Join a Minority (Pistol) Group

join-a-minority-groupOK, so “It’s Over. And Glock Won,” as we posted a while back. But as we never really warmed up to the G17, we went back to a CZ.

Like we did when we filled out the first of many sheaves of volunteer paperwork, we Joined a Minority Group.

When you join a minority group, you can find yourself, well, not fitting in. You’re different. People look at you funny. You might be feared, shunned, even hated. You tend to band together with people like yourself.

There’s probably something about it in the Bible, or maybe the Book of Mormon (in the Book of John Moses?), that says that the bearers of the 1911 shall cleave to one another, and not suffer the bearers of the unclean European wondernine to pass among them; and the Pharisees of the K-Frame and Python listened not to the gospel of the autopistol, but gathered among themselves and called for the stoning of the autopistoleros, especially those whose frames were cast of polymer, which is unclean.

Well, there’s a certain sense to that. With your only six rounds gone, aren’t fist-sized stones the handiest Plan B?

The cultural Siberia to which the odd-brand pistol-packer exiles himself is not the whole problem, or even the largest part. More practically, changing pistols is a royal pain in the part where Glock operators occasionally puncture themselves. If the pistol were the be-all and end-all of your self-defense, that’d be one thing, but think of all the other parts of the self-defense handgun ecosystem:

  1. ammunition;
  2. spare magazines;
  3. sights (factory sights peak at “fair,” and some are horrible. And they are usually day-only. Take a look at what side of the clock defensive gun units happen on);
  4. holsters, and magazine carriers.

beretta_m9_kyle_defoorThen, there’s training. Some trainers will expect you to run what you brung and will work to make you better with it (here’s Kyle Defoor discussing training a Beretta-using entity). Other trainers will use a training class as a platform to disparage your selection (or worse, your agency’s or service’s selection, as if you, a gravel-agitating bullet-launch technician, could influence it), and promote their own 99% solution.

(But we do agree with Defoor’s aside — if you’re going to carry the Beretta, or any safety-equipped DA/SA auto, carry it hammer down on a loaded chamber, safety off. We also agree that even better than the 92F/M9 is the decocker-only 92G).

Fortunately, most trainers can teach you something that will make your shooting better. If you’re already really good, there are specific trainers that specialize in wringing the last 4% of potential out of any given platform. (So maybe it’s necessary to change trainer when you change gat).

It’s wonderful that those guys can make a living, but the fact is, you probably don’t need that kind of specific training. You might still seek those trainers out — because they’re probably pretty darn good, overall. (If you’re going to do heavy maintenance on your pistol, of course, you’re well advised to attend the factory or importer armorer course, if you can. But operation, many experienced trainers can help you with).

Some of those things often aren’t that big a change. If your old and new guns are in the same caliber, and the new gun will feed your old ammo, there’s one change you don’t have to make or consider. Your mag carriers often will take any other mag in the same caliber. And sights? You’ll be at the mercy of the aftermarket, and your pistol’s standard or not-so-much sight dovetails.

With all that out of the way, the real thing that’s a problem is a holster. These don’t interchange among pistols, much. (Unless they’re crappy holsters that “fit” many pistols because they don’t actually fit anything). So we went to the holster maker that skinned our Glock, Raven Concealment, only to find out our CZ was not on their supported list.

D’oh.

The P-01 didn’t really fit in the concealment holsters we had for the old CZ-75 Pre-B. It has a squared off “chin” with a light rail, and a larger trigger guard.

We heard that Black Storm Defense in Tennessee made a decent holster, so we went on line and ordered one each of their Signature and Pancake holsters for the P-01.

And waited.

And waited.

D’oh. This is what happens when you join a minority group, kids. We could get forty-eleven holsters for a Glock 17 within twenty miles of Hog Manor, nearly as many for a SIG, and even a few for an M9. CZ-75 P-01? Not so much.

