Handgun Profile: HK P2000SK

The HK P2000 SK is a compact version of the P2000. This pistol is very sleek and attractive and can be found in a number of different trigger configurations. The pistol tested in this review was a .40 caliber DA/SA with the de-cocking lever.

First Impressions

At first glance the P2000SK looks like a well put together pistol. The surface treatments everywhere have interesting detail and offer great gripping surface. The barrel area has the typical HK taper which adds to the visual impact of the gun. Taking the pistol apart is a breeze. Make sure the magazine is out of the pistol and it is unloaded (make very sure of this) and all you have to do is remove the slide release with slight pressure backwards on the slide. The slide will come right off and the recoil spring is captured.

Looking at the internals of the P2000SK you will find full frame rails and a beefy recoil spring assembly. Fittting the recoil spring into the barrel groove almost seems to easy, and putting the gun back together is a breeze.

Shooting

The first trigger pull in Double Action is a little tough, resulting in low quick first shot placement. Rather than hitting the target in the bull’s eye I was always 6-7” low. This only has to do with my inexperience in shooting Double Action from a draw, and will be cured with practice.  The single action in this pistol is nothing short of amazing, and shooting accurately out of a subcompact pistol becomes easy. Recoil in this pistol is very tame, and it happily fires out any ammunition thrown at it reliably.

My one complaint

The only complaint that I have with this pistol is the de-cocker. It is located at the rear of the pistol ON THE SLIDE. If this thing ever malfunctions and the pistol discharges while you are de-cocking then your thumb will be in a world of hurt. I am sure that this de-cocker has been engineered to be a fail-safe, but it just doesn’t sit right with me.

 

Overall

There is something simply beautiful about the precision with which this pistol was put together. When you look at all the parts and the attention to detail apparent in them, you will understand what makes HK’s great guns, be prepared for a hefty price tag, but it is well worth it!

Photos courtesy of various google image results due to a broken camera.

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Suppressors: They are like Potato Chips

A friend of mine was visiting, back from work, and brought some goodies to the range. Never mind the Short barreled HK 416 (awesome), FAL, and assortment of other fun guns that he brought out. This one’s all about the cans.

I have found that shooting a suppressed weapon for the first time is just like shooting a weapon for the first time; you want to do it again! Shooting a pistol with a suppressor is quite different than shooting a pistol regularly. The suppressor actually soaks up a lot of the recoil usually associated with the Glock 17 (not that it kicks to begin with) and takes most of the sound out of the shot as well. Using a dry gemtech and 147 grain subsonic rounds the pistol sounded like a nail gun being disconnected from a pressurized hose, but quieter. The big surprise was the blowback. If you are going to shoot a suppressed weapon you better make sure that you are wearing glasses! This suppressor peppered my glasses.

The m4 suppressor seen in the first picture on the HK416 was nothing short of amazing. It makes shooting an m4 (especially a short barreled one) even more fun than it already is and I want one! Didn’t think you could own one of these? Well you can. Be aware that these items, often referred to as class 3, take special licensing and taxes.

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Lou Land launches website

 

Lou Land is the place to go to shoot in naples or marco island florida. It is where we do all of our training, and if you would like to see what the place is all about or want directions visit www.gunrangenaples.com. You can shoot pistol, rifle, or competition and Lou Land is always a safe place to go and practice, no matter what level you shoot at.

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Handgun Profile: Smith and Wesson’s new M&P line

Great new Smith and Wesson line: The M&P automatics

 

Smith and Wesson has tried to come up with a polymer automatic to combat the Glock since it first gained popularity and started replacing the .38 special revolver as the firearm of choice for America’s law enforcement community. Smith and Wesson’s first attempt, the Sigma line, resulted in a mediocre-at-best firearm and a successful lawsuit from Glock. S&W went back to the drawing board and revived the Military and Police line championed by the all new M&P semi automatics, and they hit a home run.

When you think of S&W you probably think of high quality wheel guns, and some obscure semi-automatics that are custom fit to the tastes of collectors or Smith enthusiast. The M&P line of handguns has changed this dramatically. Even though I am a die-hard Glock fan, the M&P looks and feels nicer in my hands. It is an extremely functional and reliable gun, but it also has style with the scalloped slide serrations and interesting texture treatments.

One thing you will definitely notice with the M&P is that your grip is extremely close to the bore axis thanks to the deep beaver tail. What this means is that your grip is very close to the barrel and this helps to reduce muzzle flip during recoil because the slide has less of a lever to exert force on your hand with. The felt result is a push rather than a snap, even with the usually snappy .40 caliber guns. Less muzzle rise results in quicker follow up shots, and more rounds on targets in less time.

