Flat Triggers in a 1911

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the benefits of a flat trigger – or even if there are any.  Some people think it’s only cosmetic.  Personally, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I’ve never had one, never used one.

Hilton Yam at 10-8 Performance loves the flat trigger.

Our flat trigger has become one of our trademarks, and brings this competition tested concept into a duty ready design.  The shoe features a flat face, providing consistent trigger feel no matter where you engage the trigger. The length of pull is the same as the shortest point on a traditional “long” curved trigger.

Quack (yes, really) a 1911 collector loves him some flat trigger as well.

The theory of the flat trigger is a consistant trigger pull (feel) no matter where your finger is on the trigger itself.  Since the trigger pull on a 1911 is straight back, the flat trigger makes sense.  The trigger works well for me because my trigger finger is naturally at an angle (not perpendicular to the trigger face) and sits lower on the trigger. With a long curved trigger, my trigger finger is forced to the center and would get rubbed raw due to the angle of my finger. Flat triggers also worked well when I took a pistol class in the cold rain where I was wearing gloves.

Here’s a link to his blog post regarding flat triggers, to include quite a few pictures.

Check out all of Quack's flat-triggered 1911's

Additionally, many flat trigger users feel that they can get a higher grip on the gun and a higher grip on the trigger, providing a more accurate shooting platform.  Beware though, the flat trigger is the same length as the shortest part of the long curved trigger.

From what I’ve read, most people either claim that they are totally for function or that it’s only for looks. Entirely subjective, it seems.I guess it’s probably worth it just to try one so I can see which category I’d put myself into.


Kimber’s got issues…. again.

First let me say, that I’m not a Kimber guy.  I can never say that I was, because I’ve yet to own one.

Everything I’ve heard has been hit or miss. Love/Hate.  They run like a top or they run like crap.

My 1911 is a Springfield, and I chose that after a lot of research.  Additionally, I didn’t want to chance getting a Kimber and having to send it back to the manufacturer because of issues.

Apparently, North Carolina’s Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) purchased Kimbers as their sidearm.  Turned out to be a bad idea for them and within 3 years, swapped them all out for Sigs.  Of course I’m not sure how much of this is operator error.

ALE Director John Ledford said the Kimber pistols repeatedly suffered such problems as rounds jamming during training exercises, broken sights and the weapon’s safety button sometimes falling off. He made a deal with a local firearms dealer to swap the pricey pistols for less expensive handguns without spending any additional money.

ALE's Problematic Kimber

Since the Kimbers were issued to agents in the fall of 2009, Ledford said, his agents documented 289 malfunctions with the pistols during training exercises. Many agents chose to carry personal weapons instead, Ledford wrote in a memo Nov. 8 to Young.”

Here’s a link to the original article.


SHOT Show – The Sears Catalog for Men!

As a boy, my brother and I couldn’t wait for Christmastime and the Sears Catalog.

We’d lie on the floor, skip past all the grown up stuff, right to the back of the book to the toys.  The toy section was awesome.  There would be GI Joes set up on mountains, Ninja Turtles in sewers, Voltron in outer space – and we had to have it all.

Fast forward 20 years.  Sears Catalog is out, SHOT Show is in.

The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) Show “is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. It is the world’s premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics and related products and services. The SHOT Show attracts buyers from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The SHOT Show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation

This is the Super Bowl. Celebrities from the gun world, sports world, entertainment world all make it out to this.

Last year alone 57,390 people attended the show with 1,600 exhibitors in 630,000 square feet.  2,074 alone were media (Hopefully next year, we can call it 2,075.) In other words, HEAVEN for a gun and gear guy.

Things like this:

And this is where all the cool stuff comes out.  This is the place to be to see the current and future trends of firearms and gear. My goal is to attend as a member of the media.  So follow my blog and pass the word.

Skill Set: Finding Your Pistol (Repost)

Good, common sense advice on a topic that would seem simple

Skill Set: Finding Your Pistol
by Tiger McKee

“I like the way it looks,” he replied. “It’s the newest model,” another said. “When I went into the shop the guy told me this is what “they” carry,” he said, using hand quotations along with a wink. “You don’t see very many of them,” one man told me. “This is what my father carried,” the man said. These are some of the reasons I hear when asking students why they have a particular firearm, something that is out of the norm. None of them are good criteria for selecting a fighting weapon.

