New Website!

So I finally have a real website for this blog, it also happens to be the store for my CamPro Bullets. It is still new and im working on the pictures ect but any new blog posts will be there so change your bookmarks to…

 

http://www.shooterready.ca/

 

the shopping cart works for anyone who needs to make an order :D

Tanfoglio Stock II Review

My Bias: I have what amounts to zero bias in this review. I’m borrowing the gun from a friend, I’m shooting the ammo I would normally shoot and I don’t own any competing products. So no need to justify my spending, just a straight up review.

As with the Ruger review, I put 500 rounds through the gun over a couple weeks of my regular practice class (put on by Rob at activeshooter.ca ). I probably would have been done the 500 in 2 weeks if it was summer, but well… its cold outside. First thoughts when I picked up the gun were “damn, this is gorgeous” and that has not changed over the weeks; it is a very very good looking gun. It is also very tightly fit, when it is in battery there is zero barrel play and 0.23mm (I actually broke out my caliper to measure this) in the slide to frame fit. That is hand fitting and you couldn’t ask for it to be any better.

Oh I forgot to mention an important piece of info, this gun has ~65 000 rounds through it. Yes you read that right, 65 000 rounds and still just as tight as it came from the factory, that’s what I call quality.

Sights

Moving on from the fit, the next thing I looked at were the sights; I know sights are a very personal thing for everyone but I will still do my best on them. The gun comes with an adjustable rear site (elevation and windage) that is very sharp and has serrations as well as a rear angle, like any good sight should, and when in use it is black with no reflections. The front sight is thin at 2.5mm with with a 1mm fibre optic insert. I found it very very precise in use and it didn’t really seem to hurt my speed any compared to the larger sights I usually use, but some may want to change to a wider sight. As I expected, high quality sights on a high quality gun that I feel there is no reason to change (and I tend the change EVERY sight on my guns). Oh and I should mention that if you do the slap method of racking your gun as championed by Tim Sanderson the sight will (unlike the shadow) eat your hand, so don’t do it.

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Frame/Checkering

The checkering on the slide is good looking, positive feeling and works great for racking at the front or rear. The gun also has large patches of checkering on the front and rear of the frame; this is quite grippy and you have no need for grip tape or anything to keep your hands secure, with a proper grip this gun will not move in your hands. The gun I’m shooting has Henning aluminium grips sporting even finer checkering which also really grabs your hands. I wish I had some of the stock grips to give a view on, but I have always had to replace wood grips with aluminium or g10 grips to get the grip I like and if I was ordering the gun I would add some new aluminium grips to the order even without trying them.

Stock II Grip

One of the best features on this gun is that the frame has an integrated mag well. It is awesome and really provides a much bigger hole to stuff your mag into which means less chance of missing and the ability to do your change farther away from your body. I would say that it gives you and extra 3mm on either side which is 25% more width than without it. There is one odd thing about the mag well, it is nicely sloped and contoured everywhere except at the front. At the front of the gun its profile is still sloped properly but for some reason its flat and not rounded. I’m not sure why Tanfoglio decided on the flat profile, I’m sure its easier to machine but I know that most of my missed reloads are to far forward and a round front profile is #1 in regards to making those fumbled reloads into a reload that still makes it into the gun.

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Trigger

I’m going to be honest, as much as I love every aspect about the gun the trigger is…..well it’s bad. It’s not horrible or anything, but it does have a number of issues. First is that the trigger stacks right near the end of the double action pull, so instead of being a smooth pull you end up having to change the amount of force you apply at different points in the pull. Second the reset is pretty long but it does still have a positive feel to it and you can tell when you hit it easily. The third problem is hard to quantify but the trigger just feels mushy, it’s not crisp or pleasant feeling. You can have the trigger from the stock III fitted to the gun by Freedom Ventures for $125 plus shipping both ways (or if you get it put in brand new then save the shipping and do it when you order the gun). The current world champion is shooting a stock II with a stock III trigger in it and word is that the stock III is a better trigger than the stock II. If I get a chance to try the stock III trigger I’ll update this review to reflect any new findings.

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Internals

Pictures are better than words here.

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Shooting Impressions

There is a lot of things to like when shooting the gun. The weight of the gun means it is very stable while firing and the slide moves very smoothly along the rails. While running drills the gun stays very very flat with very little recoil, I was actually shocked at how little it moves. The muzzle flip is easily less than the CZ shadow and my 1911. The only problem is the safeties  they are big and make a good shelf to rest your thumb on, which sounds great to any 1911 shooter but the position and size of them means that you aren’t gripping the gun as high as you could be. The problem is that if you try and grip as high as you would like to, you are jamming your support hand right against the under side of the safety and the shape of it is perfect for you to hit it on by accident. Why Tanfoglio doesn’t offer flush safeties as an option I have no idea, everyone who tried it had the same comment that they would prefer a flush safety because they are starting double action for IPSC and have no use for a safety.

