Handgun Radio 201 - Commercial 1911 Production History with Daniel Watters

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 discuss the Commercial history of the 1911 pistol with Daniel Watters!!!

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Week in Review:

Ryan: Cpl. Cole & Manhunt

Daniel:  Not Much

Weerd: Traveling,   Two weeks ago I was in Maine, last week I was in Vegas and Arizona with My wife for her Birthday,  next weekend I’ll be in Dallas for the NRA Annual Meeting where I hope to see many listeners there!

Drink Segment: The last week has been a boon for drinking,  so I’ll be talking about that for the next few shows.

I think I’ll start out with the fact that I had one of my Holy Grail Cocktails for the first time While in Vegas.

It’s the Aviation which is a pre-prohibition cocktail and it’s in the Savoy Cocktail book which is the craft cocktail bible

So the reason why I have never had one before is the recipe is

2oz Gin

3/4oz Lemon Juice

1/2oz Luxardo

1/4oz Creme De Violette


Creme De Violette is something I cannot find anywhere I look.


But the Bartender asked if he could make one his way.  That’s:

2oz Gin

1oz Lemon Juice

1/2oz Luxardo

1/4oz Chambord

So not only is Chambord VERY common (it’s a raspberry liqueur modeled after one made in france, but the stuff you can find here is 100% American made)   and its reasonable.

So get this,  you can make this AMAZING cocktail in your home for short money!  So while some of these legends I’m giving the recipe for uses odd or expensive ingredients.   This is not.

I’m using New Amsterdam gin which is about $9 for a fifth in New England,  Get a lemon, or just buy one of those plastic lemons, Luxardo used to be rare, but now any reasonably stocked liquor store has it for a reasonable price.   And remember you’re only going to it in small increments, same with the Chambord, buy the small bottle, it’ll last.h

Main Topic:  The M1911 Extravaganza

1911 - Colt M1910 trials model officially adopted as the M1911 (March 29); First order received (April 21)


1912 - First production M1911 delivered to the US Army (January); Colt Government Model commercially introduced; Springfield Armory (MA) begins tooling up to produce M1911 under license. (December) Under the terms of the license agreement, the government must first acquire 50,000 pistols from Colt. Afterwards, Springfield has the right to build one pistol for every two acquired from Colt with a royalty of $2 per pistol.


1914 - Springfield Armory begins production of parts and complete pistols


1914 to 1917 – Limited commercial sales of M1911 via the NRA


1917 - US military contracts to Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co. (December)


1918 - Additional US military contracts to North American Arms Co. Ltd. (July), A.J. Savage Munitions Company, Winchester Repeating Arms, Caron Brothers Manufacturing, Burroughs Adding Machine Company, Lanston Monotype Machine Company, Savage Arms Company, and National Cash Register Company. Most do not begin production or make deliveries before war ends; 169,164 issue M1911 reported lost, destroyed, or missing.


1919 - Production of US military M1911 ends at Colt and Remington-UMC


1924 - M1911A1 enters production


1929 - Colt Super .38


1931 - Colt Ace


1932 - Colt National Match


1934 - Colt Super Match


1935 - Colt Service Model Ace; Adjustable rear sight introduced for National Match


1937 - Colt introduces the Swartz firing-pin safety (October)


1938 - Colt Conversion Unit .45 ACP - .22 LR and Conversion Unit .22 LR-.45 ACP


1940 - Singer (April) and Harrington & Richardson receive educational contracts


1941 - Singer completes contract


1942 - Production of civilian Colt models cease; US military contracts let to Remington Rand (March), Union Switch & Signal (May), and Gun Company, Inc. (December)


1945 - Production of US military M1911A1 ends; Final production of Colt Service Model Ace


1946 - Production of Colt Government Models resumes


1947 - Final production of Colt Ace


1950 - Colt “Zephyr” Commander


1951 – First offering of 9x19mm in Colt Commander


1954 to 1968 - Renewed military interest results in official service-built National Match pistols. This results in a major increase in technical expertise and the production of match grade parts.


1957 - Colt National Match Gold Cup


1960 - Colt Gold Cup National Match Mid-Range


1963 – Colt Mark III Gold Cup National Match Mid-Range

1969 - Colt M1969


1971 - Colt Combat Commander; Colt Mk IV Series 70 introduced in Government Model and Gold Cup


1972 - Colt Government Model cataloged in 9x19mm


1974 - First press mention of Detonics


1976 - Detonics Combat Master enters production


1977 - AMT Hardballer; Essex Arms Corp.


