Read it, here. And then get your comms up. While your at it, see if you can schedule yourself into his RTO classes.
A word of explanation for the light posts: I’ve been invited to be part of the crew over at American Partisan , so if you have a mind to, check it out. We’ve got a team of folks who, when combining what we know, cover just about all the bases survival, prepper, and liberty minded folks would like to see. I’ll continue to post here as well, but on a less frequent basis.
See this post for background on my M9.
So, after yet another range session and very good results with the M9, this time out to 50 meters, I was doing some reading to see if there were any internal parts upgrades available. Apparently, not having a M9 for several decades, and therefore not really paying attention to product improvements, I’m about the only person in the free world that didn’t know they were out there. <insert eye roll here>.
First thing I did was get a ‘D Hammer Spring’, which is basically about 4 links shorter than the standard. You can see the difference in the image below. The idea behind it is to lower the double action trigger pull from somewhere around 13 pounds or so down to 6 to 8 while still providing the force necessary for the hammer and firing pin to penetrate hard primers. It also lowers the single action trigger pull down to something near 4 to 5 pounds. Ok, I spent $11.
Man, does that make a difference!
Second upgrade: Wolff black steel op rod & 15 pound recoil spring (fits over the op rod if you’re not familiar with it) Factory is 13 pounds. The factory plastic (and fluted) op rod just did not provide the confidence I want for a SHTF pistol. When it comes to the recoil spring, personally, I like just a bit more power, especially when I’m shooting rounds like Federal’s HST +P. Cost: $8.50 for the spring and $24 for the op rod.
After that, I picked up a Wilson Combat Recoil Buffer. Another $10. This fits over the recoil spring and sits up near the face of the slide. It doesn’t change or interfere with operations; it simply acts as a pad between the violent rearward movement of the slide and the front of the slide when it hits the face of the locking block. These are worthwhile; I put them in every pistol I own. Makes the pistol keep operating as new for a long, long, long time. And I like that.
At this point I’ve got $53.50 invested.
Then I’m seeing this Wolff Trigger Conversion Unit also sold by Wilson Combat under the same name. I chose the Wolff version for two reasons: I’m very comfortable with Wolff’s quality and customer support (should it be necessary). The Wilson Combat version was $7 less expensive, but they’re out of stock, a LOT, and Wolff has a good supply.
Sooooo, I purchased the ‘Extra Power’ model. It’s simply a pound or so more than the standard, and it’s designed to eliminate trigger return spring breakage and ‘spring stacking.’ It’s Np3 coated, and is drop in both design and application. $25.
Now I’m up to just about $79. Last, but certainly not least, was getting some more aggressive grip panels. My hands are average, and I can handle the M9 very well, but I wanted just a tad more purchase on the pistol when holding it. So, I found a pair of ERGO hard rubber grips with medium abrasion (meaning you can hold it well when your hands are slippery) for $20 shipped.
$99 to put everything I want on the M9 to have it continue to look like a service grade and shoot like it’s almost match grade.
I’m toying with putting on the adjustable rear sight; back in the day in the Air Force, we were always provided adjustable sights until the M9, and then, after I retired, I assumed there would be that upfit. I don’t know, but the sight itself looks a lot like the old S&W M15 adjustable that I was weaned on. No decision yet; I’m not sure if I want to pay between $75 and $100 for this upgrade when the issue sights and my eyes still seem to work pretty good. 80% hits in vital areas at 50 meters ain’t too bad, so for now, this is on the shelf.
All the improvements above have countless YouTube videos available to demonstrate, from the home grown to official Beretta versions. I was able to do each operation without too much trouble (meaning it was me and not the pistol or the instruction) and get everything done in minutes.
If you’re a Beretta 92 or M9 owner, check the upgrades out; it might be worth your while. It certain was mine – this M9 SINGS on the range!!
To determine what might work for you when it comes to going to the range to practice the fundamentals with live fire, a presumption must be made that you’re doing dry fire a couple times a week for at least 10 minutes a session. Yes, boring, repetitious, and tedious, but you need to accept this as a minimum if you want to master your weapon of choice and become very, very good at applying the fundamentals you practice in live fire. And truly, that’s all renowned shooters are doing when you see them performing very fast and very accurately on the range:
They are simply applying the fundamentals in a quick, effective manner. Nothing more, nothing less. No secret techniques, just mastery of the fundamentals.
