Sunday, November 23, 2008

Match Dissection, Para Review.

First, the report on the Para LTC 9: In a word, boring. It shot just like it did at Blackwater, no malfs, no breakage, no drama. Of course, although it was cold and the pistol was just out of the box, the round count was probably only 40 or 50 rounds, so that was no big deal; not exactly a torture test. I haven't cleaned or lubed it, and I'm going to try to head out to Eagle Creek in a couple of hours and put another hundred rounds or so downrange.

I ordered a stubby GI-style Commander-length guide rod and the proper plug from Brownell's this morning, because the full-length guide rod that is in the pistol is an abomination unto the eyes of God and John Moses Browning (pbuh) and Jeff Cooper who is their Prophet. Lo, it doth complicate disassembly and raise a vile smell unto the nostrils of the Lord, much like the designated hitter, or Jeff Gordon fans.

I liked the sight picture. My Pro has Novaks on it, and between the white dot, the Black T coating, and an uneven layer of propellant residue, the front sight can get a little mottled halfway through a match and easy to lose in the strong black notch of the clean rear sight. The fiber optic on the LTC was just as easy to pick up on my last table as it was on my first, however.

I didn't use the CTC LaserGrips, of course. I'll see how well their zero has survived at the range today.

My shooting? I cleared my first two tables in workmanlike, if unspectacular, fashion. The 115gr ball was not a good combination with the frozen pins, tending to spall off chunks without imparting much momentum to the pin unless it absolutely centered it. As my markspersonship declined in direct proportion to the sensation in my toes, I was more often rewarded with gutterballs and even when I did hit, it often as not left a half pin laying on the table towards which I sprayed bullets in impotent frustration.

Lessons learned: 1) Make use of glove warmers between rounds; it doesn't matter how loud the little Todd Jarrett in your head is yelling "Grip the gun 20% tighter!" if you can't feel your fingers. 2) Front sight. Watch the front sight, not the bowling pins, nor the other shooter's table. Just the front sight. 3) If I use the 9mm again, which I probably will, 147gr JHPs are what I want to be shooting at pins, especially in cold weather; not lightweight, fast-moving, low-momentum roundnosed bullets that glance off the pins in a spray of plastic and wood chips, leaving a wounded pin on its side on the table.


cjrmultigun said...

You have a 1911-clone that's working reliably, right out of the box, and you want to change out parts on it?

Yes, I know that full-length guide rods sneak out of their owners' guns at night to commit unspeakable depravities upon cute little puppies and kittens, but seriously? Is this really a good idea?

Roberta X said...

And that third table, Tam? ;)

Srsly, I was much impressed by the Gun Blog Nine and more than little envious of the sights. Also you shot rings around me.

the pawnbroker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dr. StrangeGun said...

A table full of screaming, bleeding blowling pins...

GeorgeH said...

the full-length guide rod that is in the pistol is an abomination unto the eyes of God and John Moses Browning (pbuh) and Jeff Cooper who is their Prophet. Lo, it doth complicate disassembly and raise a vile smell unto the nostrils of the Lord, much like the designated hitter, or Jeff Gordon fans.

but it sure does make for a fast neat change to a .22 conversion unit with no random parts. Pull hte pin, slip off the entire old slide assembly, slip on the new, and pop the pin back in, no loose parts.

Don Meaker said...

9mm 147 grain rounds are the way to go. For social occasions, use hollowpoints.

.45ACP prefers 230grain from 5 inch barrels, perhaps 200 grain from a Commander/LTC, and 180 from Ultra Compacts. .45GAP likes 200 grain from ultra compacts.

My revolver will shoot either .45GAP or .45 ACP. I prefer the lower pressures of the ACP.

Tam said...


I've only had one or two 1911 clones that didn't work right out of the box, and I sold those off immediately. Most of the other fifteen or twenty I've owned I've modified in some way or another to suit my tastes, and every single one that had a full length guide rod over the last five years has had it thrown in the trash.

I have yet to see a 1911 that was made less reliable by removing one, and it's one less stiction point that needs lubing.

Tam said...


"but it sure does make for a fast neat change to a .22 conversion unit with no random parts."

Yes, and that was my justification for leaving one on a Baer I had and a Kimber after that, but now I just pull the pin and yank the top end, and capture the recoil spring/guide rod in my hand as I withdraw it off the front of the gun.

I've decided to make the whole thing easier by using all the spare parts I have in my 1911 Box O' Bits, my Ciener kit, and a stripped frame to make a dedicated .22 cal 1911 trainer.

Kristopher said...

It those wounded pins that will get up, charge you, and kill you.

Kinda like bears.

DirtCrashr said...

