Tag Archives: 9mm

PSA Dagger 9mm

INTRODUCTION

Palmetto State Armory (PSA) has been a big name in the firearms industry for some time. Their mission of arming law-abiding Americans has brought affordability and options to many.

Whether it be MSR rifles, parts, or accessories, PSA sells it, probably in seven different colors and calibers. Today we are going to review one of PSA’s own productions, the new Dagger SW3 9mm pistol.

The Dagger is a polymer-framed striker-fired 9mm pistol with incredibly similar features to the venerable Glock 19. That is no mistake either. The popular pistol has been copied, cloned, and customized by countless manufacturers.

But what makes the PSA version different you might ask? Well, that’s what Gun Made is here for; we’ll show you.

The Dagger utilizes fifteen-round flush-fit Glock magazines and is available in too many different models to mention. There are threaded and non-threaded barrels, extreme carry cut slides, night sights, optic-cut slides and so on.

I would recommend you go browse their selection as there is surely one you will like.

There are many advantages to the Dagger, and most of them are related to its kinship with the Glock. Magazines and other parts can be used to customize the pistol if one of the many models doesn’t perfectly fit your fancy.

The polymer frame is textured nicely to give the shooter a good purchase on the grip area, and the undercut trigger guard allows you to ‘choke-up’ your hand into the grip and seat the pistol deep into your grip.

The trigger features a flexing shoe safety, similar to those I’ve seen on S&W M&P pistols.

The Extreme Carry Cuts and Gatormouth slide add some custom detail to the pistol, and add to the gripping area of the slide while reducing weight. The slide itself is stainless steel with a Cerakote finish and topped with Tritium Tru-Glow night sights.

The 1-10 twist barrel inside has a hard DLC coating for durability and long life.

psa dagger disassembled parts

Upon receiving the Dagger, I wasted no time in giving it a thorough look over. And I must confess I was quite impressed with the little pistol; not only did it feel quite robust and smooth, but I had no idea they could be purchased for as little as $299.

The model shown here goes for about $60 more, but if this thing lives up to my hopes, I’d consider it a steal for that price.

DAGGER 9MM REVIEW

 

SPECIFICATIONS
Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 15 rounds
Action: Striker Fired
Weight: 22.4oz (unloaded)
Overall Length: 7.15″
Overall Width: 1.28″
Overall Height: 4.78″ (Without Mag)
Barrel Length: 3.9″
Twist Rate: SAAMI Spec 1:10
Slide Finish: Cerakote, Flat Dark Earth

PROS & CONS

PROS
  • Very Affordable
  • Lighter than a Glock 19
  • Magpul Magazines
  • DLC Barrel coating
  • Cerakote over stainless finish
  • Picatinny accessory rail
  • Included night sights
  • Striker block and trigger safety
CONS
  • I couldn’t come up with something to dislike

ON THE RANGE TESTING

With the Dagger in a holster and several boxes of ammunition I headed out into what we call springtime here in Utah. After a short ride on my snowmachine, I found myself at my spot, and after hanging a target, I started loading magazines. I’d never loaded a Magpul Glock magazine since I’ve never owned a Glock; they do feel stiffer than I expected.

With fifteen rounds in the magazine, I chambered a round and prepared to shoot. The lockup feeling as the slide closed felt great, and I tightened my grip around the pistol as I settled the sights on my target.

OVERALL FEEL

The Dagger felt great in the hands; it really does feel above its price-point.

The trigger isn’t anything out of this world, but I certainly wouldn’t expect it to be for a CCW pistol. I kind of expected it to be a little long, and a bit stiffer than I would normally like. Turns out I was pretty much spot on. I wouldn’t consider myself a trigger snob, but I do like a good trigger, and this one impressed me as pretty standard.

I broke one shot after another, listening to the trigger reset between shots. After emptying my first magazine, I gave the pistol a good look over to ensure everything was in place before reloading.

I carried on through magazine after magazine of Magtech 124 grain FMJ ammo. I was very pleasantly pleased with how the Dagger felt in my hands and how it pointed so well. Every time I’d lift the pistol, the sights were lined up on my target.

The snappy recoil was easily controlled, and follow-up shots came fast and accurately. I’m also not a competition pistol shooter, so I wasn’t expecting to be particularly accurate with the Dagger. And yet I felt quite confident at hitting what I aimed at after just a few magazines.

I holstered the pistol and drew it from retention quite a few times. Since this is sort of a CCW-focused pistol, I figured I would try and simulate drawing it. Again, everytime as I drew it from the holster, it would come up on target for a good clean shot. Well, almost every time.

RELIABILITY

The Dagger was very reliable during my testing; no significant malfunctions or jams occurred.

During my range time, I experienced no malfunctions other than one time the pistol failed to lock back upon emptying the magazine. The magazine appears to make good contact with the slide-lock, so I’m not sure if there was another issue or if maybe my thumb was riding the release. But I haven’t been able to repeat it yet.

ACCURACY

Accuracy was perfectly acceptable; I would like to shoot another one with the red dot sight.

