As many of you know, I’m an avid firearms-training enthusiast and spend several days each week at gun ranges, indoor and out. I thought here that I’d do a bit of a 2018 review and then describe some plans for 2019. Firearms training can sometimes be lonely and/or tedious, and I often seek useful insights or inspiration from others who are on the same responsible path. My hope is that those of you who are taking up firearms training or planning to do more this year might find this examination useful or inspiring.
Of course, the foundation of individual practice comes ONLY from quality instruction received in classes or lessons with skilled firearms and defense instructors. Otherwise, regardless of what you think you know, you have no idea what or how to train on your own. Therefore, please hold that idea as the context from which all my thoughts here are presented. This is not a lesson, it’s just an article.
I keep detailed records of my ongoing training and rounds-fired for all my firearms. In 2018 I fired 30,452 rounds in training and competition. This was fewer rounds than the previous year, which was fewer than the year before that. As I reflect on my ongoing training, this is a trend I’d like to continue.
I participated in only 4 pistol matches and only 3 classes in 2018. That’s the least I’ve done in years. 2018 was a bit of a turbulent year for me personally and my attentions were drawn elsewhere. I look forward to a more active 2019, especially with regard to course participation.
As is normal, I spent most of my training attention focused on my EDC pistol, either working on precision fundamentals or defensive drills and manipulations run from concealment. As an everyday carrier, unless I’m shooting some different pistol for a review article or working with my rifles, I train almost exclusively with the pistol I carry every day, using the clothing and EDC loadout I use every day.
One of the things not reflected in my training records is the time and reps spent in dry-fire training. I do this in a few ways.
The basic methods involve my EDC carry gun (Glock 19) and a magazine or two of snap caps. I will do dry-fire practice either for trigger-press mechanics—where I’m just sitting or standing still and carefully aiming and slowwwwwwwllly pressing the trigger in proper fashion—or with dynamic movement and/or drawing from concealment and executing dry shots at various targets.
The other method of dry-fire that I began in 2018 is with my exact-replica G19 airsoft blowback pistol. With this tool, I can engage in dynamic drills in my personal indoor range (my garage!) and practice the no-recoil shot of an actual projectile for accuracy, but with the mental stimulus of the sound of breaking the shot along with the slide cycling. I find it very effective and, also importantly, very engaging. In any event, in 2018 I engaged in dry-fire practice once or twice per week.
My 2019 Training Plans
This year I plan to make better use of fewer rounds than in 2018. I want to do this for a few reasons. Firstly, ammo is expensive, so I’d like to decrease my training-ammo budget a bit each year. Secondly, with now well-established pistol fundamentals I don’t need to spend so many rounds on my all of my pistol skills, but rather more specifically on pistol-skill weaknesses. I can spend fewer rounds maintaining strengths. Lastly, I want to spend more time and rounds with my rifles this year.
Another component of pistol training is that I want to devote more time and attention to dry-fire practice in 2019. It costs far less, and I understand that it pays significant dividends toward live-fire ability. Win-win.
Another primary goal for 2019 is that I want to get back into the habit of regularly receiving instruction in classes. I took eleven classes in 2017, but only three in 2018. I’d like to more than double my 2018 total this year.
I enjoy competition and would like to do more of that in 2019, too. I find that pistol competition is a useful and instructive measure of my ongoing training, for if I find it difficult to execute in a match, chances are that it’d be even worse in an actual defensive situation. Also, matches are a good place to explore limits, which allows for more focused training sessions afterward. I haven’t tried a rifle or 3-gun match yet. Who knows, maybe I’ll ease into that, too.
Overall, I’d like to become more efficient in my 2019 training. With more attention devoted specifically to weaknesses (1-handed competence, left-hand competence, rifle speed reloads, etc…) While I’m already pretty serious at the range, I hope my 2019 training becomes more like work and less like messing around.
I hope you found this examination useful. If you’re a responsible, ordinary citizen and especially if you carry concealed, I hope you might conduct your own similar assessment and make your own specific plans for 2019 with the aim of becoming better skilled, more broadly skilled, or even just better a one specific skill.
As I often tell my friends, “Trained in the use of firearms” is fantasy. There is not “trained.” There is training, else there is some level or another of incompetence.
