The cheap gun that could have got me killed

This is a discussion on The cheap gun that could have got me killed within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Leon Harrison West Carrollton, Ohio Monday, August 17, 2009 To: The Editor, “It Happened To Me!” Subject: The cheap pocket gun that could have got ...

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    Ex Member Array Cold Warrior's Avatar
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    The cheap gun that could have got me killed

    Leon Harrison
    West Carrollton, Ohio
    Monday, August 17, 2009

    To: The Editor, “It Happened To Me!”

    Subject: The cheap pocket gun that could have got me killed


    “The cheap gun that could have got me killed”


    Notice to activist busy-body do-gooder child-loving gun-grabbing PAC-attack nagging nannies: I do not have children or an abused angry spouse, at or inside this house, to either play with or shoot my unlocked guns. Nor do I have many guests or visitors with kids to discipline, instruct, watch or warn. During the night of Friday, August 7, 2009, I successfully completed my minimum twelve-hour training and competency certification that are both necessary and mandatory to obtain an Ohio Concealed Carry handgun license. During four days, I took these three-hour classes at the Miami Valley Shooting Grounds at Vandalia, Ohio.
    Between thirty and forty or so years ago, I made the mistake of buying a few cheap guns cheap, back when I could have and should have bought some good if not better guns instead; including handguns that might not have made me dead, like that cheap little Italian “Galesi”, a seven-shot .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol, that I gave away last week. I intend no harm or offense to the Galesi gun business or any of their current or former employees or representatives! This particular pistol and that 30-year-old ammunition may have merely been old and dirty if not defective [like me?]. I did not try to shoot the new ammunition with this pistol for which I had purchased it for.
    Like millions of my fellow [late-] middle-aged men and a few of our female family members and friends, I used to shoot; back before the end of the 20th century, when we had more open spaces and safer places to do so, before the plats, plazas, malls and laws [suits] made it ever harder if not impossible or illegal to hunt or to do much or such target shooting.
    After my basic training [at Ft. Polk, La.], I never fired an Army weapon. I shot more military weapons while serving with the Ohio National Guard. While I was a [Greenville, Ohio] cop, I used to shoot a .38 caliber six-shot revolver during target practice and training; we also had fun shooting shotguns.
    It was about thirty-five or so years ago, when one of my former coworkers sold me a small black-steel pocket pistol with little white-plastic handgrips. I cannot remember shooting it or cleaning it. I am pretty sure that a younger [if not dumber] Dayton Liberty Cab driver once carried and concealed this small handgun inside and on the street; with which he intended to defend himself from some of his passengers and other dangerous strangers, in effect depending upon it to save his life.
    Almost twenty-eight years ago, I placed this little pistol inside an item organizer, on top of my end table, within easy reach. Every once in awhile, I would oil and wipe off this little black pocket pistol that always seemed to be clean enough for me. Occasionally, I would take out the magazine to empty it and look at the bullets, before racking back the slide to look into the firing chamber. While sitting back and relaxing in my primary chair, I would occasionally grab this little gun and point it at my front door, located to my left and at about ten feet to my front. I had and have better bigger pistols scattered about the house. No, I never shot at or with the cops, cowboys, criminals, secret agents or soldiers who I have seen on my TV screen.
    During the past nine years, I have been a Civil War [Union infantry] reenactor: deliberately aiming and firing black-powder rifles and my pistol [minus bullets] toward but above and away from my make-believe Confederate enemies and friends, again and again and again. Until last Friday night, I probably had not shot a bullet through a barrel since the end of the 20th century, or for at least a couple of decades or so. After my make-believe Civil War battles, I would clean and oil my fun guns, if only to keep them from rusting, instead of the modern ones which I might really need to face and fight some real aggressive dangerous deadly mean murderous people with.
    Despite the unpleasantness of reality [being late-middle-aged] and remembering my recent huffing, puffing, sweating and shuffling along, while playing and portraying the part of a teenaged Civil War infantry soldier, I can still imagine myself as being one of these young athletic energetic handsome healthy action-adventure-thriller heroes; about whom I read, hear about and see on my TV and movie screens. Most us men want to safely and simply escape while we fantasize about being one of those guys, imagining if not really thinking that “I can do that!” We do not want to consider, remember or otherwise think about the writers, the stand-ins, the stunt-men, the special-effects people or the film editors who make them all look better.
    Long before taking and completing my Concealed Carry classes, last week, I was reluctant to carry a loaded handgun, recalling and recognizing the potential risks and [legal and civil liability] consequences of one mistake that possibly could and should outweigh the benefits of infrequent self-defense.