1978 - Colt Service Ace reintroduced; M-S Safari; Crown City Arms


1979 -Vega; AMT Hardballer Long Slide


1980 – Coonan


1981 - ODI Viking; AMT Skipper; M-S Safari line expands; Michigan Armament


1982 – Auto-Ordnance; Randall; Arminex Trifire; .451 Detonics Magnum; North American Mfg. Win Mag


1983 - Colt Mk IV Series 80; Colt Combat Grade; Detonics Scoremaster; Caspian Arms; LAR Grizzly (originally North American Mfg. Win Mag)


1984 - Randall Curtis E. LeMay 4-Star and left-hand models


1985 - Colt introduces the Officers ACP and an all-stainless steel Government Model; Springfield Armory (IL) imports rebranded pistols from IMBEL (Fabrica de Itajuba) of Brazil; Coonan Model B; Pachmayr Dominator


1986 - Colt Combat Elite; Detonics Servicemaster; Springfield Armory OACP-clone teased; Falcon Portsider


1987 - Colt Delta Elite; Springfield Armory Omega; Olympic Arms buys M-S Safari; LAR Grizzly longslides


1988 - Colt finally stops using the collet bushing; Para-Ordnance frame kits; Springfield Armory Defender and Combat Commander; Detonics Janus Scoremaster; Olympic Arms reintroduces the Safari Arms Enforcer and Matchmaster; Auto-Ordnance ZG51; Federal Ordnance Ranger


1989 – Colt Double Eagle and stainless Delta Elite; Springfield Armory Compact; iAi Javelina; Auto-Ordnance Pit Bull


1990 – Springfield Armory '90s Edition; Para-Ordnance introduces P14.45, P13.45, and P12.45. They also tease a P16.10; Norinco; New Detonics resumes production; iAi Javelina Longslide and Skipper


1991 - Colt introduces the economy-grade M1991A1 and Double Eagle OACP; Springfield Armory Omega Match. Linkless, and Defender PDP; Federal Ordnance Ranger Alpha and Ranger Supercomp; Peters-Stahl PSP-07; LAR Grizzly Mark IV


1992 - Caspian widebody; CMC widebody; Colt Enhanced series; Springfield Armory Commander renamed the Champion. Springfield also introduces Factory Comp variants and catalogs Custom Shop pistols like the Custom Carry; McMillan Gunworks Wolverine; Rocky Mountain Arms


1993 – Colt introduces M1991A1 Commander and Compact variants; TRI turns into STI, production starts of complete pistols (August); Para-Ordnance begins production of P16.40 (September); Springfield Armory High Capacity series; Baer Custom; Safari Arms Crest and Carrycomp series; Coonan Compact; LAR Grizzly Mark V


1994 – SVI; Mitchell Arms; Bul Ltd of Israel attempts to market its widebody frame via Springfield Inc. (XM4); Coonan Classic


1995 - Kimber; Springfield Armory Ultra Compact and V-series; Norinco importation banned; Bul Ltd. M5; Mitchell Arms Alpha; Brolin; Ithaca 50th Anniversary pistol


1996 – Colt stainless M1991A1 and Combat Target; Wilson Combat M1996A2; GAL; Armscor


1997 – Colt introduces the 9x23mm Winchester; Para-Ordnance P10; Springfield Armory Super Tuned; Kimber introduces pistols using the Bul Ltd. M5 frame; Craig Ltd. Fantom; Entreprise Arms; Briley; Nowlin; Griffon; Armalite teases a M1911-style pistol


1998 – Colt introduces the Defender and CCO; Kimber Compact; Springfield Armory TRP; Rock River Arms; Valtro M1998A1; Para-Ordnance Limited-series; Charles Daly; AMT Commando and Accelerator; Brolin buys out Mitchell Arms; Coonan teases .41 Magnum model; Firearms International M5000; High Standard announces plans to make M1911-style pistols


1999 – Colt introduces the XS-series but later discontinues the M1991A1 series; Kimber Ultra Carry; Para-Ordnance LDA; Kahr buys Auto-Ordnance; Galena Industries buys AMT; SAM; LAR drops the Grizzly; IAI GAL M6000 and M7000


2000 – Colt replaces the XS-series with the XSE-series; Kimber CDP; Springfield Armory Loaded-series; Baer Monolith; Dan Wesson Pointman; High Standard introduces the Crusader and teases a resurrection of the Randall as well as the Pauza P51; Peters-Stahl High Capacity


2001 – Colt introduces M1911A1 reproduction; Kimber Series II; Springfield Armory Operator and ILS; Wilson Combat KZ45; Baer Comanche; Ed Brown; Para-Ordnance introduces single-stack pistols; Casull Arms; Century Arms Blue Thunder; Pacific Armament Corp.


2002 – Colt introduces the Defender Plus and reintroduces the Series 70; Springfield Armory Micro Compact; Dan Wesson Patriot; EAA announces importation of Bul Ltd pistols; DPMS teases a M1911 pistol


2003 – Colt introduces the Gunsite pistols, the Special Combat, and a M1911 reproduction; Smith & Wesson SW1911; Nighthawk Custom; STI introduces single-stack pistols; Lone Star Armament displays at SHOT Show and is bought out by STI later that year; KBI announces a new line of pistols based on the Bul Ltd. M5; Mitchell Arms teases new M1911 pistols; Bond Arms teases a M1911 chambered in .450 Auto Bond


2004 – SIGARMS GSR; Detonics USA; Guncraft Industries Model 1; Uselton Arms; Para-Ordnance Power Extractor; The Crusader Group absorbs AMT and High Standard


2005 – Rock Island Armory; Taurus PT1911; USFA M1910 and M1911; Iver Johnson; Springfield Armory teases the new Defender sized around the .45 GAP


2007 – Colt Concealed Carry; Springfield EMP; STI Spartan; Hogue Avenger; Firestorm


