Thursday, July 16, 2009


I've been spending a lot of time on the range lately with my favorite .357s. I won't go on about how I grew up counting down the time until I could own my first revolver or about the legendary stopping power of the round. I'll just show you my 3 favorites. If you can't tell by the pictures, I am a fan of nickel or stainless wheelguns, Hogue grips, Smith&Wesson, and the .357.

S&W 19-5

This is the newest addition to my safe. Once I saw the shiny nickel finish, I knew I had to own it. Yes, I know it's not the coveted pinned and recessed Model 19, but it's still my Combat Magnum (of sorts). It's deadly accurate for a snubby and handles as well as some L-frames I have.

S&W Model 65-5

Something about this gun always screams "I am a weapon only for the serious." The 65s were carried by many such men before the wondernine and polymer revolutions. It's a gun that I still carry on occasion. The finish has seen better days and it does require more frequent checks than some other guns in the safe, but that extra time is more than worth spending on a gun that handles as this one does.

S&W 640-3

I raved about this gun before, but I couldn't let this post go by without including it. It is the holy grail of deep-concealment and backup guns. Plus, it matches.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Taurus 431 update

I can't believe I forgot to blog about this... About 300 rounds into the break-in, my BAG day .44spl decided to develop some serious lockwork demons. As we speak, it's on its way back to the factory to be looked over and, most likely, rebuilt. I had read the horror stories about the Taurus wheelguns, but had no problems with any of the dozen or so that I owned until now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You know what makes my week?

Calling in to Gun Nuts Radio and getting my vent on.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Everything I've written about carry systems over the last couple of months looks like tripe. No matter how much training I might have taken, there are still scores of people better suited to this than I am. I will now resume my blogging and leave the instruction to the instructors.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Carry Systems-The defensive 1911 in .45acp

Before I start, there are metric tons of gun bloggers that carry 1911s and shoot them in competition. They're probably better versed in them than I am. Having said that, I've never let my ineptitude stop me from talking before, so why start now?

Stopping Power

Legendary and well-deserved. 230 grain FMJs or LRNs work wonders against heavily-clothed goblins. 185gr+p JHPs are nothing to scoff at, either.


Once you find a load and a magazine that your particular 1911 likes, you'll be fine as long as you keep the gun clean and well-lubed. I'd suggest that you number all of your magazines with a paint pen and take notes about any failures that you have during practice or training. Magazines will make or break your 1911. Don't be cheap, hopeful, lax in maintenance, or sentimental about them.

Ease and flexibility of use

They take a little more getting used to than, say, a Glock or a snubbie, but you'll usually be rewarded with a very accurate and hard-hitting defensive handgun. Reloads with them are a breeze with a little practice and a slightly beveled magwell. They tend to be less flexible than snubbies, however. Speaking of....

Size, weight, and concealibility

Full-size 1911s are long and heavy. They're thin enough to make them kind of comfortable when carying inside the waistband, but many small and thin-framed people will have a hard time concealing one. You'll also know for sure that you've been carrying all day if you've had a 1911 on your hip. For the most part, 1911s are best carried in traditional hip holsters, shoulder holsters, or a SmartCarry. My preferred rig is a Galco Summer Comfort IWB holster worn underneath a sweater, jacket, or open shirt.

Accuracy and trigger pull

I touched on this earlier, but a good 1911 is an amazingly accurate gun. Even the worst modern factory triggers are pretty good. Most loads are what I would describe as moderate in recoil, which will allow you to make better and faster follow-up shots.


The 1911 is one of the most easily and most often customized handgun platform in existence. Sights, grips, barrels, slides, hammers, safeties, guide rods, triggers... you name it, it can probably be changed to something that suits you.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Carry systems-The defensive revolver

Let me start by saying that I only carry two types of primary guns: DA revolvers and 1911s. Ever since I saw Yosemite Sam dual-wielding wheelguns on tv, I had a fascination with them. As such, the first handguns I bought were revolvers. I trained with them and shot them endlessly. The modern DA revolver is a marvel to me. Below, you'll find my thoughts on it as a carry gun.

Ammo Flexibility

All of my main carry revolvers have been chambered in either .38spl or .357. For training and pure marksmanship practice, an all-stainless .357 shooting some light .38s is a pleasant experience. For defensive work, the .357mag is a pretty potent cartridge. Unlike some semiautos, most revolvers will fire just about anything you can cram in the cylinder. With a snubbie like the S+W 640 that I love carrying, I rarely feel like I'm ill prepared to defend myself. In addition, having two calibers of ammo for my carry gun on the shelves these days does make me feel a little better given the current state of the ammo market.


J-frames conceal easily. Not just in a strong-side belt holster, either. I've carried S+W, Taurus, and Ruger wheelguns in belly bands, ankle holsters, a variety of pockets, and a SmartCarry. I've even carried K and L frame Smiths with very little trouble. I would suggest that hammerless DAO or bob-hammered DA revolvers without the target-style rear sights be used for carrying.


A well cared for and well made revolver should last you a lifetime and give you very few problems. I have the utmost faith in all of the wheelguns I carry. They aren't susceptible to limp wristing or failing to return to battery when jammed up against something and fired. I would like to add that, if you have a Smith or Taurus with one of those awful integral locks, you should seriously consider disabling it permanently. Yes, I know the chances of its failing are small, but so is the chance that you will have to engage multiple targets in a low-light environment. We're pretty much all prepared for that, right?

Ease and flexibility of use

We all know how simple the manual of arms is. What I'd also like to add is that they are pretty versatile. One gun can easily serve as your primary carry during the summer when concealing is difficult and as your backup in the winter. You can even change the grip size to suit your concealment needs.

Limited capacity and difficulty in reloading

It's pretty easy to empty a wheelgun the loud way. Learning to reload a revolver quickly is a chore. Don't expect to walk into your local firearms training center and find a class on snubbie techniques and tactics, either. You'll have to practice diligently and scour the internet for information. Then, you'll have to practice more.

Difficulty in mastering

It's really, really hard to shoot a DA revolver well. Even with a trigger job or a well-worn action, it will never be a trigger pull like that of a Glock or a 1911. The sight radius is also shorter and most of the sub $800 dollar snubbies I've seen lately have plain black fixed-blade front sights and frame-notch rear sights. While these are great for an unimpeded draw, they are less than ideal (unless you're a point-shooter). Paint those front sights orange and practice. A lot. There's an upside to being really proficient with one... you'll be a lot better with your other guns.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Carry systems, Intro

When I talk about a carry system, I'm talking about these things: firearm, backup firearm, ammo, holster, reload(s), belt, illumination, and blade. Individually, there are legal and practical limits to what one can use to fill each of these roles. However, a carry system, in my opinion should include all of the above. Over the next few days, I'll go over the parts of the system and give some points to ponder as well as talk about some of what I learned while training and carrying. Certain parts will apply only to men, but there should be something to ponder for everyone.