Big and slow, and inevitable - it's a beautiful thing.

Oldsmoblogger said...

I've never tried a bowling pin match, but it sounds like (apart from being slower to reload) vanilla 158-grain .38SPL FMJ or SWC would be just the ticket.

Earl said...

I think boring is highly under-rated, sure it won't make anything like the drama needed for a best seller, but having a weapon that doesn't do something bad at the wrong times is just lovely and wonderfully boring, and I could compare it to the best things in life, but boring works wonders on aging well.


Don Meaker said...

The long guide pin was borrowed from the Russian Tokarev.

Crucis said...

Ya gotta watch them wounded pins. They'll crawl off inna brush and ya gotta go in to finish 'em off. They'll lay in wait for ya.

Believe me. Gotta bad gash on my leg from a wounded pin. It rushed me and a big ol' splinter stickin' out ripped my right through ma jeans.

WV: disco

Gawd, whot embarassment!

I'm taking pain pills today and I see I'm a bit uninhibited.

Dr. StrangeGun said...


.500 caliber jacketed wadcutter
500 grains

Word Verification: imitam


Gewehr98 said...

Ok, that's comedy gold, right there.

A full-length guide rod is an abomination in the eyes of John Moses Browning (PBUH), but a 1911 with 9mm in a .45 ACP-length magwell isn't?

IOW, I'd be curious if JMB would laugh or cry at seeing one up close and in person. I mean, .38 Super, sure, he was all over that from Day One. 9x19? I'd wager not so much.

Of course, a lot has happened with the venerable 1911 since JMB took his dirt nap. We've even witnessed the birth (and death?) of the Colt Double Eagle and Seecamp DA conversions, lest we forget. Those begat the Para LDA that some find the bee's knees in this day and age.

A full-length guide rod seems so very tame in comparison. I'm leaving those killer guide rods in all my 1911 variants - I'll just refocus the webcam on the gun safe when I'm away from home. They made it through my IPSC days just fine, as well as my carry Caspian Officer's ACP. It's a risk I take, I know...

OrangeNeckInNY said...

I'm new to the 1911 pistol. My Kimber has a full length guide rod. What does a non-full-length guide rod look like?

wv: "untedog"

OrangeNeckInNY said...

Oh, what's so special about a 2-piece guide rod anyway?

Anonymous said...

Don't you know, a wounded pin takes three pins off the table: the wounded pin, and the pins that have to carry it off the table for medical attention!

Seriously though, I once did the same thing with .44 special and a well-used pin, they called a do-over because each piece of the pin (it split roughly in half) knocked another pin off the table. Yes, I cleared five pins with three shots.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

The JMB vs 9x19 argument is specious... he did come up with .38ACP first.

Tam said...


"A full-length guide rod is an abomination in the eyes of John Moses Browning (PBUH), but a 1911 with 9mm in a .45 ACP-length magwell isn't?"

In case you haven't been following, I didn't go down to the store and say "My good man, I would like a 9mm 1911."

Also, any time I use the words "JMB (pbuh)", "Camaro", or "Yankee", I am going to insert text that says "WARNING FOR GEWEHR98: The following text contains exaggerations for comedic effect. Knicker stays are recommended to prevent twisting."

Weer'd Beard said...

OrangeNeckInNY I did a phot-blog of taking the FLGR out of my carry piece here


Anonymous said...


Nice writeup. In an instance of exceedingly lazy-assed blogging I've tossed link to this entry up over at Way of the Multigun

OrangeNeckInNY said...

Weer'd Beard,

I still don't understand why you would swap out a full length guide rod to a 2-piece. What aspect of shooting the gun does it affect?

And my Kimber 1911 in 10mm doesn't have a protruding guide rod or end plug. Is the 2-piece guide rod for the purpose of the guide rod end to NOT come through the guide rod end plug?

If that's the case, should the hole in the guide rod end plug on my gun be lubricated on occasion?

wv: "lastiva"

Tam said...


A 2-piece guide rod IS a full-length guide rod.

Weer'd Beard said...

+1 yep my old rod was a Full-lenth one-piece rod. I replaced it with a shorter rod (I never included a comparison photo in my blog, sorry, but go to Tam's link and you'll get the picture)

As I stated in the blog, I don't like the FLGR because it makes take-down of the gun more difficult, and I didn't like how my recoil tunnel was open in the end. So my new rod doesn't reach the muzzle of my gun on full-recoil, and the plug is solid.

I had a 1911 with a two-peice rod, it was essentially the same as a 1-piece (but it was a hair longer) and it would constantly unthread itself durring shooting. I replaced it with a standard rod and its a better gun for it.