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“Whether it is around a campfire, in an exam room with a sick kid or behind my keyboard,
I just love to tell stories. God has blessed me with a robust life to use as a foundation.”
Will Dabbs


For over 10 years, Will Dabbs of Oxford, Miss., has engaged readers with his passion for the science, sport and engineering of firearms. Will’s father exposed him to the virtues of hunting and “art of fieldcraft” at an early age. He was immediately drawn to the mechanical merits of firearms.

After college, he married his passion for firearms and dream of being a soldier and served eight years as an Army helicopter pilot. He served as Commander of the U.S. Army Alaska High Altitude Rescue Team before resigning as a major in 1997.

To spend more time with his family, he began a medical career at 32 and opened an urgent care clinic. Dr. Dabbs dedicates 40 hours, three days every week to treating patients.

He also owns a business designing and building sound suppressors.

And he’s a reserve deputy sheriff, too.

Major-Doctor-Deputy-Lecturer-Entrepreneur —and his most prized role, Dad— Dabbs attributes his skill to “hook words together” to his grandmother – one of very few professional women writers of her era.

“Whether it is around a campfire, in an exam room with a sick kid or behind my keyboard, I just love to tell stories. God has blessed me with a robust life to use as a foundation,” he shared.

Will believes the sense of family sets FMG publications apart from many: “[The magazines] are homey, warm and comfortable. Readers are not customers; they are friends. The latest issue of Handgunner has 11 pages of letters to the editor: Who else does that?

Allies Well I thought it was neat! You have to be kidding, right!?!

Israel to have partial laser defenses by next year – Rafael chair

“One year from now – Israel will be the first country to have partial laser protection. In two years there may be complete protection,” said Yuval Steinitz.
Israel’s ground-breaking laser system experiment carried out in the south of the country by the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Research and Development (DDR&D, or MAFAT in Hebrew) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Israel will have partial laser defenses by this time next year, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems chairman Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio on Sunday.

“One year from now – Israel will be the first country to have partial laser protection. In two years there may be complete protection – against missiles, shells, rockets, or anything else. This will protect us both in the South and in the North,” said Steinitz.

Israel’s push for laser air defenses

This past February, senior Defense Ministry official Brig.-Gen. (res.) Danny Gold said Israel’s air-defense lasers, when fully deployed, will be able to shoot down the drones Iran has been sending Russia to use against Ukraine.Speaking at the Artificial Intelligence conference at Tel Aviv University at the time, the MAFAT [Directorate of Defense Research & Development] director said his ministry was working on developing “the next generation of using lasers.”

He talked about multiple successful tests destroying rockets “with a very sophisticated laser-weapons system…. We have done the same for mortars, rockets and UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], like the Iranian UAVs they are sending to Ukraine. The same concept of UAV, we can shoot them down.”

In February 2022, then-prime minister Naftali Bennett proclaimed that Israel’s ability to use lasers had progressed significantly and could be operational much sooner than people had expected.

  BORDER Police officer checks a unit  at a laser system aimed to intercept  incendiary balloons, near the Gaza  border. (credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)BORDER Police officer checks a unit at a laser system aimed to intercept incendiary balloons, near the Gaza border. (credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

This past January, outgoing IDF chief of staff Aviv Kohavi told The Jerusalem Post, “The laser-defense system is truly great news. It will be both land- and air-based. I do want to be cautious regarding timeframes. In another two years, we expect to deploy systems along the Gaza Strip border to test this tool’s effectiveness.

“It has worked very well in field tests. If this experiment works – and we continue to integrate and enhance the laser-defense system over two years – we will move as fast as possible to deploy it across the entire North. I cannot commit to a specific number of years. I don’t want to be optimistic and I also don’t want to be pessimistic.”

Kohavi added, “I know that there has been great progress over the last three years, and we invested a lot of money in this. We defined the laser-defense system as having multiple benefits that we would need to invest a lot in. I am happy that it has progressed so much.”

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Skeeter’s Dream Gun

This article first appeared in the April 1969 issue of Shooting Times.


Skeeter’s handgun potpourri results in an attractive, effective gun designed for lifetime service.

The editor of this fine magazine has posed an intriguing problem: If the facilities of the great handgun manufacturers were thrown at my disposal to create one handgun to keep and use for the rest of my days, what would my tastes combined with the skills of the designers produce?

I have no ideas for a new cartridge that would be feasible with existing propellants, so the round would have to be one that is already in the book. My hunting and law enforcement work would dictate that it be a powerful load, and one that is readily obtainable everywhere. I would want to reload for my new gun, so plentiful brass and long case life would be factors.

