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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I attribute the quote to Ayoob, but it was also used by Cameron Hopkins as a subhead to a story in American Handgunner. I believe the story was about one of the small .32s, but am not sure.

But I call it macho posturing.

Who among us has the right to tell a soul what gun to carry?

Recently we were able to read Moritz's "Rules of Gunfighting". #1 is "have a gun". How simple can that be? If you follow it everything else is negotiable.

Hopefully we know by now that "knockdown power" is a myth. That silly old law about equal and opposite reactions says we'd be knocked down too. We know we aren't so the other part must be false.

There really are only two mechanisms by which people go down in gunfights: the switch is turned off ( interruption of the central nervous system) or they run out of gas (oxygen to the brain). "Power" is only a small component of those causes.

There is also a psychological mechanism which I call the aws..t factor. The suspect recognizes he's been shot, says "aws..." and decides that he'd better fall down. Of xourse that may be a wise choice because it usually helps to get out of the path of flying bullets.

As stewards of our sport we are obligated to help newbies. We need to teach them how to not jerk triggers or flinch. Sadly the guns everyone likes to tell them they must have are highly likely to induce one or both of those negative responses.

Everywhere we go if we become known as "gun people" we are going to be asked what gun to carry or cartridge to chose. Happily I've seen it posted here that the best first step is to go shoot some different guns. If the first shot hurts someone it will take years to overcome the flinch and jerk so induced.

In an ideal world people would start with 22s and work up as their skills improve. And as they climb the power curve they WILL reach a point at which the begin to react negatively to recoil. Simple... back up one notch.

Defensive handguns should be chosen based on the individual's comfort and ability... not upon some gunwriters favorite or- even worse- the rantings of someone suffering hormone overload.

My favorite suggestion is to try a bunch of guns, both pistols and revolvers, and chose the one that is most comfortable and in the largest caliber the new shooter can shoot accurately. For a scale let's say keep ALL shots within something about the size of a pie plate (roughly 6"). If that becomes easy then they can try something larger. But for some people the biggest gun with which they can meet that test might well be a .22. If so... then that is what they should consider for defense.

Way back when the services were looking at the 5.56 we derisively called it a "mousegun." Look around today and you'll see that it is a standard all over the place.

So why don't we say friends help friends learn how to shoot better?
 

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Amen, Charlie. I still remember the discussion at one Gunstock about how an accurate .22 might be the best defense gun for anyone who has mastered the basics of marksmanship.
"I'd rather be missed by a .45 than hit by a .22."
 

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Charlie, I agree with you about the "aws**t factor."

My issue with the .22, again, is not its power but its reliablility.

Just got back from the range where the kid and I had our weekly .22 session. Short session--they had a match coming in at noon and threw us off the range before we were really finished--but here's how it went:

DPMS .22 AR--50 rounds Remington HVHP, no malfunctions.

AR-15/M261 .22 conversion--100 rounds, no misfeeds or FTEs but two failures to fire--one Federal and one Winchester Dynapoint. The AR delivers a very healthy firing pin smack and both these types of ammuntion proved very reliable in my recent tests. The M261, interestingly, has also been very reliable after break-in, and if it's kept well lubed.

Colt Trooper .22--12 rounds Win Xperts, no malfunctions.

Ciener Colt Commander conversion--50 rounds Remington HVHP (ammo circa 1976), no malfunctions of any kind.

Walther PPK .22--64 rounds Fed and Win, no misfires nor FTEs but failed to feed the first round in the magazine twice (not a HUGE deal, but certainly not a confidence-builder). This was considerably better than my last range session with this gun, which was plagued by numerous failures to feed, fire, and eject and led to the gun going into retirement for about a year.

I HAVE had perfect (no malf) .22 sessions, I'm sure--I just can't remember when the last one was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good points.

My experience suggests that .22 autopistol reliability varies with size. The smaller the gun the more difficult it will be to get reliable function. Full size .22 pistols from Ruger, S&W or High Standard are often 100%.

I suspect that the reliability of rimfire ammo as a whole might be slightly lower than centerfire because it is a challenge to spread primer mix uniformly around the rim but an awful lot of stoppages can still be traced to the gun. If, for example, the gun is really dirty and fouling prevents the slide from closing completely. You might get a "click" because the hammer blow was absorbed by pushing the slide closed the rest of the way. Examination usually reveals a very faint firing pin impression and the cartridge will fire if hit again.

I think I would recommend a revolver to someone who wanted a small caliber defense gun. The S&W 351 (.22 mag) or 317 are highly reliable.

I'm also inclined to look for a brand of ammo that proves to be reliable in your specific gun and stick to it.
 

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Charlie, I believe you and I are finally on the same page with this! :)

I too have found that larger .22 autopistols are as reliable as the ammo. My Ruger MKII has never had a fail to feed or eject; my Ciener Commander and P35 conversions have never failed to feed anything and only fail to eject underpowered ammo such as cheap bulk Winchester XPerts. Even my Colt .22/.45 conversion (Ace type) has been extremely reliable for me--it will run for 800+ rounds without cleaning. In fact, it will still shoot long after the floating chamber gets crapped up and it stops "recoiling." The two Cieners have shown the ability to run 1000+ rounds between detail cleanings. These guns will all work just fine as long as there is primer under the firing pin when it hits.

