dinosaur hunting

Speak Out November/December 2019

Normally, one of the first articles I read is Duke’s, but his piece on hunting dinosaurs, I mean, er … dinosaurs and handguns, set a new bar height (Sept/Oct 2019). It’s one of his all-time best. And that’s covering several million years from what I can tell.

Paul Loschiavo
Via email 

Our Responsibilities

Your recent Gun Rights series presents a number of compelling arguments against legislation limiting gun owners’ rights, but I see no strong positions to address what we all (should) consider a very serious gun crime situation throughout this country. What are your (and your readers) specific proposals to reduce this acknowledged and severe problem? Gun ownership is not just a right but a serious responsibility. If that handgun is not carried, it must be secured for the safety of family and friends (especially children), and statistics prove many illegal guns are obtained by theft from homes and vehicles.

Way too many in my demographic (60s, white male) take their lives with a firearm, and younger military vets are a close second. Suicide does not go away by not talking about it. Talk to friends and family (and yourself) before this becomes a personal tragedy for you.

For those concerned about personal defense, owning and/or carrying a firearm is not the simple solution — routine tactical practice is an absolute requirement. LEOs know and practice this and still have field issues.

Many legally obtained firearms become illegal at some point and not just ones stolen. This problem must be addressed. Not all legal buyers — or those they sell to — are “good guys.” Unfortunately, it’s human nature; some people are evil or motivated by financial greed.

I’m offering my comments and encouraging others to reply with possible solutions. I have no real answers to this complicated problem but we all need to keep thinking about it.
Terry Baker
Via email

Parking Lot Insanity

I read Duke’s column on the parking lot fiasco (Shooting Iron, Sept/Oct 2019). It doesn’t pay to try and figure out why people do stupid, dangerous and evil things. You need to pay attention to what they’re doing, what jeopardy it places you in, then react appropriately. Secondly, after the driver came back again it would have been time to leave and call 911. Maybe even after the first time. Usually if something doesn’t seem right — it isn’t. Listen to your gut. Glad it all worked out okay though, and thanks for sharing the experience with us all. It serves as a good reminder.
Via email

Gun Winner

Just wanted to tell you how great it was to win the May/June 2019 American Handgunner magazine prize package. I read the magazine cover to cover every month and then enter the drawing never thinking I would win. Can’t tell you how excited I was when I opened your letter and found out I had won! I’d like to thank you personally for the way you helped me through the process.
From Illinois

The Mighty .25

Great article by Mike Cumpston on the tiny but “mighty” .25 ACP and its little launching pad pocket pistols (“.25 ACP Ragtime Wonders,” July/Aug 2019). It may not be mighty in the sense of its big brother .45 ACP, but it’s mighty in the sense of all the little poppers that have been made to shoot it — and the comfort and protection it’s provided over the years. Would I pick it if I could choose a more powerful round? No, but it sure beats fingernails or harsh words! Mike left out the best of the group though, in neglecting the Beretta 950 Jet-Fire tilt-barrel semi-auto.

The slides of pocket .25 ACP pistols are hell to rack due to their stiff recoil springs, but with the Beretta 950 you simply cock the hammer, put the safety on, insert the loaded magazine, hit the slide tilt lever and insert a cartridge in the chamber. When you lower the barrel, the gun is loaded, cocked and locked for duty. The gun can be carried in Condition One (in a holster, please!) with the hammer cocked and a round in the chamber, and the slide never has to be racked. Great for folks with arthritis, and limited hand strength!

Clete Davis
Via email

Armed And Competent

I was rereading letters in both GUNS and Handgunner today. I noticed a vibrant pattern that’s getting stronger, especially in GUNS. Readers have a varied interest but the same joie de vivre I think that’s French and adds a bit of fancy to an otherwise ordinary thought. I searched the periodical section at the big library we have here this afternoon and could not find anything to compare to either magazine. Perhaps you’ve found a segment of the population far superior to the rest? If we reach a point of numbers where we can influence society, all the better. Also, we’re armed and competent, so we have that going for us too.
Ted P. 
Via email

Dire Consequences …

Several months ago you — or a sister publication — published a letter from a fellow who, some years ago, was dispatched by his wife with $300 to buy a washing machine. On the way he stopped by the local gun store and spent the money instead on a new Colt Python. His wife was not amused then, and is not now!

Please more fully consider the consequences of such a letter. My wife shares my passion for “walnut and blue” guns, and I shared the letter with her. The next time I left the house, she shoved $300 in my pocket and told me to come back with a Colt Python. I am now in kind of a fix.
Keep up the outstanding work. I truly enjoy your magazine!
Dave S.
Via email

Dave, we hope you’re not living in the dog house these days. By the way, I’m good for another $300 for another Python if you don’t mind? —RH

A Reminder

We’re maintaining America, its principles and values — each in our own way. Part of my life, who I am, and what I stand for is displayed in the pages of American Handgunner. You and your writers have displayed character and integrity in your endeavors — and I certainly do appreciate that. I’m certain the loyal readers of your mag do too. The younger and newer readers will soon learn the magazine and writers contribute to their way of life — and they should feel grateful and privileged.

We take care of our own! And that “own” becomes extended at times.

