Report from Blackwater

I could tell you what’s going on here, but then I’d have to kill you. . .

No, really. This morning at about 0900 we were picked up by the Blackhawk bus

and taken to their Norfolk facility for a show-n-tell.

These guys are the suppliers to the low-drag/high-speed set. The corporate philosophy is “do it right, then charge what it costs plus enough to make a living.” This is American capitalism at its best, from my point of view. They gave each of us a box of swag worth enough to surprise the hell out of me. For example, we each got a gun belt, two holsters, two mag pouches, and shooting gloves. And there was more. I very much like the SERPA holster for the 1911. Positive retention, belt slide or paddle. A lot of thought obviously went into the design. Very, very cool.

Blackhawk carries clothing, literally from helmets to socks and everything in between, knives, breaching tools, and every kind of accessory you can think of. For example, these:

are not knives. No, according to Tam, these are “Klingon marital aids.”

These guys carry EVERYTHING!

After the Blackhawk visit, we traveled to “Moyockistan” to Blackwater‘s facility, and were given the air-conditioned bus tour of the 8,000 acre facility. (Well, not all of it, but I’ve never seen so many shooting ranges and shoot houses in one place in my life!) It is Disneyworld for gun nuts. We got to see the interior of a shoot house, and got a glimpse of Blackwater’s armory.

Yes, that’s a gatling.

No, we didn’t get to shoot it.


After lunch we had our introduction to the other sponsors of this bash, Para-USA, Crimson Trace, and International Cartridge Corp. We also got introduced to our guns. I’m shooting the Para PXT LDA Tac-S, a Commander-sized 1911 equipped with Para’s Light Double Action trigger, but much more than that. This pistol is also equipped with a fiber-optic front sight, adjustable rear sight, and Crimson Trace lasergrips! Overall, it’s finished in “Coyote Brown” duracoat, and looks very nice. But on top of that, the pistols we are shooting for this event were custom finished for us:

To be honest with you, I was not all that enamored with the idea of the Light Double Action trigger. I normally shoot a Kimber Classic Stainless full-sized Government model 1911, and it has, IMHO, the finest factory trigger I have ever pulled. The idea of a long trigger pull before a 1911 went “BANG!” just didn’t do it for me.

Now that I’ve shot it, I’ve got to say I like it. A lot. I might not use it as a competition pistol, but it has definite attraction as a carry piece. They tell us that these guns will be offered to us for purchase, but they haven’t told us for how much yet.

I’m wondering how I’m going to explain this purchase to my wife . . .

We finally got on the range about 4:00, and I personally was able to put about 120 rounds downrange before we knocked off about 6:00. Tomorrow is supposed to be pretty much all shooting. I think I’m going to find out how well shooting gloves work at preventing sores and blisters.

I’ll have more information to post on the ammo we’re using tomorrow. We’re shooting “green” frangible ammo – sintered copper and tin, 155 grain flatpoints at an advertised 1,150 fps. They hit where the sights are set, I’ll give them that. And they do disintegrate on impact with steel!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go back upstairs and rejoin the conversation still going on.

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