November 2000

Firing Line 11/00

Benelli Sport 12 Gauge
Enjoyed your article on the Benelli Sport in the October issue, but then I always like reading Gun Tests. I am pleased that you folks have the time and resources to do what the rest of us would like to do when it come down to evaluating a firearm purchase.

I have owned a Sport for the last few years and can affirm that it is truly a pleasure to shoot and own, and you are absolutely right about the recoil of a lighter shotgun.

I purchased my Sport about three years ago at one of the local gun shows from a dealer who was not from my area. I was aware of the interchangeable barrel ribs and asked him about the “others,” since mine only had one in the box.

He stated that they only came with one and that I would need to order the others if I wanted them. Would you know if Benelli has always offered the gun with two ribs, or is this is a new feature on current gun models only?

After reading your article I am thinking I might have been taken advantage of on this purchase, then again even if it was supposed to come with two, I did get quite a deal. I only paid $850 for it NIB.

R.T. Lynch
San Antonio, Texas


We can only say current models are supposed to ship with two ribs. Also, Remington pointed out that the photo on page 22 showed the Remington Sporting 12 and not the Benelli Sport. We regret the error.


High-End .22 Comments
Thanks for fighting the good fight over there at Gun Tests. I’m a long-time subscriber, and believe strongly that the shooting community needs a magazine like yours.

Now, to the gripe. I got all excited when I saw your article on match .22 pistols. I actively compete in bullseye matches, and shoot an old Fiocchi-imported Pardini SP and have shot the 208s, so it’s right up my alley. The accuracy results you report suggest a lack of understanding of the standards to which match .22 pistols are held. Your best group at 15 yards is 0.6 inch, with most of the groups recorded well over an inch.

One-inch groups would be considered good at 50 yards, but will not even score possibles on 50-foot NRA B2 slow-fire targets.

None of the shooters in my club classified Expert or higher would be satisfied with a 0.6-inch group at 50 feet. Quarter-inch groups are routinely shot from a sandbag at 50 feet when zeroing sights with Rugers and Buckmarks, as well as Pardinis and Hammerlis. I can only imagine what an AMU armorer would think of a 208 that grouped an inch at 15 yards.

The value of this article would have been greatly increased by more demanding work on the test firing for accuracy. The remainder of the article is up to your usual high standard of clarity and usefulness.

Mike Dane
Johnston, RI


We explain in greater detail why we chose to shoot the .22s offhand only, not from a bench, in the .22 article appearing elsewhere in this issue. Essentially, we say the guns will shoot one hole at competition distances. We sought to see how they responded in the hand.


Defending The Winchester
Just finished reading your September 2000 issue. You still hold the title as “the place to go for the straight scoop” on guns and ammo. I was disappointed, however, with your review of the Winchester Classic Safari Express in .375 H&H. I own one of these rifles, and have never experienced the feeding problems you found in your test gun. You must have gotten a defective piece. Even when working the bolt as you would in an NRA “High Power Rapid-Fire” stage, I have never had a failure to feed with either soft-point or solid bullets in my particular rifle. It is true that any production rifle can be improved, but failure to feed is unacceptable in a gun meant to be taken against large and dangerous game.

In fact, I could not understand why you rated the Sako 75 a “Buy” even though you had a failure to fire due to a light firing pin hit. This is arugably more serious than a failure to feed the second round. Also, I believe that the extractor design on both the Ruger and Winchester is superior from a reliability point of view. The large Mauser-type claw extractor has passed the test of time and is proven in the field. The Sako extractor seems to be on the small side.

Keep up the good work. Even though I may not agree with you all the time, you do present all the facts. Your readers can make an informed choice before spending their dollars.

Dr. Greg Vermeychuk
Newark, Delaware


We thought the Sako’s failure to fire was related to two loose bits of metal inside the bolt, which we removed when cleaning. Had the problem recurred after that, we would agree that the Sako didn’t deserve a Buy rating.


Winchester Feed Problems
I just finished reading your Gun Tests (September 2000) review on .375 H&H Magnums. You described the feed problems you encountered on the Winchester Model 70.

I own two Model 70s (both stainless synthetic), one in .338 Win. Mag, and one in 7mm Rem. Mag.

I encounter exactly the same feed problem on these two rifles that you described on the .375. The problem occurs even on the first round fed into the chamber. Both rifles are essentially useless.

Any suggestions?

Mike O’Leary
San Diego, California


Adjust the spring on the magazine so that the round chambers higher.


Entreprise Receiver Woes
I am writing this email in reference to the “impact” you have on your readers.

I originally read your article “Semiautomatic .308’s: Pick L1A1 or M1As, not HK-91’s. I “was” very impressed with this article and proceeded to buy an Entreprise receiver and have a STG-58C rifle built for me. I believed Entreprise prices were a little high, and I liked the idea of having my first own personal custom rifle. I sent it to Arizona Response Systems for gunsmithing by Mark T. Graham. He proceeded to build the weapon and found the entire receiver out of spec.

