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.
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.
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.
More in my column at Guns.com
The first revolver speedloader patented was that of William H. Bell in 1879. Bell’s device was a simple metal disk with a rotating locking mechanism that held six revolver rounds. When used with a top-break revolver of the time, such as the Smith and Wesson Lemon squeezer, the speedloader would drop six ready rounds in the cylinder extremely rapidly. It is unclear if Bell’s device ever was manufactured, but it certainly seems like the first of its species.
Now, 130 years later, people are still tweaking the idea.
CK Tactical went live with their Ripcord series five and six-round revolver speedloaders in September and they have been generating some buzz in the gun industry and earning newfound fans. Their signature product is designed, like other speedloaders, to hold a full load of spare rounds for a wheel gun until needed, then dump them into the cylinder.
Unlike existing Safariland and HKS loaders that use a central knob or button, the Ripcord, as its name implies, is designed to be deployed by pulling by a loading tab, leaving the cartridges behind.
At a cost of $10 for a two-pack, CKT currently offers the loader in two different models with a range of compatibility with various Chiappa, Rossi, Ruger, S&W, and Taurus revolvers. As such, I am getting a few sets to see how they stack up against the Bianchi speed strips and HKS/Safariland loaders I’ve used for years.
Ruger is offering a variant of their classic SP101 small frame double-action revolver for those who eschew the gun’s normal stainless configurations.
The new five-round wheel gun is manufactured from alloy steel, and features a 2.25-inch barrel, fixed rear sight and ramped front sight. Chambered in .357 Magnum and weighing in at 26-ounces, Chris Killoy, Ruger president & CEO said in a statement the company has fielded numerous customer requests for the new model, which is manufactured in their New Hampshire plant.
More in my column at Guns.com.
When I was picking out this ornamental gourde, a woman leaned over to me and asked, “What are you going to do with that?”
To which I replied, “Gonna put it on my front porch,” with a grin. While thinking to myself, “He’ll come here because I have the most sincere pumpkin patch, and he respects sincerity.”
Also, it makes a good prop for a Sig P229R:
And if you think differently, we are obviously separated by denominational differences.
Stick your nose up all you want. I find the classic old Smith & Wesson cloned Rossi wheelguns imported by Interarms in the 1970s-90 to be decent shooters and I have had a few cycle through my collection over the years with nary a problem from them. They are beefy, reliable, and are “point and shoot.” Decent fit & finish, trigger feels pretty good. Not quite up to S&W quality from the same era, and not quite as pretty, but close enough.
Two of the herd from the current collection: an M685 2-inch snub in .38SPL with walnut grips and a full-lug stainless M720 in .44 Special with a 3-inch barrel. They are like boat anchors but I really dig ’em. The M720 has been a hog hunting companion in days past along the Pearl River.
With that being said, since the late 1990s, Rossi’s revolvers have been made under contract by Taurus, and the long run recently came to an end. Rossi does not have any handguns currently listed in their 2018 catalog but does list the more recently-made BrazTech-marked revolvers as having a lifetime repair policy.
And, more importantly, BrazTech-Rossi last week issued what they term to be a “voluntary safety warning” for their newer .38 Special and .357 Magnum-caliber revolvers that may, under certain circumstances, fire if dropped.
The warning involves guns made between 2005 and 2017 and covers models R351, R352, R461, R462, R851, R971, and R972 with serial numbers beginning with the letter Y, Z, or A through K.
Those with a revolver that may be part of the safety warning should stop using the gun and go to www.RossiSafetyNotice.com where they can verify their serial number and find further instructions. Alternatively, consumers can call (855) 982-8787 for assistance.
So I’ve been carrying a S&W M&P M2.0 Compact in 9mm since last October off and on and, over 2,000-rounds later, I really dig it and it has been holding up well. Size-wise, it is a dead ringer for the Glock 19 and has a lot of bonuses that the G doesn’t.
I also from time to time carry an assortment of Glocks to include my G19X, Gen 3 Gen 19, and Gen 4 G30– with the latter being a 10+1 round .45ACP with a 3.78-inch barrel. I like it so much that one of the characters in my zombie fiction franchise carries one.
With that being said, my interest was piqued to find out that Smith now has an M2.0 Compact in .45ACP, complete with a 10+1 round capacity and a 4-inch barrel. Color me on the T&E team for that one.
So Trailblazer Firearms seems to be doing pretty well with their single-shot folding .22LR (with an optional .22WMR barrel) Lifecard handgun.
Small enough to fit in an Altoids tin or the 5th pocket of a set of jeans (should they still exist), the thing is pretty neat. Just not $400 neat, IMHO, as you can spend the same amount and get a Ruger LC9 with a holster and a few hundred rounds of practice ammo.
However, they have sold over 6,000 of these little popguns in the past year, which isn’t a lot compared to the million Glock 43s sold in the past two years, but that is pushing close to the $2.4 million mark– not bad coin for a startup gun.
Especially one about the same profile as a credit card.
Anyway, more in my column at Guns.com