When choosing a handgun, the analogy to a vehicle—something most of us use every day—is useful. We all understand the term “dead weight.” That is the weight of the bed or truck (or the support structure in architecture), but that’s not what we are looking at today—when unloaded. Live weight is the truck loaded. The handgun, ammo, holster, and spare gun load add up quickly in live weight. Sticks of copy and reams of paper have been slugged during this discussion and we now offer bytes by the millions. The thing is, while there must be room for personal choice, there is a bottom line for performance and quality. If you like a small car you can easily drive in the city that’s fine. But you cannot pick up a dining room set with it. [Read more…] about Handguns: Size Matters — More can be More
When Samuel Colt invented the revolver as we know it, he turned the handgun world on its nose. Most handguns were horse pistols or pocket guns similar in design to rifles, they were simply shorter. The Colt revolver had to be designed to stabilize the firing hand to allow thumb cocking and to present the sights for proper aiming. Either way, this article details Old Iron at its best! [Read more…] about Smith and Wesson Versus Colt — Old Iron at its Best
The Golden Age of the medium-frame .38 Special revolver as a primary law-enforcement sidearm ended several decades ago. However, small-frame snubbies (5-shot S&W J-Frames more often than not) are still enormously popular with CCW holders. In fact, even with the ascendancy of polymer-framed, striker-fired autos, more than a few LE types (and not necessarily old-timers) still employ these reliable little wheelguns, such as the S&W Model 40, in the role of a backup weapon. [Read more…] about S&W’s Model 40: Still a “Special” .38 Snubbie.
As a young shooter, I began firing centerfire revolvers using a Smith and Wesson K frame. I later owned several N frame .357 Magnum revolvers and the K frame Combat Magnum .357 Magnum. I handloaded my own ammunition and learned a great deal about marksmanship and handguns with the Smith and Wesson. [Read more…] about Review: Smith and Wesson L Frame Revolver
One thing I noticed while working in a retail gun store, was that many people disregard ergonomics for new shooters. This was especially evident regarding carry pistols. I will state for the record, the best way to determine a good carry gun, is to personally handle the guns. This first step will immediately tell you which guns do not fit your hand. Once the list has been narrowed down, rent the remaining guns and let the mechanics of shooting tell you which is best. [Read more…] about Top Carry Pistols for Small Hands
Smith and Wesson revolvers have been a part of American history for more than 150 years. These remarkable handguns offer real utility in hunting, personal defense, and target shooting. One of my friends refers to his tuned J frame .38 as a ‘little piece of heaven.’ I feel much the same away concerning my modest battery of Smith and Wesson revolvers. [Read more…] about Smith and Wesson — Almost Heaven
When the .357 Magnum cartridge was introduced in 1935, Smith and Wesson chambered the cartridge in a deluxe, large-frame revolver. The new handgun was in some ways a development of the .38-44—a heavy frame .38 Special. However, in other ways, the target-sighted magnum was unique. Either way, the revolver cost more than $65 at a time when a new Ford V 8 cost $810. The .38-44 cost about $35 dollars. Useful handguns were available for $20. The fit, finish, and accuracy of the new revolver was exceptional by any standard. The .357 Magnum was the first of many expensive, but custom grade, factory handguns. [Read more…] about S&W Model 27 Classic — The First Magnum Revolver
With most new concealed carry handguns focused on polymer-frame striker-fired handguns, it is good to see that Springfield Armory has catered to the rest of us with a modern, polymer-frame double-action first-shot handgun with a decocker. [Read more…] about Springfield XDE — Catering to the Rest