Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SLIM pistols

Saw the article on Taurus Slim in the NRA magazine American Rifleman

I like this trend/concept. Companies trying to come out with a better CCW pistol.

More and more are CCWing, so there will be further push for the 'ideal' CCW gun in a world where the customers are willing to buy and try new things, but rarely willing to fall in love and rely on new unproven things. So any 'ideal' CCW introduction better be perfect.

The ideal CCW design maximizes positive traits but knows every good trait is a child of compromise. There are plenty of service pistols out there.

So let's go over those traits.

You want the caliber to be big enough. That, the old gunnie trope goes, mean it has to begin .4x. Is that the correct choice? It doesn't matter, the idea is fully inculcated into the heads of potential customers. If the CCW revolution had occurred in the late 1970s the conventional wisdom would be the 9mm cartidge almost universally. Ok, say .40. The smallest .4x. .45 would be better, in my mind, since we're compromising power with compactness.

How many bullets does the magazine carry, you want 1000 of these, just in case. Except you can't carry a gun with 1000 rounds in your pistol. Especially .40 cal. Ok. 12? Wait, we want compactness because it is CCW. Ok, single stack magazine. 7 or 8. Some will complain that this is NOT ENOUGH, but let's assume that just having to fire one is rare enough, and in that event firing 3 is an even rarer subset of rare.

Also, single stack magazines are less bulky in themselves when you tote around the spare. And you ARE toting around a spare magazine with your semi-auto, right? One, for the folks that are sure that 7 rounds isn't enough, you should have a spare, and TWO, the failure point semi-autos is statistically in the magazine department. Or so I've been instructed.

I'll probably have to stick with polymers. Does anyone come out with a new design and use all steel construction anymore? Sure there are plenty of brand new steel guns being made today, but they are revolvers or 1911s or Browning Hi-Powers or somesuch. I'll just have to get used to plastic. It DOES keep the cost down.

So, so far we have a single stack .40, small, but not TOO small. All of ones fingers can find purchase on the grip when you have 7 rounds of .40 in a magazine. You want a huge hefty gun to help with recoil management, but that's the compromise for the ideal CCW gun. Paring down the size and weight, but not paring it down too much. (If you want to maximize compactness-yet-still-capable, there are plenty of mini .380s out there now.)

Other features? Butt-simple OS. Glock/S&W M&P/XD have this down, so I guess we're looking at a striker fired pistol with no safety switches to fiddle with, just the passive safeties.

It should have the melty bar of soap treatment to round off the corners and edges and catches, but this is also assumed.

So what do we have so far that would fill this role if no companies rise to meet it with a new product. Well, the 1911 already comes close. Commander size, it's short, already thin, and single stack. But how are gun companies gonna sell us something new? The 1911 model market is already glutted. Their marketing is gonna have to be: "More compact than a 1911, but not so small it's ineffective. And less less fiddly bits to catch out your clothes compared to your trusty 100 year old 1911 design. Yeah, we said it. Your pistol design is old, so come buy the new hotness!"

The company that makes this new slim .40 will have to be 'CompanieS' plural. There are Taurus fans, but not everyone is a Taurus fan, there are Springfield fans, but not everyone... you get my meaning.

There is another problem. A pistol this size is obviously a holstered carry piece, not pocket. And a new design will have zero holsters extant. A smart gun company would partner with a holster company ahead of release. Coupon, free holsters, that sort of thing. It's be cheap and easy to make a Serpa type holster and sell it with the gun, but a paddle holster at 3 o'clock on your belt isn't quite the concealed gat that a IWB holstered weapon is.

As for a review of the features offered in the only gun I am aware of... that selfsame Taurus Slim... Meh. It's got a triggerlock and a safety, both low on my desirability list. And it carries the Taurus reputation with it.

Now if SIG made my P229 with Double Action Kellerman and a narrower grip containing a single stack magazine... That would be an improvement in my eyes. Though I think I'd want to get away from DAK. A medium sized Springfield XD Slim would tempt me, quickly, too. And before you say, "what about the single stack Sig P239?" Is that really a narrower grip? It seems like Sig is always trying to maximize bulkiness rather than minimize.

In my fantasy world? 1908 Colt Pocket Hammerless in .40. It would have to be upped in mass, I'd think, but you wouldn't have to go too far. Move the mag release, as well. A few other things. But man that would be a nice heater.

Now, this is the CCW gun for me. Does anyone think it would be the CCW gun for others? Right now folks are carrying Glock Sub-Compacts, Kahrs, 1911s. All will do the job, yes, I was wondering it we could cut the width down a bit and also save some weight without sacrificing much else besides capacity. I'm carrying a 5 shot revolver in my pocket right now, tho. (It's Maryland, so that's in-house carry...)

Maybe the Kahr P40 is what I am describing... I dunno.l Never handled one.

Hey, speaking of pocket carry! It's October. That's big boy pants season. And routine daily at-home pocket carry.


Boat Guy said...

The SIG225 (P6 as designated by the German cops) comes pretty close, though it IS a 9mm. They've about doubled in price (early imports were about $200 now they're running about $400)

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I have handled the 220. Single stack SIG in .45. It's thick front to back, to me. And is wider than it has to be. But yes, it, too, comes close. And I'd certainly accept .45 as a cartridge if the pistol was slimmed down some more.

Bubblehead Les. said...

H+K P7, the Squeeze Cocker came in .40 S+W towards the end of its American run, but the original held 8 rounds of 9mm. Mas Ayoob liked his a lot. But you have to get used to the Euro mag release.

Old NFO said...

I carry a Kahr P9 and yes, I carry a spare mag too :-) When I can, my carry is a Colt Commander (heavy jacket)

Mike W. said...

That's big boy pants season. And routine daily at-home pocket carry.

So I'm not the only one that does that?... when I'm wearing pants that is. I just throw the Airweight in a pocket.

ZerCool said...

I missed this the first time 'round, but the Kahr PM40 comes close.

If you find a used one, the single-stack S&W 4053 is a hell of a carry gun. Mags are a little tough to find, though.

(WV: upskeryt ... yeah.)