Beretta PX4 Storm .40 Smith & Wesson Full Size

Just got back from the range where¬† I shot my Glock 19 and compared the factory barrel to the Storm Lake match grade barrel I had purchased. Why did I buy an aftermarket barrel for my pistol? I can’t give you a rational answer. It was shiny (stainless), supposed to be more accurate and I had $150 I didn’t know what to do with.

The Storm Lake barrel is a noticeably tighter fit in the slide, but looking at the targets I shot, I can’t really tell much of a difference. Maybe the Storm Lake groupings were a little tighter, maybe it was just coincidence. If you like to shoot but are on a tight budget, spend your money on ammo. Not a bad word about Storm Lake, but for the average weekend warrior it’s not gonna kill zombies any deader.

beretta-px4-storm-full-size

After I had used all my ammo I returned to the front counter for a look at the rentals, and spotted a Beretta PX4 Storm full size in .40 S&W. I had previously owned a PX4 compact in 9mm that I got rid of due to idiocy (mine) and bad advice (others), so I was curious to try it out now that I have a bit more mileage as a shooter. I bought a box of Federal American Eagle .40 S&W and returned to my lane gun in hand.

It’s a pretty big piece of hardware, but not excessively heavy; I would guess about 30 oz. I had never shot .40 before and was prepared for some snappiness, but it wasn’t bad at all. The gun was a dream to shoot, in my hands much more accurate than the Glock 19 or my Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 Compact 9mm. I mean seriously. I made ragged holes in the center of the target just like I see YouTube professionals do. The only thing I didn’t like was the safety/decocker tabs (amidextrous) that made racking the slide a bit awkward. It also adds some considerable width to the slide, but this gun wasn’t designed for concealed carry anyway. The trigger was OK, but not super tight and crisp like the custom PRP trigger for my XDM, but adequate enough not to need any kind of tinkering (why don’t all guns have really nice triggers out of the box?). We’ll see what Santa brings me this year. Anyway, it’s on my list of must-have guns.

Range Report

I took a trip to my friendly neighborhood shooting range today, Bridgeport Shooting Range, to put some holes in paper. I brought along my trusty SA XDm 9mm Compact and the newly acquired, not-so-trusty, Ruger LC9. While I was there I decided to rent a Glock just to see what all the hoopla was about. Personally I think Glocks are ugly, so I never considered them, but they’re everywhere and many shooters seem to have an unnatural loving relationship with this particular brand of firearm.

They're ugly as fudge, but after having shot one I may very well join the crowd of fanboys. Sweet!

They’re ugly as fudge, but after having shot one I may very well join the crowd of fanboys. Sweet!

The one I rented was a Glock 19, a mid-sized 9mm, so the comparison to my Springfield would be as fair as possible. First of all, let me say that the gun was filthy (note to BSR, maybe clean the rentals more often?), it didn’t lock back on the last shot, and while chambering the first round it jammed consistently throughout a box of 50 reloads bought at the range for $22 (the policy is you have to buy the ammo there if you rent; I know, they have to make their money one way or the other, but 22 bucks for 50 reloads?!?).

All this aside, the gun was sweeet to shoot. I liked it a lot! I shot it much better than my XDm, not to mention the Ruger, which I can’t seem to get a grip on at all; I’m lucky to hit the paper at all with that one, so I cleaned it out good once I got home and will leave in the box until it gets time for a trade-in. And guess what? Chances are it’ll be a Glock. But don’t tell my wife.

A Day At The Range

With the Superbowl (sorry about that Patriots, didn’t mean to rub it in) and all today, the wife and I figured it would be a quiet day at the range. Well, it wasn’t as quiet as I expected, but we didn’t have to wait more than a couple of minutes before we got a lane.

We had packed the Smith & Wesson model 66-1 .357 Magnum, the wife’s Bersa Thunder 9mm, and my new toy (yeah, I know they’re firearms and I’m not supposed to call them toys), a Ruger LC9.

We started off with the S&W, shooting a box of .38 Sp. just to warm up before going bang with .357s. I’m amazed at how easy that gun is to shoot. Hardly any recoil worth mentioning, no doubt due to the gun’s considerable heft and the new Hogue rubber grips I had installed to replace the original wooden stocks that look good, but make the grip very thick and a bit hard to handle. Both wifey and I did well, placing our shots in the general vicinity of where we aimed. We also ran into Frank Pinto, a retired cop and shooting instructor we had taken some lessons from, and he offered us a clip of +P .38s to try out, and they went “BOOM” almost louder than the .357s with little felt recoil. No doubt too expensive to shoot for target practice.

Next we pulled out the Bersa Thunder 9mm. Wifey loves this gun, but her “groupings”,¬† if I can even call them that, were a bit all over the place. I shot fairly well with it for the first time ever, and even managed to get some decent groupings (for my skill level) at 15′, semi-rapid fire.

