It is notable that while modern defensive ammunition has received a great deal of development—and competition is fierce—we are still using the same old lead and jacketed bullets as we have for the past 120 years or more. The high degree of reliability inherent in modern manufacturing by Federal Cartridge Company has crossed over into practices lines such as the Federal American Eagle, but by and large the same, jacketed bullet is used. Federal recently finished a years long development of a new practice load, and the American Eagle Syntech is well worth your time and effort to obtain and use.
Glock’s introduction of the Generation 5 pistol has been much anticipated. The new pistol offers significant changes—more so than any previous generation. The first change to the Glock was the addition of a light rail. Next, came the finger groove frame and the rough texture frame later. However, not everyone liked the finger grooves or RTF frame.
I have owned some type of Remington 700 rifle for more than 40 years. I enjoy the smooth action and excellent accuracy of these rifles. My most recent addition is a Remington SPS Varmint rifle with 26-inch barrel. I am pleased with the operation and accuracy. In fact, this is the single most accurate Remington rifle I have ever owned, but I still want to make it even better. This is a serious hunting rifle with much to recommend. With the Hornady ELD .308 loading, the Remington consistently groups less than an inch for three shots at 100 yards. The only drawback was the stock. The fit wasn’t what I would have liked it to be.
Over the past century, many gun makers have offered their own branded ammunition. Among the most successful have been Remington and Winchester. A few makers have offered ammunition made by outside vendors, including Smith and Wesson and Taurus. In these cases, things did not go as well. Browning, however, is another story.
Most feel the .38-44 set the stage for the .357 Magnum revolver—and it did—but the .38-44 is more than a footnote in history. This is a fine revolver that is useful on its own merits. Buffalo Bore is famous for first-class loads that maximize the caliber, and this is no exception.
In the 1970s, SIG Sauer introduced one of the most reliable handguns the world has seen. The P220, and its later variants, gained an excellent reputation for accuracy, reliability, and durability by passing many difficult institutional test programs. The P220 sprang off the P225, P226, P228, P229, and other handguns. The original .45 caliber P220 remains a popular handgun. While SIG offered a handgun with comparable capacity to the 1911 .45, the pistol was eventually perceived to be at a disadvantage compared to the Glock 21 and HK .45s with their high capacity magazines. SIG introduced the P227 to counter this shortcoming.
Cartridge testing is complicated by any standard. Research and development must end at the ballistic lab with bullets being fired into gelatin when personal defense and service use is the goal.
If there is one way to get folks talking off the cuff, it is to broach the subject of deer rifles and calibers. Everyone has a favorite their dad, granddad, or aunt used to tame the Wild West and deplete the Elk herds in downtown Burbank. The problem is what works for one doesn’t work for the other, at least it doesn’t work as well.
I feel, among the best all-around defensive handguns for home use is the .38 Special revolver with a short barrel. The short-barreled .38 offers a host of advantages over the auto loader and a time-tested track record second to none.
Ruger’s SR1911 line continues to expand with the introduction of the Ruger SR1911 10mm. This handgun differs considerably from previous pistols and may arguably be one of the best 10mm 1911 handguns ever built.
After training hundreds of individuals and doing considerable research on handguns and cartridges, I have come to realize that many shooters do not realize the work a handgun cartridge must do. There has been considerable research and intensive testing during the past two decades—more so than the previous 100 years. The FBI set the need for penetration, expansion, and diameter forth after expensive and extensive testing, but how many shooters truly understand caliber, ballistics, and bullet choice?
There have been many books written on shooting from Hit the White Part by my friend Massad Ayoob to Paul Weston’s book on combat shooting for police and Ed McGivern’s Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting. Some are dated and while Chic Gaylord’s Handgunner’s Guide is worth a look, the gear is outmoded. All are worth a read. Anything by Jeff Cooper and his able student Gabriel Suarez, is worth the money.
The lone wolf attacks of the past few years have been called a leaderless Jihad. This is essentially correct. From the Boston Bombers to the attacks in Orlando, we are seeing those with mental illness to one degree or another, marginality, and difficulty sustaining relationships becoming cyber-radicalized. The problem of cyber radicalism is a current one that sees no sign of abatement.
It is common for makers to offer special versions of popular handguns with features that will appeal to many shooters. The price is often less than it would cost to add these features to an existing gun. Some of the features do not appeal to every shooter, so they are kept as special editions rather than production models. One of the most popular Glock models, and in my opinion, the most effective is the Vickers Tactical treatment of the Glock 17 9mm handgun.
A few years ago, the Canik TP9 pistol was introduced in America. A product of the Turkish arms industry, the pistol was a credible, but not exact, clone of a Walther design. The pistol has proven reliable and accurate enough. The price point is attractive and the pistol is well established.
There is more to collecting than you might think; the psychological and personal benefits are many. Collecting has no time line; it may be enjoyed at any point in life, which isn’t true of sports or mountain climbing. Quite a few of us despise the idle moment and like to keep life interesting. Nothing does so like a good hobby. Jump in and get started. You will not be disappointed.
I have considerable experience with CZ pistols, from the original CZ 75 to the CZ P-01 and other variants. But nothing prepared me for the experience of handling and firing the newest CZ pistol, the CZ P10-C. It isn’t radical in design and technology, but it is different from anything CZ has done before.