SHOOTING IRON

THUMB BUSTIN' MUSINGS FROM THE DUKE
The Best Handguns I’ve Known

I’m not saying some particular manufacturer made better handguns than others in terms of fit, finish or quality of production. What I am saying is some...
Read Full Article
Making Your Revolver Personal

In nearly 60 years of handgunning, during which I’ve owned hundreds of revolvers, I’ve learned much about making them suitable for me personally....
Read Full Article
Colt Cap & Ball Revolvers
Colt’s Cap & Ball Revolvers

Some of Sam Colt’s early efforts in creating workable revolvers seem like jokes today. Of course, they were loaded with either paper cartridges holding...
Read Full Article
COLT’S SAA 2nd Generation

Colt never envisioned bringing the SAA back post World War II, although some were assembled from parts and sold in the late 1940s. What resurrected the SAA...
Read Full Article
Best of the Best

As a firearms industry dinosaur, I’m sad to have seen the end of double-action revolvers’ golden years. In my time, barrels were actually barrels,...
Read Full Article
Eggshell Skull: the Case...

Situation: A 250-pound bouncer smashes the head of a brain surgery patient into a floor … and it’s deadly force time. Lessons: Expect to have to...
Read Full Article
Coated Bullets

Throughout my handloading career the vast majority of handgun bullets I’ve sent downrange have been cast – mostly by me but a significant minority by...
Read Full Article
Who needs an...

A single action revolver gives up exactly nothing to an autoloading pistol for the first five rounds.
Read Full Article
The U.S....

The Colt SAA revolver only served officially for the U.S. Cavalry between 1873 and 1892, which begs the question of what other handguns served American...
Read Full Article
Pistol Powders

My very first reloading manual, Lyman’s Reloader’s Handbook #45 (1967), is still on my desk. Along with it is their new one, #51 (2022). Handbook #45...
Read Full Article
Blowed-Up Guns

Brothers and sisters believe me, when a handgun blows up in your hands it will ring your chimes! That doesn’t necessarily mean it will physically hurt you.
Read Full Article
Colt's Cartridge...

Among avid single action revolver shooters there is a sub-genre of handguns well respected but often misunderstood. Those are the Colt Conversions of cap &...
Read Full Article
Shooting Iron:...

There is much hoopla in the firearms press about the new .30 Super Carry and the handguns being built for it. I don’t own one of the pistols, have never...
Read Full Article
Shooting Iron:...

Not long into my shooting career I realized not all revolvers were equal in terms of closely putting bullets near one another on paper targets. Many years...
Read Full Article
The .44 Ruskie

I’m going to detail why I like the .44 S&W Russian. At least I like it in this one particular revolver.
Read Full Article
Classic Everyday...

In my personal opinion, the most practical Colt SAAs are the Shorties. I have three right now: the “Sheriff’s Model” mentioned above, a .45 with a 3...
Read Full Article
Shooting Iron:...

S&W Model 10 Military & Police .38 Specials are point and shoot, home guns. No more practical, down-to-earth, no-nonsense handgun has ever existed.
Read Full Article
Shooting Iron:...

My love affair with Colt Single Action Army sixguns started in 1968. Like someone separated from a loved one for a long time, I have renewed my acquaintance...
Read Full Article
The Worst...

Anyone who has studied the history of military handguns must wonder how some ordnance officers formed their concepts of ideal handguns.
Read Full Article
Colt’s Most...

As odd as it may seem, some of the Colt SAA’s most popular chamberings have been developed by Winchester; as in Winchester Center Fire or as we know them...
Read Full Article
Creative...

I’m nothing if not impetuous. A few years back I got it in my head a shiny nickel-plated Colt 1911 would suit me, so I bought the first one encountered.
Read Full Article
Frontier Firepower

Firepower of Old West revolvers is one of the most misrepresented historical aspects of that era.
Read Full Article
A Shoulder...

I’ve been searching around for a good method to carry a handgun if I’m not wearing a belt.
Read Full Article
Single-Action...

