Subjective Comparisons – They Matter, Too!

Some things you can measure:  height, width, weight, trigger pull, magazine capacity, barrel length, etc. Some things are totally subjective. You may like or not like something and not be sure why, or at least not be able to explain it to someone else. That doesn’t mean your subjective comparisons aren’t important. I think you should like the car or truck you drive, even if no one else does. I think you should be happy with how you dress, even if other folks think it’s funky. Objective is facts; Subjective is feelings.

Why am I on this rant? Because I’m on my fourth day of feeling really good about carrying a gun I’d never really thought about until a few  days ago. For the best part of this year my carry gun has been a Sig, either a 1911 Commander or a P229. Occasionally, I carry a S&W M&P. If it were just me, I’d have no real reason to change this trend. But, I’m not just me, I’m the head of an organization that’s goal is to train and equip others to defend themselves with a handgun. I take this responsibility seriously, so I make it a point to familiarize myself with a variety of options, because one person doesn’t necessarily like, feel comfortable with, or can afford, what’s right for someone else.

I practice drawinPractice Drawingg and aiming my pistol multiple times a day, no matter what I’m carrying. While doing these drills with the CZ-P07, I found it darn near as comfortable as my 1911. Knowing this was probably just a subjective observation, I decided to do a little testing.

I unloaded and placed 4 handguns on a table. The P07, a Glock 23, the Sig Legion P229 and an M&P .40. I closed my eyes and had my wife mix them up. Then I picked them up one at a time, still with my eyes closed, feeling and pointing and trying to decide just from feel which one I liked best. Of course I could tell them apart since I’m very familiar with all four.

For Comparison

I had my wife do the feel test, then I had two of my grandsons try it. Funny, both the boys picked the P229 as their favorite, while the wife and I both preferred the P07. I thought for a minute she was going to go for the Glock and had it been a Gen 3, I believe she would have. But the texture on the Gen 4 grip wasn’t comfortable for her.

The boys liked the tactical feel and the heft of the P229, but they didn’t know what it was when doing the test.  When you consider you can buy two P07s for the price of the Sig Legion P229, it seems to me a pretty good endorsement that at least 50% of the testers (admittedly a very small group to start with) like it best.

I’m going to keep on carrying it for a few days and I’m going to shoot it some more. It remains to be seen whether or not I’ll go back to one of the Sigs for daily carry.

UPDATE July 5:

I keep putting his gun on every morning. It is still very comfortable to wear and my daily drawing drills are right on the money. This is definitely a great handgun for Every Day Carry.

CZ-P07 – This Could Easily Become a Personal Favorite

In Europe they love CZ pistols like we love 1911s. I guess when I say “we” in Europe I’m mostly talking about police and military since very few countries outside of Switzerland allow their citizens the freedom to own and shoot firearms like we have here in America. Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod is a firearms manufacturer in the Czech Republic responsible for some of the finest-made firearms in the world. They make pistols, rifles and shotguns that are held in high esteem in the military, hunting, sporting and personal protection arenas. In the US these are imported by CZ-USA.

The most popular of their handguns since before WWII has been the CZ-75 of which there are many models. There are also many clones. I first came to know this style of pistol through the EAA Witness and the SAR B6 and K2 models imported by European American Armory. These are all clones of the C-75 and my experience with all three of these models has led me to like them, trust them and recommend them for several years now. Throughout those years, I’ve owned several EAAs and SARs but I’ve never actually owned a CZ manufactured version. Until now, that is.

CZ P07The original CZ-75s are all steel. They have several models such as the 75, 85, Compact, and others with differing features such as size, finish, capacity, caliber, etc. The one that I felt I just had to own is the CZ-P07. As you might surmise, the “P” stands for Polymer and I’m guessing the ’07’ means it’s a James Bond gun. Oh, wait, not enough zeroes. Okay I think the 07 has something to do with size, since I know the P09 is bigger and maybe the P05 and P06 are smaller. We gun guys can’t know everything.

What I do know is I really like this gun. I know what you’re thinking . . . “but, David, you like ALL guns!” Well, that’s simply not true. I’ve handled guns I don’t like and I’ve handled guns that I’m just indifferent about. For me to like them they have to 1) feel good in my hands, 2) fit my hands well, 3) have good sights that I can easily pick up and align, 4) have a decent trigger, one that is easily operated without pulling the sights off target, 5) be absolutely flawless in operation under normal and sometimes a bit stressful conditions, 6) be of a caliber that makes sense for it’s purpose, 7) be affordable and 8) be comfortable to shoot. The CZ-P07 passes all of these tests.

