4 Men and a Pistol

As a lifelong disciple of martial knowledge, I have found that the truth is often scattered among several teachers, and I must stitch it together into a cohesive whole for my purposes. If I am to progress as a shooter, then I must be willing to explore all areas for improvement. So faithful reader, this brings us to the crux of the matter, and it is a simple thing, I have changed pistols, and I will list the reasons for this course of action.

The first is easy. I have an excellent relationship with Bill Dermody and Heckler & Koch. John Correia of Active Self Protection introduced us, and Bill has been a great friend and supporter. HK endorses and supports The Mingle, and our classes with unmatched generosity. Nor did they ask me to change pistols, but the next reason will help shed some light on the new direction.

2nd: Scott Jedlinski of Modern Samurai Project is one of the best firearms coaches in the business. He said something that stuck with me, ” The equipment shouldn’t be an obstacle.” If it hinders my progress, maybe I should change. Then Scott said something even deeper, and I am paraphrasing here, ” Bro…that gun (P226) is holding you back!” Now here is the problem, my Sig P226 Legion has a large beaver tail which interferes with the stabbing motion and the claw grip of the draw stroke from the appendix position, or in other words, it’s slow. Not to mention my thumb was getting a beating while trying to use the claw grip. So maybe I should shoot my HK? I have a preference for heavier metal guns, I like the way they feel and shoot. How could a polymer gun ever perform as well?

3rd: David Blanton runs the Humble Marksman YouTube Channel, and he produces “world-class content” (plus he has a great sense of humor), and it is one of the best shooting channels. I know David (Master class USPSA) from shooting matches together, and he has a mind for details and measurements. His channel does some cool gear review that is metric-driven. One of his videos is about the history of the Roland special, which got me thinking about compensators, weapon-mounted lights, and mag wells. David explained the light as a weight (recoil mitigation), the comp as getting the most (less rise) out of full power loads in 9mm (115 & 124), and the mag well as a place for my pinky to rest. The Parker Mountain Comp tracker gave the feeling of a longer sight radius and allowed the gun to ride better AIWB. Shelley and I spend the weekend at the range in our RV (the ant hill🤦‍♂️) which means it is dark, and we have a bear that lives around there. Light on my pistol suddenly becomes much more important, and it is good for taming all that recoil. I also watched his video on the DPM spring system which allowed me to tune my VP9 to track the dot better. Could I make this polymer gun shoot and feel like my Legion?

The 4th and final piece came from CH Precision Weapon Systems. I received a certificate from Scott to get a milling job for an optic. I decided to move away from the Sig Romeo 1 because of the fragility of the unit and losing the dot if the sun was directly in front or behind me. Trijicon RMR was my choice because I am caveman-hard on my equipment. In less than 2 weeks my gun was milled and returned to me. Buck’s background in precision shooting showed up with lines painted through the screws to show the correct tightness. Incredible customer service and attention to detail sets CH precision weapons apart from the rest. They also make red dot adapter plates which are of the highest quality. If you are running a Glock MOS, get this plate now, and it will save you problems in the future.

How does it perform? It does not shoot like my Legion, which is a good thing. It is lighter to carry and conceals exceptionally well in my JM custom Kydex light-bearing AIWB holster. It is a lot of pistol but it carries well. I miss my Gray guns trigger, and no striker fire gun will be their equal. I like engagement with the trigger, the feeling of a long press, not a wall. The VP9 is one of the better striker-fired triggers I have felt, and it is not an obstacle to shooting well. This pistol is quick, it returns quickly, and I can shoot slightly better splits with the HK. Between the comp, and the DPM spring I can keep the dot in the smaller RMR window. The dot is much better in the sunlight, and I prefer the cowling shape overall. The mag well is what helps me shoot this pistol since my hands are big, and now my pinkies have something to grip.

Accuracy, quick return, ergonomically correct for the stab, light to carry, and weirdly conceals well. It is unequivocally mine, now. The importance of connecting with your pistol can not be understated. It must fit you well. I can shoot most guns fairly well, but this is the one I depend on daily. Knowing that I have eliminated every obstacle and that I have done everything I can to make the gun fit me, allows me to shoot at my highest level. Trust me, I never thought I would end up carrying this style of gun, so color me surprised. Thanks to everyone that contributed, knowingly and unknowingly, to the creation of this new VP9, and accordingly since I have removed all the obstacles in my equipment the responsibility of being a better shooter rest where it always has, squarely on me.