My Guns – at least some of them.
My favorite carry gun. Glock 19. But only if I’m wearing a coat with a nice pocket or cargo pants with a large pocket because I never wear a holster. It’s such a great gun. Fits perfectly in my hand and lets off with much less snap than the sub-compact 26 which I have to carry when I’m wearing pants with smaller pockets. I also use the 19 when I have to qualify or re-qualify for NRA certifications. The 19 points perfectly, comes up on the ‘Go’ command into the work zone in less than half a second. The great 19. Love it.
Colt Detective 38 Special. I bought this gun at Sile Arms near the old Colt factory in 1967 or 68. I’ve shot this guy I don’t know how many times. It still has that wonderful Colt Royal Blue finish. Now it’s kind of retired and I only use it in some of my gun classes to demonstrate the difference between single and double action.
Here it is. My Browning Hi-Power also known as the P-35. This was John Browning’s last design and although he died in 1926 the gun wasn’t produced until 1935. This one was manufactured in Belgium in the late 60s or maybe the early 70s. Browning was the Steve Jobs of the gun industry. He created guns based on a remarkably-intuitive sense of how to combine absolute reliability with aestehtics. In other words, his guns are all beautiful and they all function flawlessly. You don’t need to worry about whether you have this kind of ammunition or that kind of ammunition. You don’t have to worry whether or not you cleaned out the channel that holds the firing pin. You simply load and pull the trigger and it goes – bang. Genius. Absolute genius.
And the favorite of all, my Colt 1970 pistol, a modern version of the 45 caliber pistol that John Browning designed in 1907 and was then adopted by the U.S. military in 1911. And there are still some military units that carry this gun, which means that there’s actually a piece of military equipment being used by troops whose design is more than a century old. And the reason it is still out there is because it may be the best engineered small arm of all time. Not only does it work no matter how dirty it is, what kind of ammunition you use, or anything else. It works. And here’s two things about this gun you might not know. First, when the genius John Browning designed this gun, he actually cut blocks of wood to the correct size of the slide and upper frame and then cut and shaped each piece to figure out the relative weights that would allow the slide to work against the frame depending upon the pressures of the round. He figured out metal ratios of different parts of the gun using wood! Second, when you field-strip the gun each part as you take it down becomes the tool that is used to strip the next part. Do you understand how brilliant that is?
Bill Ruger once was asked the difference between what he did and what John Browning did and he said, “I’m just a designer. I made guns that looked good but I didn’t invent anything new. John Browning invented new guns.”
Ruger was a pretty modest guy. The Mini-14 was new in every respect and I’ll still take it over any AR platform. Why? Because it always works, it’s accurate as hell, and the truth is that there’s no reason to add any kind of optics to a gun that is probably going to have an effective distance of less than 100 yards. Yea, yea, yea, I know about all those sniper ‘kills’ out to 500 yards but let me break the news to you gently: sniper rifles are 30-caliber jobs and the real sniper guns are bolt-action platforms anyway. Want a true Modern Sporting Rifle? Here it is – the Mini-14!
I’m getting interested in Walther again, even though the guns they made for Smith & Wesson were all junk. But maybe now that they are back on their own they’ll turn out something good. I had a beautiful James Bond PP but traded it for something or maybe just sold it. I also carried a P5 for a while but the combination dropdown lever and safety was too complicated for point-n-shoot. But recently I picked up a TPH and even though it was assembled over here after 1968 the blue version is reliable, as opposed to the stainless which just doesn’t work. It really is a very small gun so you can take it just about anywhere and the stopping power of a 22 is formidable if you know where to aim it. I’ll pay a grand for a blue, German-made PPK, so let me know if you have one for sale.