The concept of the short barrel, big-bore revolver is as old as cartridge revolvers. The .44 Special Bulldog may be the best example yet.
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Today, Remington enjoys an excellent reputation for reliability with a far greater range of loads than ever. One load more than worthy of a cursory look is the Black Belt. Currently, The Black Belt line is comprised of four loads—124-grain 9mm, 124-grain 9mm +P, 180-grain .40 S&W, and 230-grain .45 ACP. Like any load, it is the performance in the gun and down range that matters.
As might be expected, a goodly percentage of the shooters that attend my training classes are female shooters. Some have developed an interest in the shooting sports, others are just curious. unfortunately, many women regard those of us who are armed as a lifestyle with about as much fear as they fear thugs. This is a challenge that must be overcome.
Most personal defense situations occur at close range, and the tactics used are about close-quarters battle. It isn’t about being a good shot—it’s about gunhandling. If the adversary uses open hands, edged weapons, or blunt force, you must be ready for a response at intimate range. If your set of skills is limited to the firearm, you are ill prepared for the reality of personal defense. Simply firing at stationary targets at 7 to 10 yards isn’t preparation for a CQB event.
The Colt Gold Cup is a legendary handgun, even an icon, and well worth its price. If set up for defense loads it is as capable as any 1911 and more so than most. If you are looking for one of the most accurate handguns in the world, and a pistol steeped in history, this is the one.
In episode 6 of the Art of Defense series, Beau Doboszenski of Defensive Mindset Training goes over the skills for carrying a concealed handgun including combat speed, draw, single handed and low light situations, and pre-fight and post-fight skills.
The Shooter’s Log is often asked about the ‘best’ handgun load. Unfortunately, many correspondents fail to share the intended mission of the load. The mission has a strong influence as to the desired bullet weight, velocity, and penetration. As an example, you may be perfectly happy to run the .44 Special or .45 Colt with a 255-grain SWC at 700 fps for cowboy action or target practice. If hiking in country in which the big cats or bears may be more than a nuisance, the same bullet up to 1,000 fps would be a better choice.
As far as handling and ergonomics, the AR-15 and AR-10 are brilliantly designed and function the same. Some new shooters may not realize that the AR-10 7.62x51mm rifle actually came first. In fact the AR-10 .308 rifle competed with the FN FAL and M14. In the end, the rifle was downsized into the .223 caliber AR-15, which was a response to the AK-47, but that is history and we are dealing with differences in application today.
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. However, the shotgun is only the launcher, it is the load that does the damage.
While hollow point or expanding bullets have been the standard for personal defense for decades, they are far from perfect. There has been a tremendous amount of development in ammunition during the past few years. Among the most interesting of these has been the advances in nonexpanding ammunition. These loads are intended to produce good wound potential for personal defense without the problems of jacketed hollow point manufacture and performance.