Handgun Radio 210 - A Good Bad Idea


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 talk proper firearms storage and things we thought were a bad idea, but have come around to it being a great idea!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

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Week in Review:


Always full of information

by Texas Pistolero on Jul 24, 2018

RATING: ★★★★★

🤠 one of the few podcasts that has good information and history of firearms.... every show - y’all keep it up now👍🏻

Defensive Creations Model 10

-Firearms Storage Safety - Negligence results in a tragic reminder  

-Firepits in wintertime? What do you do?

Weerd:  Busy Week,  hit the range, tested out some new ammo.   

Drink Segment: Wink and Nod Boston  Also I have Jalapenos and Everclear, so Jalapeno vodka will soon be back in my cabinet.

Main Topic: “Bad Ideas” that were actually maybe good!

-Taurus “Curve” But perhaps on a larger framed firearm. (Nod to Gun Nation Podcast)

-Full Conceal Glock

-Ruger LCR (Polymer Framed Revolvers)



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  • Leave us a review on iTunes!

  • Listen to all the great shows on the Firearms Radio Network!

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Weer’d  http://www.weerdworld.com  and Assorted Calibers Podcast: https://www.assortedcalibers.com

Until Next week, have fun & SAFE SHOOTING!


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!!!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network


Please check out the Patriot Patch Company for their awesome patches and other high quality items! Visit www.patriotpatch.co for more information! Cool artist “proof” rendition coming with the latest patch of the month patches!

Shop Amazon using our affiliate link www.firearmsradio.tv/amazon

Please help support Handgun Radio! Head over to www.firearmsradio.tv/pledge and click on HGR. There are a bunch of different pledge levels. We really appreciate it!

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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  • Weerd Beard www.weerdworld.com

  • Daniel Watters www.looserounds.com


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 027 - SHOT Show 2014 Preview & Discussion

HGR 027 - SHOT Show 2014 Preview & Discussion

This week, Ryan and guest Matt discuss some of the new products that have been announced and will be introduced at this years SHOT Show!

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:

Ryan -

  • Wrote an article over at the Firearms Insider about the new Remington R51 and where it came from. Here is the link for the article, be sure to go check it out along with all the other great content over at the Firearms Insider!
  • Been pretty busy with show stuff and preparing to help out the guys who are in Las Vegas this coming week for SHOT Show 2014! Jake and the rest of the team have a really good game plan for covering as much as absolutely possible while out there.  Each team of two has a high definition video camera to capture as much video of the new products that are going to be introduced.  Please visit www.shotshow2014.com for all the coverage by the Firearms Radio Network!
  • A friend of mine got a deal on a shrouded hammer .38 Special revolver. A close friend had the firearm and just wanted to get rid of it, as they weren’t really a gun person.  They let it go for $50.  It is a Taurus 851 with an alloy frame and a titanium cylinder. It has a shrouded hammer, which I don’t particularly care for, but otherwise looks to be a great little .38, especially for $50. It’s his first gun, so welcome to the world of being a gun owner Jeffery.
  • Matt
  • Finishing up work on my buddies 686, getting it ready for idpa/icore this year
  •           working with the 686 competitor just got
  •            working on my vcomp, fitting the new ti cyl

Main Topic: SHOT Show 2014 Preview & Discussion

This week we are just going to discuss some of the items we have seen announced for this years SHOT Show.  As we said before, Firearms Radio Network will have a lot of people on the ground for SHOT this year, getting as much footage and info as possible for you! Please visit the www.shotshow2014.com link for all the coverage!

We will just discuss these picks:

- All new S&W Revolvers!

- S&W Laser-less Bodyguard .380 ACP

- Ruger GP-100 Match Champion

- Magnum Research 1911U Sub-Compact

- Walther PPQ M1 (Limited?) & M2

- Remington R51 9mm

- Glock 42 .380 ACP

-Springfield Range Officer 1911 in 9mm

- Ruger LCRx Exposed Hammer

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

HGR 025 - Shootouts & What Can We Learn From Them?

HGR 025 - Shootouts & What Can We Learn From Them?

This week, Ryan and special guest Steve Remy from Gun Guy Radio & FRN discuss four shooting incidents and what we can learn from them.

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:

Ryan- Enjoyed Christmas with my wife & family; got some Cabela’s gift cards so will be doing a little shopping for the 1851 Navy Colt reproduction. Hopefully I can find some 3F powder for a reasonable price!

Steve- Enjoyed my Christmas week with family; received many fun gifts related to my hobbies. Received a slew of holsters from Werkz holsters and am testing and reviewing them over the next few weeks. Still in SHOT show prep mode.

Main Topic - Shootouts: What Can We Learn?

Our intention here is NOT to “armchair quarterback” these shootouts.  We are going to look at them and discuss them in a purely analytical manner.  Also, please understand that we are not trying to be casual and denigrate the tragedies that these shooting incidents were. We are trying to discuss them and see what we can take away from each of these incidents that can help us learn & be more effective whether we are a Law Enforcement Officer or an armed citizen.

I also must give a great deal of credit to Massad Ayoob & his articles in American Handgunner. Ayoob has analyzed many shootings and his critical analysis and gathering of information on these shootings allows us to have all the information we need to look at them in an analytical fashion.

Also note, there are several videos linked below. Two of the videos are reenactments of the shootouts and the other two are Dashcam and CCTV footage.  I include the links here to assist you in understanding how these incidents played out, in case you have difficulty following our discussion.  However, I will warn you that the videos are graphic at times and are very sobering.  It is not easy to see these brave LEO’s fired upon by attackers.

The Newhall Shootout (April 5th, 1970):

Police Officers:

  • 1st Car: CHP Officers Roger Gore and Walter Frago
  • 2nd Car: CHP Officers James Pence Jr. and George Alleyn
  • Perpetrators: Bobby Davis & Jack Twining (Both ex-cons, on parole)
  • The CHP Officers were armed with 12 gauge Remington 870’s and .357 Magnum revolvers, both the Colt Python and S&W Model 19.
  • The perpetrators were armed with a large assortment of weapons, including a S&W .38 Bodyguard, two .45 ACP 1911 Pistols, a 4” S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman, and a sawed off 12 gauge shotgun.
  • The ensuing shootout resulted in the deaths of all four officers, and eventually Twining, who fled and shot himself when cornered.
  • One part of the shootout that was not discussed until fairly recently was that a passing motorist, Gary Kness, stopped when he saw the shooting. Kness was unarmed, yet he ran TOWARD the gunfire, and picked up the fallen officers’ shotgun. He racked it, and pointed it at the gunman, but when the trigger was pulled, he heard a resounding “click”.  He then retrieved one of the fallen officers revolvers and fired a shot at Davis, which ricocheted off the gunmans car but still caused a chest wound on Davis.  The revolver was then empty, at which point Kness fled to cover.
  • This shooting really led to the development of new procedures for conducting a felony traffic stop.  They used the acronym “NEWHALL” (Never approach until you have control of the scene; Evaluate the offense; Wait for backup; Always maintain the advantage; Look for the unusual; and leave the scene when in doubt and move to a more advantageous position.)

Below is a link to a training film that was made that shows the Newhall Shootout as it happens.


The 1986 Miami Shootout (April 11, 1986):

FBI Agents: Total of 8. 5 were wounded, two, Jerry Dove and Ben Grogan, were killed. The agents were armed with an assortment of shotguns and pistols, including S&W Model 19 revolvers, S&W Model 686 revolvers, and S&W Model 459 9mm Semi-automatic pistols as well as Ithaca Model 37 shotguns.