2008 – Colt reintroduces the Delta Elite. The New Agent replaces the Concealed Carry; Double Star; Tisas


2009 – Colt Rail Gun and Combat Elite; Dan Wesson CCO; Guncrafter Industries Model 2 and American; Legacy Sports International Citadel; American Classic; EMF Hartford


2010 – Magnum Research DE1911; Guncrafter Industries Model 3; Ithaca; Cimarron M1911; Girson MC1911; Interstate Arms Corp. Regent; KBI/Charles Daly goes out of business; CO Arms


2011 – Ruger SR1911; Colt New Agent DAO; Springfield Armory Range Officer; Remington 1911R1, .22 TCM; Cylinder & Slide; Turnbull Manufacturing; Taylor's & Co.; ATI FX1911; Christensen Arms


2012 - Cabot; RRA Poly


2015 – CZ; AT FXH


2016 - Inland Manufacturing




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HGR 078 - Gas-Operated & Gas Delayed

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 gas-operated handguns and gas-delayed handguns!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week in Review:



Kahr Gen 2

Mousegun Chart

Main Topic: Gas Operated & Gas Delayed

One of the many operating systems and locking systems out there is Gas Operation and Gas Delayed blowback. We are used to the traditional straight blowback system or the standard Browning Tilt-Lock system.


AR, AK & FAL “Pistols”:

Desert Eagle:

Wildey Pistol:

Gas-Delayed Locking:

Walther CCP:

H&K P7:

Steyr GB:

Wilson Combat ADP/Heritage Stealth:

Vector CP1


Until next week, have fun and SAFE SHOOTING!

HGR 026 - Awesome Movie Handguns

HGR 026 - Awesome Movie Handguns

Ryan and guest Shawn from the WeLikeShooting.com and the We Like Shooting show discuss some of the cool handguns and favorite handguns from the movies. We had a pretty somber topic last show so this is just a fun, free-wheeling episode!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Brownells helps make this show possible. Selection, service, satisfaction. Find it all at Brownells. Please visit www.handgunradio.com/brownells

Week in Review:


  • Picked up a nice Triple-K holster and some .451” roundballs for the .44 1851 Pietta Colt Navy at Cabela’s today! Finally I can get some shooting in, unless the temperature continues to stay below zero as it has been all week.
  • Saw some really cool handguns and rifles at the Cabelas gun gallery in Scarbourough, ME during our trip.  I got to handle a beautiful Remington Model 8 (I don’t know why I really like that rifle, but I do.) and also looked at some beautiful Colt and S&W revolvers that they had for sale.  Most were in somewhat obsolete or hard-to-find calibers such as .32 S&W or .38 S&W. There were a few vintage Steyr pistols and some odd looking Olympic target pistols chambered in .22 Short.  It is interesting to see what sorts of grips they put on some of those competition target pistols.
  • I am REALLY excited about the new Remington R-51 semi-automatic 9mm pistol.  I think the gun is really pretty revolutionary as it takes an old design concept that hasn’t been used in a very long time and revamps it for today’s marketplace.  The pistol uses a locking system designed by John Pederson and used by the Remington Model 51 pistol that was produced between 1918 and 1927 and was chambered in .32 ACP or .380 ACP.  The locking system allows for a fixed barrel like in a blowback pistol, but using a large, service size caliber that often just isn’t feasible in a blowback locking system.  I have fired the old Remington Model 51 and it is a very VERY fine handgun, and I cannot wait to see what Remington has done to update the design. Now if I could just convince Colt to make the Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless again……


  • New Glock
  • Reloading Mania

Main Topic: Awesome Movie Handguns

Ryan’s Picks:

1.) L.A. Confidential:

-Colt Detective Special

-S&W Combat Masterpiece (Model 15)

-Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless

2.) Heat:

-Colt M1991A1 Series 80 Officers Model

-Star Megastar

3.)Sin City:

-Beretta 93R “Auto 9”

-Ruger Blackhawk .44 Magnum

4.)Beverly Hills Cop:

-Browning Hi-Power

-S&W Model 19 Snub 2.5” barrel

-S&W Model 629 Mag-Na-Ported

Shawn’s Picks:

  1. Die Hard
    • Beretta 92F
    • Walther PPK
  2. Cop Out
    • Sig-Sauer P226
    • Ruger GP100
    • Beretta 92FS
  3. Idiocracy
    • M1911A1
  4. The Avengers
    • Smith & Wesson M&P9
  5. Total Recall (2012)
  6. Cobra
    • Jatimatic SMG
    • Colt Gold Cup National Match 1911 in 9mm


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Until next week, have fun and SAFE SHOOTING!!!

