Reactions to a recent article: coming to terms with not being armed all the time.

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Most of the interaction we have here happen in the comments, but some folks prefer to send emails expressing their thoughts. Some of them are interesting enough to talk about.

On the recent topic of not carrying all the time (which I should have called “everyone does, but very few will admit to it”), I got quite a few emails thanking me for expressing a non-macho point of view. Glad to do it, though it’s not so much anti-macho as it is ...

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Where can you find news about the gun world?

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There are an endless number of sites here in the intertubes where you can read about guns, shooting, self defense, and the politics which surround all of those. Most of what you’ll find are from individual bloggers (like me!), full of opinion (again, like me) but usually a mixed bag for actual news about shooting and self defense. When I want news, here are some of the places I check.

The Gun Wire is sort of like the ...

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Special Tuesday Edition: Rumor busting – the Feds aren’t holding up powder shipments.

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The latest internet rumor, apparently from the proprietor of a gun store back east, is that U.S. Customs is holding up containers of imported smokeless powder on the orders of the White House. This, it’s claimed, is the reason that powder – for both reloaders and ammunition manufacturers – is in such short supply.

Ed Harris, who many of you will recognize as one of the longstanding voices of sanity in the gun industry, has access to people the rest of ...

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Is the Caracal dead in the water?

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I’ve been a little hesitant to talk about the woes of the Caracal pistol, largely because it’s a gun I really like. Why? Well, for starters it’s just a nice gun to shoot! That’s largely due to the incredibly low bore axis and well designed grip.

How low is that bore? I’ll put it this way: it’s the only gun since the HK P7 which gives me what I call the “Monitor feeling”, in reference to the Civil war ship that ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: A fast portrait under less-than-ideal conditions.

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As I mentioned recently, I attended SHOT Show 2013 in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. The Thursday of the Show was spent shooting pictures for a new book by Gila Hayes, all about concealed carry for women. It’s going to be published by Gun Digest Books this summer, and if it’s even half as good as her last book (Personal Defense For Women) it’ll be terrific. Gila really knows her subject and is incredibly thorough; ...

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Back from SHOT Show 2013, Part Two: Gear.

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I don’t really go to SHOT to look at gear, but on Friday I had the whole day to get out and look at stuff. Prior to that I only saw gear on a “hit and miss” basis as I ran between appointments and meetings. Here’s what I managed to see:

– The first thing I have to report (and the most exciting for revolver enthusiasts) is that Korth, the top-tier German revolver maker, is looking for a ...

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Back from SHOT Show 2013, Part One: People.

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I spent last week in Las Vegas at the annual SHOT Show convention. For those who don’t know, it’s the shooting industry’s major business convention and darn near any company you can name is there. SHOT is where major new products are typically released, and it’s where the “people of the gun” congregate.

I go there specifically to network, to see people. The hardware isn’t terribly exciting to me; don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing a new gun as much ...

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Someone actually thought this was a good idea: cheesecake in the gun world.

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On Monday I brought you the sad tale of a silly article in the Shooting Times Personal Defense 2012 Annual. The silliness doesn’t stop with the content, however – the way that the article was presented casts a blot not just on Shooting Times and the author of the article, but on the shooting community as a whole.

The pictures for the article were taken by the author, one J. ...

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Don’t fall for it! Gun safety, authority figures, and you.

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(Note: I am omitting names in this article, not because the information is secret but because I want to focus on a concept. The incidents I talk about are public knowledge and can be found with about 15 seconds of Googling; if you really want the nitty-gritty details, feel free to do the searching – but please don’t bring that information in to any comments here, as I want the discussion to center on the ideas not the players. Thank ...

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The pink gun trend. Again. Can we just stop now, please?

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Some time ago I railed about how firearms are being sold to women: by adding pink grips to wholly inappropriate guns and peddling them to the “little ladies”. That just frosts me, because I want women to have the same thing that men have: a gun which they can actually use efficiently to deal with a threat. Part of being able to use it is being able to train and practice with it, and a gun that doesn’t fit well ...

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“Dude, it’s mil spec!” – the fallacy of buying based on who also buys it.

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I was going to share this with you last week, but then the whole RECOIL mess came up and pre-empted my planned programming!

