Category Archives: Guns

Happy New Year

Okay, it’s New Year’s Eve. I’m not going to party and I don’t plan on getting drunk. I have some resolutions for the next year.

1: I will stick with my current work plan. My daily checklist may not undergo even the slightest adjustment after today. It will stay the same all through 2017.

2: Beer and pizza are now rewards for finishing novels. Therefore, I may not purchase beer or pizza until a draft is finished. I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.

3: I will not buy anymore guns until I get my credit card paid off. I will have my credit card paid off before the end of 2017.

4: I will continue on as a non-smoker. I’ve been clean since June 3, 2016. Go me.

5: I will get a buck during the 2017 deer hunting season, either with a gun or a bow. I’ve already picked out places on my walls where I want to hang racks.

I think that’s everything. Happy New Year.


Shot in Fiction

I keep seeing scenes in stories and movies, where Character A shoots Character B with, say, a .44 Magnum or a 12 gauge shotgun. Character B goes flying through the air until he crashes into the wall behind him.

That just doesn’t happen. Not when shot with a .44 Magnum, not when shot with a 12 gauge. Not even a .50 BMG will send Character B flying backward. It’s entirely possible that he wouldn’t even fall down right away.

If Character A wanted to make Character B fly backward, he’d probably need to shoot him with a rocket launcher. But then, the rocket would just blow Character B to pieces.

If shot with a .44 Magnum, 12 gauge, .50 BMG or any other caliber, Character B will not fly backward. His feet won’t leave the ground. If the projectile hits Character B in the chest, he might fall backward or he might stumble around a bit, and then fall. But he’s not going to be lifted off the ground

Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider

20161207_093705Yeah, I got one of those too. My Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider came with two cylinders, one for .22lr and the other for .22 Magnum. Though, I confess, I haven’t used the .22 Magnum cylinder yet and have only run .22lr through the pistol.

My Rough Rider is my primary target pistol. I bought it because I wanted to learn to shoot like Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. I might get another one eventually, so I can do two pistol shootings. I think that would give me equal practice with both hands and it would be fun.

Heritage Manufacturing has several different versions of the Rough Rider. They come in different calibers, colors and grips. You can also buy different grips, to replace the ones you have, if you want something more fancy. I have an eye on a couple different grips. I also like the holsters they have. It’s all available on the Heritage Manufacturing  website.

My Rough Rider does everything I expect it to do. It must shoot straight, because I can hit the target with it.

What’s a good holster for the Cobra Denali?


My October 2015 entry about the Cobra Denali is one of my most viewed entries. I imagine people land on it because they’re thinking about buying a Cobra Denali and they want information about it.

It occurred to me that some people might also be looking for a holster for their Denali. I don’t think there are any holsters that were made specially for the Denali and it might be tough finding a holster that works with it.

The holster I use is an Uncle Mike’s size 1 IWB. This holster is pretty slim and it’s comfortable in my waistband. It also works good as a pocket holster, which I sometimes use it as.

Is Stopping Power a Myth?

Is stopping power a myth? Does a .357 Magnum pack a harder punch than a 9mm? Or is there really no difference in the bullet’s impact?

I don’t know and it seems the experts can’t agree. But we have these swinging steel plate targets that deflect the bullet to the ground when shot. When I shoot the 9mm, the targets swing like they’re supposed to. Not always, but sometimes when I hit the targets with the .357, they practically flip over.

Because it’s only sometimes, I can’t say with certainty that it’s because I was using a .357 Magnum or if it’s because my aim was a little better with some of the shots. But the targets don’t flip like that when I use the 9mm, so maybe it is the .357 that makes them flip.


Tula .357 Magnum Ammo Might Be Wrong for Your Revolver

1Okay, I know Tula Ammo is cheap. But I’ve been using it in my 9mm for a while now and have had no problems. In fact, it seems to run better than some other brands of ammo that I put through my 9mm. Some people say it’s dirty ammo, but far as I can tell, it doesn’t dirty up my gun any faster or worse than any other ammo I’ve used. Maybe some day I’ll do a throughout experiment on the dirtiness of different ammunitions, but for now I just have a glimpse observation and I don’t notice a difference.

