Category Archives: Handguns

SKILLS: Consistency Is King

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Finding yourself right smack in the middle of harm’s way can give pause even to the hardest of the hard. However, chance favors the prepared. READ MORE

steve tarani

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Steve Tarani

Ask any real-world tier-one operator about preparation, and he will tell you that one of the most effective tactics in your personal defense arsenal is consistency.

Hailing from the operational world, none other than the granddaddy of soft skills — situational awareness — should remain paramount in your preparedness repertoire. Utilized more than any other soft skill, or hard skill for that matter, situational awareness is a staple to the seasoned operator.

SOFTWARE VS HARDWARE
Compare the last time you employed your situational awareness (SA) versus your firearm in a real-world scenario. The number of times you employ SA far outweighs the number of times you go to guns in a day, a month, a year, or a lifetime. Only by continual practice can you build that consistency over time. As useful as it is, the more you use it, the more comfortable you will be using it, and the less effort it takes to employ.

When it comes to hardware, you may want to consider which every day carry (EDC) tools best fit your personal profile. Best case scenario, your operational environment allows you handgun carry. If this is the case, then you would need a comfortable, quality holster, at least one spare magazine and a magazine pouch. The position on your body that this lifesaving equipment is carried should remain consistent.

In other words, don’t carry your blaster on your hip one day and then appendix the next day or change the position of your spare magazine(s). If you carry inside the waistband (IWB) appendix with a spare mag, then those same carry locations should remain consistent every time you strap them on.

DON’T BE LEFT IN THE DARK
Another important piece of gear, with or without a firearm, is a flashlight. It gets dark every single day. You could be in a building in the middle of the day and the power goes out, or you may need to go through a closet, attic, or basement with low or no ambient light.

Working on a protective services assignment, I was attached to a detail in charge of protecting a high-profile VIP at an equally high-profile televised event. Our team was directed to a holding area with several other protective teams, including the protectees.

Three protection teams, with their respective VIPs were moved to behind the filming stage in waiting for their entrance que. On the televised side of the stage it was brightly lit, but behind the stage curtain it was pitch black. Of all three teams, not one protective agent had a flashlight on them except for me. Flicking on my EDC hand-held flashlight I said, “Please watch your step, Sir,” as I directed our protectee up the backstage steps. The other teams flocked to my light like moths to a flame. Lesson learned: carry a flashlight and carry it in the same place every time so you can quickly access it without looking. Again, consistency reigns.

CARRY CONSISTENTLY
Carry your gun in the same position — as well as your knife, magazines, pen, glasses, flashlight, cell phone, first aid kit, and/or any medications — all in the same location on your limited personal real estate.

Extend this consistency practice to your personal training when you go to the range. Your eye and ear protection, sunscreen, cleaning kit, and the like, should always be in the same place so even at night, in complete darkness, you can find what you’re looking for without wasting any time.

Carrying the same gear in the same location every time ensures that you can get to it in complete darkness, in thick smoke, during a sandstorm (don’t think just the Middle East — there are places the likes of TX, NM, and AZ, where dust devils can impair your vision in broad daylight). The same applies to sleet, snow, and other natural or man-made causes of visual impairment. Consistency remains the “A” answer.

DEMAND RELIABILITY
Once you build consistency into your operational profile, like anything else, you can come to rely on it. What this can guarantee is, when you move your hand to that pocket, or that area on your body under duress and expect to find certain kit, there it will be waiting for you, accessible, available, when you need it — on demand.

When you train presenting your firearm, you practice clearing your cover garment(s), defeating any holster-retention devices and developing your draw stroke so that one day should you need it, that consistency will pay dividends on time invested. The same applies to reaching for that spare magazine, or pocket knife, or flashlight, all very useful EDC items. You purchased them because you need them — helpful tools for when the time comes. If you need one of them, there it is, right where you put it, ensuring accessibility and rapid deployment. You know you can rely on them, where they are, and that you can get to them in a timely manner. You are guaranteed this reliability, because you run your gear knowing that consistency is king.

To learn more about training conducted by Steve Tarani, go to Steve’s websites:

HandToGun.com

SteveTarani.com

About the author: Steve Tarani is a former CIA protective services subject matter expert who served on Donald Trump’s pre-election protection detail and is the lead instructor for the NRA’s new Non-ballistic Weapons Training program offered nationally to 2.3 million members. Tarani, an active protective agent, is a Central Intelligence Agency and FLETC-certified federal firearms instructor who also provides services for the US Naval Special Operations Command, FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), and others.

