Making the Best of It

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So, 19 days after starting my second round of chemotherapy for leukemia, my blood test results pretty much show I have started to bottom out. My ANC was 0.1, which is as low as they show on the test.

So I’m now confined to home, except for clinic visits every other day. Today to pass time, I commenced to checking off a To-do box, and started watching The Pacific.

Meanwhile I cleaned my pistols, and made an embarrassing discovery: the pistol I carry almost every day, Liberty, my G19, had collected an unsightly amount of dust, mostly around the magwell, but also up under the slide, around the firing pin safety and connector. It didn’t take a lot to clean it, but I really don’t know how it might have affected the operation if I had needed to use it.

So now I am going to set a goal to inspect and clean Liberty every Friday or Saturday.

In the meantime, dry fire and study are my assignment. I can’t shoot until I get the IV line removed from my arm, so that’s what I’m left with. But I’ll take it, because like my chemo, it should lead to better things down the road.

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Liberty Reborn

Besides beefing up the frame with a third pin, when Glock introduced their 3rd generation pistols, (the Gen3), they made an attempt to add finger grooves on the grip. This wasn’t the normal flowing finger grooves of a Smith & Wesson grip, these were raised notches with a rough grip surface in between.

On the full size guns (G17, G20, G21, G22, etc.) these grooves seemed to line up okay with my fingers. But, for some reason, Glock decided that whoever bought the smaller midsize and compact framed pistols must have smaller hands, so the finger grooves were made closer together.

Ever since I got my Glock 19, Liberty, I’ve lived with this design oversight, but, truth be told, it made my hands hurt after shooting a few magazines through it. After a while, I decided to slip a rubber Hogue grip over the G19 finger grooves, and that gave a little relief, but it didn’t solve the problem.

Some people suggested removing the finger grooves, but I was reluctant to deface the G19 frame that much, in the even that I decided to sell it some time. But, I also reasoned that someone who was buying it might actually appreciate a gun that fit their hand.

So, without much further ado, I decided to use a sanding drum on my Dremel tool to zip those finger grooves down flush. I hand finished the job with some 300 grit paper, and smoothed it all with some Armor-All. I then slipped on the old Hogue grip, to index my fingers like they are on my G17, Bruce.

The verdict? I just wish I hadn’t waited so long.

The project in pictures:

Before – finger grooves intact

After – grooves all ground off

The final product, with Hogue grip installed


Pistol Choices

I’ve recently read several posts from other bloggers about their choices of Every Day Carry (EDC) pistols, and how they arrived at those choices. This got me thinking about my own thought processes, what I’ve chosen, and why.


GLOCKS


Anyone who’s read this blog more than once knows that I own Glocks. While I sometimes play the devil’s advocate to others about their gun choices, I’m not going to fault anyone for choosing the guns they own.


I can, though, tell you why I own my Glocks.


G21, G17, G19



I bought my first Glock 17, Bruce, in 1992. At the time, Glock was about the only affordable “high capacity” handgun on the market. I picked 9mm for the same reason I have them now – availability and cost of ammo. It helps that modern 9mm defensive ammo is almost ballistically comparable to .45ACP. But that’s another posting.


I got my other two Glocks, a G21SF and a G19, by way of my membership in the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation. The G21SF I bought at the Law Enforcement price, and the G19 I won in a GSSF match. So my choices of gun came about as much by serendipity as it did by conscious choice. 


My next choice in a handgun will probably be a Glock, because I and my family already know how to run them, and I already have spare parts, magazines, holsters, and the like.


Now, if a similar circumstance arose for me to acquire a similar striker fired polymer gun, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so. With enough practice and training, I and my family would learn to run them just as well.


Having said that, I don’t think I would ever get a 1911 as a home defense or personal carry gun. There are several reasons for that.


In my home, besides me, are my wife, son , and daughter. Each of them has shot and trained with these guns. They know how they work, and they are comfortable shooting them. In an emergency, I would not hesitate to assign them each a Glock, and they would not hesitate to carry it and shoot it if need be.


However, the weight, reliability, and complexity of the 1911 precludes my family from ever being able to rely on them. This can best be illustrated by relating a story I heard from someone who is a frequent guest on a lot of the podcasts I listen to, who claimed that the 1911 was a superior gun precisely because it was so complicated that, if he lost it or it were taken away, an assailant would not be able to operate it. I thought that was one of the most ridiculous statements I had ever heard, especially since I am more likely to need to enlist someone’s assistance than I am to lose a gun to an assailant.


So, here is the current batting order, as it were:


Batting first, as EDC, is my Glock 21SF. About 90 percent of the time I carry it on a belt holster.


Batting second, in the top shelf of my pistol safe, is my Glock 17. It also doubles as my competition gun.


Batting third, on the bottom shelf of my pistol safe, is my Glock 19. 


Now, when the Glock 17 goes off to compete, the G19 pinch hits, and moves to the top shelf of the safe, with a G17 magazine installed. 


And, in the times when circumstances preclude my carrying the G21, the G19  goes in a IWB holster under a tee shirt or polo. The G21 goes on the bottom shelf of the safe.


Note how this is arranged: there’s always a 9mm Glock on the top shelf of the safe, and there are always loaded spare G17 magazines on top of the safe with a flashlight. There are also loaded G17 magazines in other places around the house.


In case of zombie apocalypse, I would take the G21, my wife would take the G17, and either my son or daughter would take the G19. In that event, I would also take the Mosssberg 500. We would also move the the lower half of the lineup, and break out the SKS, Ruger 10/22, and Browning Buck Mark. And, in the extreme case that the Mongols are coming over the hill and we need to go long, there is also a Mosin Nagant.


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COMING: How the guns we have figure into a matrix of preparedness – who is involved and what are we up against.

Other People’s Money

I am the proud owner of three Glocks. That’s Bruce in the middle, flanked by The Duke and Liberty. I’ve built this modest collection all on other people’s money.

Bruce was bought with the proceeds of some stock options that I had to exercise after changing jobs in 1992. I was fine with just one Glock for a while, but after a few years I wanted to add a second gun. My company had a sales contest one fall, and I managed to win enough Visa gift cards to buy a G21SF using my GSSF discount. This one I named The Duke.

Then, 2 years ago, I won a Glock in a random drawing at a GSSF match. A Glock 19 named Liberty joined the gang.

It doesn’t stop with Glocks. I’ve also used a company safety bonus to buy a very nice used Mossberg 500, bank bonus money to buy an SKS, and another sales contest to buy a Ruger 10/22.

The best deal – a coworker called me one Saturday from a gun show. He had found an excellent deal on a couple of Mosin Nagants, which he described as in excellent mechanical shape but needing substantial cleaning. His offer: if I would clean one of them for him, I could have the other one for myself. I agreed. Welcome, Vassily!

Now, if I could just figure out a way to get other people to pay for ammo!