First the Glock, then the 1911…

I ordered a Lone Wolf 10mm to 40S&W conversion barrel for my Glock 20C. I missed the bit about how some Glockstore products are not in stock and may take longer to arrive. The barrel turned out to be drop shipped directly from Lone Wolf Distributing. I had paid $31 extra for 2nd day shipping and the only part I was actually in a hurry for arrived 11 days later. Glockstore was super nice about it and refunded a significant part of this shipping even before the barrel arrived. I was disappointed with the barrel taking so long to arrive, but I certainly can’t fault them on service, especially when I had missed the pretty clear notice on the page.

I installed all the rest of the parts while waiting for the barrel. I now have an extended slide release, extend slide lock and a 3.5 pound trigger connector. These were all very simple to install.

It’s surprising how much easier the pistol is to field strip with the extended slide lock. It seems to be a problem I didn’t know the platform had πŸ™‚

I have always thought the stock slide release was a little difficult to operate. I am trying to train myself to pull back on the slide to release the slide after a reload, which is arguably faster, but having the extended release will help in those situations where the off hand is not immediately available.

Before I installed the 3.5# connector, I used my semi-fancy trigger pull scale to get an average on the “before” trigger pull. The hook on the scale did not want to sit where it would properly engage the trigger safety. I ended up hooking the trigger at a low angle to press the safety, then once partial pressure was on the trigger, I moved the scale so that it was pulling correctly. Even so, a couple of readings were suspciously high, so I threw them out of the average. The “final” before average trigger pull was about 7 pounds, measured in this way. After the connector was installed, the trigger definitely felt better, but measured out at about 4.5 pounds, using the same technique. Next time, I will use a bit of tape to engage the trigger safey then pull the scale in a more consistent manner.

Once the barrel arrived, it was essentially an instant drop in installation, especially with the extended slide lock.

My only concern at all is that this conversion uses the stock G20 10mm magazines loaded with 40S&W cartridges. Apparently, the G20 and G22 are different enough that magazines can’t be interchanged. All indications are that it is a reliable combination, but lets just say that until at least several hundred trouble free rounds have been run through it, when the G20C is at my bedside, it will have the stock 10mm barrel and ammo in it.

In any case, now I have an IDPA legal Glock 20C, for the ESP division. I think the first opportunity to shoot it in a match will be the first week of December.

About all that’s left on this pistol is to replace the sights.

I also did a good bit of work on the 1911.

Most visibly, I added a Wilson Combat drop-in beavertail safety, Commander-style hammer and a mainspring housing with a magwell funnel attached.

Just ignore that comp barrel for now. It happened to be in the gun rug when I took that pic πŸ™‚

You may recall from a previous post that I accidentally ordered the wrong beavertail. Once it didn’t fit, I dug into it and finally saw that I had ordered the beavertail for a Commander. It was a simple matter to order a replacement. In the interest of fast shipping, I chose not to pursue an exchange/refund for the wrong part at that time, but I may look into it now.

Once I had the right part, fitting the drop-in beavertail took a little more than expected. Due to my own oversight, I ended up trimming the engaging tab too much and was able to correct it by filing both the bottom of the safety and the top of the mainspring housing where they meet. To correct for this correction, I will need to braze/weld a tiny bit on the bottom of the engaging tab and refit better. As it is, the safety works, but it takes only the smallest press of the grip safety to allow it to fire, which meets the letter of the system, but doesn’t really meet the intent. πŸ™‚

Internally, I polished a lot of trigger group parts, pretty much everything that touches each other. Trigger pull is much nicer and down to between 4.5 and 4.75 pounds. The firing pin safety even works.

I have ordered (and had arrive just today) an extended thumb safety and extended slide release. They will hopefully be really drop in pieces.

Assuming those last two bits work, I will work on the fit of the slide. It is perfectly functional, but there is a little bit of metal on metal screech and the recoil spring is a little noisy. Racking the slide slowly sounds a little like opening a screen door. Having fondled a reeeeeally nicely fitted 1911, I’d like to pursue more of that, at least part way down the rabbit hole.

That and some nicer sights and I think I’ll be done with parts on it. It will then be ready for a new finish, probably Cerakote. It’s unlikely to be zombie green, so you can relax. “Blue Titanium” or “Socom Blue” both seem likely, though.

My First IDPA match

It was not my first match to observe, but my first IDPA match to shoot in. It went pretty well, with a kinda major hitch at the beginning.

I arrived, officially joined the club (which wasn’t technically required, but I see no reason not to do it) and signed up for the match. First match is free and membership is prorated annually, so I was out a whopping $5. Well, there was the discounted range fee. $8 I think. Frankly, I wasn’t concerned hehehe.

