Thursday, March 4, 2010

The lower and upper limitations of handgun calibers: Choose your own

"A man's got to know his limitations."-Dirty Harry in Magnum Force

That's always been one of my favorite movie quotes by Clint Eastwood and I know mine, both upper and lower, when it comes to handguns.

I have thus far abstained from any handgun smaller in caliber than 9mm and smaller in size than my Kel-Tec PF9 subcompact pocket pistol.

I can shoot it well enough to hit what I want to, within reasonable distance, say 10 to 15 yards max.

But today I listed a handgun that harkens back to a manufacturing period of 1910-17 and I gotta admit, I'm tempted even though it's only .32 ACP. It's a Model 1907 Savage Arms and it's a pretty neat pistol in very good shape, particularly considering its age.

It's got a 10-rd. mag and an external-cocking hammer, which is quite unusual for a single-action pistol. It's also got a combination thumb safety/slide lock which is also unusual. And instead of the heel-mounted magazine release that was common for the period, it has a mag-release lever in the front-bottom of the grip frame. (Besides, Tam's got one.)

It's even reasonably priced on gunbroker at $485, but it is still a .32. Maybe as a fun pistol, I'd be interested, if I had $485 to spare, which I don't.

I've got a .32 revolver, a Charter .327 Magnum, so if I get a hankering to shoot .32s, I can shoot .32 H&R Magnum, .32 Long or .32 Short. I even tried .32 ACP in the Charter, but the hammer strikes apparently aren't hard enough as only one in six ignited.

Then there's the upper limitation I have set for myself, and the S&W .500 Magnum revolver is definitely way beyond line that for me.

I do own the Dirty Harry Model S&W 29, but not because I'm an Eastwood wannabe. I owned a S&W 21 .44 Special at the time I walked into a pawn shop and spied a S&W 24 .44 Special and a S&W 29 .44 Magnum in the counter. I really wanted that Model 24, the adjustable-sights upgrade of the Model 21.

But the S&W 29 was more reasonably priced, plus it had a 4" barrel and the 24 had a 6.5" barrel. I really like 4"-barrel revolvers, that's my favorite size. I went with the 29 and have been so happy with it I later traded away the S&W 21.

But after shooting the .44 Magnum the first time, I knew for sure that is my upper limit. No .454 Casull, .460, .480 or .500 Magnum, nor any other magnum larger than .44. A man's gotta know his limitations and I know mine.

No comments: