Handgun Radio 248 - Oddball Carry Cartridges


Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wild woods of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world.

This week, we have a few listener emails about ammo & offbeat cartridges for self defense!

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-Many Different Ammo choice


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Week in Review:

Ryan: Smoked Meats


Drink Segment:  Tequini

Found in an Old Mr Boston Bartending Book

4 parts Blanco Tequila 

1 part dry vermouth

I like to garnish with jalapeno stuffed olives

Main Topic: Listener Emails and other things!

Name: Jake 

Subject: Ammo technology

Message: Thanks for the show,


I have heard it repeatedly that the advances in ammo technology have made the 9x19mm cartridge equal the .40S&W or .45acp for self defense. However, aren't the same advances in ammo technology being applied to the larger cartridges making them more potent then they ever have been before?




Odd cartridges for self-defense:

Discussion in “I’m With Roscoe” group about small revolvers chambered for cartridges that may not have had alot of ammo development)

.32 S&W & S&W Long

.38 S&W (aka .38 Colt New Police, aka .38/200)

.30 Luger (7.65mmx21 Para)







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  • Check out Weerd Beard at the Assorted Calibers Podcast & Weerd World!

Until Next week, have fun and safe shooting!

Handgun Radio 155 - Cartridge Development Part 1

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad  from the wild woods of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world.

This week, Weerd and I discuss a few popular cartridges and their development histories!!!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

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Week in Review:

Ryan: -I was on the We Like Shooting show this past week!!! Check it out!!!

-Hudson H9 Pistol

-S&W 986 2.5” 9mm

Weerd: Took a 1911 Derivative to the range yesterday.

Also friend of the Show Sidhartha Priest suggested I get an inexpensive arbor press to press out the frame wedge on my Walker colt.    Seems like a good idea, as it didn’t cost much and no matter what I’d still have a pretty beefy press.    It’s down in the armory, but I haven’t had a chance to assemble it and get cracking.   Maybe this weekend.

Drink Segment:  For those with simpler tastes, and those who don’t want to bother with a mixer and multiple ingredients.

So I stopped at the liquor store on the way up to my folk’s place, and I like to grab my dad stuff he’s never had before.    He has VERY limited experience with Scotch,  and I’d heard good things about Monkey Shoulder.     Turns out the stuff is VERY reasonably priced and VERY good.

I need to grab a bottle for myself.

Main Topic: Pistol Cartridge Development

Listener Mike:

Hey Ryan and Weerd - great show, as always. Thought I would ask, why don't you look at cartridge development and talk about handgun cartridges. I was thinking as you were talking last show about 38 spl, and the large case compared to the low powder volume. Why is the cases so large? What about others, and what the case size to powder volume is and why.

Early Cartridge Development (Rocketball, .22 Short, etc)

-Rocket Ball

.22 Short

7.65x25mm Borchardt

.38 Special Cartridge:

.357 Magnum

9mm Parabellum:

.40 S&W

.45 ACP  

Wrap Up:

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HGR 022 - Handguns & Cartridges for Beginners

HGR 022 - Handguns & Cartridges For Beginners

This week, Ryan and guest Matt discuss some of the best handguns and cartridges for beginners and some tips and tricks for starting out the beginning handgun shooter.

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

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Week In Review:


  • Did some shooting with the Pietta Colt 1851 Navy reproduction.  I have been unable to find any FFFg powder to properly use in the revolver.  I am using FFg substitute, which works but the grains are too large to allow me to load a really hard-hitting charge.  I also tried loading a shot charge with some #6 birdshot. I did a video on it which you can watch over at my YouTube Channel.
  • Finally found some primers at my local gun shop.  I really like the CCI Small Pistol Primers.  I have had great success with those and I love it when I can find them. I sat
  • down last night and using my Lee Auto-Prime XR which is a wonderful product.  I was able to prime about 200 .38 Special cases in a half-hour last night, so it really helps to cut down on the time you spend at the bench. I shoot .38 Special more than any other round so I go through quite a bit of it.
  • Posted an article over on the Firearms Insider about the history of the metallic cartridge and why I really appreciate it.  Please give it a read and check out all the other great content at the Firearms Insider!


