Ever since I created the Katrina Rifle, I’ve considered adding a Katrina Pistol to my loadout. So when Glock read my mind and released their Modular Optics System (MOS) pistols, I knew the time was right to build a Katrina Pistol. Based on the same survival philosophy as my Katrina Rifle, the Katrina Pistol needs to be good enough to sit at the top of my short list of things to grab when running out the door for possibly the last time.
Symptoms and Solutions
The features of the Katrina Pistol are based on the need for a versatile, multi-purpose firearm. To be clear, the Katrina Pistol is not intended to be the simplest gun on the planet. If that were the case, the Katrina Pistol would be an overbuilt revolver in .22, .357 or .500 S&W. Instead, the Katrina Pistol is a hard working gun with features specifically chosen to make it effective and manageable. The Katrina Pistol needs no instruction book, fires when the trigger is pulled, lights up the night, paints the target, floats a red dot on the point of impact, and launches jacketed lead downrange with extreme prejudice.
When developing this pistol, it was not hard to outline the general features. Choosing a Glock for the platform was an easy choice. Perhaps, it was the only choice. No other pistol has the same reliability and lack of external safeties as the Glock. The cartridge, a 9mm, was another easy choice. The ubiquity and global popularity of the parabellum round minimizes the likelihood that this bullet will ever be in short supply.
Read Also: Glock 42 Review
The two Glocks most likely to claim my Katrina Pistol title are the Glock 17 and Glock 19. Both are 9mm, have rails, and double-stack magazines. Since the G17 and G19 are available in MOS, or Glock’s Modular Optics System, it was a no-brainer to move in that direction. To be clear, the capabilities of an optics-ready pistol are a game-changer. In the same vein as the Aimpoint on the the Katrina Rifle, a red dot on the target can make all the difference in the world for the shooter.
The rail is necessary for a weapons-mounted light. If possible, so are attached lights and lasers. Running a weapon-mounted light is essential for one-handed operation and positive target ID. If two hands are needed to operate both a light and a pistol, then you are out of hands when it comes to climbing, carrying, and breaching. Without a weapons mounted light, there is a very real chance of needing to put the gun down in order to light the way. That’s just not in my plan.
Follow The Laser Brick Road
Adding a laser is an excellent sighting solution that does not require alignment of front and rear markers, or a red dot superimposed on the target. Lasers can mark the aimpoint right on the target so there is no need for the gun to be aligned with a dominant eye. A laser-aimed Katrina Pistol can be fired from the hip, around corners, and off balance.
Further Reading: Bug Out Long Term (B.O.L.T) Pistol
Green lasers are physiologically more advantageous than their red counterparts. The human eye is much more sensitive to short wavelength green than long wavelength red. There is an issue with green light than can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Particles in the air will reflect (or Rayleigh Scatter) the shorter wavelength green light more than red light. This bit of physics is the reason a green laser visibly shoots a line through the air, and even into outer space if you point your gun skyward. The danger is that a bad guy can trace back the green line to its source. This can be to your advantage if you work it right.
Back on Task
The Katrina Rifle article followed two lists: things I did and things I avoided. The semi-auto handgun, like the semi-auto rifle, is a mainstay of any modern planning. Glock is an obvious choice for handgun load-outs. Here are seven features I chose for the Katrina Pistol
1. Caliber: The cartridge of choice is the 9mm. No questions asked. The parabellum round is likely the most common defensive round in the global arsenal. It’s a battle-proven round with plenty of bullet options. Other considerations include the .45, the .40, the .22 Long Rifle, and the .380. But those other calibers, while effective, each carry their own inherent disadvantages. So to simplify the start of this project, 9mm it is.
2. Weapon Mounted Light: There are small lights available today that fit small pistols, produce small lighting areas, and have short lives from their small batteries. For my Katrina Pistol, I want a huge, mountable light output. The perfect choice is one that blasts out hundreds of photons across a wide area for a long time. CR123 batteries are fine since they are powerful and have a 10 year shelf life. Moreover, they work in freezing temperatures.
