Toward the end of each year, I survey the work R.K. Campbell, Roger Eckstine, Robert Sadowski, Tracey Taylor, and Joe Woolley have done in Gun Tests, with an eye toward selecting guns, accessories, and ammunition the magazine’s testers have endorsed. From these evaluations I pick the best from a full year’s worth of tests and distill recommendations for readers, who often use them as shopping guides.
Who remembers the first semi-automatic rifle actually adopted by a national military? The year was 1911, and Mexico accepted a gas-operated semi-auto designed by General Manuel Mondragon chambered in 7mm Mauser.
Essentially, the Krag-Jorgensen was obsolete the moment it was adopted. Reloading was too slow, and the ammunition, while light years beyond black powder-loaded 45-70 rounds, performed very poorly in comparison to what was being used in Europe at the time.
Smith & Wesson didn’t start using model numbers until 1957. Now, anything beginning with a 4 (and sometimes 5) is blued steel. Our 1978-vintage 38 Special is a Model 60, denoting that it is made of stainless steel.
The SIG P365, both the standard 3.1-inch and its 3.7-inch XL Model big brother, have graced the pages of Gun Tests several times in the past (see the January, February, and March 2020 editions). They performed well for us receiving, at worst, a B grade.