So keep up your training, but if it’s not taking you where you want to be, change it up! If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be what you’ve always been. Okay, I think that’s enough maxims for one post. Happy New Year and good training in 2019!
Built around Walther’s PPQ platform, according to the manufacturer, the Q5 Match “is built for the production class competitive shooter.” While I’m a competitive shooter, I stay in the stock/production divisions and appreciate out-of-the-box qualities on pistols that lend themselves to fast and accurate running. Guns of that ilk that come to mind include the CZ Shadow at the high end, Canik tp9sfx on the affordable side, and now Walther has thrown its hat into the ring, somewhere in the middle.
I was introduced to the Q5 Match early this month at an event at Eagle Gun Range. While speaking with the factory representative there he asked if I had seen the pistol (I had not) and he put it into my hands. It certainly looked like a performance machine and with a few dry presses I enjoyed the feel of the trigger action. I was anxious to try it out and Eagle’s general manager assured me I would soon get the chance. So I’m happy to say that this month I’ve spent some time shooting the Q5 Match and I’m eager to share my first impressions of Walther’s new pistol.
Why Consider the Walther Q5 Match?
The Q5 Match is specifically made for competitive shooting. It comes with three sizes of grip backstraps for proper fit to your hand. The comparatively long sight radius makes for easier accuracy and the slide cuts and ports removes weight, reducing the recoil impulse. It comes with and is ready to accept various red-dot optic mounts and the blue Q5 trigger is exceptionally smooth with a relatively short press travel (0.4”) and very short reset (0.1”). The result is a very shootable and accurate system right out of the box.
Since Walther went to the trouble to make it immediately ready for various red-dot optics, this is a pistol to consider specifically if you plan to run it with one. Since adding a red dot to a pistol that was not built for that setup can introduce function anomalies, it makes sense to instead get a model made for it. Lastly, you might consider the Q5 Match if you’re looking for a great value and you’ve got a fairly hefty budget, since its MSRP is $849. But again, this is not your average, compact carry gun; it’s a racer with some excellent competition-specific features which more than justify the cost.
Walther Q5 Match 9mm Specs:
Weight: 27.9oz. (w/empty magazine)
Frame: Polymer with S-M-L backstraps
Finish: Tenifer (black)
Sights: Fully-adjustable rear blacked-out sight with red fiber-optic front sight
Optic Mount: Optional red-dot mount position, comes with mounting plates for Trijicon, Leupold, and DOCTER red-dot optics
MSRP: $849 (often available for less)
Shooting the Q5 Match
One enjoyable constant of shooting just about any Walther pistol is the grip ergonomics. They just feel good in the primary hand; at least I’ve always thought so. I got to spend a couple of weeks with the Q5 Match and my hands enjoyed every minute of it. Well, my support hand not quite as much, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Mostly, though, shooting the Walther Q5 Match was an absolute pleasure.
The first shooting I did with the pistol was on 1” dots. Even when shooting at a good pace—about four shots in 2 seconds—I was able to maintain quarter-sized groups of four at 7 yards and if I slowed down to 4 shots in 3 seconds I could put all 4 rounds in the same hole with relative ease. I’ve never shot a pistol that was so easy to maintain accuracy with medium-paced shot strings. Part of the reason for this easy accuracy has to be the excellent trigger. It’s smooth and relatively short, but that extra quick reset is fantastic and really allows for some “quiet” hands when shooting. I love this trigger.
I noticed pretty quickly that the pistol’s muzzle was moving around more than I’m used to seeing with each shot. The long slide extends further away from my hands than with most pistols I shoot, so I was unaccustomed to that much muzzle flip. Even with the slide cuts and ports, which did reduce the felt recoil, I thought, the end of the gun was moving far more freely than with more compact pistols. One of the reasons for this muzzle flip is the fact that the Q5 Match lacks any sort of index point for the support-hand thumb. I tend to ding lots of pistols for having straight, slick sides and no shelf to allow the support-hand thumb to mitigate muzzle flip, but on a purpose-built competition gun like this, I think it’s a pretty big flaw.
