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Tough weekend

Spent lots of time on the range this weekend as I am T&E’ing several new guns such as Beretta’s 92X Compact and Diamondback’s DB9 Gen 4. I also took advantage of the great weather (70 degrees, a downright cold front in Mississippi!) and lane availability to dig out some classics from my gun lockers.


Lots of badly injured paper men, one painful yet minor case of slide bite, and 3,000~ rounds of brass left behind for the case goblins.

Lots of this…

…And a little of that

All that being said, not a bad weekend. I’ve had worse

Snake in your pocket?

Recently introduced by the Cocoa, Florida-based gunmaker, the DB9 Gen 4, with a weight of just 13.4-ounces while maintaining a 3.1-inch stainless steel barrel that gives an overall length of 5.73-inches, Diamondback describes their gun as the “smallest and lightest” 9mm on the market. With a flush-fit magazine shoe installed, its height is 4-inches flat. The maximum width is 0.89-inches.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been carrying a DB9 G4 off and on as a backup gun and in situations where it is harder to carry a full-to-medium-sized pistol. In essence, it has been taking the place of my trusty old S&W J-frame, and with good reasons.

Here is a stack of the DB9 against the iconic pocket roscoe: The S&W J-Frame. As witnessed by this S&W M642, the DB9 is smaller and a tad lighter. Plus, it can carry seven rounds of 9mm as opposed to five of .38.

Further, the DB9 is downright skinny when the width is brought up and the Smith falls in alongside. Also, the DB9s barrel length and sight picture in both cases is an improvement, along with the faster reload.

Anyway, more on those size stack-ups in my column at

Back-to-Back Gulf War Winner, updated

Beretta has been around for at least 400 years, with a lot of that in the handgun market. The M1951 popped up the days immediately after WWII and became a crowd-favorite not only in Italy but around the globe for a generation. Then came the Model 92 in the 1970s, which took all the lessons learned from the ’51 and made good on the design, primarily making it a double stack.

It is a good design, seeing much service.

Fast forward 40 years and the 92 spent most of that as the standard sidearm of the U.S. military– and will likely take another generation or so to be totally replaced by the new M17/M18 pistols if the past experience with the M1911 is taken as an example.

However, even though Beretta has introduced more modern polymer-framed handguns (APX, anyone?) they show no sign of putting the vaunted 92 to bed anytime soon. In fact, they are updating it.

For the past month, I have been shlepping this bad boy around.

Recently introduced by the Italian gunmaker, the 92X series is a wholly American concept, produced at their Gallatin, Tennessee plant. Introduced in July in Full-Sized, Centurion and Compact variants– the latter both with and without an accessory rail– the new handgun line is loaded with features and upgrades not found in the more vanilla 92FS/M9 pistols while coming in at a price that is more affordable than the M9A3 and the semi-custom Langdon Tactical/Wilson Combat 92G series guns.

So far, I have put about 600 rounds through this T&E 92X Compact and have carried it for about 150 hours. How does it stack up against other popular mid-sized carry guns in size?

Not too bad, right? Interestingly, the loaded weight difference between these two is only about an ounce apart…

More in my column at

Hellcat, not just a tank destroyer or Grumman carrier-based fighter anymore

For those who like the concept of the Glock 26, but lighter, or the Sig P365, but with one extra round, Springfield Armory last week introduced a new entry to the class of “micro-compact” 9mm pistol, the Hellcat.

As a rundown: Using a 3-inch hammer-forged barrel which translates to a 6-inch overall length while standing just 4-inches high, the 18.3-ounce Hellcat offers an 11+1 capacity in a flush-fit magazine. This can be stretched to 13+1 with an extended mag that bumps height to 4.5-inches. Offered in both a standard and OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) configuration, the latter uses a milled slide intended for micro red dots such as the JP Enterprises JPoint and Shield RMSc.

More in my column at here. 

SAS, Sig P365 SAS, that is. Or, why would you want a front sight anyways?

Billed as “the perfect CCW solution for the real world,” Sig Sauer has released a new SIG Anti-Snag, or SAS version, of their P365 micro-compact 9mm pistol.

The latest variant of the P365 uses an innovative flush-fit rear-mounted Meprolight FT Bullseye sight with a combination fiber optic and tritium insert embedded into the slide, alleviating the need for a front sight post, which is interesting, to say the least.

I wonder what Paris Theodore would think of this? His “guttersnipe” ASP predated the general concept by 40 years, only restricted by the tech of the Disco Era

More in my column at

Apparently people really like 9mm pistols

Initial gun production numbers are in from 2018, showing an increase from the previous year’s figures and the solid popularity of 9mm handguns.

According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 8,669,259 new firearms of all sorts were produced last year. This is up from 8,327,792 released into commerce in 2017.

The largest single category of firearms produced in 2018 was in pistols chambered larger than .380ACP to 9mm, with 2,281,450 handguns logged. This is up significantly from 1,756,618 in the same category reported in 2017.

More in my column at 

Not how this works

Christmas afternoon 1979: my grandfather, a combat veteran of several real-life shooting wars, taught me how to shoot straight when I was just five years old when he handed me my first Red Ryder BB gun.

However, first came the basics of firearm safety.


Fast forward 40 years and I have shot literally hundreds of different guns ranging from that .177 to 155mm howitzers across five continents and the basics of safety have all remained the same.

I’ve also trained thousands, both in LE/Security courses and “civilian” CCW classes and the first thing that happens is a check of all guns, pockets, boxes, tables, and floors to ensure that nothing resembling brass or ammo is removed– not only from the chamber and magazines but from the area altogether– before the class commences. Chambers then get inspected by at least two other sets of eyeballs and fingers beside the class member’s to build confidence that no one is going to get zapped by a negligent discharge.

Even then, said muzzle remains clear of people and fingers remain off the trigger/out of the trigger well until in a safe and cleared direction/environment. You could almost say that we treated the guns as if they were loaded, even when we believed they were not.

The number of casualties seen at my courses over the years (not caused by staplers) = zero.

This is why stuff like this burns me up.

From the Palm Springs Desert Sun 

A Riverside man attending a firearms training class to get his concealed weapons permit was accidentally shot by a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department trainer, the department told The Desert Sun.

On Aug. 10, the man, identified only as a civilian, was participating in a course at the Ben Clark Training Center’s gun range in Riverside.

According to a department news release issued in response to questions from The Desert Sun, gun range staff inspect students’ firearms during the course and students are instructed to unload their guns.

During the inspection, the range staff member — a civilian instructor the department did not identify — administered a “trigger pull test” and shot the student in the leg. Range staff initially treated the injured man.

Let’s get a little refresher on firearms safety here, please. Just 17 words:

Be safe out there, kids.

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