It’s odd how some things stick in your mind and others fly away as in a stiff wind.
Read Full Article
Generosity or...

Back in the 1970s, during the years I lived in and around Yellowstone National Park, I became friends with a Mississippian named Jim Shumaker.
Read Full Article
Handgun Milestones

Recently a fellow asked me when I became interested in guns. My reply was … I was born with it.
Read Full Article
BBQ Colt

Recently on an Internet website a fellow asked me, “Do you have a barbeque Colt?” I replied, “Um, No, I don’t think so.”
Read Full Article
.44 RUSSIAN,...

It amazes me how many shooters — young and old — talk about their .44 Specials or .44 Magnums without having a clue as to their ancestry.
Read Full Article
A Colt Buntline...

Finding a Colt Buntline from first year production still with its original albeit nearly destroyed box definitely tripped my trigger.
Read Full Article
Slip-Ups And...

With my writing career nearing 50 years (full time since 1981) with over 2,000 printed features and columns I’m bound to have made mistakes.
Read Full Article
Pliers And Files

In the spring of 1984 I was preparing to fly to Southern California to participate in my very first End Of Trail cowboy action match. I had only one misgiving.
Read Full Article
ACCOUTERMENTS

My dictionary says “accouterments” are military accessories. I love the word because to me it seems like a combination of accumulate and collect,
Read Full Article
Reunited

Back in 1973 a friend and I got it in our heads we should take a couple saddle horses and my trusty steed “Duke” as a pack horse and head south.
Read Full Article
A Remington...

Back in the first years of this century a fellow contacted me saying he was putting a replica of the Remington Model 1875 revolver into production and he...
Read Full Article
Almost... A DQ...

Last summer for the first time in my life I thought I might have to use a gun to defend myself.
Read Full Article
Browning and...

A little-known fact among modern handgunners is the Hi-Power was truly international in both manufacture and usage. FN had Hi-Powers in full production for...
Read Full Article
How We Shoot:

The vast majority of handgun shooting competitions nowadays are geared to speed. That’s understandable. It’s fun to do and fun to watch. There’s...
Read Full Article
The “New”...

What did I mean about the “first time?” The .45 Colt’s first term of service was 1873 to 1892. The revolvers had 71/2" barrels and the issue loads as...
Read Full Article
World War 1 Handguns

When Woodrow Wilson’s administration declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, the American military was woefully unprepared. Regarding handguns, American...
Read Full Article
Webley MKV1 .455

The Webley MKVI certainly fits the criteria British ordnance people evidently set for their service revolvers: big, ugly, underpowered and top break. I...
Read Full Article
WWI Handguns

Being as how we’re around the centennial of America’s involvement in World War I, his Editorship Roy gave me the go ahead to cover some combat handguns...
Read Full Article
The U.S. MODEL...

When the United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, the standard sidearm for the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps was the Model 1911 .45 Auto. The...
Read Full Article
"Load/Accuracy...

At times readers ask me, “Why doesn’t Handgunner have many load or group charts?” My response is, “Because we think they are next to worthless.”...
Read Full Article
Pick Your Poison

I like bullets. I’m speaking of actual bullets and not loaded ammunition, which the idiots in the news media continually and mistakenly call “bullets.”
Read Full Article
The Odd Couple

One perk of being a gun’riter is there’s a never-ending array of things to write about. While many choose to be on the “cutting edge,” I look...
Read Full Article
Almost Right:...

In regards to handguns, the British often don’t get things right. Well, they usually don’t get things right. Oh, heck, they almost never get things...
Read Full Article
Little Bighorn...

His Editorship, Roy, emailed me concerning a forthcoming auction item he had seen advertised. It is listed as the only completely intact Colt SAA .45...
Read Full Article
Go Fancy —...

My dreams — good or bad — are vivid. Late in 2015 I had to undergo open heart surgery. Still under the effects of anesthesia a night or two after the...
Read Full Article