Transcript from Steve's Video:
We're looking at the Alpha blank pistols. Alpha is a large-frame blank pistol. It's built on an actual gun frame, so it's got a lot of weight to it, a lot of feel. One of my favorite things about all the Alphas is that they come with orange handles, which makes them easy to find when you drop them in the field. They've also got the orange plug, which is required on a blank pistol.
Alpha is a swing-out cylinder. What that means is you have a button to press. And when you open it up it stays in the cylinder. It has an ejector so that when your blanks are out you can fire them out. Comes with a lanyard ring, which I highly recommend that you strap it to yourself once it's in your holster. This is a large frame pistol. It will fit any of our large frame holsters.
The Alpha comes in three different calibers. This is the .22 caliber. This is the .209 primer. And this is the .32 caliber.
I prefer the .22 because you have three different volumes of blanks that you can use. You can use the small crimp blanks. You can use a medium crimp. And then you can use the loud Winchester .22 short blanks. So that gives you an increase in volume, which is great when you are working with a puppy.
The .209 is probably the most popular we sell, and that's got to do with the price of the blanks. .22 caliber blanks are a little on the expensive side as far as per shot, where .209 primers are a good bit cheaper. The downside of .209 primers is that they are harder to come by because they cannot easily be shipped. So if you are getting a .209 pistol, you need to make sure that you can buy the primers locally. It's just a standard shotgun primer. I prefer CCI's. Most gun stores are going to have them, places that specialize in reloading.
.32 is the least used of the ones that we sell, and a lot of that has to do with the blanks. They are for track and field and for field trials. Certain pointing dog field trials require a .32 caliber blank. I generally do not recommend them for folks that are dog training. The blanks are incredibly expensive.
All three of the Alpha pistols are what are called double action pistols. What double action means is that you can either cock the pistol and then fire it or you can fire it without cocking it.
All of the Alphas come with a hard-shell case. They also come with a cleaning rod. Highly recommend that you keep your blank pistols clean. Typically, if we see problems with them it's folks that just fire them all the time and never bother to clean them off. Any standard gun solvent is going to take care of them. It also depends on the blanks that you fire. The .22 shots are a very dirty blank and they require that you clean it on a more regular basis.
I switch back and forth. With young puppies I use a .22 caliber because I can get that quiet. With older dogs I use a .209. Most people are not going to want that. So a lot of it depends on what you are doing. If you are using a .209 with puppies you just want to back off from them a good bit more and gradually introduce them to the gunfire. I would not take a .209 primer. A .209 primer is almost as loud as a .22 short. It might be as loud as a .22 short. For most people, the .22 is really the way to go. It just depends on how many blanks you are firing.
These pistols cover all of our upland and retriever folks. And really good for rabbit hunters, coon hunters. Anybody that's going to be shooting around a dog, they need to gradually introduce the sound of gunfire to them. And blank pistols are the best way to do that. They're much safer than using an actual load. So you want to gradually introduce gunfire. We've got a couple articles on the website about that.