Friday, November 12, 2010


images from Chuck Hawks website,,

Some years ago, I got a very gently used Ruger stainless steel Security Six. It was a few years after they stopped making this model pistol and had moved on into another model of .357 revolver. It's a four inch barrel model. It was owned by a police officer as a gun for his extra jobs, and he sold it to a friend of mine whose wife objected to them having a gun in the home. And then it was mine. The friend I got it from said that the officer he got it from said it had "an excellent trigger" and had been "worked on, whatever that meant", he said.

After checking out the gun, it was in like new condition. Tight cylinder. It didn't look like it had ever been fired, much less with any magnum ammo.

Before I launch into my past and recent present with the Ruger Security Six, let me give a couple of links that have quick histories and reviews of this gun that say it far better than I do.

The Wiki article is an accurate overview of this history of this gun and it's related firearms, the Service Six (fixed sights) and the Speed Six (round butt). By the way, I've always wanted a Speed Six in 9mm, and there's a picture of one above.

Chuck Hawks does a great job of talking about his Security Six and why he likes it and what he doesn't like.

You really need to read his review, plus check out his awesome site with all kinds of articles about hunting and guns. But here is what noted firearm authority Chuck Hawks thinks about the Ruger Security Six, and how he ends his article. I guess if there's a gun you want to be carrying in apocolypse situation, it's one you won't need spare parts fer.

However, and this is the real reason why these guns are a solid buy, they will simply out last any other DA revolver over thousands of Magnum rounds. (With the exception, of course, of Ruger’s follow-on piece, the GP-100.) If one bought a Security Six, one could expect a lifetime of full use and still be able to hand it to one’s children with nary a problem. I once knew of an indoor range that had one as a rental gun and it digested, by their estimate, some 1,400,000 rounds with no parts breakages and minimal maintenance. That is the essence of a good deal!

This particular gun is a 4" barreled adjustable sight gun. It has Pachmayr Presentation grips on it, which of course make shooting it a pleasure. When I got the gun, I took it to my gunsmith and asked him to give it the once over. He said with some glee that it had one of the best done trigger jobs he had ever seen, and the springs all appeared to be Ruger stock but had been polished and something else. I shot it a few times back then and was impressed with it, but having owned a Python for years, I had shot a great revolver before.

Besides, at the time I got the Ruger, I was all caught up into shooting the newly released Glock 21 in .45 ACP caliber. And I remained very caught up in shooting the Glock 21 for the next ten years or so, moving back and forth with a Colt Commander "
"Shipley Special" .45 that had been worked on by a gunsmith named Shipley. Nickle Commander, Pachmayr wrap around grips, enlarged ejection port, slightly extended safety on one side only, polished ramps and all that. It wasn't heavily modified, but these Shipley Specials were a favorite with REAL Poh-Lice officers in Houston and Harris County for their accuracy and absolute reliability.

So the Ruger Security Six became one of the main stationary house guns, really since the early 90's . In a holster, stashed in a small gun access safe in a hidden spot, with a couple of speedloaders attached to the back of the holster. It's a hunking piece of solid feeling steel. It's a good car gun too, for the glovebox of the car with a couple of reloads.

And I never thought much about the gun until lately. On the rare occasion that I might carry a 4" barrel medium frame revolver as a concealed handgun, I opt for the Model 67 Combat Masterpiece that I have. The M67 is actually heavier by a few ounces than the Security Six, but the overbuilt nature of the Security Six (which is a virtue discussed later) renders it a bit less concealable than a M67.

I'm a normal sized guy. I live in Texas. It gets real hot and REALLY humid where I live in the late spring, summer and early fall. It is hard for a man my size to conceal a medium frame .357 revolver with a 4" barrel during much of these hot and humid times.

Bear in mind that as a young officer back in the days when .357 4" revolvers were standard carry for myself and most other officers in Houston and Texas, when I worked plainclothes and investigative assignments I often did not carry my 4" Python. It was just too big. To have my suits or sports coats cut big enough for the Python, even with some thinner concealment grips, made the clothing look clownish and I looked like I was carrying a BIG GUN, which of course I was.

