Your Hump Day Reading List for April 26, 2017

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It’s starting to look like spring around here — great articles are popping up! This week: sighting in your defensive handgun; making fitness a priority; some questions about revolvers; defeating a dog attack; some great hotel safety tips; how to use body language to stay safer; and time out doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on your progress.

 

Did you know your pistol needs to be ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for January 4, 2017

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Welcome to the first Hump Day Reading List of 2017! Today I bring you information about recoil springs and why you should replace them; an experiment that shows just because you look doesn’t mean you’ll really see anything; how to spot someone impersonating a police officer; two stories about silly self defense “tools”; another story of someone shooting a family member in self defense; and how and why you need to pattern your defensive shotgun. Much more to come in ...

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Do you need to modify your carry gun? Should you?

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In the dim past (which wasn’t really all that long ago), if you needed to change something on your carry gun you took it to a gunsmith. You’d wait for him to do the work, pay him lots of money, and go home happy — more or less.

That was the state of things largely because making the available guns suitable for concealed carry and self defense required modifications. In fact, not all that many years ago it was difficult just to find ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 12, 2016

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Is it Wednesday already? Well, no fear — I have information for you! Today: a look at the problems with secure areas, especially when they’re really secure; an article explaining striker-fired pistols; a civil suit can be worse than the criminal trial; Greg Ellifritz shares how NOT to take care of your carry gun; Sheriff Jim Wilson looks at “scanning”; what training overload is and how to avoid it; some information about kidnappings; if you’re at work when a disaster ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for July 6, 2016

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It’s the first Hump Day of July, and I’ve got some great self defense and personal security articles for you: can you handle your own get-home bag?; Greg Ellifritz has some great tips on very discreet concealment; keeping your defensive revolver running perfectly; teaching children to stand up to bullies; why you need multiple medical kits; how the mainstream media is advising people to respond to active killers; and why the carotid restraint hold isn’t a toy.

 

How ambitious should your ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for May 18, 2016

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It’s the Hump Day Reading List! To start off, we look at a case where a police officer used his trauma kit to save his own life; a story of a man who shot a neighbor under less-than-perfect circumstances; the horrific incident that started one man on the path to an armed lifestyle; the myth of racking a shotgun; taking apart a classic Savage pistol; a comprehensive look at what cover is and isn’t; what you know determines what you ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for May 11, 2016

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I love putting together the Hump Day Reading List, because I get to learn too! This week: aftermarket parts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be; the popularity of suppressors; concealable guns drive concealed carry; how to recognize when you’re being played; shooting through aluminum isn’t as easy as you might think; you are still not the police; what’s in a trauma kit and why; how to tame the recoil of the shotgun; and Greg Ellifritz looks at a favorite ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 3, 2016

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Another great collection of articles for you this week! Rob Pincus shows you how to take your guns with you when flying; Ian McCollum takes apart a Savage .45 pistol; a look at why safety isn’t in the gear you carry; how to recycle range brass for reloading; a detailed explanation of what “going gray” really means; how to keep your defensive handgun in perfect operating condition; and why 100-yard headshots with a pistol don’t make any sense. Read, learn ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for January 27, 2016

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Gosh, is it Wednesday already? This week renowned author Sam Harris expounds on self defense; we look at how people try to sell you fear, and how you can avoid it; Rob Pincus does his best to demystify the gun for non-shooters; how to keep your flashlight in perfect operating condition; a great article on the historical basis of self defense and why firearms are tied to that ideal; and Greg Ellifritz has some good advice about dealing with the ...

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Maintaining your pocket revolver: 8 tips to keep your defensive gun in tip-top shape.

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If my emails are any indication, there are a lot of people out there carrying a revolver in their pocket. It might be a backup or secondary gun, but for a lot of people — especially those who live in warmer climates — it’s a primary defensive arm.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that here in Oregon we don’t get a lot of truly hot weather. This last summer was an exception to that rule (I endured a record ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for Dec. 9, 2015

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This week I’ve got another interesting bunch of articles for you to peruse: Defensive Daddy talks about keeping your kids safe around your guns; a real-world use of the flashlight as a safety tool; dealing with predators that don’t walk upright; an old scam brought back to life by modern technology; guns aren’t just for men any more; Rob Pincus on how flowers really do keep us safe, when they’re backed up by proper use of force; and Jerry Miculek ...

