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Discussion Starter #101 (Edited)
Got my Hogue grip sleeve and got it on

It arrived this afternoon from Amazon via UPS. I checked my orders status on Amazon mid afternoon. "Delivered." But the package wasn't at my apartment door. Turns out the UPS driver -- who usually brings packages to our doors -- left them at the mail boxes downstairs. Social distancing.

So, we live in the age of Covid-19. Normal life in the US is grinding quickly to a halt. Biggest one-day loss on the stock market in US history. But here's some distracting good news. :)

It took me 5 or 6 tries over 1.5 hours, but I got it on and didn't even invent new profanity (but used a few well-known words :mad:).

What worked for me?

  • I quickly gave up on the idea of using the little plastic shoehorns. Just didn't work at all. Too sharp, too stiff.
  • I soaked them in boiling water for at least 5 minutes each time. When they came out of the water with tongs, there's not much time. Work fast.
  • I had no Windex, but used rubbing alcohol. That really helped. Once I got them partially on, I added alcohol (which evaporates quickly) to the inside of the sleeve, which then -- I think -- crept into the space between the sleeve and the grip, lubricating the installation. I could sense progress after adding alcohol.
  • Most important: I put them on sort of "backwards" from what the directions specified. Directions say put the back of the sleeve onto the back of the grips first. Tried four times at least, but couldn't stretch the front of the sleeve over the front of the grips. But the back of the sleeve has that beavertail that fits up high under the back of the slide. So I thought, let me try it backwards. I got the front of the sleeve on first, then the back was easier to slip on to the grip because of that flare at the top.
  • Next task: I had to get that finger bump (that fits between middle and ring fingers) up onto the grip, well onto it. Kept adding alcohol (from a bowl). Finally, once the sleeve was "on", and not in danger of slipping off -- probably my fifth try -- I put on my leather gloves and kept pushing ... up, up, up, up ... little by little, almost a micron (1/1000th mm) at a time. Fought me right to the last.
But it's on. I think I like it. Going to give it a few days. Hope to shoot it soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #102
But it's on. I think I like it.
Hours later after handling it, yeah, I like it.
 

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Forlorn Hope
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...But it's on. I think I like it. Going to give it a few days. Hope to shoot it soon.
Now that it's on, does the 'finger bump' force your fingers apart? One of my worries is that it will splay my fingers (not very big hands) and needlessly alter my grip. Do you find that the pinky extension provides less purchase, now the bump pushes your fingers apart? I don't want to go through the hassle of putting it on, only to decide to take it off. And on a really petty level, I plan to Cerakote the frame, and would need to take it off again, plus I would want a colored grip now, but the black one after the Cerakote. All good reasons to leave it alone.

So have you been watching the gun stores and online? I purchased a couple boxes of 9mm and .380 (cheap FMJ to play with at the range (No Steel Cased!) as well as 2 boxes (9mm/.380) of the Xtreme Defender for my EDC) on Friday. All the online stores had a ton of choices, and I was able to shop around and find the best prices (for what I wanted, I ended up going through MidwayUSA). Today I went online, and almost every store had 'sorry, nothing available in this category" for 9mm. The few that had something were either over priced or the high end stuff. What happened over the weekend that made everyone go nuts. Not ignoring Covid-19, but why this weekend?

On the topic of Ammo, your Inceptor ARX, and the Xtreme Defender I ordered, are very similar in statistics: Both 65 Grain, and within 25 lbs and 50 fps of each other. So I will be curious to hear how low recoil they are. The idea of a carry round in a subcompact that makes it more controllable is exciting.

 

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Discussion Starter #104
Gladius, the finger bump doesn't separate my fingers at all. Once I grip the pistol firmly, I can feel the bump, but my fingers are still touching. The top of the bump tapers to a very narrow point, and just fits into the crease between my fingers. It feels more like a reference point, and keeps my middle finger up against the trigger guard.

As for pinky, because the bump doesn't push my fingers apart, the sleeve does not reduce my pinky grip, but it does change it a tiny bit until I squeeze the grip tightly. My pinky still rests on the extension. (I use the extension plate on the 7-rnd mag, not the flat plate.) Because of the slight thickness of the sleeve, my middle and ring fingers initially have a tighter fit, but when I squeeze, as in ready to shoot, the pinky provides sufficient grip ... as much as a pinky can.

I hadn't seen that Xtreme Defender ammo before. It's interesting. I may have to try some eventually. But it is considerably more expensive than the Inceptor rnds. When they are available from Midway, the ARX is less than $12/box of 20 plus shipping. If it works well in this pistol -- Hornet, I call it -- I'll probably stock up once it becomes available again. I like the rounder nose on it (the XD rnds have that slightly flattened top) so should feed easily. I'll be interested to read your thoughts about it's behavior.

