I’ve noticed in their print advertising, quite a few firearm manufacturers use images of police SWAT teams “stacking” doorways and serving warrants. My question is when gun confiscation commences in Connecticut, New York or wherever the Second Amendment is being infringed, who will the gun manufacturers side with? I’m not talking about the companies who have already made a stand. I’m referring to the big boys who routinely advertise they are the “choice of law enforcement” nationwide. Will they side with freedom and the Constitution or do they honor their lucrative contracts and continue to arm the agencies who will be kicking in doors? Or — do they simply sit on the sidelines and play both sides?
When recurring images on the nightly news start looking exactly like those ads in our favorite gun magazines, the marketing strategies of a lot of these companies will look like an endorsement of tyranny.
Bryan “Bitter Gun” Klinger
Laguna Hills, Calif.
I never thought it would happen to me, but it did. Twenty-four hours ago, while cleaning my handguns, I missed a round in the chamber. Luckily the gun was pointed at the wall when I pulled the trigger, and the frangible bullet went through the sheetrock and shattered against the exterior brick. It was one of the scariest moments in my life as I hobbled outside to look, after measuring where the new hole in my bedroom wall was. Thank God it did not exit.
Stupid should hurt, and this did. My left ear is still ringing. Nothing I have ever heard was louder, not even artillery simulators or standing next to howitzers firing a 21-gun salute. It can happen to anyone. I’ve handled guns since the age of six, which will be 41 years ago next month. If I had not had the proper ammo and the grace of God this could have been tragic. Thank you for repeatedly drilling to “point a gun only at something you are willing to destroy” in basically every issue, as well as the other three rules of gun safety.
Thanks for the reminder Chuck. Keep those four basic rules handy: 1) Treat all guns as if they are loaded. 2) Never let the muzzle cover anything you’re not willing to destroy. 3) Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target. 4) Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
And let’s remind ourselves of another rule, equally important: Before handling a firearm for cleaning or examining, assure it is unloaded — and has an empty chamber. RH
Tactics & Training
Here’s what I think. Skip the broad cross section of good writers you intend to be involved in writing the new Tactics & Training column and stick with Mr. Mroz. His column (“Tactical: It’s All In Your Head,” March/April 2014) was one of the best “tactical” articles I’ve ever read in any gun magazine. Strike that — in any magazine.
I’m not in the habit of writing letters to the editor but I had to make an exception for this latest issue. Editor Huntington’s most recent The Insider (May/June 2014) about wadcutters was marvelous. I’ve been using the Buffalo Bore wadcutters in all my K- and N-frame revolvers with excellent results. They are tops in my book.
I make a tool to help clean the cylinder’s shoulders in revolvers. For .38/.357 I take a nickel .38 case, cleaned and deprimed, and grind off the case rim. Then I drill out the primer pocket to accept a 11/2″ wood screw. Cut a wood dowell that’s just .38″ diameter (trim so it fits in the cylinder holes) and about 3″ long and drill out a hole to accept the screw. Put the screw through/into the case, out the primer pocket and screw it securely to the dowell. With a fine file, cut several small notches in the case mouth/rim like rough teeth. If you insert the case mouth into your expander die and tap it with a hammer, it flares the case mouth so it fits snugly into the cylinder holes. It’s just a fancy scraper.
I spray the cylinder with solvent and push the tool into the cylinder holes until it’s pushed against the shoulder and then rotate. This scrapes all the crud away. I flair the case mouth again every so often to insure it’s tight to the cylinder holes. Works great and only takes half an hour to make. Have one for my .44’s also.