The Ruger LC9

The Ruger LC9

Last, and least, was the Ruger LC9 (Light Compact 9mm), which I had only put about 50 rounds through on Tuesday when I got it. It’s “only” a 9mm (try taking a hit from it and see how “only” it feels), but is very snappy due to it’s light weight (about 17 ounces). It’s also double-action only, with a fairly heavy trigger pull, so both wifey and I were all over the place, lucky to even hit the paper. At the end of 150 rounds my hits very getting closer to where I aimed, though. I guess it’s one of those things you just have to get used to through practice in order to gain proficiency. Right now I gotta say I don’t care for the gun at all. It’s sleek and cool and excellent for concealed carry and all that, but right now there’s no love. I’ll just have to give it some more time, since wifey has put her foot down and no trade-ins or new guns until my birthday. Damn woman.

Did I offer my condolences to the Patriots? I think I did. Whatever.

Can I Legally Keep A Baton In My Car For Self Defense In Connecticut?

This the first in an occasional series I’ll call “silly, stupid, contradictory laws that the non-lawyer doesn’t have any chance of understanding”. Beware or you may go to jail for a long time for exercising what you thought was sound judgment.

In Connecticut it’s fairly easy to get a pistol permit. You need to take and pass a firearms safety course. Most gun shops and shooting ranges hold such courses on a regular basis for a reasonable price, and you have to be really retarded not to pass. Once you pass the course you submit your application to local and state police, and if you fulfill certain pre-defined criteria (no discretion allowed by issuing authority [EDIT May 23, 2013: The local issuing authority DOES have discretion to deny, however, this discretion is so seldomly used that CT, while technically a “may issue state”, functionally is a “shall issue” state]) such as you’re twenty-one or older, you’re not crazy, you’re not a convicted felon, you’re not an illegal alien, you will get your permit. It may take a while because government bureaucracy is notoriously slow, but within 2-3 months in most cases you can legally carry a firearm on your person in public, whether it be concealed (concealed carry) or in plain sight (open carry).




But what if I want to carry something less lethal, say some kind of purpose-built stick, or a blunt object to fend of bad guys who want to take your money or rape you? Here is where it gets stupid and silly. I can carry a gun legally, and even legally shoot and kill somebody who wants to do me harm if there is no other course of action available to protect myself. But if I carry a stick I could go to jail, while my daughter’s rapist goes free.

Now I’m not one of those people who think America’s future depends on the right of its citizenry to carry guns. I don’t think society will crumble if certain people aren’t allowed to carry any kind of gun anywhere at any time. I don’t think it’s communism/nazism to have some common-sense rules to back up the 2nd amendment. On election day I consider the candidates’ stands on many things before I cast my vote, and gun rights are, frankly, not at the top of my list. But I simply abhor stupidity. If I can carry a gun (lethal), I should also be allowed to carry a stick, bat, baton, stun gun, mace/pepper spray (all non-lethal) if I so choose. The way the law in Connecticut is written a bear in the woods may potentially sue me if I beat it off with a broken-off tree branch while its trying to get away with my picnic basket. Read and/or weep as you see fit.

2005 Connecticut Code – Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited.

Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited. (a) Any person who carries upon his or her person any BB. gun, blackjack, metal or brass knuckles, or any dirk knife, or any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, any police baton or nightstick, or any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years or both. Whenever any person is found guilty of a violation of this section, any weapon or other instrument within the provisions of this section, found upon the body of such person, shall be forfeited to the municipality wherein such person was apprehended, notwithstanding any failure of the judgment of conviction to expressly impose such forfeiture.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1) any officer charged with the preservation of the public peace while engaged in the pursuit of such officer’s official duties; (2) the carrying of a baton or nightstick by a security guard while engaged in the pursuit of such guard’s official duties; (3) the carrying of a knife, the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, by (A) any member of the armed forces of the United States, as defined in section 27-103, or any reserve component thereof, or of the armed forces of this state, as defined in section 27-2, when on duty or going to or from duty, (B) any member of any military organization when on parade or when going to or from any place of assembly, (C) any person while transporting such knife as merchandise or for display at an authorized gun or knife show, (D) any person who is found with any such knife concealed upon one’s person while lawfully removing such person’s household goods or effects from one place to another, or from one residence to another, (E) any person while actually and peaceably engaged in carrying any such knife from such person’s place of abode or business to a place or person where or by whom such knife is to be repaired, or while actually and peaceably returning to such person’s place of abode or business with such knife after the same has been repaired, (F) any person holding a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license issued pursuant to chapter 490 or any salt water fisherman carrying such knife for lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities, or (G) any person while participating in an authorized historic reenactment; (4) the carrying by any person enrolled in or currently attending, or an instructor at, a martial arts school of a martial arts weapon while in a class or at an authorized event or competition or while transporting such weapon to or from such class, event or competition; (5) the carrying of a BB. gun by any person taking part in a supervised event or competition of the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of America or in any other authorized event or competition while taking part in such event or competition or while transporting such weapon to or from such event or competition; and (6) the carrying of a BB. gun by any person upon such person’s own property or the property of another person provided such other person has authorized the carrying of such weapon on such property, and the transporting of such weapon to or from such property.