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How to Evaluate Used .22 Handguns And Rifles Before Buying

Without question, there are more pre-owned .22 rifles, pistols and revolvers occupying table space at guns shows, rack and counter case space at dealers and house space than any other caliber firearm. Based on the popularity of the cartridge, the guns that shoot it and the number of years both have been around, such abundance isn't in the least surprising. Due in part to that abundance, the prices attached to other-than-collectable .22s can be irresistible to the uninformed. All too often, many of these "bargains" become nightmares of additional expense once its discovered they don't function very well or not at all. You can be reasonably certain of one thing. A used .22 rifle, revolver or p...

Firing Line 12/98

NAA Customer Service
I have been a subscriber to your publication since it began and consider it the finest publication that exists on the subject of firearms. I only wish you published such a magazine on computers.

Almost ten years ago, I purchased a North American Arms .22 Magnum Mini-Revolver. I carry it when I jog or rollerblade and as a backup to the .45 Colt Officers Model I routinely carry.

Three weeks ago, while disassembling the Magnum Mini-Revolver for cleaning I lost the $3 hand spring. Upon calling the factory, their representative (Mr. Wayne Martin) suggested I return the gun for replacement of the part and reassembly.

In less than three weeks, the gun was...

Henry Repeating Arms Rifle Held Its Own Against Winchester 9422

Lever rifles in the rimfire calibers can do many things for the avid shooter. Besides providing casual shooting fun for the lever-rifle fan, these guns can be serious hunting arms. If the nimrod has a centerfire lever gun for any serious purpose, the rimfire can provide meaningful and inexpensive practice. This practice can extend from the rifle range to the small game field, and to just about anywhere in between. In the Idaho back country, many landowners keep a .22 LR of some sort, many of the lever type, by the back door for garden or yard pests.

Our test here includes a pair of lever guns, the Winchester 9422 Walnut and the new Henry Model H001, out of Brooklyn, New York, of all plac...

Ruger Model 77R Tops Marlin, Remington In .280 Rem.

Neck a .30-06 case down to 7mm and you have the .280 Remington, which is probably a more useful cartridge today than the .270 Winchester. Bullet diameter of the .280 is 0.284 inch, same as the 7x57 and 7mm Magnum. This cartridge concept actually goes back a long time. The .280 Ross, introduced in 1906, had essentially identical performance, though its case was a bit bigger. Cartridges Of The World gives the .280 Remington an introduction date of 1957 (chambered in, of all things, the Remington Model 740 autoloader), but many a handloader had experimented with the 7mm-06 long before that.

Right after World War II, Elmer Keith and his friends Charlie O'Neil and Don Hopkins did some histori...

ArmaLite M15A2 HBAR Tops Olympic, Colt .223 Rifles

For a number of years after its civilian introduction in 1964, the Colt AR-15 was essentially a semiautomatic version of the U.S. military's standard issue rifle, the M16. Today, however, a handful of manufacturers are producing AR-15-type firearms in a variety of configurations. We prefer to call these firearms sporting rifles.

Despite what some politicians may think, we feel that all law-abiding citizens of this country should have the opportunity to own a sporting rifle. They are suitable for many types of shooting activities, from small game and varmint hunting to target shooting and home protection. They are also just plain fun to shoot.

All of the rifles in this test are .223 se...

Winchester M70 Featherweight Bests Remington, Ruger .243s

Winchester introduced the .243 Winchester cartridge in 1955 for their Model 70 rifle and for their Model 88 lever action. The cartridge was immediately adopted by Savage for their Model 99 lever action, and shortly thereafter by a host of rifle makers worldwide.

Common folklore has it that the .243 was a wildcat developed out of the .308. However, because the .308 came out in 1952, only three years prior, there was precious little time for any wildcatting to have made much of an influence on factory developments. The roots for the .243 actually go back a long, long way and involve other countries besides the USA. The Germans, for example, experimented with a .24-caliber cartridge nearly i...

Ruger No. 1 International: A Good Single-Shot Hunting Rifle

Bolt-action rifles are so popular that we often forget there are other types of manually-operated long guns available. One such class of firearm is the single-shot rifle. Although most shooters dislike these rifles for their lack of firepower, single shots are capable hunting arms.

