PSA-JP AR-9 PCC

September 7, 2017

With the failure of the Oly 9mm PCC, instead of pursuing continued repair, I put together a new carbine altogether. The thought of a Glock magazine based PCC instead of the Oly’s finicky mags tempted me long enough. Shooting my friend Bob’s JP GMR-15 for 2 matches when the Oly failed might also have had an influence in the decision. But with the JP running at around $1500, I thought I might save some money putting one together.

JP GMR-15

The build had to have the JP operating system as its heart, and when the JP 9mm BCG and SCSS was available on sale at Dvor.com, I was off to the races.

Parts list:

  • JP 9mm BCG
  • JP 9mm SCSS
  • JP 12″ handguard
  • JP 9mm tactical compensator
  • KVP 16″ barrel
  • Anderson upper receiver
  • PSA 9mm Glock lower receiver
  • JP yellow spring kit for mil-spec trigger
  • Magpul MOE-K grip
  • KNS anti-rotation pins
  • ambi-safety

Total for the build was around $700.

With the future in mind, following the rules for building a (future) SBR, the lower was first built as a pistol with a Phase 5 Hex pistol buffer tube.

Sure, it’s pistol with a 16″ barrel, but since there’s no limit to a pistol’s barrel length, it’s still a pistol.

However, since these types of pistols aren’t allowed in USPSA PCC division, off went the Hex tube for a standard carbine buffer tube and an MOE stock. The pistol is now a rifle.

Not too far from the JP, huh?

Topped off with the Bushnell TR-25, I zeroed the rifle with good old 124gr BB RN loads at 25 yards. On the front left of the handguard, I installed the SIG laser/light combo as lasers are allowed in USPSA PCC.

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USPSA, TBSPC Ruskin, 9-3-17

September 3, 2017

Open Division with Open Edge using TNT 180gr ammo (long). I haven’t had a chance to load more of my 155gr BB RNs so I figured to use the TNT ammo for local matches. I’d been shooting PCC too much lately and thought my pistol work was beginning to degrade, so back to Open I go.

Stage 3

  • 2 paper on the right side, then 2 on the move forward on the left side, brief stop for a no-shoot and the furthest paper on the left.
  • 2 paper and 4 steel through the low port. I was able to plan it this way as the low port was right for me compared to the others, who pretty much all went to the right side.
  • Clean. 22nd out of 58.

Stage 4

  • 2 paper flanking 4 steel. Turn, then shoot.
  • Too many extras on the steel as I sped up after hitting the first 2 one for one and lost it.
  • 30th

Stage 5

  • 5 each on 2 paper, one with a no-shoot, but at almost arm’s reach. Reload in between paper, 2 strings. Fun and fast.
  • Clean; 13th.

Stage 6

  • 4 paper on the right, then run to the forward middle wall gap. (I hobbled more than ran)
  • At the gap, start of with the popper to activate the swinging no-shoots (actual targets behind them). 2 paper flanking the whole array. I had to split shots in between the swingers on the obscured targets, and while the hits were there, they could have been better (not As).
  • Finish off with 2 more on the right side of the wall from the gap.
  • 26th

Stage 1

  • From my chosen start, I had 2 on my left at around 5 yards and 2 in front at 15-20yds with the right-most obscured by a no-shoot.
  • Run/hobble to my next position for 4 more.
  • While moving right, I engage one directly to my left on the move (essentially shooting while retreating). From my last position, 4 steel and 1 last paper.
  • Mike on one of the paper from my middle position. 26th

Stage 2

  • Through the port, 3 paper with no-shoots, reload, 4 steel.
  • 1 or 2 extras on the steel, but clean. 22nd

First pistol match in about a month after the IPSC Nationals, with a bum right leg, so I wasn’t expecting much. 1 Mike for the match was definitely an improvement from then, but steel shooting needs improvement as usual. The most important improvement I need to focus on is my mobility at this point. Hardware-wise, the pistol ran fine and the TNT ammo had no issues – good to go. Finished 18th overall.