HGR 024 - Miami Vice Quickdraw & Listener E-Mail

HGR 024 - Miami Vice Quickdraw & Listener E-Mail

In this eve of Christmas Eve episode, Ryan discusses the quickdraw used on the Miami Vice episode “The Hit List” and also reads over some listener e-mails!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Brownells helps make this show possible. Service, Selection, Satisfaction. Find it all at Brownells. Please visit www.handgunradio.com/brownells

Week in Review:

  • Finished up all my Christmas shopping! (Waited until the last minute as usual.) Noticed that a lot of things at the outdoor retailer/shooting stores like Cabela’s were out of stock and backordered.  I would take this to be a good thing as it makes me think that a great deal of people have gotten involved in the shooting sports over the last year.  Don’t discount firearms books and training books when you are using those gift cards after the holidays. A book may seem like a boring purchase compared to some ammo or reloading supplies, but it can impart a great deal of knowledge to the reader and enable them to be a better shooter.  One of the greatest gifts is knowledge.
  • Unfortunately, famed AK47 designer Mikhail Kalashnikov passed away today at the age of 94.  His timeless addition to the world of small-arms will always be known as a groundbreaking rifle, both in terms of proliferation and reliability.  In one of the biographies I read about him, it was said that over half of the AK-47 rifles currently in circulation are unlicensed copies and that Kalashnikov did not make any significant financial gains for designing the rifle; it is said he did it simply because he wanted to give back to his country.
  • I am excited to see that Ruger is releasing the LCRx which is the standard Ruger LCR but with an exposed hammer.  I have always liked the design of the LCR, but I really prefer to have a hammer on my revolvers.  The LCRx now offers this and I will definitely try to take a look at & shoot one.

Main Topic: The Miami Vice Quickdraw and Listener E-Mails

This weeks main topic may be shorter than the usual but even though its just before Christmas. I still wanted to put something out so while you are laying in your recliner digesting your holiday meal, you can still get your weekly dose of handgunning talk!

Even though I was not old enough to watch the show on its original run, Miami Vice is still a classic, and is more accessible than ever thanks to Netflix streaming.  Miami Vice was always known for its attention to firearms (the director was Michael Mann, who was a known “gun guy” and attended Jeff Cooper’s Gunsite.) Many people remember the gun that Sonny Crockett carried during the first season, the ill-fated Bren Ten.  The Bren Ten was a large, semi-automatic handgun that chambered the then brand new 10mm cartridge. While the Bren Ten didn’t last too long on the show, one scene was forever burned into our memories; the quick draw “Mozambique Drill” done by Jim Zubiena in the episode “The Hit List”. In the scene, Zubiena is a hitman posing as a limo driver.  After assassinating the targets with a few well-placed shotgun blasts, the hit man is confronted by a bodyguard.  Faking surrender, the hitman raises his hands up, and then quickly draws from the appendix position and fires three rounds in under two seconds.

Analysis of the scene:

  • There is a video online from the people who produce PACT timers that shows the video clip and times how long it took the hitman to fire three shots.  The timer came up with 1.38 seconds. In the soundtrack on the TV show, it only sounds like two shots, but if you watch the muzzle flashes it is three shots.
  • People ask why he clears the gun and sets it on the dead man’s chest as he walks away.  Jim Zubiena explained that “this was in the days before really good forensics and he cleared the gun so it couldn’t be used against him by anyone else.  He also noted that once he put the gun down and started walking away, he could have been anyone; a guest or an employee etc.  It separated him from the action.
  • The video clip goes to show you how quickly a threat can attack.  If you are ever staring down a threat, this video is a great example as to why that threat should have your undivided attention.
  • The gun used in the scene is a 1911 pattern pistol, which has a manual safety.  I have seen people online attempt this draw, except with a Glock.  I personally would not feel comfortable doing this, as appendix carry does position the gun over some rather important arteries and vital organs.

Listener E-Mails:

  • From Brendan: I really enjoyed how you explained the differences between the blowback system and the locked breech systems in auto pistols.  There is one system you haven’t touched, the rotating barrel system found in the Px4 Storm. Are there some benefits in using this unique system? Why hasn’t it been implemented in other auto pistols? What are some of the drawbacks?
  • Many older pistols, the Mexican 1911 Obregon, Steyr Hahn M1912 and others used rotating barrels.
  • Barrel moves along one axis, doesn’t tilt. Better accuracy?
  • Could be more sensitive to ammunition? Video on Forgotten Weapons.
  • Pretty simple, uses spiral groove around the chamber that rides a corresponding lug that rotates the barrel to unlock it.
  • From James: I really enjoy your show, especially how you like and discuss revolvers. Have you thought about doing a show on Cowboy Action Shooting? Basically discuss some of the Single Action revolvers that can be used, by Ruger, Cimmaron, Uberti, etc and compare their price & quality?

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Until next week, have fun, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and SAFE SHOOTING!!!

HGR 023 - Handgunners Christmas Gift Guide

HGR 023 - Handgunners Christmas Guide

In this episode, Ryan discusses some possible gifts you can buy for that special handgunner in your life!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Brownells helps make this show possible. Selection, service, satisfaction.  Find it all at Brownells.  Please visit www.handgunradio.com/brownells for all your handgunning needs!