Note that all of the revolvers carried by the FBI agents were loaded with .38 Special +P ammunition, even if they were chambered for .357 Magnum.

Perpetrators: William Matix (shot six times) and Michael Platt (Shot 12 times), both armed with an assortment of weapons they had stolen after murdering recreational shooters at remote gun ranges.  These weapons included a Smith & Wesson Model 3000 shotgun, a Ruger Mini-14 .223 rifle with the magazines jungle-taped together, a S&W 586 .357 Magnum and a Dan Wesson .357 Magnum revolver.

This incident led to the assertion that officers handguns had to be much more powerful, and started the development of the 10mm Auto cartridge, as well as the S&W Model 1076 pistol to go with it.  It was noted that the reload speed of a semi-automatic may have helped in the gunfight. Also, a couple agents had placed their firearms on the passenger seat before the traffic stop to allow quick access.  In the car accident that preceded the shootout, the agents lost their weapons.  One officer was then rendered unarmed, the other had a S&W Model 36 in an ankle holster as a backup gun, which he used during the gun battle.

Below is a reenactment of the gunfight from a made-for-TV movie called In the Line of Fire: The 1986 FBI Miami Shootout.


Middlefield, Ohio Shootout: In this dashcam video, a typical traffic stop is initiated, but then the subject exits the vehicle unexpectedly, armed with an AMD-65 (AK variant) and begins to open fire on the officers.  The officer in the passenger seat came up with his handgun and fired directly through his own windshield at the suspect while the female officer driving got out and engaged the suspect as well.  The female officer fires a total of 17 rounds at the suspect in quick succession before he finally succumbs.  Both officers were wounded, but survived.  This video shows the rapidity and ferocity that an attack can have, and it CAN take you off guard, even if you are in Condition Yellow


Senior Citizen Uses Pistol in Self Defense Internet Cafe:

You may have seen this video, but a patron of a internet cafe who is present for a robbery uses his concealed carry pistol in self defense.  He fires several shots at the fleeing suspects. It looks like hes using a subcompact .380 or 9mm and that place is extremely crowded.  What do you think of the situation? What can we learn from this encounter?


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Until next week, have fun, Happy New Year 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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  • Like and share our page on FaceBook with family and friends!
  • Give us a review on iTunes! It helps the show in the iTunes standings.
  • Be sure to go over and check out the God and Guns Podcast!
  • Also go check out all the great content over at the Firearms Insider!

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!


  • 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!
  • The Firearms Insider is adding new content almost daily, with reviews, blogs, and podcasts that discuss the gear, guns and tactics of interest to shooters! Be sure to go over and check out all the great content!
  • Be sure to leave a review of the show on iTunes!!!

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

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
  • Like us over on www.facebook.com/handgunradio
  • 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 020 - Listener Roundtable

HGR 020 - Listener Roundtable

In the Twentieth episode of Handgun Radio, Ryan discusses handguns and other topics in the first Listener Roundtable!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

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

Main Topic:

1.) What was your first handgun?

2.) Why did you get into guns?

3.) What has been your most memorable firearms experience?

4.) In your opinion, what is the best looking handgun ever made?

5.) In your opinion, what is the ugliest handgun ever made?

6.) What is your favorite caliber?

7.) Do you reload your own ammunition?

8.) Out of all the episodes of Handgun Radio that you have listened to, which is your favorite and why?


  • Be sure to check out all the great shows over at the Firearms Radio Network! The hosts of all the shows as well as the people working behind the scenes all work very hard each week to put out great content for your listening enjoyment! Any feedback on any part is always welcome. It is great to hear that people enjoy listening, and it is also great to hear constructive feedback which allows us to make our products better.
  • Like and Share our Facebook Page!
  • Please leave us an iTunes review if you haven’t done so. It helps me make the show better each week!
  • Don’t forget to shop Brownells using our affiliate link www.handgunradio.com/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.

Brownells helps make this show possible. The leading supplier of Firearm Accessories, Gun Parts and Gunsmithing Tools. Find it all at Brownells. Please visit handgunradio.com/brownells


  • 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!

HGR 013 - Hunting With Handguns

HGR 013 - Hunting With Handguns

This week Ryan discusses the handguns and cartridges that can be used for hunting.

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:

  • Got a chance to get some trigger time in with several firearms this weekend.  Got to shoot an MP5-SD 9mm, Ruger SR-22 .22 LR with Suppressor, Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum, Sig-Sauer 516, Sig-Sauer 556, Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm and a few others.  I have posted some videos of my shooting session this weekend and you can view them on my YouTube page.
  • I recently got a new microphone, so you may notice a difference in sound quality. Hopefully this microphone will make the speech a bit clearer for listeners.
  • If you haven’t yet done so, listen to last Thursday’s episode of the Gun Guy Radio Roundtable where Jake, Mike and the new addition to the FRN, Nikki Turpeaux discuss the upcoming Firearms Insider debuting on the 15th of October.  Many of your questions will be answered by watching or listening to the podcast. It is going to be really exciting to have the Firearms Insider Community as a part of FRN and I am really excited to be a small part of it.  Kudos to Jake and everyone else for their hard work in getting it up and running.
  • The Listener FAQ’s episode is coming right up! Be sure to get in any last minute FAQ’s to me via email! I’ve already gotten so many GREAT questions from listeners and I can’t thank you all enough!

Half-Truth Segment:

  • Back from an extended hiatus, the half-truth segment for this week involves the shooting at the U.S. Capitol this past week.
  • I have heard many talk show hosts, commentators, etc. discussing what THEY think the response by Capitol and D.C. Police should have been.  Their ideas have included shooting the tires out, ramming her with their cars to stop her, and using spike strips.
  • While their ideas have some validity in Hollywood, in real life you will RARELY, if ever see a police officer shooting out someones tires in car chase. First, if you puncture a tire at high speed, the risk of an accident is tremendous. You put other innocent lives at risk with such a maneuver.
  • Secondly, hitting small-ish objects from a moving vehicle with a handgun is not an easy task.  As we have seen demonstrated, many departments are not offering their officers the firearms training they need and typically rely on two qualifications sessions a year. The officer may not be as trained as he should and firing a weapon in a crowded area has the potential to injure others rather than the suspect.
  • The half-truth is, that the cops had another choice. These people will say they fully support the police, right up until they stop. Then they criticize.  I have but one point to make: these commentators were not the ones staring down a woman who had already shown herself to be a threat.  Whether or not she had a firearm is irrelevant.  She had already rammed a barricade. Okay, fine. But THEN she proceeded to hit two officers, and then ram her car into another police vehicle, injuring two more officers.  Lest we forget, the vehicle is a potent weapon. She was just as much of a threat as if she had stared down the officers with a loaded firearm.  She chose to initiate this series of events, not the police. Others have suggested the police shouldn’t have fired, as there was a child in the car.  My response is, how in the WORLD would the police have known there was a child in the car.  The police were just as much in the dark as the public was when the news first broke.  They made life and death decisions and they judged the threat presented to them.

Main Topic: Hunting With Handguns

This week, we will be discussing the handguns and cartridges that can be used to handgun hunt.  In order to have some organization, I have divided the categories into what size game you will be hunting, then discussing a few cartridges and guns from each category.

Category #1: Small to Smaller Medium Game:

(Ex: Rabbits, Squirrels, Fox, Coyote.)