He called me and told me the past problems he had had with Entreprise receivers. He asked me why I had bought their receiver knowing this. I told him I only bought this receiver because of the Gun Tests review.

He told me he would work on the receiver to try to get it right. He then proceeded through a trial-and-error period of 10 weeks to fix the rifle.

The normal time period is only supposed to be 4 weeks. I spent approximately 30 hours of my own time trying to help him. I researched all of the options to repair my receiver along with speaking to approximately eight to ten other people who had been through the same process. I was amazed that all of these people had had so many problems with Entreprise receivers or service or a combination thereof.

I would greatly appreciate if your staff could possibly do a little more research before they recommend a manufacturer. I have read your magazine for quite a while and I am an FFL. I usually refer your magazine to customers. I believe to prevent a loss of clientele, I should stop this now. I might be held liable for something you publish and I endorse.

S. Medina
via internet


We apologize if we led you astray. Our L1A1 was built quite a few years ago on a forged Entreprise receiver, and it’s a great rifle. Apparently, Entreprise switched some time back how they made their receivers. Our early model, as reported, was apparently made correctly, and we assumed they were still being made the same way.

We suggest you take your problems directly to Entreprise. That company, after all, is ultimately responsible. We attempt to give a fair evaluate the firearms we obtain. We have no way of knowing that a manufacturer has changed his manufacturing processes, and that the new product might give us different test results. Entreprise, the manufacturer of your action, is ultimately responsible for their product, and ought to make good on your loss. Quoting from the Entreprise company’s website (www.entreprise.com): “We are so sure that you’ll be 100% satisfied, we have an unconditional lifetime guarantee on our receivers.”

Take your troubles to the source and please advise us what Entreprise has to say about this.

—Ray Ordorica


Walther P-5 Oddities
I enjoyed reading about the three-way race you had on the compact 9mms in the October 2000 issue of Gun Tests. Inasmuch as you restricted the ammunition used in the tests to two bullet weights of Black Hills 9mm ammunition and one bullet weight of Wolf (Russian imported) 9mm ammunition, you are probably unaware of one peculiarity of the Walther P5 pistols.

The P5 is, indeed, an excellent pistol. I have two of them, one which actually came as a .30 Luger with an extra 9mm barrel rather than the other way around. (The serial number of the pistol is stamped on the .30 Luger barrel but not on the 9mm barrel.) I found these Walthers will not chamber Cor-Bon 9mm ammunition in the 115-, 124-, and 147-grain JHP bullet weights. I have also received information from people running shooting schools that the other models of Walther 9mm pistols, including the Model P99, have the same peculiarity.

Apparently Walther 9mm pistol barrels have a shorter leade than most other brands, and inasmuch as CorBon tends to seat its 9mm JHP bullets out further than most other brands, it has been my experience that their ammo will not go fully into battery in a Walther pistol without being forced in. Obviously, such a practice is inconvenient and potentially hazardous since the round could conceivably be fired without being fully in battery. Also, having the bullet forced into the rifling or pushed back into the cartridge case before firing the cartridge must do interesting things to the pressure.

This, in my opinion, is the only disadvantage to the Walther P5, because I believe Cor-Bon 9mm ammunition to be very hard to beat for serious social purposes and not being able to use it in the P5 takes a bit away from the pistol as an effective defensive tool. There are, however, other brands of 9mm JHP cartridges which are effective enough to do the job and will chamber in the Walthers with no problems. Other than the situation with the Cor-Bon ammunition, I have found my P5 pistols to be 100% reliable with anything I have run through them. I don’t consider the magazine release at the bottom of the frame to be a disadvantage in the real world, but those aficionados of some of the pistol games might disagree as far as it applies to their particular sport.

Jeffrey J. Loefer
Olympia, Washington


Moon Clips
You have a great magazine, and I can hardly wait for each issue to arrive at my door. Among my pistols is a S&W Model 625 revolver that fires .45 ACP rounds using moon clips. I prefer the full, rather than the half, clips, and use a little wrench that easily extracts the empty casings from the clip. Although the extracting wrench is readily available, I have not seen any device for loading cartridges into the clips. As anyone who has loaded cartridges by hand into moon clips knows, it is extremely difficult, even for one who has strong fingers.

I have invented a gadget that fits into the palm of the hand that enables one to load a moon clip easily. A tool and diemaker friend of mine made two of these loaders for me, one made of steel, and the other from plastic; and they work equally well.

If moon clips were more universally used, I would invest the money required to have the dies made for mass producing this clip loader; but it would be my guess that there are too few shooters that shoot revolvers such as the 625 that require the clips to make it worth my investment to mass-produce this device.

I would be interested to know whether there is a company that manufactures guns or other firearms equipment that could see a profit from marketing this simple device based upon my design.

Arthur Birkby
Salem, Oregon


We review two guns in this issue that require the use of moon clips, but we don’t know what the market interest is in a moon-clip loader—but it sure sounds like a neat idea. We’re happy to pass along your email address for readers or industry to contact you. Reach Arthur Birkby at abirkby@uswest.net.