Thursday, December 21, 2017

CZ-USA CZ Shadow 2 Handgun

I just acquired the latest and greatest competition gun from CZ-USA... The CZ Shadow 2! 😍 I found this two-tone Shadow 2 at my local gun store and traded in my CZ-75 Stainless Limited Edition that was just collecting dust in the safe.  I plan to use this new gun in USPSA's Production division.  Unfortunately, the Shadow 2 is too heavy for IDPA rules, so I'll continue to use my CZ-75 SP-01 for IDPA.  The Shadow 2 is ready to go out of the box for competition use.  It already has fiber optic adjustable competition sights, a smooth trigger pull, thin safety levers, aluminum checkered grips, and excellent checkering on the front and back straps.  The only thing I've done to the gun is install a 11.5# hammer spring, a 10# recoil spring, an extended firing pin, a reduced power firing pin spring, and a reduced power trigger spring (all from Cajun Gun Works).  With these springs and a little bit of polishing on the internal trigger components, it already feels much better than my modified SP-01 and has a much shorter trigger reset.  Trigger pull weights are now under 6.0 lbs double action and under 2.5 lbs single action. As a bonus, the Shadow 2 is compatible with all the mags that I use in the SP-01, so there's no need for me to purchase any new magazines for it. I'm very excited to start using this gun during the 2018 season! 😀

UPDATE February 2018:  I've decided to have the Shadow 2's slide milled for an optic by CZ Custom with their new multi-optic plate cut and use this gun in the Carry Optics division of USPSA rather than in the Production division, since my old eyes really prefer a red dot sight for competition. This gun is perfect for USPSA's Carry Optics and I'll use my optic-equipped CZ P-09 in IDPA's new Carry Optics division. Unfortunately, CZ Custom has a 10-week turn around on milling work, so I'll just keep using my CZ Scorpion EVO Carbine in the PCC division of USPSA until this gun is ready.


Monday, December 4, 2017

DIY High Visibility Front Sight Modification

I recently came across an article on (linked below) for a DIY High Visibility Front Sight modification and figured I would try it out on my new mostly stock CZ P-07 and Glock 19 Gen4. I've heard about using florescent paint on the front sight before, but I wasn't sure how that would work around the tritium vial of night sights. I've installed factory tritium 3-dot sights on both of the guns (mainly because I already had the CZ sights), so using the hole punched pinstripe tape seemed like a great method. I've gotta say... my old eyes really like it! 😁 Why not just buy Trijicon HD sights? Because the HD sights aren't available for all the different guns I carry. Plus, I've got enough pinstripe tape to do this several hundred times for only $5. I liked this modification so much that I went ahead and modified all of my carry guns. 😎


UPDATE: October 2018
I'm now using florescent green pinstripe tape on my red dot sight guns to contrast with the dot while still using red on my non-optic guns. I've also simplified the installation process by using a 1/16" hole punch to cut out the hole for the tritium lamp to show through, and then a larger 1/8" hole punch to cut the outside edge into a perfect hi-viz ring. The 1/8" outside diameter will fit most tritium front sight posts without any trimming. Once the hi-viz ring has been punched out, gently position it on the front sight post and press it down firmly with your finger. You may have to add a little heat to activate the adhesive depending on the brand of tape that you use. Once the hi-viz ring is in position it can be sealed onto the front sight post by putting a little dab of clear fingernail polish over it.  This keeps it protected from most cleaning solutions and lube, but is easily removed with a little fingernail polish remover.


