Tag Archives: Pistols

Is there room at the table for a new Auto Mag?


NewAutoMagI got a press release from Laura Burgess Marketing that AUTO MAG is trying to make a come back.   First thought was “Wow, that’s cool!” Followed up by the next thought, “They’ll fail again… Because the same conditions that caused them to fail the first time are only worse this time.”

But is that true?   What caused the Auto Mag’s failure back in the 80’s?

First, let’s talk about what the Auto Mag was.  It’s whole point was to deliver a .44 caliber slug at .44 Magnum power, in an Automatic Pistol.   The idea to make the .44 Magnum feed in an Automatic, was to give it a Rimless Case.  To do this they used a .308 rifle cartridge, and cut it down to length, and there you go.   This actually worked quite well.  Unfortunately the ammunition was expensive back in the 80’s and is even more so now.

To handle the .44 Magnum level power in an automatic, the gun needed to be strong.  They used a fixed barrel for Revolver like Accuracy… this limited the locking options.  And since it needs a more robust locking mechanism, so they used a rotating bolt.  We also see this in the Desert Eagle.

The design of the Auto Mag is interesting.  It feels better in the hand than the Desert Eagle, more ergonomic.   And it’s much better looking.  But it’s also a complicated design and manufacturing it is a process that has more steps in it than other pistols…. which makes it a more expensive pistol to make.   Back in the 80’s, they didn’t have the CNC milling technology like we have today.  Even with that, there is a lot of hand fitting/finishing of the internal parts, and being a large pistol, requires a lot of material.  So it’s going to remain an expensive pistol to produce.

Expensive to make.  Expensive to shoot.  This is not a pistol for everyone.   This isn’t just Mercedes Benz level of handgunning… This is Maybach level.  This is… Exclusive.  Is there room at the SHOT Industry table for something more exclusive and expensive like this?


Because it’s cool.   See, outside of Food, Shelter, and Clothing… Men only spend money on Two Things.  Sex and Violence.   And the Auto Mag is a combination of both distilled into a handgun that is above the means of the every day common man.    Like owning a Porsche 911 Turbo or dating a Super Model.   It’s Mid Life Crisis that you can hold in your hands.  It is designed to make everyone at the range envy you and want to be you.    And unlike the Desert Eagle, it has no history of being gaudy like something a New Orleans Pimp would have.  You’ll never see an Auto Mag in Gold Titanium Tiger Stripes.  Because it doesn’t need that…. It doesn’t need the Bling.  Because it’s one of those few things that are an instant Classic.  And there is nothing else like it on the market.   Comparing it to a Desert Eagle is like comparing a luxury yacht to a tug boat.

Auto Mag will sell every single gun they make.

But does that mean they will fail again?  Because it’s exclusively priced… and ammunition is terribly expensive…  Few people will be able to get one.   And you don’t want a company to crank out as many as they can produce only to sit in stockpile.   For the company to succeed, they will have to stay small… And keep the production tight to keep overhead down.   Success or Failure is going to depend on Management, not Marketing.   Since they are the only ones making anything like this.  It’s their game to win or lose… and that’s going to be an internal struggle, not external.

Suggestions for Auto Mag:
1.  Offer a Blued Steel version.
2.  Don’t do Distributors… Go Customer & Dealer Direct to maximize your profits for the first 5 years.  Or longer.
3.  Don’t look at how other gun companies market.  Look at how Omega and Breitling Watches markets.  Your customers are going to be their customers.  You’re going to be exclusive as hell… so be exclusive.

Remington R51 Do-Over


I was asked what I thought about the Remington R51 Re-Release.

Look… I wanted to like the R51.  I really did.  I think it looks cool, and I like the idea of an all metal single stacked 9mm, that’s not a 1911, Kahr, or SIG P225… just for the sake of variety.  I really wanted to like it.  But a couple things gave me pause.  One, is the Pederson Hesitation Lock system it uses… which is… just not that good.  Then Remington made a very limited invitation only special pre-release introduction for certain Gun Media guys with a history of liking everything that comes their way.    Okay, that’s fine… They wanted good impressions to get out there.  Sure.  Every Gun Company wants that.   But the warning lights started flashing when shortly there after at the Media Day at the Range, the day before SHOT SHOW that year – The Remington R51 was suspiciously absent.

