<![CDATA[Shootlogic.com - Dale Hanna's Blog]]>Thu, 01 Mar 2018 06:22:44 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Revolvers and Expectations]]>Tue, 04 Feb 2014 03:16:36 GMThttp://www.shootlogic.com/dale-hannas-blog/revolvers-and-expectations

      In a time where semi-auto pistols seem to dominate the shooting world, revolvers are sometimes treated like a forgotten step child.  Let’s face it, in this day and age wheel guns just aren’t seen as cool and there is no shortage of younger shooters who consider them obsolete as fighting guns.  Personally, when I think of revolver shooters, I think of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, real men, not some wimpy Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis with their terrible Beretta pistols. Just kidding! Beretta makes a fine pistol, the actors on the other hand, ehh…

      Here is the main thing about revolvers; they are very reliable, but not infallible. I still get my share of revolvers in the shop for repair but unlike semi autos they are nowhere as susceptible to shooter induced malfunctions. Yep! That’s what I said, shooter induced malfunction.  I’ll go over this later on when we discuss mid size semi auto’s, but it is possible for a shooter to cause their pistol to malfunction by not utilizing proper grip technique (one of the few things I can’t fix at my bench!).  Revolvers, alternatively, can be shot one handed and upside down with your pinky pulling the trigger.  If you can give them a few pounds of pressure, they go bang!  There is only one way that I know of that the shooter can induce a malfunction on a revolver and that’s by short stroking the trigger. If the trigger is not allowed to move completely through its full range of motion between shots, it is possible for the hand or pawl to bind in its window or on the ratchet. It isn’t a common problem though and is usually experienced by those who do not have the finger strength to pull the trigger on a double action revolver or those that are trying to shoot as fast as Jerry Miculek (Google his name you’ll be impressed).  The good news for those individuals is that most popular revolvers can be tuned, timed, and the triggers can be lightened. The exception to these modifications would be the new polymer frame revolvers and most rimfire revolvers.  For what it’s worth, if you scratched your head when I was talking about pawls and ratchets earlier, you should have a gunsmith do this for you.  Many classic revolvers have died a gruesome death on the kitchen table, so if you have a quality gunsmith near you, let him help! 

      Now for the icing on the cake! If you can’t find what you want in a revolver, it can’t be found period.  Revolvers come in as many configurations as semi auto’s pistols. Modern revolvers are built from synthetic polymers, steels, aluminum, titanium, and even more exotic materials like scandium.  They can be aimed with fixed or adjustable sights, with tritium of hi-viz inserts, plus a wide variety of lasers are available for all of the top selling models.  Grips are plentiful, and whether you are chasing hard functionality or old world craftsmanship, there are few sweeter moments than when the right grip gets installed on your wheel gun.  Some folk complain about capacity and reload speeds, but 5-8 rounds will probably be more than you need statistically speaking, and just remember, revolvers protected good guys against the Nazis, the KKK, and New York Mob in the 70’s.  If they could be used against those threats, who are we to say it can’t keep up?

      One of my favorite revolvers to carry is the Smith and Wesson 642. It’s light, hammerless and is chambered in 38 special. Because of its internal hammer, this revolver can be brought to use from inside a coat pocket.  I can’t think of any other defensive handgun that can be so ready to use while being totally reliable.  A semi auto will probably grab loose material and jam, if it isn’t pushed out of battery first, and I doubt that the slide will operate unhindered anyway.  In this case, five (bullets) in the hand is certainly better than 15 in the bush (or on the belt).  If you see me leaving my favorite store with my hand in my pocket, now you know why.  Total concealment, reliability, and ready at a moments notice?  Please, tell me how superior your semi-auto poly wonder gun with its giant ammo supply is better when its safely tucked in your belt snug under your jacket.

      Revolvers are easier to maintain, require less training, gobble up whatever ammo you feed them and that’s why I think they are the most reliable handgun bar none.  If that doesn’t make the perfect recipe for a conceal carry firearm, I don’t know what does.

  Now! Get ya some!  

