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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.

Colt keeps raising new snakes

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:

Colt’s new magnum-caliber snub weighs 26-ounces and features a stainless steel barrel and frame mated to Hogue over-molded grips.

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

You failed to maintain your weapon, son

Public Service Announcement: This unidentifiable semi-auto handgun came into a shop in Michigan recently, unable to fire.

I wonder why?

After an overnight soak and full disassembly, it was returned to service. The baggie of debris is what had to be scraped away.

A little regular maintenance can work wonders. Also, be sure not to get too crazy with the lube, as it drags lint, dandruff, cat hair, et. al down from the surface into the inner regions of a gun’s action, and can leave you after a while with an unsat condition.

 

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.

Ike’s Chief’s Special, 64 years ago today

Photos via Smith and Wesson

Lubbock Morning Avalanche, December 17, 1953. WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (INS) – Deputy Sheriff Dwight D. Eisenhower was presented with a nickel-plated .38-caliber revolver today to use if he’s ever called up for posse duty. Eisenhower tried the gun for size in his inside coat pocket after checking the chamber and twirling the cylinder to make sure it wasn’t loaded. The President, who is an honorary deputy sheriff, was given the weapon by the National Sheriff’s Association “to back up his authority in the event he is ever called upon for posse service.”

While Ike didn’t carry ivory-handled .45s wherever he went, unlike some WWII generals, he reportedly was a fine marksman and did poke lots of holes in paper over the years, as witnessed in the below epic shot of SACEUR along with Churchill and some guy named Omar.

June 1, 1945 – London, England, U.K. -Churchill, DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER and GENERAL OMAR BRADLEY fire the army’s new carbine. Out of 45 shots aiming at targets 200 yards away they hit 29 targets. (Credit Image: © KEYSTONE Pictures USA)

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

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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