3G Manatee, 8-13-17

August 13, 2017

Open/Tac Division

  • Open G34, 124gr BB RN ammo, ETS 170mm and 140mm mags
  • DPMS-Del 15, Freedom Munitions 55gr and 69gr ammo, PMAG 40 and dual setup
  • Saiga 12, Vortex Venom, Mod Choke, Remington Target (12oofps), Heavy Dove (1255fps) and Managed Recoil slug (1200fps) loads

Stage 1

  • Pistol to start on plate rack and paper, then a short run through the mud for a star and another paper)
  • 13 in the Saiga with the 12 rounder mag for 10 steel. Tried to shoot it on the move and burned up all 3 extra shots. Still, no reload was needed.
  • With the rifle, first 2 paper at 4x since the next 3 steel was at around 100 yards. I planned to trade penalties for time as the scoring system showed a 5 second penalty per steel FTN. I hit the first, took 2 shots on the second without hitting it, took one shot on the third and missed again, then quit. I expected 10 seconds for penalties but was assessed 20. I tried to game it and paid the price.
  • 20th out of 48

Stage 2

  • 69gr ammo loaded and Meopta set to 4x – 5 long range (100-240 yards) from the VTAC barricade, maybe 1 or 2 extras. Shift to 1x for 3 paper on the move then shift back to 4x for the low barricade on the same 5, again with 1 or 2 extras.
  • Dump then pistol on 10 small steel and 2 paper.
  • Clean, 6th.

Stage 3

  • Memory stage with rifle start. I picked out 3 positions for the rifle and shot as deliberately as possible without much second guessing. On review I could’ve taken the paper from my first position with a slight mod to my last position.
  • Pistol is the same with 2.5 positions (what I should’ve done for rifle).
  • Clean, 2nd.

Stage 4

  • Shotgun on the move for what I planned as only 2 but got sucked into the whole array of 4. Too many extras on the move; I originally planned 2 positions and should’ve stuck with the plan.
  • 5 paper with 2 to start from the SG dump barrel, then 2 on retreat, and 1 last through a port.
  • 7th

Stage 5

  • SG to start on a slew on steel from 2 ports. Most shot from the ports but I saw that from the start stick, I could engage the needed steel through the right port, saving movement. I loaded the 20 rounder with 4 heavy dove to start for the first 4 steel, noting the 1 steel that needed to drop from that position.
  • Move to the left port then 4 slugs on 3 paper. At the last match, the Saiga failed to fire on a slug. I had to rack the slug out to continue on but had to pick it up and reinsert it into the mag so I could get the required hit. From that experience, I loaded an extra slug this time just in case. Didn’t need it, so the last target got 2 slug hits. Cleaned the rest of the steel from there.
  • Move to the first pistol port for all the paper and steel I can shoot from there, then move to the last position for the remaining steel.
  • Clean, 1st.
  • By this time, the heat was getting to me and after packing up, my right leg cramped up after getting into the truck to leave. I had consumed the large Gatorade, iced tea and bottle of water by then. I need to drink more water and get more fuel in me during the match or I risk crashing at the end.

The Good

  • Mental game, staying in even after a bad first stage and giving each stage its due.
  • Stage planning and execution.
  • Pistol work, specially with steel.
  • Long range rifle.
  • A working Saiga.
  • A (better) right leg.

Needs Improvement

  • Off hand rifle.
  • Shooting on the move – all 3.
  • Rifle splits.
    • Didn’t notice the brake today as much but still mulling replacing it either with a good old miculek or JP tank.
    • JP SCSS?
  • Pistol work, specially with steel – needs to be 1 for 1.
  • Continue improvement of right leg and general fitness.

Another “I don’t let a bad beginning ruin the rest” day. Finished 3rd overall and 1st out of 21 in Open.

