Justin Case

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Hates Handguns

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is intent on reducing gun ownership
north of the border, especially handguns. He’s not very subtle about it, either.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is no friend of gun owners north of the border, and he probably doesn’t like us much down here, either, since we have guns and a Second Amendment in our Constitution to protect them from guys like him.

About this time last month, Trudeau’s ruling Liberal government announced it was going to implement a “temporary ban” on the importation of so-called “restricted handguns” beginning Aug. 19. Are you sitting down? Because this next revelation is an eye-roller.

The “temporary ban,” according to Reuters, “would stay in place until a national freeze on handguns comes into force.” Right, Canada banned handgun imports “temporarily” until the country can ban them permanently.

All of this was about implementing bill C-21, which was explained by Trudeau & company as a way “to fight gun violence.” Does anyone want to bet a tank full of gasoline this scheme is going to work as well as gun control has been working in, say, Chicago?

Canadians are allowed to own firearms so long as they have a license, Reuters reported. Here’s another laugher. The story actually said this: “Restricted or prohibited firearms, like handguns, must also be registered.” I looked at that and re-read it twice.

How does a Canadian citizen register a “prohibited firearm?” Give it some thought over the upcoming Labor Day weekend and tell me how that is supposed to work.

If You Think That Was Funny

The laughs keep coming south, in a bizarre sort of way. See if any of this seems familiar.

The Toronto Star recently ran a story with this headline: ‘It’s amazing in a sad way’: Handgun sales are ‘insane’ after Ottawa unveiled plan to ban them, store owners say.

Evidently Canadians haven’t paid much attention to the United States and our buying habits. Every time somebody on Capitol Hill mentions gun control, us Yanks flock to gun stores like there’s a blue light special. People line up outside of gun shops to buy either another gun or their first firearm, because nothing says “Buy Now” louder than a gun control proposal.

Incidentally, this report was from back in June, which explains Trudeau’s hasty decision to clamp down on handgun imports early. Instead of reducing the number of firearms in Canada, he ignited a buying frenzy.

These guys just don’t get it, whether they’re in Ottawa or Washington, D.C.

And here may be the kicker. According to KSL News in Salt Lake City, last year Canadian firearms importers brought in an estimated $28.2 million worth of revolvers and pistols, “with two-thirds of that coming from the United States.”

Dave bought this Beretta Model 70 many decades ago, and it’s a
proven design for a pocket pistol; flat, unobtrusive and lightweight.

My Pocket Rocket

All of this angst in Ottawa reminded me of a little gem hiding in my gun safe, a pocket pistol of some notoriety because it represents, in my opinion, the kind of pistol Trudeau could really despise.

Way back in my youth, I bought a pistol from a pal who needed some cash, and since I had moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, while living off campus, my needs and his sort of came together. His gun was a handsome little Beretta Model 70, chambered for the .32 ACP cartridge. It’s a single-action semi-auto with exposed hammer, decent finish and I’ve never experienced a jam or any other malfunction with this gat.

When he wrote his final James Bond novel, “The Man With the Golden Gun,” the late Ian Fleming sort of gave away his limited knowledge of handguns by having the villain in his story tell Bond the 7.65mm Walther PPK our hero was carrying was “a real stopper.” Fleming probably should have corresponded with Jeff Cooper or Elmer Keith — or both — before writing such stuff. Just because Humphrey Bogart popped a Nazi bad guy in “Casablanca” using a 1903 Colt in .32 ACP doesn’t mean he wasn’t under-gunned for the occasion.

Anyway, my little Beretta is going to become a family heirloom. I actually wanted my dad’s Model 1934 Beretta in .380 ACP, but he swapped that pistol — which originally belonged to an uncle who passed away from cancer — for a 16-gauge single-shot Harrington & Richardson shotgun for me when I was about 12 years old. I think he got the wrong end of that deal, and so did I, for several reasons.

Stacked against a .45 ACP (left), the .32 ACP is a pipsqueak, but it satisfies the first requirement of a gunfight: have a gun!

Still, a .32 auto is better than having no gun at all, and I actually carried this pistol for several years in an ankle rig I crafted to fit inside my cowboy boot. The pistol came with a single magazine, so I bought another and ground off the finger extension at the front of the floorplate to eliminate any telltale print on the leg of my jeans.

Disassembling the Model 70 Beretta takes about 20 seconds or less.
It strips down to basic parts for cleaning. Notice magazine release
button on lower rear of frame/butt.

True Simplicity

If there were ever a better example of simplicity in a pistol design, I haven’t seen it. The Model 70 Beretta is so easy to disassemble and reassemble it’s a guilty pleasure.

Simply press the open top slide about an inch to where a semi-circular groove is cut on the right side, allowing the rotation of the retention pin, which then allows the slide and barrel to be moved forward off the slide rails. The Model 70 has an aluminum frame, and in my particular specimen, despite having hundreds of rounds through the gun, shows no more wear than the absence of the blue-black finish on the rails.

The safety on my early model in the series was a cross-bolt hammer block, and the magazine release was an awkwardly-placed button at the left rear of the grip frame. Still, after much practice, I managed to become rather adroit at quick magazine changes.

In later versions, Beretta used a thumb safety, but the mag release remained unchanged in any specimen I’ve ever seen.

Its recoil spring is on a full-length guide rod, and sights are fixed with the rear dovetailed, so I presume it can be adjusted slightly left or right, but I’ve never bothered with it.

My pistol shoots a little high and to the left, so I aim a bit low and to the right, and can keep them pretty much in the black. Granted, the Model 70 — which was once also called the “Puma” — is no target pistol. However, one afternoon many decades ago, while cruising around up in the mountains of eastern King County, Washington with the pal who sold me the gun, I managed to score repeated hits on a hemlock stump on the far side of a canyon, a distance I would estimate was a good 125 yards away. I had to walk in my initial shots, but once I had the sight alignment right, I popped in a good 12-15 rounds before reloading and holstering the Beretta.

Ammunition for the .32 ACP is available from lots of sources, and Dave has tried them all. As noted on the DPX box, the little cartridge can scoot out at better than 1,000 fps.

No Handloads

I was once challenged, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, by a buddy to purchase dies to reload my .32 ACP brass. Thanks, I’ll pass.

Today’s .32 ACP ammunition has the benefit of both powder and bullet advances over the years, and I doubt I could come up with anything better than Federal, Hornady, Winchester, Remington or anybody else. Gone are the days of being stuck with FMJ rounds, and nowadays, I can load up with ammunition from various sources pushing 60-grain JHPs out at a sizzling 1,000 fps or thereabouts.

Trust me, this ammunition is going to get somebody’s attention if it were ever to come to that.

All I would do if I tried handloading .32-caliber ammunition would be to lose my temper repeatedly. It’s a cute little cartridge, but my fingers are not what they once were, and I’ve got a decent supply of ammo, so we’ll just allow this pistol to escape the perils of my handloading.

I have been in Canada one time only, for some flyfishing on the Bow River in Alberta, and to attend a conference. I have not been back, and have no desire to go, for the same reason I have no plans to ever again set foot in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut or Illinois.

Anyplace that would not welcome my little Beretta is not a place I care to visit.

‘Lost Talent’ Response

We received a reader reaction to the Insider piece of July 29 from a fellow named Bill.

I wanted to share my pleasure reading this contribution and I appreciate the topic.
I don’t know how to contact the editor of this article so I chose “ed” hoping it will find its way to the appropriate person.
Thank you,

Bill: It got to the right place! Thanks for your kind remark, and I hope you continue reading Insider Online.

Subscribe To American Handgunner