SKILLS: Carrying a Back-up Firearm

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Lessons learned in an infamous shootout say “yes” to carrying a back-up firearm. But why, which, and how? Here are thoughts from Jason Hanson. READ MORE

miami shootout

Jason Hanson

One of the most famous gunfights of the 20th century, occurred on April 11th, 1986 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. On this day, 14 FBI agents met in the morning at a local Home Depot to plan their search for a stolen vehicle that was believed to be driven by two suspects who had carried out multiple bank robberies.

Around 9:30 A.M., two agents spotted the suspect vehicle and began following it until more agents were able to join them. In total, eight FBI agents were on scene when the lead vehicle attempted to make a traffic stop, but instead, the suspect vehicle veered off the road hitting a tree.

Subsequently, the other agents surrounded the suspect vehicle in an attempt to arrest the two males behind the robberies.

The two suspects, identified as William Matix and Michael Platt, were armed with a shotgun, a Ruger Mini 14, as well as .357 revolvers. The FBI agents involved in the shootout were armed with shotguns, .357 revolvers, 9mm’s, and .38 Specials.

During the firefight, FBI agent Ed Mireles was severely wounded when his left arm was hit with a .223 round, rendering that arm useless. Mireles stayed in the fight and fired his 12-guage shotgun until it ran dry.

The two suspects were still moving and attempting to get away from Mireles after he emptied his shotgun so he drew his back-up weapon, a Smith & Wesson 686 revolver, and advanced on the suspects. Mirleles fired all six rounds from his revolver with five of the rounds striking the suspects, hitting each of them in the face, ending the five-minute gun battle.

Sadly, two FBI agents died in the firefight and all but one agent was wounded. Over 145 rounds were fired during the exchange and there’s no doubt that had it not been for the actions of agent Mireles more lives would have been lost.

The fact is, even though Mireles was injured he stayed in the gunfight and transitioned to his back-up weapon to ultimately end the threat. Now, most people probably expect law enforcement to carry back-up weapons, but have you ever considered carrying one as part of your EDC gear?

Here are some pros and cons for carrying a back-up firearm.

CONS
Uncomfortable.

If you are like me, you probably carry a gun, tactical pen, knife, flashlight, wallet, cell phone, and a keychain. My point is, your EDC gear can quickly add up so adding an extra firearm might be too much to comfortably carry for some folks.

I know a lot of people who like to carry their back up gun in an ankle holster. While this isn’t a bad idea, make sure you train and practice drawing from the ankle because if you do it wrong you could easily get hurt. Personally, when I carry a back-up gun (it depends on where I’m going) I carry it in my front pocket.

3 shots, 3 seconds, 3 yards.
Studies have shown that most gun fights involve an average of 3 shots being fired, lasting 3 seconds and occurring at a distance of about 3 yards. In other words, in a self-defense situation you hopefully won’t need multiple weapons to stop the threat.

Of course, as illustrated earlier, anything is possible. So, while you should be good to go by carrying a spare magazine only, you and I know that life is very unpredictable.

Practice.
When it comes to carrying a back-up gun, you need to spend as much time practicing with this gun as you do with your main weapon.

I know a lot of guys that carry a back-up on their ankle and they often train to draw the weapon while falling backwards on their butt, while engaging the threat. Be prepared to train with your back-up weapon and consider choosing a back-up that is similar to your regular carry so you are familiar with it.

back up gun

PROS
Options.
One of the biggest advantages to carrying a back-up weapon is that these days there are so many different back-up guns to choose from including the Ruger LCP and Sig Sauer P238. So, almost anyone can find a back-up gun that works for them.

Arm a family member.
Let’s say you are out to dinner with your spouse when you spot an active shooter. Well, if your spouse or other family member is trained in the use of firearms (and doesn’t often carry) you could simply give them your back-up gun to help you confront the shooter.

The bottom line is, it can never hurt to have extra firepower on you. This is especially true if you’re heading into place that it might come in handy such as dangerous areas of town or through a city that’s experiencing violent protests at the moment.

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, click HERE.