Welcome to the minority group. But then, in the process of rounding up some stray tax paperwork in the pile of untended paper on the breakfast table, we discovered (along with a pile of unread magazines, a $355 rebate check from our health insurer, apparently for not having another myocardial infarction in the last twelve moths, and a box of hollow points) a holster we’d bought on a whim on eBay of all places, for the old CZ, months or maybe years ago.

And never taken out of the bag, because were were rockin’ the Glock when it came.

cz-75p-01-3

It was a very inexpensive, an “Anatolia” brand from the Turkish company Anatolia Hunting & Nature Sports, Leather Products Company, which is quite a mouthful in English, and must be a remarkable jawbreaker in its native Turkish. The holster seems well-made, it’s made of solid leather and appears to be hand-stitched. Will it hold up?

And… will the P-01 fit? It just might, because the holster’s a simple slide-in job, with a free muzzle. It might not care about the P-01’s prognathous jaw, and it looks like it’s shaped to take a protruding or squared-off trigger guard, and not just the rounded one of the Pre-B.

And it did fit.

cz-75p-01-4

And with delight, we started carrying the P-01, finally.

The next day, we got an email from Black Storm that our holsters had shipped. The wait wasn’t even that bad (three weeks from order to ship) but we’d gotten impatient. Now the Black Storms will have to play King of the Hill with this $15 Turkish special — which starts out at the top of the hill.

That, too, is life in a pistol minority group. The delights, as well as the sickeners, come in clusters.

62 thoughts on “Join a Minority (Pistol) Group

  1. Kansas City Kansan

    I had a similar problem with a Jericho. My advice to new gun buyers is to buy the gun with a holster designed for it at the same time. One can learn to shoot using a common brand pistol and become accustomed to it. It is also easier to upgrade parts or replace parts with a common pistol. The $250 online Turkish clone pistol is not the same bargain it if you can’t find a holster and spare parts you may need.

    1. Hognose Post author

      I’m surprised a CZ holster won’t fit a Jericho, as they’re very similar. Jericho is built on the Italian Fratelli Tanfoglio line of CZ copies, and parts interchange with Tanfoglios and their many clones and iterations (interchange with actual CZs is a little more problematic. Interchange is very weird: for example, the early Swiss ITM-84 interchanges with pre-B CZ, and the later ITM-84S and ITM-88 interchange with Tanfoglio! But the outside shapes of all the CZ and Tanfoglio and clone firerarms are close, except for the trigger bow).

    1. Hognose Post author

      It’s now a NATO Stock Number. The Czech Republic is a NATO country, and the P-01 is their police issue firearm. A couple of the CZs have NSNs now, and they not only needed to be adopted by a NATO nation, but also pass a bunch of NATO tests. (Not everybody has put an NSN or barcode on their GI models yet, but CZ and SIG have off the top of my head, and I think there’s one on the short-lived Colt M45, but I haven’t held one of those in a while).

      ETA: I just heard a story of an FFL that put the NSN in his bound book, every time, and didn’t catch it until his IOI noticed he’d sure sold the same gun a lot. Yep, the 4473s were wrong too. It all got remediated but he gets inspected more frequently now.

      1. James F.

        It’s said that in the early 2000’s, Ireland’s Garda Soichana issued a surprising number of traffic citations to a Polish scofflaw named Prawo Jazdy, with different addresses and middle names, before Garda Headquarters got wise and sent everyone a memo.

        This story is vouched for by reliable people on the internet, which is good, because otherwise it might be mistaken for a combination Irish and Polish joke.

  2. Air

    “With your only six rounds gone…”
    My father was a State Trooper in the age of wheel gun. I remember him saying that if he needed more then 6 shots, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    1. rocketguy

      While I appreciate the sentiment, “Wrong place, wrong time, oh well – I’m dead,” strikes me as a bit foolish when the answer could be, “Wrong place, wrong time…good thing I brought another 28 rounds!”

      1. looserounds.com

        No shit. I have always found the “If I need more than 6, I should have been there” well know kidding, The reason you carry a gun is for when you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
        Absurdity.

      2. Air

        Or maybe times were different and he wasn’t stupid. OBTW, he carried an additional 36 rounds, plus a box of 50 in the car (yeah I know, in the car won’t help when you aren’t near the car). It was the late 50’s.

