First stop Scottsdale Gun Club (John and I are both members), where we checked out the 340 and 360pd; and I've finally decided to pick one up; mostly because this pic is damn near actual size:
I'm going for the 340, without the hi-viz sight, exactly as is pictured here. I generally like a fiberoptic sight, but not on a pocket gun where the fiber pipe could get knocked off, or the squared edge could snag. Also I generally dont care for concealed or shrouded hammer, or DAO, revolvers; but for a pocket gun, the more snagfree the better.
The only sticking point for me has been the price; and with my local shops down to just over $600... well that's still a lot, but I'm thinking it's justifiable, whereas when they were selling for $800 there was no chance in hell (list is still over $900).
Next up I finally got my hands on one of the new CZ production Dan Wesson bobtail commanders:
I mentioned these a few months back; and I'm still very interested (especially since they sell a 10mm version, but also in the .45).
See, since I generally carry IWB, and I'm a pretty big guy, I have no prolem with concealing a commander LENGTH gun, but the back corner of the grip frame prints and snags easily. An officers grip frame on the other hand is too small for me. This is why I'm seriously considering the Kimber Ultra series; but also I've been wanting to get my hands on the bobtail. I figure the rounded grip frame reduces that problem (though I wonder about mag change speed)
Well yes, it definitely does; but more importantly, it feels GREAT in the hand, and it points PERFECTLY. I tried an Ed Brown bobtail out a while back, soon after they first came out; and I love it. I was just concerned that Dan Weson wouldn't be able to execute as well, and I've got to tell you, it feels great to me. The machine work looked great, and the pistol locked up tight as a bank vault.
Now if they would only do it in titanium... Seriously 10mm titanium bobtail commander. Hell yes I'd be all over it. Maybe I could get the Ed Brown bobtail jig, a Caspian titanium frame, and build my own. I've machined titanium before, it's a stone ass bitch, but it's doable... anyway...
The only real reservation I still have on the DW, is reports of spotty quality control. I'm not sure if those reports come from before the CZ takeover, or after however; so I'm still in wait and see mode. Kimber had the same problems for a couple years, but they seem to have gotten their act back together... we'll see.
Next up, a gun that I've been lusting after since it came out, the SW1911PD. It's a typical external extractor Commander, but for one thing: it's in black titanium
Light, fast, slick, and great quality; at a reasonable price (well, actual price anyway. S&Ws msrps are inflated worse than any other major manufacturer)... yeah I can deal with that.
Then we went over to Bear Arms (a great company to deal with if you're ever in Scottsdale, or see them at a gun show); and their much more diverse selection (SGC is kind of like a high end car dealership or jewlery store for guns rather than a real gun shop. Lots of new luxury models, and a few premium used custom or collectior guns, but none of the dirt and grit of a "real gun place"), and more traditional gun store atmosphere.
The first gun I looked at there was the new 329pd that Michael Bane mentioned a few weeks back:
I question the wisdom of a 26oz .44 magnum in general; but I bet with .44spl loads it's not too bad; and it would REALLY make a great camping gun. Plus, with those sculptured wood grips it points amazingly well. The natural point is MUCH better than the sculptured rubber Hogues on my 625. That said, I think I'd want the hogues for the recoil control on the .44. I wonder if I could get a rubber version...
Bear Arms is the top local SIG dealer; and they didn't dissapoint on their selection. I've been trying to get my hands on one of the new P220 SAO guns since they were announced, and they are the only dealer I've talked to in months that has been able to keep them in stock.
Now I LOVE the p220 (and SIGs in general), and this gun felt great in the hand, pointed well, and overall I think it's a great gun. Unfortunately it's a little bit bulky (as are all SIGs), and the safety was a bit too low profile. It was a bit more difficult to wipe it on and off than I would prefer.
There's also a new P220 "carry" model, but they said that they havent seen it yet, and that they have no idea when it might be coming, but that it wasnt before August:
The 220 carry is basically the 245 slide, on the 220 frame, pretty much commanderising the 220; and I think it would be the better carry solution. It's just as thick as the 220, but not as long, and lighter, so it's definitely doable.
The only real problem I have with it, is that any gun designed specially for concealed carry shouldnt have a light rails, or any other kind of projections of sharp snagging edges. Of course I can always go for the SAS version of the 220 carry:
Which is gorgeous, AND has a beautiful meltjob. The only thing I don't like about it is the RDAK trigger pack (it's a modified DAO trigger), but maybe I could get used to it.
Oh and they also said that Kel-Tec hasn't told them when they were going to be shipping the new PF-9. Just like every other dealer I've talked to, they are in the dark, and KelTec hasn't promised them by August as the officially announced. Also Kahr is having some problems filling orders, and the returns on the KP45 are continuing.
Anyway, I still havent figured out what I'm going to do to replace the G36, but I've got more food for thought now; and hey, playing with guns is good fun for grownups.