I was there with two other new shooters and it should come as no surprise that we three were the bottom scores. Then again, it was our first match ever. I’m pleased to have completed all four stages.

There was, however, a moment….

I was in the middle of the squad, so I had time to observe several shooters and I had formulated a plan. At “Load and Make Ready”, I methodically inserted a magazine, racked a round, removed the magazine, holstered my pistol, dug out a round to top off the magazine, unholstered the pistol, inserted the now full magazine and reholstered the pistol, all of course closely observed by the Safety Officer (SO). We stepped up to the first shooting position. I was ready. “Stand by”. beeeeep.

I drew my pistol, drew down on the first target, squeezed the trigger and…. click.Β  Not bang.Β  Click.

I cycled the slide and tried again. Click.

There was obviously something going on, so I made the weapon safe and stepped away to go troubleshoot.

Attended by a couple of experienced members, it was pretty easy to determine what had happened.

You may recall from my last post that I had done some work on the Colt. Turns out that I had reassembled the Series 80 firing pin safety with one component out of place. In proper configuration, pressing the trigger moves a lever that engages another lever that presses up on a plunger in the slide. In its resting position, that plunger engages a ring in the firing pin to block it’s movement. My specific error was that the lever that contacts the trigger bow was positioned such that the trigger would never touch it. So, the firing pin remained blocked. Click, no bang.

The only spare pistol I had on me was my Glock 20C, which in stock compensated configuration, is prohibited by IDPA rules ( for the curious) and while I may have been able to correct this issue with some tools, it was better to accept the kind offer to borrow a pistol.

How very kind that offer turned out to be.

I was loaned an exceptionally nice pistol. He did not reveal the cost, but from what I know, it would not surprise me to find it was a $2000-3000 pistol. What a nice way to shoot my first match!

Due to the delay, I ended up shooting the first stage with the other squad, then scooted back over to my squad for the rest of the match.

For the most part, I think I did well for my first match. The shooting and even the movement was not so much an issue as the hyperawareness of safety rules.

There are really only two ways be be disqualified at a match… for being a pretty serious ass or for violation of gun safety rules. IDPA takes safety very seriously. All the safety rules are very sensible, but as a new competitive shooter, their enforcement is a new consideration for me. It’s remarkably easy to do something that, if the shooter were alone, might not be particularly unsafe. At the range, in a room full of people, those same actions present clear danger to others. Violation of those rules means you are immediately disqualified and your are done shooting for the match.

So, I didn’t DQ. I did not handle my pistol except when the SO instructed me to do so, I kept my pistol pointing downrange and not at an body parts (mine or others’), I kept my finger away from the trigger except when actively engaging targets.

A bit on IDPA scoring. The SO activates a timer device which beeps when time starts. It counts and times your shots by detecting the sound with a microphone.The time elapsed from the beep until the last shot is your raw score for the stage. Then the targets are scored and penalties assessed, all adding to the raw time for your final score. Target zones are 0, 1 and 3 “down”. A miss is considered 5 down. The target count adds a half second for each point down. Other penalties include Procedural Errors (minor violations of the stage description, 3 seconds each), Failure to Neutralize (no 0 or 1 hits on a target, 5 seconds each), Hit Non Threat (some stages have targets that are specifically *not* to be hit; 5 seconds each) and Failure To Do Right (basically, cheating; 20 seconds first time, DQ for second).

I did suffer some procedural penalties. Specifically, one stage required engaging a target while retreating and I simply forgot to start moving. In another stage, I violated cover. The rules require that you shoot from cover if cover is available. In that particular stage, cover was a “Bianchi Barricade”, a 2 foot wide panel. It’s real easy for your feet to come out from behind cover, especially if you take a relatively wide stance. Another penalty was a Failure to Neutralize (FTN). assessed when a target has no hits in the -0 or -1 zones. You can have two hits in the -3 zone, so no misses, but still get an FTN. I had a target that I managed to completely not hit. So, not only did I get 10 points down (5 seconds) for missing it, I got an additional 5 second penalty for FTN.

All the stage times are summed for the final score. My overall score was 137.25, placing me 2nd from last πŸ™‚

Overdue Update

Quite a lot has happened in the last month. I finished off loading all my 10mm and 40S&W brass, bought a 1991A1, ordered a gob of brass for me and my friends, rediscovered USPSA and discovered IDPA and airsoft. And all that is just the gun stuff. I make custom pens on a lathe, too, and that has been busy with Christmas coming up.