Great idea, Al. Combine that with a solvent-treated bronze brush chucked in a drill, and cleaning a cylinder is a piece of cake. If you haven’t watched it and have a few minutes to kill, go to www.americanhandgunner.com and click on “Insider Tips,” then scroll down to the bottom to watch the video we did on revolver cleaning. RH
Connor For President
I just had an epiphany. What if we could get John Connor into the White House? Would this nation get straightened out overnight, or what? If Connor was president, I wouldn’t have to write letters to Spokane’s anti-gun newspaper anymore. And, I wouldn’t get attacked by gun-hating extremists like Roger Slater (“Mouth-Frothers”, Speak Out, March/April 2013) either.
The greatest benefit of all, if Connor was president, would be the “Potent Potentate” and “Esteemed Editor” Roy would finally get his blood pressure to return to a more acceptable level.
I’d write more, but I need to go down to the print shop and have some more “Connor for President” flyers made up …
I am a UK Citizen. We ran the world before you did.
John Connor’s column (Guncrank Diaries, “State of the Onion,” March/April 2014) was a masterpiece. My experience reflects his writing. Verbatim.
As a 10-year-old boy, I watched the US land a man on the moon. From that moment on, I wanted to be an American scientist or engineer. Thirty-five years later I got my chance. I landed a job in a global US Company who needed my technical skills, as there was “no American willing or able” to fill that position.
Seven years later, my and my wife’s green cards are still pending. That seven years was the worst of my life. If you do this the legal way, the immigration rules are out to destroy you. I have been prohibited from deserved (according to my US coworkers) promotion, and have had to support my wife and two adult children alone, as they were not allowed social security numbers, or to work. I’m paying into the social system, but have no right to receive a penny in return. I had to pay out-of-state college fees (even though I live and pay taxes in-state) for my two daughters to keep them here, as otherwise they would have to leave when they reach 21. They are effectively, outcasts, at the bottom of the pile, below the illegals who will get a green card for around $500, and who already get in-state tuition.
I could go on and on.
This American nightmare has cost me a 6-figure sum; my life savings, and nearly my 28-year marriage. However, I have the balls to get through this, and in yet another five years become an American Citizen. Then I can do my duty to turn ’round a country I have invested so heavily in, and, even after all I’ve been through, still believe in. I have been doing my part already by writing to all of the senators involved with so-called “Immigration Reform” so folks like me who have suffered, and paid their dues, come first in the line. Not behind those who don’t deserve it. I have also been a supporter of the “Made in the USA” campaign, trying to influence those who in the media can make a difference.
I never wish to return to the UK, which became the US you prophesy, with 80 percent “life” taxation on the mugs who work for a living — me being one of them. Every single malady Connor wrote about, I have seen with my own eyes. First in the UK, and now here.
I’m a sporting shooter of 30 years standing, and had to hand in my guns under a UK ban in 1997. One of the worst days of my life. Thankfully I can continue this sport which is so important to me, with my dear American friends, here in the US. I could not have gotten through my US years without these people. They treat me as one of their own.
Apathy is not an option. If you don’t like what’s going on (whatever that may be), get off your butt and do something about it. Just like me — and John Connor.
Andrew, thanks for your important warnings and personal story. Let it be a powerful lesson for all of us. On a positive note, I also appreciate your recent e-mail about receiving your green cards! I’m sure I speak for the readers when I offer a Handgunner Hat’s-Off to you for your tenacity. RH
And This …
Just read Connor’s column in the March/April issue of Handgunner and I must say he has hit the nail on the head. It’s a sad treatise to the depths this great nation has fallen. I still believe there is hope if we pull our heads out of our proverbial, uh … er … sand. Great article.
Major Robert Smith
More Kid’s Stuff
This war on guns is only going to intensify with our corrupted politicians. Let’s face it: many of our so-called “lawmakers” would love nothing more than to see America disarmed — all firearms gone! The bias against firearms is the worst I’ve ever seen in my 64 years on God’s Green Earth. Our society is purposely “dumbed down” to fit an agenda which is everything but freedom-loving!
