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Home Explore 2022-08-01 Gun Digest

2022-08-01 Gun Digest

Published by pochitaem2021, 2022-07-14 15:54:42

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TABLE OF CONTENTS CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS 6 First Shot 8 Know Your Cartridge COLUMNS 10 Defensive Handgunning RICHARD MANN p. 20 12 Hardware Talk PATRICK SWEENEY p. 30 14 Drawing Conclusions MARTY HAYES, J.D. p. 38 16 Reloading Bench PHIL MASSARO p. 76 18 Guns & Gear GD EDITORS 98 First Look GD EDITORS FEATURES p. 44 p. 84 20 Revolver Royalty: Korth 2.75-inch p. 90 Carry Special. RICHARD MANN 30 Lead Isn’t Dead: The science, limits and use of lead projectiles in 2022. JOSH WAYNER 38 Hunting Bullets for Revolvers: Not all bullets are created equal. PHIL MASSARO 44 Out to Pasture: She ain’t pretty, but she can still shoot. PATRICK SWEENEY 68 Patterned Polymer Dyeing: Give your component a new look that lasts. RECOIL EDITORS 76 A Few Dollars Less: How to avoid getting ripped off in today’s Colt collector market. JOSH WAYNER 84 Pulling Major G-Force: Geissele’s complete (almost) Super Duty system. PATRICK SWEENEY 90 The Versatile .41 Magnum: Don’t overlook it. DICK WILLIAMS THE BEST GUN LIST IN PRINT 51 Show & Auction Listings 56 The Gun Digest Marketplace 4|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 Gun Digest the Magazine (ISSN 1938-5943) is published monthly by Caribou Media dba Gun Digest Media, LLC. Corporate Headquarters is 5600 W. Grande Market Dr., Suite 100, Appleton, WI 54913. Periodicals postage paid at Appleton, WI 54913 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Gun Digest the Magazine, P.O. Box 460220, Escondido, CA 92046. Copyright © 2022 Gun Digest Media. GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE and its logo are registered trademarks. Other names and logos referred to or displayed in editorial or advertising content may be trademarked or copyrighted. The publisher and advertisers are not liable for typographical errors that may appear in prices or descriptions in advertisements. GUNDIGEST.COM

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FIRST SHOT // LUKE HARTLE THE 5600 W. Grande Market Drive, Suite 100 Appleton, WI 54913 CONSTANT Phone: (920) 471-4522 • FAX: (920) 471-0031 Why do you love revolvers (including this one). Then came the Ana- so much? conda, and just within the past few weeks Seriously. Why? came the handsome little .22 LR Colt King E-mail us: [email protected] Sure, you might hol- Cobra Target. ster a polymer pistol every day inside your CARIBOU MEDIA GROUP PUBLISHER waistband, or shoot your highly custom- But Colt certainly doesn’t have the ized AR at the range on the weekends or wheelgun market cornered these days. JIM SCHLENDER tote your grandfather’s bolt-action Model In fact, Taurus just released the Model 70 every November in the deer woods— 856 Executive Grade revolver, which EDITOR-IN-CHIEF and I’ll assume you wouldn’t trade a single has the looks to make you rethink what one of them for anything. a Taurus should be—it’s a very attractive LUKE HARTLE gun. And, on the complete opposite end But, whether you own 10, one or none of the revolver-sphere, Heritage Manu- MANAGING EDITOR … I’d be willing to bet a fresh case of .357 facturing just kicked out their Barkeep Mag. ammo that you stop and admire Boot model, which starts with an MSRP LAURA PELTAKIAN a wheelgun each time the opportunity of less than $200. arises. A revolver is kinda like a shiny ’67 ONLINE EDITOR Camaro that you see on the road: Regard- Then, there’s the Korth, as seen on the less of how much you love the wheels cover of this issue, which has been dubbed ELWOOD SHELTON you’re driving, you have to admire it for at “Batman’s revolver—were he to carry a least a moment as she drives by. wheelgun, of course. SR. ART DIRECTOR Though a few companies, such as Chi- My point here is this: There’s some- GENE COO appa, have unveiled a couple pretty radical thing special about a revolver—each revolvers, the overall design remains time- and every one of them—and this issue is ART DIRECTOR less. And reliable. And simple. And classy. dedicated to giving these guns the nod they all deserve. KATIA SVERDLOVA In 1955 (read: 67 years ago), the first Python slithered out of the Colt factory Enjoy. COLUMNISTS and put a stranglehold on the attention of the shooting public that has yet to relent. FRANK GALLI, RICHARD MANN, And when Colt retooled the classic a few PHIL MASSARO, PATRICK SWEENEY, years ago, that gun posed for a portrait on the cover of nearly every major gun pub MARTY HAYES 6|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 ADVERTISING SALES ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER RYAN FARNER (760) 809-8729 [email protected] SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE ALEX OSTROWSKI (920) 212-5677 [email protected] SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE DAVID FIGG (813) 418-1060 [email protected] SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE LORI MCDANIEL (715) 498-3768 [email protected] ADVERTISING ASSISTANTS BROOKE CASTLE CHING CORNFORTH GUN DIGEST MEDIA, LLC GM/PUBLISHER GLEN CASTLE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE JENNIFER SEXSTONE NETWORK MANAGER JOHN SCHWARTZE NEWSSTAND SALES NPS MEDIA GROUP [email protected] Subscription Services U.S. and Canada: 1 (800) 829-9127 Outside the U.S.: (760) 407-2297 P.O. Box 460220 Escondido, CA 92046 E-mail: [email protected] GUNDIGEST.COM

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RAPID FIRE // KNOW YOUR CARTRIDGE FROM GUN DIGEST’S CARTRIDGES OF THE WORLD. ORDER AT GUNDIGESTSTORE.COM. Legends never die. HISTORICAL NOTES combat use. The cartridge was therefore or as versatile. Some of the old .38 Long dropped in 1911, in favor of the .45 Colt revolvers will accept .38 Special or The .38 Long Colt was once the official Automatic. This was the experience that .357 Magnum ammunition, but never United States Army revolver cartridge made the military reluctant to adopt fire these in the old .38s. Firing the (1892 to 1911). The short version was the 9mm Luger. However, it was forced .357 Magnum would be particularly used mainly in the Colt Army & Navy to do so in 1985 largely as a NATO- dangerous, probably wrecking the gun Model revolver with swing-out cylinder, inspired political decision. and possibly injuring the shooter or developed in 1887. The .38 Long Colt bystanders. was introduced in 1875 as one of several Advocates of the smaller caliber ad- chamberings for Colt New Line, New mit the superior stopping power of the Remington has recently manufac- Police and New House revolvers. .45, but they point out that extra weight tured .38 Short Colt ammunition. Black and reduced magazine capacity are Hills Ammunition has recently rein- GENERAL COMMENTS detrimental factors that should also be troduced .38 Long Colt ammunition in considered. response to demands from the Cowboy Since it was once a military cartridge, a Action Shooting fraternity. number of Colt and Smith & Wesson The .38 Long Colt is in about the revolvers in this chambering are still same class as the standard .38 Special around. The .38 Long Colt cartridge can loading, but it’s not nearly as accurate be fired in a .38 Special revolver, but not vice versa. .38 SHORT AND LONG COLT FACTORY BALLISTICS During the Spanish-American War BULLET POWDER GRAINS VELOCITY ENERGY SOURCE and the Philippine Insurrection, the 150 Lead FL FL 770 195 Factory Load U.S. Army found that the .38 Long Colt had insufficient stopping power for 8|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