    2. robroysimmons

      I knew an ex-DC cop who put 29 rounds thru his Dirty Hairy special during a Crack house raid gone bad

  3. jim

    I’ve had a lot of really good experience with the Galco minimalist holsters, particularly the yaqui slide holsters for my 1911 and my M9. my duty carry for work is a glock 21 (.45) gen 4 with a WML, and as you can imagine, finding a non-duty gear holster for THAT is a headache. there’s also a minimalist for 1911 and M9 alike that slides on the inside of the belt that is snugged up to the body by virtue of the belt. I’ve liked that series. you might also like something like a bianchi 105, if you can find one in the right configuration.

    best of luck, and I’m gonna have to learn more about the CZ….I’m very ignorant of it, would love to hear more opinions about it. thanks, HN.

  4. Badger

    If there were no Glock I’d be in the CZ camp for sure. Everyone’s hand is different but nice you found a carrier for your pistola. You bring, as usual, a great point to the fore regarding the “other stuff.” This’ll be interesting to follow – 3-week delivery blankets trying to displace an established woobie. :)

  5. John Distai

    I’m in a minority group as well. The “other stuff” is one reason why I haven’t jumped on the Glock bandwagon. That and the “occasional hole punching” as you so eloquently state. And being a southpaw. I made a questionable decision in purchasing the firearm first, on the faith that the ecosystem would be there to support it. Availability is scant. I should have looked at the ecosystem before the purchase.

    I believe Raven does offer some custom work. There is a part on their website where you can get “ready to ship” items, and a place where you can (IIRC) “order to your specifications”. The latter takes longer, of course.

    But regardless, doesn’t any platform require one to take the time and work to get intimate with it? I’m still fiddling with mine, and after each questionable session I consider becoming “mainstream”. But geez, I don’t want to start over with a new ecosystem and all the investment that requires. Perhaps I’d suck with a different platform, too, and just be out more money. Just as with marriage, I’ll keep working on it.

  6. AndyN

    For future reference, if you’re ever stuck with a difficult to accesorize handgun and have a well made leather holster that almost fits and was inexpensive enough that you don’t mind experimenting with it, you can dampen it and remold it. The forums on leather worker.net are full of knowledgeable and helpful folks. I turned to them when I got tired of gun store employees telling me an SR40 would fit in an SR9 holster and ended up just making my own.

  7. H

    My minority report: I bought a pre-B CZ-75 Czech po-lease gun as an educational experience on the 75’s, having always heard they were great guns as well as being Browning High Power based. Part of the educational experience was learning there’s not much truth to the BHP-based story, but that’s OK. Bottom line was, great gun, and would have been easy for me to get very interested in the CZ’s, had I not already been knee deep into BHP’s, 1911’s and Glocks already. At my age, there’s only so much time left….Anyway, usually I divest myself of educational experiments but this one I’m keeping.

    However, by the time I paid shipping and transfer fees, and cost of Ceracoating to make the gun look as good as it shot, and counting the time with a small file to open up the rear sight and Bubba-smiting the mag well to make it accept later magazines, could have just started with a B-model and been somewhat ahead of that game for about the same money and somewhat less time. Not complaining, just saying, it’s not an uncommon result for surplus pistolas when you put a pencil to it.

    1. Hognose Post author

      There’s a good page out there on how the CZ is not BHP based, on the unfortunately deceased BHP expert’s web site (I’m blanking on his name, alas). The shape of its grip is very BHP like, and the locking action resembles a BHP more than a 1911, but so does everything’s locking action these days (plus the SIG-developed way-ugly use of a big square ejection port as a locking recess).

      If we all “put a pencil to it,” we’d take up something more practically useful, like ballet, I think!

  8. Boat Guy

    Would that MY tribe went to the -17, but NO they had to go to the -19 whcih really doesn’t fit my hand. Will buy one for younger son so he’s got an “issue” pistol to practice with. The good thing is that i will get my 226 back

  9. Kerry

    Minority supporting, CZ P-01 owning dittos, hognose. (It was fit my hand at first sight. Now outfitted with Meprolight night sights.)

