HGR 019 - Wonderful Wheelguns

HGR 019 - Wonderful Wheelguns

In this episode, Ryan discusses why he likes revolvers and some of the really classic designs that still work wonderfully today!

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Week in Review:

  • No luck this week hunting, heard some movement and saw a lot of tracks around our hunting area but no sightings.  Perhaps next weekend!
  • I appeared on Gun Guy Radio Episode 094 this past Saturday night along with Jake and Jared to discuss some cold weather concealed carry considerations! It was a great time and I really enjoyed the discussion. Go check it out at the link above and you can also watch it on YouTube.
  • The Listener Round Table is set to happen on November 24th which is this coming Sunday.  I believe we will be going live right around 9 p.m. EST, as to give our West Coast listeners time to get home from their day :) There will be a link posted on the Handgun Radio FaceBook page. By using that link you can watch the show live as it is happening or you can go back and watch it on YouTube after the show has ended.  I’m really looking forward to it!!!!
  • A Pietta 1851 Navy .44 and a Starter Kit is on it’s way to me for testing & evaluation! I can’t wait to receive it and take it out to the range.  I will be posting a review of the whole kit over at the Firearms Insider once I get a chance to test it out!
  • There are a lot of great shows on the Firearms Radio Network, and the We Like Shooting Podcast is one of the newest on the network! There are a lot of great discussion on that podcast and I really like the roundtable format of the show.  Go over to the link in the show notes and check them out! Leave them a written review on iTunes as well and help them out!

Main Topic: Wonderful Wheelguns

This week, I’d like to take a break from the “technical” how-to style shows we’ve done the past two weeks and have a freewheeling discussion about some of the reasons I like to shoot & carry revolvers, as well as some of the classic revolvers that I like or that are really fine examples of firearms craftsmanship. A lot of this episode will be based on personal opinions, so your milage may vary.

Why do I like revolvers?: To me, revolvers are really elegant handguns. People describe them as simple; simple to use, yes. Simple inside? No. While they may not be excessively complicated, the interaction between parts inside the revolver to accomplish its goal is really an awesome sight to see.  The first time I ever saw a revolver with one of those clear side plates to show the inner workings in action, I was amazed. All the parts that must interact in order to complete something as simple as the double-action trigger stroke is a feat of engineering.

Then there is the finish on the revolver.  Some of the most beautiful metal finishing work I’ve ever seen I have seen on the classic Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers.  The first time handling a Python revolver from Colt is truly an experience every shooter should have. Colt was known for its superior polishing and bluing skills, and the Python revolver is a fantastic example of this.  Another good one to see in person is the S&W Model 27.  The Model 27, and the earlier Registered Magnum are wonderful examples of mid-1900’s firearms craftsmanship.  The guns are put together perfectly, strong as can be, and they look stunning.  While the finishes you see on revolvers today may be more practical, the finishes on the classic ones blow them out of the water in terms of aesthetics.

Capacity is everything to a lot of people. The revolver doesn’t have a high capacity. Doesn’t this bother you?: When the capacity argument is brought up, I look at several factors that tend to come into play during a defensive shooting.  First, consider the dynamics of a defensive shooting. It is quick, violent and stressful.  Typically occurring at no more than a few yards, the attack and subsequent reaction is typically over in seconds.  The Hollywood-style shootouts that you see in TV and Movies that last 20 plus minutes are just not a realistic depiction of a real-life shooting situation.  When it comes to civilian self-defense and concealed carry, there is rarely an instance where 17 rounds are used.  Note that I said “used” not “was not needed”; you can always use more ammuntion in a gunfight.

You must always look at what your personal situation is as well.  If you live in an area where the crime statistics show that typical attacks involve only one perpetrator, a small & concealable 5-shot revolver might be a good choice for you.  This is my choice. I carry a Smith & Wesson Model 60 .38 Special revolver loaded with 125 grn Speer Gold-Dot Hollowpoints.  I also carry a speedloader in my pocket loaded with the same ammunition.  Given the crime statistics in my area, I feel comfortable with this setup.  Check your area, and choose your setup accordingly.

Do you have any advice concerning revolvers & their use?:

1.) Guys, PLEASE stop telling females who want to buy a gun for personal defense that the best gun for them is a .38 Special snubnose revolver with or without a pink frame. The .38 Special snubnose is NOT a beginners handgun.  For smaller statured shooters, the recoil can be very snappy. Beginning shooters do not need to be scared away from the sport and hobby because they are afraid of pulling the trigger.  I would honestly rather see my wife with a semi-auto .22 LR handgun that she can hit with repeatedly and fast.  9 .22 LR bullets all in the same spot beat a .38 Special that misses any day.

2.) Revolvers are versatile and allow for a wide array of ammunition selection. You can use anything from hollowpoints, to full metal jacket ammuntion and snake shot loads without functioning issues.  As long as the bullet does not extend out the front of the chamber and bind the cylinder, you are good!

3.) The limited capacity of revolvers tends to make shooters more careful in their technique when shooting. The capacity to “spray and pray” with a semi-auto with a large magazine is somewhat limited with a revolver.  I know that I really focus on making shots count a great deal when shooting my revolvers.

Some Favorite Revolvers:

1.) Smith & Wesson Model 60: A Classic snub-nosed revolver in .38 Special.  It was the first ever stainless steel handgun.  The stainless steel brother to the Model 36 or “Chief’s Special”.

2.) Smith & Wesson Model 19: The Model 19 everything a duty revolver should be. Light enough to be portable and comfortable, yet strong enough to handle most of the .357 Magnum loads for duty use. The Model 19 that I own is my dad’s old patrol revolver, and it is the most accurate handgun I have ever fired.  It is a prime example of exemplary craftsmanship.

3.) Colt Official Police: The Colt Official Police in .38 Special was the direct competitor to S&W’s Model 10 or M&P.  The Official Police and Model 10 both had their advantages and disadvantages, but both were superb revolvers and were great examples of firearms craftsmanship.

4.) Colt Python & Diamondback: The Colt Python & Diamondback revolvers were some of Colt’s finest double action revolvers. Chambered in .357 Magnum and .38 Special respectively, the Python is known for having the most beautiful bluing ever seen on a production firearm.  This is rumoured to be a product of many many hours of polishing before being dunked in the hot bluing tank.  No longer in production, these revolvers represent the pinnacle of Colt’s manufacturing prowess.

There are many more classic revolvers out there! What’s your favorite? Email me at ryan@handgunradio.com and I will read them on the roundtable!!

Wrap-up:

Until next time have fun and SAFE SHOOTING!!!