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December 31st, 2022

Wheelguns Worth Small Fortunes — Single Digit Colt Pythons

Colt Python Snake NRA Museum low serial number pistol
Photos courtesy NRABlog.com.

Each day, on Facebook, the NRA National Firearms Museum showcases something special from the Museum collections. A while back the Museum displayed a trio of snakes — three very special Colt Pythons. From bottom to top, these three prized wheelguns are: Colt Python serial number 2, number 3, and number 5. And yes, that is the original box for Python #2 (at bottom). The museum says such low serial number guns were typically produced for a company executive or key members of the gun design team.

Colt Python Snake NRA Museum low serial number pistol

Loved for their beautiful finish, nice balance, and great trigger, Colt Pythons have proven to be excellent investments. Since the Colt Python was first introduced in 1955, Python prices have gone through the roof. A pristine, LNIB early-era Colt Python can now command very high values in the thousands. And these rare single digit examples might sell for over $15,000+, as estimated by the NRA museum. How much did a Python cost in 1955? You could purchase the Royal Blue model for just $125.00! Factory-engraved models started at $245.00, according to this Colt advertisement from June, 1955:

Colt Python Snake NRA Museum low serial number pistol

History and Design Evolution of Colt Python Revolvers

You can see hundreds of other interesting firearms on the National Firearm Museum website, www.NRAMuseum.com. Or, if you’re lucky, you can see the collections in person. The NRA now operates three Museum locations: the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum in Springfield, MO; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest in Raton, NM.

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December 3rd, 2022

Never Do This! Miculek Explains How to Avoid Damaging Guns

Jerry Miculek gun video handling safety error garand sks AR15 revolver

Jerry Miculek is the best action revolver shooter who has ever lived. Miculek is also a true master with rifle and shotgun. This guy shoots hundreds of thousands of rounds every year in all types of firearms. Through that process, he has discovered common mistakes many shooters make. Those mistakes can harm the guns, or threaten the safety of the operator. Here Jerry offers some vital gun handling and safety advice in his “Never Do This” video series.

Jerry Miculek has won multiple revolvers championships, and has set amazing records for revolver speed shooting (with reloads). Yes Jerry, “Mr. Revolver”, knows a thing or two about wheelguns. In this video, Jerry explains how you can damage your revolver by using the wrong methods to open and close the cylinder and extract ammo. Jerry shows what NOT to do, and then he very carefully explains the proper procedure to release the cylinder, and swing it out of the frame. In addition, Jerry shows how best to swing a loaded cyclinder back into place. If you own a revolver, ANY revolver, you should definitely watch this video.

In this second video, Jerry explains common mistakes people make when handling and shooting three classic, semi-auto firearm types — the M1 Garand, the SKS carbine, and the M1911 pistol. Jerry shows handling faults that can cause out-of-battery detonation or early primer strikes, or cause jams in the Garand and SKS. Then Jerry explains why you should never release the slide on a M1911 pistol with a round already in the chamber. This is a must-watch video for Garand owners.

Here Jerry demonstrates of the most common jams that can happen with AR-platform rifles. Miculek reveals the cause of the issue and then shows how to prevent it. Jerry notes: “This is one of those malfunctions that you won’t see coming! I’ve seen it … on the range and it can be devastating to your time in a match. All ammo used in the video were dummy rounds and intentionally loaded for training without powder or primers.”

Jerry Miculek gun video handling safety error garand sks AR15 revolver

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August 22nd, 2022

Listen to Jerry — Avoid Common Mistakes with Pistols and Rifles

Jerry Miculek gun video handling safety error garand sks AR15 revolver

Jerry Miculek is the best action revolver shooter who has ever lived. Miculek is also a true master with rifle and shotgun. This guy shoots hundreds of thousands of rounds every year in all types of firearms. Through that process, he has discovered common mistakes many shooters make. Those mistakes can harm the guns, or threaten the safety of the operator. Here Jerry offers some vital gun handling and safety advice in his “Never Do This” video series.

