Monday, May 14, 2018

Review: Taurus PT-22 Poly - Tips, Tricks, and Traps

The Taurus PT-22 Poly

I like mouse guns. Thanks to North American Arms, Beretta, Kel-Tec, and companies such as Taurus, you can find some really enjoyable pocket pistols.

(Unfortunately, I won't be buying a Ruger LCP-anything at any time in the future due to Blackrock's interventionist shareholder activism in 2018.)

This page contains a few observations regarding my new PT-22.

The PT-22 is cheap pistol. If you go by some folks' complaints you may think buying an inexpensive pistol like this is a crap shoot. Perhaps so. However, on the other hand, there are a number of high-end expensive stinkers manufactured nowadays as well. Here's a short list of manufacturers with recent recalls:

Smith & Wessson

and of course, Taurus.

But frankly I'd say you're more than likely to get a great PT-22 in perfect working order. However, there are some things about this pistol that may require initial attention. I'll try to document them here.

By the way, you can look up your weapon via its serial number on the Taurus web site:

serial number search

(Interestingly I received a "No matches for your serial number were found." - so the database is horked.)

The PT-22 Poly

Like many semiautomatic pistols nowadays, the PT-22 Poly has a polymer frame. I won't do a laundry list of specs, but my pistol, with the blued barrel and slide, came with one newer-designed magazine with a capacity of 8 rounds, a 2.8" barrel, and a weight of 11 ounces.

Shown here with the new magazine, and two old-style magazines:

I immediately ordered two magazines directly from Taurus since the PT-22 only came with one. The only ones available were the old style (show on the right below). Taurus delivered them to me in less than 24 hours from across the state!:

But getting the old magazines was a good thing! If you look at the new vs old bottom plate, you'll see that the old style allows you to remove the extension to convert the mag to a flat plate (simply use a toothpick to press in through the hole, slip off the extension, then use a screwdriver to unscrew the extension from the bottom flat plate- you cannot do that with the new magazines!

Just be aware that if you slip off the bottom extension on an older-style magazine that getting the extension back on can be a bitch.

Hint: Relieve the spring tension using a pick or screw driver to make things a bit easier and carefully line up the slot/channels to slide the extension back on.

First-time Cleaning

Always clean your weapons before taking them to the range for the first time. I wiped down the weapon with an oily (CLP'd) rag, along with the exterior of the magazine. Next, I carefully examined the weapon.

On my PT-22 I had to chip off some residual polymer left over from the milling/prep process. Here's where to look:

You see the two front curved portions of the receiver? Both sides each had a little piece of polymer sticking up. Here's one piece:
The piece was about the size of grain of sushi rice. Although I'm sure the gun would have merrily squished and torn up the polymer during battery, I thought it best to carefully trim off each piece.

I also looked at the feed ramp and saw some machining striations running horizontally. To smooth out the ramp to help feeding, I took some 2000-grit wet-or-dry, rolled a piece up to match the ramp, then *carefully* smoothed out the ramp using *vertical* strokes (in the same direction a round would take). There was some striation in the chamber but I didn't mess with it. Afterwards, I took some Simichrome and polished the ramp and slightly polished the bottom lip of the chamber.

The Taurus Security System

Thanks to numbskull politicians, liberal retards, parents with Darwin-award progeny, and bottom-feeding lawyers, this pistol is equipped with an ILS (internal locking system). This means that you can lock the pistol to a non-functioning state with a little key that you could lose and that renders the pistol useless if needed. Many folks throw away such keys and the stupid Clinton locks included with pistols.

Hint: Be warned that not only is the PT-22's ILS useless, it can also destroy your pistol. Here's the warning from the manual:

Never engage the Taurus Security System on your Taurus Pistol with the slide in the open (rearward) position or with the barrel tipped up/open. This will result in permanent damage to your firearm.

What kind of stupid shit is that?

Range Time and Finding Ammo

My first task was to find suitable ammo. 'Quiet' ammo (790fps) isn't going to work. Nor will CCI standard-performance (1070fps). In my opinion, you are going to need some ammo with a minimum punch of at least 1260fps. However, you should know there is nothing in the pistol's manual nor any information regarding appropriate ammo for this pistol on the Taurus web site.

