The .44 Magnum's baby brother round doesn't get a lot of attention, but the .44 Special has a lot to recommend it. We see how it performs in the Taurus 445ULT, Smith & Wesson 396, and Charter 2000's Bulldog revolvers
[IMGCAP(1)] For many of us, the first contact we had with firearms was the 1911 .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) that our fathers brought home from World War II and Korea. Since then, this pistol has been both celebrated and maligned, depending on the shooter's viewpoint. For one, the quality of its function is directly linked to the quality of its components and the careful assembly thereof. The 1911 pistol is capable of both reliability and superb accuracy because it has relatively few moving parts. Why then did it lose out on the U.S. military contract and for a time all but disappear from holsters of self defense-minded civilians? Politics, both domestic and international, played a part,...
Though the $1,095 Pardini Model SP target pistol offered the best price/performance matchup, we would pick the more expensive Hmmerli Model 208S over it and Benelli's MP 95E Atlanta model.
Over and above the cost of beginner-level .22 target pistols such as those we covered last month, there are many handgun choices for those who are willing to spend $1,000 or more for the best of the best. Some of these cost more than $1,500, and we suppose if you look hard you'll find some over $2,000. We don't know if it's necessary to spend that much money for a top-quality target puncher, but we do have some solid opinions about three guns we tested recently that range between $1,000 and $2,000.
Our target pistols included a Pardini Model SP with scope ($1,095) from Nygord Precision; a Hmmerli Model 208S ($1,925) from Larry's Guns out of Portland, Maine; and a Benelli MP 95E "Atlanta" ($795). The Pardini and Benelli were Italians, and the Hmmerli was Swiss-made.
We also acquired some outstanding target ammunition for them. We chose an English brand, one from Germany, and two from the U.S. They were, respectively, Eley 10X, RWS Rifle Target, Federal Gold Medal, and CCI Pistol Match.
The Browning Hi-Power has a lot to recommend it when chambered for .40 S&W, as do Glock 35's and the Para-Ordnance P16-40 LDA. Small differences will determine which one is right for you.
Is it worth paying hundreds of additional dollars to buy the latest materials in a short-barreled revolver? We find out when we test Charter 2000's Undercover, Taurus's M85CH and M85CH ULT, and S&W's 442 and 342PD
There's more than one way to skin the cat when it comes to launching the big .45 ACP round. We evaluate guns from CZ, Ruger, Charles Daly, Glock and S&W.