The .44 Special cartridge is an enigma. Many knowledgeable handgunners can’t understand its attraction. But, for the same reason that revolvers are still made in .38 Special, even though that round will fire in a .357 Magnum, the .44 Special round carries on, even though it can be fired from a .44 Magnum as well. Some shooters opt for a .44 Magnum knowing full well that they’re more likely to fire .44 Specials most of the time. Having a gun that fires multiple chamberings is a sound idea and a concrete way of looking at things, especially if cost keeps one from purchasing multiple firearms. Continue reading “Ruger Review: The .44 Special GP100”
When Smith & Wesson introduced their Model 69 Combat Magnum revolver in .44 Magnum back in 2016, there were a few RevolverGuys out there who wondered if S&W skipped a model number. The shooting world already knew about the popular Model 67 Combat Masterpiece Stainless, and now we had the new Model 69 Combat Magnum in .44, but shouldn’t there have been something in the middle? A Smith & Wesson Model 68, perhaps? Continue reading “Missing Link: The Smith & Wesson Model 68”
Am I crazy? As you know I’ve been carrying a J-Frame revolver for almost two years now. I really enjoy this little round gun. I can almost literally forget it’s there, but it’s actually fun to shoot. I’m intimately familiar with it and I can run it pretty hard. However, lately I’ve begun to feel that I’m operating at the top of the gun’s capability (with my 686 on the other hand, I doubt I will ever feel limited by the revolver). I have also begun to feel like maybe it’s time to move back to something a little more capable. With this in mind I’ve been looking at other revolvers.
If you’re a Revolver Guy, you’re probably a pretty serious student of handgunnery. We can acknowledge to each other that there are a couple different categories of shooters out there. There’s guys like us that dry practice all the time and run through several thousand rounds a year. Guys that know what their carry gun will do at 100 yards and have sore knees from crawling around in gravel looking for that sixth piece of brass. You guys and gals aren’t the group I am concerned about. If you want to carry a revolver, a 1911, a DA/SA gun, or… well, whatever blows your skirt up, you won’t get too much argument from me. You know pretty well what you’re doing and I won’t pretend to know better than you what works for YOU. Continue reading “Contradicting Myself: Revolvers for Non-Shooters”
The small defensive revolver is a compromise. In carrying one I have compromised some benefits of a larger gun, like capacity, ease of use. I have also sacrificed some practical accuracy that a larger revolver or pistol would afford. When my 640 Pro refused to shoot to point-of-aim with any load I tried, I decided this was not a compromise I could live with – I don’t want to have to rely on Kentucky windage when fractions of a second really count. So, I resorted to what those of us with non-adjustable sights sometimes have to. If you find yourself in this situation, you may find yourself filing your revolver’s front sight.
There are two sides of the debate over shooting and carrying .357 Magnum ammunition in a small revolver. Both sides seem to be a bit dogmatic in their position, and I’ve been confronted with this a couple of times recently. I carry a J-Frame revolver as my primary defensive arm, and I carry it loaded with ammunition headstamped “.357 MAG”. I am a man who can appreciate a little nuance and I generally shy away from generalizations, so here are my thoughts.
WARNING: I’m about to take a hard right into revolver-geek territory. Proceed with caution. Continue reading “Ammunition for Small .357 Magnum Revolvers”
Last weekend I had spent half my Saturday at a private range with a friend and his son. It was just the three of us on the range. In addition to some true plinking, we shot the 5×5 drill, did some plate-rack work, and ran an informal competition or two. Toward the end of the day I let the other two guys take a few shots my my 686. When the 14-year old dropped the hammer on his first round, the result was an unimpressive fizzle. It was the first revolver squib load I’ve ever witnessed and my range session came to an abrupt end. But, I definitely learned a couple of things. Continue reading “Identifying & Clearing The Revolver Squib Load”
Once issued by both the New York State Police and the FBI, the Smith & Wesson Model 13 is K-Frame .357 Magnum. Like its little brother (the Model 10) the 13 is a blued steel model and features a bull barrel and fixed sights. It is functionally identical to the stainless steel Model 65. I recently got to spend a little time with this revolver and I’m glad that I did. I thought you all might enjoy a look at this retro revolver here! Continue reading “Retro Revolver: Smith & Wesson Model 13”
Many of the guns I have purchased have been done so with the idea of being the “last rifle” or “last pistol” I’ll ever need to buy. Of course this never actually works out in practice – something new comes along and I catch the bug. Once in a while, though, I find something that is pretty much perfect as-is, and it endures. An example of this phenomenon: the venerable Smith & Wesson 686. It is my One if I could have only one, my hell or high-water sixgun, my “gun to ride the river with.” Continue reading “A Gun to Ride the River With: The Smith & Wesson 686”
In Part I of my review of the S&W 640 Pro Series I covered its features. In Part II I am going to discuss the 640 Pro from a shooting and packing perspective. If you read Part I you already know I’ve carried this gun daily for over a year, so there’s not much suspense about what my conclusion is. Read on to find out why I like it. Continue reading “Smith and Wesson 640 Pro Series Review Part II”