Some folks on the web published recommendations that supposedly came from Taurus, but I've been unable to find anything at the mothership. The lists of supposed 'good ammo' includes:

American Eagle HP (1280fps)
CCI Blazer (1255fps)
CCI Mini-Mag HP (1260fps)
CCI Mini-Mag Solid (1255fps)
CCI Velocitor HP (1435fps) <-- YOWZA!!!
Federal Bulk HP (1260fps)
PMC Match Solid (1050fps) <--- nope, don't think it will work
PMC Zapper HP (1280fps)
Remington Yellow Jacket HP (1500fps) <-- YOWZA!
Remington Hi-Speed Solid (discontinued?)
Winchester DynaPoint HP (1250fps)
Wolf Match Solid (1050fps) <-- nope, don't think it will work

Some of these are common, while others are not or are expensive or are no longer made.

I mostly shoot rimfire (and .32 ACP or .32 S&W), so I had several brands and types on hand to try at the range. Here is what I experienced:

I have had three failures extract and five failures to fire (that went bang on the second pull).

The best-performing was Fiocchi's CPRN .22LR and CCI Velocitors. I attribute the failures to fire to crappy ammo. I was disappointed in CCI's 'Swamp People' rounds - stupid product. The Federal failure (FTF(BAD)) to extract was due to a dud round (Federal makes some really crappy bulk ammo - I got burned on this ammo by Cabela's, which censored a bad review, and by Vista Ammunition who basically blew me off when I called to file a claim.)

The Aguila failure to extract was due to bulged cases that stuck in the chamber (happens with that ammo once in a while on my other .22s as well). The Stinger FTE was on the last round - a horizontal stovepipe.

Fiocchi and the CCI Velocitor was the clear winner in the reliability department. However, the surprise was which ammo seemed more accurate.


Update: I have ordered a precision digital scale and a .22 rim gauge to hopefully sort my ammo before hitting the range. This *should* reduce problematic rounds and increase accuracy. I'll update with another post on my results. In the meantime, I'll have to live with Federal crapshoot rimfire until I expend the remaining 1,000+ rounds left from the bad lot - I'll *never* buy Federal bulk ammo again!

I ended up shooting 50 more rounds each of the Fiocchi (with no incident) and 50 rounds of the Aguila (with no incident). All in all, about 160 rounds for the session. I'll update the above chart as I find more ammo for testing.


Here is the target from Armscor (Filipino-made):
Not too shabby. The Armscor .22LR is pretty cheap. I like it in my Phoenix Arms HP22As. The PT-22 trigger is double-action only. Not bad, with about a 6-pound pull. I had no trouble pumping out rounds and after more than 150 rounds my trigger finger wasn't sore. The PT-22 is not a range gun, but plently accurate for me.

Here is the Federal target:
 Pretty sucky. Not only does Federal make shitty .22LR, the crap isn't accurate. I've had under-charges, over-charges, duds, and a squib round that lodged in my Smith 317's barrel.

Here's Fiocchi's target:
That's some paper shredding! I was shooting holes for at least one magazine.

Here's CCI's 'Swamp People' target:
Meh. All over the place, but some hits on the bull.

Now here's the Aguila target:
Bazinga! Now *that's* what I'm talking 'bout! Note however that there is some keyholing (similar to Fiocchi). But this stuff shoots straight - the only bad thing is possible case swelling that can cause FTEs. I may explore some other Aguila (there is a nickel-case version of its high-velocity "Prime" stuff that looks interesting, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere as yet.

Here is the CCI Stinger target:
Note that like the Aguila HV, there are some key holes. This ammo packs a punch though!

Now here's the target from the CCI Velocitors:
Yep, it looks like the Velocitors, like the Fiocchi, are a winner! Nice recoil with good accuracy. I have several boxes of the Stingers and Velocitors, so I'm gonna keep some for carry purposes and shoot up the rest.

Clean Up

Don't be foolish. Always clean your weapons thoroughly after shooting. Don't let them sit around with primer or powder residue. I came home, then wiped down all the magazines (don't oil them - just wipe them down really good - oil attracts pocket lint, dirt, etc.)

I popped the tip-up barrel, then gave it a good scrubbing. Long rifle .22 is dirty - some more than others (Fiocchi is pretty damn clean-shooting, in my opinion).

Tip: To easily take off the slide, tip up the barrel, then lightly depress the trigger while moving the slide back then forward to lift off - it should be a silent, smooth process. Reverse the procedure when done. You'll save wear-and-tear on the receiver and slide channels.

Walking Trigger Pin?

