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Fishbreath

P-09 Limited build

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I've been blogging about this project here, but I made it to my first match this past weekend, so I figured I'd share a little more publicly.

 

After my first USPSA season last year, shooting a very lightly-tweaked Beretta 92 in Production, I decided I was interested in taking a crack at Limited in 2018. I'm allergic to shooting expensive things or the most common gun in a division, so anything 1911-based was out of the question. That and 'cheap' didn't leave me with a whole lot of options, but I'd had my eye on a P-09 for a while, and this was the perfect excuse to pick one up in .40.

 

Nothing much to say on the outside—Dawson sights, which took a ton of filing, and the CZ Custom extensions, spring/follower kits, and magazine well. The magazines are good for 20 rounds, which is fine for me even if it isn't class-leading. The internals are all Cajun Gun Works (short reset kit, hammer, firing pin, springs), with the exception of the double-action roller, which I didn't bother changing. It's the safety rather than the decocker, for cocked-and-locked starts; it took a bit of filing to get the safety to engage with the different hammer geometry. The single-action pull trips the scale at 2.5lb, much crisper than stock, and the reset's nice and short. (The double-action pull is 7lb, but it doesn't come up at matches.)

 

The match went well. I'm an average shooter at best, and found myself right in the middle of the Limited pack (14/30, with the caveat that most of the people behind me were shooting Minor). Part of that was how I blew the third stage; it had some one-hand and weak-hand shooting, which I haven't practiced much in general or at all with this gun, and I got some failures to feed. Overall, I'm extremely happy with how it turned out. It only cost me $1300 or so for the whole project, including some tools, and it's certainly good enough that the limiting factor is going to be me for the foreseeable future. (Especially if I take a break from semi-autos to try Revolver in a few years.)

 

Anyone else out there shooting a polymer CZ in Limited?

Edited by Fishbreath

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I've seen guys make GM- Limited with a glock, so there's no reason you can't make it with that. You are at a disadvantage regarding weight right now, I'd think any further mods you make should be focused on that. You might try the SJC frame weight and see if that helps you get back on your sights faster.
When I shot Limited with a glock, the heavy brass magwell and insert was a huge performance enhancement.
I understand your affinity for 'underdog' equipment. When I moved up from a glock, I was considering everything BUT a 2011 for Limited. I ended up with a TS.

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One dude locally does just that, P-09 .40 for a Limited. Don't know if he is a member here to advice your directly.  He does "compete like you carry thing", shooting from a concealment, appendix holster. He does pretty wll. Last match I noticed he had a light on his P09, don't know if functional or for weight. 

Funny thing is that during that match both of his guns went down. The front sight (Dawson, I think) either broke of flew off on his primary, and the backup gun broke a firing pin retaining plate on the next stage. Neither is out of expectation but made me wonder if P09 is good to withstand the major pf loads for long.

 

Edited by YVK

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14 hours ago, obsessiveshooter said:

You might try the SJC frame weight and see if that helps you get back on your sights faster.
When I shot Limited with a glock, the heavy brass magwell and insert was a huge performance enhancement.
I understand your affinity for 'underdog' equipment. When I moved up from a glock, I was considering everything BUT a 2011 for Limited. I ended up with a TS.

 

I'd love a heavier magwell for both weight/recoil and balance reasons, but as far as I know, the only ones available for the P-09 right now (from CZC and Springer) are in aluminum. A frame weight is definitely an option, although I'd have to get a different holster, and I don't think I can clear that with the wife this season. I'll have to borrow a buddy's pistol light and see how it affects things.

 

9 hours ago, YVK said:

Funny thing is that during that match both of his guns went down. The front sight (Dawson, I think) either broke of flew off on his primary, and the backup gun broke a firing pin retaining plate on the next stage. Neither is out of expectation but made me wonder if P09 is good to withstand the major pf loads for long.

 

That's a little concerning, especially the Dawson front sight. On the other hand, I'm a pretty low-volume shooter. Hopefully it won't come up this year.

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I shot my second match with this gun yesterday, and ran into some troubles I didn't encounter in testing.

First, I had a few nosedive failures to feed—starting about halfway into the match, though. At the beginning of the day, everything ran fine. On the last few stages I had trouble. Downloading by a round or two seemed to help, but I'd like to stay with 20 if possible. Assuming opening the magazines up and cleaning them doesn't fix it, what are my options here? Lighter recoil spring to give the magazine more time to get the cartridge into place?

Second, on the last stage of the day, I had two instances where, after a shot, the hammer followed the slide down to the half-cock position. Messing with the gun, dry firing and moving the slide by hand, I can't reproduce that. What might cause it?

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Could it be related to the sear spring? I remember that had a connection to hammer follow. Are you using CGW or OEM for the hammer spring and sear spring?

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Thanks for the suggestion—I wouldn't have guessed to look into the sear spring. I'm using the CGW 13# hammer spring and the OEM .016" sear spring.

My current guess on the cause of my problems is that the lightweight hammer spring means the slide moves to the rear faster than if it were pushing against the stock hammer spring, and the stock recoil spring is driving it forward again before the magazine spring gets the next round up and/or the sear spring resets the sear. Is that reasonable?

I'm planning to try lighter recoil springs as a first step—I have the CGW 18# and 15# ones on hand. Hopefully that'll slow down the slide's return to battery enough that the other springs can do their jobs in time. If that doesn't solve the hammer follow, I also have the CGW .018" and .020" sear springs to try (although I don't want to use those if I don't have to; I'm happy with the trigger pull as is and don't want to have to add weight to it).

I'm not quite sure what I'll do if I still get feeding problems. I guess I could try the 13-coil CZC springs instead of the 10-coil ones.

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I would watch with lightening the recoil spring on your .40.

Without a buffer, you'll be subjecting the Poly frame to excessive recoil force, which will definitely cause issues.

 

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Glock frames don't suffer from lighter recoil springs, I don't know why the CZ would. I'd say, make it run like you want. The point is to have a gun that safely performs how you want, it's not to try to make it last forever.

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The CGW 18lb recoil spring appears to have solved my problems, at least through 100 rounds of practice at lunchtime today. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be shooting any matches until late June for a number of reasons, so I won't be able to test it in those conditions until then.

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While I'm hoping to shoot my way at least to a Limited B before I get distracted by another division, it strikes me that buying a second slide to use on this frame for Carry Optics would be fairly inexpensive and convenient with my existing setup. I might have to give that a try down the line.

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Well, it's late June, and after a match, I think the 18# spring has solved my problems. I had one case of hammer follow on the last shot of the day, but this is still a fairly young gun, and I want to give it a few hundred more rounds before I change anything else, to see if it's a break-in issue.

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Could that be caused by the roller? CGW sells different sized rollers to fix timing issues

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That's a thought; I didn't even consider that option. I'll get in touch with CGW's support people and see if they think that might do it.

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I emailed them, and they recommended using a heavier sear spring. Happily, I bought that spring pack with my last Cajun purchase, so I'll make that modification in the next few days and report back.

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With the lower all sorted out, I decided a 9mm slide for Carry Optics is in order.

 

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The same magazines I'm using for .40 feed just fine, and hold 23. The decocker-safety swap is easy enough that I can do it at a safe table and shoot two divisions with the same gun in one day.

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