All posts by Jew with a Gun

First Impressions of the Kestrel 2700

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve got a pre-release Kestrel 2700 that I’ve been beta-testing.  I have messed around with it enough that I think I can give some useful opinions now. I am going to assume that the known bugs are getting worked out before release.

I’ll put this out up front: I was skeptical about why anyone would buy the 2700, but after having used the product, I think I see where the value is.

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What people are missing about the non-NFA Maxim 9

The hotness on the Interwebz for the past 24 hours has been the sneak peek from Soldier Systems Daily on the non-NFA version of the Silencerco Maxim 9. The Maxim 9, as you’ll recall, is an integrally suppressed semi-auto 9mm pistol. This new pistol would essentially be the Maxim 9 with a simple shroud where the first part of the integral suppressor would have gone.

Obviously, this is an early version of the system, and it’s subject to change. Hopefully they’ll have some more change by making the trigger suck less, and maybe doing away with the roll pin everyone hates. But as it is right now, there’s a few features that I think are really cool and that people are underestimating.

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JDC Speed Shooting & Shot Calling AAR

In an effort to make up for my lack of a June class, I took a second training class in July. This was the “Speed Shooting & Shot Calling” class from Justified Defensive Concepts, a new instructional outfit in the area founded by some guys with a solid rep from their previous instructional endeavors. The premise of the class is right in the name: shoot faster, and call your shots better. While I’ve been slacking a bit with my competition shooting lately, these are pretty good “life skills” for a shooter, so I was really excited to see what it was about. This was also my first class with JDC, so that was pretty cool, too.

Did I like it? Are my splits a little faster than .4 now? More after the break.

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Civet 12 Shotgun Quick Review

SDS Imports recently started bringing in the “Civet 12” shotgun, which is a modified Hawk 982 that takes Saiga 12 mags. Because I am an absolute sucker for guns that share mags with guns I already have, I picked one up. It cost me about $225. I tore it apart, and compared it to my “old Remington” 870. Haven’t had time to haul it to the range yet (UPDATE: see the end of the post), but I’ve got some preliminary thoughts to share.

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PNTC Intro to Long Range AAR (RPR Edition)

I managed to break my streak of taking a class once a month last month; between a family vacation and Jewish holidays, I just could not find a good Sunday to do it. This concerns me a bit, because I think you should always be learning new things and improving, and training is a vital component of that. To make up for it, I’m doubling up in July.

I just finished my first July class, which was Peacemaker National Training Center’s “Intro to Long Range Presented by Zeiss” class. I’d love to share my experiences shooting out to a thousand yards for the first time!

Continue reading PNTC Intro to Long Range AAR (RPR Edition)

The Downside of Competition on Firearms Development

I love competition. I have been slacking with doing it due to family commitments and taking up BJJ, but I’m hoping to do a bit more USPSA in July-September. Competition really drives the standard for speed, accuracy, and efficient movement, so I want to lead off the post by saying this isn’t some sort of variation on “competition gets you killed in the streets” or other nonsense. However, I just want to talk about how competition has had something of a negative effect on firearms development in a couple areas, because I think that has been inadequately explored.

First and foremost, I think factory compensated pistols have not been nearly as developed as they could be due to the fact that they dump you straight into USPSA Open division. Contrary to nonsense opinions on the Internet, good compensators make a noticeable difference with 9mm ammo, and I really think their downsides (cycling problems) could be greatly reduced if manufacturers spent some R&D time on resolving them.

Second, detachable-mag shotguns. As I think I’ve noted previously, Swearengen’s well-written 1970s-era book “The World’s Fighting Shotguns” extols the virtues of detachable-mag shotguns. He felt that if you were going into trouble, they were a superb weapon in almost any close-in environment (note that the book was written before the proliferation of effective body armor, though). While I readily acknowledge that they have logistical issues in a home defense situation, they put far more firepower on target in a sustained fire engagement (like 15+ rounds), can be changed from breaching to buckshot ammunition much more quickly, and provide certain benefits in gun handling and administration.

Unfortunately, that detachable magazine dumps your shotgun into 3 Gun Open (and maybe USPSA Open), which is a huge disincentive to their use in more casual competition settings (and makes pump guns with them completely unusable). Courses of fire and training classes are designed around the limitations (and sometime strengths!) of tube-fed guns. This leads people to downplay the advantages they bring, because they are never put into a situation where they need to use them. (I would suggest that shoot-load drills with more than three rounds are where detachable mag shotguns start looking substantially better.)

Honorable mention: IDPA is doing no one any favors by banning weapon lights. I don’t think this has significantly harmed the development of weapon lights, but it’s contrary to the IDPA “run what you brung” mindset.

Those are the two that come to mind. I’d love to hear if my readers can think of others.