Week in Review:

  • FINALLY found some primers and did some reloading this weekend! It was mighty cold (12 degrees Fahrenheit!) but it was fun to get behind the reloading bench again.  Loaded up 200 .38 Special rounds with a 148 grain plate Hollow based wadcutter from Berry’s Bullets.  They make a quality product and I use a lot of their bullets in my handloads. I typically load the plated bullets using lead bullet load data and I usually have great success with these bullets in 9mm Parabellum (115 grn) and in .38/.357.  You can’t drive them as fast as jacketed bullets in the .357 Magnum, as you could encounter seperation of the plating material from the bullet itself. Plating is NOT a jacket in the traditional sense.
  • I got some time to pull apart my 3 S&W revolvers (19, 66, 60) and really give them a thorough scrubbing. It really is amazing how all the parts inside the gun function in concert with one another and accomplish the goal of firing the weapon. I now remember why I dreaded taking my S&W’s apart: the rebound spring & slide.  Getting the rebound spring and slide out of the gun is fairly easy, but putting it back in the gun can be quite a chore.  I suffered a nasty cut from a screwdriver putting back in the rebound spring on my Model 66.  Brownells makes a Rebound Spring & Slide tool that is properly bent and slotted to allow you to work on your S&W revolver and put the rebound spring and slide back in place fairly easily.  A screwdriver is not the most ideal method of putting the spring back in place.
  • I discussed shooting shot loads out of the Pietta 1851 Navy Colt reproduction last episode.  Using #6 shot, I was able to load and fire the charge but it was not very accurate or powerful at all.  I have had much better success with the factory made shot capsules that you can buy from Speer/CCI.  I purchased some gun club target loads with #8 shot in those so I may try those next as I can get more shot in the chamber, but given the reduced mass of the #8 shot I don’t foresee it being any more successful. Also you need to find a sealant like bore butter or some people use Crisco, as the shot charge won’t be held in the chamber by the lubrication wad like a roundball will and will simply fall out if the gun is pointed downward.
  • Speaking of the S&W revolver disassembly project, I created a video overview of how to disassemble your Smith & Wesson revolver along with some tips and tricks to aid you in doing so.  It should be posted as a blog post over at the Firearms Insider very soon so be sure to go check it out! I will post a link to it on the Handgun Radio FaceBook Page.

Main Topic: Handgunners Christmas Guide

  • One of the really useful products for the handgunner who is a reloader is the Lee Hand Prime XR tool. This tool uses a square primer tray and a caliber-specific shellholder system to allow you to prime cartridge cases by hand without needing to be at your reloading bench.  Many people prime using the press mounted priming tool but some people, like me, choose to use the hand priming tool while sitting watching T.V. or listening to the radio. The hand priming tool works really well and also allows for more precise seating of primers than using the press mounted tools.
  • Another great product for the reloader is the   Lee Powder Scoop Kit The Powder scoop kit allows you to measure out powder while reloading using the Lee Powder measure card, which shows how much powder each size scoop will throw.  It can be very useful when reloading with a powder that doesn’t flow well while using a measure.
  • Two great books for the gunny in your life are the Greatest Handguns of the World Vol 1 & 2 by Massad Ayoob. These are some of the greatest books I have read regarding classic handguns.
  • HKS Speedloaders & Safariland Speedloaders! Safariland SpeedloadersHKS Speedloaders
  • Steel Targets make shooting more fun! MGM Steel Targets
  • Reloading For Handgunners by Patrick Sweeney is a great resource for insights and advice when reloading pistol cartridges.
  • Cartridges of the World is a really awesome way to discover the history behind your favorite cartridges, as well as learn about the more weird and uncommon cartridges that are out there.  It is a really good coffee table book or just general interest reading as well as a great reference book.

Brownells helps make this show possible! Many of the items discussed on today’s episode can be found over at Brownells so if you plan to do some holiday shopping for the shooter in your life, remember to use our affiliate link www.handgunradio.com/brownells to help support the show!


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Until next week, have fun, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and SAFE SHOOTING!

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

Brownells helps make this show possible. Selection, service, satisfaction. Find it all at Brownells. Please visit www.handgunradio.com/brownells

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.

Brownells helps make this show possible. Selection, service, satisfaction. Find it all at Brownells. Visit www.handgunradio.com/brownells. The holidays are soon approaching. Buy those handgun parts for your gun guy or girl!


  • Be sure to like us over on Facebook!!!
  • There are many great shows on the Firearms Radio Network. One of those shows is Gun Girl Radio! Go check out the great content that Randi Rogers and Julie Golob talk about regarding competition, gear guns and more!
  • Be sure to leave a review of the show on iTunes!!!
  • www.revo-nation.com    a great forum for everything revolver

HGR 021 - Keeping Things Clean

HGR 021 - Keeping Things Clean

This week Ryan discusses some of the tips, tricks and cautionary tales that can come into play when you are cleaning your handguns.

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Brownells helps make this show possible. Selection, service, satisfaction. Find it all at Brownells. Please visit www.handgunradio.com/brownells

Week in Review:

  • Had a great time with the Handgun Radio Listener Roundtable last week! It was really great to get to speak with some of the people who listen and get some of their points of view on the show.  I will definitely be having more interview and roundtable-style shows on Handgun Radio in the near future.
  • Been testing an 1851 Pietta Colt Navy .44 caliber blackpowder revolver.  This was my first experience with blackpowder and I can tell you that it makes one very appreciative of metallic cartridge design.  The loading of the cylinder on the blackpowder revolver is very time consuming. You have to start off with a measured charge of powder, an over-powder felt wad, a soft lead ball .451” in diameter.  You then ram that in with the underbarrel rammer, and finally place some sort of blackpowder lubricant over the charged chamber. You then  have to do that to the remaining four chambers, leaving one unloaded for safety. I can see why the development of the metallic cartridge was such a huge step forward. Using these pieces of history really gives you an appreciation for how far firearms have come.
  • A few episodes ago I told listeners to send in their votes for favorite wheelguns. Here were some of those emails.
    • Kevin- Colt Python (8” polished ultimate stainless, 6” blued model)
    • Brian- S&W Model 586 (8” Silhouette Model & 4” Duty model.)

