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 Post subject: A Different 9MM...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2022 10:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:56 pm
Posts: 1406
Location: Mesa, AZ
I think it’s pretty obvious that the bulk of what I do at the shop revolves around all things 1911. There are certainly other guns that I like, enjoy, and use but the 1911 is really the thing I love the most. Sure I build the occasional Hi-Power and I very much love Smith and Wesson revolvers - (fun fact, I have more N-frames than any other gun... like way more!) - but ever since I was a kid the 1911 has been king of all pistols for me.

I’ve tinkered with Smith and Wesson revolvers, done the occasional action job, maybe a few small modifications for friends but I never really wanted to work on them... which seems odd to me considering how much I enjoy them. Tinkering has also extended to other platforms, after all sometimes you just do stuff for your buddies.

Of course every now and then an idea of modifying something different gets presented to you and you say, “yeah that’s a neat gun, I think I’d like to mess with that a bit”. The next thing you know you got one at your shop and l you’re laying it out on the bench figuring out what to do within the context of the gun and your style. Kinda’ like this project...

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The SIG P210 is a neat gun with lots of history. This particular gun is one of the US made examples that was introduced in 2019. After getting the gun in the shop, getting a feel for it, and of course taking it apart to see how it ticks it was time to shoot it in stock form. These guns are all steel and come with a decent (or better) trigger out of the box and an outstanding barrel fit. They shoot very, very well... especially considering this is a factory production gun. Standing at 25 yards and shooting 1.5” groups or better was easy... but there was stuff I wanted to change.

I always caution people that gripes and critiques have to be balanced against price, this started as a production gun after all. So while the gun shot very well I did see some areas that could benefit from further modification. First and foremost was the sights... the stock sights sucked, period... and the gap between the front sight and the slide as seen in the stock photo above was present in my pistol as well. So I thought, how about just cutting the slide for a modified Heinie rear similar to what I do on my 1911s. Easier said than done.

As I dove deeper into the pistol I realized the rear of the slide was going to need to be completely re-profiled. So with some basic measurements taken (and without much of a plan) I set it up in the mill and just start carving. Remove a bit of material here... a bit more there... machine a careful radius on this and that... and boom... a new rear in the slide. Of course the aforementioned gap at the front sight had to be remedied so a bit of measuring and machining and the slide now wears a Novak spec’d dovetail sight that I inlayed a gold line into.

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I always like the look of the P210, they always looked like a classy gun, but the ‘hooked’ trigger guard on this one was not in keeping with that theme... so round it became. Which is a bit funny to me considering how many round trigger guards I’ve turned into squared on 1911s. The checkering on the front also got a bit of clean up.

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The mag-well needed a bevel and the mag-catch got turned into a checkered part.

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Wit the new sights and the newly profiled trigger guard established the front of the gun no longer looked organic to me. I didn’t like the square and blocky end to the dust-cover so I changed it too.

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From there I further modified the gun by trimming and altering the safety lever and slide stop. Both of these were plagued with sharp edges that could be felt during shooting and their operation. I changed the profile of the thumb safety in an effort to mimic a tear-drop shape and this made it much more useable.

At the back of the gun the beavertail was shortened and I removed the “step” where it met the side of the frame... much more comfortable now. The hammer profile was reduced and rear slide serrations were cut to match the new rear sight. Cutting the rear slide serrations proved to be a bit more challenging than on a 1911 but worth it upon presentation.

These guns have nice triggers out of the box but this one was a bit “mushy” after the initial take-up. I cleaned this one up a bit and got rid of the “mush”, it is now set at just over 3# and it’s equally easy to shoot slow or at speed where holding on tight and jerking the trigger to the rear is king!

Speaking of holding on tight... the gun got a fresh set of stocks that have an overall narrower profile making it easy to hold on to the gun. With all the edges de-horned and a freshly cut barrel crown the entire gun was refinished in a matte black. The entire package pairs up really well with my all time favorite holster the Milt Sparks Summer Special... which I had specially made for this project.

Overall this was a fun project to do. I like stretching out a bit to see what I can do to guns such as this. I think this P210 remains a classic in appearance with some marked improvements making it more useable and enjoyable but in all honesty this will probably be the only one of these I’ll do. I’m glad to have spent the time with this gun... enjoy the photos!


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_________________
Heirloom Precision
http://www.heirloomprecision.com


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 Post subject: Re: A Different 9MM...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2022 11:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 567
Location: MI
Only 1.5" at 25 yards? At an industry shindig, I got into a shooting contest with Phil Strader, using stock P210s. the contest was simple: offhand, on a steel plate. but, the plate was 3" or so, and it was 100 yards downrange.

I'm happy to report that it took Phil three magazines to shake me off. If I'd beaten him, I would have had to have bought that gun, just because.

I can't disagree with nay of the things you changed. Dang, that's a nice gun.


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 Post subject: Re: A Different 9MM...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2022 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 7:15 pm
Posts: 394
Fabulous workmanship! Now if they only had an available ambi I would be all over one.


