Ruger seems to be trying very hard to fill every little nook and cranny of the firearms market. The latest announcements are for some new configurations of two of their most popular wheelguns, the LCRx and the SP101.
The LCRx line has been expanded to include four new variants; 9mm, .327 Federal magnum and two versions in .22 Magnum (WMR) one with a two inch barrel and one with a three inch barrel:
I like the LCRs alot and that it my go to carry pistol about 75% of the time. I like the option of the exposed hammer in the LCRx line but really don’t have a need for one personally. A 9mm revolver is kinda cool and relatively cheap to practice with but for the extra weight I would prefer a .357 Magnum that I can load with full bore magnums or softer shooting .38s for practicing. The .327 Magnum gives improved performance and an extra round over .38 Special but not the same power as a .357 Magnum. I really like the round but there just isn’t enough support yet from ammo makers for me to take the plunge…yet. I fell out of love with the .22 Magnum a long time ago. Not as cheap as .22 LR and not as powerful or reliable as a centerfire round. Kudos, to Ruger on trying to fill every niche but none of these really light a fire under the wallet…which, to be honest, is a good thing right now for me personally.
The SP101 chambered in 9mm falls into the same category; I’m glad they did it but I won’t be buying one anytime soon.
I wasn’t that impressed with the LCR I had in 9mm and don’t see any reason to try an all steel revolver in that caliber. I have an SP101 in .357 Magnum and don’t see a need for one in 9mm other than the cost of ammo. Since I reload, the cost of .38 Special or even .357 Magnum really isn’t that big a deal.
In an ideal world, where I had unlimited funds, I would probably pick up one of each. Since I live in the real world, I’ll pass but I hope they sell a ton of them.
I have been spending some time since Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding thinking about my reactions and actions before and during the disaster. I am trying to identify things that went well and things that didn’t work as well. Or, in this case just an interesting observation.
I generally consider myself to be a pistol guy. Within the practical limitations of an ageing set of eyeballs I generally shoot pistols better than the average bear or even human. I train with rifles primarily for hunting but take them very seriously as part of my self-defense strategy as well. Shotguns are about me least favorite firearm. I rarely hunt with them (although I do enjoy dove hunting) and almost never think of one for self-defense. I don’t think they are a bad choice for self-defense I just never really spent much time with them and don’t really enjoy shooting them.
As the water was rising I was making trips back and forth between my house and my daughter’s house to try and save as much as I could. On one of my last trips in before the water got too high I found a group of guys on my porch. I didn’t recognize them and couldn’t tell what they were doing huddled on my small front porch. Were they trying to stay out of the rain? Silly, when the water between them and anywhere else was several feet deep. Were they breaking in? Maybe they were thinking about it. There had already been several reports of looters in the area.
I avoided them and approached the house from around back. Once in the house I turned the power back on and made a point making sure the house appeared as occupied as possible; turning on lights, making noise, talking on the phone, etc. I also headed to the location where I had secured the firearms that couldn’t be moved. Just in case they decided to try something.
I keep a go back with a loaded Glock 19, extra magazines and a med kit ready at all times. I didn’t grab that. I have a nice AR set up for home defense and spare magazines. I didn’t grab that.
I grabbed a 12 gauge shotgun. A gun I almost never use. I loaded it with buckshot and one round of birdshot so that would be the first round in the chamber if I cycled the action. I kept it “cruiser ready” with a full magazine tube but no rounds in the chamber. That’s what I kept with me during the time I was back in the house. I also took it with me and kept it close through much of the flood until I got too sidetracked working on the house and forgot about personal safety.
I wish I could say that I had clear tactical reasons for grabbing the shotty instead of the guns I am generally more comfortable with. I didn’t. It just “felt right” at the time. It is just a little strange how the shotgun was my “go to” in this situation.
One of the more interesting things that happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey (for me anyway) was that I totally lost focus on security. During the hurricane nothing changed but afterwards…
Once the house flooded personal security became even less than an afterthought. It wasn’t even on my mind. Looking back on it, I went well over a week without carrying a firearm. My situational awareness was essentially non-existent. My whole focus was on the work that needed to be done and security needs never even crossed my mind. All of this despite the fact that first-responders were otherwise occupied and there were numerous reports of looters around.
The lesson here is that in the event of a disaster it is really easy to get distracted from a critical area of concern despite the fact that it was even more important at that time than any other time.
This is not new news, it was announced last month but I misplaced the link and thought I had already posted it.
Kimber announced two variants of their six-shot revolver platform. Two are (mostly) cosmetic variations of the original K6 and one is a longer barreled version of the snubbie.
The CDP is a (mostly) cosmetic two tone version of the K6 with wood grips. It does feature three dot night sights as standard.
The DC is also a (mostly) cosmetic variant featuring a solid black finish, matching G10 grip and night sights:
I have to say that is definitely my favorite of the two but then again, anyone who has seen my collection of snubbies with black finishes shouldn’t be surprised by that. Unfortunately, with an MSRP of $1,155 It won’t be joining my collection anytime soon.
Kimber also announced a new version of the K6 with the same finish as the standard K6 bit with wood grips and (drumroll please) a three inch barrel called the K6 Stainless 3″.
Despite my affinity for snubbies wearing black, this is the model I am most excited about. Sporting an MSRP of $899 I might actually be able to afford one. It also gives a bit of improvement in size and usability over a snubbie without going to a larger frame size. It seems to have many of the advantages of the SP101 (which I really like) but with an extra round in the cylinder, a little less weight and without the exposed hammer.
The firearms blogs like TFB, American Rifleman and Guns.com are all announcing that Smith & Wesson has released the “new” model 360 today. I don’t know about the new part, I can recall other model 360s in the lineup for sometime (I even own one in .38 Special, see link) so maybe it would be more accurate to say that Smith & Wesson has released a new variation of the 360.
Anyway, here is the “new” Model 360:
It is a scandium alloy framed J-Frame chambered in .357 Magnum (basically the same frame as the 340 PD). The cylinder is stainless steel but not fluted. The extra material in the cylinder combined with the larger “combat” grips means the 360 weighs in about 1.1 ounces heavier than the 340. Not a huge difference and it is still about three ounces lighter than the Ruger LCR when chambered in .357 Magnum.
Besides the baby poop FDE combat grips the 360 also features a red ramp front sight that (like the 340) is pinned so it can be replaced and upgraded.
The MSRP is $770 which is around $100 more than the Ruger LCR.
So there is a lot of “info” floating around out there about the effectiveness of .357 Magnum rounds out of a snub-nosed revolver. Conventional wisdom (at least what I have heard) is that, due to the short barrel length, there is no advantage of .357 Magnum over .38 Special out of a snubbie. This guy puts that to the test in his video and the results surprised me:
As you can see there is a good bit of difference in performance and the hollow points he tested did, in fact expand. Now as to the extra recoil and muzzle blast, I’ll have to get my new Hand Cannon out to the range and check that out for myself.
It also includes a video version of the review if you prefer watching over reading:
While I really don’t think this should be called a Cobra, I am very excited for another player to be (back) in the revolver market. I also hope to be able to fondle one before too long. If money allows, I would like to add it to my collection because…well…I just want one.