When it comes to selecting a pistol there are several areas to consider. Jeff Cooper’s three essentials for the pistol were that it fit your hand, have a good trigger, and a set of sights you can see. Your hand size determines what size pistol is ideal. You have to be able to get the correct grip on the pistol, completely surrounding it with both hands, while at the same time able to operate the trigger properly, with the trigger centered in the first pad of the first finger. It’s essential you can press the trigger smoothly, since this is critical to shooting accurately. Double action/single action pistols are more difficult to fire accurately under stress because you have to learn two presses. The first press is long and requires plenty of pressure, while subsequent shots require far less pressure. You need sights that you can see, especially under low-light conditions. As you age sights become even more important; at some point you’ll need a big dot sight, like the kind XS makes.

Reliability is mandatory. Period. If your weapon doesn’t function correctly then sell it or put it in the safe and get one that does. Just keep in mind that for it to run it has to have good ammo and quality magazines. Some pistols, especially smaller calibers, are ammo sensitive; find what works and stick with it.

Finally, you have to be able to carry the pistol, which is especially a concern for concealed carry, and you should train/practice with what you carry.

The main point here is if you carry a weapon for self-defense then it has to be the correct weapon for you. And you are an individual, so what works for your friends may not necessarily be right for you. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, as long as it does the job. It may not be a good idea to express your unique approach to life in general when picking a weapon. And when your life depends on what you carry, it won’t really matter much who else carries one just like it.

You may have to go through several pistols until you find the “one.” As I’ve often said, don’t stop until you find the idea pistol, the one that seems like it was made just for you. Finally, don’t be afraid to modify it, if it’s necessary and fills a true need. It takes time and money, but in this case the value far exceeds the actual costs.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama, author of The Book of Two Guns, a staff member of several firearms/tactical publications, and an adjunct instructor for the F.B.I. (256) 582-4777 www.shootrite.org

Originally found here

Skill Set: My Pistol Never Malfunctions (Repost)

I found this to be a great article – train as you fight.  But you have to be prepared for malfunctions. They happen all the time – and if you aren’t ready to deal with it and react to it – you’re lost.

At an IDPA match in the last few weeks, we worked in some dummy rounds and I noticed that most people were anticipating a problem instead of correctly reacting to it.  A lot of people complained about it – but I strongly agreed that it was great training.

Skill Set: My Pistol Never Malfunctions

by Tiger McKee

When I hear the statement, “My pistol never malfunctions,” it makes me worried. The problem is your pistol may never malfunction, but the pistol itself is only a part of the whole package. What people often fail to realize is that for the semi-auto pistol to function it has to have ammunition, magazines, and be fired properly by the shooter.

Obviously ammunition is essential to the equation. Your pistol may be in working order, but when you come across a bad round that will create a malfunction, or worse a jam or breakage that can’t be cleared or corrected. I have a collection of rounds with bad primers, fired in multiple weapons to confirm the primer is defective. I have rounds that have deformed cases, a small lip at the mouth of the case that prevents it from being chambered. There is also a 9mm round which was fired in a .40 caliber pistol. Then there’s the ‘too much or too little powder in the case,’ which needs no explanation. The point is when you get a bad round of ammo, you have a malfunction.

Magazines feed to ammo to the semi-auto weapon. They have to work properly, especially if we’re talking about fighting. Things happen to magazines. The follower gets stuck in a cock-eyed position. A small rock gets inside it creating a stoppage. When you were rolling on the round trying to keep from getting kicked in the head, the mag got bent. A bad magazine will create a stoppage. This is the reason I have training/practice mags, which get abused during drills, and my operational mags, which I carry to fight with, after a thorough testing of course.

The semi-auto pistol, at least most of them, are recoil operated, which means it has to have resistance when fired to cycle properly. This is especially true for small pistols with small frames and big bullets. .40 calibers, which have sharp snappy recoil, also require plenty of resistance or you’ll have failures to eject empty cases or problems chambering a fresh round. Providing the resistance necessary for the weapon to function may not be a problem on the range, until you start doing one-hand drills. On the street you may be firing from a compromised position that prevents you from getting a good two-handed grip on the weapon. In a fight, the unusual and unexpected are constantly occurring. This is fertile ground for malfunctions to pop up.

Knowing how to clear malfunctions is essential to being prepared to fight with a weapon. Understanding that you may have a jam or a breakage as opposed to a malfunction is also important. When your weapon breaks or jams, you ain’t gonna clear it during the fight. This is a good reason to carry, and know how to use, a backup weapon. And, who knows, you may find that going to your backup is easier and more efficient than reloading an empty weapon or clearing a malfunction.

If you weapon has never malfunctions, then you’re not training and practicing enough.

Reposted from The Tactical Wire

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