Lessons To Be Learned

Amos Grundy is the guy we used to know, and still wish we did. Roy’s stories about him (Insider, “Amos Overcharges,” Jan/Feb 2014) remind me of the old parables. They are always great stories — but there’s a good lesson buried there someplace! Keep ‘em coming!
Charles Garner
Via e-mail

More On Amos …

Who says you can’t have fun reading a gun magazine? I’ve let my other subscriptions expire of their own free will since I got tired of reading the same trap, sucking up to advertisers all the time. I never know what I’m going to get when I turn a page in Handgunner, and Amos proves it. It reminds me of the beloved Skeeter Skelton stories of so long ago. I’m coming back for more.
Brian Riley
Via e-mail

.32 Accumulation

Some of us might give you understanding concerning your .32 accumulation problem (Insider, “A Marauding But Civilized Gang of .32’s,” Nov/Dec 2013), but it’s unlikely you’ll get much sympathy. Anyone who’s been a shooter for more than say, a few months, is probably going to have a similar problem sooner or later. In my case, it’s break-top revolvers, especially H&R’s, old S&W’s and even the odd Iver Johnson. Around our place, the same thing seems to happen with .22 rifles. Start with one, and next thing you know, there’s suddenly 30 or more you find have taken up residence. Hi-Standard .22 revolvers also hold a peculiar fascination. The saving grace is all of these old guns still work just fine, and because they tend to be ignored by “serious” shooters, they’re real bargains, and are a lot of fun to shoot. I’m often surprised at how many long-time shooters were unaware Hi-Standard made revolvers, or made them for outfits like Sears.

But the strangest aspect of this phenomenon is it also happens with tools. 
Lee Fowble
Edmonds, WA

And …

We’ve e-mailed back and forth over the years and here I am again because you have done it again! I just read your article “A Marauding But Civilized Gang of .32s” and you really got me thinking. So, I stepped into the depths of my safe and it appears I have the same affliction you do. From the .32 ACP’s to the Ruger Blackhawk Convertible in .32 H&R/.32WCF, to my custom Single Six to the Marlin 1894, I pretty well have the .32s covered!

I then started to reminisce about my first .32, which was the NAA Guardian I sent to their custom shop to have them give it the carry treatment. I believe my .32 affliction really kicked off when I found my first secondhand Single Six .32 H&R Magnum. This trend continued until I picked up a Single Six Hunter and sent it to Jim Stroh for conversion from rimfire to .32 H&R and .327 Federal. I’ve never give the “why” of .32 much thought, other than I am simply drawn to them (or them to me). Maybe because they are civilized?

I have likewise shot .32 ACP loads in my revolvers and gotten better groups than I would have ever thought possible. To the opposite end of the spectrum, where I get 1,700 fps velocities (over an Oheler chrono) from Federal’s American Eagle 100-gr. JSP factory loads in my Jim Stroh revolver.
I must admit I believe I still have the affliction, as a S&W K-32 Masterpiece would look really good in this menagerie.
Michael G Sant
Riverton, Utah

Hi-Cap Gas Tanks

It’s time to outlaw high-capacity gas tanks! How many more people have to die before we take action?

I’ve stood silent after the previous deaths due to autos of mass destruction, but I can keep silent no more!

People don’t kill people — cars kill people! If criminals didn’t have high-cap gas tanks, they couldn’t out-run our cops. If Ted Kennedy hadn’t had a high-capacity gas tank that poor woman probably wouldn’t have died at Chappaquiddick! High-capacity gas tanks have no legitimate sporting use — they have to go!

You say you need that high-capacity gas tank to protect your family in case of a coming natural disaster? Nonsense! The government will protect you! They’ll be able to keep their high capacity gas tanks. Besides, statistics show more family members are likely to be killed by autos with high capacity gas tanks owned by their own families than owned by strangers!

And why do we not have universal background checks for buyers of autos of mass destruction? A simple instant background check could keep autos of mass destruction out of the hands of tens of thousands who shouldn’t own them.

I’m well aware criminals will never submit to a background check to buy an auto of mass destruction, and the 5th Amendment protects them from having to register a stolen car, but that is no reason not to implement these necessary restrictions upon ordinary Americans! We have to proctect them from themselves!

And to that end, why do we not have biometrically locked steering wheels so only the original owner can unlock it? And where is the micro stamping on the tires so owners can be identified at crime scenes?

Autos of mass destruction are weapons of war — they have no place in civil society! Why have we not outlawed the Jeeps, Harleys, Humvees, bi-planes and all the other vehicles used in past wars? Why are these mass-destruction weapons of war allowed on our streets? Only the military and police should have them.

