Mousegunner's Archived Observations

March 2011

GadaffiMarch 31, 2011 -- Will the USA arm Libyan Rebels?...There's a news article today indicating that our Secretary of State believes that UN guidelines will not forbid nations arming the Libyan rebels. I wonder if the USA will start shipping arms to Libya, because nations means US. Or has the CIA already done so? There's another news article stating that President Obama authorized CIA intervention in Libya several weeks ago. is not a political website, so I don't want to get into the politics of all this. But I wonder what kind of firearms, or artillery, or rockets would be given away by our government. I know that we can lay our hands on tens of thousands of AK-47s, which are always popular. Lots of 7.62x39 ammo, of course. I suppose we will also send over hundreds of surface to surface missiles, or even surface to air missiles. I wonder if those 850,000 M1 Garands and M1 carbines that South Korea has might be diverted by the USA to Libya? That would be too bad, as I know lots of Americans would like to buy those for themselves, if we could just get them sent back where they came from.
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A Comment from Mike..."Sounds like WW2 Germany. Let's open up another front and make ourselves/troops-paper thin. These folks have been fighting for hundreds of years, and we are not going to stop them. Drill at home and let them, Mid East, eat crude for lunch."

A Comment from GC..."As far as I understand from the news reports, the Libyan rebels already have small arms--the ubiquitous AK-47, for example. What they need are weapons that can fight tanks and aircraft and the training to use all of the above. At the moment, we're providing air support, though, and that may be for the best, since we control the equipment and the targeting. As for the M1 rifle, I'd rather do battle with a Garand than an M-16 any day, but that's likely my personal romanticism showing forth."

A Comment from Bob..."The US will have to arm the rebels now because we have started another war and our credibility is again on the line. But, I suspect the CIA doesn't deal in anything used; and besides, if we want the rebels to win, giving them old M-1's would both demoralized them and put them at a firepower disadvantage. M-16's or brand new AK-47's would be my guess; but these rag-tag rebels will never beat an organized army on a battlefield. They must engage in guerrilla warfare or they will need lots and lots of air support."

Browning BuckmarkMarch 30, 2011 -- Browning Buckmark .22 Pistol...Well, I've finally made up my mind about what pistol to buy next, and it will be a Browning Buckmark. There are several gun stores in Chattanooga that sell the Buckmark, and there are a number of models, so I've got some shopping to do. I've decided to buy one brand new, for instant gratification, and for the sake of the warranty. I've done a lot of reading about these guns, and they seem to be well liked and reliable. When compared to the Ruger Mark III or 22/45, the Buckmark seems to come off just as well in accuracy and other regards. For myself, I think the Buckmark is a prettier gun. I have also read that the barrel of the Buckmark is not serialized, so after-market barrels can be bought directly by mail order, without needing a FFL dealer as a go between. Tactical Solutions makes a threaded barrel for the Buckmark, and I thought it might be fun to get a silencer (and pay the silencer tax of course). How nice it would be to be able to shoot without worrying about wearing ear plugs! My stable of .22s is growing. I have an old Savage semi-auto rifle, a Phoenix Arms HP22A, and an H&R 676 revolver. The Buckmark will be number four. I'll probably buy a few more thousand rounds of .22 lr ammo, too. With ammo prices so high, shooting .22 ammo is the way to go.
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A Comment from DH..."You will be happy with the Buckmark. It is a little heavier than the Ruger. I have both and would have a hard time choosing between them. The Buckmark comes standard with adjustable sights. That was a plus for me. I bought a MKIII, because I have liked the looks of the standard model for a long time. Both guns have had several rounds through them, and have never had any problems."

Bavaria blue and whiteMarch 29, 2011 -- German Gun Words (Deutsche Schusswaffe Worter)...One of my hobbies is studying the German language. I've never had a school class in German, but I am learning from books and YouTube videos. My daughter lived in Munich for awhile, and I visited and developed a great interest in Germany and it's language. Here's a link to my Munich website. Here is a list of gun-related words in English and German. In German, every noun must be capitalized, and preceded by its proper article (masculine-der, feminine-die or neuter-das):

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Tetra gun greaseMarch 28, 2011 -- Using my nose...Someone sent me a free sample of Tetra brand gun grease and gun oil about a month ago, and I have been using it on the slide of my Kel-Tec P-3AT. It is white and very thick. If you have a blued Kel-Tec firearm, you already know that they are not finely finished. The metal of the slide was obviously only slightly polished before the bluing was applied, so it looks kind of pitted. I noticed that if I rub this Tetra grease into the slide, it sort of fills up the little pits, and makes it look better. I also notice the particularly strong and pungent odor of this grease. I can't make up my mind if I like it or hate it! (What is grease, anyway? Decayed dinosaurs?) Then I got to thinking about all the other smells involved with guns, and realized that the fragrance is part of the enjoyment. Does anything smell better than Hoppes #9 solvent? How about the acrid yet tantalizing smell of gun smoke? I've got an SKS that still oozes cosmoline, and it somehow makes me think of Russian soldiers in WW2. I remember picking up an old Argentine Mauser at Darr's Gun Store, and how it reeked of old tobacco. It must have been carried by a deputy who smoked like a steam engine, and had yellow nicotine stained hands. (I really wish I had bought that rifle!)
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Hawken rifleMarch 27, 2011 -- A Genuine Hawken!...I watched the movie "Jeremiah Johnson" again Saturday afternoon. Jeremiah wanted a Hawken rifle as he began his life as a mountain man. He wanted a .50 caliber, but settled for a .30. Later he happened on "Hatchet Jack," frozen solid, still holding his .50 caliber Hawken in his icy hands; and Jeremiah claimed it for his own. Wikipedia says: "The Hawken rifle was a brand of black powder long rifle used on the prairies and in the Rocky Mountains of the United States during the early frontier days. It has become synonymous with the "plains rifle", the buffalo gun, and the fur trapper's gun... The Hawken "plains rifle" was made by Jacob and Samuel Hawken, or by their St Louis, Missouri shop, which they ran from 1815 to 1858. Their shop continued to operate and sell rifles bearing the "Hawken" name ...until 1915...They produced what their customers needed in the West, a quality gun, light enough to carry all the time, capable of knocking down big targets at long range. They called their guns 'Rocky Mountain Rifles.'" I don't have a Hawken myself, but I know a fellow who has one, and I've shot it. It's a nice accurate rifle. If you haven't seen the movie, you are missing one of the great ones.
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A Comment from Bob..."Thanks for the interesting piece of history on the Hawken rifle and yes, Jeremiah Johnson is one of my favorite movies, too. Many times I only watch the first half and conjure up a better second half ending in my imagination. This quote expresses it best: Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act. -- Truman Capote"

