Gun of the Week

Beretta 92FS

Taking into account its production as a military weapon (the M9), this pistol is one of the largest selling sidearms in history. The 92FS and the other guns are traditional double actions. The first shot is double action; subsequent shots are single action. The hammer can be lowered safely using the decocking lever found on both the right and left side of the slide. This lever will then stay down and, acting as a safety, disconnect the trigger. Raising the lever returns the gun to double action.   More...

Glock GL21

The 21 was Glock’s biggest gun until the arrival of the models 34 and 35, which feature a longer slide and 5.3-inch barrel. The .45 ACP 21 incorporates a 4.6-inch barrel, but at about 27 ounces unloaded, it is still the heaviest pistol in the Glock lineup. This is the result of beefing up the original design to handle the pounding of .45 ACP ammunition. For example, the current 9mm Model 17, which is similar in dimensions to the GL21 and closest in design to the original Glock pistol, weighs only about 22 ounces. Our GL21 arrived with two 13-round magazines. Palm swells and finger grooves with helpful checkering molded into place have helped the Glock pistols become more shooter friendly, and adding a rail to the dustcover allows accessories to be added easily. The magazine release is prominent, making reloading faster. The extractor offers plenty of surface area to the case rim and serves as a loaded-chamber indicator, sticking out just enough to tell the shooter visually or by touch when the gun is charged.   More...

Ruger SR9 9mm

We'd pay extra for refining the trigger and adding paddle-style thumb safeties.   More...

Kimber Stainless Target .38 Super

It is reasonable to expect that any pistol-evaluation piece covering 'options in self defense' would focus on a range of semi-automatics that combine power with portability. In one such test, Gun Tests magazine chose to review the $1059 Kimber Stainless Target .38 Super.   More...

Kel-Tec P32PK 32 ACP

When a shooter asks, 'Which is the best gun for deep concealment?', or 'Is there a good self-defense gun out there with limited recoil?', minds often turn to guns chambered for 32 Auto (32 ACP). Many, or most, would wonder about the 32’s power, or lack of same. Gun Tests magazine addressed that concern in one part of a recent test. Beside bench-shooting for accuracy, they also created an action test that focused on what these guns would most likely be used for—that is, rapid fire at little more than contact distance.   More...

Ruger SP101 KSP-3231X .32 H&R Magnum

Gun Tests magazine recently examined a .32 H&R Magnum revolver in response to a fresh interest in the snub-nosed revolver. The Ruger SP101 SP-3231X was chambered for .32 H&R Magnum. However, the six chambers of the SP101 KSP-32731X provides about one-eighth inch of additional space to accommodate .327 Federal Magnum ammunition. This is a new cartridge developed by Federal and Ruger that seats a 0.312-inch diameter bullet atop a taller, stronger case that they measured to be just less than 1.2 inches long.   More...

Cabela's Millennium Revolver 45 LC

Getting into Cowboy Action shooting can be an exercise in frustration, considering only the selection of the handguns needed for that lively game. There are hundreds of them to choose from. So Gun Tests magazine chose three likely six-shooters that promise to do everything needed, and do it well. The three are chambered in .45 Long Colt, which they felt offered a lot more than just an historic viewpoint. The big .45 is a versatile caliber in a good revolver, and was their first choice.   More...

Smith & Wesson 686 Plus .357 Magnum 164194

Higher priced than its competitors, but not prohibitively so, the 686 Plus nonetheless covered all the bases. Consistent, accurate, and packed with seven rounds of either .38 Special or .357 Magnum, this gun is a top revolver choice.   More...

Kimber Stainless Target .38 Super

Point and shoot handling and exceptional rapid fire capability makes this is a formidable defense gun. Based on our action tests our shooter was able to place two shots on a five yard target about 0.25 seconds sooner than with our other test guns. This could make its 9+1 capacity, (which is better than other 1911s), academic when compared to the higher capacity pistols.   More...

S&W M317 Air Lite No. 160222 22 LR

As the cost of centerfire ammunition continues to ascend, many gun owners will turn to the standby 22 LR round as a way to shoot economically, whether those pursuits include knocking over cans, punching holes in paper, or killing the occasional rodent. Of the many available guns chambered for the rimfire round, perhaps the easiest to load and shoot and enjoy is the revolver. Gun Tests recently tested a trio of wheelguns chambered for the 22 round, and versions of two of them had previously been tested and graded for their utility. For example, in October 2007, the magazine shot the Taurus Model 94SS4, $406. That stainless-steel gun with a 4-inch barrel got a B-, mainly because it was too heavy to be considered as a trail gun. They also said back then, 'But the Taurus is a great deal less costly, so if you don’t mind its weight and if you can do without extreme accuracy, it might be right for you. It looked great, performed quite well, and was easier to load and unload.'   More...

