Far Out?

Dudes, I don’t know what Connor and “Bill” have been smoking (Guncrank Diaries, Sept/Oct 2013) but please put me in the loop! A skateboard “rigged for silent running”? Wait! I remember now! It was the skateboard on board the American sub that was chasing “Bungo Pete” in the movie Run Silent Run Deep. Far out!
Eddie Marsh
Via e-mail


Recently while visiting my daughter and her family in suburban Detroit, we had a home invasion. A man walked into the house from the backyard about 4 a.m. My wife and daughter were up decorating and wrapping gifts for a 4- year-old’s birthday when this happened. The dog heard a noise at the front of the house so my daughter went to check. Fortunately, she picked up her Ruger 101 with a Crimson Trace laser as she went. A man then entered the rear of the house where my wife was wrapping gifts. She yelled at him to get out, but he didn’t move. My daughter came back and told him to get out in very loud, explicit language — and he didn’t move. When she put the red-laser dot on his chest he finally got the idea that he could die so he left. She ran out after him, just as he tripped on the fence in the backyard and lay on the ground, where she put the laser on him again, with instructions not to move. By this time her husband was out there standing over the bad guy with a baseball bat until the police came and arrested him.

I want to thank your magazine, and especially Mas Ayoob, Clint Smith and John Connor for the great information I’ve gathered over the years of reading. I pass all of this info on to my kids, and I’m proud to say my daughter was listening. She did everything right, and the police were very pleased with the way she handled the situation. Everyone walked away, even the bad guy — he had some help though! While it may not always be a good idea to follow the bad guy out the door, in this case he was caught, so he can’t go on to do this again. I believe the laser on his chest made a big difference in his attitude. Everyone knows what that dot means. My daughter is a petit, pretty little blonde — but don’t go in her house and threaten her babies! One of the officers on the scene said, “That guy really picked the wrong house!” The kids (4 and 6) slept through it all.
Proud Papa
Big Rapids, Mich.

Now there’s a story with a happy ending. We all know what might have happened, but due to the competent handling of this incident by the people involved — and the presence of a defensive handgun — we’re reading about a happy ending. I think we’re all on the same page about all this though! Well done, and a Handgunner “hats off” to your daughter! RH

My Lazy Gun

Today I swung my front door wide open and placed my Remington 870 shotgun right in the doorway. I gave it six shells and I even placed it in a wheelchair to help it get around. I then left it alone and went about my business. While I was gone, the mailman delivered my mail, the neighbor boy across the street mowed the yard, a girl walked her dog down the street, and quite a few cars stopped at the stop sign right in front of our house. After about an hour, I checked on the gun. It was still sitting there in the wheelchair, right where I had left it. It hadn’t rolled itself outside. It certainly hadn’t killed anyone, even with the numerous opportunities it had been presented to do so. In fact, it hadn’t even loaded itself. You can imagine my surprise, with all the media hype about how dangerous guns are and how they kill people. Either the media is wrong and it’s the misuse of guns by people that kill people, or I’m in possession of the laziest gun in the world.

Well, I’m off to check on my spoons. I hear they’re making people fat!
Bill Brown
Via e-mail

Lady Sixgunner

Thank you for your Sept/Oct 2013 issue. I am 75 years old and have only been shooting for a couple of years. My husband has been a hunter and gun guy all his life and helped me find my first gun, a S&W Model 63 with a 3″ barrel. I found it mentioned on page 26 of that same issue! I use it when I take my dog on trips in the fields and woods around here.

Then I got to page 63 and found an article on the .357 Magnum, and it just doesn’t get any better than that! My pride and joy is a S&W Highway Patrolman, and this heavy gun helps keep me on target! So, thank you for the articles and photos of revolvers and their ammo. It’s hard to find revolver articles today, so we rely on American Handgunner for it!
Mrs. Carl (Patsy) Sharpe
Via e-mail

What a great letter to get, Mrs. Sharpe, and I’m glad to hear we’re helping you two get your fill of revolver articles! We’ll keep covering wheelguns as long as you guys keep sending us letters like yours! RH

1911 Slide Stop

The more I read and the older I get, the more I realize with a 1911, the slide stop should never be used to bring the pistol into battery. That being the case, why not render the slide stop smooth rather than with a surface compatible with using it to release the slide? By making the slide stop unusable for releasing the slide, one would be more assured his pistol was fully in battery and ready for its intended purpose by simply racking the slide to chamber a round.
Robert L. Theriot
Via e-mail

You make an excellent point, and the concept of only using the slide stop to lock the slide back (either with an empty magazine or by pushing up with a thumb) is sound. The extra distance a slide travels when pulled to the rear and released with a snap, helps to chamber rounds more reliably. Interestingly, some custom pistolsmiths are doing the very thing you say, polishing the “top” of the slide stop, and checkering the bottom portion to make engaging it easier. RH