Chattanooga AquariumMarch 26, 2011 -- Lots of Shootings in Chattanooga...A lot of young black men have been shooting each other in Chattanooga. We may even be making the national news reports. Almost every day we see another newspaper article about how to fix the problem. Here's an example from March 25, 2011. The proposed solutions are: 1) Have a curfew; and 2) Make it harder to buy a gun (specifically in today's editorial section, close the "gun show loophole," which means, take away EVERYONE'S freedom to buy or sell a gun.) As usual, the proposed solutions are socialistic and unfair, just as they were in grade school. Do you remember when some kid scribbled crayons on the walls, what the teacher would do? Of course: take away EVERYONE's crayons. That's what is proposed here, and I'm not surprised. Make a curfew for EVERYONE in the park. Make it hard for EVERYONE to buy guns. Black community leaders are also calling for government run mentoring programs and government paid jobs for the teens. This sounds good, but is really a non-starter, as the city of Chattanooga is already running on empty, financially. I have some better ideas, but I'm not going to hold my breath for city officials to implement them. I suggest: 1) Anyone who shoots another person gets both hands cut off as soon as it is proved that he did the crime; and 2) Put a $100 bounty on the head of every gang member in town. My solutions are guaranteed to solve the problem, AND only the guilty will be punished. (I would also like to see any school teacher who punishes a whole class for the infraction of some naughty individual get fired immediately for teaching stupid social behavior.)
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A Comment from Bob..."Surely you jest (but if not you, then me). If anyone can buy a gun without a background check, then criminals, the insane, gang members and terrorist can buy guns, too. And, individual ownership of guns is banned under fascism, communism and dictatorships but not socialism where they are simply regulated (Canada); however, under unregulated capitalism anyone can buy any gun (Mexico). We're simply in-between those extremes. And Iran is the only country that routinely cuts hands off for bad behavior but there is no democracy there. The politicians of Chattanooga are scared and people do stupid things when they are scared. A scared Congress passed into law the Patriot Act giving more power to the police with fewer freedoms for individuals, a real life zero sum game. Teachers have been getting a bad rap in the papers of late but I think selfish and apathetic parents are the real problem with misbehaving kids."

A Comment from IG..."Cutting off people hands might be considered a little drastic, but how about some of the horrible things that have been done to our citizens. "...he raped and tortured and killed that little girl but she was wearing a party dress and HE has mental problems so lets' just send him home." B--- S---!!! How would you feel if one of your family was the one in that story?? Criminals, BGs, terrorists-yes, people who take advantage of weaker folks who can't defend themselves need to be dealt with in the harshest way. Have you seen the bumper stickers that say capital punishment/execution doesn't stop murders? Well it might not stop them but it sure prevents the same guy/gal from killing again! We have given too much concern to the CRIMINAL and nothing to the victim. Wake up America, before it's too late and you find yourself the victim."

lemonMarch 25, 2011 -- Some guns are LEMONS...Did you ever buy a car that turned out to be a "lemon?" That's so common that we even have a "lemon law" to help deal with the situation. At my office we have a copy machine that is a lemon. It breaks down every other day, and we are constantly calling the service department. (Unfortunately we just started a four-year lease!) What I'm working up to is this: sooner or later YOU will buy a gun that turns out to be a lemon. No matter what you do to it, or what ammo you try with it, it just won't work dependably. Sometimes people send their guns back to the "mother ship" for repair, and they STILL won't function properly. So what do you do with a lemon gun? You could use it for a paper weight. You could give it to someone you don't like. You could wait for a police "get the guns off the street" program, and trade it for a $100 gift card. What you DON'T want to do is sell it to an unsuspecting honest person who is trusting you for a good gun. I had a 9mm pocket gun once that was a lemon, and I didn't know it. I sold it NIB (New In the Box and unfired) to a gent, who ran a couple of hundred rounds through it, and was very discouraged. He let me know, and I gave him his money back. I then sold it to another guy, but I told him the story first, so he would know what he might be getting into. He later called me and told me that it was a lemon for him, too; but he was a gunsmith, and he said he would enjoy tearing it apart, replacing parts, etc, so he was still a happy camper. Someday YOU too will get a lemon. If you do, don't despair. Maybe you can take your lemon and make lemonade out of it.
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A Comment from Don..."This really gets to my heartburn about being a firearms buyer. Let me say that I am new to this, someone who until 3 months ago owned no firearms. When I buy a home, I can tour it. When I buy a car, I can test drive it. When I buy a computer or television, I can see and touch the demo. When I buy a gun, I cannot run a box of ammo through it before closing the deal, or at least I havenít found a way to do it yet. That said, all of the companies Iíve seen with whom I would do business are ready to fix real problems, what would be called lemons if we were referring to cars, e.g. a firing pin that wonít fire reliable ammo. OTOH, there is a responsibility of the buyer to research their choice. My first firearms purchase was a Sig Mosquito. The seller, with whom I will not do business again, said it was not picky about the ammo it wants, something I had heard as a selling point for other 22lr semi-auto pistols. What bunk! Although I love my Mosquito, even though I cannot use the cheapest ammo available, I have learned more about researching my choices in guns and sellers."

A Comment from DJ..."The majority of owners do not want to take the loss, I know some that are hesitant to purchase used because of the "Lemons" out there. Hopefully this will improve as the firearm companies back their products for an extended period of time."