Over at the Vuurwapen blog is the entry “Why I Don’t Care If Military Or Police Use Certain Items“, and it’s all about the silliness of picking a gun (or anything else for that matter) because a particular police or military group uses it. It’s a good read.

There are a bunch of logic failures associated ...

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Picking up the pieces, post RECOIL.

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RECOIL Magazine took a beating last week. The editor, Jerry Tsai, resigned on Thursday after a long list of advertisers cancelled their support of the publication, and on Friday the publisher “suspended” Associate Publisher Joe Galloway – likely for his ridiculous spin attempts (and perhaps some alleged astroturfing that was tried on Facebook.)

Now what? They may survive, they may not; I don’t think anyone can really predict their fate, at least not now. If they want to survive, however, the first ...

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Dead Magazine Walking: RECOIL goes all in.

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(If you haven’t been following the erupting story about RECOIL magazine, read my recap from Monday.)

Up until now we’ve heard only from Jerry Tsai, the editor of RECOIL. FIrst he said that he stood behind what he wrote, but that he simply worded it unclearly. (Remember that one of the reasons he cited for the gun being unavailable to “civvies”, and with which he agreed, was that it served “no sporting purpose” and was ...

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RECOIL Magazine’s Waterloo.

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Over the weekend a major firestorm erupted over RECOIL magazine’s review of the HK MP7A1. In the article, the editor of the magazine – one Jerry Tsai – penned this:

“Like we mentioned before, the MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that’s technology no civies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of. It is made to put down scumbags, ...

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A sad weekend: Mark Craighead, RIP.

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As you might have heard, the shooting industry suffered a terrible loss: Mark Craighead, founder and owner of Crossbreed Holsters, died unexpectedly on Friday.

Mark was an honest, upbeat guy who was not only a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but put his money where his mouth was when it came to educating people about guns, shooting, and self defense. I enjoyed our interaction during the relatively short time that I knew him, and I’m saddened for his employees and ...

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Inventing in your garage: where are today’s John Brownings?

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The other day over at Forgotten Weapons, Ian wondered why there isn’t more garage gun-building going on. Not in terms of putting together Franken AR-15s from parts kits – that’s not “building”, it’s merely assembling – but actually constructing guns from scratch, inventing new ways of approaching the mechanics of firearms function. It’s legal for an individual to do (you should research the laws yourself, but it boils down to not building an NFA weapon and not ...

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Style over substance: training to impress.

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I recently learned of a blogger and wanna-be instructor, a member of the disturbingly superficial “I’m cute and have a gun – read my blog!” trend, who wanted to have her picture taken with a well-known trainer who was visiting the area. Note that she didn’t want to take the excellent class that he was teaching, she just wanted a picture to post on her blog to make people think that she had a connection with a Famous Gun Instructor!

At ...

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Book reports: two reviews of my Gun Digest Book Of The Revolver!

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I got two very nice compliments on my book (the Gun Digest Book Of The Revolver, in case you’re just tuning in) this week.

The first was from a lady who chose a revolver for her own personal defense needs, and was pleasantly surprised to find that my book helped her learn how to handle her gun when her auto-shooting CHL instructors fell short. She said some very kind things in her email, and I’m glad that the ...

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History really is written by the winners, even in the gun world.

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The history of firearm design is fascinating, but even more interesting to me are the beliefs and assumptions that we make about the designs we see. Why do some designs persist, while other – sometimes quite promising – ideas never see the light of day?

It’s often held that certain gun designs succeed in the marketplace (the military and police being a skewed adaptation of a market) because they’re the “best”. It’s true that in some form any given design must ...

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Monday Meanderings: hi-cap revolvers, Rhode’s life, and I’m no anglophile.

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– Not sure where I got this, but it’s pretty interesting: a three-barrel revolver. What will people think of next?!? (<–that’s humor, people.)

– Seems that Kim Rhode, ace Olympic shotgunner and ambassador for the shooting sports, has a blog. Hope she finds time to post more often. (Who knew she was a fan of bacon-wrapped meatloaf?)

– Speaking of Kim: I’m still a little miffed that they removed her original event – women’s double trap ...

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Maybe we don’t have it so bad after all.

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If my recent post about the Belgian gun show made you more than a little envious, today’s should fix you right up.