We must attract young shooters. The NRA does a lot for schools that “allow” shooting sports. Yet, I’d love to see them provide a magazine aimed at our young citizens too. I know, as a father and grandpa, I would have all my grandkids subscribe to a magazine of their own! I don’t think there’d be any of us “old-timers” who wouldn’t love to see all of our grandchildren as new shooters in the sport we love the most.
I really don’t care if it’s punchin’ holes in paper and tin cans or hunting small or large game — we need a generation of new shooters!
As a man who replaced all his rifles with handguns for hunting many years ago, I have great interest in any articles promoting this type of hunting. In Mark Hampton’s recent feature (“Handgun Hunting: Medium-Sized Game,” March/April 2014) issue, you extol the .45 ACP semi-auto and the .41 Mag, .45 Colt and .44 Magnum as great on hogs and deer. All of these calibers harvest game, but only at relatively short ranges. I have taken many deer with my Ruger Redhawk .44 mag and Leupold M8-2x scope. I purposely limit my shots to 75 yards or less for two reasons. All these cartridges have only a puny portion of their muzzle energy beyond that range, and the bullet drop is too hard to figure to make for sure bullet placement at longer ranges. Adhering to the range limitation will result in sure kills and no loss of wounded game.
To increase my hunting range, I just purchased a Thompson/Center Encore with interchangeable .22-250 and 7mm/08 barrels. This pistol is capable of accurate placement in excess of 200 yards. Bullet energy is still sufficient to effectively harvest game as well at those ranges. Now I will be able to shoot at longer ranges, without the fear of missing or wounding and losing my intended game. Handgun hunting is a very exciting sport. Please caution your readers not to overestimate their weapon’s capability.
Jon Kime’s letter (Speak Out, May/June 2014) about antiquated gun designs today, brings to mind a quote attributed to Shakespeare: “Oft times in our efforts to do better, we mar that which is well.” That may not be word-for-word, but you get the idea.
A Returned Call
I wanted to thank Mr. Huntington very much for the call on my cellphone yesterday to answer a question. The kind lady at your office helped me to leave the voicemail for him, and I was delighted he took the time to return the call! Roy’s tips about assuring more reliable ejection of the fired cases from my .38 revolver were spot on.
This morning I went to the range and shot a PPC practice relay with my Ruger GP100 in .38 Special and did just as instructed: “Point the end of the muzzle straight up, give the ejector rod a good rap, then reload.” It worked perfectly. I had assumed I was doing the procedure correctly before, but I was not. Thank you for calling me.
At first, I was so discouraged my Ruger was just not up to snuff for competition practice, but it was me, all the time! My Ruger GP100 is a perfect competition revolver, a honey gun. I’m ordering her some new Hogue Hardwood grips — Goncalo alves with finger grooves.
Oh, by the way, I shot a 610 out of 660 in my PPC relay practice!
Thanks again for taking the time to help a reader at such a personal level.
Big Spring, Texas
100 Percent Free
I enjoyed Alan Korwin’s article (Gun Rights, Jan/Feb 2014). I was a little confused near the end, however, where he talked about the benefits of gun laws. Laws don’t, in fact can’t, give you rights. If there were no local ordinances, no statutes, no case law, no US Code, no Constitution, no Magna Carta, no Code of Hammarabi and no Ten Commandments, you could do whatever you wanted to do. Nothing would be illegal. You’d have 100 percent freedom and could do anything you wished. Any laws enacted could only take away from that freedom. You can’t add to 100 percent freedom.
Boca Raton, Fla.
