Most firearms and film aficionados will recognize the quote snippet above. For the uninitiated, it’s Clint Eastwood as Inspector ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan. Spoken while pointing his 6″ Smith & Wesson model 29 .44 magnum at a wounded bank robbery suspect’s head. One of his more (in)famous tag lines.
The Smith & Wesson was developed in the 1950s as a hunting handgun. Knowledgeable gun folks understood it was too heavy and bulky to carry for self-protection. And the full-house rounds was well, stout, when shooting.
But, like many folks who came-of-age in the 60′s and 70′s, the iconic Dirty Harry gun had large appeal. Just like the Walther PPK of James Bond fame – only MUCH larger!
And, there was a small window in my life where I had the funds to acquire one. I was ‘smart’ enough to have the 4″ barrel. And stainless. It was concealable – or more so than the 6″. But still big and heavy.
It was the first gun I carried after the State issued me a permit for doing so. At the mall, just because. Kind of a field test. No one saw anything.
But, as with carrying any full-size or service sidearm, it was heavy. And somewhat difficult to conceal – even for a big guy like me. Soon, I evolved into carrying a full sized 1911, or a electroless-nickeled S&W 442 for ‘light days’. And the .44 was returned to the safe.
I did take her shooting a few times to show off. Mostly with new students. Very accurate, coupled with much blast and flash. And recoil.
And this is my point. I found out a while back that many Gunsite-taught folks have changed over to 9mm, instead of the ubiquitous .45 ACP, because they are less painful to shoot!
Could age and infirmity be driving our choices over stopping power? It certain did over my 629 Smith. So you gotta ask yourself one question:
Do you feel lucky?