Smoke signal from Gunsite

Where has the time gone?  It seems as though we just started the year, and here it is September already.  Here at Gunsite we’re already seeing the hints of fall weather coming on.  Daytime temperatures are starting to fall, nights are cool and the summer Monsoon is breaking down.  We look forward to these changes as they herald the best weather and our favorite time of the year.

Part of the reason this is our favorite season has to do with the upcoming GAS match.  Held on October 10th this year, the GAS match is our annual family get-together and shoot.  If you haven’t made arrangements to come see us you should do so right away.  And if you wish to spread out your fun here at Gunsite, we have classes both before and after the match.  The week before we’re running the 250 Defensive Pistol class, an Alumni Refresher class and Ladies Pistol on Thursday and Friday.  Then, the week after, we have Close Quarters Pistol, the 350 Night class, and Ladies Pistol II, a three day class.

For those of you who have been waiting anxiously for the 2010 training schedule to be posted, it is now up on our web site at www.gunsite.com.  Remember, if you sign up for a 2010 class before December 31, 2009, you get the class at the 2009 price.   And while you are on our site, browse around and check out the many new additions to the online store.

Small, easily concealed pistols and revolvers are increasing in popularity.  Our friends at Ruger tell us that their LCP, .380 Auto pistol has been the most successful product Ruger has ever introduced and that their LCR revolver is in high demand as well.  Likewise, our friends at Smith & Wesson tell us they are producing some 750 of the small J-frame revolvers a day and cannot keep up with demand.  These facts might lead to the conclusion that more people are interested in self defense, as well as concealed carry, as these are the primary uses for these pistols and revolvers.  Here at the school we have been asked to do several television shows on these little guns and we now have a special class just for the pocket pistols.  Called Concealed Carry Pistol, it is scheduled for September 24-25, Thursday and Friday, and costs $571.  Our regular CCW class follows it on Saturday for those who may wish to obtain a CCW permit after getting tuned up on the little guns.  If you carry a small concealed pistol or revolver you should really consider this new class.

One thing we have discovered concerning these little carry pistols is that the demand for them is fueling a demand for better defensive ammunition.  In the past we would have been reluctant to recommend a .380 as a defensive caliber since there wasn’t any decent ammunition available for it.  Now, Hornady and Winchester, among others, are producing high quality defensive .380 ammunition that provides for penetration and expansion on a level with a good 9MM load, making this caliber a viable defensive option.  These little guns are driving the ammunition companies to improve all of their defensive ammunition and we now have better choices than ever in all of the pistol calibers.

Among the new small pistols and revolvers we have been testing, the one that stands out is the little Ruger LCP in .380ACP caliber.  Almost as small and as lightweight as the Kel-Tec .32ACP it resembles, the Ruger is very reliable and can be concealed almost anywhere.  As a general rule, we feel that if you are going to carry a small pistol or revolver it is wise to carry two guns, and the Ruger facilitates this nicely. Why carry two? The Ruger holds 7 rounds, six in the magazine and one in the chamber.  A little J-frame S&W, or Ruger LCR, in .38 Special, holds 5 rounds.  Should you need more ammunition than that to solve your problem, the quickest reload is another gun.  And, since you aren’t going to be accomplishing your best competition reload with these little guns, a second gun can be rather comforting to have with you.

Of course, another reason for these small pistols and revolvers is as a back-up to the main carry pistol.  Whether in law enforcement of for civilian concealed carry, these little pistols are ideal as second guns.

Finally, when we start talking about little guns and small calibers we risk being criticized for abandoning the mighty .45ACP and for advocating “mouse guns”.  You will hear the admonition, for example, that friends don’t let friends carry mouse guns.  Well, before we get anyone riled up, let me say this; I’m wearing a custom Novak 1911 in .45ACP, as I do every day, while writing this.  Still, as a back-up, or when the mode of dress, or the weather, doesn’t allow for carrying the big pistol I often carry a small .38, and/or, a little 9MM or .380 auto.  I frequently practice shooting two .380s at the same time, one in each hand.  To those who think we are poorly armed when carrying mouse guns, I can only say, if you want to stand there and take a swarm of .380 rounds in the face, you are afterwards welcome to respond with the Blaster 5000 of your choice.

Here’s the thing, my friends, nobody wants to get shot, with anything, regardless of caliber.  And remember the admonition of our friend Mark Moritz, to wit:

“It has often been said there are no rules in a gun fight.  Not true!  The first rule of gun fighting is ‘have a gun’.  If you do not have a gun, do not come to a gun fight.  Just having a gun on your person when you need it is 90% of the fight.  Everything else – caliber, action type, ammunition, even skill – is way back in second place.  Have a gun.”

DVC,

Ed

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Ed Head
Ed Head has been a regular on Shooting Gallery, Gun Stories and Down Range TV. He has worked for almost 30 years in law enforcement, first in the United States Air Force and then with the United States Border Patrol, retiring as a Field Operations Supervisor. During his Border Patrol career, Ed worked in a variety of patrol, investigative and training capacities. Ed has an extensive background as a firearms instructor, having trained thousands, ranging from beginners to police, military and special operations personnel. Having taught at Gunsite for 20 years, Ed first trained there under the world famous shooting school’s founder, Jeff Cooper, then later ran the school as the operations manager for more than five years. Ed lives in Chino Valley, Arizona, where he continues to teach and write.

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