And even though I've gained a bit of middle aged girth since my slender policing days, a gun like a Python or a Security Six or even the Combat Masterpiece with a 4" barrel (not to mention adjustable sights on these guns) is not gonna conceal any easier now than it did in my more youthful days.

But again, the big Security Six surprise was the great DA and SA trigger pulls. I had simply forgotten how great the trigger pull on that gun is. And reading reviews from other blogs and the websites of so-called gun gurus (and some are gurus, I submit), I know my trigger is better than most. It's a sheer pleasure to shoot, and makes all the difference in the world in accuracy.

So a few weeks ago, when a ton of discount .38 special ammo came our way via my great local gun dealer who bought out another store and got some screaming deals on some old ammo. Very old ammo. Double D Ammo with some nice 125 grain semi-wadcutters. We got boxes and boxes of it and two boxes of some kind of blazer wadcutter ammo. All new, no reloads.

We shot the hell out of our .38 Special revolvers that day and just had a great time, and we rediscovered what great guns with great triggers can do and just how well they can shoot. Challenging my great shooting Colt that day was the Ruger Security Six for nice groups at 15 and 25 feet.

Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr. and I were as happy as can be with the huge box of .38 Specials we lugged out to the firing line at the outdoor range. We had boxes of what turned out to be some of the nicest shooting (and very accurate and very clean ammo, I'll add) ammo for the .38 Special revolvers and so I took the opportunity for Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr. to learn the same practice techniques with revolvers that I were taught in the academy and later on several police shooting teams I shot with.

Earlier in the day, I had shot some AMAZING groups at fast double action and doing point and shoot drills with the Ruger Security Six. Unfortunately for me, after El Fisho Jr. discovered that the DA trigger on the Ruger Security Six was even nicer than his previous .38 Special favorite, the Smith and Wesson M67 Combat Masterpiece, he took over the Ruger for the rest of the revolver session and was doing double taps and the drill they taught me in the academy so many years ago: two in the chest and one in the head.

Friday, November 5, 2010


One day soon, I'll be talking to Grant about some custom work on a revolver. It might be a Colt Python, a S&W Model 22 of 1917, a S&W Model 13 3" barrel or a Colt New Service .45 ACP. Or maybe another gun, but really those are the ones I've narrowed it down to.

Grant Cunningham has a blog and a website and quite a reputation as a revolver gunsmith. Take some time to look around his site at the guns he's done. There are magazine articles out there as well featuring his work.

As for me, I'd like a nice trigger job, have the timing, etc checked all out and made right, as well as a dehorning and on the older Smith and Colt, some major front sight improvement. I've seen Grant's work both on his website and in magazines. Nice work.

Although I have a Model 22 of 1917, I've been begged and pleaded and convinced not to alter it. I'll post a link later linking to some earlier posts on the El Fishing Musician blog about this gun, it's history and how my regular gunsmith and gun dealer/finder nearly cried real tears when I told him I wanted the gun chopped to a snubby.

Real tears.

In any event, I could get a new or gently used new manufacture Model 22 of 1917 and the prices are not really bad. I assume any gunsmith would do the work then, since the newly made 22's of '17 have the safety lock deal on them. I've been looking out for Colt New Service guns for years, and the ones I've found have been rather beat. I know there are some good guns out there, it's just finding them, and I like to touch the actual gun before I buy it, so that rules out auction sites for the most part.

In any event, I'll continue to stew in the creative juices of what gun will end up getting modified for carry in the near future by Mr. Cunningham. By the time I bother him, I want a firm idea of what I want.


Saw a very nice blued 1958 Python that was damn near 100% if there ever was. Very nice gun with some kind of imitation ivory grips that had been scrimshawed to hell with some kinda design and some initials. I bet the gun would have looked good with the stock Walnut grips. Or some real Ivory grips.

He paid a high price for it and another Python, both of whom belonged to a well-known veteran Texas lawman who passed away and his kin sold his custom guns.

I say custom guns because the triggers were supposedly worked on by a legendary Texas gunsmith who knew Colt revolvers. He's long gone as well, but his name and work remain a near legend in terms of finding one of the guns he worked on for law officers in the latter part of the last century.