We are decent human beings and American Patriots and on occasion we might hear we are good spouses. Ha!

My ancestor is Private Jacob Vatter, a Revolutionary War soldier from a Pennsylvania Regiment who was with General Washington at the Battles of Trenton and Yorktown. May I one day measure up to his citizenship and service.

God Bless the Republic!
Press on. Out for now.
Ronnie B.
A Son of the American Revolution,
and an American Handgunner

You sir, have humbled all of us here. While I’m not entirely sure we always live up to your description, I’ll tell you firsthand — we do our best. I know I speak for all of us here at both Handgunner and GUNS when I say we’ll stay the course. —RH

Tongue Twisters

As a long time reader and subscriber to both Handgunner and GUNS, I’ve occasionally seen mention of how to pronounce certain names. I would love to see a short article or sidebar of names and their phonetic pronunciations. Perhaps even as a tear-out to keep as reference. As a start here’s a short list your other readers could add to. In no particular order: Sako, Shielen, Geissele, Polygonal, Garand, Kahles, Leupold, Dieudonné Saive and Lilja.  

Both magazines are superb. The writers with their in-depth articles, the photography and layout, the knowledge shared and the humor. You all are greatly appreciated. 
Meyer Weiner
Via email

Meyer, what a great idea! Many of those are among the ones we just sort of mumble over when we read them. I’ve tasked Dave Anderson to take this project on. Dave’s the right guy for it so I anticipate a good read. I’d like to add “Radom.” Is it “Ra-Dom” or “Ray-dome?” Dave, you listening? —RH

Fix It Syndrome

You guys hit it out of the park with the DIY Guns Special Edition magazine. I’m a 78-year-old DIY “practical gunsmith” and once I began to read the magazine I couldn’t put it down! Great content and great authors. I love the technical stuff I can actually do at home. If you understand how guns work, you can understand why they’re designed the way they are, and you can maintain and repair them.
John Hinckley
Washington, Michigan

We worked hard on that one, John, so it’s good to hear it’s striking a chord. If you’d like to get your own copy, you can find it on the local newsstand or magazine rack or go to www.fmgpubs.com/product/american-handgunner-diy-guns-2019-special-edition/ or call: (866) 820-4045. You can also get a PDF download of it online too. —RH

Dry Firing And Red Dots

I’ll get right to it. Can I dry fire my handguns without using snap caps? I’ve been doing this off and on for several years without apparent damage to them but I’ve been told I should use snap caps. Do the gun models make any difference to this activity?

My second question is what are the pros and cons of red dot sights on pistols? Are these optical sights more accurate than the ones coming on my handguns? I’m a retired deputy sheriff and shooting handguns is a hobby of mine.
Phillip R. Martin
Joliet, Illinois

Good questions, Phillip. On the dry-firing, if the guns are modern centerfire guns, you’re fine. If it’s a rimfire, especially an old one, use snap caps or empty .22 cases (and rotate the cases now and again). But better to get snap caps for them. I think one of the best reasons to use snap caps is you’re assured the gun is unloaded. Dry-firing is an important part of honing your skills, but do it safely by keeping the guns and ammo well separated from each other and making sure the back-stop is safe.

On the “dot” sights, they’re not more accurate than iron sights, but if you can see the dot or image more clearly, it will be easier to shoot more accurately. The “single sighting plane” placement of the “dot” means you only need to focus on the target, the dot is sort of “magically” appearing on the target. Put the dot where you want the bullet to go and press the trigger. With irons you’re trying to keep three things in focus — the rear sight, front sight and target — virtually impossible. The downside is the fact electronic sights can fail, are bulkier than irons and it takes practice to become fast with one. On a personal note, I use dot-type sights on some of my .22 autos, both for small game hunting and targets and plinking. All of my defensive guns have irons. —RH

Revolvers Rule

It’s a great day and an uncommon one nowadays to see a revolver on the cover of a gun mag. But there it was on the cover of the Sept/Oct issue of American Handgunner. Thanks for knowing revolvers remain viable handguns, and many gun people love their wheelguns. It was a great issue, with revolvers also featured in articles by John Taffin, Duke Venturino — I’m one of those dinosaurs Duke talked about — and Clayton Walker. It was interesting to learn about the S&W I-Frame. Also liked Duke’s other article about the incident in his home state of Montana, my birthplace. Of course, I always learn something from Massad Ayoob, Dave Anderson and Your Royal Editorship, Mr. Huntington. Receiving your magazine always brings joy — like a family reunion but without the hassle. Thanks for that.
David Livingston
New Mexico

David, rest assured revolvers will remain a common theme for both Handgunner and Guns since we’re all die-hard revolver shooters too. We always appreciate the kind words, too! —RH

Gun Cleaning

Can you do an article on properly cleaning pistols like GLOCKs, step by step with recommended cleaning solvents, oils and such?
Via email

Frank, we’ve covered such things many times, and the best way to get a handle on it is to watch the Insider Tips video on cleaning a semi-auto. Go to www.youtube.com/user/fmgpubs then search for “Gun Cleaning 101” and I think you’ll find what you’re looking for. There’s also lots more sort of “how to” videos there so nose around some. —RH

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