It's the RF ammo itself that's the problem. I've found that maybe half of misfires will go if hit again in the same place (i.e., recocking a 1911 for a second go.) Of the ones that don't, half or more will go if hit somewhere else (rotate it in the chamber). The rest won't go at all--there's no primer in them anywhere.

I've quit screwing with .22 misfires. If I can take a second whack at it without unchambering it (1911/P35, or hold the trigger back on a revolver and recock the hammer, or lift and drop the bolt on a BA rifle), I will, but otherwise I eject and toss them. Handling .22s that have already been hit once always made me a little nervous and I finally wised up and realized that the 2-5c I saved trying to reclaim them was NOT worth the value of a finger or two if one ever lets go! :shock: They go right in the trash now.

When you gonna tell us about that quote? :? :?:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't thnk we were ever on different pages we just weren't talking about the same things at the same time.

Tell me about your Ace. I've got several conversion kits but find that they don't shoot too well when the floating chamber is crudded up. In fact they aren't overly accurate when it isn't but did serve the purpose of a Gallery Training pistol.

I just got a "straight" Ace so now I guess I have to get a "Service Model Ace" to round things out.

For extra credit... who invented the floating chamber? For double bonus points where was it first used?
 

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Floating chamber was invented by "Carbine" Williams. Was his name David Marshall? It's too nice a day to retire to my dungeon library to look it up.

I love my .22 conversion. Got it in the '70s and I guess I've put 25K rounds or more through it over the years. I just flat wore out one magazine--follower, spring, and floorplate. If I could get a replacement spring for it, it would still work, though not lock back.

I had it on a dedicated Essex frame, then decided I didn't like it because it was actually heavier than a real 1911, so I put in on a Fed Ord Ranger alloy frame. Now it's lighter than a 1911, but a little heavier than a Commander. I like it, and it recoils more.

Biggest problem I had with it was it always shot way high. I replaced the front sight with a taller aftermarket unit--it's staked on like a GI gun--and that took care of that.

Accuracy was never great. Combat-practice great, but not match-good. It was maybe 3 1/2" at 25 yards. I replaced the bushing with a NM bushing carefully fit to the slide and the barrel and that helped a bit. It'll now go mabye 2 1/2" @ 25, maybe more like just under three these days with my eyes. The Ciener unit will outshoot it for accuracy. The Ciener has grouped right around an inch @ 50 feet with an old Bushnell Phantom scope on it. I ought to put that scope on the Colt sometime and see how it will do.

Reliability of the Colt unit has been excellent, and as I said it will continue to shoot way after the chamber stops floating. It will definitely get dirtier than any other .22 I own but it keeps on working.

Since I got the Ciener Commander, I have pretty much retired the "fake Ace," due to concerns about breaking the lug on the chamber. I'd never heard of this before a couple years ago but evidently it's a problem. My theory is that guys have broken them with CCI MiniMags and hotter ammo. When I shoot it again, it'll be with something soft like the Winchester Dynapoints.

The recoil--yes, it recoils more than a normal .22, but WAY less than even a mild .45. To me it seems to recoil a little more than a light, small-frame .22 auto such as the ERMA/EXCAM RX22. I'd compare the recoil to 148gr wadcutters in a 6-inch Python.

I'm very fond of the thing, if you couldn't tell already. :)

I think you don't live all that far from me, Charlie. You're welcome to shoot it sometime if we can get together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good answer... it was David Marsh Williams, better known as "Carbine" Williams for the invention of the short recoil piston used in the M-1 carbine. But his first floating chamber was used in a .22 conversion kit for the .30 Browning machinegun (model 1918???)

I've shot quite a few conversions and your accuracy sounds about right. I found that they would shoot much better when clean and then fall apart as the chamber got leaded up.

I'm something of a conversion nut and have them by Day, Kart, Marvel and Kimber. I tried and tried to shoot bullseye with a Day unit but never did shoot it as well as the Model 41.

The new Kimber is- as Dean would say- the cat's pj's.
 

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That's one of the things I like about you Charlie, you only quote from the best! :wink:

Ed
 

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The new Kimber is sweet...

I wish, that when I was first starting to learn to shoot handguns, I had started with a .22...I would prolly be a better shot...But I digress...

those Carbines sure are fun to shoot huh? :D
 

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Hello. I agree with this idea as well. The "best" gun/caliber/load for me might very well not be for someone else. The user is more important that the tool and a competent shot that understands his or her weapon, can make it operate w/o fail in a terror-filled instant and is willing to actually drop the hammer on someone probably counts for more than which make handgun or caliber handgun is being used.

Best.
 

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Azrael said:
I wish, that when I was first starting to learn to shoot handguns, I had started with a .22...I would prolly be a better shot...:D
Maybe not. You can actually build in a lot of bad habits with a .22 that have to be built back out again later. I encourage people to move up and out of the .22 as soon as they possibly can, and then return to it later as a proficiency trainer, not as a basic trainer. I started with a Smith 15 in .38 Special, courtesy of the USAF (our motto: "We Fight Sitting Down") and in retrospect a 4" adjustable-sighted .38, fired single action, is about as fine a basic pistol trainer as you could get, unless your goal is ONLY to master the .22 for some reason such as Olympic competition or something of the kind.

