Pistols9

Mixed Bag in Self Defense: Partner Handguns Fight It Out

We recently read The Book of Two Guns, The Martial Art of The 1911 and AR Carbine, by Tiger McKee. McKee is the proprietor and headmaster of the Shootrite Firearms Academy (shootrite.org) located in Langston, Alabama. Printed in long hand with illustrations, McKee instructs and inspires the reader to consider what skills are necessary to effectively use the handgun and rifle weapon interdependently, as well as in transition from one to the other.With the two-gun concept in mind, we decided to go ahead with a story weve been considering for some time-evaluating two pairs of handguns that could also be used to work effectively in tandem, in this case, two revolvers against two pistols.In each pair, we picked one gun that was larger and better suited for primary carry, be it for duty or concealment. The other was significantly smaller and meant to be hidden in case of emergency. Each pair belonged to the same system, or as close as we could supply.For primary carry we chose two 45-caliber weapons, Rugers $836 Redhawk 45 Colt Model KRH454 and Springfield Armorys $785 Mil-Spec Full Size Stainless 1911A1. Paired with the Ruger revolver was the $450 32 H&R Magnum Smith & Wesson Airweight J-frame Model 431PD. To run with the Springfield, we added a $699 9mm Walther PPS semi-automatic, which was light weight and super slim.We could have selected any number of pairs of handguns to fill out our test roster. It is interesting to note that our four guns are each chambered for a different caliber. Certainly when it comes to a primary gun there is more leeway in choice. But when it comes to deep concealment larger calibers demand bigger, stronger and heavier frames. Bigger bullets can also limit capacity. Therefore we felt that system and size was more important than matching caliber.Our test ammunition was as follows. The 45 ACP was represented by Magtech 230-grain FMC, Hornady 185-grain JHP/XTC, and Black Hills 230-grain JHP+P ammunition. The 45 Colt test rounds for the Ruger were Winchester 225-grain Silvertip HP, Federal Champion 225-grain semi-Wadcutter hollowpoints, and Black Hills 250-grain roundnosed flat points. The 9mm ammunition was 125-grain HAP rounds from Atlanta Arms and Ammunition, Black Hills 124-grain full metal jacketed rounds, and Federals 105-grain Expanding FMJ ammunition. For the 32 H&R Magnum ammunition we chose Federal Personal Defense 85-grain JHPs, Federal Classic 95-grain lead semi-wadcutters, and Black Hills 85-grain JHP rounds.

Mixed Bag in Self Defense: Partner Handguns Fight It Out

We recently read The Book of Two Guns, The Martial Art of The 1911 and AR Carbine, by Tiger McKee. McKee is the proprietor and headmaster of the Shootrite Firearms Academy (shootrite.org) located in Langston, Alabama. Printed in long hand with illustrations, McKee instructs and inspires the reader to consider what skills are necessary to effectively use the handgun and rifle weapon interdependently, as well as in transition from one to the other.With the two-gun concept in mind, we decided to go ahead with a story weve been considering for some time-evaluating two pairs of handguns that could also be used to work effectively in tandem, in this case, two revolvers against two pistols.In each pair, we picked one gun that was larger and better suited for primary carry, be it for duty or concealment. The other was significantly smaller and meant to be hidden in case of emergency. Each pair belonged to the same system, or as close as we could supply.For primary carry we chose two 45-caliber weapons, Rugers $836 Redhawk 45 Colt Model KRH454 and Springfield Armorys $785 Mil-Spec Full Size Stainless 1911A1. Paired with the Ruger revolver was the $450 32 H&R Magnum Smith & Wesson Airweight J-frame Model 431PD. To run with the Springfield, we added a $699 9mm Walther PPS semi-automatic, which was light weight and super slim.We could have selected any number of pairs of handguns to fill out our test roster. It is interesting to note that our four guns are each chambered for a different caliber. Certainly when it comes to a primary gun there is more leeway in choice. But when it comes to deep concealment larger calibers demand bigger, stronger and heavier frames. Bigger bullets can also limit capacity. Therefore we felt that system and size was more important than matching caliber.Our test ammunition was as follows. The 45 ACP was represented by Magtech 230-grain FMC, Hornady 185-grain JHP/XTC, and Black Hills 230-grain JHP+P ammunition. The 45 Colt test rounds for the Ruger were Winchester 225-grain Silvertip HP, Federal Champion 225-grain semi-Wadcutter hollowpoints, and Black Hills 250-grain roundnosed flat points. The 9mm ammunition was 125-grain HAP rounds from Atlanta Arms and Ammunition, Black Hills 124-grain full metal jacketed rounds, and Federals 105-grain Expanding FMJ ammunition. For the 32 H&R Magnum ammunition we chose Federal Personal Defense 85-grain JHPs, Federal Classic 95-grain lead semi-wadcutters, and Black Hills 85-grain JHP rounds.

