Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yet another CZ pistol to add to my ever-growing gotta-have list

My CZ P07 Duty 9mm is one of my favorite carry guns. I configured mine with the safety-only option included in the box, replacing the safety/decocker as issued so I could carry it cocked and locked.

Sixteen+1 9mm rounds with a compact 3.5" barrel, it's a great concealed-carry package of firepower.

But then I happened to pass by Angus Hobdell's CZ Custom Shop site and saw one of his latest custom creations, a P07 Duty with a few tweaks by the master to create what he calls the SP07 Duty.
It's got a fiber-optic front sight on the P07 slide, but the lower is a shortened SP01 frame with a full-size grip and a 19-rd. magazine. So many guns I want and so little money to buy them. Life's continuing dilemma.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Inside the Gun Locker: CZP-01 - HUMAN EVENTS

Inside the Gun Locker: CZP-01 - HUMAN EVENTS
The best pistol I ever owned was a Custom CZ SP01 from Angus Hobdell's CZ Custom Shop. I shouldn't have sold it but did so as I transitioned into concealed-carry handguns.

The CZ P01 is the concealed-carry version of the SP01. I've never seen one "in the flesh" yet, but when I do, I'll probably buy it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Start working on your TEOTWAWKI /WTSHTF survival plans today

Speaking of the impending apocalypse, check out Preparing for the End of the World at Guns & Patriots.
Close your eyes and imagine a world without electricity:  no Fox News, no Facebook, no email, no Blackberry, no cold drinks, no heat in the winter, no automobiles, no food and no way to cook it even if you had it. It’s the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) and you and your family are going to die.

Unless, of course, you are prepared.

I was at church last week, and I met a new friend. When I told him I taught concealed carry classes, his first response was “Oh, I’ve been meaning to buy a handgun, but I don’t know what to get. Can you help me?” I asked him why he wanted a gun, and he confided that he was concerned that society would soon collapse and he wanted to defend his family. I was nice and didn’t explain to him that he should have been preparing for years, better late than never I suppose. Instead, I told him that one gun doesn’t fit all, that he’d be better off buying a pistol, a 22 caliber rifle, a battle rifle in .223 caliber, a pump shotgun, and a large caliber hunting rifle and thousands of rounds of ammo. The look on his face told me he was overwhelmed. Like most people seeking to survive societal collapse, the actual nuts and bolts of how to do it, was totally foreign to him. 
Read the whole thing and start working on your  TEOTWAWKI or WTSHTF plans today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Smith & Wesson loads up an emergency survival tool kit just for you

Doth the apocalypse draweth nigh? Perhaps. If so, here's what you just might need to survive it.
So what's in it? I'm glad you asked.
All sorts of goodies for survival, the chief one being what's close to the World's Largest Snubby, a S&W 460 Magnum revolver with 2.75" barrel. The only snubby larger is a S&W 500 Magnum.
The 460ES kit contains a Smith & Wesson 460XVR featuring a safety yellow rubber grip with a 2-3/4” barrel. The kit is packaged in a waterproof and durable yellow Storm case with several survival tools including the firearm. Each ES kit contains a S&W Extreme Ops folding survival knife in black nylon belt sheath, tree saw, whistle, compass, signal mirror, lighter, fire starter, two emergency blankets and a book with tips on preventing bear attacks, "Bear Attacks of the Century."
In addition to all that cool survival stuff is a really cool knife, the S&W Extreme Ops folder.
But the star of the show is the .460 Magnum 5-shot snubby, which also can chamber and shoot .454 Casull and .45 Colt, both being shorter cartridges of the same bore.
As you can see from the powder burns, this S&W 460 Magnum has actually been shot. My gun shop is selling it as Like New In Case for a mere $1250 (no decimal point). Get loaded for bear today.

I could probably afford the knife but the entire kit is way outa my league.