It seems like the longer barrel models of revolvers have gotten a lot more popular.  I used to think that the longer barreled models didn’t have much of a following because of the practicality of the longer barrel. The Colt Python seems to be a favorite, as does the Model 586 and 686. The 586 and 686 are built on the larger L-frame in the S&W line, this is one step up in size from the K-frames.  All are high-quality, classic revolvers. The K-frame magnums seem to fit my hands better than the L-frames.

Main Topic: Keeping Things Clean:

For some people, cleaning guns is a zen-like thing. They get prepared, get into the zone and get to cleaning. For others, cleaning guns is like pulling teeth, and it cannot be finished fast enough. There are some things you can do to not only make your cleaning time shorter and more efficient, but also ensure that you don’t run into any problems with your firearm when you’re carrying it.

1.) If you have trouble remembering how things go together, take pictures of the gun during each step of disassembly- Sometimes, small parts can be dislodged during disassembly, or you may not remember which way the part goes in relation to something else. Having schematics, or better yet, photographs of your gun while assembled will give you something to follow as a guide.

2.) Keep track of all small parts, screws and springs: You may think that small screw is easily replaced or that spring you lost can be found anywhere. You could be wrong. Some of the smallest parts for obscure or old guns can be extremely expensive.  If I am completely taking apart a firearm with many small parts, I will put these parts in small ziploc bags and label them with a sharpie marker as to where they belong. Take for example the magazines for my Colt 1903 .32 ACP. You would think a simple piece of metal and a spring wouldn’t cost much, but the originals can cost upwards of $150!

3.) Lubrication is your friend….until you use too much of it or the wrong kind: It seems that when it comes to lubrication, people default to the old adage of “if a little is good, more must be better.” This can be the cause of many firearms problems. I remember a fellow I used to work with. He said he had an old Smith & Wesson revolver that wasn’t working right and he wanted me to look at it because he knew I had worked on S&W’s in the past. He said he was having light primer strikes and the trigger pull was really heavy. He brought the gun to me in a ziploc bag that was coated with WD-40 on the inside. I checked to make sure the gun was unloaded, which required considerable effort since the cylinder seemed to hang up as I swung it out to the side.  I pushed the cylinder back into place, and pulled the trigger. I watched as the hammer fell slowly from where the sear released it.  I could actually time the hammer fall at a little more than 1 second.  I took the gun home, pulled off the sideplate and saw that he had sprayed the entire gun with WD-40 to “lubricate and protect” it, because someone who owned firearms said that was what he should do. The guy forgot to mention that in cold climates, WD-40 tends to get gunky and thick, transforming into more of a sludge.  This was causing all his malfunctions. It took me nearly an hour and a half to clean the gunk off.  If you use a liquid lube, such as Rem-Oil, use it SPARINGLY. Oil attracts dust, dirt and other particles that can render the liquid oil into a sludge which can cause problems. Low temperatures can also affect the consistency of the lubricant. If possible, use a dry lube specifically for firearms related applications.

4.) Take your grips off and clean under them, especially if they’re rubber or synthetic- Grips on handguns can trap moisture underneath, and as we all know, moisture and firearms do not get along well.  This is especially true of handguns with rubber grips on them, as these tend to wrap around and not have as many cracks or areas where accumulated moisture can escape.  Stainless steel guns can still rust, so this applies to them as well.

5.) Make sure screws are properly tightened- This is especially important on revolvers.  On the S&W revolver, there are some screws that need a particular torque on them to allow the revolver to function properly.  On the frontstrap there is usually a strain screw that applies pressure to the mainspring in order to allow the proper functioning of the gun.  If that is not screwed in far enough, the mainspring will not afford the proper tension. Another screw keeps the cylinder crane assembly in the handgun. If that is not properly tightened you can imagine what the results might be.

6.) Don’t store your gun in it’s holster- Holsters are great for carrying guns around on your belt; not so great for storing your favorite handgun.  The materials that some holsters are made out of have chemicals that they were treated with still in them.  When there is a high moisture content, these chemicals can seep out of the holster.  Store the handgun in your gun cabinet in a climate-controlled environment.

7.) Use your cleaning session to inspect the handgun for damage- Make sure you use your cleaning session to inspect for damage to your handgun.  Pay particular attention to the forcing cone on revolvers, as cracks and flame-cutting can occur there. Also look at the slide rails on semi-autos, as a lot of force is directed to these parts during firing.  Finally, pay particular attention the crown on the barrel. The crown being damaged can cause the bullet to leave the barrel irregularly and be inaccurate.

