Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Walther P99c; An Uncommon Choice

In a sea of Glocks, XD's, and M&P's the P99 series by Walther get ignored by the masses.

I recently got my hands on a P99c in .40 s&w. I must say that I am enjoying it. I've been an owner (my wife's actually) of a P22 and have always like shooting it and then I had the opportunity to pick up a P99c. The largely overlooked compact version of the P99 has a lot going for it for use in concealed carry. It's very similar in size (maybe a tad larger here & there) to the Glock 27 and actually a bit lighter. It uses a unique trigger system that mimics traditional double action/single action, but uses a striker instead of a hammer to ignite the bullet. To facilitate this, it has a manual decocker (located flush on the top of the slide) to take it out of single action mode and to allow disassembly without having to pull the trigger (like Glocks). The double action trigger pull is long and approximately 8.5lbs and the single action pull is shorter and about 4.5lbs. It's not hard to master and both are light enough to manipulate while staying on target. I prefer to put it in double action mode as an added safety while carrying it concealed.

Here are a couple shots of it.

One of the previous owners (at least two that I know of) had duracoated the slide and controls OD green and the barrel black. It was originally a Tennifer-like black finish so this really makes it stand out from the crowd.

It looks to be in great shape and doesn't look to have been shot all that much. I'm new to .40s&w which has a bit more snap than 9mm, but I'm getting used to it. I was impressed by it's accuracy. Here's the first mag full at 7 yards.
Things tightened up from there as I got more familiar with the trigger, though I must admit I would flinch every now and then.

I've picked up a couple extra magazines from
CDNN (they sell magazines for the similar S&W made SW99/SW99c which work perfectly). I also changed out the front sight with a Meprosight night sight that helps greatly in low light conditions.

I purchased a SmartCarry holster and have been carrying the P99c in it regularly for a couple months. It conceals easily and has been very comfortable. I'll probably write up a separate review on the SmartCarry at another time. I've been very happy with it so far.

If you're a fan of DA/SA pistols and would like to venture outside of the heavier metal hammer fired handguns that system is usually used for then look no further than Walther's highly underrated P99 series pistols. They come in either 9mm or 40s&w.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

How to Convert from 9mm to 7.62x25 on a Norinco 213 Tokarev Clone

I've learned a lot about Tokarev's since owning my Norinco 213. This Chinese version is very similar to all other Tokarev's except for it's chambering. Recently, I came across someone selling a barrel and matching bushing in the original 7.62x25 chambering and decided to try converting my Norinco.

There are a number of reasons to do this conversion from 9mm. Yes, 9mm is a larger diameter caliber and there are many many more defensive options for the 9mm, but my Norinco is strictly a range gun and won't primarily be used for defensive purposes. 7.62x25 ammo in many circles is considered almost a magnum round because of the speeds it can approach (similar to .357mag if loaded right). It has been shown to penetrate kevlar helmets. For those that like bigger bangs & more flash the 7.62x25 outblasts the 9mm. In addition to that merit, surplus ammo can be found at very low prices. If you shop around it can be found for 9.5cents a round compared to around 20cents a round for 9mm. So it's economical to shoot it much more. Thirdly, it gives me another option and I love more options.

I put together a video to show how everything goes together.

This is what's needed:
- Barrel chambered for 7.62x25
- Barrel bushing to match the barrel
- Wide magazines for 7.62x25

It's that easy!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Norinco 213: TT-33 Clone Modified Grips

I've written about my Norinco 213 before when I first modified some grips to include a beavertail and when I used kydex to make ulta-thin grips and a holster for concealed carry. I've finally come to what I think is my final set of grips for this gun.

The Tokarev TT-33 design does not lend itself to use as a concealed carry gun. The primary reason is simply safety. The only real safety on the gun is a half-cock notch which requires manually cocking the trigger before firing. Yes, I know that these Norinco & all the other later imports came with added "safeties", but they are more like afterthoughts than being truly usable & reliable. The 213 came with a thumb safety, but requires you to move it in the opposite direction from what's intuitive (back for fire & forward for safe). The Yugo's and Romanian's have a safety switch located behind the trigger, but these often required a modification of the flat spring that holds the slide stop pin in place which weakens the flat spring and in many cases causes it to break. The location of these safeties still (for me) is far from ideal and they don't inspire confidence to carry the gun cocked & locked like a standard 1911. For these reasons I have regulated my Tok to range duty with it in the far backseat for defensive use if pressed.

So for this role I want the most comfortable grips that allow me to get the most pleasure when shooting. I turned to my original modified grips which added the beavertail. They provide the best grip angle for natural point shooting (the originals caused me to aim very low) and they protect my hand from hammer bite. The original modified grips were coated in a rubbery Plasti-Dip spray which felt nice, but were not very durable. Since I've had such good luck using the textured spray paint on a couple of other projects I decided to use it here. The final product gives a solid no slip grip that seems to wear well. Because it's just normal paint I would be careful with using solvents around it. I'll just remove the grips if I need to do any heavy cleaning on the frame.

The front and rear sights have been dotted with white paint to help with acquiring them against a dark background. I've found that the standard sights although not quick to see are very fine and enable precision.
The trigger face has been sanded smooth and slightly rounded to remove the terrible sharp vertical grooves that were standard on this model. Their removal was totally necessary as they've drawn blood in the past.
I don't foresee doing much more to this gun, though I do have a bushing compensator that I might fit to it. Better sights would be nice, but would likely require cutting a front dovetail or drilling into the slide to stake a new sight. I'm not sure how Novak style sights would look on a Tok. It might be like putting HID headlights on a Model T.

I love the simplicity & ruggedness of the Tokarev TT-33 design and didn't want to disturb any of that with any of the modifications I've done to it.