Friday, May 27, 2011

Ruger P95 Modifications I: Research

Jump To Some Real World Progress: Ruger P95 Modifications IV

About two years ago, I bought a Ruger P95 (KP95PR15). I had done some research and settled on the P95 for a sometimes-house, sometimes-carry pistol. I wanted a traditional DA/SA, because my wife was familiar with the type and not as interested in guns as I am. Also, I wanted the second-strike capability. I preferred a polymer frame with a stainless slide. I liked the price, and I like Rugers.
I had looked at many other pistols with the original purpose of getting a weapon for concealed carry. What I ended up with is a compromise. I settled on a “service”-sized pistol, not a sub-compact- or “tactical”-sized pistol.

Taurus 24/7 Pro, Ruger P95, Ruger SR9 (left to right)
Based on price and my personal preference I was close to buying a Taurus 24/7 Pro or Ruger SR9. I had read mixed reviews about the speed of Taurus service. I really liked the grip shape of the SR9, but the pistol felt extremely top heavy with an empty magazine. And the SR9 was less than a year old. A few months later, I was happy that I skipped the SR9 due to Ruger’s massive recall (But Ruger’s quality response to a huge problem would have made me feel really good about choosing the SR9.).
The day I picked up my P95, I went immediately to the range. It ran fine for a couple rounds. Then I started to have FTEs, failures to feed, stove pipes, double feeds, and the slide failed to lock back. The salesperson that sold me the gun asked how it went, and then she suggested I might be limp wristing and suggested I might try +P ammo. Of course, I thought that was perposterous.
Ruger SP101 .357
My last handgun was a .357 Ruger SP101. I loved shooting .357s in that almost-little revolver. But then I did a little reading, and understood that semi-autos need a stable platform to cycle the slide.
The next time I went to the range, I got through a mag and a half before problems. I removed the slide, put additional oil in the slide where it meets the abbreviated rails that are integral to the polymer frame, and did not have another hitch. Except that my hits were center of mass to start, then progressing toward the lower left with every mag, unless I regripped the pistol. The P95 is slick, so I considered a rubber, slip-on grip sleeve. But I have another problem – I have small hands.
I recently read an article and was reminded of a proper grip – center of the backstrap high in the web of my hand. But I really have to struggle to maintain that grip. My hand slides around to something like this:

Well, actually this:

So I decided on some modifications.

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