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Flying with guns: What not to do

Airlines and the TSA are pretty humorless when it comes to flying with guns, no matter how funny you are, but that shouldn’t keep you from flying with one in your checked bag.

As part of my job, I spent a lot of time living out of suitcases. While I prefer to drive, on trips longer than a 500nm radius of Biloxi I wind up having to catch a plane– which I abhor.

As I generally like to carry wherever I am going, something that I have done virtually every day since about 1992, this gave me lots of sour experiences with airlines and, post-9/11, TSA.

My lessons learned in this lengthy article at Guns.com.

Burt’s Roscoes

Burt Reynolds was, of course, a guy’s guy. Besides his prep and college (FSU) athletic career and work on the large and small screen, he was also an avid hunter and firearms collector. As his father was the Chief of Police of Riviera Beach, Florida while he was a youth, Burt no doubt felt a sort of kinship to cop roles, especially those set in the South, and in 1989-90 he played a retired New Orleans PD detective turned Florida houseboat-residing private detective B.L. Stryker for two seasons.

While it was not his best acting, he apparently really dug the guns from the show as he kept the S&W Model 10 .38 special that was used on camera in his “B.L” role until he died and it was later sold at an estate sale, reportedly in unfired condition.

The Stryker Smith

Notably, the Smith was without the on-screen holster used by Reynolds.

That, according to auctioneers, went on to be used in his real life to carry his EDC wheelgun around his Florida homestead. It was an old-school 1970s-era carbon steel round-butt Rossi .38 that had its 4-inch barrel chopped to 2.75-inches and a new sight added.

It has a lot of honest wear.

I have a couple of these old (pre-Taurus) Rossis and will vouch that they are reliable. When talking recently with a friend of mine who cut his teeth in the Brazilain Army’s mountain troops, he also stood by those old Smith-pattern Rossis.

Sold by Julien’s Auctions, it is now on the market again (for $4K), with the verbose tag that “Every day Burt carried this Rossi concealed, where he knew if required he could draw and defend himself from any crazed maniac or other threat.”

Note the BL Stryker cocoa basketweave special…waste not, want not.

 

Dragoon Snubbie?

Photo and caption via the University of Utah’s collection:

Colt's 1st Model Dragoon Revolver, Serial No. 3262 Stekes Utah Historical Collection

“This was Colt’s 1st Model Dragoon Revolver, Serial No. 3262. This revolver was made in 1848 or 1849 as records show that “a little over 4000 of the first model were made in 1848.” The barrel has been shortened from the original 7 1/2 inch length to 2 1/2 inches. The loading lever has been removed and a new front sight has been dove-tailed in on the barrel. This was a common practice to enable quicker drawing and firing & to carry concealed. The revolver was allegedly brought to Salt Lake City in 1936 by a lady from “Southern Utah,” who said that it had some connection with John D. Lee. It could hardly have belonged to Lee as William Stokes, Deputy U.S. Marshall, who arrested Lee at Panquitch on the morning of Nov. 7, 1874, related that Lee was curious about a similar revolver that he (Stokes) used. Could this perhaps be the Stokes modifed “dragoon pistol?” C.K. Gift of Charles Kelly. “

For reference, John Doyle Lee was famously convicted as a mass murderer for his role in the 1857 Mountain Meadows massacre and executed by firing squad at the Mountain Meadows site in 1877.

For further reference, this is what an unmodified Colt Dragoon looks like:

Pvt. Mabry W. Wafer, Company C, First Texas Partisan Rangers Colt Dragoon revolver Texas Historical Society Civil War

Pvt. Mabry W. Wafer, Company C, First Texas Partisan Rangers, shown with his Colt Dragoon revolver, photo via the Texas Historical Society

22 Years with the same old Snubby

For those situations where a more full-sized gun isn’t on the schedule, this Smith & Wesson Model 642 Airweight has often tagged along with me, especially in hot summer months.

I picked up this 15-ounce piece of prevention back in 1997 and, while my typical everyday carry is a double-stack 9mm compact (alternating between Glock’s G19 and S&W’s M&P 2.0) this .38 special often pokes its head out of the safe for various uses. While not perfect, they do have their place and this one has been nothing but faithful for 22 years.

More on its journey in my column at Guns.com.

The micro-carry offerings keep getting more interesting

Firearm evolution has always interested me.

When I was a kid in the 1980s, when it came to compact (“pocket-sized”) handguns that weren’t derringers, the king of the hill for the past half-century was the Walther PP/PPK. Lower down on the same hill was the even older Colt Pocket/FN1910/Browning Model 1955 blowbacks and Beretta’s seriously tiny .22/.25-caliber “cat guns” (Minx. Bobcat, etc).

Then came George Kellgren’s Keltec P32 in 1999, followed by his P3AT (which was a .380 version of the former), followed by the Ruger LCP (which was a Ruger P3AT with a slide stop added). Then, three years ago, came the Glock 43– which was just barely bigger than the LCP but in 9mm– followed last year by the Sig P365, which was a Walther PPK-sized 9mm with a larger magazine capacity than the G43.

Now, there is the Naroh Arms N1. At 6.1-inches long overall, the hammer-fired N1 is slightly shorter than Glock’s G43 while offering a 7+1 round capacity against the Glock’s 6+1. Best yet, it is supposed to be just $399.

I ran across this it NRAAM in Indy:

Naroh Arms Intros New N1 Compact Pistol (VIDEO) (2)

I plan to check out their factory in Florida in the next few weeks. Until then, check out my piece on the N1 over at Guns.com

Beretta shrinks APX

Beretta is ramping up the info dump on their new line of subcompact single-stack 9mm pistols– the APX Carry. The legendary Italian gun maker announced the new 19.8-ounce handgun earlier this week and seems to be Beretta’s answer to the very popular Glock G43, beating that polymer-framed wonder in just about every dimension while sporting either a 6+1 round flush fit or pinky extension magazine or an 8+1 capacity extended mag.

Available in four frame colors, the APX Carry’s serialized chassis can be swapped out by the user.

MSRP is set at $425, which is more than a $100 drop from the standard-sized APX model, which would put over the counter price in the $350-arena, which also poses a challenge to the G43s more common $450~ ish price point.

I will be sure to check these out in Indy next week. Until then, if you want more info, check out my column at Guns.com

Ruger brings (hammer-fired) budget subcompact to market

When it comes to subcompact 9mm carry guns, the “baby Glock” G26 has been king of the block for nearly three decades. I mean what’s not to like in a 21.5-ounce, 10+1 capacity handgun with a 3.42-inch barrel. Sig’s P365 has the same capacity while going just slightly smaller and has been a hit since it was introduced two years ago, giving the G26 a good fight. However, there now seems a bit of a red hawk flying on the horizon.

Two years ago, Ruger introduced a hammer-fired (both the G26 and P365 are striker-fired with one having a noteworthy issue with striker drag) polymer-framed pistol based on the LCPII’s fire control system. The Security-9, with a 4-inch barrel and 15+1 capacity, was/is pitched as a budget home defense gun and has been well received. I have a friend who has used one extensively and she loves it.

Now, Ruger has shrunk the Security-9 to a compact version which is a 21.9-ounce, 10+1 capacity handgun with a 3.42-inch barrel (seem like a familiar dimension neighborhood?) that debuted this month.

Ruger Security 9 compact

Unlike the G26, though, the Compact Security-9 is hammer fired, has front slide serrations, adjustable sights and an accessory rail. Plus, it is likely to run about $100 to $150 cheaper than its Austrian competitor, which should be interesting.

I’ll be sure to check them out in Indianapolis later in the month.

Check out more in my column at Guns.com.

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