A Brace of Full-Size 9mms: Go With CZs 75 B Single Action

So ya wanna buy a 9mm handgun, eh, sport? Suffice to say, youve got a lot of choices. You might begin your search for, say, full-size autoloaders. Then narrow it down to action type, single or double. Factor in whatever aftermarket items you need or want, and finally look at how much you are willing to pay for the package. All that narrows the choices still more. If you insist on a single-action auto, or more specifically, if you insist on a gun you can carry cocked and locked with the same trigger pull for each and every shot, your choices in 9mm get pretty small. Two prominent choices are the Browning Hi-Power or one of its clones, and the CZ 75.Lest we forget, several makers including Colt have issued 9mm versions of the1911 in various forms. Also, many of the DAO pistols will give you the same trigger pull every shot. Recently we tested the Charles Daly version of the Hi-Power against a Stoeger (Beretta) Cougar, and though we liked the Daly, it lost out to the Cougar because of its painful bite to the hand that feeds it, and because of a few other items Daly could have fixed, but didnt. So we kept looking for better 9mms.We had heard about the CZ 75 for many years. One of our group is good friends with the Colorado gunsmith Don Fisher, who has done extremely well in national-level IPSC competition with the CZ 75. Fisher went so far as to develop his own wildcat cartridge for the CZ 75, which made it "major" caliber, competing with the 45 ACP. The late Jeff Cooper also liked the CZ 75 but for its cartridge, Cooper preferring the 45, in which caliber the CZ is not made. And a certain editor of a magazine dedicated to testing guns indicated he might have a CZ 75 stashed somewhere. So if a gun has that level of fans, we thought it would be a good idea to run a CZ 75 through our mill-but not just any CZ 75. We chose the CZ 75 B SA ($576), the last two letters standing for Single Action. This CZ 75 has features of what ought to be intense interest to those who want to shoot in competition with "minor" caliber, and for home defenders alike, as you shall see.We pitted the CZ against the Taurus 24/7 Pro ($452), a similar-size handgun with similar large capacity. We had a look at a Taurus 24/7 in 2004, and we thought it was time to see if there have been any changes. Another good comparison would be the new S&W M&P, and one is coming, but it didnt arrive in time for this report. We tested with four types of ammunition. They were Black Hills 147-grain JHP Subsonic, Winchester USA BEB 115-grain TC, Fiocchi 115-grain JHP, and with Independent 115-grain ball. Lets see what we found.

A Brace of Full-Size 9mms: Go With CZs 75 B Single Action

So ya wanna buy a 9mm handgun, eh, sport? Suffice to say, youve got a lot of choices. You might begin your search for, say, full-size autoloaders. Then narrow it down to action type, single or double. Factor in whatever aftermarket items you need or want, and finally look at how much you are willing to pay for the package. All that narrows the choices still more. If you insist on a single-action auto, or more specifically, if you insist on a gun you can carry cocked and locked with the same trigger pull for each and every shot, your choices in 9mm get pretty small. Two prominent choices are the Browning Hi-Power or one of its clones, and the CZ 75.Lest we forget, several makers including Colt have issued 9mm versions of the1911 in various forms. Also, many of the DAO pistols will give you the same trigger pull every shot. Recently we tested the Charles Daly version of the Hi-Power against a Stoeger (Beretta) Cougar, and though we liked the Daly, it lost out to the Cougar because of its painful bite to the hand that feeds it, and because of a few other items Daly could have fixed, but didnt. So we kept looking for better 9mms.We had heard about the CZ 75 for many years. One of our group is good friends with the Colorado gunsmith Don Fisher, who has done extremely well in national-level IPSC competition with the CZ 75. Fisher went so far as to develop his own wildcat cartridge for the CZ 75, which made it "major" caliber, competing with the 45 ACP. The late Jeff Cooper also liked the CZ 75 but for its cartridge, Cooper preferring the 45, in which caliber the CZ is not made. And a certain editor of a magazine dedicated to testing guns indicated he might have a CZ 75 stashed somewhere. So if a gun has that level of fans, we thought it would be a good idea to run a CZ 75 through our mill-but not just any CZ 75. We chose the CZ 75 B SA ($576), the last two letters standing for Single Action. This CZ 75 has features of what ought to be intense interest to those who want to shoot in competition with "minor" caliber, and for home defenders alike, as you shall see.We pitted the CZ against the Taurus 24/7 Pro ($452), a similar-size handgun with similar large capacity. We had a look at a Taurus 24/7 in 2004, and we thought it was time to see if there have been any changes. Another good comparison would be the new S&W M&P, and one is coming, but it didnt arrive in time for this report. We tested with four types of ammunition. They were Black Hills 147-grain JHP Subsonic, Winchester USA BEB 115-grain TC, Fiocchi 115-grain JHP, and with Independent 115-grain ball. Lets see what we found.