        *  Gathering goodies for next season,new belts,holsters, Apex hammers and ti    cylinders for the 625 & 627. * Checked out a ruger charger. dont need but want * deprimed a bunch of brass * hit several gun shops while running with the wife

Main Topic: Handguns & Cartridges For Beginners

For people who are new to shooting, handguns can be somewhat intimidating. They are small, and can be somewhat more difficult to handle for a beginner.  Starting a beginning shooter out on a handgun needs to be approached carefully to ensure that the new shooter has a good time and that the gun fits for him or her.  The new shooter being comfortable is going to foster a desire to shoot more in the future.


  • Start beginners out on a gun that fits them.  My wife has very small hands, and many guns do not fit her.  I had her try a Ruger Single-Six and she did not like shooting it because it didn’t “feel right” to her. Rather than say she was wrong or anything I handed her a Ruger SR-22 Pistol and she was far more comfortable handling that because it fit her.  Fit is HUGELY important.
  • Don’t start them out on a caliber that is too large for them (Discuss the S&W .500 Magnum Incident.)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4OE78spknk
  • Grips can be changed out. If you cant afford a new gun if one doesnt work for the new shooter, consider a grip change. That can make a world of difference.
  • As much as I love revolvers, I do believe that semi-autos make more sense for a beginning shooter, especially if you are going to be having them start with a centerfire caliber.  Many of the polymer frame guns can fit a wider variety of shooters, ensuring that they have the proper fit and control of the firearm.
  • Take the person you are training and bring them to a range where they can try several different handguns and see what fits for them.


  • .22 Long Rifle is CLEARLY going to be the most popular round for starting beginners. What about when you want to step up?
  • 9mm?
  • .38 Special?
  • .45 ACP?
  • Why not calibers like .357 Magnum or .40 S&W? (Too Damned Snappy!)
  • Reload for lighter rounds?

Tips & Tricks:

-Shoot with both eyes open!

       When I take shooters out, I start out with some of my .22’s then move on to the larger calibers without telling them what it is so their preconceived notions do get in the way.

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  • www.revo-nation.com    a great forum for everything revolver

HGR 003 - Reloading Handgun Cartridges

HGR 003 - Reloading Handgun Cartridges

Ryan discusses some basic reloading techniques and some popular & economic ways to reload handgun cartridges.

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Welcome to episode 3 of Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wilds of Central Maine and this is your home for all the news, discussion and information in the handgunning world.

Review of the Past Week:

  • Launched the website, iTunes feed, and Facebook page for Handgun Radio. Give us a like on Facebook and also subscribe to the show in iTunes!
  • Received some great feedback on the first two episodes. Thanks to all the listeners & all the people who gave us feedback on our first two shows!
  • The email has changed.  To send feedback, comments or anything about the show, shoot me an email at ryan@handgunradio.com

Discussion: The Importance of Awareness & The Determined Mindset

  • This may not be totally related to handguns, but it is an important consideration for those who are going to or have obtained their Concealed Carry license.
  • Recently, a college student in Boston was abducted, brought to several ATM’s in broad daylight, then taken to a secluded area and murdered.
  • She did not have the means to protect herself, as carrying firearms in Massachusetts is severely restricted.  You need a FOID card just to purchase Pepper Spray & Mace.
  • Having the mindset that you are going to fight your abductor until you escape is KEY when facing this situation, especially when unarmed.
  • Statistics have said that during an abduction, if you are taken away from the original area where the attack began, your chances of survival drop to less than 10%.
  • Given this statistic, you need to FIGHT! From the very beginning, do not let up, do not give in.  You have the capability to incapacitate someone long enough to get away. Don’t give them any slack; they won’t give you any.
  • The long-held advice saying “give them what they want” did not seem to help the case in Boston.
  • I am not a trainer, nor am I pretending to be. I am just an observer who is giving his opinion that the greatest way to survive an attack/abduction is to have that determined mindset of “I will fight until I can no longer”

Main Topic: Reloading Handgun Cartridges

Reloading Basics:

  • Reloading is a fun and rewarding hobby that can greatly improve the time you get to spend shooting. It is also a potentially dangerous activity that requires your full, undivided attention.
  • Safety when reloading is #1! Follow ALL reloading recipes to the letter using a reputable reloading manual produced by one of the powder or bullet companies. Do not smoke while reloading. Do not reload when you are under the influence.
  • One of the best ways to get started reloading is to purchase one of the pre-packaged reloading kits that will contain all of the things you need to begin reloading except for your components, reloading dies, and loading manual.
  • If you are just beginning your reloading hobby, take it slow. DON’T go for redline maximum loads right off. Try to find someone who has reloading experience who you trust to help you when getting started.


