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The nice thing about 3-inchers

When I teach concealed carry courses, I see a lot of people packing the Roscoe, the old 1.75- to 2-inch snub. They have a bit of a bite, a lot of muzzle flip, are tough on the hands, and fairly inaccurate at range. Further, until you get the use of a speedloader down pat, are very slow on the reload. Fact is, they can be great as a backup gun or for someone experienced in their use and aware of their limitations. For many who haven’t already bought one, I typically recommend against them and push more towards a subcompact 9mm such as a Glock 43, S&W Shield, or Ruger LC9/EC9, which are the same size with a larger capacity, better handling, and ergonomics– not to mention a faster reload.

With that being said, I also see a lot of people carrying 3-inch wheelguns, which are an interesting blend of concepts. They provide a nice balance between accuracy and concealability since they are much smaller than a full-sized 4-inch K frame while having less muzzle flip than a snub. Back in the 1960s and 70s, 3-inchers were popular as their really weren’t any concealable small frame pistols then that were chambered larger than jam-prone .380. Heck, I have an old Carter-era Rossi (don’t laugh, it works) full-lug stainless M720 in .44 Special with a 3-inch barrel that I take hog hunting with me in the swamps of the Pearl River as a backup gun.

And 3-inchers are coming back, especially in decent calibers that offer a bit more spice than a 9mm. For example, Colt’s return to the .357 Magnum wheelhouse neighborhood this year, the new King Cobra, is a three.

Now, Ruger has responded by announcing a new version of the LCRx wheel gun chambered in .357 Magnum. While the LCRx small-frame revolver series has been around for several years in both a 3-inch format and in .357, the combination of the two features is new for the company. Previously, the popular magnum caliber was just offered in the LCRx line in a 1.87-inch barrel length model.

And it looks good.

More in my column at Guns.com

It’s like a TQ fanny pack…for your holster

So Gray Fighter/Condition Gray is marketing these elastic velcro straps which they bill as” just another neat way to enjoy accessible necessities like this CAT TQ, doesn’t require hardware and fits a variety of uses.”

What do you think about the concept of strapping a TQ to your holster?

Seems like a good idea but I am kinda on the fence as I currently carry (as a minimum) a folding multitool (SAK Alox Pioneer), a short fixed blade knife, a mini-LED (Streamlite Micro), a G19/InForce APL or S&W M2.0 Compact/TLR-3, and a TQ, so this would kind of make it easier to pack the windlass/strap.

Seems simple. But I can’t get over the fact that you have to take the holster off/out to get to it. It’s conceivable that you would need to use your TQ without having your blaster out awkwardly such as in a mass casualty incident. That whole concept is why I carry a separate flashlight rather than rely solely on a weapon-mounted light as you wouldn’t use your WML to brighten up a dark doorway at your buddy’s house when dropping by to visit.

Am I overthinking this?

I’ll admit: Mossberg’s new pistol has some interesting features

Sure, everyone and their mother is now making a subcompact, single-stack, 9mm polymer-framed striker-fired handgun, but Mossberg’s new MC1sc pistol has all that and a little extra. Like it has clear magazines (that interchange with G43 sticks) and a super-easy take-down system that does not require you to pull the trigger– which is always a bonus! Plus they offer it with an optional cross-bolt manual safety, which is sure to be a hit with the guys that are into that sort of thing.

Front and rear slide serrations, flat-profile trigger, an optional manual safety, 6/7+1 9mm capacity, 19-ounces, 6.45″ x 4.25″ x 1.06″ dimensions = The MC1sc has a lot going on

The gun was the buzz of SHOT Show last week and everyone was lined up at Mossy’s booth to lay hands on it.

More in my column at Guns.com.

In short, I dig the new ‘Snake

Greetings from Las Vegas!

Colt’s rebooted King Cobra, in .357 Magnum with a 3-inch full lug barrel, is a shiny mid-size stainless wheel gun that could become a great revolver if it keeps on track.

I shot one at the range on Monday and, talking to Colt reps, they one of the demo guns that day cleared 2K rounds with nary an issue.

Stainless guns are pretty, but they do show that carbon once you start socking the rounds to them

More on the gun in my column over at Guns.com

In other news, I also found out that I can fit five NAA Mini-Revolvers on my hand. Of course, your mileage may vary with mitt size.

The PPK/PPKs is back in town

Crafted by Carl Walther Waffenfabrik + the gang back in the Weimar Republic of the late 1920s and pitched as a police gun, the Polizeipistole (PP) was beautiful for its time soon edged out its contemporaries to a degree. By 1929, a shorter and more compact model, designed specifically as a concealable detective’s carry piece, Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell (PPK), hit the market and hasn’t looked back.

Fueled by Bond films and a hungry import market in the U.S. for the gun after WWII, the rebooted Carl Walther GmbH shipped the PPK by the boatload to the States until 1968 when the Gun Control Act lowered the boom on the design.

Walther ad from 1955, note the prices

Tweaked to meet the “point” system to make it qualify for “sporting purposes,” the PPK/s model took over as Interarms/Ranger/EMCO built the standard PPK under license from Walther in Alabama starting in the 1980s.

Eventually, this all changed as S&W replaced EMCO and made the guns for Walther starting in 1998, a relationship that ended around 2012-ish.

Now, after a hiatus, both the PPK and PPK/s are being made here in the U.S. again, this time in-house in Walther’s plant in Arkansas.

The PPK and PPK/s compared, with the latter being a skosh larger and with a 7+1 capacity of .380 rather than the standard 6+1 of the PPK

They are set to hit the market this month, priced around $700~ which is about 3x as much as a polymer-framed LCP with the same capacity, but Bond didn’t carry an LCP.

Better trigger D is recommended…

More in my column at Guns.com

Colt reboots the 1980s classic King Cobra, but with a 3-inch barrel

Offered in brushed stainless steel with a full-lug 3-inch barrel, the six-shot .357/.38SPL King Cobra was announced this week and will be officially on hand at SHOT at the end of the month.

The choice of barrel length on the new King Cobra is interesting. The original revolver was first introduced in 1986 and was made in 2, 2.5, 4, 6 and 8-inch variants across the revolver’s original commercial production, which ended in 1998. Just a few spec guns (less than 20) were made with a 3-inch format for various police tenders but they never went into production.

I’ve always liked the 3-inch barrel on a carry revolver as I have mentioned a few times before as it provides more velocity over a snub– not to mention a skosh longer sight radius– while being more concealable than a 4-inch combat gun. I have an old-school (pre-suck) Rossi full-lug stainless M720 in .44 Special that I have taken in the swamp several times as a hog hunting back up.

For more on the new Colt 3-inch King, head to my column at Guns.com.

Mossberg…now in a pistol

In honor of their 100th Anniversary, Mossberg has announced a return to the type of platform they launched with in 1919 — a compact pistol.

Announced Thursday, the new 9mm Mossberg MC1sc pistol weighs some 22-ounces while fully loaded (19 empty), largely due to its polymer frame. Billed as ideal for every day carry, the new pistol boasts a 6-round flush-fit and 7-round extended magazine while a 3.4-inch barrel translates to a 6.25-inch overall length. As such, it is about the same size as the standard Glock 43 which boasts the same magazine capacity.

The problem is, with so much market share already invested deep in the Ruger LC9/EC9, S&W Sheild, HK VP9SK, and the G43, I feel like this pistol will get about as much love as the Taurus AR15 or Remington R51.

More in my column at Guns.com

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