Book Review - The Happy Handgunner
The Happy Handgunner, by Don Paul & David Blaisdell Smith. Path Finder Books. 1995. Softcover. 148 pages. $14.95.
The whimsical title and happy-face cover of this book caught my eye at the gunshop and on an impulse, I bought it. Big mistake. This book has absolutely nothing to recommend it, as I will explain.
To begin, co-author Paul claims to have been a Green Beret. This raises credibility issues with me right off the bat. I have never heard a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier refer to himself as a Green Beret. Only posers and wannabes do that. As an SF trooper once told a reporter, "a green beret is a hat".
Along with his second banana Smith, an ex-CHP Officer, Paul claims they have a combined 100 years experience in the gun world. They've been everywhere, done everything, experts in all fields.
I'll just touch on a few of the high points (or low points, depending on your POV) of this book.
The first is their "mix & match" concept, or loading a magazine with dissimilar ammunition for maximum effects. The book's example shows a staggered column 14 round mag, loaded thus: (top to bottom). 2 shotshells, followed by 2 JHPs, then 4 star point peelers (whatever they are), then 2 light weight penetrators, followed by 2 heavy weight penetrators, then a tracer round, then the last round in the mag is another heavy weight penetrator.
And how does one compensate for the different points of impact of this Heinz 57 variety? Simple. Just know how much or how little front sight blade to hold up at any given distance.
Say you are up against a BG behind cover, so you need to engage him with a heavy weight penetrator, but these are buried 10 rounds deep in your mag. What to do? You can rack the slide, ejecting your first 10 rounds on the ground (method A), or you can blast away and when your heavy weight penetrator comes up, aim carefully (method B). Yes, these guys are serious about this.
Want more? Our intrepid Green Beret is the inventor (he says) of the HAPI and HASI bullets, AKA the Hydraulically Activated Poison Injector/Sleep Inducer. A near miss with one of these will put a target down.
How about this? Quote: (from the book) Never buy more handgun than you can shoot with comfort and accuracy. If Israeli hit teams use 22s, you should think about it also. Just fire more shots. Unquote.
Or this. Some police departments require white uniform shirts. Wear a dark undershirt and immediately lose the white shirt and ornaments as soon as combat begins.
Finally, there is this little gem of wisdom. If you shoot a revolver with your thumb resting on the cylinder release latch, you should glue a sharp piece of metal on the latch to help break this bad habit.
These a just a few examples of the mindless drivel this book is filled with. This is not a seriously useful book by any stretch of the imagination. It's sold on Amazon, but my advice is don't waste your money. This is worth repeating. Do not waste your money on this book.