The Tritium sights were great for targeting, even though I’m a bit of a red dot kinda guy. But the nice thing is that you can certainly get the Dagger with a cut slide for your red dot.

psa dagger hands on review and range test

FEATURES

POLYMER FRAME

The lightweight polymer frame with its grippy texture felt great in my hand; the slippery polymer allowed the magazines to drop free easily and seat properly as well. The mag release is not reversible.

TRITIUM NIGHT SIGHTS

The low-profile night sights work well for targeting, and they were unobtrusive. I think they could be improved by perhaps rounding off the edge to reduce the likelihood of snagging.

CARRY CUT SLIDE

The carry cut slide reduces weight and also gives an excellent grip area to cycle the pistol. I suppose it is possible that the large cuts allow more dust and debris to enter the pistol, but as long as you have it holstered, I don’t see a problem.

psa dagger hands on review and range test

HOW WE TESTED

During the course of more than a couple of hundred rounds, I got a good feeling for the function of the PSA Dagger. Shooting many courses of double taps, reloads, and other typical pistol drills.

I carried the pistol as my CCW for the better part of a month in a compatible OWB holster.

Part of my daily interaction with the pistol included repeated drawing and presenting of the pistol, and when in the right kind of place, shooting a few rounds to see how well I could place them under time limits.

It didn’t take long to see why these style of pistols are so popular. It was relatively easy to get comfortable and present some modicum of proficiency.

Shooting the pistol on the range got me very comfortable with the Dagger, and after spending a few weeks and boxes of ammo shooting the pistol I was very happy with the performance.

AMMO USED

For this review, I used Magtech 124-grain FMJ ammunition, and it worked great.

psa dagger unboxing for review

SCORE CARD

RELIABILITY (9/10)

The Dagger worked almost perfectly and flawless during my shooting. The controls felt and functioned perfectly.

ERGONOMICS (9/10)

The Dagger felt fantastic in the hands. I think the only way you could improve it would be to add some kind of adjustable backstrap or grip.

CUSTOMIZATION (8/10)

The incredible custom options of the Dagger allow you to get almost anything you want in the pistol. The various colors, slide, and barrel options make it easy to please nearly any shooter.

APPEARANCE (9/10)

The Dagger is a handsome pistol; again the custom options make it more so. The finish and look of the pistol are every bit as good as the famous Glock pistols they mimic.

VALUE (10/10)

I was literally blown away when I saw the price of these pistols. I had played with and shot the pistol quite a bit before I looked and saw the street price of the pistol as tested was only $359.00

Continue Reading Here…

Shadow Systems DR920 9mm pistol

INTRODUCTION

When I first started showing my Shadow Systems DR920 around, lots of folks would respond with, “nice Glock sir, but this is a Wendy’s”. I know it looks like a Glock, and surely shares a lot with them, but I was determined to see it differently.

In the interests of full disclosure, I’ll give some background. I’ve been a Sig fan-boy for twenty years, and while it would be silly to deny the success of the large family of polymer-designed pistols, I just never really liked them. Friends would get one, I’d handle them at a shop, but I never felt like I needed one bad enough to spend my money on one.

Now to be fair, the Shadow Systems family of pistols (DR920, XR920MR920) are not just Glopies of the Austrian pistol. Shadow Systems pistols utilize many interchangeable parts but are also their own, the DR model pistol is comparable to the Glock 17.

The DR920 pistol is made with law enforcement in mind and built for duty purposes. The frame features an oversized beaver tail and interchangeable grip backstrap to accommodate different-sized hands.

The grip is textured for additional grip and control while shooting, and the trigger guard is undercut to allow additional purchase for a better grip. The flat-blade trigger has a 4.5-5 lb break and feels pretty clean.

shadow systems dr920 disassembled

The DR920’s slide is aggressively cut to provide additional purchase both at the front and back of the slide. It’s also cut for optics, so you can add your favorite red dot. Most red dots can be mounted without the use of adaptor plates like many other pistols use.

After a fairly short time with the DR920, I was quite quickly enamored with it, despite my distaste for pistols of this type. But how far down the marriage aisle would I get with this polymer-framed beauty?

SHADOW SYSTEMS DR920 REVIEW

Let me backup a bit; there’s more to this story than I’d let on.

A few months prior to this event, I found myself in the freezing desert of Wyoming, shooting an assortment of pistols belonging to my baby brother. Among the many was another Shadow, a different model but close enough. I’d already explained to him that I wasn’t big on that particular type, but he was adamant that I try it.

After only a few rounds, I found myself quite surprised at how well I could shoot it, and how good it felt in my hand. So when the opportunity to get my own Shadow, I figured I better pick it up.

shadow systems dr920 hands on review in snow

The DR920 promises to bring service-grade reliability with superior quality to a 9mm polymer-framed pistol. They are marketed toward shooters needing a high-grade pistol for durable service in any condition.