A Comment from Bob..."The closest I have come to owning a lemon was a NAA mini-revolver in 22M. After carrying it in my pocket for awhile the gun could not be cocked because the cylinder pin was bent and later there were too many failures to fire because of a weak hammer strike. And I could never consistently hit a target, even at close range. Now, life-time warranties are great but there is a cost to sending the gun back to the factory and a cost to sending it back to you. You pay for it both ways! So, I spent about a $100 in delivery costs but in all fairness, I bought that gun online. It was supposedly NIB but who knows. And as far as the accuracy, Hickock45 has mentioned in many Youtube shorts that most guns are way more accurate than the people shooting them, so I'll take back the accuracy complaint. I ended up giving this gun to a relative who is a collector and not much of a shooter. My conscience is clear..."

Books A MillionMarch 24, 2011 -- Gun Magazines...Yesterday afternoon I had some time to kill before heading for orchestra rehearsal (I'm an "extra" cellist for the Chattanooga Symphony), and stopped at Books-A-Million to browse and read. BAM has a great magazine selection. There must be 300 different magazines available. The gun section is pretty good. I believe there were a dozen different publications. I was pleased to see that they had a stack of the PocketPistol magazine still available, and the AK47 magazine too, which I picked up at WalMart a week ago. But as I looked at the magazines I realized that I no longer get the "kick" from gun mags that I once did. I'm gradually letting my subscriptions expire. I'm still getting the American Rifleman and Gun Tests, but that's about it. I'm getting to the point about the slick magazine reviews: when you've read one, you've read them all. Every gun is a good one. They work perfectly. Run out and buy one. I really like Gun Tests, because they don't mind giving a "D" or even an "F" grade to guns that don't measure up.
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A Comment from Bob..."Besides the two you mentioned, I'm getting American Handgunner (articles by Ayoob and Smith) and US Concealed Carry. Other than that I think many gun magazines represent a form of product proliferation making it difficult to tell them apart and the ads for product promotion are usually the same. Of course there are specialty gun magazines designed for a very narrow readership. Also, I get non-gun magazines and need time to read them, too!"

A Comment from JC..."I'm a fairly regular visitor to your website and I'm a fairly avid mousegunner. I have 3 Beretta's (a 21A in .22 LR, another 21A in .25 ACP, and a Bobcat in .32 Auto), as well as a bunch of other guns that I've accumulated over the years. I do most of my shooting at the Chattanooga Rifle Club. I live in Harrison, so it's only a five minute drive. Anyway, I'm also a season ticket holder to the CSO, so it came as a surprise when you mentioned that you are a cellist with the orchestra. I went to the Pictures at an Exhibition performance last Thursday and I noticed an unfamiliar face in the last row of the cello section, so I wondered if it could be you. Yesterday, I followed the link to your German web site and there you were: the same guy in the back row of the cello section! So...I thought I'd just let you know that you have a fan on multiple levels: I'm a mousegunner, I love music, and my wife was born and raised in Germany. I'll look for you at the 'Bob's Favorite Things' concert next Thursday. Hope to see you there."

Lovin Spoonful album coverMarch 23, 2011 -- Did you ever have to make up your mind?...Of course, that's an old song by the Lovin' Spoonful (click here to hear it) about a poor fellow who can't decide which girl he wants to go with; but it also could describe the firearm fancier's difficulty in choosing between guns to purchase. I've been in this quandry for about three weeks now. I've decided (pretty much) that I really need to add another .22 lr pistol to my collection. I already have an old H&R revolver, and a Phoenix Arms .22. But the revolver is old and heavy, and the PA is cheap (but I like it). Anyway, there are just so many choices when it comes to getting a .22: Ruger and S&W both have revolvers AND semi-auto pistols in .22. Browning makes several kinds of Buckmasters. I could get another cheap JA-22 from Jimenez. One of our local gun shops has a Bersa in .22 lr, which looks interesting. And the pawn shops sometimes have older out-of-production .22s that are interesting. Beretta has the Neos (which I haven't seen in this neck of the woods.) I guess I will just continue to mull it over in my head for awhile longer.

S&W 41A Comment from Buzz..."Love your web site. You really will never be sorry if you pony up the bucks for a (S&W) Model 41. You have to have one exquisite piece of workmanship to enjoy looking at and shooting. A gun that is easy to clean and makes you look great at the range. Collect the parts to mount a Match Dot far enough back to balance the pistol and just drill holes all day in a 2" circle at 25 yards. I get bored and use the iron sights sometimes to make it fair. OK, I do use two hands, too many shoulder surgeries to shoot Bullseye style. The trick is to balance the whole thing. It is amazing how heavy a 7" barrel with a Match Dot can be when you mount the scope centered on the rail. Every time you open the case and see those grips you will not miss the money. The only complaint is that a two thumb pointing at the target hold can interfere with the slide lock back if you are not careful."

wheel chairMarch 22, 2011 -- Glen's Story, a Cautionary Tale...I found this on the Carteach0 blog, and would like to pass it along. CLICK HERE. This is a story about military men, men trained in the use of firearms. And yet one ends up negligently, foolishly, shooting the other, with tragic life-long consequences. There seems to be a rule here, something like one of Murphy's Laws, with regard to gun-handling. "If the number of men in the room doubles, the chance of a negligent discharge quadruples." No matter how careful YOU are, you must always worry about the other guy. Have you ever been "swept" by another person, not paying attention? I have, and you probably have, too. In this regard the "gun grabbers" are right: the more guns there are, the more likely someone will be shot. Once again I post the four rules of gun safety; and if you can't say these from memory then I personally implore you to get rid of all your guns today:

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A Comment from Bob..."You may be on to something about a derivative of Murphy's Law and the exponential rise in danger with more guns. But, to point a real gun at a real person and pull the trigger there must have been the expectation of something happening! Of course it was not expected that the gun would discharge with all the ensuing destruction. So, was this just the blatant disregard of gun safety by this individual or has military culture and combat desensitized soldiers to such things? I cannot speak about combat (Dad took care of WWII, I was too young for Korea and discharged before Viet Nam). But I do not remember ever doing or seeing a real gun pointed at a real person while there. This was just a very tragic shooting that was classified as an accident."

