Do you shoot a SIG, Beretta, CZ, or other DA/SA pistol? You need to read this.

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There are a lot of autoloading pistols which have a double action (DA) pull for the first shot and a single action (SA) pull for all subsequent shots. Training for that transition is important, and here’s one way to do so.

I’ve been pretty outspoken about my dislike for what we call “traditional double action” autoloading pistols: pistols that start with a long, heavy double action shot and then present a short, ...

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Colt needs a modern pistol design to compete. Believe it or not, they may have one.

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If Colt is going to compete in the 21st Century civilian market, they’re going to need a modern striker fired gun. Believe it or not, they have one; they just don’t know it yet.

SHOT Show was only a couple of weeks ago and there were lots of companies there showing all kinds of new guns. One company that hasn’t produced anything really new for some time, however, is Colt. Going to their booth at SHOT has always felt to ...

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Is the .380ACP pistol ever a good choice for self defense?

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If you’re a new visitor you might not know that I write articles for a number of publications, not the least of which is the Personal Defense Network (in fact, I was one of their original contributors when they started a few years ago!)

My most recent article deals with the idea of consciously picking a .380ACP pistol instead of something larger. Are there situations where I would – or where you ...

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Hammer fired vs. striker fired: what are the tradeoffs?

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The New Remington R-51 is a hammer-fired 9mm pistol. Why, in this age of striker fired designs did Remington choose to go the opposite direction? Possibly because there are advantages we’ve overlooked.

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SHOT Show is in full swing, and one of the most anticipated guns has been formally announced: the Remington R-51.

I’m excited about this gun: a slim, light single-stack 9mm that fits small hands really well, is very controllable, and is affordable. ...

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What about the .380? My new article at PDN!

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I’ve got a new article up at the Personal Defense Network!

With the introduction of the new Glock 42 in .380, many people are asking “why”? Well, there are circumstances in which the .380 may actually be preferable to a 9mm; this article explores what they are, and more importantly explains why.

Personal Defense Network: “When Does a .380 Beat A 9mm?”

Read the article, then let me know what you think in the comments below.

-=[ Grant ]=-

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What is an efficient handgun, and why is it important in self defense?

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Last Wednesday we talked about inefficient handguns, namely the Beretta 92 (and variants.) It wasn’t that I was picking on the Beretta, you understand, only that (as I explained) I’d gotten an email about that specific gun. Also, as I pointed out in the article, the Beretta was hardly alone; the older S&W autos were very similar in operation and deficiencies, yet for some reason they don’t have nearly the vocal following!

Let’s start today by talking about efficiency as applied ...

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The Beretta Model 92: why is it an inefficient defensive handgun?

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Someone sent me a kind email the other day asking about something I’d mentioned on The Gun Nation podcast last week: why did I single out the Beretta 92 (his gun) as being ‘inefficient’, and what do I mean by an ‘efficient’ gun? It wasn’t because I dislike the Beretta specifically; there are a lot of similar guns out there which are inefficient too. The Beretta was just the first one that popped into my mind!

What makes an efficient handgun? ...

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CCW: Some more thoughts on the appendix position for concealed carry.

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The appendix carry position (so named because the gun is on the front of your body, between your navel and the point of your hip; roughly on top of your appendix if you’re a right-hander) has gotten quite popular in recent years. That popularity has made it the subject of both scorn and praise, with some believing it’s the work of Beelzebub himself and others opining that it’s the best thing since a bunch of duck hunters in Louisiana decided ...

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Do you still do press-checks? Here’s another reason not to!

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If you’ve taken any of my classes you know I’m not a big fan of the press-check (drawing the slide of an autoloader partially back to ascertain if there’s a round in the chamber.) I hold that it’s an unnecessary movement which does little more than raise the risk of the gun not being fully in battery when the slide is eased forward.

As it turns out, press-checking also has an effect on bullet setback (the pressing of the bullet backwards ...

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What’s a SnagMag, you ask?

