It’s 34-degrees out there. There’s mixed sleet, freezing rain, and the occasional flake coming down. We had no plans to shop Black Friday. So, we went to the YMCA to swim for a while. And then, in 34-degree winter mix, I went into the liquor store in a Speedo swimsuit. In all fairness, it’s really Speedo-branded boardshorts. And, I was also wearing a long sleeve shirt, fleece vest, and a jacket. But, it makes for a good story anyway. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!
If you haven’t already, you can read part one here.
This is the first gun that I’ve ever kept a round count on. It’s neat to have documentation that we have put exactly 725-rounds through this little pistol. I kind of wish I’d kept track of how much ammunition I’ve put through some of my other guns. Granted, judging by its condition alone, the M&P .38 special has been shot about a billion times. You’d swear that three quarters of the lead that exists on the planet has been down that bore twice. But, I’d love to be able to authoritatively say how many rounds I’ve put through my S&W 29, or my Winchester 1300, for that matter. It’s been a fun journey regardless.
I wanted to post something on this last week, but I didn’t really have anything to say. The initial range session for this test was just so routinely boring that it would have been the shortest blog post ever. As I wrote in my previous post, when we first shot the gun, I had not even cleaned it, and we put 125-rounds through it. It was still relatively clean after that, but I at least wanted to get the manufacturer’s preservative out of it and give it a little lube, no deep scrubbing necessary. I field stripped the little gun and blasted it out with some Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber and hit the moving parts with some Otis Bio CLP. I racked the slide a few times and dry fired it a few times to get the CLP in the works. I also used the Gun Scrubber to rinse out my three magazines.
To prepare for the test, I numbered the magazines “1,” “2,” and “3” with a silver Sharpie and scotch taped over the numbers to keep them from rubbing off. I figured we would try to evenly rotate them, and if we started having consistent problems with one of the magazines, we would know to take it out of the rotation. I set up a detailed spread sheet where I could record data – round count, who was shooting, magazine number, ammunition box number, and potential failures.
On Sunday, November 15, we took the gun out to the family farm with some steel targets and clays. Over the course of an hour or so, we put 200-rounds of Magtech (95-gr, FMJ 951-fps) down range with no incidents to note. I shot the initial 150-rounds and Jennifer shot the 50 remaining. It shot flawlessly for both of us. I offered to let Isaac try it again, but he declined. It was nice to get out to the farm at least, and it was a fun range session. I then stripped it for inspection. There was slight wear in the finish on the rails, but nothing else noteworthy. So, I reloaded it with My Hornady Critical Defense and put it back in my holster. Really the most interesting thing that happened was that I got a bloody sore on my trigger finger from where the trigger guard had pounded on it during the range session. Pro tip – if you’re going to pack a Kel Tec, it might not hurt to take some emory cloth to the inside of the trigger guard to smooth it out. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
On Saturday, November 21, we took it to one of the local indoor ranges. this time, we preemptively applied 3M Nexcare foam bandages to our fingers where they’d previously been chewed on by the trigger guard, for a little protection. In this session, the three of us managed to put 350-rounds of Magtech through the little gun. With the gun running like the Little Engine That Could, just imagine how excited I was when we had our first failure at the 421-round mark! I pulled the trigger and got an unexpected “click.” Of course, I unloaded the gun and cleared the spent brass out of the chamber. It was evidently a failure to eject. The good news is that I had my GoPro taking close-up video at 240-frames per second in 720p. The bad news is that it was a lot darker in the range than I realized, so the video came out pretty grainy. Still, we’ll take a look at that later for analysis.
Of course, a failure to eject could be the fault of the gun, the shooter, or the ammunition. By that point in the range session, I was starting to fatigue, although my grip looks pretty steady in the slow-motion video. Jennifer and I are wondering if there’s a perceivable difference in the muzzle flash on the offending round in our high-speed video, which could but would not necessarily indicate an undercharged cartridge. As I wrote above, we’ll take a closer look at that later. Regardless, other than the one failure to eject, this little pistol has run 550-rounds of ammunition flawlessly since I cleaned and lubed it. Subsequent inspection was yawn-inducing, as the gun seems to be in perfect condition outside of carbon build up.
When I first put out the feelers to find a company to sponsor this test, I actually reached out to Kel Tec directly, who didn’t respond to my messages. I found that to be rather damning. It’s one thing that they put a lifetime warranty on their products, but if they won’t even answer a proposal on this kind of test, it does beg the question as to how confident they are in product durability. That being said, I could not be any happier with this gun thus far. It has rewarded me with reliability, durability, and shootability beyond my most optimistic imagination. If by the end of this test, I break it beyond repair, I would gladly pay the ~$250 these guns command for a replacement.