Magnum Research Introduces New 429 DE Pistol Cartridge

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Magnum Research, Inc, maker of the renowned Desert Eagle pistol, announces the launch of its new 429 DE pistol cartridge. This is one hot 44! READ MORE

429 de

SOURCE: Magnum Research press release

The 429 DE was designed to enhance the Desert Eagle platform. This new cartridge has a 25% velocity increase and 45% energy increase over a 44 Mag (240gr, 6-in. barrel). It has a velocity of 1600 FPS with 240 grain bullets and 1750 FPS with 210 grain bullets.

The 429 DE incorporates a 30-degree case shoulder and a long enough neck to properly hold and crimp a 240 grain bullet without recoil induced set back. Based on the now famous 50 AE cartridge, the 429 DE is made with Starline brass, and loaded by HSM in Montana with Sierra bullets.

“This new cartridge was engineered and designed specifically for the Desert Eagle Pistol, keeping in mind that the DEP is known world-wide for its awesome firepower and performance. The 429 DE propels that history into the future,” says Jim Tertin, Design and R&D for Magnum Research.

429 DE rounds are available in boxes of 20 and distributed by Magnum Research, Inc. Available options include 240 grain soft point and 210 grain hollow point.

To accompany the 429 DE cartridge, Magnum Research will soon be releasing a lineup of 429 DE 6-inch barrels in a variety of finishes. The 429 DE barrels will be compatible with any MK19 USA or Israel Desert Eagle Pistol with a wide .830-in. rail on top of the barrel and use a 50AE magazine and bolt. More soon…

Note: The 429 DE is similar to, but NOT INTERCHANGABLE WITH, the obsolete 440 COR BON, but properly engineered with a sharp 30-degree shoulder, consistent headspace, and reliable function and velocity.

magnum research logo

For more information about Kahr Firearms Group products click HERE 

REVIEW: Sig MCX Rattler

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Dr. Dabbs takes us to the range with SIG’s Sinister Stubby Snake. READ MORE

sig rattler

Will Dabbs MD

What do you get when you take some of the finest firearm engineers in the industry and ask them to design the smallest AR-based close-combat weapon imaginable? Stipulations include that the gun needs to be piston-driven for the ultimate in reliability and ruggedness, modular for maximized flexibility, and chambered in .300BLK so it will run a sound suppressor well. The culmination of that ballistic quest is the SIG MCX Rattler. This thing just drips cool.

sig rattler
The SIG MCX Rattler is as compact as Physics allows an AR-based firearm to be.

Pertinent Particulars
The SIG MCX is actually a broad family of weapons. Easily interchangeable barrels and forearms combined with SIG’s proprietary recoil system offer unprecedented versatility. The action contains the reciprocating bits within the confines of the receiver. This feature negates the need for a buffer tube and allows for a side-folding buttstock or collapsible pistol brace. The end result is positively Lilliputian.

The sliding Pistol Stabilizing Brace allows the MCX Rattler to transfer as a standard handgun without any NFA baggage. This PSB collapses into the receiver for storage or portage and extends when extra stability is needed. The PSB includes the obligatory rubber forearm interface and Velcro attachment.

sig rattler
The key to the Rattler’s success is a collapsible Pistol Stabilizing Brace. This PSB lets the gun transfer as a standard handgun.

The gas piston action is readily adjustable using either the tip of a cartridge or your fingers. This allows the action to be optimized for subsonic or supersonic ammo. The forearm has plenty of M-LOK slots. The magazine release is replicated on both sides of the gun, and there is plenty of rail space up top for optics.

sig rattler
The gas system on the MCX Rattler is readily adjustable with either a bullet tip or a standard set of fingers.

The pistol grip is a bit smaller than standard but still remains both functional and grippy. The entire gun weighs just a bit north of 5 pounds. The forearm and barrel assembly swap out readily. There have been rumors that a 5.56mm conversion is in the making, but to a certain degree this would defeat the purpose of the gun. What really makes the Rattler unique is its .300BLK chambering.
The .300BLK is essentially a .30-caliber bullet seated into a shorter 5.56mm casing. By adjusting powder charges and bullet weights the round may be configured for either subsonic or supersonic performance. When running subsonic ammo through a sound-suppressed MCX Rattler the rig is just stupid quiet.

sig rattler
Even with a superb SIG sound suppressor installed the MCX Rattler is not terribly bulky. The .300BLK chambering makes the suppressed gun surprisingly quiet.

sig rattler

SIG calls themselves the Complete Systems Provider, and this is not an overstatement. SIG makes optics, ammo, accessories, and apparel. Most anything you could conceivably want for your SIG rifle is available from the parent company. Their .30-caliber suppressor is sealed for durability and features welded construction along with the most evil-looking miniature steel spikes on the end. In a pinch the device would make a superb prod should your foe end up both unarmed and recalcitrant. SIG’s electronic sights will hold their own with the best in the business. These sights are nicely matched to the personality and comportment of the host weapons.

