All who carry a concealed firearm had to start sometime, and everyone felt at least a bit self-conscious when they started carrying a handgun for self-defense. Choosing the right pistol, one that is not too small, not too big, and manageable through recoil is a good start, but there is a lot more to consider when picking the right pistol for carry.
The Bulldog Classic is Charter Arms’ iconic revolver that was first manufactured in 1973. It looks old school with the tapered 3-inch barrel, exposed ejector rod, and checkered walnut grips. What I like about this revolver is its compact size and .44 Special caliber.
The pistol reviewed invites cliché. As long as it begins with “four” has been a strong motto for most of my handgunning life, but then I am a great believer in the .357 Magnum. The .22 LR is a fine recreational caliber, but the .25 ACP was designed purely for personal defense. The jacketed bullet and centerfire case are more reliable than the .22 rimfire with its heel-based bullet. A 50-grain FMJ bullet at 650 fps isn’t an impressive loading. But then, the best gun is the one you have with you,
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.
I am not opposed to the 1911 platform. Most of us can agree there are some gorgeous 1911s. So, why do I own more than a dozen handguns and not a single 1911?
Arex broke into the market in a big way with the introduction of the Rex zero 1S. The pistol was not revolutionary or chock full of new features. Instead, many labeled its reliability as the ultimate SHTF gun—an improvement on current popular models all combined into one gun. The zero 1 was followed by the Alpha, an out-of-the-box competition-ready pistol with an MSRP around $1,000. For 2019, Arex is set to release the Delta, a striker-fired polymer pistol, and The Shooter’s Log went to Slovenia to get a first look at the prototype.
The HK VP70 began as a space age version of the disposable single-shot Liberator pistol that the OSS dropped to resistance members fighting the Nazis during the Second World War. The original intent was to produce a reliable, rugged, selective-fire 9mm machine pistol that could be economically produced in quantity. The gun was intended to arm partisans operating behind enemy lines during a global conflict with the Warsaw Pact that thankfully never quite brewed up. Radically advanced by any objective standard, the VP70 was almost, but not quite, awesome.
I am not a collector but an accumulator. A collector owns a collection of firearms with the many models carefully cataloged. Some are more common and others, and the key pieces are often quite rare. My firearms are what interests me. The only ones represented in numbers are Colt 1911 pistols and Smith and Wesson revolvers.
Not long ago, the conversation turned to shotguns at the gun shop. While even the folks that are not the ones we call “gunny” know the merits of a shotgun for home defense, there are many opinions on the proper load and the best shotgun. The shotgun is primarily a projectile launcher and it is best to use what you are comfortable and familiar with.
Did you ever notice that looking at a gun is like morphologically analyzing a family member? Little Timmy might have Dad’s ears, Mom’s nose, Uncle Edgar’s dour disposition, or Aunt Edna’s penchant for eating her boogers. He’s his own kid, but the raw material is drawn from a motley well. Likewise, most tactical weapons come from recognized families.
I do not buy into the ultra compact handgun for concealed carry and feel any caliber below 9mm or .38 Special +P isn’t suitable for personal defense. I work my wardrobe around concealed carry, not the other way around. While I occasionally bow to necessity, most often I carry an effective handgun in a service grade caliber.
I’ve had several experiences during the past few months that have impacted my ideas about shotguns. One was the research and shooting tests involved in firing more than two dozen shotguns while writing “The Preppers Guide to Shotguns” for Skyhorse Publishing. Another was seeing my oldest granddaughter embrace the shooting sports. At 14, she is slightly built but serious about shooting. A 12 gauge shotgun would beat her up and get her off to a bad start in shotgunning.
The AR platform is the Mr. Potato Head of rifles. From the .22 rimfire to the .458 SOCOM, the AR-15 is available in a host of different calibers. The newest and brightest addition to the AR-15 family is a 5.56mm diameter cartridge with more punch and long-range potential than the .223 Remington.
While I use modern 1911 .45 autos for personal defense, I am never happier than when I am firing single-action revolvers. If they are good quality, these revolvers are accurate, well balanced, reliable, and powerful. Those looking at the Traditions Bill Tilghman will not be disappointed.
Among the oldest and most respected firearms manufacturers is Fabrique Nationale de Armes de Guerre. FN is a company that has housed some of the most innovative firearms of the age and great inventors including John Browning and Dieudonne Saive. Thousands of FN firearms are in use worldwide with our military. Many of them are manufactured in South Carolina, USA. FN produces police, military, and sporting rifles. With the bonafides out of the way, how it performs at the range still has to be answered?
Purchasing an AR-15 rifle was far simpler when the only choice was Colt. Later, we had Armalite and a few others. Today, I cannot count the makers. Some are genuine manufacturers and others are small operators putting together rifles from outsourced parts. As long as the parts are high quality, that is fine. There is a lot of talent in the business. Diamondback’s DB15 exemplifies such talent.
Choosing the best 9mm is about as personal of a decision as finding the best pizza. With dozens of manufacturers, hundreds of models, and thousands of configurations, there just isn’t really a “best,” just a “best for me.” However, that doesn’t mean all 9mm pistols are made equal. There are some that stand head and shoulders above the rest, here are three of them.