  10. Sabrina Chase

    The image of Hognose cleaning up the junk pile on the breakfast table and finding previously unsuspected ammo *and* a holster makes me chuckle. Not that I can point fingers in the housekeeping department, but I usually don’t leave out ammo. The cats have NO trigger discipline.

    And now for those of us who follow the Way and the Light that is the 1911, please turn in your hymnals to “I launched a bushing in the air, it fell to earth I know not where.”

    1. John M.

      My hymnal won’t turn past, “I Put It Back Together, Natch, Now It Has a Great Big Scratch.”

      -John M.

      1. SPEMack

        And let us offer holy sacrement for the time the recoil buddy nearly took out Dennis’s wife because you were distracted by the scrolling football scores.

        (Sorry Cindy)

    2. Boat Guy

      Classmate in Armorer’s Schol managed to shoot out a whole bank of flourescent lights with the recoil spring plug – and the lights had a plastic grate over them only *just* big enough for that plug.
      Boy beat the odds that day…

      1. Hognose Post author

        The SF weapons school launched-part of choice was the recoil spring retainer for the RPD light machine gun. (“Recoil spring retainer” may not be its proper name; they made such a fetish of terminology I brain-dumped a lot of it). That sucker is under serious tension. Reverse the “carefully remove retainer and spring, pull bolt handle to the rear” sequence can lead to an orbit-seeking spring with enough velocity to remove an eye or (as I saw) make an arterial-deep incision in an arm.

        Come for the gun training, stay for the combat lifesaving practical exam.

        1. SPEMack

          Christ. I thought after getting shot down in a Blackhawk, blowed up in a Humvee, and shot that what was really going to do me in was when a flying piece of ComBloc light machine gun from an overzealous ANA dude one day hanging in the arms,shack

  11. James

    I’m a Mormon, drive a Dodge pick-up, and currently carry a S&W Shield. Sign me up for minority status.

    (I used to carry a P-64 so at least I’m a little more mainstream than I used to be)

      1. James

        LOL, yeah- one of the reasons I moved on to the Shield. The other three being sights, muzzle flip and the fact that the Shield holds one more round of 9mm (vs. 9×18) and actually weighs less. I have to admit we live in a golden age of firearms design.

  12. Keith

    My father carried a S&W .357 wheel gun till he retired in 1989. I grew up with guns being made out of metal and wood and that’s what I prefer. I have no problem with things like magazine but plates or grips being plastic but not the slide or frame. If that makes me a minority so be it.

    I suspect this was the page you referred to:

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Browning%20and%20CZ.htm

  13. Torres

    I was part of the Glock minority before it became a majority. Finding accessories that weren’t the generic one size fits all for a G23 was a real pain back in the day.

    Now I find that my recent VP9 flirtation is reminiscent of those days to an extent but is improving…

  14. DennisM

    While I much prefer a good leather holster, I recently picked up a Targus “universal” kydex holster that fits an amazing number of pistols. Might be a good stopgap for folks with minority status.

  15. looserounds.com

    Tom at DarkStar Gear will make you a very nice, high quality Kydex holster in any model you can dream up Hognose, I am pretty sure he has a standing policy of if the first one he makes, is for you, there is no charge for it.

    You can find his website by following his little advert space on my website. For outside the belt, we all at LR like his holsters we use his stuff exclusively.
    I really have always liked those CZ guns, They feel so good. I just am not a DA/SA or DAO guy. If I could not carry a 1911, the CZ is my next choice without even thinking about it.

  16. John M.

    I have always been really attracted to bizarre gear. I think it’s the contrarian in me. But the older I get, the more I realize the advantages that come from just going with the popular stuff, mostly for the reasons you lay out here. There are other advantages, though: If you go with something popular, you’re letting everyone else vet it and beta test it for you, instead of having to put up with that crap yourself.

    -John M.