Trigger Time
The SIG MCX Rattler seems heavier than it is given its diminutive dimensions. However, the gun is legitimately tiny and runs like any other M4-style rifle. The Rattler will feed from any standard M4 magazine or drum.

At close combat ranges the Rattler is eminently controllable. The gun will collapse down into something that could conceivably fit into the center console of a pickup truck. However, the Rattler can also be ready to go in moments. Nothing runs faster.

sig rattler
The magazine release is replicated on the left side of the receiver.

With the suppressor in place the SIG Rattler runs quickly and well indoors. In confined spaces you may still need earplugs, but it will indeed help preserve both your hearing and your situational awareness should you have to use the gun for real. With the can removed the Rattler will tuck into a briefcase.

Ruminations
If the 5.56mm forend/barrel assembly ever hits the streets, the resulting package would be too short to accept SIG’s 5.56mm suppressor. Really stubby 5.56mm barrels release so much chaos they will wreak great mischief upon most 5.56mm sound suppressors. A 5.5-inch barrel on a 5.56mm weapon would look cool but would in essence create a very expensive .22 rifle. The Rattler really is optimized for the .300BLK.

sig rattler and skorpion
You really don’t appreciate how tiny this gun is until you juxtapose it against something small for comparison. The SIG MCX Rattler is not all that much larger than a Czech vz61 Skorpion.

The SIG Rattler is a special purpose tool, and it is not cheap. There are rumors floating about that certain Tier 1 Special Missions Units have already bought a few specifically for executive protection missions. Given the exquisite design and unimpeachable level of quality imbued throughout this seems a reasonable choice. Reliable, versatile, and just nifty as can be, the SIG Rattler packs unprecedented levels of awesome into the tiniest of packages.

sig rattler
With the PSB extended the Rattler is an unusually effective close quarters tool.

rattler accuracyrattler specs

Click HERE for more!

Range Day Checklist: Advice From The Pros

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A good day at the range can turn into an awesome day at the range with a little preparation. Here are some great tips! KEEP READING

rob leatham

SOURCE: Team Springfield

Packing the essentials, plus a few extras, and having a plan will help you make the most of your time. Good preparation requires a solid organizational effort. But if you’re like us, you may find that your range bag can become cluttered and unorganized. Start each new season by cleaning out your bag. Take everything out and put back only what’s necessary — in an organized manner.

RANGE BAG
And if you don’t yet have a bag, find one that works for you and all of your equipment. There are a lot of options when it comes to range bags. We suggest getting one with several compartments to keep your range items organized. Some shooters prefer one large bag, many like the new backpack style, still others want multiple smaller bags — either way, you will need plenty of room.

Here are the basics that should always be in that bag:

Hearing Protection
Make sure you have ear protection. You may want to also throw in a spare set in case you misplace one, or a friend needs to borrow a pair. Basic ear plugs or earmuffs do the job, but high-quality electronic headsets are a worthwhile investment for both safety and convenience. Backup batteries are a must with electronic headsets.

Ballistic Glasses
Quality eye protection is another must-have, but it doesn’t have to be fancy (or expensive). Your eyewear should however be performance rated by ANSI Z87.1. This standard protects your eyes from high velocity and high mass impact. Grab a pair of safety glasses you’d wear in the shop, or you can opt for something more stylish from Oakley or ESS.

Magazines & Magazine Loader
|You can’t shoot your gun if you forget the magazines. Many shooting bags have specific compartments that hold each magazine individually. How’s that for organization?

Quick tip — number your magazines. This helps to identify and easily separate any magazines that are not properly functioning or need to be cleaned. Our Team Springfield SMEs suggest Dawson Precision magazine grip tape for the base pads. In addition, the aggressive surface helps you maintain a good grip on your magazine as you load  and reload it into your gun.

