There will come a time, sooner or later, when you are faced with having to decide whether you want to work on an old gun that you may never have heard of before. It is up to you to decide if it's worth the trouble but if you do, follow the rules I've learned over the years.
We tested two 380 ACP handguns in the April 2013 issue. Here's an excerpt of that report.
If you have a handgun for what some consider to be a sub-caliber round, it might be comforting to have lots of shots on hand, because you just might need them. Taking our tongues out of our cheeks now, the 380 can be an effective self-defense handgun cartridge, particularly with today's hotter JHP loads — if you can find any. There are zillions of good used 380s out there, though in today's market you might have the devil of a time finding one. We managed to acquire two, both slightly used, just like what you might have to consider in today's super-tight gun market. Our test pistols were a Beretta Model 84 ($600-$650) and a CZ Model 83 ($550 on up).
All Mossberg autoloaders available are gas operated. Each bleeds a set amount of gas from the ignition of the shotshell, down through a port in the barrel to function the action. The oldest of these guns, the Model 5500, requires the shooter to change barrels when switching from non-Magnum to Magnum loads. Two updated 5500s—the new Model 6000 and the Maverick 60—will continue to do so. A totally new Mossberg, the Model 9200, allows free interchange of ammunition without changing barrels.
The graceful, light, and distinctive L.C. Smith Hammerless Double sidelock is a favorite of American shotgunners. Here's how to fix its most common problems. If you own a Smith and want to make it suitable to shoot again, or if you are presented a Smith to repair, here's what you need to know about the shotgun.
Case hardening was once the best way to stretch a limited steel budget. Today, it provides a hard surface with a tough inner structure.