Shortly before the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, I collaborated with Honor Defense to “create” a concealed carry compact pistol.
The goal wasn’t to come out with something exotic or screwball -no metal from meteorites or petrified t-rex grips or such. The goal was an affordable, reliable pistol for personal carry. Something you’d describe as a Frank Lloyd Wright gun for someone who was serious about carrying a gun: no frills, no gimmicks, just something useful and functional.
Here, for the final time (we promise) is the gun that resulted in a collaboration between Outdoor Wire editor/publisher Jim Shepherd and Honor Defense. Today, “Jim’s gun” is headed for its new owner. We hope he enjoys the gun Honor Defense’s Gary Ramey described as “the Winter of 1776” for its decidedly non-mil spec color scheme. Photo by Honor Defense.
OK, I admit I went a little “different” with the color scheme, but I wanted a gun that featured something other than the standard black, blue, OD or coyote tan, but avoided the “rainbow Skittles look” and had a bit of “attitude”.
To get there, I fell back onto the palette that I see best- black and white. There are shades of grey as well, but the gun looks different without being over the top (although I do admit the stars and stripes on the dust cover do look terrific - that’s an Honor Defense offering I couldn’t resist).
Saying I “designed” this gun is like saying I “built my own laser” during a visit to Crimson Trace’s headquarters a couple of years ago. When I “built” that laser, I did so under the rigorous scrutiny of one of C-T’s highly-skilled assemblers. They knew what I was doing; I was simply following instructions.
But it’s still on my favorite rifle -and runs like a champ. And having your name on your gun is pretty awesome- even if it’s a removable part on the rail.
Similarly, Honor Defense did the real design, creating a small pistol that shoots like far larger ones, but allows for owner customization.
The 1911 grip angle is my favorite, so I went with that. Likewise, presbyopia means I’m alwaysgoing to opt for the longest slide possible. Otherwise, the pistol sights are pretty much useless for me. That’s why I’m a proponent of lasers on carry pistols. Although I also believe the type of carry you have in mind has a lot to do with whether or not there’s a laser.
For a small, defensive carry pistol like this one, I didn’t go with a laser. That’s because lasers, especially rail mounted ones, change the carry characteristics of the gun. It necessitates a significantly larger holster in most instances. To me, “larger” and “easily concealed” are contradictions.
Besides, a small concealed carry pistol isn’t something I’m ever planning to use for longer distance shooting. Personal defense, at least in my mental context, means at distances not much more than 10-12 feet. At that distance, and under duress, you shouldn’t be thinking anything other than pointing the gun and pressing the trigger.
And I still believe that the laser isn’t where you begin your training on a handgun, it’s where you end up after you’re proficient enough to “run your gun” without having to look at it. It should be an affirmation of your ability to aim accurately. That may sound like a contradiction, but it’s the same approach I take to driving a car. You don’t go adding performance enhancements until you’re ability to drive matches the improvements. Otherwise, you’re looking to get yourself in trouble.
Trouble with a gun - or a car- isn’t something you look for; it’s something you avoid whenever possible. But knowing your abilities allows you to plan accordingly.
Enough theory, everyone wants to know the answer to a simple question: “who won Jim’s gun?”
Our winner is Tim Schneider from Plainview Minnesota, I’m not going to offer a lot of biography on Tim, because I haven’t spoken with him.
But I will tell you he’s probably going to be pretty well qualified to run the “Winter of 1776.”
Tim’s not only a shooting enthusiasts, he’s the Chief of Police for Plainview.
Congratulations, Tim. Both Honor Defense’s Gary Ramey and I hope you enjoy the gun we enjoyed putting together for you.
As always, we’ll keep you posted.