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Training with a CO2 lookalike: Part Four

Sig P365
Sig P365 pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Back story
  • A mouse gun?
  • Bullard holster
  • The range
  • Discoveries
  • What it means
  • More shooting
  • |Summary

I have a very different one for you today. What a great way to start the new year!

Back story

Remember that I started this report series because I carry a Sig P365 9mm pistol as my concealed carry weapon in my duties as a watchman at my church. Here is how I started Part 1.

“This report was never supposed to become a series, but because of the events that have occurred that has happened. I started out by using the Sig P365 BB pistol as a trainer for my P365 9 mm firearm that I carry concealed. I’m a watchman at my church and the pistol is an unfortunate but necessary accessory for that job. We all know I can shoot a handgun pretty well, but what about in a defensive situation? That’s very different than target shooting.”

Well, as time passed I wondered how well I could do with the firearm, so after training with the Sig BB pistol I went to the firearm range and started drawing and firing my 9mm P365 for time.

In that training I learned several useful things. I am fast enough on the draw from concealed to get the job done (3 seconds) and I’m pretty accurate with my firearm. I found two Sig magazines that failed to feed because of weak springs. I have upgraded those magazines with stronger aftermarket springs and the gun seems to function as it should again.

The Sig P365 9mm pistol is ideal for my purpose. It’s accurate, easy to rack (pull the slide back to chamber a round), has a decent trigger pull and at 24 feet (remember that I backed up from the target in Part 3) I can keep them all in the 10-ring of a bad guy. I can also double tap which makes the shots stay closer together.

A mouse gun?

The 9X19mm Parabellum round is a lower-powered pistol round that really isn’t in the “mouse gun” category like a .32 ACP and a .380 ACP. Modern 9mm rounds have good defensive bullets and the round is in the .38 Special category for power.

I have always favored the .45 ACP cartridge for its proven success in the field of defense, but until recently the pistols chambered for that round were too large to be easily concealed. Sure, there are concealable holsters for 1911s, but how fast can a sword-swallower run when he has a cutlass hilt sticking out of his mouth? My P365 conceals easily in a Bullard leather holster.

But I wondered about a .45 because my late wife, Edith, carried a Glock 36 in .45 ACP in her purse. The only time she was without that pistol was when it was illegal to carry it, such as in the Post Office or a municipal building. I still have that pistol, of course, and I wondered if it would make a good defensive sidearm. It’s almost as small as the P365 and the few times I have shot it I was impressed by the accuracy and by how light the recoil felt. See where this series has taken me? And you guys call ME the great enabler!

Glock 36
My Glock 36 is a .45 ACP.

The Glock 36 holds 6 cartridges in the magazine and one in the chamber for a total of seven shots. That’s roughly half of the 12 shots my P365 holds, but because it is a .45 a double tap isn’t needed.

Glock 36 P365
The Glock 36 (right) compares favorably with the Sig P365.

The Glock is extremely hard to rack. But it is safe to carry it cocked with a round in the chamber, and that’s how I do it.

Bullard holster

This got me wondering whether it was worth investing in a Bullard holster for the Glock. I decided it was and wrote the cost against this blog series, though I paid for the holster out of my own money. I just figured that a couple reports made it worth my investment.

holstered Glock and P365
The size comparison between the P365 and the Glock 36 is easier to make when they are holstered. Glock on the right.

I tried the holstered Glock on for size and it fit nicely. But how did it do on the range?

The range

This time I stood at 21 feet from the target again because this is a new pistol I’m not familiar with. When I drew the pistol it seemed larger and clumsier and it didn’t seem to point naturally like the P365.

The first shot felt light and went close to the point of aim, so no problem there. But the Glock’s sights are not as easy to acquire as those of the P365 so perhaps a half second more time was spent acquiring the target.

Glock head
With the Glock I tried single shots to the head. In self-defense there is a saying, “Two in the head and you know they’re dead.” This is six shots in the target’s head from 21 feet. One gave him a pierced ear and the other five went inside the K5 ring where they were supposed to.

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Discoveries

I did discover that the Glock is extremely picky about the ammo it will feed and chamber. I’m used to the 1911 platform that feeds ammo like mercury through a sieve. The Glock is more like a Whack-a-Mole game. It likes just certain rounds and no others. And forget reloads — especially mine. Fortunately for me my Wilson Combat 1911 that is even more accurate than the Glock accepts all my handloads with ease.