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DEFENSIVE HANDGUNNING // RICHARD MANN A good holster is the key to practical and comfortable concealed carry of a handgun. (Above) The Barranti Leather Summer Classic can be had for a wide variety of handguns, in- cluding single-action revolvers. I sometimes get belittled by thing that keeps your gun secure is (Left) Galco’s Royal Guard so-called “defensive handgun the tension between your belt and 2.0 is an excellent, high- experts” because I’m fond your body. This is a variable tension quality and comfortable IWB of stuffing my lightweight that’s dependent on what activity holster that’s offered for Browning HiPower in my waistband you’re currently engaged in. As far many different handguns. without a holster. This is commonly as the uncovered trigger, if the gun referred to as Mexican—or appen- is shoved in behind your belt so ering the trigger, I’m not sure what’s dix—carry. I’m often told this is an that your belt—and pants—are cov- going to pull that trigger. inherently unsafe practice because the trigger isn’t covered and it Now, maybe you have gremlins doesn’t provide any retention. roaming around in your underwear, or maybe—like a fool—you plan Well, this is partly true; the only to, or will accidentally, stick your trigger finger inside your waist band when you intend to draw your handgun. (If your belt is tight 10|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

enough to hold up your gun, I’m The Simply Rugged not sure how that’s possible.) Cuda holster is a bril- liant design that works But aside from gremlins or your well for IWB or OWB own stupidity, you should be OK. carry. This one is made For what it’s worth, people neg- ligently shoot themselves by ac- of shark skin. cidentally pulling the trigger when drawing from holsters. Also, one of the most common self-inflicted— holster-related—gunshot wounds occurs when inserting a handgun into a holster that covers the trigger. DOING IT RIGHT Now, I don’t think holster-less carry is a better option than a good hol- ster. It is, however, sometimes very Most handguns aren’t configured well for com- fortable and secure Mexican/waistband/holster- less carry. The slim and tapered HiPower, with its wider-than-its-slide grip, might be the most suited to this method of concealed carry. One of the most to Mexican/waistband/holster-less A more accurate description of comfortable and con- carry … maybe more so than any this carry method is probably just venient IWB holsters is other handgun. The HiPower just “waistband carry.” Incidentally, seems like it was made to shove in during World War II, French resis- the Galco V-Hawk. your belt line. Most other defensive tance fighters often carried guns handguns, and especially the micro- with what was called the “OSS convenient. I work from home, nines that are so popular today, are string holster” for the same rea- which is where I spend most of just not shaped right for effective sons. I’ve never seen any evidence my time. If I’m simply running a holster-less carry. that these brave souls—or Mexi- quick errand or meeting my wife cans—experienced self-inflicted for lunch, I’ll shove my HiPower BY ANY OTHER NAME gunshot wounds at a rate any in my waistband and carry on. If I higher than folks who carry with a know I’m going to be out and about Now, you may be wondering why holster. for longer periods of time, I use they call it “Mexican Carry.” Well, a holster. A good holster is more as the story goes, in response to With that little rant and history comfortable for extended carry and Mexican anti-gun laws, they say lesson taken care of, truth be told, does provide a higher degree of re- many Mexicans started carrying I utilize a holster more than not. tention. without a holster. Should they come The key to practical and comfort- into unsuspected contact with the able concealed carry of a handgun, Also—and this is important—a authorities, this allowed them to especially the itty-bitty ones, is a Browning HiPower, because of its easily ditch their gun, leaving no good holster. I’ve tried a bunch of shape and size, lends itself very well evidence of ever being armed. That different holsters, and those pic- makes sense, but I’m guessing that tured here are a few I recommend practice has been used by all nation- without hesitation. alities, for the exact same purpose, ever since handguns became a thing. GUNDIGEST.COM AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |11

H A R DWA R E TA L K // PATRICK SWEENEY How to get your muddy brass to shine like new. The Lyman Cyclone brass dryer will GUNDIGEST.COM get your brass dry ... fast. It holds a lot of empty brass, and with five trays, you can even do different calibers simultaneously and not mix them up. 12|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022

M y gun club is a nice crank it to three hours and leave it. Ly- Plug in the Cyclone. place to shoot, but it man advises caution, as the brass can Put wet brass in the does have some draw- be hot once done, but I’ve not had that trays and stack, and backs. The main one? problem, because I have yet to be at the put the lid on. Crank The range floors. Basically, sand and point of unloading the dryer while the the timer and come silt. Your brass can get muddy. If you cases are still hot. back when they’re vacuum up everything that has been done. It’s that simple. left behind, you’re going to have some Then, it’s just dump the brass into your pretty grubby brass. Rinsing the sand, vibratory cleaner, set that timer and get Also, hot, drying brass has a particu- silt and mud off in hot—even boiling— clean and shiny brass. I’ve found that my lar metallic smell to it. This isn’t going water can get them cleaner, but getting tumbling media lasts longer, since I’ve to be running on the dining room table them dry? In the summer months, rinsed off a certain amount of the dirt unless you’re a confirmed bachelor (or I can spread them out in the sun on that’d otherwise end up in the mix. want to be one). And it does require a an old bath towel and they dry pretty power outlet. quickly. I can’t do that in the winter, If you run your brass cleaning in a and a lot of you can’t do that at all. wet mix, with stainless steel pins, you The listed capacity is 1,000 223 or can use the Lyman Cyclone dryer to 2,000 9mm empties. (Lots of other Fittingly, Lyman makes a case dryer, dry your brass after its bath and avoid calibers will fit; they just list common the Cyclone, with a simple setup. You or diminish water spots on your brass. calibers to give you a sense of its capac- put the cases (after their hot water ity.) Since there are five trays, you can rinse) into the trays, stack the trays, Now, the Lyman dryer isn’t with- easily dry five different calibers with- put on the cover and turn on the timer. out its drawbacks—nothing in life is. out having to re-sort once they’re dry. The Lyman Cyclone dryer both heats Nothing holds the assembly together the air and blows it through the trays, but gravity, and the inset lips of each If you’re a serious shooter, your brass drying your brass. tray to the one below it. So, you want gets dumped on the ground, wet or dry, to be reasonably gentle in handling … clean or muddy, and has to be cleaned. Once I have enough grubby brass to or you’ll knock the trays across your If you vacuum up everything in your run, I put an even player in each tray, workbench. Drop them, and you’ll caliber left behind (my gun club has a need to buy new ones. simple brass rule: Leave it and you lost it), then at the end of your practice ses- sion there’ll be a lot of muddy, sandy, stepped-on brass in need of de-silting. That means hot water, and then a trip into the Cyclone. For the $70 they ask, this is a must- have. GUNDIGEST.COM AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |13

DR AW I NG CONCLUSIONS // MARTY HAYES, J.D. Skills, gear and legal considerations to keep you prepared. “Practice shooting inside a 2-inch circle at 7 yards. That equates to a 6-inch group at 25 yards. If you can do that consistently, you should be well on your way to active shooter interdiction competency.” 14|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

“If you pull up to the school and hear shooting and screaming, with kids running away from the sound of the shooting, you can enter that gun-free zone to save kids’ lives. It’s called the doctrine of competing harms.” GUNDIGEST.COM Marty Hayes is president and founder of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network Inc. Possessing a Juris Doctor degree, he has over 30 years of experi- ence teaching the law of self-defense through his own training school, The Firearms Academy of Seattle, and for the world-renown Massad Ayoob Group. He routinely works as an expert witness in self-defense cases. AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |15

RELOADING BENCH // PHIL MASSARO The RCBS ChargeMaster Supreme. Compared to the MatchMaster (left) or the ChargeMaster 1500 (right), the ChargeMaster Supreme (middle) is an excel- lent value. W hen I got serious about bones rig offered. move, then using a powder trickler to reloading my am- My main interest was the powder fine-tune the load. It was an accurate munition, my tool set means of dispensing a powder charge was minimal to say the charging process, as my early technique but wasn’t exactly efficient. least, yet it worked just fine. The various involved using a Lee plastic powder dip- steps might’ve taken a bit longer, but it per and some loose powder in a small I first tried to use a powder thrower, taught me to respect the little details to cardboard box or, sometimes, in a fancy but for whatever reason couldn’t get it ensure things didn’t go wrong and no glass jar top procured from a Yankee to work out, so it was back to scooping. one got hurt—including me. That said, I Candle jar. All my powder charges were When the first digital scales came onto quickly desired to obtain the tools that’d weighed on a balance beam scale—at the market, I looked at them skepti- make the processes faster, while main- first a RCBS 505, and then a Redding cally, as all the reports indicated the taining the quality control that the bare- Model No. 2—with me scooping powder environmental effects could be drastic, into the pan until the beam began to and I found those reports to be true. The 16|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