Jerry Miculek has won multiple revolvers championships, and has set amazing records for revolver speed shooting (with reloads). Yes Jerry, “Mr. Revolver”, knows a thing or two about wheelguns. In this video, Jerry explains how you can damage your revolver by using the wrong methods to open and close the cylinder and extract ammo. Jerry shows what NOT to do, and then he very carefully explains the proper procedure to release the cylinder, and swing it out of the frame. In addition, Jerry shows how best to swing a loaded cyclinder back into place. If you own a revolver, ANY revolver, you should definitely watch this video.

In this second video, Jerry explains common mistakes people make when handling and shooting three classic, semi-auto firearm types — the M1 Garand, the SKS carbine, and the M1911 pistol. Jerry shows handling faults that can cause out-of-battery detonation or early primer strikes, or cause jams in the Garand and SKS. Then Jerry explains why you should never release the slide on a M1911 pistol with a round already in the chamber. This is a must-watch video for Garand owners.

Here Jerry demonstrates of the most common jams that can happen with AR-platform rifles. Miculek reveals the cause of the issue and then shows how to prevent it. Jerry notes: “This is one of those malfunctions that you won’t see coming! I’ve seen it … on the range and it can be devastating to your time in a match. All ammo used in the video were dummy rounds and intentionally loaded for training without powder or primers.”

Jerry Miculek gun video handling safety error garand sks AR15 revolver

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May 21st, 2022

Handgun Marksmanship Skills — Six Great Books for Pistoleros

Pistol Marksmanship training book

One of our Forum members asked: “Are there any good books on pistol marksmanship? I’m looking for a book that covers techniques and concepts….” Here are six recommended titles that can make you a better pistol shooter. These books run the gamut from basic handgun training to Olympic-level bullseye shooting.

Pistol Marksmanship training book 1911 race gunGood Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters
There are actually many good books which can help both novice and experienced pistol shooters improve their skills and accuracy. For new pistol shooters, we recommend the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting. This full-color publication is the designated student “textbook” for the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.

Serious competitive pistol shooters should definitely read Pistol Shooters Treasury a compilation of articles from World and National Champions published by Gil Hebard. You could work your way through the ranks with that book alone even though it is very small. It is an excellent resource.

If you’re interested in bullseye shooting, you should get the USAMU’s The Advanced Pistol Marksmanship Manual. This USAMU pistol marksmanship guide has been a trusted resource since the 1960s. Action Shooters should read Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos, and Practical Pistol by Ben Stoeger. Brian Enos is a well-known pistol competitor with many titles. Ben Stoeger is a two-time U.S. Practical Pistol shooting champion. Last but not least, Julie Golob’s popular SHOOT book covers pistol marksmanship, along with 3-Gun competition. Julie holds multiple national pistol shooting titles.

Jessie Harrison is one of the greatest female pistol shooters on the planet. In the video below, Jessie offers smart tips on purchasing a handgun, and getting started in competition. Jessie covers caliber choice, handgun fit/ergonomics, concealability, holster options, and other key factors.

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April 21st, 2022

Print Resources for Pistoleros — Eight Great Handgun Books

Pistol Marksmanship training book
Jessie Harrison — one of the greatest female pistol shooters on the planet. In the video below, Jessie offers good tips on safe handgun mag changes.

In this Pro Tip Video, Jessie Harrison talks about Dry-Fire Pistol Training:

One of our Forum members asked: “Are there any good books on pistol marksmanship? I’m looking for a book that covers techniques and concepts….” Here are eight recommended titles that can make you a better pistol shooter. These books run the gamut from basic handgun training to CCW to Olympic-level bullseye shooting.

Pistol Marksmanship training book 1911 race gunGood Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters
There are actually many good books which can help both novice and experienced pistol shooters improve their skills and accuracy. For new pistol shooters, we recommend the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting. This full-color publication is the designated student “textbook” for the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.

If you’re interested in bullseye shooting, you should get the USAMU’s The Advanced Pistol Marksmanship Manual. This USAMU pistol marksmanship guide has been a trusted resource since the 1960s. Action Shooters should read Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos, and Practical Pistol by Ben Stoeger. Brian Enos is a well-known pistol competitor with many titles. Ben Stoeger is a two-time U.S. Practical Pistol shooting champion. Julie Golob’s popular SHOOT book covers pistol marksmanship, along with 3-Gun competition. Julie holds multiple national pistol shooting titles.