No automatic cartridge is as powerful as the .357 Magnum. The autos throw their brass around a bit too promiscuously to please the handloader. Although production autoloaders are generally less accurate than good revolvers, this is not an issue here because I am planning a tool room job, and the auto could certainly be brought up to top accuracy if it were otherwise acceptable.

It’s no secret that I am fond of single-action revolvers, but a double action has a slight edge as an all-purpose gun. My .357 will be a double action. The DA .357 sixguns now available are all excellent, and I could live with any of ’em if I had to, but there is always room for a little improvement.

For many years I carried the standard Smith & Wesson heavyweight Model 27, fitted out with a 5-inch barrel, 0.1-inch front sight, and Roper grips that were tailored to my hand. Over the seasons I had a total of four of these guns put together to the same specifications, and fine pieces of machinery they were.

Five or six years ago I stated that if I could have only one gun, it would be a Model 27 S&W. This view has relaxed somewhat, and I now more frequently find myself carrying a Model 19 S&W Combat Magnum.

When the Combat Magnum .357 was first introduced more than 10 years ago, I didn’t care much for it. It recoiled more with heavy loads, and the smaller diameter cylinder didn’t give a boost to fast double-action shooting as did the massive cylinder of the older Model 27. Too, when the little revolver first appeared, many shooters had their doubts about its ability to stand up under continued firing of heavy loads.

These fears proved groundless, and the Model 19 is accepted as being as sturdy as any other Magnum when loads within the normal pressure limits of the .357 are used.

My dream gun prototype would have a slightly larger frame and heavier cylinder than the Model 19, mainly to give it a little extra weight to dampen recoil. The frame of the Colt Python is that of Colt’s ancient .41 Long Colt double action and is about right in bulk and weight.

I don’t care for the Colt’s lack of a front cylinder latch and would employ the Smith & Wesson front and rear latch. Some nitpickers claim that the counterclockwise rotation of the S&W cylinder causes the movement of the hand to push the cylinder against its latches, eventually loosening the crane, and that a Colt locks the cylinder in place more tightly because the hand pushes the cylinder toward lock position. I have never seen any tangible evidence to this theory, but as a concession to those who believe in it, I will make my cylinder rotate clockwise.

This will require some changes in the lockwork. The S&W system of a separate trigger rebound spring assembly lends to smoothness of trigger pull, so let’s retain that. I have never broken a mainspring in an S&W, and their leaf springs are certainly smoother than the coil mainsprings in their pocket revolvers. Still, I think Bill Ruger’s idea for an all-coil-spring interior in his single action has produced the most trouble-free revolver yet, so I’ll go the same route. Surely, if they put their minds to it, my gun designers can conjure up a coil mainspring assembly that is smooth on double action.

Rounding out the inner workings of my hybrid, I would adopt the rebounding firing pin of the Colt Python and Ruger Blackhawk. This is a better deal for the handling of hot loads and prevents anyone trying to use your gun’s hammer for a leather punch.

The grip straps of the frame will have to be altered. This feature of our centerfire revolver frames hasn’t changed in this century. The few efforts made to fashion a better-feeling gun handle have produced bulky “target” stocks that simply cover up the poor profile of the steel straps.

High Standard had the right idea when it carved the little Sentinel 22. Instead of the usual dished-out arch behind the trigger guard that lets the fist grab much too deeply, leaving the third finger prey to the raps of the guard, the Sentinel’s strap comes into the guard at a much lower point, lowering the grip, protecting the knuckle, and leaving the trigger finger pulling from a more natural angle. This in turn allows the use of much smaller, more attractive grips and is an altogether comfortable handle. But even the High Standard should fill in more of the gap between the guard and the strap.

The backstrap of the Colt doesn’t have the pronounced inward curve at its top that the S&W does, and I prefer this. Although the heel of my palm is quite fleshy, I find that it tends to slide over this depression in the S&W backstrap, especially when Magnum ammo is fired. Also, I have somewhat better control when the space is filled by custom stocks that are joined behind the backstrap.

My grip frame will be lowered behind the guard, with a slight forward flare at the bottom of the frontstrap. The backstrap will approximate that of the Colt DA, perhaps toeing forward slightly at its bottom as does the old Colt Shooting Master.

I’ve never been completely satisfied with our selection of revolver barrels. The barrels of the S&W Model 27 and Highway Patrolman magnums are too thin and light for so heavy a gun, leaving a preponderance of weight in the rear and being conducive to unnecessary sight wiggle.

Colt first brought out a large diameter “gas pipe” tube for its .38 Officer’s Model Target, then later carried it over to a special lot of U.S. Border Patrol 4-inch Official Police .38s made up for the immigration service. When it was finally adapted to the Python, this big barrel was gussied up with a full-length lug under its belly to enclose the extractor rod and a ventilated rib. The result is pleasingly muzzle heavy but has a cluttered look.