While the pistol may share some features with other common pistols, it brings additional qualities which will demand a higher price. Let’s see if it’s worth it…

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber 9mm
Capacity 17 rounds
Action Striker fired semi-auto
Length 7.75”
Height 5.25”
Trigger pull weight 4.5-5 lbs
Weight 22.4 ounces
Sights Front dot, serrated rear
Barrel Twist 1-10

PROS & CONS

PROS
  • Same size and pattern as the Glock 17
  • Huge aftermarket support
  • Optics ready
  • Adjustable backstrap grip
  • Match Grade barrel
CONS
  • I’d like a more pronounced mag release
  • I wouldn’t mind a slicker trigger (less friction)
  • I’ll add a flared magwell
shadow systems dr920 hands on review range test

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

My first trip to the range with the DR920 was a quick one, and it didn’t take long to feel it out.

Running seventeen-round Magpul magazines, I stuffed a pile of cartridges in and loaded the pistol.

Cracking the first few rounds, I went slowly just to see how everything felt. To my surprise, the pistol recoiled a little more than I had expected. It wasn’t bad or anything, just a touch more than I had anticipated.

I ran through several magazines, running them dry til the gun locked open. I smiled a crooked smile to myself there in the pistol bay, and I thought to myself; I may end up loving this gun.

Those first fifty rounds went way too quickly, so I went to get more.

After several range trips and not as much ammo as I would have loved to shoot through this gun, I have gained a shine for it.

I’ve shot nearly five-hundred rounds through the pistol so far, and it hasn’t hiccuped yet. That should come as no surprise from a pistol with this pedigree. The natural aim of the pistol in my hand lined up very well; every time I presented the pistol, the sights were already on target. This made the pistol quite easy to shoot well, in my opinion.

During a later trip, I installed a Holosun 407K to see how I liked the gun with a red dot. It came as no surprise that I enjoyed it further still, as I prefer shooting pistols with red dots.

Shooting the Shadow was very comfortable and familiar. There are a couple of things I think I might change. I would like a flared magwell, and it looks like Shadow Systems has them for sale on their website, so I might get one on the way.

Not a huge deal, but it would probably help me stab magazines a little faster. And I’m definitely going to get some more magazines for it.

shadow systems dr920 hands on review close up

RELIABILITY

The pistol functioned flawlessly for the duration of my testing, with no malfunctions or failures.

ACCURACY

The DR920 was perfectly acceptable, in my opinion, as far as accuracy is concerned. Hitting 50% IPSC targets at 25 yards was easy; I don’t shoot pistols much further than that in any case.

OVERALL FEEL

The textured grip felt great in my hand, and the grip angle was perfect as well. Trigger and other controls were easily manipulated and comfortable. The adjustable backstrap made it easy to fit the hand.

FEATURES

FLAT-BLADE TRIGGER

The flat-blade trigger was smooth and clean to break. It’s a service pistol, so I wasn’t expecting it to be super light or short. I suppose I wouldn’t mind if it was a little lighter or less friction.

shadow systems dr920 trigger and grip

OPTICS MOUNT

The Shadow slides come pre-cut for optics. With threaded holes for various optical mounting patterns.

The idea is to be able to mount a red dot without needing a mounting plate. Instead, Shadow Systems includes a set of small polymer spacers that can be used to place in front of or behind the optic to fill any voids. I had no problem mounting red dots to it.

shadow systems dr920 slide and mount

SIGHTS

When I first opened the box, I almost thought the gun came with suppressor sights, but they are just slightly taller sights than normal.

I actually quite like them as they always lined up with my target upon presentation. And once the red dot was added, they all co-witnessed, which I believe is a requirement for many LE agencies.

shadow systems dr920 mounted with red dot

ADJUSTABLE BACKSTRAP

The DR920 came with a baggie of different backstraps that are easily swapped out by simply pushing a pin out with their provided tool. The backstrap then slides down and off the frame. Then you reverse the process to install the backstrap of your choice.

shadow systems dr920 with grips

TEXTURED MAG RELEASE

The textured mag release works fine, but I wouldn’t mind a slightly taller version. It seemed just a touch more out of the way for my thumb than I would have liked.

ACCESSORY RAIL

The pistol also features a typical accessory rail under the front of the pistol, perfect for mounting a weapon light. I installed my Surefire X300 with no problem; it’s pretty hard to mess this up.

Continue reading here…

shadow systems dr920 with holosun 407k mounted and reloading

Staccato P 2011 Pistol review

INTRODUCTION

The Staccato P pistol is a 2011 pistol built specifically for use as a service pistol for law enforcement, but the general shooting public has very well received it. The high quality and performance of the pistol have made it highly sought after by pistol aficionados in and out of the LE community.

The Staccato P is a 2011 model pistol. The 2011 design is a modern version of the 1911 design. Incorporating double stack magazines and chambered in 9mm has brought incredible versatility to the pistol. It comes in a custom soft case with three magazines.

STI was famous for making these pistols. They have since rebranded to the Staccato name and lead the way in the 2011 pistol market.

Being new to both 1911/2011 designs and the Staccato P, I was very excited to get familiarized with this pistol and see what all the hype was about and if it was well founded.

STACCATO P REVIEW

The Staccato P is a pistol designed for duty and anyone else who could use the features of the pistol. The manufacturer has gone to great lengths to get the pistol approved for LE service by at least 650 agencies, including the Texas Rangers.

