Speak Out May/June 2019

I was sitting up in bed reading a Dabbs article recently and wife Kathy was next to me with her smart phone. I just had to share his work with her, and sure enough, soon she was laughing and wanting to hear more. This is an example of the vast appeal of your publications. You and your gang of pirates present information on guns, knives, clothing and everything related to readers of our ilk. You also each have a different style, humor and rhythm that simply does not exist anywhere else. It results not just in information — but literature. Please pass this on to the crew.

Ted and Kathy Plummer
Via email

Triggers And Sights

I’m and old PPC shooter (from way back!) and also a retired cop who was assigned to the LAPD Academy in the ’80s as a firearms instructor. I’ve sent a lot of rounds downrange and I’ve trained a bunch of young cops in the “art” of marksmanship with a pistol. Roy Huntington’s article (Insider, March/April 2018) nailed the issue of sight alignment with a pistol — dead on. I don’t usually pen notes to gun magazine writers, but your efforts are worthy, and in this case I wanted to offer a “high five” for preaching the gospel on shooting straight. Lord knows, many of our brethren and sisters in LEO uniforms could use a little help every now and then.
Fred Romero
Simi Valley, CA

Fred, you do all of us here at Handgunner an honor by taking the time to drop us a note about that article. As a PPC champion, you know what you’re talking about, which makes your praise all the more enjoyable for us.

Side note: Fred wrote a few articles for Handgunner in the ’80s, and I leaned on him after getting his letter to write another about the early days of PPC shooting, police training and the guns and gear then. Stay tuned to hear what he has to say — especially if you love revolvers! —RH

Good Friends

I need to thank all of y’all. First off, I take what y’all suggest in your magazine and buy it if I think it’d ever help or interest me.

For instance, when Mas recommended the FBI Miami Firefight book recently, I immediately bought it as I have a lot of books that y’all recommended. A pleasant surprise was it was autographed by Mr. Ed Mireles himself. It’s an awesome book!

Secondly, I’d like to take the time to say thank you to all of you there at American Handgunner. In the last four months, I lost my father, my mother and last week, my best friend and shooting partner of 40+ years. To put it mildly — I’m devastated.

I keep all the issues of American Handgunner that I’ve ever got. Yesterday, I started going through them and re-reading a lot of them. I got lost in the stories and thought back on all the fun times my buddy and I had over the years either hunting or shooting. My wife even got caught up in it and started reading them too.

This helped me tremendously, and I can never thank y’all enough.
Kevin Ramsey
Via email

TvR Passing

Condolences to you and the entire FMG Publications staff for the passing of your colleague and company president Thomas von Rosen. I read the tribute to him in GUNS and American Handgunner. One statement in his tribute really resonated with me. It was about his concern for the “importance of magazine paper selection and ink saturation.” Besides the excellent articles and photos — including good humor — one thing setting your magazines apart from others is the high quality “glossy” paper and the quality color images. Just the colors on the front page make your magazines stand out in stores. Keep up the excellent work!
Kevin Smith P.E.
Syracuse, NY

Gun Rights

After reading Dave Kaplan’s article (“New York Reload,” Jan/Feb 2019) about his move from New York to Las Vegas, I think Dave’s rejoicing may be premature. If I was him, I wouldn’t unpack just yet. Thanks to Las Vegas, with a little help from Reno, Nevada just elected liberal Democrats to almost every important state office — governor, attorney general, etc., and they control the legislature. They want to “Californicate” Nevada. Since Las Vegas can now outvote the entire rest of the state combined, we may be in trouble on our gun rights, as well as a lot of other stuff.
Bruce A. Morrison
Fallon, NV

More On Gun Rights

The last time I wrote a letter to the editor to a gun magazine was after I couldn’t stop laughing at one of Skeeter Skelton’s “Me and Joe” stories. That was a very long time ago. However, after reading a recent Gun Rights article I knew I needed to write.

It’s always a good day when I find the latest issue of American Handgunner in the mail box. It’s always an enjoyable read, cover to cover. Reading Speak Out letters is an education in and of itself. The other articles, even the ones on subjects I don’t have much interest in, are excellent too. Massad Ayoob’s break down on shooting incidents in the Ayoob Files is not to be missed. I hope you will keep up the excellent work.

My comment however is on the excellent articles found in the Gun Rights section, and the recent ones regarding background checks are concise and easily understood. The arguments take the teeth out of the mouth of our liberal friends. Every gun owner who has ever had to debate the Second Amendment should be familiar with the points presented in these articles. Alan Korwin is complimented for his insight and wisdom.

Thank you for a fine magazine. It’s simply outstanding.
Bruce Hansen
Sandy, UT

Contender Content

Thanks for the back page on the Contender (Insider, March/April 2019). I don’t know that I’ll ever forgive S&W for abandoning it the way they did. I’m gearing up to start rabbit hunting with some buddies starting this Saturday, and am debating between my 10″ Contender and the .410 barrel — we usually all go with .410 handguns — or the siren song of my little Stephens .410 stack barrel. It’s interesting your article should come out now, my son and I agreed recently we’re missing our Contenders in deer season and need to address that before another fall. My adventure with a bear and my Super Blackhawk may have stirred me up a little as well.