A Comment from Del..."I totally agree about the double vs quadruple theory and of course your 4 rules. When I was a teenager my Dad took me to a hunting cabin. There were 3 or 4 other men there. All bragging about their 300 winchester magnums or whatever. But..... the other men brought lots of beer with them for the weekend. My Dad never ever drank. Even as a teen I though it was stupid to mix guns and alcohol. There were no bad incidents, but I think alcohol would increase the possibility by another factor of 10."

revolver hammerMarch 21, 2011 -- Striker versus Hammer...This is basic firearms 101, and not as difficult or technical as some may fear. First, everyone knows what a hammer is, on a pistol. It's that "thingy" on the back of the gun that sometimes you can pull back with your thumb. (There ARE some pistols that have the hammer covered or cut down so much you can't get to it.) When the hammer is released, it springs forward to strike a transfer bar, which strikes the firing pin, which strikes the primer, and fires a cartridge. (There are some older revolvers which have the firing pin right on the hammer. If you have one of these, always carry with an empty chamber under the hammer.) A striker fired pistol has no hammer, but there is a spring on the firing pin (which you may now call a striker), and this spring causes the striker (firing pin) to fly forward to hit the primer, and fire the cartridge. So you might say a striker is just a spring-powered firing pin. All revolvers have hammers. Some semi-auto pistols also have hammers (Kel-Tec handguns, Ruger LCP, etc.) The GLOCKs have no hammers, but have strikers, as do the Kahr pistols. All 1911 style pistols have hammers. Which is better, striker or hammer? Both are equally good.
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A Comment from M..."Call me OLD & Stubborn, but if I can't release it without firing the weapon, I don't trust/like/want any part of it."

Dead Zero Book CoverMarch 20, 2011 -- I want to be a Marine Gunnery Sergeant...Well, not really! But I just finished reading another Bob Lee Swagger novel by Stephen Hunter. Bob Lee Swagger is a "Gunny," and the toughest one there ever was, and the best sniper in the world. (Until his son Ray Cruz comes along in this novel.) I have read half a dozen of these Swagger novels, and I enjoy reading all the details about long-range sniping rifles, and the men who shoot them. There's always some spy stuff, espionage, twists and turns, etc., thrown in to flavor the mix. This is rapid reading, nothing to strain the brain. These novels are not great art, or anything like that. But they do make interesting, fast paced reading, just for fun. (One of the first Swagger novels was made into a successful movie: Shooter.) While reading these books, I get the urge to buy my own long-distance rifle. Then I remember how much it would hurt my shoulder to fire a .50 caliber Barrett M82, or .338 Lapua magnum. I guess I will stick to my smaller caliber firearms, and leave the long distance stuff to the land of fantasy. If you haven't yet read any of these Stephen Hunter books, and if you like firearms, I recommend you pick one up. You can probably find a second-hand paperback edition in a used book store, if you want to read cheap. I hate spending $20 on a hard back light-reading novel! One negative criticicism: too much profanity. If you are sensitive to vulgar profanity, don't read one of these books. For myself, I just filter it out.
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A comment from GC..."The author, Stephen Hunter, is also a good advocate for firearms rights. He was one of the few voices of sanity invited on the radio after the Tucson shooting. I've added his writing to my to do list, something I'll get to after the semester ends."

A Comment from Bob..."I've been looking for a good read; and since I liked the movie Shooter (except maybe how it all ended) I've just ordered the book Point of Impact that inspired the movie, from Amazon which, by the way, was selling used copies for 1 cent (plus postage). When talking about snipers there is a scene in the relatively current movie The Hurt Locker that is very realistic and brutal, involving some long distance shooting with a scoped .50 caliber rifle. I enjoy R rated books and movies, because they describe the world we live in; but a very good PG-13 book you might be interested in is True Grit. I saw both movies; and the book is just as good, but somewhat different."

minute man with rifleMarch 19, 2011 -- Sons of the American Revolution...I was reminded last night that I am scheduled to speak to the local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution on August 5, 2011, at the Mt. Vernon Restaurant in Chattanooga. The S.A.R. is "the leading male lineage society that perpetuates the ideals of the war for independence." They seek to "maintain and expand the meaning of patriotism." The topic assigned to me is "The Roots of the 2nd Amendment." I welcome the opportunity to do some more research, and to bring an interesting and inspiring address (at least I HOPE I will be interesting and inspiring!) I am afraid in our time of "effete intellectual snobs" (thank you Spiro Agnew) most people have little acquaintance with ANY of the ten amendments to our Constitution we call the "Bill of Rights." The 2nd amendment reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." The "Militia" is NOT a standing army owned by the federal government. The Militia is the body of the citizenry, armed, and ready to do battle for their own freedom. "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." The purpose of the 2nd amendment is not to insure that we can go hunting when we want; nor is meant to preserve our right to defend ourselves from criminals. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is to preserve the right of the people to live free from the tryanny of a dictatorial government. The British tried to disarm the people of the colonies, and the people refused to be disarmed, and were thus able, after many battles and deaths, to throw off the yoke of the King of England. Americans might need to repeat this feat again someday, and so the 2nd amendment is of vital importance. People who are not sufficiently armed can never be a free people.
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A Comment from Bob..."Good luck with your speech! It sounds like you will have a very receptive audience; however, as you know, historians are divided over the original intent behind the 2nd Amendment, even though 5 members of the current Supreme Court decided it was an individual right to own arms. I hope you pass along any interesting research."

p3atMarch 18, 2011 -- Kel-Tec P-3AT Again, an oldie, but a goodie... I have a bit of a .380 collection going, now: Ruger LCP, Taurus TCP and my most recent Kel-Tec P-3AT. Both the Ruger and the Taurus proved 100% reliable at the range, and I had been carrying the Ruger. But the raspberry Ruger has such a nice blued finish on the slide, I really didn't want to mark it with wear from carrying it all the time. Anyway, I got the P-3AT only a few weeks ago, so I took it shooting at Shooter's Depot in Chattanooga last Tuesday. I was gratified to find out that it was just like the Ruger and Taurus, 100% right out of the box. And accuracy was just fine. (Here's a link to a target.) The Kel-Tec P-3AT was the first of the super-small .380 pistols. It is not as finely finished as the the others, nor as expensive (I paid $230 out-the-door at a pawn shop in Chattanooga.) It is an oldie, but a goodie. So, my Ruger is back in the box, on stand-by. My Kel-Tec P-3AT is riding in my pocket. I put some scratchy stair-tread stuff on the grip, to help me in my pocket draw. It's not pretty, but it helps. I won't worry about scuffing up the slide, because the appearance isn't that slick, anyway. It's kind of like owning an old pick-up truck, that works good, but you really don't care much if somebody dings it or scratches it. It works, and that's all that matters.
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A Comment from DJ..."This is very interesting, we should all have that old faithful firearm that will go bang every time. I think that it's great that you have found that faithful firearm in a nice economical package like the Kel-Tec. I like the LCP, but I will strongly consider the Kel-Tec in 32 or 380 as another option."

