Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

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    Tennessee Jed
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    Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:31 pm

    I've got a thought I can't let go of, and would love to hear the thoughts of the esteemed shooters here.

    I just got back from a beach vacation with the family. We flew there, which is my least preferred method of travel, but I gave in to the family pressure. I took a Glock 23 with me. Had no problems with TSA, the entire process couldn't have gone smoother.

    I took the Glock because out of the handguns I own, it was the most replaceable and is the one that would cause me the least heartburn if my luggage disappeared. It also came apart easily, and I prefer to have my guns in several pieces in the event TSA or a ticketing person wants to confirm that the gun is unloaded.

    However, while lounging at the beach with a bottle of whiskey and a stack of gun magazines (the reading kind, not the loading kind), the thought struck me that a 40 S&W may not be the best condo-defense weapon, due to occupants above, below and beside the unit we stayed in.

    So, I'm on a new pursuit, beach defense gun, something to take on vacation to a beach when flying there. Has to be a handgun, has to disassemble somewhat easily and quickly, has to be at last somewhat concealable under a Hawaiian shirt, has to be replaceable, and overpenetration is a major concern.

    For the overpenetration issue, I'd prefer something that can shoot frangibles, like Glaser silver safety slugs, when pulling condo defense duty, but be able to fire heavier (much heavier) ammo when driving to and from airports, which can be in some rough areas. I'm not a huge fan of Glasers in general, but I have seen a 44 mag Glaser shot through the front screen of an old TV and not penetrate through the back side. I do believe that if Glaser's are used, bigger caliber is better than smaller.

    For versatility of ammo, I'm leaning towards revolver. For disassembly, I'm leaning towards (hold on to your shorts for this one) single action revolver. For replaceability, I am leaning towards a plain jane Ruger Blackhawk.

    So, there I am. Perfect flyaway beach vacation gun? Ruger Blackhawk. Probably 44 Special or 45 Colt. A year from now, I hope to be wasting away again in Margaritaville with a trusty Blackhawk.

    Or, did I just overbake my head while at the beach?
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    Cornmastah
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Cornmastah on Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:42 pm

    I think you over baked your head... but any excuse to buy a blackhawk is a good one ha ha. Really though, I was wondering why you wouldn't want to just carry your j-frame 38?
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:54 pm

    Yeah, I might have just overdone it. However, I prefer leaving the j-frames in the second-gun category if at all possible.

    Maybe the answer is a Blackhawk PLUS a j-frame. Yes, I think that's the answer. Because less is never more, it's just less.


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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Cornmastah on Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:43 pm

    Which blackhawk would you go with? Length of barrel? Caliber? .45 Colt is fun, but I don't think they make many defensive loads with it--I could be wrong though. Ahhh, but maybe a .45 Blackhawk convertible with .45 acp defensive loads... Well heck, this looks like a great reason to just go and buy that Ruger birdshead in .45 acp--small, pretty compact, etc...
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    Charlie Foxtrot
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Charlie Foxtrot on Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:34 pm

    I think you let Mark Vanderberg mix you too many fruity umbrella drinks. Smile

    Not a fan of Glaser. I saw the effects of a ND with a GSS that blew up the wall's first layer of sheetrock and only sandblasted the second. The round doesn't penetrate enough for a stop.

    For proper Texas beachware, I'd wear a tastefully unassuming G19 with some recent vintage frangible rounds.

    Unfortunately, I'm a relative stranger to beachfront condos. But the few I've been in seemed to have been constructed of concrete floors and walls...
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    Doc Wesson
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Doc Wesson on Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:17 am

    The standard velocity .40 with hollowpoints would be just fine in my opinion.
    You could go with the lighter weight bullets in that too if you wish.
    Don't overthink it.
    That being said.... buy what you said! Just because it is AWESOME!


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    Tennessee Jed
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:14 am

    Well, ok. Maybe, just maybe, a Ruger Blackhawk may not be the perfect beach flyaway vacation gun. And I will also allow for the fact that a week of drinking by the sea while reading a ton of John Taffin and Skeeter Skelton articles might, just might, have influenced by decision making process a bit.

    Nevertheless, I do believe that in the process of all this decision making I have found my next gun purchase, the Ruger flattop 44 Special with 4 5/8" barrel. Lord have mercy, prices on blued models new have dropped to below $500 on gun websites, and everything I've read says they are awesome.

