I am the first to admit that factory ammunition has improved considerably during the past three decades. Consistency, accuracy, and performance are better than ever. This is largely due to the pressure put on factories by handloaders. Today, a handloader can produce more accurate ammunition than the factory.
For those serious about safety, a good supply of personal defense and training ammunition is vital. I practice rapid, aimed fire, and do not aim for the whole target. Instead, I aim for a small area on the target. Precise fire is important, and getting the bullet to where it will do the most good is vital.
There are many firearm choices for home defense. The choice hinges on recoil tolerance, weight, bulk, expense, locale, and the shooters ability. You may choose a rifle, shotgun, or handgun, but the shotgun offers the greatest wound potential and the greatest versatility.
There are three firearms used for personal defense—the pistol, rifle, and shotgun. The shotgun is sometimes shied away from due to its recoil. The proper technique, leaning into the shotgun and controlling recoil, goes a long way, and so does extensive practice with light recoiling birdshot loads.
OK, you ordered your Storm Lake or Wilson Combat Barrel—what comes next? The 1911 is easily our most popular handgun, and without a doubt, the most modified. While the Browning Hi Power, Tokarev, CZ 75, and Beretta 92 have also been built in the millions, none have been modified as extensively as the 1911 handgun.
Ruger’s first departure from steel and aluminum construction was the Mark IV 22/45 Lite pistol. This is a polymer frame .22 caliber handgun meant to conform closely to 1911 .45 dimensions in order for the pistol to provide a good training understudy for the 1911-type handgun. It has done so, but also offers an excellent platform for anyone desiring a .22 caliber self-loading handgun as his or her only pistol. The original had molded in grip panels. The present version features removable grip panels. This is a considerable improvement for those who wish to upgrade or customize their pistol. I find the issued grips quite useful.
I seem to be one of the few writers to extensively use handloads in testing. I have always done so, and will continue to do so. That’s mainly because handloads offer real economy, custom grade performance, and excellent accuracy potential. Best of all, getting started in handloading isn’t difficult.
There are many factors to consider when choosing ammunition. Recoil, control in the individual handgun, a clean powder burn, good bullet pull, limited muzzle blast and flash, and reasonable accuracy are important.
When it comes to rifle shooting, fast hits are what counts in hunting and personal defense scenarios. When sighting in the rifle from the benchrest, we have all of the time in the world. Recently, I sighted my personal M1A1 with Leatherwood scope in from the rest and enjoyed 1 MOA groups with Federal MSR Fusion ammunition. I cannot expect a fraction of this accuracy when firing off hand at the 100-yard line.
The primary requisite to hitting the target is being able to identify the target, acquire the target with the sights, and hit the target after getting a good sight picture and properly pressing the trigger. It is simple, but it isn’t easy. Crimson Trace Lasergrips go a long way toward closing the accuracy gap.
Smith and Wesson revolvers are among my favorite handguns for collecting, shooting, hunting, and for personal defense. They are able to present a confluence of 19th, 20th, and 21st century design and appearance into very desirable handguns.
I have noticed that discussions on combat sights, combat shooting, and handguns are often hi-jacked by those with an embarrassing lack of experience. All they know is what they have read and much of that isn’t accurate. A shooter should study, true, but they should also gain practical experience and meet the instructor half way with this experience.
Smith and Wesson’s 1935 .357 Magnum was introduced to a handgunning world far different than the one we live in today. Smith and Wesson .38 K frame revolvers, the Colt Army Special, and even the Colt Single Action Army were popular sidearms. The Smith and Wesson Triple Lock was the choice was many professional shooters.
I don’t mind carrying a small handgun that is very efficient for its size. In fact, some handguns are a wonder of downsizing. However, small 9mm handguns have a set of problems that isn’t easily addressed. This includes lower magazine capacity and a lower hit probability.
When it comes to personal defense, many of the students that go through my class have their head on straight. They wish to avoid using the firearm at almost any cost. The bottom line is that they will use the firearm only to save their life or that of a loved one.
I have used Del Ton rifles over the years and found they have good build quality, good reliability, and more than acceptable accuracy. When I was looking for a quality AR-10-type rifle in .308 Winchester, I looked to the DTI rifle. While I was eager to jump into the .308 AR, I was well aware of the lack of standardization with the rifle.
The introduction of a new bolt-action .22 is a continuation of the classic American .22 caliber sporter. Despite the introduction of modern self-loading rifles, the Ruger American Rimfire has its place. The Ruger American Rimfire is a stablemate to the world’s most popular .22 caliber rifle, the Ruger 10/22.
Springfield Armory has recently introduced one of the neatest, most compact, and useful .380 ACP handguns in the past decade. That is a bold statement, but this is a fine handgun sure to be enjoyed by many shooters. I normally include a spec sheet at the end of the report, but the size of the 911 is among the things that are most interesting, so I will discuss size first.