As a side note, This Magtech ammunition has been as clean shooting and as consistent as I hoped it would be. If you haven’t tried it before, and if you need some good plinking ammo, you should check it out! Again, I’d like to give a shout out to Ammunition to Go, who made all this possible with the ammunition donation. When you’re shopping ammo, please do keep them in mind for your needs. They didn’t pay me for a good review, but donating the ammo isn’t the first pleasant experience I’ve had dealing with them.
So, we’re a little over a quarter of the way through the test, and all is well. 550-rounds down and 1,450 to go! If we make it to the 2,000-round mark and the gun is still running strong, I’m thinking of continuing with some different ammo. I have more of the Hornady Critical Defense that I’d like to shoot into water jugs as well as some frangible ball ammo, and another 100-rounds from Richardson Reloading. Although his loads seemed to be a little light for this gun initially, it will be interesting to see if they play nicer together after this much of a break-in.
My friend Tommy posted a link on Facebook to a NYT article with the same title as this post. Here, I will attempt to correct the errors there in.
1. When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, she is present and can try them on herself. Why would he ever shop for her shoes without her?
2. The modern man does not lose confidence. Sometimes, when things are rough, he knows that it will get better.
3. The modern man watches movies that are loud enough that he doesn’t have to worry about crunching.
4. The modern man cooks his own steak to a perfect medium rare, whether over fire or in cast iron.
5. The modern man sometimes makes his own parking spot when an empty one is not available.
6. Before the modern man heads off to bed, he makes sure his kids’ electronic devices are not in their room so they’ll actually get some sleep.
7. The modern man buys only regular colas, like Coke or Dr Pepper. If you walk into his house looking for a diet drink, he’ll show you the door.
8. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “magazine,” not “clip” like some gauche simpleton.
9. Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He lets her play with a machete.
10. The modern man lets someone else do the dishes. He cooks. Fair is fair.
11. “The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.” *I’m not even sure what this means.
12. The modern man gives himself a proper wet shave with soap and a blade before jumping in for a wash.
13. The modern man listens to all kinds of music.
14. The modern man remembers what he needs to buy from the grocery store. The market is no place for his face to be buried in a grocery list, devoid of situational awareness.
15. The modern man has hard floors. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his cowboy boots.
16. The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the wall because the side closer to the door is also closer to the bathroom. Besides, if an intruder gets in, his wife has her own shotgun on her side.
17. The modern man has tools for all kinds of occasions. Especially for food preparation.
18. The modern man has several shoehorns so he won’t damage his shoes, if he can find one of them. He also has a boot jack.
19. The modern man does not buy flower arrangements for his wife, who thinks they’re a waste of money. Sometimes, he’ll buy live flowers to plant in the garden though.
20. On occasion, the modern man is the little spoon because laying on that side is more comfortable.
21. The modern man doesn’t scold. His loved ones know when he’s disappointed.
22. The modern man doesn’t take the newspaper. He gets his news online.
23. The modern man has all of Clint Eastwood’s and Bruce Willis’ films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).
24. The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. He has an app on his tablet that monitors that.
25. The modern man owns many guns, in an assortment of calibers and guages.
26. The modern man cries a single manly tear on the rare occasion that it is appropriate.
27. People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. They assume that he would gyrate to music as a lad, but he’s got more important things to worry about now that he’s grown. Although he has considered taking ballroom classes with his wife.
Kilt shadow selfie
Go donate toward the cause here.
Most of y’all already know that September means wearing a kilt. I wear a kilt to raise awareness and funding for male specific cancers. Yes, all September. Here I am at the liquor store:
Why yes, I am carrying a .45 in that photo. The shop’s proprietor, “Mom,” asks me every year why I’m wearing a skirt in her hard Korean accent. I’ve tried to explain, but English is not her strongest understanding. This is just part of the job. Over the next thirty days, I hope you’ll support my efforts in this endeavor. There will be challenges and promotions. I’ll do stupid things to earn your sponsorship. Please be gentle. Go here: link. Donate and tag my name to your donation. It’s a great cause and we’ll have fun.
We’ve had a few hot days this year, but overall it’s been a fairly mild summer. But, on those hot ones, just watch out! That’s when the squirrels melt in the trees.
It was seriously hot that day. I love the look on the squirrel’s face too. He looks like, “you’re getting awful close to me, and that might mean my demise, but I don’t have the energy to run in this damned heat.”
The funniest thing about all this downpour is watching the waterlogged birds struggling to stay airborn. That poor kite has never flapped its winds so hard before.
Submitted without comment
Others will have more meaningful things to say on the subject, but I did get called out yesterday, and I will stand in solidarity. The battery died on one of the cameras, so I actually got a double dose of icy water in the taking of this video.
There was ice. In my jeans. After the fact. Yeah.
As I said, others will have more meaningful things to share. I’m looking forward to Scribbler‘s video.