As to the Kimber, I've read several articles on it now, most of which mention its apparent Ciener heritage, but none has mentioned something that seems to be true in the photos: The Kimber has a separate barrel bushing, where the Ciener does not. I LIKE the separate bushing--gives you something to fit. However, I DON'T like the forward cocking grooves on the Kimber, so I'll keep on trying to wear out the Ciener. So far I estimate that I won't live long enough to do it, but maybe my kid will. We're somewhere in the neighborhood of 5K rounds through that thing now and it still looks like it just came out of the box!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If someone is saying that the Kimber has a Ceiner heritage they obviously have never seen one.

You're right about the bushing and it also has a complete slide as opposed to most of the Ceiner derivatives that have a slide that looks more like a Model 41.

I'll agree that the .38 Special can be a good trainer, but don't think the .22 can teach habits that are worse. The principles of shooting are the same regardless of caliber.

And since you mentioned the USAF and Model 15s I'll tell you a little story. Way back in 1983 there was a reunion of the old USAF Marksmanship School at Lackland.

The school of course is long gone and now training is done by guys who wear red hats and have some title containing "Combat Arms". So anyhow these guys thought their stuff didn't smell and decided to hold a match between the old fogies and the new hotshots who really knew how to shoot. They shot Model 15s with wadcutter. The gave us rack grade 1911s that shook, rattled and rolled sometime around WWII. We got brown box hardball.

Would you care to guess who won?
 

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After 10+ years of training....

lots of new-age "I ain't never seen a pees-tall before, Sarge" LE folk, I remain firmly convinced that ANYONE, not suffering from a physical disability, can learn to shoot a .38 or a 9mm.

(Having one's head firmly wedged in their exhaust port counts double, since it is a mental and physical disability.)

It was well within my authority to elect to make rimfire trainers available to those I was charged with training. To do so would have been a mistake. It would have spoiled them and the first time they had to go back to a sidearm with a teeny bit of recoil, it would seemed to them that their service sidearm kicked harder than ever. Waaah, my gun kicks. Waaah, I can't hit nothin' with this hard-kickin' gun.

My tactic to deal with this was to explain to them that their little .38 or nine didn't really kick at all, and then to shoot the same course I had been making them shoot, in 2/3 of the time allowed- with a 4" Model 29, loaded with 210 Silvertip equivalent or hotter loads. Sometimes I let them shoot it with .44 Specials, just to show them that it wasn't going to kill anybody on the crew-served end. Most of them looked at their service sidearm in a whole new light after that, and we went back to the 7 yard line and worked on basics until they "got it."

This worked.

I understand that arthritis or infirmity can render a person unable to handle even .38/9mm recoil, and that folks in those straits need a gun they can handle. If a .22 is what it is, then so be it. But I'll never be convinced that any normal, healthy individual cannot attain a useful degree of proficiency with the mid-bores.

There are two things that make an opponent stop shooting at you. Cardiovascular/CNS incapacitation, or they quit. The .22 may serve fine for the latter crowd, and occasionally the former; but I do not recommend betting your life on it. What I do recommend is putting in the time and effort necessary to learn to shoot something bigger.

You can consistently win gunfights with a .22, just like you can consistently kill your limit of doves witha 2 1/2" .410. All you gotta do is be real good, real lucky, and both.
 

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Charlie Petty said:
If someone is saying that the Kimber has a Ceiner heritage they obviously have never seen one.

You're right about the bushing and it also has a complete slide as opposed to most of the Ceiner derivatives that have a slide that looks more like a Model 41.
Well, someone has obviously never seen one of something! Neither of my Cieners, nor any other one I've ever seen, or seen pictures of, has a slide like a Smith 41 (half-slide). They all have full-size, all-moving slides, but made of aluminum, not the stell of others. Perhaps you're thinking of a Kart, Day, or Marvel?

It's well known that Ciener used to make the conversions for Kimber. In fact, when Kimber switched over to making them themselves (royalites may or may not be involved, I dunno), Ciener blew out the remainder of their Kimber-marked stock at reduced prices.

I'm a graduate of the USAF SAMTU at Lackland myself--October 1972. Best ten weeks of my life, or at least the best ten weeks that didn't in any way involve women! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Did they call themselves "red hats"?

You're right about the slide... my bad. It is true that Ceiner made some private label conversions for Kimber but there are lots of differences between them. I don't think there are any live patents so I don't think there would be royalty issues.
 

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Charlie Petty said:
Did they call themselves "red hats"?
The instructors all wore red baseball caps, which was a good idea because it let you find them very quickly on the line among a bunch of people all dressed the same. I don't recall any of them actually CALLING themselves "red hats," if that's what you're asking. They were a good bunch of guys, VERY professional. I learned stuff from them I use every time I shoot, to this very day, and every time I teach someone else.
 
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