Remind me again why Colt doesn't make the Python anymore?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



Quite unintentionally, Billy Ray and I have identical guns. Both gifts from our respective parents at different times, they are identical down to the orange front sight insert. Stainless Steel Model 67 Smith and Wesson adjustable sight Combat Masterpiece. Factory Wood grips, square butt. Wide combat hammer and trigger.

Yet contained on a Smith and Wesson K frame. Smaller than it's big brother, the Models 19/66, known as the Combat Magnum (.357 Magnum), the Model 67 easily shoots high power +P .38 Special loads. The easy upgrade to .357 magnum from the Model 67 is the Models 13/65, the .357 Magnum fixed sight version of the Model 10. Confused? Sorry.

The Model 10 Smith and Wesson was a continuation of the Military and Police, designed for expanding police forces nationwide. Such was the durability and reliability of the Model 10 that numerous large police departments like NYPD and LAPD (the Model 15, a 10 with adjustable sights) and tons of smaller departments nationwide from the 1950's until late into the 80's and early 90's when transition occurred to auto pistols in law enforcement.

So there are tons of these S&W guns out there used. Most with 4" barrels, but snubnoses do rarely appear. Our model 67 was produced sometime in the 80's probably, as I recall, and I've seen lots of them used over the years, for a low of $200 some 2o years ago to about $350-500 currently in excellent used condition.

So the Model 67, along with the Models 10, 15 and their brethren, the gun of the Air Force, and many police agencies across the nation including the Feds at times. A .38 Special all steel gun capable of firing high powered +P loads with no problems. It's a tad bit smaller, and thus easier to conceal in the 4" barrel version than many .357 Magnums, something that was of big consideration in older days.

This is one of the guns that writer and holster maker Chic Gaylord recommended as the ultimate combat handgun in his book, arguing that a 3" barrel is the least one should consider for a self defense revolver and 4" is optimal for even close range self defense. You can read about Chic here in other posts I've written. Great holster designer and I have to agree with many of his thoughts about defensive handguns.
If you like revolvers at all, buy a copy of Chic Gaylord's Handgunnners Guide. I got mine off ebay for cheap, and they're on Amazon, of course. Likewise, there is a revised edition I understand from Paladin Press.

There's a great company that carries on Chic's work and some of their own innovative designs called Bell Charter Oak Holsters. I have one. It is beyond excellent. I'd like 5 or 6 more, because they are really, really nice. Mine is several years old, has been well used by me, looks brand new and smells like the finest leather ever.

So I came about my Model 67 through my father, who bought it sometime I didn't know about until after the fact. I can't recall when. He'd owned several Model 15's, the blued version of the Model 67, and thought it to be the finest combat revolver there was. Dad was fond of snubnose revolvers, or those with a maximum of 3" barrels for carry purposes, so the Model 67 ended up being a back-up house gun to his 3" tapered barrel Smith and Wesson old school .38 Special. At some point for one of my "incidental but special" Christmas gifts some years back, he decided I needed it and it's been a main house gun, frequent car and field gun and shooter ever since.

From the time it came from the box new, it has shot dead point of aim up to 25 yards, and then only a bit off at further ranges. We've always left it alone. So now at twenty something years old, possibly older, it looks and feels and works like new. Really. Like new.

Billy Ray got his Model 67 from his mother. Like my folks, his parents have an assortment of firearms, but there came a time several decades back when some serious crimes hit close to home for them and she decided to get her own gun and took a class through the police department in their town. Being of strong constitution befitting the West Texas woman she is, Billy Ray's mom decided she liked the Combat Masterpiece and that's what she bought for HER gun.

Sometime recently, his mom decided it might be a bit too much gun nowadays for her, and has entrusted it to Billy Ray. Again, Billy Ray does not come from a one gun family, or a five gun family. There is no shortage of weapons at the Billy Ray parent's home. So now we have two identical Model 67's, both of which feature great trigger pulls and are well put together and just rock solid firearms.

So together now we can enjoy shooting the same gun. El Fisho Jr. already has picked this gun out as one of his favorites right now for his OT22 (other than .22) shooting. It doesn't have much recoil with mild range loads, and it's about at his hand span/strength level limit size wise for him to be able to fire double action.