NRA opposes gun-grabber's appointment to head the BATFE

Oh joy, just what we need, a gun-grabber appointed by Obama to head the BATFE.
The NRA strongly opposes President Obama’s nomination of Andrew Traver as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).  Traver has been deeply aligned with gun control advocates and anti-gun activities.  This makes him the wrong choice to lead an enforcement agency that has almost exclusive oversight and control over the firearms industry, its retailers and consumers.  Further, an important nomination such as BATFE director should not be made as a “recess appointment,” in order to circumvent consent by the American people through their duly elected U.S. Senators.  
Traver served as an advisor to the International Association for Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) “Gun Violence Reduction Project,” a “partnership” with the Joyce Foundation.  Both IACP and the Joyce Foundation are names synonymous with promoting a variety of gun control schemes at the federal and state levels.  Most of the individuals involved in this project were prominent gun control activists and lobbyists.

The IACP report, generated with Traver’s help, called on Congress to ban thousands of commonly owned firearms by misrepresenting them as “assault weapons,” as well as calling for bans on .50 caliber rifles and widely used types of ammunition. The report also suggests that Congress should regulate gun shows out of existence and should repeal the privacy protections of the Tiahrt Amendment—all efforts strongly opposed by the NRA and its members. 

Traver also participated in an extremely deceptive NBC Chicago report ( in which he referred to “the growing frequency of gang members and drug dealers using heavy caliber military-type weapons” and described them as if they were machine guns:  “Pull the trigger and you can mow people down.”  Traver and his agents provided the reporter with a fully automatic AK-47, with which she was unable to hit the target.  He then said that stray bullets are “one of the main problems with having stuff like this available to the gangs.” 

As the Agent-in-Charge of Chicago’s BATFE office, Traver knows that fully automatic firearms are not available through normal retail channels—the opposite of what was implied in the report.
An agency involved in the regulation of a fundamental, individual right guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution should not be led by an individual with a demonstrated hostility to that freedom.  For that reason, the NRA strongly opposes Andrew Traver to head the BATFE and urges President Obama to withdraw this ill-advised nomination.
 Write your Reps

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Full circle with pistols from single-stack to double-stack and back

Life in some ways is a circle. We go from childhood to adulthood and then at least in some ways back in old age to what is gently humored as our "second childhood."

And in my lifetime of relations with handguns, in particular with pistols, I've made a full circle from single-stack magazine pistols to double-stack and now back to single-stack again.

My first love was a Colt 1911 .45 ACP which my daddy brought home one day when I was about 10. He let me shoot it and though it was heavy, I was really surprised at how easy it was to shoot. Daddy tossed an old peach basket out in the yard about 10 yards away and proceeded to put a few holes it it. Then he handed the 1911 to me and I finished off the magazine of seven by putting more holes in the basket with every shot.

The recoil of that all-steel .45 was no big deal at all to this 10-year-old kid, and I shot the 1911 just like my daddy did, with one hand. From that day forward, I was a 1911 .45 guy, so by the time I joined the Navy, boot camp held no surprises on how to field strip and shoot 1911-A1 .45s.

I carried 1911 .45s while on guard duty aboard various Navy ships from 1967-71 and took every opportunity for some target shooting off the fantail of the ship, which was occasionally allowed. I well remember one day on the fantail of the USS Mullinnix, DD-944, on the way to Vietnam in 1969.

The captain called for target shooting and led the party shooting his personal Browning Hi-Power. And after he put a few holes in a target, I stepped up after him with one of the very loose 1911s from the ship's armory and shot a tighter group than the skipper did.

He made no comment and I was an impertinent idiot to expect him to admit that a lowly sailor just outshot him. Impetuous youth.

But I never got around to owning my first handgun until shortly after 9/11. I had been reading one of Jeff Cooper's books where he opined that the .45 ACP round had "almost enough power" and extolled the new 10mm round which he helped develop as a superior cartridge for self-defense, hunting and all purposes.

So when the decision was made to buy a handgun, I went looking for a 10mm and found a S&W 1076. I later learned on researching it that the 1076 was the FBI issue handgun from 1990-95. Its adoption largely stemmed from the infamous Miami shootout where agents armed with .357 Magnum revolvers and 9mm pistols were badly outgunned by a pair of heavily armed bank robbers. Two agents died that fateful day and the FBI decided to upgrade to 10mm pistols.