I got an email the other day from a reader in Thailand (of all places!) He had read my book and was looking for some recommendations with regard to a home defense gun. He also shared with me the gun situation in his country.

In Thailand, you must have permission from the authorities to purchase a gun. You have to submit to ...

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Even I’d buy one at that price: a gun show in Belgium is actually better than one here.

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I had something else planned for today, but it wasn’t nearly as cool as this!

Over at Forgotten Weapons is a story about visiting a gun show in Belgium. Now I know we all have a vision of Europe as being devoid of gun ownership (or at least so restricted as to make it impossible to own anything cool), but it would do us well to remember that Europe is the land of the cheap and readily available ...

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McMillan followup.

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As chronicled here on Monday, the McMillan companies were told by a VP of Bank of America that their business was no longer desired by the bank – specifically because they manufactured firearms. Several things have happened since then:

– The story went national on the Cam Edwards and Glenn Beck shows, as well as all over the internet. Everyone, it seems, is talking about this. McMillan has garnered a lot of ...

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Bank of America: just say “no”.

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In case you’ve missed the flap, last week Kelly McMillan (of the companies which bear the family name) posted to Facebook that he’d been visited by a senior VP of Bank of America, the company that’s handled his company’s banking needs for more than a decade. Seems that they no longer want his business because he makes evil guns. In Kelly’s words (which I copied from his FB page, but I don’t think he’ll care):

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, McMillan Firearms Manufacturing, ...

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The shake-up at Taurus: Mark Kresser takes over.

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Yesterday The Truth About Guns published a piece about the new Taurus CEO, Mark Kresser. I found his avowed commitment to change at the company interesting, especially since reports are that he replaced quite a number of the “old guard” folks when he took up his new position. To quote a line from my favorite movie, “that could be either good, or bad.”

Good if it brings new thinking and new dedication, bad if it ...

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Ed Harris on metallurgy for firearms.

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(Editor’s Note: Ed’s back with an incredible article on firearm metallurgy! This originated as a reply to an email from a “DG”. Ed gives some phenomenal information on the metals used at his employer, Sturm Ruger, to build their guns. I think you’ll find it very interesting, if a little complex!)

DG: A toolmaker friend wants to know what types of metal are used in a revolver. Having read your posts, I figured you would probably have the answers. Please feel ...

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What I did at SHOT Show 2012, Part Five.

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In the last installment I bemoaned the current fad of attaching AR-15 buttstocks to anything that doesn’t move. I’d like to have the adjustability, mind you, but without the wobble and general unsightliness of the AR stock. I was passing by the ATI booth, and found that in addition to their AR-style collapsible stocks (they’re big in that market), they also make a more traditional looking collapsing stock that incorporates both a cheekrest and a very thick recoil absorbing pad.

Called ...

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What I did at SHOT Show 2012, Part Four.

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More of the 2012 SHOT Show!

It seems that I’m always looking at new riflescopes. I’m pretty particular about image quality, and given how I tend to treat field gear (roughly!) I also need a scope that will stand up to abuse. In past years I’ve been happy with the price/performance balance of the IOR/Valdada and Leupold scopes I’ve owned, but their optical quality isn’t as good as the more expensive brands. I’ve had the privilege to use a Schmidt & ...

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What I did at SHOT Show 2012, Part Three.

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One of the booths I wanted to visit was Elzetta. I’ve mentioned before that my flashlight of choice is their ZFL-M60 with a (discontinued) Malkoff MC-E module. This combination gives 500 lumens (!!) of pure flood light, enough to light up a room no matter which direction it’s pointed. The beam is so soft that it has no hotspot and thus produces no glare when pointed at anything short of a mirror. It is, I contend, the ...

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What I did at SHOT Show 2012, Part Two.

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As it happens, this year’s SHOT was a record-breaker: more than 61,000 attendees, with 2,466 of those being media (including yours truly!)

I’ll start today with what I didn’t see: any big introductions from the major revolver manufacturers. Smith & Wesson had a couple of Performance Center variants (I’d not seen the Model 647 Varminter before), Ruger was showing the previously announced four-inch SP101 in .38/.357 and .22LR (the smallbore having vastly improved sights), while Colt didn’t show ...

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