The Glock 36 is quite accurate, and the recoil is minimal. But the grip is awkward for my hands and the sights are extremely difficult to acquire quickly. In my mind that makes the pistol a no-go for self defense.

What it means

What this means is I will continue to carry my Sig P365 as my concealed carry weapon. It’s faster out of the holster, has a more natural grip and has better sights than the Glock. Those are all important reasons to stay with the 365.

More shooting

I also shot the silhouette’s body. My shots go to the left whenever I go fast. After shooting the Glock I went into action with my P365. My neighbor Denny gave me a 12-inch Shoot-N-C bullseye to paste on my target’s chest.

silhouette
I shot both the .45 Glock and the 9mm Sig at the silhouette target many more times that day.

Summary

I find the Glock 36 to be an excellent sidearm, but perhaps not one for me to use for defense. I was surprised by its accuracy when used intentionally, but not as much when called on in a hurry — at least not for me.

I do plan on giving this pistol another chance. There is no Glock 36 BB pistol that I know of, so I won’t be able to go that route. Oh, if you search you will find Glock 36 airsoft pistols and the people who sell them call them BB guns, but we know they aren’t. They are airsoft, and only because the Asian makers call their 6mm plastic balls BBs so these guns get called BB guns. You may have a Trane air conditioner but good luck getting a ticket to ride it anywhere!

33 thoughts on “Training with a CO2 lookalike: Part Four”

  1. I rarely attend, but I’ve always sensed deep peace, tranquility and safety upon entering a church. Now I know why.
    BB, would you say it is more important to train with something, anything, or to have the proper replica to train with (assuming one doesn’t train much with their real firearm)? Like, do you/will you/would you find it more confounding that the replica doesn’t handle exactly like your carry, or that you haven’t practiced a given drill with any trainer, even if it is not at all like your carry?
    Best,
    Mike

    • Berserkeley Mike,

      Wow you just gave B.B. the 640,000 (inflation) dollar Question!
      IF you don’t train much with your firearm do you at least NOT walk around in Condition White most of the time? If you carry you need to be at least in Yellow to stand a chance in most US cities and towns to even get to the draw.
      Half of the problem is deciding it is time to draw and the next 40% or so is drawing and presentation happening efficiently. That 40% part needs to be done with the actual firearm (unloaded) or as exact a shape/weight replica as you can find. The 10% part doesn’t need much repetitive practice unless you want to stack your bullets in the target. Huh? You will probably be WITHIN 12 feet in most defensive engagements. If you aren’t that close you need to worry a great deal about Accounting for every round you shoot with the amount of Adrenaline that will be pumping in a typical citizens body.
      I don’t know what your background is but for a typical Concealed Carry shooter you need more than what you are asking B.B. about.
      If you can find a range with a Shoot House or better still a Simulator you need to make it a goal to do a few sessions and you will understand your answer.

      shootski

  2. B.B.,
    I have many friends who rave about their Glocks, but personally, I am not enamored of them. I have a shot a bunch of them (friends’ guns) in 9mm, and even 10mm, but to me, they all felt like I was holding a 2X4 in my hand. I just don’t find them ergonomic. While they were reliable and accurate, they just did not suit me.
    I concur with your idea to stick with the Sig P365 for church security use.
    Blessings to you,
    dave

  3. BB

    Your plan to get more practice in with both makes sense. Either could become the back up carry gun if permitted to carry both.

    Very pleased for you that the Sig feeding concerns are no more!

    Deck

  4. BB,

    Like you said, the double tap did not come about until the 9mm went popular here in the USA.

    Now as far as a Glock, well… …there are much better hand cannons out there.

  5. >>> the grip is awkward for my hands and the sights are extremely difficult to acquire quickly <<<

    BB,

    Curious about the fit of the grip, are your hands small/medium/large?

    I'm a bit surprised that one would need to "aim" at a man-sized target (6 inch kill zone?) at 20-25 feet. I would consider that to be well within my point-blank range and would only use the sights for reference (that I didn't have the pistol out of plane) rather than deliberately aiming with them.