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An interview with Hamilton Bowen!

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Hamilton Bowen, the renowned gunsmith and proprietor of Bowen Classic Arms, doesn’t often grant interviews. When he does, you should listen.
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Hamilton Bowen is a name familiar to anyone who appreciates fine firearms. Through his company, Bowen Classic Arms, he’s become known for exquisite craftsmanship and unparalleled style.

(I’ve said, more than once, that he’s the only guy in this business who consistently gets the ...

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Do Glocks break? Occasionally. Here’s how to fix them.

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Despite their well deserved reputation for reliability, on occasion a Glock will break. The good news is that they’re easy to repair!
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It’s fashionable amongst certain members of the shooting fraternity to spout “all guns break eventually.” That’s true, but the trouble is that it’s often used to justify owning guns which break all the time!

Like automobiles, there are some firearms which are generally regarded as very reliable and some which ...

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Keeping the AR-15 (and M4 carbine) gas system running.

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I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who believe that the gas impingement system of the AR-15 rifle and M4 carbine is somehow a liability. So strong is this belief that there is today a growing subset of the industry making good money by adding parts to the original Stoner design in a misguided attempt to “fix” the “problems”.

Over the years (and many tens of thousands of rounds) I’ve not found the gas system of the AR pattern rifles ...

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Reeves Jungkind, 1927-2013.

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I received a sad email from Massad Ayoob yesterday; Reeves Jungkind, Python ‘smith extraordinaire, has died.

For those of you not familiar with the name, Reeves Jungkind was generally regarded as one of the true masters of the arcane Colt revolver action. He, along with Fred Sadowski and Jerry Moran, were the Three Musketeers of Colt tuning: you’d be hard-pressed to find any people better than they, and their work became almost legendary. Sadowski died some years back and Moran dropped ...

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The home made gun isn’t a new thing, despite what you hear on the news.

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There’s been a lot of angst amongst the gun prohibitionists this week, and the latest comes from the revelation that the first firearm made entirely with a 3D printer was successfully test fired just a few days ago.

The reaction from the gun-grabbers was hardly surprising: they’re moving to make 3D printed guns illegal. Of course we all understand how meaningless such a law would be, but they have to do something, by golly!

You may not be aware ...

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How to de-Cosmoline a gun.

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If you’ve never had the pleasure of dealing with Cosmoline, you don’t know what you’re missing! Cosmoline is the sticky, nasty, smelly but highly effective rust prevention grease so commonly used on military arms.

Some people really get addicted to the stuff; me, I hate it. I admit that it does its job remarkably well, however, and even though I generally admire things which work well I still can’t work up much enthusiasm for this!

Everyone has their own little tricks and techniques ...

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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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An update on lubrication: an authoritative reason to use food-grade lubricants on your guns.

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Last week I got a great email from a fellow who works for one of the major oil companies as a lubricant specialist. He complimented me on my article on lubrication, and said it was “the best and clearest explanation I have ever read.” That’s nice to hear from someone who does that sort of stuff for a living!

He related the tale of searching for lubricants for his shotguns, and found that none of the many ...

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Revolver malfunctions, Part Two: maintenance-induced failures.

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In the first installment we looked at revolver malfunctions caused by ammunition. (I’ve edited that entry to consider dirty ammunition, which can also cause stoppages. I recommend that you go back and re-read it for that discussion.) It’s important to note that ammunition failures are not the fault of the revolver and they’re not unique to the revolver (they happen to autoloaders too.) They do, however, account for the majority of revolver failures and thus must be understood and dealt ...

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Revolver malfunctions, Part One: ammunition issues.

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I received an email last week, a sort of complaint that I don’t write much about revolvers any longer. Well, I wrote an entire book – isn’t that enough?? OK, OK, you win – let’s talk about revolver malfunctions.

