long ago my son reached his 21st birthday. As he nears twenty
two he has five years service in with Uncle Sam and knows his
way around handguns. His father has a not too limited battery of
likely handguns. On his own time and his own dime Matthew
had rather fire a .44-40 or the .45 Colt Hartford Model than any
other handgun. But for practical carry purposes there are better
choices. Recently, Matthew made several leaps in his career and
personal life. Among these is choosing to obtain a concealed
carry permit. While at present there are limited scenarios in
which he will carry, he agrees with the author that the need to
exercise our rights is apparent to any educated person. Matthew
went through the proscribed training and passed the test with
flying colors. The law is simple and direct and common sense
dictates our actions. Much thought goes into the process and I
would never say that concealed carry is for everyone. But it is
for me and mine!
I was swapping brags with a friend who is also an author. This
lady authors books on rearing adolescents and has done several
children's books. She is a dear person who is immensely
talented. I was showing her a photograph of one of the children
in a firearms magazine when she mentioned she too had obtained a
concealed carry permit. She smiled and said she felt quite a
sense of accomplishment. Handgun use is not a high priority on
her list and she is not a recreational shooter but she
understands the nature of society and the checks and balances
that make us a free nation. A free nation will have those who
live outside the law. A free nation also has those who are armed
in order to combat these individuals.
I am often armed when going about my daily business, there are
times when I am not. As an example, my daughter and daughter in
law recently participated in a Holocaust Memorial at the local
synagogue. I am respectful of other people's faith and customs
and my own background in dealing with and writing on hate groups
certainly commanded my presence.
(My son was on active duty and could not attend.)
I did not carry inside this place of worship. The next
morning my daughter and I went on a five kilometer walk for a
foundation dedicated to fighting childhood disease. This time, I
packed my iron. Convenience and a certainly of soaking the piece
with perspiration may have played against my choice but knowing
the town as I do, local thugs and the possibility of an ill
tempered dog made my choice easy. The trusty first generation Glock
19 in a High Noon holster
was practically unnoticed. I wish my walking shoes were as
comfortable! The point is, concealed carry requires discretion.
I do not recommend situational carry or carrying only when you
go to the bank - it is best to be armed at all times in order to
meet Evil head on. But at the same time, there are times and
places in which concealed carry is not a good idea. My Jewish
friends usually hug me or pat me on the back on sight, and while
some know me well, others do not. Somehow in a sanctuary we are
under a different type of protection! On the charity walk, well,
I had not only my safety but my daughter's as well in mind.
lessons are not lost on my son. He took the Smith
and Wesson SW 1911 to his CCW classes and scored a
perfect score on the firing test. Admittedly, it is not the Gunsite
graduation exam, but neither is it so easy as to be pointless.
But a few weeks later when Matthew received the permit card in
the mail, he began to run across a few snags in acclimation. The
grim reality of carrying was not lost on him, and he has a good
head on his shoulders. But carrying a full size 1911 under light
clothing proved a daunting proposition. We began with his
personal Springfield .45 and then tried a shorter
Officer's Model. I offered to put my Dave Workman (D
and D Gunleather) inside the waistband holster on permanent
loan. This holster proved very comfortable but in the end,
Matthew learned what many others have learned - a full size
Government Model .45 is difficult to conceal. Matthew said,' How
about a snub .38?'
occasionally deploy a concealed hammer Smith and Wesson
.38 as a back up, and on rare occasions as a primary arm. The
.38 hits hard enough if the round is delivered properly, but
there is certainly no energy to spare. But the .38 offers a
combination of ease of carry, durability, simplicity, and combat
accuracy in good hands. The revolver may be fired repeatedly if
jammed against an opponents body. You may be surprised how often
this type of short range battle occurs. An automatic would not
survive in an ankle holster or a hostile environment. The snub
nose revolver will.
offered to pass the Smith and Wesson over to Matthew, but he
found another revolver he liked more. So, my backup revolver --
that is, the backup to the backup - became his first choice. I
had obtained a square butt Model 36 blue revolver at a good
price and decided it would be a good piece to put up just in
case. My intuition proved correct.
two .38s were measured up and test fired at the range. Matthew
has fired practically every pistol I have had cross my path
during the past ten years, and he is a fine shot. But his
experience with the .38 snub is limited. After all, this is not
the revolver that a teen age boy would find most interesting.
1911s are his favorite - I have given him a good raising! -and
he appreciates single action revolvers. We quickly worked up the
cadence of fire for the .38. It is important when firing a
double action revolver to press the trigger smoothly and allow
the trigger to reset in the same cadence. Once you understand
this cadence and the proper way to handle the revolver, accurate
fire is possible. The two revolvers on hand offered a choice of
square butt and round butt. Matthew found he preferred the
square butt grip to any other. The square butt sets in the hand
well and offers a better gripping surface for a rapid
presentation from the holster.
I had on hand a good supply of hard cast SWC bullets and Ramshot
ZIP powder. This is good practice ammunition, and at 780 fps
from the two inch snub this practice load is right up with
standard pressure factory loads. We practiced quickly drawing at
firing with the one hand shoulder point at close range. After an
appropriate acclimation, Matthew was getting the hang or the
cadence of the snub nose revolver.
a carry load, there is really little choice. The Winchester
158 grain lead semi wadcutter hollow point has sufficient mass
and the bullet usually expands when meeting an animate target.
Penetration is sufficient for the task at hand.
Aluminum and scandium
frame revolvers kick so sharply that a lead bullet may be
stripped from the cartridge case in recoil, and a jacketed
hollow point must be used. The steel frame Smith and Wesson
avoids that drawback. The Winchester load is a +P and recoil is
there but with sufficient time in it can be controlled. The
square butt steel frame Smith and Wesson works.
added a set of Grashorn grips
to the Smith and Wesson. These are Elk stag grips that are not
only undeniably handsome, they offer a good gripping surface
with sufficient 'bark' to maintain a firm purchase. These grips
add a degree of distinctness to the piece that we really
appreciate. Finally, we used a Forster Products gold
inlay kit to complete this personalization. The lettering on the
barrel and frame now features Gold fill! We really did 'pimp
uses the DeSantis Nemesis holster for pocket carry and
has deployed the LAW Concealment Systems holster on
occasion. He also has a custom sewn jacket pocket that is a very
old idea and a good one. Overall, the choice was a good one and
one that affords this young man and his growing family a good
level of protection.
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