The M&P is a definite winner over the Glock in .45 as the frame is still very slim and easy to conceal and handle. Even in the SF the Glock 21 feels unnaturally large in my gorilla palms. It is plagued with the same elephantitis that made the HK USP so unpopular with most .45 shooters. The M&P feels right, points right, and allows you to operate all functions on the handgun without shifting your grip whether you have large hands or not.

The accuracy with the M&P is what you would expect out of a high quality handgun: it shoots better than 99% of us do, and well above combat accuracy. The grip angle lets you hit naturally and points in the right direction for those of us addicted to combat Tupperware ( glocks or xd’s). Available in all sizes and calibers Smith got this one  100% right and the .45 version will be joining my inventory soon, instead of the model 21. The trigger is smooth but takes a little getting used to due to it being hinged in the middle of the pad. My only objection to this gun is the loaded chamber indicator, which is a hole in the rear of the chamber that shows the loaded cartridge. I wonder if this affects velocity at all, but in all likeliness this is simply a cosmetic issue that I am not a fan of.

Verdict: The M&P line of handguns is a serious contender to the Glock, especially since it is able to change the grip to fit the hand of the individual shooter. I wouldn’t outright sell a Glock to replace it with an M&P, but will pick the M&P up in .45 over a Glock any day. A great carry gun that looks sharp, shoots true, and works.

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Gear Review: Microtech Ultratech Katana

Gear Review: Microtech Ultratech Katana

 

A knife is a very important tool as it can take care of multiple roles. It can be a tool to cut seatbelts or break windows, it can cut bandages or sutures, it can even become a primary weapon if a threat is too close to allow you to deploy your firearm safely. A great knife is one of the mainstays of your gear, can more easily be concealed, and should always be with you no matter what (as long as it is legal of course!!!).  If you have a concealed weapons permit and want the added utility of an automatic knife, you should seriously look at a Microtech Ultratech Katana.

The Ultratech Katana is a limited edition knife from Microtech. This double action design (automatically deploys and retracts) is wicked fast and scary sharp. To make things even more interesting there is a “flood” design on the one sided chisel ground blade that only makes this knife look even meaner.

So why a Microtech? Out of all of the automatic knives I have tested so far the Microtech certainly has a great name, but does it really make a difference? It sure does. The blade on this Out of the front automatic fires the hardest out of any automatic knife I have tried so far, and is rock solid. The overall machining and attention to detail not only makes this a great quality knife, but sure makes it a great looking knife too. The knife just feels “good” in your hand having the right amount of grip and ergonomics to be easily wielded. The blade is functional to a fault and razor sharp. You could easily make this a work or collectible knife and it would not feel out of place being either. The dull end of the knife features a glass breaker/kubaton style pain compliance thorn that is very sturdy and very pointy. I would not want to come in contact with either end of this knife.

 

Some automatics tend to get very big, but the Ultratech Katana is just the right size for me. It has an authoritative blade while not becoming overly large. The firing lever does not require a large amount of force to fire or retract, but is not easily enough activated to become dangerous. The lever is scalloped giving it plenty of traction for deployment with even sweaty or wet hands. And to make things even better, Microtech stands behind their knives with a full warranty.

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Battle of the pocket rockets: Ruger LCP vs. Keltec P3AT

The mini .380 standoff

 Keltec P3AT vs Ruger LCP

Pocket pistols have always been popular because they fill a gap. When dressed with a tucked in shirt and slacks in weather that does not permit a jacket, where are you going to put your favorite roscoe? This dilemma has been solved a number of different ways including pocket semi-auto’s, strapping a revolver to your ankle, maxpedition bags, and of course exotic items such as pen guns.

So if you are looking for a pocket .380 you will most likely be looking at either the Keltec or the Ruger. At first look both pistols appear to be almost identical, safe for a few texture details. Both of them are 7 shot semi-automatic .380 caliber double actions with a shrouded hammer. They look all but identical, and if you put them side by side a gun novice may think they are the same gun. But when you really start drilling down into it you will notice that small details pile up to pick a winner.

2nd place: Keltec P3AT

keltc p3at

The Keltec may be a few bucks cheaper, but that shows in the frame quality. Whereas the Ruger has a nice smooth frame, the polymer in the Keltec leaves some sharp edges. On the model that we tested the Keltec had a piece of polymer sticking out in the trigger guard which beat up your finger every time you pulled the trigger. The tolerances on the Keltec seem somewhat tighter, and the magazine ejects forcefully, clearing the little 380 with ease. Taking the Keltec apart requires either a shell casing or a screwdriver, but taking the Ruger apart is the same thing. The Keltec has an “unfinished” looking barrel, in that the barrel hood stands out against the blued slide. In the Ruger the barrel is blued as well.