I believe in training my son first in revolvers, although he does do some auto pistol shooting, which he is excellent at already. Sure. His .22 is an semi auto, but his main revolver is a single action .22. He's gotten started on one of my old childhood guns, a H&R 9 shot DA revolver. His shooting with the Model 67 on the last outing was nothing short of amazing, and we were shooting the semi-hot Double D mystery ammo from my gun dealer. El Fisho Jr. was loving it. Shooting some very nice and small groups dead on the money.

El Fisho Jr. was shooting so good, as was his dad with the revolvers that day, that we put up the SPLAT! targets on top of the already been shot at targets and those are always a lot of fun to visually see the impact of your shot better from a further distance without using a scope.

Billy Ray has mused at investing in a Model 18 Smith and Wesson, the .22 LR version of the Combat Masterpiece. New, whew, they sure are proud of those guns. But maybe one day we can stumble on a trade or a deal on one. I'm always looking out for one, because it's a great gun to have in .22.

I'd like to have me a nice western rig for this gun. An old time cartridge belt, made out of about 3" of double suede out leather, with cartridge loops that run all around the entire belt, so that the holster rides on top of the cartridges. The suede out kinda kept it in place better than a slicker, finished belt with less pressure I have been told and the ones I've been able to handle at smaller western museums were of a medium thickness and not flimsy but also not rock solid like a double thick leather gun belt.

This is the type of holsters that real lawmen and working cowboys used to wear. You'd wear it up sorta high, with a higher riding holster than you see in the movies, as usually these working guns had longer barrels in the 5" to 6" range. These belts often held combo shells, meaning some rifle cartridges and lots of pistol cartridges. Sometimes, the guns shot the same cartridge so it was no big deal.

A nice medium high riding belt holster, perhaps a floral Mexican loop holster. A holster that rides high enough that it doesn't need a leg tie down and that has a nice secure hammer loop arrangement of some kind to ensure *gun stays in holster*. I have absolutely no need for such a holster, except for fishing trips and trips to friends places and such. True enough, I already have other rigs for other guns, and one of my old police rigs has a holster for this gun I can use at the range.

So when Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr and I go shooting, we're not much for shooting contests. I favor a very supportive shooting environment with a big emphasis on safety so I'm pretty much always the range master for our outings with El Fisho Jr. and others. Nothing wrong with some friendly bulls eye competition but we prefer that we compete against ourselves, our personal best. It lends us to encouraging each other in shooting efforts rather than having a contest with someone losing. This way, we all win, even if we don't shoot as well as our last outing. We don't keep stats or iphone pic our targets, although El Fisho Jr. likes to collect them. It's sort of a loosey-goosey I shot better or worse than I did last time.

We're in need of a good plinking session at a friend's place. There are several large friend's ranches or places we can go do, all of which feature fishing as well as shooting. A couple are gonna be way more shooter friendly than others, and will afford us the opportunity to do some gun shooting with other folks guns, quid pro quo, and that's always fun to see how guns you'd like to shoot actually do shoot. The other couple of places relegate shooting to the trash dump/pit, which is fine but sometimes makes placing actual targets impossible. So you just shoot at trash that hasn't been burned yet.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Actually, anyone who knows anything about handguns in the last half century knows about the late Jeff Cooper. Black and White kind of guy. Saw things his way and said what he thought. He was a 1911 man as far as handguns went, as I recall, and ran quite a training school for gunfighting and did some fighting as a military man, as well as getting himself educated. As well as being an international authority on all things small arms and small arms fighting and self-defense and likely a plethora of other subjects as well. Wish I couldn've known him in his fiestiest prime.

One thing that Cooper was fanatical about was the same sage advice that one of my favorite bloggers, police officer Texas Ghostrider espouses: Use the pistol to get to the long gun to defend yourself.

Here's how wiki puts it, in part:

The Rifle: Queen of personal weapons
Cooper is best known for his revolutionary work in pistol training, but he favored the rifle for tactical shooting. He often described the handgun as a convenient-to-carry stopgap weapon, allowing someone the opportunity to get to a rifle.
"Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud, and the rifle is the queen of personal weapons."