If you’re shooting a couple hundred rounds, it’s also nice to have a magazine loader — definitely a time-saver. You can find mag loaders for a wide variety of rifle and pistol magazines. They’re inexpensive and easy on the thumbs. Our SME’s favorite manufacturer is MagLULA. #TriedAndTrue

Cleaning & Tool Kit
Toss in a portable cleaning kit designed for your firearm, along with any other maintenance tools you might find handy. You don’t need anything elaborate — just enough to make sure your gun and magazines stay in good working condition. For those of you who shoot outdoors don’t forget sunscreen, lip balm, hat, and water.

day at the range

AMMO & AMMO CAN
You can probably fit a decent amount of ammunition in your magazines and range bag, but if you’re planning on an extended training session, an ammo can is a nice add.

You will also need a container to put your empty brass in. Any sort of receptacle with a lid works, from an empty cardboard box or military steel can to a 5-gallon bucket. One of our favorites is old freezer storage bags. #Reuse

TAPE & TARGETS
You have a lot of options here and most ranges sell targets. The type, shape, color, imprint, and material of targets is more than plentiful. Whether you’re going with a traditional bullseye, a paper silhouette, a Shoot-N-C, a whitetail deer target, or cardboard competition targets, make sure to bring tape.

Depending on the range and what target frames / stands are available, you may also need a staple gun (and staples) or binder clips to attach the targets to frames.

All ranges will designate what ammo you’re allowed to use. Any steel-core or armor piercing ammo will most likely get rejected, as it can spark and / or cause severe damage and cratering on steel targets.

Speaking of steel targets, some ranges may have steel targets you can use. With all steel targets, it’s very important to shoot a safe distance from the target to avoid ricochet. Recommended distance from steel targets (based on manufacturers and practical shooting organizations) varies between 9 and 11 yards minimum. To be certain, check the target manufacturer’s guidelines for safe target distance. Target type, composition, ammunition type, and target placement, position, and angle are all factors to consider.

Shooting on public land designated for target shooting? Leave the scrap electronics, tin cans and appliances at home — and always make sure you take care of the mess afterward. Don’t be the person who leaves their shot-up junk behind for others to deal with. #NotCool #PackItOut

SHOT TIMER
Shot timers are a great tool for training. You can test your skills under the pressure of the clock down to the hundredth of a second. Timers relay valuable information to the shooter: First shot time, target split times, target acquisition times, and the overall time of the drill.

Once you are a safe, proficient, and accurate shooter, speed is the next part of the equation. The timer is one of the best ways to track your progress in this area of skill development.

There are a variety of timers on the market. You can buy an old-school, time-tested, battery operated, handheld style (like PACT or Competition Electronics), or download a shot timer or dry-fire app on your smartphone.

PRACTICE LOG
Practice makes perfect — and it’s a lot easier and much more beneficial if you keep a practice log. Make the best use of your time and ammo by having a plan before you hit the range.

Choose one or two drills to focus on in each practice session. Work on a specific technique until you make some progress. Document the practice session – date, time, drill, target type, distances, number of rounds, procedure, times, and your overall takeaways from the day. Keeping a log is beneficial, as you can revisit old drills to continually re-test your skill level and compare results.

If you’re old school, a physical paper training book / log works fine. Put it in your range bag. More of a smartphone junkie? Try the RangeLog app. Need some drill ideas? Get some cool drill ideas from InstructorZero and Mike Seeklander of ShootingPerformance.

See what Midsouth has to offer HERE and HERE

SKILLS: Handgun Training

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A few thoughts from much experience! Read it all HERE

handgun training
Always focus on your primary carry gun! As simple as that may seem, we all like to use them all! But this is the one that will matter the most.

Bob Campbell

Handgun training, more so than most pursuits, is charged with individuality. Special teams and rifle companies move as a unit and exercise strict discipline. They have a plan of action. The handgun is a weapon of opportunity carried to meet the unexpected difficulty. The action is not planned, and the response is reactive.

For many problems, a trained individual will respond with simple reflex. Reflex is sufficient for some problems, but simple movements set the stage for more elaborate responses. Training and movement should be simple and as straightforward as possible.
In education lectures, presentations are directed toward the crowd; handgun training must be on an individual basis. The direction of training, and the line of solution, must be clear. At present, I practice and work hard at keeping myself fit and prepared. As for games and competitions, I am fast becoming more of a pensioner than a participant.

I have engaged in a great deal of training and some competitions. I understand that study of drills, and then execution on the range, is the double route from which proficiency grows. You must hold a physical knowledge of movement and an understanding of the interplay of tactics. Every time you draw the handgun it must be a studied action reverent of the necessary safety involved and the intent of the handgun, which is to save lives.

handgun training
Hitting offhand with a short barrel 9mm is sometimes difficult but demands practice.

