FRI | MAY 6, 2022

Scores are now final for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Aces Postal Air Gun Competition for the first quarter. The mail-in style competition is fired in four quarters, with Q1 running from January to March.
Beebe Shooting Sports’ senior Team White dethroned defending regional champion Mountain Home Bomb Squad as the best in the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program’s North Region, while Southside Jr. Shooting Sports’ Squad A from Independence County was tops among North Region junior teams in the first weekend of AYSSP tournament action at the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation Jacksonville Shooting Sports Complex.
The John A. Halter Shooting Sports Education Center will host the 2022 Para Trap Grand Prix from May 10-15. Para trap shooters from USA Shooting and overseas will compete.

High Speed Gear and Comp-Tac are set to attend the 2022 Modern Day Marine Expo in Washington, D.C. from May 10th to May 12th.
DeSantis Gunhide introduces a new holster for SIG P320C and P250C with Streamlight TLR-1 or Surefire X300 and red dot.
For a second consecutive year, Hornady has earned the “Nebraska’s Safety Company” award from the Nebraska Chapter of the National Safety Council.

EasyExport announces it now prepares import permit applications for shoppers in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa when their orders for firearm parts or accessories from EasyExport merchants require an import permit.
NSSF marked a milestone achievement when firearm and ammunition manufacturers topped $15 billion in contributions to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund since its inception in 1937.
Blackwater Worldwide, a provider of firearms and ammunition to civilians and security forces, announced a distribution partnership with Leisure Sales, Inc. located in Auburn, WA.

Olin Winchester LLC announced that the U.S. Army has awarded the company a $15 million cost-plus contract for the design of the Next Generation Squad Weapon ammunition manufacturing facility.
AGM Global Vision is an official sponsor for The Proving Grounds, a 1 day, 4 stage competition that tests the tactical athlete's shooting and fitness prowess.
U.S. LawShield is a proud sponsor of the Savannah Area Republican Women 2A Rally to be held May 6, 2022, at the Forest City Gun Club in Savannah, Georgia. U.S. LawShield is bringing member Stephen Willeford to the rally as the featured speaker.
Ron Staffieri, CEO of Chattanooga Shooting Supplies has announced to the Board of Directors that he plans to retire on December 31, 2022.
Iron Valley Supply announced the hiring of Cary Wells to serve as a Merchandising Buyer. Cary has 22 years of experience in the sporting goods industry, most recently serving as a Southeastern Sales Associate for the Dunkin Lewis Agency.
The Second Amendment Foundation is continuing the longest-running pro-gun rights advertising campaign in history, alerting American gun owners to the serious threat the Biden administration poses to their rights.

Kimber Mfg. is expanding the popular family of RAPIDE (Dawn) and RAPIDE (Scorpius) Custom 1911 pistols, as well as the groundbreaking R7 Mako pistol.
Olympic gold medalist Amber English is the guest on this episode of Federal’s “It’s Federal Season.” Guest host Julie Golob and Federal’s newest ambassador talk about Amber’s experience in Tokyo, what is next for the Olympian, and talks tips on getting started in the shotgun sports.
Applied Ballistics announces a new online resource for shooters, The Science of Accuracy Academy, a subscription-based website launching with nearly 30 podcast episodes, with many more planned, as well as video content, Zoom classes, and much more.

As the State Coordinator, Mindy will oversee all aspects of the S3DA program in Utah, including promoting the program across the state to gain team and individual memberships, providing trainings for new coaches, and providing S3DA participants multiple monthly competition venues (tournaments) with minimal travel.
Primary Arms has announced a new May giveaway, which features a brand-new AR-15 from Springfield along with high-quality accessories and extras from many of the industry’s leading brands.
Kimber, Mfg. announced a new promotion: Retail customers get a free 7-round Tac-Mag - with a value of $53.95 – with all new Micro 9 pistol purchases.
Standard Mfg.’s Damascus 1911 is featured in the July/August issue of American Handgunner. Writer Jeremy Clough ran the test gun through a gauntlet of courses and drills at Gunsite Academy.
Celebrating the mothers in our lives, examining “ghost” guns, talking optics for your next hunt, if the largest online retailer of used guns has something for you, and more, this week on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio.
Beretta USA announced a new partnership with that now offers Beretta customers who serve in the military, law enforcement, or are first responders to receive a 15% discount on their website (excluding firearms) when they verify their affiliation through the portal.
GForce Arms received reports of a faulty safety switch manufactured by our supplier in a previous model of the GF991220-DLX. In those firearms, the safety switch has the potential to fail and move to the fire position when the trigger is pulled with an exorbitant amount of force multiple times.