  • In this category, the .22 LR and .22 Magnum will be the most often seen cartridges (Perhaps with the exception of coyotes.) There are other rounds, but we are talking small game hunting with a handgun and .22 LR is most prevalent.
  • The Ruger Mark Series of .22 LR handguns are very well suited to small game hunting, offering the versatility of mounting a scope or other attachment.
  • There is some difficulty with disassembly on the Mark Series of handguns, so take that into account if you are a person who does not like cleaning firearms.
  • Another attractive option is the Ruger SR-22 Pistol in .22 LR.  The Ruger SR-22 is a compact, yet accurate and reliable pistol that would be suitable for short to medium range small game hunting. The SR-22 also uses some polymer in its construction, resulting in some significant weight savings.
  • Another great small game option is the Smith & Wesson M&P .22. I have had quite a bit of experience with the M&P .22 and I believe S&W has hit a home run with this pistol.  It offers the controllability and ergonomics of the larger pistols but fires the .22 LR cartridge, making it VERY accurate and also offers provisions to mount a suppressor.
  • If you are more into revolvers, Ruger offers their SP-101 Double Action revolver in .22 LR.  I haven’t had any experience with it, but as with all Ruger products, they are typically top notch.
  • If you are more interested in the single-action variety of revolvers, Ruger offers the classic Single-Six revolver, along with their new Single-Ten revolver, holding 10 shots of .22 LR.
  • If you are pursuing small to medium game such as coyotes, then the Ruger Single-Nine may be more appropriate.  Chambered in .22 Magnum, it offers all the advantages of the Ruger Single-Action revolvers in an appropriately sized caliber.  .22 Magnum ammunition has made great strides in the past several years and has greatly improved performance.
  • Taurus also offers many great firearms in the .22 Magnum/.22 LR variety, most notably the recent introduction of the double-action Taurus Tracker in .22 LR and .22 Magnum with interchangeable cylinders.

Medium to Large Game:

(Ex. Deer, Elk)

  • With game such as Deer or smaller Elk, you want to stick with centerfire calibers of an appropriate size.  
  • In my opinion, for deer, nothing smaller than a .357 Magnum, and for Elk, nothing smaller than a .44 Magnum.  
  • In terms of auto pistol cartridges, the .40 S&W, 10mm Auto, and .45 ACP can be formidable handgun hunting cartridges, provided they are loaded properly. (i.e. with the proper bullet.)
  • From Smith & Wesson, the Model 627 in .357 Magnum would be an attractive choice for hunting where you may not be as concerned about scope mounting.  If you want to step up to the .44 Magnum, one of my top choices from the S&W lineup would be the Model 629 Stealth Hunter. It offers provisions for scope mounting.
  • Ruger also makes many great .357 Magnum & .44 Magnum revolvers, along with Taurus USA.  Be sure to check those out as well.
  • With auto pistols, I would go with a Glock 20 in 10mm Auto.  Mated with a long slide kit from Lone Wolf Distributors, it would be an attractive option for handgun hunting.  The 10mm Auto offers plenty of power for deer and smaller elk.

Dangerous Game:

(Ex. Bears)

  • I am aware that there are smaller varieties of bears, that may not require huge amounts of stopping power.  However, if I was personally dealing with bears, I would want a bit more power than I need just to be sure.
  • With larger dangerous game such as bears, penetration is the key, and expansion of the bullet is secondary.  Bears have large bones and large fat deposits that need to be broken through before the vital organs are reached. Emptying a bunch of hollowpoints that expand and stop in the bears fatty tissue will probably not deliver the quick stop you desire.
  • As discussed before, the 10mm Auto would be an attractive option for bears, especially with the long slide and barrel setup and some heavy, hard-cast bullets.
  • For me, I would pick something in the .454 Casull range.  A heavy loaded .44 Magnum might work well also.
  • In terms of .454 Casull revolvers, Freedom Arms offers some of the finest quality single action revolvers in all the major big bore revolver calibers: .500 Wyoming Express, .475 Linebaugh and others.
  • Ruger also offers their Super Redhawk in .480 Ruger and .454 Casull for those desiring a double action trigger system. Taurus also offers their family of Hunter revolvers in .454 Casull and .44 Magnum.
  • You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the .500 S&W Magnum or the .460.  The .500 may not be practical for all shooters, and the .480 and .454, while stout, may be easier controlled by a greater number of people.  The .460 is quite attractive though, and allows you the versatility of chambering not only the .460 S&W Magnum, but the .454 Casull and the .45 Colt (Long Colt).

If you’re looking for parts for your handgun or anything else to help make your handgun hunting excursion more enjoyable, Brownells helps make this show possible. The leading supplier of Firearm Accessories, Gun Parts and Gunsmithing Tools. Find it all at Brownells. Please visit handgunradio.com/brownells


  • I’m going to hold off on reading listener emails so I can save them for the FAQ’s show.
  • Please visit iTunes and leave Handgun Radio a written review.  It helps the show get noticed on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has left a review.  The feedback helps me make the show better!
  • Be sure to visit the Firearms Radio Network webpage for more great firearms related show and information.
  • If you have any feedback, please email me at ryan@handgunradio.com.
  • Don’t forget to shop Brownells using our affiliate link handgunradio.com/brownells

Thanks for listening and SAFE SHOOTING!!!!

HGR 012 - The 1911 World

HGR 012 - The 1911 World

This week, Ryan discusses some of the guns, tips, tricks and quirks of the 1911 world.

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week In Review:

  • Returned from Florida this past week, I hope you all enjoyed last week’s episode of Handgun Radio where I discussed some of the guns that I saw down there.
  • I received a comment on the Handgun Radio webpage that said I repeated myself too much on last week’s episode.  I don’t know if it was nerves (I was concerned that my poor internet connection would not let me release the show) or tiredness, but I apologize for the oversight and will try to be more cognizant of such things in the future.
  • Got the chance to handle & fire a Ruger Redhawk in .44 Magnum this past weekend.  It is what I will be using for deer hunting this year.  It is a great shooting handgun with good iron sights and a very nice trigger.  I will be using Federal .44 Magnum Jacketed Hollow Points with a weight of 240 grains. It was all I could find for .44 Magnum ammunition.
  • The Firearms Insider on the Firearms Radio Network will be going live on October 15th and will feature some great product & gear reviews that you will all enjoy for sure.  I will be contributing to the FI podcast/website as well so stay tuned for that!
  • Also, I would like to welcome the We Like Shooting podcast to the Firearms Radio Network! They have a great podcast covering all facets of the shooting world. Go check them out at the link above!

Main Topic: The 1911 World:

In this week’s main topic, we are going to be discussing some of the questions I’ve received from listeners about the 1911. The various modifications, the way the gun works, best places to get information, etc. I’ll then probably get into a few more specific reader emails that describe their experiences with the 1911 platform.

1.) Do you need a tricked out, tuned and polished 1911 to be proficient with the gun or have a reliable firearm?

  • No. The 1911 in its most basic format, was intended as a combat handgun.  It was not conceived as a target handgun. Even in its most basic iteration it can be a formidable fighting tool.
  • Yes, the sights on the original 1911 and the 1911A1’s are very small, and can be hard to see. By practicing with these small sights, one can become reasonably proficient with them.  The 1911 can have many improvements added to it, but even without them it is very usable.
  • Reliability is key in a fighting handgun. If you have a highly accurate 1911 that is so tightly fitted it cannot be counted on to function reliably, that accuracy potential may not matter. A good 1911 is properly fitted, and left loose enough to function reliably. (that is just my personal opinion, however. Others may disagree.)

2.) I’ve heard of reliability issues with the 1911 platform. Should I be concerned about these issues?