Practice, practice, practice
When I practice and drill, I am not absorbed in playing the game or the drill, rather, in winning. This means mastering the skills and hitting the target regardless of the requirement. I use a handgun of sufficient power for the task at hand. Ask yourself; does the handgun you deploy have enough power for the work for which it is intended? If possible, a firearm of disproportionate power to the work involved would be better, and that means a rifle or shotgun for home deployment — no concealable handgun has a surplus of power.

For many of us, most of the time we choose a reasonably portable handgun, and this will be the weapon with us when we are attacked. When in the home, choose a shotgun or rifle for far superior hit probability and power. We should not neglect to practice with those firearms. The handgun will become near useless if we do not practice often.

When I train, I use drills centered on common sense and real problems. As an example, while modern science stresses the strength of a straight line, I prefer the Greek idea and stress the strength of the circle. Moving and getting off the X is important. When you convert linear motion to rotational movement, you have accomplished much and that means you will be moving out of the line of fire and moving to a more defensible position.

You must understand that when there is a fight for real; you have to dispense with the range notion of the firing line is forward and the safe line to the rear. The whole area is a firing line and there will be people all around you. Moving constantly is a key to survival. Moving to a good firing position and firing accurately is another key.

Moving Constantly Is a Key to Survival
Training is a perpetual challenge. Substance, process determination, and action are needed. Becoming a formidable shooter is gained by action, not contemplation. The brain and hand unite to produce the desired result. I have been training for a long time on a regular basis. The past 35 years have reinforced the need to study and to learn.
I have prosecuted the inquiry to the best of my ability. A great deal of research and an open mind goes into proficiency at arms. The bottom line is to get the basics right. Hit the target. Then learn movement and seek cover when possible.

handgun training
Firing off hand, quickly, and moving is a key to proficiency.

As for the handgun, I have come to a sort of New Year’s resolution on my carry guns. As a professional gun writer, I test a lot of handguns. I am something of a gun crank, if not a collector, and enjoy pushing the envelope and discovering how well a firearm performs against another. Reliability is the baseline.

I have deployed several truly exceptional handguns during the past year and have my favorites for different uses. These include a Springfield Armory Mil-Spec in .38 Super, the Les Baser Concept VI .45, Dan Wesson Guardian .45, SIG TACOPS .45, SIG C3 .45, SIG Emperor Scorpion 10mm, SIG P225 A 9mm, and Colt Series 70 .45. My backups include a pair made in 1962, the Colt Detective Special and Colt Cobra, both in .38 Special, and the Kimber K6s .357 Magnum.

Then there is the Ruger GP100 7-shooter, because everyone needs a magnum. And you need a Glock, too; so I have the Glock 19X. These are fine handguns but too damn many. I enjoy each and try to keep my skill level up but with testing other handguns and teaching it isn’t easy or perhaps even possible.

This year, I am going to carry only the handguns that I fire and use the best. This means the 1911. I am narrowing it down to the most credible choices. So far, it looks like the SIG C3 or Dan Wesson for daily carry. When the pretty girl and I visit the ‘wild, out of the way places’ it will be the SIG TAC OPS with +P loads. That is enough to master.

What are your goals when you practice? Share them in the comment section.

Review and Retrospect: The Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum

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One of the most iconic and unforgettable handguns, Dr. Dabbs spends some trigger time on Harry’s Hogleg. READ IT ALL

model 29
The Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum is as cool a handgun as has ever been crafted. Immortalized by Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry character, the Model 29 exudes an archetypical American power vibe.

model 29

Will Dabbs MD

“I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But being that this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well do ya, punk?”

Words can be powerful. Nations go to war over words. People fall in love over the turn of a phrase. Words can be frivolous, powerful, dangerous, or inane. These particular words, likely penned by the legendary John Milius and spoken by Clint Eastwood in character as Dirty Harry Callahan, are some of the coolest ever captured on film. But for a remarkable turn of fate, they could have been uttered so much differently.

Dirty Harry defined Clint Eastwood’s career. Harry was originally supposed to be played by Frank Sinatra. The role was also offered to John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Steve McQueen, George C. Scott, and Paul Newman. They all passed on the project citing its excessive violence. It was on the strength of Newman’s recommendation that the producers offered the role to Eastwood.

