Saturday, October 16, 2010


I don't mean the name of this new blog to be deception, but it's what was available and I live in Texas, am a native Texan and I'm a big revolver fan.

This blog will deal with all things revolvers. The guns. Holsters. Gunsmiths doing cool things to revolvers still. Hopefully, some readers will chime in and have some good recommendations of folks who still work on revolvers . Also, I'm hoping to track down lots of good combat revolver pictures from days gone by. I remember as a kid always seeing ornately engraved guns, with these lusterous ivory or mother of pearl or unique wood grips capped with silver and gold buttplates that my father's longtime law enforcement friends carried. Before I was 10 years old, I knew that a highly customized Colt D frame or Python or the S&W J, K or N frame snubbie could be ALMOST as fancy as a Houston oilman's wifes jewelry. Or at least her earrings.

I'm not a gun dealer or gunsmith or in any way involved with the gun making or selling business, although I've been thinking lately about perhaps one day soon opening a gun shop and in the short term taking some gunsmithing and armorers classes and so I'll probably be thinking out loud as I write some of this stuff about revolvers. I fear that revolversmith is becoming somewhat of a lost art, or at least a much less practiced art, and I'd really like to get some skills in revolver customization and repair.

For real life, I work in law enforcement and am eligible to attend some of the armorers schools the regular joe can't attend, if I pay on my own dime and take vacation time, and I'm trying to get into a nearby Glock Armorer's School in the next few months to get started on this.

It might sound odd that a launch post for a blog about revolvers is written by a fellow who is talking about going to a Glock Armorer's school. I'm not anti-semiauto at all. I regularly carry either a Glock Model 36 or a Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact as a duty and off duty weapon.

In the past thirty years in law enforcement, and in shooting sports, I have carried numerous 1911 firearms as well as Browning Hi Powers, two HK P7's, two Star .45's, a Detonics, two Walther PPK/S's and a variety of Glocks. I have in the course of being a sportsman and having friends who owned lots of different kinds of guns over the years had the opportunity to shoot many modern and vintage semi-automatics made since the middle part of the last century, both large and small bore.

But for reasons I'll discuss in other posts, I like me some good revolvers.

I have shot competitively since I was in my early 20's as a young police officer, with several teams, and back then we were all about revolver shooting since that was the early 80's. I shot two guns primarily, my duty .357 Python 4" and a S&W K Frame Model 67 Combat Masterpiece. One of my fellow officers dads, a retired officer who was now working as an engineer but enjoyed training officers in the finer points of combat shooting. He'd been both a sniper and later, a combat handgun instructor in the military. His side weapon of choice, like my father when he was in the Air Force, was the Model 15 (blued model 67) Combat Masterpiece, a solid steel 4" barrel straight shooting .38 Special that can handle hot +P loads.

And if you've ever shot A LOT of magnum ammo, as I did in MAGNUM ONLY competitions back in the early 1980's, you come to appreciate that life is about more than shooting a .357 or .44 Magnum. A well loaded .38 Special +P or .44 Special, both with a modern high expansion JHP bullet design, is not only a million times more pleasureable to shoot but a far more ballistically sound round to shoot not only in terms of stopping power but in terms of bullet overpenetration.

Bullet overpenetration, to me, is as big a concern as defending yourself, and should be a uniform thought process in terms of defending oneself. No one wants to kill or injure an innocent person while defending our family. Many good defense revolvers can shoot reduced recoil and defensive loads by companies like Federal that not only offer superior stopping power but much reduced chances of bullet overpenetration because of bullet expansion and rapid slowing.

Proper weapon and caliber selection, circumstances of the attack upon you, available cover, if you are defending just yourself or others and the myriad things that go through your mind "SLOW MO{tion} when you are racing on adrenaline during a crisis all lead a lot of folks, including an experienced shooter like me, that often times a revolver is the best handgun for me to have in my hand in an emergency situation., be it a home invasion or a random attack at a parking lot or a car jacking.

