The name Bodyguard has to be one of the all-time classic names for a self-defense gun. Certainly this Smith & Wesson design has been with us a long time, and in many ways it should be considered an unsung hero among the latest super-light firearms, mainly because it did so much so well.
Here are all the items tested in Gun Tests magazine from 2014 back through 1989.
Ruger lists seven different models in the GP100 revolver family with barrel lengths of 3, 4, and 6 inches. Finishes are either blued or stainless steel. Manufacturer's suggested retail prices range from $552 for the .38 Special +P only models to $615 for the stainless steel .357 Magnum revolvers with barrel lengths of either 4 or 6 inches. All models come with a rubber grip complete with a rosewood insert. Our 4-inch barreled KGP-141 had a pleasing bright-stainless finish and an adjustable rear sight. Elevation was the familiar clockwise for down and counter clockwise for raising the point of impact. The windage adjustment required opposite movement for changing point of impact.
The design of the OA series of AR-15 type rifles connects to the OA 98 pistol. To accommodate a folding stock, Olympic Arms developed an upper that eliminated the need for a buffer tube. However, due to subsequent legal restrictions, folding-stock models such as the OA 93 and its cousins now feature fixed stocks, but these rifles still benefit from their minimal design and lighter weight. If you look at an OA-built AR-15 and imagine it without a stock, it is easy to visualize how the OA 98 pistol came into being.
Rugers $780 KRH-444 Redhawk was our top pick among three 4-inch .44 Magnum revolvers. Heres why. When Ruger engineers sought to make a more compact revolver, they did so by shortening the barrel and introducing a new grip. They left the frame alone. This meant the gun was plenty strong to take any punishment we could dish out.
We compared four 12-gauge pumpguns in in the October 2013 issue. They were the Benelli Super Nova Tactical No. 29155 pump-action 12 Gauge, $559, and the recently introduced Stevens Model 320 Home Defense No. 19495, $270; the CZ Model 612 Home Defense No. 06520, $290; and the CZ Model 612 HC-P No. 06510, $349.
At a reader's request, we selected several new models of self-defense shotguns that carry low to moderate price tags and pitted them against one of the popular veteran self-defense shotguns to see how they would perform.