Friday, July 11, 2008

My Firearms Battery

Well I broke down and bought myself a .45 handgun, a Sig P220. I had my dream Glock 21 in my hands, but it just didn't feel as good as the Sig. I was determined to buy used, as I am a frugal SOB. Matter-o-fact Glock 21's are only available used, due to the horrible gun laws in Mass.

For a sidearm I wanted a .45ACP pistol that was double action / single action with a decocking lever. Magazine capacity was not a priority for me, as I have heard of feed problems with double-stacked .45 magazines. I also wanted a very reliable and durable handgun. Although I love the 1911 design, including the Auto Arms and Kimber varieties, I didn't want to have to cock the weapon before firing, and I certainly did not want a cocked firearm on my hip. Plus, those 1911's are expensive!

While at the gun store I evaluated the new Ruger .45's. There was one used for $350, but it was very top heavy. The frame is aircraft aluminum or some other light alloy, and makes the stainless barrel and steel slide pull the firearm forward. These are a new design, so I didn't want a battle-untested firearm.

The Glock was nice, but because of the terrible gun laws in Mass, the darn magazines are a PITA to get, and $50 a pop if you can find them. the model I was looking at was well-abused, but had a integral laser site (Laser Max I think) that was $350-$400 new. They wanted $800 for it.

The Sig fit my hand great. With a nice heft, but not too heavy. I still have trouble hitting the magazine eject with my stubby thumbs, but I have been practicing at home and I'm getting better at shifting it in my hand to hit it. Unlike many 1911's I have no trouble with the slide release, or the decocking lever.

The P220 has a capacity of 8+1, with a single stacked magazine. It's got a 4" barrel so should be reasonably accurate. I'll find out Sunday! In comparison the Ruger had 7+1, and the Glock 13+1.

So here is my battery as it stands after 4 days of buying.

Sig P220 .45ACP Pistol
Marlin 60 .22LR
Remington Express 870 12ga.

That's three out of four weapons I figure I need. The forth is the battle rifle. I think it's a good start. I want to buy a .22LR handgun for practice, but I ran out of money.

I bought 200 rounds of .45ACP in FMJ for practice. These are brass cases, so I hope I can find a reloader to reload them for me for time + materials. I will be buying a box of Black Talons er, Golden Sabers for actual use on Mutant Ninja Biker Zombies.

For the 12 gauge I bought 30 3" slugs. Those suckers are as big around as my finger, I would not want to be on the receiving end of those. Before Sunday I'll be going to the gun shop and buying a couple boxes of #7 target shot for practice. I need to buy buckshot, but at $6 for 5, I'm happy with the slugs until I can find something more reasonably priced.

For the Marlin 60, I have 200 cheap target rounds, 500 name brand target rounds and 100 hypervelocity hollowpoints. I need to get a box of subsonic ammunition. This weekend I fully expect to go through all of the .22LR practice ammo.

I need to practice so badly it's not funny. My goal is to be able to consistently hit a man's vitals at 25 feet with my Sig. I also want to be able to consistently hit the black on the targets I bought with my .22LR at 50 feet with iron sights. Finally, I want to be able to put a slug into a man-sized target at 50' with the 12 gauge. That will be tough because I do not have a lot of slugs to practice with.

That is a lot of shooting this weekend. I will be shooting from a variety of positions and at a variety of ranges. They also have an archery range, so I'll get some much-needed practice with my bow as well. I cannot wait!

Back to my original subject, my firearms battery. The last Item I need is a battle rifle. I am not interested in a carbine unless I have no other option. that rules out the AK's (7.62x39mm) and the M16 and variants (5.56mm). They had several beautiful M1A's but they were $1200 used! They also had .30-06 M1 Garands for $600+. I cannot afford to drop that much cake right now. I really, really want a M14 or a FN-FAL, but with the way things are I might not be able to afford it, or find one. Plus the damn magazines are expensive too. No way in Sam Hill I'll be able to have Rawles' recommended 50mags per rifle!

Plus I need to figure out how I can get ammo, going to gun shops or even bass pro shops is expensive. I think I can buy online, but the gun store owner said I couldn't, but the online site will ship to me. I need to find out the answer to this question if I will be gathering the ammo I will need if the poop hits the fan.

With the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae issues that are running through the news, we might be on the brink of economic collapse. More on that when I get home.


riverwalker said...

Sounds like you got the major arms covered. I wouldn't go in to deep on something that has expensive mags. Stay with a balanced approach and you'll be there faster than you think. Stash some cash back. Looks like a "banking holiday" is around the corner.


Aaron said...

Just a thought to consider on the rifle front


While not as cool as many of the options they are a solid rifle and availble for less the $300

and 1000 rounds can be had for ~$200

Selous Scout said...

I don't think you could go wrong picking up a Mosin-Nagant 91/30. The cartridge's performance lies between the .308 and the .30-06.

You shoulb be able to get one for around $100 and for a couple hundred more lay in a goodly amount of ammo.

It's not a semi-auto, it's not perfect, but it fits the bill for a low dollar Battle Rifle that will fill the role of a hunting rifle also.

If you scope it, you will be very happy with it. They carry well and feel lighter than they really are.

All in all a great buy for the money. Spare parts are available cheap too!

Anonymous said...

Check out the Lee Classic Loader, from Lee Precison. Add a hammer or a mallet and a solid place to set it and you have all the tools you need to reload. Primers and powder and bullets are all you need. For shotgun the Load-all II will see you in good stead. For hunting or defense rounds stick with store bought. I've been doing it for sometime and I reload my slug and buckshot rounds. you're right the price for them is outrageous. SKS good midrange semi. Mosin/Nagant good full power Bolt gun. Take care what you try to reload as berdan primers are pretty much imposiple get out or find new primers stick to boxer primers. Most of the warsaw pact ammo will be berdans and therefore considered as nonreloadable. good luck