I recently proclaimed that if I could only have one handgun, it would be the Glock 21 in .45 ACP for many different reasons. I shot competition with this weapon for many years, being one of the first in Houston shooting circles to get one in 1992, and immediately began using it instead of my "race" gun that I had been shooting police and combat competition courses.

But the second and third handguns on that if I could only have one handgun list would either be the S&W .45 ACP Model 22 Classic 4" (or better yet, the Thunder Ranch version) or the Model 1922 of 1917.

The fourth handgun on the if I could only have one handgun list would be a modern 1911, and probably a slightly worked on Colt Commander, again in .45 ACP but with a strong feeling about the greatness of the .38 Super caliber in these guns for defensive purposes. To me, and I could be wrong, the new .357 Sig is basically a modified version of the venerable .38 Super, which after all, was good enough (at least in part) to help Texas Ranger Frank Hamer take out Bonnie and Clyde.

The last of the list of guns on that above list would be the Colt Python, simply due to the superior action right out of the factory box. Even the rounded feel of the top of the knurled top of the hammer says "CUSTOM". The trigger pull is simply amazing, firm yet smooth. I don't believe other guns can imitate this trigger pull via custom work because it's just a different set of parts. If this gun was made in a five shot 44 Special or .45 ACP caliber, it might well be the gun that might knock the reliable and accurate high capacity Glock M21 off the top of my list here.

I'm near the mid-century mark and I've been shooting since I was a kid. I've been in law enforcement in Texas as a law enforcement officer for most of my adult life. I steer away from my own war stories for the most part but do not mind reflecting my opinion on various revolvers and firearms I have owned and/or shot and or worked homicide or shooting cases on over the years.

DISCLAIMER: There is no legal advice given on this blog. I don't discuss factual scenarios from a legal standpoint but rather from a what would you do standpoint. All discussions and comments by me assume LEGAL and LAWFUL carry of firearms pursuant to law or license or permit or law enforcement position. This blog is for law enforcement officers and law abiding citizens. There will likely be strong opinions expressed in comments praising law enforcement officers and citizens who support them wholeheartedly.

Comments are moderated and no anti-law enforcement or anti-second amendment comments will be posted. There are other places that want to hear what you have to say.

There are better folks to learn how to gunfight from than me. I am not a gunfighter. I recommend you google folks like Clint Smith, Chuck Taylor and Massad Ayoob. I have been reading Mas since probably 1982 or so quite regularly in gun magazines, and although he is not a lawyer (and like me would tell you that if you have a legal question go hire a face to face lawyers who handles questions like yours), his advice is quite sound and the issues he discusses when he has testified as an expert in deadly force use cases are quite thought provoking.

If you're man or woman enough to carry a gun to save your life, or in the line of duty, then you need to be familiar with not only tactical but legal considerations of gunfighting and self defense. Start with the three names above: Taylor, Ayoob and Smith. They will lead you to others.

Since the mid 1980's, when law enforcement everywhere began switching from revolvers to high capacity autoloaders, I watched as several generations of officers pased through academies with little or no exposure to revolvers. Some were sporting enthusiasts already, hunters and fisherman, and knew of the cult of the revolver. Other officers discovered them accidently upon the way, of how a nice hammerless j frame snubbie in the coat pocket of your winter coat was the perfect hand on gun but nobody knows when making dangerous traffic stops solo. Or how in an ankle holster you always had a backup to your duty weapon in a light weight low profile package. Under a shoulder holster duty jacket in an upside down snubnose holster.

Or perhaps, that .44 magnum and some speedloaders in your work briefcase or "bail out bag" carried on duty as a law enforcement officer.

Today, there's loads of people who know nothing about revolvers. They'll see us pull a few out at the range. The Colt Cobra, the venerable Model 67 Combat Masterpiece from my competition days and the Model 22 of 1917 always draw a crowd. They see the accuracy, and sometimes I'll go through a speedload or two just to show them how fast, with thirty years of practice and some instruction by the best, a man can reload and re-engage his target with a revolver under combat conditions.