  • Yes, there have been some reports of reliability issues with the 1911. These typically stem from either bad magazines, ammunition selection or poor maintenance of the firearm.
  • Properly maintained, the 1911 is very reliable. Perhaps some of the users experiencing malfunctions are more used to the Glock style of handguns, which may not require as thorough a cleaning as often to function reliably.
  • There HAVE been some issues of the 3-inch versions of the 1911 having reliability issues. There is a video describing the issue done by Rob Pincus. Agree or disagree, it definitely offers up some food for thought.

3.) The trigger on the 1911 looks different to me than the trigger on my Sig-Sauer. Why is that?

  • The 1911 uses a different style trigger than the majority of the guns that are produced today.  The 1911 uses a sliding trigger, that moves backwards and forwards in a line parallel to the slide. Other handguns, such as the Sig-Sauer P-226, Glock 19, and Ruger P95 use a pivoting trigger, that pivots on a single axis at the top of the trigger. These two triggers systems offer a different feel, and one or the other can be preferable to some shooters.

4.) I am uncomfortable with cocked-and-locked carry or “Condition 1” with the 1911. Why is this done? Is this safe? What options are out there for someone like me not comfortable with this method of carry?

  • Condition 1 or “Cocked-and-Locked” carry is the safest method of carrying the 1911 in my opinion.
  • Condition 1 allows for a loaded round to be chambered and the hammer to be safely locked back, allowing for a fast first shot if needed.  It also helps to prevent accidental discharge.
  • On older 1911’s, there is probably no firing pin safety like you are used to on modern guns. The hammer resting against the firing pin would be unsafe if dropped. The thumb safety on older 1911’s blocks the sear from moving. Even if this thumb safety were broken, and the full cock notch on the sear were worn, the half cock notch would catch the hammer before it struck the firing pin.
  • On newer guns such as the Colt Series 80, Kimber, Smith & Wesson, Taurus and Para, a firing pin block keeps the firing pin stationary until the trigger is fully depressed.
  • In order to make your old 1911 drop safe, replace the firing pin and firing pin spring with a light titanium firing pin, with a heavy firing pin spring.  This will decrease the likelihood of a discharge with a dropped gun.
  • If you are not comfortable with the cocked-and -locked carry method, you can choose the Para LDA (Light Double Action) series of handguns, which offer all of the 1911, except the single action trigger design.  Every  trigger pull is a double action only trigger stroke.
  • You can also use the Safety Fast Shooting System from Cylinder & Slide.  This modification allows you to carry your 1911 cocked and locked, but with the hammer safely down. When you disengage the thumb safety, the hammer springs backward to full-cock, and you are ready to fire.

5.) I want to have a gunsmith customize my 1911 pistol. Do you have any advice for someone who has never worked with a gunsmith before?

  • If you are going to have a custom 1911, or any gun built or worked on by a gunsmith, choose a good one. Shop around.  The ones who do exemplary work will not be cheap, and they typically have quite a backlog. This is a good thing, as good work equals high demand which equals the backlog. There may be a reason if a gunsmith does not have a backlog. Just do your homework.
  • Bigger name gunsmiths can increase the value of your handgun, but don’t always assume that.
  • Know what you want done.  If you want a concealed carry firearm, its probably best that you don’t take your handgun to the guy who builds custom big-bore hunting revolvers.
  • Knowing what you want done will also help the gunsmith guide the project and ultimately will result in a better final product.

6.) Some E-Mails from listeners.


  • Like us over on Facebook!
  • Check out all the great shows on the Firearms Radio Network
  • Leave us a written review on iTunes! It helps the show get noticed!
  • Thank you to everyone who is sending in the Listener FAQ Questions! I can’t wait for that episode!
  • You can listen to us on Stitcher Radio as well!

Thanks for listening and SAFE SHOOTING!!

HGR 011 - Honeymoon Handguns

HGR 011 - Honeymoon Handguns

Ryan discusses some of the handguns he got the chance to see in Florida during his Honeymoon.

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week In Review:

  • Spent the past week in Florida for my Honeymoon with my wife.  Got the chance to visit some gun stores in the Central Florida and Tampa area.  I was really impressed with the stores down here and will be highlighting one of those stores for our Main Topic this week.
  • I have been getting many emails from listeners describing their experiences with the 1911 platform handguns and will be doing an episode on the various brands and models available either next week or the following week. Thank you all for your input!
  • I have also been getting many emails for the Listener Frequently Asked Questions episode I have planned for early October.  There is still time to write in! If you think of ANYTHING you have ever wondered about in the handgunning/shooting world please send me an email. I will set a deadline of Friday, October 4th for the Listener FAQ’s emails.
  • Also, I know this is not related to handguns per se, but I got the chance to handle a family friend’s AR-15 that he had built by Dragonfire Armory in Winter Haven, FL.  I was very impressed with the build quality of the rifle, and while I did not have a chance to test fire it, I have no doubts that it would function with great reliability and accuracy.  They also list many pistols for sale on their website as well.  Check them out and if you have any feedback on their products please email me at ryan@handgunradio.com

Main Topic: Honeymoon Handguns with Deer Hunter Guns

  • During our stay in Florida and at the suggestion of Braden Gunn from the Big & Wild Outdoors radio show, my wife and I visited Deer Hunter Guns in Clearwater, FL.  I have never walked into a gun shop and felt welcomed like an old friend like I did at this shop.  We walked in and were immediately asked if we would like something to drink, and the hospitality and service were first rate.  I would like to extend a special thank-you to Chuck, David & Charlie for their welcoming attitude and willingness to show me whatever handgun I wanted to look at.  That is customer service that is sadly lacking in many shops.  If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend visiting them. I’d like to discuss a few of the fine handguns I got to examine while there.

1.) Whitney Wolverine .22 LR Pistol:

  • The Whitney Wolverine was a .22 LR pistol that was manufactured in a very modern style for the time.  Introduced in 1956, it was only produced until 1958.  However, the Whitney Wolverine used many advanced manufacturing techniques that are in widespread use today.
  • Designed by Robert Hillsberg who also designed the COP .357 Magnum Derringer and many other firearms, the Whitney Wolverine utilized aluminum construction and the investment casting technique in order to produce the firearm.  
  • There were only 13,371 of the Whitney Wolverine made, with 500 being nickel plated and the rest being an anodized blue color.  
  • Hillsberg named the firearm after his favorite football team, the University of Michigan Wolverines.
  • While the gun had a space-age look and used modern manufacturing techniques, it sold for $39.95, which was slightly more expensive than the comparable Ruger .22 pistols of the time.  This ultimately contributed to the downfall of the company.
  • Today, the Olympic Arms company has resumed production of the Whitney Wolverine, using modern polymer construction and various other improvements on the design.

2.) Smith & Wesson .38/44 "Heavy Duty":

  • With the beginning of the Prohibition Era in the 1920’s, the gangsters of the period started using more powerful firearms and armored vehicles to thwart capture by law enforcement.  
  • The standard police sidearm of the time, the .38 Special revolver in it’s various iterations, was not up to the task of penetrating these armored vehicles and there was a great disparity in firepower between criminals and law enforcement.
  • S&W saw that they could not increase the power of the .38 Special round in their traditional revolvers, so they took the frame of the .44 Special Model of 1926 and fitted it with a .38 Special cylinder and barrel.  This new revolver was dubbed the .38/44 Heavy Duty. S&W also designed a new round to accompany the new revolver.
  • The new cartridge, the .38/44, was simply a .38 Special cartridge loaded hotter.  You would most likely not see something like this done today, for liability reasons. Loading a hot .38 Special into a standard revolver could be disastrous.
  • This revolver set the bar for the development of the .357 Magnum round a few years later, simply by lengthening the .38 Special case.