Reloading components have generally become more available lately. Panic abates. While their prices aren’t necessarily the best, I’ve had pretty good luck with Cabela’s having *something* in stock lately and the Fort Worth store is not too far out of my way home. As of my last trip out there, they still limit daily purchases to 2000 primers and 1 container of powder. On the other hand, they had an 8 pound jug of Alliant Green Dot. Green Dot is not technically a “pistol” powder, but a lot of shotgun powders work quite well in pistols and there are a lot of recipes for it. And 8 pounds of any powder will load a lot of cartridges. I didn’t happen to buy it.

But between Cabelas and all the usual online suspects, I have enough components to replenish my supply, which in light of my IDPA/USPSA interests, I suspect will be dwindling somewhat.

My brass source is cheap enough that, even with shipping, it’s pretty attractive. I ran him completely out of 10mm and coworkers jumped on for 9mm and 45ACP. Now that I have a 45 of my own again, I have my own 45ACP brass order in place.

A good friend reacquired a Colt 1991A1 that he had once owned.

Once he had it in hand, he decided to sell it to help finance a different venture and I jumped on it for way less than retail. It didn’t take long for me to start getting hopup parts for it, like a drop in barrel with a compensator, a beavertail safety, commander style hammer, nice trigger, etc. The first thing I installed was the barrel and that was pretty cool. Using a 100 ct box of Federal American Eagle ammo, I shot a magazine or two through the stock barrel then the rest of the box through the compensated barrel. The difference is significant, though I’m not likely to confuse it with a 22.

So, I shoot with the comp on Tuesday night, discover IDPA on Wednesday and find the rules say that I can’t shoot IDPA with the comp. Well, that’s why it’s removable and why I didn’t do any fitting of the frame itself. Actually, I needed only to fit the barrel link. It shot accurately to point of aim immediately.

Ages ago, I was a passive USPSA member, but never got a chance to shoot and failed to renew the membership. Recently, I either renewed or got a new number. Since I don’t know the old number, I presume they gave me a new one.Β  Anyway, I got that and had been looking for a club, hoping there would be something near home since a lot of that sort of activity tends to be on weekends. Weekday evening stuff would be ok in or near Fort Worth proper, but living nearly an hour north of Fort Worth changes that perspective a little.

I emailed with a couple of contacts with the Cross Timbers Action Shooting Association and showed up to one of the weekly matches. This particular evening, they were doing a low-light match and required a minimum classification to shoot, so I could only observe, but I had a great time anyway! Bunch of very friendly folks. I asked questions and never turned off my brain recorder. I will definitely be there this Thursday night with something to shoot.

On that subject, as mentioned a little earlier, IDPA rules prohibit shooting with a compensator and another pistol I want to use is my Glock 20C. The rules do allow for barrel changes from stock, so I had the option to run with a non-compensated Glock 20 barrel or a conversion barrel to another cartridge. I went with Lone WolfΒ 40S&W conversion barrel ordered from The Glock Store. Unfortunately, they had to drop ship it, so I while I have received the other items on that order, the barrel itself is not here yet. Hopefully it will arrive today, giving me a chance to check it out before I try to shoot a match with it. If not, I will be shooting the Colt in the match. Honestly, I’m fine with either πŸ™‚

The other items in my order were an extended slide lock, an extended slide release lever and a 3.5 pound connector. I put all of those in last night. All do what they are supposed to. The longer slide lock makes disassembly easier, the slide release makes it easier to drop the slide after a magazine change and the connector makes the trigger pull substantially lighter and, I think, smoother.

The Glock trigger is a little problematic to measure for pull. You need to depress the trigger safety, but the little hook on the trigger pull gauge doesn’t naturally sit in the right place to do that on its own. In any case, I measured the “before” pull at nearly 8 pounds and the “after” pull at about 4.5 pounds. I need nothing so precise as the scale to detect the improvement with my finger.

Also this week, I installed a couple of hop up parts on the Colt and attempted to install a couple others, but was prevented for one reason or another.

It was pretty easy to put in the mainspring housing and removable magazine well funnel. The stock unit is plastic; nothing really wrong with plastic, especially in the role of mainspring housing, but the Ed BrownΒ unit I put in has 25 LPI checkering (can’t we just say 1mm?) and the magwell funnel, so there it is.

I expected to find that the beavertail would need some relief on the frame, so it wasn’t a surprise to verify that. It will need to be a later project.

It did surprise me to find that the spiffy Wilson hammer I got would not clear the stock grip safety tang. Once the pistol was completely reassembled, there was enough interference between the hammer and the tang that the hammer would not clear the slide. I got to pretty much completely disassemble the pistol again to change the hammer back to stock.

In looking around for the links to include above, I may have discovered my error. Looks like I ordered the drop in safety for the Commander. More research….