Monday, November 27, 2017

CZ-USA P-07 vs Glock 19 Gen 4

After building two Polymer 80 compact handguns based on the Gen 3 Glock 19 platform, I thought it would probably be good to actually own a real Glock 19 as a reference.  I also wanted to see how a mostly stock Glock 19 would compare to a mostly stock CZ-USA P-07, so I picked up a brand new CZ P-07 and a brand new Gen 4 Glock 19 with front cocking serrations.  I only wanted to do very basic modifications to each of them, which meant just some simple spring kits, polished internal parts, and night sights.  No aftermarket hammers, triggers, short reset kits, barrels, guide rods, frame stippling, or slide cuts and Cerakote. For the CZ P-07, I installed a $24 self defense spring kit from Cajun Gun Works which includes two hammer springs (18# and 15#), a reduced power firing pin spring, and a reduced power firing pin block plunger spring.  For the Glock 19, I installed a $14 connector/spring kit from Lone Wolf Distributors that includes a 3.5# connector and a 6# trigger spring.  On both guns, I polished all of the contact/friction points on the trigger parts while I had them disassembled to install the spring kits, and I also added OEM tritium 3-dot night sights to both guns. The Gen 4 Glock 19 with the medium backstrap installed feels really good in my hands and the factory front cocking serrations help it look a lot better than any other stock Glock, but... I still prefer the CZ P-07 as my favorite carry gun of all time.  Even with just basic modifications, the CZ P-07 has more ergonomic, safety, and aesthetic features that appeal to me more than any other carry gun that I've owned. I guess you could say that I am a CZ P-07 fan boy. 😜

CZ-USA P-07 and Glock 19 Gen 4

Monday, November 6, 2017

IDPA Action Pistol Match 11/04/2017

Since I've been doing so well with my CZ-USA Scorpion EVO S1 Carbine in USPSA, I was excited to use it again at this IDPA match.  I started out really well, until I encountered a horrible malfunction on an unloaded start for Stage 3 that took me over 35 seconds to clear.  This pretty much ruined my chances of winning the match. 😠  I also had a mag fall out during a reload on Stage 5 (my fault), which didn't help the situation, but I could've recovered from that.  Two things I learned from the issues I had at this match: lock the bolt back before inserting a mag on an unloaded start, and always slap the bottom of the mag on a closed bolt reload.  Time for more dry fire practice! 😛

CZ Scorpion EVO S1 Carbine

Saturday, October 28, 2017

USPSA Action Pistol Match 10/28/2017

I was definitely happy with my performance at this USPSA match at the Shooter Ready outdoor range using my CZ Scorpion EVO carbine in the PCC division.  I'm really starting to love PCC as it is just... easier. 😛  I came in 3rd Overall out of 14 total.

CZ Scorpion EVO S1 Carbine

Monday, October 16, 2017

Polymer80 PF940C Compact Handgun Builds

I recently embarked on building two Polymer80 compact handguns based on the Gen 3 Glock 19 platform.  These start out as 80% complete frames that need to have the remaining 20% completed by the end user.  The great thing about these P80 frames is that they resolve all the issues I have with the Glock 19 (aesthetics, grip angle, texture, etc.) but still give you all the aftermarket support of the tried-and-true Glock 19.  I started out building a gray frame (because I love two-tone guns), but ended up with an all black one for my second build. Both frames are the Brownells Exclusive aggressive texture.  These things are not cheap to build, especially if you don't have any OEM Glock parts lying around, but it was very satisfying to choose each and every part that was installed in each gun and getting them working reliably. I'm very happy with my two P80 builds and how they turned out.
First P80 build with Lone Wolf barrel and internals,
a P80 slide, and an Inforce APL light

New ZevTech Spartan slide for the first P80 build
The original P80 slide moved to a second P80 build
Both guns upgraded with Hyve Technologies triggers

Trijicon RMR RM01 added to the first P80 build

Milled slide windows to show off the L2D Combat Chameleon barrel on the second P80

Two optic-equipped compacts with Inforce APL lights
"Brothers from different Mothers?"

Two iron sight compacts with Inforce APLc lights

Monday, October 9, 2017

IDPA Action Pistol Match 10/08/2017

I normally use my CZ-USA CZ-75 SP-01 for IDPA matches, but I was up until midnight the night before this match stippling the frame on my CZ P-09 Urban Gray and wanted to try it out. I swapped out the optic equipped slide for a standard slide to be legal for the Enhanced Service Pistol division. I've recently stippled the front and back straps on both of my P-07s and now both of my P-09s.  I tried to match the factory texture that is on the sides of the grip as much as I could. It's not too aggressive, but feels WAY better than horizontal serrations surrounded by smooth plastic!