With an MSRP of $2199.00, it is certainly not an entry-level pistol; however, to be fair to Staccato, it boasts professional-grade features to justify that price. The Staccato P has all the great benefits of the extremely popular and common 1911 design but also adds new technology and features to enhance the historical design with modern expectations. Pistol shooters who want exceptional quality and extremely smooth operation will be happy to feel the sticky Staccato stippling in their hands.

Much like buying a sports car, this pistol is not something you’d compare to the average 9mm pistol on the shelf at your local gun shop. And much like the sports car, you may want to get it purchased before the wedding and not after.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber 9mm
Capacity 17 rounds
Barrel length 4.4 Inches
Trigger 4-4.5 lb adjustable
Dimensions Length 8.0 X Grip Width 1.3 X Height 5.5 – Width At Safeties 1.49
Weight 33 ounces (empty)

PROS & CONS

PROS
  • Outstanding SA trigger – adjustable and crisp
  • Optics ready – to add your favorite red dot
  • Ambidextrous safety- in case you’re wrong handed
  • Picatinny accessory rail- to mount accessories
  • Flared magwell- for enhanced mag changes
  • Heavy bull barrel- for enhanced accuracy
  • Dawson custom sights – fiber optic for better sight picture
CONS
  • Short slide release – hard to reach with my thumb
  • I need another one

ON THE RANGE TESTING

I was understandably excited to get the Staccato P to the range, I had already worn in the pistol quite a bit playing with it in my office. But with a few boxes of ammunition and a few targets, I headed to my shooting spot.

After loading a few mags, I loaded the pistol and made it ready to shoot. The feeling of the slide riding forward and chambering a round is addictive, smooth as glass, and locks up tight. I’m not a big manual safety guy, but the 2011 safety is so easy to use that it immediately became second nature. It is almost automatic that as the pistol comes up, your thumb moves it from safe to fire, and back to safe as you return the pistol to the holster.

The trigger was everything I’d hoped to be, clean and crisp. The short reset seemed to allow for incredibly rapid follow-up shots, allowing a massive amount of lead to be put downrange very quickly. And the clean break of the trigger allowed for accurate shooting on targets, and the hits just kept coming.

I found the large grip of the pistol to be very comfortable in my hand. The rough texturing and the full palm gave a great deal of purchase on the grip. And being a bit heavier than your average 9mm pistol, the recoil was very easy to control with this better and bigger grip area.

The bright fiber-optic front sight was quick to find and easily aligned with the rear sight. I would love this pistol even more with a red dot mounted to it, perhaps next time.

As I plowed through the ammo, I quite enjoyed doing reloads. The Staccato P features a flared magwell to aid in rapidly seating new magazines. I found myself loading two or three rounds per mag just to get more reloads in.

The frictionless slide of the magazines against the polymer grip module made seating the magazine effortless, and empty mags drop free and clear with an appropriate press of the release. I was quickly becoming a fan of everything this pistol was, and deciding if I could justify keeping it.

RELIABILITY

The reliability of the Staccato P was immaculate. During the course of firing several hundred rounds, I experienced no malfunctions. That may not sound like much, but the way it just chewed through everything smoothly and without so much of a hiccup made it feel even more reliable.

Slow shooting cadences and rapid mag dumps all resulted in the same way, a locked open slide waiting for the next magazine to be loaded.

The cycling of the slide and the chambering of cartridges all worked so flawlessly that it felt like a well-oiled machine churning away in the palm of your hand.

ACCURACY

I am not what I consider a big pistol accuracy fanatic, nor do I consider myself exceptionally talented in accurately shooting pistols. As far as I am concerned, if I can hit what I aim at within the distance I typically shoot, then it’s good enough for my purposes.

The Staccato was certainly better than I was, as I found it easy to hit everything I aimed at. I did find that the sights aligned pretty naturally with my generic pistol pointing, which may have helped my shooting significantly. I think I might have shot even better had I installed a red dot on the back of the pistol, but that’s for another time I guess.

OVERALL FEEL

The overall feel of the Staccato P is outstanding. The perfectly filled hand with the perfect fit controls and trigger was missing only one thing for me. The slide release was a bit too far forward for me to reach with my thumb, making it necessary to break my shooting grip in order to do so.

I don’t know if they make an extended version, but if they do, I would certainly buy it, as it is the only thing I could complain about this pistol.

Continue Reading here

 

The CMMG Banshee 9MM Mk4

Nine millimeter carbines have become extremely popular over the last few years, and with ammo prices maintaining their ridiculous highs it should come as no surprise that people are looking for less expensive range guns. Today we are talking about the Banshee from CMMG, it is a nine-millimeter carbine that is a bit different than everything I’ve ever tried before.

The CMMG Banshee is a nine-millimeter AR style pistol, it features a five-inch Chromoly barrel with a 1-10 twist. A pistol brace is mounted at the back on the buffer tube, and using both 6061 and 7075 alloys for the upper and lower receiver help keep the weight of this little pistol down to four-point-seven pounds. The overall length of the pistol is just under twenty-one inches, making the Banshee Mk4 a very mobile and handy weapon. Other features such as custom furniture and six different Cerakote colors to choose from put the Banshee on many shooters want list.