<![CDATA[Conceal Carry...From a Gunsmith's perspective.]]>Thu, 05 Dec 2013 01:03:56 GMThttp://www.shootlogic.com/dale-hannas-blog/december-04th-2013 There isn’t a perfect firearm for conceal carry, so get that notion out of
your mind. The decision will always be a compromised choice that you make
based on your life-style.  I would argue that the real choice is what sort of balance you are willing to make as far as your pistols abilities and your level of convenience.  To this end, I consistently see the small, thin, semi auto-matic pistols like the Ruger LC9 or Smith & Wesson Bodyguards in my workshop, with laundry lists of tuning and manipulating that
are just not realistic options.  Those micro compacts serve their defensive purpose exceedingly well, but they are one of my least favorite conversations to have with customers.  So, let’s go over the common things I see with these pistols, and understand what they are meant for…and why.

      First thing, the triggers just plain out suck! Do you know why? Because they were
designed like that! The companies that make these little guns know that they‘re going to
be stuffed in pockets, purses, Flashbang bras and my very favorite, Thunderwear.
Which, by the way, if you carry your handgun in a Thunderwear holster; do not bring it to me for any reason. The last thing a firearms manufacturer wants is a lawsuit because someone didn’t keep their cotton picken fingers off the trigger and ended up shooting off something they might like to use in the future. So, yes, the triggers are long and they’re stiff (which is something an accidental discharge will keep you from being). These guns were not designed for target shooting; they are designed for close range combat and easy concealment. They are most often stashed in a pocket, and more than one person has also tossed in some loose change, car keys, and maybe a pen.  The long trigger (called double action only) sacrifices a lightweight short traveling trigger to hopefully keep a negligent discharge at bay (remember, the guns are designed with liability in mind, not your personal skill level). They give you a chance to create distance and run like hell, and they are great for that. The trigger design is an inherent safety feature, as most micro compacts do not have external safeties.  In short, they are meant to compete with snub nose revolvers, and there is nothing that your gunsmith can do to get around this design.

      The second common complaint, “my magazine doesn’t drop free”.  Really!?  Are you really expecting to do combat mag changes with these things? If so, you done got
yourself into some deep stuff and probably should have been paying a little bit more attention to your environment in the first place.  Again, manufacturers know where you’re going to be carrying these little guys and the point is to make sure your magazine stays put. You don’t want to find out that your magazine is lying next to your lipstick or is rattling around in the bottom of your Thunderwear when you need it. These pint-sized pistols were built to conceal in much more flexible and less controlled environments than that fancy kydex rig your Glock sits in.  It is easy to unintentionally put enough pressure on the magazine release while the gun sits in your pocket; so thankfully, the magazine is designed to stay in the grip.  So forget about the mag drops and the tactical reloads.  Again, these pistols are designed as a convenient-to-carry “belly gun” first and foremost.  They are tools of last resort, designed to help you create distance and escape the threat.

      The third complaint: “I can’t see my sights!”  Again, this is not a target pistol; this
is a “get off me” gun. Tall and proud makes a good Marine but it creates a snag point when trying to pull one of these pistols from concealment.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to snag anything in my Thunderwear. There is a very high probability that you are going to be shooting at distances so close (we’re talking feet and inches, not meters and yards) that traditional aimed fire is just not what the Doctor ordered.  Yes, these guns can
surprise you with their accuracy, but range isn’t a primary concern of the design factor.  My daughter can also drive a nail with her shoe, but it doesn’t make it a hammer.

      These little guns are fine for what they’re designed for, but let’s be realistic
about it.  They are modern day derringers. If you decide to buy a micro compact, just make sure you have set your expectations appropriately. It is what it is, and it is designed for close range, “point and click” shooting that is easy to conceal in your front pocket.  At the end of the day, when I’m explaining that I can’t install new sights, make the trigger 2
lbs., and modify the frame for drop free magazines, I can’t help but think that the owner didn’t really think their purchase through.  I like this new breed of polymer single stacks, and would happily recommend them… just don’t bring it to your local gunsmith expecting them to turn it in to some super-duper combat race gun.  If a high round count and nimble handling are options that you want in your defensive gun, then you are just going to need a bigger gun, and bigger guns are going to ask you for more commitment.

      All too often, folks just try and use details like caliber, fancy brand names, ad-on 
gizmos, and even the blood, sweat and tears (you’d be amazed at how many tears are involved) of a gunsmith to gain skill with their defensive weapon.  The truth is, you cannot modify, mill, or tune your way to expertise.  It requires hands on practice, training, and good ole fashioned trial and error.  I can help you smooth out the rough parts, but I can’t help you overcome a lack of trigger time and dedication.  However, if you are 
looking into ShootLogic, then you are well on your way!]]>