    Anyway, last Friday night [August 7], my classmates and I were looking forward to our final two hours of shooting, all of us having successfully completed our ten hours of classroom instruction that had been followed by a written test. Trevor Holtrey was our NRA instructor, ably assisted by Jeff Miller. They had instructed us and demonstrated the safe operation and use of handguns. Trevor and Jeff answered our questions about potential problems and scenarios, including their personal and second-hand anecdotes and experiences with our own, regarding minimum requirements and the law. Most of this was and is simply courtesy and common sense. Our handguns and ammunition were ready and safely waiting for us inside our vehicles outside.
    We walked out of the classroom to go and get our gun stuff, including ear and eye protection, either borrowed or our own, and then went into the indoor handgun range. The backstop is slanted steel plating. The targets are moveable, via overhead steel cables and control panels, to and for differing shooting distances. Circular center-of-mass [NOT silhouette] paper targets are attached to cardboard backing within steel frames. I was on the right end of the firing line and facing downrange, my little pistol unloaded and safely placed on my left side, laid inside a tray in the plastic shooting shelf, with the [closed] action visible to Jeff. Jeff was my coach for this firing exercise. Trevor was watching the firing line on the other side. We would start shooting at our targets from a distance of 21 feet, the common pistol-combat distance, which can, does and will vary with the initial approach of the threat, of course.
    “Okay, everybody ready? On my command, load five rounds into your magazines…or revolver cylinders…, rack back the slides to make them hot, and then fire at your targets when I tell you to!”
    Suddenly, I was awkward, clumsy and nervous because I had not handled or shot this or any other such gun during the twenty-first century!
    “Make them hot! Fire when ready!”
    “BANG!” First shot and I missed the entire target and it was so close! JAM! DAMN! Empty brass shell casing caught in the extractor port and holding the slide forward!
    “Rack it back and extract it!” yelled Jeff.
    “BANG! BANG!” DAMN! JAM! Rack it back and try to extract it! “BANG!” JAM! DAMN!
    “Let’s look at your gun,” said Jeff, taking it from me and extracting the magazine to look at the bullets and at the action inside under the slide. “This gun is unsafe and if I were you I’d quit using it and just put it up and let people look at it.”
    “Jeff, I have been depending on that gun for the past thirty years!”
    “When did you clean it, thirty years ago? Here, Trevor, look at this gun.”
    “Something’s wrong with it and it isn’t worth fixing, I wouldn’t waste my money or time with it. I’d put it up and just let people look at it. Here, you can borrow my Walther .22 to finish up with.”
    So, I borrowed Trevor’s Walther PPK .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol and used it to finish this last class with, thus demonstrating my competency and shooting ability with it.
    “BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! THIS IS A GOOD GUN!” It felt good and solid and had nice white-spotted sights. I soon had the feel of it and it all started coming back, firing five rounds and then dropping the empty magazine, to reload and shoot at and from different distances, 7ft., 21ft. and 50ft.
    “Now for some fun,” said Trevor and Jeff, smiling while bringing our shot-up paper targets back in. After taping round bright-orange clay [shotgun-shooting] “birds” onto the center of our targets, they sent them back to a distance of fifty feet at the end of the handgun range, making them very small targets.
    “That’s right,” said Jeff, as I used my elbows for a bipod, spreading and steadying them in a triangle on the plastic shelf.
    “BANG!...BANG!...BANG!...BANG!...BANG! Is everybody empty and finished? Okay, let’s bring them in!”
    “DANG! I missed it! I was wrong when I said that this was a good gun! It couldn’t be me!”
    “GET BACK! GET BACK! GET BACK!” Yelling at your advancing aggressive target from a distance of seven feet and giving it fair warning, and doing your duty to retreat, before emptying your pistol into it. Could or should you run, despite you having a gun and maybe wanting to have some heroic and noble vigilante fun? Quote Leon Harrison: “If you are far enough away to aim your gun, you are far enough away to run.” After your warning, fire away at close range, right at and into the target in front of you: “BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!”
    “Okay, that’s it, you all qualify. Take your stuff back to your vehicles and come back to the classroom to pick up your certificates,” said Trevor.
    “Trevor, I’ll give you his gun, if you use it for an object lesson. I’ve been depending on it for self-defense for thirty years.”
    “I’ll do that.”
    “Okay, Trevor, and I’ll trade you three boxes of .25 caliber ammo for some .380s.”
    “Sorry, I can’t find or buy.380s anyplace, but I’ll trade you for some nine-millimeters and bring them back to the desk.”
    “Okay, it’s a deal. I’ll see you back at the desk.”