CZ-USA CZ P-09 Urban Gray and CZ-75 SP-01

Three different top-ends for the P-09 Urban Gray

CZ-USA CZ P-09 Frame Stippling

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

USPSA Action Pistol Match 09/23/2017

I forgot to upload and post this blog entry and video after I got done editing it, but here it is now.  I used my CZ Scorpion in the PCC division at this USPSA match.  Wasn't really concerned about going fast or coming in on the top three (placed 6th out of 17 total).  I just wanted to go shoot.  Having this attitude makes it much more fun for me, and I plan to go to every match in the future with this attitude.  Is it nice to place in the top three? Hell yes!  But... I get too frustrated with myself if I don't, and it isn't fun when I do that.  The whole reason I got into action pistol sports in the first place was just to be more proficient with my handgun skills for concealed carry.  So, I plan to continue in the sport for this reason. 😉

CZ Scorpion EVO S1 Carbine

Sunday, July 23, 2017

USPSA Action Pistol Match 07/22/2017 (P-09 with an optic)

This was my first time shooting my new CZ-USA P-09 Urban Gray with a red dot sight on a milled slide at a USPSA match in the Carry Optics division.  I've shot my P-07 with a red dot sight in this division many times, but the recent rule changes now allow 141mm length mags with no capacity restrictions, so I put together a P-09 specifically for Carry Optics with a second slide that I acquired and sent off to CZ Custom to have milled with their multi-optic cut.  Unfortunately, I had problems with the Burris Fastfire 3 optic losing its zero while shooting each stage.  I later discovered that the locating dowels that I used to install the optic were slightly too short and were sliding up inside the holes in optic and allowing it to move around under recoil. Needless to say, my accuracy with the gun at this match was horrible.  I've got the problem fixed now, but trying to figure it out during the match proved to be very frustrating. Instead of walking the stages to figure out a good plan, I was in the safe area trying to figure out what was wrong with the sight. Despite the accuracy issues and one major jam on the first stage that cost me at least 9 seconds, I was really happy with the way the P-09 felt while shooting.  It felt like I was able to go a little faster with my splits and transitions than I was able to with the smaller optic equipped P-07 in previous matches. I'm looking forward to shooting this P-09 at future USPSA matches.

CZ-USA P-09 and P-07 Urban Gray with Burris Fastfire 3 optics

Three different top-ends for the P-09 Urban Gray

Sunday, July 9, 2017

IDPA Action Pistol Match 07/09/2017

Another IDPA action pistol match with my CZ-USA CZ 75 SP-01. I didn't do as well as I would've liked at this match at the Amarillo Rifle and Pistol Club, but I still placed 4th out of 17 total.  My long distance shots are always horrible... I need to work on those! 😜

CZ-USA CZ 75 SP-01

Saturday, July 1, 2017

IDPA Action Pistol Match 07/01/2017

I went back to using my trusted CZ-USA CZ 75 SP-01 handgun at this IDPA match at the Shooter Ready Action Pistol Sports range in Canyon, TX.  This gun never disappoints me, and today it helped me take 1st place out of 18 total. 😎 Other than having some points down on the longer shots on stage 3, I was pretty happy with my performance.  Plus, I was shooting with both eyes open at this match and it worked out very well for me. I've been dry fire practicing a lot using both eyes open again, because I feel like it is the best way to shoot for self defense and with a red dot sight (pistol and rifle). To me, it just makes sense to shoot with both eyes open with iron sights, so I don't have to think about closing one eye unless I need to take the time to align the sights for shots farther than 20 yards.  This was actually the first time I've tried using both eyes open at an outdoor match and it is way easier to do outdoors than at an indoor range.

CZ-USA CZ 75 SP-01

Sunday, June 11, 2017

IDPA Action Pistol Match 06/11/2017

More fun in the PCC division of IDPA at the Amarillo Rifle and Pistol Club.  There were 5 stages, but I neglected to start the recording on the 5th stage. I had a couple of bone head moves (forgetting to disengage the safety, shooting into a barrel, etc.), but I still managed to come in 1st place overall out of 11 total. As much fun as PCC is, I'm starting to miss shooting a pistol. 😛

CZ Scorpion EVO S1 Carbine

Sunday, May 28, 2017

USPSA Action Pistol Match 05/27/2017

This was my second USPSA match with the CZ Scorpion EVO Carbine in the PCC division and I seem to be getting a little better with it. There were only three reloads at this match (two were mandatory), which helped reduce my stage times compared to everyone shooting handguns, but I did forget to uncap and turn on the optic at the start of the third stage! Despite that bonehead mistake, I still managed to come in 3rd place overall out of 16 total.

CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine

Sunday, May 21, 2017

IDPA Action Pistol Match 05/21/2017

Our local IDPA club is now allowing the new Pistol Caliber Carbine division, so I brought out the CZ Scorpion EVO for this match at Amarillo Rifle and Pistol Club.  Since it was our very first match with PCC, we decided to not limit the magazine capacity to only 10 rounds, so... reloading wasn't necessary and made it easy for me to get three stage wins and take 1st place overall out of 17 entries.  I'm sure once we have to start reloading like the handguns, my times will be much slower. :-P  The CZ Scorpion is a ton of fun to shoot. No complaints from me! 😎

Update: The IDPA PCC rules have been updated recently and now have a 30-round limit per magazine rather than a 10-round limit. This should be fun!

CZ Scorpion EVO S1 Carbine

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Outlaw 3-Gun Match 04/23/2017

I am finally posting a video of a 3-Gun match.  This is my 4th match to compete in, and my first match using my new Franchi semi-auto shotgun.  I am still getting used to 3-Gun (haven't been to a match since September last year), but I'm getting a little more comfortable with it.  The semi-auto shotgun makes a huge difference when compared to a pump-action shotgun. Definitely a great investment, although I am getting a few light primer strikes.  I've also installed a new Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6X scope on my AR-15 as well as a new Precision Armament M4-72 muzzle break.  I found it a little difficult to position my head at the right distance from the eyebox to get a clear view through the new scope.  I'll have to keep practicing to get it down better. 😜

Sunday, April 9, 2017

IDPA Action Pistol Match 04/09/2017

We had a small turnout for this IDPA action pistol match at Amarillo Rifle and Pistol Club with only 7 competitors total, but it still felt good to come in 2nd place overall.  The CZ P-09 is proving to be a great competition gun, but I do notice more recoil impulse when compared to my all metal CZ SP-01 that I usually compete with.  The P-09 just feels better in my hand because the grip is longer front to back and fills out my large hands a little better.  I've acquired a second P-09 upper and sent it off to CZ Custom to have the slide milled for an optic, and will probably end up using the P-09 Urban Gray as a dedicated USPSA Carry Optics gun now that they've increased the magazine capacity limit.  I also installed a set of thin Shadow safeties and a thin slide stop lever from a RAMI on my all metal SP-01 and it feels much better now (the extended safety was digging into the palm of my support hand).  I'll probably go back to using the SP-01 in IDPA soon.

CZ-USA CZ P-09 Urban Gray

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

USPSA Action Pistol Match 03/26/2017

I finally got to shoot my new CZ-USA CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine for the first time in the Pistol Caliber Carbine division of USPSA.  I have not spent much time with the gun previous to this match, so I wasn't all that confident with it.  It was definitely a lot of fun, but there are some things I need to work on to get better with the carbine (like reloads!).  I'm hoping this will translate well to my AR-15 in 3-Gun competition as well.

CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine

IDPA Indoor Action Pistol Match 03/08/2017

I probably forgot to post the video of this indoor IDPA match because I didn't do very well.  I tried using my newest 1911, a Springfield Armory Range Officer Operator (railed 9mm), and I'll be honest... I wasn't that impressed with it.  I was hoping that it would be THE gun for IDPA, but the thicker grip of the CZ handguns just feel better in my hand.  It's still a great gun, but just not as favorable to me as the CZs. I've also determined that while shooting without my prescription glasses helps me to see the front sight better and allows me to shoot with both eyes open, I am so blind to seeing the targets clearly that I'm not sure it's helping me. I also realized that shooting without my glasses won't work for me when using a red dot sight in USPSA's Carry Optics/PCC or in 3-Gun with the rifle scope.  So I will probably go back to shooting with my glasses on (and with one eye closed for iron sights).  Too many changes all at once does not yield favorable results. 😕