I buy Tula Ammo because it costs less than pretty much everything else. The Tula Cartridge Works, as a company, has a long history. They’ve been a manufacturer in Russia since 1880 (I’m not sure if The Tula Cartridge Works is part of Tula Arms Plant, which has been making guns in Russia since 1712.). So, I wouldn’t dismiss Tula as a maker of junk. If you have a Russian design, such as an AK-47, SKS or even one of those Mosin-Nagants,, I think Tula Ammo will run like a dream through it. But there are non-Russian designs that don’t like Tula Ammo.

The other day, for the first time, I tried .357 Magnum Tula Ammo. I loaded the six chambers of my Rossi R461 and fired at the target twenty feet away. No problems there. It fired like it always had. But when I rolled out the cylinder to remove the empty casings, the casings were stuck.

The empty casings couldn’t be pushed out and they couldn’t be pulled out. I had to hammer a screwdriver in through the front of each chamber. That’s what it took to get them out. It wasn’t terribly difficult, but it was a hassle.

I tried the Tula Ammo twice, shooting a total of twelve rounds, just to be sure. It was the same thing with all of them. Every empty casing was stuck in its chamber and could only be removed by hammering a screwdriver in through the front.

My dad and I inspected the empty casings. The casings were swelled. That would be why they were stuck in the chambers. My dad has a tool for measuring things down to millimeters. He measured the widths of a live .357 Magnum Hornady round and a live .357 Magnum Tula round.

The Hornady measured 9.59 millimeters and Tula measured 9.56 millimeters.  I’m not a hundred percent sure that this is why it’s happening, but I think because the Tula is a pinch thinner than the Hornady that there is space in the loaded chamber that gives the Tula room to expand when fired.

I didn’t have any other .357 Magnum brands, but my dad had a .38 Special round that he also measured. .38 Special can be fired from a .357 Magnum pistol. The Tula round was a pinch thinner than the .38 round.

So, it would seem that Tula .357 Magnum rounds are thinner than they’re supposed to be, which might very well mean they have room to expand in the chambers. I think my gun might have been damaged if I had continued firing this ammo. I won’t be using anymore Tula in my .357 Magnum revolver.

Mossberg 500

Photo-0018You can’t go wrong with a Mossberg 500 pump shotgun. I bought this baby eighteen years ago and it still runs like new. Mossberg 500s are made in different sizes and for different purposes. There are the long ones, which are meant for hunting. There are the short ones, which are meant for defense. Some have shoulder stocks with pistol grips and some just have pistol grips with no shoulder stock.

Mine is a long hunting shotgun. It is my primary hunting gun. Sometimes I hunt with an old single shot 20 gauge that I got for Christmas when I was thirteen, but usually I use the Mossberg 500 because I prefer 12 gauge power.  I feel that a 12 gauge is more liable to nail a deer than a 20 gauge.

Mossberg 500s are affordable shotguns. I bought mine brand new and it cost around $250.00. Not a bad price for a gun that stays reliable for a long time.

Cobra Denali

Photo-0006The Cobra Denali is another pistol I own. It’s small, smaller than my hand. I often just stick it in my pocket. Yeah, it rides pretty well in most of my pockets. The Denali is a .380 ACP. Holds five rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber for a good 5+1.

Before I bought it, I did research on it, as I tend to do with any gun I’m thinking about buying. I read articles and watched videos. Most of the articles described the Denali as a problematic pistol, reporting constant jams, and the videos showed the Denali jamming constantly.

But then I came across a piece that said just put a little oil on the feed ramp before taking it out to shoot for the first time. I decided to put faith in that piece of information and bought my Cobra Denali. Before taking it out to shoot for the first time, I put a little oil on the feed ramp. There were no problems. None. It was fantastic.

So far, my Denali has only jammed on me once and that was after I’d gone through a couple of boxes of bullets. I just needed to clean it and it was good to go again. I’m very, very pleased with my Denali. It handles very sweetly.

