Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It’s all in the GRIP

The hands are the part of the body that interact most directly with a handgun. And how the gun reacts to its own recoil depends on how the shooter grips it.
Ideally, what we want is a grip technique that causes the gun to point naturally at the target; we shouldn’t have to waste any time searching for and aligning the sights. Also, when the gun fires, we want it to track consistently, i.e. return to the exact same spot with no effort on our part. If we make that happen and learn how to reset the trigger action while the gun is still in recoil (an entirely different topic), we can fire the gun as fast as it comes down out of recoil and still be accurate.

Dave Sevigny has burst onto the practical shooting scene like a supernova. Beyond any doubt the best Glock shooter on the planet, Dave began competing in IDPA and USPSA in 1999. Famous for using Glocks with very little or no modifications, Dave won his first IDPA state championship using his carry Glock 23 and inside-the-waistband holster. Since then he’s won more than 60 world, national, area and state IDPA/USPSA/IPSC championships. He’s the reigning USPSA National Production Champion, IDPA Stock Service Pistol National Champion, IPSC World Production Champion and Pan American Production Champion. He’s currently the anchor of Team Glock.

The most successful practical-pistol shooter in history (and still going strong after 25 years), Rob Leatham is one of the fathers of the straight-thumbs technique.
The straight-thumbs method of gripping a handgun, which today has become the accepted wisdom among serious shooters, was developed in the early 1980s by Rob Leatham and Brian Enos.

As this close-up of Brian Enos’ grip shows, in the straight-thumbs technique the support-hand thumb points straight ahead; the master-hand thumb is laid on top of the heel of the support hand and also points forward.

Dave Sevigny: “Grip the gun as hard as it takes to track up and down with the least amount of muzzle rise. If your grip is too relaxed, the pistol will recoil too much, track erratically, or it may shut down (failure to feed/eject, etc.). Gripping too hard, by contrast, may negatively affect sight alignment, induce trigger freeze (failure to let the trigger return forward far enough between shots to reset) for multiple-shot engagements and create fatigue in your hands and forearms. The pistol type and caliber will dictate how much actual grip pressure is needed.”
Try gripping 60 to 70% with the support hand, 30 to 40% the trigger hand.

Dave Sevigny: “For me, the support-hand wrist lock is a very important element to help reduce muzzle flip. Because the muzzle lifts during recoil, the top of the backstrap pushes rearward and the bottom of the frontstrap pushes forward. Controlling these two points is critical, and camming the wrist forward accomplishes that for me. Since it stops your hand from moving very much, it stops the gun from moving very much [as well].”

Dave Sevigny: “It’s important to have the side-to-side pinching action of the support hand because, in order to have the best sight tracking, all parts of the grip should be in contact with your hands.”

Dave Sevigny: “Really, I want to get as high up on the gun as I can without interfering with the slide. The higher the better. If I could, I’d put my hand on top of the slide to hold it down. Getting as high up on the back of the gun as you can with your strong hand assists recoil management. To see for yourself, try a few rapid-fire shots with a half- to three-quarter-inch gap between the top of your strong hand and the grip tang. Then correct your grip, get your hand up under the tang with no gap, and shoot again. The results will speak for themselves.
“For me, contact under the triggerguard with the support-hand index finger strengthens the wrist lock and grip and serves as a locator during the draw. This ‘bridges’ the points between the triggerguard and the bottom of the frontstrap with your support hand while overlapping the strong hand. So when taking multiple shots and transitioning the gun (moving it from target to target), everything feels rock solid.”

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Glock 19

The Glock 19 

Potential concealed carry handgun customers encounter an amazing selection of choices within the pistol market place, in what appears to be pretty much every firearm company around the globe delivering a number of new products during the last couple of years. , nearly every one of them is labeled as being perfect for concealed carry. Choosing only one of these handguns isn’t a very easy task.

People looking to purchase a pistol for home defense encounter a similar issue. Maybe not exactly the same as the compact pistol market, the full-size pistol market includes some old favorites in addition to a
large amount of fresh new blood.

Even so, the midsize pistol market hasn’t seen the massive increase of new models that the above two market segments have. There have certainly been efforts by a few companies, but one is far more likely to stumble on six pocketable .380 autos than six true midsize handguns in the common gun store.

