Finishing an experiment with pocket carry. Maybe.

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Early last year I embarked on something of an experiment: carrying my gun not on my belt, as I’ve done for more years than I can remember, but in my front pocket. Exclusively.

I’ve carried in a pocket holster from time to time, usually when wearing a suit, so I’m not at all unfamiliar with the concept. I’ve never done so as my default method, and I wanted to see what it was like. What kinds of problems would I encounter?

My ...

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When are we going to give up on this “Rule One” nonsense?

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The incident of a recently graduated Navy Seal shooting himself in the head has been widely discussed in the gun world. The most common refrain (and darned near the only one I’m hearing, proving Patton’s Dictum) is that he just didn’t pay enough attention to “Rule One.”

Nonsense. Go read my original article on that rule.

Here’s the issue: it’s not that he didn’t pay attention to Rule One. It’s that ...

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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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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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Numbers don’t say things. Words do. Use them.

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A man is sent to prison. At night, after the lights have been turned out, his cellmate yells “number eight!” The whole cell block breaks out laughing. After things quiet down, someone else calls out “number eleven!” Again, everyone laughs.

The new guy asks his older cellmate what’s going on. “Well,” says the other prisoner, “we’ve all been in here for so long that we all know the same jokes. So to save time, we just yell out the number instead ...

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Keeping ourselves honest – with ourselves. It’s necessary for teaching excellence.

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Kelly Muir at the Instructor Revolution blog put up an interesting post the other day. She was at a shooting class* and saw someone she knew, a martial arts instructor of some renown. She was impressed with the fact that this fellow enrolled in a class where he was a real student, amongst students (and probably an instructor) who didn’t know who he was or what he did.

The reason she was impressed goes well beyond the “always ...

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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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The blog of Massad Ayoob.

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Those of us who know Massad Ayoob chuckle at his self-proclaimed aversion to technology. My favorite “Mas-ism” is his oft-repeated line “to you it’s a computer…to me it’s a typewriter with a suppressor.” Yet his supposed technophobia hasn’t stopped him from writing a pretty good blog over at Backwoods Home Magazine.

(I’ll digress just a bit to tell you that he also writes a monthly column for BHM. BHM is a magazine about country living, but without the ...

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Ed Harris: Casting and reloading the .38/.357

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(Editor’s Note: for those who don’t know him, C.E. ‘Ed’ Harris is an engineer who’s worked for Ruger and the NRA. Ed is one of the great repositories of technical shooting knowledge in the field; his expertise extends to all areas of shooting, and trust me when I tell you that he can’t be stumped. I’ve tried. Ed has forwarded several articles to publish, and I’m going to start with one of particular interest to me.)

Today’s article is about casting ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: To me, he’ll always be Mayor Perkins: Harry Morgan passes away.

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A couple of days ago I heard the sad news that veteran actor Harry Morgan had died. Most people remember him as Colonel Potter from “M*A*S*H”, or possibly as Joe Friday’s partner from “Dragnet”. When I think of Harry Morgan, though, I think of my absolute favorite movie of all time: “Support Your Local Sheriff!”

It was a late-60s western spoof starring James Garner, Morgan, Bruce Dern, and Joan Hackett. Surrounding them was a panoply of character actors ...

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A gun safety failure that goes deep into a flawed training methodology.

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From Washington state, our neighbor to the north, comes an interesting news article about a fellow who managed to put a round into a neighbor’s abode while practicing his “quick draw”.

There’s a lot to say about this incident beyond just the safety failures. What struck me, however, wasn’t his gun handling stupidity; is was the erroneous training decisions he made before he ever committed a safety violation. It’s one of those decisions that I want to discuss ...

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Another great review of my book: the Gun Digest Book Of The Revolver!

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Gila Hayes over at the Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network (ACLDN) just posted a very nice review of The Gun Digest Book Of The Revolver in their monthly journal. (In the interest of full disclosure, Gila is both a friend and the person who introduced me to my publisher. She is also known for her scrupulously ethical writing, which makes me doubly proud of her review.)

For those waiting for my book to come to the iPad, the ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: A short history of Unix, and a caution for the future.

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A couple of months ago we learned that Dennis Ritchie, the co-developer of the Unix operating system, had died. As it happens, his death occurred just before the ‘official’ anniversary of the birth of Unix – the publishing of the first Unix manual in November of 1971.

Spectrum, one of the publications of IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), has a great article of the birth and impact of Unix. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in ...

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Ed Harris: Revisiting The Full Charge Wadcutter.

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Happy Black Friday! Today I am pleased to present another great article from Ed Harris, this time about an old load that he’s finding useful in the modern era. It’s helpful to note that Ed lives in a very rural area, and regularly hunts small game with his handguns. This gives him an enormous amount of experience, the kind that is getting hard to find in these days. Sit back, relax, and enjoy his article on the “full charge wadcutter”!

Revisiting ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Another blow to film, and I was right!

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Many years ago I was sitting in a small room at the Eastman Kodak Marketing Education Center near Rochester, New York. In that room were a number of movers and shakers in the photographic industry talking with some Kodak Senior VPs about the state and future of the business.

At one point they asked us what we felt was the biggest threat to photography. When my turn came, I told them that in ten years photography would cease to exist, to ...

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Spitfire machine gun fires after being buried for 70 years. Hysteria ensues.