So, how much range time? I’ve found that for me to ensure personal proficiency, I’m expending at least 50 to 100 rounds of whatever I’m primarily carrying every 4 to 6 weeks. If it’s monthly, a box of 50 is fine, if it’s every 6 weeks, 2 boxes of 50. I might even go as often as every 3 weeks, but that’s because I’m stoked, but it’s not all the time, and no matter what, I do the dry fire as often as I can. It’s all based on balancing my schedule (personal and professional obligations) and checkbook (even bought by the 1K round case, ammo gets expensive!), and need for simple relaxation.
So, what’s the take away here? Simply this: Make the practice of handling/shooting your weapons part of your normal routine. The skills you pick up are perishable by nature, and if you aren’t careful, life has a way of overcoming your practice, and the next thing you know, you haven’t touched a pistol, rifle, or shotgun in months! Do not let that happen!
Minimally, if you dry fire routinely (twice a week, 10 minutes each session), you can get away with every 6 weeks. For self-evaluation, every other range session put yourself through a 50 round ‘qualification’ course. With a pistol, at 25 yards/meters; with a rifle, do an AQT or NRA High Power type course. Doing so will have you ‘qualifying’ every quarter, which is much, much better than 95% of all shooters will do. Your skill mastery will show it, too!
Discipline is key here, because if you’re like me, dry fire gets to be very monotonous. However, without it, those perishable skills you’ve picked up will deteriorate to one degree or another. I’d prefer disciplined monotony to suffering regret when or if I need to employ those skills. Just sayin’. One way I keep it interesting is only doing dry fire with one platform a session. One day I might be using my M-Forgery; another a pistol; another, a bolt gun. I also add different miniature targets any time I can.
One thing in my dry fire that is not negotiable is the application of safety practices:
- NEVER MIX ALCOHOL WITH DRY OR LIVE FIRE! It should go without saying that if you’re going to drink, do it after your practice or live fire shooting.
- ALWAYS remove any magazine before dry firing to ensure it’s empty.
- ALWAYS check the chamber to ensure there isn’t a round hiding in it (Remember, ALL weapons are ALWAYS loaded until you ensure they’re not!!)
- NEVER point your weapon at another human being you don’t intend to shoot, even in dry fire practice (tv/movie characters are different – it’s a projection).
- THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ‘ACCIDENTAL’ DISCHARGE – IT ALWAYS COMES DOWN TO NEGLIGENCE!
See you on the range.
Old School becomes ‘New School’ after a fashion.
I carried & qualified with issue M9’s on active duty when our S&W M-15’s were replaced in the late 80’s (the Smith was a great revolver, but not up to tactical employment…just sayin’). We immediately liked the M9 it a lot – had a lot more rounds, more powerful than the .38 Special the USAF seemed to be enthralled with for so many years, was magazine fed, could be field stripped in about 3 seconds, and was accurate as the Smith (which was very accurate) give or take (the M9 has fixed sites; the Smith had adjustable) for qualification to 25 meters, and if you were serious, you could practice and hit to 50 meters on a human silhouette target to 50 meters. The decocking lever caused us a bit of anxiousness until we found out it worked, and the safety lever was easy to learn, though reversed from a 1911 (the 1911 safety is pushed down to go to ‘fire’ and the M9 is pushed up).
Liked it so much I had a Beretta 92C (Compact) POW (Personally Owned Weapon) from 85 until I sold it before I returned home in 92. I didn’t want to go through the paperwork to have it added to my orders, and then stuck in my ‘hold baggage.’ In hindsight, it was a bad decision, but I digress.
Years flew, and then I started looking at them again a couple of months ago. Mostly because the M9 is being phased out of the service, and I’m thinking ‘CHEAP MAGAZINES and PARTS.’
Found a safe queen with a purported use of less than 2 boxes of ammo on gunbroker almost new for about $200 less than retail, and it was a M9, not the 92FS. Basically, the civilian M9 is a military copy (because it’s not property of the US Government) though everything else down to the lanyard loop, (including the markings) are the same, and was sold around the 20th anniversary of the pistol’s service use. Came with 4 original mags to boot, so how could I lose? The only thing Beretta did that really isn’t good is the op rod is now plastic (steel replacement already on the way).
