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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.

I do like an old Rossi

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.

What’s not to love? Interarms imported these old Rossi’s from 1978-97, and both of these are from about the middle of that period

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.

These are the style of the newer guns. Note the distinctive grips, BrazTech markings and big ROSSI on the barrel.

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.

Smith’s answer to the G30

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.

My M2.0 chilling, also, forgive the homage to Alex Colville’s Pacific.

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.

What’s in your mint tin, anyway?

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

Looking for a good 9mm with a little history that won’t break the bank?

Classic Arms is selling ‘”fair condition” Star (Star Bonifacio Echeverria, S.A) Model BMs, which is a 9mm Colt Commander-sized single action made for Spanish police between 1972 and 1992, for $149.

Wut.

These sweet little pistols are great– I’ve picked up a few in recent months. Pro-tip if you get into collecting these: C.G.P. markings on the slide are for the Civil Guardia Policia for Spain and P.A. is the Policia Armada for Spain. CGP patrolled the rural areas while the PA patrolled the cities (Madrid, Barcelona, etc.).

The model was used by LaFrance Specialties to make the famous “NOVA 6-Pack” in the 1980s that could use either a chopped 6-round mag or the standard 8-shot.

Photo via an old GunsAmerica listing

Stars from the Eger Collection, lol:

Standard…

And with Chinese elm aftermarket panels by Reine Smith at 4S Grips and an Outbags full-grain leather Colt Commander-sized holster that fits like a glove.

 

Making notes from a bad day

Two weeks ago there was an absolutely bonkers LE gunfight caught on body cam by Las Vegas Metro during which the officer engages in a running fight with two armed murder suspects in a stolen SUV across city streets. I wrote it up over at Guns.com and the details– some 65 rounds fired by two officers and two subjects with shell casings recovered at five different locations– are the stuff of a Michael Mann movie.

One of the interesting takeaways I noticed: once the primary officer has to perform an emergency reload he fumbles the magazine exchange for a couple seconds by inserting the fresh mag upside down, which he then has to clear, reassess and perform correctly to engage the threat.

This is a good time to point out that you should index your reloads to where they orient naturally when pulled from your spare mag pouch/system. Practice, practice, practice this several hundred times with a clear gun (or with snap caps) and mags in a safe location and revisit that practice regularly. Luckily, he had the seconds to spare.

Sadly, most LE only get paid to recertify for their actual range time each quarter– if that– and most neglect those crucial hours of muscle memory dry firing drills that can help alleviate situations like this.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking the officer, I am sure that the auditory exclusion, adrenaline overload and pucker factor of the situation had his rear end clenched tighter than a cheerio and kudos to him for being able to fix the problem. But you can also take that problem and learn from it.

Also, there is the whole firing through the dashboard thing, which for a handgun is an iffy situation as few pistol rounds can be considered “barrier blind,” but that is another gripe session for later days.

Carry on and be safe!

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