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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?

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

A new take on an old idea

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.

More on the CKT in my column at Guns.com.

Nice to see blued steel is back

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.

The Great Pumpkin

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.

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