3.) The Bauer .25 ACP Automatic Pistol:

  • The Bauer .25 ACP was an American made copy of the Baby Browning .25 ACP pocket pistol.
  • The Bauer, unlike the Baby Browning, was made out of stainless steel rather than blued carbon steel, offering a measure of corrosion resistance for a small handgun meant to be carried concealed in a deep cover role.
  • The Bauer was manufactured in Fraser, Michigan from 1972 to 1984, and was popular with undercover police officers as a deep concealment firearm that was able to be carried discreetly.
  • Several parts from the Baby Browning can be interchanged with the Bauer .25 ACP, including the magazines.

4.) AMT Backup Semi-Automatic Pistol:

  • The AMT Backup was produced by Arcadia Machine & Tool beginning in the late 1970’s.  
  • Designed as a small and concealable backup firearm in a large service caliber, the AMT Backup was chambered in such calibers as .380 ACP, 9mm, .45 and others.
  • The AMT company had a spotty reputation for reliability, but the Backup series has a reputation as being somewhat more reliable than the other offerings from the AMT company.
  • Being made out of all stainless steel, the AMT was also somewhat of a modern handgun, as when it was introduced many firearms were still made out of standard blued steel.

Wrap Up:

  • A Few Listener Emails
  • Please be sure to visit the Firearms Radio Network’s website and check out the many great shows on the network!!!
  • Coming October 15th, the Firearms Radio Network will be starting the Firearms Insider! This will be your home for all the product tests, reviews and commentary on the new and classic products that are available in the firearms world! Stay tuned!!!
  • Thank you to everyone who has been sharing our page on Facebook and leaving written iTunes reviews! It really helps the show to get exposure and spread the word to everyone!
  • We are also on Stitcher Radio, so if you prefer to use that service, you can find us on your Android or iPhone application.

As always, Thank you for listening and SAFE SHOOTING!!!!!!!!!

HGR 010 - Handgun Design Disasters

HGR 010 - Handgun Design Disasters

Ryan discusses the handgun designs that didn’t quite make the cut

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week In Review:

  • This is Handgun Radio’s TENTH episode!!!! I just want to say a huge thank you to all the supportive listeners, and all of the people at the Firearms Radio Network.  It has truly been a wonderful experience to be able to host a radio show on a network with such fine & knowledgeable people, and I look forward to it continuing for a long time to come.
  • As mentioned in the last episode, please send in any of the questions you’ve had pertaining to the handgunning, reloading or shooting world and I will compile as many as I can into a Listener FAQ episode scheduled for sometime in October.
  • Also, thank you to the people who have emailed me listing their experiences with 1911 style pistols.  If you have any experience with the 1911 system, good or bad, please email me at ryan@handgunradio.com and let me know what you thought.  I will use many of these emails in an upcoming episode of Handgun Radio covering the 1911.
  • Next week, I will be in Florida celebrating my Honeymoon with my then-wife.  I do not anticipate any disruptions in the release of the show, and I plan to try and visit a few gunstores down there and record a “Special Report” episode from Florida.  I don’t make it out of Maine very much, so it will be interesting to see what the firearms lifestyle is down there.

Main Topic: Handgun Design Disasters

  • This week’s discussion will cover the handgun designs that weren’t quite ready for prime-time.  In the interests of fairness, I will not be covering guns that just LOOK bad, but guns that had some pretty significant design flaws that prevented their success.

1.) Nambu Type 94 Pistol:

  • Produced by Japan for WWII, production on the 8mm Nambu Type 94 started in 1934.  
  • The Type 94 was originally designed to replace the much larger and more difficult to produce Type 14 pistol that was then in use by the Japanese military.  
  • The Type 94 was widely issued to Japanese forces, and was mainly intended for
  • pilots, tank crews, and soldiers who could not have such a large pistol as the Type 14 in small confines.
  • One of the biggest design flaws of the Type 94 apart from its less-than-ergonomic design was the fact that one could press on an exposed trigger bar on the left side of the pistol and actually cause the gun to discharge without pulling the trigger.

2.) The Dardick Revolver:

  • The Dardick was an attempt to join the concepts of the revolver and semi-automatic pistol together.  
  • The Dardick had an odd external look, as it had a three-chamber cylinder with triangular shaped chambers and fed rounds from a spring loaded magazine in the grip.
  • The gun would pull rounds from the magazine and load them into the cylinder, which would then be fired and ejected out the left side.
  • Because of the design, the gun had to use special ammunition called “Trounds” which were bullets that had a plastic or aluminium case that was shaped like a triangle.
  • The Dardick Model 1100 had a ten-tround capacity magazine and fired .38 Dardick Trounds which were roughly 9mm caliber.

3.) The Schouboe Automatic Pistol:

  • The Schouboe was originally a .32 ACP pistol manufactured by the same company that produced the Madsen LMG. The original Schouboe design was a simple straight blowback, which worked well with .32 ACP.
  • The designer then went to work on the Schouboe 1907, and he wanted to do it in a .45 caliber.  The simple straight blowback design wouldn’t work with such a large cartridge, so he designed a lightweight, wooden bullet with a steel jacket and an aluminum base. The bullet weighed 55 grains.
  • The round was underpowered, and even traveling at 1625 fps it still had significant accuracy problems.

4.) The Jennings/Bryco/Jiminez Brand Pistols:

  • These pistols are pretty much functionally all the same, but just produced under different names after several legal and financial issues.
  • These companies produced guns known as “Ring of Fire” guns, as they were produced in a specific area of California.
  • These guns are made out of Zamak-3 and aluminum. The Hi-Point series of pistols also use Zamak-3 in their construction, but their quality control and casting processes are FAR superior to these firearms.
  • They are VERY inexpensive (the example I own, the Jennings J-22, I paid $60 for) but they are also prone to breakage with extended use.  I have heard of slides coming off of the gun during firing and hitting the shooter. These are also NOT drop-safe.
  • The example I have jams very often, and seldom can I make it through a full magazine without at least one jam.  These guns are just range toys and nothing more.

5.) The Gyrojet Handgun:

  • The Gyrojet was an attempt to use non-conventional “mini-rockets” to propel a projectile out of a firearm.
  • The Gyrojet pistol did not use a traditional barrel, as there was no pressure that needed to be contained because the rounds were driven by small rocket charges in their bases. There were several holes in the base of each round which spun the round and gyroscopically stabilized it.
  • The velocity of the round immediately coming out of the muzzle was very low, but increased once the round traveled some distance, to a typical velocity of 1,250 fps.
  • Because of the low velocity at the muzzle, the Gyrojet was ineffective at short range, and more effective at long range.  The issue was that there were pretty significant accuracy problems, which increased with range.
  • The cartridge the Gyrojet fired was around 13mm Caliber.

6.) The MARS Automatic Pistol:

  • This handgun is interesting, because it is a failed design BECAUSE of its caliber.  The Mars Automatic pistol was an early attempt at an autoloading pistol design firing a very powerful service cartridge.
  • Produced in 1899, it weighed nearly three pounds and had a 9.5” barrel.  It was chambered for the .450 Mars cartridge, which propelled a 220 grain FMJ bullet at 1,200 fps.
  • It also had a pretty violent feeding mechanism which required the rounds to have a significant crimp on the bullet to ensure everything stayed together during feeding.
  • When tested by the British War Office for potential adoption, the gun was rejected for its excessive weight, muzzle blast and high recoil. A quote from the lead tester read “No one who fired once with this pistol wished to fire it again.”


