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Somebody’s Got To Do It

The overwhelming tone of reader mail we get is gratitude for telling it like it is. As you’ll see when you read about 4-inch revolvers, custom .45 ACPs, turkey shotguns, and .22 rifles, hardnosed critiques are our exclusive franchise. You won’t read critical buy-this, don’t-buy-that comparisons of firearms products anywhere else.

We’re glad this approach is unique, but it’s always a little surprising to many shooters. If you go onto any shooting range anywhere in this country (or the world, I suppose), you’ll hear frank discussions of firearms performance. One shooter will say, “This gun is a sack of hooey [or words to that effect].” Another will add, “That gun shoots like a house afire.”...

Somebody’s Got To Do It

The overwhelming tone of reader mail we get is gratitude for telling it like it is. As you’ll see when you read about 4-inch revolvers, custom .45 ACPs, turkey shotguns, and .22 rifles, hardnosed critiques are our exclusive franchise. You won’t read critical buy-this, don’t-buy-that comparisons of firearms products anywhere else.

We’re glad this approach is unique, but it’s always a little surprising to many shooters. If you go onto any shooting range anywhere in this country (or the world, I suppose), you’ll hear frank discussions of firearms performance. One shooter will say, “This gun is a sack of hooey [or words to that effect].” Another will add, “That gun shoots like a house afire.”...

Firing Line 04/00

H&K P7M8 Booster
I am a commissioned security officer in Dallas, Texas. My H&K P7M8 (October 1999) was $850 plus tax when I bought it several years ago. Was it worth it? The last time I requalified, I scored 146 (including a 2-point penalty for a flyer), on a shooting test with a maximum score of 150. Yup, it was worth it.I also used it to qualify for the state concealed carry permit. Out of 50 rounds fired, I had two flyers. My hand got tired with the squeeze cocker. And yes, I carry it concealed.

It seems to prefer 115-grain bullets best. But realistically, when you are looking at one ragged hole, whether it is a little bigger or smaller, is a pretty specious argument. I...

Boycott Smith & Wesson?

I received an email on March 23 at 5:26:48 p.m. from Phil and Sandy Harpine of Leesville, South Carolina. The email header read only this: “S&W sell out.” The body of the email message was nearly as short. It read: “Please do not use one cent of my subscription to test, write about or reference any S&W product!!!!!!”

And that wasn’t the first communication I’d had on the subject. Two days earlier, the Gun Owners of America group had issued an email alert whose header read: “Smith & Wesson Sell-out: Boycott!” The headline on the email read, “GOA Announces Boycott of Clinton & Wesson—Sell-out worse than originally reported.”

As you might expect, I’ve gotten nearly 100 pieces of email, fa...

Firing Line 05/00

Dunk-Kit Questions
Your article in the March 2000 Gun Tests about the cleaning product called Dunk-Kit was of significant interest to me. I do, however, have a few questions.Is there an effect on polymer-frame guns. Will the solution affect their integrity? Can a fully assembled slide be submerged and cleaned with the firing pin intact? Will this process completely clean the bore, eliminating the need for scrubbing? Is the solution environmentally friendly and easily disposed of? What is the life of the solution? Will it have any adverse effect on finishes.

Jim Calderio
via American Online


In our testing of Dunk-Kit, we find it is especially effective on...

Firing Line 07/00

Test of CZ PCR
I found the recent article on the CZ PCR 9MM pistol (May 2000) interesting and informative, though I would like to respond to some of the points made in the article.

It was stated that the trigger on the PCR was rough before it broke. As with most DA/SA pistols, the mechanism required to operate the ignition system is somewhat complex when compared to a single-action only or double-action only. When related to other models of a similar design, the CZ trigger is an excellent balance of single and double action.

As to the malfunctions: The PCR is one of the newest variants of the Classic CZ 75 pistol. It was designed with the law-enforcement market in mind. W...

Continuing Smith & Wesson Fallout

Readers who wrote me about Gun Tests’s decision to continue testing Smith & Wesson products in light of the company’s deal with the Clinton administration has elicited a steady stream of comments pro and con. To recap, we believe our subscribers are adult enough to read our articles and make their own decisions about buying or boycotting Smith products. It’s not the magazine’s place to black-out information on a company simply because we don’t like a business decision its executives have made.

However, not everyone agreed. An email from Alan Bint of Pensacola, Florida, said, “I will not renew. I just received my May issue. I was and am very disappointed in your reaction to the Smith & Wes...

Firing Line 06/00

There’s bears up here
I’ve enjoyed your approach of not worrying whether or not the manufacturers are happy with your reviews, but do you think it’s possible that sometimes you feel the obligation to say bad things about pieces which really have no problem?

The review that I found to be most misinformed was the one regarding the .454 Casull as an unusable piece. Having several friends who own them, and also having owned them myself, I can assure you that anyone is capable of firing one without his thumb coming off, his wrist getting broken, or any other range of colorful imaginations. It’s a powerful revolver to be sure, and a .44 Magnum feels soft once you’re used to the Ca...

Odds and Ends

Gary Anderson, a gold-medal smallbore shooter, former Atlanta Olympic shooting venue manager, and now director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program in Port Clinton, Ohio, wrote recently to say, I noted a comment in your July Gun Tests editorial about the shut-down of the U. S. Army Reserves Pistol and Rifle Teams. When the USAR Pistol Team left the National Matches, they thought they were turning in their equipment for the last time. By the time the Service Rifle Team was ready to leave, the decision had been reversed and USAR Teams were back in business.

Anderson said the proposed shutdown of the teams was done strictly as a cost-cutting move and was not driven by any higher political...

Firing Line 09/00

Confidence in Ruger P97
Thank you for testing the Ruger P97. I think I will buy one soon. My current .45 (Glock 21) has superb accuracy-acually its the most accurate non-1911 .45 I have ever shot. People I know who bought the Ruger P97 say it is just as accurate as the Glock. Your test showed that the ergonomics were great, reliability is topnotch, and the trigger was good (for a Ruger). I assume your accuracy wasnt great because you didnt use ammo the Ruger 97 likes. Again, I really am glad you reviewed it. I now feel confident enough to make the purchase.

Mark Fertig
via AOL


August Pros and Cons
A Glock representative brought a G36 demonstrat...

Shooting News Good and Bad

Though some shooters might not agree, there is other news happening on the gun front besides the latest goings-on at S&W. Here’s a sampling of informational nuggets for your careful consideration:

Army Reserve Programs Standing Down? An email from Helmut J. Hein Lynn Belcher, assistant branch chief, Individual Training Branch, U.S. Army Reserve Command, started in classic military form: “It is my sad duty to inform you that the USAR is the first military organization to cancel competitive marksmanship activities. Hopefully, the USAR will be the only one to do so.”

To those of us who have been in awe of Reserve shooters at the Camp Perry national matches or in international comp...

Letter From Alaska

I get lots of mail from readers with interesting stories to tell, and occasionally, one is so compelling that I want to share it with the rest of the Gun Tests family. The following is from Charles Lakaytis, chief engineer for KBRW AM/FM in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost broadcast station in North America. Its located at 72 degrees north and 155 degrees west. Chuck shares his insights on guns he thinks are right for living at the top of the world:


First of all I want to congratulate you on a wonderful magazine. I have nearly given up on the other gun magazines. All the other writers seem to be testing products when guests of the manufacturer at some fancy game ranch or...

Russian Ammo Ban Is Here

Well, no surprise, it looks like the Biden Administration is trying its best to choke off a major supplier of inexpensive ammunition to the...