Ayoob, on “How the West Wasn’t Won With a Jammed-Up Gun”


Massad Ayoob has this to say about Grant Cunningham and his new book, Gun Digest Book of the Revolver:

When Grant Cunningham speaks of revolvers, one should listen. On the whimsical side, he’s the founder of the Revolver Liberation Alliance, whose mottoes are “The west wasn’t won with a jammed-up gun,” and, “The world isn’t flat, why should your gun be?”

On the serious side, Grant is an experienced instructor and one of the finest revolversmiths in the country. He can craft you a royal Ruger or a dandy Dan Wesson. My friend Herman Gunter, III, regularly wins Enhanced Service Revolver matches with a Model 625 S&W .45 revolver that Grant tuned for him, one of several Cunningham guns in the Gunter family. And Grant is perhaps the only full-time pistolsmith today specializing in turning the Colt Python revolver into the exquisite, super-light-pull-with-totally-reliable-ignition treasure that was made famous in the latter 20th Century by Reeves Jungkind, Jerry Moran, and the late, great Fred Sadowsky.

He doesn’t just fix ‘em, he can race ‘em right into the winner’s circle. I’ve seen Grant shoot perfect 300 out of 300 qualification scores on demand with his tuned six-shooters. Whether it’s a Colt or a Dan Wesson doesn’t matter; his skills transfer between them, as yours will if you take his advice to heart.

This book belongs on a sadly short shelf of double action revolver volumes written by people who actually know how to shoot them. It joins the work of Ed Lovette and Michael DeBethancourt in contemporary times, and Bill Jordan, Bob Nichols, Charlie Askins, Elmer Keith, J. H. Fitzgerald, and Ed McGivern before them as Rosetta Stones that unlock the secrets of operating double action revolvers swiftly and accurately.

Not every shooter is mirror-image to one another in techniques or beliefs; if we were, marksmanship would be a giant mutual admiration society with no need for good books like this one to convey new ideas and test old ideas for verification. Grant and I speedload revolvers a little differently, for instance. But looking at his chapter on revolver advantages, and his tutorial on how to run a double action trigger, or his explanation of the rationale of the double action only revolver, all I can say is, “You can take Grant’s advice to the bank.”

Enjoy the book. Like a Star Wars light saber, the revolver is seen by some as an elegant weapon more suited for another time. They’re wrong. It’s a very functional one, very serviceable in the here and now, and that’s why so many folks still use them. Grant Cunningham has done an excellent job of explaining why.

Massad Ayoob, March 2011

Massad Ayoob has served for over 30 years as both handgun editor of Guns magazine and law enforcement editor of American Handgunner. His books include Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry, Combat Shooting with Massad Ayoob, In the Gravest Extreme, The Truth About Self-Protection, and Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery. Director of Lethal Force Institute for 29 years, he now teaches through Massad Ayoob Group LLC, and has won several state and regional handgun championships with double action revolvers.

Click here to get your copy of Gun Digest Book of the Revolver from the Gun Digest Store.

And if your interest is revolvers, you might also like the Gun Digest Book of Revolvers Assembly/Disassembly:



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