Alan responds: Thanks for writing, Stephen. I don’t believe I said laws give you rights, and that’s not something I think or believe, in fact it’s opposite of what I believe. Laws however do serve valuable purposes, because they give fair warning of what is illegal, and in our system of “ordered liberty” you are not simply free to do anything, there are agreed upon limits, and that’s how we run society. The point I made at the end was the laws limit what government can do, and that is particularly important, although lately, government is in abject violation of that, and bringing those people back into compliance is increasingly problematic for us all. Laws can be enacted to help guarantee your freedom, which is the whole point of the Second Amendment — it doesn’t grant a right, it recognizes a pre-existing right, and forbids infringement of it. The fatal flaw is it provides no punishment for anyone who would infringe, and that flaw permeates the Constitution in general. Alan Korwin
Thanks for the review and photos of the Kimber Classic Carry (“Show And Go?,” May/June 2014). I saw that pistol on Kimber’s website in late 2012 and fell in love. I had come upon something of a windfall and wanted to splurge on a very special pistol. Unfortunately, the Kimber Classic Carry Pro was not yet available. I did buy a Custom Shop Super Carry Pro, another eye-catcher of a gun, and have been very happy with it. It’s reliable, accurate and a joy to carry as it has the aluminum frame, shaving a few ounces off the weight.
That being said, the Kimber Classic Carry Pro still wails a siren’s call to me. It is (from the excellent Chuck Pittman photos) a singularly beautiful handgun. I am putting my pocket change in a jar now in hopes of being able to add that little treasure to my collection one day.
Enemies Or Not?
In reading and re-reading Mr. Korwin’s article (Gun Rights, May/June 2014) I can only conclude he doesn’t really understand why many of us who are instructors teach these classes. I have been an NRA Certified Instructor in rifle, shotgun, pistol and hunter education since 1976, especially to teach the youth back then about firearms safety and marksmanship. I have also been a Boy Scout Merit Badge counselor in 13 different merit badge subjects, as well, and all of these activities have been as a volunteer. As more classes were developed by the NRA (Refuse To Be a Victim, Home Firearms Safety, Personal Protection in the Home, etc.), I took the instructor courses and became certified in these disciplines. In the past 20 years, as more and more states began to allow concealed carry licenses to be issued on a “shall issue” basis, I became certified in different states so I could teach their courses.
In all of this, if I charged anything, it was to pay for the NRA booklets and videos which I gave to the members of the class. On the range, if a class member didn’t have a firearm of his or her own, I loaned them mine, including providing all of the ammunition needed for the courses. The most I ever charged for a class was $65, to pay for the class materials and for my gas and meals while away from home. Because I was in law enforcement (federal agent for 26 years, retired in 1992, state and local for 16 years, retiring as Captain of our local Sheriff’s Office in 2008), I always felt it was my responsibility to teach firearms safety to anyone who needed it. Whether for a CWP, or for any other purpose, and I didn’t need to make money doing it. I also know many other instructors who feel the same way.
Yes, there are those businesses who see this training requirement for CWP’s as a “money maker,” but the rest of us do not. We regard it as a public service, therefore, I take strong exception to Mr. Korwin’s “henny-penny” attitude about our reasons for teaching these classes, implying we would rather “make money” than backing the 2nd Amendment rights and proffering the idea we are “enemies” of the 2nd Amendment!
If a state requires a course before the issuance of a CWP, then, those of us with the experience should make those classes available to the applicants. As for the “intrusion” into our 2nd Amendment rights by these laws, we agree wholeheartedly. But as a practical matter, I’d rather have someone with a CWP, regardless of class requirements, than to have an unarmed citizenry, unarmed because they wanted to protest the requirements for a license. Wouldn’t that be tantamount to “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face?”
Until the requirements for a CWP are changed, to eliminate the need for a class or even for a license, it is only logical to get the training and the license, don’t you think? That doesn’t mean I or others like me aren’t working “in the background” to have such laws repealed, but, until then, live with the laws which are there.
Walt Okamoto, Capt. (Ret.)
This is the first time I have written to an editor. I’m noticing more and more often law enforcement officers are referring to themselves as if they are not citizens, or something more then we regular citizens. I believe many of our police think they are in the same category as members of our Armed Forces. Their job does not compare in any way to the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces of the USA. When you take that oath (as I did on August 10, 1965) you give Uncle Sam a blank check for your life that can be cashed at any time.