I had not looked at ammo for a while until a few minutes ago when I read your post. You're right: Midway is pretty low on 9mm ammo. No Inceptor, but they do have a few others ... some Hornady for example. So I won't count it a crisis yet. Depends on how this virus thing shakes out in coming months and years.

I think something shifted over the weekend in the public psyche about Covid, especially given the beating the stock market is taking. The arguments that it's overblown, that it's really no different than the regular flu -- I'm seeing a couple of threads on this forum where some have been arguing that -- are beginning to crumble in light of what's actually happening, especially in places like Italy and Spain. Things have gotten pretty bad there, and those are relatively modernized countries with relatively good health care systems. I shudder to think what will happen when it really takes off in Africa, South America and other lesser developed places. And now with the president himself on board as of yesterday -- he who denied the danger until then -- I suspect there'll likely be a run on ammo for a while like for toilet paper.
 

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Discussion Starter #105
I just changed my avatar from a stock Ruger photo of an EC9s to mine with the new grip sleeve. I haven't found a photo hosting service that I like yet, so cannot post other photos yet. Perhaps once my shoulder holster arrives.
 

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Those grips make for a good solid hold on this little Ruger for me. The best thing I ever did was just take some good reliable range ammo and train or prcatice, practice and more practice. Good luck again with your adventure.
 

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Discussion Starter #107
Thanks, Rick. I totally agree about practice and more practice. The closest formal shooting range to me (to which I've never been) is shut down for some reason right now and their web site is quite uninformative. Even trying to learn the details of the various components of the range -- handgun vs rifle vs shotgun, and their fees -- is not available. I'll have to call them for details.

I can shoot a bit in the swamp across the highway, on the edge of hundreds of undeveloped woodland and swamps. But I don't want to overdo it there with too many shots. There are houses back behind me when I'm shooting, even if half mile away through woods, and in this state, shots are fairly common, more so in hunting season.

But once the weather turns and my finances improve a bit more, I plan to spend time at the real range and put a lot of bullets down range.

Fortunately, this EC9s is similar enough -- virtually identical as you know -- to my former LC9 that I then replaced with my LC9s. I put enough rounds through both of those that I feel comfortable with this one. BUT, I will continue training with it as time and money allow, for sure.
 

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Forlorn Hope
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I just changed my avatar from a stock Ruger photo of an EC9s to mine with the new grip sleeve.
Looks really great, grr... the color contrast is really nice, but the Pachmyr sleeve over a "DeWalt Yellow" frame will look great too, so I just have to resist the urge to get a colored hogue until then.

I haven't found a photo hosting service that I like yet, so cannot post other photos yet. Perhaps once my shoulder holster arrives.
IMGBB.COM is what I use since my old image server shut down. It's free and very simple to use, and you can organize your images into galleries (or lump them all together like I do).

When they are available from Midway, the ARX is less than $12/box of 20 plus shipping. If it works well in this pistol -- Hornet, I call it -- I'll probably stock up once it becomes available again.
Two things: First, even though it is what you should not do, I was planning to shoot very little of the XD, just loading my EDC with it for now, so I was less concerned about the per box cost (as it will be a one time cost for now). That said, the reviews on the ARX are themselves quite favorable... hmm.

Secondly, the fact that you have named your gun makes me quite happy. I was going to christen mine "The Forlorn Hope", possibly even have it engraved,
though in light of the planned color scheme, I am now STRONGLY leaning towards "Yellow Jacket"

 

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Discussion Starter #110 (Edited)
Gladius, thanks for the link to the image host. I went there seeking information, but I find none. I'd like to know more about interfaces, etc. So I'm going to search it and look for reviews.

I like the name "Yellow Jacket", also because of the color scheme. That's catchy.

And yes, I do name my guns. I haven't always done so, but in recent years, I've taken to doing it. I don't take it too seriously, but guns are important tools, and for some reason, naming them helps me respect them more, do better maintenance, etc. My 10-22's name is Gotham.

NCD, your hypothesis about the club closing isn't far off. Their web site states now that a gun show they were sponsoring in a town pretty far south of here is now canceled because Covid is here now (though far, far fewer cases than elsewhere).

I called the instructor of the club today, because I'm interested in joining and in taking their personal defense course in May; it's not basics, which I've had, but more on SD. He said that for now, the club itself -- which is truly in the boonies NW of my small town -- is closed due to the fact that mud season has started here, and the roads into the club off of the secondary road are not paved.

In the winter, they close because no one plows those roads (and snow can get pretty deep), and even if they do, most people don't want to trudge out to the targets at 100 - 400 yds in the snow. But as snow melts -- as has started now; there's only about 6" left on the ground, even though we got a heavy new dusting today -- the soil underneath turns to mud. The soils here are mostly glacial til left over from the ice ages -- sandy, muddy, a bit of gravel. It's very easy to bury even a 4X. He said they often don't open the ranges until May 1.
 

