Abbreviated Field Report:
Glock 22 Winchester JHP, Kel-Tec PF9 Grip Extension
I had a discussion with my Uncle in Texas a few months ago and the subject of self-defense ammunition came up. He repeated what an instructor had told him that self-defense ammo begins with a “4”. He practices this advice.
I presented the idea of using as powerful a round as one can control and we discussed some of the factors involved in this. We also touched on “in the home” versus “outside the home” and why they are usually different. We agreed that when “in the home”, a full size hand gun is preferable if a hand gun is the choice.
We also agreed that hollow point ammunition should be used to minimize the risk of over-penetration in either the “inside the home” or “outside the home” situations. I am always curious about what other trainers are relaying to their students.
I had field tested 9mm JHP and .45 ACP JHP to verify the function in the firearms I was using. No problems. Since the after action reports on home invasions usually detail 5 or fewer rounds being fired it seems reasonable that 8 rounds with a ready reload would be sufficient.
Remembering the discussion with my Uncle, when hen I finally saw some .40 S&W JHP I purchased a 50 round box. I don’t shoot .40 S&W very often because the ammo is more expensive. But I felt compelled to at least try the round in the gun I have.
Since I only bought one box and haven’t seen anymore at the local brick and mortar where I usually buy ammo I was a little sparse with the test and only shot 10 rounds. Those 10 rounds of Winchester 180 gr JHP worked flawlessly in a Glock 22. I shot at the defensive distance of 21′ and put all it in the 6″ inner circle of a blank paper plate. Five fast and five slow. Hardly much of a test if I was going to be betting my life on the combo, but as a first step in the process, it passed.
The other part of the field test was a Kel-Tec PF9, comparing the standard grip with the extended grip. The width of my three fingers when gripping is 2.2″. The distance under the trigger guard to the bottom of the standard magazine is 1.72″. Not long enough to get past the middle of the little finger. Therefore I get no rotational resistance out of the little finger. Even when using a two hand grip with an off-hand finger on the front of the trigger guard, the rotational force of recoil is enough press the trigger finger into a resistance role after the round goes off.
This is an example of the trade off with concealed carry guns. You would like to carry something with the size and weight of the PF9 but if you actually had to use it you’d rather pull out a 1911 from your secret place. Since there are no wearable versions of the Tartis or Hermione Granger’s beaded handbag, you’ve got to decide where you want to be on the scale between concealment and ability to shoot.
The magazine extensions for the PF9 come in two varieties. An extension to the standard 7 round magazine or an extension that adds capacity for an additional round. I purchased the extension for the standard mag and found it to be uncomfortable because the geometry of the curve dug into my little finger. I took my Dremel to it and removed the hook.
The extension on the standard magazine yields 2.1″ with the trim job. It is a smoother profile and is just long enough to get the little finger to help provide resistance to the rotational portion of the recoil. It makes a big difference in the ability to control the gun and I would think the 8 round extension would do the same.