Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I wrote here previously about FUN GUNS ON THE SHORT LIST, which are guns I'm fond of at the moment or would like to spend some time with. But of course, that got me to thinking about OTHER guns I'm on the lookout for, always on a bargain. But maybe you'll throw out a few of your own dream guns you'd like to have or perhaps it will introduce you to a gun you aren't familiar with.

A S&W Model 65 LADYSMITH 3" BARREL .357 MAG ROUND BUTT is a gun I've always liked. It's a lightweight version of the Model 13 3" barrel round butt k frame .357. Used by the FBI for a time in the early 80's. It's a great gun, and having the Ladysmith logo on the side wouldn't bother me at all, because it's ounces lighter than the standard Model 65 of the same size, and as a bonus has an ejector rod shroud, a big thing in my book. Naked ejector rods are asking for trouble if you ever carry that gun other than in a proper holster. A bent or *snagged in a purse or backpack or breifcase on junk" naked ejector rod can be EL BAD NEWS! These guns were made in the early 2ooo's I believe, and one blogger seems to see a few in pawn shops. They're not rare or valuable, just sometimes hard to find.

A SINGLE ACTION COLT PEACEMAKER CLONE WITH TRANSFER BAR SAFETY AND 4 3/4" BARREL. This gun could come in any number of calibers and colors and flavors. I'd especially be interested in a .44-40. or even .44 Special loads. There are lots of good Colt copies out there, some with fancy grips and nice finishes. I'll know the right gun if'n I see it.

Many of these single action guns are in .45 LC or .357 Magnum, and I've had plenty of both of those calibers. Seems like there are always bargains out there on Ruger Blackhawks, and a nice shooting gun they are. But I'd like something with fixed sights for very occasional concealed carry and more likely when going out to the pasture or out fishing somewheres, in a western rig.

I LOVE 1911'S AND DO NOT FEEL A MAN CAN HAVE TOO MANY OF THEM. I've owned more than a few 1911's, and there is just that certain something about some Colt 1911's of all sizes that can just JUMP out and say "buy me". I don't like guns that have been whittled on much or parted out with hot rod parts, unless the original parts are included in the deal. It's all about trigger pull and the feed ramp to ejection port design. Those fancy race guns might be all right for target plinking but for self defense I prefer a straight forward gun with few frills.

I've never owned a 1911 in 9mm, nor have I so desired to. I think the 1911 platform is much better served with good old .45 ACP and .38 Super and that guns like the Hi Power, the P-38, various Walthers, HK's, Sigs, Glocks and others do far more cool things with the 9mm than can be done with a SA 1911. Many of these companies, like Sig and Walther and HK were doing very innovative things with single stack 9mm guns in the 70's and early 80's. One exception to my normal dislike of 9mm 1911's is the Para Ordinance LDA line of 9mm double action single stack 3" barrel 1911 derivative pistols. They look interesting as an alternative to the Walther PSP or Sig P239 for a single stack concealable 9mm, and the triggers I've tried feel very, very good.

THE WILDCARD VINTAGE AND CUSTOM SNUBNOSE REVOLVER FROM A ERA GONE BY. I'm always on the lookout for a nice custom snubnose, particularly something nice and interesting from the 1940's and 1950's. Old Colts and some old Smith and Wessons. Perferably not .38 special. I would love to find an old .44 special or .44-40 or even a .45 LC. You get into magnums in that age of gun design and you get into very heavy and hefty guns, even with the .357 magnum.

I'm interested in some old used personal gun of someone else, perhaps with the hammer bobbed for easier carry, making the gun DAO. I'm very flexible on the overall package, but demand a wide combat trigger and hammer, if there is a hammer. Nothing worse when carrying a revolver in a holster than being poked in the side by a skinny non-rounded handgun hammer, and of course that raises safety issues, which means a holster with a shrouded area for the hammer. Grip problems can be cured with a grip adapter generally on older guns.

Maybe some nice Stag grips, worn smooth by years of handling and shooting.

So I've seen a few great old fighting snubnoses over the past 30 years, and I know that perfect combat snubbie in very good condition from days gone by. It could have up to a 3" barrel, and again, I'm flexible on many things, including normal holster wear.

The late combat handgun and revolver enthusiast, as well as holster designer maker, fast draw champion and author Chic Gaylord had very specific ideas of what constituted the perfect combat handgun for self defense. I've written about those ideas previously and his book can be found quite cheap on Amazon and Ebay.

The gist of those Chic Gaylord recommendations, as they would apply to me are, that a defense gun needs a barrel of 3" at least, no shorter.

.38 Special is the smallest caliber that should be considered.

Grip adapters or grip upgrades are good.


I think Chic devotes like maybe a page or a page and a half to the defensive handguns the likes of the mighty 1911 and the Browning Hi Power. He basically says, yeah, they are the great autos, the best at what they do. But they can jam, and my revolver won't.
And the rest of the book is about revolvers, basically.

Chic favored a defensive selection of a revolver for which a .22 LR variant existed, which allowed no excuse not to practice for high ammo prices. The .22 variant didn't have to be exact, just a similar operating system and general size. Something that would work with the same holster for holster tactical practices. He favored a variety of Colt and Smiths in various calibers and certain High Standard .22 revolvers for his competition and fast draw shooting and proclaimed the High Standard to have the best grip angle of any revolver ever.

Chic was old school. He was so old school that even when I was a kid, before he was older than 40, he was old school in the 60's in NYC. Yet for several decades, cops and private eyes and bodyguards and spies and diplomats and others who carried guns legally flocked to his holster shop, not only for holster purchase but for tactical instruction and gun selection.

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