Archive for November, 2015
So….most of the folks who read this blog know that along with being a leatherworker, I’m also an FFL. As an FFL, I get to see all sorts of neat firearms come through the store, and I get more than my fair share of times where I fall into instant lusting for a particular firearm.
Now, I’ve been a SIG fan ever since a friend up in NY (where we lived before moving to Tennessee) let me try his SIG P220 (Yeah, I actually shot the handgun before being issued the permission slip that said I was allowed to be within 15 feet of one….NY can go fuck itself…). The gun was, without a doubt, the smoothest cycling gun I had ever fired. I was instantly in lust for one (this was back in 2004) but it would be at least nine years before I could actually afford to get one. And I did get one, once I secured my FFL and had opened my store. I had my eye on the P226, but the spousal unit insisted that before I get it, I had to part with one of my other handguns. So I sold my Kimber (see my post here about the vaunted *Kimber quality*…) and bought the P226.
I got it right after building my first Valkyrie holster for the TV show NCIS: New Orleans (it can be seen in the spin-off primer of NCIS,, in the episode *Crescent City Part 1*.) The gun was everything that SIG is known for…fantastic attention to detail, super-high quality, smooth-cycling, more accurate than I can ever hope to become, etc. The only thing that turned me off was the damned rail. See, I hate Picatinney Rails. I’m not one of those tacticool ninja squirrels that needs to attach all sorts of shit to their gun. I carry a gun (every day, actually) so that I can extricate myself from a SHTF moment that I might be caught up in from being at the wrong place at the wrong time. So, after about six months, I decided to part with it.
About the time that I put it up for sale, someone came to my store looking to trade in a SIG P239 for a Springfield XD-9. Now, aside from being single stack, the P239 is a great shooter, is a bit shorter in length than the P226, and as a bonus DOESN’T HAVE A RAIL. So yeah, I took his in on trade, and immediately kept it as my personal sidearm. That was in October of 2013, about four weeks before my angina episode that resulted in the triple bypass.
Now, that gun served me well, and ever since having it I was lusting for the double-stack version of it. Single stack is just fine, mind you, but if I’m going to limit myself to seven rounds, it had better be a fat-and-slow caliber that starts with a .4 and ends with a 5 in a profile design that is called *Automatic Colt Pistol*.
So you can imagine my happiness when, for the month of November, SIG allowed all its distributors to have a MAPP Holiday, where the costs of the guns were lowered at wholesale, and the MAPP pricing restriction was lifted. The sister to the P239 was the P228, which is now called the M11-A1. When it went on sale, I saw the in-stock quantities on the gun I wanted start to drop every day, and I began to sweat bullets because the spousal unit again was understanding that I wanted a new SIG, but I had to get rid of something in the current handgun stable. Of course, I made my case and let her know that I wasn’t going to pass up a deal like this, so I bought the gun first, then put the P239 in the display case (for anyone who may be looking to get a pre-owned P239, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll shoot you the asking price. Its a mighty fine example of SIG quality, and an excellent shooter.)
So….whats the point of this post? Imagine my excitement as the gun gets to my store two weeks ago (yeah, I already had a holster waiting for it…)
I gave it a field strip, cleaned the factory grease and gunk off it, grabbed a box of 9mm from the shelf (owning a gun store has its perks, after all) and some splatter targets, and drove out to a local range.
The gun runs like a dream. No failures, no stovepipes, nothing. Out of the box, accuracy was perfect. One-handed or two-handed, I was hitting the #8 ring at thirty feet with ease, and not really trying to be super-accurate.
I was happier than a tornado in a trailer park.
Ran through the box of ammo, got back in the car, went back to the store (this was, after all, mid-day, and the wife was gracious enough to mind the store by herself while I went out to test the gun.) I get back, grab the cleaning kit, and field strip to do a quick cleaning. Thats when my excitement turned to *Are you fucking kidding me?*
I take the slide off, lift out the barrel….and the breach block (the modified Browning action that SIG designed) is PEENED.
That hammer-forged breach is peened, metal mushrooming on the left side. The P239 has over 4,000 rounds through it, and it looks only slightly used. My new barrel is PEENED.