Many of the nine-millimeter carbines on the market today are of the blowback type. This simple design operates much like a semi-auto pistol, utilizing the recoil and pressure generated at the breech of the barrel to open and cycle the action. It is less expensive and requires fewer parts in most cases which makes it a good option for entry-level priced pistol caliber carbines (PCC’s).
More advanced designs like the MPX utilize a gas system like those seen in many AR pattern rifles for more reliable function. And still others like the old roller guns from HK utilize a different locking bolt and a gas-operated system for their legendary reliability.

The Banshee utilizes CMMG’s Radial Delayed Blowback system to improve several aspects of the carbine. One of the many complaints with blowback systems is the heavyweight that is typically required to hold back the bolt long enough for the bullet to get down the barrel. Heavy bolts made from blocks of steel are usually the culprit.
Another of the complaints heard about blowback-operated guns is the recoil impulse felt by the shooter. With nothing holding the bolt closed but its weight and spring pressure, a blowback gun begins moving and opening the action as soon as the shot is fired. This added to the heavy cyclic weight of the bolt increases the feeling of recoil and motion. The more advanced designs of the gas-operated systems don’t start operating the action until the bullet has left or nearly left the muzzle. And with their lighter bolt carriers they feel much smoother in operation. The radial delayed system of the Banshee allows greater reliability than traditional blow-back designs. It also makes the weapon more stable and controllable by reducing the recoil impulse with its lighter bolt carrier group.

The Banshee
The Banshee has several features that will make it extremely popular for AR-style rifle enthusiasts.

-Radial delayed blow-back system. The flagship feature of the Banshee series of rifles is the CMMG’s patented radially delayed system. The beveled lugs on both the bolt and barrel extension cause the bolt to be pushed open as it pivots inside the carrier, the time it takes to rotate the bolt out of battery allows chamber pressures to drop to much lower pressures before opening. This feature also allows the Banshee to use much lighter carriers than traditional blow-back designs.

-Ripbrace “not-a-stock”. The pistol brace that comes with the Banshee has several locking points that are locked into position using the common rocker lever under the “stock”. The difference between this one and others is that the Ripbrace has beveled pin bosses in the rear-pulling direction, this allows the stock to be pulled as far to the rear as the user would like without the need to push any release rocker. It makes for fast and simple deployment of the weapon.

-Sixty vs. ninety degree safety. Most AR’s can take a an ambidextrous safety, but the ambidextrous safety provided by CMMG has a reversible center barrel that allows you to choose either sixty or ninety degrees of motion to safe or fire the weapon.

-Standard AR mags with adaptor. The Banshee Mk4 utilizes standard AR 5.56 sized magazines. The 9mm cartridges are made to fit using a magazine insert that uses its own internal feed ramp and follower.

-Ambi mag catch. Magazine catch controls are located on both sides of the receiver, allowing ambidextrous control of the magwell and it’s contents.

-Extended mag release. The Banshee comes standard with extended magazine release buttons, I found them more than adequate and added ease when dropping the magazine.

-Threaded barrel and compensator. The Banshee comes with a linear compensator to reduce muzzle rise, and underneath the muzzle was threaded 1/2-28. This is a must nowadays, as suppressor have become extremely popular.

CMMG has offered a wide selection of configurations for the Banshee, including six different Cerakote colors; black, green, tan, bronze, grey, and titanium. The Mk9 series of Banshee utilizes pistol magazines, but that’s for another story.

On the range
After mounting up a Sig Sauer Romeo on top of the Banshee, and grabbing a few accessories for it, I headed out the door with great expectations. I don’t much care for proper ranges, and I avoid them as best I can. So into the mountains I fled with a Banshee under my arm.
I began loading the curious magazine, which was much easier than I had anticipated. The inner mag adaptor has feed lips that mate to the existing P-mag feed lips, the front of the magazine adaptor is a long feed ramp. Stuffing thirty rounds into the magazine went quick, and it was time to empty it.
Shouldering this tiny little pistol felt so easy, the lightweight and size of it make you almost ball up into a a solid mass of pistol, elbows and arms bones. I started popping off several rounds, and the bumping of this little banging Banshee felt like just like I hoped it would feel. The light weight was matched by its light recoil, and before I knew it I was back to fumbling fresh cartridges into the magazines. I made a few adjustments to my Romeo, and went right back to shooting. The linear compensator wasn’t particularly noticeable, hard to say how much of a difference it made with such light recoil anyway.

My nine year old had come along with me, and as kids often do he started hinting at interest in shooting the Banshee. He’s shot plenty of other guns so this wasn’t a big ask, but I was supremely pleased as I watched how simple it was for him to handle and manipulate the gun. I collapsed the brace to better fit his little stature and off he went.

I am not one for making a racket, so it was time to see how this pistol would do suppressed. I had brought along my Yankee Hill Machine R9 suppressor, because I knew it was up to the task and easily swapped out the muzzle threads to fit the Banshee. I was shooting 124 grain supersonic ammunition so I wasn’t expecting it to be extremely quiet, but it did seem to be quieter than I expected. Most of the PCC’s I have shot in the past were blow-back designs, but delayed guns like this Banshee seem to be quieter still due to their breech staying closed longer.