The S&W 1076 is an all-stainless-steel pistol with a Commander-sized 4.25" barrel and a 9-rd. single-stack magazine. The FBI abandoned it for smaller, lighter pistols in 1995 and that's what I later did also as I began a transition into concealed-carry handguns. You can carry and conceal a 1076, but it sure ain't easy or very much fun carrying an all-steel handgun.

My first concealed-carry handgun began a love affair with .357 Sig, a pistol cartridge developed to provide similar ballistics to the classic .357 Magnum 125-grain revolver load. But instead of being limited to six rounds, you get as many as a magazine will hold. Even single-stack magazines hold more than a typical .357 Magnum revolver.

So I bought an Austrian-made Steyr M357-A1 in 2006, a compact pistol with a 4" barrel and 12-rd. double-stack magazines plus a polymer frame like that other plastic pistol made in Austria. I later added a M9A1, the 9mm version.

And from there, if a pistol didn't have double-stack magazines and a lightweight frame of polymer or alloy, I wasn't interested in it. I carried occasionally and was perfectly happy with my Steyrs and other double-stack-magazine pistols I acquired in 10mm, 9mm and more in .357 Sig, plus my first 1911 .45, a Llama I-XC double-stack version of Browning's classic.

Then in January 2009, I went to work at a gun store and began carrying all day, every day. After an attempted armed-robbery of the shop, I began carrying a main and a backup, or as the late famed New York cop Jerry Cerullo dubbed it, the New York reload. Shoot one dry and pull another. Faster than reloading.

My gun collection grew at a much faster pace over the past nearly two years working at the gun shop. To date it includes two more double-stack .45s, a full-size Para P14-45 and a compact P12-45, in addition to four more .357 Sig pistols, two Sig P229s and two S&W M&Ps, compact and subcompact. I also added more 9mm pistols, plus several revolvers from .327 Magnum to .44 Special.

My love of Sig pistols brought me back to single-stack .45s as I acquired first a full-size P220 then a compact size. I discovered to my amazement that I can actually shoot a P220 more accurately than my 1911 .45s, all three of which are double-stackers.

And then the daily toll of double-carry caught up with my aging back and translated into back pain. So I scaled back on carry to a lightweight .38 or .44 and my single-stack Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm ultracompact or a subcompact Steyr S9A1 I recently acquired when Steyr-Mannlicher began importing pistols to the U.S again.
So in light of that decision, I decided I needed another .357 Sig pistol in a subcompact design with a single-stack magazine. Enter the Sig P239 SAS Gen2 Two-Tone, which I now have on special order from Sig. I have a Sig P229 SAS Gen2 Two-Tone which is currently my favorite pistol to shoot. I liked it so much I bought a plain-Jane P229R .357 Sig, too.

The SAS Gen2 model line includes night sights and the Sig Short Reset Trigger, in addition to the Sig Anti Snag treatment of slide and frame to smooth off all edges and corners on the slide and frame. But the SRT is the best feature, I can shoot double-taps with my P229 SAS virtually effortlessly.

I love my P229s, but I think I'm going to love the P239 even more for its lower weight for daily carry. As with all special orders from Sig, I have no schedule for delivery, but I'm hopeful it will be a pleasant surprise like my P229 SAS was, which arrived in a little more than a week after the order was placed.

When it does arrive, you'll read more about it here. I can hardly wait but I'll have to anyway.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine has hiccups but finally gets "shot in"

I finally got a chance to shoot my new Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine today. I bought the Tactical Folding Stock Model at the gun store where I work because I liked being able to shoot it with the stock folded "from the hip."

With the stock folded, the butt is on the right side and makes for a extra hand-hold, as my range buddy Leon McRae demonstrates. Note the flying brass I caught with this shot, a blur against Leon's jacket.
It's a good thing I was shooting with Leon, a retired U.S. military guy with a lot of experience with all types of military weapons. He has a collection of a few hundred military guns, including several M1 Carbines.

Right off the bat, the brand-new A-O Carbine performed like a single-shot. One round would fire but it would fail to chamber the next. Leon suggested lubing it down good as he said the action was so tight it wasn't allowing the bolt to fully cycle to load the next round. So I lubed the dickens out of it and kept shooting.

