You made the responsible decision to carry a concealed handgun. Now you need a holster.
In 1526, gunsmith Maestro Batolomeo Beretta received 296 ducats for 185 arquebus barrels—in bulk—and the Beretta company was born.
As a kid, I had a fascination with snakes. When I realized they were poisonous and could kill you, my fascination turned to fear. Over the years that fear has turned into respect and awe.
Everyone knows the names and usually the stories of John Browning, Samuel Colt and Gaston Glock. However, the name William (Bill) B. Ruger is usually not spoken in the same breath as those weapon designers—that is a mistake.
In 2011 Glock introduced the Generation 4 (Gen4) pistols. The Gen3 series was, to me, the pinnacle of Glock progression. I fully believed the crest of the mountain had been reached. That a great pistol had done all it could, and would remain a solid, trustworthy, stout yet ordinary system. I am man enough to admit when I am wrong. I was wrong.
How far is the jump of evolution from making curtain rods to the best selling handgun in the world? I don’t believe his theory but maybe Darwin was onto something. So goes the story of Gaston Glock and one of the greatest handguns ever designed. The neatly organized sock drawer of firearms manufacturing pulled from the dresser and dumped upside down on the floor.
Before we go to much further, I must come clean. I was the biggest anti-Glock person you would ever meet–was. I remember as a police officer when the Glocks made its appearance. I was not impressed and as I often do, I waited until it was proven by the hardest test of all–time. One of the most embarrassing things about my dislike for the Glock was its looks. I too became an Internet firearms aficionado. It does not matter what a tool looks like, it only matters how well it works-and how you the artist are capable of using that tool. Shame on me.
This weapons system has proven its worth over time. In 1980 the Austrian military called for a firearm with over 17 high-level standards. Just reading those requirements should give you the warm fuzzies. If this, or any other gun, could do this it would be a force to reckon with. In 1982 an engineer making a considerable amount of money-producing curtain rings and knives-assembled a team of handgun experts. How long did the prototype for the next great handgun take? Years? Within three weeks, a working prototype was on the table. Less than a month to put a dent in the entrenched firearms industry.
A void existed due to the failure of the Austrian firearms company Steyr to come up with an adequate replacement for the aging Walther P-38. Legend has it that Mr. Glock overheard a conversation about this need. He had neither worked with or even owned a firearm. Furthermore, his curtain rings were not plastic they were metal along with his knives. His business was a metal fabrication shop.
Like many engineers, his mind started working on the problem. He was advised several times to abandon the idea as he was not a gun-guy. He has often said the fact that he was not a gun-guy may have been to his advantage; take that you range and Internet know-it-alls. He bought a Beretta 92F, CZ 75, Walther P-38 and an offering from H&K and Sig-Sauer and went to work.
One of those groundbreaking ideas was the use of plastics or polymers. This idea caused quite the uproar and I remember it well. The gun was known as the terrorist special as it was believed the plastics would be undetectable by metal detectors at the airport and other places using preventative security. This proved to be false as much of the gun was metal and is easily detectable. The other complaint was the plastic frame was weak and could break or bend if very cold or hot, respectively. Well that didn’t pan out in the slightest. In fact, this design became so durable in so many atmospheric conditions, I believe it is the best all-weather all-purpose sidearm. No only did it survive, find a firearms-related company that does not have a contribution in polymers these days.
The second innovation would stand the industry up on its end-no hammer or external safeties. While this had existed in revolvers for some time, the idea that a pistol would have no hammer or visible safety created a stir. For someone like me, this was a bit disturbing at first and I closely followed the Internet diatribes. It occurred to me at some point that for years I had carried a handgun everyday with no external safety-a revolver. I then realized with the internal safeties of a Glock it was possibly safer than a revolver, one just keeps the booger-hooker off the bang-switch unless you intended to make it go boom-old lesson.