Warning Klaxons sounded in my head when at the Remington Booth, Remington Employees were physically blocking people from getting to where the R51 was on display.   They stood around the display like defensive Musk Ox surrounding their young.

Remington Reps protecting the R51 at SHOT SHOW.
Remington Reps protecting the R51 at SHOT SHOW.

They wanted Dealers to order them… they just didn’t want anyone to actually touch it.  But I did.  I went around behind them, went behind a counter, and got in to where it was hanging on the wall, behind the Remington People.  I could tell from the expressions on their faces when they saw me – that they were pissed.

When I handled the gun… I liked the size and weight just fine.  But the action felt like it was broken inside.  That hesitation lock felt like it was going to be a Jam Maker.  The Grip Safety was awkward as it pivoted backwards from normal, it had sharp edges of the frame exposed when the safety was depressed.
I warned people to avoid being an early adopter of the R51.
Turns out I was right, and all the pistols I had warned people about – all got recalled.  The gun was a bigger pile of crap than I had expected it to be.


Now, fast forward and Big Green is releasing the gun again.  All the work to rebuild the gun, all the new engineering and testing… should have been done before it was released to begin with.   It should have been tested – thoroughly – before it was released.    This was Remington’s fault, resting squarely on the shoulders of Remington.  But Remington pointed their fingers at Para USA, in Charlotte, NC…. where the R51 was being produced.   This wasn’t a quality control issue… this was a DESIGN ISSUE.   And guys at Para were saying “This isn’t right”.  Turns out that the guys at Para were right as well.  Because to fix the gun, Remington didn’t have to tight QC on the production line… they had to re-engineer  the bloody handgun.  Proving that it was indeed, a design issue.

Maybe the gun is now “fixed”.  But the first people to test it and say it’s fine – are some of the first people that said it was good to go the first time.   I have a bit of a problem with that.   When asked by a friend what my initial thoughts were about the new again R51… my knee-jerk reaction was “I’d rather have a Bersa.”

So my advice is the same as before.  Avoid being an Early Adopter of these R51 2.0’s.

Carolina Arms Group’s new Privateer 1911

Carolina Arms Group is located not very far away from me all all.  About 45 minutes up I-77 and I’m pulling into their parking lot.  So I’ve come to know the owner and I’ve met most everyone working at CAG.    CAG has made some very nice 1911’s… and some of the the best 1911’s I’ve ever handled.  That was the Trenton Series, a family of 1911’s named after the Battle of Trenton.      But now CAG has a new series of pistols.  Meet the PRIVATEER.


I’m going to say this… and I don’t say this lightly.  In fact, I’ve considered this for some time and I keep coming back to the same conclusion.  This is the best 1911 I’ve ever seen.  Let me say this again…


I’ve been into 1911’s since I was 16 and the father of a girlfriend introduced me to them.  His name was Dave and he was awesome.  I don’t even remember his daughter anymore… but I remember Dave.  Dave taught me the Tao of Browning.   He taught me how the gun works, inside and out, and how to shoot it.

Dave literally saved my life because of this… because the Army gave me Zero training when they issued me a 1911 and it was a 1911 that I used to save my life when someone was intent on ending it.   I’ve always loved the 1911 since those rather exciting days.  And I’ve always taken them seriously because of it.

I’ve tested and reviewed some of the best 1911’s on the planet, and have owned 1911’s from the likes of Terry Tussy and other high end custom gunsmiths…  And let me tell you… The CAG PRIVATEER 1911 is the finest example of the 1911 Pistol.   Period.  Saint John Moses Browning himself smiles upon the CAG Privateer and is well pleased.