Of they want to shoot it, and all of these younger kids in their 20's and 30's have been quite respectful, and of course the deal is, my son and I get to shoot their guns after they shoot mine. Quid Pro Quo. Everybody's happy, and often they are at the rental counter of the range store looking to see what kind of revolvers are in there as we are leaving. They done got hooked on the wheelgun.

I've got a lot of history of Texas law enforcement in my family, going back a lot of years. That'll be another post talking about that. Let's just say that when my family began working as Texas Rangers in Texas, Texas was not a country much less a state and these were pre-Walker Colt days.

One of my relatives was killed in an indian battle just a couple of years before the Walker Colt came to the Texas Rangers, and certainly my relative would've had more of a fighting chance with a brace of Walkers slung in pommels across the saddlehorn of his horse, in addition to their normal compliment of single shot Kentucky rifles, muzzle loading shotguns and pistols. So Texas and revolvers have been integral to each other now for close on 200 years, moreso probably than anywhere else in the world for many of those early years.

So all this rambling about me means that this'll be yet another rambling blog. But I'll keep it concerned with wheelguns, and wheelgunners and lots of already well done blog posts by others to link to about revolvers. The holsters that fit them. How to find holsters, particularly for older guns. Gunsmithing services and spare parts.

I just wanna make this blog a reference list in some different areas so that the guy or gal who stumbles on this site three years from now and decided that one of their carry or defense weapons should be this very cool Colt Police Positive Special (or other such vintage but high end and well customized "old school" revolver" they found in a pawn/gun shop with a DAO hammer, custom pearl or stag grips, a gorgeous BLUE colored finish and a 3" barrel and they just had to have it even though they have a J frame or a Glock/Sig/Beretta.

And then that person googles, and because there is a post on the late revolver/self defense holster Guru Chic Gaylord about how his idea of the ultimate fighting handgun was the Colt Police Positive Special, preferably with a 3" barrel, they find out about gun leather for that gun, and recommended ammo (usually from me but sometimes with links to forum posts on the subjects).

So feel free to email and send me some pictures of some great combat revolvers. If it's your gun, let me know the story and I'll write about it, or print what you write. You can be anonymous or not, it's up to you. Meanwhile, its much easier it seems to find "custom gun pictures" on the web as opposed to old time custom wheelguns for sale. Maybe I've been too Seinfeld about it all these years, but I'm looking for that one perfect gun. Not a collectors gun, but a gun that has been fired, but well taken care of. Every gun that I've liked that I've found was execellent in everyway except for some glaring defect.

Great frame, bad action. Great action, bad frame. Great action, tight frame, goosey barrel. I wanna be like that bad guy from the first Clint western that walks in the store and disassembles the numerous handguns and selects the best parts and fits amongst the guns to build his perfect gun.

I have another blog called The Fishing Musician or El Fishing Musician that originally began being a Texas music and Texas fishing and outdoors travel blog. Of course, the outdoors talk begat shooting and pretty soon guns began to take a dominant role on the website. And I thought that, as inspired by folks such as Xavier and some other sites I'll list in a later post and later on my blogroll, I wanted to continue on with some of the great revolver information they have out there and link to it and perhaps inspire others to comment and fill in some more information about some of the great revolvers of the past and present.

Xavier has not been blogging much lately, but take the time to thoroughly go back to post one and read his blog. Probably like me, Xavier grew up reading about guns and his knowledge base is excellent. His detail is great and his profile indicates he's a longtime nurse (same as a public servant to me, he's taken an oath, as only a few professions take) and apparently quite the photographer, based on what's on his site. It's a compendium of good advice about revolvers in particular, and I've had no issues with any of his opinions on revolvers. So when you want to do a little revolver "learning" or "refreshing your revolver knowledge" reading, X is the place to go.

There are other revolver sites or gun sites that have lots of great knowledge about revolvers and I'll be doing a lot of simply linking to them and making you aware of what they way and then letting your read it.

I hope you will join me keeping the revolver alive and helping spread information for those of us who enjoy revolvers from shooting to hunting to defense.

No comments:

Post a Comment