No Bushing Bashing

Mr. Hamilton has an article (Pistolsmithing, Sept/Oct 2013) about removing stuck screws from the grip screw bushings on a 1911. I had the screw and bushing both come out when I was changing the grips on my 1911 recently. As I didn’t have the proper screw drivers/bits or extra bushings I had to improvise. I took a drop of Blue Loctite and put it in the threads of the bushing, being careful not to let it run over onto the screw. I then replaced them into the frame. After waiting about 2 hours for the Loctite to set up, the screw turned easily and I was able to remove it from the bushing that stayed in the frame. I used Blue Locktite so I could remove the bushing if necessary. I have since purchased the proper screwdriver bits from Brownells!
Cliff Daly
Via e-mail

Shameless Endorsement

I’ve put off writing this for a long time. I think I was waiting for the stars to align or something. Anyway, now is the perfect time. I’ll start with Massad Ayoob. Back when I first started reading his articles and Mas was very young; I was fascinated by his experience and knowledge. Over time he matured, as did his writing, and he is now a very strong writer whom I enjoy more and more. He has played a big part in my education. I was honored the two or three times I shook his hand. Thanks, Mas.

John Taffin is quite near my own age, and even though we have been through the same stages (and trials) over the years, I enjoy him most because our lives have been so different. He offers me a view of who and where I might have been under other circumstances. He offers enlightenment as well as entertainment. Kind of like the older brother I never had. Thanks, John. Live long.

I’d be remiss to exclude you, Roy. Thanks for sharing your years of experience and your insight into the latest and greatest in the firearms industry, not to mention the tenacity you must possess to ride hard on your motley crew of ornery contributors. Thanks, Roy.

Duke Venturino is fun, informative, and very knowledgeable. I don’t read his stuff nearly as much these last few years, as he has taken to writing on subjects in which I have little interest, but I’m really grateful for times past, and for photos (present). Thanks, Duke.

Sammy Reese: Excellent, always.

Oh, and don’t forget whatzisname, um … oh yeah, Connor. Roughneck, but gentle; lots of knowledge of the esoteric, but with a knack for making it understandable. Knows all the jargon and makes up his own, but makes his meaning clear. Breaks all the rules of English — or whatever language it is he speaks — and makes it lucid and even poetic. The best writer in the mag, and the one I always save for last. Number one on the list of people I’d like to spend a day with sometime. Thanks, mate.

I know there are writers I can’t think of right now, and will remember later, but that happens a lot these days, so deal with it.
Cap Schwartz
Via e-mail


John Connor’s article (Guncrank Diaries, Sept/Oct 2013) struck home for me. I had a similar incident last winter. My wife and I live in a semi-rural area, on the edge of my family’s farm, with only a couple of homes in sight. The nearest is a lady who lives alone. About 4:30 a.m., she called saying someone was banging on her door, trying to get in and yelling. I pulled on my pants, shoes and a parka with a SureFire flashlight in the left pocket and my HK P2000 in the right, jumped in my truck and drove up the road not knowing what I would find. When I reached her house my neighbor came outside, saying my wife was now on the phone and the person was beating on my front door. The would-be intruder apparently ran through the field between our homes while I was on the road in my truck.

When I pulled back into my driveway, the woman, probably in her early 30s and quite slim, charged my driver’s door. I concentrated the flashlight beam on her face, stopping her in her tracks, however she kept yelling, and she reeked of alcohol. She was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and was shoeless, socks but no shoes. The temperature was in the mid 20s. Turns out she lived about 2 miles away, had been out with friends and had gotten into some kind of altercation and was put out of the car. She just wanted to call someone to come pick her up. My wife let her use the phone while I stood several feet away clutching the HK’s grip in the parka pocket. I agree with Mr. Connor’s policy to never open a door or turn a corner unless prepared to deal with whatever is on the other side. This outcome was okay but it could have easily gone another way had she had some kind of weapon in the sweatshirt pocket.
Jimmy Millikan
Archdale, N.C.