It still stove-piped and jammed fairly frequently, but at least it wasn't a single shot anymore. And it's a good think I brought 150 rds. of FMJs and three new 30-rd magazines in addition to the one 15-rd. mag supplied by Auto-Ordnance. I found some new Korean military 30-rd. mags at CDNN for $15 each and all three got a workout. Between Leon and myself, we burned through all 150 rds. to "shoot it in" as Leon put it.
I fired it from the shoulder and I fired it from the hip and just kept loading magazines and shooting. At first she would fire and cycle reliably from the shoulder, but not from the hip. So I just kept on shooting.
And it worked. This is toward the end of the ammo and I was just watching the bolt cycle, waiting for the next jam shooting from the hip. By the time I got to the last 30-rd. magazine, she worked great from the hip and from the shoulder, no jams, just blam, blam, blam until slide lock.

We did have one hiccup that will require a bit of attention to figure out by my buddy Leon, the Carbine gunsmith. The metal handguard kept falling off as the barrel band on the forearm jarred forward while firing. Here's a shot of me firing without the handguard.
And with all that shooting in a short period of time, it became painfully obvious why an M1 Carbine needs a handguard. We kept putting the handguard back on and retightening the barrel band screw and getting our fingers burned in the process if we touched that hot barrel. Ouch!

Leon finally figured out the spacer on the barrel band for the sling swivel was too wide to allow tightening the band screw enough to keep the handguard in place. So we took the sling swivel off, tightened down on the screw and no more flying handguard. Leon is going to file down that spacer a bit so I can put the sling swivel back on. With the sling attached and the stock folded, this a very handy package of easy-carry firepower.

So I ended the day without the sling attached, but with an Auto-Ordnance Carbine that has been "shot in" and works just fine from the shoulder or the hip. I'm gonna have to buy a lot more Carbine ammo. I'm having almost more fun that the law allows and I see a lot more fun in the future with this new M1 Carbine.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Start small and work up with handguns, or start large and go larger?

David Fessenden at Tactical Gear offers a good primer on training in the use and carry of concealed-carry guns.

I can't say I agree with everything he writes, particularly his negative opinion on starting a novice shooter on a .22 pistol.

In the NRA Basic Pistol classes I've taught, I've started new shooters on .22 pistols and shown them they can hit what they aim at, always a good start.

And from there I've moved them up to 9mm, .357 Sig and .45 ACP with no problems in the same class over the span of about four hours at the range, beginning with bench rest and moving up to standing two-handed.

But Fessenden makes some good points so it's worth your time to read what he has to say.
For the selection of a concealed carry weapon, many instructors will advise their students to purchase a .22 Long Rifle pistol and train up to a larger caliber firearm. The thinking here is that the student will adjust to the lower noise, recoil and shock of this smaller caliber handgun and will eventually be comfortable enough to move up to the larger caliber pistol with ease.

I view this as a colossal waste of time and money. I prefer to advise my students to bring a .38 Special revolver or 9mm, .40 S&W, .38 Super or .45 ACP semiautomatic to start the class. We teach the student how to properly and safely control and manage the recoil and push of the weapon, even when firing the multiple target drill. This is done with the application of proper stance and grip instruction in an acceptable period of time, usually just a few hours. Students quickly become very confident with their marksmanship and gun handling skills.

Any concerns about noise and recoil quickly are forgotten. I’ve taught many women without any prior firearms training or experience how to shoot a Glock Model 23 in .40 S&W with ease and precision, and after several hours they have openly thanked me for insisting that they start out with the weapon that will, in all likelihood, end up being their carry weapon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Holidays from Barack Hussein Obama and Joe Biden

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merrrrrrrrrrrrrrry Christmas! Get your Obama-Biden Happy Holidays cards here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What's your favorite movie guns? I pick two Clints and one Duke

What's your favorite movie gun? Obviously mine is Dirty Harry's S&W 29 .44 Magnum 'cause I got one just like it except mine has a 4" launcher. The NRA's American Rifleman magazine picks their 10 favorites. P.S. Movie trivia note: Did you know that the revolver Clint used in the first Dirty Harry movie was actually a S&W 57 .41 Magnum? For some unexplained reason, the movie substituted guns even though the script still identified it as a Model 29 "the most powerful handgun in the world" which it wasn't even back then.