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Today I’m bringing you a review of a product for autoloaders. Why? Because I often carry a semiauto pistol, I’m sure most of you do as well, and I’m always looking for ways to make doing so a little easier. I think I’ve found such a product, one which I didn’t even know existed until a couple of months ago. Note that I said “think”; you’ll see why in a bit.

I was recently introduced to a fellow who makes a very ...

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Let’s talk antique guns: the Husqvarna m40 and the Gustoff Volkssturmgewehr!

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Just the other day, Forgotten Weapons put up a story by Peter Rasmussen about the Husqvarna M 40 pistol (sometimes referred to as a Lahti, for its designer Eimo Lathi.) Rasmussen goes into some detail regarding the pistol and its history in Sweden, including the reasons for it eventual demise.

This was particularly interesting to me as I once owned an M 40. I found it at a local gun show, pristine and complete with holster, two magazines, ...

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Why do pistols look the way they do?

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It’s normal to assume that the products we have today – from toasters to autoloading pistols – have the form (design) they do because somehow that form has been shown to be the ‘best’. It’s a Darwinian notion, or rather a perversion of Darwinian thought. In reality, it’s always a combination of factors that may have more to do with relative, rather than absolute, advantage.

What we have today may not necessarily be the best, but simply the collection of attributes ...

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How did you spend your weekend? I spent mine teaching! Here’s what I learned.

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Father’s Day weekend is usually a bad time to schedule a class, but we did it anyway. Back in the old days when I ran shooting matches at our club, Father’s Day weekend always had the lowest participation. Mother’s Day weekend, however, usually had a very good turnout. This was consistent over a period of six years; I’d have expected the opposite, and to this day have no rational explanation for the phenomenon.

The students who did show up provided me ...

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“A hit with a .22 is better than a miss from a .45” – how true is that?

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An interesting confluence occurred last week: I got an email from a fellow asking about the .380ACP as a defensive cartridge, and this rather myopic article on the .22 Magnum rimfire came out in American Rifleman.

As a teacher of defensive shooting it’s my job to make my students as proficient as I possibly can. Part of that job is helping them to pick a gun/cartridge which allows them to make the bad guy go away using the least ...

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Rob Pincus enrages America. And England. Is France next?

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In case you missed it, the biggest news event to come out of the NRA Annual Meeting and convention this last weekend came from an unlikely source: a seminar on home defense concepts by Rob Pincus. (Those who know Rob may say it isn’t all that surprising he’d make headlines, but with the election of a new and indiscriminately vocal NRA president intent on reliving the 1990s it was surprising the press would focus on Pincus instead. Probably just as ...

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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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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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When is a 1911 not a 1911? When it’s an Obregon!

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Ian over at Forgotten Weapons has come up with another interesting video: a tear-down and a range test of an Obregon pistol. Made in Mexico (many people forget that Mexico had an inventive and thriving arms industry at one time) it’s sort of a John Browning meets Karl Krnka sort of affair. There are also a few surprises (like how the thumb safety is implemented.)

The gun is quite rare (there were, by most accounts, less than a ...

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When will the silly defensive shooting techniques stop?

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After my article on not falling for a technique simply because someone of authority promotes it, a reader sent me an alert about an article in the Shooting Times Personal Defense 2012 magazine. The article is titled “Fight With A .380” by one J. Guthrie. (Had I written this article, I’d probably be embarrassed to use my full name too. You’ll see why.)

Mr. Guthrie bases much of his article on conversations with Ed ...

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My new PDN article: sight-seeing!

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I’ve got another new article up at the Personal Defense Network, and those of you who are pushing 40 (or pulling 50) will be particularly interested. It’s called “I Can’t See My Sights!”

It’s the distillation of all the things I’ve learned over the past few years about how to adapt to vision changes, particularly those related to the march of time. If you have contrast or color blindness issues, or if you wear bifocals, this article will ...

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Defensive handgun choices.

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Well, it appears my editor over at Personal Defense Network finally did some actual work! Rob Pincus wrote a great article about choosing a defensive handgun, and why you should look for certain characteristics.

