July 1998

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 — so it pays to shop around. Having tested a number of these electronic muffs over the past ten or more years, I can vouch for your results. About the only real competition to the Peltors comes from a company called Pro-Ears. As a professional interested in hearing conservation, my recommendation to all shooters is to think of electronic hearing protection as you would a red-dot scope. Once you’ve tried ‘em, you wonder how you ever got along without them. They even help in the field as well as on the range.

William L. Kramer, Ph.D.
Muncie, IN


Para-Ordnance P-10
Sorry is the gun enthusiast who pays good money for a fine test-information publication and then does not heed the advice therein.

In your “Gun Tests, The Best Defense” you rated several defensive handguns including the Para-Ordnance P10 .45-caliber. You did not give your approval of this firearm because it wasn’t reliable. Well, you were right in every respect.

Even after reading your publication, I decided that I would purchase a Para-Ordnance P10. Big mistake! The first afternoon I owned the gun, I fired in excess of 200 rounds of several different brands of ammunition through it and experienced from one to two jams on every magazineful.

The next morning I contacted Para-Ordnance customer service in Fairport, NY, and was told to ship the handgun to them. I did so that very day. After waiting about 20 days and receiving no reply from customer service, I phoned them and was told they had forwarded my gun to Canada for evaluation.

That same day I wrote the factory in Canada. As of a week later, I have had no reply from either the factory or from the service department. Is this customer service or what?

Next time I’ll listen to you fellows. You can bet on that.

Jim Lovelady
Rock Spring, GA


It is not unreasonable for a factory to take several weeks to repair a firearm. However, the company ought to tell this to the owner. Furthermore, a new gun shouldn’t need fixing to work properly.


I enjoyed your article on buckshot in the March 1998 issue. At risk of sounding too critical, I would like to add to the content of this well-developed and useful piece. First, an Improved Cylinder choke would be a much better choice for all buckshot.

Second, harder and larger shot require less choke than softer or smaller shot, but some choke is still necessary; about 0.008-inch for 00 buck would be about right.

Third, two other magazines did a study on shotguns (for self-defense) in the house. Both concluded that #4 shot would be safer in the house (than buckshot) because it will go through only one layer of drywall. I personally think #8 or #9 would be best.

I’ll keep on subscribing.

Ted Barbret
Sterling Heights, MI


Yes! Your report (March 1998) on the .223 Remington single shot pistols helped me understand that not everyone can shoot sub-minute-of-angle groups like I read about in almost all other gun magazines. I was beginning to feel like a very poor shot, yet I shoot often, use good equipment, and practice the correct techniques.

Thanks for helping me feel like a “normal” human being. I wonder if the other magazines may be stretching the truth (a little) when they report their record-breaking groups every time they test a new firearm.

David H. Hudson
Bloomfield, NY


Well, yes...but Don Bower and his Colorado associates regularly shoot groups smaller than three inches at 500 yards with handguns. Of course, they use highly customized guns.