Read a bit more about Cooper here and why he is sometimes called the Father of the Modern Technique.

Last summer, in the July issue of Guns and Ammo, there was a small quote window box with an interesting revolver Cooperism:

"We notice an increasing number of revolvers with our students. This is no bad thing, for while a self-loader is easier to hit with, the wheelgun can do all that is necessary in the right hands. We honor the great Jack Weaver for his invention of the modern technique and he was a revolver man first and last. Jeff Cooper, October 2oo2.

Basically, cutting and pasting some brief bits from wiki, here below is what I used to read Cooper talk about in a myriad of articles by him that I read in much younger days. I especially believe in the color code. One important point not covered in the wiki stuff, is that to be proficient with a 1911, you must know that pistol and must shoot it a lot. Under a variety of circumstances and settings.

Cooper's modern technique defines pragmatic use of the pistol for personal protection. The modern technique emphasizes two-handed shooting using the Weaver stance, replacing the once-prevalent one-handed shooting. The five elements of the modern technique are:
A large caliber pistol, preferably a semi-auto
Weaver stance
The presentation
The flash sight picture
The compressed surprise trigger break
Cooper favored the Colt M1911 and its variants

Combat Mindset - The Cooper Color Code
The most important means of surviving a lethal confrontation, according to Cooper, is neither the weapon nor the martial skills. The primary tool is the combat mindset, set forth in his book, Principles of Personal Defense.[5] In the chapter on awareness, Cooper presents an adaptation of the Marine Corps system to differentiate states of readiness:
The color code, as originally introduced by Jeff Cooper, had nothing to do with tactical situations or alertness levels, but rather with one's state of mind. As taught by Cooper, it relates to the degree of peril you are willing to do something about and which allows you to move from one level of mindset to another to enable you to properly handle a given situation. Cooper did not claim to have invented anything in particular with the color code, but he was apparently the first to use it as an indication of mental state.

White - Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be "Oh my God! This can't be happening to me."

Yellow - Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself." You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that "I may have to SHOOT today." You don't have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don't know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to "Watch your six." (In aviation 12 o'clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft's nose. Six o'clock is the blind spot behind the pilot.) In Yellow, you are "taking in" surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep. As Cooper put it, "I might have to shoot."

Orange - Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has gotten your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to "I may have to shoot HIM today," focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: "If that goblin does 'x', I will need to stop him." Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.

Red - Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. If "X" happens I will shoot that person.

There are several conditions of readiness in which such a weapon can be carried. Cooper promulgated most of the following terms:
Condition Four: Chamber empty, no magazine, hammer down.
Condition Three: Chamber empty, full magazine in place, hammer down.
Condition Two: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer down.
Condition One: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety on.
Condition Zero: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety off.
Some of these configurations are safer than others (for instance, a single action pistol without a firing pin safety such as a
transfer bar system should never be carried in Condition 2), while others are quicker to fire the gun (Condition 1). In the interest of consistent training, most agencies that issue the 1911 specify the condition in which it is to be carried as a matter of local doctrine.
This firearm condition system can also be used to refer to other firearm actions, particularly when illustrating the differences between carry modes considered to be safe for various actions. For example, DA/SA is designed to be carried in Condition 2, which is not safe for 1911s without firing pin safeties.

Cooper had firm rules on safety, and they are more concise and direct than the standard rules. Same rules, different more succinct presentation.

Firearms safety
Cooper advocated four basic rules of gun safety:[8]
All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

You could easily devote an entire blog to nothing but Cooperisms and reality, which often collide in this world we live in. Read more about what he said in many other places, and read the other sage gunfighters, guys who actually did law enforcement pistol fighting like Bill Jordan and many others I'll blog about later. Many, like Jordan, favored a revolver as well and most revolver fans are familiar with the "Jordan Holster" for medium and large frame revolvers as a police duty holster for decades.