If ever there was a firearm that should receive title billing in a movie it was the Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum used in Dirty Harry. The synergistic combination of Eastwood’s inimitable presence and the Model 29’s unparalleled power created an enduring cinematic icon. At a time when the Age of Aquarius threatened to castrate American virility, Dirty Harry gently reminded the world that we Americans were still the baddest boys on the block.

Origin Story
Elmer Keith was the father of the .44 Magnum. In the early 1950’s Elmer began experimenting with the .44 Special cartridge to produce something more powerful and therefore better suited for big game hunting. Once he devised the round he approached Smith and Wesson and Remington about producing a gun to fire it. The S&W Model 29 first drew breath on December 15, 1955, and was offered for retail sale a month later with an MSRP of $140. That’s about $1,280 today.

big revolve rounds
The .44 Magnum is a big round. Shown here from left to right are the 9mm Parabellum, .45ACP, .44 Magnum, and .500 S&W Magnum.

The S&W Model 29 evolved through ten different sub-variants between the mid-1950’s and the present. The gun has always been popular, but the 1971 release of Dirty Harry made it difficult for dealers to keep them stocked. While the pistol and cartridge have been subsequently eclipsed by such beasts as the .454 Casull and .500 S&W Magnum, in its day the .44 Magnum was indeed the most powerful production handgun in the world.

The Model 29 starts with a carbon steel frame and includes a fixed red ramp up front as well as an adjustable rear sight. The single action/double action trigger is wide and comfortable sporting the same slick greasy mechanicals for which Smith is justifiably revered. The 6.5-inch carbon steel barrel gives the gun an overall length of an even foot. The Model 29 has been produced in a variety of barrel lengths, but this one was Harry’s.

The cylinder, frame, and barrel are all beautifully blued, while the unpretentious walnut grips exude a timeless American power vibe. There is just something mystical about the synergy of all these graceful lines that causes an inevitable surge in serum testosterone. Just gazing upon it will make your heart race.

model 29 cylinder
The Model 29’s greasy smooth action makes reloads fast by revolver standards.

Range Report
Question my manhood if you must, but I do not find running the Model 29 .44 Magnum to be a particularly enjoyable experience. The Model 29 will push less energetic .44 Special rounds as well, and those are indeed fun. Full power .44 Magnum loads, however, peg my funmeter in fairly short order.

The greasy smooth double action/single action trigger should hang in the Louvre as the very physical manifestation of mechanical art. The gun’s particulars like the cylinder release, ejector, cylinder fit, and sights are the embodiment of ballistic perfection. Prodigious recoil notwithstanding, the gun shoots better than do I out to fifty meters or more.

The classic blued Model 29 with its Dirty Harry-esque 6.5-inch barrel is currently offered on the Smith and Wesson website with an MSRP of $1,169. Adjusted for inflation this is about what they cost back in 1956. You don’t typically buy one of these massive wheelguns to really shoot much. Most of us just stare lovingly at ours. Simply hefting the thing will reliably give you the tiniest little twitch to your eye and sprinkle a little gravel in your voice. In a pinch it will also likely blow a man’s head clean off.

model 29 accuracy
The Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum is capable of fine combat accuracy.

model 29 accuracymodel 29 specs

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SKILLS: 5 Tips To Avoid Printing With Your Concealed Carry

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Tips from the pros help prevent “standing out” in a crowd. READ MORE

printing

SOURCE: Team Springfield

The word “printing” has a whole different meaning for those with a concealed carry permit… Of course, it refers to “giving away” the fact you’re carrying because of an obvious gun outline or shape glaring away. This is one of the major mistakes you want to avoid and can land you in some pretty sticky situations if you fail to follow certain practices. Instead of taking a “let’s see what happens” approach, it’s best to spend time practicing specific forms and techniques.

WHAT CONSTITUTES A CONCEALED CARRY FIREARM?
There is somewhat of a debate among firearm owners and those with concealed carry permits. What constitutes a concealed carry firearm? For example, does it have to be a small, pocket-sized firearm? Or, can it be a larger model that is still hidden from view? While concealed firearms are generally considered to be “small,” the reality is that it just has to be hidden from sight. Regardless of whether you have a small or large firearm, hiding it from plain sight requires that you avoid printing.

