Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > General Firearm Discussion

"Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)

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--- Quote from: whatzhizname on August 03, 2010, 12:45:00 PM ---I'm not terribly familiar with .50 Beowulf but will check it out.  Am I correct in thinking that there's been an AR platform rifle chambered in that caliber?

--- End quote ---

There are some kits that exist to convert an ar15 to .50 BMG. Your looking at probably over $3k in total costs by the time you are done (at least what I have seen). Plus you can buy a complete .50 bmg rifle for as low as $2500. So why bother?

The .50 Beowulf is an ar15 platform. It's a smaller 50 cal bullet than the .50 bmg that is for short - mid range. A complete rifle starts at $1250 and an upper for an existing mil-spec ar15 lower starts at $690. So it is much more affordable and probably a much more realistic/useful rifle than a .50 BMG for most people.

The .50 Beowulf is roughly the .45-70 for the AR platform.  I honestly would love to get one as a hog rifle.  That thing would level a lot of game like the hand of an angry God.

And I will get around to the S&W M&Ps and newer H&K handguns for those whom asked when I get the opportunity.  Work is destroying me with OT, but I haven't forgotten you guys.  I'm even going to try to get to the range to rent them again just so I can make sure I give you guys the best review I can.

And I am a man of my word, though it did take me longer than expected to get to it.

Smith and Wesson M&P

These handguns are available in the big 3 defensive rounds (9, .40, and .45).  The frame really is designed for the 9mm and .40, as the .45 gives up notable capacity when compared with the other polymer .45 offerings (Glock 21 and XD45).  That said it is a great handling handgun, and everything I've seen and heard suggests that these handguns have "GLOCK-like" reliability.  There isn't much higher praise than that.

The grip has interchangable backstraps to fit the handgun to the shooter.  And regardless of the strap used, the handgun naturally fits the vast majority of shooters hands very naturally.  The trigger safety involves the end of the trigger swinging back, as opposed to the front flange on the trigger face found on it's competition, the GLOCK and XD series.  The bore axis is low, and the handgun handles recoil VERY well.  One thing to note, those used to shooting from trigger reset will find the M&P's to be somewhat vague.  The click isn't as pronounced as in it's competition, and it takes practice to learn.

All and all, it is one of the top choices for serious handgunners.  This lives up to the term "Fantastic Plastic."  You could do far worse than to pick one of these up.

EDIT: Needed a smaller picture.

H&K P-series (P2000, P30, etc)

All things I said about the H&K USP stand here.  Accurate, dead reliable, durable, etc.  Difference is, it has numerous Ergonomic upgrades (various backstraps, larger mag release, etc), standard rails (as opposed to the USP's proprietary rail) and other design features to make them more user friendly.  The guns, mags, and accessories still usually run more than most normal handguns, and H&K's customer service to civilians and small outfits leaves something to be desired, but the guns are damn near bulletproof.   

If you want one, you'll likely be pleased with the investment.  And if you aren't, H&Ks hold their value well.  You won't loose much on a sale or trade-in.

A few things I noticed skimming through the handgun section.

S&W revolver triggers are generally pretty good, but not great from the factory. It's an easy fix, and inexpensive. They're mechanically simple and relatively easy to work on. As a bonus, the same basic lockwork has been in use since the late 1890's, meaning that newer parts can generally be fitted to older guns though it can take a lot of time and trial fitting. Something of note, especially if one intends to carry the gun, is that S&W DA revolvers prior to 1944ish had a different style of hammer block safety and ARE NOT safe to carry with a live round under hammer.

The things that recommend the S&W cannot be said for Cult DA revolvers. They're long out of production, parts are scarce, and they are more complex to work on, not to mention much higher prices. The number of gunsmiths that can actually fix them is few. Yes, a Cult in good shape will lock up much tighter than a S&W. That's because the mechanism actually cams/wedges the cylinder into place whereas the S&W simply holds it there with the stop. The Cults are fitted to much tighter tolerances because of this, and IMO that is their downfall-more parts to wear. Another downside to the Cults is the absolute lack of a "knuckle" at the top of the grip frame, meaning that if you're doing fast DA work, the gun will have more tendency to roll up in your hand. The Python, which was once the flagship of the Cult line, was originally intended to be a high grade target gun built and chambered around the .38 Special wadcutter load. As such, the barrel was choke bored and the rifling twist was optimal for wadcutters. When S&W introduced the Combat Magnum(later known as the Model 19), Cult knew they needed to compete and reamed Python cylinders to .357 Magnum.

The CZ 75(or 85) and CZ SP01(pictured) are NOT entirely the same gun. The SP01 has a slightly different grip frame(improved over the original) as well as the full length dust cover with a rail, though some models have been available without that feature. There are a number of variants of both. SA only, SA/DA with safety, and SA/DA with decocker are the three action types available. The CZ decocker works a bit different than what I've seen on many others in that it allows you to slowly lower the hammer rather than it just snapping down.* IMO, it's far superior to the other designs since it is far less prone to accidental/negligent discharges. The types that simply drop the hammer have been known to fail and discharge the gun once parts were worn. I'm sure that's also a possibility with the CZ design, but it's so unlikely as to be a non issue. The 75/85 is an excellent gun.

Something else of note with the CZ 75 is the difference between a "Pre B" and "B" models. The "Pre B" models do NOT have a firing pin safety, while the "B" models do. CZ does still manufacture a couple of models without the firing pin safety, but they are more or less special order**, so they're not likely to be found in your local gun store. The firing pin safety can be removed on newer guns, and trigger pull will be improved, but doing so is not advised for anything other than a range toy. The "pre B" models also use a different magazine and current production magazines will not work in them. If it's a "B" model, it will be marked on the slide as a "75B".

The GP100 and SP101 revolvers are probably even easier to work on than the S&W's since the entire trigger mechanism drops out as a unit. That's a good thing since most of them need more work than the S&W's to have a good trigger. It is possible to get a better trigger on a SP101 than on a J frame S&W. I'd consider the Rugers a little more rugged too, though they are heavier and bulkier.

Hollowpoints are a waste of money in a .380. The only one that sometimes expands is the speer gold dot, the rest deform slightly if at all. You might as well carry fmj.

If you want to know about S&W revolver repair/trigger work, I've done several. I've also got a few around if you need a pic of a particular model. I'm not a big fan of the L frames though, and I don't have one of the new X frames.

*The CZ 52 handgun is SA only with both a safety and a decocker. The decocker on these guns does let the hammer snap down, and they are known to have issues with discharges from decocker use. My own CZ 52 dimples the primer if the decocker is used, so I ignore that it's even there. Other older CZ designs may also have a decocker that functions the same as the 52, but I can't say for sure since I have no experience with them.

**A variety of options, features, and variants not cataloged are available and can be ordered direct from the CZ custom shop. The custom shop website lists a few, call or email if you've got anything specific in mind.

ETA: sorry, I thought this was the discussion thread when I clicked reply.


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