One thing I noticed was that it looked like the trigger pin had walked out to the left about a millimeter. I don't think it came from the factory this way, but i could be wrong. Setting it back to the proper position required several light taps with a punch, so perhaps this was not the result of my PT-22's range session. But it is something I'm going to be mindful of and pay attention to in the future:

By the way, this is the 'normal' position of the pin (after a few punch taps), and in the picture above the pin is flush with the frame on the other side.

So there you have it. I'm pleased with my PT-22, and I'm sure it will only get better with some more range time - perhaps lightening up on the trigger pull. Oh, and I had no trouble whatsoever racking the slide, but then again I also have a Browning Hi Power and don't have trouble racking that pistol either.

As more issues, ideas, or tips crop up I'll document them on this page.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Beretta 3032 Tomcat 32 Auto INOX

Beretta 3032 Tomcat INOX

You never know what you're going to find in your LGS. Stopped by one local shop, Cracker Boys, today to restock .32 S&W for my pre-1909 S&W Safety Hammerless. I started chatting with the gal there and mentioned that I really like .32 pistols but never can seem to find them.

She says, "Oh. We have one new in the box on the shelf that was ordered by a customer a while ago but never picked up. Would you like to see it?"


So she goes into the closet off the shop and returns with a blue box:

The owner of the shop then said, "It's for sale."


Turns out to be:
Just the pistol I've been looking for! A made-in-the-USA Beretta 3032 Tomcat 32 Auto INOX. This pistol has a stainless slide, aluminum frame and comes with only one magazine. As you can see, I've already swapped the flat plate for a Pearce Grip extension. Beretta currently has bulk-packaged magazines for $20, which I think is reasonable, so I've ordered two, along with $35 checkered wood grips.

While waiting for the mail order, I decided to go to the range and check out the pistol. I set up the target for 5 yards, then let loose a box of 50 rounds. Here is the target from a second session of 10 rounds:
Believe it or not, the splotch of green at 8 o'clock represents three rounds! Recoil of this pistol is remarkable light, just a tad more than the wonderful Kel-Tec P-32. There were no hiccups out of the first box of 50 rounds, and I expect the action and trigger to smooth out a bit more as we go along.

I played with various types of battery, using the safety, using the tip-up to load, racking the slide. The slide was easier to rack than the NAA Guardian .32 ACP.

Takedown is a breeze, and I was able to quickly wipe off residue, swab the barrel and do a general clean up at the range bench. Quite remarkable.

I think we have a winner here.

Dating Your  Beretta

Beretta USA is kind enough to provide an on-line database of serial numbers for its pistols (and IIRC, other weapons):

Info for my Tomcat reveals:

Serial Number: DAA554XXX
Model: J320500
Product Description: 3032 TOMCAT 32 AUTO INOX
Approximate Manufacture Date: 2018
Parts Listing: Parts
Owners Manual: Manual
Product Brochure or Literature: Brochure
Barrel: Not Available

You'll find a link to parts (resolves to Brownells), the pistol manual (an old one featuring a blued Tomcat), and 'Brochure' (actually only a link to a product page, not a document). Also note that the manufacture date is 2018, so all the so-called 'experts' who have been saying this pistol has been discontinued are *wrong*.

Drifting the Rear Sight

Note that the rounds were hitting left of target. This indicates to me, and for my stance, grip. and eyesight, that the rear sight needed to have a slight drift to the right. I took a pencil and scribed a line on the right side of the rear sight, then taped two layers of electrical tape on the left side of the sight. With some light judicious rounds of tapping using a brass punch and hammer, I was able to easily see the sight move to the right without scratching or damage. The pencil line should be just enough to have the rounds start hitting point of aim. 

And, as I thought, this worked for me. Took the Tomcat to the range this morning and ran some vintage Winchester flat-nose jacketed rounds and Korean-made PMC full-metal jacket rounds. The little cat now shoots point of aim for me!
By the way - take a look at the green ammo box. This is an MTM 50 Round Flip-Top Ammo Box 25/32 (Green) from the 'zon. Currently at $1.69 per box, this is the only .32ACP storage box on the market. Unfortunately, the recessed square holes are too deep for either .25ACP or .32ACP. The solution for me was to cut up felt furniture pads into little squares, then to push each square into every recess - works perfectly!

Getting a Grip

After a few days, Beretta sent two additional magazines and a set of wood grips. I thought the cost, at $20 each for the magazines and $35 for the grips was reasonable. There appear to be numerous horror stories about grip replacement involving safety removal and a flying spring and piston.  So it was with some trepidation that I approached the task, taking the precaution to attempt the left grip removal while the pistol was inside a large bag (actually the packing bag for a Beretta shirt that I had also ordered at the same time.

