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Author Topic: Non-duty artillery  (Read 4336 times)

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Non-duty artillery
« on: October 07, 2006, 01:36:34 PM »

If your character isn’t a sworn officer of the law, personal preference, need, and fit are other dictates to “packing heat” in the form of a handgun.

Were my protagonist or antagonist a policeman, I’d certainly select high capacity (firepower) over effectiveness (knockdown power) in a handgun and choose the semi-automatic, finding some middle ground, such as the .40 Smith & Wesson or the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol.

But diameter (caliber or millimeter equivalents) isn’t the only factor.  In general, revolver cartridges are longer to hold more powder, fitting into chambers designed for greater pressures.  For example, the .357 Remington Magnum throws the same diameter slug as the 9MM Luger, but the bullet can be heavier and arrives on target with more punch.  The same is true with the .454 Casull versus the .45 ACP, although the latter may be a case of comparing apples to oranges.

When concealed carry permits were largely reserved for cronies of judges, I packed a .357 Ruger Security Six exposed on a gun belt, with at least two speed loaders, devices for injecting six fresh rounds into swing-open revolvers.  When dueling on steel silhouettes, I won’t claim the same firepower against auto-loaders, but practice with speed loaders kept me close enough to cause anxiety, and targets hit with magnum slugs tumbled faster.

In the early ’90s, I went to a .357 Ruger GP100 for hunting back-up and for silhouette competition.  “Must issue” CCP laws brought about the .357 SP101, a lighter 5-shot version of the GP100 ideal for concealed carry.  My li’l mag went into a hip pack (fanny pack pulled around to the hip) and sometimes into an inside-the-waistband holster.

The grip design of the GP100 and SP101 is a solid central core post, rather than a one-size-fits-all frame.  Thus, after-market grips may be purchased to fit the extreme largest or smallest hands.

An advantage of a revolver chambered for .357 Remington Magnums is lighter, cheaper .38 Specials may be used for practice, while reducing recoil or going to cheaper cast bullets in semiautomatics may seriously affect performance.

The federal limitation of magazines to ten rounds for civilians and the upgrading of six-guns to seven- and eight-shooters somewhat levels the playing field.

Standard revolvers have no “safety,” which is a misnomer if there ever was one.  Revoker design makes a “safety” superfluous.

The ongoing argument for which is the “best” handgun fades when choices offer opportunities for which specific gun works best for the individual.  For instance, I’m now too old to outrun the slowest member of my hiking group, so I carry a .480 Ruger Alaskan in bear country.  Its equivalent for punch and power in an auto-loader is lots heavier, bulkier, and more expensive to feed.

Speaking of opportunities, thanks so much, Bob, for this new forum added to the already terrific, ongoing MWF.

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