9mm Semi Shootout: DA or SA? We Like Stoegers Cougar 8000

We just learned that Charles Daly has discontinued its HP model ($550 MSRP), a close copy of the Browning Hi-Power. Used Browning Hi-Powers go for $750 or so. New, theyre $922 on up. The Daly HP commonly sells in the neighborhood of $350 on the street. So if you could get a decent version of the Hi-Power 9mm single action for that amount, it might well be all the Hi-Power you need. Weve had a Charles Daly HP (Daly never calls it a Hi-Power on the guns markings or in the manual) on hand, waiting for a suitable test matchup. Because of its recent discontinuation, we thought you might like to know what its all about while the Daly HP is still somewhat available, so we quickly came up with another high-capacity 9mm to test against it.The second test gun used to be made by Beretta as a smaller and lighter version of the 92, yet still is pretty much a full size DA/SA auto. It is now being made in Turkey, using Berettas machinery, and is sold under the Stoeger name (a Beretta subsidiary) as the Cougar Model 8000. As a Turkish gun, its price has come down drastically from around $650 to an MSRP of $449. Street price as we found it is $390. We didnt much like running a DA against an SA, because we thought theyd never compete. We were surprised at the results.We tested both guns with Fiocchi 115-grain JHP, with American Eagle 115-grain ball, with Black Hills 147-grain ball, and with 115-grain JHP by Ultramax. Loading the magazines for both guns was not easy. In fact we found it to be very painful on the fingers, from sharp edges and high forces needed against powerful springs, on both guns. We suspect many women will not like these two guns because of the extreme forces necessary to load their magazines by hand. A suitable loading aid would help immensely. Each magazine would fit the well of the other gun, but neither would latch properly.Heres what else we found.

9mm Semi Shootout: DA or SA? We Like Stoegers Cougar 8000

We just learned that Charles Daly has discontinued its HP model ($550 MSRP), a close copy of the Browning Hi-Power. Used Browning Hi-Powers go for $750 or so. New, theyre $922 on up. The Daly HP commonly sells in the neighborhood of $350 on the street. So if you could get a decent version of the Hi-Power 9mm single action for that amount, it might well be all the Hi-Power you need. Weve had a Charles Daly HP (Daly never calls it a Hi-Power on the guns markings or in the manual) on hand, waiting for a suitable test matchup. Because of its recent discontinuation, we thought you might like to know what its all about while the Daly HP is still somewhat available, so we quickly came up with another high-capacity 9mm to test against it.The second test gun used to be made by Beretta as a smaller and lighter version of the 92, yet still is pretty much a full size DA/SA auto. It is now being made in Turkey, using Berettas machinery, and is sold under the Stoeger name (a Beretta subsidiary) as the Cougar Model 8000. As a Turkish gun, its price has come down drastically from around $650 to an MSRP of $449. Street price as we found it is $390. We didnt much like running a DA against an SA, because we thought theyd never compete. We were surprised at the results.We tested both guns with Fiocchi 115-grain JHP, with American Eagle 115-grain ball, with Black Hills 147-grain ball, and with 115-grain JHP by Ultramax. Loading the magazines for both guns was not easy. In fact we found it to be very painful on the fingers, from sharp edges and high forces needed against powerful springs, on both guns. We suspect many women will not like these two guns because of the extreme forces necessary to load their magazines by hand. A suitable loading aid would help immensely. Each magazine would fit the well of the other gun, but neither would latch properly.Heres what else we found.