I’ve run only PMC ammo through  it. That’s one of the three ammos Cobra Firearms recommends.  So, if you’ve oiled your Denali’s feed ramp, but are still having problems, it might be the ammo you’re using. I’ve also heard that some gun oils don’t work so well with certain guns. I don’t know which oils those might be, but I use Hoppe’s 9 and have no complaints about it.

The breakdown process for the Denali is a little frustrating, I admit. It doesn’t come apart the way most other semi-auto pistols I’ve used do. When taking the Denali apart to clean it or whatever, you got to be careful or the parts will fly all over the place. But that’s my only issue with the Denali and I consider it to be a minor issue.

I heard that all Cobra firearms are handmade instead of machine made. I think that’s nice. The people making these guns do a good job.

Added December 2, 2016:
If you’re looking for a holster for the Cobra Denali, see my entry: What’s a good holster for the Cobra Denali?

Smith & Wesson SD9 VE

Photo-0018Okay. Yeah. I’m the proud owner of a Smith & Wesson SD9 VE. I’ve heard that a lot of people consider this pistol to be junk, but I don’t see that it is. Faulty trigger, they’ve claimed. What’s wrong with the trigger? It seems fine to me. It functions just right, far as I can tell. Some have said they hated the gun for other reasons, but whatever those reasons are, I’ve come to love my SD9 VE and I know people who also love the SD9 VE as well its twin, the SD40 VE.

Not everyone agrees that any particular pistol is good, so if you don’t like the SD9, that’s fine. But me, personally, I think it’s a great gun, very reliable. The SD9 VE holds 16+1 rounds. That’s a nice load to have if you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to defend yourself from more than one criminally intent person. I guess such a circumstance is rare, but it could happen, you never know.

Okay, so, I love my SD9 and I find it to be a great pistol. But I’ll be honest, when I first got it, I wasn’t so sure. I took it out of the box and went out to shoot it. The first problem I had was loading the magazine. I had so much trouble putting the first bullet in and after I managed to get the bullets in, I couldn’t fill the magazine. It’s a 16-round magazine, but I could only fit fifteen rounds in it. After so many failed attempts to get that sixteenth round in, I decided that this was a flaw Smith & Wesson needed to address, that the magazines did not actually hold sixteen rounds as Smith & Wesson claimed.

So, with fifteen rounds in the mag, I decided it was time to do some target shooting. I put a few rounds through the pipe and then got my first jam. It went on like that for a while, a jam for every few shots. I was really beginning to have doubts about the quality of the gun.

But you know what? All that was just the break-in period. As I continued to use the gun, it began to function better. The issue with the magazines not holding the sixteen rounds that they were supposed to was just that the springs needed to get some usage. Eventually it was easier to load the magazines and fit sixteen rounds in them.

I figured out later that when you buy a brand new gun, it’s best to oil it before taking it out to shoot for the first time. Oiling the gun before the first shooting will likely make the break-in period more pleasant. It’s a practice I stick to now.

So, for me, the SD9 VE turned out to be a very good pistol and I’m glad I bought it.

Antique Gun Show

My dad and I went to the antique gun show in Lapeer a few days ago. The place was packed to the gills and it wasn’t easy moving around the building. I’m not a fan of crowds, but I did appreciate all the items that were on display. They were fascinating. I might have spent more time looking at each item, but there were a lot of other people wanting a look too and I didn’t want to hold them up.

This was a gun show, so most of the items were, in fact, guns. A lot of muskets and single shot pistols were on display. I also saw a couple of Spencer rifles and several black powder revolvers. Most of the guns looked old. I think several were from the Civil War era, but others might have dated back to the American Revolution. And some of the guns were copies of the older guns and probably only a few years old.

I especially liked the single shot pistols. If I had the money, I would have bought all of them. There was also a very nice western style hat that I really wanted, but I didn’t have enough money for anything in there. The hat, I think, was pretty old, probably about the same age as the Johnny Reb hat and the Billy Yank hat that were next to it.

We had planned to go to another gun show that was in Flint after we got out of the show in Lapeer, but the roads were pretty bad, so we decided to skip that one and went to the grocery store instead.