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Federal Premium Trophy Bonded ammo

Semiauto Salvation: Federal 10mm Auto

A new full-power load resurrected the 10mm Auto, transforming it into a potent big-game platform. Hogs. Bears. Deer. Whatever the target, most handgun hunters traditionally opted for stout revolvers chambered in .44 and .41 Rem. Magnums, .357 Magnum and the like. Semiautomatic handgun options have been slim. That is changing with ammunition such as the new Vital-Shok Trophy Bonded Jacketed Soft Point in 10mm Auto.

Two boxes of CORBON ammunition

COR®BON 9mm High-Velocity Loads

I remember when the 9mm handgun was first issued in great numbers to peace officers. The first generation, before the SIG P226 and Beretta 92, were not very good handguns. They were often unreliable, and the fit, feel and accuracy were poor. The Smith & Wesson Model 59 was much less accurate than the revolvers it replaced. Few officers could successfully quality with the M59 at 50 yards. Yes, we qualified at 50 yards in those days.

Brown grip, black barreled Citadel 9mm, barrel pointed down on a white background

Range Report: Citadel 9mm 1911 Handgun

I think we all agree that the 1911 handgun is among the most recognized and combat-effective handguns of all time. We also agree the 1911 is not for everyone. If cocked-and-locked carry and the need for frequent cleaning and lubrication are not something you feel like you can live with, then a GLOCK or revolver is a better choice. And the 1911 appeals to many shooters, and accommodations exist for most of us.

Two men, one a young blond in grey t-shirt, the other gray haired in a green tshirt, use a Commander .45 to practice, practice, practice.

Choosing a Defensive Handgun

Part 6 in our concealed carry series.

Choosing your personal handgun is just that—a personal choice. While individual preference is important, you should not select a poor quality or ineffective handgun on a whim. Once a certain level of quality is met, the differences in handling matter most. While quality handguns differ in features, most handguns in a particular class are tactically similar, with the final determiner of survival being your skill. When you are a student, you are human and often make poor choices.

Man in yellow t-shirt points shoots a Smith and Wesson .357 Magum with trees in the background

Handgun Selection: Revolver or Self-Loader?

Society changes slowly, although tools change often. Since about 1900, the subject of revolvers and automatics (yes, I know,  we call them automatics anyway) has been beaten to death every time a novice looks at a handgun. So, I suppose it is worth another discussion. Likewise, with the introduction of new handguns, the situation warrants attention. I sometimes feel a pang of sympathy for new shooters.

Young lady pointing a handgun with a Crimson Trace lasergrip toward you the viewer

Crimson Trace: Getting a Grip on Laser Sights

To hit the target, you must align the handgun on a plane with the target. I do not believe in any type of point shooting or instinctive shooting. Even at very close range, the handgun is aimed. It may be aimed by using the silhouette of the handgun over the target or by using only the front sight, but the pistol will be aimed. The exception is using it at contact range by pressing the muzzle into the target.

GLOCK 42, CORBON DPX Ammunition and ProChrono

Glock G42: A Remarkable Handgun

For most of my life I have carried what some refer to as big guns. The Chief’s Special is a backup. The Commander .45 is a carry gun. And I am familiar with practically every light pistol made in the past century, from the Harrington and Richardson SLP to the Walther PP Super. Some work better than others. Very few have service-gun reliability.

The very nice, slick SIG P230 is a great handgun, and there are not many others I trust.

Young man in red shirt and jeans uses a vehicle to shield him while he practices

Determining the Self-Defense Mindset

Part 5 in our concealed carry series.

When it comes to personal defense, there are plenty of ridiculous statements about the mindset. The combat mindset may suit a combat Marine, but self-defense demands a different mindset. I am not going to be hurt or defeated, and my primary objective is protecting my family and myself. I want to maintain the ability to act effectively and morally under stress. The proper perspective must pass muster as to what is legal and must go further into what is moral.

Gray haired man in green shirt, blue jeans and red ear protection practices his shooting skills with wooded area in the background.

Active Shooters

Our personal defense and firearms expert takes a hard look at a difficult problem. The problem is not the lack of a plan. The problem is being willing to implement the plan. When a discussion of active shooters and mass shootings comes up, the right-minded among us want to do something and to have a plan. 

Pistol firing with expended shell still in the air

Handgun Defense Loads

In the pursuit of wound potential, sometimes called stopping power, there have traditionally been two alternatives. The first, and most reliable, was to increase bullet diameter and weight. Examples include replacing the .36 Colt with the .44 Army revolver and the later invention of the .45 Colt revolver. Designed to drop not only enemy soldiers and aboriginal tribesmen, these firearms could drop warhorses as well.

ConcealedCarry4_15

Advanced Tactics

Part 4 in series on concealed carry.

Once you have passed the basic course, you need to become a proficient shooter. Few will become expert marksmen in a short time, but the ability to become proficient personal defense shooters is well within your reach. First, you address the basic skills and then you learn tactics. Facing the criminal element with skills and tactics to dominate the situation is a formidable problem for which the police train constantly.

Black-handled, silver barreled Walkter PPK, barrel pointed to the right on a white background.

The Walther PPK: Still a Good Carry Gun

Among the most respected small self-loading pistols is the Walther PPK. The Walther P series was not the first double-action, first-shot pistol; the Little Tom predated the Walther, although the Walther PP was widely recognized as a high-quality, well-made and reliable handgun with good features. Demand for a more compact version resulted in the PPK or detective version.