Comment from CR..."I've owned at least three since they first came out. Sadly I finally sold my last one to someone that will use it like it was intended. First let me explain that I'm a full time peace officer and had purchased the P3AT as a back up/off duty gun. To do that requires me to qualify over the State qualification course (I know it's set up for duty weapons and 25 yards is a stretch for so small a pistol with such rudimentrary sights). Actually qualification was not the issue - the little Kel-Tec handled the qualification part just fine. However to be proficient I was shooting the P3AT almost every other weekend somewhere between 20 and 50 rounds a session, and a lot of them were top of the .380 envelope (PowRBall, Glasser, and Buffalo Bore). Way too much for such a small pistol. The last failure was a cracked frame - where the ejector sits. I was actually in Florida, and stopped in to the Kel-Tec facility, and was planning on showing them what had happened and leaving the pistol there with them for their analysis. But Kel-Tec being the firm they are, wasn't satisfied with just taking the pistol for their folks to analyze. Nope, they replaced the frame with a brand new one. I have since taken to carrying a Walther stainless steel PPK, and sold the little P-3ATs. Shoot little and carry a lot works just fine for the P-3AT. The P-32 (same frame smaller cartridge) seems to work just fine (of course the number of high performance loads for the .32 are a lot fewer, & my department sets a lower caliber size of .38 thus eliminating the P-32s.)

A Comment from Bob..."Regarding CR's comment, when I owned a P-3AT I was always looking for -P ammo, and not the +P stuff, because I was interested in reducing recoil ( I'm referring to purely for civilian uses). Since then I've downgraded to the P-32, and have finally located suitable ammo that is only rated at 755 fps, with an impact of a measly 63 ft. lbs. of energy! I know that's pretty weak, but it is certainly way easier to shoot than the P-3AT."

Massad AyoobMarch 17, 2011 -- Massad Ayoob and Pocket Guns...Massad Ayoob is a well-known law-enforcement officer, and an important supporter of the Second Amendment. He is a prolific author of books and magazine articles. He has my admiration and respect: big time! But, in my PocketPistols 2011 Buyer's Guide he wrote: "A .22 or .25 is a firearm, but it's a poor excuse for defense...if your chosen caliber is not used by police or military, it's probably not powerful enough..." I believe that Mr. Ayoob's rejection of smaller calibers is not entirely wrong, but not nuanced enough. I agree that if you think that you are LIKELY to be attacked, then you ought to carry a more powerful caliber firearm, or just stay home. I also agree that if you happen to be a LEO, that you ought to carry a more powerful caliber, because as a LEO it is your responsibility to protect citizens, and "run toward the gunfire," not to seek your personal safety. However, it seems to me that the .22, .25, .32 or .380 firearms are quite suitable for civilians who stay away from dark alleys and bad neighborhoods. The odds are 10,000 to 1 that such a person will ever need to pull out his/her weapon in self-defense. Having said that, I advocate that ordinary people carry either a .32 or a .380, instead of a .22 or a .25. Why? Because the larger caliber guns are just as small, just as light, and just as easy to carry concealed. That being the case, it just makes sense to carry the gun that is slightly more effective. But there is a caveat to that, too: if you have arthritis in your fingers, and simply can't handle the recoil of even a .32, then the .22 or .25 may be the right choice for YOU personally.
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A Comment from GC...."Ayoob's comments may make sense most of the time, but he ought to recall that .32 A.C.P. and .380 (9 x 17) have been G.I. in a number of militaries, including that of the United States. Patton carried a Colt Pocket Hammerless and a Remington Model 51 at times, as did many other American generals, and the Walther PPK was issued to German officers and police. Also, many nations in Eastern Europe armed their soldiers with weapons that shot the 9mm Makarov (9 x 18) cartridge, something that's ballistically about the same as our .380. I understand that some special forces units carry suppressed .22 Rugers when the operation calls for it. The point here is that we carry what we can conceal and shoot well. That varies from person to person and from time to time. My current pocket carry gun (in slacks) is a Kel-Tec P-11, but I've carried a Colt 1903, a Radom P-64, and a .38 S & W snubby--in each case, those are compromises when I can't conceal my .45.
Greg Camp -- Springdale, AR --

A Comment from PW..."The term 'Pocket Gun' is much more objective than 'Mouse Gun!' While mouse guns generally encompass small firearms in small calibers (a micro .45 is small, but hardly a mouse gun); a 'Pocket Gun' reflects upon a firearms size (irrespective of caliber). There is no .45 caliber handgun, over 7" long and weighing two pounds, which qualifies as a 'Pocket Gun,' when it cannot fit into your pocket, nor can it be pulled from a pocket if needed! Mr. Ayoob (and other prolific gun writers) must 'dance with the ones who brought [or bought] them.' Gun manufacturers pay much, if not most, of the cost of magazine advertising and promotion. They often expect to be included, even when the fit is dubious! Most conscientious gun owners I know try to balance cost, size, weight, recoil and power to suit their intended purposes. These factors are all important considerations in CCW selection and just like the typical safety features of a firearm Ė the best one is the one between your ears!"

A Comment from DJ..."I come from a simple state of mind when it comes to this topic, carry what you can. The fact remains that not everyone can handle a 40 or 45 accurately enough for personal protection. While I have a tremendous amount of respect for our experts, a couple of hits with 380, 38 or 32 beats missing with a 45."