    Three MVSG NRA instructors and my fellow CCW classmate graduates and I ended up bullshi, uh…convivially conversing, standing around the front desk and the entrance, we being proud and pleased after passing this class that may have strained our brains a little bit, but not enough to make us quit.
    “Now, you guys ought to come back and practice because you will lose your shooting abilities and agility,” we were honestly advised and professionally warned.
    Before leaving and driving away, we all said, without making any promises, that, yes indeed, we all would come back and meet and shoot together, someday real soon.

    A day or two, after graduating from my CCW class, I disassembled and cleaned my brand-new Ruger LCP .380 caliber six-shot semi-automatic pistol, even reading the directions to do it properly. This may or may not be the pistol that I choose to conceal and carry or leave locked inside my little HHR car.
    The other day, I inspected, oiled and wiped off this shiny stainless-steel [30-year-old] six-shot .32 caliber H&R revolver, before placing it butt-up inside this plastic desk organizer, atop my end table on the right side of my lounge chair. Without a doubt, it is a more dependable weapo, uh…handgun than the one that it replaced. It looked clean enough. I could not remember the last time that I had shot or cleaned it, if ever, but I saw some black carbon at the back of the barrel.
    “WHAT AM I DOING?!!! I CLEAN GUNS TO SHOOT AT MAKE-BELIEVE ENEMIES, BUT AM TOO DAMN LAZY TO CLEAN THIS ONE GUN THAT I AM DEPENDING ON FOR SELF-DEFENSE!” I emptied the cylinder and took it out into my adjacent garage, whereat I and gave it a good cleaning with solvent and a bore brush, before re-oiling it, wiping it off, reloading it and putting it back where it now belongs…a terrible tool to be used against hostile homicidal fools.
    After getting my Ohio Concealed Carry license, from and at the Montgomery County [Ohio] Sherriff’s Department, I must invest in doing some target practice. No matter how much money it costs me, every time that I pull a trigger, I still have to shoot a lot; at least until I become familiar and proficient with a few of my guns. My Ohio CCW license will cost $73 [including their six-dollar picture] but it is good for the next five years.


    Leon Harrison
    West Carrollton, Ohio


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    Paragraph breaks are your friend

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but I've seen more than my share of guys showing up at the range with junk guns that jam and misfire and they still plan on using them for SD
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    More power to you Leon.
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    Good lesson to learn, before you need it...
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    Yes this story is one all CCW noobs should read. In the local gun store they decorate the wall with cheap and unsafe firearms. Ones that have been damaged or where junk. The owner tells me people ask to buy them off the wall.... even though they are hanging off a dry wall screw by their barrels. Sigh... it may look pretty but thats just the chromed pot metal talking
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    I hate to say it but I've seen more than my share of guys showing up at the range with junk guns that jam and misfire and they still plan on using them for SD
    But dang it ....... they are prolly COOL looking guns!!
    Who want s to be stuck shooting someone with one of those plain old black guns everyone carries........
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    Leon Harrison
    West Carrollton, Ohio
    Monday, August 17, 2009

    To: The Editor, “It Happened To Me!”

