When it comes to personal defense ammunition, we all want the most for our dollar and a load that maximizes the caliber. This is especially true with the popular 9mm Luger cartridge.
After many years of shooting, training, and carrying the most effective handgun possible, I realized that many of my choices were not practical for the average shooter. There are many demands on their time and mastering a Commander .45, .357 Magnum revolver, or compact .40 is difficult. Compromises are inherent in the game. The happy medium between a service-size pistol and hideout derringer is often a quality self loader. The .380 ACP is a popular choice.
I came to the Kel Tec PMR-30 in a different manner than I would have thought. My experience with the CMR-30 carbine solidified my confidence in the company and gave me an appreciation of the .22 Magnum self loader. When I had the chance to obtain a PMR-30 pistol, I did not hesitate—and you shouldn’t either!
Ruger is an old line maker that has offered quality products at a fair price for more than 68 years. Although Ruger was late getting into the 1911 market, it introduced a short slide 1911 handgun, the SR1911 that has earned an excellent reputation for reliability, accuracy, and value.
A few years ago, Heckler and Koch introduced a new handgun design in hopes of achieving a military contract. The HK45 is a viable pistol for use by the Special Operation Command (SOCOM) or any military entity. The HK45 builds upon HK’s slide-to-frame design that features more contact between the frame and slide than most polymer frame pistols resulting in greater rigidity and greater accuracy potential.
SIG Sauer’s 1911 C3 provides the knockdown power shooter’s demand in a package size shooters wish for. After all, we all want
Among the most reliable and battled tested handgun designs of all time is the Russian Tokarev. It simply doesn’t get the respect the 1911, Browning Hi Power and CZ 75 do, yet the pistol is always reliable, accurate enough for personal defense, and chambered for hard hitting cartridges. Century International Arms Zastava M88 continues the tradition.
According to the U.S. Army Laboratory Command (Small Arms Technology Assessment: Individual Infantryman’s Weapon, Volume I, March 1990 to be specific), 98% of all targets across all terrain are engaged at less than 600 meters, 90% less than 400 meters, and in urban terrain, 90% less than 50 meters. With this in mind, we need the ability to be able to reach targets beyond the 15-25 yard lines, but it is unlikely we will ever shoot beyond 600 meters in a defensive or even hunting situation.
A few decades ago, a startup company resurrected a revered name in firearms. Springfield Armory Incorporated has since prospered. Today, it is regarded as an old-line company by younger handgunners. Considering the conservative nature of shooters, this is quite an accomplishment. Springfield began its climb to the top by offering a good product at a fair price. The Range Officer now continues the tradition.
When the Glock pistol was introduced, like many, I was skeptical of the polymer-framed pistol. I had positive experiences with the HK P9S 9mm and did not regard polymer as cheap—far from it. The HK was an extraordinary pistol. Rigorous testing and experience removed skepticism.The Glock was a reliable, affordable, and durable service pistol chambered for the popular 9mm Luger cartridge.
When choosing ammunition for personal defense there are many considerations. The balance of expansion and penetration must be maintained. Penetration must never be compromised. It remains the single most important terminal consideration.
It is hard to believe but Charter Arms—the new company in America making revolvers—has been at the game for over 50 years. The company was founded by Douglas McClenahan. He had engineering experience at several large companies and set out to manufacture an affordable revolver for the American public. His timing was perfect.
I have previously stated that the long slide Glock is a good special team pistol for use by agencies that issue Glock pistols. However, the long slide Glock is also a great home defense and competition pistol.
Red dot sights are not only increasingly popular, they have made strides in affordability, reliability, and accuracy. The cheap red dot sights are useful for plinking and getting the feel for a red dot optic. The mid level—over $200, but far less than $1,000—is useful for 3-gun competition and home defense. The Lucid M7 fits solidly in this category.
I have been using Gorilla Ammunition for only a few months but have come to respect the brand integrity. I often see preposterous claims concerning velocity, expansion or what a bullet may be capable of. The claims are seldom borne out.
I know there are a lot of fans of the 9mm—particularly after the FBI switched back to the 9mm and a ton of police departments followed suit. On the other hand, the .45 ACP has it followers led by the champions of the 1911. The solution? How about a purpose built 1911 for the 9mm. It’s sacrilege to some and perfection to others, but how it performs is all that really counts.
A few years ago, Kel-Tec introduced the PMR 30 .22 Magnum pistol. The company is known for affordable innovation and performance, and this pistol was no exception. With good accuracy, light weight, and a 30-round magazine capacity, this handgun became the ultimate rimfire plinker. As an outdoorsman’s pistol for hunting and pest control, the PMR 30 is a great piece. Kel-Tec has now followed up with the carbine version, the CMR 30.