Gun of the Week

CZ 75B w/Kadet Adapter 22 LR

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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...

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...

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...

Kahr PM40 No. 4043 40 S&W

In this test Gun Tests looked at a semiautomatic pistol suitable for ankle carry or other deep concealment, the $786 Kahr PM40 No. 4043 40 S&W. Despite its small size, this gun is as pricey as many popular full-size models. But if it comes down to drawing a gun from deep concealment, at least you can take comfort in knowing you’re not about to depend on a cheap pistol. For testing in the summer heat we arrived at Phil Oxley’s Impact Zone, located in Monaville, Texas, at daybreak (www.TheImpactZoneRange.com). The shade of a cypress tree and a steady breeze helped keep the team cool as they practiced firing standing offhand and from the bench before attempting shots of record. Then they fired five-shot groups from sandbag support to establish accuracy from the 10-yard line. They also engaged two different action tests to tell them more about the gun’s capability when fired standing without support.   More...

Inglis Hi-Power w/stock 9mm, $1650

Long ago someone put a shoulder stock on a handgun so he could do a better job of shooting it without becoming a skilled pistolero. The shoulder stock holds the gun steadier than the hands alone can hold it, thus some immediate handgunning success was possible. Some early examples were the shoulder-stocked Third Model Colt Dragoons and 1860 Army Colts of the Civil War era, and there were some earlier uses. We’ve seen examples of percussion firearms dating to the mid 1830s, and would bet a nickel there exist examples of shoulder-stocked flintlock pistols going back a hundred years earlier. For this test report the Gun Tests staff looked at a gun from the early 20th century which saw plenty of wartime and civilian use. The magazine’s test gun was an Inglis Hi-Power w/Stock 9mm, $1650, supplied by Collectors Firearms in Houston (www.collectorsfirearms.com). The Browning was a Hi-Power made by Inglis in Canada ($1650 with stock, also Collectors’s counter price). It had a walnut stock and tangent sights with a narrow V-notch combined with a sharpened post front blade, which gave relatively poor sight pictures. The GT staff tested the 9mm Hi-Power with Black Hills 147-gr and Winchester BEB 115-gr ammunition. Here is what the GT staff found.   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...

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...