NRAAM/2ABB: Day 1 “Exhibit Hall”

Hi all, covering the NRA Annual Meeting convention and 2nd Amendment Bloggers Bash LIVE from Phoenix, AZ. It’s warm, hot even…but it’s a dry hot.  Eric Shelton (of Handgun Podcast fame) and I were able to walk through the exhibit hall during setup, thanks to being members of the press.

I think the easiest thing for me to do is post a link to an auto-generated gallery of photos and then provide you a list of commentary below. This will kind of necessitate you having two windows open in order to read along. But otherwise, I’d be spending forever just putting together the photo gallery.

So here’s what I’ve got for you all…

– Sig Sauer.380 1911 style

NRA Blog (I don’t think I even realized this existed. Or it wasn’t compatible with my RSS reader.)

– A few booths….  (Brownell’s, Hornady, NRA News, M1A’s courtesy of Springfield, Glock)

– Tactical Dummy showing some love to Tom over at GunDudes with Gunfightercast’s favorite  holster.

– Kimber…and if a photo of a firearm is called gun porn…than this must be a whorehouse!

– Savage trigger for their new Troll rifles. But look at the nifty translucent rifle stock. Sadly, for display only. I want a translucent stock!

– Wait a second…as we passed by Eric exclaimed and pointed out this sign.  A Winchester that is still made in America? Is this true? (As someone who grew up in New Haven, home of Winchester Repeating Arms. Winchester is truly a heartbraking tale for me.)

– And yes, the Ruger LCR. Oh how I love that fluted cylinder…it’s sexy.  Has curves like a woman should have. But wait…what’s this empty shelf…guess we’ll find out 10am tomorrow morning.

– Odd pistol carbine thing. But really, Stargate should buy these. They’ve been using the P90’s for a while. This will look new and different and definitely futuristic.

– Eric and I started chatting with this gentlement over at Patriot Ordinance Firearms, Inc.  (POF USA) Eric is quite interested in picking up one of their lowers, and they do look pretty sweet.  We later discovered we were chatting with the owner. And I snagged a photo of the two. (Note Eric flashing the gang sign…j/k.)

– Smith & Wesson had their catalog on display at their booth. But Eric noted the Magpul MBUS back-up sight.  Here it for you to see! While it is polymer, it looked pretty rugged.


Eric Shelton will be posting his photos as well. So check out the Handgun Podcast.


Gun V: G is for Gun, Glock, Good Price!

In the prior post I mentioned that my wife and I went to pick up a Ruger LCP.  What I didn’t mention was that while perusing the consignment shelf I noticed a Glock 17.

I’d been interested in getting a Glock chambered in 9mm. In fact I had already purchased two of the “high capacity” magazines for the Glock 9mm in case they got banned again. (And yes, I mean “high capacity”, as these hold 33 rounds.)

However, I couldn’t justify the $400-$500 I was seeing for Glocks – even the used ones.  So here I was staring at a used Glock 17 with three magazines for $300. It was an older model but appeared to be in okay condition.  I looked at my wife, gave her the puppy dog eyes. And she said… “ohhhh-kayyy”.

Glock 17

And we went home with two guns instead of one.

Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 4:43 am  Comments (2)  

Review: Carry Pemits & Ruger P-345 (Gun III)

I applied and received my License To Carry Firearm (LCTF). Which is Pennsylvania’s CWW Permit. Pennsylvania is fairly liberal on it’s carry permits. Pennsylvania is a shall issue state. You simply need to be a resident in good standing.

Many states require a training course. And while I think this is a good thing to have, I am always concerned that such could prevent someone in need from gaining access to a weapon to defend themselves. For instance, my mother had a convicted felon renting (but not paying) her upstairs apartment. Connecticut law requires a class be taken before one can get their permit. It is also an “at will” state. So they have no obligation to grant a permit.  If you were in need of defending yourself from someone, would you really want to have to wait weeks or months before you could get a permit. I am of the opinion that we need a law, that if you get a restraining order on someone than a permit request is fast tracked so long as you are eligible and not a felon or forbidden persons.


So I was looking for a new handgun. I was leaning toward something chambered in .45ACP, my understanding being that they are less likely to over-penetrate. And this was an important concern I had.

A lot of people recommended Glocks. So I thought I’d look into a Glock chambered in .45ACP. I wasn’t dead set on a Glock as I personally prefer a manual safety.  I held the Glock and immediately knew THIS WAS NOT the gun for me. It felt like a brick in my hand.  And while it might be comfortable for some, for my short stubby fingered hands it was extremely unwieldly.