AccurateShooter.com may earn a small Affiliate commission on books sold through Amazon.
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March 22nd, 2022

Choose the Right Holster with Holster Finder Database

Midwayusa holster finder database 125,000 holsters

Here’s a helpful, time-saving tool for handgun owners. MidwayUSA’s online Holster Finder lets you quickly find the right holsters for virtually all popular makes and models of pistols and revolvers. The wide variety of carry styles, materials, and features can make finding the right holster difficult or confusing. Drawing on a database of over 125,000 gun/holster combinations, the MidwayUSA Holster Finder turns that complex task into an easy three-step process.

Midwayusa holster finder database 125,000 holsters

The selection process is simple: 1. Choose Pistol or Revolver; 2. Select Make and Model of Handgun (and barrel type/length); 3. Click to view results. Just choose your gun type, select your make, model and barrel, then view the results. All major holster types are included: Ankle, Belly Band, Belt (outside waistband), Chest, Competition, Drop Leg, Inside Waistband (IWB), Paddle, Pocket, and Shoulder. Check out the MidwayUSA Holster Finder at MidwayUSA.com/holster-finder.

Midwayusa holster finder database 125,000 holsters
Midwayusa holster finder database 125,000 holsters

MidwayUSA’s Marketing VP Jeff Larkin says: “Our team built the Holster Finder so our customers could find all holsters we offer for their specific firearm without sorting through thousands of search results. Finding the perfect holster is now easier than ever — just a few clicks, and we’ll show you everything that fits!”

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January 25th, 2022

Handguns for 2022 — Nine Notable Pistols and Revolvers

shot show 2022 new handgun pistols revolvers ccw carry gun show

A large selection of new handguns have been introduced in recent months, with manufacturers racing to meet unprecedented high consumer demand. Millions of Americans have joined the ranks of gunowners in the past two years. At least 5.4 million people purchased a firearm for the first time in 2021 based on NSSF retailer surveys and NICS background checks adjusted data. And, for most new firearms owners, their first purchase was a handgun, most likely a 9mm compact. Here are nine notable new handguns* introduced over the last 12 months. Many debuted at SHOT Show 2022, while others were introduced in 2021.

Taurus TX22 Competition SCR (Steel Challenge Ready)

Taurus TX 22 SCR pistol steel challenge
Taurus TX 22 SCR pistol steel challenge

The Taurus TX22 SCR (Steel Competition Ready) was designed as a fun rimfire for steel plate competition and action pistol games. We like the balance and ergonomics of this pistol, and the integrated forward compensator does reduce muzzle flip, allowing faster follow-up shots and better split times.

In this video, watch Jessie Harrison, the world’s best female action pistol competitor, shooting the TX22 on steel, starting at 0:14 time-mark.

Girsan MC P35 Hi-Power from EAA

Girsan high-power hi-power FN clone EA

This is the year of the Browning Hi-Power revival. Springfield Arms brought out the SA-35, FN Herstal has a new High Power, and the Turkish company Girsan now produces the MC P35 (sold in the USA by EAA). Based on the original John M. Browning pistol design, EAA’s MC P35 by Girsan pays homage to one of the most widely-used military handguns in history. The steel-framed MC P35 boasts a 15+1 capacity in a staggered column magazine. With classic styling, good machining, and a sub-$600 MSRP, this MC P35 may be the best bargain among the latest generation of Hi-Power clones. It is offered in three finishes: Two-tone (gray/black), Black, and Dark Earth.

Uberti 9mm Single-Action Classic Revolvers

Uberti classic single action revolver 9mm luger 9x19mm pistol

Italian gun-maker Uberti expands its portfolio of classic single-action revolvers with the addition of new 9mm wheelguns. For 2022, Uberti offers select El Patrón and Cattleman Brass single-action revolvers chambered for the 9mm Luger (9x19mm) cartridge. These revolvers headspace at the cartridge mouth without the need for moon clips, allowing cartridges to be loaded individually into the cylinder and ejected in the regular fashion. With 9mm Luger ammo being available at a lower price than many other handgun cartridges, revolver shooters can put more rounds on target without breaking the bank.