Stopping Power Issues

I take issue with the results Greg Ellifritz came to in his article (“Defensive Carry,” Sept/Oct 2013). He indicates a 9mm, .40 and .45 ACP all have the same stopping power. I realize it would be difficult to take hundreds of cases to come to a conclusion, but here’s what I think. If you take a person (target) at a certain distance, shoot the target at exactly the same distance, exactly the same location, the .45 ACP has to have more stopping power. Every person is built differently. People have different muscle density, size, etc., so to get an exact result, you must shoot a target at precisely the same distance, the same location in the body, the same weather conditions, etc., to see the difference between different calibers. Physics tells us the .45 ACP would result in more stopping power.
Tony Bonner, Sr.
Via e-mail

Tony, it may seem to be that way, but it simply isn’t in the real world. Think of it this way: The sum difference between a 9mm (.357″) and a .45 ACP (.452″) is about .1″ (1/10″) in diameter. Bullet weight only really allows for a bit more penetration, but in the real world, most of the good 9s, .40s and .45s all penetrate about the same. Energy means nothing. “Dumps 2,000 foot-pounds of energy” is meaningless. I watched a man wearing hard body armor stop a .308 from about 10 feet. He was standing on one leg and barely moved. He “absorbed” thousands of foot-pounds of energy and barely blinked. He said it felt like somebody hit him with a tennis ball thrown hard. I watched an African zebra absorb something around 20,000 foot-pounds of energy from multiple hits from two bolt guns, and when the rounds hit, he sorta’ flinched a bit and then ran some more.

I’ve seen lots of dead bodies (20-plus years as a street cop in San Diego). You can’t tell the difference between a wound from a .38, 9mm, .40 or .45 (or even a .44 Magnum). I saw a bad guy take a full load of 00-buck in the torso from about 20 feet from a cop’s shotgun, and the bad guy ran about 100 yards before he bled out and stopped.

One guy was shot right in the chest with a .45 ACP (Speer Gold Dot) and he sat down and said, “Hey, stop shooting me.”
Greg’s data is solid and his analysis spot-on in the real world. The real message is to get a good gun you can shoot well (and deliver follow-up shots fast) with good ammo and practice! And don’t waste time worrying about caliber or magic bullets! RH

Aussies Talk Back

I’m another regular reader from Down Under. Keep up the good work. American Handgunner is probably the best gun magazine on the market. I was recently interested to see some correspondence with other Australians. I basically agree with R. Aylmore (Speak Out, Sept/Oct 2013). The scales of justice are certainly skewed in this country. However, at the end of the day, thank God for the jury system. There are not too many juries in this country who will convict a citizen for protecting the life of themselves and their families.

We live in a country where it is easier to get a semi-auto handgun than a semi-auto rifle. It’s crazy I know. Each state has created separate gun laws from hell (so much for John Howard’s uniform gun laws). Of course the media will tell you it has been a success, with the proof being we’ve had no more mass shootings. They will not tell you our neighbor, New Zealand, was present at the Police Ministers Conference in 1996 and opted out of the proposed gun law changes. They have also reported no mass shootings in that country.

It seems to make little difference to those who only see what they want to see. The media continues to cater to the many who cannot think for themselves. In the meantime our numbers are growing. We have had a 30 percent increase in gun ownership in this country. We are also beginning to have political clout.

You never want to be in the position that we are in. For us it is an uphill battle. I also urge our American “cousins” to fight and resist all changes infringing on your right to bear arms. Gun control is people control.
Keep up the good work.
P.B. Hunter

Gunwriter Vocabulary?

Dunno who Will Dabbs is, but you need to keep him writing for your fine mag. A gun writer with a vocabulary! One who knows where, and where not, to put a comma! Talk about inducing gyrating fantods, the man is a breath of fresh air for someone who admires a well-turned phrase. And Sarah Dabbs is no slouch with a camera, as long as we’re praising the Dabbs clan. Send ’em some money, keep ’em in the fold.
Jerry Wright

Take Heed

I just wanted to take a minute to comment on John Taffin and his advice. I’ve been reading your magazine since I was 20. I have a particular fondness for John Taffin’s Sixgunner column. On more than one occasion, he has mentioned how blasting away with magnums has injured his wrists, causing a great deal of pain. Being young and naive — back then — blew off his advice for using shooting gloves or some kind of wrist support when capping off power-house rounds. I’m now 41 and wish I would’ve had sense enough to heed a life-time shooters advice. To all you younger gents who enjoy shooting the big boys, take some expert advice from the pros. They’re not just filling space in their columns. They actually know a thing or two about shooting. 
Gabe Romero
Via e-mail

Rockin’ .32s

Thank you very much for singing the praises of the .32s (Insider, Nov/Dec 2013)! I have been a fan of them since I went to high school in the 80s and they were the only guns I could afford. Since then I’ve owned or still own almost every one of the firearms you listed! I’ve found them more enjoyable, more accurate and more reliable then any of the high-tech stuff my friends shoot. I particularly like the .32 ACP and would feel very well armed if I carried one, especially loaded with Winchester Silver Tip. Winchester Silver Tip is very accurate through my guns and is better than a sharp stick!  And because of the lack of recoil, follow-up shots are easier to make. I plan to show that article to my friends who laugh when I take my guns into the field for a day’s fun!
R. “G” Graubard
Greeley, Colo.

