Saturday, June 03, 2006

Replacing the G36

So a few weeks ago, I sold JohnOC my custom G36, not because it was a bad gun, but because I really didnt like shooting it.

Even with the finger grip extensions, it just doesnt feel right in my hands; it jumps too much and doesn't point quite right.

Of course I still want a very compact .45 to replace it. I was looking for one before I settled on the G36; and now again, I'm looking; and now again I've been thinking compact 1911.

Now I already carry my custom champion all the time, but I want something a bit smaller. Say a 3" or 3.5" barrel. In general though, I don't like officers ACP sized guns; because the grip frame is just a little bit too short, and they dont feel properly balanced to me.

Well today I fingerprinted this Kimber Ultra Tactical II:

And I REALLY liked the feel of it. Now I was thinking of an Ultra RCP or Ultra CDP (similar models to the Ultra Tac II - the RCP is now called the Eclipse), and I fired both of them in slightly eariler versions, but my hand was always just the tiniest bit too big for the grip frame. Maybe 1/8" longer and I'd be comfy.

You might notice that the Tac II has an integrated magwell. Well it seems to make all the difference in grips, and I'm thinking that it is probably what I'm going to pick up to replace the G36. It points well, feels good in the hand, and balance sperfectly at the base of the trigger guard on my support finger.

Of course I dont like the sights all that much (I prefer Novaks), and like most factory triggers it isn't great, but those are relatively minor issues. My only reservation? I like an arched or wedge mainspring housing (big hands), and the magwell is part of the mainspring housing, so replacing it with an arched model might be a bit more difficult/expensive. And of course why buy the Tac II if I could just get another model and put the magwell on the bottom for the same effect anyway (not that it's more expensive than the other Kimbers; it's right in line).

Actually, a better choice might be to add a magwell to the Ultra CDP (which has a meltjob):

Or to do something similar with the Springfield Ultra Compact:

Which already has the Novaks that I like (vs. the Heine style that the Kimber wears), and though it's just a bit larger, has an extra .5" of barrel as well (or the micro compact which is a shorter 3" gun). Unfortunately the Springers are just a little bit shorter in the grip than the Kimbers, and that little bit has been a problem for me before. I don't know if the magwell would make a difference or not. Oh and that slightly shorter grip, and slightly different magazine means losing a round in capacity to the Kimber, but I think that can be corrected with the magwell and a different magazine.

Funny enough, either pistol are less than an inch longer than my Kahr K9 (my compact CCW benchmark), only about 1/10th inch thicker, really no taller (less than half an inch for the kimber, same height for the springer), and only a few ounces heavier (the kimber just an ounce). Even better, the Kimber is just .03" longer than the G36, 30z heavier, and only 1/8th inch taller. In fact the Kimber is actually not even close to as tall as the glock with a +0 or+1 grip extension (the only way I can shoot it).

Ahhh the joys of being fully employed again. Yeah it's a couple months away, but it's in sight.