But if you’ve already got your gun needs and a lot of your wants covered, there has to be something else, doesn’t there? Otherwise, it’s a “ho, hum, just another gun.” This gun looks like a real gun to me. It’s a bit futuristic, but frankly it looks all business. It’s got the different-sized backstraps that are commonly offered with modern firearms, so it was no trouble to make sure it fits my hands. When I pick it up or pull it out of my holster it’s in the right place in my hand, ready to go with no shifting around. The sights line up and I can easily put my finger on the trigger with the proper positioning.

The slide-lock lever, which doubles as a takedown lever, is big and it’s flat with a surface that’s easy to work. There’s a decocker. The grip surface has just the right amount of aggressiveness to make the gun easy to hold onto without hurting my hands.

I tested it with my common defensive rounds:  Ruger ARX, Speer Gold Dot and Fiocchi JHP. It did what I expect a carry gun to do, which is shoot one ragged hole at 10-12 feet and keep everything in a fist-sized grouping at 20-21 feet. If it can do that it will keep the shot placement relatively tight at 15 yards.  I don’t have a bench rest and my personal arc of movement is enough not to blame the gun for what happens at 15 yards.

So, I’m carrying it for a while. It’s comfortable, fits in my P226 D. M. Bullard leather holster, and draws easily. If I have to use it, I’m confident the results will depend a whole lot more on me than the gun. It will do its job.

A Pair of 32s

I would have love to have written “A Brace of 32s” in the title, but I can’t because they’re not exactly alike. They’re close, however. I’m referring to a couple of Ruger Single Action Revolvers that have made their way into my collection. One is a Ruger Single Six .32 H&R Magnum and the other is a Ruger Single Seven .327 Federal Magnum.

Ruger Single Six and Single SevenKind of look alike, don’t they? It really is hard to tell them apart, but one does hold six rounds and the other seven. Up to a point, they both shoot the same types of ammunition. They both shoot .32 S&W Short, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum, but only one of them, the Single Seven, also shoots .327 Federal Magnum.

I took them to Mississippi recently and thought they would be part of my family shooting adventure back on my grandparent’s farm. But rain shortened our outing and these never got fired. I really wanted to compare them, so I took them to the range last Sunday afternoon and put them through their paces, which for me simply means running a target out to 10 or 12 feet and punching holes in paper.

I didn’t have any .32 Short ammo on hand so I started with the .32 S&W Long. With that ammo you couldn’t tell a bit of difference in the two guns except for the fact that one shoots seven rounds before reloading while the other only shoots six. As far as shot placement, recoil (or lack thereof), sights, grip, etc. I could tell no difference.

Then I loaded them with .32 H&R Magnum cartridges. Still, there was no discernible difference. You can’t shoot .327 Federal Magnum in the Single Six, so I set it down and loaded the Single Seven with some Gold Dot .327 Federal Magnum. Loud – it’s loud! And the paper goes flying back when it is struck by one of the bullets propelled by that cartridge. That’s always fun to see, because even my .357 Magnum doesn’t send the paper swinging like the .327 does.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Just what are these guns good for? I could probably crank up a Earth, Wind & Fire record for you and let them declare “Nothing! Absolutely Nothing!” and you might agree. But – they really might have some use. For me, it’s just fun, or perhaps the fun of letting someone else have some fun while I watch. But  there was a day when I’d have used either one for rabbit or squirrel hunting. Or to keep the critters out of the hen-house. These days I don’t have a hen house, but I do have snakes and the .32s make a pretty good snake gun.

Way back before we knew better, cops in Europe considered the .32 enough gun. Even Teddy Roosevelt had some on the force when he was Chief of Police in New York City. But these days, we all pretty much understand it’s not such a good self defense caliber.

That’s not true of the .327 Magnum, however.  Here’s a little ballistic chart for you:

Cartridge Bullet Wt. Muzzle Vel. Ft./lbs Energy
.32 S&W Short 85 680 87
.32 S&W Long 98 778 132
.32 H&R Magnum 80 1150 235
.327 Fed. Magnum 100 1500 500

How about that .327 Federal Magnum? Not, too shabby, huh? It’s actually a favorite caliber of mine for personal defense, but of course these guns are little larger for daily defensive carry. But for a packing gun, on the trail or camping out, either would be ideal. And for just plain plinking fun, the .32 ammo isn’t very expensive and is still readily available. So, two Rugers for fun, that will belong to some of my grandkids someday.