And …

I took great pleasure in reading Roy’s Insider column about .32s. I immediately rummaged through my own gun safe and counted a Kel-Tec P-32, Walther PPK/S-1, Taurus PT132 PRO, Colt 1903 and a Savage 1907, all chambering .32 ACP. Yep, all fun to shoot and all worthy of playing a defensive role in cases when my .357 Magnum or.45 ACP 1911s aren’t at hand.
I would suggest Roy may have been mistaken by considering his pile of mouse guns an “affliction.” Seems to me more like an “affection”!
Dave Perl
Via e-mail

Yup, ain’t they fun, Dave?! RH

Add It Up

Once again you guys put together a fine magazine. I especially enjoyed Mr. Huntington’s article on .32s. While reading the Insider, I naturally I had to examine the Add It Up feature, and that led up to this e-mail. I happened to be visiting the local DMV to renew my driver’s license (I swear the quality of the DMV’s cameras seem to have gone down over the years …) where I saw a poster reading: “Drunk drivers in the US kill every 22 minutes, 24/7.”

Do the math and you come up with more than 65 human lives lost daily, and real close to 24,000 innocent lives lost annually due to drunk drivers. Where’s the outrage? Where are all the politicians concerned for our safety?

Concerning Nasty Pelosi’s angst over allowing hunting in California with lead bullets, evidently her antipathy toward destruction only extends to bullets, because she apparently has no concern about the destructive power of her local wind farms. I recently read Nasty Pelosi’s Altamont Pass wind farm is the most dangerous wind farm for predatory birds in the US (Wikipedia: Altamont Pass wind farm). At least 70 Golden Eagles are killed by the turbines annually. Where’s the outrage? These are just a couple more instances of hypocrisy oozing from the liberal pool of lies.

Once again I’m thankful for the fact my teachers taught me how to think instead of what to think!
Gregory Acres
Via e-mail

Oops …

The article about Walther’s PPK/S .22 (“The Umarex/Walther PPK/S .22,” Nov/Dec 2013) should have been entitled: “The Walther PPK/S .22.” Although Walther is a sister company of Umarex, both companies are owned by parent company PW Group, in Arnsburg, Germany and are branded seperately. The PPK/S .22 is, however, made in the same Umarex plant that manufacturers airguns and other .22 models for a wide cross-section of companies. We apologize for any confusion it may have caused. RH

Bowling Pin .32s

It’s interesting you published your article on .32s just a month after our gun club, Capitol City Rifle & Pistol Club/Olympia, WA,  held its annual Bowling Pin Match. The shoot always begins with a .32 “purse gun” match. You only have to knock the bowling pins down as opposed to knocking them off the table. Our guide lines are simple: Any handgun chambered for the .32 ACP, .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long or .32 Colt. Guns are limited to fixed sights and a maximum 4″ barrel length. You get 13 seconds to knock down 6 pins/table with 12 tables (72 shots total).

This match is hotly contested and is the only match I’ve ever encountered letting you actually shoot these little guns in competition. If you want to finish in the top three, you had better not drop more than a couple of points. Interestingly, revolvers are much more popular than semi-autos.

It’s comforting to know we’re not the only nut cases who enjoy the .32s!
John Mickel
Lacey, Wash.


I was talking to some hard-headed old farts the other day. They sometimes don’t see things my way, so they are obviously hard-headed. Some things we agree on, and we all think American Handgunner is the top magazine out there, with the best variety of solid articles in it. We all get other firearms-related mags, and this particular discussion happened to cover our reading preferences. As the discussion went on, a great truth came to me, and I’m now going to share it with you, as I did with them. They all agreed with me — without any of the usual arguing — which astounded me to no end, as they usually argue about everything I say!

From the time we were boys the magazines we read had centerforld pictures of, um, attractive ladies. Only now, all of our favorite magazines have pictures of guns in the centerfold. Do you think that’s a natural progression, or have our tastes just changed? Or, maybe, is it just possible — we get them to read the articles, like we always said we did?
Dave Keithley
Via e-mail

There were articles in those other magazines? RH

American Handgunner ® welcomes letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit all published letters for clarity and length. Due to the volume of mail, we are unable to individually answer your letters or e-mail. In sending a letter to Handgunner, you agree to provide Publishers Development Corp. such copyright as is required for publishing and redistributing the contents of your letter in any format. Send your letters to Speak Out, American Handgunner, 12345 World Trade Dr., San Diego, CA 92128; e-mail: ed@nullamericanhandgunner.com

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All letters above published in The January/February 2014 Issue Of American Handgunner.

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One thought on “Far Out?

  1. Leonard Hayes

    I enjoy John Connor’s writing. He’s one of the reasons I subscribe. His latest classic, “beauty and the Beast” was one of the most entertaining magazine articles I have read in a long time. Made me want to go out, borrow a Deagle and hunt down a Buick!

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