By Roy Huntington
Whenever I hear someone say, “Oh, revolvers? They’re dead …” I always think of the hundreds of letters I get from you wanting more about them. You tell me stories of your own round guns — hunting, personal defense, plinking, collecting and more. Like print magazines — they’re hardly dead! We’ll keep the spirit alive here, rest assured!
S&W’s new Model 69 Combat Magnum is a 5-shot .44 Mag. built on the handily sized L-Frame, making it an honest CCW-capable big bore. Executive Editor Mike Humphries picked one up to try out as his carry gun, fitted out in a really nice Milt Sparks Versa Max 2 horsehide inside-the-waistband holster. His pronouncement? “Hey, this really works!” So there you go, from a certified revolver guy.
Are you packing a snubbie .38 and want the maximum power possible in a shootable package? Federal Premium’s Personal Defense HST .38 Spl. +P deserves a close look. The 130-gr. load features a specially designed hollow point deeply seated within the case, ensuring consistent powder burn rates while also providing reduced felt recoil. We tried it — it works.
Bowen Classic Arms builds fine custom revolvers and is also justly famous for their line of sturdy “Rough Country” and other sights for Ruger and S&W revolvers. Paired with one of Bowen’s custom front sights, it turns the modest into the miraculous. I have them on many of my own guns and they’re always money well spent. If you can’t see the sights, what’s the use?
The Alaska Hunter Hip Holster ($120 — a steal) from Diamond D has ease of carry in mind. The rear belt loop can also be unscrewed to loop over a backpack strap, or other fixed strap. A flap is also available, and there are fits for autos too. I carry mine with this Bowen Custom Model 25 .45 Colt sixgun and it’s comfy and secure. If you have a big gun to carry, here’s the answer.
Karla Van Horne of Purdy Gear made these two beauties. The right (J-Frame paddle rig with flap) for field carry is called the T-1. The other fits my Model 69 with a 2.75″ barrel. I asked Karla for a “fast on and off” field holster design for both, which also convert to cross-draw easily. Bingo, she nailed them! They can be had with belt loops if needed. Being custom she can do just about anything you might need. Lots of versatility here and stunning workmanship.
BLACKHAWK!’s S.O.L.A.G Recon Glove is made for military/police field use, and I found them just the thing for handling heavy-recoiling revolvers. The little Freedom Arms Model 97 in .45 Colt peeking out is great fun, but with heavy loads, it can bite. These gloves tame the little beast. They also offer touch-screen use, cut-resistant palms and even Nomex flash/flame protection if you’re shooting the really big guns!