Gun of the Week

Colt Anaconda .44 Rem. Magnum

The shooter who wants a lot of power without too much barrel length doesn’t have a lot of choices among revolvers. Most of today’s bigger-bore revolvers are more commonly outfitted with barrels measuring 5 inches or longer. Instead, Gun Tests magazine wanted to find a gun with a good old fashioned “duty length” 4-inch barrel for easier carry, but that was chambered for rounds that will do everything from self-protection in the urban wilderness to self-protection in the traditional wilderness.   More...

Kel-Tec P11 9mm, $368

The P11 is a 9mm handgun with a 3.1-inch barrel. Capacity was 10+1, thanks to a double-column magazine. The suggested retail price of the base model was only $314 and featured a blued slide. Our P11 carried a hard-chromed slide and cost $368, but the same gun was available for $355 should you choose a P11 with a Parkerized finish. The inexpensive Kel-Tec P11 shared at least one design concept found on some more expensive pistols.   More...

Heckler & Koch P30S V3 40 S&W, $1005

In this test we evaluate a 40 S&W polymer handgun that offers significant changes to its original design — Heckler & Koch’s $1005 P30 V3 adds an ambidextrous thumb safety to the latest edition of that company’s newest polymer platform. Most polymer handguns are simple in design. Rather than call the HK P30 more complex, we’ll use the word sophisticated. There are six variants of the P30 series pistol— seven if you count the suffix 'S' for ambidextrous safety. In our December 2007 evaluation of the 9mm Heckler & Koch P30 V3, we began our Gun Tests Report Card by saying: 'Based on the fine accuracy we achieved firing single-action only, maybe this is a gun that should have a thumb safety rather than a decocker.' The P30S V3 pistol in this test adds an ambidextrous thumb safety.   More...

Ruger MKIII6 Standard .22 LR

There are several versions of the Ruger MKIII, but we chose one of the plainest, with the 6-inch barrel. This blued Ruger was exceptionally well balanced, something we all noticed right away. We all loved the feel of the grips, too. The grip angle seemed just right for most of us, and the checkered plastic panels were mighty comfortable as well as functional. We’ve handled the 4-inch version of the Ruger Standard in the recent past and it didn’t balance nearly as well for us. The Ruger Standard is the gun that put Sturm, Ruger & Co. on the map. Introduced in 1949 and selling for $37.50 for many long years, it provided the background and basic building blocks for today’s huge Ruger operation. We’re not sure how many Ruger Standards have sold, but the numbers passed the million mark back in 1979. There have been a few changes to the gun over the years, and most changes may be seen as improvements. We found a few items of contention, however. First, the good stuff.   More...

Cabela's 1851 Navy .36 Percussion, $120

Wild Bill had a pair. Sam Bass used one, and so did Frank James and Cole Younger. Elmer Keith liked his very much. In fact, Elmer’s 1851 Navy Colt was one of his first handguns, and it undoubtedly influenced the grand old master all his life. With all this popularity Gun Tests Magazine thought it would be a good idea to inform its readers where to go to get today’s best copy of the breed.   More...

S&W Model 438 Bodyguard 38 Special

It’s clear that Smith & Wesson figures there’s still a viable market for the snubnose 38, because it came out with a new revolver in 2010 called the Bodyguard 38, usurping the name of the previous Bodyguard with shrouded hammer. The new Bodyguard 38 comes with an 'integral' laser sight, and the gun vies with the Centennial Airweight for looks, charm, effectiveness, concealability, and price. We acquired a new Bodyguard 38 No. 103038, $625. The gun was a S&W five-shot 38 Special, and had a 1.9-inch barrel. Our prime interest was to see if the newer, more expensive Bodyguard was worth the money when proven, perfectly servicable older guns are readily available at gun stores, pawn shops, and gun shows.   More...

Colt Black Army 1918 No. 01018 45 ACP, $1000

The Colt is the most expensive pistol tested at twice the tariff of some GI pistols. Just the same, the pistol could not be excluded on that factor. The Colt Black Army is a close copy of the original as it was manufactured in 1918.   More...

Sig Sauer P220 .45 ACP

The P220 is available with options that can put the MSRP upwards of $958, but our P220 was the blued base model. Available options include night sights and a nickel-coated slide. The special K-Kote finish is no longer available. The combination of the white dot on the front sight and the white vertical line inside the rear notch offers fast sight acquisition. If you feel more comfortable with tritium sights, a set of Siglite night sights will cost an extra $100 if sold as original equipment. Send your slide to Sigarms and the factory will install a set of Siglites for $195.   More...

Smith & Wesson 625-8 (160935)

The basic 625 revolver was introduced in 1989, and has largely retained its basic design — it’s a stainless-steel N-frame revolver with full-lug 5-inch barrel, adjustable sights and a tall plain Patridge blade up front. However, the input of competitive shooters and the rules under which they compete has reportedly fostered the arrival of the “dash-eight” model 625.   More...

S&W Model 442 Centennial Airweight 38 Special

The 38 snubnose revolver is a staple of murder mysteries, cop TV shows for many decades, and of real-life cops who need a good, light backup. Everyone over the age of, say, 40 has seen a snubby at one time or another. Today’s TV cops favor all manner of automatic pistols, so the snub 38 is not often seen. But that doesn’t mean it’s no good. The bottom line is, if all you have is a 38 Special snubnose with only five shots, you are a very long way from being unarmed. If you carry five more in a speed loader, well, what more could you want?   More...

Glock 34 9mm

Not much has changed on the Glock 34, and it is still the most popular choice for Practical Shooting competitors, including Dave Sevigny, the most prolific winner in the history of the USPSA Production division. The G34 featured a 5.3-inch barrel on a full-size frame that housed a 17-round magazine. The G34 has a large cutout in the top of its slide. It might just be the easiest way to produce a slide of the proper weight so that reciprocation remains smooth and reliable.   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...