It is time for congressional partisanship to be put aside before more senseless killing occurs. Nobody cares about ObamaCare, the budget, or war with Syria — it’s time to take care of the things that really matter — outlaw high-capacity gas tanks now!
Bart Schairer
Hammonton, NJ

Libs Vs. Conservatives

Can we please dispense with the myth conservatives all love guns and liberals all hate guns? While there are gun lovers and haters, they both come in all persuasions; political, economic and social. I consider myself an Independent but I probably vote Democratic more than Republican and I always vote for the candidate, not the party. I am most definitely a strong supporter of the entire Constitution not just the 2nd Amendment, and I believe we are all equal and have the same rights. As an owner of many handguns I am tired of being lumped in with the gun haters just because I happened to lean to the left. You just show your lack of understanding when you automatically assign people labels.
Steve Thomson
Via e-mail

Thanks for your note, Steve. I’m actually pretty middle myself, but when it seems virtually 100 percent of the socialized state and anti-gun stuff is coming from the democratic side, it’s tough to be nice at times. I still confess if someone says they vote democratic, and own guns, I can’t quite get my head around that. Vote for (likely) a politician who may very well work hard to take your guns away? Even though they may be proponents of other things you support, I can’t let go of the fact there’s often a very real chance they will enact anti-gun legislation. I admit I’m pretty much a one-platform voter, and it’s how they feel about firearms mattering most to me. Still, it pains me to no-end when I see the Republican side act like idiots when it comes to things, and it can drive me to vote independent at times. Where is the common sense in our politicians these days? RH

Oops …

I just received a copy of American Handgunner and I saw in the Handgun of the Month (Jan/Feb 2014, page 68) that Raasco Grips is getting credit for our product. I have already spoken with Robert D’Andrea over at Benchmark Precision and he can confirm the grips on the giveaway gun are indeed, VZ Grips.
Kelly Womack
VZ Grips

Sorry Kelly! Hopefully this straightens things out if there was any confusion for our readers. RH

Toner Takes Heed

I just wanted to let you know that I heeded your advice (Guncrank Diaries, Sept/Oct 2013). Now every time I step outside into the night to let old Bruno drain his bladder, it’s with the attitude to either run, fight or climb fences. I also purchased a shoulder rig holster designed by Danny Reed of Reed Gun Leather of Hays, NC, allowing me to always carry a gun, flash light, knife and spare magazine when I do step outside.
Jim Toner
Via e-mail

Check out the cover feature on Toner-modified Glocks (“Combat Modpaks For Glocks,” Jan/Feb 2014) to see Jim Toner’s work. Bet he carries a Toner Glock in that shoulder rig, eh? RH

Super Bowl

Something just occurred to me as I was reading the latest issues of Guns and Handgunner: If a pro team had a lineup equivalent in talent to your writers, they could win the Super Bowl, World Series, Sprint Cup, etc.
I’m just sayin’.
Bob Johnson
Via e-mail

Tootsie Rolls

I want to thank John Connor for writing about the Chosin veterans (Guncrank Diaries, “The Tootsie Roll Tale,” Nov/Dec 2013). My father, George Williams, was a Tech Sergeant with Maintenance Company, 1st Ordnance Battalion, 1st Marine Division. Like other Chosin vets, he was one of Chesty Puller’s boys. My dad never talked about Chosin much, other than how cold it was. That’s the case with many combat vets. So many people in the US don’t know anything about the Korean Conflict, much less about places like Inchon, Wonsan, Hungnam and Chosin. Thanks for reminding your readers about the true meaning of November 11th.
Scott Williams
Combat Medic, US Army Reserve

High Tech Low Tech

I thought I was getting a little old for all the “high tech” stuff. The younger guys at work all have their smart phones and such, but mine still rings and I have to talk to it. Then to my surprise I read Dave Anderson’s article on the latest in high tech gadgets (“A Close Look: High Tech Products,” Sept/Oct 2013). I was excited to see item #7 included a marbles match case with those amazing fire starting sticks, a pocket knife and a pocket watch compass. You will never find me afield without that full compliment in my pockets just in case. I’m thrilled to know technology has not left me behind. I also discovered I’ve been at least 40 years ahead of the times. By the way, did you know they even make maps printed on paper you can use to find good rabbit hunting spots? I have a whole stack of them. No, really!
Gary Dredge
Via e-mail