I then tried the Ruger P-345 which was also on my list of considerations. As soon as I held it I found myself liking it. It was much more comfortable than the Glock. I also liked the trigger on it better.  But just for comparison I also tried the Glock in 9mm and the Ruger SR9. I really wanted a firearm with a safety. I felt the P-345 had a little nice build quality and smoothness than the SR9. And I really liked having the external hammer and decocker.

I asked my wife what she thought. And she gave the go ahead. So I went home with a Ruger P-345.


If I were to try to quickly describe the Ruger P-345 I would say it was a Glock on the bottom and a 1911 on top. That’s not quite an accurate description, but it’s a good quick generalization. The P-345 has a polymer based frame. An exposed hammer which can with some effort be manually cocked.

The P-345 is quite different than Ruger’s other P-series pistols. It is far from the bulky bricks that Ruger’s are famed for. It is in fact quite slender, for a .45ACP, being a single stack (8+1). So if you’ve totally dismissed Ruger pistols on the basis that they’re too bulky. It might be time to reconsider.

The Ruger P-345 is a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) pistol. The first pull of the trigger is double action requiring significantly more force as it cocks the hammer and releases it firing the gun.  Upon the first shot the recoil causes the slide to move backwords; extracting the empty case, cocking the hammer, and chambering the next cartridge. The next pull of the trigger is a lighter single action pull thanks to the hammer having now been cocked. This lends itself to more accurate shooting.

There is much personal debate on what is best both for combat on the street and in the courtroom. Some advocate double-action only, others prefer the single action mechanism of the 1911. I sort of like the DA/SA mechanism for a number of reasons. Firstly,the double-action allows for pulling the trigger a second time on a round that fails to fire. If it didn’t fire due to a soft hit on the primer, a second hit can sometimes be successful.  Second, it gives you a defense in the court room. You didn’t have a hair trigger, you had a very firm trigger which required you to knowingly and willingly fire.

One thing I really really like on my Ruger is it’s safety/decocker. While the safety has been slimmed down a tad bit too much. It’s a flat ambidextrous safety with textured sides that you flip up to disengage. The safety also doubles as a decocker. And this is a feature I just really love.

The Ruger P-345 is probably one of the easiest firearms to disassemble, clean and reassemble.  Rack the slide and there is a small metal piece, part of the ejector. You push that down. Line up a groove in the slide with a marker on the frame. Push out the metal assembly pin. And slide the slide right off the front.  That’s about all there is too it. Granted, there are some Sigs and such with little levers that might be easier. But compared to my Ruger MKIII and Glock, it is a far easier process.


At the range…

The first time I took it out to the range. Shoot at a 25ft target. I fired two magazines and if I recall correctly I had two hits on target. I quickly thought to myself embarrassingly “oh no, have I just made a $450 mistake buying a gun I am incapable of shooting?”

But with a little practice I began to improve. It’s a different experience from my Ruger MK III chambered in .22LR and my GP100 in .357 Magnum. And I have significantly improved over time and would not consider it a mistake. But for those who’ve never shot anything but a revolver or mayber an auto-pistol chambered in .22LR; it can be quite a different experience.


On carrying….

As I said at the start, I had acquired a carry permit and this was my first firearm purchased with the intent to carry.  I thought I might share some insight into that first time out.

I had just gotten both the pistol and the permit. I was going to carry for the very first time.  Our daughter was being babysat and we were going out for some baby free time.  Which included a trip to Friendly’s ice cream.

So I decided to take the P-345 with me. I had a cheap nylon holster that I picked up when I picked up the pistol. But mind you, I was brand new to this and had no one to be a mentor. So that first night out I went with an unloaded pistol (and I don’t just mean no round in the chamber).  Of course I spent half the time thinking to myself – this will be the night that I actually need one and I’m walking around unloaded. *LOL*

I still tend to carry without one in the chamber, mainly because my sidearm remains in the vehicle for work.  And I imagine drawing and chambering a round in the parking lot before I put the holster on my cause a bit of a scene.

But even that first night, I was having the realizations of how your life will be slightly altered by carrying. For instance, that night in Friendly’s when I asked my wife if we could switch seats. She didn’t understand the reason, and I just asked her to please switch. Later in private explaining that my sidearm was on that side and I’d rather it discreetly faced the wall instead of the public. Reducing the chances of spotting.

All in all, I really like my P-345 but I wish Ruger would expand on this model and offer it in 9mm.  I think if they offer a few varieties of this model it would gain in popularity (P-390 in 9mm/P-340 in .40cal)

Published in: on January 25, 2009 at 4:23 am  Comments (5)  
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