Full-Time-Double-Action 9mms: We Like SIG Sauer, H&K, Glock

In this test we shot three double-action-only pistols designed for duty or personal self defense. Medium to large in size, they carry few levers, and this snag-free characteristic also makes them attractive for concealed carry. Two of the three guns, the $879 Heckler & Koch P2000 LEM V2 and Sig Sauer's $749 P250 Two-Tone, utilize a hammer and firing pin for ignition. The $599 Glock G17, arguably the gun that started the polymer DAO revolution, relies on the preparation and release of a striker to impact the primer. Despite any similarities between the guns, this test challenged us to master vastly different trigger techniques.

We began our tests from the 25-yard line supported by bench and sandbag. What better way to learn a trigger than limiting variables to grip, sight alignment, and a controlled press? We then added a second test. This would require landing rapid-fire hits on an 8.5-by-16-inch target from a distance of 5 yards, two shots at a time. Our shooter began each string of fire standing unsupported with a two-handed grip and sights on target but with finger off the trigger. We pasted a black 1-inch-wide dot in the center to provide a point of aim. Upon audible start signal from our CED electronic timer, we engaged the target as quickly as possible. Given that each stroke of the trigger both prepared and released the striking mechanism, we wanted to know how quickly and accurately we could land two hits on target one after another. We fired ten pairs and looked for a total of 20 hits on target. This test was performed twice. The second time we concentrated on applying what we learned from the first run. The rapid-fire test was performed firing one of our favorite practice rounds, Black Hills' 115-grain FMJ ammunition sold in blue 50-round boxes. From the benches we tried Winchester's new 105-grain jacketed softpoint Super Clean NT (nontoxic) ammunition; 124-grain full-metal-jacket rounds by Winchester USA, and 147-grain Subsonic jacketed hollow point Match rounds by Atlanta Arms and Ammo. Here is what we learned.

Full-Time-Double-Action 9mms: We Like SIG Sauer, H&K, Glock

In this test we shot three double-action-only pistols designed for duty or personal self defense. Medium to large in size, they carry few levers, and this snag-free characteristic also makes them attractive for concealed carry. Two of the three guns, the $879 Heckler & Koch P2000 LEM V2 and Sig Sauer's $749 P250 Two-Tone, utilize a hammer and firing pin for ignition. The $599 Glock G17, arguably the gun that started the polymer DAO revolution, relies on the preparation and release of a striker to impact the primer. Despite any similarities between the guns, this test challenged us to master vastly different trigger techniques.

We began our tests from the 25-yard line supported by bench and sandbag. What better way to learn a trigger than limiting variables to grip, sight alignment, and a controlled press? We then added a second test. This would require landing rapid-fire hits on an 8.5-by-16-inch target from a distance of 5 yards, two shots at a time. Our shooter began each string of fire standing unsupported with a two-handed grip and sights on target but with finger off the trigger. We pasted a black 1-inch-wide dot in the center to provide a point of aim. Upon audible start signal from our CED electronic timer, we engaged the target as quickly as possible. Given that each stroke of the trigger both prepared and released the striking mechanism, we wanted to know how quickly and accurately we could land two hits on target one after another. We fired ten pairs and looked for a total of 20 hits on target. This test was performed twice. The second time we concentrated on applying what we learned from the first run. The rapid-fire test was performed firing one of our favorite practice rounds, Black Hills' 115-grain FMJ ammunition sold in blue 50-round boxes. From the benches we tried Winchester's new 105-grain jacketed softpoint Super Clean NT (nontoxic) ammunition; 124-grain full-metal-jacket rounds by Winchester USA, and 147-grain Subsonic jacketed hollow point Match rounds by Atlanta Arms and Ammo. Here is what we learned.

9mm Polymer Pistols: Rugers SR9 Is Good, But Not Great

In this test our evaluation will include a new pistol that snuck up on everyone. On Tuesday, October 16, 2007, Ruger announced its SR9 9mm pistol, with an MSRP of $525. By Thursday, pistols began to arrive at retailers. By Friday, we had one to test.The keynote of this design was its grip similarity to the 1911, including ambidextrous thumb safeties and a choice of backstrap (flat, or palm swell design). Would sharing ergonomics and active safety features with the Browning design convince more traditional shooters to switch to a striker-fired double action pistol?Our second pistol was also a recent entry. The $939 Heckler & Koch P30 is a new vision of the P-series pistol that features the most adjustable ergonomics yet. Distribution has been limited but we found one at Fountain Firearms in Houston (fountainfirearms.com).Our third 9mm pistol was the $543 Springfield Armory XD9 Service Four-Inch. Lacking from a list of the XD9s features found on the company website (springfield-armory.com/xdfeatures.php) was an adjustable grip. Nevertheless, XD9 has been recognized as offering superior ergonomics, and like the SR9, the XD also shares some of the safety features found on the 1911.

