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Cimarron Open Top revolver left side

Cimarron’s Open Top Revolver

The history of men and women and machines is fascinating. The revolver may not be the most in demand at Cheaper than Dirt! but there are none more interesting. The first cartridge revolver in the United States was the little Smith and Wesson Number 1 in .22 Short. Colt was making thousands of cap-and-ball revolvers for the Union Army and Smith and Wesson sold its revolvers through private sale. Soldiers could tuck the little .22 into their shirts or jackets. Colts were the horse pistols, and the revolvers used by fast moving cavalry units.

Gray haired man in navy blue jacket with red ear protection firing the Glock at a target with a wooded area in the background.

Glock’s Long Slide Model 41 .45 ACP

Long slide and ‘Pro’ model self-loaders with elongated slides and barrels are popular. Used by tactical teams as well as serious shooters, the long-slide Glock pistols in 9mm and .40 are great competition handguns. If you have never handled one, well, you have missed something; they shoot like a dream. But Glock has not offered a long slide .45 until this year.

A Taurus .44 Magnum being held in both hands of a person, barrel pointed left with dirt in the foreground and trees in the background.

Big Steel — The Taurus M44 .44 Magnum

The .44 Magnum is something of a wonder cartridge. It is all that most of us are willing to handle in a sidearm. There is no sugarcoating the recoil of the big magnum—it can be brutal. Yet the .44 Magnum is among the most accurate handgun cartridges. It is as deadly as a high power .30 caliber rifle against game at moderate range—perhaps more so.

AK-47 with camo finish lying on a against a tree, barrel pointed down and to the right.

Where’s My AK-47? It’s Hunting Time!

Whether you love or hate the AK-47, you must admit the rifle is among the most successful designs of all time. Mikhail Kalashnikov designed the rifle for reliable operation in the harshest conditions. The rifle has not failed to meet his expectations. The AK-47, adopted by the Soviet Union in 1947, has been around long enough for many to have an opinion about it.

Colt Commander, circa 1975.

The 1911 Pistol — Reliability and Accuracy

Today we see a great deal of revisionist history in the media, often tainted with rose-colored glasses and a personal agenda. Young people seem to demand more continuity from their comic book epics than from their history professors. However, when you level the criticisms and fallacies toward a firearm that has served Americans well for over 100 years it is more than irritating. When that same firearm has saved your life more than once, perhaps it is time for a report.

Thompson1_BobCampbell

The Auto-Ordnance Thompson Carbine — Americana at its Finest

One of the most famous icons among American firearms is the Thompson submachine gun (SMG). Originally developed as a trench broom for use during the horrific battles of World War I, the Thompson was not fully developed until 1921, missing the Great War. However, it saw widespread use in America. Admittedly, both sides heavily used the Thompson SMG—with lines often blurred—during the Prohibition Era.

Dark gray Taurus 85 .38 Special with a black grip on a white background.

Taurus 5-Shot Revolvers – The Model 85 and More

When it comes to personal defense, the snubnose revolver is so handy, lightweight, easy to manipulate and simple to operate, it is widely used. Even those who carry a heavier firearm as a matter of course often deploy the snubnose as a backup or hideout. The backup gun may be a lifesaver in the case of a malfunction of the primary. The snubnose handgun must be used by a skilled shooter (meaning someone willing to practice).

SIG SAUER Scorpion – Modern Battle Pistol with a Sting

SIG SAUER’s new Scorpion handgun takes the 1911 pistol a notch higher in performance and brings proven combat ability into the new century. The Scorpion is a far different pistol than the blue steel and walnut 1911 handguns many of us deployed in the past. The SIG looks different, performs differently and leaves little to be desired. It is definitely a 1911 to the marrow. The new SIG features a rugged corrosion and wear-resistant Cerakote finish. Cerakote is a proven ceramic finish that is low maintenance, resists wear and requires little lubrication.

A dark gray and silver LW frame .45 with a wood-grained grip lying on a gray blue background with a box of ammunition.

Taurus PT 1911 Range Report

Well into 100 years of service, the 1911 handgun is going strong and more popular than ever. When the 1911 was designed, intensive skilled labor and machine work was less expensive. Today high-end 1911 handguns are often prohibitively priced for many of us. Affordable 1911 handguns, with a forged frame and slide, are few and far between.

Hand guiding the speedloader into a black pistol against a mottled brown background.

Speedloading — How to Quickly Load a Revolver

About half of the students in my training classes use a revolver. The revolver is not immune to malfunctions, and a good quality revolver is as reliable as a machine can be. The subject of revolver speed loads comes up often, and most of the time the speed load is done half right or incorrectly.

What follows is the proper way.

Shotgun laying across a target with Winchester PDX shells in posed position

PDX, Winchester’s Buck-and-Ball Loads (AND MORE!)

During the era of musket warfare, there were times when the musket was loaded with multiple projectiles. As an example, during the Boston massacre the British muskets were loaded with buck-and-ball loads. These loads were common during the 19th Century. Buck and ball is simply a mix of large and small shot.