September 1998

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 that child abuse. A child is a child until 18 when suddenly adult responsibility comes in one day.

I can see what’s wrong today. There are too many gun owners willing to sell their rights away as a solution. Join the NRA, and get involved teaching firearms safety to the children. Make it a requirement that firearms safety and history be taught in schools.

Leave the leftist view of Timothy H. Cole out of Gun Tests magazine.

Carl S. Smith
Moses Lake, WA


Mr. Smith’s letter presents Gun Tests with another good opportunity to emphasize the two main points of the July Downrange. Number one: Serious gun owners have a special obligation to keep their firearms well secured in the presence of children. And number two: Failing to do so could one day impinge on all our shooting freedoms.

Bottom line: it’s okay to keep loaded guns in your house—as long as you are there to make sure they aren’t being misused. If you’re not present, firearms should be unloaded and locked away, with ammunition carefully segregated. After all, if you’re the sort who believes there’s nothing wrong with cabinet latches, safety gates and car seats to protect youngsters, then what’s wrong with safes, trigger locks, and other safety tools to keep your kids and their friends out of harm’s way? With the personal responsibility that comes with shooting comes a moral imperative that demands unflagging discipline in the handling of firearms. Mr. Smith seems to think it’s a matter of left and right, when it’s really a matter of common sense.


Taurus PT-22
Concerning your recent article comparing the Taurus PT-22, the Beretta 21A and the Walther TPH, I can’t speak about the latter two but I can speak about the Taurus PT-22.

My Taurus has never failed to extract with CCI Mini Mag HP, Federal High Velocity 36-grain HP and Winchester Super X 37-grain HP.

It has failed with American Eagle 38-grain HP, Remington Target 40-grain SP, Remington Thunderbolt 40-grain SP and Federal High Power SP.

The double-action trigger is so soft that I don’t even notice it when I’m plinking.

Larry Deran
Jackson, CA


Mr. Deran: We’re sure our readers will benefit from your field testing, and it will help them avoid ammunition that may provide questionable performance. Only by actually trying different brands can one determine which ammunition is best for reliability and accuracy in the individual handgun. Thanks for sharing your experiences.


In regard to your July ’98 article that described the extraction problems with the Taurus PT-22, I can vouch for that! I have found no ammunition besides the contra-indicated CCI Stingers that will even come close to extracting reliably on a regular basis. I tried every brand of .22 ammunition I could find, but only the Stingers give me any confidence at all with this pistol. The problem with using this ammunition is that its pressure split the front of the slide on both my wife’s and my own pistols after a couple hundred rounds.

I sent both pistols to Taurus and received new ones in exchange, and in a reasonable amount of time. I still occasionally carry my Taurus, but I cannot target practice with it. Hopefully, it will provide a deterrent value if ever needed, but I would never trust my safety to this pistol.

Thomas Damborg
Pasco, WA


Mr. Damborg: We applaud Taurus for replacing your guns in spite of your use of ammunition they don’t recommend. We wonder if any of the loads that work for Mr. Deran will work in your new pistols. Good luck and thanks for sharing.