A Comment from Bob..."As a fan of Mas Ayoob, he does have some respect for mouseguns, unlike Clint Smith who is dismissive of all; but I'm his fan, too. And yes, the odds of encountering a self-defensive situation for mature, middle-class, conservative folks is probably higher than 10,000 to 1, more on the order of lottery-winning odds. But when lighting does strike, the smaller calibers may not get the job done, at least not in a timely manner. In the movie Faster, the star lays waste to a slew of bad guys using a .454 Casull (Ruger); and that would be my preferred carry if, as mentioned by another poster, it could defy the laws of physics by being made the size of a mousegun with unfelt recoil. Until then, with the odds on my side, I'll keep my P-32 handy, and patiently wait for a .22 caliber clone that has an extractor and is much cheaper to shoot. Also, weight is as important as the size when it comes to mouseguns, to me. My P-32 weighs 10 ozs. loaded; my PT22PLY weighs 12.5 ozs. loaded. The .380s may be the same size, but are all heavier loaded and don't carry as easy."

big pocketMarch 16, 2011 -- What is a "Pocket Pistol?"...During my vacation last week, especially while flying on the plane, I had time to delve more deeply into my magazine purchase "PocketPistols." It's full of interesting information; however, it became plain to me that the people who created this little magazine didn't really take their title seriously. Many of the guns pictured and reviewed were not pocket pistols at all, unless you have really huge cargo pants. Their list of "Top Ten Concealed Carry Guns" includes the Taurus Judge and the Beretta PX4. Both are way too large and too heavy to carry in MY pocket. Only two of the "top ten" would make the grade in my book, as far as pocket carry is concerned: 1) Smith and Wesson BodyGuard 380; and Kahr P380. The others (GLOCK 27, Ruger LC9, etc.) are still too heavy or too large for true pocketability. In my experience, the most "pocketable" pistol is the Kel-Tec P32, closely followed by the flock of 10 ounce 380s currently available. On the other hand, it is possible for a gun to be too small. I find the little NAA 22 lr revolvers to be too small, and their single action triggers to be too complicated for effective self-defense.
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A Comment from D..."As with many people I am sure, I would like to have a gun with the power of a 44 magnum with high capacity, light weight, that will fit in my shirt pocket. Oh.. no recoil of course. The laws of physics have ruled against me. That being said, a pocket gun is much more likely to be carried all the time, everywhere. That term may vary some due to size of pockets and 'size' of the individual of course. I think the people that read your site have a pretty good handle on what a pocket pistol really is, even if the uneducated will argue. Gotta love the mouse gun. It has its place."

A Comment from A..."Yes, and one of the writers in that misnamed magazine is famous for the saying: 'Friends don't let friends carry mouse guns.' Go figure. 'As a man thinks in his heart so is he.' I've always like what Jan Libourel, past editor of Gun World had to say. 'Nobody likes mouse guns except people.' Keep up the good work."

A Comment from Bob..."I agreed with your comments as I rolled my eyes at many of the guns regarding their pocketablility. Pocket size is subjective but we're not 12 ft. tall Avatars, we're human sized. It's obvious the editors were swayed by high profile sponsors but there was a caveat of sorts on page 93: '...most significant models in current production.' Still, a good magazine about a subject close to my heart or rather thigh. Also, I agree the P-32 is the most pocketable, and I would add, 'user friendly' gun listed, being in contrast to the NAA Pug which is not even in the same league."

Sterling 22March 15, 2011 -- Gunshow in Iowa...Last week I was visiting my father in Marshalltown, Iowa; and had the good fortune to find a gun show there at the Marshall County Fairgrounds. The show was in a small building, and there were perhaps thirty exhibitors. However, I rank it is one of the better gun shows that I have visited. The FFL dealers had every kind of firearm in abundance, both used and new. There were a few non-ffl individuals who rented tables, too. There were cheap guns and expensive guns. Kel-Tecs, Hi-Points, Jimenez; and Kimbers and large S&W revolvers. Shotguns, rifles, AKs and ARs. I saw two "buys" that interested me in particular. One was a little Sterling .22 lr pistol, priced at $100. It looked almost unused, with a blued slide and black plastic grips. I also admired a very nice Spanish Mauser, in excellent condition, and on sale for only $175. I noticed a table that had about a dozen SKS rifles on it from a number of countries: Chinese, Yugoslavian, Romanian and Russian. I asked the dealer if he had an Albanian, and he said yes, at home, along with sixty other SKS rifles. He also had a new, unfired SKS that had been built to receive AK-47 magazines. Prices were "in the middle." I didn't see anyone selling beef jerky or flashlights, though there were some knife salesmen. I think it was a "really good show," as Ed Sullivan used to say.
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PocketPISTOLS magazineMarch 8, 2011 -- PocketPISTOLS Buying Guide at WalMart (and other fine bookstores)...Today I was walking around WalMart getting some exercise (while my wife was grocery shopping), and I saw this magazine for sale on the magazine rack. It costs $9.95, and has a lot of photos, reviews and information about many kinds of .380 and 9mm pistols. The cover photo features the new Ruger LC9, and the S&W BodyGuard .380. One valuable article is from well-known gun writer Masaad Ayoob: "Realities of the Pocket Draw." His "four rules" are really very simple, yet at the same time profound and probably overlooked by many. 1) Use a pocket holster. That way you won't "print," and also the trigger will be protected; 2) Make sure you have a holster that stays in your pocket when you draw your gun; 3) Know the limitations of pocket carry. For example, you need to wear the right kind of pants with the right size pockets, or it won't work right; and 4) Remember that you won't always be able to reach your pocket. Another example: you are seat-belted behind the wheel in your car, and the belt is pressing down on your pocket; or your drawing-hand has been injured. How will you draw with your other hand? Very difficult! There are other good articles, too. So, if you see the magazine, you should buy it.
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A comment from Bob..."A good read that was interesting and informative. Ayoob's pocket carry rules were good but his 10 Commandments of Concealed Carry were probably too much info to be remembered easily. On page 49, second to last paragraph, I cast my vote with Mike Boyle for the Kel-Tec P-32 as "king of the mouse guns". One last comment on page 93, American Derringer is listed in the Buyer's Guide. Are they still in business? PS - I hope you had a great vacation and welcome back!"