I’m gratified to see the defensive shooting world coming to some of these same realizations. While there are some folks out there who are still stuck with outdated beliefs, like the .45ACP being the “ultimate” defensive cartridge despite the lack of corroborating objective data, ...

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My Adult ADD strikes again: I almost forgot to tell you about the flintlock repeater!

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I had a number of things I wanted to talk about this morning, but something shiny (and Italian) caught my eye and I’ve forgotten about everything else!

Forgotten Weapons posted an amazingly cool video of a Lorenzoni Flintlock Repeating Pistol. These things are almost mythical; I’d seen a drawing of one, but never any really descriptive pictures let alone an operational video. Ian got his hands on one and shows it off; I now have a much better ...

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It’s deja vu all over again: force-on-force training in 1909. At least they understood protective gear.

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Long-time readers may remember that I’m a big fan of the Shorpy Historical Photo Archive site. In fact, it’s one of the few that’s in my “favorite” RSS feed tabs in Safari. I never get tired of seeing what they’ve come up with!

Last Friday they showed a picture taken in 1909 of a gentleman (I assume it was a man) dressed up in protective clothing and holding a pistol. Labeled “dueling with wax bullets“, ...

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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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An opportunity for a discussion: the short-barreled 1911 pistol sucks.

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Over the weekend Rob Pincus – never one to shy away from a firestorm (I was going to say another kind of storm, but this is a family-friendly blog) – posted a video on YouTube. In it, he details the failure of yet another compact 1911-pattern pistol and expresses his disdain for the breed in general.

The online response was immediate and predictable. Many people agreed with Rob, but a very vocal portion of the shooting ...

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Picking a gun the wrong way: choosing a caliber by silly rules-of-thumb.

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We have a lot of trite phrases in the defensive training world, and one of them sets my teeth on edge: when someone asks how they should choose a gun for personal protection, the usual answer is to “pick the biggest caliber you can shoot well.”

It’s nonsensical, and I’m tired of hearing it.

The problem is how to define “well”. Are we talking in terms of accuracy? If so, I contend that anyone can shoot any handgun caliber “well” – at ...

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There is beauty in workmanship: the Japanese Hino-Komuro pistol.

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Forgotten Weapons recently featured some pictures of an extremely rare Japanese autoloading pistol: the Hino-Komuro from 1908. It’s intriguing because of its blow-forward design (the only other examples of which I know are the Mannlicher of 1894 and the Schwarzlose of 1908), but not a lot is known about it. There were only 1200 made, and only a handful survive.

Until this post, I’d never seen a picture of one – only line drawings in Pistols Of The ...

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Sights for autopistols: why are they low profile in the wrong direction? Still?

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I was reading about the Kimber Solo over at The Firearm Blog the other day, and something struck me as odd. No, it wasn’t the anachronistic thumb safety (on a double action, striker-fired gun) nor the smooth front and back grip straps (which make it impossible to control in anything resembling realistic defensive fire.) It wasn’t even the incredibly specific ammo requirements (the likes of which we haven’t seen since the introduction of the Seecamp LWS 32.)

What ...

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Hello 2012, am I glad to see you! The 1911 Centennial was about to drive me insane!

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WARNING: if you are humor impaired, or can’t stand the Ugly, Ugly Truth (UUT), stop reading now! You won’t be happy, which means I won’t be happy. Well, that’s not exactly true, but one of us will not be happy. And it probably won’t be me. Which kinda narrows it down. And now, today’s blog:

The year 2011 was a pretty good one for me. I built some wonderful guns, met a lot of interesting people, got a clean bill of ...

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Context, perspective and gun testing: how reality affects training and gear choice.

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Something I’ve noticed in the last year or so: as I’ve experimented with the concepts of reality-based training (RBT) in my teaching and practice, my point of view has changed. I’m not really aware of it until I’m around people who haven’t had that exposure, and then the contrast becomes stark.

The realities of how attacks actually occur and our reactions (instinctive and intuitive) affect not only how and what we train, but what we train with. My upcoming article over at ...

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