The sins of that flaw showed up when I started shooting the Q5 Match the way it was intended to be shot. I setup a target with 4 fist-sized circles at 7 yards and did runs of eight shots: quick pairs in each of the four circles, doing the full circuit in about 2 seconds. My lack of practice with a longer slide and the lack of a forward thumb shelf combined to make it very difficult for me to maintain accuracy with each pair. I wanted to go fast—I’m rather practiced at fast shooting strings—but I had great difficulty controlling the muzzle flip. As a result I never got the hang of the timing and grip management required to keep that second shot of each pair in close enough proximity to the first, for my taste. I have to believe this is merely a training issue for a new gun with different dimensions than I’m used to, but I confess I was quite frustrated. This is a race gun and it seemed a bit clumsy while racing.
That issue aside, I found the pistol to be a pleasure to shoot. The model I used had only the iron sights, but I would really like to shoot this one with an RMR mounted. Seems to me that it’d be something close to an unfair advantage on a gun that’s already so easy with accuracy. Running the gun for mag ejection, reloading, and using the slide release (something I don’t habitually do) was all very smooth and comfortable. Walther has done a pretty fantastic job with this pistol.
Comfort, Controllability, & Capacity
The Q5 Match has Walther’s famous ergonomic grip geometry that just seems to feel better in the hand than most pistols on the market. That fact coupled with one of the three included backstraps means you can likely create just the right fit to your hand. While some pistols beg for a bit of frame modification for better comfort (*cough* Glock), my hands were perfectly comfy on the Q5.
My impression of the recoil impulse was that it was no worse than any full-size, 9mm, polymer pistol; perhaps lighter than most. What I did have a bit of an issue with, however, was muzzle flip. The long slide on this gun means that there’s more real estate moving around and more weight that is farther away from your hands as compared to a compact pistol. The result, even with the removed slide weight with the cuts and ports, was quite a bit more movement than I’m used to.
Somewhat surprising, I think, is the fact that the Q5 Match has something of a meager capacity, at 15 rounds in the magazine. So while the slide length is 8.1” and longer than that of a Glock 17, the capacity is the same as a “compact” Glock 19. I’d have thought that for a competition-specific pistol that they’d go for a larger grip and capacity. The magazine capacity can be augmented, of course, with extended slide plates, but I still wonder why Walther chose to go with 15 as the stock capacity. If I were to nitpick, I’d say this is perhaps the second flaw in this package.
Components and Features
As mentioned before, the Q5 Match’s grip is remarkably comfortable and configurable with small, medium, and large backstraps. The grip texture, however, is somewhat lacking in my opinion. The “quick defense trigger” is fantastic and even though it is not exceedingly light at 5.5 pounds, I’d be happy with this on any of my pistols. Walther says the press has 0.4” and the reset 0.1” of travel. Well done!
The front sight has a fiber optic insert and the blacked-out and serrated rear sight is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation. If you opt to use one of the three included red-dot sight mounting plates, you’ll lose the rear sight so there will be no co-witnessing with this pistol. The slide cuts, with serrations in the rear and the front, are nicely done and there are 16 ports cut into the forward half of the slide, which has a beautifully satin Tenifer finish. Here are the included red-dot mounting plates:
The controls are also very nicely done. The slide stop/release is oversized for length, but still keeps a low profile on the side of the frame. The configuration is perfect for staying out the way when you’re shooting and easy to access without breaking your grip when you want to actuate it. There are slide stop/release levers on both sides of the gun. The magazine release button is round and, again, unobtrusive, but I found it easy to access when I needed it. It is reversible so that lefties can have that option.
The included red-dot mounting plates are made specifically to fit either Trijicon, Leupold, or Docter red-dot optics. That Walther included all three in the box is pretty awesome, I think. The pistol comes with three (!) 15-round steel magazines (or 10-rounders in more tyrannical states).
The Q5 Match is a formidable production competition gun right out of the box, with its ported-for-reduced-weight slide, long sight radius, and fully adjustable iron sights. Even better with the multi-red-dot-optic options. With the right backstrap, the Q5 should fit just about anyone’s hand like a glove. Lastly, the trigger is one of the best you’ll find on any striker-fired pistol.
The Q5 Match has a comparatively low capacity for a competition gun and some folks may balk at the price. Moreover, it should have some sort of forward thumb rest built into the frame.