AWA Ultimate 1873 38 Sp/.357 Mag, $600

Cowboy Action shooters might well consider choosing a .38 Special for their activities if they have even the slightest trouble with recoil from the .45s. Recoil recovery plays a big part in Cowboy competition, speed being mighty important for best scores. Gun Tests tested the American Western Arms Ultimate 1873, all blued, for $600. It had 5.5-inch barrels, and was made by Pietta in Italy. Here’s what they found. On all versions of this single action, the frame is forged and the barrel is hammer forged. Options include a variety of chamberings, and either nickel or hard-chrome finish for $195 over the base price. There is also a Bisley version in .45 or .357. The Classic version uses a traditional flat hammer spring and costs only $440 in all-blue, or $565 with real case hardening. This Ultimate had a coil hammer spring. More on it later.   More...

CZ 75B w/Kadet Adapter 22 LR

CZ-75B-KADET-ADAPTER-SIGHT_5970.jpg

The concept of shooting 22 LR ammo in centerfire handguns goes back a long way. The Germans had a system for the Luger when centerfire ammunition was mighty scarce between the two World Wars. These conversion units consisting of an insert barrel, a different toggle mechanism, and suitable magazines. Insert barrels were also used on the Walther PP at that time to fire a low-power 4mm round, presumably for indoor gallery use. These 4mms were one-shot deals, the round not having enough power to run the slide, so you had to work it by hand. Also pre-WWII or shortly thereafter were some conversions for the 1911 45 autos involving a lightened slide, which predates the Colt Ace conversion with floating chamber. Then the Ace system came along, and it let 22 LR rounds give the same kick to your 1911 as when firing 45 ACP rounds, thanks to a flying breech that essentially amplified the kick of the rimfire rounds to cycle the normal slide. Even more recently a few 22 LR units were made in Germany for the P-38, apparently for police/border-guard units. Like today’s units, these consisted of slide, barrel, and magazines suitable for rimfires.   More...

Glock G21 SF 45 ACP

Gun Tests took a look at polymer handguns that offer higher round capacity but take up less space than full-size models. One such gun was the $637 Glock G21 SF 45 ACP, a remodeling of the Glock 21. The staff’s initial impression was that the SF21 did not seem to be much smaller. The magazine wanted to find out if any of its subtle streamlining added up to a better pistol than the original. The GT staff established basic accuracy for the pistol by measuring five-shot groups fired from a rest at 15 yards. The test ammunition consisted of a typical practice round, Winchester’s 230-grain FMJ Q4170 load and two hollowpoint defense rounds. The JHP rounds were Winchester’s USA45JHP ammunition and the Hornady Custom 185-grain JHP/XTP No. 9090 load. In terms of accuracy, the gun exceeded GT's expectations.   More...

Heckler & Koch P7 PSP 9mm

Heckler & Koch began developing a new self-loading compact pistol around 1971 before bringing out the PSP (Polizei Selbstlade-Pistole, or Police Selfloading Pistol) for the West German Police in 1976. Production of the PSP started in 1979. Our test gun was a standard PSP, whose overall length was 6.5 inches with a 4.1-inch barrel and a sight radius of 5.9 inches. The gun measured 5.0 inches in overall height and weighed 30.4 ounces with an empty magazine, relatively heavy because of the low-profile steel slide and steel frame. Our test gun came in a black case with two magazines and bore brush.   More...

STI Duty One 9mm

It could be said that the Browning 1911 pistol has evolved more than any other design. The operating principal remains the same, but alternate configurations have been applied to nearly every facet of its execution. In fact, it is now commonplace to buy over the counter what not long ago would have been considered a full-blown custom pistol. We all know about beveled magazine wells, frame checkering, undercutting the trigger guard for a higher grip, high-arch memory groove grip safeties, extended magazine releases, aluminum triggers adjustable for overtravel, light rails on the dust cover, extended and/or ambidextrous safeties, checkered slide stops, skeletonized hammers, titanium firing pins, front and rear serrations on the slide, weight reducing slide cuts, lowered and flared ejection ports, full length guide rods, bull barrels, multi-spring recoil systems, external extractors, spring-loaded internal extractors, ramped barrels, adjustable sights for target, adjustable low-mount sights for carry, light-gathering-filament sights, or self-illuminating modules for front and rear sights.   More...