Blast from the Past
The funeral for the snubnose revolver is still on hold, the artifact having resisted the call by some people to "just go and die." It seems that whenever the din of those decrying the uselessness of old technology gets unbearable, yet another version of the 19th Century standard is released by a big player.
The most recent was the Colt Cobra, though Nighthawk Custom/Korth has announced a snub. Ruger – maker of the lightly customized cannon in the photo – releases versions of its LCR, SP101 and even a short, 7-shot 357 Redhawk.
Another creature of the past, Paladin Press
, announced its closing. Buyers have only a few short days to order what's left of their inventory. I have friends published by that venue, including Evan Marshall, Dave Spaulding, Stephen Wenger, Jim Cirillo and, one who I became acquainted with at an ASLET Seminar, Ed Lovette.
Ed was well known for his writing at Combat Handguns
. Editor Harry Kane liked employing those who had a credible background that could be checked as well as those who had a following in print. Ed Lovette had the background from military service, through his time at the New Mexico law enforcement academy and, eventually, a stint at CIA. His book, The Snubby Revolver: The ECQ, Backup, and Concealed Carry Standard
, is a basic text for use and nomenclature of the pint-sized power-house.
Those of our current on-line experts will be quick to point out his ammo selection is out of date. The book was last updated in 2007 and targeting information one considers outdated while ignoring the contribution of the whole work is silly and ignorant. When I was young – like those who criticize pronouncements from experts made decades ago – I knew everything. It's as I aged that I found I really knew very little.
Evan Marshall is fond of saying "We're all victims of our own experience."
Going back to Lovette's tribute to the snub made those dated issues stand out. What stood out more was the information that held true and the threat assessment which seems as those it was written just yesterday.
He starts with the equipment equation, as the snub revolver was never perfection. It never pretended to be. Short on capacity, with stout trigger and small sights and little on which to grasp, it cried out for revision. The current version I'm using is the Ruger LCRx in 357. I ignore the hammer spur except to cover it with my thumb during the draw from the pocket.
The stock, a "Tamer" made by Hogue for Ruger, is larger than the barrel is long, making it easier to shoot and tougher for someone to seize in a gun grab attempt. The action is smooth while not terribly light – easily "shootable." The front sight is a Novak, sharp and clear, with a tritium bead centered in the post.
Alas, it's only five shots, but it's a gun that's carried in support of other, heavier, hardware. It's the "spare tire," the "end of the line" gun that's there to get me home when nothing else can. And I carry spare ammo, but doubt there will ever be time to reload the gun during a fight.
Lovette goes on to discuss defensive tactics. Like most of us, he believes having a realistic threat assessment and wariness to be key to winning the fight. "Look for what doesn't belong" – and act on that. So many people simply shrug it off and become food for the carnivorous.
Ed Lovette's book – and my penchant for the short revolver – is summed up in Paladin's advertising of the book in this phrase: " . . . the snubby holds its own, proving that a classic endures because it does what it does better than anything that can be designed to replace it."
I don't know about that, but it does what it does better than anything that has
been designed to replace it – that's for sure.
Paladin has no more copies of the book. I checked. Take a look on Amazon or at used book stores – or from vendors at the local gunshow who hawk books from Paladin – and you may find a copy of this gem. Don't blame Ed Lovette if you come away with an appreciation of the under-appreciated but often-carried snub revolver.
- - Rich Grassi