With the Romeo and the R9 installed, we spent a good portion of the day making little piles of brass all over. I’m not sure what kind of accuracy you might expect from a 9mm carbine such as this, but hitting things like soda cans and six inch steel plates at fifty-yards seemed pretty easy. I would have liked to try some different ammunition in the gun to see if it had a preference for one over another, but the way things are at the gun counter right now I was lucky to get what I could.

Pros and Cons
There are quite a few pros when it comes to the Banshee, many of which I’ve already mentioned above. For me, the best pros of the Banshee are the weight and controllability. It almost felt like a toy compared to a CZ Scorpion or an MP5, and it was easy to control with almost zero muzzle rise when suppressed. The quality of the Banshee felt at or above its price point, with smooth fit and sexy finish. And all the little things like the extended mag buttons and such made this rifle feel perfect in my hands.

I suppose there are a couple things that I could call cons, but I’m not sure they can be blamed on the Banshee’s design alone. Short guns like this can be more than a little handy, and if you aren’t careful with your hand, you may find it has some new holes in it. CMMG put a good little hook at the front of the handguard to keep you from getting your fingers to close to the muzzle, but it’s still close enough that a careless move could cost a finger. This is of little concern to me as I will probably always use a suppressor on the gun. I’m still unsure if I would prefer the Mk9 Banshee over the need to put adaptors in several P-mags, but that is another thing to evaluate. Continue Reading Here…

Canik SFX Rival 9MM

Canik keeps throwing out one banger after another, I have followed them somewhat closely watching eagerly to see what comes next. I bought a Canik TP9 Elite Combat (EC) a year or two ago, and I was very pleased with how it functions. The latest thing from Canik to cross my path is the new SFX Rival 9mm which is the subject today.


The SFX Rival

The Rival is being marketed as an IDPA competition gun, with both it’s size and weight restrictions meeting the standard for most competitive circles. The Rival does this while bring all the many features from all its Canik siblings, with things like ambi-slide release, reversible and extendable magazine release, flat trigger-shoe, undercut trigger guard, magwell-flare and a picatinny accessory rail up front. In addition to these features, the Rival has deeply cut slide serrations, as well as a fluted barrel. Like many of the TP9 family it also comes optics ready, with an assortment of baseplates and sight options. All this with two custom Cerakote color schemes, mine has the Rival grey with gold accents.
As usual with Canik, the pistol came in a hard plastic case with an assortment of tools for cleaning and maintenance. It also came with a Kydex holster and spare magazine pouch, as well as a couple magazines.

First Impressions
My very first initial thoughts of the Rival were pretty flashy, it seems quite busy to the eyes. But I wanted to find out quickly though if the busy looks matched up to a busy time shooting targets.
As I expected, the Rival felt nearly identical to my TP9 in the hand. A good thing in my estimation as both of the pistols feel great filling the hand and giving a good textured grip to control with. I actually rubbed the Cerakote off of my other Canik doing draw drills, shooting and reload drills constantly. And after all that, the Rival felt like an old friend. My fingers instinctively landed on every control with perfection, and it didn’t take long to notice just a couple things.
The first thing was the ambidextrous slide release, I think perhaps the Rival uses a stronger spring because there is more felt resistance on the slide than my other guns. This translated into just enough extra effort to annoy me, but that’s all.
I also noted that the extended magwell-flare seems to be a better fit than the one on my other Canik, this made reloading even easier than I anticipated. Magazines were easilly slid into place with little to no effort.
The trigger felt fantastic, which has been my typical experience with these higher grade Canik pistols. Continue reading here…

Why Classic Sig Sauer pistols are still great

Sig Sauer perhaps leads the market with a plethora of new firearm products every year, and of course among those many items are their always popular pistols like the Legion series and the countless models of the P320. With all these hot releases and choices, it can be easy to forget some of the old standby pistols that Sig has made in the past. At the risk of sounding like the old guy trying to convince you to trade your Glock for a 1911, today I’m here to tell you about a few classic Sig pistols and why they deserve your time.

The P220
The P220 is an aluminum framed single stack pistol, chambered in the Automatic Colt Pistol caliber .45. It uses a double action (DA) trigger and an magazine with room for eight rounds. As with many of the older Sig pistols, this P220 is safety-less. The controls are extremely simple using only a trigger, slide-lock, and a de-cocking lever to safely lower the hammer. The mag release is in the traditional spot, all these controls are comprehensive and easily manipulated. It also has a low-slung accessory rail up front for installing weapon lights.

This P220 happens to be one of the fancy German made ones, and it also features a threaded barrel for installing a suppressor. I intended on running my Silencerco Octane 45 to see how they played together. With a few boxes of 230 grain ball ammo, the 220 and the Octane in hand I hit one of my shooting spots.
I don’t shoot much .45ACP very often, but it sure felt powerful coming out of this Sig. The full-size pistol felt perfect in my hands, its grip and angle match my natural point of aim. Hitting targets with the heavy and slow bullets was very enjoyable, even more so once I installed the suppressor. The naturally subsonic bullets of the 45 made shooting the suppressed P220 pure joy, I could have perhaps benefitted from taller sights but had no problem hitting what I aimed at.