  • Standard cartridge cases are typically made out of brass. You will see some budget-priced ammunition loaded with steel or aluminum cases, but these are typically non-reloadable.
  • The brass case is put through a sizing die when reloading to bring the spent case back to the factory dimensions for whatever caliber you may be loading. When a cartridge is fired, the brass case swells to the dimensions of that particular firearm’s chamber. Some chambers may vary in dimensions. By bringing the cases back to a uniform size standard, you ensure that the reloaded round will fit in all guns of that caliber.
  • Brass cases can be reloaded many times, so while they may be expensive (if you have to buy them, that is) they are reusable. (I have some .38 Special I’ve loaded with light target charges and I’ve reused the cases 8 or so times so far.)
  • Pay attention to the case mouth area, watching for any cracks forming in the brass.
  • When using redline magnum loads, also look around the case head area (bottom of the cartridge, just above the rim) for a shiny ring around the diameter.  This can indicate stretching and a possible case head separation.


  • Bullets come in many different shapes and weights. The weights are measured in grains and the appropriate grains for any given caliber will be found in a reloading manual.
  • There are several different types of bullets, from Copper Jacketed, to Semi-Jacketed Lead, to Plated Lead and finally hard cast lead bullets.
  • For economy sake, plated lead bullets and hard cast lead bullets are best for practice.
  • When you need performance, a jacketed or semi-jacketed bullet will probably suit your needs.
  • Some great bullets for economical plinking and target shooting are cast lead wadcutters (a soup can shaped bullet with or without a hollow base) or a semi-wadcutter bullet (Shaped like an upside-down clay plant pot).
  • DO NOT substitute bullets intended for a different caliber unless it says you can do so in the reloading manual (i.e, don’t use 9mm bullets (.355” dia.) in a .38 or .357 Magnum load (.358” dia.). NEVER change recipes from the reloading manual.

Smokeless Powders:

I’m only going to talk about the powders that I have had experience with, as I don’t want to give any incorrect information.

  • IMR Trail Boss: By far this is my favorite powder.  I measure my powder using a Lee Dipper set and a properly calibrated scale.  Using Trail Boss is great, especially for the beginning shooter because it is very difficult to double-charge a case without it being very obvious that something isn’t right.  Trail Boss was designed for large volume revolver cartridges used in Cowboy Action Shooting.  With the light loads used in that sport, very small charges of dense powder would not fill the case and you had powder position issues.  Trail Boss is a very bulky powder and helps to mitigate these position issues and offers uniform ignition.
  • HP-38: This is my go to powder for 9mm Parabellum and .32 ACP. I have used it in .38 Special also and it performs well in that role too.  A flake powder, HP-38 is very clean burning and doesn’t need very large charges of powder to get the desired performance.
  • 2400: Formerly known as HERC 2400, this powder is one of the original Magnum pistol powders.  I use this powder when reloading really hot .357 Magnum loads.  2400 is not as sensitive as other Magnum powders such as H110, and you get good performance out of this powder for that purpose.
  • H110: This is the powder that shows the true potential of the .357 Magnum cartridge, along with .44 Magnum and others.  H110 is definitely not a beginners powder, as the margin between maximum and minimum loads is quite small.  H110 also does not like to be loaded down any more than 10% below the minimum charge; it requires a certain operating pressure to burn cleanly and efficiently.


  • Primers come in two sizes: Small Pistol Primers and Large Pistol Primers. They also come in two varieties: Small Pistol Magnum Primers and Large Pistol Magnum Primers.
  • The difference between standard and magnum pistol primers is the “brisance”, or force and power the primer exerts when it is set off.
  • Only use magnum primers if it is specified in the reloading manual.

Final Tips:

  • Using Berry’s Plated Bullets for .357/.38 and Trail Boss powder, you can reload light target ammunition to use for plinking.
  • MTM Case-Gard cartridge boxes are very useful when storing your reloaded ammunition.
  • There are many great kit manufacturers out there for getting your reloading hobby set-up. I have been using a Lee Classic Kit for the past three years and have encountered no problems with it.



  • Thank you to everyone who checked out the show in its first week!
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  • Questions or Comments? Email us at ryan@handgunradio.com

Thank You and Safe Shooting!!!!