With the ruling that aftermarket barrels will be allowed at the 2010 Bianchi Cup, Kenny Dickerson over at Speed Shooter Specialties hooked me up with both a KKM and a Storm Lake barrel as well as a machine rest for testing, and asked for the results. I haven’t had a chance to get out and bolt it down and start serious testing, and am not sure if I’ll have time to do so before heading out to Bianchi Cup, but here are my impressions of the barrels so far.
KKM. Nicely polished bearing surfaces with the hood of the barrel being bead blasted with clear, deep engraving. Dropped in to both an M&P9 Pro and 9L, fits tighter than the factory barrel, but not amazingly so. Shoots best with my 124 gr IPSC load, around 2.25″ at 35 yards when I braced on a barricade to shoot a group, also shot about a 2.5-3″ group at 50 yards from prone. Overall, a pretty nice barrel and will most likely be the one that I shoot at the match. One side note, the chamber is pretty tight and on the short side. My IPSC load is loaded to about 1.130″ OAL and it has a tendency to stick against the lands when I go to unload the gun. It also will require a chamber brush to be able to clean it on a regular basis, after about 500-750 rounds, there is build up along the front edge of the chamber and it’s not wanting to close 100% of the time.
Storm Lake. I have to confess that I haven’t shot this sample yet, but I shot one previously put in a Pro and ported it, so I’ll let you know which one I’m talking about. Both barrels were nice polished when they came out of the package, though the engraving on the barrel isn’t anywhere near as clear and deep as it is on the KKM barrel. The first barrel I got dropped in to my Pro and shot about 2.5″ at 25 yards, which isn’t too bad. The new barrel will require fitting, which I plan on finishing up today to do some final testing before settling in on which one to use for The Cup. I’m looking forward to doing some testing with the machine rest and several different kinds of ammo with every barrel I can get my hands on, and when I do, I’ll make sure to record all of the results and post them here.
Sorry it took so long to get this posted, been buried under stuff trying to get ready for my next trip in a couple weeks. Anyway, here’s the long and short of the match.
Russ, Bill, Kathy and everybody else involved again did a wonderful job with the match, no detail was too small for them not to work on. The only real critique I have is the lack of water jugs on every stage, while it wasn’t that hot, and most people tend to carry some water source with them, it’s not fun when you get to the top of the hill and realize that you’re almost out of water, and its a hike down to get more. The stats runners would provide bottled water to the squad which was nice, but I prefer a more fixed solution. But, the match had the two most important things about shooting matches, good stages, and even better RO’s. There wasn’t one stage that I would call “easy”, more like, less difficult. Personally, I love matches like that, where it takes a wide range of skills to be able to post top scores, instead of just running around like your hair is on fire and seeing who can pull the trigger faster, some of that is good, but I don’t like it when that’s all that the match consists of.
I’d like to highlight a couple stages and talk about them, for those that weren’t at the match, here’s a link to the 2010 Single Stack Match Book. Stage 6 and Stage 7 were BY FAR two of the toughest stages in terms of raw, basic skills that I’ve ever shot. With such tight A-zone shots, you almost had to shoot for C’s to make sure if you got a little rough of the trigger that you wouldn’t clip a no-shoot, which made it very tough on the minor PF shooters. A hits are the name of the game shooting minor, and being forced to aim away for it adds up to lots of points down very quickly. Overall though, I’d really like to see more of the basic skill testing come back into USPSA shooting.
Stage 10, I’m still not sure of the right way to shoot this one. On either side of the barricade, there was a single popper and drop turner, with the best 6 hits scoring on each drop turner. I ran the math, and choose to leave the left side turner and only shoot the right side to save time, as the left side used a forward falling popper and took over 1.5 seconds to activate. For shooting both sides to be worth the time spent, you would need extremely good hits on both turners, which was not easy. I agree with Matt Cheely who commented “Well, I don’t usually practice my Bill Drills on drop turners, so I’d rather only do it once.” Mike Seeklander, who shot both targets, took the stage win over Matt by only about 1.5 points. In my opinion, it worked out to a wash, and how well you performed on the stage and not so much how you shot it, and I still believe that only shooting one turner was the safer way to shoot it.
Stage 15 was just a really cool stage to shoot. It had speed, accuracy, target timing and shooting on the move all in one stage. It turned out quite a bit different from the drawing once it was set up, but you can see it on my YouTube video of the match.
I’m pretty happy with the way I shot the match, pretty solid with only a few mistakes, however the mistakes I did make were costly. I’m still extremely happy with my 38 Super DK1911 from the S&W Performance Center and I look forward to coming back to this match for years to come, and maybe one year, Rob will let somebody else win it!
Just wanted to post something short before heading to bed and a long drive home tomorrow.
First, thanks to all of the match staff, it was an awesome match again this year, and the effort put into the match really showed. Congrats to Rob on his 16th Single Stack Classic win, what an amazing streak, though I will confess to trying to end it this year . Also, my Team Captain, Julie Golob shot an awesome match to come out at Ladies Single Stack Champion!
Overall, I had a pretty good match without many mistakes, but the ones I did have cost me big, especially on the last two stages. My SW1911 in 38 Super performed extremely well after I knocked the back edge of the disconnector off to keep it from hanging in the magwell, which caused it to drop to half-cock when I slammed a mag in. I still believe shooting minor pf is the way to go, and think you’ll see a few more people switch to it in the coming years.
That’s all for now, will post more with some video a few days after I get home.