USPSA, Ruskin, 8-6-17

August 6, 2017

Back at it! While still not at 100%, my right leg feels good enough for another weekend of shooting. This is the first since May that I’ve shot 2 weekends in a row. Aside from the IPSC Nationals a few weeks ago, this is also my first USPSA “pistol” match since April, where I shot Open Division. I say “pistol” as I’m shooting PCC again today. My last PCC match was when the PSA-Oly9 failed shooting aluminum cased ammo. The stuck case was removed by the smiths at SW but I haven’t shot it a match  since testing it after getting it back. Using my own 124gr BB RN ammo today.

Stage 3

  • 2 paper and 1 steel into the run, and the PCC double feeds. It takes awhile for me to clear the malfunction and when I finally do, 1 shot later and it double feeds again. I’m quicker to clear it but I now realize I have a problem that probably can’t be fixed between stages. That’s reinforced when it happens again even after I’d changed mags.
  • 47 out of 50

Stage 4

  • Changed out to Bob’s JP GMR-15 with a Vortex Sparc but still using my ammo. (the reload is mandatory)
  • 17th

Stage 5

  • 6th

Stage 6

  • I ran the stage differently (as usual) by not running up all the way and shooting the double clamshell. Since they where disappearing, I wouldn’t get penalized for not engaging them, and save the time for the 4 shots needed. Thing was, I didn’t quite plan accordingly.
  • 17th

Stage 1

  • Looked good, but I mike’d one of the first targets on the move out.
  • 17th

Stage 2

  • 2 swingers left and right, with a big popper/activator obscuring a smaller popper, and 1 paper down the middle. My sequence was: activator, paper, popper, left swinger, right. Shot it as planned. Clean.
  • 6th

The Good

  • Staying in the game even after a disastrous first stage. While I did make decisions to try different things since I had nothing to lose, I still treated each Stage on its own merits. Having friends willing to help with great equipment doesn’t hurt either. Thanks Bob!

Needs work

  • Continue to improve right leg mobility and mobility in general so I move quicker.
  • Fix the PSA-Oly9
    • Upgrade to a JP GMR-15?

Finished 24th overall and 8th of 9 in PCC.

3G Manatee, 7-29-17

July 29, 2017

Open Division

  • Open G34, 124gr BB RN ammo, ETS 140 and 170mm mags
  • Del-PSA15, Meopta 1-4, Freedom Munitions 55gr ammo
  • Saiga12, Venom optic, Remington Gun Club (1200fps), Heavy Dove (255fps) and Managed Recoil slugs (1200fps)

Stage 3

  • Slug hits are good but steel could be better on the move. Still, no reload needed.
  • Rifle is good but also slow (at least the 2nd shot is deliberate).
  • Pistol could be cleaner but no too bad.
  • 3rd out of 51

Stage 4

  • Rifle on the move on first half of the path for 6 paper, then again on the same 6 on the other half. I just shot and thought I might run the 40 rounder dry (I didn’t). Still, not clean with 1 FTN.
  • Pistol on steel and swingers is good.
  • 1st (!)

Stage 5

  • 2 slugs, then 2 spinners. On the second slug, nothing. I rack the bolt and out flies the slug. I get the spinners going then reach for the slug on the ground. I remove the mag and proceed to load the slug into the mag. With birdshot still chambered, I burn it in the berm. This time the slug fails to feed so I force it into battery with the bolt. Move to next position and finish off the steel.
  • Run to pistol position for the remaining steel.
  • 31st.

Stage 1

  • 2 paper then 3 off-hand steel at around 100yds with the rifle. I set magnification to 4x and shoot the paper at 4x. 1 for 1 on the off-hand steel.
  • Shotgun is clean, and so is pistol, but I had to run to the pistol position.
  • 8th

