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Q&A: Blowback or Recoil Operated

Reader “MJ” sent an e-mail in which he voices his confusion over the proper use of the terms “blowback” and “recoil operated.” He went on to say that he had completely failed to understand why the barrel on his new Ruger LCP was flopping around. Enough similar questions have come my way that I think it's probably time to revisit this business of how semi-automatic pistols work.

STI GP6

The STI GP6 is a reasonably priced, high-quality handgun for competition and self-defense.

Video: Springfield Range Officer Compact

Springfield Armory Pro Shooter Rob Leatham highlights the features of the new Springfield Range Officer Compact.

Magnum, p.i.'s Colt Pistol

The 9 mm chambering for this prop gun was selected due to better functioning with easily obtainable 9 mm blank cartridges.

Vest Pocket Autos

I recently picked up a gun that establishes just how small a true functional automatic pistol can be made. In fact, this tiny Bernardelli pistol is a fine example of the gunmaker's craft.

Handgun Hunting Varmints

If you want to spice up your next varmint hunt, try going after them with a belt gun.

Decockers and Safeties

For as long as automatic pistols have been in existence, designers have come up with many different ways to make them work. And by “work,” I mean handle or operate.

Semi-auto or Auto

A reader responded to a blog with his concerns over proper use of the terms “automatic” and “semi-automatic.” In terms of describing the type of action used in many magazine-fed firearms, automatic means continuous fire as long as the trigger is depressed and ammo is available in the gun. Semi-automatic means one shot for each trigger press and reset.

Read the Manual

I know that it is considered unmanly, but we are all going to have to accept the necessity for reading the little book that comes with our new firearms.

DA/SA Transition

Back in the 70s, there was a great deal of experience behind police trainers and the procedures used to make competent handgunners out of rookie cops.

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