December 30th, 2013

Glock Model 42 — A New Single-Stack .380 ACP Carry Pistol

Glock will sell a small, single-stack .380 ACP pistol in 2014. The new carry gun, designated the Glock 42, was supposed to be a deep, dark secret until SHOT Show 2014, but news leaked out throughout the blogosphere, and Glock has confirmed that this is the real deal. Here’s the good news: the pistol is light (13.4 oz. empty) and slim (0.94 inches wide). Under 6″ in length, it should carry discretely in a variety of holsters. Made in the USA, the Glock 42 has a 6-round mag, and a 5.5-lb trigger pull weight.

First “Un-Boxing” of Glock 42 Carry Pistol in .380 ACP:

Colt model 1908 m1908 pocket hammerless .380 acp

Here’s the bad news: It seems Glock fans were hoping for a slim, single stock 9mm, as the .380 ACP cartridge is considered under-powered by many self-defense “gurus”. Some would-be buyers were also hoping that Glock would finally jettison the distinctive bulged-bottom backstrap that many shooters consider uncomfortable at best, and just plain wrong at worst. For many people, that fat bulge in the lower half of the grip causes the gun to point wrong. For many of us, the “hump” on the back of the grip forces an unnatural wrist angle when firing. If you don’t understand, shoot a Glock and a classic Sig back to back and you may experience ergonomic enlightenment.

Colt model 1908 m1908 pocket hammerless .380 acp

Colt model 1908 m1908 pocket hammerless .380 acpDoes the Glock 42
Really Represent Progress?

We find it interesting that, in the 105 years since Colt released its m1908 “Pocket Hammerless”, handgun design hasn’t necessarily advanced that far. Let us explain…

Compared to the Glock 42, the slim, .380 ACP Colt m1908 (derived from Colt’s .32 ACP m1903) has a smoother trigger, and boasts a 7-shot magazine (vs. a 6-shot mag for the Glock 42). The Colt also has a better-shaped grip, plus a smoother exterior (with fewer bumps, ridges, and snag-points). Remarkably, the 105-year-old Colt is actually thinner — it is 3/4″ wide compared to just under 1″ for the Glock 42.

On the other hand, at 13.4 ounces, the Glock is much lighter in weight than the 24 ounce Colt, and, yes, the Glock 42 is shorter than the m1908. For some, the Glock’s lighter weight is all-important. Others may prefer the Colt given its all-metal construction, lovely blued finish, and classic styling. Many gun aficionados feel that the m1903/m1908 pistols were the prettiest of John Moses Browning’s self-loading designs. What do you think? Is the Glock 42 really a better .380 ACP pistol than the classic Colt m1908?

Colt model 1908 m1908 pocket hammerless .380 acp

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 20 Comments »
December 30th, 2013

New 30 ARX — 6.5 Grendel Necked to .30 Caliber Beats 300 BLK

Robert Whitley 30 ARX ar15 6.5 grendelRobert Whitley of AR-X Enterprises has a new .30-caliber cartridge for AR-platform rifles. The new 30 ARX is based on the 6.5 Grendel parent case necked-up to .30 caliber. The 30 ARX mag-feeds flawlessly in an AR15, while offering excellent accuracy, good velocity, and serious knock-down power. Compared to a 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK), the new 30 ARX holds much more powder so it can push bullets faster and harder. Whitley’s 30 ARX boasts 57% more case capacity than a 300 Blackout. As a result, the 30 ARX outperforms the 300 BLK by a large margin. In a 20″-barreled AR, the 30 ARX can drive a 125gr bullet at 2500+ fps, or launch a heavier 150gr bullet at 2400+ fps:

30 ARX Loads
H4198, CCI BR4 Primers,
Necked-up Lapua 6.5 Grendel Brass:

2419 FPS: 28.0 gr. H4198, Nosler 125gr Ballistic Tip Hunting Bullet (2.260″ OAL)
2517 FPS: 29.0 gr. H4198, Nosler 125gr Ballistic Tip Hunting Bullet (2.260″ OAL)
2363 FPS: 28.0 gr. H4198, Sierra 150gr BT Hunting Bullet (2.240″ OAL)
2441 FPS: 29.0 gr. H4198, Sierra 150gr BT Hunting Bullet (2.240″ OAL)

Robert Whitley 30 ARX ar15 6.5 grendel

Robert Whitley explains the advantanges of the 30 ARX for AR-platform rifles: “The 30 ARX is a cartridge designed from the get-go for use in an AR-15. The case length and chamber design of the 30 ARX are optimal. The case allows the use of many of the favorite .30-cal bullets, magazine fed out of an AR-15 and backed by some real power. Brass is easy to make with a simple necking-up process. Neck it up, load it and go shoot. Good 6.5 Grendel brass is readily available, and we have 30 ARX dies available.”