slightest breeze, fluorescent lighting— “go” buttons are located on the sides of The bold LCD touch screen is simple and easy to you name it—and I had issues. the LCD display. The powder hopper use, making for a very flexible package. is plenty large enough, holding enough FINDING ‘THE ONE’ powder for almost any loading session, shocked that H414 and RL 16 metered and the new quick-drain on the right just fine, but it also handled IMR 4064 It was some years later that I began to try side of the unit drains the powder hop- well, and I can’t say that for most dis- again, with the Lyman 1500 digital scale, per much faster than older models. pensers. Those long 4064 grains can but it was the RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 There’s even an alarm to warn you that hang up, then dump a clump, especially powder dispenser/digital scale combo you’ve left the drain open. while trickling. that changed the game for me. For a de- cade, I’ve had a pair of the units on the MAKE IT YOUR OWN I’m not going to say that, as a reloader, bench, and that pair of digital powder you can’t live without an electronic dispensers have been invaluable. Despite The ChargeMaster Supreme can be as powder dispenser, but once get used to my efforts to check and re-check the units simple or complex as you feel comfort- having one, it sure won’t be easy to go against a balance beam scale, there has able with. You can run it in manual back. The latest designs have a lot to of- never been a deviation in powder weight mode, requiring you to press the go fer, in both accuracy and time efficiency. that exceeded the advertised accuracy. button to dispense each load, or in auto Sitting smack in the middle of the mode, where the unit will automatically RCBS electronic dispenser line, I find The ChargeMaster Lite came next, dispense the same load as the last as soon the ChargeMaster Supreme to be a very paring down the control system but not as it is stable and zeroed. Or, you can good value. At less than half the price of the functionality, followed by the much run the unit from your smartphone via the MatchMaster, you still get all the fea- more precise, and costly, MatchMaster a Bluetooth connection through the free tures needed to make very accurate am- dispenser, giving accuracy down to 0.04 RCBS Reloading app. munition at an impressive rate. MSRP grain at speeds previously unattain- $429.99. able. Were I in the position where I was This was quite a leap for a guy who regularly competing or even just casually scooped powder. With the app, all the pa- shooting long range where I’d want every rameters available from the LCD screen single advantage, no matter how small, I’d are there, including setting charge weight, want this unit. dispensing mode, calibration and more. I must admit it felt a bit weird running a However, it’s the new RCBS Charge- powder dispenser from my phone, but Master Supreme that makes the most it seems like using a phone as a phone is sense to me. getting lower and lower on the list these days. But don’t feel intimidated if you’re Unlike the ChargeMaster 1500, the not tech-savvy; you don’t need a smart- Supreme is an integral unit, with the dis- phone to run this unit. penser and scale contained in the same housing. The load cell can measure up to The ChargeMaster Supreme comes 1,500 grains—perfect for weighing load- equipped with LEARN mode, where the ed cartridges to avoid a gross overload or unit senses the amount of powder being empty case—and the unit is capable of repetitively thrown, and then optimizes dispensing 200 to 300 grains of powder. the delivery time. This can be especially handy when throwing light powder The Supreme has four leveling wheels charges for pistol cartridges, or really for feet and a level bubble to help keep heavy charges for the .338 Lapua, .416 your unit as level as possible, which defi- Rigby or .470 NE. The ChargeMaster nitely aids in the most accurately thrown Supreme can store 50 different loads in powder charges. Set your unit on a stable its memory, so if you often reach for the platform, and level it as best you can. same load, storing it in the Supreme’s memory isn’t difficult at all. Calibrating the unit is a simple pro- cedure, and one I recommend. Let the I tried the ChargeMaster Supreme with unit warm up for 15 to 20 minutes (a three different powders: Hodgdon’s H414 good idea for all electronic scales), and ball powder, Alliant’s Reloder 16—a then use the pair of 50-gram calibration stick powder with shorter grains—and weights to zero the unit properly. good old IMR 4064, which is notorious for being a problem child with pow- The bright LCD display/touch screen der throwers and dispensers. I wasn’t allows the user to make powder weight selections, switch between modes and much more. Soft-touch powder and GUNDIGEST.COM AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |17

GU NS & GE A R // GDTM EDITORS 01 Colt King Cobra 02 Taurus 856 03 Standard 04 Heritage Target .22 LR Executive Grade Manufacturing Manufacturing Revolver Switch Gun Barkeep Boot There’s a tingle that comes with Colt’s latest foray into revolvers, knowing Revolver fans are more than familiar with Given that it’s a difficult proposi- For a bargain single-action army variant, the manufacturer might’ve nailed the buck-saving performance Taurus has tion to get an armed citizen to the Heritage Barkeep made waves when it on the head. Lovingly dubbed the offered up over the years. Hey, it’s gotten carry their primary arm consis- it hit the scene in 2021. It continues to “Baby Snake,” the King Cobra Target more than one penny-pincher shooting. tently, adding a backup gun to the do so in 2022 with perhaps one of the .22 LR delivers the aesthetics and Tacking somewhat from its proven course, regimen is an even taller task—but more unique configurations to grace performance of the original .357 Mag- the Brazilian manufacturer is aiming at Standard Manufacturing might’ve throw-back wheel guns in a spell. As num, but in a 10-shot rimfire. The all- a higher-end market with the introduc- found a way. Its Switch Gun puts hinted by its name, the Barkeep Boot stainless-steel revolver has some nice tion of the Executive Grade line. Kicking five rounds of potentially lifesav- is Heritage’s crack at something to slip twists, whether it’s eventually aimed things off is the Taurus stalwart 856. As ing .22 WMR on tap in a package into the stack of your Tony Lamas. With at a bull’s-eye competition or high-end an Executive Grade iteration, the +P .38 not a heck of a lot larger than a a 1.68-inch barrel and relatively mod- plinking. It’s available in two barrel Special is built around an all-stainless- spare magazine. The stainless- est 25 ounces in weight, the .22 LR will lengths (4 and 6 inches), each with a steel frame and wears a dashing set of steel and polymer revolver is a fit there, but more likely the six-round 1:16 twist, is outfitted with Hogue rub- Altamont walnut grips. Aimed at con- true pocket-rocket, folding up revolver is better served as a distinctive ber grips, and comes with a bright front cealed carry, Taurus bobbed the hammer, into a palm-sized rectangle and pint-sized plinker. Heritage offers the fiber-optic sight. As expected with machined all snag points and hand-tuned deploying at the push of a button. Boot Barkeep with three choices of grip a target model, the King Cobra also each DAO trigger for a smooth, stack-free The one catch? It’s SAO, which material—gray pearl, black wood and boasts a fully adjustable rear sight, so pull. For the extra money, it looks to offer you can dial it in. some solid and attractive upgrades. MSRP: $999 MSRP: $689 01 02 18|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

05 Real Avid Master 06 Federal Ammunition 07 Winchester 125-grain .38 Gun Vise .22 WMR Punch Personal Special +P Super-X Silvertip Defense Revolvers, pistols or otherwise—to maintain your A unique combination of power, precision and reliable firearms, you need the tools for the job. A good For some, the .22 Magnum is the most viable functioning, Winchester Super-X Silvertip is a trusted gun vise is among the first that should grace your self-defense option out there. Federal Premium commodity for self-defense. Now, the ammo maker bench. Real Avid has you covered with a unit is making sure those folks have the best possible has added a souped-up option in the time-tested .38 specifically designed for the job at hand, offering ammo for the job. Expanding its line of economical Special: a 125-grain +P load more than capable of a ton more flexibility over a traditional bench personal-defense ammo, the ammo maker re- taking care of business. Specially engineered for top vise. The Master Gun Vise not only repositions to cently unveiled its Punch .22 WMR load. Boasting a performance out of short-barreled revolvers, the ammo hold your firearms at nearly any angle—a plus for 45-grain nickel-plated lead-core bullet, the round has an impressive muzzle velocity of 945 fps, guar- many jobs—but it also comes with accessories to is designed for maximum penetration needed in anteeing top performance from the Silvertip bullets. fit the tool to the job. One of the more notable personal-defense scenarios. This new load has The projectiles themselves were originally developed is its Gun-Fit jaw sleeves that provided the exact gone through rigorous testing for reliability and for law enforcement as a replacement for traditional hold for the particular firearm being worked function. The case of the Punch .22 WMR is nickel- hollow-points and deliver penetration and rapid energy on. Other extras, like a leveling knob (great for plated for easier extraction and corrosion resis- release with virtually no weight loss or bullet fragmen- mounting scopes) and Torq-Lok pin for applying tance, as well. Overall, when it comes to defending tation. Super-X jacketed hollow-points have notched heavy force, make the Master the ideal imple- your life, Federal is ensuring the .22 WMR is up to jackets to ensure positive expansion, thus a devastat- ment for any DIY project. the task. ing wound channel. MSRP: $300 MSRP: $26 per box of 50 MSRP: $50, box of 50 GREAT 05 WHEELGUN GEAR 03 06 04 07 GUNDIGEST.COM AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |19

REVOLVER ROYALTY // RICHARD MANN Korth’s 2.75-inch Carry Special. Iwas raised on revolvers. As a mum, and the cylinder locks up like a habit from his moonshining bank vault. days, Grandpa kept a Smith & Wesson Model 10 close by most The trigger feels unlike any trigger of the time; it was the first handgun I you’ve every pulled on any gun. Yes, ever fired. My cousin either had a Ru- it’s a double-action trigger, but as the ger Single Six or Colt Frontier with us trigger progresses through its move- on all our adventures. We used them ment, it sort of feels like you’re drag- to shoot pop cans and to kill rats and ging your finger through pudding. snakes. And in the single-action mode, the trigger is so good it’s like all you need Of course, I found autoloaders soon to do is think when you want the gun enough, and my hands found a 1911 to go bang. or a Browning HiPower more to their liking. Still, when I became a police There are some design elements officer, I was issued a Smith & Wesson that are a bit different from conven- Model 686. I used it at the Academy tional revolvers you might be familiar to take top gun, while the rest of my with. The 416R stainless-steel barrel is class was shooting Glocks. However, shrouded with a steel jacket that also in all my years of handgunning, I’ve never seen a revolver like the Korth Carry Special. THE KORTH STORY The Korth revolver is made in Lollar, Hesse, Germany. The company was founded in 1954 by former railroad engineer Willi Korth, who had a singular goal: to produce the finest revolver in the world. Every part of a Korth revolver is machined from billet steel, and they’re fitted with a cold-hammer-forged bar- rel. The machine work is exquisite; you’ll find no milling marks. The fit is superb; tolerances are held to a mini- 20|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM


REVOLVER ROYALTY // RICHARD MANN The ability to quickly and easily convert the Korth from a .38 Special/.357 Magnum revolver to a 9mm Luger revolver is unique ... and practical. forms the extractor-rod shroud. The cyl- inder to a 9mm Luger cylinder. You can Korth revolvers are imported into inder gap is so minimal you’ll struggle to switch these cylinders in about 10 sec- America by Nighthawk Custom out of slide a piece of paper between it and the onds without the aid of any tools. Simply Berryville, Arkansas. I was first exposed barrel. And though the cylinder release open the cylinder and press a button on to them during Gunsite Academy’s 40th is in the usual spot, you push it forward the right side of the revolver’s frame. This Anniversary Alumni Shoot, where I with your thumb as opposed to pulling allows the cylinder and crane to slide out. helped Nighthawk run one of the shoot- it to the rear. The revolver isn’t blued; it’s Once one cylinder is removed, you just ing stages. The stage required competitors expertly finished in DLC (diamond-like reverse the process and install the other. to step up to a table, and on the go signal carbon coating), which gives it a busi- With the Korth, you have one revolver they had to pick up a Korth revolver and ness-like appearance. that’ll fire three different cartridges. engage some targets. When I first picked up a Korth, I It was kind of thrilling to watch each thought, If Batman carried a revolver, shooter’s expression after they fired their this is the one. six shots. Almost every competitor would However, what might be the most turn and remark how amazing the unique feature of the Korth is Korth’s trigger was. That was in how easy is it to change 2016, and Nighthawk has from a .38 Spe- cial/.357 Mag- num cyl- A revolver that can fire multiple cartridges is very GUNDIGEST.COM practical and very versatile. 22|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022


REVOLVER ROYALTY // RICHARD MANN been importing these amazing German- have a guy like Rob Leahy at Simply Rug- During the testing of the Korth Carry Special, made revolvers ever since. ged make you a custom holster. more than 400 rounds of .38 Special, .357 Mag- num and 9mm Luger were fired through it. Currently, Nighthawk Custom offers I found that the 2.75-inch Korth Carry 10 models, with prices ranging from Special worked well enough from a Galco erage for all nine groups was only 1.64 $3,699 to $8,999. The new Carry Special Combat Master (Model #CM102B) inches. is the least expensive version offered. designed for a 2.5-inch Smith & Wes- son 686. If you prefer a thumb snap, the How does that stack up against other THE CARRY SPECIAL Korth also fits the Galco Silhouette High common defensive handguns? Well, Ride (Model #SIL104B). As for speed based on the defensive handguns I’ve The Korth Carry Special is a short- loaders, Korth manufactures their own tested, that’s better than average for that barreled revolver, intended as the name for the .38 Special/.357 Magnum and barrel length. As a comparison, I tested suggests, for personal protection. It has a 9mm Luger. They, too, are available from a 3-inch Colt Python with the same .38 2.75-inch barrel and weighs 33.6 ounces. Nighthawk Custom ($50). Special and .357 Magnum loads, and it It comes with a .38 Special/.357 Mag- averaged 1.75 inches. It’s also more than num cylinder and a clipless 9mm Luger RANGE TIME sufficient for self-defense and should al- cylinder—full moon clips aren’t required. low you to deliver a shot inside a 4-inch It’s also fitted with a slimmed down and Though I don’t get wrapped around circle out to around 12 or 13 yards—and contoured rubber Hogue grip. the axle when it comes to testing a that’s if you shoot twice as bad off-hand defensive handgun from the bench, and under stress as you do from a bench The rear sight is shaped more like a when you’re dealing with a handgun rest. rear sight you’d find on a semi-automatic that costs this much, you want to self-defense handgun, but it’s fully ad- know what it’ll do. The three-cartridge justable. The front sight is supposed to uniqueness of the Korth Carry Spe- be a square black blade with a gold bead cial necessitated the shooting of three that’s pinned to a rib that’s integral to the different loads: one in 9mm, one in barrel shroud, but more on that later. .38 Special and one in .357 Magnum. Obviously, the gun is hindered a bit by One concern with any imported its short barrel, but after firing three, firearm, especially a revolver, is holster five-shot groups with each load from a availability and compatibility with speed loaders. Though you can for sure find sandbag rest at 10 yards, the av- holsters for Korth handguns, or you can The cylinder latch/ release on the Korth re- volver must be pushed forward to allow the cylinder to swing out from the frame. 24|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

REVOLVER ROYALTY // RICHARD MANN Holsters that fit the S&W 686 revolver, such as these two from Galco, work well with the Korth. What I think is more important is how I also had two other shooters run the about? Yeah, good question. As previous- well a handgun allows you to perform same drills with both pistols, and the re- ly mentioned, the Carry Special comes practical defensive drills. After all, dur- sults were similar. On average, they per- with a bladed front sight that has a gold ing an encounter where you must shoot formed 12 percent better with the Wilson bead. However, the revolver I was pro- to save your life, you’ll not have a bench Combat pistol. One obvious reason is vided for evaluation was one of the early rest and sandbags. I typically find my that single-action semi-auto pistols can imports, and it was fitted with a plain best performance on tactical drills with be fired faster than double-action revolv- black, ramped front sight. It worked just my Wilson Combat EDC X9. I ran both ers. The other reason was that the plain fine during accuracy testing, but during against the Korth Carry Special on three black sight on the Korth Carry Special fast-paced drills at 10 yards, it was very drills fired at distances of 5 and 10 yards. slowed down engagement times on the hard to quickly pick up that plain black Using the same 9mm ammunition, on 10-yard drill. The low-profile matte black sight on the target. average I scored 10 percent better with sight was just slower to pick up. the semi-auto. On the other hand, on a three-shot Wait a minute. What sight am I talking speed drill fired at 5 yards, where we had to make two torso hits and then hit a swinging head plate as fast as possible, there was only a 5 percent difference in scores. The thing is, at this distance, we were just indexing the gun and not using the sights. On that drill where the sights Rugged, beautiful and reliable, the Korth Carry Special is a revolver you can trust your life with. 26|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

CARRY WITH ! yIX(0y!0 CZ P-10 C Somethings, things just feel right. That’s the consensus of the CZ P-10 C. It incorporates the famed ergonomics of the CZ 75 into a lightweight, compact, polymer frame. A mild palm swell, deep beavertail and CZ 75 grip angle, makes it a far cry from the typical ‘brick-in-the-hand’ feeling that has plagued many in the striker-fired genre. Combined, with three interchangeable backstraps, the P-10 C provides a custom shooting experience. Experience CZ.

REVOLVER ROYALTY // RICHARD MANN SHOOTING RESULTS LOAD MV AV ME MD SD PR KORTH 1,117 1,180 318 20 7.5 1.56 2.75-INCH Federal 9mm 352 18 7 1.57 115-grain FMJ 1,201 1,210 435 21 8.9 1.81 CARRY SPECIAL Buffalo Bore .38 Spl. 110-grain +P 1,282 1,295 Barnes TAC-XP MANUFACTURER: Korth Arms IMPORTER: Nighthawk Custom Buffalo Bore .357 Mag. 125-grain MODEL: Carry Special Tact. Short Barrel CHAMBERING: .38 Special/.357 Magnum, 9mm Luger weren’t that important, the only real dif- for most full-custom 1911s. On the other BARREL LENGTH: 2.75 inches ference in performance—speed—was hand, guns aren’t just about self-defense; FINISH: DLC (diamond-like carbon coating) working with the double-action revolver if they were, everyone would probably GRIPS: Hogue (rubber) trigger as opposed to the single-action just carry a damned old Glock. No, WEIGHT: 33.6 ounces trigger on the Wilson Combat semi- sometimes shooters, just as those who HEIGHT: 5.9 inches automatic. enjoy other sporting endeavors, want the LENGTH: 7.5 inches best their money can buy. If that’s you, CAPACITY: 6 IS IT WORTH THE MONEY? and if you want what’s arguably the best MSRP: $3,699 self-defense revolver available, and if you Well, $3,699 is a lot of money to pay for a have $3,699 plus tax lying around, now to come. handgun—any handgun. However, if you you know where to spend it. I’m not sure how long the BMW will look at the prices of high-end 1911 hand- guns, there’s not a lot of difference. Most Nobody needs a Korth revolver. But, last you, but the Korth comes with a life- of the custom 1911s sold by Nighthawk then again, nobody needs an $1,800 time warranty. retail for more than $4,000. Also, when Honma golf club, a $1,500 Seigler fly reel you compare the Korth Carry Special or a BMW M8 either. If you can afford Short-barrel handguns don’t lend to other revolvers from Colt or Smith & the BMW, you can damned sure afford themselves to precision shooting, Wesson, their actions aren’t as smooth, the Korth. And, if you show up at the but sub-inch groups at 10 yards and the triggers aren’t even in the same shooting range with both, you’ll be well were common with the Korth league. A 3-inch Colt Python will set you armed and most likely the coolest guy Carry Special. back $1,500 … and a comparable 3-inch there, maybe for a long time Smith & Wesson will run you between $900 and $1,300. Is the Korth Carry Spe- cial worth more than twice these other revolvers? From a save-your-life standpoint, probably not. But the same could be said 28|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