Ayoob Files: Zimmerman

Thanks for another great issue. The article on the Zimmerman case (Ayoob Files, Jan/Feb 2014) was a work of art. My sentiments exactly! I found Dave Anderson’s (Better Shooting) great too. I always love to see what sidearms angencies around the country are using, and why. You can never overdue it when it comes to that! You once again wound up the issue with another wondefully entertaining piece about Amos Grundy, this time “overcharging” some fellow who deserved it. Loved it! Thanks again.
Via e-mail

Nothing Changes

Here’s my S&W M&P R8 .357 Mag. and S&W New Model 3 44-40 WCF. They are the modern wheelguns — of different times. They both have 5″ barrels, and it’s been 126 years between them. Power? No problem, the 44-40 keeps up just fine, and with a lot of extra smoke too! Seems not much is new?
Stein Meyer
Via e-mail

Are You Worth It?

I finished reading the article Mr. Ayoob authored on the Zimmerman Case. I started thinking about what I would do if I became involved in an active shooter situation or a situation of a suspicious person similar to Mr. Zimmerman’s Case.

Our society has become very litigious. A statement made numerous times in print and on some of the Sports Channel gun shows concerns a “lawyer being attached to every bullet” exiting the muzzle of your weapon. Some of the information presented after the verdict has placed Mr. Zimmerman in debt and experiencing personal family problems. This should cause everyone to think!

I carry under the federal law covering retired peace officers (HR 218). I have no immunity under the law. As an active peace officer I had some immunity offered to peace officers who were acting within the scope of their duties. It’s my understanding persons who legally carry have no duty to respond or act.

Are you worth me using my weapon to defend or protect you? Frankly, I consider keeping my family, and my family finances intact more important. Why would I or anyone else want to risk losing everything — for an unknown person? I carry to protect my family and myself. If in the process of performing that protection it benefits others, I would list that under “This was their lucky day.”

Finally, we have the Zimmerman Case, and there are others showing being a good citizen and protecting yourself or others can be costly. A few years ago some peace officers were in Sturgis for the annual motorcycle rally. These officers were dining with family and friends when one or more of the officers were confronted by motorcycle gang members. The situation deteriorated and the local anti-gun DA charged the officers.

It all boils down to are you worth it? Are you willing to compromise your family, your personal worth and your security — for a stranger?
Kevin F. Carney
Via e-mai

.38 Super Stuff

I’m a retired California Highway Patrol member who very much values your fine magazine. Like so many others, I invariably read it cover-to-cover upon receipt. In my failing memory (or intellect — I was a sergeant, after all), I can’t recall any articles in the reasonably recent past commenting on the .38 Super cartridge — including its historical evolution and the handguns for which it is or was chambered. Would you kindly consider unleashing one of your fine staff of gun-writing warriors to contributing such a tome in the reasonably near future? Whatever the outcome of this request, thanks for overseeing a such wonderfully produced publication. Bravo to you and your colleagues for a job consistently well done!
Steve Sears
Via e-mail

Steve, we have covered .38 Supers lately. Here’s a list of links that, if you type them in carefully (!) will take you directly to the articles in our on-line digital editions:

http://fmgpublications.ipaperus.com/FMGPublications/AmericanHandgunner/AHMA11/?Page=28 (March/April 2011, Taffin Tests on various .38 Super 1911’s).

And here:

http://fmgpublications.ipaperus.com/FMGPublications/AmericanHandgunner/AHMA13/?Page=66 (March/April 2013, Les Baer’s .38 Super Stinger feature).

That might keep you busy for a while. The .38 Super is one of my favorite calibers! Did you know you can shoot it in a stout .357 Mag. revolver, like an N-frame S&W or single action Ruger? Ha!

And thanks for your many kind words. Lord knows, our staff guys make it look easy — and they make us all look good at the same time. Well, usually, and except for Connor — at least sometimes … RH

Holster Question

Perhaps you know the answer to a question that has been bugging me. Holsters such as Sparks 200AW, Buckheimer’s Hank Sloan, Lawrence’s Special Agent, Gaylord’s Federal Speed Scabbard and others had an extended leather shield to protect the lining of jackets from rubbing against the hammers on revolvers. I’m wondering who originated the idea. The earliest use of the idea I have found is in Gaylord’s 1958 catalog. Do you remember any earlier examples?
P.S. I enjoyed “Amos Overcharges!”
Phil Chriswell

Phil, I think you pretty much nailed it on the earliest we could find on that design feature. I do recall seeing a one-off custom “old west” shoulder holster in a museum having a curve of leather extending out to cover the side of the hammer, likely for the same reason. Anyone out there have any solid info? Let me know at editor@nullamericanhandgunner.com. RH

