Both medium and large frame four-inch barreled revolvers were no problem for larger stature personnel, but as dress belts and belt loops became narrower and the FBI’s height requirement was abolished, issue sidearms also saw reductions in profile because of concealment concerns.
Over the years I have attended numerous “tactical” firearm courses. With the exception of shotgun courses, the firearms I employed were modern semiautomatics, usually fed with high-capacity magazines. Recently, however, I attended a basic handgun course at Gunsite that was sponsored by Hornady, Ruger, Surefire and XS Sights.
James Yeager is the owner of Tactical Response and served as lead instructor during the courses, with instructor Jay Gibson also keeping the students on track during the four days of training. Yeager and Gibson’s full resumes are listed on Tactical Response’s well-executed website. Both men are imminently qualified to instruct and are dynamic teachers, each with their own style.
While I like revolvers, based on my experience, wheelguns—especially Snubbys—are actually about 20% harder to shoot well, excluding the more complex manual of arms of an auto-loader. That does not mean, however, that the Snubby is not still a viable weapon.
Lately, against the counsel of many of my more appropriately armed friends, I have taken to carrying a Smith & Wesson Model 642 Airweight .38 revolver. I have my reasons, as undoubtedly do the many legions of permit holders and off duty personnel who slip the snub into a pocket and sally forth. I carry the J Frame having trained with it hard and understanding its limitations.
Shooting — whether competition, hunting or of the tactical variety — is the domain of men. Not! Recently my dad, Denny Hansen, received a new Kimber pistol—the Kimber Custom Crimson Carry II—for test and evaluation. Rather than just conduct a range evaluation, and since we were scheduled to attend an EAG Tactical Pistol Course followed
In a recent 12-day span here at Tactical Response (TR), we had 22 students attend the following courses: Fighting Rifle, High Risk Civilian Contractor, and High Risk Civilian Contractor Medical course. I decided to document the things that went wrong as we pushed men and machines through 12 very harsh days of training.
I have managed to collect a pretty good cross-section of guns that includes everything from a neat custom .32 Magnum Ruger Single-Six right on through to my three (yes, three) S&W Model 629s with four-inch barrels. In between are a bunch of .22s, .22 Magnums, and a .38/.357 Magnum or two. The gun for the revolver class would, of course, be the self-tuned S&W Model 66 in .357 Magnum with a four-inch barrel.
Due to the steep rising costs of—well, everything—many shooters have been forced to invent new ways to come up with more money for fuel and ammunition or cut back on their training. For some, neither of these options is viable. Luckily there is a secret, third option. OK, it’s not really much of a secret.
What will it take for you to hit and stop your assailant in a deadly force encounter? Will the assailant be under the influence of extreme rage or drugs and hard to stop? Will one shot drop the suspect or will it take an entire magazine—or more? What will that encounter look like? Will it be at close range, 50 feet or even farther?