May 1998

Firing Line 05/98

Interarms Clarification
In your April, 1998 issue (Volume X, Number 4) on the last page titled ‘Firing Line,’ it states that “Interarms imports but does not manufacture this Walther (the PPK/S).

As I told a Gun Tests representative on the telephone, Interarms is licensed by Walther to manufacture the PPK, PPK/S and TPH in the USA. These pistols are made for Interarms by an arms manufacturer in the United States per Walther specifications.

Roy Melcher
Director, Engineering & Technical Services


Used Revolvers
This is to thank you for your article in the November, 1997 issue on buying a used revolver. While at a gun show recently, I used your advice to check out a Smith & Wesson Model 28. Everything went fine until checkpoint number five. The gun failed push-off with very little pressure on the hammer. After the very audible click of the hammer dropping, the seller said, “What did you do?” I replied, “Saved myself $275!”

Also, I want to thank you for your fine publication. Every year when renewal time comes, I question whether I want to spend the considerable amount of money compared to the other, prettier gun magazines I read. Thank goodness common sense prevails and I send my check. The other magazines end up at the recycle bin, yours go to the reference section in my reloading shop.

W.L. Hooks
Purcellville, VA


Thanks to you, Mr. Hooks, for the kind words. It is our fond hope to be able to continue to help shooters everywhere in as many aspects of firearms as we can. We hope you find a good Model 28. They are one of the best .357 Magnum handguns available, being both durable and accurate without all the frills of the Model 27...unless someone messes with the sear, that is.


Jennings Pistols
I would like to begin by telling you I’ve enjoyed my new subscription to Gun Tests. Both issues this year (1998) have been interesting. Keep up the good work.

The article on the Jennings 9mm in the January issue struck home with me because I own a Jennings J-22 and a Bryco 380 (Model 38). I am very happy with the J-22. It has digested more than 3,500 rounds and is still going. No parts breakage at all.

The Model 38, on the other hand, broke after one box of shells. I sent it back to the factory and the diagnosis was a cracked frame. The factory rep said for $20 or so I could have a new gun, so I opted for that. It remains to be seen if it lives up to the J-22’s reputation for reliability. So far, it’s not looking good.

Leigh Hanson
Portland, OR


Dear Mr. Hanson: Let’s see if we’ve got this right, now... The gun broke after only one box of shells, and for an additional $20 over what you already spent for the gun, you could have a new one? (We presume the gun was new to begin with.) And when that one breaks, will you send the manufacturer $20 more for the next one? See where this leads? Happy shooting.


Price Range
I feel you do a very decent job of reviewing the good, bad and ugly of the firearms you look at and test, but I think you could do one thing that would be more reasonable.

What I would like to see is review and comparison of firearms in the same price range. For instance, the February, 1998 (Volume X No. 2) issue compares .22 LR revolvers from $255 to $470, a rather large range, it seems. The same issue compares .22 Magnum Ruger, Marlin and Savage rifles that cost from $175 to $481 — also a rather large range.

Can you not find more similar manufacturer’s suggested retail prices, or is the field so restricted that this is the closest cost range you can obtain?

Jim Kastner
Santa Clarita, CA


In some of our tests, as in the comparison of the .454 Casull revolvers in this issue, there simply aren’t enough guns made by anyone for us to test several in one price range. Also in our defense, someone wanting, say, a .22 Magnum rifle might want to see what the extra money can buy him in a fancier rifle, and we try to find out if it’s worth his while to spend it. If he can get everything he needs in a less expensive rifle, why not go for it.

We test what we can get, but we’re listening to you, Mr. Kastner, and thanks very much.