Practical Firearms of Wyoming (E.P.G. LLC)

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What to bring to class?

Posted on November 30, 2015 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Every student needs to bring certain items to class.

Seasonal clothing as appropriate is appreciated.

Must haves:

Firearm and ammunition. A minimum of 200 rounds of factory ammunition is appreciated, fewer can be accomodated with notice, but the student misses out on a number of opportunities and experiences with less. 300-400 is recommended. Factory ammunition is required because of some problems that have occurred with reloaded / remanufactured ammunition over the years, and we would like to spend our time shooting and training rather than performing unscheduled/unplanned malfunction drills and diagnosing problems.

Hearing and eye protection are required. There are no exceptions to this. Both can be provided but advance notice is needed.

A ball cap or a hat with a brim. Despite our being indoors, ejected cases can and do bounce around, and keeping them off of your head and from behind your eye protection is a must.

A flashlight (with fully charged batteries). Preferably one that can be operated with one hand. Parts of the class and shooting experience will be in low or no light, so a personal light will be appreciated.

A decent holster and belt. Open carry or concealment holster styles are both accepted, however junk (unsafe) holsters will not be allowed on the range. Cheap / flimsy belts again are not recommended, the lack of support and sturdiness will be obvious in classes.

An open mind. This doesn't seem like something that is required for a firearms class, but we will be exploring new concepts and ideas to some, and slaying some sacred cows. Having an open mind is essential to learning. Concepts and ideas have changed over the years, methods have changed, things that were taught 5, 10, 20+ years ago may not be accurate (pardon the pun) and may have been found to be inaccurate or even wrong or illegal over the years.

Payment in full is required at the beginning of class.


What will be provided:

Testing/class materials

Coffee / water / juice

Doughnuts


For the ladies, a warning, we do not advise you to wear low cut shirts or tshirts to the range. The reason should be self explainatory, but for those who cannot understand the hint, there will be hot pieces of metal sailing through the air. If you need further explaination, please inquire during the classroom portion of the class.


This list may be edited and changed at any time, please check back often.

The Remington R1

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 1:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The Remington R1S


Much has been written over the years about the 1911 so a history will not be repeated here. However a quick review of the Remington R1S(stainless) is in order. But the jaundiced eye (and hands) of a gunsmith will be looking the gun over.

 

The initial examination of the R1 was extremely favorable,the exterior machining is of high quality, no machine marks, the finish even and well executed. The frame, slide and sights did have a minor number of sharp edges and points that would need to be removed for regular/heavy use but the guns exterior was well done.

 

Internally, the fit and finish was better than I’ve seen on a current production gun in a number of years. The barrel hood had a minimal amount of movement, the barrel bushing well fit with no looseness but was able to be removed with finger pressure only. Slide to frame fit had a slight bit of movement, but not enough to effect practical accuracy, just enough to leave the gun combat reliable.


The hammer, sear, disconnector and magazine catch, all appear to be MIM parts, with the associated fill hole markings. Personal preference is to replace these immediately, but this is a customers gun so the factory parts remain until he decides what changes to make. 


The trigger pull is excellent, the series ’80 firing pin safety parts not hindering a good trigger pull, right out of the box. I recommended the customer leave the trigger pull alone, it is that good on this gun.

 

Firing the R1, no issues for a large handful of magazines,although the point of impact was literally 4” low at 25Y. The .175” front sight will be replaced with a .150” version to bring point of impact up to point of aim. The group however was enviable and better than some ‘better’ or at least higher priced 1911’s, the gun shot several groups that were well under 2” at 25Y with varied ammo to include mixed factory ball and  target handloads.

 

The standard spur hammer and grip safety as usual drew blood, the reason I usually replace or at least trim the hammer to avoid this.  The short trigger was a little awkward after some 25 years of long trigger use, but it was fit nicely with little slop.

 

The original style thumb safety has a small pad but worked nicely, operating positively and only having a little overlap at the back.

 

The grips, ‘double diamond’ style are well checkered, fit nicely and are of a good color.

 

The high visibility sights are well done, although in this example both are slightly off center to the left.  Well regulated as far as windage goes, the group was centered although low as previously mentioned.


All in all, a good buy if you don’t mind the MIM parts or plan to replace them.

I’d put a little work into the gun if it were mine, to remove the sharp points, the MIM parts and a proper front sight.


For the price, an excellent buy and well worth a look.

 


Practical Handguns

Posted on September 18, 2011 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The Practical Handgun and the Truth.

 

Have you ever noticed that as one ages, one tends to get wiser? I’d like to say I’ve become wiser but the truth is simpler than that, I’ve realized that my elders were often right and that certain facts and laws cannot be ignored.

Having entered my fourth decade recently, I’ve come to realize that certain truths are just that, truths. You can’t change them, you can’t argue them, they are what they are. Collective knowledge and experience filtered and handed down. Best to pay attention to them as much as you can, as you will be having to come to terms with them later in life.


The first truth is deceptively simple, there is no “Ideal or Perfect Handgun”.

It’s taken me two decades to come to terms with this one. Having been a member of the gun of the month club, buying and selling, trading and horse-swapping for every type of handgun out there over the last 25+ years, I’ve owned, handled, worked on and used pretty much everything that’s come down the ‘pike’. Many were found to be ‘wanting’, others had some great features but were lacking in important places.