8.) After you handle your firearms, make sure that you wipe them off especially if you aren’t going to clean them immediately- The oil from your hands can leave fingerprints and marks on the gun. The oils attract dirt and moisture which can cause rusty fingerprints if not taken care of.  By wiping down your firearms with a soft cloth, you minimize the risk of having your firearms finish damaged.

9.) How do I clean the carbon fouling and nastiness off the front face of my cylinder?- I have always used the eraser from a wooden #2 pencil to clean the carbon fouling off of the front face of my cylinders.  It seems to work quite well for me!


  • Thank you to all of you who are sending in e-mails. It lets me know how you are liking the show, what I should keep and what I shouldn’t.
  • Any questions? Comments? Concerns? E-Mail me at ryan@handgunradio.com
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  • Leave Handgun Radio an iTunes review! It really helps the show in the iTunes standings!
  • Be sure to go over and check out all the great content and shows on the Firearms Radio Network and the Firearms Insider! There is great new content posted there almost every day so be sure to check it out often!
  • Don’t forget to shop Brownells using our affiliate link www.handgunradio.com/brownells.  The holidays are fast approaching! Get those handgun parts and accessories for the gun person in your life from Brownells!

Until next week, have fun and SAFE SHOOTING!!!

HGR 014 - Listener FAQ's

HGR 014 - Listener FAQ’s Episode!

Ryan tackles some of the listener frequently asked questions about handguns and shooting

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Brownells helps make this show possible. Selection, Service and Satisfaction. Find it all at Brownells. Please visit handgunradio.com/brownells

Week In Review:

  • Been working on some reviews for the upcoming Firearms Insider launch on Tuesday, October 15th.  I think the listeners are really going to enjoy the whole concept of the Firearms Insider community and the extra level of interaction there is to experience.
  • Found an old .32 S&W Top-Break revolver I had started working on several years ago just as a test of my gunsmithing skills.  I polished and blued the barrel and cylinder so I may have to get back into it and do the lower grip frame sometime soon.
  • I am looking for a picatinny mount for my Ruger 10/22.  I have had some trouble finding a mount online, and I was wondering if any of the listeners had this item or knew of where I could get one.  Thanks in advance!

This will more than likely be a fairly lengthy Q&A episode, so we will skip the Half-Truth segment and head right into the main topic!

Main Topic: Listener Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

Thank you to all the listeners who wrote in with your frequently asked questions.  I hope I can answer them sufficiently!

1.) From Listener T: “Can you use a noise suppressor on a revolver? You always see them on semi-autos in the movies. Is there a way to suppress a revolver?

  • Typically no. The revolver has a small space between the front of the cylinder and the entrance to the barrel, which is called the forcing cone.  When the bullet jumps the gap from the chamber in the cylinder to the forcing cone, there is a substantial amount of gas that is vented from this small gap.  Therefore, if you put a suppressor on the end of the barrel, it will capture gas there, but the gas escaping from the barrel/cylinder gap will be just as loud as the unsuppressed shot, thereby negating the suppressor.  The only time this will work sufficiently is with the 1895 Nagant Gas Seal Revolver. The 1895 Nagant uses a camming mechanism which cams the cylinder forward before firing. The Nagant also uses a special cartridge that helps seal the barrel/cylinder gap so no gases escape.

2.) From Listener Todd: “What is the difference in the grain count of different bullets and why does it matter? What is the difference in different grades of ammunition such as match, range, hunting, etc.?”

  • The grain count of a bullet is a measurement of the bullet’s weight.  There are 7000 grains in one pound.  The measurement of 158 Grains or 170 Grains is how much that particular bullet weighs.  Typically, the length of the back end of the bullet grows as the weight increases (you can’t increase the diameter of the bullet to increase weight, and you can’t alter the nose shape either.) The weight of the bullet can have an effect on many things ballistically, such as accuracy, bullet drop, and penetration on the target. When discussing the different grades of ammunition, Match ammunition is manufactured with VERY tight tolerances, and oftentimes each round is inspected by hand to ensure quality and uniformity.  Range ammunition is your basic “Winchester White Box” stuff that is produced in quantity and is not intended for the utmost accuracy, just for practice time on the range.  Bullets are usually full-metal jacket.  Hunting grade ammunition is loaded similarly to Match ammunition, but carries a bullet specifically designed to dispatch a certain type of game.  Remington Core-Lokt bullets are a superb example of hunting ammunition.  It carries a jacketed soft point bullet that will expand on impact, killing the game quickly and humanely.

3.) From Listener Ed: “I have a Browning Hi-Power 9mm which I had stored away for 30+ years.  I carried it off duty when I was a Police Officer.  I have had it reblued and checked over by a gunsmith who advised replacing the recoil spring which is being done. Do you think carrying this handgun cocked and locked in a holster is a reasonably safe thing to do? Do you know where I can obtain spare magazines and a good holster for this model?”

  • It is pretty safe to carry the Browning cocked and locked (in fact, I wouldn’t carry it hammer down on anything except an empty chamber.) Most Brownings, especially the earlier models, are NOT drop safe.  To rectify this, you may check with Cylinder & Slide or Brownells to look for a light firing pin and a heavy firing pin spring.  This should help make the pistol more drop safe.  As for magazines, I have heard good things about Mec-Gar products and have also had good experience with Don Hume holsters for my semi-autos.  These can be found for good prices online at any number of the firearms accessories sites.