After inspection, the round count was probably right; not a bit of wear internally. It was like taking a new pistol out and looking it over. It is really sweet, too, except for that famous looooooooooong first trigger pull if shooting double action. But I can get used to that again.
So, the first thing is to break it down and clean it (and that’s where I was able to see the lack of wear internally). Especially if it’s a used gun, even though it was a safe queen. Then, after about an hour of refamiliarization with dry fire, mag change outs, and such, made sure it was lubricated to specs, and ready for the range. Everything is functional, so it’s off to the range this morning to wring it out with a couple hundred rounds.
That’ll be part 2 of this post. Until then, here’s what she looks like:
Now, don’t think for a second I’m giving up my Glocks or Kimbers; just adding this to the stable of proven ‘go to’ sidearms.
Get yourself some range time.
Ok, didn’t have a lot of time today, but in 45 minutes I was able to check the inherent accuracy of this pistol pretty well with both deliberate aimed fire as well as some 1 & 2 shot drills. I fired at 10 meters, indoor range, Winchester 124gr FMJ finishing up with some Federal 124gr HST. The first two pictures are to simply show the distance and the first 15 rounds. The pistol is worth having, especially if you’re just getting started and want a reliable pistol. The offset group to the left of center is not the weapon; it’s my poor vision. The last picture demonstrates why the M9 eats anything. The magazine puts the rounds almost perfectly in line with the chamber, so there’s no worry about ‘bullet bump’ that can cause failure to feed.
The indoor range – 10 meters, 50 ft small bore target augmented with a 3 inch Shootnc target.
It was colder than I would have liked when I got to the range (40 Farenheit; wind 25 – 30 out of the West – real feel in the low 30’s), as well as cloudy with intermittent light rain for the 2 hours I was there. The only thing not dampened was my enthusiasm to shoot this thing!
Ammo: OLD Olin Corp Standard .22LR; OLD Winchester Super Match .22LR, SK Match (New) and CCI Mini Mag
Range: 25 & 50 yards
Overall impression: The rifle is fun to shoot once you get the adjustable cheek piece, Length of Pull, and Butt Pad at the right adjustment. If you want to adjust the butt pad, you’ll need a standard hex key to loosen the screws. This is a quick easy adjustment. Simply loosen the two screws a couple turns, and the butt pad will slide upwards to where you want it. It should go without saying, but if you buy one, clean it really well. I couldn’t believe how much gunk came out of mine when I cleaned it prior to going to the range!
Trigger: Excellent! No creep, steady, light. Not much else to say. I left mine at the factory setting, and it’s really smooth and light.
Bolt: I took the ‘C’ clip off to let the bolt throw resemble a center fire bolt gun. Glad I did, too. Felt much more natural than when I did some dry fire using the rimfire length bolt throw.
25 yard zero: On paper, but high and left at 25, had it on the bull in less than 5 rounds.
Not too bad for a first time out. I’m sure that with more range time, and as the rifle gets broken in, the groups will get even tighter. Was it worth the money? Absolutely!!
First 10 rounds – fired in two 5 shot strings. First two rounds high, final 3 in the black. Ammo used: Olin Corp standard .22LR – about 20 years old. Target – ‘ShootnC’ 6 inch.
2nd Target – 25 yards. Pasters put over the group in the first picture. It was cold enough that they didn’t hold on the top group. You can see the 2 original shots if you compare. Groups held at about an inch – ammo was 20+ year old Winchester Super Match .22LR.
Last target was @ 50 meters. The shot you see on the paper below the target was already present – looks to be a .223 or larger. Anyway, the pasters didn’t hold on three of the four selected to use. The groups, however, are all consistent. Ammo used was the SK Rifle Match. VERY dirty ammo, but seems to perform well. First time using it.
Well, that’s it for now. Maybe I’ll do an update in a month or so….
Nothing, I mean NOTHING, upsets me more than to point a rifle at something, get a site picture, depress the trigger, and the projectile doesn’t go reasonably close (say within an inch) to the point of aim. Even if the rifle in question is a .22 caliber rifle.
I had such a rifle; a Ruger 10-22 that a former military team member of mine had taken it and completely tuned a stock 10-22 internally – basically refined the trigger pull down to about 2.5 to 3 lbs, replaced the extractor with a match grade replacement, put a new recoil buffer in the receiver, ensured there were no burrs on the crown, and ensured the cheap Tasco 4 power scope and it’s equally cheap mounts were solid, and wouldn’t cause an issue.
