Firing Line 04/98

Walther PPK/S
For as long as I've been a subscriber, I have always been interested to know what Gun Tests thought of my personal choice of a firearm, the Walther PPK/S. Last month's (December 1997) comparison of .380 double action pistols finally answered that question. I have to admit I was more than a little disappointed in your remarks. The testers commented that the tang was insufficient to prevent slide bite and that "more often that not" the PPK/S, the current test weapon excluded, "either failed to feed or failed to eject." Unfortunately, I also have to admit that every word of it was true.

I purchased my Walther in September of 1996. As a shooter with small hands, t...

Firing Line 03/98

Beretta Tomcat
I have just read Downrange in the December 1997 issue and have subscribed to Gun Tests for several years. You deserve the highest marks available for objective testing. I, too, recently bought a new Beretta 3032 Tomcat after a year's wait. I was shocked to read that Beretta admits its Tomcat has a 1000-round service life. I purchased this gun (my first Beretta product) because of its size, caliber and manufacturer reputation. I shoot quite often and most certainly would not have bought it had I known its limitations.

This, however, is not my only problem with the gun. So far, I have put 150 rounds of ball and Silvertip ammunition through it. The ball feeds fi...

Firing Line 07/98

In your recent article comparing the Colt, Smith & Wesson and Ruger .22s, it was noted that the Colt was probably the first choice. Except for the fact that they have moved the magazine release over to the other side, did anyone stop to consider it as a clone of the old High Standard Duramatic? What that means is a good design is still a good design, even if resuscitated by another company. Putting it another way, what was once the most inexpensive pistol in the High Standard line is still a good shooter when compared to some of the newer guns today.

Also, the Peltor Tactical 7 was being sold recently by Dillon for a substantially lower price than you quoted — s...

Firing Line 06/98

Precision Reloading
Congratulations to whoever wrote your piece on precision reloading in your February, 1998 issue. I've been reloading, testing, shooting (bench, silhouette, etc.) and reading about this stuff since 1958 and this is the best summary of reloading procedures I have ever seen.

The last two paragraphs are especially useful. What "works" in one rifle may be a waste of time in another—indeed may cause problems in accuracy, functioning, safety, etc. This has been demonstrated in many experiments I have done (such as cartridge straightness, neck tension, etc.). Each gun set its own "rules."

Jim Nitsos
Arroyo Grande, CA

Chipmunk Rifle

Firing Line 09/98

Children and Firearms
Please stick to testing firearms, and leave the political agenda out. At age 12, in 1952, I was a responsible young adult. With the money I had earned on my paper route, I bought a .22 bolt-action repeater. All that was required, at the hardware store, was a note from my dad.

As a child, I was taught responsibility, with chores, part-time work for my dad, and a paper route from age 9. I bought my own clothes, items of my interests, and a .22 rifle. There was no emotional cry of the frightened, when my friends and I walked a mile through residential Spokane, Washington to the city limits and a place to shoot.

Today, the me-first generations, call t...

Firing Line 08/98

Kimber .45s
Why do we never have the Kimber .45's tested when they are nearly taking over the gun shows in this area? You did one in June, but I have not noticed any more. They are the best buy for the money in a .45 available today — my opinion, as I have a polymer-frame high-capacity Kimber and the Custom aluminum-frame gun. I have not wrung them out yet, as time and weather have not been to my liking here in a hot zone. Thanks for reading my comments. I read every issue the day it arrives, or the next, cover to cover.

John F. Clouse, Jr.
Azle, TX

Mr. Clouse: We plan a test of the Kimber Gold Match in the October 1998 issue, and will try other Kimbers...

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...

Firing Line 11/98

S&W Sigma SW9M
I found your recent evaluation of the small 9mm pistols (September 1998 issue) interesting and would like to tell you about a unique problem I had with the Smith & Wesson SW9M.

First, I'm 62, an NRA certified small arms instructor, and have a Lifetime Masters classification for High Power Rifle competition. I have an FFL and a Texas concealed handgun license. I am an orthopedic surgeon and do not have a weak wrist or grip.

I thought that the SW9M would be the ideal self-defense weapon to carry in the console of my Explorer. I have a habit of test firing anything I am going to carry before making any out of town trip. I soon found that if I loaded the SW9M...

Firing Line 10/98

Beretta 21A
In your July issue you reviewed the Beretta 21A, .22 LR pistol. In that review you stated, "There was also a half-cock notch on the hammer, permitting the carrying of a round in the chamber with the safety disengaged. In this manner, the gun was ready to fire with just a long pull on the trigger."

My Beretta owner's manual does not recommend the gun be carried with the chamber loaded. There is also a note that states: "WARNING!! To avoid the remote risk of accidental discharge due to impact against the hammer spur DO NOT carry the pistol chamber loaded with the hammer half-cocked. Should the pistol be inadvertently dropped and the hammer struck, the impact could...

Firing Line 03/99

Historical Results?
I was reading the January 1999 issue at work and someone asked to read the .357 article because he was in the market for one. After reading the article, he said he definitely wouldn’t buy the S&W because it came in third. I said that I owned several revolvers from all of the manufacturers, and that he should handle all the makes before ruling any out. When I looked up other articles on .357s, I found the magazine had evaluated other brands higher in the past. I know that sometimes they were not exactly the same models, but they were very close. It might be helpful if you could tell how well a gun has done in a previous review to give the reader a better over...

Firing Line 02/99

H&K USP40: Glock Killer?
I’ve been a subscriber to Gun Tests for three years, and really enjoy your magazine and your editorial courage. Too many of the popular gun mags are afraid to tick off their advertisers. You aren’t because you don’t take advertising. Keep up the great work.

Your comparison on the S&W 4006, Glock 22, Walther P99, Beretta Model 96, Sig P229, and H&K USP40 was of great interest to me. The first pistol I owned was a Glock 22, which I sold in order to buy an H&K USP40. There were several reasons for my decision to switch:

• The Glock does not have second strike capability. You must cycle the slide to pull the trigger in the event of a misfire.
• I...

Firing Line 01/99

Taurus PT-111
It appears that, after being reviewed by several publications, including Gun Tests (September 1998 issue), Taurus made a design change to their PT-111 pistol. I have two PT-111s (serial numbers TRE02782 and TRH42035) and there are noticeable differences between them. The newer pistol has a telescopic recoil spring/guide assembly. I like my PT-111s. But, in my opinion, the original version is better. It has a larger disassembly latch that is easier to manipulate, and a better trigger.

Richard Watkins
Kingston, TN

Marlin .45 ACP Carbine
First, I want to say that you produce a great publication. I stumbled on it by accident and have not...

An Attack On The Civilian Ammunition Supply

If you live in one of the below mentioned states, please understand that the legal system in your area is attempting to restrict gun...