Stoeger Introduces STR-9SC subcompact

Stoeger sub-compact str-9sc optics ready

Based on the original STR-9 compact 9mm introduced in 2019, Stoeger’s new STR-9SC Sub-Compact series offers three models: SSTR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready, STR-9SC Sub-Compact with Tritium night sights, and base model TR-9SC Sub-Compact. All come with a medium backstrap, left- or right-side mag release, trigger safety, accessory rail, front post/square notch rear sight configuration, and a 10-round magazine. These are all very affordable — the basic STR-92C Sub-Compact has a $329.99 MSRP.

Shadow Systems DR-920P Pistol with Integral Compensator

shadow systems DR920P pistol 9mm luger compensator steel challenge

Shown at the top of this article, the new Shadow Systems DR920P 9mm Luger pistol features a built-in, multi-port compensator at the end of the barrel. This reduces felt recoil and muzzle flip allowing faster split times on multi-target scenarios. NOTE that the front sight is mounted on the forward compensator so it does not reciprocate with the slide.

If you are an 3-Gun or Steel Challenge shooter, you may want to consider this new pistol. The DR920P fits Glock 34 holsters, and ergonomics are similar to Glock, but we like the Shadow DR920P’s trigger better than a standard Glock trigger.

Savage Stance 9mm Compact Pistol

This is the first compact pistol produced by Savage Arms in a century. Outdoor Life notes: “For the first time since 1920, Savage is back in the pistol market, diving right into the most competitive category — the micro 9mm. The Stance is an ultra-thin, polymer-frame semi-automatic striker-fired 9mm with a 3.2-inch barrel. It’s less than an inch thick, but an abrasive stipple finish on the grip and interchangeable back straps should make this one a pleasure to shoot.”

Kimber R7 Mako Optics Installed

Kimber R7 mako optics installed carry handgun pistol

Released in 2021, the R7 was Kimber’s first Polymer-framed handguns. The latest optics-installed R7 Mako ($799.00 MSRP) features a factory-installed CTS-1500 reflex sight for fast target acquisition and accurate shot placement. Capacity is 12+1 with flush-fit mag or 14+1 with extended. This little pistol features co-witnessed tritium night sights, and Hooded ejection port to vent gasses/brass away from the optic. For other features see this video review from Colion Noir:

Taurus Defender 605 3″-barrel .357 Magnum Revolver

Taurus defender 605 revolver 3

The new 3″-barrel Taurus Defender 605 wheelgun comes in four versions, starting at $472.63 MSRP for matte black stainless with rubber grip. Show is the Altamont wood grip model with Tungsten Cerakote finish (MSRP $517.33). These are significantly less expensive than similar S&Ws. Unlike many 3-inch barrel revolvers, the Defender 605 comes with an extended ejector rod for quicker reloads. The Defender 605s come with factory-installed tritium front night sight with an orange outline.

Ruger PC Charger 9mm Large Format Pistol

Ruger PC charger Pistol carbine


Pistol brace, sling, suppressor, optic, and Glock Magazine NOT included.

The Ruger PC Charger pistol was is a handgun version of Ruger’s PC Carbine. This pistol was actually introduced last year, but now it is being sold without the legally problematic folding stock (err, make that a “pistol brace”). The 2022-model PC Charger still has a quick detachable barrel system, MLOK rail, and a 1913 rail up top for accessories. The PC Charger runs Ruger pistol magazines, and there is a handy, drop-in conversion for Glock magazines. This is hardly a carry pistol, but we can see how someone might favor this for home defense or fun shooting on steel.

CLICK HERE to view MORE New-for-2022 Pistols and Revolvers »

Good Handgun Transport Case — Discrete Gun Luggage

Here’s a sensible transport option for range trips with handguns. This discrete, double-sided unit from Elite Survival Systems allows you to transport four pistols — as well as eye protection, cleaning kits, magazines and ammunition — no more conspicuously than a laptop. There are two identical 2-gun compartments for pistols, plus a top section for your muffs, targets, and other accessories. This bag system earned the U.S. Concealed Carry Magazine Editor’s Choice Award.

laptop computer pistol transport case

* We count the two Uberti single-action revolvers as one new design because they are nearly identical in layout and operation. However there are some differences (e.g. the brass-frame option on Cattleman model only).