The P220 has everything from classic firepower to the iconic looks of a service grade pistol. The trigger still feels fantastic all these years later, and the pistol’s function was flawless. The gun is obviously a little heavier than more modern pistols, and everyone but the old 1911 guy would probably like more magazine capacity. But despite those few things, I absolutely love this pistol. The heavy weight tames the movement of the gun significantly, making it smooth and deliberate in every motion.

The P239
One of the reasons that the P220 was so easy and familiar to me, was that it has the identical controls and design as my P239. I bought this pistol shortly after Y2K for those old people out there who remember phones with cords, though none of that had anything to do with my purchase. I bought the P239 because I was a freshly minted CCW carrier, and my taste then was just as good as it is now. Years later I found while reading that the P239 was frequently used as a concealable or backup pistol by agents and SEALs.

Much like the P220, the P239 is a single-stack aluminum framed DA pistol. The aforementioned identical controls are easily manipulated, and the only changes made over the last two decades has been a Hogue grip. The soft edges of the pistol and its low profile sights make it an easy option to conceal and draw.

I’ve carried the P239 for nearly half of my life, so nothing could feel more comfortable to me when shooting. And like it always does, the 239 functioned flawlessly during my latest trip afield. Shooting both 115 and 124 grain ammo, the P239 was right at home hammering targets. The eight-round magazines are solid and easily changed, and having several of them made reloads and multiple engagements quite fun. My wife who is significantly more petite than I also found the P239 to be easily handled and fun to shoot.

I typically carry this gun with the hammer down, which is easily done using these pistols. One need only pull the trigger whilst whistling Dixie. Both the 239 and 220 proved to be quite accurate, but the P239 and I have pulled off some near unbelievable shots over the years. Including the decapitation of a rodent on the first shot from sixty-nine yards, whether you believe that or not, you can certainly count on this gun shooting accurately.

The Mosquito
Before the P322, there was a Mosquito. The Mosquito is a .22LR chambered pistol that basically mimics the P series of pistols. It does use a polymer frame however, with an alloy slide and this one does have a safety. Not sure why, perhaps due to the idea that it may be used by young shooters. Other than the safety, the Mosquito is again identical in its controls and function to the other two pistols mentioned here. It does feature a pic rail for adding your favorite accessories under the front. The single-stack ten-round magazine is familiar and simple, much like every other 22 pistol from that era. Continue Reading Here…

Ruger EC9 9mm pistol

Though I have been lucky to handle untold quantities of pistols over the years, I’d never consider myself an expert on the subject. I am a gun nut though, and that is the only qualification I can claim expertise in. I love a good pistol the same as the next guy, and today I’d like to present another new-to-me pistol: The Ruger EC9.

The EC9 with 7 round magazine and extended 10 round magazine

The EC9
I owned a Ruger pistol once, back in the nineties, the P89 was the first pistol I ever owned. It worked great for what I needed at the time, and it met my skill level which was none. Ruger has changed quite a bit since then, as have pistols in general. Entry level pistols akin to my old P89 are everywhere and many of them nowadays are polymer framed, as are many CCW pistols. The EC9 is one of those, a striker-fired compact CCW type pistol that uses a single-stack magazine to keep it thin and easy to conceal. It utilizes a slender steel slide with rounded edges to avoid snagging on clothing. It features both a manual safety and a trigger safety, the blade type that deactivates the trigger safety when the trigger is properly pressed. The gun uses a seven round magazine, but Ruger also offers a ten round extended magazine with additional grip area added to the bottom as well.

Un-boxing
Upon receiving the EC9, I promptly opened the box eager to see what lay inside. There I found the Cobalt slate blue framed EC9, with a magazine, chamber-flag, a standard throwaway lock, and a strange orange magazine that appeared to be for training or something. More on that later.
Straight into the palm of my hand went the little pistol, to see how it felt. My initial concern about the gun was it’s size; would it fit in my hand properly? It did feel a bit small, which was no surprise, but it was certainly serviceable. I gave the pistol a vigorous course of draw and point exercises, which quickly began to give me the feel for this gun. Drawing the slide back I familiarized myself with the controls of the EC9. I found it to be a pretty stiff little pistol, the recoil spring is quite stout in my opinion. The slide release is located in the typical location for the thumb to operate, and behind that there is a safety. Initial inspection of the gun made it quite apparent that Ruger was aiming for the CCW crowd with this model, the trim control surfaces were very subtle to avoid snags. The magazine release sits at the front edge of the left grip area, and again it is fairly diminutive to avoid inadvertent release of the magazine. The sights are machined into the slide, making them both robust and un-adjustable. I purchased the extra ten round magazine to utilize in this pistol review, mainly because I figured it would help me hold onto it better. Continue Reading Here…

Pistol controls, front to back: disassembly opening, slide release, and two position safety at the rear.
The extended 10 round magazine gives more purchase for those with larger hands.