    Subject: The cheap pocket gun that could have got me killed


    “The cheap gun that could have got me killed”


    Notice to activist busy-body do-gooder child-loving gun-grabbing PAC-attack nagging nannies: I do not have children or an abused angry spouse, at or inside this house, to either play with or shoot my unlocked guns. Nor do I have many guests or visitors with kids to discipline, instruct, watch or warn. During the night of Friday, August 7, 2009, I successfully completed my minimum twelve-hour training and competency certification that are both necessary and mandatory to obtain an Ohio Concealed Carry handgun license. During four days, I took these three-hour classes at the Miami Valley Shooting Grounds at Vandalia, Ohio.
    Between thirty and forty or so years ago, I made the mistake of buying a few cheap guns cheap, back when I could have and should have bought some good if not better guns instead; including handguns that might not have made me dead, like that cheap little Italian “Galesi”, a seven-shot .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol, that I gave away last week. I intend no harm or offense to the Galesi gun business or any of their current or former employees or representatives! This particular pistol and that 30-year-old ammunition may have merely been old and dirty if not defective [like me?]. I did not try to shoot the new ammunition with this pistol for which I had purchased it for.
    Like millions of my fellow [late-] middle-aged men and a few of our female family members and friends, I used to shoot; back before the end of the 20th century, when we had more open spaces and safer places to do so, before the plats, plazas, malls and laws [suits] made it ever harder if not impossible or illegal to hunt or to do much or such target shooting.
    After my basic training [at Ft. Polk, La.], I never fired an Army weapon. I shot more military weapons while serving with the Ohio National Guard. While I was a [Greenville, Ohio] cop, I used to shoot a .38 caliber six-shot revolver during target practice and training; we also had fun shooting shotguns.
    It was about thirty-five or so years ago, when one of my former coworkers sold me a small black-steel pocket pistol with little white-plastic handgrips. I cannot remember shooting it or cleaning it. I am pretty sure that a younger [if not dumber] Dayton Liberty Cab driver once carried and concealed this small handgun inside and on the street; with which he intended to defend himself from some of his passengers and other dangerous strangers, in effect depending upon it to save his life.
    Almost twenty-eight years ago, I placed this little pistol inside an item organizer, on top of my end table, within easy reach. Every once in awhile, I would oil and wipe off this little black pocket pistol that always seemed to be clean enough for me. Occasionally, I would take out the magazine to empty it and look at the bullets, before racking back the slide to look into the firing chamber. While sitting back and relaxing in my primary chair, I would occasionally grab this little gun and point it at my front door, located to my left and at about ten feet to my front. I had and have better bigger pistols scattered about the house. No, I never shot at or with the cops, cowboys, criminals, secret agents or soldiers who I have seen on my TV screen.
    During the past nine years, I have been a Civil War [Union infantry] reenactor: deliberately aiming and firing black-powder rifles and my pistol [minus bullets] toward but above and away from my make-believe Confederate enemies and friends, again and again and again. Until last Friday night, I probably had not shot a bullet through a barrel since the end of the 20th century, or for at least a couple of decades or so. After my make-believe Civil War battles, I would clean and oil my fun guns, if only to keep them from rusting, instead of the modern ones which I might really need to face and fight some real aggressive dangerous deadly mean murderous people with.
    Despite the unpleasantness of reality [being late-middle-aged] and remembering my recent huffing, puffing, sweating and shuffling along, while playing and portraying the part of a teenaged Civil War infantry soldier, I can still imagine myself as being one of these young athletic energetic handsome healthy action-adventure-thriller heroes; about whom I read, hear about and see on my TV and movie screens. Most us men want to safely and simply escape while we fantasize about being one of those guys, imagining if not really thinking that “I can do that!” We do not want to consider, remember or otherwise think about the writers, the stand-ins, the stunt-men, the special-effects people or the film editors who make them all look better.
    Long before taking and completing my Concealed Carry classes, last week, I was reluctant to carry a loaded handgun, recalling and recognizing the potential risks and [legal and civil liability] consequences of one mistake that possibly could and should outweigh the benefits of infrequent self-defense.