One rifle I've always wanted but have absolutely little need for is the Scout Gun (as pictured above made by Steyr-Mannlicher) that Cooper developed and talked about for years in his professional writing. Here's a link about his highly excellent rifle from and more from wiki about the development:

In the early 1980s, Cooper published an article describing his ideal of a general-purpose rifle, which he dubbed a Scout Rifle. In late 1997, Steyr-Mannlicher produced a rifle to his "Scout" specifications, with Cooper's oversight during the engineering and manufacturing process. While not a spectacular sales success, these rifles nevertheless sold quite well and are still being produced. Cooper considered the Steyr Scout "perfect" and often made the point that "I've got mine!" Riflemen regard Cooper's development of the Scout Rifle concept, and his subsequent work on the evolution of the Steyr-Mannlicher Scout rifle, as his most significant and enduring contributions to riflecraft.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I have an intriguing opportunity with a friend who has a revolver he wants to trade me. The above titled Taurus titanium 445ti, circa about 2003-4, a short run of an almost all titanium series of guns in .41 magnum, .44 special, .44 long colt and possibly .45 acp.

They sport 2" barrels, ported three times on either side of the front sight. Just a hair over 19 ounces empty, and holds five rounds. Finished in some kind of funky titanium blue finish, called Spectrum Blue, not funky because it's bad, just different. Won't matter in a holster concealed, and although the gun has some holster wear on it, it has little wear on the moving parts or the bore and I surmise it was not shot much.
Here's a link to the discontinued product page at Taurus for it, with the specs copied below on the page.

Model: 445TB2C

Finish: Blue

Status: Discontinued

Caliber: .44 SPL

Grips: Ribber

UPC: 7-25327-34011-9

Capacity: 5

Weight: 19.8 oz

Rate of Twist: 1:18.75"

Barrel Length: 2"

Construction: Titanium

Height: 5.10"

Porting: YES

Frame: Compact

Width: 1.531"

Action: DA/SA

Front Sight: Fixed

Grooves: 5

Safety: Transfer Bar

Trigger Type: Smooth

Order #: 2-445021TBC

It has my three favorite features on a snubnose combat revolver: A wide and vertically serrated trigger; a wide and checkered hammer and a shrouded ejector rod. Make that four favorite features, when you include the stock rubber recoil reducing grips.

It's fit with the excellent "ribber" grips Taurus has become famous for. However they work, they lesson "felt recoil" considerably on big bore and magnum guns. They are a bit different than the traditional rubber grip but they are extremely comfortable and just a great grip. This particular pistol comes with the longer ribber grip, which I prefer to the shorter one.

Far more important than any of the above is the action of the gun, and both SA and DA in the gun are very well done, almost to the point of thinking there might have been a trigger smoothing job on the DA pull, because it's firm and smooth and predictable. The SA breaks smooth, glass smooth is not an exaggeration and again, it's predicatable.

Of course, my friend Max, who likes his carry wheelguns (generally) all metal laughed and asked when I was going to get some metal in a gun. True to a point, I do have a lot of metal guns, plenty heavy, and prefer to carry something lighter as long as I can shoot it well.

Hence I look forward to shooting the Model 445ti. I'll shoot some Silvertips since that seems to be the concensus ammo of friends of mine and the well known gun writers and defensive shooters of the past 60 years who carried or carry the .44 Special daily recommend similar ballistic ammo. And I've never had a problem with Silvertip Ammo performing perfectly.

I've owned several mag-na-ported guns before, and although this one is not done by Mag-na-port, it's the same deal. Recoil reduction via faster gas release means better accuracy (theoretically) and easier shooting. I can attest that a .44 mag that has been ported is much easier on the wrist shooting magnum loads than one that is unported.

I've shot big bore snubbies at night before, and I'm not sure the blinding light effect is much worst on a ported gun of this size and nature than an unported one. I mean, it's a 2" barrel. You are going to have a flamethrowing light saber coming out of the end of that gun when fired in the dark, ported or not.