The Duke's 1982 Winchester big-loop lever-action rifle in True Grit is also one of my top two. Do not attempt this maneuver with a loaded gun. Note where the muzzle is pointing in this shot, right at Rooster Cogburn's noggin.
And Clint's 1851 Navy cartridge conversion in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is my close third. Never mind that if such a pistol ever existed it would have been a custom job and almost certainly would not have existed during the Civil War period which the movie portrays. Hollywood hardly ever gets guns right.
Pick your favorites and post them in the comments.
Firearms have been a part of the movies since “The Great Train Robbery” flashed onto the Silver Screen in 1903. In many movies the gun is as important as the character, and often is what makes a scene iconic. has put together a list of 10 favorite movie guns and why they are so remembered.

  • M134 Minigun from “Predator”
  • Smith & Wesson Model 29 from “Dirty Harry”
  • Suppressed Remington 11-87 from “No Country for Old Men”
  • John Wayne’s Winchester Model 1892 from “True Grit”
  • Colt AR-15 with M203 Grenade Launcher from “Scarface”
  • Smith & Wesson Mk II Hand-Ejector from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
  • M60 Machinegun from “First Blood”
  • FN FNC-80 from “Heat”
  • Walther PPK from the James Bond Movies
  • Colt Navy 1851 Cartridge Conversion from “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another lovely sunny fall day in the Sunny South

Weather today in Rockingham, NC, high of 70, clear and sunny in my backyard. Ain't my sweet wife's garden with rocky-path walkway pretty?

Not that I'm a gloater, but eat your hearts out up in the frozen northlands.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Steyr pistol trapezoid/triangle sights work perfectly for first-time user

I've been a Steyr pistol fan since I bought my first one in 2006 and I bought all three calibers of the MA1 compact version, .357 Sig, .40 S&W and 9mm. IMHO it's the best pistol made in Austria and one of the best in the world, including that other Austrian pistol that everybody knows about.

When I teach a monthly N.C. Concealed Carry Handgun Class at the gun shop where I work, I usually use one of my Steyr pistols for the show and tell portion of the class when I demonstrate how to safely handle and operate various types of pistols and revolvers, double-action and single-action, full-size to subcompact.

The one feature that always seem to impress my students about the Steyr pistols is their unique trapezoid/triangle sights.

Keep an Eye on the Target

The unique trapezoid sight offers a new dimension in rapid target acquisition. The sight's shape guides the eye onto the target, and thus the target is captured exactly and quickly.
I used my new S9A1 pistol at the class I taught Saturday, the subcompact version of the MA1, and as usual I demonstrated how its striker-fired double-action-only design works.

But one student was really impressed by the triangle/trapezoid sights and asked at the end of the class if he could shoot it at the indoor range where we do the firing qualification part of the class.

I allow the students in the class to shoot any of my pistols in the qualification part of the class for a fee of $10 if they buy the appropriate ammo at the gun shop. I figure it's a good service that allows them to try handguns they may not get another opportunity to shoot. So of course, I said yes and the student bought a box of 9mm at the gun shop after the class.
The student whose face is hidden behind the S9A1 in the photo is the one who wanted to shoot it. He used his own Ruger Security Six .357 Magnum revolver for the firing qualification at the range.
And after the class was over, I set him up a new target and let him try out the S9A1. Here's his very first magazine of 10 at the full-size-man target at 7 yards. Guess where he was aiming?
Now it this isn't proof positive that the Steyr M&S pistol trapezoid/triangle sights aren't the best at fast target acquisition and accuracy of any handgun on the market, what is it?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Browning/FNH-USA says a special thank you to all veterans

Browning has a special tribute to veterans. I missed it yesterday, but found it today.
From all of us at Browning we would like to say "thank you" to all the veterans who have sacrificed in the past and continue to sacrifice in the cause of freedom on behalf of all Americans and freedom loving people throughout the world.
In honor of all veterans we would like to share this video tribute produced by our good friends at FNH-USA.