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September 30th, 2021

Smith & Wesson Will Move Headquarters to Tennessee

smith wesson massachusetts Tennessee second amendment factory headquarters move

Big news in the gun industry. Smith & Wesson (S&W) announced today it will move its headquarters out of Massachusetts and relocate in Tennessee. In addition, a large share of S&W’s manufacturing operations will be transferred from Massachusetts to the Second Amendment-friendly state of Tennessee. Smith & Wesson will also shut down facilities in Connecticut and Missouri, in connection with the Tennessee relocation.

The main reason for the move was recent anti-gun legislation in Massachusetts. According to Fox News: “The legislation, if enacted, would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing products that accounted for more than 60% of its revenue last year.” Specifically, pending bill SD. 2588 (“An Act to Stop Mass Shootings”) would bar the manufacturing of “any assault weapon or large capacity feeding device”.

When the process is complete, S&W will have just three manufacturing and distribution facilities in the USA. S&W will continue to make revolvers in Massachusetts, however, and S&W Operations in Holton, Maine will continue without change. Approximately 1000 S&W jobs will remain in Massachusetts after the move. But 750 jobs will be re-located to the new S&W headquarters/production center in Maryville, Tennessee. The move is slated to take place in 2023 at an estimated cost of $138,000,000 to build new facilities and transfer tooling/machinery.

Smith & Wesson Massachusetts
Manufacture of most S&W semi-auto rifles and pistols will be moved out of Massachusetts.

Fox Business noted that restrictive, Democratic Party-sponsored legislation in Massachusetts is compelling S&W to leave: “Gun maker Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. will relocate its headquarters to Tennessee next year due to proposed firearms legislation in its home state of Massachusetts. The legislation, if enacted, would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing products that accounted for more than 60% of its revenue last year.” Smith & Wesson was founded in Connecticut in 1856, and has been headquartered in Springfield Massachusetts for most of its 165 years of operation. Smith & Wesson was founded by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson as the “Smith & Wesson Revolver Company” in 1856.

A S&W press release cited these key factors in the decision to move:

1. Support for the Second Amendment
2. Business friendly environment
3. Quality of life for employees
4. Cost of living and affordability
5. Access to higher education institutions
6. Availability of qualified labor for its operations and headquarter functions
7. Favorable location for efficiency of distribution

Recently proposed legislation in Massachusetts, if enacted, would prohibit the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the state. Mark Smith, S&W CEO/President said:

“After an exhaustive and thorough analysis, for the continued health and strength of our iconic company, we feel that we have been left with no other alternative. These bills would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing firearms that are legal in almost every state in America and that are safely used by tens of millions of law-abiding citizens every day exercising their Constitutional Second Amendment rights, protecting themselves and their families, and enjoying the shooting sports. While we are hopeful that this arbitrary and damaging legislation will be defeated in this session, these products made up over 60 percent of our revenue last year, and the unfortunate likelihood that such restrictions would be raised again led to a review of the best path forward for Smith & Wesson.”

Smith further praised Tennessee’s leaders: “The strong support we have received from the State of Tennessee… combined with the quality of life, outdoor lifestyle and low cost of living in the Greater Knoxville area has left no doubt that Tennessee is the ideal location for Smith & Wesson’s new headquarters. We would like to specifically thank Governor Lee for his decisive contributions and the entire state legislature for their unwavering support of the Second Amendment and for creating a welcoming, business-friendly environment.”

S&W’s Tennessee factory and headquarters construction will commence in the 4th quarter of this year and is expected to be completed by mid-2023.

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August 7th, 2021

Pistol Skills — How to Diagnose Handgun Accuracy Issues

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

When shooting pistols do your shots normally land smack dab in the middle of the target? If not, you may have some technique problems that are causing your shots to move off center. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng has produced a good video for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that helps handgunners diagnose accuracy issues. By shooting 3-shot groups and looking at the pattern and location of the shots, you can see what you’re doing wrong (or right). Here are some examples. Note, this process works best for shooters whose shots fall typically in one target zone. If your shots are all over the target, your form is inconsistent and problems will be harder to diagnose.