Holster Options And …

I would be interested in an article addressing the choices of holsters for concealed carry now available to those of us who do not wear a belt, but use suspenders to hold up our pants. Are we restricted to only shoulder holster rigs? Or have new choices become available? We now have smaller and lighter handguns of larger calibers compared to the days of John Dillinger and Elliot Ness. The style of dress has also changed. I’ll bet there are many others out there who cannot tolerate a belt because of back problems and would appreciate an enlightened discussion of the issue.

which I feel is very important, concerns the initial verbal challenge prior to shooting in an armed self defense situation. I’ve thought about this a lot, and think there are several issues to be considered. I think some words should be addressed to the assailant, giving him a chance to stop the escalation of the situation to the discharging of a weapon, but, exactly what words or phrase should be used as a challenge? It obviously must be short, clear and to the point. This may differ for law enforcement personnel versus ordinary citizens. And, of course, the immediacy of the threat.
Please poll your writers and have one write an article. Perhaps, no one will tackle this issue before the readers sign a disclaimer absolving you from legal issues prior to reading it?
Walter Slizofski
Wyncote, PA

We’ll talk about holsters first. Pocket holsters work great, and I often carry one (as a dedicated suspender user too!). However, a good quality paddle rig with a good “gripping” hook on the paddle would likely work too. The paddle goes behind the pants at the waistband. The only issue is it would not be able to be a real “tight” fit to the gun so it wouldn’t pull out of your pants along with the gun! There is also a wonderful line-up of dedicated concealed carry pants (like CCW Breakaways) and cover garments offering pockets tailored for carrying handguns. Off-body carry in packs and satchels might work for you too.

We’ve also covered self-defense and verbal challenges in the past. However, as a non-cop, I personally feel you need to play to the audience a bit if this happens. Hopefully, you’ll have dialed 911 and left the phone on. The dispatcher recording will hopefully be going and might record your challenges. But even if that’s not the case, there may be bystanders who hear your exchange. Then if (and only if) you have the time, a strong “Stop, put the weapon down, get out of my house (or leave me alone, or step away from my car”) etc. repeated as many times as you feel safe doing so, covers most of the bases. You’re clearly asking them to stop whatever they are doing. You’re asking them to “Put the weapon down” (whatever that weapon might be, including a stick), and to get out of your house, or leave you alone. You’re giving them every opportunity to comply — then if they don’t, you may need to revert to deadly force. Important point: If you say, “Put the stick down!” some might argue whether or not the stick was a weapon. If you call it a weapon (and it certainly can be) there is no doubt. I strongly urge you to seek some training if possible, or at least invest in a few training videos like our own series by Clint Smith on home and personal defense, to give you some more ideas. RH
Also, I’ve been reading this magazine, and others, for many years now. Yours is the best, of course. A topic which I have not seen discussed and

Life Lessons

I just had to comment on Will Dabbs article (“Life Lessons,” Jan/Feb 2014). My first handgun was also bought at Otasco. It was a Colt Series 70 Gov’t Model. I was 13 at the time. I worked at my dad’s restaurant and every payday I would walk to the store and make a payment on my layaway account. When I finally got it out, I was excited but scared to shoot it. I had read articles where people had talked about the heavy recoil. When I finally got to shoot it a couple of days later I was surprised to find out it was not bad at all. Unfortunately that gun was stolen about five years later. I’ve bought and sold numerous 1911’s since. The one I have now is one I bought 20 years ago, a Colt 1991A1. It’s a great gun with just over 9,000 rounds through it and will be going to my son when he turns 21. By the way I did buy one more gun from Otasco that year, a 4″ Ruger Security Six. Thanks for bringing back those memories of my first gun, and Otasco.
Michael Frangoudakis
Via e-mail

Stop Buying Ammo

The “shortage” of ammo and the increased cost of whatever crumbs are available is becoming increasingly frustrating for active recreational shooters. Due to the current situation, I have not been able to go to the range with any regularity. It has gotten so bad I have been able to shoot only once this year. It has gotten so bad you cannot even find .22 anymore. I want to address this.

Let’s be frank. This is not a government conspiracy. The manufacturers are working day and night to supply us. This is simply a supply and demand issue exacerbated by fear and opportunists. There are people who will line up at the local Wal-Mart and buy out every box they can, only to resell them at inflated prices at gun shows. However the biggest problem is us. I cannot even imagine how many rounds are currently stashed in closets, basements, caches and buried in backyards. Fear and uncertainty have caused hoarding on an unprecedented scale.