So for rating the Walther Q5 Match…
The Q5 Match is among the most comfortable pistols around.
This is an eminently shootable pistol with all sorts of characteristics that make accuracy easy, but it could use some design features to assist with fast shooting.
I find the Q5 Match to be among the most accurate pistols I’ve ever shot.
Even with the $849 MSRP, the features and out-of-the-box adaptability and included peripherals for this pistol make it quite a good value. There are a lot of companies who do good slide modification work, but the cost of doing what Walther has already done here would be prohibitive and one would end up paying far more this one costs from the factory.
If you’re looking for an advantage in the production division of your competitive matches—and/or—if you’re looking to build an optic-equipped race gun, I think you could do a lot worse than the Walther Q5 Match. This may be about the best value available as a starting platform for your competitive machine. Yes, there are better models available, but at something close to twice the price.
I recommend that you give the Q5 Match a try. I’m guessing you’ll fall in love with the grip comfort, controls design, and the excellent trigger, as I have. You can rent it here at Eagle Gun Range, so give it a shot or two and see what you think. I’m betting you’ll dig it.
I replace the slide-lock spring every 10,000 rounds. If you wait too long, this part will break in half and your slide will fall off of the frame when it fails. Best to just spend $8 every 10K rounds and keep your gun in perfect running order, as a part of required, periodic maintenance rather than suffer a complete stoppage at an inconvenient time.
Keep good records so that you know when to replace various components! But anyway, here’s how to do this one replacement on any Gen 1 thru 4 Glock pistol.
Today I want to share a voice of experience, with dos and don’ts, on choosing the right everyday-carry holster for inside the waistband.
With this video I want to try and save you hundreds of dollars in trying and failing to find just the right holster. The dos and don’ts here should steer you away from the ones that are not suitable and toward the ones that are suitable. You may still have to try out a few, but at least you won’t have to try out dozens!
This statement in the title, or some variation thereof, is the tyrannical left’s favorite non sequitur bludgeon at the moment. I see it used all the time in public discourse and, unfortunately, I seldom if ever see anyone challenge the utter lack of logic and morality the statement embodies.
As we’ll learn in the body of this article, the fact that anyone holds with such a statement is an indictment of their morality and intelligence. It also very clearly describes the battle that leftists desperately want to have with their fellow citizens; a battle that perverts the definition of rights and destroys liberty. In short, leftists want to do with rights what they do with everything else: distort first the language then the ideas, and then based on that distortion pit one arbitrary group against another in order to create a chaos that can only be addressed (they say) by a totalitarian web of immoral, unjust, and increasingly draconian laws. In the end, tyranny is defined as justice.
It’s all sounds very dramatic, but it’s the template the left has ever employed. We’ve seen it play out time and time again throughout history and the results are always the same. The United States was, in fact, founded in to be the exception to these examples seen the world over. Yet leftist tyranny has grown apace even here. As always, the prelude to genocide begins with disarmament.
Here are a few examples of leftist demagoguery and gaslighting:
That last group of tweets is my fave. :)
The very clear fact is that despite the left’s clever slogans and emotion-fueled demagoguery, our rights are never in conflict with one another. And because of the nature of rights, they are never in conflict with anyone’s safety. Therefore, whenever an argument is made to the contrary, the basis of the argument is quite obviously false. Even so, in order to fully understand the illogic and immorality of the “my right to life/safety trumps your right to guns” statement one needs to understand what a right is.
A Right, Defined
A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning an individual’s freedom of action in a social context. That’s the basic definition, but rights have characteristics that distinguish authentic rights from tyranny. Each day, people proclaim in error many rights they or others supposedly possess, but there is a simple test one can apply to verify whether or not something may authentically be deemed a “right.”
A right may place no obligation on any other individual. For example, supposed rights to healthcare or to housing or to food are not rights because they each place an onus on another individual to provide them.
A right may not violate another individual’s rights. A right to healthcare, for instance, would force a physician to provide a service, violating his right to liberty; to dispose of his genius and effort as he sees fit, and at the price he decides.
