FIRESTORM FS22 LR
If you’ll check back at http://www.msgunowners.com/handguns-f15/home-home-on-the-range-t5118-40.htm, I wrote 10/19/10, “...think I’ve ordered a new .22 ...”. Then added on 10/27/10, “...it develops I did and I picked it up yesterday.”.
So here’s the story (might as well sit back and relax).
Now it’s a well known fact (if you happen to read any of my ramblings) that I have a definite and stated bias towards the 1911 platform. And, it’s well known, I guess, that I have a Ruger 22/45 that I really like (see my multiple postings to “Ruger 22/45 Pistol” at: http://www.msgunowners.com/rimfire-f27/ruger-22-45-pistol-t4464.htm). This tale is in no way a reflection on the Ruger.
Rather, a few weeks ago I got ruminating about a new .22 on a 1911 frame. I looked at a conversion kit (think it was a Kimber). And, I had the opportunity to fondle a 1911 look-alike, the Puma 1911-22. I quickly made up my mind that wasn’t what I wanted. I even contemplated seeing about a .22 conversion from STI for the 9mm 1911, though I never did pursue that
However, there’s a darker side to my gun-lusts. Perhaps it has something to do with the appearance of Ian Fleming’s 1953 creation and later arming him with a Walther PPK in 32ACP (see http://www.universalexports.net/00Walther.shtml).
So I must admit that deep down I have a certain “interest” in the PPK. Unfortunately I do not have a “Walther” pocketbook so I am forced to look for a PPK-clone.
A few years ago I acquired a Bersa 380 which is close to being a PPK-clone other than perhaps the finger-rail trigger guard. See http://www.msgunowners.com/handguns-f15/bersa-thunder-380-t4058.htm, postings dated 3/30/10, 4/1/10 & 6/9/10. I write about that PPK-clone there.
Doing a diligent web search I came to the realization that there seems to be just one .22LR PPK-clone: the FireStorm FS22LR. So I said “What the Heck”, and ordered it.
It came in this past Tuesday (10/26). And here it is in all its radiant glory:
Here’s a peek at the three-dot sight arrangement and the roughened ramp running the length of the top of the slide
Let’s get the Spec’s out of the way so we can make some observations.
- Action: DA/SA
Barrel Length: 3.5”
Front Sight: Blade integral with slide
Rear Sight: White outline target
Finish: Duotone or Matte Black – I specified the matte black. Don’t want to get flashy.
Grips: Rubber wrap around
Construction: Alloy Frame/Steel Slide
Safeties: Integral Locking System, Manual, Firing Pin
Weight: 18..9 oz.
Okay, there you have it.
Now for some free-wheeling comments.
The first thing I noticed was how very tight the gun was. Racking the slide took a bit more of a pull than you’d expect. Shaking it produced absolutely no rattle.
The gun was virtually “dripping:” oil. It really needed a wiping down, and the barrel/chamber a good swabbing out, before there could be any thought of firing. That’s no big deal. I guess that should be a cautionary procedure (swabbing out the barrel) before any new gun is used.
Trigger reset travel is about a ¼ inch, which I don’t think is too bad at all.
Take a look at the left side picture above. The magazine release is high on the frame, at the top of the trigger opening. It is very stiff. I find it simpler for me to reach up with my left thumb and pop the magazine than try to maneuver my right thumb up to push the release button. That just doesn’t work for me. Perhaps a bit inconvenient.
The magazine is not as user-friendly as the Ruger (that may be because of relative familiarity). The follower spring is quit stiff. There is not the prominent thumb button you’ll find on the Ruger. I find I need to stand the magazine on some surface and then use my thumb and forefinger on either side of the magazine to depress the follower. And the follower/magazine design is such that it is relatively easy to get a round miss-set, requiring a little shaking and jiggling to get it out and reinserted.
The three-dot sight, I believe, is going to work out okay. I’ve posted a picture above. The front dot is larger than the rear dots. I don’t know that that makes any difference. Interestingly the front dot on my STI 9mm is smaller than the two rear dots. Hmmm.
The gun does have a de-cocker as do all (as far as I know) the PPK-types. I like that.
The Owner’s Manual leaves a bit to be desired. I wonder who writes these things; I wonder who proof reads them. One glaring omission is a failure to even make mention of adjusting the rear sight. I know; I can figure it out.
So then Friday morning (10/29), bright and early (in the 40’s, north wind, brrrrr), I trucked out to the range to give the Firestorm it first trial, amongst other things.
Now, let’s hold off on the snickering and chortling. I admit I’m not the world’s best marksman but do keep in mind these are the first rounds (actually 23rd – 32nd) through this gun.
So, 10 rounds, 50 feet, from the bench.
I know they’re all over the place. And it’s a bit embarrassing. But it’s a start. Over the next couple or so weeks I’ll continue to work with this FireStorm and report back.
By the way, the gun is a ball to shoot, a lot of fun, sets in the hand very nicely. It is really quite smooth. Am glad I gave in to my baser instincts.