LEAD ISN’T DEAD //JOSH WAYNER The science, limits and use of lead projectiles in 2022. With all of today’s ad- to other materials used in projectiles, it’s projectile composed of molten lead (pure vances in firearm and seldom understood, and there’s a tremen- or of an alloy) poured into a mold, sized ammunition technol- dous amount of falsehoods surrounding and lubed, with or without a gas check. ogy, the simple element it and its attributes. Semi-jacketed bullets, even though of lead has become something of a given they’re mostly exposed lead—and plated to us. Yet, for how common it is relative For the purposes of this topic, I’m bullets—are excluded here because of the describing “lead bullets” as a traditional 30|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

Matt’s Bullets makes a .454-inch .45-caliber bullet that works great in older Colts, as well as new ones and replicas. Smaller companies like this are great for finding special diameters and allow you to really get to know your guns. Bigger makers can load custom diameters as well, and you can order your own molds in special diameters, should you want to make your own. Highland Hatchet by Winkler Knives. way they interact with the firearm, and Firstly, we have comprised of two more metals, each of the pressure they can be used at is differ- to understand alloys different alloys, and will not give accurate ent than with traditional lead bullets. and hardness, the two main results. deciding factors in lead bullet applica- LEAD BULLET PROPERTIES tion. Bullets are comprised typically of You’ll see many names of alloys out lead, tin and antimony. These are metallic there. Lead foundries typically have a 13 To get a better idea of what lead bullets elements naturally occurring in the earth to 14 BHN “bullet” alloy. It’s around 95 are made of, I spoke to Frankie, the plant and have been mined for centuries. Al- percent lead, 3 percent antimony and 2 manager of Rim Rock Bullets out of loying lead is achieved through adding Montana. Frankie isn’t just a lead expert; tin and antimony to various amounts. he delivers literally tons of bullets every The hardness of a finished bullet is mea- week to customers across the industry. sured on the Brinell hardness number Rim Rock’s bullets are found in a great (BHN) scale, which measures hardness number of factory loads from many com- with a surface indentation tool. Note panies. Because of their prevalence in the that jacketed or plated bullets cannot be industry, I consider Rim Rock projectiles reliably measured on this scale; they’re to be a baseline standard for lead bullets; their products are what has earned many cartridges an honored spot around the campfire. GUNDIGEST.COM AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |31

LEAD ISN’T DEAD //JOSH WAYNER percent tin. Wheelweights are close to leading to changes in velocity and pres- loads is that hardness can be nominally 13 to 14 BHN, also known as Lyman No. sure in loaded ammo, after six months used to determine max velocity, with 2. You see this in a number of reloading to a year. You want bullets of a uniform exceptions in most handgun loads and books. Linotype is in a harder version of hardness, but many folks don’t like to wait some rifles. Not everyone uses this met- lead, about 18 to 20 BHN. Interestingly, for the lead to cool down. To each their ric, but I use it thanks to Frankie. A 12 Linotype was lead used in printing press- own. But, I’d take long-term uniformity BHN bullet is good structurally to 1,200 es back in the old days, hence the name. over short-term convenience every time. fps, a 15 BHN up to 1,500. This is bare, Many foundries still offer Linotype, but not gas-checked, which protects the back you’ll have to ask for it specifically. A lot So, what exactly is “hardcast,” and why end of the bullet from a hot load. It also of the blackpowder shooters shoot a very do you see it in so many ads for bear or acts like a cleaner, wiping lead out. The soft lead bullet, a 0 to 5 percent pure lead outdoor defense ammo? Well, that de- back of the bullet can get melted out if with very little tin, usually in the neigh- pends on marketing; there’s no definite loaded hot for the hardness. A 15 BHN borhood of 5 to 7 BHN. BHN reading for hardcast. Pure lead bullet with a gas check can run over 1,800 (or with very little added) will dent if fps. A 22 BHN bullet with a gas check can What you are looking for, regardless of dropped from a countertop, and so will run over 2,600 with no leading issues. the gun, is the bullet engaging the rifling super soft bullets like those in .22 LR, correctly in the process of obturation— which are usually 1 to 3 BHN in cheap Plated bullets are usually just lead bul- the bullet locking into the rifling. With loads and 5 BHN in the good stuff. Hard- lets put through a process that bonds lead too hard, you get gas flow around cast is really anything 8 BHN and above, copper to their surface. However, there’s the bullet. Lead too soft can push the according to Rim Rock, but this will vary an important distinction to consider here bullet too fast and deform the base, caus- widely depending on opinion rather than in that plated bullets aren’t really the same ing the bullet to scrape rather than spin. concrete fact. as a true lead bullet. Most companies that This is where you get the whole issue of make plated bullets do so using the same “leading” in the barrel, which can cause A general metric for centerfire lead technology as jacketed bullets, in that not just accuracy problems but also dam- they strike bullets from extruded lead age to the gun. wire. They’re then put through a plating Lead degrades over time in terms of hardness if heat-treated. A crust on the outside can be measured at a certain hardness, but the inside is softer. Heat treating is when the bullet is cooled by dropping it into water or oil, a common thing for casters. The exterior will even- tually homogenize to the core’s density, The author’s customized Henry X Model .45 Colt features a Ranger Point Precision M-lok handguard with cartridge holder, a set of Midwest Industries sights with integral rail section for a red-dot, and Henry wood replacement stock. This rifle is short, handy and shoots heavy lead bullets to 2.5 inches at 100 yards. It’s a great rifle for short to medium distance and has a side gate to boot. Henry’s rifles are spectacular these days and are becom- ing more customizable. 32|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

The world of lead bullets is wide. Here, we see everything from 9mm through .50 caliber. process and resized again. replacement for a jacketed bullet. Nor can cy comes mostly from a misunderstand- Plated bullets demonstrate a hybrid they be loaded the same way as lead bul- ing of the idea of marksmanship in the lets due to their harder exterior and lack blackpowder era. Smoothbore muskets of characteristics and aren’t truly lead or of lubricant or lube grooves. ceased to be a mainstream military arm jacketed. Because they don’t bear a struc- while still in the flintlock era, as rifles tural exterior like a jacket, they cannot NOT OBSOLETE became more common and tactical ideas be driven as hard or used as a 1:1 direct moved away from the gentry-club model The rap that lead bullets get for inaccura- GUNDIGEST.COM AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |33

