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For Defense: Shooting 45 Colt In Wheelguns and Leverguns

A carbine and a pistol in the same chambering have much utility for personal defense, and 9mm Luger, 10mm Auto, and 45 ACP are chambered in many such combinations in semi-autos. If you live in a non-restrictive state, that’s great — enjoy. But if you live in a magazine-capacity-restricted state, or in one of the features-limited jurisdictions, then you may need a different duo, say, with a revolver and lever-action rifle.

Faxon Firearms Offers +3, +5 G19 Magazine Extensions

To start, remove the baseplate from an existing OEM Glock 19 magazine. Having a baseplate removal tool makes this easier. When you take the baseplate off, be sure to capture the magazine spring with a finger.

40 S&W Ammunition Test: We Pit Eight Self-Defense Rounds

The 40 Smith & Wesson retains a solid following among shooters looking for a hard-hitting cartridge in a 9mm package. Accuracy in quality handguns...

38 Special Loads: Federal’s Punch Is a ‘Best Buy’ Bullet

The 38 Special has been around since 1899. Originally loaded with a 158-grain roundnose bullet at 800 fps, the 38 Special has been regarded...

Ammunition and Components Websites

A summary of companies, and their respective websites, that currently sell ammunition and components.

380 ACP Ammunition Testing: Bullet Development Continues

The 380 ACP is a popular personal-defense handgun and has moved into territory once held firmly by the snubnose 38 Special and even the...

Twelve 22 Long Rifle Cartridges, Shot From a Rifle This Round

In the June 2019 issue, we tested a number of 22 rimfire loads in handguns. Feedback from readers was positive, and we discovered we...

9mm Barrel Lengths Compared In Range Performance Testing

Recently, a GT reader commented favorably on our ongoing ammunition testing. He liked the testing and found it informative. He wondered if we would...

Gun Tests Master Index 1989 to 2021

2021 Product Index   Astericks denote items included in Value Guide Summaries       HANDGUNS 2021    Adams Arms AA19 9mm Luger Oct. 2021  American Classic ACC45C 45 ACP *July 2021  American Tactical Firepower Xtreme...

12-Gauge Mini Shells from Federal, Aguila, and Nobel

For some time Aguila has offered a mini-shotshell in 12 gauge that has found use for personal defense in smaller shotshell-firing firearms such as...

Gun Tests Ammunition Comparisons

Here's a compilation of head-to-head ammunition testing conducted by Gun Tests magazine.

Twenty 22 Rimfire Loads Go Head to Head at the Range

The most popular and most produced cartridge in America is the 22 Long Rifle. This is an old design, using not only rimfire construction but also a heel-based bullet. For this reason, many of us do not recommend the 22 LR ever be considered for personal defense. It isn't all about limited wound potential. The 22 rimfire firing system isn't as reliable as a centerfire system. Also, the heel-based bullet sometimes is damaged when feeding in a semi-auto firearm. It isn't unusual for a brick of 500 cartridges to contain several cartridges that misfire and do not ignite, even with a hard primer hit. Others will have the bullet bent in the cartridge case, which complicates feeding. On the other hand, during a test of self-loading pistols a few months ago, we fired 1600 22 Long Rifle cartridges from several makers without a single malfunction or failure to fire.

For this test we were looking at some of the better choices for hunting with the 22 round. The 22 rimfire is a great small-game round that offers excellent accuracy in the right handgun. While there have been plenty of tests of accuracy and velocity with this round, we set out to test penetration and expansion. We used our standard 6-inch-wide water jugs. We tested first for accuracy and then for penetration, along with standard metrics of accuracy, expanded diameter, and retained weight.

The primary firearm used was the Smith & Wesson Model 17, also known as the K-22, with a 6-inch barrel. This revolver is proven to be accurate. Since self-loaders demand high-velocity loads, the revolver eliminated any concern with function and allowed us to test 22 Short, CB Cap, and Quiet type loads without concern.

We also tested a number of select 22 loads with the Ruger Standard Model .22. The range results were interesting. In the end we isolated a number of very versatile loads for specific chores and other loads that do a number of things well. We rated the cartridges based on what they were designed to do. There is a great deal of difference in performance between the CCI Quiet load, as an example, and the CCI Stinger, but each rates an A because they perform as designed in a niche role.

The best hunting load, we believe, is the Federal Small Game Match load. A viable choice for all-round hunting use is the CCI Mini Mag. While we place a premium on accuracy, all of the loads tested were accurate enough for small-game hunting. We tested the loads at 15 yards because we were using iron-sighted handguns.

Overall, the 22 rimfire loads gave good results. We could get by with a single inexpensive practice load and a hunting load, but it is good to have the versatility of fast-opening loads intended for short-range pest control and heavier loads intended for deeper penetration. Here's how each load performed individually.

Fruits of Bruen

A couple of issues ago (August 2022), I wrote in this space about the earth-shaking effect that the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision would have...