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.
As the dog days of summer wind down, most of us who venture afield in search of game and fowl can’t help but look forward several weeks to what has become, in many places, a national holiday—the opening of bird season. Most seasons open with dove and some early goose season.
The Austrian ISSC M22 self-loading pistol is a fun gun that resembles the world’s most popular police pistol, the Glock. The pistol is affordable at little more than the price of a .22 conversion unit for the Glock pistol and has good features including a Lothar Walther barrel. While it looks like the double action only Glock, the ISSC-Austria M22 is a single-action pistol.
A few years ago, Ruger introduced a well made and nicely finished Government Model 1911 .45 ACP. The SR1911 has earned a reputation as an excellent value for its modest price. But Ruger did not stop there.
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.
A soldier’s connection to his equipment is an odd bond. As a warrior your very life might hang on the effectiveness of your gear, and you need to believe that the equipment you use is the very best your nation can produce. In no other aspect of military service is this axiom better exemplified than in the case of a soldier’s personal weapon.
When it comes to personal safety, it is always good policy to buy the best you can afford. After all, if you were preparing to jump out of a plane, would you be comforted to know you were wearing the cheapest parachute on the market? Fortunately, parachutes are not shotguns. In fact, you do not have to break the bank or your budget to get a home defense shotgun worthy of relying on to protect you and your castle. Here are five top shotgun choices that will not break the bank.