I recently took the Taylors and Company Henry rifle to the range. When the Uberti 1860 Henry rifle came out of the case, I was the center of attention. The rifle is historically accurate, beautifully made, and a superior conversation piece. It is all somewhat secondary to the shooting but satisfying just the same. The kindred soul that understands what the rifle is admires the purchase while others listen attentively to the tale of the Henry rifle.
Over the past few months, threads and discussion have often become a lively debate on choosing instructors and the merits of training in anti-terror tactics. This article addresses many of these discussions. Not surprisingly, an honest appraisal of the current situation finds the author coming up short in certain areas, and willing to admit it.
Les Baer handguns are legendary 1911s with more than a little hand fitting, and a vial of the maker’s sweat included. They are built, rather than assembled, and offer topflight performance for discerning shooters.
America is far from tame, as we have seen recently. Despite the advance of civilization, there are places that are wild and free and not occasionally, but daily dangerous as a matter of course. Intense aridity, sweeping blizzards, terrible heat, dangerous wildlife and natural disasters come often. There are many challenging landscapes. Those who live in Alaska, Arizona, and Wyoming on a permanent basis are prepared but sometimes make a misstep. God help the occasional visitor such as myself. Resident or visitor, you need the right caliber handgun for the backcountry.
The 10mm cartridge seems to be enjoying a revival. This powerful and accurate cartridge has enjoyed a small but loyal following since its introduction, and there are many reasons this handgun and cartridge combination are enjoying a new appreciation. As the late Jeff Cooper remarked, the 10mm will do things at 50 yards the .45 ACP cannot.
The most dangerous places are outside the home. Inside the home, we have barriers including outer doors, glass, and hard interior doors. Hopefully, the family has your back, and you have a plan. If not, you have more problems than I can address. Illegal narcotics, and the pharmaceutical industry’s greed-fed opioid epidemic, turn many against their fellows, and the family is the first victim—just so you will not be surprised. My home is modest, and I have genuine affection for my neighbors. I am lucky. My first line of defense is
The story of handguns and how they work is very interesting but may also be frustrating to the beginner. Some definitions are stretched by the makers. As an example, quite a few handguns cloud the definition of double-action or double-action-only operation. Even within types such as double-action first shot there are other categories such as selective double action.
Springfield’s SAINT was the first AR-15 rifle to proudly wear the Springfield Armory stamp. The rifle has been described as entry level but this isn’t really true. There are more expensive rifles, but the Springfield isn’t cheap—it is simply below the $900 threshold. The rifle has good features, and it is built for reliability.
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.