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Colt Stainless 1911 with target shot at 25 yards

Firearms

Range Report: Custom Colt Government Model Stainless

Why is the 1911 not only popular but at the top of the heap? Simple. The human engineering behind the pistol has never been bested. The straight to the rear trigger compression, a low bore axis that limits muzzle flip, and excellent hand fit make for a fast and sure handling handgun. The controls, including the slide lock, magazine release, and safety, are within reach without shifting the firing grip. What else could you ask for?

Maggie Reese shooting a Colt 1911 competition pistol

Concealed Carry

Match Grade Pistols for Carry and Home Defense

Many of us use a match grade pistol—the IDPA gun or the IPSC gun—for home defense. The reasons are simple. The pistol is accurate, easy to use well, and one that we are likely most familiar with. The pistol may have fired many thousands of rounds without a failure. When it has needed new guns springs, or a magazine has failed, it has been at a high round count. But then you say the authorities on personal defense say you should never carry a modified gun for personal defense. What’s the answer?

Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0

Firearms

10 Top Handgun Choices for 2017

2017 saw its share of new guns, as well as overstocked shelves before the election of President Trump. Looking back, there are still plenty of new 2017 models to check out or to slip under the tree or ring in the New Year.

1911 pistol that is cocked and locked

Concealed Carry

Pistols 101: Pistol Actions and Triggers Versus Performance

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. Understanding how a pistol operates is an important part of the selection process when choosing a handgun. This article details the action and how the trigger action affects performance and handling.

1911 pistol on top of several shooting patches

Safety and Training

Training: Shooting Well — Shooting to Win

Most shooters advance quickly. They go from having difficulty controlling their shots to what they think is good shooting. If they do not have other shooters to gauge their accuracy by, they often have an overinflated idea of their own skills. A few rounds of IDPA competition will put things in perspective. It is tempting to get pretty good with the handgun and then empty the pistol into the target. Machine gunning a paper target is fun but it isn’t viable training, and you do not learn much.

Randall #27 knife and Traditions Sheriff’s Model revolver

General

Firearm and Knife Collecting: A Healthy, Hearty, and Rewarding Pastime

There is more to collecting than you might think; the psychological and personal benefits are many. Collecting has no time line; it may be enjoyed at any point in life, which isn’t true of sports or mountain climbing. Quite a few of us despise the idle moment and like to keep life interesting. Nothing does so like a good hobby. Jump in and get started. You will not be disappointed.

Colt Gold Cup pistol on a bullseye target

Competitive Shooting

Is Your Handgun a Combat Gun or Target Gun?

Marksmanship can make up for power, but the reverse is seldom true. In a gunfight, shot placement is everything. Unfortunately, when choosing a handgun for combat, we risk becoming too interested in absolute accuracy and forget combat accuracy. A fascination with firing small groups on the target, even in combat courses, is counter intuitive to true combat practice. Are you carrying the wrong gun?

Older model Colt AR-15 magazine circa 1960

Gun Gear

Magazine Maintenance for the AR-15

I get a lot of correspondence from folks complaining about magazine problems. I never liked the answer I gave them, and that’s led to this article. There are four pieces-parts to a box magazine: the follower, which is the tray that lifts the cartridges into position; the spring, which powers the follower; the base plate, which secures the spring; and the box. This article looks at all of them and gives tips to maintain and repair your magazines.