Stage 2

  • ‘Sniper’ stage 2 shots max on each target at 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 with a 12″ plate bonus target also at 600. Hit on first shot gave no penalty with 10 sec for hit on second and 20 for the miss. Bonus was minus 30 seconds.
  • For this, I borrowed my friend Lee’s suppressed 308 bolt action Remington with a 20x scope. I hit the 200 on the first shot but after reloading, found a dead trigger. This happened a few times and threw me off such that I had a pile of un-shot rounds after racking the action a few times. After the par time of 200 seconds passed, they found the timer hadn’t picked up the suppressed shots properly. Re-shoot!
  • On inspection, the dead trigger was due to my forceful action on the bolt (which is what I was taught). The hammer followed on my forceful slam into battery (thank God that the usual hammer follow of the gun going off didn’t occur). Instead, a gentler handling of the action ensured that the hammer stayed cocked.
  • On re-shoot, no more dead triggers. I also adjusted the bipod to a better height and the Magpul stock’s length of pull to its shortest. On the first try, I felt stretched out and was uncomfortable working the action. Now I was working it better.
  • Hits were also better as I found my adjustment – high right. I forget which ones I missed, either the 300 or 400, but I hit the 500 and both 600s on the first shot each.
  • I initially thought this stage was more of a novelty stage (not true 3gun) but it was probably the most fun today. The satisfaction of hitting steel at 500 and 600 yards on first shot is immense. 1 shot, 1 kill!
  • 21st

Finished 6th overall and 3rd of 19 in Open. Not bad for the bad left leg and to think I almost decided not to shoot today.

Bum knee, no practice, and hot, humid weather make for an interesting match. I shoot Open Division with the Open Edge using BB RN 155gr ammo. The last time I shot this gun was at the A6 MG Championships. There, the typically reliable pistol jammed a few times, failing to load from the 170mm mag. I replaced the old mag spring with an MBX 170mm spring and the gun was flawless this match. I wish I could say the same for me…

Sixteen stages shot in 1 day in Central Florida summer to begin with, is not a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. Couple that with less than perfect mobility and zero practice and you get mikes, no shoots, and less than stellar times. Knowing  these factors beforehand, I decided to shoot and work the match (this would also be my first experience working a match). For working the match, I’d shoot the match for free and get paid as well (per diem).

Needless to say, commenting on my sub par performance for the match would be a waste and probably negative reinforcement. But here are some points from the match:

  • I think I have about a year’s worth of mikes and no-shoots in one day. Very atypical of myself. I pride myself on accuracy and shooting relatively clean matches. The penalties came early at the second stage. I was first shooter for the squad and I chalked it up to startup jitters. “Get it out of the way”, I thought. Unfortunately, they kept coming. It wasn’t until my 5th stage I finally shot a clean stage.
  • Speaking of my 5th stage (Stage 3), the gun was staged on a barrel, mags were on a separate barrel, and I was seated on a chair away from both. That meant running. My bum right leg almost made me cancel the match/work. A massage fixed me enough to reconsider. With my first short (and slow) run/dash at last week’s 3gun match in 2 months, I was apprehensive. Yet I ran. Small victories. No penalties was just the icing on the cake.
  • Stage 6

    Clean!

  • Stage 7 consisted of hard cover targets at about 30 yards. I placed the dot in the shooting area yet found a nice 3 shot group squarely in the hard cover. Was it me or the gun? The tight group would point to the dot’s zero and my resultant consistent lack of accuracy. Zero verification needed on the Open Edge.
  • Stage 9 gave the option of shooting everything from the start but at range. I was challenged to ‘shoot it like a man’ – from afar. From afar meant saving the run, but relied on the gun’s already questioned accuracy. So I adjusted my POA higher. I dodged the no-shoot but still got 1 mike. Even with the mike, I was still able to do better than some that ran up and shot things closer. The bullet does go faster than a running man. As an added bonus, steel was 1 for 1.
  • Stage 13 was my best stage and needed the planets to align for a good stage. An initial run was stopped due to equipment malfunction. On the reshoot, the planets did align, and 2 poppers triggered 3 clamshells sequentially, giving enough time to engage each before they were obscured by no-shoots. Clean.
  • Stage 14 was last and with nothing really to lose, I shot it fast. But it was sloppy. More mikes.

