A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, March 23, 2009

Car Guns

I took the Model 66, the Colt New Agent, and the M1991A1 to the range this afternoon. I was feeling the need for some recoil therapy, and while none of these handguns Click to enlargedeliver massive wrist snapping recoil, the dose was enough to do the trick.

The Smith & Wesson Model 66 is the quinissential stainless steel revolver. A K frame chambered in 357 magnum, it is a size that's quite handy, while packing an undeniable punch. The market for the Model 66 is a lot like the Model 10. It is ubiquitous, and therefore usually inexpensive to purchase used. Four inch barrels are commonplace, but the pinned and recessed versions are getting harder to come by.

The more I shoot the Colt M1991A1, the more I like it. The simplicity of this pistol is the charm of it. There is absolutely nothing pretentious about it. It's just a purposeful handgun for putting a big hole in a target fast. I usually carry it or my modified Sistema as a car gun. Either pistol is perfect for resting underneath a newspaper on the seat beside me. With a pistol holstered at 4:00, it's difficult to effectively draw and fire when a seat belt is fastened on top of the rig. Lately though, I've been thinking a 357 revolver might be a better choice.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't decide which I enjoy more--My Model 10 M&P or my stainless M66. Each time I shoot one or the other my preference shifts.

I expect to have this indecision for several more decades!


7:24 PM  
Anonymous Bill N. said...

If you read accounts of the the Miami FBI shooting, one of the agents took his sidearm out of his holster and placed it next to him on the seat. He lost his sidearm underneath the seat after a collision with the robbers. When the cars stopped, he didn't have a weapon to fight with. One thing I do is carry a sidearm in a Wilderness Safepacker or an Expedition Jumbo with the shoulder strap looped over a headrest. It may not be as fast as underneath a newspaper, but it won't go flying underneath the seat where I can't reach it if I am involved in a collision. I sometimes throw a jacket over the Safepacker or Jumbo when I don't want to be obvious.

10:13 PM  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Ruger SP101 is my truck gun. Rests in a pocket behind passengers seat. Can't be seen from the outside just always need to remember to set the vehicle alarm. Shoot off the ammo and clean it every six weeks or so.

Used to leaeve an old Dan Wesson 357 in there but since it was found and bought at a good price on my birthday I couldn't bear to do that to it.

Besides, the Ruger's stainless and can stand up to weather vagaries better.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would favor the .357 for the car.The tactical situations you are likely to encounter may require greater penetration than a .45 can provide.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous harp said...

About two years ago I was a able to get a Model 65 that is pined and recessed. They just don't make them like they used to.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Antibubba: I feel your pain.

My favs are the 66, the 3913, and the GCNM. Then again, the 14, 15, and 17 turn my head in different seasons for different reasons. Then again...never mind. The list goes on and on.

Xavier: Thanks for the range report.


2:00 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Hi Bill,

Yep, I've considered that, as well as the possibility of an unrestrained gun in the event of a roll over, or an accident where I've been knocked unconcious.

At one time I used a holster affixed to the rear of the passenger seat. Considering how quickly one might need a gun, I wanted better access. I started to weigh out the danger against the need to get to a gun quickly in some of the areas I used to travel into as a nurse. After much thought, I decided a gun on the passenger seat was the best solution.

What remained was a choice of which gun. It had to be one that could be totally operated one handedly in close quarters, but still safe in an accident. Revolver or C&L 1911 seemed to be the best choice.

I worked through a few of the problems of bringing the gun to bear inside a vehicle without sweeping myself. I found that there was little information available on that. If I ever went to Blackwater, that one lesson is what I would want to learn. It's a difficult problem.

Remember that I still have a holstered gun on my hip if the car gun ends up underneath a seat.

5:56 AM  
Anonymous HTownGuy said...

I keep a (very utilitarian) S&W 686 in .357 mag with a 7-round chamber in my truck's center console. It's a heavy, solid, stainless-steel gun that's very reliable and can be operated by anyone in the car (assuming it's a close friend that knows it's in there). Then I usually have a 1911 on my hip.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Mike Harbour said...


FWIW, Texas DPS went to .357 Sig over .45 ACP in part for better penetration of vehicles. Mas Ayoob tells a story about two troopers trying to stop a driver in a tractor trailer; one trooper used a .45 that failed to go through the door, while his partner, armed with a .357 Sig, fired through the door and into the skull of the driver. It's something to think about.

Mike Harbour
Helena, MT

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill --- THANK-YOU...I've been looking for info regarding the Safepacker as a worthwhile buy for that very reason. I don't know anyone who carries them so I could get a look before putting out the money.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a small guy (5'7", 155 lbs) I have found it impossible to carry anything like a K frame or a Dan Wesson 15 (pretty close to a K frame and I love the trigger). Plus I'd have to get a freaking scabbard lest I drop my pants :-) Also I tend to wear fitted clothing, I'm a bit fussy and I hate for the gun to force me to dress like a slob or a bigger man.

Anyhow, I've been thinking Glock 30FS worn small of the back... Why Glock? Pull trigger, goes bang like a revolver. And they say it's very reliable. Any opinions on that size for carry?

I know that a 1911 style gun would offer better concealment and that's partly why I have been reading this blog for a year or so). But the more I look into it, the more the Glock makes sense.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

For a Glock, chose your caliber first, then your gun. Get a model with fixed sights, and swap them for metal. I would lean towards the smaller models such as the Glock 26.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous cm smith said...

Bruce Nelson's solution to the sitting / seat belt problem was what he called the "forward of hip" position - 2:00 - with a mild FBI rake or vertical.

Being the designer, Nelson used a Summer Special, of course, but it works with a belt holster too.

To avoid sweeping one's own body, circle the steering wheel, figuratively speaking.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Crucis said...

I have a pinned and recessed 4" Model 19. I would prefer a 66 for the car though. The blue M19 is more susceptible to rust than the stainless M66.

A friend of mine has a Ruger SP101 in his truck. He glued velcro strips on the inward side of the passenger seat (his truck has bucket seats) and sticks the pistol there. The pistol the "rug" side of the velcro strip while the seat has the "hook" side. It works very well. He drives frequently over some very rough ground and hasn't reported any issue with the revolver nor the holster coming loose. It is a thumb-strap holster.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For a Glock, chose your caliber first, then your gun. Get a model with fixed sights, and swap them for metal. I would lean towards the smaller models such as the Glock 26."

Thanks for the reply. I definitely would like to rely on .45 caliber. Why swap the sights? Flimsy?

12:08 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

"Why swap the sights? Flimsy?"

If you like plastic sights, I guess they are OK.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Sean G said...

.357 seems to be great for car defense in that it can go through a great deal of metal and plastic and still be absolutely lethal, but what about noise and recoil?

Would a .357 in the confines of a car temporarily disorient from noise or flash?

2:44 PM  
Blogger Crucis said...

Your ears will certainly ring---for days. Once at an IDPA match, the course of fire was to lay your pistol on the next seat then at the buzzer shoot at targets out the opposite window. I forgot to insert my ear plugs.

It was LOUD!

My ears rang for the rest of the day. That was with a .45ACP target load.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why swap the sights? Flimsy?"

"If you like plastic sights, I guess they are OK."

:-) Understood. Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

6:42 PM  

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