A Balky Trio: 1911 Pistols Chambered for .40 S&W

First manufactured in 1907, a John Browning-designed pistol was forever christened the "1911" when it was chosen in that same year to be the sidearm of the American armed forces. Another name for the unit that sports a 5-inch .45 ACP-chambered barrel is the Government model. Since then the 1911 has also been available in 9mm Parabellum, but with much less popularity. Said simply, the mating of the 1911 and .45 ACP was perfect. The big nose of the .45-caliber bullet slides forgivingly when feeding from a wide-mouthed chamber set in a narrow frame and slide. Fully loaded, the heavy bullets counterbalance the mass of the big steel pistol and the slide. Also, not being asked by this lower-pressure round to move terribly fast, the slide is able to cycle with glove-like precision.

.40 S&W Semis Compared: We Like Berettas Midsized Cougar

In testing two lesser-known .40-caliber pistols, we found that Beretta's $700 Cougar is a very good choice, but we had a couple of problems with the polymer Steyr M40.

USPSA Limited 10-Division Guns: We Test Four Practical Pistols

After testing .45 ACP and .40 S&W pistols from Para Ordnance, CZ-USA, and STI, we found that pistol companies are making great guns for this new classification.

Forty-Caliber Concealed Dynamos: We Prefer Glocks Model 27

Chambered for the potent .40 S&W round, the $616 GL27 offered a wild ride, but we liked it better overall than the Taurus PT140 and Kahr's K40.

Uzi Eagle Soars Over EAA, Daewoo .40 S&W Pistols

No one is going to give you much of an argumentif you say action shooting has taken a bite out of bullseye shooting. Obviously, the appeal of knocking down steel plates in rapid succession exceeds that of merely punching holes in paper. If you have any interest in joining the fun, you dont have to invest heavy bucks to do it.

The three pistols included here are among many you could buy that meet the criteria of the U.S. Limited Division of I.P.S.C. competition. They are production guns available to the general public. More than 1000 of each has been manufactured in the last 12 months. Out of the box, they have no optical, electronic or custom sights; no compensators or ported barrels....

Smith & Wesson 4013 TSW Beats Sig, Beretta Compacts

If you have found the full-size pistol you bought is just too big and heavy to carry around for hours at a time, you are not alone. Fortunately, most of the manufacturers are way ahead of us on this one. Chances are you can buy a compact model in the same caliber and from the same company that made your big service-type pistol.

This can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing, depending on your expectations. If you think you are going to shoot the smaller pistol as well as you shoot the larger model, you will probably be disappointed. It isn't that short-barrelled handguns are less accurate, per se. Quite often they are not. But, for the compacts to shoot as well as their full-size coun...

Glock 22 Our Pick Over Five Other .40 S&W Defense Pistols

Because of its popularity and wide acceptance, the .40 S&W is destined to become one of the great cartridges. For the most part, anything a 9mm can do, a .40 S&W can do better. If a manufacturer has a 9mm handgun in its product line, it is very likely that there is a .40 S&W counterpart. Many police departments, who switched from the .38/.357 double-action revolver to the 9mm pistol, are now rearming with the .40 pistol.

Six full-size .40 S&W pistols in the $600 to $800 range are the subjects of this test. They are the Smith & Wesson 4006, the Glock 22, the Walther P99, the Beretta Model 96, the Heckler & Koch USP40 and the Sig Sauer P229.

Concealed carry aside, full-size models do ev...

DAO Semiautos: CZ100 Is A Best Buy; Pass on S&Ws 4053TSW

Many states have passed "shall issue" concealed-carry permit laws, allowing their citizens to exercise a Constitutional right to self defense. There is even a continuing effort to pass a national concealed-carry permit law that will recognize any state permit throughout the country, not unlike automobile registrations. As these "carry" gun laws continue to develop, gun-savvy permit holders, who want a small-frame gun carrying as many powerful rounds as possible, have spurred development of the .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge. Accordingly, this has led to a proliferation of handguns chambered for the round, and we have reviewed many .40 S&W pistols, some as recently as December 1998.

As the n...

Good Buy or Gyp? We Check Out The Beretta Combo Kit Pistol

Beretta is selling a 92/96 Combo Kit Pistol, a $908 parts package that allows the shooter to get a double-action semiautomatic ten-shot pistol in both 9mm and .40 S&W calibers. For an extra $279 above the base price ($629) for either a Model 92 9mm or Model 96 .40 S&W, the Combo Kit owner gets one barrel, slide, and magazine in each caliber, and one specially made and marked aluminum-alloy receiver designed to accept them both. But is this a deal, or simply a way to thin out your wallet? We ran a test recently to find out.

What It Is
The Beretta 92/96 Combo Kit Pistol is built on a frame that differs from both the 9mm Model 92 and the .40 S&W Model 96. Thus, to answer the most...

DA .40 S&W Defense Guns: S&W, Walther, and S&W/Walther

[IMGCAP(1)] Elvis may not have been the first rock and roller and Glock may not have made the very first polymer-framed pistol. But like Elvis did in rockabilly, Glock made its big splash in the plastic-gun market, and to this day Glocks retain a positive brand awareness among consumers that other companies envy.

For evidence, the shooting consumer need look no farther than guns made by Smith & Wesson. To compete in the polymer defense-gun market, Smith & Wesson introduced the Sigma series pistols, the appeal of which are obvious. Capable of high capacity, they are snag free and ready to fire without a complicated safety system but insulated from accidental discharge by a long double-acti...

Semi-Automatics: Ported or Non? We Test Seven Guns To Find Out

[IMGCAP(1)] As heavily loaded defensive ammunition has become more widespread, so has customer dissatisfaction with the resulting stout recoil—in essence, we want to have our cake and eat it too. One way to head off muzzle flip is to port the barrel. That is, to cut holes in the barrel and slide so that some of the expanding gases that propel the bullet will be redirected to keep the muzzle down. This technology became refined in the ranks of bowling-pin shooters, whose game was to knock bowling pins off of a table in the shortest time possible. Since this required the delivery of a massive blow from a hot load and the ability to recover quickly and get back on the next pin, shooters were st...

SIG, Smith & Wesson, Glock: We Test Approved Pistols of the FBI

Current FBI regulations stipulate that three handguns, the double-action-only Smith & Wesson 4586 in .45 ACP, the Glock Model 22 in .40 S&W, and the SIG P239 chambered for .357 SIG, are approved carry guns for its field agents. Notably missing from this list, of course, are any number of 1911-style .45 ACPs, one of which Springfield Armory already supplies to the FBI's Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) agents. Why the disparity?

Bureau thinking has it that SWAT-force officers frequently train for high-threat encounters, thus, they fire many times more rounds a year in training and qualification than the typical agent. In this view, the 1911 pistol, with its short, crisp trigg...

Court Ruling Supports Carry Reciprocity

I’m looking at a remarkable opinion by Massachusetts District Court Associate Justice John F. Coffey, who ordered on August 3, 2023, that the state’s...