Posts Tagged ‘.45 ACP’

Kahr CW380

SHOT Show 2013 Special Edition: New Handguns (Jan 17, 2013)

Reports keep rolling in from Cheaper Than Dirt! staffers at SHOT Show 2013 in Las Vegas. Here are more new handgun introductions from the event. You can read extended reviews of selected products by clicking the links in this list:

Glock 30S Aiming

Glock 30S in .45 ACP — Range Report

Ok, a bit of a disclaimer. Glock unveiled its 30S today, and I was at the front of the line with every intention of putting it through its paces. However, the lovely Boulder City, Nevada treated us to 25-degree temps with 30 mph winds bringing the wind chill down to about 15°F. By the time everything was open and the line was ready to shoot, I was numb with cold and my fingers were burning at the touch. And yes, I would like some cheese with that whine.

Metro Arms SPS Pantera .45 ACP Pistol

SHOT 2013 Preview: Metro Arms SPS Pantera .45

Metro Arms is not a stranger to our gun-owning friends on the other side of the ocean, but is relatively new to the U.S. market. Eagle Imports, the exclusive distributor of the Metro Arms family of products, now carries the SPS Pantera performance pistol. SPS pistols display all the attention to detail, precision metal-to-metal fit, high tolerances and quality craftsmanship one would expect in a custom pistol. About the only thing you wouldn’t expect is the affordable price tag.

45acp side view

Cartridge of the Week, the .45 ACP, .45 Auto

This week we look into the American classic cartridge, the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. John Moses Browning, who some may consider the finest gun designer of all time, conceived the cartridge in 1905. It entered service as part of the most iconic pistol of the 20th and 21st centuries, the Colt 1911 and 1911A1. It is hard not to tell the story of this cartridge without some brief notes about the 1911 platform, as they are synonymous.

Wilson Combat CQB FDE Right Side

To Die For: Wilson Combat CQB FDE

Flat Dark Earth (FDE) is the latest earth-tone rendition of Wilson Combat’s heat-cured Armor-Tuff firearms finish. As you can see on the CQB with light rail below, FDE is an excellent match for most other current tactical gear. Also, your gun will stay cooler in hot weather and produce a reduced IR signature than darker finishes.


The KRISS Vector is Close Quarters Mayhem

For many shooters, the KRISS® Vector is a bit of an enigma. Since its release in 2007, it hasn’t really hit the main stream as the be all end all of submachine gun platforms. However, the cool factor is clearly off the scale. This gun is no gimmick either. The unique action of this weapon reduces the significant recoil of the .45 ACP to something similar to a 9mm. It accomplishes this by cycling the force of the ejection system downward instead of backward. This reduces muzzle rise, as well as increasing accuracy.

This is one of the best-condition US&S 1911s that you’re likely to see.

Gun Trivia: Take a Close Look at a US&S 1911-A1

Union Switch & Signal 1911-A1’s are some of the highest-regarded 1911s ever made, and this is reflected in their collectibility.

The gun here is spectacular on its own merits, with more original finish than just about any other US&S gun, with all correct markings. This 45 ACP handgun was manufactured in 1943. The right side of the frame is marked “United States Property / No 106xxxx / M 1911 A1 U.S. Army.” The left side of the frame is marked with the “R.C.D” inspectors stamp. There is a “P” below the magazine release and a “P” on the top of the slide, above the serrations. The left side of the slide is marked “USS / U. S. & S. Co. / Swissvale, Pa. U.S.A.”. The barrel is marked “O” and “HS.”

Shadow of a burglar through the sheer curtains of the window.

Slicing the Pie

It is late at night and a noise coming from across the house rouses you from your sleep. Your wife wakes up too and whispers to you that she thinks someone is breaking in. Your heart rate increases dramatically while all the blood from your extremities rushes to your vital organs—triggering your fight or flight response. The adrenaline feels like a drug as your breathing increases and pupils dilate. You quickly regain control of your thoughts and tell your wife to run into the bathroom with the phone and lock the door. You quietly reach into your drawer and grab your .45 caliber handgun and your flashlight—time to go and see what’s what.

K12 Competition

Sarsilmaz, The Coolest Pistols You Can’t Buy—Yet

Once upon a time, pistols had no metal injection molded parts. They did not have polymer frames and plastic triggers with a spongy feel. Manufacturers did not cut corners to make their products easier and cheaper to build in large numbers. No, once upon a time they carefully milled slides from solid hunks of forged high carbon steel. Frames were hot forged and machined, and little parts like safeties and mag releases were through hardened. Pistols had hammers you could cock and decock and safeties that firmly clicked on and off. Plastic was just for the grips, if you weren’t classy enough to buy wood panels. All of this changed in the mid-1980s with the arrival of the Glock “wonder-nine,” and the old way of making pistols slowly died out as hordes of inexpensive polymer guns flooded the market.

