.38 Special +P: The True Calling Card Of Titanium Concealment Guns

Along with our experiences with the .32 Magnums, we also shot and evaluated two more ultralight .38 Special +P revolvers, which in our minds offer comfort on par with the .32s while shooting rounds most Gun Tests readers will recognize and prefer. Here's what we thought of S&W's seven-shot titanium Centennial 242 and the Taurus 85ULTi five-shot .38 Special +P.

Smith & Wesson 242
Our first experience with Smith & Wesson's Centennial series was the little five-shot alloy Model 442. Perhaps the best hideout gun of all time, it featured a fine double-action-only trigger that seemed custom. The trigger pull was long but very smooth and could be halted with the firing pin ready to go...

Cowboy Options: Buy R&D Gunshops 1851 Navy Conversion

[IMGCAP(1)] Shortly after the advent of Colt's Model P Single Action Army, range-riders, lawmen, desperadoes, and even average citizens suddenly wanted a revolver that handled the new self-contained brass cartridges. However, many shooters liked the feel of their old Navy or Army cap-and-ball six-shooters, and didn't want to give them up all that quickly. Solution: They could have their percussion pistol converted to a breech-loader.

During the 1870s, many percussion revolvers were converted to handle cartridge-type ammunition. Gunsmiths drilled out the existing percussion cylinder, added a breech plate with loading gate and ejector rod, and fitted a firing pin to the hammer. Afterward, t...

Durability Test Results? Our Favorite Wheelguns Come Through With Flying Colors

[IMGCAP(1)] At Gun Tests we constantly seek ways to follow up on the service life of the guns we test. When possible, we track the very pistols and long guns that appear on these pages by keeping in touch with their owners, which in some cases are our testers but more often are readers who have bought actual test guns. Another way of tracking the reliability and satisfaction that a firearm can bring is to contact gunsmiths, retail outlets or the operators of public shooting ranges who add them to range rental-gun fleets.

We recently had occasion to test several revolvers previously reviewed and recommended in these pages with an eye toward gathering data about their longevity, a topic GT...

Cowboy Concealables: Smaller Single Actions Are Fun To Shoot

The Cowboy gun craze is still going strong. But after you have filled out your minimum required battery of lever-action rifle, shotgun, and long-barreled revolver, what's next? Chances are you've been thinking of adding a revolver with a shorter barrel, such as a 3.5-inch model in the style that was purportedly favored by the local sheriff. Moreover, these single actions are increasingly favored in the .38 Special/.357 Magnum chambering, since those rounds are easier to shoot and cost less than many other specialty cartridges.

At Gun Tests we're not just cold-hearted data-hungry technicians. No, we have our romantic side, too, and we hoped our test of three short-barreled .38s—EMF's Hartf...

Bobbed-Hammer .38 Specials: We Pick a Concealed Champion

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

More California Nonsense

I often write about outlandish judicial decisions in this space, but on March 15, 2024, Federal District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton raised the bar...