Differences from the Trenton series have the Privateer using a regular, fine, checkering on the frame and the inclusion of an accessory rail.  Up top it’s wearing Tritium Night Sights instead of fiber optics.  As all serious use handguns should.  The grips are a slim profile, which makes the gun more narrower in the hand, which is great when wearing gloves… and even better when the gun is tight against your side when it’s riding in a holster.

The whole gun, including the barrel, is finished with a gorgeous DLC finish.  Diamond Like Coating.  The DLC Finish is incredibly strong, resistant, and smooth.   The gun looks amazing.  The laser engraving really pops and looks clean unlike anything coated in Cerakote or other finishes.  The Fit and Finish are – FLAWLESS – to the point that no photo will ever do these guns justice.   You have to see these guns in person.  You have to feel them in your hands.  You have to feel the slide’s action.  You have to feel the trigger.  You have to feel the difference between these guns and every other 1911 out there.

One day, I’m going to own a CAG Privateer in a Commander length.

Hit Carolina Arms Group on Facebook, and tell them I sent you.
If you want a Carolina Arms Group pistol… See them at Point Blank Range.  Or contact PBR and order one.


I paid a visit to Carolina Arms Group today… The makers of very desirable things. I got a peek at a new model, the Veteran Carry… which is an insanely smooth Bobtail Commander. It’s fantastic. Save your Pennies. And they are going to be rolling out some knives with carbon fiber scales, and matching carbon fiber grips for the pistol. VERY nice. Impressive. Mark threw some laser engraving on my knife… Thanks, Mark! If you guys need anything lasered – contact CAG and talk to them about it. Their laser system is fast and precise… sharpest looking laser work out there.
The new Veteran Carry – that’s the one to get!


Sneak Peek at the new Veteran Carry pistol.  It’s not even finished and it’s gorgeous as hell.  The Want is strong with this one.


Taking the time to fit it right.  By hand.


The little details are the important ones.   It has to be perfect.


What goes good with a high quality gun?  A high quality blade.


You’ll be able to order a Carolina Arms Group accessory kit with your pistol… Which includes the holster, knife, and matching grips.

SIG P220 Combat



The P220 Combat is designed to meet, and exceed, rigorous military standards. The P220 Combat performs like no other .45ACP available. Each pistol features the military’s Flat Dark Earth finish on its alloy frame and SIG’s Nitron® over a stainless slide. Internal parts and controls are phosphated for extreme corrosion resistance and reduced friction while the threaded barrel is hard chromed and finished in Nitron® which easily passes the military’s accuracy requirements – even after 20,000 rounds. The P220 Combat also passes the military’s 240-hour salt spray corrosion test. Outfitted with a true M1913 Picatinny rail, vertical front strap serrations and SIGLITE® night sights.

Continue reading SIG P220 Combat

I’m going to have to swing back to SIG after today.

I don’t know why I left SIG in the first place.  Pretty much I left SIG for Glock because sometimes I go into Retard Mode or something.   I should never have left.  I love SIG’s and I love .45’s and flirting with smaller guns that don’t even have hammers – a mistake I shall never make again.

We’ve had this lightly used SIG 227 sitting in the gun counter for about 6 months now… I had 15 rounds of .45 Auto PMC Bronze on my desk for about that same period of time.
Well, today I put them to work.  HOLY CRAP!  The 227 is absolutely one of the nicest shooting .45’s I’ve ever fired.   It’s smooth, super soft recoil, and dang is it accurate.   That is 15 rounds at 25 feet.  No… seriously… 15 rounds.  I put 10 rounds in the mag, ran the target to 25 feet, fired 10 rounds, reloaded with the last 5, fired them and brought the target back in.  HOLE-LEE-CRAP.
I’m an okay shot – but not this good!  That’s the GUN.  The only other gun that’s on par with this is the CZ 97B… or $1800+ 1911’s.

This made me just fall in love with SIG’s all over again.  So much…  There’s a used SIG 220 Carry that I’ve been very tempted about.  This might be pushing me over the edge.

Bond Arms Derringers

I was driving to work yesterday, sitting in a traffic jam on I-77 really… and listing to Glenn Beck on the Patriot XM.  And I heard an advertisement for Bond Arms Derringers.


