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
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!
When Glock dropped their “crossover” coyote-framed G19X onto the commercial market late last year, a lot of people went apeshit. Some complained that the concept, which blended a shortened Gen 5 G17 frame with a G19 tophalf and added some decent upgrades (like steel night sights and tweaked internals) should have instead done exactly the opposite to even mocked up a G26/G19 blend.
I have had one since the beginning– a T&E gun that I put 2,000 rounds through and really dug. In fact, I liked it so much that I bought it from Smyrna at the end of the eval period and I carry it often.
I’m apparently not the only one, as Glock announced last week that they have delivered over 100,000 of the pistols to the hungry market– proving that it wasn’t the clown shoes of modern handgun offerings that detractors said it would be.
“The Glock 19X has helped reinvigorate the polymer pistol market. Its demand and popularity has exceeded our expectations” said Flint Virgets, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Lipsey’s, the nation’s leading wholesale firearms distributor last week.
Kirk Kjellberg’s Ideal Conceal, a folding double-barreled derringer that mimics the profile when closed of a smartphone, is now shipping.
Promised two years ago at the ~$395 MSRP, I caught up with them at SHOT in January where they were closer to market at $500(ish).
But wait, because the Trailblazer Firearms Co. says they have released some 6,000 of their single-shot .22LR Lifecards– much the same concept as Ideal Conceal but more credit-card-sized– into the wild.
More on that here.
Last December when Glock gently rolled out their Gen 5 models of the G34 (MOS) and the G26, I was sent one of each to review. While the 34 was no doubt a tack driver, the 26 really caught my eye as I had a 3rd Gen of the same breed back in 2001 and carried it for a bit but then passed it on to a friend in need but never got it back (apparently they still need it).
When I say that I liked the new 5G G26, I mean what’s not to like? First of the “Baby Glocks,” the G26 has been on the subcompact carry market for over two decades and it is the smallest Gen 5 model produced by the company. Notably, the 10-shot abbreviated semi-auto does not share the same flared mag well that is standard on other guns in the generation but does have a host of other features such as an improved barrel (Glock’s new ‘Marksman’ series), updated trigger and grip ergonomics (read= no grooves).
So with this in mind, it was no surprise to me that the DEA just sent out a RFQ for 100 of these (for starters, it is listed as “recurring”).
More on the DEA contract in my column at Guns.com.
Here we see a little pocket blade I like to carry from time to time, making a cameo on an outing for some California roll at the local sushi bar.
The higonokami ,also referred to as the Japanese carpenter’s knife, was born in 1896 in Meiji-era Japan when a man named Tasaburo Shigematsu brought back a knife from the Kyushu province and asked a knife maker named Teji Murakami from Hirata in the Miki region to manufacture it.
A blacksmith is said to have added a simple lever (the chikiri) to a minimally-designed pocket knife to aid in opening and closing the blade and to set it apart from other knives. “Higo no Kami” in Japanese means, “Lord of Higo,” in honor of the Lord of the Kyushu area of Japan, where the knife originated.
Higonokami proved to be successful and a tradesman’s guild was formed to oversee the manufacture of the knife– akin to the Barlow in popularity in the U.S.– marked with the name of the famous samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Once a staple of every youth and tradesman in the Empire, their popularity has waned.
Trademarked higonokamis such as this one, were last made by Motosuke Nagao, established in Miki, descending from four generations of blacksmiths. Today the last of the guild in business is Nagao Seisakusho who sell these knives through Iwachu primarily for export these days.
The knives share a common characteristic:
– A handle made out of a folded sheath of brass stamped with kanjis detailing the name of the maker and the steel of the blade: a sanmai with an aogami edge (blue paper steel), very much like a “reverse tanto” in profile.
– The presence of a chikiri (the lever) on the blade, to open the knife.
– The lack of a locking system.
– The fact that the blade, Warikomi steel, entirely disappears in the handle when the knife is closed.
The characters on this example say “Registered Trademark : Sword Master ‘Miyamoto Musashi”‘
It is very much like the classic German Solingen Mercator “cat” K55K knife, known for the image of the running feline on its folded sheet metal handle. Like the Higonokamis, these have has been around for over a century and are currently made by Otter-Messer.
While no one was looking, Ruger slipped two really sweet 9mm’s on the market, a $200-ish single stack compact and a $300 double-stack midsize, both of which I’ve touched on for Guns.com.
The new EC9s, a no-frills version of their LC9s series, is a single-stack 7+1 9mm polymer-framed striker-fired pistol with sights machined integrally with the slide. Billed as about an inch taller and an inch longer than the .380ACP-chambered LCP, the newest 9mm in Ruger’s stable tips the scales at 17.2-ounces with a 3.12-inch barrel and 6-inch overall length.
Best of all, the MSRP is $299, and a quick search shows dealers already taking pre-orders in the $220-$230 range. This puts the new EC9s in the same size envelope as S&W’s new M&P9 Shield 2.0 and the Glock 43, a point Ruger subtly pokes at in their email announcing the new gun.
Then there is the Security 9 in an ode to the classic Ruger Security-Six revolver of the 1970s and 80s, the newest double-stack in the company’s catalog has a 4-inch barrel and 7.24-inch overall length.
Unlike popular striker-fired competitors in the $379 MSRP neighborhood, the Security 9 uses a hammer-fired system evolved from the one found on the LCP and LCP-II line but includes both a bladed trigger safety and a manual frame-mounted safety.
Additional features of the Security 9 include an accessory rail, front and rear cocking serrations and dovetailed sights with various color options available. The alloy steel slide and barrel, aluminum chassis with full-length guide rails, and nylon frame give the pistol a 23.7-ounce overall weight. The gun ships with two 15-round mags
I will be sure to check out both on the range at SHOT.