It all falls down to this. A handgun must be practical. So what does that mean? It means several things, and the most important part is that the handgun must be reliable, first and foremost. A pistol that jams every magazine regardless of what ammunition is used is nothing more than an annoying toy. A sloppy semi-auto that has little or no finish, rattles when it’s shaken, feeds anything that’s put into the magazine and has proven itself to be able to shoot into 4” from a rest at 25Y is a thousand times better than a 1" pistol that doesn’t work every time and all the time.

After that, the handgun must be concealable. Why concealable? Because you may need to keep it hidden from prying eyes, neighbors that may not believe in handgun ownership let alone CCW, from the gaze of law enforcement officers who are well intentioned but ignorant of the laws and from the little fingers of your children and grandchildren. There is no safer place to store a loaded handgun than on your belt. You know exactly where it is, you know exactly if it’s loaded or not and if you need it, it’s right there. Some models are too large to conceal, this generally means that they are either too large for defense or dare I say it, “too powerful”.

Too large for defense?

Yup, a .454 Casull is a great hunting weapon but has too much penetration and recoil to be used for practical defense. The same applies to the 8 3/8” barreled S&W’s, they’re easy shooting, light recoiling in comparison to the shorter barreled models of the same weapon but are impractical to conceal and hard to handle in a defensive or tactical situation.

The 1911 Colt and full size .40 S&W and 9mm semi-automatics are about the limit for most people to conceal on their person, and they’re also almost ideal in power and controllability for most people. The same can be said for the ‘mid-frame’ .357 Magnum revolvers like the 4” Colt Python and S&W Model 19 (66) and 686’s.

Most of the practical choices are not high capacity handguns, the thinner single stack models are both easier to conceal and easier to fit to a large number of people.  If your spouse has smaller hands than you do, that should also be taken into consideration. Your weapon should fit you like a “glove”, falling into your hand like it was meant to be there. If you don’t have that feel, talk to your gunsmith and see what he/she can do.

Fit and feel are extremely important, if the gun doesn’t fit you, you won’t be able to use the gun as effectively as if it fit you. If at all. For me, there’s nothing quite so well fitting as a 1911 with a few inexpensive modifications. At the same time, if the 1911’s unmodified, it’s painful and impractical for me.

What does the “practical handgun” actually need? Good sights, a decent trigger and to fit the user.

Good sights, most handguns today come with good to excellent sights, if you are using an older weapon with little, hard to see sights, talk to your gunsmith about fixing that for you.

A decent trigger? That doesn’t mean light, it does however mean controllable. A good, crisp, creep free trigger in ‘single-action’ mode is perfectly acceptable in the 4-5 pound range. A long smooth ‘double-action’ pull is fine so long as it’s smooth. Heavy isn’t always bad, having tripped on treelimbs while out and about with a handgun, I was sure happy to have both a thumb safety and a ‘stiff’ trigger pull.

So what is so practical about the ‘practical handgun’? It’s there. If you run into a rattlesnake that’s reluctant to accept that you were there first, or a coyote that wants to chew on your neighbors Pomeranian, it’s there to take care of the problem. Same goes for a defensive situation, it’s there ready and waiting.

In dire emergencies the ‘practical handgun’ can put meat onthe table, signal rescue or any of a hundred simple duties, perhaps without even being fired.

Fed good ammunition, read that jacketed hollow points, the practical handgun is a defensive tool. Fed target ammo, it’s fun practice, a great afternoon with the kids or a newbie and with snakeshot it’s a means to dispose of annoying critters (mice, rats and snakes) with little danger to the shooter as long as eye protection is used and ricochets considered.

So what constitutes the description of a practical defensive handgun?

Reasonable weight, say 30-40 ounces. Too much more than 40 ounces becomes a burden on the hip for most people day in and day out.

A 4” to 5” barrel, anything longer gets awkward to conceal or wear in a vehicle.

.38 Special/9mm Luger (Parabellum, 9x19mm, etc) is a good minimum starting point. Good defensive hollowpoints can be found in both these chamberings,snakeshot and cast bullets are available for inexpensive practice and small game gathering.

At the large bore end of the spectrum, the .45 ACP and .45 Colt are about as big as can be called practical. The .44 Mag is hard to control for many but loaded with .44 Special ammo, it’s a pussycat. All of these have good defensive loadings available, some with “better” defensive bullets than others, some are easier to locate in local gunshops than others. But all will work.

The ‘practical handgun’ is going to spend a lot more time on your hip than at the range for most of us. Think about the cowboys of the late 1800’s,that handgun rode with them all the time. It was there to pot a rabbit, defend against rustlers, put down an injured animal, signal for help, and numerous other activities.

Not all were “Colt’s”, not all were expensive. But they all had to do one thing, go bang when they were needed. If they didn’t, they were replaced as quickly as possible. They were a tool like any other, but an important one. Like fencing pliers, it’s hard to do your job without working ones.

 You’ll notice that I didn’t specify any particular brand, caliber or working style, pistol or revolver.

That’s because it’s not up to me. It’s up to you to choose. Some people shoot revolvers better, some auto’s. Some people have more of a need for snakeshot than defensive hollowpoints, depends on where you live.

Me? I’ve simplified my choices and come up with a few that I almost always can be found packing. They’re well worn, used quite extensively and have proven themselves to be reliable. Do I expect someone to choose what I do? Nope, I made my choices for my own reasons.

Evaluate your own “needs” and come up with a practical choice for you. Be realistic in what you need and can expect to need. If you are having to finish off wounded deer that are injured by vehicles, you need a different bullet than a person concerned with snakes or thugs. The simple answer may be to carry two types of ammo and switch as you need it.

There’s no ‘right’ or all inclusive answer for everybody. And that’s the truth.

 

 

 

 

 


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