One of the great revolutions in handgun manufacture is the polymer frame, striker-fired revolution. Glock led the way and still dominates the market today. Arguably, Glock remains first with the most. I should note that I am not the greatest Glock fan, but I certainly am not a Glock basher.
When I am shooting on my own time and my own dime, most of the shooting is that pastime called plinking. I am fortunate to have plenty of dirt clods on a berm and I also use clay birds. I do not use the time proven tin can so much these days. I use paper because Birchwood Casey offers so many variations.
Next to food, clothing, and shelter, the need for self-defense is prominent in our genes. You did not make many missteps in ancient times and live to complain. Working as a peace officer, beginning 40 years ago, I did not have a cell phone, pepper gas, or instant backup, and lived through some hairy ordeals. I bear the scars from some, but then, the Scot-Irish are born with a broken nose and scars on their knuckles.
Among the happiest times I have had when shooting is the time I have spent with single action revolvers. Those true to the Old West in appearance and function are my favorites. When properly finished and well fitted, the single action revolver is a joy to own and use.
Despite all of the recent attention given to the 6.5 Creedmoor, the cartridge has been around for more than a dozen years. There are many specialized benchrest cartridges, and like many of them, the 6.5 Creedmoor didn’t get much attention.
The first handgun I fired was an old Smith and Wesson Victory Model with fixed sights. It was some time before I progressed to a Smith and Wesson with click adjustable rear sights. A movable front sight is a recent addition I find very modern. While the adjustable sight is a must have for competition and hunting, for personal defense it isn’t needed if you know how to use fixed sights and zero the piece.
I am certain that I will never be accused of failing to make an honest comment when needed. As an example, some years ago a friend owned an Uzi carbine and thought it was the best thing in the world for home defense. I disagreed completely. The trigger action was too heavy to allow good hits, and it was difficult to get hits with on the combat range.
When I was challenged to come up with the best, concealed carry handguns of the past 20 years, I set down with a pencil and tablet and began making a list. This seems like an easy task, but there are many good handguns.
A new offering from Glock is a pretty exciting pistol. The pistol isn’t just a black 19X, rather, it is a new take on the Glock line. It is configured in a similar manner to the Glock 19X but differs in important particulars.
The Beretta APX is Beretta’s entry into the polymer-frame striker-fired field, and they added a modular design for good measure. The APX is going against stiff competition. While Beretta has brand loyalty, the piece must stand on its own merit.
I have used most of the popular old west calibers at one time or another, including the .32-20 and .41 Colt. Some have more merit than others. My favorite, hands down, is the .45 Colt. I began shooting long before Cowboy Action Shooting became popular. Most of us loaded for economy and with a certain number of loads put up for performance.
Taurus International’s Millennium G2 is an outstanding handgun that been a steady. An attractive price tag and spotless performance have fueled this compact 9mm pistol’s popularity. The Millennium G2 is at least comparable to similar size handguns from the major makers, and in some cases the Millennium G2 outclasses the others.
Among the most interesting of the introductions at the 2018 SHOT Show was the Taurus 856 revolver. The revolver illustrated—the 857—is even newer, and at present, a bit difficult to obtain. In this day of 8-shot N frame revolvers and 7-shot GP 100-sized handguns, the Taurus 857 is big news in a real way. Those carrying the snubnose .38 revolver now have a truly compact design that carries six, rather than five, cartridges.
Revolvers remain an important part of the handgun market. The niche for revolvers is stronger than ever, given the recent introductions of new revolvers and accessories. Among the most interesting accessories are revolver speedloaders. Many regard speedloaders as a necessity for personal defense, as much so as keeping a spare magazine for the-self loading handgun. You should too! Speedloaders typically carry a gunload of cartridges—usually five, six, or seven cartridges depending on the model—and have a means of keeping the cartridges steady and releasing the cartridges into the revolver cylinder as part of the design.
Snubnose revolvers are a favorite of armed professionals and have been for many years. The balance of lightweight power and maneuverability are excellent. About the only thing about these revolvers we may change are the grips.
The Single Action Army, Peacemaker, or Model P has been in production in various forms and generations since 1873. Now, it is also available from a respected maker based in Italy. The SAA was a favorite six-gun of many explorers, soldiers, and adventurers such as Lawrence of Arabia, General George S. Patton, General Douglas McArthur, and General Wainwright. In their hands, the revolver drew blood and defended their person and their country.
Some time ago, I began upgrading my on duty gear by a great degree. During the war on terror, and the war on drugs, peace officers often faced heavily-armed felons willing to shoot it out with peace officers. Working in a rural environment, where every household it seemed had a scope-mounted rifle, also colored my choices. The primary focus was people passing through, and I worked a pipeline of drug smuggling.