Then last night I was with my wife at Cabela’s and she pointed out the Bond Arms and was basically “Oh look, Shiny!”
Here’s the thing about Bond Arms.  They do make the best Derringers on the market.   They are built with high quality standards, good materials, and with an excellent fit and finish.  I’ve never seen a bad one.

But I’ve also never seen one I’d actually carry for Self Defense.  They are thick and they are heavy.  They are solid chunks of steel weight with two holes drills through them.  They are as thick as a Double Whopper With Cheese.   And for all that size and weight, you only get two shots.  Now, I understand the reason for all that beef… Because you can change barrels and change calibers… tons of options for that.  But every option leaves you with just two shots.

Two from a gun with horrible sights and a horrible trigger, that has to be manually cocked.  How you get a terrible trigger pull from a Single Action Trigger is beyond me.    Combine bad sights and a bad trigger with only 2 shoots and you get something that’s very much Less than Ideal for actual self defense use.    Put that in a package that’s so thick and heavy – you will not be carrying it very often.

Bond Arms looks Old School Cool.  And they are.  Just don’t be buying them for actual self defense use.

CZ Scorpion EVO 3

12088322_10206672771871363_6133863789900828887_n   Having a chance to play with a number of these new SMG type pistols… I keep coming back to the Scorpion.

It’s a simple firearm.  A good looking firearm.  And one that feels good and runs better.  It’s not perfect… but it’s close.  There are some things I’d change about it.  Such as that grip.  And I’d make the rail sections removable on the sides.    But really those are just Nit-Pick items.  The gun is solid.  The gun is good to go.  It begs to be SBR’d and if you want an EVO, just factor in that 200 dollar tax stamp.  Because you are going to want it. 12096135_10206672771551355_4257334043752774689_n

It’s just cool looking.  It looks like a modern SMG, and not a 1950’s hold over.  It looks like something that would make the head honchos at HK slam fists into tables.  I need one of these.  The next gun I’m going to get is probably going to be a KSG… But after the KSG, it’s going to be an EVO 3.  12106887_10206672771991366_2362461247993396905_n

The ergos on the CZ are not as nice as the SIG MPX, but are very good for an SMG if you are used to SMG’s.  The HK Slap works well here, and is a welcome feature.  As is the mag release.


I know a lot of guys are digging the Kriss or the SIG… and both are great.  Both have strong reasons to consider them.  The SIG because of the familiarity.  If you can run an AR – you can run an MPX.  The Kriss, as weird as it is – and it is really weird – is running common Glock 21 magazines.   That’s an advantage.    But the CZ, for me, just nails it… Hitting all the points I want in this type of firearm.  And it’s the least expensive of the three.


20151005_142305The XD MOD.2 Service.  A new XD I could actually own.

This is the best rework of the XD series Springfield has.  I like this better than the XDM.  The new MOD.2 is shaped right.  It fills the hand without being too large and is just grippy enough to be be grippy without being abrasive.  The regular XD’s and XDM’s feel slick in my hands… .and for that reason I just don’t take to them.   20151005_142251Had this been the design back before I got my Glock 23 – I think I could have been very likely to have selected one of these.  Now look at the Slide and Frame contours… You know what?  The XD isn’t ugly anymore.  It’s grown into quite the handsome figure.  I like the slide serrations.  They did a great job.
There’s just one problem.
20151005_142243“GRIP ZONE”?  Seriously?  Where’s the “SLIDE ZONE” markings?  Captain Obvious needs to stay out of the Design Room at Springfield and maybe take a holiday to eastern Syria.  GRIP ZONE… Who approved that?  Who did that?  Who is responsible for GRIP ZONE?  If you know who that guy is… Mark his face with a Sharpie “SLAP ZONE”.  Please.
Other than that… Home Run, Springfield.  Home Run!  I’ll be waiting for and 3.8 Compact Mod.2 in the XDM series…  But this is tempting. as it is.  Very well done, Springfield… Bravo!