I’ve got a 10″ .22 magnum that has accounted for a bunch of squirrels, coon and groundhogs; a 14″ .222 — but alas, few groundhogs anymore — a 10″ .30 Herrett, a 14″ .35 Remington and the aforementioned 10″ .45/.410 that has also accounted for its share of bushytails. Thanks for showing the great Contender a little love — it deserves it.
Jeff Moyer
Via email

Accuracy Testing

I often read articles by Taffin, Ayoob and others who talk about the accuracy of a particular pistol. They often mention they have done the testing using, as near as I can figure out, sandbags on a bench. Having just tried to determine some accuracy for two of my guns (a PC Shield 9mm and a 6″-barreled GP100) with various ammunition, factory and reloads, using a sandbag off a bench at only 15 yards, I was disappointed to find I could do better with a two-hand hold standing.

I would love to see some pictures and a description of the way these experts do it using a bench rest. Their results at 15 or 25 yards are way better than I get and I want to find out if it’s my reloads, my guns, me, or more to the point, how I’m using the rest.
Jeff Weiss
Via email

The condensed version, Jeff, is it’s all about trigger squeeze. Two hands on the gun, the bottom/sides of your palms (the part you’d “karate chop” a bad guy with) resting on the bags rather than your wrist — if that makes sense. If you’re resting on your wrist, you’d be a tad too far out, pull your hands a bit closer until the fleshy part is on the bags. Then, take a breath, let out about half, then press most carefully. It’s all about the press. Consistent, even, the same each time and never disturb the sight picture. If the gun failed to fire, for instance, there’d simply be a click and nothing would move at all.

By rights, you’d be able to shoot tighter groups from a rest than off-hand, so I’m thinking you’re either hurrying your press, or it’s not as smooth as it could be. When shooting a 5-shot group from the bench, take out the two “worst” shots and the 3-shot group remaining will/should be close to what the gun can shoot to — if you’re doing your job with the trigger!
I’ll ask Dave Anderson to cover this in a future column too. —RH

Colt Detective Safety

In a recent issue (Speak Out, Jan/Feb 2019) you included an email entitled “J-Frame Safety.” I think the premise of the email was whether it was safe to carry a J-Frame fully loaded with five rounds, or to leave one round out. The reader wondered because as an older model he felt it might not have the “internal safety bar” or “transfer bar” safety preventing a discharge if dropped on the hammer. You assured him once he checked to make sure the safety was present, it was safe to carry fully loaded.

I have a similar question but for a 1962 Colt Detective Special. It’s the 2nd generation (out of a total of four generations) and is identified visually by the lack of an ejector rod shroud. I am completely unfamiliar with revolvers but recently inherited the Colt. Is it safe to carry fully loaded with six rounds, or should I leave one round out?
Via email

Kerry, unless the gun has been abused or modified, it’s perfectly safe to load it with six rounds. Just make sure the internal safety system is present and functioning. Since you’re not familiar with revolvers, I’d make a trip to a local gunsmith or find a shooter who knows their way around the old Colts to make sure everything is tidy. Then feel free to load it with six. —RH

speak MJ

Hat’s Off!

I’d like to give you an update on my attempt to grow our base of 2nd Amendment supporters. Your encouragement after my first note moved me to offer to mentor these young ladies.

This can possibly be an example of what can happen if we all just make a little effort, spend a little money, and talk to some of the people we know. It started as an attempt on my part to make a difference and grow our community of 2nd Amendment supporters. I had a conversation in early 2018 with a co-worker, Alyssa Wade, a young lady less than half my age who had been both a victim of sexual assault and domestic violence. She was fearful due to a threat against her life by her ex. Being concerned, I talked about her self-defense options. She had none because she felt like she was doomed to forever be a victim. I offered to take her to the range and show her how to shoot a handgun. She accepted my invitation and probably couldn’t have had a more positive experience.

This single mom and one-time Trump basher, turned Trump voter (in 2018). This member of a life-long Democrat-voting family has really made a 180-degree turn and has benefited from what a taste of freedom feels like. Not only has she attended a concealed carry class, but has joined me in encouraging four other young ladies (two of whom I’ve taken to the range as well), to attend the class with her this past December 8th. She received her concealed carry permit one month later. Today, as I write this, she carried in public for the first time and she sent me the following text right after:

“I’m not going to lie, conceal carrying today almost gave me like, a high. A safety net and confidence type high. Every single person who has been a victim in their past — and isn’t crazy — needs to feel that same felling! It was like freedom, in a whole new light.”

This seems like a tiny drop in the type of moments — repeated thousands of times — you’ll never hear about from the main stream media. Please understand I didn’t just encourage an inexperienced person to go out and buy a gun and strap it to her waist. We went to the range many times and talked at length about safety. I have a lot of confidence in her ability to safely carry a handgun in public. I’m very proud of her. I asked her if I could quote her and give her name as well as the other girls and they agreed it was fine. Proof they are not hesitant to stand behind what they are learning.

Here’s “my girls” in the picture: (L-R) Amy Quehl, Alyssa Wade, Taylor Heinz, Karissa Vance and Marissa Olsen.
Tim Schmeling
Via email

Tim, you and “your girls” get a huge “Handgunner Hat’s Off!” Well done at every level, by all of you, especially the ladies. So the challenge is accepted and forwarded to all of you reading. Let’s help Tim spread the word. Take someone shooting and help them to learn the ropes. —RH