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Ahh, peat – is there anything it can’t do?

You may be familiar with peat as an important part of malt whisky production, but did you know it could do even more amazing things?

Gunsmith Todd Koonce sent me this link last week of a M1919 machine gun recovered from a peat bog in Ireland. Turns out that a peat bog is a terrific place to preserve metal objects, like the British Spitfire Fighter from which the gun was ...

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Data sets, plausibility, and defensive shooting: what you don’t know can waste your time, energy, and money.

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As I sat eating lunch last week I found myself perusing a gun forum with which I’m not all that familiar. On it I ran across a post from a fairly well known trainer, one that most shooters would not recognize but those familiar with the training world might. I’ve never met the guy, let alone trained with him, but his comments left me distinctly perturbed.

The statement was in reference to some particular techniques that he finds important to teach. ...

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Some (more) thoughts on the defensive lever action.

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Seems a lot of people are interested in the lever action as a home defense weapon. Any choice of defensive armament has pros and cons, so let’s consider the lever action chambered in a pistol cartridge. Some of these are true of all long guns (rifles, shotguns) while some are specific to the one under discussion.

Pro: Good power level, likely to stop a threat with a minimum of shots.
Pro: Not overly powerful like a full sized rifle cartridge, less ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Another notable passing – Pete Rugolo.

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This week I got the sad news that Pete Rugolo has died. Rugolo was a composer, arranger and bandleader, and an influential figure in modern jazz.

Rugolo is probably best known for his iconic work with Stan Kenton. Rugolo’s tenure marked the band’s transition from playing simple dance music to being one of the most progressive big bands in the history of jazz. Rugolo wasn’t alone; Bill Holman and Bill Russo were also actively writing for Kenton in ...

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Now this is just weird: we make AKs, they make ARs?

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This actually happened: last night I had a dream that I was living in my grandfather’s beach residence. This was unusual inasmuch as I haven’t seen that place since I was about five or six years old (my grandfather sold it shortly thereafter) and have only vague recollections of what it looked like.

Oddly, I remember his neighbors and their house more than his. My dream had me in my grandfather’s garage, engaged in firefight with a group of invaders who ...

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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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The .35 Whelen: when the .30-06 isn’t enough, but you don’t need to go to artillery.

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Over the weekend I had a talk with a relative who was interested in the possibility of rechambering his rifle to something a little more potent than the .30-06 it currently fires. I found myself recommending the .35 Whelen. His eyebrows darted skyward, amazed that I wasn’t recommending some sort of SuperTinyShortenedUltraPowerful Magnum.

Though I’ve never owned one, I have passing familiarity with the Whelen. It is just a good, effective caliber that’s not going to beat the ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: The Great Communicator.

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President Reagan was given that nickname during his tenure in office, but all Presidents before and after have needed to stay in touch with the world around them. Lots of stuff to deal with when you’re the CEO of a superpower, and being able to reach out and talk with anyone and everyone is pretty high on the priority list.

Seems simple in the days of cel phones, but it’s not. The President needs fault-tolerant communications that work even where he ...

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Defensive training. iPhone. What’s the connection? A list.

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Yesterday Apple announced a new iPhone, and with it an advanced software to add voice control to that phone. (“Siri”? Who names these things?)

Almost immediately the blogs and tech sites were abuzz with inevitable comparisons to the competition, complete with tables breaking down the products feature by feature.

I found it amusing that they all had one line that said ‘voice control’, with a simple “YES” or checkmark on each product. Some of the more adventurous would take pains to point ...

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Deer season opens, and thoughts turn to rifles: the .357 as a deer cartridge.

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I’ve mentioned once before that the .357 Magnum is a surprising cartridge. Its performance from a handgun is legendary, if not always deserving of the status, but when stuffed into a rifle it turns into another beast entirely.

Over at The Truth About Guns they took a variety of loads and fired them from a revolver and a rifle, as well as comparing them to the venerable .30-30 cartridge. While ...

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Multi-caliber revolvers: why you don’t see them on gun store shelves.

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Every so often I get an email asking about the feasibility of building a multi-caliber revolver along the lines of the short-lived Phillips & Rogers Medusa. There have been several attempts to build and market such a revolver over the years, and none of them succeeded. The Medusa was probably the most successful of the efforts, and even it didn’t last long.

Aside from the general silliness of the concept (you can’t get .38 Special during the Zombie Apocalypse, but you can ...

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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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FRIDAY SURPRISE: You could always count on Hank. Not easily, though.

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The latter part of September marks the birth – and the death – of an immensely influential, if not terribly recognized, musician: Hank Levy.

Hank started out as a baritone sax player but made his mark as a composer/arranger for Stan Kenton, Don Ellis, and Sal Salvador. His specialty was ‘odd’ time signatures that often changed during the song, making for very complex compositions. It was his association with the extremely forward-thinking Ellis that perhaps most influenced his ...

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King of the road: what do you do about an instructor with an attitude?

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Over a year ago I read a review of a training course on one of the gun forums. It’s been long enough that I don’t remember what the course was, or who the instructor may have been, so I don’t think I have any dog in the fight. Besides, it’s not the particulars that matter in this story; it’s the student’s attitude that I find most intriguing.

The person in question had taken a weekend course at some gun school and ...

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