Not so for LEO’s who can walk away from their job at any time, unlike our military. I realize they would probably never be in police work again but they always have that option. I realize many LEO’s have served in the military and I hope they understand the two different roles. Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-police. I respect the job they do, but they must never consider themselves any different or better than an ordinary citizen. I have spoken with an LEO who is in a command position and he tries to convey to the new officers they are not military — and simply citizens like most of us.
Needed to get that off my chest. You guys do a great job with the magazine.
.30 Carbine Handguns
Duke’s article (“.30 Carbine Handguns,” May/June 2014) was a delight to read since I’ve personally owned the guns mentioned. About 10 years ago, I happened to obtain an Inland Corp. carbine. Looking at online one day, I found the Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine and picked it up. A couple of months later, a local gun store had the Automag for sale for $400 and I picked it up too. I handload, and used the Ruger to size the rounds I made, 110-gr. soft nose. If they fit in it, they’d work in the carbine and the Automag.
I later sold the Ruger but still have the Automag. The Ruger would take just about any ammo and fire it, but the Automag was a little bit pickier. The one thing Duke didn’t mention is, besides being loud, both guns emit a flame about four or five feet long which is very visible during cloudy days and at dusk.
The Automags are luck of the draw, I’ve never had a problem with mine but a friend who saw mine decided he had to have one for his collection. He had numerous problems with it until a gunsmith worked it over. As for the extractor breaking, Numrich has them for sale.
I thoroughly enjoy shooting the Automag and it’s always an attention getter at the range. I usually have to have extra ammo so other shooters can try it out. Thanks Duke for another interesting article.
Andrews Custom Leather
I have read a couple of Handgunner’s writeups on Andrews Custom Leather in the past. I know Sam personally and can’t say enough good things about him. I first met Sam in the late 1980’s when I found about him through some law enforcement friends. He was making holsters in a small workshop in the back of his parent’s home. I purchased some holsters from him and he instructed me on making a few leather accessory items myself, letting me use his tools and doing the machine stitching for me for free. He eventually moved into a larger shop in a rural area. He has a very modest shop and I am still amazed at the products he turns out. In July of 2013 my wife and I moved from Florida to New Hampshire, but before I left I went by Sam’s and ordered two holsters. In due time they arrived in NH. As usual they both looked great and were molded perfectly, including one for a S&W Performance Center 629 that Sam had only made an outline drawing of the barrel profile on! Anyway my hat is off to Handgunner for promoting quality vendors no matter how large or small their business, and to folks like Sam Andrews who put their heart into their business and turn out great products. I will miss being able to drop by his shop and visit.
If you’d like to learn more about Sam’s great work with exotic leather, try his website at www.andrewsleather.com. RH
Return To The Fold
The saying goes, the grass is green is on the other side. Well don’t believe it. I’m coming back as a subscriber. There might be an article or two in the competitor magazines but the overall range of topics and quality presented in American Handgunner makes this publication the top choice for me. My compliments to your writers.
Enough of the warm and fuzzy — I don’t want to put you in tears. I’m having a problem finding a mold for a specific bullet and would appreciate it if you would be willing to forward this on to Mike Venturino for his expert advice. I am considering the purchase of a Smith and Wesson Model 52. From the information I have found, this gun favors a hollow-base wadcutter bullet in 147/148 grains. From my attempts to find the availability of this bullet, I have decided I would prefer to obtain a mold and cast my own bullets. However, finding the mold has also been a challenge. Do you know of a source for such a mold or someone who would machine a mold at a reasonable price?
