RE­VOLVERS ALL YEAR

HERE ARE FOUR TIPS TO MAKE ANY WHEEL­GUN ROCK IN ALL SEA­SONS

Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - STORY AND PHO­TOS BY DAVE WORK­MAN

Here are four tips to make any wheel­gun rock in all sea­sons.

By Dave Work­man

Whether it’s a five-, six-, seven- or eight-shooter, the re­volver is a hand­gun for all oc­ca­sions, all con­di­tions and all four sea­sons.

Mil­lions of re­volvers are avail­able, both new and used. They cover all the bases in a va­ri­ety of cal­ibers, they are rel­a­tively easy to master, and I have yet to be let down by one. Sin­gle- or dou­ble-action, the re­volver is the “old de­pend­able.” There are no mag­a­zines to lose or dam­age. Re­volvers don’t suf­fer stovepipe jams.

While the re­volver is a multi-pur­pose tool, you still need to en­sure that it is go­ing to work when you need it. Here are steps you can take to max­i­mize its ef­fec­tive­ness and min­i­mize po­ten­tial headaches, whether buy­ing a brand new wheel­gun or adopt­ing a sidearm that has al­ready been sea­soned by some­one else.

01 CLEAN IT

The very first thing one does with any good hand­gun, new or used, is re­move the grips and give it a bath in Hoppe’s No. 9 or Outer’s Nitro Sol­vent.

If the re­volver is new, this process will re­move any ship­ping oils. On a used model, you clean out dust, old oil, and grit and pos­si­ble rust that might in­ter­fere with its op­er­a­tion. Use very fine steel wool and gen­tly scrub the

sur­face un­til the rust is gone.

Scrub the bore, pull the cylin­der and wipe it down through the cen­ter, in all cham­bers and any­where that dust might have set­tled.

Touch up blem­ishes with gun blue, and re­mem­ber to buff and oil the fin­ish, ac­cord­ing to instructions.

Mod­ern aerosols are handy, and that in­cludes WD-40 be­cause it dis­places mois­ture and lu­bri­cates at the same

“...PROB­A­BLY THE MOST VER­SA­TILE RE­VOLVER CAL­IBER IS THE .357 MAG­NUM, A CAL­IBER THAT LIT­ER­ALLY DOES IT ALL...”

time. You can opt for Birch­wood Casey Sheath, Bal­lis­tol or a sim­i­lar prod­uct.

With the grips re­moved, you can ac­cess the main­spring. Make sure to add a drop or two of oil to the main­spring, whether it’s a coil or leaf type. Spring steel can rust just as eas­ily as the bore, cylin­der cham­bers or crane if ne­glected.

02 SWAP THOSE GRIPS

A sec­ond con­sid­er­a­tion is swapping out the grips as the sea­sons change, or at least tak­ing a lit­tle pre­cau­tion. If your grips are syn­thetic or some kind of rub­ber, they’ll be good to go any time of year.

For wood grips, I suggest pulling them and rub­bing the in­side sur­face with a bit of neu­tral shoe wax. It won’t soften the wood, but it will fill tiny cracks that may not be vis­i­ble to the naked eye, pre­vent­ing con­den­sa­tion from da­m­ag­ing the wood from the in­side. It also pro­vides a bit of a seal be­tween the grip sur­face and the frame.

If you don’t have Pach­mayr or Hogue grips to fit your re­volver for win­ter use, you might want to ac­quire them. They’re im­per­vi­ous to wet, cold weather, and if you drop a hand­gun, the grip is not go­ing to crack or scratch. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, they don’t feel cold when you grab them, ei­ther, even in sub-freez­ing tem­per­a­tures.

03 TRAIN SE­RI­OUSLY

Item No. 3 is prac­tice and train­ing. The first step here is to ob­tain var­i­ous brands of am­mu­ni­tion and dif­fer­ent bul­let weights and styles, and head for the range.

“WHILE THE RE­VOLVER IS A MULTI-PUR­POSE TOOL, YOU STILL NEED TO EN­SURE THAT IT IS GO­ING TO WORK WHEN YOU NEED IT.”

Set tar­gets first at 10 yards and then at 25 yards. Sight your re­volver us­ing a rest, first on the closer tar­get and then at the longer distance. If your wheel­gun has an ad­justable rear sight—like my 2 ½-inch vin­tage Model 19 Smith & Wes­son—you will find that dif­fer­ent loads will shoot dif­fer­ently and you can ad­just the sights ac­cord­ingly.

