Well, I finally got by Academy and picked up a few boxes of Monarch 9×18 94gr FMJ, steel cased. at $10 a box for 50…it actually felt good buying ammo for once instead of getting depressed and feeling like you just got taken advantage of!! I was going to wait and see how my gun liked this steel cased ammo before I bought in bulk, but it appears Academy has the best deal going, where I could buy 500 rds for $100 + Tax..everywhere else on the web you pay around $12-14 a box + shipping, so I know where to go for my bulk buy.
Anyways, here are the results from todays shoot…
I did a 7 and 15 yd target, firing 6 rounds at each target. The first shot being double action with the hellacious trigger pull (24+ lbs) and the rest being Single action with a nice, almost hair break. At 7 yds, I used a 2 handed grip, while at 15 I used a one-handed grip.
My target was a standard 9″ paper plate with 2 bull rings, the medium bull ring being 5″ in diameter and the smallest bull being about 2″ in diameter.
As you can see, the little pistol will do it’s part if you do yours. The 15yd target could have been a 7 yd replicate if I would have went with the same 2 handed grip, but I wanted a nice variation in relation to a realistic situation on the street, and the odds are, you will not have the time to get a nice 2 handed grip on this gun when the shit goes down; at any rate, these smaller guns were designed for those “ECQ, bad breath” situations anyways, not 25yd firefights.
The widest deviation at the 7 yd target was 1 1/2″ inches, all of the rounds landing on or inside the 2″ bull line. On the 15yd target, the widest deviation was 1″ even, landing 1 round in the 2″ bull and the other 5 inside the 5″ bull. It is also important to note that my first DA shot on the 7yd target was the line breaker at 6 o’clock, on the 15 yd target, my first DA shot was the round at 3 o’clock inside the 5″ bull. This is important to note IMO, as this is the only con of this gun as far as I can see, but if you use proper mechanics and fundamentals you can still land the round in pay dirt. I had ZERO malfunctions throughout the test.
In training with it, a few modifications had to be made from training with my Glocks, the biggest one being, disengaging the manual safety as you cleared the holster, but with some practice, this can be done while keeping a steady grip on the gun.
Overall, I like this little gun. It’s construction and design are what you would expect from a com-bloc weapon: tough and utilitarian. The sights are basic and as I stated before, for short range engagements. They are non-replaceable, so you are stuck with them, so don’t get your hopes up for a set of fiber optics or trijicons! A sidebar on the reliability of the gun; I discovered from reading up on it that the P-64 has one of the largest extractors of any pistol of its size, which explains its awesome reliability and zero malfunctions.
Having said all that, I would not recommend this gun in its current state as a primary carry gun.
- The Double Action trigger is just too long and heavy, and being that you cannot carry this gun cocked and locked, that leaves you with fixing the DA trigger. The problem continues however, that when you replace the mainspring and recoil spring with the Wolf springs, you are still left with an 18-19 lb trigger!! This is still WAAAAY too heavy for a defensive carry gun. I will stick with my 3.5lb-5.5lb Glocks!
- Caliber. I know, I know we can argue this all day long, but for a PRIMARY handgun, I will not carry or recommend anything less than a 9mm,..now for a back-up, yeah I MIGHT consider a 9×18 or .380, if I had it loaded with some premium Hornady or Corbon loads, but never with FMJ. Basically, the 9×18 is just a hot .380 guys, it is no where near 9mm ballistics or stopping power.
- External ManualSafety. Just another thing to worry about and operate (fine motor skills) when somebody is trying to kill you. I don’t know, but once you carry a Glock, you kind of ask yourself “why?” when you see a handgun with an external manual safety…just being able to draw your weapon, index on target and fire is caveman simple and FAST. Besides, the external safety is overkill on this gun IMHO since you already have a 24lb trigger!!
- Sights. As I said they are very basic and designed for very short range engagements. Being that they are fixed and non-replaceable, forget about any modern replacements..which leaves you with ZERO options..not good for a gun to defend your life with.
Bottom line guys, there is some much better modern pistols out there that I would go with before I went with any C&R pistol to defend my life or my loved ones. I have heard all kinds of arguments on this subject, the biggest one being $ and my answer to that is if all you can afford is a $200 pistol to defend your life, start saving up!! Always ask yourself, what is your life worth? What is your family’s life worth?
No, my 1971 P-64 will stay in the safe and be brought out occasionally for some plinking..like all my C&R guns, the P-64 is a nice stroll into the past, but for the current and future defense of my family, I will stay with my Glocks!
I will be doing some more expansive articles on small pocket and “mouse” guns this month, so stay tuned.