Now…I’ve got pretty good machining skills, so I start to look for the cause of the peening. Strip down the gun further, pull out the locking insert (its the block/insert that the barrel hooks onto as the gun cycles). I look at the face of the locking shelf, and its fucking cock-eyed. I wipe it down to make sure I’m not seeing things, put it under a bright light with a magnifying glass, and it sure looks off. Start measuring depth with a caliper, and its off at least 1/32″ I take out the one from the P239, do some measurements, and the shelf is only out two-thousandths from left to right side.
So I put the two locking inserts side by side and I’m turning them over, flipping them around, looking for the similarities/differences, when I notice something that I missed on first inspection of the insert form the new gun.
It has one of those little clock-like circles with numbers and an arrow on the inside. You know, the thing you see on injection-molded plastic parts. I start inspecting it even closer, and the back of it has a flash-line, which is the line that forms when two halves of a mold are brought together right before you squirt a low-melting-point material into the mold to form a part.
The SIG Sauer M11-A1, the vaunted gun of Seal-Team fame, the gun that SIG sets the MAPP price (the lowest price a SIG dealer is allowed to sell the gun for) at ONE THOUSAND THIRTY NINE DOLLARS for retail, is made with cheap fucking MIM parts.
The P239 in my display case is all machined parts. The P226 I bought new less than two years ago was all billet-machined parts. The M11-A1? Cheap quality Metal-Injection-Molded parts.
So I called SIG, and ordered a replacement locking insert. No, I didn’t tell them why, no I didn’t tell them that I caught them putting cheap parts in the gun. I paid for the new part outright so that I wouldn’t be beholden to them for doing me a good turn and offering to fix the gun free of charge. Its fucking NEW. It shouldn’t need *fixing*.
I wanted to have the freedom to rip them up on my blog, and call them out for letting their quality slip. There is no way I can tell my customers that SIG quality is second-to-none. I would be lying to them. I refuse to lie to them. I refuse to sell new-manufacture SIGS with my sales pitch of when your life is on the line, do you really want to trust your life to a gun with cheap MIM parts, or a gun machined and tested and trusted by our own Naval forces?
The new locking insert came today, and it is a billet-machined part. I’ve lapped the burrs off the barrel breach and smoothed it out, and inspected the barrel for any other abnormal wear. Tomorrow I’m taking the pistol to the range again, and will see what the locking insert and barrel look like after another 50 rounds.
Feel free to spread this post far and wide folks. Meanwhile, I’ll be re-thinking my business plan that had the upcoming year (2016) talking to SIG to try to become one of their elite SIGnificant dealers. I just cannot peddle a gun to my customers once I’ve had my faith shaken.
Its a storm of epic Constitutional proportions.
Donald Trump, the firebrand huckster trying to nail the Republican nomination, came out today in favor of weaving the names on the terrorist watchlist into the NICS database.
A list, mind you, which is arbitrary, secret, with no judicial oversight.
A list that would mean people would be denied their Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and be denied without Due Process.
Every question on the 4473 form (The Brady Background Check form) addresses and deals with people who, by virtue of having had their day in court, are a *prohibited person*….either adjudicated mentally incompetent, have a felony conviction, were dishonorably discharged from military service (this requires a courts martial, which is your day in court military-style), etc.
We are treading on VERY thin ice in this country if the terror watchlist gets mixed in with the NICS database. It will open the door to *secret lists* of people who will then be denied their First amendment rights….their Fifth Amendment Rights….on and on.
I don’t give a damn what the idiots in the asylum want. I am NOT about to trade Freedom for a false sense of security. If this is allowed to happen, we are then marching firmly down the same path which Nazi Germany walked over 75 years ago.
We, as a People, cannot allow the goobermint to get away with a blatant Constitutional violation the likes of secret lists being used to deny Rights.
It. Cannot. Stand.
To all of the readership, all of the folk who own my holsters, general lurkers, etc….
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, may the upcoming Holiday Season bring to you the happiness and goodwill you wish for.
Warmest Regards, and deepest Thanks to all of you.
Dennis aka: Dragon
From the Tampa Tribune, which isn’t known for being Right-Leaning, with one of their authors/journalists who also isn’t known for being Right-Leaning.