TIPS FOR AVOIDING PRINTING
As said, “printing” refers to the visible outline of a firearm underneath an individual’s clothing. Regardless of the size of your firearm, printing is a very real possibility. To avoid this, it’s important to consider the following solutions:

ONE: Wear the right clothing. The number one cause of printing is a poor choice of clothing. While it’s fairly easy to conceal during the winter, it is more difficult during the hot summer months. Consider buying loose shirts and tucking in when possible.

TWO: Choose the right holster. Everyone’s body type differs, so it’s difficult to claim that one holster is better than another. For best results, try out multiple types — including over the shoulder, waist, and ankle holsters — to see what works best for you.

THREE: Pay attention to movement. The way you move is just as important as what you wear. When concealing in your waistband, try bending with your knees instead of your waist. When wearing an ankle holster, avoid situations in which you are required to stretch or reach.

FOUR: Ask for advice. Before leaving the house, ask a friend, spouse, or family member whether they can spot the outline of your firearm. If they know what they are looking for and can’t immediately find it, this usually indicates that it is concealed well.

FIVE: Consider size. While there are ways to conceal large firearms, some select a smaller size. No matter what size of firearm you decide is the best fit for you, be sure to use the correct holster and clothing to conceal it.

no printing
Better!

INDUSTRY NEWS: New Ruger Custom Shop

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Big news for Ruger fans! Now you can get an upgraded gun from Ruger. READ MORE

sr1911

SOURCE: Ruger

Ruger Custom Shop products offer a high level of refinement and attention to detail.  Custom Shop products have been designed by Ruger’s expert team of engineers with input from professionals in the field: competitive shooters, renowned hunters, and award-winning writers. This new line of firearms represents the finest example of quality and innovation in Ruger products built to the highest of standards. The Custom Shop will feature exclusive collectible, competition, hunting, and personal defense firearms.

“Our customers have been craving high-end performance variations of our popular models for a long time. We are thrilled to respond to the call and bring the Ruger Custom Shop to fruition. We are confident that these new products represent the very best in craftsmanship and performance.”
– Chris Killoy, Ruger President & CEO

The first two announced are the SR1911 and 10/22 Competition Rifle.

Designed in conjunction with professional shooting team captain and world champion competitive shooter, Doug Koenig, the SR1911 is a full-sized 9mm pistol built for competitive shooting in IDPA, IPSC, USPSA, Bianchi Cup, Pro Am Shooting, and Steel Challenge disciplines.

Features include a precision-machined Koenig Shooting Sports low-mass hammer and competition sear, combined with a custom flat-faced trigger shoe, precision-machined disconnector and hand-tuned sear spring, which all provide a match-grade break. The package also includes a hand-fitted slide and frame.

10-22

The 10/22® Competition Rifle features a custom receiver. It’s hard-coat anodized, CNC-machined, heat-treated, and stress-relieved 6061-T6511 aluminum, and includes an integral, optics-ready, 30 MOA picatinny rail. This new receiver is paired with a 4140, heat-treated and nitrided match CNC-machined bolt. The receiver also incorporates a second bedding lug to improve action stability, plus a rear cleaning port to provide access to the barrel from the rear of the receiver for easier cleaning. This new rifle also has a second barrel locator to provide a free-floating barrel.

The receiver is secured in a painted and textured laminated stock with a fully adjustable cheek rest.

Go check them out!

INDUSTRY NEWS: Taurus USA Closes Year with Rebate Offer

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Taurus USA is offering a $35 rebate on the purchase of a new Taurus Spectrum® .380 Auto pistol. READ MORE

taurus spectrum

SOURCE: Taurus USA

From now through December 31, 2018, retail purchasers of a qualifying Taurus Spectrum® are eligible to receive a $35 Taurus Visa® Prepaid Card. Participating consumers need only submit a completed rebate form along with the original product UPC(s), a copy of a dated cash register receipt, and/or a dated itemized sales invoice. All rebate submissions must be postmarked by January 31, 2019.

According to Taurus: “The new Taurus Spectrum® 380 Auto represents a significant leap forward in micro semi-auto handgun design and performance. The ergonomic soft-touch overmold panels incorporated into the grip and slide not only provide maximum firearm retention and positive operation under stressful conditions, the broad palette of color options allow buyers to add a custom flare to their handgun. The soft-touch proprietary polymers also aid in recoil management.”

The Spectrum utilizes a striker-fired, true double-action-only trigger system, which means there is no pre-cock or pre-load. Additional carry safety and security comes from an integrated striker block.

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