Sounds funny, right? This thing kept a group of 4 to 6 inches at 200 meters, depending on who was shooting it and what kind of ammo it had. I loved that rifle. So did my daughter. It was the only firearm she’d shoot. I had it for 20 years. Put thousands of rounds through it; killed innumerable rodents with it. And, when the time came, I gifted it to her son, who’s now 8 year and already shooting a “cricket” bolt gun. Basically, as she thought of it as ‘hers’, it made sense to keep it in her family.
Then, I was without a .22 for 5 years, because something was holding me back on simply replacing that 10-22.
About 3 months ago, I was again in the mood to peruse the .22’s out there, as I wanted to have one in my stable, and start shooting .22’s again. It’s also always nice to have your own rifle when you go to the range with the grandkids. Well, Sir, I saw this Ruger Precision Rimfire on some woman’s social media site saying that ‘nobody needs a gun like this’….right away I could tell that A: It was a BOLT gun, B: was a .22, and C: as usual, the SJW’s didn’t have a CLUE as to what they’re talking about. She immediately became a laughing stock among the shooting community.
However, I wanted to see the specs of that rifle up close. So, off I go to Ruger’s site. Impressive, but basically, while true, the information was pointed at generating sales. So, off I go to gunbroker.com to see what the prices were….it’s modeled after their ‘Precision Rifle’ with much of the same features, but in .22LR, so I didn’t know what to expect, being that its big brother goes for north of $800. It IS sweet, though!
Locally, believe it or not, they’re not that easy to find! I called and looked and looked and called, and one gunshop told me after I asked if they were expecting anymore, said, “Yes, and we should get some as soon as Ruger steps up production.” (Ruger, are you getting this?) You can find them at http://www.gunbroker.com , but you’re going to pay more than the typical $399 pre-tax price. Some are at auction and are going for upwards of $450, sometimes higher.
I found a listing that said, “$399 or Best Offer.” I put my offer in and secured it for $385. I was tickled, being that you’ve got to add in shipping and transfer fees. Shipping brought it to $410 (less than I would have paid at a retail store in my area after taxes. It took a week, but it arrived yesterday, and the transfer fee was only $20 (the guy gives CPL holders a break). $430 out the door. At local shops who were charging $399, after tax it was $424, and I didn’t have to wait until they came in or spend as much time/gas going to pick it up!
Taking it Out of the Box
My being pleasantly surprised at the out of the box quality would be an understatement!
Packaging: Nicely cut out foam cut close enough and fitted well so that nothing could slide around in the box. Good job, Ruger!
Balance/Feel: Feels heavier than 6.8 pounds, but I believe that’s due to balance, which is very nice. Sits solid in your hands, holds nicely when taking up an offhand position.
Bolt: Not stiff; adjustable throw, allowing the shooter to remove a clip from the bolt and allow the bolt to move the distance much like a large caliber bolt gun.
Trigger: Adjustable down to 2.5 pounds; mine measured just a tad over 3 lbs. I didn’t see a need to adjust it.
My personal additions: Put a Leupold integral one-piece tactical base and rings (low), a Vortex 1-6 Strike Eagle (there’s a program out there that will let you convert the ballistics of your chosen round to match the reticle), and a Harris bi-pod for prone shooting.
Ammo Choice: I bought a brick of SK Match (spendy, but from all reports will hold from 1/4 to 1/2 inches at 50 meters, sometimes better depending on the shooter and the rifle – we’ll see when range day comes). I plan on using this for ‘whistle pigs’ out West, and it has to be accurate when we get into one of their towns.
Well, that’s it for the ‘Out of the Box’ Review. Further reports once I get out shooting. There are a lot of youtube (maybe….if they haven’t dumped them all) showing it’s accuracy.
The Second Amendment, that is….and does it’s own AR build for a ‘summer project’!! GO BREITBART!!! Not everyone is going to agree with their component choices, of that I’m sure, but on the same token, who cares?!?!?! The fact that not only does this agency approve of AR’s, they’re building one! OUT. FRICKIN’. STANDING!!
Read the piece, here. If you’re not checking out Breitbart News on a daily basis, you should.
From, ‘The Vulgar Curmudgeon,” here.
Check it out at, ‘Full 30‘ !
The video is really well-done, but here’s a chart as well.