Watch One-Step Process for Forming 30 ARX Case from 6.5 Grendel Brass

With the ability of Lapua 6.5 Grendel brass to handle stout loads, the 30 ARX cartridge delivers 30-30 Winchester-class performance, from the modern, semi-auto AR-15 platform. The 30 ARX cartridge has sufficient case capacity to push popular .30-cal bullets fast and accurately even at moderate chamber pressures. The case has approximately 38 grains water capacity. With its 57% greater capacity than a 300 Blackout, the 30 ARX is a more versatile, more powerful hunting cartridge (at least when loaded to supersonic speeds). With 150gr bullets running in the 2500 fps range, the 30 ARX offers impressive knockdown power in a cartridge that fits an AR-15 magazine.

  • 30 ARX Cartridge OAL mag-feeds perfectly with a variety of .30-cal bullets.
  • Longer, heavier long-range bullets (with longer COAL) can be single-loaded.
  • Lapua 6.5 Grendel brass is excellent, strong brass, that is readily available.
  • AR-X Enterprises now offers die sets for the 30 ARX.
  • The neck up process is very easy. Simply lube the inside of the necks of 6.5 Grendel brass, run the brass through your re-size die (with .30 Cal expander in place).
  • Works well with a lot of commonly available powders such as: Hodgdon 4198, Vihtavouri N130, Accurate LT-32, Accurate AA1680.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 36 Comments »
December 30th, 2013

Eliseo Offers Wide,V-Shaped F-Class Rear Bag-Rider

Tube-gunners take note. Gary Eliseo has just introduced a new wider, V-profile rear bag rider for his Competition Machine modular chassis systems. The new bag-rider is a wide V-shape that conforms to the shape and angle of popular rear sandbags. Gary tells us that “The new F-class rear bag rider will be available as an option in 2014. Constructed of Delrin, the new bag-rider is reversible with 0 degree and 5 degree mounting ends. The bottom of the bag-rider is sized to fit 3/4″-wide ear spacing.”

Eliseo Competition Machine F-Class Bag rider

Eliseo Competition Machine F-Class Bag rider

Eliseo Competition Machine F-Class Bag rider

Editor’s Comment — This Kind of Bag Rider Really Works
We have tested a prototype, V-shaped bag-rider on an Eliseo 6mmBR Tubegun. The profile on our wooden prototype is very similar to Gary’s final design crafted from Delrin. We were really surprised at how much better the gun behaved with the wide, V-shaped bag rider, compared to a standard slab-sided skid. With the “V-Rider” the gun felt more “locked-in” with less side-to-side play. There also seemed to be less vertical bounce when shooting F-TR style with a bipod. But mostly the gun felt much more stable, with less tendency to roll. There was noticeably less side to side wobble, and the gun did track better.

The most important thing, is that the V-shaped bag-rider definitely made the gun easier to shoot — at least in the opinion of our three trigger-pullers. When we switched to our wide, V-shaped bag-rider, three different shooters were able to hold smaller groups with tighter horizontal. We saw fewer left/right shot impacts (away from the group center) that may have been attributable to little, last-micro-second movements of the rifle. The gun seemed to settle in the rear bag better, and after each shot, it seemed we could get back on target more quickly. The gun “locks in” to the rear bag faster and more solidly, so you spend less time fiddling with horizontal. With less wobble, the TubeGun feels less top-heavy. Understand that a V-shaped bag rider will not make your rifle more inherently accurate. However, it may help you steer the gun more consistently, and it make help the rifle track more consistently.

Product find by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
December 30th, 2013

Day-Glo (Hi-Viz) Target Dots Starting at Five Bucks per Thousand

Sometimes simpler is better when it comes to targets for fun shooting and load testing. While we normally use test targets from our Downloadable Target Page, it’s sometimes easier to just use high-visibility adhesive target dots.

Hi-Viz Stick-On Dots in Assorted Colors and Diameters
You can order 1″ target dots in bulk from Data-Labels.com. Many colors are available including fluorescent (hi-viz) Red, Green, Orange, and Yellow. These are bright and easy to see even in fading afternoon light. A pack of twenty (20) sheets (1260 dots total) costs just $5.97 (that works out to $4.74 per thousand). For the 1″-diameter stick-on dots you get 63 dots per sheet. Larger, 1 2/3″-diameter fluorescent dots are also available from Data-Labels.com in 20-sheet packs for $5.97, with 24 large dots per sheet (480 dots total). If you want larger, 2″-diameter dots, sheets with 400 Hi-Viz dots are currently on sale for $5.97 per 20-pack.

If you prefer smaller, 3/4″-diameter circles, Staples.com sells packs with 1008 adhesive dots for $3.64 to $8.39 per pack. Colors include Neon Red (item 538041), Neon Orange (item 538116), Neon Yellow (item 538090), and Neon Green (item 538066), as well as dark blue, light blue, yellow, and dark green. We recommend the Neon Red for most uses, or the Neon Yellow for use on a black background. For $4.41 Staples sells a “Rainbow Pack” (item 297705) with four assorted colors: red, light blue, green, and yellow.

Half-Inch Fluorescent Dots for 100-200 Yards
For close-range work, you may prefer 1/2″-diameter dots. Forum member Steve has found these at Uline.com. The 1/2″ dots are available in a wide variety of colors including fluorescent Red, Pink, Yellow, and Green. Price is $12 for a roll of 1000 dots (item S-2063).

Permalink Hot Deals, Tech Tip 5 Comments »