This five shot .44 supposedly fits K frame holsters well. We'll see when I get it. I already have several k frame holsters that I suspect will fit it well, and I've got in mind a fellow to make me a custom off-cylinder belt clip IWB holster for this beast. I've held this gun and dry fired it but never shot it.
I have always thought that the Charter Arms Bulldog was an excellent concept in big bore snubbie, and over the last 30 years tried on many occasions to buy one, but never found one with a DA trigger I thought was worth a flip. I actually bought a .38 Stainless Undercover back in 1981 and it rusted. Within a week of purchase. I exchanged it and the second one rusted. I returned it and got a Colt. I never seriously considered buying a Charter Arms firearm again, new or used, despite the fact that many I know have had good luck with them.
So to me, this 445ti would be a big Taurus Revolver upgrade (since I'm a 2nd generation Taurus revolver owner going back nearly 40 years to my childhood when my dad began buying, among other guns, Taurus revolvers) from most of the nice but generally basic Taurus revolvers we've owned. I know they make some fancy ones now and have shot some of them, and Taurus makes a great gun.
So any of these calibers are great, don't get me wrong. It'll be interesting to shoot this gun and see how it does on paper and in the hand. I've shot the .41 Magnum version, with magnum ammo, so it can't be worse than that. It will no doubt be stout recoil, but I'm pretty sure I've shot worse.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


As I'll detail more over at my other blog, ELFISHINGMUSICIAN, El Fisho Jr and Billy Ray and I went to the outdoor range today. We broke in Billy Ray's highly exciting new Sig 556 Assault rifle as well as our newish Mini-14 newly outfitted with an M4 Aimpoint. The Sig, of course, is state of the art and is such a pleasure to shoot. Clearly, the most fun shooting .223 I've ever shot, and I've owned and shot a wide variety of so called assault rifles and this rifle Billy Ray wisely bought is the high end of their product line.

But more about that stuff on the other blog. It was weird today. I felt like I was back 30 years ago shooting revolver police competition. I was on, with the revolvers at least.

We stopped by our local gun store/used gun store/gunsmith friend's, and I had a couple of not too old boxes of .38 S&W from a pistol I no longer have. I knew he could sell them for high cotton right now, with this ammo shortage and all. Lots of the little used and vintage calibers are in short supply, as well as current modern calibers like the .380.

In any event, when I stumbled on those last night in the dehydration box I keep ammo in, I knew he'd want them. He sells some guns in that caliber, used revolvers, and commented recently he didn't even have any cartridges to sell with the gun if he sold one. Well, now he has two boxes.

And we got about 300 rounds of some NOS vintage ammo I'd never heard of before in exchange for the bullets I came to trade. Great ammo, primers looked great, shells looked great and they were excellent in use. Old ammo my friend got from some guy closing his gun shop in another town. I told him we wanted to shoot a lot of .38 Specials at the range today and needed a screaming deal. Once again, he comes through more than expected.

I was expecting to get a couple boxes of 50 wadcutters, something cheap, and I'd have been pleased with that. But the Double D or something like that ammo we got was just great. In fact, we saved a couple of boxes of it we liked it so much. Basically lead nose hunting/target bullets, and I can tell you they were somewhat hot loaded. Not +P hot or anything like that, but hotter than your average bear. And very accurate.

As a consequence, I shot like I have not shot in years and years with a revolver today. Shooting three revolvers, a Colt Cobra D frame snubby 3rd generation, a Ruger Security Six 4" and a K frame Model 67 Combat Masterpiece 4", I was on fire with each gun, double action rapid fire at 15 feet pointing shooting in groups of 4" to 6" all around the zeros.

I used a target that has 5 bullseyes on it, in the middle and in quadrants, and worked my way through that twice with each gun. Then I threw some SPLAT! adhesive targets on top of that and did some DAO double taps and rapid fire. It was all good, and in fact, as little as I've been shooting revolvers compared to autos the past couple of decades, it was easy to see that sometimes old muscle memory, even from the 80's, can kick in again.

I shot all of those guns, and others like them extensively in the 70's and the 80's. I've shot thousands of rounds through the Cobra, and almost that many through a Python and the K frame.

In other words, I was shooting with Glock like combat accuracy and speed (just not round capacity) today with the three revolvers. As always, although I have autos and shoot them frequently and did shoot the Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact extensively today, I was ON FIRE with my revolvers and enjoying the heck out of it. Doing speed reloads and emptying 18 rounds in a target square in a variety of single shots, double taps and rapid fire.