1. Low Left — Jerking Trigger: Here we see three (3) shots at the 7 O’clock position. This shows that the shooter is jerking the trigger, meaning that the shooter is pulling the trigger too quickly and therefore forcing the barrel to drop when breaking the shot. This is a very common problem, particularly with novices who are reacting to the noise/recoil of the pistol.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

2. 9 O’Clock — Too Little Trigger Finger: If we see three (3) shots at the 9 O’clock position, what this can be indicative of too little trigger finger on the trigger. And therefore with every shot, the shots are getting pushed to the left. Try moving your trigger finger on to the pad of your index finger. Also try dry firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

3. High Left — Anticipating Recoil: In this next example, we see three shots around the 11 O’clock position. What could be happening here is that the shooter is anticipating the recoil, and is actually lifting the gun up when he shoots. We recommend slowing down, working on your breathing, and, again, do dry-firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

4. 3 O’Clock — Too Much Trigger Finger: Finally, if you see three (3) shots at the 3 O’clock position, this can indicate that there is too much trigger finger on the trigger. Therefore when the shot breaks the shooter is pulling each shot to the right. Note: Each of these descriptions is for a RIGHT-handed shooter. If you are a left-handed shooter you’ll want to reverse those descriptions.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

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May 23rd, 2021

Buying Your First Handgun — The Rimfire Revolver Rationale

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder
S&W Model 617 now has a 10-round cylinder, but early models were six-shooters.

Over the past year and a half, the ranks of first-time gun buyers have grown dramatically. Millions of Americans have purchased their first-ever handgun. With so many handgun options (from derringers to Desert Eagles) many first-time buyers have trouble making a choice. What should those millions of new gun buyers have acquired first? Perhaps it should have been a rimfire revolver. Here is why…

The Argument for a Rimfire Revolver
Some years back, a close relative contacted this Editor. Wanting to get started in handgunning, he sought my advice on purchasing his very first handgun. “Should I get a Glock?”, he asked. “No” was my response. “Well how about an M&P?” he inquired. “Better ergos” I said, “but ‘No’ is still my reply.” “OK, how about a KelTec, they’re cheap…” “Absolutely not”, I replied.

I could tell he was getting annoyed, when he said “OK, Mr. know-it-all, so what handgun should I get?” Calmly, I replied: “Get a .22-caliber rimfire revolver. You will never out-grow it. You will learn sight alignment and trigger control. You can practice with inexpensive ammunition. A good .22 revolver will be considerably more accurate than 90% of the self-loading pistols you could buy. If you get a Smith & Wesson, you will keep the gun for the rest of your life and pass it on to your kids. If you or your heirs ever wear out the barrel or cylinder, Smith & Wesson will replace the parts for free, forever.”

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

First Handgun Choice — Consider a .22 LR Wheelgun

A very good choice for a first handgun is a Smith & Wesson .22 LR revolver, such as the S&W Model 617. The model 617 is extremely accurate, with a crisp trigger and good sights. Choose either a 4″ or 6″ barrel. The current model has a handy, 10-round cylinder.

S&W model 617 smith

This Editor’s first really accurate handgun was a .22 LR Smith & Wesson Model 617 that could easily stack ten shots in a dime at 10 yards. It remains my favorite and most-used handgun. What can we say about the Model 617? The single-action trigger pull is superb, and the accuracy surpasses most any semi-auto rimfire pistol, except for a few, very expensive target pistols. We like the 6″ version for the longer sight radius, but the 4″-barrel 617 is also very accurate, and it balances better.

Hickok 45 Demos a 4″ Model 617. See also Hickok 45 m617 Part 2:

You can learn all the fundamentals with this ultra-reliable handgun, shooting inexpensive .22 LR ammo. The model 617 is rugged, durable, and can give you a lifetime of shooting fun. Once you have mastered the basics of shooting with a .22 LR, you can move on to larger caliber handguns suitable for self-defense. Below is a slide-show illustrating a S&W model 617 ten-shot, with 6″ barrel. S&W also makes a 4″-barrel version of this revolver. (See: Shooting Demo Video with 4″ model 617.)

Another .22 Revolver Option, the Smith & Wesson Model 63

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

The current S&W Model 63 is a J-Frame .22 LR with 3″ barrel and fiber optic front sight. The Model 63 is compact enough for comfortable carry and well-balanced. The older Model 63, aka the “Kit Gun”, is an appreciating classic.