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 Post subject: Re: A Different 9MM...
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2022 6:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:30 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: MI
Oh....

Oh my.

Shame there's not another word for different that is somehow ten times stronger. WOW that thing is nice!


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 Post subject: Re: A Different 9MM...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2022 10:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:30 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: MI
I hadda come back to this..... I was talking to my Danish cuz whose duty gun, yes, it was a SIG P210 and (now, this is going back a ways) he was the overall champion with it in the Royal Danish Navy MP's. I dunno, maybe, probably, the whole of Denmark. And now, decades later, I can only say, "That's no surprise at all." I remember when we were first getting to know each other, early 90's, he sent me a picture of him doing a "Border Switch" with two of them. Many times over the years he has touted, re-touted, and re-re-re-touted the accuracy of the P210. In his stories it was also due to the excellent ammo they had, which was Swedish-made, lead-cored but with a steel cap on the core, under the jacket.

So, Jason..... you're among the smartest guys I know but just in case you didn't see a hint in there: any comments about accuracy with this beauty? I've found that in 9mm, more than .45, accuracy can vary quite a bit depending on the ammo, and I'm not really sure what at this time might be the most accurate (but betting on something from Federal). Sweeney has tested and determined to his satisfaction that in general, 9mm has more accuracy potential than .45. I think I agree but I have not tested it to the extent he has.


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 Post subject: Re: A Different 9MM...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:05 am 
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 11:44 pm
Posts: 11
B.A!! BTW, Nice Daytona in the pic as well:)


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 Post subject: Re: A Different 9MM...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 567
Location: MI
My go-to for accuracy work in 9mm is Hornady XTP. The pistol will tell you if it prefers 115, 124 or 147 grain weight, but XTP is the start, and usually the end of a search.


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 Post subject: Re: A Different 9MM...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2022 7:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:56 pm
Posts: 1406
Location: Mesa, AZ
Quote:
So, Jason..... you're among the smartest guys I know but just in case you didn't see a hint in there: any comments about accuracy with this beauty? I've found that in 9mm, more than .45, accuracy can vary quite a bit depending on the ammo, and I'm not really sure what at this time might be the most accurate (but betting on something from Federal). Sweeney has tested and determined to his satisfaction that in general, 9mm has more accuracy potential than .45. I think I agree but I have not tested it to the extent he has.
My take and/or definition for accuracy is somewhat biased by what I shoot and certainly influenced by my method of accuracy testing. For example, I'm focused pretty heavily on IDPA right now so if we use that as a standard of accuracy 4" at 25 yards is accurate enough for that game (it actually might be even looser, like 4" at 15 yards being the longest head shot in a field course). However, if I went to the range and tested a gun and all it shot was 4" at 25 yards I'd run back to the shop to figure out what I had done wrong inside the gun. My method for testing no doubt has some influence on my definition of accuracy for the guns I build. I shoot everything from standing at 25 yards and I expect the guns to produce 1.5" groups or better in my hands, if I can't do anything better than 1.5" that day I always try to shoot groups on a different day just to rule me (the screw behind the butt-plate) out.

That said, I shot the SIG P210 before even working on it and, while it wasn't a perfect POA/POI zero, the gun easily shot into 1.5" with run-of-the-mill factory 115gr FMJ and it was easy to do. The gun has a good sight radius and is easy to "hold" while pressing the trigger... vs. some auto-loaders (Glocks) that have trigger systems that seem to have more influence on the alignment of the gun as you're working the trigger.

After working the gun over a bit (getting the sights in, cleaning up the trigger some) I shot the gun again to confirm zero. My normal shoot group is comprised of a couple of guys who are truly world-class shooters in various disciplines and we all shot the gun with equal or better results than when it was unmodified... the thing is, the gun makes it quite easy. If you can hold this gun steady you will absolutely hit what you are aiming at with almost boring consistency.

9mm accuracy varying between loads... yep I see it too. With a 9mm I see a greater POI shift as well between grain weights than I do with a 45ACP. I imagine the longer bearing surface on say a 147gr vs. a 115gr has a great effect on this; all other things being equal. Here are two groups shot from the same gun at 25 yards; the first photo is a 115gr FMJ (nothing to write home about there in terms of group size) while the second photo is a 124gr +P Speer Gold Dot. The size of the groups were obviously different but most notable to me was the POI shift.

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_________________
Heirloom Precision
http://www.heirloomprecision.com


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 Post subject: Re: A Different 9MM...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2022 11:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 567
Location: MI
Yep, movement of the gun in one's hands before it leaves the muzzle is part of POI.

Ned and I can't shoot each others guns for POI, simply because our holds are so different. Even with the same ammo, in the same pistol. On something like bowling pins at 25 feet, the difference is minor, but taking ahead shot on a target at 25 yards? We couldn't do that with each others pistols.

I had the same situation with the gunsmith who taught me. The POI shift was enough to be noticed.


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 Post subject: Re: A Different 9MM...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:34 am
Posts: 286
Location: CA
Wow, nice upgrades, a very good looking pistol…


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