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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for the ‘Firearms’ Category

Massad Ayoob


Friday, June 9th, 2017

Ruger has just issued a safety recall on their cool new Mark IV pistol.  Details here: .

This is a very cool sporting firearm, and we wrote it up here at the blog when it came out: .

Take it serious, and send the pistol in.  They’ll take care of the cost, and you’ll get a free, new .22 magazine to boot. Everything you need to know about it is in the Ruger news release in the first paragraph here.

Thumbs up to Ruger for taking responsibility and issuing the timely notice.

Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Optical gunsights, in the form of telescopic sights, proved their worth in the 19th century, and today are all but standard on most hunting rifles that aren’t intended for short range.  Red dot optical sights – giving a single focal plane of both aiming index and target, but not necessarily any magnification – showed up in the mid-20th century, as did telescopic sights for handguns.  They were novelties then…but technology moved on.  Glock19 Gen4 MOS RMR

Today you see red dot optics on rifles and handguns alike in competition, ranging from standard bulls-eye pistol to action three-gun matches, and red dots have proven themselves fast, accurate, and rugged enough for combat in the Middle East.  The latest evolution, led by the Trijicon RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex), are small enough to sit atop the slide on a concealed carry gun.  I know a couple of cops who carry them on their duty pistols, and more private citizens who are doing so.  They are a logical answer for older shooters with aging eyes.

How well do carry optics work, really?  My friend Karl Rehn at KR Training near Austin, Texas is a grandmaster in the United States Practical Shooting Association’s Carry Optics division, and has done more solid research on the concept than anyone I know.

Here is his lecture given at the MAG-40 class I taught at his place earlier this year, courtesy of ProArms Podcast.  More details of his study are at Karl’s site.

A better mousetrap or not yet ready for prime time in concealed carry?  Ya gotta give ‘em a fair shake before you make your decision, but I know some folks who swear by ‘em.  Let us know here what you think of the concept.

Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Few things move my cynical old soul to poetry, but when a collector finds a grail, it’s something to celebrate. The grail, of course, is something uncommon that they desperately want to own.

My significant other is the Evil Princess of Podcasts, Pixels, and Polymer Pistols. She bonded with the Glock very early in her shooting career.  Her collection includes this 1911 and that engraved Smith & Wesson, but her daily carry tends toward drastic plastic.  She’ll admit to a long-going fling on the side with the Springfield Armory XD(m) series, but most often, both her daily holster and her competition holster will carry one or another Glock.  Over at her handle is Glock Girl Gail, and she is not only a certified Glock Armorer but has been to the Mother Ship in Smyrna, Georgia and been certified as an Advanced Armorer with this pre-eminent polymer pistol.

Glock 19 RTF2

“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the grail gun sleeps tonight.”

She tested the Glock RTF2 pistols along with me when they first came out a few years ago. The RTF stood for Rough Textured Finish, with little studs they called “polymids” all over the grip to give a more solid hold in slippery hands.  The RTF2 treatment also included gill-shaped slide grasping grooves.  Her reaction at first was “ho-hum.”

As soon as they discontinued the RTF2 (police departments complained that the rough texture on the grips was chewing up uniforms) she discovered an RTF2 Glock 17, the standard size 9mm, in our hangout, the ProArms Gun Shop.  She fell in love with it and so I bought it.  It became her favorite match gun. Partial to the slightly smaller Glock 19 in the same 9mm chambering for daily carry, she started looking for those in RTF2 format.

They were scarce as the proverbial hen’s teeth.

“Why didn’t you develop your fixation when we could still get the damn things,” I moaned. “I prefer 9mm,” she said with the logic that helps women live seven years longer than men, “and  the ones you tested were .40s and .45s.”

Thus began the quest.  We found the same configuration pistol in .40 caliber, an RTF2 Glock 23, and I bought it for her.  “We can convert it to 9mm easy,” I said.  “It’s still not going to be a Glock 19 RTF2,” she replied adamantly, looking at me as if I had suggested solar powered night sights.  The quest continued.

Glock reintroduced a Larry Vickers Signature Model Glock 19 RTF2. “Let me get you one of those,” I pleaded. “No,” she replied with finality. “It has the RTF2 grip, but not the gills.  I gotta have gills.”

And so it went, until a new Best Friend Forever found her a near-mint condition Glock 19 RTF2 earlier this month.  My hand went for my credit card as if it was a fast draw contest.

Life is better now. Thanks again, Bob!

It’s how collectors are.  “This Winchester ’94 is almost perfect but it doesn’t have the saddle ring.”  “No, this Smith & Wesson Model 27 with 4” barrel isn’t the same as the one I want with 3 ½” barrel.”  (My own last gun grail, an itch now scratched twice over.)

How about y’all?  What grail guns are you still searching for to make your collection complete?

Massad Ayoob


Friday, March 10th, 2017

Layoffs at Remington, a huge arms/ammo manufacturing entity and something of a bellwether for the industry.

Layoffs at Colt, too – including Brent Turchi, head of the Custom Shop, who has long been one of Colt’s great ambassadors.  American industry has an unfortunate habit of trying to lose weight by cutting away brain tissue instead of fat.  Rumor is that Mark Redl will be adding Brent’s duties to his own.  Mark is another of Colt’s great assets.

NRA seems to see some light at the end of the tunnel for Colt, and I hope they’re right.

Discussion of same here.

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, January 21st, 2017

SHOT week finished today, leaving a lot of exhausted people after the miles of aisles. While AR15 sales have softened since we learned in November that Hillary Clinton wasn’t going to be in charge of anything, sales in general are still good and the firearms industry is overall in optimistic mode.

SHOT sponsor NSSF, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, announced today, “Industry professionals packed the aisles from the opening bell, and attendance totaled nearly 65,000, surpassing last year’s turnout to make it the second most attended SHOT Show ever.”

My editor and old friend Roy Huntington opines that with gun-banning pressure from the White House turned for at least four years, shooter folk are turning more to recreational firearms. This year’s Show certainly featured lots of traditional double barrels, sporting rifles, and John Wayne-esque lever action rifles and single action revolvers.  Double action revolvers are coming back strong, with entries from Colt as mentioned previously, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger.  The latter just before SHOT announced a Redhawk snub-nose that holds eight rounds of .357 Magnum and a five-shot, three-inch barrel GP100 in .44 Special. You can read my take on the latter here. At a writer’s intro last September at the fabulous FTW hunting and shooting ranch in Texas, Ruger had an impromptu match in which we all shot these two powerful wheelguns on bowling pin tables. I had the good fortune to win, followed by Tamara Keel of Shooting Illustrated and Gail Pepin of the ProArms Podcast. (That told me two things: double action revolvers can be very amenable to the female of our species, and I was apparently in touch with my feminine side that day.)

A high point of the show was touching bases with many old friends and colleagues, a few of whom appear below.

It had been years since I’d seen Bruce Gray, whom I shot with on the first Team HK back in the day. Bruce and his GrayGuns firm are the acknowledged masters of tuning HKs and SIGs, and he consults for the latter company. Bruce has done a lot to publicize SIG’s relatively new P320, just adopted by the US Army as announced during the SHOT Show.

Anthony Spitale, left, gets a lot of the credit for Colt resurrecting its iconic double action revolver this year. Mark Redl, at right, is another Colt exec whose deep knowledge from the end user perspective has been invaluable to Colt. He and I shot together for Team Panteao not too long ago.

Dennis Reese, honcho at Springfield Armory, showed me their new economy version of one of my favorite guns, the little EMP 9mm subcompact 1911 they introduced back in 2004.  It shoots very well and will put this great concept in the holsters of more good people.

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