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Probably too late to be of help to current users, but I used a very long shanked flat tip screwdriver to lever on the Hogue Handall. Worked well for me.

I own a LC9, LC380 and LC9s Pro. so have some practice.
 

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Did you ever try the poor forlorn Pachmyr Grip Sleeve? It is quite nice too. :(
I tried it for a short while. I took it off because I did not like the feel of it against my skin IWB and I didn't like the added drag in a pocket. Mine also would shift around when firing. Not a lot but enough that I would have to rotate it after a range session.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
Probably too late to be of help to current users, but I used a very long shanked flat tip screwdriver to lever on the Hogue Handall. Worked well for me.
That's a fantastic idea. Why didn't I think of it?! I looked around on my (very large) work table for anything I could use for leverage, but never considered this. I should have looked in my tool kit.

Hopefully your idea can help future strugglers.
 

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Discussion Starter #116
How do you not gouge the grip frame while leveraging?
Good and relevant question. I didn't use it, but if I did, I'd probably wrap the end of the driver in something soft. Maybe duct tape?
 

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Discussion Starter #117 (Edited)
Painting my sights

As Covid raged this afternoon, with attendant bad economic news, (after learning that my local grocery actually has empty shelves), I decided to continue my experiment painting the sights on my EC9s. It started a few days ago using a "paint marker" (this one is by CH Hanson; picked it up a year ago at my local hardware). Color: a deep but bright red.

I started by coating the front post (used blue tape to protect the slide under it), then the top tips of the rear U. The pattern was far better than all black -- keying on the red helped get sighted much faster. But the red tips on the rear weren't enough. Not close enough to a ghost ring for my taste.

Today, I put another coat on the front post -- and I'm getting more bold: no tape! -- but then coated the entire U of the rear sight, from the tips right down to the base.

For me, it changes the entire game of sighting with fixed sights. Changing black to bright red shows up again a target of any color but red. The way I bring my pistol up ensures the front sight is "on top" and comes quickly down to the rear while lining up. With this new color differential, it happens in less than a sec. I'm amazed.

And the rear is more open than a ghost ring. Just pull that front post down into the U.

I'm also practicing grips with both hands, and simultaneously doing grip exercising. The frame doesn't compress under grip -- which is like an isometric exercise -- but the sleeves have about 0.5 mm give. It's not a marathon, but feels good to my finger and lower arm muscles, which are too often stuck to a keyboard.
 

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I completely blacked out my rear sight and painted the front sight white. The white shows up well in low light and I find the black rear faster than 3 dot.
 

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Discussion Starter #119
I think that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #120 (Edited)
April 1 update: my shoulder holster arrived today

Not an April fools joke. It came today. Alien Gear Shape Shifter Shoulder Holster. I've been ... fiddling with it for hours, trying to get it adjusted.

I'll likely start a thread just about this, but thought I'd report here with first impressions.

Verdict so far? It's still out. I'm not ready to even offer a preliminary opinion yet, let alone a conclusion. It comes with a 30-day trial, return if for full refund it I'm not happy with it. So I'm going to give it that time.

A couple of early observations. This thing is really complex, far more so than any holster I've ever owned. (This is my first shoulder holster.) At least 6 adjustments for strap length, plus four points where it can be adjusted even more using screws. Holster on the left (right hand draw), mag carriers on the right. Belt hooks.

So far, I've removed the belt loops. They are -- so far for me -- more hassle than they're worth -- again, for me. The hooks are plastic and tight, and fit inside the belt -- so the entire hook has to slide between the belt and trouser, then hook back up to the belt. That was frustrating with my thicker gun belt, but even with a thinner tactical nylon belt. I removed them and honestly, for me right now, it's makes little difference. Pistol still draws fast with no hassle, and the holster doesn't shift with position. I may change my mind later.

I also removed the mag carrier -- it has two single stack carriers (double stacks available) -- and I have no extra mag yet, and it may be a while before I do. They provide a small plastic "bridge" to replace the mag carrier by keeping the straps continuous, but for reasons that are hard to explain in words, I found it uncomfortable; it turns horizontal in my underarm and digs in. I'll likely try it again later, after I get the remainder of the straps adjusted. But for now, I replaced it with the mag carrier pouch, but removed the top mag carrier -- I won't carry two anyway. It's more comfortable than the plastic bridge, and there's less bulge there with only the lower mag carrier.

That's it for now. I hope it works, because I dislike IWB, and OWB doesn't work well for me since I always wear a pack with a waist belt -- either a backpack or a lumbar pack. I think this will work well with both.

I'm going to wear it during most waking hours for a while to see if I can adjust it better and if I can get used to it. I'll keep you posted.
 
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