LEAD ISN’T DEAD //JOSH WAYNER Replica arms, like curred just 20 months prior to the first core on impact, rather the structure and this Taylor’s & Co issued patent for the Maxim gun. intended function of the jacket and how .44 Russian, are it attempts to control the flow of the lead excellent candi- This idea that lead bullets are inferior itself. Mushrooming isn’t a science—it’s dates for lead bullets. A doesn’t come from a disparity in per- an attempt to control chaos. replica like this, including formance. It wasn’t the advancement in a custom-made holster by guns that saw them becoming “obsolete,” Likewise, in self-defense use, lead bul- Mernickle Holsters, can give rather it was the widespread adoption lets have never lost effectiveness. Modern you an authentic historical of smokeless powder and the increased bullets have added function to many experience and be used with pressures it could generate in smaller cas- small carry rounds; however, they also blackpowder. es that resulted in the adoption of jackets. introduce a complicated degree of me- Lead projectiles were present for virtually chanical action to the little bullets, mak- of warfare common to mainland Europe. all the major technological milestones in ing their effectiveness a matter of near- The American Revolution was one of the small arms design; ammunition technol- perfect conditions. A cast-lead SWC first major instances where individual ogy advanced after arms technology did. bullet is ruthlessly effective, and it relies riflemen would select specific targets and on nothing other than its shape. In virtu- bring them down in large numbers. If you get any takeaway from this arti- ally all modern self-defense bullets, the cle, that’s the one to have. Lead projectiles target itself is an inherent part of the bul- Muskets, on the other hand, weren’t are limited by what level of pressure they let’s function in that it completely relies used or intended for accuracy as we can withstand on a material basis. Most on a resistance medium to gain function; understand it. Rolling volleys fired by plain bullets, even hardcast, max out at a cast lead bullet doesn’t. ever-advancing infantry was the norm; about 1,500 fps before you need to add a the rows of men were seldom more than gas check, regardless of cartridge. Pres- This notion of simplicity hasn’t ex- 50 yards apart, firing up to three rounds sure—and pressure alone—dictates the tended to jacketed rounds for game in a minute per man into each other. Many feasibility of using lead bullets. particular. FMJ loads are considered poor of the battles fought in our own Civil performers due to their penetration, but War were done using these open-ground PRACTICAL USE OF LEAD BULLETS non-expanding cast lead bullets are con- Napoleonic tactics, but this time with sidered ideal … because of their ability extremely accurate .58-caliber rifle- In hunting scenarios, there’s no disad- to penetrate. Point being, the inclusion of muskets. vantage that I can say exists compared to “hardcast” or “bear loads” in certain cali- jacketed bullets on deer-sized game. In bers has literally nothing to do with them The fully automatic Maxim machine fact, I’ve come to see and understand the being more lethal on bears; rather it’s gun was put into production just 19 years opposite. While lead is, in fact, a part of omitted they’re not ideal for bad guys due after Lincoln was assassinated. Few real- most jacketed bullets, it’s more included to the fact they’ll likely pass through 10 of ize that the Old West was synchronous as an element of mass in that these bullets them like some Indiana Jones stunt. with what we imagine to be “modern” seldom rely on the construction of their guns; the shootout at O.K. Corral oc- These .45-caliber bullets display various characteristics in their construction. The plain lead bullet is just that, while the second from left has a gas check that functions in much the same was as a jacket. The FMJ on the end has an exposed lead base but bears pressure against the jacket, pre- venting stripping with fast-burning powders. 34|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

LEAD ISN’T DEAD //JOSH WAYNER The .45 bore is home to a great deal of va- riety. From left to right: RR 255 GC, RR 260 HP GC, RR 270 Keith, RR 255-grain SWC, .454-inch Matt’s Bullets 260-grain, and Speer 230-grain LRN. Regarding accuracy, there’s no real cor- .45 Colt ammo uses .452-inch bullets, it can collect dirt and debris. Some peo- relation I’ve seen in any normal caliber but real Colts and replicas often use bul- ple loading cartridges with substitute bul- suited for lead bullets that’s better with lets sized to .454 inch. Matt’s Bullets, for lets end up loading longer or shorter, and jacketed. Of course, modern designs like example, sells bullets at a .454-inch diam- they sometimes use the grease groove as a 6.5 Creedmoor or .300 PRC are designed eter, and they work very well in modern crimp groove. It’s important to not crimp around modern bullets. We’re not talking Colts. My own Colts have large chamber over grease to ensure consistency. “this modern,” but rather the last genera- throats at an average of .456 inch. I re- tion’s mainstays and descendants. Rounds ally need a .454-inch lead bullet for these Lead bullets in revolver rounds tend like .30-30, .44 Magnum .45 Colt, .45 guns, but not for Rugers or S&Ws in the to do best with moderate burn rate pow- ACP, .45-70, .500 and .460 S&W, .38 same caliber. I load a .452 inch in those ders. Among the Hodgdon line, I prefer SPL/.357 Mag … and so many more that and sometimes even a .451 inch. H110, HS6, TrailBoss, CFE Pistol and operate in the lower pressure spectrum TiteGroup. Alliant 2400 and Unique are are equally at home with lead bullets. Lubricant is necessary on lead bul- go-to powders. For brass, I use Starline; lets—you won’t see it on jacketed or it’s consistent and sizes well in dies that NOTES ON LOADING plated varieties. This lube varies in origin have a larger expander. and preference from shooter to shooter. LEAD BULLETS Some people prefer paraffin, others a mix CAST AWAY! of beeswax. You’ll find that bullet lube is RCBS makes a fantastic set of dies in their as much a discussion topic as the bullets Using lead bullets isn’t hard to do. The cowboy series that’s among the best for themselves among casters. Most lead bul- composition of your bullets used to be a loading cast bullets in traditional rounds lets feature “grease grooves,” which lubri- much more central part of the shooting like .45 Colt, .44 Special and more. These cant is packed into. It’s important to have experience, but, today, that’s largely left include expanders to properly size the the lubricant protected inside the case, as to the manufacturers. Lead as a projectile cases to work with larger diameter lead isn’t a disadvantage, rather it allows the bullets that are well-suited to replica re- shooter to create a finer-tuned load for volvers and lever guns. their individual needs while saving a great deal of cost in the long run. If you When working with modern loading get past the tall tales, lead bullets are cer- dies, realize that virtually all of them are tainly worth it and will surprise you in meant for modern jacketed bullets and their abilities. will have expanders dedicated to these diameters. For instance, most modern Massive .510-diameter, 700-grain bullets from Matt’s Bullets dwarf a RR 200-grain LRN in .452 inch. The variety of sizes you can cast at home or buy from bullet companies opens doors for the big game hunter, as many large rounds become very expensive to shoot. 36|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

HUNTING BULLETS FOR REVOLVERS // PHIL MASSARO HUNTING BULLETS FOR REVOLVERS Not all bullets are created equal. T he 20th century saw some would extend to the .44 and .41 cali- the beefy .45 Colt loads that can be of the greatest gains in car- bers, with the 1954 release of the .44 handled by stronger revolvers and the tridge design and velocity Remington Magnum and, a decade derivative .454 Casull, and you have increases, from the mag- later, Big Green would bring the .41 some serious hunting medicine in your num-mania that began with the 1912 Remington Magnum to the masses. hands. release of the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum … to the century closing out The pinnacle of handgun magnum All this speed and horsepower with the behemoth .300 Remington design, it could be argued, is the pair sure looks good on paper, but it can Ultra Magnum. But it wasn’t just rifle of Smith & Wesson cartridges released put a helluva strain on the common cartridges that saw the speed and pow- in the first years of the 21st century— jacketed bullet—and it can absolutely er bumped up; the 3½-inch 12-gauge the .460 S&W Magnum and .500 S&W wreak havoc with the soft lead bullets shotshell became a normal occurrence Magnum. Add to that the cartridges so common in handgun cartridges in the turkey woods and goose blinds, without the magnum moniker, like a century ago. Commensurate with and our handgun cartridges went from mild to wild over the course of the century. Smith & Wesson’s .357 Magnum— designed by Douglas B. Wesson and Philip B. Sharpe in 1934, inspired by the labors of Elmer Keith with his high-pressure .38 Special loads—was at the forefront of magnum handgun cartridges. The “magnum” treatment 38|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

GUNDIGEST.COM the velocity increases, the magnum cartridges required stiffer bullets to get the best performance out of them, especially in the hunting fields. And as the 20th century wore on, the premium bullet market developed as a parallel to the speedier cartridges, to the point that there was a niche handgun bullet market by century’s end, featuring popular—and better functioning—designs for the handgun hunters who love the revolver. AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |39

HUNTING BULLETS FOR REVOLVERS // PHIL MASSARO THE SWIFT A-FRAME Based on the famous A- Frame rifle bullet, the Swift For toughness and effectiveness on A-Frame handgun bullet is game animals, it probably doesn’t get a worthy choice for larger much better than Bill Hober’s Swift game species. A-Frame. Using dual lead cores with a partition of copper in between, Considering the velocities that are generated by the .500 S&W The Swift A-Frame Revolver the A-Frame also sees the front core Magnum, choosing the Swift A-Frame makes all sorts of sense. bullet, shown in profile, section chemically bonded to the thick copper and upset. jacket. THE BARNES XPB THE BARNES BUSTER While famous as a rifle bullet, Hober has given the same treatment to his A- Randy Brooks sat on a hill in Alaska, Just when you thought Barnes was all Frame revolver bullets, but with a nice, glassing for brown bears, when he about the lead-free experience, they go deep hollow-point and cannelure to had the brilliant idea to “take the lead ahead and drop the Barnes Buster on allow for heavy crimping. Weight re- out.” The result of this inspiration is us. Using a lead core surrounded by a tention runs in the high 90 percentile, the world-famous Barnes X family of seriously thick copper jacket in a full- with expansion routinely exceeding lead-free projectiles, made entirely of metal-jacket or “solid” conformation, 1.5x original caliber. These bullets will a copper alloy. The concept was inge- the Barnes Buster is all about penetra- expand at impact velocities as low as niously simple: If there’s no jacket and tion when dealing with the thickest of 850 fps yet have proven to hold togeth- no core, it can’t separate prematurely. It hides and toughest of bones. er all the way up to 3,000 fps. took a bit to refine the idea, but today’s Barnes projectiles are accurate, deadly Since there’s no hollow cavity or ex- If you’re serious about using that and reliable. posed lead core, the expansion of the S&W X-frame on large, heavy-boned Barnes Buster is more of a rivet, with game animals, this bullet deserves Though Brooks has retired from the just a bit of wrinkling at the nose. It an audition. Available in .327 (100 bullet industry, and Barnes has been will, however, penetrate for days, and if grains), .357 (158 and 180 grains), .41 picked up by Sierra in the breakup of you’re inclined to pursue Cape buffalo, (210 grains), .44 (.429 at 240, 280 and the Freedom Group, the bullets are no hippo or elephant with your handgun, 300 grains), .45 (300 and 325 grains) less effective. this is a bullet you want to look at. and .50 (325 grains), in 50-count boxes. And as a side note to those who The XPB is the Barnes offering for With dual cannelures to give seating hunt with an autoloader, Swift now the revolver crowd. Designed with a depth options while still allowing a makes the A-Frame Auto, designed for deep hollow-point, skived for rapid roll crimp, the Barnes Buster allows for use in the 10mm Auto (180 and 200 expansion at the nose—peeling back custom ammunition that’ll optimize grains). into six petals—yet offering very high your wheelgun’s performance. While weight retention, the XPB has proven these might be the optimum choice The Barnes XPB is a monometal itself at the target range and in the for deer or antelope, if I were digging lover’s dream, offering expansion hunting fields. Available in .357 (140 bears or pigs out of the thick stuff, I’d and penetration without the lead grains), .41 (180 grains), .44 (.429 at have a few of these on my cartridge core. 200 and 225 grains), .45 (200, 225, 250, belt for backup. Heavy-for-caliber bul- and 275 grains), .475 (275 grains) and let weights put a period at the end of Typical expansion of the Barnes XPB, with six .50 (275, 325, and 375 grains). the sentence. Available in .44 (.429 at petals peeling back from the scored hollow- point. 40|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