S&W’s Combat Magnum is made with a choice of 2½-, 4-, or 6-inch barrels, and these are of the most handsome configuration. For both appearance and the desirable heaviness for good pointing, these bulky barrels lack only two things I want–even more diameter and weight and a 5-inch length. This length has been my favorite for maximum in power and sight radius while staying within reasonable bounds for a revolver to be carried in a holster.

The Baughman ramp front sight on S&W guns leaves little to be desired. I prefer the plain, blued style of 0.1-inch width. The S&W Micrometer rear is also excellent. It rides closer to the axis of the bore than most other models and, once the corners of the rear leaf are rounded, is less prone to catch on clothing.

My hammer and trigger will be conservative. The hammerspur will be no wider than the remainder of the part and will bear checkering that is coarse but not sharp enough to make the thumb sore when put through long strings of dry fire. These great, wide platforms called “target” hammers are no surer or faster for single-action work once you’ve mastered the narrow kind, and they slow down locktime.

Wide triggers are all right for single-action shooting, giving the illusion of a lighter pull. A better way to attain lighter single-action pull is to make the proper adjustment on the rear and hammer notch, not relying on such crutches as the wide trigger, which is impossible in fast double-action shooting. Single-action trigger pull should register around 2½ pounds.

Every metal part of my new “lifetime” gun will be crafted from stainless steel, which resists rust and corrosion better than any blued or plated gunmetal.

For stocks, I’m going to indulge myself a little. Although there are more durable handles, I will leave practicality behind and trouser my sixgun in elephant tooth, perhaps with my old T cattle brand inlaid in gold.

My stainless-steel, 5-inch, Colt-S&W-Ruger-High Standard .357 may not be your dish, and if the saints are willing, you may never have to choose just one gun to serve you. But a little advance cogitating never spoiled a mulligan stew. Try your own recipe–you might brew up a prize winner.

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El Alamein: The 9th Division Story

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Albuera: The bloodiest battle of the Peninsular War

All About Guns Allies Well I thought it was neat!


Top: Webley Mark VI .455. Bottom: Enfield No. 2 .38.


The British have never been ones to march in lockstep with the rest of the world, and a little evidence of that is their choice of handguns in World War II. While most of the world’s major military forces had by that time converted to one sort or another of autoloader, the British decided to stick with revolvers.

Mostly they used four types of double action revolver, although in 1940 the British government even bought some Colt Single Action Army revolvers to help arm their home guard. (Today collectors refer to those as “Battle of Britain” guns.) Issued to regular British forces, however, were their domesticly manufactured Enfield No. 2 .38 and Webley Mark VI .455. The Webley Mark VI .455 had been adopted in 1916, and although it had been officially replaced about 1928 by the Enfield No. 2 .38, it was still in common use.


Top: S&W Hand Ejector No. 2 .455. Bottom: S&W Military & Police .38.


Not having enough of either Webley or Enfield to go around, they also bought many thousands of S&W K-frame Military & Police revolvers chambered for the .38 S&W cartridge. And furthermore, they still had and consequently used many S&W N-frame (Hand Ejector 2nd Models) which they had purchased from 1915 to1917 for World War I.


Duke’s S&W Hand Ejector #2 .455 factory letters to the Canadian Government in 1916.

Left to Right: .38 S&W with 190 gr. lead RN, .455 Webley Fiocchi load with 262 gr. lead RN bullet and .45 ACP Black Hills load with 230 gr. FMJ bullet.


Their choice of cartridges for these revolvers also seems strange. The .455 Webley had been with them since the 1870s as a black powder cartridge, but their Mark II version of it introduced about 1897 was loaded with smokeless propellant. By American standards, it would be considered “barely loaded.” That’s because it was rated with 265 gr. bullet at only about 600 fps. In the 1920s the British military determined a .38 caliber 200 grain bullet at about 630 fps gave about the same muzzle energy, and that’s what they converted to. Actually the case they chose to use was a twin to the .38 S&W round. That company had been chambering guns for it since the early 1870s, so when the Brits needed S&W to help them out with revolvers in the 1940s.

I’ve been told by a knowledgeable shooter/collector that prior to WWII the Brits had to reduce bullet weight on their .38s to 178 grains in order to make them full metal jacketed. Otherwise they would have been in violation to the Geneva Convention.


The Brit .38s and .455s barely dented. The big caved-in spot was done with a .45 ACP.

