Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Thoughts on Picking a .22 Handgun for the Lady of the House

Over on Bushcraft USA, the topic of picking a .22 LR handgun for a member's wife came up. The member's wife is adamant that she doesn't want anything larger than a .22. He was asking for input so I offered these thoughts:

First off, if at all possible get her to a gun store and let her handle a few different guns, to see which one is most comfortable for her. If you can rent some and shoot them, all the better.

Secondly, compact rimfire double action revolvers have hard trigger pulls which makes shooting them accurately much more difficult. This includes S&W J-Frames and Ruger LCRs in .22. (The one LCR I handled in .38 Special had a nice trigger.)
Thirdly, compact DA revolvers in general are tough to shoot well without proper training and a lot of practice. They are often recommended for women because they are small. But between the heavy triggers on the .22s and their general difficulty to shoot accurately -- which is doubly important with a .22 -- they are most often a very poor choice for the ladies, unless they have greater than normal hand strength and are willing to practice a lot.

Compact .22 autoloaders tend to have better triggers and are in general easier to shoot than .22 snubbies. They usually hold more rounds, as well. A good example is the Ruger SR22. I picked one up a couple years ago. My now-15 y/o daughter took to it immediately and shoots it well. It is a DA/SA semiautomatic pistol that uses 10 round magazines. It's very light and has a rail under the dust cover that allows easy mounting of a weapon light or a laser. Mine has been very reliable.

If relying on a .22 for defense ammo is critical for reliability. In my experience, CCI .22 LR is the most reliable. Bulk pack .22s give the most ignition problems. My choice for .22 LR defensive use would be CCI Mini Mag solids, for best reliability and penetration.
Keep the gun clean and properly lubed with particular attention to the firing pin channel, and feed it high quality ammo, and it will serve well for defense.

He also noted that she might consider a Ruger PCC Charger in 9mm, to which I replied:

If for some reason she won't go for the Charger version of the 9mm carbine, Ruger makes the 10/22 Charger. Setup as you suggested and with a Ruger BX-25, 25-round mag, that would make a formidable defensive weapon.

.22 LR is far from ideal as a defensive round but it beats harsh language and provides people who for whatever reason cannot handle a larger cartridge a means of self defense.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Paul Harrel: Tips for Pandemic Gun Buyers

This video is a good list of tips for people new to gun ownership.

His first tip in particular is especially valuable: Be skeptical of anyone promoting themself as an authority and giving you advice.

NOTE: The video title says that it's a list of 10 tips. It's really 5 plus a bonus. He acknowledged this in a pinned comment.

For what it's worth, I've recently started watching Paul's videos. He is not tacticool but served 20 years in the USMC and US Army as a marksmanship instructor and light infantryman, and was involved in a defensive gun usage in which he survived and the other guy didn't.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Simple No-Sew Pleated Facemask

I made one of these and used it yesterday when I ran out to Lowe's. I added a paper shop towel in it, since it provides much better filtration than the cotton bandana I used. I also used a couple paper clips to help keep the ends folded in.

Revisiting SDR

Six years ago, I did some experimenting with an RTL-2132U USB dongle as a software defined radio on a Mac. Being stuck at home due to the coronavirus quarantine, I decided to dig it out and try setting it up.

After banging my head on the wall for a few hours trying to get various software packages to work, I downloaded CubicSDR onto my MacBook Pro running Catalina, and it pretty much just worked.

Here's a screenshot with the thing tuned to 102.9 WMGK:

I'm able to receive 92.5, 94.1, and 102.9 easily. 93.3 WMMR comes in poorly, but I'm in a little bit of a hole and my antenna is far from optimal. I'm using the little thing that came with the dongle.

I think I have an adapter cable that will allow me to connect the dongle to an SO-239 connector, which will be good because then I can use a 2M/70cm mag mount antenna and monitor local repeaters.