    Anyway, last Friday night [August 7], my classmates and I were looking forward to our final two hours of shooting, all of us having successfully completed our ten hours of classroom instruction that had been followed by a written test. Trevor Holtrey was our NRA instructor, ably assisted by Jeff Miller. They had instructed us and demonstrated the safe operation and use of handguns. Trevor and Jeff answered our questions about potential problems and scenarios, including their personal and second-hand anecdotes and experiences with our own, regarding minimum requirements and the law. Most of this was and is simply courtesy and common sense. Our handguns and ammunition were ready and safely waiting for us inside our vehicles outside.
    We walked out of the classroom to go and get our gun stuff, including ear and eye protection, either borrowed or our own, and then went into the indoor handgun range. The backstop is slanted steel plating. The targets are moveable, via overhead steel cables and control panels, to and for differing shooting distances. Circular center-of-mass [NOT silhouette] paper targets are attached to cardboard backing within steel frames. I was on the right end of the firing line and facing downrange, my little pistol unloaded and safely placed on my left side, laid inside a tray in the plastic shooting shelf, with the [closed] action visible to Jeff. Jeff was my coach for this firing exercise. Trevor was watching the firing line on the other side. We would start shooting at our targets from a distance of 21 feet, the common pistol-combat distance, which can, does and will vary with the initial approach of the threat, of course.
    “Okay, everybody ready? On my command, load five rounds into your magazines…or revolver cylinders…, rack back the slides to make them hot, and then fire at your targets when I tell you to!”
    Suddenly, I was awkward, clumsy and nervous because I had not handled or shot this or any other such gun during the twenty-first century!
    “Make them hot! Fire when ready!”
    “BANG!” First shot and I missed the entire target and it was so close! JAM! DAMN! Empty brass shell casing caught in the extractor port and holding the slide forward!
    “Rack it back and extract it!” yelled Jeff.
    “BANG! BANG!” DAMN! JAM! Rack it back and try to extract it! “BANG!” JAM! DAMN!
    “Let’s look at your gun,” said Jeff, taking it from me and extracting the magazine to look at the bullets and at the action inside under the slide. “This gun is unsafe and if I were you I’d quit using it and just put it up and let people look at it.”
    “Jeff, I have been depending on that gun for the past thirty years!”
    “When did you clean it, thirty years ago? Here, Trevor, look at this gun.”
    “Something’s wrong with it and it isn’t worth fixing, I wouldn’t waste my money or time with it. I’d put it up and just let people look at it. Here, you can borrow my Walther .22 to finish up with.”
    So, I borrowed Trevor’s Walther PPK .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol and used it to finish this last class with, thus demonstrating my competency and shooting ability with it.
    “BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! THIS IS A GOOD GUN!” It felt good and solid and had nice white-spotted sights. I soon had the feel of it and it all started coming back, firing five rounds and then dropping the empty magazine, to reload and shoot at and from different distances, 7ft., 21ft. and 50ft.
    “Now for some fun,” said Trevor and Jeff, smiling while bringing our shot-up paper targets back in. After taping round bright-orange clay [shotgun-shooting] “birds” onto the center of our targets, they sent them back to a distance of fifty feet at the end of the handgun range, making them very small targets.
    “That’s right,” said Jeff, as I used my elbows for a bipod, spreading and steadying them in a triangle on the plastic shelf.
    “BANG!...BANG!...BANG!...BANG!...BANG! Is everybody empty and finished? Okay, let’s bring them in!”
    “DANG! I missed it! I was wrong when I said that this was a good gun! It couldn’t be me!”
    “GET BACK! GET BACK! GET BACK!” Yelling at your advancing aggressive target from a distance of seven feet and giving it fair warning, and doing your duty to retreat, before emptying your pistol into it. Could or should you run, despite you having a gun and maybe wanting to have some heroic and noble vigilante fun? Quote Leon Harrison: “If you are far enough away to aim your gun, you are far enough away to run.” After your warning, fire away at close range, right at and into the target in front of you: “BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!”
    “Okay, that’s it, you all qualify. Take your stuff back to your vehicles and come back to the classroom to pick up your certificates,” said Trevor.
    “Trevor, I’ll give you his gun, if you use it for an object lesson. I’ve been depending on it for self-defense for thirty years.”
    “I’ll do that.”
    “Okay, Trevor, and I’ll trade you three boxes of .25 caliber ammo for some .380s.”
    “Sorry, I can’t find or buy.380s anyplace, but I’ll trade you for some nine-millimeters and bring them back to the desk.”
    “Okay, it’s a deal. I’ll see you back at the desk.”