When Gaston Glock arrived at his 17th production model he had his pistol and thus it was named the Glock 17. Ironically, it has a magazine capacity of 17 rounds as well but the name comes from the 17th design. The gun was released in the Austrian nation in 1985 later to most of the world. The United States failed to adopt this firearm when it transitioned from the venerable 1911 in favor of the Beretta 92F/M9. I believe that was a mistake even though I am a huge Beretta fan and proudly own a Beretta M9. The Glock is responsible for almost 70 percent of all law enforcement personnel every day in this country. Glock has a factory in the United States and it is produced here in this country as well as in the UAE, South America, Hong Kong and of course Austria. I believe it is the most utilized and important handgun in the world today. This coming from a guy who carries a 1911 .45 ACP every time my feet walk out the door of my home.
Gaston Glock was a genius. The firearms that bear his namesake are the finest example of ingenuity, practicality and endurance. They only keep getting better with each new generation. From a person who was the biggest Glock persecutor, the light on the road to Damascus has blinded me. I am a believer. I do not own one but I will correct that misstep this year by getting my very own Glock 23.
I have to be honest, I have seen craft shows with more innovation than this year’s SHOT show. It was very apparent the industry leaders were funneling money into manufacturing and not R&D. With the election looming, a run-on-guns began in early 2012 and only increased as the November date approached. Manufacturers were selling shelves clean the year of supply to meet demand launched and it showed at SHOT 2013. Even though there was some genius in a few new items to hopefully grace our shelves soon. Here are my top three.
If you are like me, you love the 1911 frame. However, after 2011, the 100 year anniversary, you may have been overrun by them. I carry one every day and can’t get enough of them. However, even the 100 year mark weighed in on me. It seemed like every manufacturer had to crank one out.
My summary on SHOT 2013 in one word would be-yawn. However, there are a couple of items that have struck me as both original, practical and have a real world use. Last years winner, in my opinion, the Mossberg Flex shotguns. Now they have done it again with the Flex MVP bolt-action rifles.
Chiappa is going back to its roots with the 1873-22 SAA. Unlike the other thing (RHINO) they had last year this one is an ageless classic. Built with the look of the Colt SAA, this is the gun that won the west.
Okay, this one is interesting-a single shot derringer. Still with me? A single shot derringer in .410 shotgun. If that does not get the job done then you have two more chances with .45 Colt stored in the handle. Sound familiar in some way? Yes it does. Remember the Double Tap? and for those who really like firearms history, the Liberator, this will sound vaguely familiar.
Doping that long shot just got a little easier, not easy just easier. I love doing the math and dialing in the long shots but sometimes it can be a little tedious if you are trying to test a new scope, cartridge or other add-on toys.
I was lucky enough to shoot some offerings from SilencerCo in March 2012; I was thrilled with their performance. Now for SHOT Show 2013 they are introducing their new SWR 7.62 SPECWAR. I would be hard-pressed to believe this would not be as awesome as the cans I shot with last year from this company.
SilencerCo / SWR is pleased to announce the launch of the 7.62 SPECWAR at the 2013 SHOT Show. The SPECWAR 5.56 and 7.62 are SWR’s workhorse centerfire rifle suppressors. The entire SWR SPECWAR line of suppressors are intended to be working cans… We fully expect people to use and abuse their SPECWAR.
Hold on to your hats kids we are about to take a turn into the surreal. Let me break it to you straight and simple—an AR platform that shoots the .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge. There will be no finding Nemo; he will find you and at a long, long, long way off.
We have another release from Winchester and again it’s right up my alley. Hey boss, why do I get all the guns designed before 1900? You get a degree in history, restore old guns, write about old guns, read about old guns, love old guns, and look what you get—a great job and the chance to write about a legend—the Winchester Model 1894 is back on the shelves!
Do you love the historical lever-action rifles? Then you’re going to dig this one. How about a Winchester Model 1873 in .357 Magnum. I know the .45 Colt or .32-20 would be historical but .357 and .38 Special are more cost effective so my History degree will forgive me.
Rimfire is not for just plinking anymore. Just 20 grains at 3,000 feet per second—lets do this! I have never been a big fan of the .17 caliber in any form. If I want a varmint gun and caliber, I am going for the .223 Remington. That has now changed. That my friends is almost 400 ft-lbs from a 20-grain bullet. That is a serious varmint round in a rimfire cartridge no less. With the skyrocketing price of .223 everywhere, due to its many applications, a new varmint cartridge has come at the right time.