mighty well of my friend Lia’s P365, and if budget allowed I might well pick one up and trick it out like hers.

Sure, I’m old, out of touch etc. Kinda’ stupid too. I like and I’m comfortable with my Fudd guns and have no doubt they would serve me well at need. But this is the golden age of carry guns. We have options to cover the many needs and preferences of different people and there’s no real reason to pack the extra weight if you don’t have to. I just do because I’m old and weird.

Still, even bearing that in mind it has to be said…

“…GET OFF MY LAWN!”

Stay safe and take care,

Michael Tinker Pearce, 17 December 2022

Sometimes it’s Just For Fun

Today I went off to the range with several .22s, just for fun. OK, I took the M1917 snubby to verify function with defensive ammo. The fun guns were the Ruger Standard semi-auto .22, the S&W Model 61-2 and the Lignose Einhand and plenty of ammo.

The range was pretty full and the folks either side had some fun guns. I let them shoot some of mine, I got to shoot theirs too! One was an AR braced pistol in 5.56mm the fellow was shooting for the first time, and it was nice. Never malfunctioned, good trigger. The fellow on the other side let me shoot his AR braced pistol in 7.62×39, and that pretty much rocked too. He also let me run a magazine through his Ruger 5.7, which was super-generous given the cost of ammo. I liked that gun a lot!

The M1917 has been problematic with a lot of failures to ignite with what appeared to be solid hits on the primers. I took some of my defensive ammo (which I know has good primers) and it functioned 100%. When the other fellows fired it using their own factory ammo it also worked flawlessly, so it’s comforting to know it was just the crappy random primers.

7-yard rapid-fire. Of course there’s a flyer, because me.

I had some fun with the Ruger .22 also, though results were uninspiring at 20+ yards.

At 20+ yards shots were hitting low-left and the group size is unimpressive. Need to work on this!
Better at 10 yards. First group is covered with dots and was fired at the other side of the paper. I flipped the target and tried again. Low and left both times.

The S&W Model 61-2 is always a hoot. I did find I was shooting high at ten yards, which has not been a thing before so I think it’s me.

OK for ten yards, but I am shooting high.
My 20+ yard group was half-again the size I usually shoot at this range, but not tragic considering the gun.

The Lignose is also a fun shooter, and the other folks that tried it thought it was pretty cool too. Despite having effectively no sights surprising accuracy is possible.

The spots cover the results of my ill-conceived attempt to fire at 20+ yards. The group is at ten yards, and yes, once again there’s a flyer.

Last but not least was the High Standard double-action derringer in .22 LR. Unlike practically any other derringer I seen both barrels hit roughly the same spot, and the POI actually bears a logical and consistent relationship to the sights! This ten yard target shows this quite well:

In the end I burned through three full boxes of .22 LR and a box of .25 ACP. Some other folks got to fire some of my cool guns, I got to fire theirs and a good time was had by all.Nice to go shooting when it’s about having fun, not testing stuff or filming video. Need to do more of that.

Stay safe and take care,

Michael Tinker Pearce, 16 December 2022

Chopped S&W M1917 Snubby Pictures

So I cut the 1917 tp 2″ for ballistics tests, which went pleasingly well. I decided I liked the look, but the wood grips seemed out-of-character for the gun and the front sight, which was quick-and-dirty for testing, needed to go.

Front sight is too thin, and the grips seem a bit out of character for the gun. Time for some changes.

I un-soldered and removed the front sight, widened the groove slightly, then fabricated a new half-round front sight to fit and soldered it in place. Looks the business and works well.

As for the grips I raided my stack of antler and on finding a suitable section I cut slabs for the grips. They came out quite well, in a comfortable shape with a lot of ‘bark’ on either side. I finished them with lacquer, then decided I needed a grip adapter. I did not find a suitable piece of antler for one, but I ran across some American Holly. Well why not?

So here are the finished results. I expect I might much about with little tweaks for a while, then decide whether to strip it and rust blue it.

Gotta admit, this thing looks like a brute!
Looks much more the business with the half-round front sight…

…and the antler grips and the grip adapter complete the ‘classic’ look. The American Holly complements the antler.

The 40 LPI serrations on the hammer allow it to be easily thumb-cocked despite the bobbed hammer.

I expected I would want to replace the barrel after my tests, but found I really liked it with the short barrel. Still as bit of this and that to do; smoothing the trigger-face, mounting a detent in the crane etc. but I’m really diggin’ this.

Stay safe and take care,

Michael Tinker Pearce, 10 December 2022