Pro’s:

Cheap and cheerful

Magazine is shucked out

Tolerances are somewhat tighter

1st place: Ruger LCP

Ruger LCP

Just to let you know, I am usually not a fan of Ruger firearms. I prefer Smith and Wesson in revolvers, and after buying a Ruger 22/45 and trying to put it back together I came close to swearing never to own another Ruger firearm. But I have to give credit where credit is due. The Ruger LCP just looks like a better finished pistol. Even though it seems like a carbon copy of the Keltec, Ruger seems to have done a better job. The LCP seems to have been dehorned much better than the Keltec has, not leaving any polymer edges that can annoy or cut during recoil. The polymer also feels “better”, seeming less porous than the polymer on the Keltec, but this may just be a personal observation. The barrel is blued to match the polymer frame, not left bare as on the keltec.  Another nice even though unnecessary feature is the slide lock-back on the LCP. If you are inspecting the pistol or showing empty, this feature can come in handy. The slide release lever is virtually impossible to manipulate though, so don’t think that you will be doing speed reloads. The magazine drops free, but not as easily as on the Keltec. And to boot this little pocket rocket comes with its own soft case, as well as an extended magazine base plate making for a more positive grip, if you are willing to add a snag point.

Pro’s:

Nice craftsmanship

Finished look

Slide lock

Accuracy

Keltec vs Ruger

Accuracy is a relative term with a pocket .380. The best groups you are most likely going to get over 15 yards are going to be about 5”. Rather than trying to shoot a single ragged hole into a target over 25 yards, practice close encounters. These pistols should be thought of as a tool to get you either to something bigger, or away from the threat. Personally whenever I carry a pocket .380 I have a full-size pistol in the car. With a 2 inch barrel you simply won’t put enough spin on a bullet to shoot bull’s eye competition.  On top of that the sights on these pistols are extremely low profile, measuring about 1/16th of an inch in height. They are suggestions of an approximate direction of travel, not cross-hairs.

Holster selection

Holster selection is going to be critical when choosing to carry a pocket 380. You will again have a lot of options, but for a great rig that will hold your pistol in the correct cant while not coming out of your pocket on the front of your gun, try this galco holster:

 Galco holster for p3at and lcp

The flange on the bottom of the holster is designed to catch on the inside of your pocket, pulling the holster off of your weapon on the draw stroke. We currently carry this and other holsters for the Keltec and Ruger, all with a price tag of about $40 or less.

Summary

loading lcp

So if you are looking for protection at those times when you can’t bring your duty rig, think about the Ruger LCP. If you happen to come across a Keltec for the right money, you can’t go wrong there either. Both pistols fired a variety of ammunition without a hiccup. Make sure that your pistol will do the same and you can feel a little more comfortable in your dressy clothes too.

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Handgun Accessories: Galco Holsters

Galco Holsters

Naples gun holsters

There is probably nothing more important to a successful Concealed Carry than your holster. There are a number of different styles of holster, but I would like to focus on two of my personal favorites the Galco Summer Comfort and Combat Master.

Summer Comfort

Naples IWB HolsterThe Summer Comfort is the holster I find myself wearing most of the time when I am not working in the shop. It is an Inside the Waistband holster, meaning the muzzle and most of the slide are tucked into your waistband and being covered by your pants and belt. This type of holster has a few pro’s and con’s but the major points are that an inside the waistband holster is a little more uncomfortable since you have to fit yourself and your gun in your pants, and the holster is usually a little slower to draw from than an outside the waistband holster. If you are a tall guy like me though you will love this holster because it allows you to buy normal size shirts rather than the extra long stuff that makes you look like you came out of a rap video. The Inside the Waistband holster will also tuck your weapon in a little closer to your body, making less of a print in your shirt and thus looking a little more “undercover”.

Combat Master

Naples OWB HolsterThe combat master is an outside the waistband holster that is great for Competition shooting or carrying your gun in your place of business or in your home where concealment is not as important. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of guys can and do carry an outside the waistband holster concealed, but for a tall guy this is exceedingly difficult because you need a very long shirt. The combat master has a nice cant allowing for quick draws and keeping the firearm close to your body again reducing the print of your weapon against a shirt or jacket.

Why Galco?

I really like the way that Galco holsters look and fit. They seem to be a very high quality holster and stand up to a lot of punishment. I will never use a plastic holster on my guns because I like the finish they have on them and want to keep it looking good. A quality leather holster will cost you about $70, so $35 more than the cheap stuff and it will last you forever. The Galco holsters have just the right amount of gun retention to allow for a smooth draw without having your firearm drop out while running. For a full line of holsters by Galco visit www.usgalco.com.

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