After removing the slide, I put the hammer back into double-action position (up) and put the safety on. Next, I removed the right side grip first, then the screws from the left side. Then I attempted to pry off the grip.

I needn't have worried. The secret apparently is to first push from the back of the grip from the other side of the pistol, then pry up from the *bottom* of the grip to get it over the magazine release button. The grip came off with the safety intact and on the gun. A lot easier than I anticipated.

As a bonus, a few spare North American Arms pinky extensions for the Guardian pistols also fit the Beretta Tomcat's magazines:

So now my Tomcat sports new grips and two extra magazines. I'm going to enjoy this pistol.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Smith and Wesson .32 S&W Safety Hammerless - pre-1909

My father-in-law gifted me his father's Smith and Wesson Safety Hammerless. This double-action revolver was made from 1887 to 1940, and features an internal hammer and a Daniel B. Wesson-designed external grip safety on the backstrap. My revolver is chambered in .32 S&W. The first .32 S&W model was introduced in 1888. The revolvers were discontinued prior to World War 2,

The serial number on the revolver traces to pre-1909 manufacturer, but this is not the first, but is the second version of this revolver. The first version, also known as the New Departure or the Lemon Squeezer, used a black powder cartridge. Minor changes to five different models were made over the years, but I believe this is an example of the second version due to the pinned front sight. 

After a thorough cleaning before heading out, I put 50 rounds of Magtech's S&W .32 through the revolver at the local indoor range - the first time it had been fired in more than 100 years. It initially shot a bit high and to the left, but I got my point of aim easily.

I'm pretty happy with the results at 5 yards:

Cleaning the revolver is very easy. The secret is the take off the cylinder. You do this by opening the revolver, letting the extractor snap back in, then holding the latch back and spinning the cylinder up and off. You can then clean up with straightforward strokes of a brush or swab.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Kel-Tec P-32 vs North American Arms Guardian 32ACP

Comparison and Range Report - P-32 vs  Guardian .32 ACP

I'm a lucky dog. I have access to an indoor range open 365 days a year about two minutes from the casa. Down here in the near Tropics it's important to have comfortable and convenient concealed carry.

But this means I've had to do a bit of purchase, testing and evaluation of different revolvers and pistols. For my needs, pocket carry is the way to go - I don't like something attached to my hip or any bulk on the body. I also don't need a pistol that is going to drag my shorts over my butt and down to my ankles.

I like the NAA Sidewinder - it's a great revolver, and in my opinion, perfectly satisfactory when chambered in .22 mag. But I recently caught the mouse gun bug, and just acquired a North American Arms Guardian .32 ACP, along with a Kel-Tec P-32. The .32 ACP in FMJ has a bit more punch, and center fire cartridges have a somewhat more reliable reputation in properly functioning firearms.

The P-32 and Guardian are, to the best of my knowledge, the only currently manufactured and marketed .32 ACP pistols (update: Colt's Model 1903 "General Officer's Pistol" is now offered by U.S. Armament  update2: just scored a made-in-the-USA Beretta Inox 2032 Tomcat today (5/4/18)) - I missed out on buying a new-in-the-box Beretta or Sig Sauer, so these are the pistols I purchased. Here are some of my observations and experiences after running 150 rounds of Fiocchi .32ACP FMJ (redbox) through each of these guns.

The Guardian

Manufactured using a magnetic stainless, the Guardian is a hefty little chunk monkey. The slide does not lock back. It weighs in over 3/4 of a pound with a flat-plate mag and no ammo:

The Guardian in .32ACP is slightly smaller than the P-32:
The main difference is in barrel/slide length:
The Guardian comes in a locking metal box. A signed envelope contains a spent cartridge from the factory. I do not know how many rounds are tested though the pistol before the pistol is put on the
The sights are pretty small. No, let's make that tiny small. So I daubed the front sight with Testors Fluorescent Yellow (1177TT). I also found Fluorescent Orange (1173TT) - both 1/4 oz bottles for $1.79 each at a local craft store:
 At the range I experienced three last-round stove pipes - this is a 'feature' of the design and to be expected. I would prefer that either happen all the time or not at all, but that's not the case with this pistol. I also had a failure-to-extract, where the extractor would not let go of the spent shell. I had to remove the mag, then punch the casing down through the mag well.