    I already have a Ruger Lipsey's 45 Colt/45 acp convertible with a 5.5" barrel. The only reason I didn't take it on vacation with me is that it's a limited run item, and I would have wept like a schoolgirl if my luggage had disappeared. But the Ruger Flattop 44 Special is a regularly cataloged item. Powerful, unique, replaceable, easily disassembled...seems perfect.


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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Devereaux on Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:47 pm

    Jeez! ?You guys in the artillery in another life. ".44 Special, .45 Colt" All heavy hardware.

    I would view beachfront guns as absolutely last ditch stuff. So I'd carry a .380 with some of the new +P ammo. 85-95 gr, 1,000 fps. At the up-close-and-personal level it WILL work. Punch a hole through a skull with no issue. And it's small.

    Since you like wheelies, get the Ruger LC380. Longer trigger pull. And Lord knows, you wouldn't care that much if it got "taken, stolen, impounded, etc"
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:29 pm

    Well, that's a good point, and that's why I took a Glock. My original thought wasn't really carry on the beach, but instead condo-defense, and carry in locales away from the beach. I was thinking larger calibers for use of Glasers for condo-defense. I don't have any faith in Glasers, really, but would feel better about a Glaser in a large caliber at high velocity than a Glaser in something more sedate. I'm now thinking that perhaps it might be better to focus instead on a modern caliber with a normal modern hollowpoint. 380 would be a reasonable choice, so would 9mm.

    After further reflection, I think I would still be heartbroken if ANY revolver, no matter how inexpensive and replaceable, was stolen in transit. I may just stick with a Glock for these travel purposes.

    This won't slow down my getting a 44 Special Blackhawk, though. For Father's Day, I'm getting 500 nickel plated 44 Special cases from Midway and am going to start watching for the best online prices for that Blackhawk.
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Devereaux on Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:12 pm

    Oh, I wouldn't want to discourage you from getting a Blackhawk. But for your premise, I would still think LC380, Glock42, or S&W Shield in 9. Small and light enough to carry easily, and conceal, enough punch for the kind of stuff you carry for - which isn't getting into gunfights but protecting close.

    And I wouldn't use Glazers for anything but paper punching.
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Devereaux on Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:13 pm

    ?Don't you just LOVE nickel cases. I try to get them for all my reloading. Only ones I don't have a bunch for are .45 ACP and that's only because I have this huge stockpile from my old bullseye shooting days when the military supplied me with ammo. And I kept the cases.
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:32 pm

    I sure do love them, but they're getting hard to find in my primary reloading calibers these days.

    Best of all, when I shoot at IDPA, it's a lot easier to find my cases on the floor.

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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Devereaux on Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:59 pm

    Tennessee Jed wrote:I sure do love them, but they're getting hard to find in my primary reloading calibers these days.

    Best of all, when I shoot at IDPA, it's a lot easier to find my cases on the floor.  


    There's that. IPSC was the same. Even if you found them a guy or two later, they were clearly yours, as almost no one else shot nickel.
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Cornmastah on Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:56 pm

    I love nickel cases, they are shiny, easy to find on the ground, clean up faster in the tumbler, and are very pleasing to the eyes. I love loading the shiny cast lead bullets in nickel cases--I tell my kids they are my werewolf rounds.
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Devereaux on Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:49 pm

    Cornmastah wrote:I love nickel cases, they are shiny, easy to find on the ground, clean up faster in the tumbler, and are very pleasing to the eyes.  I love loading the shiny cast lead bullets in nickel cases--I tell my kids they are my werewolf rounds.

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    Charlie Foxtrot
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Charlie Foxtrot on Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:14 pm

    Do you find you're getting more case failures with nickel? When reloading, we've seen nickel cases lasting only about a third as long as the plain brass. The usual failure is a case mouth split, sometimes it's the entire case. Been told the plating process causes hydrogen embrittlement.    

    I won't shoot nickel out of my Yellowboy leaver because of the possibility of splits (once burned, twice shy.) Unless I need to load from my belt; nickel has an advantage for long term contact with leather.


    Last edited by Charlie Foxtrot on Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Devereaux on Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:28 pm

    I have not had any issues with nickel. But I have heard from various sources that it doesn't last as well as brass. Still, I usually buy like 2-3k cases at a time, so I don't get the intense usage others might expect. You only have 500 cases, you cycle them through more often. Me, I still have tons I have never even loaded.
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    Re: Beach Flyaway Vacation Gun

    Post by Cornmastah on Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:09 am

    I do think that they are a little more brittle and don't last quite as long as regular brass, but they do have those benefits that I mentioned before. Most of my brass is regular brass, but it doesn't hurt to have a few werewolf loads just in case.

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