S&W Model 686 VS Ruger GP100

I was in the market for a .38 special so I rented some revolvers at the local gun range.  My two choices to test were as stated above.  If you read the reviews of the Model 686 online you will hear almost universally that the Smith has a better trigger.  I concur and add that it is more than better, it is much better.  Admittedly these were range guns but I tried two different Smiths in this model just to make sure what I was experiencing was not an anomaly.  The accuracy afforded by the very smooth and crisp trigger of the 686 would be the decisive factor in a purchase.

I had to shoot .357 magnum to use these guns since that was a range requirement and with that came back the realization of why I gave up on .357 decades ago.  Even with the heavy weight of each of these weapons the recoil was beyond stout and moved into ridiculous unless you had the plan for self defense to only ever need one round.   In bear country I could see this as a justification.   Multiple shots took a long time for recovery and I admit that I haven’t trained to it and at this late age don’t have any desire to do so.  My arms felt like hamburger after just 50 rounds shooting from both right and left sides to balance the punishment.  Those of you under 40 will learn later about how your body doesn’t like this type of punishment as you age.

Here is a silhouette I shot from 25 feet with the S&W Model 686 as an example of the accuracy you can find with this gun in single action and with further practice I imagine it would have been a clover leaf. 

                                          25 Feet Single Action with S&W Model 686 – .358 JHP 125 gr.

Next we go to the GP 100.  I didn’t even bother to show you my terrible results with that gun and yes it could have been that one weapon but I can tell you that the trigger is nowhere as good as the Smith though I suppose with gunsmith work it could be.  The husky and overbuilt frame of the GP100 did seem to absorb the recoil well enough but that is not the deal breaker since I wouldn’t have planned on shooting .357 anyway and instead would have gone for .38 Special.

As for the touted strength advantage of the Ruger over the Smith I will have to say that unless proven by statistics and testing I cannot accept extra metal as proof of sturdiness.  An example that comes to mind is the CZ52 that looks like a tank but in real world results the Tokarev pistol is much safer and less likely to self destruct based on actual reported incidents.

To let you know that I am not against Ruger or for Smith & Wesson in general  I will tell you that I have had more Ruger handguns in my collection than Smiths over the years but in this case it is clear where the best choice is especially if you consider the approximately $200 difference.  I’d pay the extra and get the factory excellent trigger and beautifully refined ergonomics and aesthetic appeal of the Model 686.  The price difference is not enough to sway the decision in favor of the GP100 for me.

Pandemics: Death By Superbug Infection, Ebola Running Rampant in Guinea, Seafood Bacterium

The risk of a superbug infection in a hospital after surgery is 1 in 25 which is better than 1 in 5 but still means that you have a solid chance of having your system wracked with a raging infection and limited means to combat it.

Senegal shuts land border with Guinea to halt Eblola Spread.
I don’t blame them for this move.  If you have a trip planned to Guinea I’d reconsider.

NY Skin Infections in Asian Seafood Markets
This is another reason to by frozen fish and cook it thoroughly.  Raw seafood is a bad idea and handling fish without protection of your hands is also risky.

.357 Magnum is a Bad Choice for Self Defense

Here is the Argument
The .357 Magnum is not a practical pistol round for defensive sidearms intended for anti-personnel use.  This is for the large majority of those who own firearms and not those who are highly skilled in their use.  Even that group may recognize the disadvantages of a low capacity weapon with high recoil and choose another system more capable.

And here are the reasons.

Excessive Recoil

While you’re sending that master blaster round downrange it had better hit the target since it is very difficult  to get a fast second and third round going toward your target before your target has a chance to respond.  It is quite possible to make a great first shot if you are dealing with a target that is nearby and standing still.  That said, if you deliver the first shot with this weapon and hit center mass then the results are likely going to be astounding and immediate.  Slow recovery for a follow up shot is something you can train against but the laws of physics are hard to overcome.  Overall, you could put four or five 9mm rounds downrange while only sending one .357 toward the target.

Excessive Muzzle Flash
If you want to see where the word fireball originates just watch a .357 magnum pistol fired at night.  It will temporarily blind you.  It may scare the hell out of whomever you are trying to scare or shoot but is is by any measure excessive for the purpose of self defense.

Excessive Weight

To handle such a round you generally must have a heavier weapon.  If it is a nightstand gun then there is isn’t a problem but if you have to carry it day in day out then it becomes one.   If you are in the back country and want a weapon for wild animals then maybe it is worth it to carry that extra weight but then you might even go for the .44 magnum.  

Excessive Blast
Do you want to lose your hearing?  Fire one or two rounds of .357 magnum without ear protection and I can almost guarantee you will be get permanent hearing loss.  I’d rather send multiple lower impulse rounds downrange from a .38 special.

Limited Number of Rounds
Generally in some of the best revolvers for the .357 you can get a maximum of 7 rounds though usually six.  I tried a S&W 686 that has that 7 round capacity and it is a superbly accurate and reliable weapon.   When facing one opponent 7 rounds is generally sufficient, but for situations with multiple targets I would feel at a disadvantage if my opponent were carry any one of the many guns capable of carrying 15-20 rounds.  


