January 1999

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 been sorry.

I have an Auto-Ordnance 1911 .45 ACP pistol. I know that Marlin has a carbine camp gun chambered in .45 ACP. Do you think the Marlin would compliment my Auto-Ordnance and make a good combo?

Derrick Hollis
Wilminston, DE


Yes, the Marlin .45 ACP Camp Carbine would be a good companion rifle for any 1911 pistol in the same caliber, because both guns utilize the same magazine. Our evaluation of this Marlin is in the September 1997 issue.


Thompson/Center Service
Hurrah for the Thompson/Center Custom Shop! I sent my Encore barrel in for a Muzzle Tamer. Since this is a 15-inch .30-06 barrel, I needed a Tamer. The shop misdrilled one hole, so they sent me a new barrel. The new barrel would not fit my frame. I sent the entire gun to the factory. John Brown, the gunsmith, replaced the frame and barrel. I now have a completely new Encore.

Not only that, John installed my new scope and sighted it in. Thompson/Center paid the shipping both ways, and I got my gun back in less than two weeks. The Thompson/Center Custom Shop is great!

Phil Blair
Redlands, CA


.30-06 Ammo Test
I enjoyed your in-depth study of .30-06 hunting ammo, which I don’t have the resources nor time to test. Thank you for this eye-opening article.

But, none of my dealers or mail-order people carry Swift A-Frame or Trophy Bonded bullets. Please give mailing addresses for firms you mention in your great articles.

Norm Hall
New Port Richey, FL


We try to provide contact addresses and phone numbers for all of the products we test, but sometimes we run out of space.

The Swift Bullet Company’s address is: P.O. Box 27, Quinter, KS, 67752. The address for Trophy Bonded Bullets is: 900 South Loop West, Suite #190, Houston, TX, 77054.

Federal is licensed to make Trophy Bonded bullets, and that is what they use when making their Trophy Bonded ammunition.


DAO Triggers
I’m happy to renew my subscription to Gun Tests for three years. I like your publication because it is written in plain English, it lacks hype and it sticks to reporting the facts, not opinions. But, why not report the trigger pull? It is very important to the purchaser to know this factor.

The matter of trigger pull, and the amount beyond which the effort becomes too heavy, is important. There is a lot of happy hype about double-action-only (DAO) triggers. I learned to shoot the revolver and the 1911 pistol years ago. I stayed with cylinder guns.

I find it difficult to understand the logic of DAO triggers for either sport or for confrontational situations. In both, the shooter needs every advantage he can, and a 10 or 12-pound pull is only a serious handicap. It contributes to wild and inaccurate “shoot and spray” marksmanship.

I recall in this decade that there was an exchange of gunfire between the New York City police and some hoodlums. Eighty shots were fired, but no one was hit. So, eighty shots were randomly sprayed on the populace—no aiming, no control, no good results, and thank the Lord no innocent casualties.

Do we need the DAO trigger? I see it as a handicap, not as a help, to proficiency in marksmanship.

John Cheasty
Hillsborough, NC


We always report the trigger pull weight of the firearms we evaluate. Most of our shooters aren’t fond of guns with double-action-only triggers, but we think they are suitable for close range shooting.