Rights are possessed only by individuals; we each have all the same ones. For example, any “rights” that are for a special class or group of citizens (e.g. women, voters, migrants, etc…) are not rights because there are no such things as group rights. A right held by a group can come only at the expense of individual rights.
If a supposed right fails any of these tests, it is not a right. Instead, it is tyranny. This is a fact that most leftists ignore or even deny and it leads them into illogical and immoral arguments. One reason leftists ignore these facts is that a leftist’s morality does not allow them to recognize as legitimate any idea that prohibits conquest or slavery. I don’t say that to be critical; only to be accurate and factual. All leftist ideology is built upon the foundation of conquest and slavery.
In light of this clarification and relevant to the Twitter messages above, here are some important facts to consider:
There is no right to safety
Proclaiming this right implies the requirement others provide it; a disqualification. Though you do have a moral obligation to provide for your own safety.
Therefore, there is no right to “have your family safe from gun violence”
And it is people who are violent, not guns or other inanimate objects.
There is no right to feel safe
Feelings, being fictions invented in your own mind, are irrelevant with respect to rights—and in all other respects outside of your own mind.
There is no right to happiness
You have the right to pursue happiness, but that’s your business and no one else’s.
There IS, however, a right to life! Your right to life is component to fundamental morality, which is the right of every individual to his/her own life, genius, effort, and the fruits thereof. Yet in order to be maintained, and because there is evil in the world, one must sometimes defend one’s life.
The responsibility for that defense is each individual’s own; one may not, morally or by right, hold another responsible for the defense of one’s life. An obvious reason for this standard is that no right may place an onus on any other individual. By this standard alone, your right to life is yours to preserve and defend. No other individual can be held responsible for your defense, for to do so would be to transform a right into a tyranny and, therefore, a moral violation.
This is why our right to arms is inalienable; because—along with intellect and reason—arms are a human’s means of defense. To deny arms is to deny the means for defending life and property. Such a denial, then, is tyranny and as such, immoral. Yet leftists argue that this right must be denied because it conflicts with other rights.
Because leftists deny the idea of personal responsibility, their personal safety ostensibly becomes an issue for someone else to address and to which all must contribute since, in their flawed ideology, safety is a right. By flawed leftist logic, if you possess anything that could be used to endanger their safety, you are violating their rights and The State must do something about you (must bring force against you). For safety.
It All Boils Down To “Safety”
“Safety” is the primary talking point keyword in the left’s battle against liberty. Leftist operatives use this term and its perverted ideal in every battleground: Safe Spaces at universities, Everytown For Gun Safety is the left’s primary anti-gun organization (and, no, they do not teach or even talk about firearm safety) …every argument against the inalienable right of gun ownership these days is primarily based on the idea of public safety. In their arguments, the left elevates safety to the ridiculous and impossible status as a right; a right that they say trumps your authentic, inalienable rights. Yes, their argument is and always will be that your rights must give way to their dominion.
In fact, every reference to “gun safety” that you’ll ever see these days in the mainstream media—printed or broadcast—is used to mean a denial of inalienable rights. These references have nothing to do with safe gun handling habits. In this manner they’re changing the common parlance in an effort toward tyranny. Those who mean to rule you first pervert language so that every communication is an effort to get you to question your own sanity.
The Logical Conclusions
The essential leftist argument is, “My life is in danger merely because you own firearms.” It is ridiculous and false, of course, but that is their thesis; that rights are in conflict.
Due to their very nature, rights can’t be in conflict. Moreover, to suggest that one is endangered because someone else is armed is to say that all must render themselves defenseless…which is to say that no one has a right to defend his or her own life. That idea has an obvious conflict with reason and morality. Such an idea is the same as saying that weak people are in danger merely because others are strong. It is the same as saying that the rights of irresponsible people are violated when others behave responsibly. It is logically the same as saying that to possess food is to cause obesity in others. Like everything else the left professes, it is all illogical idiocy.
So, no, as an objective and moral fact, no one’s right to life trumps your right to own guns. Owning guns poses no threat to anyone’s rights or safety or liberty or pursuit of happiness. Our inalienable rights are never in conflict and none trumps another. It is the inviolate recognition of our inalienable rights—all of them together rather than some and not others—that defines moral governance. Our rights never change; only the legitimacy and illegitimacy of our government.