New non-Ruger pistola first shots

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Jun 13, 2015
Sheridan, WY
I managed to make it to the range for a function test of the new Girsan MC 14T tip-up barrel 380. We have been under a flood watch for several days, and just getting out to the shooting bay was an adventure, with the line so mucky and weather so threatening that between my step dad and myself we only managed twenty rounds. But here's my first impressions from actually shooting the gun: Better than I'd hoped.

Just some miscellaneous notes...the load was 90 grain Hornady XTPs over 3 grains of Winchester 231 (book max is 3.2-3.5 depending on the manual). RP brass, Remington SP primers, loaded with Lee dies, with a pass through a Carbide Factory Crimp Die as the last step. At over thirty bucks for FMJ factory ammo, it was wayyyyyy more economical to roll my own, even using a good hollow point projectile, and I know from experience that the XTPs typically deliver excellent accuracy. My step dad doesn't have hands so much as catcher's mitts. Dude generally can't find gloves that fit unless they have at least the same number of "X"es as a raunchy adult movie, but shape-wise his hands are fairly proportionate. I have palms 2X wide, but shorter than that in length, and my fingers are not particularly long. My biological dad's nickname was "Nubs", and I've never had to question why. So quite the disparity in hand shape and size. Range conditions were mucky, 178% humidity (okay, not technically possible, but it felt like I needed gills to breathe), 50 degrees F, almost no wind, and quite dark despite having two hours of daylight left. We shot five rounds in each group; four in the mag, and the barrel charged via the tip-up feature. Distance was fifty feet, and we were shooting offhand/unsupported.

Trigger: Surprisingly good when actually shooting the gun vs. dry firing. I know there is no actual difference in the function, but when focusing on a target and knowing that a round is going downrange, the weight of pull wasn't as noticeable, and it was pleasantly smooth. Neither of us pulled a shot off because of the weight or creep, so I call it above average. The only issue encountered had more to do with the size of the gun and not the pulled his shots right due to having so much sausage- er finger- wrapped around the trigger. But even so, his groups were respectable.

Sights: The dots are very bright white, and showed up well in the low light. Neither of us had any issue finding them or aligning them. They made getting and maintaining a good sight picture very easy. Again, better than I had expected based on my initial handling of the pistol.

Function: 100% during this small test. Smooth cycling, cases ejected vigorously and were sent well clear of the gun (albeit in several directions), and the last round hold open worked fine. Since this is a load to the lighter side of "standard", this leads me to believe it will digest full-power loads very well. Twenty rounds is obviously not enough for me to declare it a gun I recommend for carry, but I'm experienced enough to know that it is promising when a brand new semi-automatic pistol functions well with low power stuff.

Recoil: Stout for the load, but expected with a straight blowback design, and very controllable. The low bore centerline and cutaway slide (not a lot of mass) kept muzzle flip to a minimum, and the recoil was directed straight back into the meatiest part of the hand. The sights didn't jump off target much at all, and made rapid follow-up shots a breeze. The only issue I encountered was the edge of the beavertail is not rounded, and it caught me in the thumb knuckle, which was uncomfortable. For folks who don't have weird hands, I doubt it would be a problem, as dad didn't notice it.

Accuracy: We were both very happy with the results. A new gun neither of us was familiar with firing a load that had zero development behind it, and I got around three inches and most of his shots did similar, although he got a couple self-inflicted fliers. With some refinement to the load and better conditions, I believe this has the potential to shoot better than I can hold offhand, which is how I like my guns, especially a training loaner. It's hard to determine if a shooter is displaying bad trigger or grip habits if the gun scatters shots randomly.

Overall, I am pleased with the pistol. It remains to be seen if it will make a good "orthopedic gun" like I wanted, but so far it is doing everything it is supposed to do, so I am optimistic. When the weather improves and I can get to the range without screaming in my best announcer's voice, "SATURDAYSATURDAYSATURDAY!! GET DOWN AND DIRTY IN THE MUD BOGS! IT'S THE BATTLE OF THE CAR-CRUSHING MONSTER TRUCKS!" as I drift my Charger sideways through two feet of bentonite-infused slop, I'll do a much more comprehensive accuracy review and see if I can induce any malfunctions by limp-wristing or holding the pistol lightly. I also plan to do some chronographing of loads to see how this pistol does versus the "book" velocities.

Thanks for reading my rambles, and if any of you have questions or requests for tests, please let me know. I'll do my pathetic best to answer and accommodate.

have a splendiferous and fantabulasticacious day!