A comment from B.F..."My name is Bill, and I live in West Virginia. I LOVE the mousegun site! I have a non-mousegun, a Ruger SP-101 .38 special, but I have recently enrolled in a concealed carry class and will buy a mousegun soon, probably a Beratta Bobcat .22. Thank you mouseguns for providing me with so much info about various guns. It has helped me with determining which handgun was suitable for me. Kind Regards, Keep up the good work!"

GhandiMarch 7, 2011 -- Thinking About Civil Disobedience...That's Ghandi to the left: famous for civil disobedience in India, and throwing off the yoke of Great Britain there. The USA also has a long history of civil disobedience. You might say that our nation actually began with our refusal to obey the King of England. Hence our "Declaration of Independence." We disobeyed, lots of us, and that changed the world. Henry David Thoreau wrote a small book about "Civil Disobedience." He said that when the government became corrupt, the only place for an honest man to live was in prison. We all remember Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil disobedience that was necessary to end segregation in many States. We are seeing lots of civil disobedience on the TV now, in various countries around the world. What I'm wondering about specifically is whether or not the citizens of the USA have come to the place where it no longer matters what anti-gun laws will be passed by States or by the Federal government. The anti-gun crowd keeps on trying to pass these laws. But it seems that Americans are accelerating their gun and ammo purchases, and that more and more people are getting handgun carry permits. Little .380 pistols are exceedingly popular these days; and so are AR-15 and AK-47 battle rifles. The number of armed Americans is growing. I'm wondering if we have come to the place where if we were ordered to turn in certain guns, or magazines, etc., most of America's gun owners would simply say "NO!" and just ignore the law. I'm not here and now advocating that anyone break the law. But I'm just wondering if we have come to such a place in our history. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we have.
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A comment from Z..."I really enjoy reading your site and want to thank you for taking the time to scan the classified again. I also really enjoyed your thoughts on civil disobedience. Have you read MLK's Letter from Birmingham Jail? My favorite quote from it is 'One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all.'"

A Comment from Bob..."If Congress, the President and the Supreme Court all agreed on a bill to confiscate guns from individuals, then that would mean the divide between the rich and the poor had become so great that America was now a Banana Republic. All banana republics are susceptible to revolts and revolutions but we're not there yet and a few laws on gun control probably isn't such a bad thing, after all, everything in life has boundaries and limits, however, inconvenient they may be to some."

A Comment from Michael..."The way the government is heading, I think it won't be long before Loyal Americans-true defenders of the U.S. Constitution-rise up and demand that the senate, house and white house get back to what they were originally designed for. These people work for us, not us for them. It is time we take back our country and re-start it the way our founding fathers meant it to be."

Safety First SignMarch 6, 2011 -- I'm Harping On Safety, AGAIN!...I may sound like a broken record, but it's just not possible to mention gun safety too often. Today I heard from a friend of mine about his "almost bad news" negligent discharge. He had purchased a new rifle a few weeks ago, and was fond of taking it out and looking at it, fondling it, working the bolt, dry-firing, etc. I suppose all of us who love guns do the same thing. Well, this once he almost messed up. He decided he wanted to dry fire his rifle, so he picked it up, worked the bolt, put the gun to his shoulder and pulled the trigger. As he expected, he just heard a click. So far so good. But then the hairs on the back of his neck started to stand up, because he suddenly realized that he had a loaded magazine inserted in the magazine well! Why didn't the bolt chamber a round, and why didn't he shoot a hole in the side of his living room? His guardian angel was working over time, and somehow the loaded magazine was not fully inserted into the rifle, by about half an inch. So the bolt did not pick up and chamber a round, and his living room does not have new free air conditioning. And he isn't partially deaf. Moral of the story, when you put your gun away, always put it away unloaded, either with an empty magazine, or no magazine at all. Be paranoid about safety. Where firearms are involved, paranoia may be good for you!
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A Comment from Steven..."Sir, You are not harping on gun safety. Project Appleseed has four safety rules and the fourth one states, 'Make sure those around you follow the safety rules.' This should be a safety rule that all gun owners follow. I am glad that you, too, try to make sure those around you (near or far) follow the safety rules. I thank you for that."

A Comment from Bob..."This just might be a good thing to happen since, in retrospect, all is well; because I had a similar experience many, many years ago; but it is as fresh in my memory as if it had happened today! In my youth I had an old Colt Army .38 Special that I use to practice fast draw with. On this occasion my buddy and I went over to his house after having had some fun shooting this gun in the nearby woods. Well, I still had the gun strapped on, and my mind was wondering about other things, when I decided to fast draw and fire while standing in his bedroom believing the gun to be empty. I was in some kind of petrified shock as I realized the gun was loaded at the same instance that I pulled the trigger. But the gun did not fire! It was surreal; and after a few minutes standing there I opened the cylinder and saw that there were only 5 cartridges loaded, which was all the ammunition left from the outing! If the gun had fired and I survived my dad's beating, and the police ordeal, my whole life would have been changed for the worse...Now its all about safety first."

hammerMarch 5, 2011 -- I love humanity, it's people I can't stand...I heard a story about a fellow and his wife. They had just finished installing some 4x4s for a mail box stand. The wife was washing out a bucket in which they had mixed concrete. The husband was nailing numbers on the post. Suddenly a very large boxer/pitbull type dog rushed the woman from the house next door. The dog was on a long leash which allowed the dog to come over the property line, where the woman was washing the bucket. The dog was growling and menacing, and straining on the leash. The woman was pretty much frozen in place. The husband ran down toward the dog with his hammer still in hand, intending to hammer the dog if it got loose and attacked. He was afraid his wife's life was in danger. Here's where "people" come into the story. The dog owners came rushing out to the defense of the dog. They accused the husband of threatening to assault them, not the dog, with his hammer. They cared nothing at all about the dog's lunging threat at the woman. After some angry words, both parties went their separate ways. No one called the cops. But my point is this: the dog owners came to the defense of THEIR VICIOUS DOG, and cared not at all for a harmless human being. They were ready to call the cops and charge the husband with attempted assault ON THEM. Fortunately the husband chose to defend his wife with his hammer, instead of with his concealed firearm. If he had been pointing his firearm at the dog, I imagine the dog owners would have called the police, and charged the man with assaulting THEM with a firearm. No doubt his firearm would have been confiscated, and he would be awaiting trial; even though he had not done anything wrong. As it is the situation is over and done with. I love humanity, but people drive me crazy, sometimes.
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A Comment from Del..."I totally agree. Being in a job where I have to enforce the rules, I have to deal with all sorts of people of 'questionable intellect.' (politically correct term for @$%^& idiots)"