Exactly what is a midsize pistol? Is it a poor compromise, a pistol that’s slightly too big for concealed carry, but too small to use for home defense.  At times, this is correct. Companies often choose full-size frames along with short slides and barrels, or make them just a little too small for average-sized hands. However, others produce pistols that perform superbly in just about any semi-automatic pistol role. A good example of the latter could be the Glock 19.

As the first major expansion of the Glock concept, the Glock 19 became very popular in military and law enforcement groups when it was first introduced in 1988. Somewhat small reductions in dimensions, when compared to original Glock 17, make the Glock 19 an very concealable handgun. No special cover garments are required, and its enormous popularity means that holsters are available for virtually every desired method of carry.

However, it’s still a fairly easy pistol to shoot. The slide assembly weighs almost exactly the same as the Glock 17, which helps maintain the legendary reliability that Glock 9mm handguns are known for. A side benefit of this is that the G19 possesses excellent recoil characteristics. The sight radius is of sufficient length to make target shooting at longer distances, or precise shots up close, quite easy.

Additionally, the magazine of the Glock 19 holds 15 rounds, which is more than double the capacity of the average single-stack 9mm or .380 concealable pistol. While using proper 9mm defensive ammo will go a long way in a self-defense situation, having more ammunition is not a bad thing.

Most importantly, the grip was shortened just enough to allow the 19 to protrude much less when being used in a concealment role, but not so much that a full grip on the frame of the handgun is an impossibility for all but those with the tiniest of hands. This grip length is also quite well suited to being able to properly grasp and draw the pistol under stress.

Glocks are also an incredible value. Simplicity in design and manufacture leads to average retail prices of around $500. However, these aren’t cheap handguns. Glocks are more reliable and durable than practically any handgun available at any price. While they should be maintained properly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, the Glock 19 is about as low-maintenance as they come. Spare Glock parts are readily available, too, and disassembly/reassembly of the pistol is very easy.

Is, as Glock advertises with its Perfection tagline, the Glock 19 perfect?  No. Many find the Glock trigger to be uncomfortable, although it can be changed by after-market trigger parts.  Changes made to the fourth generation models had a negative effect on function, and although it appears that these problems have been fixed, the third-generation 19 continues to be available new and might be a better choice. Alternately, a used Glock 19 is likely to be an excellent and affordable choice.

There are numerous firearms that conceal well, and there are lots of firearms that are easy to shoot, but there are not very many firearms that do both extremely well. It’s this balance, easy concealment, but a full firing grip with a double stack magazine; a shorter slide assembly with a proportionally shorter grip, but with nearly ideal dimensions; high quality, but with a low price tag, that makes the Glock 19 such a versatile handgun.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Versatile Trigger Kit

King Glock introduces the new “Versatile  Glock Trigger Kit”.
KingGlock.com had just introduced “The Versatile Glock Trigger Kit”.  This kit is a highly comprehensive trigger kit for all calibers of the Glock pistol.  Each kit offers 40 distinct trigger setups for the Glock.
The kit features the Ghost Rocket Trigger Connector, seven various precision springs, and other Glock parts.
The Ghost Rocket Trigger is known for it “overtravel stop”, which shortens the travel distance of the trigger by eliminating the overtravel.  Overtravel is defined as the amount of rearward movement after the firing pin has been released. This means a smoother trigger reset, faster doubles, faster splits and overall premium trigger performance.
The Versatile also includes 7 springs of proprietary spring material and processes. Included are 5 firing pin springs of different weights (4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, and 6.0 LBS), 1 reduced power firing pin safety spring, and extra power trigger spring. These springs, along with the OEM springs give 40 different setups for the Glock.
A spokesman for King Glock says, “The Glock shooter has many different tastes in the feel of the Glock Trigger.  This kit can be used by the person who wants a very light trigger for competition and target shooting. It also can be set up for the self-defense shooter wanting heavier weights.”  With the Ghost Rocket the weight can be adjusted from about 2 to 4.5 lbs.
Other multi-weight kits are forthcoming.
Other Glock parts are included to assist in installation.  More information can be found at www.kingglock.com.