The classic Smith & Wesson Combat Magnum, built before the S&W “model number” series, is a K-frame (“38 frame) six-shot revolver chambered for the 357 Magnum. Previously, the 357 Magnum chambering in S&W revolvers was available only in their Magnum revolver and Highway Patrolman lines, the latter being a subdued, less expensively finished version of the Magnum revolver series.

It seemed to Border Patrol Inspector Bill Jordan that the larger, 44-frame revolvers were a lot of gun for the mid-sized magnum. He also recognized that nearly everyone shot 38 Special loads for practice and qualification with their law enforcement 357 revolvers, saving the Magnum stuff for “duty” use.

If you do the high round count with 38s, why do you need the big “44” frame to lug around all day?

He went to S&W with the idea that they fabricate a heavy barrel Combat Masterpiece (keeping the adjustable sights) and chamber the cylinder for 357 Magnum. I believe they extended the cylinder (and the receiving “window” in the frame), recessed the chambers so the case heads would be surrounded by steel and fitted the four-inch guns with their ‘target’ stocks.

This Model 19 Combat Magnum was purchased through LE distribution channels in 1980 by a friend. Below, the M19 -- and its stainless counterpart Model 66 -- was a commonly carried handgun by police.

The front sight was of the Baughman “quick draw” ramp style. Target trigger and target hammer features were available if ordered. Later, a red plastic insert in the front sight and a white outline around the rear sight notch were made available (RR/WO, if you see one for sale).

I carried the M19 quite a bit in the 1970s, mostly a “-0” Combat Magnum owned by a former officer of my agency. That was followed by a “-1” in 2 ½” nickel-finish, another in 6” blued and a Model 66-1 (stainless) for a short time.

Due to some controversy surrounding shooting incidents in the 1970s, a number of agencies decided that all shooting with duty guns had to be accomplished with duty ammo (or remanufactured equivalents). That’s a lot of magnum ammo being shot.

Further, the 158 grain lead semiwadcutter load that was about the only factory 357 load available when the Combat Magnum issued (and into the “Model 19” era as well) was supplanted with lighter, faster jacketed rounds. The standard weight for caliber was 158 grains, like the 38 S&W Special; for that reason, the 158 grain jacketed soft point came first, followed by the 110- and 125 grain JHP loads.

The 125 grain JHP loads were seen by some as the “magic” bullet. A large percentage of dangerous felons seemed to be quite impressed with the effects of the cartridge. The Model 19 Combat Magnum saw some serious wear issues with the newer load – as did the stainless-steel Model 66 Combat Magnums.

Above, the Distinguished Combat Magnum Model 686 was supplied in four- and six-inch barrel lengths at first - followed by a 2 1/2" snub version, shown above. Below, the same gun built with fixed sights, was the Distinguished Service Magnum, only provided in 4" barrel length.

S&W, wanting to stay on top of the “issued police revolver” lists, announced the Distinguished Combat Magnum series in 1980. Starting with the Model 586 and Model 686 (stainless steel), they also made fixed sight versions, the Model 581 and 681 Distinguished Service Magnums.

Made in the “less than N-frame (44) and more than K-Frame (38),” it was dimensionally similar to the 41-frame Colt DA revolver lines. The weight went up. The barrels were heavy with a full-length underlug. The frame and cylinder were bigger – but the stocks were the same as for the K-frame.

The M586/M686 were made in 4- and 6-inch versions, mostly. I’ve run across a 2 ½” 686 and saw an advertisement for a M686 in 8 3/8”.

I had a M686 4”, one of the early guns. I went to another agency and was issued a 4” Distinguished Combat Magnum in 1983. I carried that gun, loaded with issued Winchester 145gr. Silvertip ammo, until late 1986 when we went to the autoloading pistol.

The 586/686 was designed to consume a lot of 125 grain 357 ammunition in basic training, in-service and qualification. The weight difference (unloaded) – in current models (M19 “Classic” at 37.2 oz. and the M586 at 41.3 oz.) – doesn’t seem like much.

But I’m not carrying either these days.

Which is “better” -- the K-frame Magnum or the L-frame? Neither. They’re just guns and they’ll do if you will.

-- Rich Grassi

Shooting Wire - 2271 N Upton St., Arlington, VA 22207
Copyright © 2020, All Rights Reserved.