The 357 magnum is proven, reliable, and effective within the foundational needs of close range defense but there are severe limitations.  Owning a weapon that allows you to download to .38 special with reduced recoil and muzzle flash can give you the flexibility of faster recovery, less noise, less muzzle flash, avoiding over-penetration.  Using a weapon designed for a .357 magnum and instead loading it with .38 special is a long time means of taming the recoil and of course giving up the major advantage of the round that is a very effective stopper.  When in bear country you might be able to justify carrying the .357 with a heavy bullet as your last ditch defense and at least you know the bear won’t be shooting back.  In an alley where you might have multiple assailants I might consider the same revolver but I would much rather have a faster recovery for the next shot.   

Generally though, I would opt for a wonder nine capable of holding 15-20 rounds.  I’d rather have a weapon that sends projectiles to the target that does not hinder my ability to engage multiple targets quickly or to deal with a moving opponent where I may need repeated shots to get a hit.  This is best done with an auto-pistol in any of the major calibers from .380 on up to .45.

Sitrep: Financial Collapse – Black Gold, USA Balkanized, Government Controlled Media

 Most jobs pay under 35k per year.
Meanwhile the politicians are helping the bankers loot the treasury.  We will all end up slaves to the government debt.

Why Gold is Important to the U.S. Economy
This article explains why the Romans eventually collapsed.  In the case of the USA we might be able to bypass this problem by replacing gold with black gold, Texas Tea by way of fracking.

USA Balkanization Continues as Whites Trend Republican
With the advent of a non-white presidency and the clear racial decision making of the administration along with lopsided support from blacks and other non-white groups many whites are noticing.  Though a large number of whites vote Democrat and voted for this president both times it appears that the fraudulent veneer of racial equanimity put out by the left has been unmasked.  What has emerged is a clear sign that things are as bad as they were back well before integration.  With mass immigration and minority privilege the shoe is now on the other foot. 

Government Controlled Media
NYT Reporter Recognizes the Big Threat to Press Freedom by the Most Transparent Administration.
They finally wake up a tiny little bit to the hypocrisy of the administration  once it is clear the fawning press is considered subservient.  Many of us did see through the transparency of the administration and what we saw was devoid of honesty and integrity.  Thanks for joining the crowd mainstream media.

Free Press No Longer.   Even the NYT has a reporter who is fed up.

How Not to Shoot Yourself – Beating Murphy’s Law

If you perform a search online for accidental shootings you will find lots of cases where people have been shot and sometimes killed with their own handguns by way of an AD or accidental discharge or a ND, negligent discharge.  The difference between the two in the minds of many is that negligence means the gun fired due to improper handling while an accidental discharge occurs through some mechanical or bad luck failure.  We’ll run through some examples but here first is a video found online that shows one risk of carrying a loaded Glock handgun while wearing a jacket with a drawstring.  Police Chief shot with his own gun by accident.

Why you should worry about an accidental discharge.This is the kind of thing I always worried about and why I still think about the risk of a ND or AD with whatever I might carry.  Little .22 revolvers seem awful safe with those 12 pound triggers and a round that might not require an amputation if they were to hit an extremity.  What good is having a self defense weapon if you end up maiming or killing yourself with it.  The other risk is that of shooting someone else by accident and then you have a whole new list of worries that include your own emotional trauma, lawsuits, criminal court, and loss of your gun rights. 

On the light side.

How about this one.  I just shot F_ing shot myself: The Musical
This is a great Youtube remix of the guy who shot himself. 

Murphy is ever present and not a day goes by when I am trying to snake an extension cord or computer wire past something that finds a way to grab it and tangle it.  My cell phone always goes to the worst possible place in my car to retrieve it.  Think of a trigger as a hook and imagine how many things a hook can catch on it if you drag it through the house, car, or your pocket. 

Here are a few stories to convince you that accidents do happen when it comes to carrying a firearm.

Never stick a Glock in your pocket. 
Man kills self in parking lot by accident with a .40.  As the policeman said, “use a reputable holster.”

Man shoots self with pistol after it falls out of his holster and he picks it up incorrectly. 
This wasn’t a freak accident.  The guy picked his gun up the wrong way with it loaded.  Duh.  But it happens and I could say it is possible any of us could do it during a moment of inattention.  A freak accident might be if the pistol fell out and a bird flew down and grasped the trigger causing it to fire.  This guy just screwed up.

Man shoots self in head during gun safety lesson.

This was not a gun safety lesson if the guy was drinking.  The article shows the ignorance of the reporter more than the total stupidity of the guy showing off to a girl with his handguns while he was drunk.

Murphy is Ever Present and Waiting for You to Screw UP.
The common thread here is that things are always tilted in the direction of bad outcomes when you handle firearms incorrectly.  Even handled correctly, bad things happen when Murphy intervenes as in the example of the drawstring that pulled the trigger with the innocent tugging from the police officer.  He had no idea that the jacket drawstring was jammed into the trigger guard.  Some weapons have less tolerance for screw ups and as much as I love Glock pistols of which I have more than a few, you cannot ignore the risk of anything finding a way inside the trigger guard.    