  17. BAP45

    This is the exact reason I recommend glocks to newbies. Picked up an m&p for the wife since it was more comfortable for her than the glock and it has been a pain to find much of anything for it. And the light i got is apparently an unpopular light on top of it. (M3) As fun as the minorities are sometimes they are such a headache. At least i didn’t go way off and get one of those little 380 1911s for her. Then I would have really screwed the pooch. Ha

  18. Jim Scrummy

    I have been eyeing a P-07 of recent. I may have to check out a P-01. I am still a bit of a minority with my PPQ M1, but things have improved over time.

  19. quiaudetadipiscitur

    Ordered a Andrews Leather monarch shoulder rig for my 1911 chambered in 10mm last week. Counting down the days until it arrives.

    1. 11B-mailclerk

      Sam Andrews? Excellent gear!

      I have a custom Cowboy rig he made for me in 2003. I have been using it multiple weekends since then, often in hot/humid/wet weather. Still looks good and holds the revolvers snugly. Fantastic quality.

      I have some “practical” holsters of his. Also very well made and durable.

  20. raven

    AndyN’s advice is spot on- If a leather holster is somewhat close to fitting, wet mold it to fit. I have done this with many over the years. I suspect someone who has worked with kydex could do the same with a plastic holster by warming it up and molding it to a gun.
    – Bianchi’s book” Blue Steel and Gunleather” gives good tutorial, no doubt there are a lot of them on line also.

    1. TRX

      Webley & Scott used the ejection port to lock the breech of their 1910 model autoloader. I’m not familiar with the MAS.

  21. Brad

    Okay I gotta ask, what’s the verdict on the Armscor (Rock Island Armory) MAPP? Oddly enough you can still legally buy them in Commiefornia, since they are on the “handgun roster” of “safe handguns” while the CZ P-07 is not.

    (link in reply)

    I’ve never been a fan of double-column mag pistols. The primary exceptions are the BHP, CZ 75 and CZ 82, yet I own none of them.

  22. Aesop

    Or, one could eschew the nonsense, and simply tune out the controversy du jour, and run whatever they damn well please. Leave the internecine squabbles to those stuck under some agency’s thumb, and their slobbering fanboys.
    The only dog in this fight I have to worry about is what I like.
    And happily, all the holsters, magazines, etc. I have for it already fit and work well, and likely ever shall, along with the training for same and dog years of muscle memory.

    The rest is merely artificial controversy and gun pR0n concocted by the rag merchants of same.

    It’s only entertaining to watch in a neighbors-dogs-fighting-each-other-on-a-hot-afternoon sort of way, from the comfort and security of one’s own porch when there’s nothing better to do.
    And this side of a stroke and/or quadriplegia, there’s always something better to do.

  23. John M.

    “(But we do agree with Defoor’s aside — if you’re going to carry the Beretta, or any safety-equipped DA/SA auto, carry it hammer down on a loaded chamber, safety off. We also agree that even better than the 92F/M9 is the decocker-only 92G).”

    If you’re going to carry a pistol equipped with a manual safety, you’d better make sure that safety gets disengaged when as a part of your draw and presentation, even if your habit is to carry with the safety off. External safeties have a way of being off when you want them to be on, and–more to this point–on when you want them to be off. That goes double for any gun with an ambi safety hanging out into space next to you while you carry it, waiting to be flicked off or on by passing chairs, filing cabinets, etc.

    I also agree that manual safeties on DA/SA guns seem really silly. But to each his own. Or to each whatever Uncle Sam decides to give him.

    -John M.

    1. Kevin

      Proud member of the minority group here. Never could quite get a good feeling while holding a glock. Why would I buy something that doesn’t feel like it belongs in my hand. My EDC is an HK VP40, screw the smaller frame pistols meant for conceal carry. In Ohio, we can open carry and I have my CCW license. If my gun gets covered or doesn’t, I don’t care. If I offend people, again, I don’t care. If something were to happen I want to be as prepared and capable as I can be. I also have a triple taco pistol mag pouch that I carry everyday. 13+1 rounds of Liberty Civil Defense in the gun, and 39 rounds of 180 grain FMJ in my extra mags. It might seem like too much to some, but its better to be prepared and not need, than to need and not be have.