Yankee Hill Machine R9 :A great first or fifth suppressor

One of the biggest questions when buying a suppressor, is selecting one out of the hundreds of options. I’ve been through a bunch at this point in my life, so let me shed some light on the subject for you. What caliber? what configuration? And so many other questions you’ll be asking yourself. With so many options how can you pick one that is best for your purposes? The right answer is that there are always too many good choices to pick only one, but today we are going to look at the subject as a first time suppressor buyer, and a suppressor that might just cover all your bases.

The YHM R9 mounted direct on a Browning X-bolt 6 Creedmoor

Why the YHM R9?
What makes the YHM R9 a perfect can for an NFA Greenhorn? I’ll get right into it. Todays gun owners come from every walk of life, our modern world has given them overwhelming opportunities for firearms and accessories. That said, there’s a good chance that most firearm enthusiasts looking into a suppressor probably have an Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) of one kind or another. That rifle is probably chambered in the extremely popular 5.56, or one of the other calibers that are growing in popularity like 300blk, 6.5G, 6 ARC, etc.
The R9 from YHM is ideal for using with any of these calibers, it can suppress large frame cartridges too, like the 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Winchester. It is rated to suppress pretty much anything under 308 Winchester really, even with limited amounts of full auto. But Wait! There’s more! The R9 is also a perfect fit for a 9mm pistol or carbine, it’s stainless construction is more than enough to retain pressures generated by the cartridge, and other 9mm rifle cartridges like the 350 Legend.

The way I see it, it is pretty damn likely that your apprentice level prospective suppressor purchaser would benefit greatly with an R9. One could swap it back and forth from various rifles, and install a booster and run it on their Glock as well.

The R9 is ideal for the Desert Tech MDRX and its assorted calibers

Adaptation
YHM is one of many manufacturers that has embraced the uniformity of threads. The threaded rear end of the R9 can be fitted with a direct thread cap (1/2-28 or 5/8-24), or it can fit a Nielsen booster assembly and run with one of various piston manufacturers. It doesn’t end there, it can also use YHM’s Phantom QD system, which allows rapid swapping of the suppressor from various YHM muzzle devices. Further still, the can uses the same threads as other major manufacturers like Dead Air and SilencerCo, so you could also install those devices. I have all three options for my R9, I have both thread caps that I use when shooting the R9 on my precision guns, and I also have the QD mount so I can swap it back and forth on my carbines as well. I run a Rugged suppressors piston inside my Nielson Booster assembly, which makes my Canik TP9 quiet and smooth as ever I could ask.
The R9 is only threaded on the breach end, the rest of it’s construction is solid baffles welded together making it simple and no non-sense. The provided tools allow the user to tighten down the various assorted mounting options, and perhaps more importantly disassemble them after being used.

Shooting with the YHM R9
The very first shots I fired through the R9 were with my pistol. It was the first mounting adaptor in my possession so I went straight to the range to try it out.
The R9 tamed all the sounds produced by my pistol, adding of course its due weight and a bit of added backpressure. But the heavier muzzle sure made the pistol smooth and even more controllable. Shooting the pistol in closed quarters was very tolerable, the sound reduction was everything I’d hoped for, and the function was flawless.

The R9 seen mounted direct on my SRS M2 6mm GT

Shortly thereafter I received the 5/8-24 direct thread adaptor, and the R9 went straight to my SRS M2 chambered in 6mm GT. It stayed there for quite some time, hundreds of rounds sent through the R9 from fifty to seventeen-hundred yards. The accuracy of the rifle was if anything enhanced by the presence of the R9, this is typical in my experience. Cartridges like the 6mm GT were easily suppressed by the R9, making precision even more pleasant.

The QD mount for the R9 is perfect for running the suppressor back and forth between rifles. I ran the Phantom flash hider on my 308 carbine threaded 5/8-24. and on my 5.56 chambered carbine I use the Phantom Turbo 556 muzzle brake. This made it easy to swap the R9 back and forth between the two rifles, both of which sounded great when suppressed with the R9. With the gas turned down a notch on both rifles, they functioned perfectly without gassing me out at the breach.

Carbines like this 350 Legend are a perfect host

First or Fifth?
Ya, I said first or fifth. The reason I put it that way is because even though I have a dozen or so cans at any given time, the R9 is still an excellent addition to my collection. It is very useful on better than half of my gun collection, and with an MSRP of only $494.00 it is pretty economical compared to many other cans.
I’m at a point in life where I seldom go places without a rifle, and much of the time I have two or three rifles. Having an additional suppressor that will fit most of my rifles makes it an easy choice for me.

Conclusion
If my positivity is hasn’t been obvious enough about my feelings about this little suppressor, let me make it clear; I think this is the perfect suppressor for a first time NFA victim. It has everything most people need, multi-caliber, adaptable, tough as nails, and all at a very reasonable price. If I had to say something about the R9 that I dislike, you’d really have to force it out of me. The only issue I’ve ever had was keeping the thread caps tight, this was almost certainly due to me not tightening them on using the supplied tools as I’m a lazy ass. But I wouldn’t put that at the feet of the boys over at YHM.

So there you have it, the R9 is nearly a flawless purchase in my opinion. Short from needing magnum capabilities or a bunch of machine guns you need to suppress, this is an excellent suppressor for your typical firearms consumer. Best get yourself one.

-CBM