Looks like they are finally waking up to the ass-hattery of the schlong-sucking toadies who have multiple orgasms every time there is a mass-shooting because they love to dance in the blood of those that were murdered in order to further their twisted Utopian view of Rainbow-farting Unicorns prancing through fields of periwinkle.
Just go read it. Its fucking fantastic, and it lays bare the Totalitarian world view of the Democrats who want to subjugate the entirety of the American Citizenry to arbitrary and capricious feel-good bullshit.
Both Europe and the Middle East have been at odds with one another, or with their neighbors, for longer than recorded history. I mean, wars had been fought over swaths of desert and sand, or swaths of cold, wet, miserable mountain regions (the majority of the European mainland is mountainous, and the British/Irish/Scottish isles are cold, wet, and foggy…).
The major conflagrations of our recent history as humans have started either in Europe or the Middle East proper, or were started in other countries under the influence of meddling Europeans and Middle- Easterns in wars of proxy (just look at how the Brits fucked up the Isreali – Arab situation, or how the French totally screwed the pooch in IndoChina.).
So are we now witnessing the first moves in the next World War chessgame, with he opening salvo’s being the Paris massacre, the Turks shooting down a Russian plane, etc., with our illustrious douchenozzle in the White House playing the part of Neville Chamberlain?
OK…for folks coming here from Angel or Wirecutter (and anyone else who cares to comment) Is it easier to now read the post texts?
I made a couple of little changes in the style sheet for the blog, and hopefully its what folks were asking for….register, log-in, and leave a comment!
OK….folks coming over to read from Wirecutter and/or Angel have sent me comments, almost all positive. The one common complaint was the theme used for the blog….dark pages with white font seem to make things a bit harder to read, so I’ll be playing around with different themes over the next few days, until I settle on one that I like.
Thanks all for the feedback!
There has been much bloviating by the New York Daily News (a tabloid-type rag popular in New York City) about how the NRA is *helping terrorists get guns*.
These Mental Midgets are truly idiots of the highest order, and I was going to go on the attack until I found a VERY well written thread on The BookFace, and being rather adverse to sitting and typing on the keyboard, I found it better to just copy/paste to save time. Besides, he’s much more polite than I would be…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Why the Terrorist Watchlist cannot be used in the FBI/NICS database:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Let’s examine part of that, the relevant bit. “… nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law …”
Liberty would include constitutionally protected rights. So in order to restrict someone’s 2nd Amendment right to possess arms, you need to take them through the steps of Due Process. You have to get the courts involved FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL. You cannot simply declare an entire class of people to be prohibited persons.
Under the law, those convicted of certain crimes are prohibited persons, as are those convicted of various drug offenses, or found to be drug abusers or addicts by the courts. Also barred from possessing firearms are those who have been dishonorably discharged from the military (a process usually involving a court martial), those who have voluntarily renounced their citizenship, illegal aliens (who, by definition, are criminals), and anyone found /by a court/ to be mentally deficient.
You cannot arbitrarily add names to the NICS list. The terror watch list and no-fly lists are arbitrary lists of names. No judges were involved in creation of those lists. No one has to be convicted of a crime to be placed on that list. Adding everyone on that list to the category of prohibited persons is not only unconstitutional, but anyone suggesting it should be done is demonstrating either a woeful misunderstanding of how the constitution works, or absolute malfeasance toward the entire American legal system and American constitutional rights. Either way, they have no place determining how things should be run in this country.
Should KNOWN terrorists be on the NICS list? Yes, they should. If you can prove to a judge that this person is a terrorist, they should be barred from possessing firearms. But you have to go through the steps. If you have to obtain a ruling ex parte, so be it. Sometimes there’s no way around it (the defendant cannot be found or refuses extradition to the US, etc). In those cases, I’m sure a judge would allow the case to proceed without the defendant being present, as long as a lawyer were appointed to represent his interests. If the evidence shows that the person is a terrorist, then put them on the NICS list and keep them there until they appear to contest the ruling. Then they can examine the evidence against them, craft a defense, etc.
Due Process. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.