I’ve mentioned before, in more than one venue, that the revolver typically will have a longer mean time between failure than an autoloader (we’re talking unique failures, which automatically discounts those due to ammunition problems – which can affect either platform equally.)

The ...

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Some thoughts on round counts and reliability.

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What follows came up in a discussion about the reliability of 1911 pistols, but is actually universally applicable: to Glocks, SIGs, HKs, rifles, shotguns – and, yes, revolvers.

The context of the discussion was the validity of looking at failures during a training class as indicative of larger problems. It usually takes a form similar to “I’m not going to fire 1,000 rounds in self defense, so a gun problem in a class proves nothing; my gun is reliable enough for ...

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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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Ed Harris: Building an accurate .22 field rifle!

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(Editor’s Note: Ed Harris is back! He recently sent me a big archive of his older articles, and there are some real gems in there. I’ll be featuring one of these treasures every other Friday! Today Ed talks about rebarreling a .22 rifle to turn it into a budget tackdriver. Some of you may remember that I love playing with .22 rifles, and you can bet I was taking notes as I read this!)

RE-BARREL YOUR 22 BOLT ACTION AND… Make ...

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Ed Harris: The .32ACP in a rifle??

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Editor’s note: today I’m pleased to bring you another great article from Ed Harris, experimenter extraordinaire. This time he’s built a couple of rifles for some common .32 caliber pistol rounds, making for handy and quiet woods rifles. Enjoy!

Tiny Handgun Cartridges Are Also Small Game Rifle Rounds!
by Ed Harris
Gerrardstown, WV

After fooling around with a pair of chamber inserts using .32 S&W Long and .32 ACP ammunition in the .30-30, I thought about building a light “walking rifle” which ...

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Ed Harris: Using the .45ACP in a rifle!

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Tales from the Back Creek Diary – A .45 ACP Rifle?
By Ed Harris

I like having at least one long gun capable of firing each caliber of handgun ammunition I keep around. Rifles chambered for center-fire handgun calibers provide greater kinetic energy than any rim-fire, but also have low noise, usually not needing a suppressor.

The .45 ACP and .38 Special are my favorite cartridges for this, because standard pressure (non +P) loads are quiet when fired in a rifle, their ...

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Some bits of rifle stuff: 6.5mm cartridges, slings, and lever actions.

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The Firearm Blog (one of the few blogs I read religiously) brings us good news: Alexander Arms (AA) has decided to stop gouging people who want to make 6.5 Grendel rifles! Apparently Hornady submitted the cartridge to SAAMI to be standardized, but AA refused to relinquish their trademark. That recently changed, and now the 6.5 Grendel is available to anyone who wants to use it.

This is great news; I’d once considered building an AR-15 in 6.5 Grendel ...

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Light primer hits with factory guns? The S&W Model 686 problem.

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Over the last few months I’ve gotten several emails about light primer strikes — and attendant misfires — with the S&W 686SSR revolver.

The 686SSR is from Smith & Wesson’s “Pro” line, which sits between the semi-customs of the Performance Center and the run-of-the-mill production items. The 686SSR has, among other features, a ‘bossed’ mainspring (which looks suspiciously like a Wolff ‘Power Rib’ spring.) The idea behind the spring design is twofold: first, reduce the spring force at the beginning of ...

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This is a bad business to be in if you suffer from gun lust: I want this Ruger GP100!

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Every so often I work on a gun that I personally want, and this is one of them.

Three-inch GP100s are a little uncommon in the typical stainless, but the blued versions are downright scarce. The owner of this gun wanted something special, and I think he got it!

We started with a Super Action Job, which took the DA pull down to ...

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Containing my desire: revolvers in .32-20 are calling me. Again.

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I’ve worked on many Colt Police Positives in .32-20, and it’s a cartridge which has always intrigued me. I’m not one to believe that it would make a good defensive tool, but there is more to shooting than just that!

I’ve often thought that I’d like to have one of the long-discontinued Marlin 1894 CB in .32-20; it would make a great farm & varmint cartridge in the hotter loadings, and loaded to moderate velocities would make a dandy squirrel gun.

Tempering ...

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