The Guardian and the P-32 are double-action only. The Guardian has a hefty trigger pull, similar to a Smith rimfire revolver, although not as smooth. I also ended up with a small blister on the underside of my trigger finger. This is not a range pistol for target shooting - but you do need to practice to get familiar with your gun!

Accuracy was good. In other words, I was able to hit the point of aim with no need for 'Kentucky windage.' Here is a point-shooting target from 10 feet, with the gun held at the mid-section:
 The last 10 rounds of the 150 rounds at 10 fteet:

Next up is the P-32.

The Kel-Tec P-32

The P-32 is a lightweight pistol. Like the Guardian, it can take 6+1 rounds and does not have a safety (the Guardian has an optional ILS available). The P-32 comes in a large plastic gun box with foam (much like the metal box for the Guardian). You also get a trigger lock (useless if you don't have kids, but a good idea for storing your pistol if there are underage family or visitors).

First off, the P-32 has a locking slide feature and last-round hold open, which some folks consider essential - i don't, but that's OK... It's a nice feature:

The P-32 registers at a half pound on the scale with an unloaded flat-plate mag:
The P-32 also has, like the Guardian, a small front sight. So a daub of Testors helped me a lot:

The P-32 was fairly accurate in point-shooting at 10 feet:
 In fact, the P-32 was so accurate for my needs that the last 10 rounds of the 150 rounds were shot at 15 feet instead of 10 for the Guardian:

 I experienced no failures with the P-32. The trigger pull seemed a little bit lighter (i don't have a trigger scale), but this time I did the smart thing and brought a band-aid to protect my finger. After two boxes, there was a very slight amount of abrasion further up the side of my trigger finger - but not enough to blister like I experienced when shooting the Guardian.

And just in time for hot weather: a Nickel Boron-treated P-32:

 Interestingly, while Kel-Tec's NiB finish on the slide and barrel are great and will be quite welcome during the hot and humid summers down here in the near Tropics, a much superior finish and product is available through another Florida vendor:

This is a pricey upgrade, but well worth it in my opinion. This particular P-32, beside benefiting from a very nice, slick NiB finish to its slide and barrel, now also sports a hard-chrome extractor assembly, stainless clip, hex screw pins instead of nylon, and not shown, a hard-chrome assembly/take-down pin (on the other side).

Trigger Upgrade

Another thing you can do to upgrade your P-32 is to add an RTK Sweet Spot trigger. Keep in mind that this is a one-way trip for your P-32's original trigger: You'll need to snip out the trigger to access its pin, then pull the pin *down* in order to remove the carcass, trigger spring and trigger pivot. The RTK trigger, on the other hand, is easy to install, and its holding pin drops *down* from the top of the trigger - no force required! A very nice way to go - I wish Kel-Tec would buy the rights or contract for this trigger arrangement:

And here's my Fail Zero-enhanced P-32 with its RTK trigger (in gray, *not* milled). Pictured are all the tools I used: a brass/poly hammer, roll-pin punch (because I have screw pins on this P-32), blue loctite, nippers to cut away the original plastic trigger, a hook tool for hammer spring removal/assembly, small gunsmith block, hex key (small) for screw pins, hex key for trigger adjustment, and finally, a set of snap caps - handy for testing:

And another view:

I had purchased the stainless Guardian for its rust-resistance, but now I can confidently carry my new P-32 through this summer season with some confidence! And out of the box, these pistols are deadly at 15 ft. (i keep getting folks coming over to my lane to see what i'm shooting when i use a P-32, which kinda says something?):


The P-32 is a winner in my book.

Especially in light of the fact that at the 175-round mark, the Guardian threw its entire extractor assembly into the ether at the range. That's right - the extractor, extractor plunger, and plunger spring were GONE!

I'd love to know how the extractor assembly is press fit into the slide - it would interesting to see a video on a repair. I'm going to guess that my experience is a rare one?

update: thanks to a fellow NAA forum member, ADP3, here's the info on the extractor:
the Guardian extractor is not press fit.  There is a notch at the rear of the extractor that a spring loaded plunger engages and holds in the slide.  Walther was using this method in 1929 when they introduced the PP.  It's quite common and usually works quite well.   I've never seen an extractor disengage from the slide like you experienced.  If NAA fixed yours it's not likely to happen again.
For a video on a similar extractor, search for 'PP slide service' - apparently this type of assembly was common in the late 1920s with Walther semiautos!

Here's the assembly, but without any detail:
See the circled area? Yep, that's right - the extractor assembly is NOT pinned!

