During the Civil War the South relied on arms imported from England. Among these was the Kerr revolver. This particular example is somewhat notorious because of who its owner was. Owned by none other than Jefferson Davis, he saw fit to give it away shortly before he was captured. Today it rests in the National Firearms Museum where hopefully its history and the history of that period will never be forgotten.
When choosing a gun to protect your life with one of the most important criteria after fit is reliability. I wish I could say just go with one of these brands of guns and you’ll be fine, but the truth is even manufacturers known for producing quality firearms can let a lemon through and sometimes they’ll go through a period where most of their guns are crap.
With that said you still are much better off going with a manufacturer known for quality work. Just before to check it out thoroughly before heading to the range. I once took delivery of a new firearm from a well known manufacturer and discovered the chamber hadn’t been properly finished. Attempting to fire the gun like that would have likely resulted in catastrophic disassembly.
So before choosing a defensive firearm spend some time reading up on people’s experiences. Keep in mind that some people aren’t happy with anything and others are satisfied with a turd sandwich. One of the best places to help you get an idea of what to expect is View From The Porch written by Tamara Keel. Tam will take a firearm and document 2,000 rounds down range with no cleaning. Including stoppages, the causes and parts breakages.
The best revolver in the world
You can argue the point, but if you’ve ever fired a 3″ K frame (I’m also a big fan you’d know what he speaks of.
Cross Draw Holsters
Travis Haley on the AK reload
Myth busting: Home Defense
Lightweight AR Build
Situation: Active Killer
What not to wear
Keeping stuff where it belongs
Are you handling your AR rifle wrong?
Recently Forgotten Weapons got the chance to get their hands on the unicorn of the firearms world. The exotic Walther WA-2000. This is a rifle a lot of people would love to own. Like Inara Serra in Firefly it is Exotic, Beautiful and Deadly. However after watching the videos shot by Forgotten Weapons I realized that in spite of it’s exotic beauty this 1980s era Police Sniper Rifle isn’t all that special.
What really drove this point home was when they pitted the WA-2000 against the SVD Dragunov. The two rifles in spite of their huge differences in design, intended mission and quality control ran a much closer comparison than I would have expected. I figured the $9000 (1980s MSRP) Walther would have walked away from a much cheaper to produce (actual cost not available) Dragunov.
Other than its bullpup design the WA-2000 offers nothing to anyone looking for a semi-automatic precision rifle that they couldn’t get for less cost, more accuracy and more flexibility from a system designed by Eugene Stoner. Yes, that does include a rifle that shoots .300 Winchester Magnum if you think you could use it. So even though the WA-2000 is definitely a seductive piece of machinery, there are in my opinion better options.
Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of articles about choosing a gun for concealed carry. These articles all contain a list of firearms that one should consider and some of those selections are inevitably ones an inexperienced shooter really has no business considering. It’s not that they’re (usually) recommending bad guns. They’re recommending guns that only very experienced shooters should be considering.
Case in point one I constantly see recommended is the Smith and Wesson Airweight J frame revolver. The light weight metal frame translates to heavier recoil. How much heavier? Well I personally can’t tell the difference in recoil between an Airweight J frame with FBI loads and a 3″ .44 Magnum revolver. In contract the Ruger LCR comes in at nearly the same weight but the polymer frame absorbs recoil making it more comfortable to fire. The lesson here; try before you buy, don’t just take the recommendation of the gun shop counter monkey. Some will be very knowledgeable, others won’t have a clue.
With weight being somewhat less of a factor to a gun’s shootability what other factors should one consider? One of the most important is fit. There’s a lot of advice on fit, but the best I’ve found is from gunsmith and instructor Grant Cunningham who says besides making sure you can reach the trigger (even if you have to adjust your grip slightly) you should also ensure your hand contacts the grip completely. This helps you control it better.
The next issue is one of sights. Good sights ensure accurate shot placement. With standard iron sights to general rule is the longer the sight radius the more accurate the gun can be shot. The downside is the longer the sight radius the longer the gun making comfortable concealment an issue. With optical sights becoming more common on handguns iron sight radius will cease to be as big of an issue. However there are issues with shorter barrels that we will discuss later that will still matter.
The Sweet Spot
In examining my own progression of carry guns I found that all the carry guns I really liked all fit into a similar size. This is the size I find I am able to easily conceal, shoot well and has the ammunition capacity/capability to handle any threats that may come my way. My most current pistol is a Glock 19. Previous “perfect” carry guns were a Colt CCO and a S&W 65 3″ Barrel. These may not be the size of guns you prefer to carry, but it is my opinion every one has that just right size. Once you find it, you’ll be able to narrow your choices more efficiently.
This is not the first time criminals have used this ruse to ransack a home. Unfortunately there is no easy solution to keep both citizen and officer safe other than to do away with no-knock warrants.
A way to keep your trauma gear together and the utility of the ResQMe seatbelt cutter.
Clint Smith on how to use your rifle
Shoot To Reset
The best explanation of this technique and why you should learn it I’ve heard from Dave Spaulding.
A good article on why you should learn the basics before you go hanging a buch of crap on your gun.
Mas Ayoob weighs in on a debate as pervasive as 9mm vs. .45 (9mm wins FYI…)
Tam does a lot of these tests, I was curious about how this particular one would turn out for a project I had in mind. By the way if you’re not reading her blog regularly you’re missing out.
Lessons from Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp.
No gym membership necessary
Another cousin of the 9mm vs .45 debate.
Looks like it might be a real good low profile light for a home defense gun. Hopefully I can get my hands on one to try out.
Wisconsin is another state that is finally realizing gun-free zones don’t offer safety and citizens should be able to protect themselves. Naturally this has a few of the usual snowflakes quite upset and they are planning to protest with sex toys. Such hysteria in the face of the exercise of a Constitutionally guaranteed right is not uncommon for some. I do however find the protest a bit ironic considering that 18th Century doctors used sex toys to treat hysteria in women.