The Barnes XPB, SOLIDS FOR THE handloaded in HANDGUNNER .44 Remington Magnum. This There are times, on animals with very large and thick skin, where Model 29 printed penetration is a must—and expansion is no longer a factor. In wonderful groups opposition to the expanding softpoint, the non-expanding bul- with this bullet. lets are often referred to as “solids,” dating back to the earliest full-metal jacket bullets. After the Hague Convention, expanding bullets were prohibited for military use, and hunters often found that solid bullets in smaller calibers possessed the penetrative qualities needed to reach the vitals on the biggest species. W.D.M. “Karamojo” Bell comes immediately to mind, who used 6.5mm and 7mm caliber rifles with long, heavy-for-caliber bullets to take the majority of his 1,000-plus elephants. For the handgunner looking for a solid, Cutting Edge Bullets from Pennsylvania has a Handgun Solid bullet that fits the bill perfectly. With a flat meplat and their proprietary SealTite band—designed to seal the gases—the Handgun Solid is avail- able in all the usual calibers for the revolver lover. These bullets are regularly used on Cape buffalo and elephant, and they’re renowned for delivering over three feet of penetration. The Barnes Buster, a sort of soft-solid. The Barnes Buster shown in section, profile and mildly upset. 300 grains), .45 (325 grains) and .50 This process is used in the projectiles handle the shot … from any angle. (400 grains). for the HammerDown line, with cases optimized for lever-action rifles, but HORNADY FTX FEDERAL FUSION available in .357 Magnum, .44 Mag- num and .45 Colt; they work just fine Making their premier in the Federal’s Fusion might be the most in the revolvers as well. LEVERevolution line, Hornady’s FTX underrated bonded core bullet on bullet features their proprietary Flex the market, and that also extends to But the Fusion Handgun line is Tip technology, allowing for safe use the handgun variant. In my rifles, I’ve predominately tailored for revolvers, in tubular magazines, and drastically found the Fusion line to be wonder- with the 10mm Auto and .50 Ac- improving the Ballistic Coefficient for fully accurate and highly effective in tion Express being represented for enhanced downrange performance. the field, and I can say the same for the the autoloaders. This line of loaded This treatment has been extended to handgun cartridges. ammunition includes the .357 Mag- the handgun projectiles, using a high- num (158 grains), .44 Magnum (240 antimony lead core, mated to the cop- While it might look like a run-of- grains), .454 Casull (260 grains), .460 per jacket via the InterLock cannelure. the-mill jacketed bullet with a shallow S&W (260 grains) and .500 S&W dish at the nose, the Fusion routinely (325 grains). If you’re serious about This cup-and-core bullet will expands to almost twice its caliber, deer hunting with your handgun, the handle deer and similar-sized game and the chemical bonding between Fusion might represent the best bal- perfectly and has been used to take jacket and core keeps the unit together ance of expansion and penetration to game as large as elk and moose; I’d feel enough for reliably deep penetration. comfortable using these projectiles in Much like their rifle counterparts, the Fed- my Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colt for our The Fed- eral FUSION handgun bullets are too-often early bear season here in New York, eral FUSION overlooked. where the September vegetation pre- handgun bullet, vents shots much past 40 or 50 yards. shown as Available in .357 (140 grains), .44 (230 recovered from grains), .45 (with cannelure for .460 ballistic gelatin. S&W at 200 grains), .45 (with can- nelure for .45 Colt at 225 grains) and .50 (300 grains). 41|GUNDIGEST.COM AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |41

HUNTING BULLETS FOR REVOLVERS // PHIL MASSARO Hornady’s FTX bullets can Hornady’s MonoFlex The XTP Mag has a jacket that gets give the same Ballistic bullets are loaded in their progressively thicker toward its base, Coefficient increase that lever Handgun Hunter ammo designed to combat magnum veloci- gun shooters have enjoyed. line. ties, and it does just that. If I wanted Shown here are the 200-grain to use one of these for deer hunt- .452-inch-diameter bullets. Luger +P (115 grains), .40 S&W (135 ing—which is the hunting application grains and 10mm Auto (135 grains). Hornady recommends—I’d much Hornady’s MonoFlex prefer the XTP Mag. It has performed handgun bullet, shown HORNADY XTP AND XTP MAG very well in my .45 Colt. The XTP is in profile and various available in .32 (85 and 100 grains), stages of expansion. Hornady’s conventional cup-and-core .357 (110, 125, 140, 158, and 180 hollow-point—the XTP, or eXtreme grains), .41 (210 grains), .44 (180, 200, HORNADY MONOFLEX Terminal Performance—has a fine 240, and 300 grains), .45 (185, 200, reputation for accuracy and can be 230, 250, and 300 grains) and .50 (300 The MonoFlex is Hornady’s monomet- used for certain hunting applications. grains). The XTP Mag is available in al bullet and is loaded in the Handgun Hornady actually offers two variants of .45 (240 and 300 grains) and .50 (350 Hunter ammunition line. There’s a this design: the standard XTP and the grains). deep hollow-point, filled with an beefier XTP Mag. elastomer material that’s compressed GARRETT’S HAMMERHEAD upon impact, driving the ogive walls They’re both hollow-points, using a SUPER HARD CAST LEAD outward, radially, to initiate expansion. swaged lead core and a skived copper Though longer than their lead-core jacket, with no exposed lead. The XTP Mix enough antimony into a cast lead counterparts—copper is less dense is designed for use in standard velocity bullet and you’ve got a serious hunting than lead and will result in a longer handgun cartridges. While this bullet bullet, offering penetration and ex- bullet of the same caliber and weight— is generally relied upon as a defensive pansion enough to handle any animal the structural integrity of the Mono- choice, it has been used for deer hunt- you’d hunt with a handgun. Garrett Flex bullet results in very high weight ing, and if you keep impact velocities Cartridges of Texas produces their retention and deep penetration. on the lower side, you should be good Hammerhead hard-cast bullets, and at handgun ranges. they have an excellent reputation for This bullet makes a great all-around handgun hunting. choice for the handgun hunter looking for diversity. For the revolver crowd, Making no bones about their pen- Hornady loads the .357 Magnum (130 chant for the .44 Remington Magnum, grains), .44 Remington Magnum (200 grains), .454 Casull (200 grains) and With a thick jacket, the Hornady XTP .460 S&W (200 grains). There are also can handle the impact velocities of the autoloader offerings, including 9mm .44 Rem. Magnum. Using a thicker jacket than the standard XTP, the XTP Mag is designed for the toughest jobs. 42|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