On the other hand, Kel-Tec's P-32 Gen 2 extractor design is brilliant, IMHO, and reduces slide strip down, firing pin and spring assembly, and extractor assembly down to a single #10 Torx Plus screw, eliminating a traditional coiled extractor spring, pinned extractor assembly, and firing pin retention plate/screw or pin. The end of the Torx screw fits into a machined valley on the firing pin, retaining it; when servicing your P-32s.

This make the task of deep-cleaning your P-32's slide, firing pin and extractor very easy.

On the other hand, it's nearly impossible on the Guardian without the proper tooling and experience (I've seen no published instructions or videos on servicing the Guardian, unlike the plethora of information available about the P-32).

As far as the missing extractor assembly: NAA has *excellent* customer service, as I was initially able to talk with a very nice woman on the phone who conferred with an NAA gunsmith, and then immediately send a FedEx overnight label for free shipping back for repair. The Guardian returned home after less than two weeks after being sent off for repair. I received a FedEx signature-required package:

Interestingly, NAA used the same box i shipped the pistol for the return box (it's a good box):
Inside was a sheet of paper, my original wrapping material, and of course, the pistol in a brown envelope with my name on it:
Here's what was replaced. I was surprised by the replacement of the hammer spring and hammer spring follower (32006/32007, but part #18 and #19 in the above diagram):
There was no charge for shipping both ways or the repair. Oh, and besides the polish to the ramp and chamber crown, NAA was good enough to repair a nick I put into the top of the barrel right after I bought the pistol - that's nice! I'm hoping that this will be the last time i'll need to send the pistol back.

The problematic area was assembly of the extractor plunger, seen here in shadow next to the extractor:

And as I now understand it the plunger, held under spring pressure, is held by a notch on the extractor. I'm happy to report that a 100-round range session showed the pistol to operate normally. There were no failures to feed, no failures to eject, and only a few last-round stove pipes. In fact, if anything, the pistol now shoots even more accurately! I also found the trigger a bit smoother and easier to pull:
Thank you, NAA! You've made me a happy camper! BTW, I highly recommend using the extended magazines if you're going to pump rounds out at the range. It makes the session a lot easier and provides a better grip in sweaty hands.

Accuracy with the Guardian isn't too bad, as you can see at 15 ft using Fiocchi FMJ. But with certain magazines, such as the pinky extension, i'm getting FTF due to magazine drops. This is disappointing, but can be alleviated thru a different grip or mag:

Some Additions

By the way, some small modifications can help increase handling comfort with these pistols For example, a modified Pearce mag extension on the P-32, and a shortened small Hogue rubber grip on the Guardian make both easier to hold:
Oh, I also found an extended mag kit for the Guardian at the Cheaper-Than-Jesus sporting goods web site. I though, "Great! I'll order two for the extra two mags for my Guardian!" The kits were $25 each. So guess what?
Yep, each 'kit' came with *two* extended mag springs, extensions, etc. Oh well, I guess I'll have spares!

Update: I've sold my NAA Guardian .32ACP due to a lucky find of a Beretta 3032 INOX Tomcat. I don't think I'll miss this pistol, but I wish the future owner good luck - and the great thing is that like Taurus, NAA has a lifetime warranty regardless of owner.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Recrowning a NAA Mini

Recrowning my NAA Mini

I have enjoyed shooting my NAA mini mag and Sidewinder. However, the mini mag has consistently shot low and to sometimes to the left off the POA (point of aim):

So I took a closer look at the crown of the muzzle:
As you can see, there is little in the way of factory polish or refinishing (although I didn't take a pic of my Sidewinder's muzzle, it has a bit better polish). 

So, taking the advice of other Internet cheapskate gun owners, I popped down to the local Homeless Despot to purchase the highly expensive recrowning toolkit in the hardware section, which contains 6 #8 -32 x 1 in machine screws in brass:
I already had a small kit of Porter Cable's cleaning and polishing compound:
 Next, I chucked the recrowning bit into my variable-speed electric drill, heavily applied some #1 compound, then while holding my mini, let the weight of the drill press against the muzzle while the drill rotated the rounded head of the machine screw - all while moving the drill in a circular motion to evenly apply the compound. After a few applications, I moved onto #2 compound, then #3, then finished with #5:
The next day I headed to the range and shot the same ammo at the same distance using the same grip and support (my small range bag):

 As you can see, I pulled one flyer. The first five rounds were vertically in-line from below to the target. The next five were close in. I'm pretty pleased and hope to enjoy a tad better accuracy now when practicing!