How long should your gun’s barrel length be?

By Massad Ayoob Issue #136 • July/August, 2012 The person new to guns is like the person new to timepieces. "How many of these things are there?" "In how many configurations?" "And they've been around for...

Consider the 20-gauge shotgun

By Massad Ayoob Issue #120 • November/December, 2009 A year or more ago in these pages, I made the suggestion that sometimes less is more, and usually shooters with less powerful guns with which they are...

Hunting, processing, and serving black bear

By Linda Gabris Issue #162 • November/December, 2016 Bear was a popular meat in our house when I was growing up in the rural woods. Black bear was Grandpa's favorite big game animal to hunt and...

Firearms handling refresher Part II: Shotguns

By Massad Ayoob Website Exclusive • December, 2003 In Part I, we began a series of refreshers on safety and proper handling of firearms. This time, we'll examine what may be the most common firearm in...

Firearms handling refresher Part I: Handguns

By Massad Ayoob Website Exclusive • December, 2003 One of our readers e-mailed John Silveira to tell him that taking a handgun afield after a long layoff had resulted in some scary moments. While gun handling...

Choose your ammo… police style

By Massad Ayoob Issue #93 • May/June, 2005 One of our greatest modern gun experts, Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC, Ret., once made the observation that the bullet is more important than the gun. The gun,...

Frontier style handguns for the modern backwoods home

By Massad Ayoob Issue #101 • September/October, 2006 The year was 1873. Samuel Colt had invented the revolver—or at least introduced it to America—in 1836. The Colt Navy .36 and Army .44 cap-n'-ball revolvers had been...

1911: The classic homeland security pistol

By Massad Ayoob Issue #83 • September/October, 2003 If you've read American firearms history at all, you know the lore of the .45 automatic. How during the Philippine insurrection, the newly issued .38 revolver failed miserably...

Cold weather shooting considerations

By Massad Ayoob Issue #126 • November/December, 2010 Winter will soon be upon us. Cold weather makes a lot of things more difficult. Running. Walking. Navigating through the woods. And, of course, safely manipulating and shooting...

An economical battery of guns for the backwoods home

By Massad Ayoob Issue #114 • November/December, 2008 Everything's getting more expensive. Food. Gasoline. Guns and ammunition. Not everyone who appreciates the rural lifestyle was "born with a gun in their hand" the way some of...

Savage Model 110 — A proven economical backwoods rifle

By Massad Ayoob Website Exclusive • July, 2008 Fifty years ago, Savage Arms introduced a new bolt-action sporting rifle. In the gun world, this was news. Savage was most famous for its sleek lever action Model...

Firearms and cold weather considerations

By Massad Ayoob Issue #79 • January/February, 2003 Many of our readers have established their abodes in places which, during the winter months, do not exactly draw the beachgoers. The older I get, the less the...

Moderate power firearms

By Massad Ayoob Issue #110 • March/April, 2008 Robert Ruark, the great American writer of the mid-Twentieth Century, was also a big game hunter. One of his most popular books, written on the latter topic, was...

How big a gun do you need?

By Massad Ayoob Issue #99 • May/June, 2006 We Americans like to do things in a big way. Big houses. Big cars. Big boats. And, yes, big guns. There are good arguments for all this, of course....

Answering some well asked questions about personal defense

By Massad Ayoob Issue #97 • January/February, 2006 Jeff Yago, Backwoods Home's energy writer, recently completed a couple of concealed carry handgun courses. The classes apparently left some questions hanging in the air, and Jeff passed...

A used shotgun bargain: The Browning Auto-5

By Brad Rohdenburg Website Exclusive • September, 2014 A 1958 "Light Twelve" Browning Auto-5, with a 28" Improved Cylinder barrel and 'Speedfeed' loading. It weighs less than 7½ pounds, balances nicely, and the stock dimensions suit...