I am always on the lookout for quality firearms. I fully believe that when it comes to firearms, you generally get what you pay for. So I do not mind spending a bit more if I know that I am getting a well built, reliable firearm. And if there is a chance of getting a quality firearm on a budget, then I am certainly all in.
I have been looking for a pistol carbine for quite some time. I decided I wanted a 40 cal carbine since my pistols were 40 cal, and I have plenty of 40 cal ammo. Who doesn’t like the idea of having multiple weapons and weapons platforms that you can share ammo between?
I initially wanted to get a Beretta CX Storm. But the internal parts of that carbine are made of polymer, not metal. I have no issue with polymer framed firearms, like my Glock. But I’m a bit unsure of a firearm with polymer internal parts.
To replace those polymer parts with metal would double the price of the gun. That made it inefficient for me from a cost stand point.
I also was interested in a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 that took Glock 23 magazines. But I have yet to be able to find one. (At least one that wasn’t used AND double the MSRP.) I really want a new Gen 2 Sub 2000, but I doubt I will ever find one. 🙁
I checked other 40 cal carbines, but typically found something about them that did not appeal to me. Then one day I came across a brand new, still in the box Hi Point 40 S&W carbine. Now obviously, this gun is ugly. No, I mean UGLY! (What Hi Point isn’t?) But I had heard good things about Hi point’s overall reliability. And for the price I paid for it, (got a SMOKIN’ deal well under $300) I decided “What the hell!”
I took it home and noticed that there was going to be “some assembly required”. But not to worry. The assembly was fairly simple. I had to mount the knob for the slide release, and mount the grip handle. (I got the version with the vertical grip.) Really, this took me less than 5 minutes to complete. The carbine comes with the tool you need to put it together and to field strip it.
The carbine also came with a picatinny rail for mounting whatever accessories you might like. It can mount scopes, flashlights, or targeting lasers. And as I mentioned, mine also came with a folding grip handle that is easily attached and removed. There is a button on the side of the grip that allows you to lock the handle in place or fold it up.
I am a firm believer in having a self-defense type weapon as a part of your EDC. (Every Day Carry). And I also advocate carrying that weapon concealed. While I carry a Glock 23 with a Streamlight Tactlite on duty, off duty I prefer something that is much easier to conceal. I carry a Sig Sauer P238.
The P238 comes with its own carry/conceal holster, a nice touch by Sig. But it rode too high on my waist for my liking. And it did not feel like it was completely secure.
So when the good folks at Osborn Holster offered to make me a carry/conceal leather holster for my Sig, and make it large enough to also carry a spare magazine, I said “Hell Yeah!”
For those of you who are not familiar with Osborn Holsters, they have been in the market for the past 3 to 4 years. They specialize in making custom holsters for almost any style of pistol. Osborn holsters are made right here in the USA, headquartered in Texas.
I ordered the IWB (Inside Waist Band) Tact rig for my Sig, and was surprised when it arrived less than a week later. I order firearm parts all the time. Many times it takes a week just to process the order and then ship the parts. So to have my holster fabricated and sent to me in that amount of time left me pleasantly surprised.
The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the package was how durable, yet flexible the leather was. I also noticed that the holes for the magazine attachments and the kydex had been reinforced with eyelets, which should help with the holster’s durability. I’m a big fan of buying products that are durable and long lasting. So I give bonus points for things like that.
The P238 fit securely in the Kydex molding. It was a bit snug, and took some effort to pull out. But the holster uses screws with rubber spacers to attach it to the leather. This means that the amount of retention can be adjusted. So between adjusting the screws, and normal use (break in period), the tight retention should not be an issue.
A few months back, I decided that I wanted to upgrade my EDC off-duty carry pistol. At the time, I had a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard. And while it was a decent, quality firearm, I did not like the LONG trigger pull. So I decided I wanted to make a change. Off to my favorite gun store I went.
After looking at a few, I picked up the Sig Sauer P238, and immediately fell in love. The P238 is a metal framed 1911 in miniature, (minus the grip safety), chambered in .380. It fit perfectly into my hand (with the flared 7 round mag…see picture) with an overall width of about 1’1” with a 2.7’’ barrel. As for weight, it is about 15 oz. unloaded.
The pistol comes with a 6 round magazine, but I purchased an additional 7 rounder with a flared bottom plate. (I would recommend this mag to anyone buying this firearm.)
I went to a local gun range, where I was able to rent the P238. The guy behind the counter lent me a 7 round, flared mag. From the very first trigger pull, I knew this gun was for me. The trigger was fluid and so SMOOTH, at maybe 5 lb pull.
The P238 is single action, meaning that the hammer must be cocked in the rear position. The safety is a bit strong, but that means it won’t accidentally be flipped off. There is a noticeable “click” when engaging the safety on and off. You will also notice the feel when doing so. Hence there won’t be any confusion when flipping the safety on and off. You WILL hear it and feel it!