Springfield Armory Range Officer Operator 1911

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

CZ-USA CZ P-07 Urban Grey Updates

The two things I didn't like about the 1st Gen Duty upper that I bought from CZ Custom (pre-milled with their multi-optic cut) for my Urban Grey P-07 were the sharp edges of the front corners of the slide and the finish of the slide. I fixed both of those "issues" with a little bit of time on a belt sander and some Armor Black Cerakote with a dash of Tungsten to give it a slight metallic flake. I'm really happy with the way it looks now. 😍

IDPA Indoor Action Pistol Match 02/18/2017

Yet another indoor IDPA action pistol match (I'm really wanting to shoot an outside match already!!!).  This time in Lubbock, TX with Patriot IDPA.  I got off to a rough start with 7 points down on the first stage with a single target, but then started to improve through the rest of the match.  Ended up in 3rd place out of 10 total and was only 0.20 seconds away from 2nd place. 😒

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

3-Gun Updates - Franchi Affinity Shotgun

I attended a couple of local 3-Gun matches in 2016, but my performance was pretty poor as I was still getting used to shooting my AR-15 rifle, and I'd been using my 25 year old Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun.  Using a pump-action shotgun in 3-Gun put me at an extreme disadvantage compared to the guys using semi-autos, plus I was having issues with the safety getting bumped on every time I pumped the gun after each shot (a known issue with the Mossberg 500).  I'd been reluctant to go out and purchase a new Benelli M2 semi-auto shotgun ($1500!!!), so I started researching the Stoeger M3000 as a cheaper alternative. While looking for one locally I came across a brand new Franchi Affinity semi-auto shotgun at a used market price.  The Franchi line of shotguns are made by Benelli in the same Italian factory, but they use the Inertia Driven recoil system of the Stoeger M3000 (also owned by Benelli, but made in Turkey).  The Franchi Affinity is very similar to the Benelli M2 and will accept the majority of aftermarket parts made for the M2.  I've got mine decked out with a Nordic Components +7 magazine tube extension, larger bolt charging handle, and larger bolt release button, a TTI extended carrier, and I've opened up and smoothed/polished the loading port to expedite reloading the gun.  Hopefully this will up my 3-Gun game and I'll have some videos from matches that will be worth posting! 😎

Thursday, February 9, 2017

IDPA Indoor Action Pistol Match 02/08/2017

Finally got to shoot my new CZ P-09 Urban Grey at an IDPA match.  I am loving the gun and I'm looking forward to shooting it in Production division at USPSA matches too.  At this indoor match, I tried something I've tried before and didn't work, but with a different twist.  Shooting with both eyes open, but withOUT my prescription eyeglasses!  I've struggled with shooting with both eyes open in the past because I simply could not focus on the front sight.  But I am EASILY able to focus on the front sight with both eyes open without my prescription glasses.  I found that I was able to track the front sight during recoil much better and I was able to call my shots with ease.  Hopefully, this new technique will help me improve as I continue to use it.

CZ-USA CZ P-09 Urban Grey

Thursday, January 19, 2017

CZ-USA CZ P-09 Urban Grey Handgun

There has been a lot of market hype about CZ-USA's new striker fired polymer pistol, the CZ P-10C.  I'm excited about this new gun, but I'm still undecided if I will actually get one (or two). To hold me over until they become available to purchase, I picked up another CZ P-09 in Urban Grey.  I've been carrying my two P-07 pistols more often than normal and I've been shooting the P-07 with a red dot sight at some USPSA matches, and I am really liking these polymer framed pistols.  They're relatively inexpensive, and they are easy to work on and tune.  I've installed a regular length barrel in the Urban Grey P-09 as well as all the go-fast Cajun Gun Works parts including their competition sights.  I really like the look of this gun in this configuration, but I am a little obsessed with two-tone guns. 😜 I plan to use this new gun in USPSA's Production division and IDPA's Stock Service Pistol division.  My all-black P-09 with a threaded barrel and suppressor height night sights will continue to be my 3-Gun pistol as well as a night stand gun for those things that go bump in the night.