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March 2nd, 2021

Never Do This! — Gun Preserving Advice from Jerry Miculek

Jerry Miculek gun video handling safety error garand sks AR15 revolver

Jerry Miculek is the best action revolver shooter who has ever lived. Miculek is also a true master with rifle and shotgun. This guy shoots hundreds of thousands of rounds every year in all types of firearms. Through that process, he has discovered common mistakes many shooters make. Those mistakes can harm the guns, or threaten the safety of the operator. Here Jerry offers some vital gun handling and safety advice in his “Never Do This” video series.

Jerry Miculek has won multiple revolvers championships, and has set amazing records for revolver speed shooting (with reloads). Yes Jerry, “Mr. Revolver”, knows a thing or two about wheelguns. In this video, Jerry explains how you can damage your revolver by using the wrong methods to open and close the cylinder and extract ammo. Jerry shows what NOT to do, and then he very carefully explains the proper procedure to release the cylinder, and swing it out of the frame. In addition, Jerry shows how best to swing a loaded cyclinder back into place. If you own a revolver, ANY revolver, you should definitely watch this video.

In this second video, Jerry explains common mistakes people make when handling and shooting three classic, semi-auto firearm types — the M1 Garand, the SKS carbine, and the M1911 pistol. Jerry shows handling faults that can cause out-of-battery detonation or early primer strikes, or cause jams in the Garand and SKS. Then Jerry explains why you should never release the slide on a M1911 pistol with a round already in the chamber. This is a must-watch video for Garand owners.

Here Jerry demonstrates of the most common jams that can happen with AR-platform rifles. Miculek reveals the cause of the issue and then shows how to prevent it. Jerry notes: “This is one of those malfunctions that you won’t see coming! I’ve seen it … on the range and it can be devastating to your time in a match. All ammo used in the video were dummy rounds and intentionally loaded for training without powder or primers.”

Jerry Miculek gun video handling safety error garand sks AR15 revolver

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January 8th, 2021

Eight Great Books for Handgun Owners

Pistol Marksmanship training book
Jessie Harrison — one of the greatest female pistol shooters on the planet. In the video below, Jessie offers good tips on safe handgun mag changes.

In this Pro Tip Video, Jessie Harrison talks about Dry-Fire Pistol Training:

One of our Forum members asked: “Are there any good books on pistol marksmanship? I’m looking for a book that covers techniques and concepts….” Here are eight recommended titles that can make you a better pistol shooter. These books run the gamut from basic handgun training to CCW to Olympic-level bullseye shooting.

Pistol Marksmanship training book 1911 race gunGood Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters
There are actually many good books which can help both novice and experienced pistol shooters improve their skills and accuracy. For new pistol shooters, we recommend the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting. This full-color publication is the designated student “textbook” for the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.

If you’re interested in bullseye shooting, you should get the USAMU’s The Advanced Pistol Marksmanship Manual. This USAMU pistol marksmanship guide has been a trusted resource since the 1960s. Action Shooters should read Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos, and Practical Pistol by Ben Stoeger. Brian Enos is a well-known pistol competitor with many titles. Ben Stoeger is a two-time U.S. Practical Pistol shooting champion. Julie Golob’s popular SHOOT book covers pistol marksmanship, along with 3-Gun competition. Julie holds multiple national pistol shooting titles.

concealed carry ccw pistol book

For CCW holders carrying defensive pistols we recommend two good guidebooks. Concealed Carry Class: The ABCs of Self-Defense Tools and Tactics is like a complete CCW class, covering both gun handling and legal issues. To understand when, and how, you have a right to defensive firearms use, read Massad Ayoob’s Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense.

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December 20th, 2020

Best-Selling Rifles and Handguns in the USA

gun broker top selling rifles pistols november 2020

Looking to acquire a handgun for personal protection or a rifle for hunting or home defense? There are countless options on the market. Your buying decision may be simplified by seeing what other consumers have chosen, as revealed by nationwide sales trends. You can now check firearms sales figures using “Gun Genius”, a new data-crunching service of Gunbroker.com. On GunGenius.com you can select any type of firearm (handgun, rifle, shotgun) and see the top sellers for that category.