  • A few listener emails.
  • Thank you to all the people who have written in for the Listener FAQ’s episode and the 1911 episode.  If you haven’t done so and you wish to please email me at ryan@handgunradio.com
  • Also, share & like us on Facebook! We have recently reached 100 likes.  Thank you to everyone!
  • Listen to the show on Stitcher Radio & on iTunes! Leave the show a written iTunes review, as it helps us get noticed in the iTunes store.

Until next week, Thanks for listening and SAFE SHOOTING!!!!!!!!

HGR 009 - Budget Priced Handguns

HGR 009 - Budget Priced Handguns

Ryan discusses the budget priced handguns that are available

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week In Review:

  • Got a chance to shoot the Ruger Blackhawk Convertable Single Action revolver in .357 Magnum & 9mm.  It was a really interesting and well-made firearm.
  • Did a few videos and will be posting one on YouTube regarding the “Load One Skip One” technique of loading a single-action revolver with a loading gate.
  • I am really interested in doing a listener feedback/FAQ episode for Handgun Radio.  I have gotten many emails from listeners asking firearms related questions and I have tried to respond to them individually but I felt it would be nice to allow that information to be distributed to all of the listeners for an episode.  If you have any firearms related questions please send them to me at ryan@handgunradio.com or by using the contact tab at the top of the Handgun Radio webpage.  I really appreciate it!!!!!

Main Topic: Budget Priced Handguns

  • This week we will be discussing the budget priced handguns that are available. These handguns are priced well below the $600-700 range.
  • These handguns are also generally pretty reliable.  There is no point in discussing a budget priced firearm that doesn’t work at all.  Many guns WILL experience a few hiccups, but on average they are pretty reliable.
  • I’m going to mainly focus on major calibers, just because many people who are buying a handgun and have a limited budget may want a handgun that can do double duty as a plinker and home defense weapon.  While I think the .22 LR has its place in defensive situations, most people will want to go with a major caliber such as 9mm.
  • Also, I will try to limit our discussion to currently available new handguns, as the used market can fluctuate somewhat (and I also want to do an episode sometime on Surplus Handguns.)

1.) Hi-Point Handguns (.380;9mm;.40 S&W;.45 ACP):

  • MSRP ranging from $179 to $209
  • Made in Mansfield, OH by Hi-Point Firearms.
  • The Hi-Point uses casting facilities that are located near them that make the slides for the firearms. They are made out of a composition of metals called Zamak-3.
  • The Hi-Points use a straight-blowback system for their pistols, meaning that for the major calibers, the slide must be sufficiently heavy and the recoil spring must be sufficiently heavy to keep the gun locked closed while the gun is discharging. This is why the gun looks large and bulky.
  • In my experience they have been very reliable.

2.) Taurus Firearms:

  • MSRP Ranging from $349.00 to $559.00
  • Taurus gets a lot of flak from the firearms community, but has definitely improved their production, their firearms and their quality control.
  • Taurus has had its share of poor designs or poor quality control, but they really have improved and are making decently priced, reliable and innovative firearms.
  • The lifetime repair policy also makes the Taurus lineup very attractive.

3.) Bersa Firearms:

  • Located in Argentina, Bersa is a firearms manufacturer that produces small, concealed carry defensive handguns that are very reasonably priced, and by all reports very reliable.
  • Retail price is typically right around $250.00.
  • The Thunder series guns resemble the Walther PP and PPK and are chambered in .380 ACP.
  • Bersa is also producing a new line of handguns called the Bersa BP9 CC. From what I have read these are a great new reliable concealed carry handgun that won’t break the bank at around $370.00 retail.

4.) Smith & Wesson SD Series:

  • The S&W SD series is the budget line of semi-automatic pistols from Smith & Wesson.  I like to think of these guns as newer and improved versions of the old S&W Sigma series of pistols.
  • MSRP is $379.00
  • The guns can be had in 9mm and .40 S&W.
  • They have newer and improved styling than the Sigma, and have been more styled to look like the new M&P line of pistols.
  • I have had the chance to work with the .40 S&W version and found it to be very reliable, accurate and well made.

5.) Kel-Tec PF-9:

  • MSRP of $333.00 for the blued version.
  • Chambered in 9mm Parabellum, I have heard some great things about the PF-9.
  • It is a single stack design, holding 7 + 1 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
  • +P ammunition can be used sparingly.


  • Thank you to all the listeners for your great feedback and e-mails! I love having discussions with you all and I learn something new every time I correspond with you!
  • Please email me with your FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) at the Contact page on the Handgun Radio website or at ryan@handgunradio.com
  • Check us out on Stitcher Radio!
  • In addition to the FAQ’s e-mail, I’d like to do an upcoming episode on 1911’s.  I have had limited experience with the different brands available, so if you own a 1911 or have tried several different brands, send me an email and let me know your impressions of the brand and some of the experiences you have had, good & bad, with the various 1911’s that are offered.
  • Please leave the show a written review on iTunes! It really helps our rating amongst the iTunes podcasts and helps our visibility.

Thanks for listening and SAFE SHOOTING!!!!!

HGR 008 - Machine Pistols

HGR 008 - Machine Pistols

Ryan discusses the rapid-fire handguns and “almost-handguns” that have been in use throughout recent history.

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week in Review:

  • Got to reload some more .38 & .357 Magnum loads. I was particularly excited to get some hot .357 Magnum loads put together to test and make sure they will be plenty accurate for the upcoming deer season here in Maine.  I am using a 180 grain Hornady XTP Jacketed Hollowpoint combined with H110 powder.  In the areas I hunt in the ranges are very short and it is very wooded. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who hunts around here to have a shot past 100 yards. My last deer I took was shot at 60 yards.
  • Got to play around with a couple of interesting Egyptian military pieces from the 1950’s: The "Helwan" which was a licensed copy of the Beretta Model 1951 9mm Pistol.  I also got to play around with the standard issue rifle of the 1950’s Egyptian military, the "Hakim" rifle. (I know this is Handgun Radio, but I found this rifle VERY interesting.) The Helwan is a single-stack 9mm that was the predecessor to the Beretta M92 that is currently issued to the U.S. Military.  I don’t have much experience with Beretta pistols, so seeing the way the gun locks up was very interesting. The Hakim was also very interesting; it is a licensed copy of the Swedish AG-42 Ljungmann rifle, firing 8mm Mauser cartridges. Check out the video review of the Helwan that I did for a close up view of the locking system and the rest of the gun!