    I'm relatively new to plinking with pistols but minute-of-a-soda-can groups at that range is not difficult with my HW44 or my PP750 even when shooting instinctively (focus is 100% on target). I'm self-taught and probably not following convention but if I focus on target, close my eyes and raise the pistol I'm very close to being aligned for the shot with the HW44. Not so good with the PP750 (my carry about pesting pistol) but chipmunks at 10-12 feet are in real danger and I'm working on extending my effective range.

    I do admit that I've only shot real pistols a couple of times and that was a very long time ago. I don't remember them being especially difficult to shoot.

    Hank

    P.S. It’s 10 meter (winter indoor) shooting season here in Canada, any chance of a blog series on target pistols?

    • Hank,
      You’ve got some great points here; in my younger days, I used to practice a lot of point shooting with CO2 guns because I had a small backyard that faced into a large hill, and range time was expensive. πŸ˜‰
      Using both hands, but no sights (looking over the sights), I learned to keep most of my shots on a soda can at 15 to 20 feet.
      But here’s a pretty cool video on point shooting by a former Marine, former Army, guy:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pdEJBKoNC8
      The thing I like about Paul Harrell is that, like B.B., he talks straight up, without a lot of jargon; he claims to be a professional, but not an expert, and all his videos are about his own real-world experience. πŸ™‚
      Enjoy your indoor winter shooting time!
      Cheers,
      dave

  6. BB, when I moved to GA and was told by a neighbor how easy it was to acquire a CCL (compared to NJ), I ended up buying two Kahrs, one being the CM9 which is about the size of the Glock 43 (and quite a bit cheaper at the time), a bit bigger than your 36. What I ended up settling on for a holster was a wallet holster from Uncle Mike – size 3. The firearm fits comfortably in my pocket and doesn’t print. I don’t worry about my sports jacket or shirt slipping up to reveal it and I find I can reach and draw within your 3 seconds. Of course, you lose the use of that pocket for change or cash. Just thought you and others would be interested in it.

    Fred formerly of the Demokratik Peeples Republik of NJ now happily, constitutionally armed in GA

    • Assembly took me about two and a half enjoyable hours, because all the components fit together well.

      It’s designed to shoot two rubber bands at the same time and is a five shot repeater. Therefore it takes ten rubber bands to load the gun and to shoot them, takes no time at all! πŸ™‚

      Pump action is necessary for each shot as it transfers the tension of the rubber bands-holding, five-hook wheel, for the next shot, to the trigger.

      Until the novelty wears off, the rubber band shooter lives in the kitchen. I use it, for example while my tea brews, ie for five minutes I try to drop those soldiers in all sorts of locations. πŸ™‚

        • Vana2, though I fail to hit a toy soldier with every shot, it might indeed frighten flies. Which is fine because for reliably pesting flies, ie use my other pumper, the bug-a-salt airgun. πŸ™‚

        • Ah shootski, didn’t Arnold’s character, while riding a bike, rotate his shotgun one handed to operate the underlever?
          I think it was Sarah O’Connor who pumped her shotgun one handed and then brought it to her other hand to pull the trigger.

          For the latter, I’m thinking of the scene towards the end of the film, when the liquid T1000 terminator wags his finger in disapproval at this irritant.
          Then Arnie’s character manages to shoot a grenade into the abdomen, which, when it detonates, has it stumble backwards and fall into molten steel, and that is what finally destroys it.

          To answer your question, I do indeed operate the pump handle with one hand, but only in the traditional manner. I imagine, the lack of any glue, would soon have the little wooden pumper disintegrate. πŸ™‚

  7. This is such a good series and important as well. I have 3 trainers and sold a 4th that I regret. Glock 19 non blowback, Glock 19x blowback and Beretta 92 FS Semi and Full auto blowback. The 19x has such a horrible trigger but I still prefer it to the non blowback 19 that has an acceptable one. The 92FS is just great! I had a Dan Wesson 715 that was a good sub for my GP100, shouldn’t have let that one go.

    I enjoy being able to practice all of the aspects that you have line out in this series with them, but it’s the drawing and double tap firing that has been most helpful as that is not allowed on my local range (I hate that about this place but it is close by and cheap to shoot at)

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