For this build I went with the Streamlight TLR-2G. It’s a rail-mounted 300 lumens light with integrated green laser. Three hundred lumens is bright enough to travel fast and ID targets, but not so bright to impede your own vision. Just be careful not to Barney Fife a hallway mirror and blind yourself. I played with smaller light/laser options like the TLR-4, as well as slimline brighter lights including the Surefire X300-Ultra. In both cases, I felt the green laser was necessary for a pistol to be Katrina-worthy. If needed, the laser can be turned off or run separately from the light.
3. Green Laser: The concept behind a laser is simple, but the execution of using one is a little more complex. Painting a target with a laser mounted on your handgun expedites ballistic performance. Where a laser really comes into play is when using the pistol away from your face. While red dot sights negate all discussion of sight radius, lasers negate the need to have your eyeballs behind the gun. A further benefit is that he laser can be used for one point-of-impact distance and another sighting option can be for a different, likely much greater distance.
4. Red Dot Sight: As anyone who uses a red dot on their AR 15 knows, it simplifies the aiming process to epic proportions. One eye, two eyes, blurry eyes, daylight, darkness, through a gas mask, offhand, weaver stance, flat on your black, strong hand, weak hand, both hands, it doesn’t matter. The bullet hits the dot.
For this Katrina pistol build I am going with toughest sight I know of, the Trijicon RMR. The RMR is a battery operated reflex red dot sight that is small, lightweight and one of the top choices for the Glock MOS system. Running for years on a single 2032 battery, the RMR, Ruggedized Miniature Reflex, is an adjustable-brightness red dot optic available in several MOA dot sizes. Furthermore, the red dot system is housed in an incredibly tough aluminium housing with specially engineered corners to distribute force.
5. Co-Witnessing Iron Sights: Co-Witnessing is often overrated. Mostly it is used to guarantee that the backup sights or iron sights will work fine with the optic in place. In other words, a single sighting plane must contain both both the red dot, post, and valley of irons. For this Katrina Pistol, I selected the all-black Ameriglo Tall Flat Black Sights. Besides being on the inexpensive side, the Ameriglos are a fast and simple replacement for the factory glock hard sights. Rising above the fray, they are, unlike standard sights, easily visible through the Trijicon RMR. Alas, the Glock MOS for RMR does not entertain such indecision.
6. High Capacity Magazines: Sometimes called “Happy Sticks”, the Glock-branded 33 round magazines are worth every cent. While it’s true that some other guns will run oversized mags, few do so with the reliability, durability and capacity of the Glock’s. But that is not surprising. In reality, the Glock 19 will happily accept any magazine sized for the Glock 17,19, 34 and larger. In fact, the only double stack 9mm Glock mag the 19 won’t eat is the 10 rounders for the Glock 26. This particular Katrina Pistol will be running mags with 15, 17, and 33 round capacities.
7. T-Reign Lanyard: Ripping a page from military history, this Katrina Pistol has a lanyard option in the form of a T-Reign retractable lanyard. Using the factory-installed hole at the base of the Glock’s grip, the retractable lanyard is easily attached and detached using a Nite-ize clip. It has the retention necessary to keep the pistol tethered under reasonable conditions. Moreover, it does not impede aiming the weapon. If this feature becomes unwanted, it can be detached with little effort.
Related: Prepper Pocket Pistols
There are many reasons to include a pistol lanyard. A Katrina-level event will provide plenty of opportunities to lose one’s grip on a pistol. Having a gun just a yard away is always a good thing. Furthermore, the lanyard will not interfere with holstering.
Taking it Home
The next step is to assemble the components and take them from theory to practice. I can’t initiate a Katrina-Level event to test the gun. This doesn’t mean I can’t test the Katrina Handgun in other ways. Keep an eye out for Part 2 to see how well the Katrina Pistol works.
READ Katrina Pistol Part II (Click Here)
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