Author Archive

Silver/gray compact RIA and a reddish dirt background, muzzle pointed down and to the left

Rock Island Armory’s Latest .45, the Tactical II

I have enjoyed good service with the Rock Island brand of 1911 handguns. The pistols are true to the original format and fire the authoritative.45 ACP cartridge. Armscor manufactures these handguns in the Philippine Islands. The original pistols were straight-up GI versions of the 1911, although there are also elevated examples with good features, including tactical-grade sights and improved grips.

A 9mm with black handle and silver rail, lying on a Wanted poster.

The Adversary — A Disturbing Look Into the Criminal Mind

In my first article, I covered some basics on concealed carry and practical defense. This second part in the series shows the illicit intentness of the adversary with a disturbing look into the criminal mind. —Bob Campbell

The training you receive is important, and the people you meet in gun-handling classes are often among the most friendly and interesting in the world. Many have similar interests that cross all racial, gender, cultural and social boundaries, which is as it should be. The classes you take will be a positive experience.

Black SIG P290 with boxes of ammo on a wood plank background

SIG’s Light 9mm, the P290

You should think carefully about the reasons for choosing a handgun. I do my best to test and review appropriate defensive handguns. And although the pistols may not be your choices, they are reasonable choices. With the explosion of concealed carry permits, many are carrying pocket pistols that give them more comfort than performance.

Gavel with American flag

Restrictive, Cumbersome Gun Laws Burden Law-Abiding Citizens

Restrictive and cumbersome gun regulations in some states may make non-offenders feel like common criminals. States, such as California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois, are prime examples of places where strict gun laws put into place by state-elected officials make obtaining guns legally harder than ever. Loose interpretation of the laws that govern firearms has ignited much debate.

Gray-haired man in blue jacket with red ear protection shoots a pistol carbine into the woods.

Pistol-Caliber Carbines for Home Defense

I am always interested in different opinions about home-defense firearms. The three-gun trifecta—handgun, shotgun and rifle—is often commented on, with recommendations given. Many times the recommended rifle is more useful for an Israeli police action than home defense. Comments range from “the .223 has a lot of blast indoors” to “the system is very expensive, but you must have one” all the way to “buck it up, lay down the credit card and get with the program.”

Silver barreled-Taurus Track 637SS, barrel pointed to the right on a gray-and-white woven background.

Taurus Tracker .357 Magnum 7-shot: A New Baseline for Revolvers

When personal defense is the goal, the choice of firearms has a direct bearing on the success or failure of the mission. While mindset and training are vital, the firearm itself is material to the individual’s survival. The choice should be reliable, powerful enough for the task at hand and accurate enough to accomplish the mission. Reliability is an absolute, never to be compromised. Powerful enough begins with the .38 Special +P.

A gray-haired man in a blue and black plaid jacket with red ear protection fires a Smith and Wesson Miliary and Police .38 at a target with a wooded area behind him.

Golden Guns for Everyone: The Orthopedic Winners

I have been fascinated by the great buildings of the world all my life and always find architecture interesting. While Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower are monumental achievements, the Pirate’s House in Savannah, Ga., is another structure I find completely interesting. And Joyce and I love the mile-high bridge at Grandfather Mountain.

The SIG P226 Navy Model

Range Report: The Navy Model P226, MK 25

As a writer, I do my dead-level best to test and evaluate every firearm that crosses my desk in a professional manner, including extensive range testing. Many of the commercial firearms are new and unproven, even when based on a proven handgun design. Every modification and new idiom must be proofed. Occasionally, I encounter a firearm that is proven more so than the rest. And then, there are the legends. For legends, there is little I may do to add or detract from the firearm’s reputation with my own test program. That is the case with the Sig Sauer P226 MK 25 or Navy Model.

Silver Cold Steel Code 4 knife with blade open on a gray stone background.

The Cold Steel Code 4

For more years than I care to remember, I have been a fan of Cold Steel knives. The Cold Steel knife company offers good quality, sharp edges and positive function. During my time in police service, my impression was that I saw more Cold Steel knives used by peace officers than anything else. The reasons are quality and affordability.

Black Rock Island compact 1911 on a gray-and-white woven background, barrel pointed to the right.

Range Report — Rock Island Compact 1911

Is there a best personal defense handgun? I doubt it; the competition is fierce, and many handguns have their good points. We also have personal needs and personal worst-case scenarios. As long as the handgun is a quality design, well executed with good reliability and is accurate and powerful enough for the task, the rest is up to you. My personal favorite carry gun is the 1911 single-action self-loader in .45 ACP. There are many variants, and while some are ironmongery, many are well made of good material.