Joe, Duke says trying to cast a HB wadcutter can be a pain since the hollow base can be difficult to cast properly. He and Taffin both say a standard 148 target wadcutter with a full, flat base would work fine. Lee Precision, among others, offer them. Good luck with that intesting semi-auto. RH
I’ve been a subscriber for more than a few years now. I’ve mostly been a semi-auto pistol shooter so, at first, I didn’t really read many of John Taffin’s articles. Then, they started to draw me to them, slowly. When John was down due to illness, I had just started to regularly read his articles and was really sorry to see he would not be able to write for a few months. Over the last few years, he has given me an appreciation for “sixguns”, and I recently purchased my second, a 6″ S&W 629 to go with my 4″ 686. I’m reloading .38, and recently purchased .44 dies. I plan to shoot my 686 in local PPC matches. Matches are a great excuse to shoot your guns!
So, while many new shooters may be attracted to semi-autos, tell John not to give up on proclaiming the benefits and advantages of shooting revolvers. Some of us are listening!
Dave, more than just some of you guys are listening. Revolver articles always generate a huge response, and everything from reloading to targeting, antiques and collecting to personal defense issues dealing with revolvers always gets you fellows asking for more. So, we’ll continue to deliver the goods, I promise. RH
I’ve read a few letters lately in your pages from readers (even one who was a retired cop) who said they would likely not get involved in a potential deadly force incident unless it involved their families directly. As a retired cop myself, I find that hard to swallow. How could someone willingly stand by and allow thugs to beat or murder someone, simply because they didn’t want to risk getting involved. Granted, the old adage about there being an attorney attached to every bullet leaving your gun is true, what is a life worth? As a retired cop, I could no sooner stand by and watch evil do its worst as I could fail to take my next breath. And it especially riles me to think of someone who is armed (and hopefully trained at some level) who would allow such a thing to happen.
Honestly? I think there should be a question on an applicant’s license: “Do you promise to use this remarkable opportunity to help prevent deadly crime from occuring in your presence?” If they say no, then no license. Perhaps they should issue them cell phones only, pre-programmed with the local police number? I don’t know how I could possibly manage my own feelings if I stood by and watched someone get beaten or killed. And if you carry a gun for protection, you need to make some decisions before you’re confronted with that situation.
We’ve heard from both sides on that issue, Ted, and I think as cops, or retired cops, it’s easier for us to make that decision since we spent careers stopping bad guys from hurting good people. But for someone without that experience, I can see how it would be difficult to make a decision likely to impact your family forever. You only need to look as far as a few high-profile citizen, defensive-shootings lately, to see how it can escalate. Me? I’ll do what I can to stop a thug from victimizing someone if it’s more than just a property crime and may lead to serious injury — or death. RH
While perusing the Nov/Dec 2013 issue, I turned to The Insider. On page 121, there was a picture of the Iver Johnson with the trigger “safety.” I collect antique firearms and give talks about them at the local museum and anywhere else I’m permitted. I have an Iver Johnson in .38 S&W with the shrouded hammer and that same trigger safety. I always point it out to anyone who owns firearms and always get comments about it. I wonder if there might be an article about the old Iver Johnson guns and their advertising claim of “Hammer the hammer” in the future?
On another note, I’ve written before but my notes have usually been about comments made in the Speak Out column. I’m now going to shamelessly praise your magazine — and the nay-sayers be damned. I only buy American Handgunner and Guns magazines, because they’re great. I finally figured out why though. It’s almost like the old Sears and Wards catalogues. I page through and admire guns and related items. As I go through, I say, I want that, I might like that, what a stupid idea, too expensive for me, and the ever present … someday. Thanks for having a talented stable of writers (don’t let the praise go to your heads guys), well put-together magazines, and stories providing tons of information.
El Paso, Texas
Well Rod, your timing is nearly perfect. The same thought crossed my mind when I was taking that photo of that old gun, and I asked Taffin to do a feature on the old break-tops. His wife, Dot, has a good collection of them so it his pleasure. Check out his article on them (Sixgunner) in this issue! And thanks for your many kind words. I shared your note to the staffers, and I’m sure I’ll be dealing with inflated egos yet again now. RH