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.
Other than the 1911s, Colt was perhaps best known for their “snake” line of wheel guns– the Cobra, Python, Anaconda, et. al. However, the company, unwisely, got out of the revolver biz for about 20 years, only getting back with a rebooted Cobra .38 snub in 2017. Then came the Night Cobra (a blacked out Cobra) in 2018 and, earlier this year, the King Cobra, a 3-inch .357.
Now, they have released a new entry in the series, the King Cobra Carry, a DAO snubby:
The cylinder accepts the old Colt Detective Special pattern speedloaders. MSRP is $899.
By comparison, Smith & Wesson’s Model 60 stainless 2-inch in the same caliber has a retail of $729 but only has a five-shot capacity. Ruger’s real estate in the same neighborhood is the 2.5-inch version of the seven-shot GP100, which has the same price point as the Colt but tips the scales at 36-ounces.
More in my column at Guns.com
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:
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 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
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
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?
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.
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.