Well, you put the Царица in charge of date night, and you gotta expect something like this. After a superb dinner at a nearby Szechuan place, the Czar was asked to drive to our favorite shooting range for an evening of paper-hole-punching.
The Царица, you may recall, is quite the fan of 9mm pistolsnot so much our .40, alas, but heyand tried a couple out. The Czar got to fire one but not the other, and will provide a different kind of review here.
|The Ruger SR9; ours was solid black.|
First up was the Ruger SR9 pistol. You will doubtless remember that the Czar gave a thumbs-down to the Ruger P89 pistol for a bunch of reasons, but in that review presumed that the much newer SR9 would be an improvement. Well, it most certainly was.
The Царица found this easy to load and fire, and she appreciates the inclusion of the now apparently quaint thumb safety. You see, even though most folks consider the thumb safety passé, she explains that she likes feeling the gun has an on/off switch. Fair enough.
In her first shot, she hit a concentric target at first light about one centimeter to 7:00 of the red. The Czar did basically the same with his first shot, but hit it at 3:00. By contrast, when using his Springfield XD40, the Czar nailed the bullseye with his first shot at the same distance. Mind you, the Czar isnt saying this to claim the XD is a better weapon than the SR9; he is saying this purely to brag about what a shot he can be when he isnt trying too hard to impress you. Did it work?
Anyway, back to the SR9. Ergonomics were pretty good; neither of us had any complaints about ejecting the magaine, loading, or firing. An interesting observation: compared to the Beretta PX4 Storm, which the Царица really enjoyed, she felt the SR9 was a little easier to adjust when firing, even though it felt heavier in her hand. Her analogy was that the Beretta PX4 was like driving a Ford Mustangfast and nimble, but you have a helluva lot of hood turning in front of you. Similarly, when changing the angle slightly on your shot, the Beretta was like turning a giant turret due to its enormous slide. Conversely, the SR9 has a much smaller slide and was easier to fine-tune shots even though it felt like a chunk of lead in the hand.
Her conclusion: ladies looking for a decent 9mm should try out a Ruger SR9 if price permits. It isnt a big, clunky pistol, felt comfortable in the hand, and was easy to control. She still gives the edge to the Beretta. Next up for her, she would like to try a Glock 17 (9mm) and a Springfield XD9 (9mm) and see how they stack up against these two.
|The Ruger LC9 subcompact in 9mm. Just about actual size.|
As the Czar talked to the range proprietors about ammunition suppliesmore on that in a bithe left the Царица too long at the gun counter by herself. Before we knew it, she was test-firing a Ruger LC9 pistol in 9mm. This is a teeny-tiny gun; the whole thing is only about 6 inches long and 4.5 inches high. It comes with an optional grip extension to make the thing fit in a human hand. She opted to try it without the grip extension, delighted by the microsize.
She immediately loved that tiny thing, and found she could bring it up to eye level in a heartbeat. Her little finger was under the magazine well, but she felt she could still maintain a good grip. A second later, she was quick drawing it and a Beretta Nano, and found the Nano was too top heavy. Interestingly, that might become important later.
What happened next was the Czars own dumb fault. He left the target out at first light, which is 25 yards out. And way too far for a compact gun, which is designed to fire at very close, scary ranges. Her first shot went…somewhere. The second put a hole in the top of the paper, 12:00 and way off the mark. The third…fourth..fifth shots were nowhere to be found.
After twenty-five shots, she hit the target about six times. And heres the thingneither of us could figure out where her shots were going. The Czar stood behind her for all 25, checked her alignment, and spotted her. Youre lined up with the target, honey, we said, as she pulled the trigger and instantly missed the paper. Behind her, the orange flick of a ricochet hit the back walldead center behind the target. It was almost as if she found a way to shoot around the paper entirely and still hit a bullseye on the back wall.
Okay, let us be certain we understand each other: the Царица is a very good shot. She is no IDPA markswoman, but she can poke all sorts of holes in paper at a variety of ranges and lighting conditions. And this was her worst effort ever. She finally gave up and declined to waste another box of 9mm rounds on it.
Now, she felt she was shooting to the right of the targetprobably because four of the six paper hits were between 1:00 and 4:00 on the target. Her conclusion was that the tiny gun did not allow her a solid grip on the gun, for which she compensated by squeezing the thumbs harder. As a result, she was canting her hand and pushing her shots off to the right.
Pretty smart, that one; but she had too many hits on the back wall behind the target, and the other two hits were to the left. The Czar thinks that when you deal with a pistol with such a short barrel, you lose the advantage of accuracy and control. A small variation at the hands can result in a big miss. We really should have tried from about 5 yards out to diagnose the weapon better. Curiously, the slightly heavier slide on the Beretta Nano could have indeed added considerable stability to the shot, and now she regrets not having tried that one, too.
So the LC9 results in an inconclusive review. We were out of 9mm ammunition, so the Czar did not personally fire this weapon. Despite the comfortable grip, the beautifully small and compact size, and the ease of loading (magazine as well as slide racking), our dear Царица found the weapon a little frustrating to master in only 25 rounds. Perhaps someday she will return with more ammo and provide a better review. Perhaps not.
Finally, the Czar was perturbed to see the ammunition supply at the range. Recently, at a Bass Pro Shop, the Czar found them repeatedly sold out of 9mm, .45 ACP, and selling out of .40 S&W. A little .38 special was left, but not much.
Tonight at the range, the Czar was shocked to see boxesliterally thousands of roundsof .45 ACP on the shelves. There were 10 boxes of 9mm left, but they were completely sold out of .40 and .38 Special. So we asked, while the Царица evidently was trying out subcompacts, about the supply. The proprietor explained that it has been like this since Newtown: lots of .45, a little 9mm, and no .40 and .38; meanwhile, Bass seems to have the opposite problem.
Incredible. This further goes to prove our original theory: the ammunition shortage is nothing more than a buying panic. There is no government conspiracy to buy out all the ammunition so that you cant have any: there is only ordinary schmores like ourselves who are hearing vague stories about government buyouts, and then executing basic economic runs on supplies. In some areas, this means .40 caliber is going fast; in others, its .45. Your favorite seller is sold out? Keep looking: there might be plenty just down the road.
As soon as we get over ourselves, the sooner ammunition supplies will return to useful levels. Thank goodness the Czar has seen little evidence of price gouging (although .223 can now go for a buck a bullet!). A little nonsense and hooey can ruin a lot of shooters good times.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.