Folks, stop buying ammo for a while. There will not be mass seizures of our firearms. The government will not outlaw ammo. There will not be a massive breakdown in the fabric of society. There will be no zombie apocalypse. Stop hoarding ammo. The millions of rounds sitting unused in people’s “stashes” are doing no one any good. Stop watching so many “end of the world” movies. Stop believing in zombies. The TV show “Preppers”is just a TV show. So is “The Walking Dead.” You are destroying recreational shooting. Please use some common sense. If you don’t, then we actually will see a time where a 50-round box of .45’s goes for over $100. Let’s use our heads here and allow the market to correct itself.

Pick up your shovels, dig up your ammo and start putting it where it will do the most good — downrange — not into the ground in cans.
B. Rizzo
Via e-mail

Shoot Me First?

I read with interest Sammy Reese’s article on tactical clothing and his comments about the often-referred-to “shoot-me-first vests” (Carry Options, Jan/Feb 2014). Sammy writes, “The bad guys will be able to pick you out of a crowd as the guy carrying a gun, and they’ll shoot you first, and then complete their armed robbery.” A very sobering analysis, indeed.

Over many decades I have attended firearms training in various parts of our nation. In all cases the views expressed by highly trained instructors mirror Sammy’s on this topic. While attending these training sessions I am often scorned for the “shoot me first” garments I wear, especially those which sport some type of gun related logo. I often buy “shoot me first” garments at the NRA store when I attend NRA conventions and have asked the NRA representatives if I am foolishly exposing myself to surprise gunfire. They assure me I am not, and tell me I should be proud to identify myself as an NRA Benefactor.

It’s a fundamental tenet of thought for supporters of the 2nd Amendment the mere presence of a gun is a deterrent to crime. Of course, the gun’s presence must be known for its deterrent effect to have value. This point is highlighted by Roy Huntington’s report on Hyskore mailboxes in the same issue, where a stylized 1911 is used to support a mailbox in the front yard on a public street. Roy did not identify the Hyskore product as a “burgle me first” product. Indeed, the subtle implication of the product acts to deter burglary.

When I ask firearms instructors for examples where someone wearing “shoot me first” clothing was murdered in the course of a robbery, my question is scorned. Sammy didn’t offer an example in his writing.

I appreciate the tactical value of moving invisibly through society while armed, and I have done so when purpose exists. I also recognize there is a purpose in wearing “shoot me first” garments, and I do so often.

One motto of the Marine Corps is, “First to Fight”. When you are first to fight you are in the front and an easy target. Of course, being first in the fight is dangerous and requires training if one is to survive pernicious encounters. Still, brave men and women have never shunned the danger. You can identify them in a crowd, they run toward gunfire, not away from it.
Michael Lee Kobe
Via e-mail

Michael, you make good points. However, as non-cops, and non-soldiers, we’re under no obligation to run toward a threat. Few of us would knowingly allow a predator to attack an innocent in our presence, but a low profile allows an armed citizen to choose his or her moment to act if needed. Otherwise, laying low, being a good witness, avoiding a fight if possible and knowing you have a trump card if needed, is likely the best course. There really is an attorney attached to every bullet you fire, so it’s always best to keep ’em in your pocket if possible! And other than some incidents of cops shooting at other plain clothes cops, or armed “contractors” in war zones wearing photo-vests being engaged by terrorists, I’m not familiar with any incidents of people wearing “shoot me first” clothing actually getting shot first. Any readers out there know of any incidents? RH

Insider Tips Vids

I took your advice and spent the last few hours watching all those Insider Tips videos on your website. Amazing stuff. Thank you very much. What I love the most is your tip on “imagining the dime on the front sight” and not to knock it off when dropping the hammer (Insider Tips: “Trigger Press Series”). It really works! I never really knew how valuable dry firing can be in order to improve your shooting, and that tip really proves it. I had much fun teaching myself and my son about trigger pulls, using the sights correctly, transitioning from double to single action, loading/unloading correctly, etc., all tied into the many videos you have. Each one is a great mini-lesson!
Bernie Kovac

Bernie, you’re smart to focus on the basics, as they are the building blocks of everything else. Feel free to pass on that link to the
Insider Tips videos. They are mostly done in response to reader questions and seem to be well-received. Jade Moldé, the Managing Editor here at Handgunner, does the filming and editing, and makes each one easy to understand. Now, if the guy on camera would only do better, eh? The link is: www.americanhandgunner.com, then click on Insider Tips in the top line. 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 March/April 2014 Issue Of American Handgunner.

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