HK Cool, Gemtech Quiet, Surefire Bright.

HK Cool, Gemtech Quiet, Surefire Bright.

It took me a quarter century of dabbling in the gun press to get to the point where I could finally call myself a gun writer. Professional relationships take time, and, just as is the case with any other quasi-artistic medium, one is expected to pay one’s dues. Those first few articles were pretty tough, and success required patient toil, but there are some really cool fringe benefits to this gig.

It has been my privilege to roll around in the dirt with some exceptionally nice firearms. Some were curiosities, a few were abject failures, and yet others were prime examples of the gun builder’s art. After three decades of squeezing triggers for fun and money, I have developed a decent gestalt for what works and what doesn’t. With the entire industry as my catalog, here is what guards my family against life’s manifest mischief.

The Heater

I was dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. My first issue handgun back when I wore the uniform was a high-mileage Colt 1911A1. I will admit to looking askance at those first few revolutionary plastic pistols back in the 1980s, when Mr. Glock’s rectilinear contrivance first invaded our shores. Nowadays, however, I think polymer pistols are just the cat’s pajamas.

While the modest weight certainly has its appeal, particularly given that my daily medical uniform is really little more than souped-up jammies, it is that marvelous striker-fired trigger that most enamors me with the species. Despite my very best efforts, I simply seem unable to hit to precisely the same point of aim in both double-action and single-action modes on a DA/SA handgun. I’m sure I should always practice more.

While everybody and their aunt makes polymer-framed combat handguns

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