With fixed sights, you must de­ter­mine whether the re­volver shoots to point of aim and at what range, with which spe­cific load. Match the gun to the car­tridge and to the pri­mary in­tended use. That’s the for­mula for suc­cess… and sur­vival.

A good de­fen­sive hand­gun course may in­volve fir­ing any­where from 300 to 500 rounds, maybe more, and by the time you’re fin­ished, that re­volver will es­sen­tially be mar­ried to your hand.

04 CON­SIDER SIZE

Fourth, size mat­ters, and it is dif­fi­cult to beat a good five- or six-shot snub gun with a 2- or 2 ½-inch bar­rel for gen­eral con­cealed carry. Those who pre­fer a longer bar­rel should find a 3or 4-incher ad­e­quate. Any­thing big­ger re­quires a larger hol­ster and a more ro­bust cover gar­ment, un­less you are de­lib­er­ately try­ing to show the world you’re car­ry­ing a hand­gun.

Through the spring and again in the au­tumn months, a com­pact or even full-size re­volver with magna-size grips should van­ish un­der a light or medium-weight cover gar­ment such as a sweater, light jacket or wind­breaker.

In the sum­mer months, a snubby car­ried in a pocket hol­ster, a deep

cover in­side-the-waist­band rig over which a loose shirt can be tucked or in an an­kle hol­ster is tac­ti­cally sound.

For those headed to the out­doors, even if you pack a full-size re­volver, cov­er­ing it up with a loose shirt, vest or wind­breaker is good man­ners. Re­mem­ber, you can carry in a na­tional park ex­cept in­side build­ings such as vis­i­tor cen­ters or ranger sta­tions, as long as you are also com­ply­ing with state and lo­cal laws.

In the win­ter, it’s pos­si­ble to carry a large wheel­gun un­der a heavy parka, ski jacket or over­coat.

WHAT’S THE BEST CHOICE?

There is no such thing as the “ideal” or “best” re­volver. The one you pre­fer is the one for you, re­gard­less of make, model or cal­iber.

This is where in­di­vid­u­als make their own choice. Thanks to the grow­ing avail­abil­ity of in­door shoot­ing ranges, it is pos­si­ble to rent hand­guns and try them out. Find one that meets your needs, suits your pref­er­ences and, most im­por­tant, fits your hand and body.

In addition to new re­volvers, plenty of pre­vi­ously owned mod­els are on the mar­ket to­day. Whether blue or stain­less, one can find some bar­gains on re­li­able hand­guns through which very lit­tle am­mu­ni­tion has passed.

Pick the one you want, fol­low the main­te­nance tips out­lined here, prac­tice, seek com­pe­tent train­ing, then carry with con­fi­dence and do it dis­creetly. What­ever your choice, the re­volver may be retro, but it con­tin­ues to rock in the 21st cen­tury.

Around the clock, around the cal­en­dar, the re­volver is a de­pend­able de­fen­sive tool.

Above: Whether new or used, the first or­der of busi­ness for any new re­volver is a good clean­ing in­side and out. Take out the cylin­der, clean the yoke, pull the grips and clean the main­spring and grip frame. Make it run like new.

Top: Work­man sug­gests adding oil or a rust pre­ven­ta­tive to the main­spring.

Bottom: Here’s a trick few peo­ple think about: Water­proof the in­side of your wood grips with neu­tral shoe wax.

Above: Re­volvers come in stain­less, like this Char­ter Arms dou­ble-action spec­i­men, blue or nickel-plated. No­tice this one has fixed sights and a factory-in­stalled rub­ber grip.

Be­low: Many re­volver fans carry spare am­mu­ni­tion in a belt slide.

Above: Reload­ing is slower from looped car­tridge car­ri­ers, but you’ve got spare am­mu­ni­tion al­ways within easy reach.

Above: Ruger last year in­tro­duced the LCRx in .357 Mag­num, and Work­man put it through its paces. This five-shooter is a light­weight, rugged hand­gun well de­signed for con­cealed carry. Nat­u­rally, one pairs it with speed­load­ers.

Be­low: Of pop­u­lar re­volver cal­iber choices, the .357 Mag­num stands out front, while the .38 Spe­cial (left), .41 Mag­num and .44 Mag­num are a bit in the back­ground.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.