A Comment from Bob..."Gun owners who carry concealed are held to a higher code of conduct and the HOW you do something is always more important than the WHAT you do. Paraphrasing one of the four rules of concealed carry, you must run from trouble meaning you can't get in to a fistfight with another man or a hammer attack on a leashed dog. Besides, I like dogs but if the dog was loose and attacked I would gun it down. But, I also carry pepper spray and a stungun. In this case the man should have protected the woman by escorting her in to the house and calling the police or the neighbor about the dog, because when it comes to neighbors, you either get along or you move, there is nothing in between."

Sack of Quikrete Concrete mixMarch 4, 2011 -- Carrying your gun in a dirty environment...Yesterday I was doing some light construction work, which took about six hours to complete. I was replacing a two-post mailbox stand in front of a four-unit apartment building. The stand was 20 years old, and rot and termites had gotten into it. The posts could have broken off any day. Anyway, it was time to replace the thing. This involved digging out the old 4x4 posts and their concrete footers, digging new holes, cutting lumber for a new stand; and mixing and pouring concrete. This was messy work, with sawdust flying around, and concrete dust billowing about. I carry my Ruger LCP in my front pocket, and wondered how it was doing with the sawdust and concrete dust. When I got home I took a look at it, and it wasn't too bad. Just a little dusty, and a little "stuff" behind and under the hammer. I was pleased to see that pocket carry, even in a dirty environment, would not pose much of a problem. Of course, I cleaned up the LCP ASAP. It's good to keep this in mind: a dirty gun MAY not function; and the dirt will accelerate wear and tear on the gun, if you don't keep it clean.
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PCCA logoMarch 3, 2011 -- Pocket Carry Gun Competition...I was asked to make an observation about this new competition opportunity, and I think I will just quote from the website: "POCKET CARRY COMPETITION ASSOCIATION©...With pocket guns being the most popular firearm carried for many years because of their convenient size and weight PCCA was created to give people that carry real world concealed pocket guns a place to practice in a realistic defense scenario based shooting sport. Truly minimum equipment needed, more so when you consider you can actually carry your competition gun or for that matter compete with your real carry gun. While the name of the sport is 'Pocket Carry Competition' this is more in reference to the size of the firearms used. Safety being paramount we feel the only way to conduct competitions is to have all participants use a strong side belt holster. A typical monthly club level match should be 8 to 12 scenario stages. With low round count scenarios most ranges can set up 2 or 3 per bay. At the time of this writing affiliated clubs will use "USPSA" type targets, PCCA official targets will be available in the near future. Contact Information: Pocket Carry Competition Association© Headquarters, 133 Barnwell Road, Prospect Hill, NC 27314, Office: 336-562-2628, Cell: 919-852-0370" THANK YOU to those who are doing this competition. You are appreciated!
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Pawn StarMarch 2, 2011 -- Finding New Gun Shops...I had some spare time Tuesday, and was driving on Lee Highway in Chattanooga, and found two new Pawn/Gun Shops. (The photo to the left shows Rick Harrison, one of the stars of the hit TV show, "Pawn Stars.") There's one near Big Lots, not far from Sam's and Hwy 153. They have some good prices on Ruger 22/45 pistols. And there's another one just across the street from O'Reilly's Auto Parts, called Pawn Depot. Their address is 3646 Brainerd Road, and they have a website, too: They already have a pawn shop in Cleveland, TN, and have just opened up this one in Chattanooga. I ended up buying two guns from them, at what I consider a very good price. Their selection mainly includes GLOCKs and SIGs, and the less expensive Hi-Point pistols. However they had a Kel-Tec P-3AT which they let me have for $229, which is a fine price around here. I also picked up a GLOCK 26 at a fine price. They are friendly, and they don't mind when you ask: "What's the best you can do on this gun?" Go see them, and tell them Mousegunner sent you.
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DiamondBack LogoMarch 1, 2011 -- More About the DB380...Well, I DID drop into Academy this morning to see their guns, especially the DB380, advertised for a mere $229.00. I was about to buy one, the price is so low, just to see how it would run. The clerk was a very helpful guy, and while he was looking over my Tennessee Bureau of Investigation security form, he told me to examine the gun real well, because there were NO RETURNS ALLOWED at Academy. So, that's what I did. The outside looked pretty good. It was finished well, and it felt solid in my hand. But of course I had to take it apart, which I did. It comes apart very much like a GLOCK. Pull the slide back a bit, pull down the two serrated buttons on the sides, and slide the slide off the front. The slide seemed OK, but I was unhappy with the barrel and the recoil spring. The recoil spring is what I would call "semi-captured," and looks like a little GLOCK spring, sort of. But I was unhappy with how the end of the spring fits up against the barrel. There is a "notch" there on the barrel, where it looks as if the spring should go. However, if you put the end of the spring there, the spring is elevated so much that the slide cannot fit back on the gun. Apparently you are supposed to just let the spring push on the flat part under that notch, and and the barrel. Here's a link to a photo, that sort of shows what I mean. Also, the thin part of the plastic guide rod inside the spring has a pronounced bend in it. I examined two DB380s (the clerk was super accomadating), and both had this bend in the spring. The bend, and the way the spring fit on the barrel just looked to me like bad design, so I said "no thanks," and that was that. Sorry, DB! I wanted to buy one, but I got scared off.
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A Comment from HM..."A price that low is almost scary! I like the looks of it, but the reviews are just a mixed bag."

A Comment from DJ..."Great job of taking the pistol apart, sometime a good deal is too good."