Currently, there are two general types of single-shot rifles available. On the lower end of the price scale are guns, such as the Harrington & Richardson Ultra and the New England Firearms Handi-Rifle, which have break-open actions. This type of rifle has a barrel that is hinged to the frame, like that of a over/under shotgun. The other, more expensive type of single-shot rifle, such as the Browning Model 18...

.50-Caliber Muzzleloaders: T/Cs $448 Hawken Costs Too Much

Taking up the challenge of a blackpowder hunt can do far more than simply giving you additional time in the field each year. It also can provide a graduate-level course in all the hunting arts and link you to history, provided you choose a true primitive-style muzzleloader. This thinking may run counter to the market's current tastes, which seem to tilt toward in-line rifles that resemble modern bolt-action rifles. These in-line products, in our view, provide no link to history. Their scopes make it unnecessary to get really close to the game, and thus remove much of the challenge of the primitive muzzleloader hunt. As a result, modern in-line rifles are now outlawed in some states' blackpowder seasons because they don't conform to the original concept of hunting with a "primitive weapon."

Moreover, cost is another reason to go traditional. The hunter can buy a new primitive-looking weapon, install an aperture sight, and take to the woods with a thoroughly effective blackpowder rifle. Still, when you see these inexpensive muzzleloading rifles at gun shows and gun shops—with their plastic stocks, simple locks, and low price tags—you must wonder if they are worth the money.

We decided to find out, so we bought a plastic-stocked CVA (Connecticut Valley Arms, Inc.) Bobcat and tested it against a CVA Frontier, which has a maple stock and a slightly longer barrel, and a Thompson/Center Hawken, all in .50 caliber.

Brileys New Trans Pecos Rifles: Engineered For Accuracy

The business risks inherent in launching a new firearm are so sizable that many companies prefer to play it safe when it comes to new-gun production. As the auto industry knows, it's much easier and cheaper to change the sheet metal on an existing model than it is to re-engineer a product from the wheels up. Moreover, in regard to guns, even if the concept sells well and recoups its development costs, there's the additional worry that a new product has a lifetime of potential liability in front of it—such as when a customer leaves a cleaning rod in the barrel and proceeds to blow part of his face off. Thus, whipsawing caused by sales concerns, development difficulties, and the great unknown...

Semiautomatic .308s: Pick L1A1s or M1As, not HK-91s

Shooters who have considered purchasing a semiautomatic rifle chambered for .308 (7.62 NATO) likely balk at the question of which rifle they should buy, bypassing completely the question of whether to buy such a gun. Unquestionably, self-loading .308s are coveted by nearly everybody, mainly because they can do so much. They can compete, they can plink, they can hunt, and, of course, they're made for self-defense, should such a situation arise.

Though there are many options if you care to search them out, there are basically three readily available rifle types in .308. They are the FAL, the M1A (M14 clone), and the HK-91. We did a several-years-long study of these three types, going to the...

.223 Remington Bolt-Action Packages: How Do They Rate

CZ's 527 and the Savage GXP3 packages come with on-board scopes, but are they a steal or a bad deal?

Savage M111F: Common Hunting Gun, Uncommon Performance

Many hunters believe that one gun is as good as another, and that any old bolt action will kill a deer. In some extreme cases this may even be true, such as hunting in heavy brush or forest, where shots will almost always be under 50 yards. But a recent test of four bolt actions suggests that not all such guns are created equal; in fact, as informed Gun Tests readers know, performance among similar, and in this case very common, products can vary widely enough to ruin a season's worth of hunting effort.

Case in point: We recently bought and shot a quartet of the most prevalent centerfire bolt guns in the field today, all of them chambered for the .30-06 Springfield. According to ammunition makers, this round outsells all other centerfires, mainly because of its long-standing performance record and versatility. .30-06 cartridges are offered in bullet weights from 125 to 220 grains, the former a top choice for medium-size game at long range, while a 220-grain bullet traveling at 2,400 fps will take just about any North American game animal.

Armed Citizens Stop Attacks

John Lott, Jr. has done an interesting study of how often armed citizens like ourselves intervene to stop mass shooters. Bottom line: The rate...