Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wilds of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world.
This week, I’m joined by Weerd Beard to discuss some Micro Guns!!!!
Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network
Week in Review:
- Just posted Episode 156 of Gun Guy Radio with Weerd Beard where we discussed Shotguns & their Defensive Use! Be sure to go check it out!!
- Got this email from a listener (Paul W.) about our last episode, Guns of the Gunwriters. With Paul’s permission, I thought I would share it with you guys, as it is a very well-written and thought out email.
- A little background about me first. I am a retired Border Patrol agent from southern New Mexico who grew up on the northern border with Canada in New York State. I retired five years ago after completing 30 years on the job along the southern border in the Las Cruces, NM and El Paso, Tx areas. I was the youngest agent in my class at the time. Needless to say I saw many changes over those ensuing years. I started my career at a time when the likes of Bill Jordan and Skeeter Skelton were still around plying their writing trades. Both worked as Border Patrol Agents during their careers although Skeeter’s time in the patrol was limited.Skeeter lived in Deming, NM, the next town west from Las Cruces where I was assigned for 16 years. In the latter part of his life, I saw him a couple of times going through our checkpoint on I-10 between our cities but by the time I finally figured out it was him he was already quite ill and I never was able to meet him. Like many I had been reading his stories in the gun magazines since the 70’s when I became interested in firearms and started to subscribe to Guns and Ammo and Shooting Times. I also met and had occasional contact with his son Bart in the course of my duties. I have copies of all Skeeter’s books starting with Good Friends, Good Guns , Good Whiskey which was published shortly after his passing. I even asked Bart to inscribe it for me which he graciously did. This book is classic reading dominated by the stories of Jug Johnson, Dobe Grant and Me and Joe. I can’t say enough about this piece of work. Unfortunately the book is very hard to come by now but a used copy can be found on Amazon now and then, prices usually start at about $75 and go up. Worth considering though if iconic gun books interest you. I also have copies of “Hoglegs, Hipshots and Jalepenos” as well as “I remember Skeeter” which was compiled by his wife Sally. Incidentally, that paperback book in used condition commands prices starting at over $350! Fortunately as you have found, many of his works can be read online.Of course, Bill Jordan was a long time brother Border Patrol Agent. I just missed meeting him when in the early 90’s (I had to work) when he put in an appearance at the Border Patrol museum in El Paso, Tx. I did, however send my copy of his masterwork, “No Second Place Winner” with another agent who had Bill inscribe it for me. Needless to say that is another prized volume I have. Now, a little about the “Jordan” holster. When I became an agent in January of 1980 the Jordan holster was what most agents used. Some had transitioned to higher riding thumb breaks but the first holster I purchased was a Don Hume Jordan because that’s what the trainees did. Unfortunately I lost mine along the way many years ago but I have another one with the long shank that was worn by an old timer who gave it to me when he retired. Interestingly, back then nearly everyone loaded their revolvers from loops, either 12 round loops or 6 and we trained to load two at a time, a skill that I am still pretty adept at to this day. Speed loaders were just coming into vogue and it took a while for the Border Patrol to officially authorize them for duty carry. In those days no one dwelled on the fact that the trigger was exposed and the strap could be unsnapped very easily. Everyone was aware of this feature and cognizant that extra care was needed. Well, almost everybody.In time the Jordan holster became unauthorized.My first government issued revolver was a very old, well used Colt Trooper .357 with “Border Patrol” stamped on the barrel. These are extremely rare and hard to come by now as you can imagine. I don’t even like to think about it. It was only the second handgun I had ever fired, having grown up in northern New York where pistol permits were highly prized. As worn as it was, the Colt was smooth as silk and served me faithfully for a couple of years until I was forced to turn it in for a brand new stainless Ruger security six. The Border Patrol was in the process of taking back all the old Colts and rightfully so I suppose. They were old. Following the advice of another agent I dry fired the heck out of the Ruger and darn if it didn’t smooth up nicely. I really liked it. Next, about a year later, chance brought me to my next issued revolver. It would be the last. At the station one day, the late great Charlie Pirtle, who was our supervisor (friend of Sheriff Jim Wilson in later years by the way) and a tracker of national note put a note in each of our mail drawers, about twenty of us, saying that there was a new S&W model 66 available for issue if anyone was interested. He also said it was first come first served. I just happened to be the first to read it and jumped on the chance. This didn’t go over well with many of the agents at my station since I was the junior man. None the less, it was issued to me and carried until I turned it in a few years later when we adopted semi-autos.Speaking of semi-automatics, I became a firearms instructor for my agency in the late 80’s and was one of the first to carry a Glock 17 on duty under a pilot program where certain semi-autos were authorized for carry but had to be personally purchased. The most popular of the authorized handguns were the Glock 17 and the Sig Sauer P-226 and P-220. I already owned a Glock 17 that was one of the first Gen 1 Glocks to be imported into the U.S. If you have ever seen a true Gen 1 Glock 17, you will see they have a much thinner barrel than the subsequent models and the grip frame has an almost smooth finish. I still have mine. I calculated once that it easily has over 30,000 rounds fired although I only shoot it occasionally anymore. It has the smoothest Glock trigger you will ever try. Like most agents I was a huge semi-auto enthusiast and largely ignored revolvers for many years until after I retired. I regret that now.Back to six shooters. When you and Matt were discussing the K frames and the use of magnum ammo it brought back many memories. During the early and mid 80’s the model 19 and 66 were very popular with the agents and most were personally owned which was permissible. Our qualification course was conducted almost entirely with 38 special wad cutters and had been forever. (I still remember guys at our station using fired 38 special cases for hearing protection) Understandably, this made qualifying much easier since, at the time, we actually shot a course of fire from the 50 yard line and the wad cutters offered minimal noise and recoil. The Border Patrol was one of the very few agencies to have a 50 yard line requirement. At one point the Border Patrol decided to use 357 magnum ammo for all qualifications in order to make the qualifications process more realistic. It wasn’t long before many of the 19’s and 66’s started to display all the problems you and Matt described and then some. We qualified four times per year so it didn’t take long. They just could not handle a steady diet of magnums and the Remington 125 grain JHP’s we were issuing were very stout. The Border Patrol even issued what was essentially a 38 special +P for a while that was called the “treasury “round. This all occurred just after the release of the S&W 586 and 686. Soon, most of the model 19’s and 66’s were replaced with the new model 686 thus alleviating that problem. New agents were subsequently issued the S&W 686 or Ruger GP-100 until all revolvers were eventually moth balled. These guns fired magnums steadily with no issues.In 1996 the Border Patrol completely moved to the Beretta 96 D Brigadier in 40 S&W as the only authorized handgun and the age of the revolver was over for us.
Main Topic: Micro Guns
H&R Micro Revolvers
S&W J-Frame (and Clones, including things like Taurus, and the Ruger LCR)
NAA Mini Revolver.
Beretta Tip Barrel
“Ring of Fire” Guns
Colt 1908/ Baby Browning
Seecamp/North American Arms .32/.380
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Until next week, have fun & SAFE SHOOTING!!!