4.) From Listener Lyndon: “What is the story behind the development of the .22 Magnum? Many guns shoot both .22 LR and .22 Mag using separate cylinders. It is my understanding is that they increased the thickness of the cartridges case on the inside and decreased the diameter of the bullet by 1/1000th of an inch. This means the .22 Mag is going through a barrel designed for a larger bullet.  This may explain some of the .22 Mag’s accuracy problems. Why didn’t they increase the thickness of the case on the outside instead of the inside? This would alow the gun to shoot the correct diameter bullet. Perhaps the cylinders themselves couldn’t handle the pressure with larger chambers?”

  • The .22 WMR was introduced in 1959. Some people think that the .22 LR and the .22 Magnum are just the same cartridge case that has been lengthened, but this is not the case. The .22 Magnum was derived from the .22 Winchester Rimfire which has a bullet 0.15” greater in diameter than the .22 LR and has a thicker case wall to withstand the higher pressures.  The .22 Magnum uses bullets that are seated in the case like most centerfire rounds, and is .224 inches in diameter.  The .22 LR uses a heel-type bullet, with the case mouth holding onto a sub-caliber heel on the back of the .22 LR bullet. The diameter of the .22 LR bullet is .222 inches.  The .22 LR will fit loosely in a .22 Magnum chamber, but will split upon firing and can be dangerous.  The .22 Magnum/.22 LR convertible revolvers use a .224 inch diameter bore and rely upon the soft lead .22 LR bullet to expand or obdurate to grab the rifling, as the .222 bullet in the .22 LR is far too small for the .224 inch bore.

5.) From Listener Nick: “I hear constant discussion about what calibers and actions are best for in-home defense. What is your opinion?”

  • The calibers argument could be a whole show by itself.  I will try to dissect each question somewhat and give the best answer I can.  In terms of caliber, you must consider your living situation.  Do you live in a house with other people in it? An apartment? Over penetration of ANY handgun round you choose is going to be a significant issue.  It has been shown that even 9mm can penetrate several layers of drywall.  For home defense, look at some of the ammunition that has been produced specifically for home defense purposes, such as Federal Guard Dog. This ammunition is designed to reduce overpenetration. In terms of action, you need to consider who is using the gun and their hand size, stature, etc.  If you have a significant other who is unfamiliar with firearms but may need to use the gun, a revolver may be a good choice due to its simplicity.  If you have someone who can’t operate the heavy trigger of the revolver, something like a Glock may also be called for.  This is a decision that will be heavily based upon the intended users of the firearm, as well as your living situation.

6.) From Listener Jeff: “I am considering a smaller CCW piece in .380 ACP or .32 ACP.  I have heard you talk about the .32 ACP quite a bit. Which cartridge is best in your opinion?”

  • At one time, the .32 ACP was your only option when you wanted to get a really small, concealable pistol.  The .380 ACP was around but was not as popular a cartridge for quite some time.  You do hear me talk about the .32 ACP quite a bit, but that is because I own a Colt 1903 which I enjoy immensely.  There are better defensive rounds out there.  The .380 ACP is the minimum that most people feel comfortable carrying.  The advancements in .380 ACP ammunition in terms of hollowpoint design, velocity and performance put it well above the .32 ACP in terms of stopping power.  The majority of .32 ACP cartridges, even today, will fail to expand due to the fairly low velocity out of a small pocket pistol barrel.  If you still want to carry the .32 ACP, many people including myself recommend full-metal jacket ammunition.  The .32 ACP will need to penetrate to do its work, and the chances of expansion are slim.  Yes, there is the concern for overpenetration, but the .32 ACP is less apt to do so, given its lower velocities.  If you’re carrying .380 ACP, any of the modern hollowpoint designs should be sufficient for self-defense.

7.) From Listener Todd: “I’m interested in learning more about Bullseye Shooting. What are the basics, what types of handguns are most popular, should you try to match your handguns with respect to grips, trigger pull, etc.?”

  • A bullseye pistol match is called a 2700. Each competitor fires 270 shots, each with a POTENTIAL value of 10 points. The 270 shots are divided into three, 90 shot events: .22, Center-Fire, and .45. This originally was intended to allow the use of a .22 pistol, a .38 Special police-style handgun and a 1911 .45 Automatic.
  • I will admit, I have very little experience with this form of competition pistol shooting.  I have found a SUPERB website called Bullseye Pistol Shooting that thoroughly explains what Bullseye shooting is and all the various facets of it.

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  • Thank you to everyone who sent in Listener FAQ’s! This was a very fun episode and I can’t wait to do another one in the future.
  • Be sure to check out the reviews and the Firearms Insider community over at The Firearms Insider! Share the link with your friends!
  • Give Handgun Radio a written review on iTunes! Thank you to everyone who has done so!
  • If it wasn’t for you listeners, the show wouldn’t be where it is today! Thank you so much!

Thanks for listening and SAFE SHOOTING!