So it was a great day at the range. Our good fortune in getting a great deal on the .38 Special ammo was so cool that I never broke out any .45 ACP guns of any kind. Billy Ray was enjoying going to town on his identical-to-mine Model 67 Combat Masterpiece as well as his Centennial snubbie, but used this opportunity of plentiful .38 Special ammo to just blast the hell out of that Combat Masterpiece.

Both of us got our Model 67's from our dads, Houston men who knew of each other when Billy Ray and I met in our early 20's. Over the years, our fathers buy and sell guns and weapons but it seems that each, separately and long ago, decided that the Model 67 was the ideal home and car defense pistol. For my dad, it was due to his Air Force days, and I think Billy Ray's dad was in the service too. Guys of that generation KNEW that the Combat Masterpiece what was cops in Houston were using and were readily for sale during the post-Korean War boom days of Houston when our folks both ended up here.

In any event, the Model 67's were also car guns for our fathers, who both came from similar hard scrabble East Texas backgrounds about 40 miles apart during the depression to acheive success in that big city called Houston.

So in any event, Billy Ray and I both got to shoot the heck out of our Combat Masterpieces today.

Meanwhile, El Fisho Jr. was burning through bullets in the Ruger stainless Security Six, and I let him shoot a few actual .357 Magnums through there to see the big difference between .357 Magnum and .38 Special. Actually, although it's been years since I've shot any actual .357 Magnum cartridges, I was pleasantly surprised that it was much milder than I recalled.

I'm going to have to revisit the .357 some now. Once upon a time, I even shot competition with it, in Magnum only matches.

So the revolverman within me is still alive and kicking. Don't get me wrong, I often carry a revolver, and at least one and usually several go on every range or outdoor trip where shooting will happen. I guess I was glad to know all of those habits I practiced fastidiously for years in my early 2o's from the Academy on stuck with me. The guru instructors said the habits we learned under stress would surface again, even after periods of long activity.

So I was glad to see how ON I was with the revolver shooting today. Likewise, El Fisho Jr. has been revolver trained, as was I, and he is still highly fascinated by the revolver despite his access to numerous high capacity and and some historic firearms.

In fact, the only gun that gives a revolver a run for the money with El Fisho Jr. is his grandpa's old Ortgies .32 auto. He ran about 100 rounds through the Orgties today, shooting nice 6"-8" groups with a gun I'm lucky I can hit a torso target with a 2o feet. Some of his groups in that range were via point shooting, which he has been practicing a lot lately with. He's a good point shooter.

However, El Fisho Jr. had his first watershed moment today with an autoloader. Two jams while firing. It is unusual for that gun to jam, and the ammo was decent stuff, not great but decent, and I think the gun might need a new mag spring.

But it brought home "THAT LESSON" that I learned many years ago, when I was about El Fisho's age getting to shoot my father's friend's fine, gorgeous, worked on Colt Gold Cup .45, and it jammed on me. Several times. El Fisho Jr. is proficient at clearing jams and obstructions, all the while keeping the weapon downrange. He's learned that everytime there is a jam or a misfire to empty the gun, lock the breach open and visually inspect the chamber and barrel and get someone else to do so as well to make sure the barrel is unobstructed.

Safety First.

By the time we got through shooting the rifles, the 9mm's and the generously huge amount of (and surprisingly high performing) .38 Special ammo my gun dealer traded us, we were hungry and exhausted and had probably fired 750 rounds total on the rifle range and the pistol range.

So we never got to the .45's. I always enjoy shooting the Smith and Wesson 1917, and it's a crowd pleaser with both El Fisho Jr and Billy Ray. It's another gun that El Fisho Jr. can hit coke cans at 20 feet and can shoot better than me. I can hit dead center FBI target at 20 feet with it, and it's a great shooting accurate gun, but El Fisho Jr. seems to have no problem adapting to unique and different sighting systems and compensating for defects in the sights, which he usually figures out in about 3 shots or less. The low "perceived recoil" due to the gun's weight and the Pachmayr grips make it pleasure to shoot.

But food was nearby and it was looking like rain again. It rained for 5 or 10 minutes several times through our sessions, of course destroying our targets. No problems and no worries. We were all having such a good time we just overcame each issue and kept laughing.

It was a great day.