No Common Sense


For some strange reason, probably related to my lack of common sense, my gun trading forays these last few years have netted me samples of the four above mentioned British military revolvers. Two have some minor noteworthiness. The Enfield No. 2 .38 is marked “RAF” (Royal Air Force) and “1936,” while the S&W .455 factory letters to the Canadian government in 1916. I was even able to find a 12-round box of FMJ .455 military loads of Canadian manufacture dated 1943 to go with it. British military .38 loads have evaded me completely. For shooting I bought some of the Fiocchi .455 Webley factory loads with a 262-gr. lead bullet and handloaded some Lyman #358430 cast bullets weighing 190 gr. in the .38. Powder charge was only 2.2 grains of Bullseye. The Fiocchi .455s chronographed at 619 fps, and my .38 handloads were 10 fps faster.

So did I “test-fire” these revolvers for accuracy as any self-respecting gun’riter would do? No way. What I did was spent nine bucks at an Army surplus store for an old GI issue steel helmet. Then I set it on a fence post and fired my British WWII revolvers at it from 10 paces. The .38s wouldn’t have even given its wearer a headache. They didn’t dent it and hardly made it wobble. The .455s did dent it and it wobbled some. Admittedly these were lead bullets and not military FMJs, which might have given more penetration. For comparison, I fired a 230 grain FMJ .45 ACP factory load from a Colt 1917 revolver. It didn’t penetrate either but caved in the side of the helmet, and not only knocked it off the fence post but rolled it 20 yards down the road!

Somebody probably knows why the Brits stuck to revolvers in the years leading up to WWII, and even perhaps why they liked such pee-dunkler cartridges — I don’t. But they’re still interesting handguns, albeit only minor historical footnotes to WWII.

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Real nightmares being delivered! The SAS, some real hard nose types

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What It’s Actually Like To Guard The Queen, According To Former Members Of The Queen’s Guard

All About Guns Allies You have to be kidding, right!?!

Here we look into the Prestigious firm of James Woodward & Sons by Ben Laidlaw

James Woodward & Sons are considered by many as building the best guns of all time.

James Woodward started out in the trade apprenticed to Charles Moore around 1827. James Woodward worked his way through the ranks to become the head finisher at Charles Moore. They later became partners c.1844 and the firm moved to new premises at 64 St James’s St, Pall Mall, trading as Moore & Woodward.

Arcaded fences and T safty.

“Woodward’s had build an excellent reputation for best guns mostly being sold to the aristocracy.


At some stage Moore dropped out of the business c1851 and James Woodward later became James Woodward & Sons c1872 when James took his two sons James and Charles into partnership at the same address. James the son of the founder ran the business until his death on the 7th July 1900, his brother Charles had already died some five years earlier. The firm was then taken over by the nephew of James, Charles L Woodward. Records show that the firm later moved address in 1937 to 29 Bury St, but then suffered bomb damage in the Second World War and were temporarily accommodated by Grant & Lang at no 7 Bury St, untill no 29 was put back in order..

Woodwards had build an excellent reputation for best guns mostly being sold to the aristocracy, you needed to have deep pockets to be on the order books. Now if you can find a good clean example a side by side will fetch just under £10.000 but the over and under is around the £20.000 mark. These guns are not common and you will have a job to find a good one. There was one story being told by the leading London berrel-filer c1930 that Woodwards would reject any barrels that he had regulated for them unless he was able to get as few as two or three extra pellets into the standard pattern ! Perhaps this is why Woodwards with  their original choke boring throw perfect patterns.


It has been said that guns made by James Woodward & Sons have been consistently the best guns ever seen. Better than Purdey, H&H and Boss, but this I guess is down to one’s own taste. The Company concentrated on Shotguns and especially their legendary sidelock side by side game gun with its arcaded fences and signature T Safty. 29 inch barrels were a standard for Woodward as this was seen to be most efficient but other sizes could be ordered. The Prince of Wales stock was also a favourite of Woodward. We also encounter from time to time single triggers and sidelever’s but these were not the standard unless ordered otherwise. Although Woodward had their own single trigger design.

The firm was most well know for its development and production of its over and under design in 1913 by    Charles L Woodward. This and the Boss over and under were and still are without doubt the two best designs ever produced, and again its personal preference to which is considered better. In 1948 Charles L Woodward wanted to retire and offered the business to Tom Purdey who acquired it as a going concern.

Once Purdey had acquired James Woodward & Sons they immediately adopted the Woodward over and under design in favour of their own and it is still being made today.


The firm of James Woodward & Sons certainly deserves merit for their contribution to the over & under gun of today. And for those lucky enough to own one of their Classic game guns or the famous over and under, you have a rare treasure indeed !

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Hell Let Loose – the real British Rifles #notjustvickersmg