The Good

  • Gun-mag reliability
  • Being able to run again

Needs Improvement and Learning Points

  • Verify Open Edge zero
  • In this game, accuracy is king. And that goes back to the most basic concept of all the shooting matches: shoot accurately first, speed will come later.
  • IPSC’s smaller targets and more challenging stages always improved my shooting after IPSC matches. I’d noticed this coming back from shooting the Philippine IPSC Nationals years ago. We’ll see if this rings true in the following weeks.

Finished 70th out of 130, and 30 out of 39 in Open.

3G, Manatee, 7-8-17

July 8, 2017

After a bit of a forced break due to knee and lower leg problems, I’m finally back on the range. My last match was also at Manatee in May (second Sunday, unremarkable and unlogged – 11th/57 OA shooting Tac-Open with G17, PSA-Del15, Saiga12). After that weekend, my right knee and lower leg started acting up, which prevented working out and run and gun shooting (I still shot bullseye and finished the Spring 2017 League 4th Men’s). After 2 months of a sore right leg, re-injuring it walking around Savannah, Georgia in June, and getting a needed massage this past weekend, my right leg finally felt good enough for a range day.

The night before, I verified zero on the Open G34. No adjustments needed. I also ordered a Mod choke for my now un-choked Saiga so this match would be its first run.

Open-Tac Division

  • Open G34, 124gr BB RN ammo, ETS 170mm and 140mm mags
  • PSA-Del15, Meopta 1-4, Freedom Munitions 55 and 69gr ammo, Magpul 40 rnd mag
  • Saiga 12, Vortex Venom dot, Remington Target (1200fps), Heavy Dove (1255fps) and Managed Recoil slugs (1200fps), with Mod choke

Stage 3

  • Rifle start is slow on splits (as expected from a break), with some shooting on the move, but clean.
  • Stage gun is a Remington 870 Tac-14 on 3 steel.  It’s a bad fit for me, I’m all stretched out and can’t aim it right. 2 FTNs.
  • SG is 1 for 1, and pistol with the star is 1 or 2, maybe 3 extras.
  • The Mod choke seems to be ok.
  • 25th

Stage 4

  • From the start, run to ‘sweet spot’ engage left, then back right rifle paper. On the move to the dump barrel, engage front right targets.
  • Few extras needed for the strong and weak hand pistol portion.
  • 4th

Stage 5

  • Slug hits are good and no reload needed with the 20 rounder. Spinner required 2 extra shots.
  • On dumping the SG, I take the extra time to also hang the 20rnd mag on the barrel lip to avoid getting it dirty by just dumping it.
  • I run to my first intended pistol position but re-directed by the RO to another (even if I’d seen others shoot from my intended). Time lost, even if a second or 2.
  • Pistol is quick and clean, maybe even 1 for 1.
  • 9th

Stage 1

  • SG is clean, including the flippers, and no reload needed with the 20 rounder. As in the previous stage, I also take the extra time and step to dismount and place the 20 rounder.
  • I start the rifle at 1x on paper, then thought it was good enough for the far steel. After 3 or 4 misses on the closest (50-75yds), and remarks from the peanut gallery, I switch to 4x and hit 1 for 1.
  • The highlight of the match came next: running the 15-20 yards or so to the pistol position. I haven’t run in 2 months and there I was, exclaiming “I can run!”
  • Pistol is clean.
  • 26th

Stage 2

  • I was stretched out and almost on tip toe shooting the long range (100-300yds) from the car. Yet I still cleaned it with just 1 extra shot.
  • Pistol is quick and clean.
  • I’m wearing athletic (copper) compression socks to help with the leg issues.
  • 26th

The day started out hot and humid and was quite energy sapping. I questioned if I’d complete the match, with my right leg a bit stiff and knee still sore. At around Stage 5, the rain started and the resulting cooling made for a more comfortable match. Shotgun was good – the Saiga ran and was pretty much 1 for 1. The Mod choke is a ‘GO’. Rifle was ok, if a tad slow on the splits. Pistol was quite good. I’m thankful to have come out to clear the cobwebs and get going again. Finished 8th overall and my right leg none the worse for wear as I write this.

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