Here we list the top-selling semi-auto pistols and revolvers for November 2020. Below that you will see the top 5 sellers among bolt action rifles and semi-auto rifles. Along with these four categories of firearms, GunGenius.com has sales figures for lever-action rifles, single-shot rifles, and five different types of shotguns (semi-auto, pump, side-by-side, over-under, and single shot).

Here are the top-selling Pistols and Rifles in the USA last month:

gun broker top selling rifles pistols november 2020 gun broker top selling rifles pistols november 2020
gun broker top selling rifles pistols november 2020 gun broker top selling rifles pistols november 2020

Get Sales Rankings for Other Categories of Firearms
On GunGenius.com, in addition to the categories above, you can chose lever-action rifles, single-shot rifles, semi-auto shotguns, pump shotguns, side-by-sides and more. You can also filter for sales trends (upwards and downwards). Drill down to see detailed product specifications and current prices.

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November 11th, 2020

Revolver Showdown — Miculek Shoots S&W, Colt, & Ruger

Jerry Miculek smith wesson colt python wheelgun ruger revolver showdown
Hornady sponsored shooter Jerry Miculek — Yamil Sued Photo.

If you are considering acquiring a revolver for fun shooting, self-defense, or competition, you should definitely watch this YouTube video. In this 23-minute presentation, legendary shooter Jerry Miculek puts three .357/.38 SPL wheelguns through their paces. Jerry, one of the greatest revolver shooters in history, hosts a “Revolver Showdown” with three popular wheelguns: 1) S&W L frame (3″ bbl); 2) Colt Python (6″ bbl); and 3) Ruger Speed Six (2.75″ bbl).

Smith & Wesson Model 686 Plus, L-Frame, 7-rd .357 Magnum/38 SPL, 3″ Barrel.
Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt Ruger

Colt Python (Nickel), 6-rd .357 Magnum/38 SPL, 6″ Barrel.
Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt Ruger

Ruger Speed Six, 6-rd .357 Magnum/38 SPL, 3″ Barrel.
Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt Ruger

Jerry Miculek Revolver showdown comparison S&W Colt RugerTesting at 10 Yards and 50 Yards
In the video, Jerry shoots all three revolvers rapid-fire, double-action at 10 yards. Then he shoots the three guns single-action, slow-fire at 50 yards (starting at time mark 7:19).

After his range session, Jerry examines nine medium frame revolvers, comparing and contrasting design features. Jerry considers these factors:

1. Accuracy
2. Balance and Handling
3. Speed and Sureness of Trigger Return (watch video at 3:45″ re Colt.)
4. Reliability
5. Barrel Twist Rate
6. Strength of Construction/Durability

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September 10th, 2020

Wheelgun Wow Factor — Colt Pythons Numbers 2, 3, and 5

Colt Python Snake NRA Museum low serial number pistol
Photos courtesy NRABlog.com.

Each day, on Facebook, the NRA National Firearms Museum showcases something special from the Museum collections. A while back the Museum displayed a trio of snakes — three very special Colt Pythons. From bottom to top, these three prized wheelguns are: Colt Python serial number 2, number 3, and number 5. And yes, that is the original box for Python #2 (at bottom). The museum says such low serial number guns were typically produced for a company executive or key members of the gun design team.

Colt Python Snake NRA Museum low serial number pistol

Loved for their beautiful finish, nice balance, and great trigger, Colt Pythons have proven to be excellent investments. Since the Colt Python was first introduced in 1955, Python prices have gone through the roof. A pristine, LNIB early-era Colt Python can now command $4000.00 or more. The Museum estimates the price of Pythons has risen 14,300% since 1955. How much did a Python cost in 1955? You could purchase the Royal Blue model for just $125.00! Factory-engraved models started at $245.00, according to this Colt advertisement from June, 1955:

Colt Python Snake NRA Museum low serial number pistol

You can see hundreds of other interesting firearms on the National Firearm Museum website, www.NRAMuseum.com. Or, if you’re lucky, you can see the collections in person. The NRA now operates three Museum locations: the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum in Springfield, MO; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest in Raton, NM.

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