Garrett’s offers some heavyweight Garrett’s 310-grain ing .32, .357, .41, .44, .45 and .50, in choices for that classic cartridge, Hammerhead hard- several different configurations and as well as for the .45-70 Govern- cast lead bullet for applications. ment—which has been housed in such the .44 Magnum will behemoths as the Magnum Research demonstrate that CHOICE AMMUNITION FOR BEAR BFR. Garrett’s has expanded the line to not all bullets need include some choices for the .45 Colt copper. Photo credit: DEFENSE +P and .454 Casull. Though the art of Garrett Cartridges casting bullets has drastically fell off Montana’s Choice Ammunition is a of late, there are still plenty of good performance. Here’s the thing about boutique ammunition shop, load- molds available, and some fantastic Sierra: They’re simple bullets, which ing many of the most popular bul- recipes for making great bullets on might not have the sex appeal of many lets available today, but I especially your own, with the caveat that they’ll other modern designs, but they sure like their hard-cast Bear Defense +P need to be loaded. If that doesn’t work do work. ammo. My .45 Colt Ruger Blackhawk for you, check out Garrett’s. digests these very well, and at 325 Sierra focuses on cup-and-core grains, they offer all kinds of penetra- SIERRA SPORTSMASTER bullets, and they do it very well. They tion and stopping power if needed. use varying jacket thicknesses and Sierra bullets—long famous for their different core metallurgy to arrive at Advertised at 1,200 fps, I clock them excellent match-grade bullets—also bullets that can handle varying impact a bit faster from my 7½-inch barrel, offers a great lineup of hunting bul- velocities. and while the recoil is manageable, lets. For the revolver crowd, the Sierra it lets you know you’re alive. While I SportsMaster line has garnered a well- For example, Sierra recommends carry that handgun for our early bear earned reputation for excellent field their 180- and 240-grain .44-caliber season, I’ve yet to have a bear pose bullet as a suitable choice for deer long enough in order for me to have and similar-sized game, while their an opportunity. At 40 yards, I can keep 300-grain bullet in the same caliber is three shots in a 2-inch group, and stated to be too tough for reliable ex- that’s a testament to my skills (or lack pansion on deer. Yet, that 300 grainer thereof ) with a handgun, not the am- is a proven choice for even the big munition. That wide, flat nose simply bears, so even in the cup-and-core looks wicked, and I can’t wait to test realm, there’s plenty of flexibility. Si- it on a bear. Choice offers this line in erra offers models for all the common .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, .44 Mag- revolver hunting cartridges, includ- num and .45 Colt. The Sierra SportsMaster bullet for the .44 Magnum; the thick jacket and high- antimony core combine for a great blend of good expan- sion and deep penetration. Choice Ammunition’s The Cutting Edge Bullets Handgun Solid is a 325-grain hard-cast lathe-turned copper alloy bullet, which will give gas check bullet for all sorts of penetration. Photo credit: Cutting their .45 Colt +P load Edge Bullets is both accurate and dependable when AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |43 the game animal has tusks or claws. GUNDIGEST.COM


The ICORE M-28 shoots double-action groups from sandbags like this, with mixed brass practice reloads. At 25 yards, that’s very nice accuracy. She ain’t pretty, but she can still shoot. For a guy who got to be known Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts Combat Shoot. This was a seven-shot as a 1911 shooter, I spent a lot (ICORE) was formed. ICORE wasn’t cylinder that simply plugged into a .357 of time shooting revolvers. One interested in making Major, so I didn’t Magnum N-frame revolver. It used pro- wheelgun in particular was need a .45 revolver to compete there. I prietary moon clips, and it was just the both a process and a tool. Back when the tried a number of different—not entirely thing for ICORE. USPSA was being formed, my club was suited to ICORE—revolvers, but I finally already shooting in many equipment scored a police trade-in M-28. This is The scoring system in ICORE is divisions—one of which was “Revolver.” a .357 Magnum built on the N-frame, simple, and it’s the same as IDPA: Your So, I had a 6-inch S&W M-25-2 in .45 which is the .44 frame, with a matte fin- shooting time, with added time for hits ACP that I had to build … well, just to ish for police duty. I think I picked it up outside of the center ring and any penal- have one. (We can showcase that revolv- for $125 back in the Reagan era. ties, is your score. The fastest time wins. er at a later time.) And the power factor (PF) you had to Soon after, I won a Baumann conver- meet back then was only 120. So, a plat- Soon after that, the International sion cylinder at the old Second Chance ed 158-grain RN only had to be going GUNDIGEST.COM AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |45

OUT TO PASTURE // PATRICK SWEENEY “Did you know that you can get bullets of 180 grains for the .357 Magnum?” If you didn’t catch the placement of the cyl- inder grooves, you’d never know this was a seven-shooter. 760 fps to make the scoring minimum. off the tables. So, using that 158-grain The full moon clips make reloading a A 120-PF load, out of a revolver that bullet, but changing it to a JHP or JSP, breeze in ICORE. My process was sim- it needs to be going 1,234 fps to make a ple: I kept my firing hand on the grip, weighs 45 ounces, doesn’t recoil very 195 PF. This is doable, but it isn’t the best opened the cylinder, ejected the empties much. So, I slicked up the action and choice. and stuffed in a new moon clip, all with had a grand time shooting ICORE with my left hand. Back then you could do a it. So, for pins, I experimented. “New York Reload” in a pin shoot: You Did you know you can get bullets took a padded box or basket to the line It turned out that this gun was also of 180 grains for the .357 Magnum? and a spare revolver. On command, you well-suited for bowling pins. There, you Yep, and those only need to be going loaded both and put the spare on the need a PF of 195 to reliably broom pins 1,084 fps for the same effect. Now we’re shooting rail. When your main gun was talking. But wait, other .357-caliber empty, and if there were pins left on the pin shooters had talked to custom bul- table, you simply dropped the empty re- let casters, and they came up with the volver into the box, snatched the second ultimate .357 pin-shooting bullet: a one off the rail and kept shooting. For hard-cast full wadcutter of 230 grains. the next table, reload both and repeat. This thing whacks pins like someone is standing down there and hitting them But, there was one more evolu- with a Louisville Slugger. And to make tion of my ICORE/Bowling Pin gun. the 195 PF, they only need to be going I happened across a barrel for a 627, a 850 fps. Recoil is the same, but now take-off that a custom pistolsmith had there’s no whip-crack muzzle blast like pulled to replace with something else. you get with the 158s. So, I was able to score a 6-inch stain- less full-underlug barrel for my ICORE gun, for a song. (Don’t hate me because I’m occasionally lucky.) This required a little bit of work to fit, time and create the proper cylinder gap, but by then I 46|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

The ICORE M-28 with its 627 barrel, Ed Brown cylin- der latch and Miculek grips was a match-winning tool back in the day. It’s still fun to shoot. was an accomplished S&W gunsmith, liarity. Now, moon clips for a .45 ACP, having worked on many of them for a 10mm or 9mm clip into the generous number of years. extractor groove of the case. On a re- volver, that groove isn’t there. What the So, the full-built ICORE gun got even case makers do in making cases is, once heavier. The full underlug barrel added the brass has been hydraulically formed more weight, and with the Miculek grips and the headstamp and primer pocket I used, the full-up weight is now a full 3 pounds (yes, that’s 48 ounces). The moon clips did have one pecu- Open the cylinder and AUGUST 2022|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE |47 look—a quick count tells the tale. And yes, it requires R-P brass to use the moon clips. If the groove isn’t the right size, the clips won’t clip in. GUNDIGEST.COM

OUT TO PASTURE // PATRICK SWEENEY bumped, the cases are fed into an au- The difference is to study and see what Baumann had tomatic lathe. The lathe then turns the small, but it’s enough. done), ICORE and the Revolver Divi- cases and cuts the rim to exact diam- On the right is a sion of USPSA/IPSC made a decision: eter and thickness. To make the front Federal case, with a Instead of revolvers being stuck with face of the rim correct, the lathe uses a too-small groove. In only six shots, shooters could opt for square-ended cutter that plunges into the middle is an R-P more shots. However, if it was cham- the case from the side and cuts the rim case, just right. On the bered in a cartridge smaller than a face square. That also creates a small left is something else, .40/10mm, it couldn’t make Major. groove directly ahead of the rim. and it’s actually too big. The round would With me so far? be wobbly in the moon OK, the thickness of that groove clip and hinder fast cut isn’t a SAAMI-specified dimen- reloads. sion. The rim thickness is, but not the groove size. ingly. Bins are marked accordingly: Well, as it happened to be on for R-P and R-P only, and other bins Remington cases, the groove is large for all the other headstamps in .38 and enough to accommodate a moon clip. .357. Once done, it’s easy to keep sepa- Other cases are not. (Any made to rate, because picking up fired brass is the R-P pattern are, but many aren’t.) easy—they’re in batches of seven, all Some, like Federal, are too small, and connected. the clip won’t fit. I’ve even found some too large, and the wobbly fit makes fast After Baumann showed the way (I reloads an impossible task. even sent my M-28 to S&W for them So, to use the Baumann-cylinder M-28 ICORE gun, I had to sort out the R-P headstamped .38 cases and do the same with .357s for Pin loads. And, so, my reloading brass is sorted accord- 48|GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE|AUGUST 2022 GUNDIGEST.COM

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