A Tale of Two Guns and One Bowling Pin

Sometimes deep in a dark and cold Alaskan winter I get the urge to change things up a little.  I look around the house and contemplate things that would make life more interesting, Maybe I sell a vehicle or two, or buy a new motorcycle, Sometimes it’s just about changing surroundings, other years it is about new philosophy’s.

This year, was particularly bad. I sold a truck, bought a truck, bought a new motorcycle, unloaded a bunch of stuff I don’t use anymore, bought some stuff i’ll probably never use and, not satisfied, started looking at my gun collection. I shouldn’t say collection because I really don’t ‘collect” guns. As older age (some may call it maturity) has set in I have become quite practical.  I have a few guns that all have very specific purposes. I am down to a half dozen that I simply would not part with under any circumstance.

For the previous 2 years, my wife had been “outside” in the lower 48, she hadn’t wanted to take the chance of loosing her beloved .38 at the airport, or to a zealot in a place less friendly to conceal carry, so she left it behind and acquired a carry pistol where she was going. Being a loving husband, I kept her little S&W nice and cozy warm in my waistband while she was gone. I am not ashamed to say that I soon fell in love with the little bugger. It carried well, had a beautiful trigger, and I felt pretty secure knowing, if needed, it would go bang, no matter what.

Sometime after she returned, and made me give her pistol back,  I was out with the boys at the range for our typical Friday afternoon/evening. After pumping a weeks worth of handloaded HC SWC down range, my fancy compact auto carry gun had a single hiccup. I think it was a stovepipe probably caused by a worn out limp wrist. Later that night, I had a dream, with a booming voice insisting that I should really be carrying a wheel gun instead of that “unreliable” semi auto.  (I never said my dreams were practical)

In a fit of petulance, I through the fancy auto in on the bike deal.   It was still winter, and carrying my full sized double stack 1911 was not really a problem, but thinking ahead to my summer wardrobe, the need for a new carry gun became critical (or so I told everybody) .

Love almost never makes sense. I had fawned and fondled nearly every compact revolver on the vast market, and even a few autos, my heart however, kept dragging me back to the most expensive store in town to court what was definitely NOT a compact carry revolver. Prudence finally abandoned me on a cold January wind, and I walked out of the store with a Sexy S&W Model 327 Nightguard in .357 Magnum. I’m telling you, cabin fever is a very real problem for some of us.

You all know the drill. A new gun needs a new holster. I purchased a nice OWB paddle with the gun because there are almost no choices in IWB for an 8 shot L frame snubnose. I did finally find one in Taiwan, but it took almost a month to make its way to Alaska. In the mean time, I learned to carry and conceal in the OWB configuration.

Fast forward a couple months, it is spring, (sort of) me and the boys are shooting outside now on Saturday mornings. We drag up a small army’s worth of weapons and ammo to a nearby gravel pit. One of my buddies acquired a genuine bowling pin, and hung it out at 30 Yards. “One shot at a time, count your own hits.”  First buddy up carried a beautiful new Kimber custom carry, with some expensive aftermarket work. He draws down; we all hold our breath, “Click” funny how a misfire can be louder than a real discharge. Quickly we all seemed to say, “That’s your shot man.”  Second buddy up, he draws his full sized Kimber, makes his stance and his grip perfect, lines it all up….CLICK! “Damn man, I think you flinched.”  Now it’s my turn. I had my 1911 on my strong hip and the wheel-gun on my weak hip in what I like to call the “hug configuration” because this was a 30 yard challenge. I’m pretty good with the auto and I planned on taking home the bacon with an almost sure win from my trusty P 45-14, but  in the silence of my buddies efforts I heard that damn voice from my dream again.

Boisterously, I cross drew the sexy little revolver, dropped the bright green/white circle into the groove and double action squeezed off a handmade 148 grain hollow point. I hit the unmolested bowling pin square in the neck and rendered it in two pieces strewn asunder across the rapidly melting snow. I resisted the urge to blow the smoke off the barrel before I carefully re-holstered.

Sometimes even the most impetuous urges work out okay. I have finally learned how to carry, conceal, and even shoot the steroid induced “Saturday Night Special.” Because I forced myself to get used to the bigger “compact” I have not had a problem adapting to when I want to carry the 1911 instead. So really, I have expanded my choices and horizons. I learned a new gun, a bunch of new skills, made some new “wheel-gunner” friends, and, perhaps most importantly, with the bears waking up and coming out cranky and hungry, I feel a little more ‘right sized” for the big bad world.