I’ve long wanted a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum, but the considerable size and heft of their marvelous Model 29 and 629 revolvers have been among the factors that have kept me from ever owning one. S&W’s engineers have put the mighty .44 Magnum cartridge on a diet, and shoehorned it into their medium-large L frame. They had to shed one round to make it work, but the 5-round Model 69 should be an ideal wilderness sidearm for hunters and fishermen . . .
For students of the history and romance of so-called cowboy rifles, Bayonne, New Jersey isn’t a particularly evocative locale. Ilion, New York (Remington). New Haven, Connecticut (Marlin). Those are the places where West-winning long guns were born. Even though the virtues of the long guns made in those storied factories have withstood the test of time, times have changed. I reckon we can add the Hudson County hang to the roll call. For that’s where Henry Repeating Arms Co. makes its lever action rifles, including the .357, .44 and .45 Big Boy . . .
Back when I knew nothing about handguns (except from what i picked up at the movies and on TV) I loved the Dirty Harry flicks. I can’t tell you how many times my classmates and I recited one of the most famous quotes in movie history:
I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
I got to thinking, the other day, about which handgun is the most powerful. And it’s not the .44 Magnum. (Nor was it, in point of fact, back in 1971, but I digress…) Continue Reading
Before I started down the road of responsible gun ownership, my perceptions about guns were shaped by Hollywood. Like most people that accept what they see on TV or sliver screen as gospel, I thought that guns were guns. You chose one based on the “cool factor” (.50 cal Desert Eagle), a desire to emulate a Tinseltown hero (.44 Magnum/Dirty Harry) or a desire to “go retro” (a wheelgun for Film Noir fans, or a six-shooter for Western buffs). None of this, of course, was useful, practical intel. When it comes to personal defense, you’ve got to choose a weapon that can get the job done. In the pistol packer’s parlance, that’s called “stopping power.” And it’s serious business.