    Three MVSG NRA instructors and my fellow CCW classmate graduates and I ended up bullshi, uh…convivially conversing, standing around the front desk and the entrance, we being proud and pleased after passing this class that may have strained our brains a little bit, but not enough to make us quit.
    “Now, you guys ought to come back and practice because you will lose your shooting abilities and agility,” we were honestly advised and professionally warned.
    Before leaving and driving away, we all said, without making any promises, that, yes indeed, we all would come back and meet and shoot together, someday real soon.

    A day or two, after graduating from my CCW class, I disassembled and cleaned my brand-new Ruger LCP .380 caliber six-shot semi-automatic pistol, even reading the directions to do it properly. This may or may not be the pistol that I choose to conceal and carry or leave locked inside my little HHR car.
    The other day, I inspected, oiled and wiped off this shiny stainless-steel [30-year-old] six-shot .32 caliber H&R revolver, before placing it butt-up inside this plastic desk organizer, atop my end table on the right side of my lounge chair. Without a doubt, it is a more dependable weapo, uh…handgun than the one that it replaced. It looked clean enough. I could not remember the last time that I had shot or cleaned it, if ever, but I saw some black carbon at the back of the barrel.
    “WHAT AM I DOING?!!! I CLEAN GUNS TO SHOOT AT MAKE-BELIEVE ENEMIES, BUT AM TOO DAMN LAZY TO CLEAN THIS ONE GUN THAT I AM DEPENDING ON FOR SELF-DEFENSE!” I emptied the cylinder and took it out into my adjacent garage, whereat I and gave it a good cleaning with solvent and a bore brush, before re-oiling it, wiping it off, reloading it and putting it back where it now belongs…a terrible tool to be used against hostile homicidal fools.
    After getting my Ohio Concealed Carry license, from and at the Montgomery County [Ohio] Sherriff’s Department, I must invest in doing some target practice. No matter how much money it costs me, every time that I pull a trigger, I still have to shoot a lot; at least until I become familiar and proficient with a few of my guns. My Ohio CCW license will cost $73 [including their six-dollar picture] but it is good for the next five years.


    Leon Harrison
    West Carrollton, Ohio

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    Member Array ibesarcasm's Avatar
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    WOW! And I thought I threw a little sarcasm in the mix........
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    Ever wonder why massacres never happen at a gun range??
    You might find me dead in a ditch one day, but I'll be in a pile of brass. - Stolen from Zebra64

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    Can't really decipher what this post is about, or why it so big...

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    Quote Originally Posted by zbock View Post
    Can't really decipher what this post is about, or why it so big...
    I got the message!!
    We will be much better off when we learn to deal with things as they really are, instead of how we wish them to be!

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    I like it. Good read. Thanks for writing that up.

    My first guns were .22's but I had them when I was a kid and they were only truly "mine" for an hour now and then, during gun safety lessons followed by some shooting time on our property.

    The first "defensive" handgun I owned was a very old Iver Johnson .32 S&W "short" revolver. It was a breech loader and I think it held five rounds. I asked my Pa if he had any ammo for it and he looked at me funny and asked if I was seriously planning to shoot the damn thing. He told me the best thing to do was to go throw it in a lake.

    The frame's hinge was very sloppy. The one time I fired it, it shaved the bullets -- at least, it shaved the ones it struck well enough to fire. It now rests somewhere on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, where it cannot tempt any more dumb people to try and shoot it.

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    Or maybe it was his lack of cleaning that could have got him killed - just sayin'.

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    Good story, ending with him having 2 handguns both of which may be clean but both untried. ????? Hope they work if and when he might need them.

    bosco

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