I practiced quite a bit, drawing from a holstered position while disengaging the safety. The safety flips off easily, though flipping the safety back on takes a bit of practice as it was a little stiff at first.
Speaking of holsters, the P238 does come with a Sig hard case OWB concealment holster. I thought it was a nice touch, but ended up not using it. It rode a bit high on my waist for my liking. I also felt like I wanted a concealment holster that was a bit more secure and stable.
As the popularity of the AR platform increases, so have the number of manufacturers. For those who are new to prepping or firearms, trying to find a decent quality AR on a budget can be tricky. And to those people, Smith and Wesson introduced the M&P 15 Sport model rifle.
The first things to note on this rifle is that it lacks a dust cover or a forward assist. (The dust cover is the metal plate covering your rifle’s ejection port when the rifle is not in use. See the picture below.) Smith and Wesson, in an effort to make the rifle more affordable, left these items off of the Sport model.
For the AR enthusiast, this might immediately turn them off from this gun. But realistically, unless you plan on crawling around on your belly, the dust cover really isn’t essential. As long as you store your rifle in a cool, dry place and keep it clean, you should be fine without one.
As for the forward assist, I put anywhere from 700-900 rounds through this rifle without a single hiccup. Never once did I have a “failure to feed” or a “failure to extract” problem with the Sport model.
There are mixed emotions about the need of the forward assist. Personally, I like having one, but to be honest I have never used it. Considering that I owned the Sport model and put well over 700 rounds through it without a problem, I’d say not having a forward assist was a “non-issue.”
Her initial question was:
I recently just bought a new pistol. I’ve shot it some and it’s a lot of fun. What sort of training do you recommend? – Prepper Pam
This was my response:
Congratulations! It is always fun when you purchase a new gun. I’m always excited when I shoot that very first round through it.
When it comes to firearms training, I would say train as often as you can. Make time if you have to. And not just range time. At home, I would practice (with your firearm unloaded of course) things like drawing it from where you carry it, (purse, concealed on hip, etc), sight alignment, trigger pull, etc. If your pistol has a safety, I would practice switching it off while drawing it. Practice those things all in conjunction.
Doctor Richard Schmidt wrote a book called Performance and Motor Control And Learning. In it, he states that it takes around 300-500 repetitions to develop a new motor pattern. However, once a bad or inadequate habit is already in place, it takes about 3,000-5,000 repetitions to erase and correct that bad motor pattern. (So train right the first time.)
When you go to the range, vary the length of your target from yourself. Shoot at 5 yards, 10 yards, and 15 yards for example. (Much longer ranges with a long gun of course.) Don’t lock yourself in to the same distance from your target every time.
As your experience grows, change things up. Give yourself time limits, ie 3 shots center mass from a holstered position in 3 seconds. Try to put a bit of pressure on yourself. If you ever find yourself in a life or death situation, your physiological reactions to the stressful event can alter the way you shoot, ie elevated heart rate, tunnel vision, etc. So putting a little bit of stress on your body now will begin to prepare you should that ever happen.
If you can, try shooting at more than one target. You might have to engage multiple bad guys. Adding moving targets to your repertoire will also help. (If you can.) Work on accuracy first. Once you are comfortable with accuracy, then work on speed. But remember, accuracy ALWAYS trumps speed!
While you are building your experience (and confidence), I would begin learning about your gun. Each gun is a little different. For example, many guns out there are picky about ammo. I had a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard that did not like steel cased ammo. I guess the striker sometimes did not hit the primer hard enough, and I would have a “No fire.” I’d pull the trigger a second time and the bullet would go off. (My brother had a Taurus TCP738 that HATED steel cased. He had to send the pistol back to the manufacturer for repair after trying to shoot steel case.)
About a month ago, one of my best friends at work hit me up about purchasing his backup weapon, the Sccy CPX-2 , which is a 9mm. I normally would not have a need for this pistol, and would not have purchased it on my own. I already have a backup/off duty gun that I really enjoy. And I do not have any firearms in 9mm. (For pistol I stock .40 cal, .380, and some .357.)
But I knew he needed the money, and he was offering me a VERY fair price. So I purchased it from him thinking I would keep it until he wanted to buy it back. When I mentioned that to him a few days later, he replied that when he did eventually buy a new backup gun, he would go with something different.
So I am now the proud, permanent owner of a Sccy CPX-2.
At this point, I started thinking that maybe I could trade it in for something else. I could at least get out of it what I had in it.
I also wondered if it wouldn’t make a decent weapon for someone in my group. We don’t have any 9mm ammo, but what if we came across some if things went really bad? 100 rounds of 9mm ammo isn’t that expensive, and it might be a pistol I could give to a family member if “things go south”.
Either way, I decided to do a review on this pistol for folks who might want an EDC pistol without breaking the bank. The MSRP on the gun is $319, which means from a reputable dealer you could probably find it for around $250-$270. A used one might be even cheaper.