It’s been awhile since I’ve written a column offering firearm recommendations. Some of my readers are getting so mad and whining so badly they sound like unarmed liberals. So I’ve written today’s column in an effort to appease them. Actually, I’ve written today’s column in order to fire off a few hints at those who intend to buy me Christmas presents. The following are presented in no particular order of importance:
1. Ruger Mark III Hunter (22 Long Rifle). My Ruger Mark II was the most reliable and accurate pistol I have ever owned. After thousands of rounds at the range I passed it on to my nephew. I am replacing it with this new Ruger Mark III. With a barrel nearly seven inches long this will make an excellent varmint hunting pistol. The cocobolo grips have a nice feel – better than the plastic grips on my previous model. I doubt I’ll be giving this one away any time soon. But I may be able to give away some coon skin caps after I take this one out in the woods a few times.
2. Smith and Wesson Model 629 (44 Magnum). I could have used this weapon last summer when I had an unanticipated encounter or two with some black bears in Colorado. There is a temptation to go with a longer barrel for greater accuracy. But with anything longer than five inches it gets harder to find a good holster – not to mention harder to balance while shooting. In addition to bear stopping, this also makes for a good home defense weapon when loaded with the more tame and controllable 44 Special rounds.
3. Remington 870 Tactical (12 Gauge). This shotgun will be a nice replacement for the old 870 Express HD I just gave to a friend. The seven shot tube will allow me to offer two rounds of number 6 birdshot to an intruder before I release five rounds of double-ought buckshot. I can release seven shots pretty quickly so I’m pleased this one has a compensated barrel.