“Half-Truth” Segment:

  • In this week’s “Half-Truths” segment, we are going to touch upon President Obama’s recent Executive Order that altered the use of NFA trusts.
  • An NFA Trust is a way in which people can acquire firearms and accessories that are restricted under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). This includes fully-automatic weapons, suppressors, short-barreled rifles, etc.
  • When acquiring a NFA-restricted item, there are two routes: As an individual, the purchaser has to submit all the required paperwork to the ATF, along with fingerprint cards, passport photos, ALL required information, a $200 check for the NFA tax stamp (Which is literally, an adhesive stamp.) AND they have to have their Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) of their county or municipality sign off on the paperwork saying they do not have any reason to believe this person should not be able to posses the NFA item.
  • The second route is by setting up what is called an NFA Trust. The individual contacts a lawyer, and has them set up a Trust. (For this example, we will call it “Billy’s NFA Trust” as its LEGAL name.) The individual is then considered a trustee of “Billy’s NFA Trust”. With this setup, the Trust owns the NFA items, and as such, cannot be fingerprinted or photographed (The Trust isn’t a live person, its an entity.) By going the Trust route, you also do not have to get the CLEO sign-off like you do when you purchase as an individual.
  • A trust also allows you to add family members to the trustee list. That way, if you die, your family does not have to deal with the hassle of getting your NFA items transferred to them, as they are already permitted to have them as a trustee.
  • For awhile now, most people suspected that the administration would seek to make it so every purchase through a trust requires a background check and fingerprinting, so the EO was not unexpected.
  • However, just a few days ago it was announced that EVERY person on the trust would have to have CLEO sign-off for NFA purchases, thereby negating one of the main advantages of a trust. (If your local CLEO will not sign off, the trust USED to be your only option to purchase NFA items.)
  • The half-truth part is: “This Executive Order will stop people from being able to purchase firearms through a “Corporate Trust” (their terms, not mine.) without going through a background check.” The people who purchase NFA items THROUGH LEGAL CHANNELS are NOT the people you need to watch out for. These people are some of the most responsible firearms owners in the country, as they have taken the responsibility to put themselves through the very rigorous legal process to obtain NFA items.
  • Having the CLEO sign-off doesn’t do ANYTHING to stop crime. Why? Because all the CLEO sign-off did was basically say “I know this person is not prohibited and should not be prohibited from purchasing this item.” Nothing more. This move cripples the ability for law-abiding people to purchase NFA items by imposing POTENTIAL restrictions at the local level, rather than the federal level.

Main Topic: Machine Pistols

This week we will be discussing some of the fully-automatic handguns that are out there, along with some that aren’t quite considered handguns, but are similar in size, if not in practicality.

1.) Stechkin APS:

  • Introduced in 1951 along with the Makarov pistol to replace the WWII-era Tokarev TT-33 in 7.62x25mm Tokarev.
  • Chambered mainly in 9x18 Makarov, the Stechkin APS has also been chambered in 9mm Parabellum.
  • With a rate of fire of 750 rounds per minute, the Stechkin is a handful to control. The Soviet Union issued the firearm with a detachable wooden shoulder stock that looked a lot like the stock that was issued with the Mauser C96 712 “Schnellfeuer”. This made the gun much more controllable, and the stock also did double-duty as a holster.
  • Fairly large and bulky for handgun, the Stechkin was mainly issued to tank crews, pilots and other soldiers whose duties may not require a larger rifle or carbine.
  • The Stechkin was also used by several other Soviet Satellite states such as Ukraine and Romania.

2.) Mauser C96 712 "Schnellfeuer":

  • The Mauser C96 “Broomhandle” was one of the first practical semi-automatic pistol designs. Introduced by Mauser in 1896, the C96 was a 10 shot handgun chambered in 7.63x25mm Mauser.
  • The Spanish firm of Astra made a copy of the C96 Mauser, and in 1928 they began making select-fire versions of the gun. Mauser followed suit in 1932 with the “Schnellfeuer”. When adopted by the Wermacht in WWII, the gun was designated the 712.
  • The C96 could also accept a shoulder stock to allow for better control when firing on full-automatic.

3.) Beretta 93R:

  • The Beretta 93R is a select-fire version of the Beretta M92 with some slight modifications.  It was introduced by Beretta in the 1970’s with an eye toward police and military use.  
  • The gun fires at a rate of 1,100 rounds per minute in a three-round burst format. It can also be fired semi-automatic, simply by flipping a selector switch.
  • In order to make the gun more controllable, Beretta added a compensator to the end of the barrel, and also added a folding metal foregrip in front of the trigger guard, as well as the capability to attach a folding metal stock to the back of the grip.
  • There are very few (if any) transferable Beretta 93R’s in the United States and as such, are very valuable if found.  I have heard of some small shops making post-86 dealer samples out of Taurus PT-92’s, but nothing that can be legally owned by someone without the proper licensing.

4.) Heckler & Koch VP-70M:

  • The VP70 was H&K’s machine pistol.  Similar to the Beretta 93R in that it fired in a three-round burst mode, the VP70 was one of the first attempts to design a machine pistol that would be truly controllable.
  • The VP70 is also the very first ever polymer pistol.  It was introduced in 1970, 12 years prior to the Glock’s introduction.
  • The rate of fire was much higher than the Beretta 93R, at 2,200 rounds per minute.
  • The VP70 is also double-action only and striker-fired.  From what I have read the trigger pull is very heavy and long.
  • The VP70 requires a stock with a selector switch on it to be attached before it can be fired fully automatic.

5.) Glock 18:

  • Probably the best known machine pistol, the Glock 18 is a fully automatic variant of the 9mm Glock pistol.
  • The Glock 18 looks much like the Glock 17, but has a rotating selector switch on the left rear of the slide.  By rotating the switch up, you can fire in full automatic mode, and with the switch down, in semi-automatic mode.  
  • The Glock has an extremely high rate of fire at 1,200 rounds per minute.  There is a provision to attach a shoulder stock to the grip of the Glock 18, which allows for more controllable full automatic fire.
  • There were also compensated versions of the Glock 18 called the 18C which had four ports in the top of the barrel that helped with controllability on full-automatic.
  • As far as I know, there are no transferable genuine Glock 18’s in the United States.  Typically when you see a fully automatic Glock on YouTube, it is a post-86 dealer sample Glock that was converted to fully automatic and not manufactured that way.

6.) CZ-75 Fully-Automatic Variant:

  • Very little information exists about this gun. The standard CZ-75 is a rugged and reliable 9mm handgun.
  • In 1992, CZ introduced the fully automatic variant of the CZ-75 for law enforcement and military use.  
  • In my research, I could only find information about the pistol’s specifications.  Apparently it is simply a standard CZ-75 pistol that has a selector switch for fully-automatic fire.  
  • Also, one can attach a magazine to a small slot in front of the trigger guard and use it as a makeshift vertical foregrip for more controllability.

7.) VZ.61 "Skorpion":

  • Not quite in the “handgun” category, the VZ.61 “Skorpion” was developed in 1959 for the Czech military as a sidearm/primary weapon for tank crews and lower ranking members of the armed services.
  • Chambered in .32 ACP, the VZ.61 had a fairly small magazine capacity of 10 or 20 rounds, along with a wire folding stock that folded over the top of the weapon.
  • It was fairly bulky for handgun, but could be worn in a holster on one’s side.  It was also rather small for a submachine gun, but was employed in that role in some instances.
  • The Skorpion utilizes a internal rate reducer device that brings the rate of fire down from 1,000 rounds per minute to around 800 rounds per minute. Visit the God and Guns Podcast and listen to Episode 22 for a great discussion and detailing of the inner workings of the VZ.61.


  • A couple listener e-mails.
  • Thank you all for giving us iTunes reviews! It really helps us get noticed by other people and helps boost our standing in the iTunes world.
  • Thank you to everyone who is sending in e-mails, questions and comments about the show.  You can e-mail me at ryan@handgunradio.com or visit our Handgun Radio website and click on the “Contact” tab at the top.
  • Check out the other great firearms podcasts on the Firearms Radio Network

Thanks for listening and SAFE SHOOTING!!!!!!!!

HGR 007 - Modern Police Handguns

HGR 007 - Modern Police Handguns

Ryan discusses the modern handguns used by our police forces. Part 2 of 2 in a series on Law Enforcement handguns. Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network.