9mm Self-Defense Autoloaders: CZs Rami 2075 P Is a Bargain

Shooters like 9mm pistols for many reasons, chief among them being their reputation for manageable recoil with at least minimum acceptable stopping power for a self-defense cartridge. Also, 9mm guns can be made small and flat, which makes them suitable for comfortable concealed carry.

We recently bought a trio of such guns at Fountain Firearms in Houston (www.fountainfirearms.com, 281-561-8447). They were of relatively similar size, but different in almost every other way—and these differences made an impression on our testers that affected how we graded the pistols.

Vintage 9mms: Walther’s P5 Outclasses SigArms and Astra

Buying a used gun presents a lot of trade-offs: The shooter probably saves money, but in the process, he might buy a gun thats worn out, rather than worn in. We recently tested three guns we bought used to see how they stacked up against todays pistols, and if buying one for target or self defense was a wise choice. Simply put, were they shooters or were they collectibles?

9mm Sub-Compacts: Sigarms P239 DAK Earns A-Minus Grade

The 9mm pistolwas the breakthrough sidearm that ushered in todays massive popularity of the self-loading pistols. One of the ways in which the semi-auto has evolved is in its variation in size, making it possible to wear a full-size gun and/or conceal a smaller complement of the same make and model.In this test we will look at three 9mm pistols that are smaller and more concealable versions of full-size duty weapons. The Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm No. 209001, $624, fires from a 4.25-inch barrel and measures approximately 7.5 inches long by 5.5 inches in height. Our test gun here is the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm Compact No. 209004, which has a shorter grip, 3.5-inch barrel, and sells for $624. Glocks standard bearer, the full-size Model 17, comes with a 4.5-inch barrel; our test gun here is the $599 Model 26, whose tube measured 3.4 inches in length. The Sigarms full-size duty pistol is the model P226. The $739 Sigarms P239 DAK tested here is the smallest in the line. It came with the Double Action Kellerman or, DAK trigger. The P239 is fed from a single-column magazine, unlike its bigger brothers that pile rounds into the magazine staggered side by side.Before shooting we removed the top ends of each gun, separating the recoil springs and barrels. We lubricated the slide and frame rails along with other obvious weight bearing points such as lockup marks along the barrel with KG-4 Gun Oil (kgcoatings.com). Our testers have noticed a level of improved accuracy in their weapons using KG-4 to coat the inside of their barrels, so we followed suit and swabbed the bores of each gun with KG. We also applied KG-5 Trigger Oil to the action. The difference in trigger pull weight was too small to measure in the Smith & Wesson and Glock pistols, but it did help lighten the action of the Sigarms DAK mechanism by as much as 1 to 2 pounds. Testing was performed indoors on the combat range at Top Gun of Texas (topgunrange.com) in Houston.As soon as we began firing, we noticed that each gun demanded a different technique for accurate shooting. Unlike the single-action 1911 or typical double-action revolver, learning to shoot a double-action semi-auto can challenge the shooter to master a different technique from gun to gun. So our first step was to practice with each gun and master the trigger. While the public rattled away on Bays 1 and 2 with handguns and rented machine guns, we calmly fired five-shot groups from a bench at targets placed 15 yards downrange. We followed this with an action test performed standing at a distance of 7 yards with the pistol beginning at low ready. With the office of Hoffners Training and Holsters (hoffners.com) just next door to Top Gun, were sure the HoffnerABC16 target felt right at home being assaulted with ten separate strings of two shots to the body and one to the head. The ABC16 target featured a humanoid silhouette marked with an A at the chest, a B over the cranial pocket, and a C over the groin area plus six 3-inch circles.Our test ammunition included two hollowpoint rounds and a full-metal-jacket target round. They were the Winchester USA 115-grain JHP rounds, Federals 124-grain Hydra-Shok JHPs, and 115-grain FMJ rounds from Black Hills Ammunition. We wanted to know if each gun would run reliably and if accuracy achieved from the bench would translate to accuracy in our stand and shoot action test. Here is what we found.

The Supremes Take a Gun Case!

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on April 26, 2021, that it will review a New York state law that imposes overly restrictive limits on...