Overal

The stock II is a very well made gun and it has all the features you could want for a IPSC or USPSA production gun. It is pricey coming in at $1600 but that is money well spent considering at 65 000 rounds its still tight as a drum and going strong. The only real competition in the market is the Canadian edition CZ shadow which costs pretty much exactly the same money. The Stock II beats the shadow in looks, weight, features (mag well, heavy bull barrel, longer barrel, great checkering) but the shadow has flush safeties and more importantly a head a shoulders better/crisper/shorter trigger on it. It would be very hard for me to pick which gun if I was purchasing one for myself, but if I could get my hands on a stock II with the stock III trigger and felt marked improvement I would go for the Stock II over the shadow. Sadly though if the trigger was the same as the stock one I would have to give the nod to the shadow, which kills me because the stock II feels perfect in the hand other than the trigger and to a lesser degree the safeties.

Some Bad News About My Open Gun

I was really hoping that my open gun would be in my hands by now so I could spend alot of the off season working on doing target focus vs front sight focus because looking at the dot is the easiest way to be slower with an open gun than with a iron sight gun. I’ll post up what drills and stuff I do to break my front sight focus when I get the gun but on to the bad news.

I called up my gunsmith to see where my gun was at and he told me he was about 2 hours of machining into the comp when as he was going in for another cut his end mill exploded and took a big chunk out of the side of the comp. So now he has to start from scratch and make a brand new comp and I have to wait some more :(

I really want to shoot this gun!

124gr CamPro RN and HP Pictures

So while I’m doing my reviews here are some pictures of the 124gr CamPro Bullets, I’ll be throwing high quality pictures of everything up with my website so everyone can see exactly what the bullets look like.

124gr hp bullets 124gr rn bullets

2 Gun Reviews On Their Way

I know I dont normally “review” guns, but I posted on a forum that someone should buy the Ruger SR1911 instead of the STI Spartan (which I own) as I think it is a better deal/gun and then someone asked me to explain why and while I was writing up that explanation I realized that it would be a better explanation if I had some serious time on the gun rather than just a mag or two. So I sourced up some .45 brass, grabbed a 500 round box of CamPro 230gr HP bullets, got some load data for it and borrowed a friends SR1911 to run them through. I’m in the process of that shooting right now, but I also have a friend with a Tanfoglio stock II sitting in his safe gathering dust; this is an expensive(ish) gun and I never see any good reviews of it on the internet so I talked him into lending me that and so I’ll try it for 500 rounds as well and do a full review on it as well.

And some quick pictures… (I’ll clean them for the glamour shots) have I mentioned that stainless guns are gorgeous? (no the silver painted czs they call stainless don’t count)

Dec 1st Spartan Reliability Update

Well it’s the first of the month and time to break down how my gun has been over the last month.

8649 rounds 2 stoppages 0 parts breakages

Sadly I did have one thing happen with then gun, it failed to pick up a round off a mag once during steel practice. The shot felt light and I know at once point reloading for that practice I was very low on powder so I assume it was just a light load, but I’m still putting it down as a malfunction.

For those keeping track, my $700 gun still has less malfunctions than the $2000 custom one used in the pistol-training.com test.

Oh I also cleaned it this month, I can’t remember when the last time I did that was, but It bears mentioning. I was shooting the texas star challenge I put on, looked in the gun and It looked like I poured sand in the action there was so much carbon. The gun still worked perfectly but I felt bad so I cleaned it, slide glide is the best, I lube the gun once, shoot it and forget about it for a couple months and it still runs perfectly and still has grease where I put it.

Hollow Point vs Round Nose

So since my hollow point bullets are the same price as my round nose bullets (unlike every other brands) I have been getting alot of questions regarding what the difference is and which people should use. So I figured explaining the difference was worth a blog post.

Round nose bullets are your go to common bullets, any cheap factory ammo you buy will be round nose bullets. This is for a couple reasons, mostly because they are cheaper to buy (usually) and they have less chance of causing a failure to feed because there is no flat parts to catch on the way into the chamber. This profile also means that when they hit a paper target they push through it rather than cut through it, and when they hit a thicker target they stay together and come out the other side mostly intact.

Hollow point bullets on the other hand have a flat nose and well… a hollow point in the top. This means that when they hit paper they cut through leaving a much cleaner hole and when it hits a thick target they slow down and expand, putting more energy into the target instead of just going right through it. In practical terms, that means the watermelon you just shot explodes into 1000 pieces instead of has a 9mm hole put in both sides. They are also thought to be more accurate than round nose bullets; this is commonly accepted as truth but I haven’t tested it so I can’t vouch for it personally.

To show what I mean in regards to a cleaner hole I took a target out to the range and pilfered a hollow point and a round nose CamPro bullet from a friend (like I said, they are popular and I’m already sold out). This is what the two different bullet types do to an IPSC target. The hollow point is on the top.

I also shot some of my Berry’s RN 147gr bullets to compare to the CamPro 147gr truncated cone (essentially a hollow point without the hollow). The truncated cone is on the bottom.

As you can see, the hollow point and truncated cone bullets both make cleaner holes on the targets. There is honestly no real advantage to this in practical terms because you can always call for an overlay to verify a shot but this may give you an edge with an RO if you are lucky. I personally just like the really clean holes compared to more ragged hole of the round nose bullets.

One last thing to consider with the hollow point bullets is that if you have issues with them feeding try and load them shorter, sometimes you don’t have to (the friend I pilfered the bullets off of loads both to the same length) but it isn’t unheard of to need to load hollow point bullets shorter than round nose bullets.

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