Week in Review & Discussion:

  • Got to tour a few local gun shops around here. Got to see & handle some new handguns that have came out, including the Ruger 1911 Commander size, the new Double-Tap Derringer in 9mm & .45 ACP (a LOT larger than I expected. Thin, but large.) and a Ruger LCR in .22 Long Rifle (I really liked this gun, a light, accurate little .22 double action revolver.)
  • Got to see someone fire a Ruger Blackhawk chambered in .30 Carbine.  That is one cartridge that throws off quite the fireball and is pretty loud, but was VERY accurate.  I was impressed; it was a very fun firearm to see shot.
  • A friend of mine picked up a Smith & Wesson SD-40 which is S&W’s budget line of polymer pistols.  The S&W M&P semi-automatic series is a step up from the SD series, but the SD series are a very solid, well built handgun that is very affordable.  If you are looking for an economical self-defense handgun that will be reliable and accurate, you could do a whole lot worse than purchasing one of the SD series handguns from Smith & Wesson.
  • Thank you all for your reviews & e-mails! It really helps me to make the show better each week by incorporating your feedback, and iTunes reviews help the show get more exposure. Thank you all!

Main Topic: Modern Police Handguns:

Again, this is part two of two in a series on Police handguns. Much of this information is drawn from reading the books Greatest Handguns of the World Vol. I & II by Massad Ayoob. These books are a great read and are books that you will pick up and read over and over again. It has great stories, detailed pictures and history of many of the great classic & modern handguns that you know and love.  Highly recommended!!

1.)The Glock series of pistols (9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, .45 ACP & others.):

  • Originally designed by Gaston Glock in Austria.  Glock was a fabricator of parts made of high-impact polymer.  He was approached by some firearms manufacturers to try and make polymer frames for firearms, and Glock decided to try and make his own handgun.
  • The result of his attempts was the Glock 17, first introduced in 1984.  The Glock 17 was originally adopted by the Austrian army, and then by several other European armies, before being adopted by the Miami Police Department as a replacement for their double-action revolvers.
  • The ATF classified the Glock as a “Double-Action Only”, which caused many police departments to transition to the Glock as a way of reducing accidents resulting from cocked double-action revolvers.  There had been a few cases where officers had cocked their DA revolvers and accidentally shot suspects because of the light trigger pull.  With the Glock pistol, it was a DAO, meaning it could not be cocked.
  • Interestingly, Glock produces two models that are not available in the United States.  The Glock 25 and the Glock 28.  These are both .380 ACP models that are manufactured for countries where civilians cannot own “military” calibers such as 9mm and .45 ACP.
  • Many anti-gun politicians decried the Glock pistols as being “plastic” and being able to be brought through metal detectors.  This was simply untrue, as the Glock pistols are not completely polymer at all.  Yes, the frame and some of the smaller parts are made out of a high-impact polymer, but the slide, barrel, springs and many parts in the trigger kit are made out of traditional steel.
  • Glock has produced several “Generations” of handguns, currently on their Gen4 Models.  The new Gen4 Models have a slightly redesigned recoil spring system and the ability to change the backstraps to fit the shooters hand.

2.) Heckler & Koch P7 “Squeeze Cocker”:

  • The H&K P7 was a semi-automatic pistol in 9mm (along with later versions and even one in .45 ACP) that used a unique “squeeze-cocking” lever on the frontstrap of the grip. In order to fire the pistol one would have to squeeze the lever back, which precocks the pistol and allows you to finish the trigger-stroke.
  • The P7 was a single stack design, with a capacity of 8 rounds.
  • The barrel of the P7 was affixed to the frame, much in the way of the blowback-operated Walther PPK.  However, the P7 was not a blowback design, but used a small scale gas system to keep the slide locked for a sufficient amount of time during firing.
  • That fixed barrel design allows for a high degree of accuracy, as the barrel is not tilting downward as it does in a Browning tilt-locking design.
  • One criticism of the P7, especially when used by American consumers was the magazine catch. The P7 used the heel-type magazine catch system, except rather than pull the catch backwards, you pushed the catch forwards while stripping the magazine out.
  • When the U.S. Army was looking for a replacement sidearm, H&K added a 13 round magazine to the P7 and called it the P7M13 and submitted it to the Army trials.  
  • Some Police Departments including the New Jersey State Police and the Utah State Police have adopted both the P7M8 and the P7M13.

3.) The Beretta Model 92 9mm Pistol:

  • The Beretta Model 92 pistol is a 9mm pistol that has been the standard sidearm of the United States Armed Forces since 1985.
  • The Beretta M92 has been adopted by many different police departments throughout the United States when they transitioned from revolvers in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Maine State Troopers carried the Beretta 92 at one time, although they now carry the H&K USP .45 ACP,
  • The Beretta 92 was developed from the Beretta Model 1951.  The Beretta Model 1951 was a single-stack 9mm pistol that looks a lot like the M92, but has a few differences, such as being a single-action design.  The 1951 also used the old style Beretta magazine release button recessed in the grip panel, much like on the smaller .22 and .25 caliber Beretta pocket pistols.
  • Engineers at Beretta redesigned the 1951 with a double-action trigger system, a double-stack magazine and a manual safety system located on the slide, that also functioned as a decocking lever allowing for safe hammer-down carry with a chambered round.
  • The Beretta 92 was one of the first high-capacity 9mm pistols that would reliably feed hollow-point bullet designs that was introduced to the American market.
  • Before the widespread issue of the Glock 17, most police departments wanted a pistol that was capable of being carried hammer down on a chambered round. They did not want cocked and locked carry that was seen often on semi-automatic pistols of the period. The Beretta 92 allowed for this method of carry.
  • The Beretta 92 beat out entries from Colt, H&K, Ruger & Sig-Sauer to become the U.S. Military’s standard service pistol.

4.) The Sig-Sauer P226 9mm Pistol:

  • The Sig-Sauer P226 9mm pistol is a DA/SA design that was born out of the Army Pistol Trials of the 1980’s. Sig-Sauer took their P220 & P225 models that were single-stack pistols, and redesigned them to accept a double-stack magazine. The P226 was born.
  • While most of the double-stack semi-automatics of the time had a large, bulky grip as a result of the magazine, the Sig-Sauer P226 had the grip recontoured and allowed for a very manageable handgun that carried a large number of rounds.
  • The P226 was said to have beaten or at least tied the Beretta M92 for the Army pistol contract, but Beretta put in a lower bid for the contract.
  • After there were some complaints about parts breakage in the Beretta M92, the Navy SEALS stopped accepting the Beretta M92’s and procured Sig-Sauer P226 pistols instead.
  • The Sig-Sauer is one of the most popular police issue handguns in the country, probably behind the S&W M&P Series and the Glock.
  • The P226 is a reliable, accurate and durable 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

I understand that I haven’t covered nearly as many firearms in this episode as I did in the past episode, and that is for two reasons: 1.) There are several that I could have included, such as the CZ-75 or the Browning High-Power, but those guns have seen much more military than police use. Plus, I also want to cover those pistols and a few more in an upcoming episode of Handgun Radio that will cover Wartime Handguns. And 2.) Many of the handguns that you see used by police departments today are typically variations on a theme more than their own unique design.  The H&K USP, for example has many different design quirks than a Glock or a Sig-Sauer, but ultimately, follows some of the same form & function as those pistols.

Wrap Up:

  • A few listener emails.
  • Again, thank you ALL for listening to the show and writing in.  It really helps me to hear what you all like and don’t like on the show, and allows me to make it consistently better!!
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Thanks for listening and SAFE SHOOTING!!!!