One other option that I have used.  Condition 3 Carry also known as the Israeli Method.
Many experts would call this foolish since you may not have both hands available to chamber a round.  True, but for that matter you may not have your dominant hand available to draw it and thus you may have the weapon unavailable..  As for time needed to chamber a round, well I think that in most situations you have the time if you are aware of your surroundings and the situation.  If not then your luck may have run out and that happens too.

The Double Action Option 

The hammer drop safety approach is the answer given by Sig P226/P229 and HK P30.  If you try out either of these two weapons you will note that the trigger pull is long and heavy in double action.  If you cock the hammer the single action is much lighter and unless you have the HK P30 model with a safety you normally wouldn’t carry the weapon around with the hammer cocked.  I consider both of these weapons to be the cream of the crop when it comes to safety in automatic pistols.

If you have concerns about carrying a round in the chamber but do not like the condition 3 method then my advice is to consider a revolver or double action auto pistol in a holster combination making it a very low risk for negligent or accidental discharges  and still achieving the instant use option.    This is my preference though double action does require more live fire training time to master the double action first shot of an automatic or the repetitive double action of a revolver. 

It always comes down to defining the task and if personal safety is the purpose then why compromise your safety with the risk of an accidental discharge.    Develop your skills and choose the equipment that will greatly reduce your risk.

Here is another option.  Just get a tatoo of a gun at around the same position as you might carry one and just flash your tattoo when you want to dissuade an attack.  It was enough to get this guy hassled by the police.

Economic Collapse Update: Metals, Free Stuff Army

Brain Dead Americans still not joining the precious metal party
They will join it when it is too late much like the ammo hoarding that is going on now that the price has tripled and availability is down.

Surfer guy that turns down an 80k a year job is just another member of the free stuff army that will vote for more of the same.  So if you think we will vote our way out of this mess or that the next generation will pick up the slack you are wrong.  Many of them are the slack since that is what they have been taught.

Kockout Game Continues

WND Story on latest knockout.

The story the mainstream media never wants to cover is the ongoing one sided race war against whites by black males.  It involves random attacks in public places where the intent is to knock them out or injure them badly.  Usually the police pretend not to know what is up and just call it random violence.  We must acknowledge that this represents a small number of the black population doing this but it is a trend nonetheless and warrants discussion and action to protect yourself.

What to do:  Remain in a heightened state of awareness when in public places where black males are present.  Do not turn your back on them and do not pretend like you are unaware of their presence.  Keep an escape route available and carry some form of self defense whether it be a cane/walking stick, mace, pepper spray/pepper gun, stun gun, knife, or handgun.  My advice is to stick with armaments that are legal in your location so that you don’t end up going to jail simply for using it to protect yourself.

I like a pepper spray gun for many reasons and one is that it looks like a gun and might even dissuade an attack without using it.  They also have an led light on it that might blind and attacking and prevent them from noticing you do not have a real firearm. 

Your best answer is to stay out of areas where you might be at risk.  Move if you must but don’t remain a potential victim.  If you live in a locality where you can legally care a handgun then I’d add that to my daily outfit and be prepared to display it and use it if necessary.  Even a small caliber revolver is better than nothing when it comes to stopping an attack.

Collapse Update: Crimea, Chinese 9/11, Crime, H1N1 Pandemic, Bitcoin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Yeats – The Second Coming – First Stanza

Things do appear to be coming apart rather rapidly and here is some further proof.

Bandits attacking illegals at border crossings.
Somebody is doing the job the government won’t do.  It is too little too late but at least they are adding a cost to illegal border crossings.

Muslim separatists blamed for Chinese 9/11 knife attacks.
I knew this the moment I heard of the event.  At least the British papers are willing to spell it out since the American press is lost to truth.

Russia and China in agreement over occupation of Crimea.
The Chinese see this as a good chance to get a green light from Russia over their own ambitions in Asia.  This is a prelude to a non-aggression pact similar to the German-Soviet version over the dismantling of Poland.

Men Rob pregnant woman in labor at gunpoint.
The vermin roaming the streets in the USA continue to plumb the depths of depravity.  Here you have some displaying their contempt for their fellows in humanity by attacking a pregnant woman in Annapolis, Maryland. 

New diet craze of Grasshoppers, Worms, and Termites.
They won’t call this a diet craze when it is all there is left to eat.

Bitcoin theft at Mt. Gox
Half a billion worth of bitcoin digital currency has gone missing from the main exchange that held bitcoin assets.  This wasn’t predictable.  Oh no, not at all.

Deaths in China Continue for H7N9 Bird Flu
This could be the thing that sets this going across the planet.  A pandemic is just waiting to happen.

Bitcoin suffers another loss.
The desire for another currency has produced the opportunity for fraud and theft.  Many users of this form of value have lost their investment.  I’d stay with silver and gold.