  24. Major Mike

    I own a lot of pistols (or would if guns weren’t ‘icky bad’). I train with all of them, have holsters for all of them, and muy mas magazines / speed loaders for all of them. Same with rifles / carbines.

    Fundamentals are the same, manipulation varies. If I need to use a tool I have to be proficient with the tool at hand. A Colt Trooper Mk III, Glock 19, or Colt 1903 – or an AR-15, SAR-1, AUG, or Remington Model 8.

    The weapon is the man. The gun is a tool. Some guy name Paul Poole taught me that.

  25. Dienekes

    My current front-runner for EDC is a BHP with neutered mag disconnect, better thumb safety, and Spegel delrins. I shoot it better than a Glock; it’s steel, and–very important–good looking. For the time being this belt-slide thingy seems to work well, and might fit other similar orphan pistols: https://www.safariland.com/products/holsters-and-gear/holsters/concealable-holsters/belt-slide/model-101-foldaway-belt-slide-holster-30594.html

    In my 1911 days I liked Milt Sparks’ belt slide. It’s a bit generous for the BHP. Got some spare leather around, so may make a slightly downsized version for the Browning this winter.

  26. Vaarok

    I always find it interesting that lefties end up with CZs. Yay minorities that’re at least a coherent demographic.

    I use a RDR kydex for my P07, and I was very happy with it excepting one major issue- I lefty-ified the mag release. The Kydex, despite being a left-handed rig, had the mag release molded on the wrong side. Insert gun, holster press button, mag fall out. Five minutes with a lighter and a nailhead, but still…

  27. poobie

    My only “minority” purchase is a Sig P320, full size 9mm. Classic Sig ergonomics, the medium variant of the frame fits my hand like it was molded specifically for me, and it comes with sights that are not just acceptable, but quite good. The real shocker is that POA and POI are dead on at 7 yards.

    Mags are a little pricey. Mec-Gar isn’t making them yet, and factory mags are ~$40; not AWB years bad, but not cheap. It came with a just adequate OWB holster, and I haven’t looked for a carry holster yet because it’s now the house gun.

    I know that MHS is essentially a dead issue at this point, but after having played with both the Sig and the Glock, I really prefer the Sig.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Well, MHS is more like an “undead” issue, like one of the extras on The Walking Dead. It’s still motoring along and blowing taxpayer’s money trying to optimize a situation that would be better handled by satisficing:
      1. Here are our threshold requirements for dimensions, accuracy, and reliability.
      2. Here’s our list of must-have and nice-to-have features.
      3. Show up at Aberdeen with 100 guns from current production. We’ll pick ten at random for the test. You can sell the others.
      4. We can do all the tests we need in five work days with 10 of our own people. They’ll be a mixed bunch of soldiers and Marines who would carry a pistol in combat, with the Navy and . You can have a guy watch and answer questions if you like. They’ll also fire M9s, 226s, and M11s as controls.
      5. At the end of the test, those 10 guys will write up a narrative and vote, not on whether any pistol is the best, but whether it’s good enough to replace the current issue pistols.

      Then, they tell the guys who made the cutoff, “what’s your best price for us?” Maybe they don’t get some Platonic Ideal of a perfect pistol, but they get a good pistol, with much less drama, without spending the defense budget of two or three of our NATO allies on a needlessly complex pistol test.

      1. TRX

        I dunno. I bought an M11 in 1983, and still have it. Mastering operation with the Happy Fun Switch flipped to “FULL” consumed vast quantities of .380 ACP while generating much fun. But it’s a big, bulky, and by modern standards underpowered pistol, and the default 32-round magazine doesn’t make it any more convenient to carry. I purchased a short 16-round mag for convenience.

  28. JHP

    I have had luck with MTG and Comp-Tac for my P01. I carry appendix these days, so the full sweat guard is a must to prevent the decocker from digging in my belly blubber.

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