My poor excuse for not much blogging lately

As my daddy used to say, a poor excuse is better than none at all. And I offer one to my blog readers. My job at the gun shop has kicked up a notch as I am now doing gun sales on two websites, gunbroker and gunsamerica, and quite frankly it's working my ancient ass off. I've got some 800 guns listed on each site and adding more three days a week when I work at home. Keeping up with sales as well as new guns listed is keeping me busier than a one-armed paper hanger. So I just haven't had time lately to do much blog posting.

I've got my monthly concealed-carry class tomorrow so maybe I can get some photos and do a post on that.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hank Williams Jr. Colt SAA 1st Gen. goes custom via Hamilton Bowen

I've seen a lot of "firsts" in firearms since I started working at a gun shop almost two years ago. This week, I saw two firsts in one, my first Colt Single Action Army 1st Generation Revolver and my first former Hank Williams Jr. gun.

The Colt SAA is probably the most famous firearm ever made, according to Bluebook:
One of the most well known handguns, and certainly the most collected revolver in the world, the Colt Single Action Army has been produced almost continuously since 1873, with only a minor interruption between 1940 and 1955. It is without a doubt, the most copied revolver with over fifteen clones currently in production.

Better known as the "Peacemaker", this firearm has appreciated in value at an accelerated rate over the last fifty years. Spurred by the popularity of television westerns in the 1950s and 60s, a standard pre-war, 1st generation single action in excellent condition has gone from $250 in 1960 to approximately $8,000 today, and in some cases much higher.
The Colt SAA .44 Special 1st Generation with Bisley grip frame the gun shop purchased is in excellent condition, but it's probably not worth the Bluebook value, which in the case of all Colt pistols, is usually quite a bit lower than market prices. This one has been customized, which is pretty close to blasphemy to Colt collectors, but on the other hand the connection to Hank Williams Jr. may well offset that with its value to Hank Jr. fans as well as Colt fans.

The story on this Colt begins with gun writer Mike Venturino, who gave Hank Jr.'s fax number to John Bivins of Charleston, S.C., as a possible source for a Colt .44 Special revolver that he wanted to purchase and customize. Venturino is a long-time friend of Hank Jr. and has written numerous articles about Williams' gun collection.

This SAA Colt was purchased from Hank Jr. in 1999 by Bivins, who directed Williams to send it directly to Hamilton Bowen of Bowen Classic Arms in Louisville, Tenn., for some custom work. It arrived at Bowen's shop with a 5.5" barrel, which was replaced with a 7.5" EMF barrel, and here it is.
Bowen also did quite a bit of other custom work, including installing Micro adjustable target sights front and rear, gold-plated trigger with overtravel-screw adjustment, custom wood grips, replacing hammer/trigger springs, action tuning, stamping Colt rollmarks on the EMF barrel and rebluing the entire gun.

The original 5.5" Colt barrel was sent back to Williams by Bowen at Bivins' request.
At some later date after his 1999 purchase and custom work, Bivins sold the Colt and we purchased it from a third party. One thing I've learned at the gun shop is that customized guns are hardly ever worth what "stock" ones are, and usually the value drops precipitously. In this case, if it was still in original condition, we'd probably be asking more than $10,000 for this 1st Generation SAA, even if it had no connection to Hank Jr.

We're asking $4,500 for it and only time will tell whether some Colt fan and/or Hank Williams fan will buy it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Let the ass whupping begin as voters drain the swamp in Washington

I know it ain't polite to say I told you so, but this election is indeed shaping up to be one gigantic can of whup-ass on Barack Hussein Obama and all the other leftwingnuts who've been in power for the past two years.

I'm quite hopeful that when I wake up in the morning, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will both be out of power, if not out of office entirely. It couldn't happen to two more deserving morons.

And now let the campaign begin for 2012 when we bring about the "end of an error" and send BHO packing as our first woman president takes office, Sarah Palin. As they said about Maggie Thatcher when she ran to become the first female prime minister in jolly old England, Sarah is the best man for the job.