Monday, July 21, 2008

On the difference between "Perfection" and "Adequacy".

Many modern pistol designs are quite adequate right out of the box.

If your pistol is "perfect right out of the box", it says more about your expectations than it does about your pistol.


Ahab said...

Anything I buy that costs over 1k out of the box had better be perfect.

og said...

I shoot a rugged nasty cheap 1911 with an essex frame and an old, old remington slide. It's a pile of crap, but it goes bang every time I pull the trigger (now that I've honed the feed ramp) and I made it myself out of gunshow parts. I can hit what I'm aiming at with it, for the most part, and that's good enough for me. My ego doesn't require whisbang prettiness and the most modern crap. Hell, I'm winning matches with a 70 year old rifle and a cheap Ruger 22 pistol

Tam said...

I always get a giggle from the "Expensive = Pretty Blue & Wood" assumption. I've got two rather expensive pistols that have micarta grips and beat-to-hell spray-on finishes because they, you know, get used. ;)

Tam said...

...then again, there really are some people who can't tell the difference between a $5 Chinese knife at the gun show and, say, a Benchmade Ascent or a CR Sebenza. After all, they both cut, right?

vinnie said...

My Makarov goes bang every time. It only delivers 95 grains @ 1000 fps but it will put 3 rounds in 3 inches @ 20ft rapid fire. Every time.

docjim505 said...

I grouse from time to time about "reviews" of firearms, especially service-type pistols, in gun magazines. In the quest to find SOMETHING that makes the pistol better or worse that the umpteen others that have been reviewed, writers really seem to reach extreme levels of pickiness. Is it REALLY significant that Pistol X shoots a 1.273" group from a rest while Pistol Y shoots a 1.372"? If one is an Olympic-level shooter, such levels of precision are worth (pardon the pun) shooting for; it's not important for the rest of us. Most modern pistols are sufficiently well-made that the average shooter won't be able to tell much difference between them, or if he can it will be a matter of personal preference, such as how it feels in the hand or where a particular control is placed or whether the magazine holds 10 rounds or 11. I even read a review of a Kahr that dinged the pistol for having a somewhat "unattractive" slide release!

For the majority of shooters, "perfection" means that the pistol will go "bang" every time the trigger is pulled with a round of quality ammo in the chamber and shoot "minute of goblin" groups.

Oh, and as a Mak owner, I agree with Vinnie: the Mak may not shoot 230gr of goblin repellant with each pull of the trigger, but it WILL go bang every time, and I can hit what I aim at with it. Can't ask for much better than that, especially for $195.

Steve Skubinna said...

I have a stock SA GI 1911 that is not going to ever get any mods, at all. Because then it won't be GI, which is why I like it. If I had a '57 Chevy, it'd be stock for the same reason. On the other hand, at least as many people modify their classic cars as they do their 1911s, so obviously there's plenty or room for individuals to express themselves.

As for Glocks, it's not so easy to trick them out because of the way the slide is hardened, and the polymer receiver doesn't lend itself much to modifying. Forget lowering the election port. On the other hand, you can play with the trigger linkage, and aside from gluing on sandpaper grips or replacing the guide rod with a LaserMax, that's about it.

However, it's only a Glock. They're not sexy enough for people to get passionate about tricking them out. People buy them because they're utilitarian tools.

So we're back to the owner's personal expectations. Which is a roundabout way for me to agree with you Tam, but that's where we are.

Carteach0 said...

My M+P has almost no modification, and I will comfortably carry it.
My Colt is heavily modified, and I will comfortably carry it.

One is pretty, one is ugly.
Both shoot straight, and go bang every time. I like looking at the one, the other is a CCW pistol, period.

There's room for both.

Jay G said...

When I get to the point where my shooting can differentiate between a $400 pistol and a $1400 pistol, then I'll start to pay attention.

('Course, if I don't start getting to the range more often, my shooting's going to be more on the level of my $75 J-22...)

Alan said...

I had a Chris Reeve Sebenza until it disappeared from my luggage at DFW a few years ago. I've stuck to cheep ones that I don't mind loosing when I travel since then.

Really pissed me off because it was the best knife I've ever had.

OK, second best. I still have the Randall. It's older than I am, seen two wars and was once used to cut through the side of a crashed helicopter so its owner could escape.

Bunnyman said...

Meh, my serious guns are a CZ52 and a P226...both choke only, and I mean "never failed once" only, when fed crap ammo, usually my own. And they both shoot way, way better than I can.

It seems a lot of serious firearms instructors spend little verbiage on equipment, except to mention that the $3000 1911s are the first to go down.

oldblinddog said...

Perfect is an N frame with a 5" barrel.

I don't have one. :-(

Robert said...

Lugers came in a box?

Earl said...

I once had the lovely day at the range, shooting a borrowed $75 Browning Challenger against a Doctor's $400 super target-engager pistol - (I never asked him who crafted it for him), I won the competition, and two weeks later did it again, same guns - same shooters. I probably had magic bullets. But he could run a race, and swim one that left me breathing in the back of the pack.

Matt G said...

"Adequate" goes bang every time and put rounds into a pie plate at any reasonable distance.

"Perfection" is pocket carry, 2oz or less, sub MOA to 1,000m, drops pachyderms with peripheral hits, has at least a 50 round capacity, is stone reliable without cleaning for 100,000 rounds, and has hand-carved etchings of pastoral scenes on one side, with depictions of various pagan rituals on the other, all for under $200 US.

I'm NOT that hard to please... why can't the gun manufacturers get on the stick?

George said...

Back in the day, I collected various Smiths. Every one went to an S&W gunsmith in Chatham, Ontario. The only one that never needed anything was the L-frame 4". It was brand new ... out of the box. If this hadn't been Canada, it would have been my daily carry.

They all went bang ... but did it better and more accurately after he worked on them. This was especially true of the M-66. The least work was on the chromed M-625 3". That's why it's in my email nom.


tom-the-impaler said...

"After all, they both cut, right?"

I handed a double edged Cold steel arc angel (butterfly knife) to a hero and said "Be careful, it's as sharp as a double edged straight razor." 20 seconds later he'd cut himself. DON'T let the edge touch the back of your hand!

I still laugh thinking about it.

tom-the-impaler said...

As for carry guns, It's a Taurus .357 hammerless stainless. I own a Kimber Raptor 2, and love the hell out of it, but I couldn't get it sweaty and rusty carrying it. I'd feel like a jerk. So " perfect" for carry is a $300 Taurus or CZ, and "perfect" at the range or to look at and feel is a Kimber. But I really wonder, what the hell do you get out of a $3500 Wilson that the $1000 Kimber doesn't offer?

Tam said...

"But I really wonder, what the hell do you get out of a $3500 Wilson that the $1000 Kimber doesn't offer?"

You can get all the 1911 you're going to get, functionally at least, for not too much more than a grand. That's everything forged, machined, real steel, no MIM, no castings, no plastic, name-brand parts put together by someone who knows what they're doing.

Anything north of that and you're paying for fit & finish, bells & whistles, prettiness, name brands, or snob appeal.

Kimber, OTOH, isn't what I'd hold up as an epitome of the genus, although they work okay for the most part. There's too much stuff I'd replace right out of the box. SIG, Colt, and Dan Wesson are all offering quality hardware, but I'd be most likely to just buy a bare frame or a Springer GI and send it to Bob and Shannon at CCA to get the gun I want.