Kahr Arms PM45: Good Things Come in Small Packages

Kahr Arms is building an empire out of a single innovative pistol design. Their first pistol, the K9, featured six US patents covering the locking, firing, and extraction design elements, and the company now lists 70 different models all based on the same features. All of them are made in Massachusetts using state-of-the-art CNC machining technology. Kahr bought Auto Ordnance (the Tommy gun people) in 1999, and in 2010 bought up Magnum Research of Desert Eagle fame. The company’s purchasing power comes from their President and CEO, Justin Moon, who is the son of Sun Myung Moon. Yes, THAT Reverend Moon, who founded the Unification Church.

Justin Moon started shooting at age 14, got his first license to carry at age 18, and wasn’t real thrilled with the choices available in an ultra-compact 9mm pistol. He decided to design and build his own, and the rest is history. The Kahr I have in my hand right now is the PM45, the smallest .45acp I’ve ever seen. It is striker fired, like a Glock or M&P, using a cam system to finish cocking the partially pre-cocked striker. This gives it an incredibly smooth double action type trigger pull, but like the Para LDA trigger you can’t re-strike the primer a second time by simply pulling the trigger—once the striker hits the primer, the trigger system has to be reset by moving the slide. I’m a single action kind of guy myself. I like a crisp 1911 trigger or a Glock with a 3.5lb connector, but I have to admit that in an ultra-compact defensive gun with no external safety, a longer trigger pull is safer. If it’s a smooth, light double action pull like on this gun, I can still hit my target quickly and consistently out to 25 yards or so, which is what the P45 is for.

Moon’s little gun includes a few very clever design features designed to make it as slim and short as possible. Most interesting to me is the offset barrel design—looking at the gun with the slide open from behind, the feed ramp is actually positioned to the left inside the slide, with the trigger mechanism next to it on the right. How did they make that work? Kahrs have an excellent reputation for reliability so obviously the feed ramp still does its job despite the offset. This lowers the height of the barrel over the shooter’s hand, known as bore axis, and makes the P45’s recoil kick to the rear instead of flipping the muzzle up. The barrel ramp is polished beautifully right out of the box, and the barrel uses polygonal rifling that looks a lot like Glock rifling. These guns have a reputation for outstanding accuracy due to the polygonal rifling and the tight tolerances made possible by CNC machining every metal component.

The polymer frame is molded with sharp raised squares on the front and back strap. This reverse checkering design really grabs your hand aggressively—considering the small size, light weight, and powerful caliber of this gun I think wearing shooting gloves might be appropriate if I were to take a high-round-count class using the PM45, but in a stressful self-defense situation I’m sure I would appreciate the extra grip. The dual recoil springs are super stout, although I can’t find the spec anywhere I guesstimate that it takes between 22-25lbs of force to pull back the slide on this gun. Kahr recommends replacing these powerful springs after only 1000 rounds or risk having the polymer frame battered to death by the stainless steel slide.  There’s always a price to be paid when putting a major caliber in a tiny, polymer framed pistol, and Kahr has obviously decided to let their recoil springs be the part that takes the punishment. The sights are metal (are you paying attention, Glock?), big enough to be useful, and feature a white dot on the front sight and a white post on the rear sight for a “lollipop” sight picture.

The Kahr comes in a small, foam lined black plastic case with two 5-round magazines, owner’s manual and assorted paperwork, and of course a trigger lock.  Kahr pistols are not cheap. Priced in the $650 range, the little PM45 costs about as much as some good quality 1911s. Kahr makes no apologies, their website proudly and honestly states that they don’t cut corners to build their guns to a “price point,” they simply build the highest quality gun possible using the technology available. When you are trusting your life to a tiny, lightweight polymer pistol packed with .45acp hollowpoints, that’s a reassuring philosophy from the folks who built that gun.

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Ammo Stash

Sig 1911 TacOps and BVAC .45 ACP

A few days ago, Tam (if you’re not reading her blog, you should be) put together a list of the various calibers she keeps on hand to shoot through the various guns in her collection. It’s a pretty extensive list, as it should be for a collector of obscure firearms. My own list is a little more mundane, but it also fits my collection of guns which are all primarily uses for competition and heavy shooting. That means that instead of a lot of different calibers, I have a lot of rounds of just a few calibers. On hand right now are the following calibers: