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?
One of the first pistols I reviewed when I began writing for S.W.A.T.—but was still a working street cop—was a Witness pistol from European American Armory (EAA) chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. I liked it a lot, carrying it and shooting it often.
In years gone by, if a backup weapon were carried at all, it would often be a .38 Special “Snubby” revolver or a .25 automatic. In rural areas, perhaps an antique Remington O/U Derringer in .41 Rimfire would be carried. The real cutting-edge, modern guys had a North American Arms .22 Short Mini Revolver stoked with foreshortened .22 LRs
Founded 59 years ago, Sturm, Ruger & Company is one of the most successful firearms manufacturers in American history. A lot has changed since Bill Ruger designed and sold the first Ruger Standard semiautomatic .22 caliber pistol in 1949, and the company has changed with the times.
Some 31 years have passed since several other Yavapai County, Arizona, deputies and I petitioned our sheriff to allow the troops to choose between the mandated .38/.357 revolvers or 1911-type pistols. The sheriff finally gave his blessing after meeting with Colonel Jeff Cooper at the American Pistol Institute (API—now Gunsite) and being shown the advantages of the 1911.